skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: A Reversible Planar Solid Oxide Fuel-Fed Electrolysis Cell and Solid Oxide Fuel Cell for Hydrogen and Electricity Production Operating on Natural Gas/Biomass Fuels

Abstract

A solid oxide fuel-assisted electrolysis technique was developed to co-generate hydrogen and electricity directly from a fuel at a reduced cost of electricity. Solid oxide fuel-assisted electrolysis cells (SOFECs), which were comprised of 8YSZ electrolytes sandwiched between thick anode supports and thin cathodes, were constructed and experimentally evaluated at various operation conditions on lab-level button cells with 2 cm2 per-cell active areas as well as on bench-scale stacks with 30 cm2 and 100 cm2 per-cell active areas. To reduce the concentration overpotentials, pore former systems were developed and engineered to optimize the microstructure and morphology of the Ni+8YSZ-based anodes. Chemically stable cathode materials, which possess good electronic and ionic conductivity and exhibit good electrocatalytic properties in both oxidizing and reducing gas atmospheres, were developed and materials properties were investigated. In order to increase the specific hydrogen production rate and thereby reduce the system volume and capital cost for commercial applications, a hybrid system that integrates the technologies of the SOFEC and the solid-oxide fuel cell (SOFC), was developed and successfully demonstrated at a 1kW scale, co-generating hydrogen and electricity directly from chemical fuels.

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Materials and Systems Research, Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
934689
Report Number(s):
DOE/GO/14350
TRN: US200815%%260
DOE Contract Number:
FC36-04GO14350
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
08 HYDROGEN; ANODES; CAPITALIZED COST; CATHODES; ELECTRICITY; ELECTROLYSIS; ELECTROLYTES; HYBRID SYSTEMS; HYDROGEN; INTERSTITIAL HYDROGEN GENERATION; IONIC CONDUCTIVITY; MICROSTRUCTURE; MORPHOLOGY; OXIDES; PRODUCTION; SOLID OXIDE FUEL CELLS; solid oxide fuel-assisted electrolysis cell, solid oxide fuel cell, hydrogen production, hybrid, cogeneration

Citation Formats

Tao, Greg, G. A Reversible Planar Solid Oxide Fuel-Fed Electrolysis Cell and Solid Oxide Fuel Cell for Hydrogen and Electricity Production Operating on Natural Gas/Biomass Fuels. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.2172/934689.
Tao, Greg, G. A Reversible Planar Solid Oxide Fuel-Fed Electrolysis Cell and Solid Oxide Fuel Cell for Hydrogen and Electricity Production Operating on Natural Gas/Biomass Fuels. United States. doi:10.2172/934689.
Tao, Greg, G. Sat . "A Reversible Planar Solid Oxide Fuel-Fed Electrolysis Cell and Solid Oxide Fuel Cell for Hydrogen and Electricity Production Operating on Natural Gas/Biomass Fuels". United States. doi:10.2172/934689. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/934689.
@article{osti_934689,
title = {A Reversible Planar Solid Oxide Fuel-Fed Electrolysis Cell and Solid Oxide Fuel Cell for Hydrogen and Electricity Production Operating on Natural Gas/Biomass Fuels},
author = {Tao, Greg, G.},
abstractNote = {A solid oxide fuel-assisted electrolysis technique was developed to co-generate hydrogen and electricity directly from a fuel at a reduced cost of electricity. Solid oxide fuel-assisted electrolysis cells (SOFECs), which were comprised of 8YSZ electrolytes sandwiched between thick anode supports and thin cathodes, were constructed and experimentally evaluated at various operation conditions on lab-level button cells with 2 cm2 per-cell active areas as well as on bench-scale stacks with 30 cm2 and 100 cm2 per-cell active areas. To reduce the concentration overpotentials, pore former systems were developed and engineered to optimize the microstructure and morphology of the Ni+8YSZ-based anodes. Chemically stable cathode materials, which possess good electronic and ionic conductivity and exhibit good electrocatalytic properties in both oxidizing and reducing gas atmospheres, were developed and materials properties were investigated. In order to increase the specific hydrogen production rate and thereby reduce the system volume and capital cost for commercial applications, a hybrid system that integrates the technologies of the SOFEC and the solid-oxide fuel cell (SOFC), was developed and successfully demonstrated at a 1kW scale, co-generating hydrogen and electricity directly from chemical fuels.},
doi = {10.2172/934689},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Sat Mar 31 00:00:00 EDT 2007},
month = {Sat Mar 31 00:00:00 EDT 2007}
}

Technical Report:

Save / Share:
  • Argonne National Laboratory and Idaho National Laboratory researchers are analyzing the electrochemical and thermal-fluid behavior of solid oxide electrolysis cells (SOECs) for high temperature steam electrolysis using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) techniques. The major challenges facing commercialization of steam electrolysis technology are related to efficiency, cost, and durability of the SOECs. The goal of this effort is to guide the design and optimization of performance for high temperature electrolysis (HTE) systems. An SOEC module developed by FLUENT Inc. as part of their general CFD code was used for the SOEC analysis by INL. ANL has developed an independent SOEC modelmore » that combines the governing electrochemical mechanisms based on first principals to the heat transfer and fluid dynamics in the operation of SOECs. The ANL model was embedded into the commercial STAR-CD CFD software, and is being used for the analysis of SOECs by ANL. The FY06 analysis performed by ANL and reported here covered the influence of electrochemical properties, SOEC component resistances and their contributing factors, SOEC size and inlet flow conditions, and SOEC flow configurations on the efficiency and expected durability of these systems. Some of the important findings from the ANL analysis are: (1) Increasing the inlet mass flux while going to larger cells can be a compromise to overcome increasing thermal and current density gradients while increasing the cell size. This approach could be beneficial for the economics of the SOECs; (2) The presence of excess hydrogen at the SOEC inlet to avoid Ni degradation can result in a sizeable decrease in the process efficiency; (3) A parallel-flow geometry for SOEC operation (if such a thing be achieved without sealing problems) yields smaller temperature gradients and current density gradients across the cell, which is favorable for the durability of the cells; (4) Contact resistances can significantly influence the total cell resistance and cell temperatures over a large range of operating potentials. Thus it is important to identify and avoid SOEC stack conditions leading to such high resistances due to poor contacts.« less
  • An experimental study is under way to assess the performance of solid-oxide cells operating in the steam electrolysis mode for hydrogen production over a temperature range of 800 to 900ºC. Results presented in this paper were obtained from a ten-cell planar electrolysis stack, with an active area of 64 cm2 per cell. The electrolysis cells are electrolytesupported, with scandia-stabilized zirconia electrolytes (~140 µm thick), nickel-cermet steam/hydrogen electrodes, and manganite air-side electrodes. The metallic interconnect plates are fabricated from ferritic stainless steel. The experiments were performed over a range of steam inlet mole fractions (0.1 - 0.6), gas flow rates (1000more » - 4000 sccm), and current densities (0 to 0.38 A/cm2). Steam consumption rates associated with electrolysis were measured directly using inlet and outlet dewpoint instrumentation. Cell operating potentials and cell current were varied using a programmable power supply. Hydrogen production rates up to 100 Normal liters per hour were demonstrated. Values of area-specific resistance and stack internal temperatures are presented as a function of current density. Stack performance is shown to be dependent on inlet steam flow rate.« less
  • A three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model has been created to model hightemperature steam electrolysis in a planar solid oxide electrolysis cell (SOEC). The model represents a single cell as it would exist in an electrolysis stack. Details of the model geometry are specific to a stack that was fabricated by Ceramatec2, Inc. and tested at the Idaho National Laboratory. Mass, momentum, energy, and species conservation and transport are provided via the core features of the commercial CFD code FLUENT2. A solid-oxide fuel cell (SOFC) model adds the electrochemical reactions and loss mechanisms and computation of the electric field throughoutmore » the cell. The FLUENT SOFC user-defined subroutine was modified for this work to allow for operation in the SOEC mode. Model results provide detailed profiles of temperature, Nernst potential, operating potential, anode-side gas composition, cathode-side gas composition, current density and hydrogen production over a range of stack operating conditions. Mean model results are shown to compare favorably with experimental results obtained from an actual ten-cell stack tested at INL.« less