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Title: Fundamental Investigations and Rational Design of Durable High-Performance SOFC Cathodes

The main objective of this project is to unravel the degradation mechanism of LSCF cathodes under realistic operating conditions with different types of contaminants, aiming towards the rational design of cathodes with high-performance and enhanced durability by combining a porous backbone (such as LSCF) with a thin catalyst coating. The mechanistic understanding will help us to optimize the composition and morphology of the catalyst layer and microstructure of the LSCF backbone for better performance and durability. More specifically, the technical objectives include: (1) to unravel the degradation mechanism of LSCF cathodes under realistic operating conditions with different types of contaminants using in situ and ex situ measurements performed on specially-designed cathodes; (2) to examine the microstructural and compositional evolution of LSCF cathodes as well as the cathode/electrolyte interfaces under realistic operating conditions; (3) to correlate the fuel cell performance instability and degradation with the microstructural and morphological evolution and surface chemistry change of the cathode under realistic operating conditions; (4) to explore new catalyst materials and electrode structures to enhance the stability of the LSCF cathode under realistic operating conditions; and (5) to validate the long term stability of the modified LSCF cathode in commercially available cells under realistic operatingmore » conditions. We have systematically evaluated LSCF cathodes in symmetrical cells and anode supported cells under realistic conditions with different types of contaminants such as humidity, CO2, and Cr. Electrochemical models for the design of test cells and understanding of mechanisms have been developed for the exploration of fundamental properties of electrode materials. It is demonstrated that the activity and stability of LSCF cathodes can be degraded by the introduction of contaminants. The microstructural and compositional evolution of LSCF cathodes as well as the cathode/electrolyte interfaces under realistic operating conditions has been studied. It is found that SrO readily segregated/enriched on the LSCF surface. More severe contamination conditions cause more SrO on surface. Novel catalyst coatings through particle depositions (PrOx) or continuous thin films (PNM) were successfully developed to improve the activity and stability of LSCF cathodes. Finally, we have demonstrated enhanced activity and stability of LSCF cathodes over longer periods of time in homemade and commercially available cells by an optimized PNM (dense film and particles) infiltration process, under clean air and realistic operating conditions (3% H2O, 5% CO2 and direct Crofer contact). Both performance and durability of single cells with PNM coating has been enhanced compared with those without coating. Raman analysis of cathodes surface indicated that the intensity of SrCrO4 was significantly decreased.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1311400
DOE Contract Number:
FE0009652
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
30 DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION