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Title: Intermediate Temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Development

Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are high efficiency energy conversion devices. Present materials set, using yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) electrolyte, limit the cell operating temperatures to 800 C or higher. It has become increasingly evident however that lowering the operating temperature would provide a more expeditious route to commercialization. The advantages of intermediate temperature (600 to 800 C) operation are related to both economic and materials issues. Lower operating temperature allows the use of low cost materials for the balance of plant and limits degradation arising from materials interactions. When the SOFC operating temperature is in the range of 600 to 700 C, it is also possible to partially reform hydrocarbon fuels within the stack providing additional system cost savings by reducing the air preheat heat-exchanger and blower size. The promise of Sr and Mg doped lanthanum gallate (LSGM) electrolyte materials, based on their high ionic conductivity and oxygen transference number at the intermediate temperature is well recognized. The focus of the present project was two-fold: (a) Identify a cell fabrication technique to achieve the benefits of lanthanum gallate material, and (b) Investigate alternative cathode materials that demonstrate low cathode polarization losses at the intermediate temperature. A porous matrix supported,more » thin film cell configuration was fabricated. The electrode material precursor was infiltrated into the porous matrix and the counter electrode was screen printed. Both anode and cathode infiltration produced high performance cells. Comparison of the two approaches showed that an infiltrated cathode cells may have advantages in high fuel utilization operations. Two new cathode materials were evaluated. Northwestern University investigated LSGM-ceria composite cathode while Caltech evaluated Ba-Sr-Co-Fe (BSCF) based pervoskite cathode. Both cathode materials showed lower polarization losses at temperatures as low as 600 C than conventional manganite or cobaltite cathodes.« less
Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
946138
DOE Contract Number:
FG26-05NT42471
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Ceramatec, Incorporated
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
30 DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION; ANODES; BLOWERS; CATHODES; COMMERCIALIZATION; CONFIGURATION; ECONOMICS; EFFICIENCY; ELECTRODES; ELECTROLYTES; ENERGY CONVERSION; FABRICATION; HYDROCARBONS; IONIC CONDUCTIVITY; LANTHANUM; OXYGEN; POLARIZATION; PRECURSOR; SCREENS; SOLID OXIDE FUEL CELLS; THIN FILMS