Robust Ceramic Anodes for it-SOFC
The main goal of current research is to lower the SOFC operation temperature from 900-1000ºC to around 600ºC, i.e. the intermediate temperature fuel cell (it-SOFC). The state of the art anode is a Nickel/Yttria Stabilized Zirconia cermet (Ni/YSZ). Although this cermet is the most efficient anode, it suffers from several drawbacks which leads to short lifetime. Nevertheless, it has been shown that it is possible to use an all-ceramic anode. It is, however, difficult to obtain all objectives (good electronic and ionic conductivity and catalytic properties) in one material. Hence, the use of two different materials in a porous composite structure may be a promising route.
Thus, the objective is to identify ceramic materials and to develop composites with excellent anode properties for operation at ~600°C in it-SOFCs applications. The aim is to create synergy between combinations of ceramic oxides with different properties (ionic conductivity, catalytic activity versus good electronic conductivity), or even between metallic structures and mixed (predominantly ionic) conductive oxides, which are stable under working conditions.
A derived objective is to gain insight in materials properties of oxides in a highly reducing regime (e.g. ~10-12 – 10-16 Pa) with which the optimization of the anode microstructures can be facilitated.
PhD Student: Gerard Cadafalch i Gázquez. Supervisor: Dr. Bernard Boukamp