APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Solid oxide fuel cell for vehicles
- Electrolysis cells
- Electrochemical reactors
- Hydrogen electrochemical compression cells
Compared to conventional solid oxide cell (SOC)
- Increased power density at lower temperatures
- Increased durability at a lower material cost
- High tolerance for thermal and redox cycling
A Berkeley Lab research team led by Michael Tucker has identified proton-conducting oxide electrolyte materials to lower the operating temperature of a metal-supported solid oxide cell (SOC) to the intermediate range (400°C – 600°C). These materials are compatible with co-sintering on the metal support, a cost-effective method of fabricating cells with a dense electrolyte layer. A SOC fabricated with the identified electrolyte material plus an air electrode and nanoparticulate hydrogen electrocatalyst offers a total ohmic resistance of 50W·cm2 at 600°C.
Many electrolyte candidates experience challenges such as phase decomposition in reducing atmosphere, evaporation of electrolysis constituents, contamination of the electrolyte by elements within the metal support, and incomplete electrolyte sintering. The Berkeley Lab electrolyte material, however, is compatible with a metal support and reducing atmosphere sintering and yields high thermal and redox cycling tolerance and mechanical ruggedness with low-cost structural materials.
BZCY-type proton conductors are popular due to their high conductivity, but are challenging to cosinter on metal supports due to high sintering temperature and interdiffusion between the metal support and electrolyte. The Berkeley Lab method overcomes these limitations to enable low-cost fabrication of metal-supported BZCY cells.
The Berkeley Lab research team identified processing improvements for the cell architecture and nanocatalysts that, when introduced in the production of a metal-supported solid oxide cell (SOC), decrease the SOC’s degradation rate. The resulting SOC achieved low degradation rate of 2.3%/kh with 3% H2O/ H2 as fuel and the cathode exposed to air.
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Proven principle
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Wang, R. Lau, G.Y., Ding, D., Zhu, T., and Tucker, M.C. “Approaches for Co-Sintering Metal-Supported Proton-Conducting Solid Oxide Cells with Ba(Zr,Ce,Y,Yb)O3-δ Electrolyte,” International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, (2019).
STATUS: Patent pending. Available for licensing or collaborative research.
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