Nanoparticle scaffolds for syngas-fed solid oxide fuel cells

Paul Boldrin*, Enrique Ruiz-Trejo, Jingwen Yu, Robert I. Gruar, Christopher J. Tighe, Kee-Chul Chang, Jan Ilavsky, Jawwad A. Darr, Nigel Brandon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Incorporation of nanoparticles into devices such as solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) may provide benefits such as higher surface areas or finer control over microstructure. However, their use with traditional fabrication techniques such as screen-printing is problematic. Here, we show that mixing larger commercial particles with nanoparticles allows traditional ink formulation and screen-printing to be used while still providing benefits of nanoparticles such as increased porosity and lower sintering temperatures. SOFC anodes were produced by impregnating ceria-gadolinia (CGO) scaffolds with nickel nitrate solution. The scaffolds were produced from inks containing a mixture of hydrothermally-synthesised nanoparticle CGO, commercial CGO and polymeric pore formers. The scaffolds were heat-treated at either 1000 or 1300 degrees C, and were mechanically stable. In situ ultra-small X-ray scattering (USAXS) shows that the nanoparticles begin sintering around 900-1000 degrees C. Analysis by USAXS and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed that the low temperature heat-treated scaffolds possessed higher porosity. Impregnated scaffolds were used to produce symmetrical cells, with the lower temperature heat-treated scaffolds showing improved gas diffusion, but poorer charge transfer. Using these scaffolds, lower temperature heat-treated cells of Ni-CGO/200 mu m YSZ/CGO-LSCF performed better at 700 degrees C (and below) in hydrogen, and performed better at all temperatures using syngas, with power densities of up to 0.15 W cm(-2) at 800 degrees C. This approach has the potential to allow the use of a wider range of materials and finer control over microstructure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3011-3018
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry A
Volume3
Issue number6
Early online date17 Dec 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • CONTINUOUS HYDROTHERMAL SYNTHESIS
  • STABILIZED-ZIRCONIA ANODES
  • NEAR-CRITICAL WATER
  • ONE-STEP SYNTHESIS
  • HYDROGEN-PRODUCTION
  • OXYGEN SEPARATION
  • INK RHEOLOGY
  • MEMBRANES
  • FABRICATION
  • REACTOR

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