(Invited) High Temperature CO2 Electrolysis on La(Sr)Fe(Mn)O3 Oxide Cathode by Using LaGaO3 Based Electrolyte

Tuesday, 26 May 2015: 14:00
Boulevard Room C (Hilton Chicago)
T. Ishihara (Department of Applied Chemistry, Kyushu University), K. T. Wu (Kyushu University, Faculty of Engineering), and S. Wang (Kyushu University)
     Solid oxide electrolysis cells (SOECs) for converting CO2 to more useful chemical species are attracting considerable attention because of their high electrolytic efficiency, offering the possibility of direct conversion of CO2 to CO (CO2 → CO + 1/2O2). Heat energy supplied to SOECs can maximize electrolysis efficiency, offering both thermodynamic and kinetic advantages. The generated CO can be used as a fuel gas, converted into syngas via reaction with H2, or to reduce iron oxide to pure iron in the iron-making process. The application of SOECs and related technologies can contribute to a more sustainable economy. For the electrolyte in SOECs, ZrO2 doped with 8 mol% of Y2O3 (YSZ) has always been used because of its chemical stability and mechanical strength. However, an electrolyte for CO2 electrolysis with lower internal resistance and increased efficiency is highly desirable. LaGaO3-based electrolytes have higher oxide-ion conductivities and transport numbers, which can lead to higher energy conversion efficiency; hence, a doped-LaGaO3 electrolyte (La0.9Sr0.1Ga0.8Mg0.2O3, LSGM) has been tested in this study. For CO2 electrolysis, another drawbacks is formation of C since electrolysis potential is close to that of CO formation. 

Although metals, particularly Ni, are widely used as cathodes in CO2 electrolysis cells, we found that a LaFeO3−δ-based perovskite cathode (La0.6Sr0.4Fe0.8Mn0.2O3−δ, LSFM6482) showed the highest activity for CO2 electrolysis among the examined oxides with a current density for CO2 electrolysis of 0.52 A/cm2 at 1.6 V and 1173 K. Among the cells using a La0.6Sr0.4Fe0.9M0.1O3−δ-based oxide cathode (M = Mn, Co, Ni, or Cu) for CO2 electrolysis at 1073K. Mn was the most effective Fe replacement on the B site, and the La0.6Sr0.4Fe0.9Mn0.1O3−δ cathode showed the highest activity and current density for CO2 electrolysis of this set of cathodes. Among the tested dopants, Mn and Co have ionic sizes most similar to Fe and a smaller size mismatch between the host and dopant cations in the perovskite structure, which should suppress dopant segregation and minimize detrimental effects of cation segregation. Overall, among the examined cations, Mn was the best dopant for the B site of the LaFeO3 cathode. A cell consisting of BLC64/LSGM/LSFM6482 exhibited the highest CO2 electrolysis activity (a current density of 0.52 A/cm2 at 1.6 V and 1173 K) of all cathodes investigated in this study and reduced CO2 at a rate of 153 μmol/cm2•min at 1173 K and 1.6 V with negligible carbon formation. The observed electrolysis current density was close to that of a Ni cathode but smaller than that of a Ni–Fe cathode, which is one of the most active cathodes for CO2 electrolysis. An LSFM6482 oxide cathode seems to be effective for improving not only initial cathodic performance but also long-term stability. LSFM6482 could be a potential candidate for high-temperature CO2 electrolysis. Further details of electrode reaction will be discussed based on impedance analysis and CO2 partial pressure.