Optimization of Support Materials for Intermediate Temperature Molten Carbonate Fuel Cells (IT-MCFC)
Two types of MCFC design were considered in this study: cathode-supported and metal-supported. The support substrates were selected on the basis that they should exhibit sufficient mechanical strength to withstand a ΔT of 80 °C for a 100 cm2 cell at the operating temperature without imparting significant performance loss through electrical resistance increase or electrode deactivation.
In this study, lithiated nickel oxide (LiNiO) has been selected as the main candidate for cathode support; this material is closely related to state-of-the-art cathode compositions used in high temperature MCFCs. The candidate metal support materials are mostly austenitic ferritic stainless steels such as SS 310S, SS316L, SS446 etc , which are used as the state of art bipolar plate materials to withstand the molten salt corrosion during fuel cell operation . A critical evaluation has been performed of these candidate cell support materials, and potential substrate coating materials and techniques have also been considered . The mechanical strength, electronic conductivity and material compatibility have been evaluated to optimize the support materials.
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