(Invited) Robust and Active Mixed-Conducting Electrodes for Intermediate-Temperature Fuel Cells

Monday, 2 October 2017: 13:50
National Harbor 7 (Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center)
Y. Chen (School of Materials Science and Engineering, Georgia Tech), D. Chen (School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Georgia Tech), D. Ding (Idaho National Lab), and M. Liu (School of Materials Science and Engineering, Georgia Tech)
Intermediate-temperature solid oxide fuel cells have potential to be the cleanest and most efficient options for cost-effective utilization of a wide variety of fuels, from hydrogen to hydrocarbons, coal gas, and renewable fuels. They are ideally suited for distributed generation (which may be integrated with smart grids). To make these fuel cells economically competitive and commercially viable, however, several materials challenges must be overcome. One of them is the creation of durable, low-cost cathode materials and nanostructures of high electro-catalytic activity for oxygen reduction reaction at intermediate temperatures. Another challenge is the development of multi-functional anodes enabling efficient reforming of hydrocarbon fuels (e.g., methane) and directly operation on readily available fuels (e.g., natural gas) at intermediate temperatures. In this presentation, we will highlight an effective approach to fabrication of high-performance catalysts coated electrodes of dramatically enhanced electro-catalytic activity and durability, as schematically shown in Figure 1. The concept of modifying electrode surface through solution infiltration of a catalyst to create unique hybrid electrode structure (e.g., exsoluted nanoparticles on a conformal coating) are readily applicable to other electrochemical energy storage and conversion systems, including metal-air batteries, supercapacitors, and electrolyzers.

Figure 1. Schematic for a high-performance cathode consists of the state-of-the-art cathode backbone (e.g., LSCF) and a durable catalyst (conformal coating and exsoluted nanoparticles) against various contaminants, making effective use of the best properties of two different materials (backbone and catalyst).