Nanostructured Electrodes for Low-Temperature Operating SOFCs

Thursday, 5 October 2017: 10:40
National Harbor 7 (Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center)
M. H. Abdul Jabbar (University of Maryland), Y. L. Huang (University of Maryland Energy Research Center), C. Pellegrinelli, I. Robinson, K. J. Pan, and E. D. Wachsman (University of Maryland)
Production of electricity by directly utilizing abundantly available fuels such as natural gas can meet the energy demands in various sectors. To make a robust, reliable and cost effective SOFC technology, the operating temperature of SOFCs has to be lowered down to 500°C. Albeit low ionic conductivity of electrolytes and hampered electrode kinetics at such low temperatures significantly affect the efficiency. Reducing the thickness of fast oxide-ion conducting electrolytes (e.g. Ce0.9Gd0.1O2-δ) and by using highly electrically conducing electrodes can lower the ohmic losses; however sluggish electrode reaction rates at low-temperatures remains a difficult problem causing huge non-ohmic losses. Nanostructuring of electrocatalyst on an electrically conducting electrode can significantly improve the reaction rate for hydrogen oxidation and oxygen reduction, thereby enhancing the efficiency of SOFCs. Additionally, operating SOFCs at a low temperature range would reduce particle growth and extend cell life-time compared to high-temperature SOFCs. In this study, the effect of nanostructured infiltrates on both catalytically active and inactive porous electrodes will be analyzed in detail. Improvement in electrode reaction rate will be quantified using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The main focus of the study will be on understanding how nanostructured electrodes could improve the efficiency and long-term stability of LT-SOFCs.