Permeability of Gases in the Anode of an Anode Supported SOFC

Thursday, 30 July 2015: 09:00
Boisdale (Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre)
M. Geagea (Centre des Matériaux, Mines ParisTech, PSL), I. Genov (IEES-BAS), Z. Stoynov, D. Vladikova (IEES-BAS, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences), A. Chesnaud, and A. Thorel (Centre des Matériaux, Mines ParisTech, PSL)
In the high current density regime, the performance of SOFCs is limited by concentration overpotentials, which are particularly significant at the anode side where a competition occurs between incoming hydrogen and outgoing water. In standard SOFCs where the anode is made of YSZ and Ni, this becomes crucial when the demand for reactants exceeds the capacity of the porous cermet anode to supply them by gas diffusion mechanisms. A delicate compromise should be found between maintaining a high level of activation in the anode, i.e. high density of triple phase boundaries (TPB), favored by a distribution of small interconnected pores with high tortuosity and small grains size, and high gas permeability, favored by a distribution of large interconnected pores with low tortuosity, while the percolation of both electronic and anionic conductivity phases is maintained.

The present work aims at determining experimentally anodes gas permeability as a function of the experimentally determined percolation, tortuosity and volume fraction of the pores, assuming that the diffusion of gases is described by the Darcy Law. Anodes with varying porosity ensured by different quantities of the pore former were obtained by cold pressing and sintering. SEM image analysis, mercury intrusion porosimetry and permeability measurements for different gases were performed. The obtained results show that permeability increases with the volume fraction of the pore former. However, non-linearity as a function of the gases molecular weight is observed and discussed as a function of the mean free path and thus of possible mixed Darcy and Knudsen diffusion.