Electrochemical and Catalytic Behavior of Ni-Based Cermet Anode for Ammonia-Fueled SOFCs
Recently, ammonia was considered as a promising fuel for SOFCs because of following reasons; high energy density, ease in liquefaction (–33.4ºC at atmospheric pressure or 8.46 atm at 20ºC), no greenhouse gas emission, narrower flammable range than hydrogen. Much effort has been devoted to enhance the performance of direct ammonia fuelled SOFCs employing oxide-ion [1, 2] or proton [3, 4] conducting electrolytes. Meng et al.  fabricated a 10-μm thick SDC electrolyte with 50wt% Ni–SDC as an anode and BSCF as a cathode. A peak power density of 1190 mW/cm2 was achieved at 700 °C, which was the highest performance reported in literatures for the direct NH3-SOFC using oxygen ion conducting electrolyte.
In this report, the mechanism of electro-oxidation of ammonia over Ni-based cermet anode was studied. Especially, we focused on the correlation between the catalytic activity of anode for ammonia decomposition and cell performance. This systematic investigation has revealed that ammonia is catalytically decomposed to H2 and N2, and then H2 produced is electrochemically oxidized over anode. Furthermore, the operating temperature and hydrogen concentration had a great impact on ammonia decomposition as well as cell performance. These results provided the strategy for the development of anode materials for direct ammonia-fueled SOFCs.
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