Reversible Protonic Ceramic Electrochemical Cells for Power Generation and Green Fuel Production

Thursday, 27 July 2017
Grand Ballroom East (The Diplomat Beach Resort)
C. Duan (Colorado School of Mines), N. P. Sullivan (Mechanical Eng. Dept., Colorado School Of Mines), R. J. Braun (Colorado School of Mines), R. J. Kee (Mechanical Engineering, Colorado School of Mines), H. Ding, L. Q. Le (Colorado School of Mines), A. Dubois (Mechanical Eng. Dept., Colorado School of Mines), and R. O'Hayre (Colorado School of Mines)
A Reversible Protonic Ceramic Electrochemical Cell (RPCEC) is a device based on proton-conducting ceramics that can operate in both fuel cell and electrolysis cell modes. Compared to reversible electrochemical devices based on oxygen-ion conducting ceramics, RPCECs offer several potential advantages including lower temperature operation, improved coking resistance, and broad fuel flexibility. In fuel cell mode, RPCECs can efficiently convert the chemical energy contained within a wide variety of fuels (including hydrogen, various hydrocarbons, methanol, ethanol and ammonia) to electricity at intermediate temperatures (300 °C-600 °C). In electrolysis mode, RPCECs can operate with applied power from a renewable source (e.g. solar) to produce a number of versatile chemical fuels including hydrogen (via water electrolysis), ammonia (via solid-state electrochemical ammonia synthesis), and even certain hydrocarbon and/or liquid fuels. In this work, we will overview our progress towards fuel-flexible, intermediate-temperature RPCEC devices with promising performance, stability, and efficiency in both electricity-production and fuel-production modes.