CCS and Power Systems

Advanced Energy Systems - Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

Mechanistic Enhancement of SOFC Cathode Durability

Performer: University of Maryland

Project No: FE0009084

Project Description

The University of Maryland (UMD) project is a multi-faceted fundamental investigation of the effects of contaminants on cathode degradation mechanisms in order to establish cathode composition/structures and operational conditions to enhance cathode durability. Using a dual focused ion beam/scanning electron microscope approach, UMD will quantify in three dimensions (3-D) the microstructural changes of cathode samples, both standardized and from each of the SECA Industry Teams. This includes changes in triple-phase boundary density, phase connectivity, and tortuosity (a metric related to diffusivity). UMD will also use heterogeneous catalysis methods to elucidate the cathode oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) mechanism and determine how contaminants affect the ORR as a function of temperature, time, and composition, and will use an integrated in situ system that allows simultaneous 18O-isotope exchange and electroanalytical characterization of button cells under applied current/voltage conditions.

The results will be used to develop hypotheses that explain the microstructural and compositional cathode performance degradation mechanisms and mitigation strategies. Phenomenological models will be developed concurrently to describe the role of architectural and operational variables on cathode performance and stability. These will result in the formation of design criteria that will be validated experimentally in terms of electrochemical performance stability in the targeted contaminant containing air in long-term tests.

Project Details