CCS and Power Systems

Advanced Energy Systems - Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

Enhancement of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) Cathode Electrochemical Performance Using Multi-Phase Interfaces

Performer: University of Wisconsin System

Project No: FE0009435

Project Description

The University of Wisconsin’s (UW) team will focus initially on patterned thin films of lanthanum strontium cobalt ferrite (LSCF)-113 with varying levels of LSC-214 decoration. Patterned films have controlled orientations, interfacial relationships, and surface geometry, making them far better suited for extracting quantitative electrochemical properties and catalytic mechanisms than standard sintered electrode structures. These films will be studied with a combination of linear-and non-linear electrochemical impedance spectroscopy to establish the magnitude of their oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity and the underlying mechanisms. These data will be interpreted through both standard equivalent circuit analysis and modeling of the elemental kinetic processes. Molecular-scale ab-initio methods will be used to provide qualitative guidance on local composition, defect chemistry, reaction mechanisms, and reaction rate barriers at surfaces and interfaces. The work will extend beyond the thin-film studies to realize the interfacial enhancement under realistic solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) conditions and will be accomplished through studying realistic LSCF-113 porous electrodes decorated with LSC-214 and tested in SOFC button cells. The results will be interpreted to determine the operating mechanisms and identify new material architectures enabling improved fuel cell performance.

Porous SOFC cathodes with enhanced performance and durability will be developed based on a proven LSCF material platform, which could enable SOFC operation at lower temperatures. As this enhancement requires elements and structures that are very similar to those of pure LSCF, it has the potential to be achieved at no significant detriment to metrics of cost, stability, or lifetime of the cathode. Lowering operating temperatures of SOFCs will reduce component degradation, extend life, and reduce working cost.

Project Details