The University of Connecticut (UConn) team will perform an evaluation and analysis—using experimentation and computational simulation—of degradation phenomena in lanthanum manganite- and cobaltite-based cathode electrodes when exposed to air atmosphere conditions during solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) operation. The project will examine the role of dopants, electric polarization, gas phase contaminants, oxygen stoichiometry (proportions), and A:B ratio on the long-term bulk and interfacial stability of lanthanum manganite and cobaltite cathodes. Cathode materials will be characterized to develop both initiation and propagation processes responsible for chemical and morphological changes. The role of electrode poisoning in the presence of chromium vapor will be examined using existing test facilities capable of generating a wide range of vapor pressures in humidified air.
This project focuses on developing an understanding of the electrical, chemical, and physical processes responsible for cathode degradation under real world air atmosphere exposure conditions. Improved cell/stack life and performance will reduce operating cost and increase efficiency, resulting in reduction in the cost of electricity and reduction of CO2 emissions from the entire platform. Specifically, this project will study the role of electrode polarization and exposure conditions on cell performance degradation, examine the role of electrode poisoning in the presence of Cr vapor, and use computational tools to theoretically deduce cathode degradation mechanisms due to air contaminants.
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