Boston University will team with FuelCell Energy to understand the detailed mechanisms of chromium poisoning in the cathode of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) and provide solutions that eliminate or mitigate chromium poisoning in cathodes, reducing or eliminating its effects on SOFC power systems. The project includes fabrication and testing of cells, modeling the thermodynamics and transport phenomena of chromium poisoning, and implementation of solutions to chromium poisoning at the single-cell level.
The formation of chromates (and chromites) at the interfaces degrades the performance of solid oxide fuel cells. The chromates form due to the reaction of the chromium oxide scale on the surface of the interconnect, which then migrate to the triple phase boundaries and deposit there, leading to performance degradation and cascading failure of the cell. This work will provide solutions that mitigate chromium poisoning and increase the overall performance of SOFC power systems.