Impact of Anode Microstructure on Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

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Science  14 Aug 2009:
Vol. 325, Issue 5942, pp. 852-855
DOI: 10.1126/science.1176404

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We report a correlation between the microstructure of the anode electrode of a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) and its electrochemical performance for a tubular design. It was shown that the electrochemical performance of the cell was extensively improved when the size of constituent particles was reduced so as to yield a highly porous microstructure. The SOFC had a power density of greater than 1 watt per square centimeter at an operating temperature as low as 600°C with a conventional zirconia-based electrolyte, a nickel cermet anode, and a lanthanum ferrite perovskite cathode material. The effect of the hydrogen fuel flow rate (linear velocity) was also examined for the optimization of operating conditions. Higher linear fuel velocity led to better cell performance for the cell with higher anode porosity. A zirconia-based cell could be used for a low-temperature SOFC system under 600°C just by optimizing the microstructure of the anode electrode and operating conditions.

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