Readily processed protonic ceramic fuel cells with high performance at low temperatures

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  23 Jul 2015:
DOI: 10.1126/science.aab3987

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text


Because of the generally lower activation energy associated with proton conduction in oxides compared to oxygen ion conduction, protonic ceramic fuel cells (PCFCs) should be able to operate at lower temperatures than solid oxide fuel cells (250°-550°C vs. ≥600°C) on hydrogen and hydrocarbon fuels if fabrication challenges and suitable cathodes can be developed. We fabricated the complete sandwich structure of PCFCs directly from raw precursor oxides with only one moderate-temperature processing step through the use of sintering agents such as copper oxide. We also developed a proton, oxygen-ion, and electron-hole conducting PCFC-compatible cathode material, BaCo0.4Fe0.4Zr0.1Y0.1O3-δ (BCFZY0.1) that greatly improved oxygen reduction reaction kinetics at intermediate to low temperature. We demonstrated high performance from five different types of PCFC button cells without degradation after 1400 hours. Power densities as high as 445 milliwatt per square centimeter at 500°C on H2 and 142 milliwatt per square centimeter on CH4 were achieved, and operation was possible even at 350°C.

View Full Text