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Catalysts 2017, 7(7), 223; doi:10.3390/catal7070223

Synthesis and Evaluation of Ni Catalysts Supported on BaCe0.5Zr0.3−xY0.2NixO3−δ with Fused-Aggregate Network Structure for the Hydrogen Electrode of Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cell

1
Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Medicine and Engineering, University of Yamanashi, 4-4-37, Takeda, Kofu 400-8510, Japan
2
Fuel Cell Nanomaterials Center, University of Yamanashi, Miyamae 6-43, Kofu 400-0021, Japan
3
Clean Energy Research Center, University of Yamanashi, Takeda 4-4-37, Kofu 400-8510, Japan
4
Department of Mechanical Engineering & Division of Materials Science and Engineering, Boston University, 15 St. Mary’s Street, Boston, MA 02215, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 June 2017 / Revised: 14 July 2017 / Accepted: 18 July 2017 / Published: 24 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Materials for Applications in Heterogeneous Catalysis)
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Abstract

Nickel nanoparticles loaded on the electron–proton mixed conductor BaCe0.5Zr0.3−xY0.2NixO3−δ (Ni/BCZYN, x = 0 and 0.03) were synthesized for use in the hydrogen electrode of a proton-conducting solid oxide electrolysis cell (SOEC). The Ni nanoparticles, synthesized by an impregnation method, were from 45.8 nm to 84.1 nm in diameter, and were highly dispersed on the BCZYN. The BCZYN nanoparticles, fabricated by the flame oxide synthesis method, constructed a unique microstructure, the so-called “fused-aggregate network structure”. The BCZYN nanoparticles have capability of constructing a scaffold for the hydrogen electrode with both electronically conducting pathways and gas diffusion pathways. The catalytic activity on Ni/BCZYN (x = 0 and 0.03) catalyst layers (CLs) improved with the circumference length of the Ni nanoparticles. Moreover, the catalytic activity on the Ni/BCZYN (x = 0.03) CL was higher than that of the Ni/BCZYN (x = 0) CL. BCZYN (x = 0.03) possesses higher electronic conductivity than BCZYN (x = 0) due to the Ni doping, resulting in an enlarged effective reaction zone (ERZ). We conclude that the proton reduction reaction in the ERZ was the rate-determining step on the hydrogen electrode, and the reaction was enhanced by improving the electronic conductivity of the electron–proton mixed conductor BCZYN. View Full-Text
Keywords: electron–proton mixed conductor; proton conductor; hydrogen electrode; solid oxide electrolysis cell; nanostructured materials electron–proton mixed conductor; proton conductor; hydrogen electrode; solid oxide electrolysis cell; nanostructured materials
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MDPI and ACS Style

Nishikawa, R.; Kakinuma, K.; Nishino, H.; Brito, M.E.; Gopalan, S.; Uchida, H. Synthesis and Evaluation of Ni Catalysts Supported on BaCe0.5Zr0.3−xY0.2NixO3−δ with Fused-Aggregate Network Structure for the Hydrogen Electrode of Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cell. Catalysts 2017, 7, 223.

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