Recent Advances in Electrodes for Proton-Conducting Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Science and Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2022) | Viewed by 12322

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Glass, Institute of Ceramics and Glass, Spanish National Research Council, 28049 Madrid, Spain
Interests: solid oxide cells; electrochemistry; inorganic chemistry; ceramics
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Guest Editor
Department of Applied Physics I, University of Málaga, Málaga, Spain
Interests: energy; nanomaterials; electroceramics; solid oxide cells
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Glass, Institute of Ceramics and Glass, Spanish National Research Council, Madrid, Spain
Interests: clean energies; ceramic membranes; crystal chemistry; defect chemistry and transport

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Solid oxide fuel cells with a proton-conducting electrolyte (Proton Ceramic Fuel Cells) enjoy several advantages when compared to classical oxide-ion-conducting fuel cells, such as an improved efficiency at lower operating temperature and the absence of steam-dilution of the fuel at the anode side of the cell. However, working at the intermediate-temperature range (500-700 ºC) worsens the kinetics for the electrode electrochemical reactions, decreasing the overall performance of the cell. Development of different strategies with the capability of optimizing the electrical and electrochemical behaviour in the appropriate temperature range is currently required. In this regard, the design of new electrode materials with suitable ionic-electronic conducting properties or optimized microstructural features such as nanosized morphologies, as well as innovative electrode architectures have emerged recently.

The aim of this special issue is to present recent advances in the electrochemical performance of Proton Conducting Fuel Cells through optimisation of the electrode behaviour, encompassing structural, microstructural or architectural approaches. The special issue is now open for submission of original research manuscripts and review works.

Dr. Domingo Pérez-Coll
Dr. David Marrero-López
Dr. Glenn C. Mather
Editors

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Keywords

  • Protonic ceramic fuel cells
  • Proton-conducting oxides
  • Electronic-conducting oxides
  • Mixed-conducting properties
  • Electrodes
  • Enhanced electrochemical performance
  • Microstructural improvement
  • Innovative electrode architectures
  • Hydrogen Conversion
  • Fuel cell and electrolyzer

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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15 pages, 2780 KiB  
Article
Multi-Physical and Electrochemical Coupling Model for the Protonic Ceramic Fuel Cells with H+/e/O2− Mixed Conducting Cathodes
by Dongping Yan, Wansheng Wang, Runhua Li, Shanshan Jiang, Liu Lu, Aleksey Levtsev and Daifen Chen
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(8), 3889; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12083889 - 12 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2251
Abstract
A protonic ceramic fuel cell (PCFC) has great potential for medium temperature power generation. Its working process, however, is complicated and quite different from the traditional oxygen ionic solid oxide fuel cell (O2−-SOFC) and proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). In [...] Read more.
A protonic ceramic fuel cell (PCFC) has great potential for medium temperature power generation. Its working process, however, is complicated and quite different from the traditional oxygen ionic solid oxide fuel cell (O2−-SOFC) and proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). In this paper, a multi-physical model for the PCFC with H+/e/O2− mixed conducting cathode is established, in which the fuel- and oxidant-diffusing processes; electron-, oxygen ion-, and proton-conducting processes; three electrochemical reactions; and their coupling working details are carefully considered. Taking Ni-BZCY/BZCY/BZCY-LSCF PCFC as an example, the validation of the model is well verified by good agreements with the experiment iop-Vop curves at different temperatures. The result shows that the cathodic electrochemical reactions will be concentrated to a small thickness near the electrolyte because of the greatly decreased ionic conductivity compared with the high electronic conductivity at an intermediate temperature. O2− within the PCFC cathode is only an intermediate transform substance between the electrons and protons. Thus, there is a peak oxygen ion current distribution within the composite cathode of PCFC. The cathodic oxygen reduction half reaction is found to be a key factor to dominate the total PCFC voltage loss at the intermediate temperature zone. The concentration polarization of anode-supported PCFC is small, due to the vapors that are generated in the cathode side instead of anode side. Full article
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17 pages, 3550 KiB  
Article
Analysis of La4Ni3O10±δ-BaCe0.9Y0.1O3-δ Composite Cathodes for Proton Ceramic Fuel Cells
by Francisco J. A. Loureiro, Devaraj Ramasamy, Vanessa C. D. Graça, Laura I. V. Holz, Sergey M. Mikhalev and Duncan P. Fagg
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 3407; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11083407 - 10 Apr 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2042
Abstract
Layered Ruddlesden-Popper (RP) lanthanide nickelates, Lnn+1NinO3n+1 (Ln = La, Pr, and Nd; n = 1, 2, and 3) have generated great interest as potential cathodes for proton conducting fuel cells (PCFCs). The high-order phase ( [...] Read more.
Layered Ruddlesden-Popper (RP) lanthanide nickelates, Lnn+1NinO3n+1 (Ln = La, Pr, and Nd; n = 1, 2, and 3) have generated great interest as potential cathodes for proton conducting fuel cells (PCFCs). The high-order phase (n = 3) is especially intriguing, as it possesses the property of a high and metallic-type electronic conductivity that persists to low temperatures. To provide the additional requirement of high ionic conductivity, a composite electrode is here suggested, formed by a combination of La4Ni3O10±δ with the proton conducting phase BaCe0.9Y0.1O3-δ (40 vol%). Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) is used to analyse this composite electrode in both wet (pH2O ~ 10−2 atm) and low humidity (pH2O ~ 10−5 atm) conditions in an O2 atmosphere (400–550 °C). An extended analysis that first tests the stability of the impedance data through Kramers-Kronig and Bayesian Hilbert transform relations is outlined, that is subsequently complemented with the distribution function of relaxation times (DFRTs) methodology. In a final step, correction of the impedance data against the short-circuiting contribution from the electrolyte substrate is also performed. This work offers a detailed assessment of the La4Ni3O10±δ-BaCe0.9Y0.1O3-δ composite cathode, while providing a robust analysis methodology for other researchers working on the development of electrodes for PCFCs. Full article
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Review

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34 pages, 6957 KiB  
Review
Perspectives on Cathodes for Protonic Ceramic Fuel Cells
by Glenn C. Mather, Daniel Muñoz-Gil, Javier Zamudio-García, José M. Porras-Vázquez, David Marrero-López and Domingo Pérez-Coll
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 5363; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11125363 - 09 Jun 2021
Cited by 49 | Viewed by 7052
Abstract
Protonic ceramic fuel cells (PCFCs) are promising electrochemical devices for the efficient and clean conversion of hydrogen and low hydrocarbons into electrical energy. Their intermediate operation temperature (500–800 °C) proffers advantages in terms of greater component compatibility, unnecessity of expensive noble metals for [...] Read more.
Protonic ceramic fuel cells (PCFCs) are promising electrochemical devices for the efficient and clean conversion of hydrogen and low hydrocarbons into electrical energy. Their intermediate operation temperature (500–800 °C) proffers advantages in terms of greater component compatibility, unnecessity of expensive noble metals for the electrocatalyst, and no dilution of the fuel electrode due to water formation. Nevertheless, the lower operating temperature, in comparison to classic solid oxide fuel cells, places significant demands on the cathode as the reaction kinetics are slower than those related to fuel oxidation in the anode or ion migration in the electrolyte. Cathode design and composition are therefore of crucial importance for the cell performance at low temperature. The different approaches that have been adopted for cathode materials research can be broadly classified into the categories of protonic–electronic conductors, oxide-ionic–electronic conductors, triple-conducting oxides, and composite electrodes composed of oxides from two of the other categories. Here, we review the relatively short history of PCFC cathode research, discussing trends, highlights, and recent progress. Current understanding of reaction mechanisms is also discussed. Full article
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