A high-performance solid oxide fuel cell with a layered electrolyte for reduced temperatures

May 08, 2020

Mingfei Liu (1), Franklin Uba (1), Ying Liu (1)
Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 103, Issue 9, May 2020: 5325-5336. DOI: 10.1111/jace.17203


The application of conventional zirconia‐based electrolytes is limited to relatively high temperatures (ie > 750°C) due to their poor conductivities at low temperatures. Doped ceria has much higher conductivities; however, when exposed to fuel, electronic current develops within the material, which impairs cell performance and efficiency. Herein, we report a novel layered electrolyte structure consisting of a 10 µm samaria‐doped ceria primary layer and a 2 µm scandia‐ceria‐stabilized zirconia protection layer on the fuel side. The cell had five layers and was fabricated using a tape casting and ultrasonic spraying technique. By carefully selecting the raw materials, the bilyer electrolyte was sintered to full density at a low temperature of 1250°C. The adverse interdiffusion and undesirable reactions between the two layers were largely avoided. A fuel cell with the layered electrolyte structure, operated on hydrogen fuel, produced a high open circuit voltage 1.07 V and a power density of 321 mW/cm2 at 0.8 V and 600°C, 76% improvement compared to the fuel cell with a scandia‐stabilized zirconia/samaria‐doped ceria bilayer electrolyte reported in literature.

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Author Affiliation

(1) Energy Transition Division, Phillips 66 Research Center, Bartlesville, OK, 74003, USA.