Functional Materials for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells: Processing, Microstructure and Performance

Book Series: Frontiers in Ceramic Science

Volume 1


Moisés Rómolos Cesário, Daniel Araújo de Macedo

DOI: 10.2174/97816810843121170101
eISBN: 978-1-68108-431-2, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-68108-432-9
ISSN: 2542-5250 (Print)
ISSN: 2542-5269 (Online)

Indexed in: EBSCO.

Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs) have received great attention among researchers in the past few decades due to their high electrochemic...[view complete introduction]
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Proton Conducting Ceramic Materials for Intermediate Temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

- Pp. 131-164 (34)

Narendar Nasani, Francisco Loureiro and Duncan Paul Fagg


Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) offer a large potential as a future green energy technology, as they show high fuel conversion efficiency with limited pollution and fuel flexibility for a wide range of applications [1]. These devices operate in the high temperature range (800-1000 °C), where cost and longevity related problems have slowed their commercialization. Nonetheless, the high operating temperature hurdle of SOFCs can be crossed by using proton conducting ceramic oxides as solid electrolytes, producing so called protonic ceramic fuel cells (PCFCs). The perovskite AB1-xMxO3-δ, A=Ca, Ba, Sr; B=Ce, Zr; M=Y, Gd, Yb) materials have been suggested as electrolyte materials for PCFCs, since these materials show high protonic conductivity and lower activation energy (0.4-0.6 eV) in the intermediate temperature range 500-750 °C [2]. The alkaline earth doped cerate family possess high proton conductivity (about 10-2 S cm-1 at 600 °C) with low activation energy, but suffer from poor chemical stability due to degradation in the presence of acidic gases (e.g., CO2) and steam, precluding their practical use as electrolytes in PCFCs. On the contrary, the alkaline earth doped zirconates exhibit good chemical stability, although their overall proton conductivity is limited (about 10-3 S·cm-1 at 600 °C) due to a low grain boundary conduction, compounded by poor sinterability and limited grain growth [3]. By tailoring the chemical composition of these two material families, a compromise between good proton conductivity, good sinterability and chemical stability can be achieved [4]. Due to the novelty and potential of this technology, this chapter will be dedicated to recent developments in PCFCs, highlighting potential electrolyte and electrode materials, their microstructure and property relationships.

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