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There would be significant advantages to having anodes for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) that were capable of directly utilizing hydrocarbon fuels. Because conventional Ni-based anodes catalyze the formation of carbon fibers, new anode compositions are required for this application, but most of the materials that have been proposed exhibit either limited thermal stability or poor electrochemical activity. In this paper, we will describe two strategies for the development of new anodes with improved performance. The first strategy involves the use of bimetallic compositions with layered microstructures. In the bimetallic anodes, one metal is used for thermal stability while the other provides the required carbon tolerance. The second strategy involves separating the anode into two layers: a thin functional layer for electrocatalysis and a thicker conduction layer for current collection. With this approach, the functional layer can be optimized for catalytic activity and, if it is thin enough, requires minimal conductivity. Examples are shown for each of these approaches and possible future directions are outlined.
solid-oxide fuel cell, direct oxidation, hydrocarbons, Cu, yttria-stabilized zirconia, ceria, SrTiO3
Date Posted: 28 August 2008
This document has been peer reviewed.