Novel SOFC Anodes for the Direct Electrochemical Oxidation of Hydrocarbon
This paper describes recent developments in solid-oxide fuel cells (SOFC) that use Cu-based cermets as the anode for direct oxidation of hydrocarbon fuels, including liquids such as gasoline, to generate electrical power without the need for first reforming that fuel to H2. Cu-YSZ cermets were found to be stable in hydrocarbon environments, but exhibited low performance for direct oxidation. Reasonable power densities could only be achieved with the addition of a catalytic oxide, like ceria, with the Cu cermet. Electrochemical oxidation studies demonstrated that the initial products for reaction depend on the catalytic oxide. Finally, the effect of sulfur impurities in the fuel is discussed.