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Issue 36, 2013
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Structural and microstructural stability of ceria – gadolinia electrolyte exposed to reducing environments of high temperature fuel cells

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Abstract

Doped CeO2 is widely used in intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells (500–650 °C) due to its high ionic conductivity, low reactivity to other cell components and ability to facilitate charge transfer reactions at the electrode/electrolyte interface. However, on exposure to hydrogen above 650 °C doped cerates can be reduced leading to catastrophic microstructure failure and loss of mechanical integrity. The effect of other fuels such as C and CO on the stability of ceria based electrolytes remains largely unexplored despite the increased significance in developing fuel cells that operate on these fuels. In this paper a systematic investigation has been carried out on the effect of carbon monoxide on the electrical conductivity, ionic transport, crystal structure and microstructure of Ce0.8Gd0.2O2−x, with particular emphasis on the mechanisms of reduction and the long term stability of the material for use in a direct carbon fuel cell (DCFC) where this material will be exposed to a reducing environment containing little or no hydrogen. These investigations have been carried out at temperatures typically found during the operation of a DCFC (800 °C) and the results have been compared with similar investigation carried out in dry hydrogen atmosphere. A wide range of techniques including synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction, high resolution transmission and scanning electron microscopy, four-probe DC conductivity measurements and electrochemical impedance analysis have been used to investigate the structural, microstructural and electrical properties of Ce0.8Gd0.2O2−x exposed to the operating environments of a DCFC.

Graphical abstract: Structural and microstructural stability of ceria – gadolinia electrolyte exposed to reducing environments of high temperature fuel cells

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Publication details

The article was received on 03 May 2013, accepted on 22 Jul 2013 and first published on 24 Jul 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3TA11752A
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2013,1, 10768-10782
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    Structural and microstructural stability of ceria – gadolinia electrolyte exposed to reducing environments of high temperature fuel cells

    S. P. S. Badwal, D. Fini, F. T. Ciacchi, C. Munnings, J. A. Kimpton and J. Drennan, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2013, 1, 10768
    DOI: 10.1039/C3TA11752A

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