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Highly Performing Triple-Conductive Pr2NiO4+δ Anode for Proton-Conducting Steam Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cell


The development of proton-conducting solid oxide electrolysis cells for the intermediate-temperature range application is largely hindered by the limited choices of adequate anode materials. In this study, the popular solid oxide fuel cell cathode material Pr2NiO4+δ (PNO) is investigated as anode for the electrolysis cell, considering its proton-conducting ability. The introduction of protons into PNO lattice is confirmed through an insertion-induced conductivity variation measurement. Good chemical compatibility is verified between PNO and Ba(ZrCeY)O3-δ (BZCY) proton-conducting electrolyte. Excellent catalytic activity towards water splitting is observed for PNO anode, 0.52 Ωcm2 for 550oC, 0.057 Ωcm2 for 700oC. The water-splitting process is disclosed by the impedance spectroscopy measured under different conditions. Due to proton conduction in PNO, the PNO surface is activated for electrochemical reactions. The non-charge transfer processes account little for the electrode resistance. The performance of the PNO anode is determined by two charge transfer processes whose kinetics is governed the electrolyzing potential. This charge transfer-limiting nature is relatively benign since the electrode resistance has been found to exponentially reduce with increasing overpotential. Cathode-supported Ni-BZCY//BZCY//PNO-BZCY thin film electrolyte single cells are fabricated and characterized. ~95% current efficiency is confirmed. At 700oC, a current density of 977 mA/cm2 is achieved at a 1.3 V electrolyzing potential, e.g. 0.37 V overpotential, which is one of the best performances of the proton-conducting steam electrolysis cells so far. The PNO anode accounts only for 16% of the overall polarization resistance at 700oC. These findings prove that the triple-conductive PNO is a promising anode material for proton-based steam electrolysis cells.

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Publication details

The article was received on 01 May 2018, accepted on 09 Aug 2018 and first published on 10 Aug 2018

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8TA04018D
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Highly Performing Triple-Conductive Pr2NiO4+δ Anode for Proton-Conducting Steam Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cell

    W. Li, B. Guan, L. Ma, S. hu, N. Zhang and X. Liu, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8TA04018D

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