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Direct methane solid oxide fuel cells based on catalytic partial oxidation enabling complete coking tolerance of Ni-based anodes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle



Daehee Lee, Jaeha Myung, Jeiwan Tan, Sang-Hoon Hyun, John T. S. Irvine, Joosun Kim, Jooho Moon

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Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) can oxidize diverse fuels by harnessing oxygen ions. Benefited by this feature, direct utilization of hydrocarbon fuels without external reformers allows for cost-effective realization of SOFC systems. Superior hydrocarbon reforming catalysts such as nickel are required for this application. However, carbon coking on nickel-based anodes and the low efficiency associated with hydrocarbon fueling relegate these systems to immature technologies. Herein, we present methane-fueled SOFCs operated under conditions of catalytic partial oxidation (CPOX). Utilizing CPOX eliminates carbon coking on Ni and facilitates the oxidation of methane. Ni-gadolinium-doped ceria (GDC) anode-based cells exhibit exceptional power densities of 1.35 W cm−2 at 650 °C and 0.74 W cm−2 at 550 °C, with stable operation over 500 h, while the similarly prepared Ni-yttria stabilized zirconia anode-based cells exhibit a power density of 0.27 W cm−2 at 650 °C, showing gradual degradation. Chemical analyses suggest that combining GDC with the Ni anode prevents the oxidation of Ni due to the oxygen exchange ability of GDC. In addition, CPOX operation allows the usage of stainless steel current collectors. Our results demonstrate that high-performance SOFCs utilizing methane CPOX can be realized without deterioration of Ni-based anodes using cost-effective current collectors.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-40
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Early online date6 Feb 2017
StatePublished - 31 Mar 2017

    Research areas

  • Solid oxide fuel cell, Methane fueling, Ni catalyst, Catalytic partial oxidation, Oxygen exchange kinetics

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