Assessment of co-sintering as a fabrication approach for metal-supported proton-conducting solid oxide cells

TitleAssessment of co-sintering as a fabrication approach for metal-supported proton-conducting solid oxide cells
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsWang R, Byrne C, Tucker MC
JournalSolid State Ionics
Date Published04/2019

Published on April 1st, 2019. Proton conducting oxide electrolyte materials could potentially lower the operating temperature of metal-supported solid oxide cells (MS-SOCs) to the intermediate range 400 to 600 °C. The porous metal substrate provides the advantages of MS-SOCs such as high thermal and redox cycling tolerance, low-cost of structural materials, and mechanical ruggedness. In this work, viability of co-sintering fabrication of metal-supported proton conducting solid oxide cells is investigated. Candidate proton conducting oxides including perovskite oxides BaZr0.7Ce0.2Y0.1O3−δ, SrZr0.5Ce0.4Y0.1O3−δ, and Ba3Ca1.18Nb1.82O9−δ, pyrochlore oxides La1.95Ca0.05Zr2O7−δ and La2Ce2O7, and acceptor doped rare-earth ortho-niobate La0.99Ca0.01NbO4 are synthesized via solid state reactive or sol-gel methods. These ceramics are sintered at 1450 °C in reducing environment alone and supported on Fe-Cr alloy metal support, and their key characteristics such as phase formation, sintering property, and chemical compatibility with metal support are determined. Most electrolyte candidates suffer from one or more challenges identified for this fabrication approach, including: phase decomposition in reducing atmosphere, evaporation of electrolyte constituents, contamination of the electrolyte with Si and Cr from the metal support, and incomplete electrolyte sintering. In contrast, La0.99Ca0.01NbO4 is found to be highly compatible with the metal support and co-sintering processing in reducing atmosphere. A metal-supported cell is fabricated with La0.99Ca0.01NbO4 electrolyte, ferritic stainless steel support, Pt air electrode and nanoparticulate ceria-Ni hydrogen electrocatalyst. The total resistance is 50 Ω·cm2 at 600 °C. This work clearly demonstrates the challenges, opportunities, and breakthrough of metal-supported proton-conducting solid oxide cells by co-sintering fabrication.