Modeling Electrokinetics of Oxygen Electrodes in Solid Oxide Electrolyzer Cells

TitleModeling Electrokinetics of Oxygen Electrodes in Solid Oxide Electrolyzer Cells
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsCook K, Wrubel J, Ma Z, Huang K, Jin X
JournalJournal of The Electrochemical Society
Date Published11/2021
KeywordsBarium zirconate, Defect transport, electrode-electrolyte delamination prevention, Faradaic efficiency, lattice oxygen stoichiometry, microscale model, o-SOEC, oxygen electrode, solid oxide electrolyzer cell

A microscale model is presented in this study to simulate electrode kinetics of the oxygen electrode in a solid oxide electrolyzer cell (SOEC). Two mixed ionic/electronic conducting structures are examined for the oxygen producing electrode in this work: single layer porous lanthanum strontium cobalt ferrite (LSCF), and bilayer LSCF/SCT (strontium cobalt tantalum oxide) structures. A yttrium-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) electrolyte separates the hydrogen and oxygen electrodes, as well as a gadolinium doped-ceria (GDC) buffer layer on the oxygen electrode side. Electrochemical reactions occurring at the two-phase boundaries (2PBs) and three-phase boundaries (3PBs) of single-layer LSCF and bilayer LSCF/SCT oxygen electrodes are modeled under various SOEC voltages with lattice oxygen stoichiometry as the key output. The results reveal that there exists a competition in electrode kinetics between 2PBs and 3PBs, but 3PBs are the primary reactive sites for single-layer LSCF oxygen electrode under high voltages. These locations experience the greatest oxygen stoichiometry variations and are therefore the most likely locations for dimensional changes. By applying an active SCT layer over LSCF, the 2PBs become activated to compete with the 3PBs, thus alleviating oxygen stoichiometry variations and reducing the likelihood of dimensional change. This strategy could reduce lattice structural expansion, proving to be valuable for electrode-electrolyte delamination prevention and will be the focus of future work.