Electrodes for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells and Electrolyzers

 

Abstract

This talk will review work at Penn on electrode development for SOFC and SOE. Because SOFC are based on electrolytes that are oxygen-ion conductors, rather than proton conductors, they are able to operate on a wide range of fuels, including hydrocarbons. Likewise, electrolysis of CO2 is feasible in SOE. However, to allow stable operation with a wider range of feeds to the electrodes, new electrode materials must be developed. At Penn, we have investigated a method for fabricating electrodes that allows the composition and structure to be varied easily. The electrodes are made by infiltration of the active, electrode components into porous yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) layers that had been pre-sintered with the YSZ electrolyte. The infiltration procedure produces a large three-phase boundary so that the electrodes exhibit low overpotentials. Because fabrication does not require high-temperature calcination, electrodes can be made from materials that would not be stable in conventional ceramics processing. Results for both fuel- and air-side electrodes will be discussed.

Resume of Raymond Gorte

Raymond J. Gorte joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania in 1981 after receiving his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. He is currently the Russell Pearce and Elizabeth Crimian Heuer Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, with a secondary appointment in Materials Science & Engineering. Since joining Penn, Ray has served as Chairman of Chemical Engineering from 1995 to 2000 and was the Carl V. S. Patterson Professor of Chemical Engineering from 1996 through 2001. He received the 1997 Parravano Award of the Michigan Catalysis Society, the 1998 Philadelphia Catalysis Club Award, the 1999 Paul Emmett Award of the North American Catalysis Society, the 2001 Penn Engineering Distinguished Research Award, and the 2009 AIChE Wilhelm Award. He has served as Chairman of the Gordon Conference on Catalysis (1998) and Program Chairman of the 12th International Zeolite Conference (1998). His present research interests are focused on electrodes for solid-oxide fuel cells and on thermodynamic studies of redox properties with oxidation catalysts. He is also known for his research on zeolite acidity and for metal-support effects, especially with ceria-supported precious metals, used in automotive emissions control.

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