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−2at 650 °C and 0.74 W cm−2at 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−2at 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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering