Improving electrochemical performance of Nickel - Yttria stabilized Zirconia cermet anodes employing nickel nanoparticles
Gasper, Paul Joseph
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Nickel-Yttria Stabilized Zirconia (Ni-YSZ) cermets are used as anodes in solid oxide fuel cells. These anodes are stable for tens of thousands of hours during operation and have low cost. In this work, Ni-YSZ anodes are infiltrated with nickel nanoparticles to increase the density of electrochemical reaction sites and improve their performance. However, infiltrated nickel nanoparticles are isolated from one another, so they are not electrochemically active. Two approaches have been utilized to activate infiltrated nickel nanoparticles: in-situ nickel spreading and simultaneous infiltration of nickel with Gd0.1Ce0.9O2-δ (GDC). In-situ nickel spreading, which occurs during exposure to anodic mass transfer limited currents, connects and activates nickel nanoparticles, improving anode performance but inherently causing nanoparticle coarsening. Simultaneous infiltration of Ni and GDC results in substantially improved anode performance, and the infiltrated nanostructures are more stable than infiltrated nickel. Detailed analysis of the electrochemical impedance by equivalent circuit modeling is used to separate the contributions of nickel and GDC infiltrants to the overall cell performance.
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