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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Ferritic stainless steel interconnects for protonic ceramic electrochemical cell stacks: Oxidation behavior and protective coatings

  • Author(s): Wang, R
  • Sun, Z
  • Choi, JP
  • Basu, SN
  • Stevenson, JW
  • Tucker, MC
  • et al.

© 2019 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC Protonic ceramic fuel or electrolysis cells (PCFC/PCEC) have shown promising performance at intermediate temperatures. However, these technologies have not yet been demonstrated in a stack, hence the oxidation behavior of the metallic interconnect under relevant operating environments is unknown. In this work, ferritic stainless steels 430 SS, 441 SS, and Crofer 22 APU were investigated for their use as interconnect materials in the PCFC/PCEC stack. The bare metal sheets were exposed to a humidified air environment in the temperature range from 450 °C to 650 °C, to simulate their application in a PCFC cathode or PCEC anode. Breakaway oxidation with rapid weight gain and Fe outward diffusion/oxidation was observed on all the selected stainless steel materials. A protective coating is deemed necessary to prevent the metallic interconnect from oxidizing. To mitigate the observed breakaway oxidation, state-of-the-art protective coatings, Y2O3, Ce0.02Mn1.49Co1.49O4, CuMn1.8O4 and Ce/Co, were applied to the stainless steel sheets and their oxidation resistance was investigated. Dual atmosphere testing further validated the effectiveness of the protective coatings in realistic PCFC/PCEC environments, with a hydrogen gradient across the interconnect. Several combinations of metal and coating material were found to be viable for use as the interconnect for PCFC/PCEC stacks.

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