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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Metal-Supported Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cell with Significantly Enhanced Catalysis


High-temperature electrolysis (HTE) using solid oxide electrolysis cells (SOECs) is a promising hydrogen production technology and has attracted substantial research attention over the last decade. While most studies are conducted on hydrogen electrode-supported type cells, SOEC operation using metal-supported cells has received minimal attention. The development of metal-supported SOECs with performance similar to the best conventional SOECs is reported. These cells have stainless steel supports on both sides, 10Sc1CeSZ electrolyte and electrode backbones, and nano-structured catalysts infiltrated on both hydrogen and oxygen electrode sides. Samarium-doped ceria (SDC) mixed with Ni is infiltrated as a hydrogen electrode catalyst, and the effect of ceria:Ni ratio is studied. On the oxygen electrode side, catalysts including lanthanum strontium manganite (LSM), lanthanum strontium cobalt ferrite (LSCF), praseodymium oxide (Pr6O11), and their composite catalysts with SDC (i.e., LSM-SDC, LSCF-SDC, and Pr6O11-SDC) are compared. Using the materials with highest catalytic activity (Pr6O11-SDC and SDC40-Ni60) and optimizing the catalyst infiltration processes, excellent electrolysis performance of metal-supported cells is achieved. Current densities of −5.31, −4.09, −2.64, and −1.62 A cm−2 are achieved at 1.3 V and 50 vol% steam content at 800, 750, 700, and 650 °C, respectively.

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