Uniform TitleSolid oxide fuel cells developed by the sol-gel process for oxygen generation
NameFinch, Joshua S. (author), Klein, Lisa C. (chair), Lehman, Richard (dissertation committee member), Xu, Jun (internal member), Jitianu, Andrei (internal member), Crawford, Holly (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
SubjectCeramic and Materials Science and Engineering,
Solid oxide fuel cells
DescriptionElectrochemical fuel cells convert chemical energy directly to electrical energy through the reaction of a fuel and an oxidant. Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) are solid-state devices that operate at temperatures around 800oC, using a solid oxygen electrolyte. The goal of this thesis is to prepare a defect-free solid oxygen electrolyte by a sol-gel process that is capable of (a) functioning in a fuel cell and (b) producing measurable oxygen when operated as an oxygen generator.
Sol-gel processing was chosen for membrane development because it offers a means of applying high-purity layers with controlled doping and a variety of geometries. In this study, the sol-gel process was used to produce yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) electrolyte membranes as well as the electrodes required for an operational fuel cell. Zirconium oxychloride (ZOC) was used as the precursor material for the electrolyte. The YSZ solution was prepared by mixing yttrium nitrate and ZOC in a 50/50 ETOH and water solvent. The reaction was catalyzed with 1.5M NH4OH. Viscosity and solution application techniques were varied to monitor the effect on membrane development. The YSZ layer was sintered to full density.
The sol-gel process was used to synthesize supported lanthanum strontium manganate (LSM) electrodes separated by a YSZ electrolyte. The LSM solution was made by mixing strontium nitrate, lanthanum chloride, and manganese acetate solutions. The LSM layers were sintered but were porous. After the membranes were assembled by successive layering and sintering, the membranes and completed fuel cells were characterized using TGA, XRD, FE-SEM, a gas pressurization technique, and electrochemical testing.
The YSZ membrane exhibited a stable tetragonal crystal phase and formed a triple phase boundary (TPB) with the cathode. The three phases are the electrode, the electrolyte, and air. Electrochemical testing showed successful membrane development. Although oxygen production was not measured quantitatively, voltage was produced during hydrogen testing. A maximum voltage of 0.352V was obtained using forming gas as a fuel. The relationship between the TPB and oxygen production is critical. By using the sol-gel process, it is possible to form a TPB where the YSZ electrolyte is dense.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references (p. 129-140).
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.