Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are potentially the most efficient technology for direct conversion of hydrocarbons to electricity. While their commercial viability is greatest at operating temperatures of 300–500 °C, it is extremely difficult to run SOFCs on methane at these temperatures, where oxygen reduction and C–H activation are notoriously sluggish. Here we report a robust SOFC that enabled direct utilization of nearly dry methane (with ~3.5% H 2 O) at 500 °C (achieving a peak power density of 0.37 W cm −2 ) with no evidence of coking after ~550 h operation. The cell consists of a PrBa 0.5 Sr 0.5 Co 1.5 Fe 0.5 O 5+δ nanofibre-based cathode and a BaZr 0.1 Ce 0.7 Y 0.1 Yb 0.1 O 3–δ -based multifunctional anode coated with Ce 0.90 Ni 0.05 Ru 0.05 O 2 (CNR) catalyst for reforming of CH 4 to H 2 and CO. The high activity and coking resistance of the CNR is attributed to a synergistic effect of cationic Ni and Ru sites anchored on the CNR surface, as confirmed by in situ/operando experiments and computations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Fuel Technology
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology