A robust fuel cell operated on nearly dry methane at 500 °C enabled by synergistic thermal catalysis and electrocatalysis

Yu Chen, Ben deGlee, Yu Tang, Ziyun Wang, Bote Zhao, Yuechang Wei, Lei Zhang, Seonyoung Yoo, Kai Pei, Jun Hyuk Kim, Yong Ding, P. Hu, Franklin Feng Tao, Meilin Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

58 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1042-1050
Number of pages9
JournalNature Energy
Volume3
Issue number12
Early online date29 Oct 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

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    Chen, Y., deGlee, B., Tang, Y., Wang, Z., Zhao, B., Wei, Y., Zhang, L., Yoo, S., Pei, K., Kim, J. H., Ding, Y., Hu, P., Tao, F. F., & Liu, M. (2018). A robust fuel cell operated on nearly dry methane at 500 °C enabled by synergistic thermal catalysis and electrocatalysis. Nature Energy, 3(12), 1042-1050. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41560-018-0262-5