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J. Korean Ceram. Soc. > Volume 58(5); 2021 > Article
Journal of the Korean Ceramic Society 2021;58(5): 606-613.
doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s43207-021-00136-2
Understanding redox cycling behavior of Ni–YSZ anodes at 500 °C in solid oxide fuel cells by electrochemical impedance analysis
Jeong Hwa Park1, Ha-Ni Im2, Kang Taek Lee2
1Department of Energy Science and Engineering, Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST), Daegu 42988, Republic of Korea
2Department of Mechanical Engineering , Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), 291, Daehak-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 34141, Republic of Korea
Correspondence  Kang Taek Lee ,Email: leekt@kaist.ac.kr
Received: June 23, 2021; Revised: August 5, 2021   Accepted: August 11, 2021.  Published online: September 30, 2021.
Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are promising energy conversion devices because of their high electrical efficiency, even for small power systems. However, when the anode is exposed to reduction and oxidation (redox) cycles, the Ni phase causes a large microstructural change as a result of its chemical expansion and contraction. This negatively affects the electrochemical performance. However, most studies have focused on the redox cycling behaviors of SOFCs at high operation temperatures (≥ 800 °C). Therefore, in this study, we investigate the degradation behavior of the SOFC anode during redox cycles at 500 °C. To identify the individual steps of the electrochemical processes of the anode, in-situ monitored impedance spectra were analyzed using the distribution of relaxation time method at various oxygen and hydrogen partial pressures. Consequently, the electrode polarization process was deconvoluted into five sub-processes. During the redox cycles, three major peaks were altered: gas phase diffusion in the anode substrate (10–1–101 Hz), gas diffusion coupled with charge transfer reaction and ionic transport (102–103 Hz) and charged species across the Ni–yttria stabilized zirconia interface at the anode (103–104 Hz). The major degradation of the electrode performance at 500 °C was attributed to the increase in gas phase diffusion resistance due to Ni phase aggregation and the decrease in porosity in the anode during the redox cycles. This was confirmed by microstructural analysis. By contrast, the other two processes (102–103 and 103–104 Hz) compensated each other, thus having negligible effect on performance degradation.
Key words: Solid oxide fuel cell · Ni–YSZ anode · Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy · Distribution of relaxation time analysis
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