Title

Physical, mechanical and electrochemical characterization of all-perovskite intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells

Date of Completion

January 2008

Keywords

Engineering, Metallurgy|Engineering, Materials Science

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

Strontium- and magnesium-doped lanthanum gallate (LSGM) has been considered as a promising electrolyte for solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) systems in recent years due to its high ionic conductivity and chemical stability over a wide range of oxygen partial pressures and temperatures. This research describes synthesis, physical and mechanical behavior, electrochemical properties, phase evolution, and microstructure of components of an all-perovskite anode-supported intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cell (ITSOFC), based on porous La 0.75Sr0.25Cr0.5Mn0.5O3 (LSCM) anode, La0.8Sr0.2Ga0.8Mg0.2O 2.8 (LSGM) electrolyte, and porous La0.6Sr0.4Fe 0.8Co0.2O3 (LSCF) cathode. The phase evolution of synthesized LSGM and LSCM powders has been investigated, and it has been confirmed that there is no reaction between LSGM and LSCM at sintering temperature. Using different amounts of poreformers and binders as well as controlling firing temperature, porosity of the anode was optimized while still retaining good mechanical integrity. The effect of cell operation conditions under dry hydrogen fuel on the SOFC open circuit voltage (OCV) and cell performance were also investigated. Characterization study of the synthesized LSGM indicates that sintering at 1500°C obtains higher electrical conductivity compared to the currently published results, while conductivity of pellets sintered at 1400°C and 1450°C would be slightly lower. The effect of sintering temperature on bulk and grain boundary resistivities was also discussed. The mechanical properties, such as hardness, Young's modulus, fracture toughness and modulus of rupture of the electrolyte were determined and correlated with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) morphological characterization. Linear thermal expansion and thermal expansion coefficient of LSGM were also measured. ^