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Title: Composite LnNiO3+PrOx oxygen electrodes for solid oxide cells
Author: Yaremchenko, Aleksey
Arias-Serrano, Blanca I.
Zakharchuk, Kiryl
Frade, Jorge
Issue Date: 2019
Abstract: Ln2NiO4+δ and its derivatives with perovskite-related K2NiF4-type structure demonstrate high mixed ionic-electronic conductivity, moderate thermal and negligible chemical expansion. As a result, these phases attracted significant attention as prospective cathode materials for intermediate-temperature solid oxide fuel cells (IT-SOFC). At the same time, perovskite-like LnNiO3 has not been considered for these applications, mostly due to the limited phase stability under ambient oxygen pressures. On heating in air, LaNiO3 decomposes at ~ 1000°C; cathodic polarization can be expected to induce the decomposition of perovskite phase at lower temperatures characteristic for IT-SOFC operation. On the contrary, redox changes imposed by anodic polarization (in solid oxide electrolysis cell mode) under oxidizing conditions should not be of risk for the phase stability of LaNiO3. The goal of the present work was the evaluation of LnNiO3-based oxygen electrodes for solid oxide fuel/electrolysis cells. The LnNiO3-δ ceramic powders with perovskite-like structure was prepared by glycine-nitrate combustion synthesis followed by calcinations in oxygen atmosphere at 800-1000°C. Porous ceramic samples for electrical and dilatometric studies were sintered in oxygen at 950-1050°C. Porous LaNiO3-δ samples were found to exhibit favorably high p-type metallic-like electrical conductivity, 400-500 S/cm at 800-600°C in air. These ceramics demonstrated also a moderate thermal expansion, with average CTE ~ 13.0 ppm/K at 25-800°C, ensuring thermomechanical compatibility with solid electrolytes. As a first step, the electrochemical performance of LaNiO3-δ electrodes was assessed in contact with three common electrolytes including (ZrO2)0.92(Y2O3)0.08 (8YSZ), Ce0.9Gd0.1O2-δ (CGO10) and (La0.8Sr0.2)0.98Ga0.8Mg0.2O3-δ (LSGM). The electrode layers were sintered at 1050°C for 2 h under oxygen flow. The studies of symmetrical cells by EIS demonstrated that the electrochemical activity of LaNiO3-δ electrodes increases in the sequence 8YSZ < CGO10 < LSGM; the corresponding values of electrode polarization resistance (Rη) at 800°C were 1.4, 0.8 and 0.25 Ohm×cm2, respectively. Significant variations of Rη with electrolyte composition correlate with the extent of chemical reactivity between LaNiO3-δ and electrolyte materials during the electrode fabrication. The Rη values of LaNiO3-δ electrodes in contact with LSGM electrolyte were further reduced to 0.03 Ohm×cm2 at 800°C and 0.11 Ohm×cm2 at 700°C by the surface modification with PrOx which is known for its electrocatalytic activity. At 750°C and current density of 0.5 A/cm3, LaNiO3+PrOx (~20 wt.%) electrodes in contact with LSGM solid electrolyte demonstrate the overpotentials of ~60 mV under cathodic polarization and ~40 mV under anodic polarization (Fig.1). The impact of substitution of lanthanum by praseodymium (in order to improve the chemical compatibility and electrochemical activity) on the relevant properties of LnNiO3 is briefly discussed.
Peer review: yes
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DEMaC - Comunicações

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