Full Content is available to subscribers

Subscribe/Learn More  >

Degradation Issues in Solid Oxide Cells During High Temperature Electrolysis

[+] Author Affiliations
M. S. Sohal, J. E. O’Brien, C. M. Stoots

Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls, ID

V. I. Sharma, B. Yildiz

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

A. Virkar

University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT

Paper No. FuelCell2010-33332, pp. 377-387; 11 pages
  • ASME 2010 8th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • ASME 2010 8th International Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology Conference: Volume 1
  • Brooklyn, New York, USA, June 14–16, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Advanced Energy Systems Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4404-5 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3875-4
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is performing high-temperature electrolysis (HTE) research to generate hydrogen using solid oxide electrolysis cells (SOECs). The project goals are to address the technical and degradation issues associated with the SOECs. This paper provides a summary of ongoing INL and INL-sponsored activities aimed at addressing SOEC degradation. These activities include stack testing, post-test examination, degradation modeling, and issues that need to be addressed in the future. Major degradation issues relating to solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) are relatively better understood than those for SOECs. Some of the degradation mechanisms in SOFCs include contact problems between adjacent cell components, microstructural deterioration (coarsening) of the porous electrodes, and blocking of the reaction sites within the electrodes. Contact problems include delamination of an electrode from the electrolyte, growth of a poorly (electronically) conducting oxide layer between the metallic interconnect plates and the electrodes, and lack of contact between the interconnect and the electrode. INL’s test results on HTE using solid oxide cells do not provide clear evidence as to whether different events lead to similar or drastically different electrochemical degradation mechanisms. Post-test examination of the SOECs showed that the hydrogen electrode and interconnect get partially oxidized and become nonconductive. This is most likely caused by the hydrogen stream composition and flow rate during cooldown. The oxygen electrode side of the stacks seemed to be responsible for the observed degradation because of large areas of electrode delamination. Based on the oxygen electrode appearance, the degradation of these stacks was largely controlled by the oxygen electrode delamination rate. Virkar et al. [19–22] have developed a SOEC model based on concepts in local thermodynamic equilibrium in systems otherwise in global thermodynamic nonequilibrium. This model is under continued development. It shows that electronic conduction through the electrolyte, however small, must be taken into account for determining local oxygen chemical potential within the electrolyte. The chemical potential within the electrolyte may lie out of bounds in relation to values at the electrodes in the electrolyzer mode. Under certain conditions, high pressures can develop in the electrolyte just under the oxygen electrode (anode)/electrolyte interface, leading to electrode delamination. This theory is being further refined and tested by introducing some electronic conduction in the electrolyte.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



Interactive Graphics


Country-Specific Mortality and Growth Failure in Infancy and Yound Children and Association With Material Stature

Use interactive graphics and maps to view and sort country-specific infant and early dhildhood mortality and growth failure data and their association with maternal

Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In