Journal article

Post-test Analysis on a Solid Oxide Cell Stack Operated for 10,700 Hours in Steam Electrolysis Mode

A solid oxide short stack composed of 6 Ni-YSZ supported cells, YSZ electrolyte and GDC-LSC oxygen electrode has been tested for 10,700 hours in steam electrolysis. Initial degradation was followed by a global stabilization of the performance after lowering the current density, with a degradation rate below 0.5% kh(-1). Post-test analysis has been conducted on two repeating units (RUs) to highlight the most significant microstructure alterations. Nickel depletion was observed in the hydrogen electrode close to the interface with the electrolyte. Formation of small pores in the electrolyte was detected along the grain boundaries. A consequent detachment related to this phenomenon was observed in proximity of the GDC compatibility layer. At the oxygen electrode side, the formation of a approximate to 1 mu m dense mixed layer of GDC and YSZ was observed. Strontium from the LSC electrode migrated through GDC pores and reacted with YSZ, forming evident SrZrO3 inclusions. Distinct accumulation of silicon at the Ni/YSZ interface and chromium on the GDC barrier layer have been observed in both RUs. Despite this range of alterations observed, the stack degradation remained limited, testified from the fact that performance decay between 4,000 and 10,000 hours of operation was virtually nil.


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