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Characterisation of materials for use in the molten carbonate fuel cell
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology.
2006 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Fuel cells are promising candidates for converting chemical energy into electrical energy. The Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell (MCFC) is a high temperature fuel cell that produces electrical energy from a variety of fuels containing hydrogen, hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide. Since the waste heat has a high temperature it can also be used leading to a high overall efficiency.

Material degradation and the cost of the components are the problems for the commercialisation of MCFC. Although there are companies around the world starting to commercialise MCFC some further cost reduction is needed before MCFC can be fully introduced at the market.

In this work, alternative materials for three different components of MCFC have been investigated. The alternative materials should have a lower cost compared to the state-of-the-art materials but also meet the life-time goal of MCFC, which is around 5 years. The nickel dissolution of the cathode is a problem and a cathode with lower solubility is needed. The dissolution of nickel for three alternative cathode materials was investigated, where one of the materials had a lower solubility than the state-of-the-art nickel oxide. This material was also tested in a cell and the electrochemical performance was found to be comparable with nickel oxide and is an interesting candidate.

An inexpensive anode current collector material is also desired. For the anode current collector, the contact resistance should be low and it should have good corrosion properties. The two alternative materials tested had low contact resistance, but some chromium enrichment was seen at the grain boundaries. This can lead to a decreased mechanical stability of the material. In the wet-seal area, the stainless steel used as bipolar/separator plate should be coated. An alternative process to coat the stainless steel, that is less expensive, was evaluated. This process can be a suitable process, but today, when the coating process is done manually there seems to be a problem with the adherence.

This work has been a part of the IRMATECH project, which was financed by the European Commission, where the partners have been universities, research institutes and companies around Europe.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2006. , 37 p.
Series
Trita-KET, ISSN 1104-3466 ; 226
Keyword [en]
Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell, Anode Current Collector, Cathode, Wet-seal
National Category
Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-3925OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-3925DiVA: diva2:10036
Presentation
2006-05-19, Sal K2, Teknikringen 28, Stockholm, 10:00
Note
QC 20101123Available from: 2006-04-26 Created: 2006-04-26 Last updated: 2010-11-23Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Corrosion of anode current collectors in molten carbonate fuel cells
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Corrosion of anode current collectors in molten carbonate fuel cells
2006 (English)In: Journal of Power Sources, ISSN 0378-7753, Vol. 160, no 2, 782-788 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Corrosion of metallic parts is one of the life-time limiting factors in the molten carbonate fuel cell. In the reducing environment at the anode side of the cell, the corrosion agent is water. As anode current collector, a widely used material is nickel clad on stainless steel since nickel is stable in anode environment, but a cheaper material is desired to reduce the cost of the fuel cell stack. When using the material as current collector one important factor is a low resistance of the oxide layer formed between the electrode and the current collector in order not to decrease the cell efficiency. In this study, some candidates for anode current collectors have been tested in single cell molten carbonate fuel cells and the resistance of the oxide layer has been measured. Afterwards, the current collector was analysed in scanning electron microscope (SEM) equipped with energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS). The results show that the resistances of the formed oxide layers give a small potential drop compared to that of the cathode current collector.

Keyword
molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC), corrosion, reducing environment, anode current collector
National Category
Inorganic Chemistry
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-7979 (URN)10.1016/j.jpowsour.2006.04.069 (DOI)000241411600003 ()2-s2.0-33748969393 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20100906Available from: 2008-02-12 Created: 2008-02-12 Last updated: 2011-09-28Bibliographically approved
2. Investigation of a Ni(Mg,Fe)O Cathode for Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell Applications
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Investigation of a Ni(Mg,Fe)O Cathode for Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell Applications
2007 (English)In: Fuel Cells, ISSN 1615-6846, E-ISSN 1615-6854, Vol. 7, no 3, 218-224 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell (MCFC) converts chemical energy into electrical energy and heat. Since the working temperature is high, less expensive materials can be used compared to low temperature fuel cells. However, the components of the fuel cell still need to be improved. The dissolution of the NiO cathode has, for a long time, been a problem for the Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell (MCFC) and this area is still the focus for MCFC component research. In this study, solubility measurements for a NiC) cathode material doped with magnesium and iron are carried out and the electrochemical performance of this cathode material is tested under the standard conditions of the MCFC over 2,000 hours and compared with the performance of a standard NiO cathode. After operation, nickel precipitation in the matrices is investigated. It is concluded that a NiO cathode with magnesium and iron could be a viable candidate material for the MCFC.

Keyword
cathode material, electrochemical performance, MCFC, precipitation, solubility
National Category
Inorganic Chemistry
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-7980 (URN)10.1002/fuce.200600011 (DOI)000247394400007 ()2-s2.0-34547471530 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20100906Available from: 2008-02-12 Created: 2008-02-12 Last updated: 2010-09-06Bibliographically approved

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