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Content archived on 2024-04-19

Basic research on MCFC corrossion and improved current density


The development of Molten Carbonate Fuel Cells (MCFC) is the most advanced out of the two types of high temperature fuel cells. However, it is hindered by corrosion issues and higher current density would make MCFC more attractive for applications.

The objectives of this project is to eliminate the cathode dissolution and precipitation problem by development of LiCoO2 cathodes and to verify their large-area applicability. Better base materials and melt compositions will be studied to improve the bipolar plate corrosion resistivity. The target is to improve current density by 20% as compared to state-of-the-art cells through the reduction of contact resistances and ohmic losses and the development of advanced cell-concepts.

The project has five tasks which will be performed by different partners: The Netherlands Energy Research Foundation (ECN), the Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden (KTH), Delft University of Technology (TUD), and the Technical University of Denmark (DTH).

In task 1 (ECN), the cathode, current collector interface, will be investigated and optimized.
The task includes powder preparation, tape-casting and sintering of components, cell testing up to a surface area of 100 cm2, and post-test analyses.

In task 2 (ECN), attempts will be made to increase current density in MCFC, mainly by reduction of ohmic losses. The thickness of the LiAlO2 matrix will be reduced and the influence of lithium sodium carbonate electrolyte will be investigated. The experiments will be performed in 3 cm2 cells and verified in 100 cm2 cells.

In task 3 (KTH), electrochemical research on corrosion of current collector materials will be carried out. Initially pure metals will be investigated whereas in later stages corrosion processes of different alloys will be studied. The investigations will be carried out in both lithium potassium carbonate and lithium sodium carbonate melt.
In task 4 (TUD), electrochemical research on molten carbonate will be performed. Basic physical and chemical properties, such as solubilities, equilibrium constants and diffusion constants of Fe, Ni, Co, Al, Cr, and oxygen containing species will be determined by means of electrochemical methods. In task 5 (DTH), spectroscopic techniques, such as ESR and in-situ Raman, will be used to study corrosion and dissolution processes in the melt.The solubility of different metal oxides (Fe, Ni, Cr, Co, Cr, Mo) in the carbonate melt will be determined as a function of Li/K ratio. In addition the dissolution of pure metals (Fe, Ni, Cr) and alloys under anode conditions and with varying potentials will be determined.

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Westerduinweg 3

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Participants (3)