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Combustion synthesis of Gd3+ doped nanoceria electrolyte and its composite electrodes for low temperature solid oxide fuel cells

R.V. Mangalaraja, S. Ananthakumar, H.E. Carrasco, M. Paulraj, M. Lopez, C.P. Camurri, R.E. Avila
University of Concepcion, CL

Keywords: combustion, gadolinium doped ceria, electrolyte, electrode, solid oxide fuel cell


Abstract In this work, we present our attempts on the the processing of nano ceramic electrolyte and electrodes (anode and cathode) materials for low temperature grade solid oxide fuel cells (LT-SOFC). The studies on the processing parameters and heat treament were discussed. The phase identification, morphology and electrical properties were also studied. Part I: Combustion synthesis of nanocrystalline ceria and nano grained dense ceria electrolyte by convencional solid-state route and its sintering characteristics studies were attempted. Accordingly, Gd3+ doped nanocrystalline ceria (GDC - Ce0.9Gd0.1O1.95) was prepared by nitrate-fuel combustión technique followed by calcination at 700°C for 2h. The nanopowders were uni-axially pressed into cylindrical discs followed by sintering at 1200°C for 2h. The X-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electron micrsoscopy analyses resulted in the gadolinium oxide was completely disolved into ceria solid solution with single phase fluorite structure and particle size of the powders was 10-30nm. Part II: Nanocrystalline nickel oxide - 10 mol% of Gd3+ doped ceria (90% NiO-10% GDC) anode composites were prepared by similar combustion technique followed by calcination at 600°C for 2h and, subsequently sintered at 1200°C for 2h. Part III: Similarly, nano-composite cathode electrode material having chemical composition 90% La0.6Sr0.4Co0.2Fe0.8O3 (LSCF)/10% Gd-CeO2 was prepared and calcined at 600°C for 2h. The fabricated samples were heat treated at 1200°C for 2h and studied for its characteristics. The morphology, particle size, surface area and phase purity of all the three powders were examined. The sintered samples were characterized for their micsrostructures, electrical and thermal conductivities. The grain boundary (σgb) and bulk (σbulk) conductivities of the electrolyte, anode and cathode were measured on the respective sintered samples as well as single SOFC.
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