Rapid oxygen ion conduction, which is important in solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) electrolytes, is often dramatically hindered by the presence of even small concentrations of impurities such as SiO2, which is ubiquitous in ceramic processing. In this study, rapid degradation of the grain boundary (GB) conduction of Ce0.8Sm0.2O1.9 (SDC) is observed with increasing SiO2 addition from 0 to 1 wt%. Nearly complete GB conduction recovery is achieved through synergy between CaO and ZnO in the SDC + x wt% Si systems. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) combined with energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) demonstrate the formation of a Ca-, Si-, and Sm-containing secondary phases, which is related to the enhancements in GB conductivity and reductions in activation energy. The scavenging effect of CaO is verified in this study and ZnO is observed to promote the scavenging reaction. Compared with the single-addition case (CaO/ZnO), the much higher SiO2 impurity tolerance of the combined system suggests the commercial potential of the “scavenger + promoter” strategy presented in this work.
Journal of Power Sources – Elsevier
Published: Aug 30, 2016
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