Long term durability test and post mortem for metal-supported solid oxide electrolysis cells
Hydrogen is a renewable energy carrier, and electrolysis to split water is the most environmentally friendly method to produce hydrogen. This work reports long-term durability and degradation mode analysis for metal-supported solid oxide electrolysis cells (MS-SOECs). Catalyst screening showed that MS-SOECs with composite electrode catalysts (samarium-doped ceria-nickel [SDC-Ni] serving as a fuel electrode catalyst, and praseodymium oxide [PrOx]-SDC or La0.6Sr0.4Co0.2Fe0.8O3 [LSCF]-SDC serving as an air electrode catalyst) exhibit the highest electrochemical performance at 700 °C. The degradation rate of cells with LSCF-SDC as the air electrode catalyst was as low as 1.3%/100 h in long term durability tests at a current density of 0.33 A cm−2, in contrast to rapid degradation observed for a cell with a PrOx-SDC air electrode. Post-mortem analysis reveals the degradation is dependent on the primary modes of fuel electrode catalyst coarsening and Cr poisoning on the air electrode catalyst, as well as secondary modes of oxidation of the metal support and local elemental accumulation of Ni. Other degradation modes reported in conventional anode-supported SOECs, such as Ni migration, foreign element contamination, delamination of the cell, and nano-voids on the electrolyte, are not observed in the present MS-SOECs.