Effect of Various Coal Contaminants on the Performance of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells: Part I. Accelerated Testing


Bao, J., Krishnan, G. N., Jayaweera, P., Perez-Mariano, J., & Sanjurjo, A. (2009). Effect of various coal contaminants on the performance of solid oxide fuel cells: Part I. Accelerated testing. Journal of Power Sources, 193(2), 607-616.

The contaminants that are potentially present in the coal-derived gas stream and their thermochemical nature are discussed. Accelerated testing was carried out on Ni–YSZ/YSZ/LSM solid oxide fuel cells (YSZ: yttria stabilized zirconia and LSM: lanthanum strontium manganese oxide) for eight main kind of contaminants: CH3Cl, HCl, As, P, Zn, Hg, Cd and Sb at the temperature range of 750–850 °C. The As and P species, at 10 and 35 ppm, respectively, resulted in severe power density degradation at temperatures 800 °C and below. SEM and EDX analysis indicated that As attacked the Ni region of the anode surface and the Ni current collector, caused the break of the current collector and the eventual cell failure at 800 °C. The phosphorous containing species were found in the bulk of the anode, they were segregated and formed “grain boundary” like phases separating large Ni patches. These species are presumably nickel phosphide/phosphate and zirconia phosphate, which could break the Ni network for electron transport and inhibit the YSZ network for oxygen ion transport. The presence of 40 ppm CH3Cl and 5 ppm Cd only affected the cell power density at above 800 °C and Cd caused significant performance loss. Whereas the presence of 9 ppm Zn, 7 ppm Hg and 8 ppm Sb only degraded the cell power density by less than 1% during the 100 h test in the temperature range of 750–850 °C.

Keywords: Solid oxide fuel cell, Poisoning, Fuel contaminants, Coal syngas, Performance degradation

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