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Research Papers

Effects of Polymer Binder in Electrolyte Slurries and Their Microtubular SOFC Applications

[+] Author and Article Information
Md. Hasan Zahir

Chemistry Department,
King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals,
Dhahran, 32161Saudi Arabia
e-mail: hzahir@kfupm.edu.sa

Toshio Suzuki

Advanced Manufacturing Research Institute,
National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology,
Nagoya, 463-8560Japan

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FUEL CELL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received December 5, 2012; final manuscript received December 31, 2012; published online March 21, 2013. Editor: Nigel M. Sammes.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 10(2), 021006 (Mar 21, 2013) (5 pages) Paper No: FC-12-1121; doi: 10.1115/1.4023541 History: Received December 05, 2012; Revised December 31, 2012

The electrolyte slurry was prepared by mixing Gd-doped CeO2(GDC), solvent (ethanol and toluene), a polymer (polyvinyl butyral (PVB)) binder, and a dispersant (an amine system). The slurries were processed by an atomization process and coated on the top of microtubular tubes. A very smooth (with no cracks) electrolyte surface was obtained when the PVB polymer content was 8 wt. % (regular solution); however, a unique natural patchwork-type nanoporous grain boundary was obtained when the polymer content was increased to 16 wt. % (excess solution) in the same slurries. The results of this study show that polymers (binders) can be used not only to fabricate a dense electrolyte but also to generate a nanoporous grain boundary. The fabricated electrolytes have been tested for solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) applications in the intermediate-temperature region. The microtubular cell with dense electrolytes maintained a high performance even under 600 °C.

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References

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Suzuki, T., Zahir, H., Yamaguchi, T., Fujishiro, Y., and Awano, M., 2010, “Fabrication of Micro-Tubular Solid Oxide Fuel Cells With a Single-Grain-Thick Yttria Stabilized Zirconia Electrolyte,” J. Power Sources, 195, pp. 7825–7828. [CrossRef]
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Suzuki, T., Zahir, H., Funahashi, Y., Yamaguchi, T., Fujishiro, Y., and Awano, M., 2009, “Impact of Anode Microstructure on Solid Oxide Fuel Cells,” Science, 325, pp. 852–855. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
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Figures

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Fig. 1

SEM images of GDC powders: (a) as-purchased, (b) sample atomized by applying a pressure of 150 Mpa to the same sample three times, (b′) particle-size distribution of sample (b), and (c) enlarged SEM image of sample (b)

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Fig. 2

Images of a tubular cell (a) as extruded anode tube, (b) after electrolyte coating, (c) sample (b) cosintered at 1400 °C, (d) cross-sectional image of the complete tubular cell, (e) the porous anode microstructure, and (f) inner part of the anode tube

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Fig. 3

Microstructure of the electrolyte surface coated with atomized GDC mixed with regular (8 wt. %) PVB polymer on top of the anode support. The samples were sintered at (a) 1250, and (b) 1400 °C for 1 h. (c),(d) Electrolyte surface images coated with excess (16 wt. %) PVB polymer at 1400 °C for 1 h.

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Fig. 4

Microstructure of the electrolyte surface coated by GDC slurries mixed with (a) regular (8 wt. %), and (b) an excess (16 wt. %) PVB polymer on top of the anode support. The samples were sintered at 1400 °C for 1 h. Both samples were prepared without the atomization system.

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Fig. 5

(a) Cross-sectional SEM images of the electrolyte layer mixed with regular polymer (8 wt. %) containing slurries, and (b) the electrolyte layer with excess (16 wt. %) PVB. Both samples were sintered at 1400 °C for 1 h.

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Fig. 6

The performance of the 1.8 mm diameter microtubular SOFC with the dense (8 wt. %) GDC electrolyte. The cell voltage and power as functions of the current density were obtained at an operating temperature of 500 °C.

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