Dr Elena Konysheva
Chemistry Department, XJTLU
A solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) is a device that converts the chemical energy of a fuel and an oxidant into electricity. Fuel cell technology demonstrates noticeable progress and remarkable achievements within last decades. The efficiency of SOFC systems can exceed 60%, which is the highest one compare to the other green technologies for energy generation. In contrast to the SOFC systems, working at 650-900oC, solid proton conducting fuel cells (SPCFC) can work in a lower temperature range of 400-600oC that leads to a wider choice of materials used.
Application of Cr-containing steels and alloys as interconnects in the fuel cell systems has the bilateral effect. On the one hand, it makes fuel cell systems more economically feasible. On the other hand, it causes a challenge named as “Cr-poisoning”. Under oxidising conditions, chromium evaporates from the interconnects at the cathode size in the SOFC and SPCFC with the formation of the Cr-containing molecules. These gaseous species move with an air stream and deposit within the cathodes and on the surface of electrolyte, thereby inhibiting the oxygen reduction reaction.