Gradient Functional Layer Anode for Carbonate-Superstructured Solid Fuel Cells with Ethane Fuel

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Department of Materials Science and Engineering


Carbonate-superstructured solid fuel cells (CSSFCs) are an emerging type of fuel cells with high flexibility of fuels. However, using ethane fuel for solid fuel cells is a great challenge due to serious degradation of their anodes. Herein, this critical issue is solved by creating a novel gradient functional layer anode for CSSFCs. First, a finer-scale anode with a larger surface area is demonstrated to provide more active sites for the internal reforming reaction of ethane, achieving a 60% higher ethane conversion rate and 40% lower polarization resistance than conventional anodes. Second, incorporating a gradient functional layer into the anode results in an additional 50% enhancement in the peak power density of CSSFCs to a record high value (up to 241 mW cm–2) with dry ethane fuel at a low temperature of 550 °C, which is even comparable to the power density of conventional solid oxide fuel cells above 700 °C. Furthermore, the CSSFC with the gradient anode exhibits excellent durability for over 200 h. This finding provides a new strategy to develop efficient anodes for hydrocarbon fuels.

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