Advanced Multi-Metallic SOFC Anode Development by Mechanical Alloying Route
Anodes composed of Ni-YSZ (yttria-stabilised zirconia) cermets are the key material to allow direct biofuel feeding to Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) devices due to its internal reforming capability. The main challenge among these materials is related to carbon deposition poisoning effect when C-bearing fuels are feed. The work deals with these issues by alloying Ni with some metals like Cu to conform a multi-metallic anode material. Mechanical alloying (MA) at shaker mills is chosen as the route to incorporate the metal and ceramic powders in the anode material, also leading to better sintering behaviour. A projected cermet material is conceived where a third metal can be added based on two criteria: low Cu solubility and similar formation enthalpy of hydrides regarding Ni. Refractory metals like Nb, W and Mo, seems to fulfil these characteristics, as well as Ag. The MA resulted powder morphology is highly homogeneous showing nanometric interpolated metal lamellae. The sintering behaviour is investigated by conventional dilatometry as well as by stepwise isothermal dilatometry (SID) quasi-isothermal method to determine the sintering kinetic parameters. Based on these tools, it is found the Cu additive promotes sintering to obtain a denser anode and therefore allowing lower process temperatures. The consolidation is achieved through the sintering by activated surface (SAS) method allied to liquid phase sintering process, where the third metal additive also has influenced. The final cermet can be obtained at one sole process step, dispensing pore-forming additives and reduction treatments. The sintered microstructure demonstrates the material is homogeneous and possesses suitable percolation networks and pore structure for SOFC anode applications.
Luís Guerra ROSA and Fernanda MARGARIDO
T. A. G. Restivo et al., "Advanced Multi-Metallic SOFC Anode Development by Mechanical Alloying Route", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 636-637, pp. 865-873, 2010