Enhanced electrochemical performance of direct carbon solid oxide fuel cells by MgO-catalyzed carbon gasification: Experimental and DFT simulation studies

Tingting Han, Yujiao Xie, Lin Li, Yuxi Wu, Fangyong Yu*, Min Wang, Jinjin Zhang, Gen Li*, Naitao Yang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Direct carbon solid oxide fuel cells (DC-SOFCs) are high-efficiency and clean power generation systems that can directly utilize solid carbon to produce electricity. However, the cell performance is hampered by the sluggish kinetics of the reverse Boudouard reaction at operating temperatures, as dictated by their operational principle. Here, carbon fuels loaded with varying amounts of MgO catalyst were successfully developed to promote the reverse Boudouard reaction and DC-SOFC performance. At 850 °C, the DC-SOFC powered by 5 wt% Mg-loaded activated carbon achieved peak power output of 236 mW cm−2, demonstrating a notable enhancement of 41.3% compared to that of 165 mW cm−2 in pure activated carbon-fueled cell. Furthermore, the single cell discharged stably for a prolonged duration of 41.6 h under 50 mA, achieving a noteworthy fuel utilization of 33.3% at 850 °C. These underscored the substantial contribution of MgO to the enhancement of DC-SOFC performance and efficiency. More importantly, the MgO catalyst displayed excellent stability without agglomeration during the high-temperature operation of the cell. Density functional theory simulation confirmed experimental findings that MgO reduced the energy barrier of carbon gasification reaction, thereby providing sufficient carbon oxide for cell operation. Finally, the reaction paths and internal mechanism of MgO-catalyzed carbon gasification were proposed to offer theoretical backing for the effective conversion of solid carbon fuel and improvement of cell performance. This study offers original perspectives on advancing carbon gasification reaction catalysts to facilitate the stable and highly efficient operation of DC-SOFCs, contributing to reduced carbon emissions and advancing sustainability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16435-16442
Number of pages8
JournalCeramics International
Volume50
Issue number9
Early online date18 Mar 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2024
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Boudouard reaction
  • DFT
  • Direct carbon
  • Magnesium oxide
  • Solid oxide fuel cell

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