News

Researchers Develop Self-Regulating ‘Smart’ Fuel Cell Electrode Material

By February 3, 2019
  • Development of new material used as electrode for solid oxide fuel cell 
  • Simultaneous performance and stability through technology of spontaneous nano metal catalyst on electrode surface

DGIST has announced that it has developed an electrode material for a new type of high performance SOFC (Solid Oxide Fuel Cell).

SOFC, which produces electricity by reacting hydrogen (fuel) with oxygen in the air, is emerging as a new and renewable energy technology suitable for the distributed generation 1) because only the water is discharged after the reaction and it is environmentally friendly . However, there have been difficulties in securing stability due to the sudden drop in performance of the electrode causing the electric production reaction in situations such as abrupt stoppage and fuel supply interruption.

Professor Lee, Gang-taek (right) and Kim Kyung-jun

To solve the stability problem of the SOFC electrode, Prof. Lee and his team developed a new electrode material designed with a double layer perovskite structure. Nickel (Ni), which is a catalyst for increasing the efficiency of oxidation of hydrogen, is planted in the developed electrode material. Operation of the fuel cell, elution of nickel voluntarily go to the outside of the electrode surface to form a nano-metal catalyst, 2) a (Exsolution) phenomenon arises. The eluted nickel catalysts help fuel cell to achieve high efficiency oxidation and improve stability and performance of fuel cell.

The leaching phenomenon has been studied among a number of scientists in recent years, but most studies have focused only on transient performance improvements in the formation of metallic nanocatalysts and in the oxidation of catalysts. On the other hand, Prof. Lee’s research has focused on the development of fuel cell electrodes that can produce stable and efficient oxidation reactions in the Redox Cycle, which can improve SOFC performance and commercialize the technology.

In addition, the research results of Prof. Lee, Jang-taek’s team show that it is possible to change the reversible surface structure of the nickel nano-metal catalyst depending on whether the fuel cell is fueled or not, and to develop a new material electrode that guarantees both high performance and high durability It is expected to open up horizons.

DGIST professor Lee Gang-taek said, “Even though the electrode material of the existing SOFC shows excellent performance, when the hydrogen supply becomes unstable, the performance suddenly deteriorates and it is difficult to recover the original performance.” ” The development of electrodes with improved performance and improved stability against oxidation-reduction will be a leading technology for SOFC commercialization. “

Meanwhile, the results of the study were published in the online edition of the ACS Catalysis (Impact Factor = 11.384) journal, an authoritative international journal on catalysts.

In addition, this work was carried out with the support of the Global Frontier Project of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Information and Communication of Korea, and the support of the energy manpower development project of Korea Energy Technology Evaluation Corporation. DGIST Ph.D. Professor Hong Seung-tae of the engineering department, and Prof. Jung Woo-woo of the chemical engineering department of POSTECH participated as co-researchers.

1) Distributed Generation: The method of generating electricity near the area where electricity is needed through self-power generation without depending on the central power supply network
2) Exsolution: separation of one component from another when the alloy melts or coagulates

◆ Outline of Research Results

A Highly Active and Redox Stable SrGdNi0.2Mn0.8O4 ± δ Anode with In-situ Exsolution of Nanocatalysts

Kyeong Joon Kim, † Manasa K. Rath, † Hunho H. Kwak, † Hyung Jun Kim, § 
Jeong Woo Han, ‡ Seung Tae Hong † and Kang Taek Lee *

(ACS Catalysis, Online Published on January 2nd, 2019)