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Science. 2009 Oct 2;326(5949):126-9. doi: 10.1126/science.1174811.

Enhanced sulfur and coking tolerance of a mixed ion conductor for SOFCs: BaZr(0.1)Ce(0.7)Y(0.2-x)Yb(x)O(3-delta).

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  • 1School of Materials Science and Engineering, Center for Innovative Fuel Cell and Battery Technologies, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA.


The anode materials that have been developed for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are vulnerable to deactivation by carbon buildup (coking) from hydrocarbon fuels or by sulfur contamination (poisoning). We report on a mixed ion conductor, BaZr(0.1)Ce(0.7)Y(0.2-)(x)Yb(x)O(3-delta), that allows rapid transport of both protons and oxide ion vacancies. It exhibits high ionic conductivity at relatively low temperatures (500 degrees to 700 degrees C). Its ability to resist deactivation by sulfur and coking appears linked to the mixed conductor's enhanced catalytic activity for sulfur oxidation and hydrocarbon cracking and reforming, as well as enhanced water adsorption capability.

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