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Chemically Stable Pr and Y Co-Doped Barium Zirconate Electrolytes with High Proton Conductivity for Intermediate-Temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

Authors

  • Emiliana Fabbri,

    Corresponding author
    1. International Research Center for Materials, Nanoarchitectonics (MANA), National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), 1–1 Namiki, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305–0044, Japan
    • International Research Center for Materials, Nanoarchitectonics (MANA), National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), 1–1 Namiki, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305–0044, Japan.
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  • Lei Bi,

    1. International Research Center for Materials, Nanoarchitectonics (MANA), National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), 1–1 Namiki, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305–0044, Japan
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  • Hidehiko Tanaka,

    1. International Research Center for Materials, Nanoarchitectonics (MANA), National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), 1–1 Namiki, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305–0044, Japan
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  • Daniele Pergolesi,

    1. International Research Center for Materials, Nanoarchitectonics (MANA), National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), 1–1 Namiki, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305–0044, Japan
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  • Enrico Traversa

    Corresponding author
    1. International Research Center for Materials, Nanoarchitectonics (MANA), National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), 1–1 Namiki, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305–0044, Japan
    • International Research Center for Materials, Nanoarchitectonics (MANA), National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), 1–1 Namiki, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305–0044, Japan.
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Abstract

A chemically stable and highly proton-conductive electrolyte is developed by partially substituting the Zr site of Y-doped barium zirconate (BZY) with 10 mol% of Pr. Compared to BZY, BaZr0.7Pr0.1Y0.2O3-δ (BZPY) shows improved sinterability as revealed by dilatometric measurements and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis. Dense samples are obtained after sintering at 1500˚C for 8 h. Moreover, BZPY shows good chemical stability in the wide range of fuel-cell operating conditions. The larger density and the enhanced grain growth, compared to BZY, allow the volume content of grain boundaries, which generally show a high resistance for proton transport, to be reduced and, thus, a high proton conductivity can be achieved in the temperature range of interest for practical applications (above 10−2 Scm−1 at 600˚C). The good sinterability, chemical stability, and high conductivity of the BZPY electrolyte enabled the fabrication of single-cell prototypes based on a thin BZPY membrane by a simple and cost-saving co-pressing method. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) analysis performed during fuel-cell tests under open-circuit conditions confirms the good electrical performance of BZPY as electrolyte material. To improve the present fuel-cell performance adapted cathode materials for this BZPY electrolyte need to be developed.

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