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Electrochemically Scavenging the Silica Impurities at the Ni–YSZ Triple Phase Boundary of Solid Oxide Cells

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journal contribution
posted on 28.06.2016, 00:00 by Youkun Tao, Jing Shao, Shiyang Cheng
Silica impurity originated from the sealing or raw materials of the solid oxide cells (SOCs) accumulating at the Ni–YSZ triple phase boundaries (TPBs) is known as one major reason for electrode passivation. Here we report nanosilica precipitates inside Ni grains instead of blocking the TPBs when operating the SOCs at |i| ≥ 1.5 A cm–2 for electrolysis of H2O/CO2. An electrochemical scavenging mechanism was proposed to explain this unique behavior: the removal of silica proceeded through the reduction of the silica to Si under strong cathodic polarization, followed by bulk diffusion of Si into Ni and reoxidation of Si in the Ni grain.

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