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Performance of Ni/10Sc1CeSZ anode synthesized by glycine nitrate process assisted by microwave heating in a solid oxide fuel cell fueled with hydrogen or methane

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Nickel/scandia-ceria-stabilized-zirconia (Ni/10Sc1CeSZ) cermet is a potential anode for solid oxide fuel cells. The anode powder is prepared through a microwave-assisted glycine nitrate combustion process, and its properties, including phase and chemical composition as well as morphology, are characterized by XRD, TEM, and EDS techniques. The electrical conductivity and electrochemical behavior under low concentration of dry hydrogen (H2:N2 volume ratio = 10:90) and dry methane (CH4:N2 volume ratio = 50:50) fuels are determined. XRD results show two phases, namely, cubic NiO phase and cubic 10Sc1CeSZ phase, with the crystallite sizes of 67 and 40 nm, respectively. The area specific resistances (ASRs) of the prepared anode measured using a symmetrical cell of Ni/10Sc1CeSZ|10Sc1CeSZ|Ni/10Sc1CeSZ are 0.96 and 24.3 Ω cm2 observed at 800 °C in dry low hydrogen concentration (10 vol% hydrogen–90 vol% nitrogen) and dry methane (50 vol% methane–50 vol% nitrogen) fuels, respectively. The ASR in methane fuel is higher than that in hydrogen fuel at all operating temperatures (600–800 °C) because of carbon deposition. The amount of deposited carbon and degree of graphitization (IG/ID) of this anode after exposure in methane at 800 °C for 3 h are 4.34% and 2.1, respectively. Overall, Ni/10Sc1CeSZ cermet synthesized by glycine nitrate process assisted with microwave-heating technique exhibits acceptable electrochemical behavior even at low hydrogen concentration and also in dry methane. This can be related to the improved powder morphology as a result of uniform heating assisted by microwave energy.

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Abdul Azim Jais gratefully acknowledges the Ministry of Education Malaysia and Universiti Malaysia Pahang for the PhD scholarship. The authors thankfully acknowledge the Centre for Research and Instrumentation Management, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, for providing excellent testing equipment.


This study was financially supported by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and the Ministry of Higher Education via the grant of Research University (Grant number DIP-2018-013) and the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS/2/2014/ST05/UKM/03/1), respectively.

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Correspondence to Mahendra Rao Somalu.

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Jais, A.A., Ali, S.A.M., Anwar, M. et al. Performance of Ni/10Sc1CeSZ anode synthesized by glycine nitrate process assisted by microwave heating in a solid oxide fuel cell fueled with hydrogen or methane. J Solid State Electrochem (2020).

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  • Solid oxide fuel cell
  • Nickel/scandia-stabilized zirconia
  • Microwave heating, electrical conductivity
  • Electrochemical performance
  • Graphitization degree