The triode fuel cell design and operation concept was applied as an alternative means for controlling and enhancing the carbon tolerance of state-of-the-art solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) anodes. The triode cell configuration entails the introduction of a third electrode in addition to the anode and cathode, driven by an auxiliary circuit which is run in electrolytic mode. In this way the cell is forced to operate at controlled potential differences that are inaccessible under standard operation, and thus introduces a controllable variable into fuel cell operation. In the present study, the effectiveness of the triode approach was evaluated for the in situ control of the rate of carbon deposition in commercial multilayer NiO–GDC and NiO–YSZ SOFC anodes. The study involved typical and triode operation of SOFC button cells under CH4 steam reforming conditions, and it was found that the application of a small electrolytic current under triode operation resulted in significantly less carbon built-up on the anode compared to the standard SOFC operation.
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This work has been carried out within the framework of Joint Technology Initiative-Collaborative Project T-CELL (Grant Agreement No. 298300), which is financially supported by the European Union and the FCH-JU.
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Petrakopoulou, I., Tsiplakides, D. & Balomenou, S. Enhanced Carbon Deposition Tolerance of SOFC Anodes Under Triode Operation. Top Catal 58, 1303–1310 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11244-015-0498-2