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Journal of Applied Electrochemistry

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 185–191 | Cite as

In situ microobservation of the cathode in molten carbonate fuel cells

  • M. KawaseEmail author
  • K. Asano
  • H. Murata
  • Y. Mugikura
  • T. Watanabe
  • Y. Ito
Article

Abstract

In molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFC), the wettability of the electrode and the electrolyte distribution are very important factors influencing the active reaction area. We have observed the molten carbonate behaviour directly on the cathode (porous NiO) and the electrolyte plate (LiAlO2) under various gas conditions and at controlled potentials using an environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM) equipped with a hot stage. We estimated the liquid electrolyte distribution in the cathode and measured the contact angles on NiO and LiAlO2 in the electrolyte. Moreover, the electrolyte movement in the reaction CO2 + \( - \frac{1}{2}\) O2 + 2e = CO32− was observed on the surface of the porous NiO in a CO2/O2 atmosphere. The reaction CO32− + 2e = CO + 2 O2− of the gas generation was observed in a H2O atmosphere. The active reaction points on the electrode are the areas where the electrolyte film is thin.

contact angle ESEM LiAlO2 MCFC NiO 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Kawase
    • 1
    Email author
  • K. Asano
    • 1
  • H. Murata
    • 1
  • Y. Mugikura
    • 1
  • T. Watanabe
    • 1
  • Y. Ito
    • 2
  1. 1.Central Research Institute of Electric Power IndustryYokosuka, KanagawaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Fundamental Energy Science, Graduate School of Energy ScienceKyoto UniversitySakyo-ku, KyotoJapan

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