Ceramic Nanocomposites for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells



Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are considered as prospective technology for direct conversion of the energy of chemical fuels into electricity. The development of highly efficient SOFC capable to operate in a range of operational temperature with various fuels, however, needs improvements in the microstructural and physical properties of the cell individual parts including electrodes, electrolytes, and current collectors. It is well understood that electrochemical function of the SOFC individual parts strongly depend on microstructural properties including porosity and pore-size distribution, particle size and size distribution, composition and spatial distribution of the constituent phases, and the length of the so-called triple-phase boundaries (TPBs) in the electrodes. Therefore, performing a control over the particle size and shape of the powders (the nanocomposite precursors) used for fabrication of SOFCs as well as controlling the other processing parameters (such as sintering temperature, shrinkage, ceramic to pore-former loading ratio) offer a capability to fabricate both SOFCs with desired electrochemical, mechanical, and thermal performance. Synthesis of nanomaterial has significantly considered as an important and hot field because it offers fast redox reactions, high specific surface areas, and shortened diffusion paths in the solid phase. Reviewing the literature in the past few years shows that optimizing the microstructural properties of SOFC through combination of advanced nanostructured materials in order to improve the electrochemical performance of the cell has still remained as a significant challenge in developing efficient SOFCs. In this chapter we review the articles in the field of synthesis and application of nanocomposite material for SOFCs and present some significant contributions from many research groups who are working in this area. The SOFC nanocomposite material in this chapter is mainly classified into three categories—electrolyte, anode and cathode that are followed by two operational ranges of temperature including high and low temperature.


Ceramic Solid oxide fuel cells Nanomaterial Composites Synthesis 


  1. 1.
    U.S. Department of Energy (n.d) Types of fuel cells [Online]. Washington, DC Available Accessed 27 Aug 2015
  2. 2.
    Fuel cell Energy Inc. (2013) Solid oxide fuel cells [Online]. Available Accessed 27 Aug 2015
  3. 3.
    Singhal SC (2013) Solid oxide fuel cells: past, present and future In: John TS, Irvine PC (eds) Solid oxide fuels cells: facts and figures. Springer, LondonGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Guindet AHAJ (1996) Solid oxide fuel cells. In: Gellings PJ, Bouwmeester HJ (eds) The CRC handbook of solid state electrochemistry. CRC Press, United States of AmericaGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Singhal SC (2014) Solid oxide fuel cells for power generation. Wiley Interdisc Rev Energy Environ 3:16Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Minh NQ (2004) Solid oxide fuel cell technology—features and applications. Solid State Ionics 174:7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Faes A, Hessler-Wyser A, Zryd A, Herle JV (2012) A review of redox cycling of solid oxide fuel cells anode. Membranes 2:80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    BloomEnergy. 2016. How a solid oxide fuel cell works [Online]. 1299 Orleans Drive, Sunnyvale, California. Available Accessed 1 Feb 2016
  9. 9.
    Singhal SC (2000) Advances in solid oxide fuel cell technology. Solid State Ionics 135:9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Jiang SP, Chan SH (2004) A review of anode materials development in solid oxide fuel cells. J Mater Sci 39:35Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Manithiram A, Kumta PN, Sundaram SK, Chan S-W (2004) Developments in solid oxide fuel cells and lithium ion batteries. Ceram Trans 161:10Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    El-Kemary M, Nagy N, El-Mehasseb I (2013) Nickel oxide nanoparticles: synthesis and spectral studies of interactions with glucose. Mater Sci Semicond Process 16:6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Ba-Abbad MM, Chai PV, Takriff MS, Benamore A, Mohammad AW (2015) Optimization of nickel oxide nanoparticle synthesis through the sol–gel method using Box-Behnken design. Mater Des 86:9Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Shao Z, Zhou W, Zhu Z (2011) Advanced synthesis of materials for intermediate-temperature solid oxide fuel cells. Prog Mater Sci 57:804–874Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Sk MM, Yue CY, Ghosh K, Jena RK (2016) Review on advances in porous nanostructured nickel oxides and their composite electrodes for high-performance supercapacitors. J Power Sources 308:20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Mahaleh YBM, Sadrnezhaad SK, Hosseini D (2008) NiO nanoparticles synthesis by chemical precipitation and effect of applied surfactant on distribution of particle size. J Nanomaterials 2008:4Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Kumar R, Sharma A, Kishore N, Budhiraja N (2013) Preparation and characterization of NiO nanoparticles by co-precipitation method. Int J Eng Appl Manage Sci Paradigms 6:4Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Su D, Kim H-S, Kim W-S, Wang G (2012) Mesoporous nickel oxide nanowires: hydrothermal synthesis, characterisation and applications for lithium-ion batteries and supercapacitors with superior performance. Chem A Eur J 6Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Sanson A, Pinasco P, Roncari E (2008) Influence of pore formers on slurry composition and microstructure of tape cast supporting anodes for SOFCs. J Eur Ceram Soc 28:6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Aruna ST, Muthuraman M, Patil KC (1998) Synthesis and properties of Ni-YSZ cermet: anode material for solid oxide fuel cells. Solid State Ionics 111:7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Xiao G, Chen F (2014) Redox stable anodes for solid oxide fuel cells. Front Energy Res 2Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Prakash BS, Kumar SS, Aruna ST (2014) Properties and development of Ni/YSZ as an anode material in solid oxide fuel cell: a review. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 36:149–179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Cho HJ, Choi GM (2007) Effect of milling methods on performance of Ni-Y2O3-stabilized ZrO2 anode for solid oxide fuel cell. J Power Sources 176:96–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Hong HS, Chae U-S, Choo S-T (2007) The effect of ball milling parameters and Ni concentration on a YSZ-coated Ni composite for a high temperature electrolysis cathode. J Alloy Compd 449:331–334CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Koide H, Someya Y, Yoshida T, Maruyama T (2000) Properties of Ni/YSZ cermet as anode for SOFC. Solid State Ionics 132:8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Horri BA, Selomulya C, Wang H (2012) Characteristics of Ni/YSZ ceramic anode prepared using carbon microspheres as a pore former. Int J Hydrogen Energy 37:9Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    He C, Chen T, Wang WG (2008) The mechanical and electrical properties of Ni/YSZ anode support for solid oxide fuel cells. AnodesGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Yu JH, Park GW, Lee S, Woo SK (2006) Microstructural effects on the electrical and mechanical properties of Ni-YSZ cermet for SOFC anode. J Power Sources 163:926–932CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Zupan K, Marinsek M (2011) Microstructure development of the Ni-GDC anode material for IT-SOFC. Mater Technol 46:445–451Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Yamamoto K, Qiu N, Ohara S (2015) In situ fabrication of high performance Ni-GDC-nanocube core-shell anode for low-temperature solid-oxide fuel cells. Sci Rep 5:1–6Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Shukla S, Seal S, Vij R, Bandyopadhyay S (2003) Reduced activation energy for grain growth in nanocrystalline yttria-stabilized zirconia. Nano Lett 3:397–401CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Smith DK, Cline CF (1962) J Am Ceramic Soc 45Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Courtin E, Boy P, Rouhet C, Bianchi L, Bruneton E, Poirot N, Laberty-Robert C, Sanchez C (2012) Optimized sol–gel routes to synthesize yttria-stabilized zirconia thin films as solid electrolytes for solid oxide fuel cells. Chem Matter 24:4540–4548Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Hao S-J, Wang C, Liu T-L, Wang J-L, Maoa Z-Q (2016) Preparation and characterization of yttria stabilized zirconia nanoarrays. Ceram Int 42:9323–9326Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Guiot C, Grandjean S, Lemmonier S, Jolivet J, Batail P (2009) Nano single crystals of yttria-stabilized zirconia. Cryst Growth Des 9:3480–3550CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Sato K, Horiguchi K, Nishikawa T, Sadahiro Y, Kuruma K, Murakami T, Abe H (2015) Hydrothermal synthesis of yttria-stabilized zirconia nanocrystals with controlled ytrria content. Inorg Chem 54:7976–7984Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Goto Y, Omata T, Otsuka Y (2009) S.J. Electrochem Soc 156Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Geier M, Parker T (2013) Electrospray flame synthesis of yttria-stabilized zirconia nanoparticles. Ind Eng Chem Res 52:16842–16850CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Kharton V, Marques F, Atkinson A (2004) Transport properties of solid oxide electrolyte ceramics: a brief review. Solid State Ionics 174:135–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Yamamoto O, Arachi Y, Sakai H, Takeda N, Imanishi Y, Mizutani M, Kawai M, Nakamura Y (1998) Zirconia based oxide ion conductors for solid oxide fuel cells. Ionics 4:403–408Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Atkinson A (1997) Chemically-induced stresses in gadolinium-doped ceria SOFC. Solid State Ionics 95:249–258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Ishihara T, Matsuda H, Takita Y (1993) Doped LaGaO3 perovskite type oxide as new oxide ionic conductor. J Am Chem Soc 116:3801–3803CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Liu Z, Liu M, Yang L, Liu M (2013) LSM-infiltrated LSCF cathodes for solid oxide fuel cells. J Energy Chem 22:555–559CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Wang S, Jiang Y, Zhang Y, Yan J, Li W (1998) Promoting effect of YSZ on the electrochemical performance of YSZ+ LSM composite electrodes. Solid State Ionics 113–115:291–303CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Gómez L, Colomer MT, Escobar J, Moreno R (2013) Manufacture of a non-stoichiometric LSM cathode SOFC material by aqueous tape casting. J Eur Ceram Soc 33:1137–1143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Murray EP, Tsai T, Barnett SA (1998) Oxygen transfer processes in (La, Sr)MnO3/Y2O3-stabilized ZrO2 cathodes: an impedance spectroscopy study. Solid State Ionics 110:235–243CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Lau SK, Singhal SC (1985) Potential electrode/electrolyte interactions in solid oxide fuel cells. National Association of Corrosion Engineers, United StatesGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Saha S, Ghanawat SJ, Purohit RD (2006) Solution combustion synthesis of nano particle La0.9Sr0.1MnO3 powder by a unique oxidant-fuel combination and its characterization. J Mater Sci 41:1939–1943CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Pechini PM (1967) Method of preparing lead and alkaline earth titanates and niobates and coating method using the same to form a capacitor. Google PatentsGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Burnat D, Heel A, Holzer L, Kata D, Lis J, Graule T (2012) Synthesis and performance of A-site deficient lanthanum-doped strontium titanate by nanoparticle based spray pyrolysis. J Power Sources 201:26–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    da Conceição L, Souza MMVM (2013) Synthesis of La0.7Sr0.3MnO3 thin films supported on Fe–Cr alloy by sol–gel/dip-coating process: evaluation of deposition parameters. Thin Solid Films 534:218–225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Baláž P, Achimovičová M, Baláž M, Billik P, Cherkezova-Zheleva Z, Criado JM, Delogu F, Dutková E, Gaffet E, Gotor FJ, Kumar R, Mitov I, Rojac T, Senna M, Streletskii A, Wieczorek-Ciurowa K (2013) Hallmarks of mechanochemistry: from nanoparticles to technology. Chem Soc Rev 42:7571–7637CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Moriche R, Marrero-López D, Gotor FJ, Sayagués MJ (2014) Chemical and electrical properties of LSM cathodes prepared by mechanosynthesis. J Power Sources 252:43–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Zheng Y, Ge S, Zhou X, Chen H, Huang S, Wang S, Sun Y (2012) LSM particle size effect on the overall performance of IT-SOFC. J Rare Earths 30:1240–1244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Choi JH, Jang JH, Ryu JH, Oh SM (2000) Microstructure and cathodic performance of La0.9Sr0.1MnO3 electrodes according to particle size of starting powder. J Power Sources 87:92–100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Wang JX, Tao YK, Shao J, Wang WG (2009) Synthesis and properties of (La0.75Sr0.25)0.95MnO3±δ nano-powder prepared via Pechini route. J Power Sources 186:344–348CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Marinšek M (2009) Electrical conductivity of sintered LSM ceramics. Mater Tehnologije 43:79–84Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    Yang S-H, Kim K-H, Yoon H-H, Kim W-J, Choi H-W (2011) Comparison of combustion and solid-state reaction methods for the fabrication of SOFC LSM cathodes. Mol Cryst Liq Cryst 539:50/[390]–57/[397]Google Scholar
  59. 59.
    Kakinuma K, Machida S, Horiuchi K, Hasunuma S, Yamamura H, Atake T (2006) Cathodic characteristics of (La0.6Sr0.4)(Mn1−x Mx)O3−δ (M = Co, Ni) for use in a solid oxide fuel cell with a (Ba0.3Sr0.2La0.5) InO2.75 electrolyte. Solid State Ionics 177:2159–2164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Teraoka Y, Zhang H-M, Furukawa S, Yamazoe N (1985) Oxygen permeation through perovskite-type oxides. Chem Lett 14:1743–1746CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Dutta A, Mukhopadhyay J, Basu RN (2009) Combustion synthesis and characterization of LSCF-based materials as cathode of intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells. J Eur Ceram Soc 29:2003–2011CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    Mai A, Haanappel VAC, Uhlenbruck S, Tietz F, Stöver D (2005) Ferrite-based perovskites as cathode materials for anode-supported solid oxide fuel cells: part I. Variation of composition. Solid State Ionics 176:1341–1350CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    Richardson RA, Mark Ormerod R, Cotton JW (2003) Influence of synthesis route on the powder properties of a perovskite-type oxide. Ionics 9:77–82Google Scholar
  64. 64.
    Kahoul A, Hammouche A, Nâamoune F, Chartier P, Poillerat G, Koenig JF (2000) Solvent effect on synthesis of perovskite-type La1−xCaxCoO3 and their electrochemical properties for oxygen reactions. Mater Res Bull 35:1955–1966CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. 65.
    Mai A, Haanappel VAC, Tietz F, Stöver D (2006) Ferrite-based perovskites as cathode materials for anode-supported solid oxide fuel cells. Part II. Influence of the CGO interlayer. Solid State Ionics 177:2103–2107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. 66.
    Liu M, Ding D, Blinn K, Li X, Nie L, Liu M (2012) Enhanced performance of LSCF cathode through surface modification. Int J Hydrogen Energy 37:8613–8620CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. 67.
    Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge (2010) Fuel cells [Online]. University of Cambridge, Cambridge. Accessed 2 Apr 2016Google Scholar
  68. 68.
    Cao P, Wang L, Xu Y, Fu Y, Ma X (2015) Facile hydrothermal synthesis of mesoporous nickel oxide/reduced graphene oxide composites for high performance electrochemical supercapacitor. Electrochim Acta 157:10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. 69.
    Wang Z, Xu C, Lou Z, Qiao J, Ren B, Sun K (2013) Preparation and characterization of silver-modified La0.8Sr0.2MnO3 cathode powders for solid oxide fuel cells by chemical reduction method. Int J Hydrogen Energy 38:1074–1081CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. 70.
    Wiff JP, Jono K, Suzuki M, Suda S (2011) Improved high temperature performance of La0.8Sr0.2MnO3 cathode by addition of CeO2. J Power Sources 196:6196–6200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. 71.
    Leng YJ, Chan SH, Khor KA, Jiang SP (2005) (La0.8Sr0.2)0.9MnO3–Gd0.2Ce0.8O1.9 composite cathodes prepared from (Gd, Ce)(NO3) x-modified (La0.8Sr0.2)0.9MnO3 for intermediate-temperature solid oxide fuel cells. J Solid State Electrochem 10:339–347CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chemical Engineering Discipline, School of EngineeringMonash University MalaysiaBandar SunwayMalaysia
  2. 2.Department of Chemical and Process EngineeringUniversity of SurreyGuildfordUK

Personalised recommendations