Preparation and characterisation of Ca3Co4-xCuxO9 (0 ≤ x ≤ 0.3) as cathode materials for intermediate temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC)

Document Type : Original Article


Inorganic Chemistry Department, National Research Centre, El-Bohouth Street P.O. Box 12622, Dokki, Cairo, Egypt


Intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells (IT-SOFC) working at 600-800 °C attracted considerable attention as compared to the traditional SOFCs as highly clean efficient power generation source. In this frame this paper focuses on the preparation and characterization of Ca3Co4-xCuxO9 (x=0, 0.1, 0.2 and 0.3) as cathode material for IT-SOFC. Ca3Co4-xCuxO9 (x=0, 0.1, 0.2 and 0.3) powders were prepared using the Pechini method. The effect of Cu doping on the crystal structure of Ca3Co4O9 were investigated using x-ray diffraction (XRD). Ca3Co4O9, Ca3Co3.9Cu0.1O9 and Ca3Co3.8Cu0.2O9 samples have a similar crystal structure of that reported for Ca3Co4O9 indicating monoclinic phase compounds whereas Ca3Co3.7Cu0.3O9 sample has orthorhombic CaCuO2 as a minor phase and a monoclinic Ca3Co4O9 as a major phase. The sinterability of Ca3Co4O9, Ca3Co3.9Cu0.1O9 and Ca3Co3.8Cu0.2O9 samples was studied. The effects of sintering time and temperature on the microstructure, homogeneity of the prepared electrodes and the adhesion to an anode supported cell were studied using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The effect of ball milling time on the particle size distribution of the prepared samples was reported. The electrochemical properties of Cu-CCO-GDC composite cathodes were studied. The lowest area specific resistance was obtained for 50 wt% GDC-50 wt% Ca3Co3.8Cu0.2O9 composite cathode showing that it could be a promising cathode material for IT-SOFC.


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