Proton-Conducting Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cells for Large-scale Hydrogen Production at Intermediate Temperatures

Recipient University of Connecticut (PI: Prabhakar Singh)

Water Splitting Technology HTE

Status Awarded

Abstract The University of Connecticut (UConn) and USDOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) plan to collaborate to develop clean, cost-competitive, and energy efficient solid oxide electrolysis cell (H-SOEC) technology for large-scale hydrogen production at intermediate temperatures using abundant renewable electricity, steam and low quality process heat. To enable the successful development of the technology, the collaboration aims at developing novel proton conducting solid oxide electrolyte and metallic/ ceramic electrode architectures that meet DOE’s cost, performance and life targets. The proposed proton-conducting solid oxide electrolysis cells (H-SOEC) will significantly reduce the operating temperature to 600-800°C without compromising the hydrogen production rate. Low temperature operation will reduce bulk, interface and surface degradation of cell and stack component materials, corrosion of cell to cell interconnect and BOP sub-systems imparting resistance to electrode poisoning, sintering and densification as well as undesirable compound formation at the electrode surfaces and electrode-electrolyte interfaces. Intended application of proven Cr getter, developed in PI’s laboratory, is aimed at providing long term tolerance to electrode poisoning. The team will further develop cell, stack and system design utilizing the existing multi-physics modeling tools. The new technology offers economic and operational advantages for hydrogen production over the state-of-the-art O-SOECs. Pure hydrogen, directly produced by H-SOECs, reduces the cost of hydrogen production compared to the oxygen ion-conducting SOECs (O-SOECs).