A Multifunctional Isostructural Bilayer Oxygen Evolution Electrode for Durable Intermediate-Temperature Electrochemical Water Splitting

Recipient University of South Carolina (PI: Kevin Huang)

Sub University of Massachusetts at Lowell (PI: Xinfang Jin)

Water Splitting Technology HTE

Abstract One of the major barriers to the commercialization of solid oxide electrolysis cells (SOECs) for hydrogen production through electrochemical water splitting is the short cell/stack life caused by chemical-expansion-mismatch induced mechanical delamination of oxygen electrode and metal-interconnects-oxidation resulted Cr-poisoning. The overarching goal of the proposed research is to address SOEC’s degradation problem by developing an isostructural bilayer oxygen evolution reaction (OER) electrode that is electrocatalytically active and Cr-tolerant. The new oxygen electrode has an inherently fast OER electrokinetics (or high oxygen evolution rate) to mitigate the delamination problem by minimizing the accumulation of oxygen in OER electrode lattice and thus chemical stresses. Meanwhile, with a SrO-free surface, the new electrode also exhibits a strong resistance to Cr-attack. To ensure maximal success of the project, a combined experimental and theoretical approach will be applied to optimize the fabrication process for durability and performance and to understand the degradation mechanisms for failure mode analysis and mitigation solutions. The Budget Period 1 work will focus on optimization of bilayer OER electrode processing, demonstrate the performance at laboratory button-cell level and establish several Multiphysics models to understand the degradation mechanisms and failure modes. The Budget Period 2 work will focus on establishing a scale-up bilayer electrode manufacturing process for larger planar cells/stacks and tubular cells at USC, test the performance of larger bilayer cells at a bench-scale single-cell level for future pilot-scale cells/stacks demonstration. The Budget Period 3 work will focus on manufacturing, testing 2-cell stacks as well as single tubular cells using bilayer OER electrode and developing degradation mitigation solutions for future system demonstrations.

HydroGEN Energy Materials Network (EMN) Consortium resources will be leveraged. Close collaboration with HydroGEN is anticipated with interactions to include exchange of data and materials as needed to facilitate project success.