Electrochemical properties and intermediatete-temperature fuel cell performance of dense yttrium-doped barium zirconate with calcium addition
Although BaZr0.8Y0.2O3−δ (BZY) possesses large bulk proton conductivity and excellent chemical stability, its poor sinterability and grain boundaries block proton conduction. In this work, the effect of Ca as a co-dopant and as a sintering aid (as CaO), on the sinterability, proton conductivity, and fuel cell performance of BZY was investigated. The addition of 4 mol% CaO significantly improved the BZY sinterability: BZY pellets with densities of 92.7% and 97.5% with respect to the theoretical density were obtained after sintering at 1500°C and 1600°C, respectively. The improved BZY sinterability by CaO addition resulted also in a large proton conductivity; at 600°C, the total conductivity of BZY–CaO was 2.14 × 10−3 S/cm, in wet Ar. Anode-supported fuel cells with 25 μm-thick BZY–CaO electrolyte membranes were fabricated by a dual-layer co-firing technique. The peak power density of the fuel cell with a BZY–Ni/BZY–4CaO/BZY–LSCF (La0.6Sr0.4Fe0.8Co0.2O3−δ) configuration was 141 mW/cm2 at 700°C, several times larger than the reported values of BZY electrolyte membrane fuel cells sintered with the addition of CuO or ZnO, demonstrating promising features for practical fuel cell applications.