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Designed Electrodes for implementing High Temperature Water Vapor Electrolysers – ECOREVE

Submission summary

The PRCE ECOREVE project deals with high-temperature steam electrolysis. The goal is to optimize the microstructure and architecture of the electrodes for improving the electrochemical performances and the durability of the electrolyzers, which remains a major technological issue. Two partners from CNRS (ICMCB-LEPMI), one EPIC (CEA), one joint research centre (ARMINES-SPIN) and a french company (SRT Microcéramique) compose the consortium. The commercial powders will be provided by another french company (Marion Technologies), a subcontractor of ICMCB. During the project, two kinds of cells will be prepared: i) reference cells provided by the SRT company, on the basis of the technology transfer ongoing from CEA. The oxygen electrode material will be the screen-printed LSCF (La0.6Sr0.4Co0.2Fe0.8O3-d); ii) innovative cells, including supports provided by CEA or SRT and architectured oxygen electrodes.
For this purpose, three innovative manufacturing routes will be adapted to fulfil the required microstructural specifications, and more especially regarding the oxygen electrodes: screen-printing (composition/porosity graded layers), impregnation, ESD (Electrostatic Spray Deposition). On the basis of strong preliminary work performed by the two CNRS partners during the last ten years, architectured porous films of mixed ionic-electronic conductors (MIECs) such as LSCF, LNO (La2NiO4+d), LPNO (La2-xPrxNiO4+d) and their composites with addition of a pure ionic conductor such as GDC (Ce0.9Gd0.1O2-d) will be designed to offer unique electrochemical properties at an intermediate temperature, in order to address the objectives of ECOREVE. The electrochemical characterizations will be first performed at the electrode and cell levels, using Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy, I-V curves and chronopotentiometry at relevant operating points for at least 1000h. The operating testing parameters will be the temperature, steam conversion, current density and gas flow rates. To guide the electrodes manufacturing and their optimization, the electrochemical properties will be modelled thanks to the generation of numerical microstructures validated on real 3D electrodes reconstructions. Indeed, the electrodes exhibit an intricate and fine microstructure that plays a key role in cell performances and durability. Simulations at the microscopic length scale will be conducted as a guide to analyze the role of microstructure and the relationship between electrode reaction mechanisms and the degradation phenomena.

Our methodology is original, coupling in the same loop innovative shaping methods, electrochemical characterizations and their modelling via accurate microstructural determinations and reconstructions. In a second step, a transfer of the cells manufacture at large and industrial scale will be ensured. The most promising cells (including innovative materials and/or shaping ways) will be integrated into the planar stack design developed by CEA for several years and operated for at least 1000 h. Degradation rates of 0.5%/kh (single cell) and 1%/kh (short stack) are targeted.

Finally, ECOREVE will begin implementing the French chain of hydrogen production by steam electrolysis.

Project coordination

Jean-Marc BASSAT (ICMCB)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.

Partner

LEPMI Laboratoire d'Electrochimie et de Physico-chimie des matériaux et des interfaces
SRT-Microcéramique SRT MICROCERAMIQUE
ICMCB ICMCB
LITEN Laboratoire d'Innovation pour les Technologies des Energies nouvelles et les Nanomatériaux
ARMINES (SPIN) ARMINES

Help of the ANR 741,259 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: December 2018 - 42 Months

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