High Temperature Electrolysis Using a Pilot-Scale Cathode-Supported Tubular Solid Oxide Fuel Cell

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A Siemens cathode-supported solid oxide fuel cell was explored in this study to operate as an electrolysis cell to produce H2 from steam. An in-situ oxygen sensor was implemented in the cell assembly to determine the oxide-to-fuel ratio in the effluent, from which the rate of H2 production and steam utilization were calculated. No H2 was added into the initial steam. The results showed that the rate of H2 production linearly increased with the applied current and the steam can be split into H2 at high utilization. After hundreds of hours' operation, no degradation was observed. However, it was found that the presence of mixed ionic-electronic conduction in the electrolyte/interconnection layers could lead to a lower rate of H2 production and reduced conversion efficiency.