Performance and durability of Ni/YSZ based solid oxide electrolysis cells (SOECs) for co-electrolysis of H2O and CO2 at high current density were investigated. The cells consist of a Ni/YSZ support, a Ni/YSZ fuel electrode, a YSZ electrolyte, and a LSM-YSZ oxygen electrode. The cell durability was examined at 800°C and electrolysis current density of -1 or -1.5 A/cm2 with 60% reactant (H2O+CO2) utilization. The cell voltage degradation showed a strong dependence on the electrolysis current density, with an overall cell voltage degradation rate of 0.24 mV/h at -1 A/cm2 and of 0.82 mV/h at -1.5 A/cm2. Electrochemical characterization of the cells showed that the degradation was mainly related to the LSM/YSZ electrode when operated at -1 A/cm2, whereas at increased current density (-1.5 A/cm2), both the Ni/YSZ and LSM/YSZ electrodes showed degradation.
E C S Transactions, 2012, Vol 41, Issue 33, p. 77-85