Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics
Area of research:
Diploma & Master Thesis
The efficient use of CO2 and its conversion into CO is suitable for the de-fossilization of human industrial activities. With the simultaneous electrolysis of H2O and CO2 at high temperature (above 800°C) Solid Oxide Electrolysis (SOE) enables direct production of syngas (H2 + CO), which could be processed downstream into high-value synthetic fuels and chemicals.
State of the art SOE cells (SOEC) implement a nickel based cermet as electrocatalyst for the reduction reaction, which still face challenges in terms of durability, sustainability and are prone to fatal Carbon deposition under marginal operating conditions. In this respect a great challenge is the formulation and the implementation of novel electrocatalysts with enhanced performance.
We are currently working on the development of an alternative electrocatalyst for the SOEC fuel electrode based on the lanthanum strontium chromite perovskites family. The Chromium of the matrix is partially substituted with nickel, which exsolves at the surface of the perovskite in the form of nano-particles when exposed to reducing environment. Early results have shown promising performance in co-electrolysis operation.
In the context of this master thesis, your role will be to manufacture and investigate the electrodes in order to find optimal composition and microstructural features that yield the best compromise performance / durability. With this respect, different composite compositions will be processed and investigated in co-electrolysis operation with the main following tasks:
synthesis of ceramic ink with different compositions cell Manufacturing: Screen printing and sintering processes electrochemical characterization of the produced cells post-mortem analysis: Microscopy techniques documentation and evaluation of the results