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SACI_3 - Development of Smart mAterials with low content or no raw critical Components for Intermediate temperature electrochemical cells.

Abstract

By studying novel ceramic materials with limited or no critical components, the SACI_3 proposal pursues the development of efficient and low-cost devices for generating power and hydrogen production. Based on recent preliminary results, it is proposed to develop novel protonic conductors as electrolytes and novel perovskite-based electrodes having high-entropy ABO3, suitably doped (without Critical Raw Materials, CRM, that is without toxic and/or rare materials) to be used in solid oxide electrochemical cells working in the 500-700°C temperature range. Progress beyond the state-of-the-art is represented by the development of innovative ceramics (i.e., zirconates, molybdates and zincates, variously doped at A and B sites) characterized by high conductivity (comparable to that in polymeric membranes) and stability in the said temperature range, and novel perovskite-based electrodes (i.e. ferrites and molibdates). Solid-state and innovative wet chemical methods will be employed to ensure high purity, homogeneity, limited CO2 affinity and sinterability of the newly proposed perovskite oxides. Gas-tight electrolytes and supporting electrodes will be realized by conventional sintering and more innovative consolidation techniques like cold sintering and ultrafast high-temperature sintering, these latter allowing a consistent reduction of sintering time and/or temperature and of the risk of phase separation and reaction with CO2. The materials will be deeply analyzed in terms of structure and porosity, chemical and mechanical stability, electrical behavior to identify the proper processing route to realize prototype single cells. The evaluation of the electrochemical behavior of small cells will be useful to optimize the operating conditions, minimize losses due to charge carriers transport, reactants, and products. Durability tests of at least 500 h for the most promising cells will be carried out to determine parameters such as fuel conversion and efficiency.The results achievable with the SACI_3 project will help the advancement in the current technologies, as well as the validation of innovative electrochemical devices operating at intermediate temperature, which could allow progress beyond the rigid barrier existing among technologies for low (mobiles or vehicles) and high (stationary) temperature applications with a new generation of environmentally sustainable integrated systems. The SACI_3 proposal is being presented in support of the Fapesp/Shell project Proc 2020/15230-5 - BG E&P Brazil (Shell)-CPE "Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Innovation - RCG2I", coordinated by Prof. Julio R. Meneghini, subproject "Efficient use of ethanol for the production of hydrogen and electricity" coordinated by Prof. Hamilton Varela. The aim is to create new knowledge and results by combining the skills, equipment, and human resources of the host institution (IQSC-USP) led by Prof. Hamilton Varela with the assistance of Dr Massimiliano Lo Faro (the proposed visiting researcher), a recognized scientist in this field. The fellowship requested by Dr Lo Faro to FAPESP should cover a period of 45 days, from the second week of July until the second half of August 2024. (AU)

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