High power-density single-chamber fuel cells operated on methane

Zongping Shao, Jennifer Mederos, William C. Chueh, Sossina M. Haile*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


Single-chamber solid oxide fuel cells (SC-SOFCs) incorporating thin-film Sm0.15Ce0.85O1.925 (SDC) as the electrolyte, thick Ni + SDC as the (supporting) anode and SDC + BSCF (Ba0.5Sr0.5Co0.8Fe0.2O3-δ) as the cathode were operated in a mixture of methane, oxygen and helium at furnace temperatures of 500-650 °C. Because of the exothermic nature of the oxidation reactions that occur at the anode, the cell temperature was as much as 150 °C greater than the furnace temperature. Overall, the open circuit voltage was only slightly sensitive to temperature and gas composition, varying from ∼0.70 to ∼0.78 V over the range of conditions explored. In contrast, the power density strongly increased with temperature and broadly peaked at a methane to oxygen ratio of ∼1:1. At a furnace temperature of 650 °C (cell temperature ∼790 °C), a peak power density of 760 mW cm-2 was attained using a mixed gas with methane, oxygen and helium flow rates of 87, 80 and 320 mL min-1 [STP], respectively. This level of power output is the highest reported in the literature for single chamber fuel cells and reflects the exceptionally high activity of the BSCF cathode for oxygen electro-reduction and its low activity for methane oxidation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)589-596
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 8 2006


  • Ceria electrolyte
  • Methane
  • Single chamber fuel cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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