Operation of anode-supported solid oxide fuel cells on methane and natural gas

Jiang Liu, Scott A. Barnett*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

253 Scopus citations


Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) with thin yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) electrolytes on porous Ni-YSZ anodes were successfully operated with humidified methane and natural gas. For both fuels, single-cell tests were carried out with low fuel utilizations in order to approximate the conditions expected near the fuel inlet in a direct methane SOFC stack. Open circuit voltages (OCV) increased from ≈ 1.1 to 1.17 V, and power densities increased from ≈ 0.1 to 1.0 W/cm2, as the operating temperature was increased from 600 to 800 °C. Comparisons of open circuit voltages with Nernst potentials suggested partial oxidation of solid C as the main anode reaction. SOFCs were operated in methane for >90 h at 700 °C and 0.6 V, yielding a stable power density of ≈ 0.35 W/cm2. Very little carbon was detected on the anodes, suggesting that carbon deposition was limited during cell operation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-16
Number of pages6
JournalSolid State Ionics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Feb 2003


  • Methane, natural gas
  • Ni anode-supported
  • Solid oxide fuel cell
  • Thin YSZ electrolyte

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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