Use of a catalyst layer for propane partial oxidation in solid oxide fuel cells

Zhongliang Zhan, Scott A. Barnett*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


In most solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) designs the Ni-based anode acts as an effective catalyst for internal reforming. However, there are some SOFCs, e.g. segmented-in-series cells or ceramic anode cells, in which the anode may be less effective for internal reforming. In order to test this case, we have studied SOFCs supported on a thick ceramic layer. While these cells worked well with hydrogen fuel, the performance with propane-air mixtures was poor. The addition of a Ru-CeO2 catalyst layer to the support surface yielded much better performance in propane-air. The catalyst promoted propane partial oxidation at temperatures ≥500°C without carbon formation. Gas diffusion limitations for the reformed fuel limited the performance at high temperature, e.g., ≈0.5 W/cm2 at 750°C. The results are discussed based on calculated gas diffusion rates for different possible reaction pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)871-879
Number of pages9
JournalSolid State Ionics
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - Mar 15 2005


  • Catalysis
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Partial oxidation reforming
  • Propane
  • Solid oxide fuel cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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