Effect of nickel-phosphorus interactions on structural integrity of anode-supported solid oxide fuel cells

Wenning Liu, Xin Sun, Larry R. Pederson, Olga A. Marina, Moe A. Khaleel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)


An integrated experimental/modeling approach was utilized to assess the structural integrity of Ni-yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) porous anode supports during the solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) operation on coal gas containing trace amounts of phosphorus impurities. Phosphorus was chosen as a typical impurity exhibiting strong interactions with the nickel followed by second phase formation. Tests were performed using Ni-YSZ anode-supported button cells exposed to 0.5-10 ppm of phosphine in synthetic coal gas at 700-800 °C. The extent of Ni-P interactions was determined by a post-test scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis. Severe damage to the anode support due to nickel phosphide phase formation and extensive crystal coalescence was revealed, resulting in electric percolation loss. The subsequent finite element stress analyses were conducted using the actual anode support microstructures to assist in degradation mechanism explanation. Volume expansion induced by the Ni phase alteration was found to produce high stress levels such that local failure of the Ni-YSZ anode became possible under the operating conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7140-7145
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2010



  • Coal gas impurity
  • Mechanical properties
  • Ni-YSZ anode degradation
  • Phosphorus-nickel interaction
  • SOFC structural integrity

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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