Pore-scale modeling of the reactive transport of chromium in the cathode of a solid oxide fuel cell

E. M. Ryan, A. M. Tartakovsky, K. P. Recknagle, M. A. Khaleel, C. Amon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)


We present a pore-scale model of a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) cathode. Volatile chromium species are known to migrate from the current collector of the SOFC into the cathode where over time they decrease the voltage output of the fuel cell. A pore-scale model is used to investigate the reactive transport of chromium species in the cathode and to study the driving forces of chromium poisoning. A multi-scale modeling approach is proposed which uses a cell level model of the cathode, air channel and current collector to determine the boundary conditions for a pore-scale model of a section of the cathode. The pore-scale model uses a discrete representation of the cathode to explicitly model the surface reactions of oxygen and chromium with the cathode material. The pore-scale model is used to study the reaction mechanisms of chromium by considering the effects of reaction rates, diffusion coefficients, chromium vaporization, and oxygen consumption on chromium's deposition in the cathode. The study shows that chromium poisoning is most significantly affected by the chromium reaction rates in the cathode and that the reaction rates are a function of the local current density in the cathode.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-300
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011



  • Chromium poisoning
  • Competitive adsorption
  • Computational modeling
  • Reactive transport
  • Solid oxide 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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