The need for nano-scale modeling in solid oxide fuel cells

E. M. Ryan, K. P. Recknagle, W. Liu, M. A. Khaleel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are high temperature fuel cells, which are being developed for large scale and distributed power systems. SOFCs promise to provide cleaner, more efficient electricity than traditional fossil fuel burning power plants. Research over the last decade has improved the design and materials used in SOFCs to increase their performance and stability for long-term operation; however, there are still challenges for SOFC researchers to overcome before SOFCs can be considered competitive with traditional fossil fuel burning and renewable power systems. In particular degradation due to contaminants in the fuel and oxidant stream is a major challenge facing SOFCs. In this paper we discuss ongoing computational and experimental research into different degradation and design issues in SOFC electrodes. We focus on contaminants in gasified coal which cause electrochemical and structural degradation in the anode, and chromium poisoning which affects the electrochemistry of the cathode. Due to the complex microstructures and multi-physics of SOFCs, multi-scale computational modeling and experimental research is needed to understand the detailed physics behind different degradation mechanisms, the local conditions within the cell which facilitate degradation, and its effects on the overall SOFC performance. We will discuss computational modeling research of SOFCs at the macro-, meso- and nano-scales which is being used to investigate the performance and degradation of SOFCs. We will also discuss the need for a multi-scale modeling framework of SOFCs, and the application of computational and multi-scale modeling to several degradation issues in SOFCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6758-6768
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2012



  • Degradation
  • Numerical Modeling
  • Performance
  • Renewable Energy
  • Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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