The Schwank Group

-Carbon Tolerant Fuel Cell Anodes-

Eranda Nikolla, Suljo Linic, and Johannes Schwank

Carbon formation during the reforming of heavy hydrocarbons is a problem that impedes the development of anode catalysts for direct internal reforming within Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs).

In a collaborative effort with Prof. Suljo Linic we employ a combined experimental and theoretical approach to develop carbon tolerant catalysts. We have developed Ni surface alloys which provide promising carbon tolerance for the steam reforming and electrochemical reactions of an SOFC anode. Fundamental insights obtained using first principles calculations have proved very instrumental in identifying carbon tolerant catalysts.

C-C and C-O bond formation

DFT-calculated reaction energies for C-C and C-O bond formation on Ni (111) (left) and Sn/Ni (111) surface alloy (right). These calculations have shown how C diffusion is inhibited on the alloy surface.

Go Back