SP5 – Electrocatalytic Reduction

SP5 – Electrocatalytic Reduction


SP5 has two key aims:

  1. Enhancement of fundamental understanding of CO2 and co-electrolysis. A suite of in situ techniques will be developed for in situ structural determination and investigation of the reaction intermediates and the species present on the electrode and electrolyte during co-electrolysis. Molecular scale modelling will be used alongside these techniques to further develop fundamental understanding.
  2. Development of cell architecture through material and morphology advances for electrodes and electrolytes. Work will concentrate initially on the fuel electrode, with incorporation of reverse water gas shift reaction catalyst into the Ni/YSZ electrode structure and improvement of pore microstructure as well as with the development of alternative materials.

Main achievements:

  • Experimental rigs for both high temperature, in situ, Raman spectroscopy and Diffuse Reflectance Infrared Fourier Transform Spectroscopy (DRIFTS) have been designed and commissioned. This involved significant technical challenges and we are now in a position to conduct parametric studies and collect and analyse a significant amount of data.
  • Work on developing materials and morphologies has also begun and is showing promise even at the early stages.
  • Denis Cumming (PDRA 2012–2014) and Jen Manerova (PhD student) have both been awarded £2k STFC Early Career Researcher awards which they have used to develop collaborations with Northwestern University and Montana State University respectively.
  • Denis Cumming has also been awarded an EPSRC IAA grant (£15k) and started as a Lecturer at Sheffield on 1/12/14.

Selected Outputs:

  • “Thermal imaging of solid oxide cells operating under electrolysis conditions”, D. J. Cumming and R. H. Elder, Journal of Power Sources (2015) (doi: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2015.01.109)
  • “In-Situ Monitoring of Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cells”, D.J. Cumming, R. Taylor, J. Manerova, D.C. Sinclair, C. Hardacre and R.H. Elder, ECS Transactions (2013) (DOI: 10.1149/05802.0207ecst)
  • “A family of oxide ion conductors based on the ferroelectric perovskite Na0.5Bi0.5TiO3“, M. Li, M.J. Pietrowski, R.A. De Souza, H. Zhang, I.M. Reaney, S.N. Cook, J.A. Kilner and D.C. Sinclair, Nature materials (2013) (DOI: 10.1038/nmat3782)
  • “In-Situ Raman Spectroscopy Probing of Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cells”, J. Manerova, ECS – Electrochemical Society, Cancun (Mexico), October 2014 (Oral presentation)

For more background on the research, click here.

SP6 – Plasmolytic Reduction


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