Silica impurity originated from the sealing or raw materials of the solid oxide cells (SOCs) accumulating at the. Ni-YSZ triple phase boundaries (TPBs) is known as one major reason for electrode passivation. Here we report nanosilica precipitates inside Ni grains instead of blocking the TPBs when operating the SOCs at vertical bar i vertical bar >= 1.5 A cm-2 for electrolysis of H2O/CO2. An electrochemical scavenging mechanism was proposed to explain this unique behavior: the removal of silica proceeded through the reduction of the silica to Si under strong cathodic polarization, followed by bulk diffusion of Si into Ni and reoxidation of Si in the Ni grain.
- Solid oxide cells
- Triple phase boundary
- Nickel-yttria-stabilized zirconia
- Cathodic polarization