Hybrid direct carbon fuel cell anode processes investigated using a 3-electrode half-cell setup

Lisa Deleebeeck, A. Arenillas, J.A. Menendez, Kent Kammer Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


A 3-electrode half-cell setup consisting of a yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) electrolyte support was employed to investigate the chemical and electrochemical processes occurring in the vicinity of a model hybrid direct carbon fuel cell (HDCFC) anode (Ni-YSZ) in contact with a molten carbon-alkali carbonate slurry. Electrochemical testing, cyclic voltammetry (CV) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), with and without the Ni-YSZ layer highlighted the promotional effect of the Ni-YSZ anode layer, and revealed the contributions of Ni/NiO, and potentially K/K2O, redox couple(s). Treated anthracite and bituminous coals, as well as carbon black, were tested, revealing similar open circuit potential and activation energies in mixed 96-4vol% N2-CO2 and 50-50vol% CO-CO2 environments between 700 and 800°C. Bituminous coal showed the highest activity, likely associated to a high O/C ratio and hydrogen content. Based on acquired data, a reaction scheme was proposed for processes at the working electrode, including the role of bubble formation in the vicinity of the electrochemically active solid/molten medium interface.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)1945–1958
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Bituminous coal
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Cyclic voltammetry (CV)
  • Direct carbon fuel cell (DCFC)
  • Half-cell
  • Activation energy
  • Carbon black
  • Cyclic voltammetry
  • Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy
  • Electrodes
  • Nickel
  • Yttria stabilized zirconia
  • Zirconia
  • Electrochemical process
  • Electrochemical testing
  • Hydrogen contents
  • Open circuit potential
  • Promotional effect
  • Reaction schemes
  • Working electrode
  • Yttria-stabilized zirconias (YSZ)
  • Direct carbon fuel cells (DCFC)


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