(PRESS RELEASE) Probe where the protons go to develop better fuel cells
A research team composed of Dr. Kenta Hoshino, Dr. Junji Hyodo, Dr. Kentaro Yamamoto, and Professor Yoshihiro Yamazaki from Q-PIT and the Graduate School of Materials Science and Engineering, along with Associate Professor Shusuke Kasamatsu from the Yamagata University, Faculty of Science, have collaborated with Dr. Hiroyuki Setoyama from the Kyushu Synchrotron Radiation Research Center, and Toshihiro Okajima, Deputy Director of the Aichi Synchrotron Radiation Research Center, to uncover the chemical innerworkings of a perovskite-based electrolyte in the solid-oxide fuel cell, they developed. The team combined synchrotron radiation analysis, large-scale simulations, machine learning, and thermogravimetric analysis, to uncover the active site of where hydrogen atoms are introduced within the perovskite lattice in its process to produce energy.
Researchers have made progress in the study of proton-conducting oxides for use in intermediate-temperature protonic ceramic fuel cells. The team focused on heavily Sc-doped barium zirconate perovskite, which has high proton conductivity and chemical stability. The researchers used in situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy, thermogravimetry, X-ray diffractometry, and active learning ab initio replica exchange Monte Carlo simulations to examine the local environment of oxygen vacancies responsible for hydration. They found that Sc-VO-Zr and Sc-VO-Sc environments contribute to the hydration, with the latter being more prevalent at higher degrees of hydration. This study has implications for the development of more efficient fuel cells.
The full version of the press release is available on the website of Kyushu University and can be found here.
Research paper information
Journal: Chemistry of Materials
Title: Probing Local Environments of Oxygen Vacancies Responsible for Hydration in Scdoped Barium Zirconates at Elevated Temperatures: In Situ X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy, Thermogravimetry, and Active Learning Ab Initio Replica Exchange Monte Carlo Simulations
Authors: Kenta Hoshino, Shusuke Kasamatsu, Junji Hyodo, Kentaro Yamamoto, Hiroyuki Setoyama, Toshihiro Okajima, and Yoshihiro Yamazaki*