Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2021, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (7): 2009107.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB202009107

Special Issue: Electrocatalysis

• ARTICLE • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Co-Generation of Ethylene and Electricity from Ethane by CeO2/RP-PSCFM@CoFe Anode Materials in Proton Conductive Fuel Cells

Yun Fan1, Guodan Chen1, Xiuan Xi1, Jun Li1, Qi Wang2, Jingli Luo1, Xianzhu Fu1,*()   

  1. 1 College of Material Science and Engineering, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, Guangdong Province, China
    2 School of Materials Science and Technology, China University of Geosciences, Beijing 100083, China
  • Received:2020-09-30 Accepted:2020-10-30 Published:2020-11-05
  • Contact: Xianzhu Fu
  • About author:Xianzhu Fu, Email:; Tel.: +86-755-86392151
  • Supported by:
    the National Natural Science Foundation of China(21975163)


The continuous consumption and excessive use of fossil fuels promote the exploration of new energy conversion technologies. Meanwhile, the increase in the supply of ethane encourages the development of industrial technology for the production of ethylene chemical raw materials. Compared with traditional fossil fuel energy conversion equipment, solid oxide ethane cogeneration fuel cells are an efficient energy processing device. Through selective oxidation of fuel gas on the anode, the endothermic process of ethane dehydrogenation is converted into an exothermic oxidation reaction, which has a greater driving force for reaction thermodynamics, and simultaneously produces clean electricity and value-added chemicals without CO2 emissions. The anode material used for the proton conductor ethane fuel cells needs to operate stably and efficiently under hydrocarbon fuel. Consequently, excellent catalytic activity, low polarization resistance, and anti-coking stability are essential. In this work, CeO2 was uniformly impregnated into the surface of the porous cubic perovskite Pr0.4Sr0.6Co0.2Fe0.7Mo0.1O3−δ anode by wet impregnation, and then calcined and reduced to obtain a CeO2/RP-PSCFM@CoFe composite anode embedded with nanoparticles, which was successfully used in electrolyte-supported proton conductor fuel cells. CeO2 has a high ionic conductivity and transport capacity, which accelerates the transfer rate of protons on the anode and improves the catalytic reaction and transport process. Moreover, uniformly dispersed CeO2 can effectively increase the three-phase interface of the anode reaction and increase the range of reaction activity. The peak power densities before and after wet impregnation reached 172 and 253 mW·cm−2, respectively, at 750 ℃. When switching to ethane as the fuel, the peak power densities reached 136 and 183 mW·cm−2, respectively. The polarization resistance of the impregnated single cell was significantly reduced, and the catalytic activity improved. Moreover, there was no attenuation for 10 h in the long-term test. Inversely, the current density increased with the continuous reduction of the composite anode. Product analysis revealed that the yield of ethylene increased from 23.52% at 650 ℃ to 34.09% at 750 ℃, and the ethylene selectivity exceeded 94%. These results clearly show that the impregnated anode exhibited excellent catalytic activity and anti-coking ability in hydrocarbon fuels at high temperatures. Combining CoFe nanoparticles with CeO2 enhanced the electronic conductance and ionic conductance of the electrode, improved the transmission of electric energy and the efficient conversion of chemicals, thus successfully producing the cogeneration of electric energy and ethylene.

Key words: Composite anode, Impregnation, Ethane, Cogeneration fuel cells, Anti-coking