The post-doctoral project herein described aims to contribute for improvement of materials employed as anodes in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC). The expected goals are increasing the electrocatalytic activity for oxidation and provide anodes having better reforming capacity regarding high availability fuels in Brasil, like ethanol and biogas. One new processing method is proposed - Sintering by Activated Surface (SAS) - where stabilized zirconia powders undergo high energy milling processing with metal catalysts and some additives like Cu, refractory and precious metals powders. The process is expected to promote metal plating on each ceramic particle followed by parcial evaporation during sintering in oxidant atmosphere, releasing fresh high preserved activity surfaces in order to improuve sintering. The resulted microstructure should show an important increasing on the 3-phase contacts, high catalytic activity and high electrical and thermal conductivity, leading to better perform on the fuel reforming reactions together with some desired functional gradient effects. The formed materials will be analysed by microstructure, physical chemistry and thermal analysis techniques, as well as characterized the reaction gas behaviour and reacted products. Some experimental bench SOFC cells will be built and tested to confirm the suitability and advances of the new developed materials under simulated operation conditions.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: