Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cells Electrolyser

A solid oxide electrolyzer cell (SOEC) is a solid oxide fuel cell that runs in regenerative mode to achieve the electrolysis of water (and/or carbon dioxide) by using a solid oxide, or ceramic, electrolyte to produce hydrogen gas (and/or carbon monoxide) and oxygen. Electrolysis is currently the most promising method of hydrogen production from water due to high efficiency of conversion and relatively low required energy input when compared to thermochemical and photocatalytic methods. 

Solid oxide electrolyzer cells operate at temperatures which allow high-temperature electrolysis to occur, typically between 500 and 850 °C. The general function of the electrolyse cell is to split water in the form of steam into pure H2 and O2. Steam is fed into the porous cathode. When a voltage is applied, the steam moves to the cathode-electrolyte interface and is reduced to form pure H2 and oxygen ions. The hydrogen gas then diffuses back up through the cathode and is collected at its surface as hydrogen fuel, while the oxygen ions are conducted through the dense electrolyte. The electrolyte must be dense enough that the steam and hydrogen gas cannot diffuse through and lead to the recombination of the H2 and O2−. At the electrolyte-anode interface, the oxygen ions are oxidized to form pure oxygen gas, which is collected at the surface of the anode.

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