Date of Thesis

2013

Thesis Type

Honors Thesis (Bucknell Access Only)

Degree Type

Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering

Department

Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

Ryan Snyder

Second Advisor

Michael Gross

Third Advisor

Peter Brooksbank

Abstract

Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) provide a potentially clean way of using energy sources. One important aspect of a functioning fuel cell is the anode and its characteristics (e.g. conductivity). Using infiltration of conductor particles has been shown to be a method for production at lower cost with comparable functionality. While these methods have been demonstrated experimentally, there is a vast range of variables to consider. Because of the long time for manufacture, a model is desired to aid in the development of the desired anode formulation. This thesis aims to (1) use an idealized system to determine the appropriate size and aspect ratio to determine the percolation threshold and effective conductivity as well as to (2) simulate the infiltrated fabrication method to determine the effective conductivity and percolation threshold as a function of ceramic and pore former particle size, particle fraction and the cell¿s final porosity. The idealized system found that the aspect ratio of the cell does not affect the cells functionality and that an aspect ratio of 1 is the most efficient computationally to use. Additionally, at cell sizes greater than 50x50, the conductivity asymptotes to a constant value. Through the infiltrated model simulations, it was found that by increasing the size of the ceramic (YSZ) and pore former particles, the percolation threshold can be decreased and the effective conductivity at low loadings can be increased. Furthermore, by decreasing the porosity of the cell, the percolation threshold and effective conductivity at low loadings can also be increased

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