Overview of the effects of rare-earth elements used as additive materials in molten carbonate fuel cell systems

Jung Ho Wee, Kwan Young Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


From the viewpoint of materials issues, there are some problems in molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC) systems due to the corrosive and evaporative electrolytes and the high pressure caused by a stack in temperature of 650°C. The rare earth metals (RE) in as material additives primarily improve the creep resistance, corrosion resistance and high temperature resistance of materials. However, efforts to enhance the properties of MCFC materials using RE have not yielded the marked effects associated with their use in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC). Therefore, we have conducted this review in order to describe and discuss the effects of RE as additive materials in the context of MCFC. This review also provides information regarding the development of MCFC materials using RE. The incorporation of low concentrations of RE into previously RE-free materials may improve the stability of these materials to some degree, and also effect an increase in the cell efficiency of MCFC. La 2O3-added cathode materials have primarily been applied as alternative materials, for the reduction of the dissolution of conventional NiO cathodes. Ce and Dy have both been theorized to possibly enhance the stability of anode electrode materials. Ce and La can both be employed as additives which enhance the stability of reforming catalysts. The addition of La 2O3 to electrolytes has been previously shown to reduce the degree of dissolution in cathodes. Ce-based ceramics are thought to be promising coating materials, and it is believed that they may help to prevent the corrosion of the separator. However, future research into materials which exhibit long-term stability and low electrical conductivity is clearly warranted, as the field is in its infancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3585-3592
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Materials Science
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Jun

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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