Properties of a new type of cathode for molten carbonate fuel cells

Seung Taek Kuk, Young Seck Song, Keon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


The solubility of a nickel oxide cathode in molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC) electrolyte is one of the major technical obstacles to the commercialization of such fuel cells. Lithium cobalt oxide, LiCoO2, has been selected as a candidate material for MCFC cathodes because its solubility is small and the rate of dissolution into the melt is slower than that for nickel oxide. On the other hand, the electrical conductivity of LiCoO2 is lower than that of nickel oxide. Thus, nickel oxide has been coated with stable LiCoO2 in carbonate by a PVA-assisted sol-gel method to give a LiCoO2-coated NiO (LC-NiO) cathode. Raman spectra show that the structure of LC-NiO is different from that of nickel oxide, and that a LiCo1-yNiyO2 phase is formed during heat-treatment of the LC-NiO cathode. The coating of LiCoO2 on NiO electrode increases with increase in the dipping and heating times. The performance of unit cells show that the mean voltage of the cells is 0.80 V using a NiO cathode and 0.85 V with a LC-NiO cathode at a current density of 150 mA cm-2. The solubility of the LC-NiO cathode in molten carbonate electrolyte is half that of NiO cathode after 300 h at 650°C.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-56
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Oct

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Financial support for this work was given by the Korea Electric Power, and by the Korea Ministry of Education through the Basic Science Research Institute program (1998-015-D00200) and the Center for Mineral Resources (96K3-0503-04-01-4).


  • Fuel cell
  • LiCoO-coated NiO cathode
  • Lithium cobalt oxide
  • PVA-assisted sol-gel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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