Electrochemical catalytic behavior of cu 2 o catalyst for oxygen reduction reaction in molten carbonate fuel cells

Shin Ae Song, Kiyoung Kim, Sung Nam Lim, Jonghee Han, Sung Pil Yoon, Min Goo Kang, Seong Cheol Jang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


To enhance the performance of cathodes at low temperatures, a Cu-coated cathode is prepared, and its electrochemical performance is examined by testing its use in a single cell. At 620 o C and a current density of 150 mAcm -2 , a single cell containing the Cu-coated cathode has a significantly higher voltage (0.87 V) during the initial operation than does that with an uncoated cathode (0.79 V). According to EIS analysis, the high voltage of the cell with the Cu-coated cathode is due to the dramatic decrease in the high-frequency resistance related to electrochemical reactions. From XPS analysis, it is confirmed that the Cu is initially in the form of Cu 2 O and is converted into CuO after 150 h of operation, without any change in the state of the Ni or Li. Therefore, the high initial cell voltage is confirmed to be due to Cu 2 O. Because Cu 2 O is catalytically active toward O 2 adsorption and dissociation, Cu 2 O on a NiO cathode enhances cell performance and reduces cathode polarization. However, the cell with the Cu-coated cathode does not maintain its high voltage because Cu 2 O is oxidized to CuO, which demonstrates similar catalytic activity toward O 2 as NiO.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-201
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Electrochemical Science and Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 1


  • Catalytic activity
  • Copper-coated cathode
  • Lowering cathode polarization
  • Molten carbonate fuel cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrochemistry

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