Solid Oxide Fuel Cell anode is readily degraded by trace amount of Phosphine (PH3) contaminant that is found in coal-derived syngas. PH3 interacts with the anode material and affects its electrochemical performance by forming secondary phases. In this paper, the influence of the ppm level of PH3 with moisture is investigated on the formation of secondary phases and hence on anode electrochemical performance degradation. Nickel yttria-stabilized zirconia (Ni-YSZ) anode shows immediate and severe electrochemical degradation due to PH3 in moist hydrogen condition attributed to the nickel-phosphate secondary phase formation. Whereas in dry hydrogen condition, nickel-phosphide is preferred to form on the anode surface that shows less deleterious effects on SOFC performance as compared to nickel-phosphate.

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