Electrochemical and transport phenomena in solid oxide fuel cells

P. W. Li, M. K. Chyu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


This paper begins with a brief review of the thermodynamic and electrochemical fundamentals of a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC). Issues concerning energy budget and ideal energy conversion efficiency of the electrochemical processes in an SOFC are addressed. Chemical equilibrium is then discussed for the situations with internal reforming and shift reactions as an SOFC is fed with hydrocarbon fuel. Formulations accounting for electrical potential drops incurred by activation polarization, ohmic polarization, and concentration polarization are reviewed. This leads to a discussion on numerical modeling and simulation for predicting the terminal voltage and power output of SOFCs. Key features associated with numerical simulation include strong coupling of ion transfer rates, electricity conduction, flow fields of fuel and oxidizer, concentrations of gas species, and temperature distributions. Simulation results based primarily on authors' research are presented as demonstration. The article concludes with a discussion of technical challenges in SOFCs and potential issues for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1344-1362
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Heat Transfer
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2005


  • Computational analysis
  • Solid oxide fuel cell
  • Transport phenomenon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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