Justin G. Railsback

Review paper photo2

Major: Materials Science and Engineering
Office: Cook 4049
Phone: (847) 868-0603
Email: jgrailsb@gmail.com

2012-2016 Ph.D., Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University
2010-2012 M.Eng., Materials Science and Engineering, North Carolina State University
2006-2010 B.S., Materials Science and Engineering, North Carolina State University

Thesis: Stability and Performance of Oxygen Electrodes for Reversible Solid Oxide Cells

Reversible solid oxide cells are a new and economically competitive technology for large scale energy storage. However to meet target levelized costs and round-trip efficiencies, the cells must operate at low temperatures (600 °C) under high pressures with a total specific resistances of <0.2 Ω•cm2 for 50,000 hours. The oxygen electrode is typically the largest contributor to cell resistance at low temperatures owing to large activation energies associated with the oxygen reduction reaction, and is known to catastrophically delaminate from the electrolyte in reversible operation. The goals of my research are mainly to reduce the resistance associated with the oxygen electrode, and to understand and mitigate the associated degradation. Low resistances are achieved through improved chemistries and microstructures as well as high pressure operation. Degradation is probed through a combination of current-switched life tests and post-test microstructural evaluation. Leveraging our laboratory’s electrochemical testing equipment and fabrication expertise we can begin to connect the oxygen electrode chemistry, microstructure, and performance to develop next generation energy storage technologies.