Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Investigation of the stability of Co-doped apatite ionic conductors in NH3

Headspith, D. A.; Orera, A.; Slater, P. R.; Young, N. A.; Francesconi, M. G.


D. A. Headspith

A. Orera

P. R. Slater

Profile Image

Dr Nigel Young
Senior Lecturer/ Director of Studies/ Deputy Head of Chemistry and Biochemistry/ Industrial Placements Coordinator


Hydrogen powered solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are of enormous interest as devices for the efficient and clean production of electrical energy. However, a number of problems linked to hydrogen production, storage and transportation are slowing down the larger scale use of SOFCs. Identifying alternative fuel sources to act as intermediate during the transition to the full use of hydrogen is, therefore, of importance. One excellent alternative is ammonia, which is produced on a large scale, is relatively cheap and has the infrastructure for storage and transportation already in place. However, considering that SOFCs operate at temperatures higher than 500°C, a potential problem is the interaction of gaseous ammonia with the materials in the cathode, anode and solid electrolyte. In this paper, we extend earlier work on high temperature reactions of apatite electrolytes with NH3 to the transition metal (Co) doped systems, La9.67Si5CoO26 and La10(Si/Ge)5CoO26.5. A combination of PXRD, TGA and XAFS spectroscopy data showed a better structural stability for the silicate systems. Apatite silicates and germanates not containing transition metals tend to substitute nitride anions for their interstitial oxide anions, when reacted with NH3 at high temperature and, consequentially, lower the interstitial oxide content. In La9.67Si5CoO26 and La10(Si/Ge)5CoO26.5 reduction of Co occurs as a competing process, favouring lower levels of nitride-oxide substitution.


Headspith, D. A., Orera, A., Slater, P. R., Young, N. A., & Francesconi, M. G. (2010). Investigation of the stability of Co-doped apatite ionic conductors in NH3. Journal of Solid State Chemistry, 183(12), 2746-2758.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 27, 2010
Online Publication Date Sep 1, 2010
Publication Date Dec 1, 2010
Print ISSN 0022-4596
Electronic ISSN 1095-726X
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 183
Issue 12
Pages 2746-2758
Keywords Apatite; Ammonia; Solid oxide fuel cell
Public URL