Technological development of hydrogen production by solid oxide electrolyzer cell (SOEC)

Meng Ni, Michael K.H. Leung, Dennis Y.C. Leung

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

609 Citations (Scopus)


High-temperature solid oxide electrolyzer cell (SOEC) has great potential for efficient and economical production of hydrogen fuel. In this paper, the state-of-the-art SOEC technologies are reviewed. The developments of the important steam electrolyzer components, such as the ionic conducting electrolyte and the electrodes, are summarized and discussed. YSZ and LSGM are promising electrolyte materials for SOEC working at high and intermediate temperatures, respectively. When co-doping or a blocking layer is applied, SDC or GDC are possible electrolyte materials for intermediate-temperature SOEC. Ni-YSZ remains to be the optimal cathode material. Although LSM-YSZ is widely used as SOEC anode, other materials, such as LSF-YSZ, may be better choices and need to be further studied. Considering the cell configuration, planar SOECs are preferred due to their better manufacturability and better electrochemical performance than tubular cells. Anode depolarization is an effective method to reduce the electrical energy consumption of SOEC hydrogen production. Although some electrochemical models and fluid flow models are available, the present literature is lacking detailed modeling analyses of the coupled heat/mass transfer and electrochemical reaction phenomena of the SOEC. Mathematical modeling studies of SOEC with novel structures and anode depolarization processes will be fruitful for the development of SOEC. More works, both experimental and theoretical, are needed to further develop SOEC technology to produce hydrogen more economically and efficiently for the coming hydrogen economy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2337-2354
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Electrochemistry
  • Literature review
  • Material development
  • Mathematical modeling
  • Solid-oxide steam electrolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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