Ceramic dusting corrosion of yttria stabilized zirconia in ultra-high temperature reverse-flow pyrolysis reactors

C. M. Chun, S. Desai, F. Hershkowitz, T. A. Ramanarayanan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


A reverse-flow reactor (RFR) enables the pyrolysis of hydrocarbons at temperatures up to 2000°C to high value petrochemical products through acetylene intermediate. Materials in the hottest regions of the reactor, exposed to such extreme temperatures, are subject to oxidative cycling over a period of several seconds between a regeneration (heat addition) step that is mildly oxidizing and a pyrolysis (cracking) step that is strongly reducing, accompanied by high carbon activity. Experimental results obtained from single crystal and polycrystalline yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) ceramics of different porosities show that the pyrolysis reaction triggers the carburization of YSZ by diffusion of carbon through the lattice, the grain boundaries, and the pores. Subsequently graphite deposition occurs on the carburized surface. During the regeneration step, some of the graphite and (oxy)carbide are reoxidized. Corrosion advances in subsequent cycles by a repetition of oxide-carbide inter-conversion, carbon precipitation, and reoxidation steps. Since degradation involves the breakup of the bulk ceramic structure into powder or "dust" and is reminiscent of metal dusting corrosion observed in metallic materials in carbon supersaturated environments, we name this corrosion "ceramic dusting". Details of the corrosion mechanism and the steps leading to such degradation are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationECS Transactions
PublisherElectrochemical Society Inc.
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781607685395
StatePublished - 2013

Publication series

NameECS Transactions
ISSN (Print)1938-5862
ISSN (Electronic)1938-6737

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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