A green BaZr0.1Ce0.7Y0.2O3-d (BZCY) electrolyte layer was deposited on porous anode substrate (BZCY:NiO = 35:65, in weight ratio) by a suspension spray. In this process, the suspension was prepared by directly ball-milling the mixed BaCO3, CeO2, ZrO2 and Y2O3 powders in ethanol for 24 h. Then the bi-layers were co-sintered at 1400 °C for 5 h in air to obtain dense and uniform electrolyte membrane in the thickness of 10 µm. With Nd0.7Sr0.3MnO3-d cathode, a fuel cell was assembled. It was tested from 600 °C to 700 °C using humid hydrogen as fuel and air as oxidant. The cell at 700 °C exhibited 1.02 V for open circuit voltage (OCV), 450 mW/cm2 for peak output and 0.18 O cm2 for electrode polarizations under open circuit conditions, respectively. The results indicate that it is feasible to fabricate thin electrolyte membrane for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) by this simple, cost-effective and efficient technique. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.