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Sample records for pem fuel cel

  1. PEM regenerative fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swette, Larry L.; Laconti, Anthony B.; Mccatty, Stephen A.

    1993-01-01

    This paper will update the progress in developing electrocatalyst systems and electrode structures primarily for the positive electrode of single-unit solid polymer proton exchange membrane (PEM) regenerative fuel cells. The work was done with DuPont Nafion 117 in complete fuel cells (40 sq cm electrodes). The cells were operated alternately in fuel cell mode and electrolysis mode at 80 C. In fuel cell mode, humidified hydrogen and oxygen were supplied at 207 kPa (30 psi); in electrolysis mode, water was pumped over the positive electrode and the gases were evolved at ambient pressure. Cycling data will be presented for Pt-Ir catalysts and limited bifunctional data will be presented for Pt, Ir, Ru, Rh, and Na(x)Pt3O4 catalysts as well as for electrode structure variations.

  2. PEM regenerative fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swette, Larry L.; Laconti, Anthony B.; McCatty, Stephen A.

    1993-11-01

    This paper will update the progress in developing electrocatalyst systems and electrode structures primarily for the positive electrode of single-unit solid polymer proton exchange membrane (PEM) regenerative fuel cells. The work was done with DuPont Nafion 117 in complete fuel cells (40 sq cm electrodes). The cells were operated alternately in fuel cell mode and electrolysis mode at 80 C. In fuel cell mode, humidified hydrogen and oxygen were supplied at 207 kPa (30 psi); in electrolysis mode, water was pumped over the positive electrode and the gases were evolved at ambient pressure. Cycling data will be presented for Pt-Ir catalysts and limited bifunctional data will be presented for Pt, Ir, Ru, Rh, and Na(x)Pt3O4 catalysts as well as for electrode structure variations.

  3. PEM fuel cell degradation

    SciTech Connect

    Borup, Rodney L; Mukundan, Rangachary

    2010-01-01

    The durability of PEM fuel cells is a major barrier to the commercialization of these systems for stationary and transportation power applications. While significant progress has been made in understanding degradation mechanisms and improving materials, further improvements in durability are required to meet commercialization targets. Catalyst and electrode durability remains a primary degradation mode, with much work reported on understanding how the catalyst and electrode structure degrades. Accelerated Stress Tests (ASTs) are used to rapidly evaluate component degradation, however the results are sometimes easy, and other times difficult to correlate. Tests that were developed to accelerate degradation of single components are shown to also affect other component's degradation modes. Non-ideal examples of this include ASTs examining catalyst degradation performances losses due to catalyst degradation do not always well correlate with catalyst surface area and also lead to losses in mass transport.

  4. Corrosion resistant PEM fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Fronk, Matthew Howard; Borup, Rodney Lynn; Hulett, Jay S.; Brady, Brian K.; Cunningham, Kevin M.

    2002-01-01

    A PEM fuel cell having electrical contact elements comprising a corrosion-susceptible substrate metal coated with an electrically conductive, corrosion-resistant polymer containing a plurality of electrically conductive, corrosion-resistant filler particles. The substrate may have an oxidizable metal first layer (e.g., stainless steel) underlying the polymer coating.

  5. Corrosion resistant PEM fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Fronk, Matthew Howard; Borup, Rodney Lynn; Hulett, Jay S.; Brady, Brian K. NY); Cunningham, Kevin M.

    2011-06-07

    A PEM fuel cell having electrical contact elements comprising a corrosion-susceptible substrate metal coated with an electrically conductive, corrosion-resistant polymer containing a plurality of electrically conductive, corrosion-resistant filler particles. The substrate may have an oxidizable metal first layer (e.g., stainless steel) underlying the polymer coating.

  6. Corrosion resistant PEM fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Li, Yang; Meng, Wen-Jin; Swathirajan, Swathy; Harris, Stephen Joel; Doll, Gary Lynn

    2002-01-01

    The present invention contemplates a PEM fuel cell having electrical contact elements (including bipolar plates/septums) comprising a titanium nitride coated light weight metal (e.g., Al or Ti) core, having a passivating, protective metal layer intermediate the core and the titanium nitride. The protective layer forms a barrier to further oxidation/corrosion when exposed to the fuel cell's operating environment. Stainless steels rich in CR, Ni, and Mo are particularly effective protective interlayers.

  7. Corrosion resistant PEM fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Li, Yang; Meng, Wen-Jin; Swathirajan, Swathy; Harris, Stephen Joel; Doll, Gary Lynn

    2001-07-17

    The present invention contemplates a PEM fuel cell having electrical contact elements (including bipolar plates/septums) comprising a titanium nitride coated light weight metal (e.g., Al or Ti) core, having a passivating, protective metal layer intermediate the core and the titanium nitride. The protective layer forms a barrier to further oxidation/corrosion when exposed to the fuel cell's operating environment. Stainless steels rich in CR, Ni, and Mo are particularly effective protective interlayers.

  8. Corrosion resistant PEM fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Li, Y.; Meng, W.J.; Swathirajan, S.; Harris, S.J.; Doll, G.L.

    1997-04-29

    The present invention contemplates a PEM fuel cell having electrical contact elements (including bipolar plates/septums) comprising a titanium nitride coated light weight metal (e.g., Al or Ti) core, having a passivating, protective metal layer intermediate the core and the titanium nitride. The protective layer forms a barrier to further oxidation/corrosion when exposed to the fuel cell`s operating environment. Stainless steels rich in Cr, Ni, and Mo are particularly effective protective interlayers. 6 figs.

  9. Corrosion resistant PEM fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Li, Yang; Meng, Wen-Jin; Swathirajan, Swathy; Harris, Stephen J.; Doll, Gary L.

    1997-01-01

    The present invention contemplates a PEM fuel cell having electrical contact elements (including bipolar plates/septums) comprising a titanium nitride coated light weight metal (e.g., Al or Ti) core, having a passivating, protective metal layer intermediate the core and the titanium nitride. The protective layer forms a barrier to further oxidation/corrosion when exposed to the fuel cell's operating environment. Stainless steels rich in CR, Ni, and Mo are particularly effective protective interlayers.

  10. PEM fuel cell monitoring system

    DOEpatents

    Meltser, M.A.; Grot, S.A.

    1998-06-09

    Method and apparatus are disclosed for monitoring the performance of H{sub 2}--O{sub 2} PEM fuel cells. Outputs from a cell/stack voltage monitor and a cathode exhaust gas H{sub 2} sensor are corrected for stack operating conditions, and then compared to predetermined levels of acceptability. If certain unacceptable conditions coexist, an operator is alerted and/or corrective measures are automatically undertaken. 2 figs.

  11. PEM fuel cell monitoring system

    DOEpatents

    Meltser, Mark Alexander; Grot, Stephen Andreas

    1998-01-01

    Method and apparatus for monitoring the performance of H.sub.2 --O.sub.2 PEM fuel cells. Outputs from a cell/stack voltage monitor and a cathode exhaust gas H.sub.2 sensor are corrected for stack operating conditions, and then compared to predetermined levels of acceptability. If certain unacceptable conditions coexist, an operator is alerted and/or corrective measures are automatically undertaken.

  12. PEM fuel cell durability studies

    SciTech Connect

    Borup, Rodney L; Davey, John R; Ofstad, Axel B; Xu, Hui

    2008-01-01

    The durability of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells is a major barrier to the commercialization for stationary and transportation power applications. For transportation applications, the durability target for fuel cell power systems is a 5,000 hour lifespan and able to function over a range of vehicle operating conditions (-40{sup o} to +40{sup o}C). However, durability is difficult to quantify and improve because of the quantity and duration of testing required, and also because the fuel cell stack contains many components, for which the degradation mechanisms, component interactions and effects of operating conditions are not fully understood. These requirements have led to the development of accelerated testing protocols for PEM fuel cells. The need for accelerated testing methodology is exemplified by the times required for standard testing to reach their required targets: automotive 5,000 hrs = {approx} 7 months; stationary systems 40,000 hrs = {approx} 4.6 years. As new materials continue to be developed, the need for relevant accelerated testing increases. In this investigation, we examine the durability of various cell components, examine the effect of transportation operating conditions (potential cycling, variable RH, shut-down/start-up, freeze/thaw) and evaluate durability by accelerated durability protocols. PEM fuel cell durability testing is performed on single cells, with tests being conducted with steady-state conditions and with dynamic conditions using power cycling to simulate a vehicle drive cycle. Component and single-cell characterization during and after testing was conducted to identify changes in material properties and related failure mechanisms. Accelerated-testing experiments were applied to further examine material degradation.

  13. Fuel Processors for PEM Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Levi T. Thompson

    2008-08-08

    Fuel cells are being developed to power cleaner, more fuel efficient automobiles. The fuel cell technology favored by many automobile manufacturers is PEM fuel cells operating with H2 from liquid fuels like gasoline and diesel. A key challenge to the commercialization of PEM fuel cell based powertrains is the lack of sufficiently small and inexpensive fuel processors. Improving the performance and cost of the fuel processor will require the development of better performing catalysts, new reactor designs and better integration of the various fuel processing components. These components and systems could also find use in natural gas fuel processing for stationary, distributed generation applications. Prototype fuel processors were produced, and evaluated against the Department of Energy technical targets. Significant advances were made by integrating low-cost microreactor systems, high activity catalysts, π-complexation adsorbents, and high efficiency microcombustor/microvaporizers developed at the University of Michigan. The microreactor system allowed (1) more efficient thermal coupling of the fuel processor operations thereby minimizing heat exchanger requirements, (2) improved catalyst performance due to optimal reactor temperature profiles and increased heat and mass transport rates, and (3) better cold-start and transient responses.

  14. Development of PEM fuel cell technology at international fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Wheeler, D.J.

    1996-04-01

    The PEM technology has not developed to the level of phosphoric acid fuel cells. Several factors have held the technology development back such as high membrane cost, sensitivity of PEM fuel cells to low level of carbon monoxide impurities, the requirement to maintain full humidification of the cell, and the need to pressurize the fuel cell in order to achieve the performance targets. International Fuel Cells has identified a hydrogen fueled PEM fuel cell concept that leverages recent research advances to overcome major economic and technical obstacles.

  15. Durability of PEM Fuel Cell Membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Xinyu; Reifsnider, Ken

    Durability is still a critical limiting factor for the commercialization of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells, a leading energy conversion technology for powering future hydrogen fueled automobiles, backup power systems (e.g., for base transceiver station of cellular networks), portable electronic devices, etc. Ionic conducting polymer (ionomer) electrolyte membranes are the critical enabling materials for the PEM fuel cells. They are also widely used as the central functional elements in hydrogen generation (e.g., electrolyzers), membrane cell for chlor-alkali production, etc. A perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) polymer with the trade name Nafion® developed by DuPont™ is the most widely used PEM in chlor-alkali cells and PEM fuel cells. Similar PFSA membranes have been developed by Dow Chemical, Asahi Glass, and lately Solvay Solexis. Frequently, such membranes serve the dual function of reactant separation and selective ionic conduction between two otherwise separate compartments. For some applications, the compromise of the "separation" function via the degradation and mechanical failure of the electrolyte membrane can be the life-limiting factor; this is particularly the case for PEM in hydrogen/oxygen fuel cells.

  16. Brazed bipolar plates for PEM fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Neutzler, Jay Kevin

    1998-01-01

    A liquid-cooled, bipolar plate separating adjacent cells of a PEM fuel cell comprising corrosion-resistant metal sheets brazed together so as to provide a passage between the sheets through which a dielectric coolant flows. The brazement comprises a metal which is substantially insoluble in the coolant.

  17. Brazed bipolar plates for PEM fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Neutzler, J.K.

    1998-07-07

    A liquid-cooled, bipolar plate separating adjacent cells of a PEM fuel cell comprises corrosion-resistant metal sheets brazed together so as to provide a passage between the sheets through which a dielectric coolant flows. The brazement comprises a metal which is substantially insoluble in the coolant. 6 figs.

  18. Reversible (unitized) PEM fuel cell devices

    SciTech Connect

    Mitlitsky, F; Myers, B; Smith, W F; Weisberg, Molter, T M

    1999-06-01

    Regenerative fuel cells (RFCs) are enabling for many weight-critical portable applications, since the packaged specific energy (>400 Wh/kg) of properly designed lightweight RFC systems is several-fold higher than that of the lightest weight rechargeable batteries. RFC systems can be rapidly refueled (like primary fuel cells), or can be electrically recharged (like secondary batteries) if a refueling infrastructure is not conveniently available. Higher energy capacity systems with higher performance, reduced weight, and freedom from fueling infrastructure are the features that RFCs promise for portable applications. Reversible proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells, also known as unitized regenerative fuel cells (URFCs), or reversible regenerative fuel cells, are RFC systems which use reversible PEM cells, where each cell is capable of operating both as a fuel cell and as an electrolyzer. URFCs further economize portable device weight, volume, and complexity by combining the functions of fuel cells and electrolyzers in the same hardware, generally without any system performance or efficiency reduction. URFCs are being made in many forms, some of which are already small enough to be portable. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has worked with industrial partners to design, develop, and demonstrate high performance and high cycle life URFC systems. LLNL is also working with industrial partners to develop breakthroughs in lightweight pressure vessels that are necessary for URFC systems to achieve the specific energy advantages over rechargeable batteries. Proton Energy Systems, Inc. (Proton) is concurrently developing and commercializing URFC systems (UNIGEN' product line), in addition to PEM electrolyzer systems (HOGEN' product line), and primary PEM fuel cell systems. LLNL is constructing demonstration URFC units in order to persuade potential sponsors, often in their own conference rooms, that advanced applications based on URFC s are feasible. Safety

  19. In situ PEM fuel cell water measurements

    SciTech Connect

    Borup, Rodney L; Mukundan, Rangachary; Davey, John R; Spendalow, Jacob S

    2008-01-01

    Efficient PEM fuel cell performance requires effective water management. The materials used, their durability, and the operating conditions under which fuel cells run, make efficient water management within a practical fuel cell system a primary challenge in developing commercially viable systems. We present experimental measurements of water content within operating fuel cells. in response to operational conditions, including transients and freezing conditions. To help understand the effect of components and operations, we examine water transport in operating fuel cells, measure the fuel cell water in situ and model the water transport within the fuel cell. High Frequency Resistance (HFR), AC Impedance and Neutron imaging (using NIST's facilities) were used to measure water content in operating fuel cells with various conditions, including current density, relative humidity, inlet flows, flow orientation and variable GDL properties. Ice formation in freezing cells was also monitored both during operation and shut-down conditions.

  20. Pattern recognition monitoring of PEM fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Meltser, M.A.

    1999-08-31

    The CO-concentration in the H{sub 2} feed stream to a PEM fuel cell stack is monitored by measuring current and voltage behavior patterns from an auxiliary cell attached to the end of the stack. The auxiliary cell is connected to the same oxygen and hydrogen feed manifolds that supply the stack, and discharges through a constant load. Pattern recognition software compares the current and voltage patterns from the auxiliary cell to current and voltage signature determined from a reference cell similar to the auxiliary cell and operated under controlled conditions over a wide range of CO-concentrations in the H{sub 2} fuel stream. 4 figs.

  1. Pattern recognition monitoring of PEM fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Meltser, Mark Alexander

    1999-01-01

    The CO-concentration in the H.sub.2 feed stream to a PEM fuel cell stack is monitored by measuring current and voltage behavior patterns from an auxiliary cell attached to the end of the stack. The auxiliary cell is connected to the same oxygen and hydrogen feed manifolds that supply the stack, and discharges through a constant load. Pattern recognition software compares the current and voltage patterns from the auxiliary cell to current and voltage signature determined from a reference cell similar to the auxiliary cell and operated under controlled conditions over a wide range of CO-concentrations in the H.sub.2 fuel stream.

  2. Design considerations for miniaturized PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyers, Jeremy P.; Maynard, Helen L.

    In this paper, we consider the design of a miniaturized proton-exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell for powering 0.5-20 W portable telecommunication and computing devices. Our design is implemented on a silicon substrate to take advantage of advanced silicon processing technology in order to minimize production costs. The reduced length scales afforded by silicon processing allow us to consider designs that would be prohibited by excessive Ohmic losses in larger systems. We employ a mathematical model to quantify the effects of the secondary current distribution on two competing cell designs. In addition to the design of the cell itself, we discuss key integration issues and engineering trade-offs relevant to all miniaturized fuel cell systems: air movement, fuel delivery and water balance, thermal management and load handling.

  3. In situ PEM fuel cell water measurements

    SciTech Connect

    Borup, Rodney L; Mukundan, Rangachary; Davey, John R; Spendelow, Jacob S; Hussey, Daniel S; Jacobson, David L; Arif, Muhammad

    2009-01-01

    Efficient PEM (Polymer Electrolyte Membrane) fuel cell performance requires effective water management. To achieve a deeper understanding of water transport and performance issues associated with water management, we have conducted in situ water examinations to help understand the effects of components and operations. High Frequency Resistance (HFR), AC Impedance and Neutron imaging were used to measure water content in operating fuel cells, with various conditions, including current density, relative humidity, inlet flows, flow orientation and variable Gas Diffusion Layer (GDL) properties. High resolution neutron radiography was used to image fuel cells during a variety of conditions. The effect of specific operating conditions, including flow direction (co-flow or counter-flow) was examined. Counter-flow operation was found to result in higher water content than co-flow operation, which correlates to lower membrane resistivity. A variety of cells were used to quantify the membrane water in situ during exposure to saturated gases, during fuel cell operation, and during hydrogen pump operation. The quantitative results show lower membrane water content than previous results suggested.

  4. Recent Progress in Nanostructured Electrocatalysts for PEM Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Sheng; Shao, Yuyan; Yin, Geping; Lin, Yuehe

    2013-03-30

    Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells are attracting much attention as promising clean power sources and an alternative to conventional internal combustion engines, secondary batteries, and other power sources. Much effort from government laboratories, industry, and academia has been devoted to developing PEM fuel cells, and great advances have been achieved. Although prototype cars powered by fuel cells have been delivered, successful commercialization requires fuel cell electrocatalysts, which are crucial components at the heart of fuel cells, meet exacting performance targets. In this review, we present a brief overview of the recent progress in fuel cell electrocatalysts, which involves catalyst supports, Pt and Pt-based electrocatalysts, and non-Pt electrocatalysts.

  5. Dynamic behavior of PEM fuel cell and microturbine power plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El-Sharkh, M. Y.; Sisworahardjo, N. S.; Uzunoglu, M.; Onar, O.; Alam, M. S.

    This paper presents a comparison between the dynamic behavior of a 250 kW stand-alone proton exchange membrane fuel cell power plant (PEM FCPP) and a 250 kW stand-alone microturbine (MT). Dynamic models for the two are introduced. To control the voltage and the power output of the PEM FCPP, voltage and power control loops are added to the model. For the MT, voltage, speed, and power control are used. Dynamic models are used to determine the response of the PEM FCPP and MT to a load step change. Simulation results indicate that the response of the MT to reach a steady state is about twice as fast as the PEM FCPP. For stand-alone operation of a PEM FCPP, a set of batteries or ultracapacitors is needed in order to satisfy the power mismatch during transient periods. Software simulation results are obtained by using MATLAB ®, Simulink ®, and SimPowerSystems ®.

  6. Bipolar plates for PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Middelman, E.; Kout, W.; Vogelaar, B.; Lenssen, J.; de Waal, E.

    The bipolar plates are in weight and volume the major part of the PEM fuel cell stack, and are also a significant contributor to the stack costs. The bipolar plate is therefore a key component if power density has to increase and costs must come down. Three cell plate technologies are expected to reach targeted cost price levels, all having specific advantages and drawbacks. NedStack has developed a conductive composite materials and a production process for fuel cell plates (bipolar and mono-polar). The material has a high electric and thermal conductivity, and can be processed into bipolar plates by a proprietary molding process. Process cycle time has been reduced to less than 10 s, making the material and process suitable for economical mass production. Other development work to increase material efficiency resulted in thin bipolar plates with integrated cooling channels, and integrated seals, and in two-component bipolar plates. Total thickness of the bipolar plates is now less than 3 mm, and will be reduced to 2 mm in the near future. With these thin integrated plates it is possible to increase power density up to 2 kW/l and 2 kW/kg, while at the same time reducing cost by integrating other functions and less material use.

  7. Materials Challenges for Automotive PEM Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gasteiger, Hubert

    2004-03-01

    Over the past few years, significant R efforts aimed at meeting the challenging cost and performance targets required for the use of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cells in automotive applications. Besides engineering advances in bipolar plate materials and design, the optimization of membrane-electrode assemblies (MEAs) was an important enabler in reducing the cost and performance gaps towards commercial viability for the automotive market. On the one hand, platinum loadings were reduced from several mgPt/cm2MEA [1] to values of 0.5-0.6 mgPt/cm2MEA in current applications and loadings as low as 0.25 mgPt/cm2MEA have been demonstrated on the research level [2]. On the other hand, implementation of thin membranes (20-30 micrometer) [3, 4] as well as improvements in diffusion medium materials, essentially doubled the achievable power density of MEAs to ca. 0.9 W/cm2MEA (at 0.65 V) [5], thereby not only reducing the size of a PEMFC fuel cell system, but also reducing its overall materials cost (controlled to a large extent by membrane and Pt-catalyst cost). While this demonstrated a clear path towards automotive applications, a renewed focus of R efforts is now required to develop materials and fundamental materials understanding to assure long-term durability of PEM fuel cells. This presentation therefore will discuss the state-of-the-art knowledge of catalyst, catalyst-support, and membrane degradation mechanisms. In the area of Pt-catalysts, experience with phosphoric acid fuel cells (PAFCs) has shown that platinum sintering leads to long-term performance losses [6]. While this is less critical at the lower PEMFC operating temperatures (<100C) compared to PAFCs (>200C), very little is known about the dependence of Pt-sintering on temperature, cell voltage, and catalyst type (i.e., Pt versus Pt-alloys) and will be discussed here. Similarly, carbon-support corrosion can contribute significantly to voltage degradation in PAFCs [7], and even in the PEMFC

  8. Sensor Development for PEM Fuel Cell Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Steve Magee; Richard Gehman

    2005-07-12

    This document reports on the work done by Honeywell Sensing and Control to investigate the feasibility of modifying low cost Commercial Sensors for use inside a PEM Fuel Cell environment. Both stationary and automotive systems were considered. The target environment is hotter (100 C) than the typical commercial sensor maximum of 70 C. It is also far more humid (100% RH condensing) than the more typical 95% RH non-condensing at 40 C (4% RH maximum at 100 C). The work focused on four types of sensors, Temperature, Pressure, Air Flow and Relative Humidity. Initial design goals were established using a market research technique called Market Driven Product Definition (MDPD). A series of interviews were conducted with various users and system designers in their facilities. The interviewing team was trained in data taking and analysis per the MDPD process. The final result was a prioritized and weighted list of both requirements and desires for each sensor. Work proceeded on concept development for the 4 types of sensors. At the same time, users were developing the actual fuel cell systems and gaining knowledge and experience in the use of sensors and controls systems. This resulted in changes to requirements and desires that were not anticipated during the MDPD process. The concepts developed met all the predicted requirements. At the completion of concept development for the Pressure Sensor, it was determined that the Fuel Cell developers were happy with off-the-shelf automotive pressure sensors. Thus, there was no incentive to bring a new Fuel Cell Specific Pressure Sensor into production. Work was therefore suspended. After the experience with the Pressure Sensor, the requirements for a Temperature Sensor were reviewed and a similar situation applied. Commercially available temperature sensors were adequate and cost effective and so the program was not continued from the Concept into the Design Phase.

  9. Materials Challenges for Automotive PEM Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gasteiger, Hubert

    2004-03-01

    Over the past few years, significant R efforts aimed at meeting the challenging cost and performance targets required for the use of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cells in automotive applications. Besides engineering advances in bipolar plate materials and design, the optimization of membrane-electrode assemblies (MEAs) was an important enabler in reducing the cost and performance gaps towards commercial viability for the automotive market. On the one hand, platinum loadings were reduced from several mgPt/cm2MEA [1] to values of 0.5-0.6 mgPt/cm2MEA in current applications and loadings as low as 0.25 mgPt/cm2MEA have been demonstrated on the research level [2]. On the other hand, implementation of thin membranes (20-30 micrometer) [3, 4] as well as improvements in diffusion medium materials, essentially doubled the achievable power density of MEAs to ca. 0.9 W/cm2MEA (at 0.65 V) [5], thereby not only reducing the size of a PEMFC fuel cell system, but also reducing its overall materials cost (controlled to a large extent by membrane and Pt-catalyst cost). While this demonstrated a clear path towards automotive applications, a renewed focus of R efforts is now required to develop materials and fundamental materials understanding to assure long-term durability of PEM fuel cells. This presentation therefore will discuss the state-of-the-art knowledge of catalyst, catalyst-support, and membrane degradation mechanisms. In the area of Pt-catalysts, experience with phosphoric acid fuel cells (PAFCs) has shown that platinum sintering leads to long-term performance losses [6]. While this is less critical at the lower PEMFC operating temperatures (<100C) compared to PAFCs (>200C), very little is known about the dependence of Pt-sintering on temperature, cell voltage, and catalyst type (i.e., Pt versus Pt-alloys) and will be discussed here. Similarly, carbon-support corrosion can contribute significantly to voltage degradation in PAFCs [7], and even in the PEMFC

  10. Transient analysis of water transport in PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Wei-Mon; Chu, Hsin-Sen; Chen, Jian-Yao; Soong, Chyi-Yeou; Chen, Falin

    This paper theoretically studies the water transport phenomena in PEM fuel cells, mainly investigating the transient behavior in the gas diffusion layer (GDL), catalyst layer (CL) and proton exchange membrane (PEM). In the PEM, both diffusion and electro-osmosis processes are considered, while in the GDL and CL, only diffusion process is taken into account. The process of water uptake is employed to account for the water transport at the interface between the PEM and CL. The results indicate that the water content in the PEM and the time for reaching the steady state in the start-up process are influenced by the humidification constant, k, the humidification, and the thickness of PEM. The rise of the k increases the water content in the membrane and shortens the time for reaching the steady state. Insufficient humidification causes relatively small water content and long steady time. When the PEM is thinner, the water is more uniformly distributed, the water content gets higher, and the time for reaching the steady state is distinctly shorter.

  11. PEM fuel cell applications and their development at International Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Fuller, T.F.; Gorman, M.E.; Van Dine, L.L.

    1996-12-31

    International Fuel Cells (IFC) is involved with the full spectrum of fuel cell power plants including the development of Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell systems. The extensive background in systems, design, materials and manufacturing technologies has been brought to bear on the development of highly competitive PEM power plants. IFC is aggressively pursuing these opportunities and is developing low-cost designs for a wide variety of PEM fuel cell applications with special emphasis on portable power and transportation. Experimental PEM power plants for each of these applications have been successfully tested.

  12. Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel Cell for Space Shuttle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoffman, William C., III; Vasquez, Arturo; Lazaroff, Scott M.; Downey, Michael G.

    1999-01-01

    Development of a PEM fuel cell powerplant (PFCP) for use in the Space Shuttle offers multiple benefits to NASA. A PFCP with a longer design life than is delivered currently from the alkaline fuel will reduce Space Shuttle Program maintenance costs. A PFCP compatible with zero-gravity can be adapted for future NASA transportation and exploration programs. Also, the commercial PEM fuel cell industry ensures a competitive environment for select powerplant components. Conceptual designs of the Space Shuttle PFCP have resulted in identification of key technical areas requiring resolution prior to development of a flight system. Those technical areas include characterization of PEM fuel cell stack durability under operational conditions and water management both within and external to the stack. Resolution of the above issues is necessary to adequately control development, production, and maintenance costs for a PFCP.

  13. Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cells for Space Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bradley, Karla

    2004-01-01

    This presentation will provide a summary of the PEM fuel cell development at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Johnson Space Center (NASA, JSC) in support of future space applications. Fuel cells have been used for space power generation due to their high energy storage density for multi-day missions. The Shuttle currently utilizes the alkaline fuel cell technology, which has highly safe and reliable performance. However, the alkaline technology has a limited life due to the corrosion inherent to the alkaline technology. PEM fuel cells are under development by industry for transportation, residential and commercial stationary power applications. NASA is trying to incorporate some of this stack technology development in the PEM fuel cells for space. NASA has some unique design and performance parameters which make developing a PEM fuel cell system more challenging. Space fuel cell applications utilize oxygen, rather than air, which yields better performance but increases the hazard level. To reduce the quantity of reactants that need to be flown in space, NASA also utilizes water separation and reactant recirculation. Due to the hazards of utilizing active components for recirculation and water separation, NASA is trying to develop passive recirculation and water separation methods. However, the ability to develop recirculation components and water separators that are gravity-independent and successfully operate over the full range of power levels is one of the greatest challenges to developing a safe and reliable PEM fuel cell system. PEM stack, accessory component, and system tests that have been performed for space power applications will be discussed.

  14. Cerium migration during PEM fuel cell accelerated stress testing

    SciTech Connect

    Baker, Andrew M.; Mukundan, Rangachary; Borup, Rodney L.; Spernjak, Dusan; Judge, Elizabeth J.; Advani, Suresh G.; Prasad, Ajay K.

    2016-01-01

    Cerium is a radical scavenger which improves polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell durability. During operation, however, cerium rapidly migrates in the PEM and into the catalyst layers (CLs). In this work, membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) were subjected to accelerated stress tests (ASTs) under different humidity conditions. Cerium migration was characterized in the MEAs after ASTs using X-ray fluorescence. During fully humidified operation, water flux from cell inlet to outlet generated in-plane cerium gradients. Conversely, cerium profiles were flat during low humidity operation, where in-plane water flux was negligible, however, migration from the PEM into the CLs was enhanced. Humidity cycling resulted in both in-plane cerium gradients due to water flux during the hydration component of the cycle, and significant migration into the CLs. Fluoride and cerium emissions into effluent cell waters were measured during ASTs and correlated, which signifies that ionomer degradation products serve as possible counter-ions for cerium emissions. Fluoride emission rates were also correlated to final PEM cerium contents, which indicates that PEM degradation and cerium migration are coupled. Lastly, it is proposed that cerium migrates from the PEM due to humidification conditions and degradation, and is subsequently stabilized in the CLs by carbon catalyst supports.

  15. Cerium migration during PEM fuel cell accelerated stress testing

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Baker, Andrew M.; Mukundan, Rangachary; Borup, Rodney L.; Spernjak, Dusan; Judge, Elizabeth J.; Advani, Suresh G.; Prasad, Ajay K.

    2016-01-01

    Cerium is a radical scavenger which improves polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell durability. During operation, however, cerium rapidly migrates in the PEM and into the catalyst layers (CLs). In this work, membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) were subjected to accelerated stress tests (ASTs) under different humidity conditions. Cerium migration was characterized in the MEAs after ASTs using X-ray fluorescence. During fully humidified operation, water flux from cell inlet to outlet generated in-plane cerium gradients. Conversely, cerium profiles were flat during low humidity operation, where in-plane water flux was negligible, however, migration from the PEM into the CLs was enhanced. Humiditymore » cycling resulted in both in-plane cerium gradients due to water flux during the hydration component of the cycle, and significant migration into the CLs. Fluoride and cerium emissions into effluent cell waters were measured during ASTs and correlated, which signifies that ionomer degradation products serve as possible counter-ions for cerium emissions. Fluoride emission rates were also correlated to final PEM cerium contents, which indicates that PEM degradation and cerium migration are coupled. Lastly, it is proposed that cerium migrates from the PEM due to humidification conditions and degradation, and is subsequently stabilized in the CLs by carbon catalyst supports.« less

  16. Advanced space power PEM fuel cell systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vanderborgh, N. E.; Hedstrom, J.; Huff, J. R.

    1989-01-01

    A model showing mass and heat transfer in proton exchange membrane (PEM) single cells is presented. For space applications, stack operation requiring combined water and thermal management is needed. Advanced hardware designs able to combine these two techniques are available. Test results are shown for membrane materials which can operate with sufficiently fast diffusive water transport to sustain current densities of 300 ma per square centimeter. Higher power density levels are predicted to require active water removal.

  17. Commercialization of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goel, Navin; Pant, Alok; Sera, Gary

    1995-01-01

    The MCTTC performed a market assessment for PEM Fuel Cells for terrestrial applications for the Center for Space Power (CSP). The purpose of the market assessment was to gauge the market and commercial potential for PEM fuel cell technology. Further, the market assessment was divided into subsections of technical and market overview, competitive environment, political environment, barriers to market entry, and keys to market entry. The market assessment conducted by the MCTTC involved both secondary and primary research. The primary target markets for PEM fuel cells were transportation and utilities in the power range of 10 kW to 100 kW. The fuel cell vehicle market size was estimated under a pessimistic scenario and an optimistic scenario. The estimated size of the fuel cell vehicle market in dollar terms for the year 2005 is 17.3 billion for the pessimistic scenario and 34.7 billion for the optimistic scenario. The fundamental and applied research funded and conducted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and DOE in the area of fuel cells presents an excellent opportunity to commercialize dual-use technology and enhance U.S. business competitiveness.

  18. Degradation mechanisms and accelerated testing in PEM fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Borup, Rodney L; Mukundan, Rangachary

    2010-01-01

    The durability of PEM fuel cells is a major barrier to the commercialization of these systems for stationary and transportation power applications. Although there has been recent progress in improving durability, further improvements are needed to meet the commercialization targets. Past improvements have largely been made possible because of the fundamental understanding of the underlying degradation mechanisms. By investigating component and cell degradation modes; defining the fundamental degradation mechanisms of components and component interactions new materials can be designed to improve durability. Various factors have been shown to affect the useful life of PEM fuel cells. Other issues arise from component optimization. Operational conditions (such as impurities in either the fuel and oxidant stream), cell environment, temperature (including subfreezing exposure), pressure, current, voltage, etc.; or transient versus continuous operation, including start-up and shutdown procedures, represent other factors that can affect cell performance and durability. The need for Accelerated Stress Tests (ASTs) can be quickly understood given the target lives for fuel cell systems: 5000 hours ({approx} 7 months) for automotive, and 40,000 hrs ({approx} 4.6 years) for stationary systems. Thus testing methods that enable more rapid screening of individual components to determine their durability characteristics, such as off-line environmental testing, are needed for evaluating new component durability in a reasonable turn-around time. This allows proposed improvements in a component to be evaluated rapidly and independently, subsequently allowing rapid advancement in PEM fuel cell durability. These tests are also crucial to developers in order to make sure that they do not sacrifice durability while making improvements in costs (e.g. lower platinum group metal [PGM] loading) and performance (e.g. thinner membrane or a GDL with better water management properties). To

  19. Degradation Mechanisms and Accelerated Testing in PEM Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Borup, Rodney L.

    2011-01-01

    The durability of PEM fuel cells is a major barrier to the commercialization of these systems for stationary and transportation power applications. Although there has been recent progress in improving durability, further improvements are needed to meet the commercialization targets. Past improvements have largely been made possible because of the fundamental understanding of the underlying degradation mechanisms. By investigating component and cell degradation modes; defining the fundamental degradation mechanisms of components and component interactions new materials can be designed to improve durability. Various factors have been shown to affect the useful life of PEM fuel cells. Other issues arise from component optimization. Operational conditions (such as impurities in either the fuel or oxidant stream), cell environment, temperature (including subfreezing exposure), pressure, current, voltage, etc.; or transient versus continuous operation, including start-up and shutdown procedures, represent other factors that can affect cell performance and durability.

  20. PEM fuel cell bipolar plate material requirements for transportation applications

    SciTech Connect

    Borup, R.L.; Stroh, K.R.; Vanderborgh, N.E.

    1996-04-01

    Cost effective bipolar plates are currently under development to help make proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells commercially viable. Bipolar plates separate individual cells of the fuel cell stack, and thus must supply strength, be electrically conductive, provide for thermal control of the fuel stack, be a non-porous materials separating hydrogen and oxygen feed streams, be corrosion resistant, provide gas distribution for the feed streams and meet fuel stack cost targets. Candidate materials include conductive polymers and metal plates with corrosion resistant coatings. Possible metals include aluminium, titanium, iron/stainless steel and nickel.

  1. Method of monitoring CO concentrations in hydrogen feed to a PEM fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Grot, Stephen Andreas; Meltser, Mark Alexander; Gutowski, Stanley; Neutzler, Jay Kevin; Borup, Rodney Lynn; Weisbrod, Kirk

    2000-01-01

    The CO concentration in the H.sub.2 feed stream to a PEM fuel cell stack is monitored by measuring current and/or voltage behavior patterns from a PEM-probe communicating with the reformate feed stream. Pattern recognition software may be used to compare the current and voltage patterns from the PEM-probe to current and voltage telltale outputs determined from a reference cell similar to the PEM-probe and operated under controlled conditions over a wide range of CO concentrations in the H.sub.2 fuel stream. The PEM-probe is intermittently purged of any CO build-up on the anode catalyst (e.g., by (1) flushing the anode with air, (2) short circuiting the PEM-probe, or (3) reverse biasing the PEM-probe) to keep the PEM-probe at peak performance levels.

  2. The importance of water control to PEM fuel cell performance

    SciTech Connect

    Cisar, A.; Murphy, O.J.; Simpson, S.F.

    1996-12-31

    All membranes currently in use in polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells have sulfonate (-SO{sub 3}{sup -}) groups as the anionic functionalities attached to the backbone of the polymer electrolyte. As a consequence of this fact, all PEM membranes depend on the presence of water in the electrolyte to facilitate proton transport. This includes perfluorinated membranes, such as Nafion{reg_sign} (DuPont), and Gore Select{trademark} (W. L. Gore), partially fluorinated membranes, such as the Ballard membrane, which is a derivatized trifluorostyrene, non-fluorinated membranes, including both sulfonated polyparaphenylene (Maxdem`s Poly-X{trademark}) and sulfonated styrene-butadiene (DAIS), and the various grafted materials that have been described in the literature. In every case, without water, the proton conductivity of the membrane is insufficient to support fuel cell operation.

  3. The influence of carbon dioxide on PEM fuel cell anodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Bruijn, F. A.; Papageorgopoulos, D. C.; Sitters, E. F.; Janssen, G. J. M.

    The influence of CO 2 on the performance of PEM fuel cells was investigated by means of fuel cell experiments and cyclic voltammetry. Depending on the composition and microstructure of the fuel cell anode, the effect varies from small to significant. Adsorbed hydrogen plays a dominant role in the formation of CO-like species via the reverse water-gas shift reaction. Platinum sites which are not utilized in the electrochemical oxidation of hydrogen are thought to catalyze this reverse-shift reaction. Alloying with ruthenium suppresses the reverse-shift reaction.

  4. Hydrogen-Oxygen PEM Regenerative Fuel Cell Energy Storage System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bents, David J.; Scullin, Vincent J.; Chang, Bei-Jiann; Johnson, Donald W.; Garcia, Christopher P.

    2005-01-01

    An introduction to the closed cycle hydrogen-oxygen polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) regenerative fuel cell (RFC), recently constructed at NASA Glenn Research Center, is presented. Illustrated with explanatory graphics and figures, this report outlines the engineering motivations for the RFC as a solar energy storage device, the system requirements, layout and hardware detail of the RFC unit at NASA Glenn, the construction history, and test experience accumulated to date with this unit.

  5. Commercial ballard PEM fuel cell natural gas power plant development

    SciTech Connect

    Watkins, D.S.; Dunnison, D.; Cohen, R.

    1996-12-31

    The electric utility industry is in a period of rapid change. Deregulation, wholesale and retail wheeling, and corporate restructuring are forcing utilities to adopt new techniques for conducting their business. The advent of a more customer oriented service business with tailored solutions addressing such needs as power quality is a certain product of the deregulation of the electric utility industry. Distributed and dispersed power are fundamental requirements for such tailored solutions. Because of their modularity, efficiency and environmental benefits, fuel cells are a favored solution to implement distributed and dispersed power concepts. Ballard Power Systems has been working to develop and commercialize Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell power plants for stationary power markets. PEM`s capabilities of flexible operation and multiple market platforms bodes well for success in the stationary power market. Ballard`s stationary commercialization program is now in its second phase. The construction and successful operation of a 10 kW natural gas fueled, proof-of-concept power plant marked the completion of phase one. In the second phase, we are developing a 250 kW market entry power plant. This paper discusses Ballard`s power plant development plan philosophy, the benefits from this approach, and our current status.

  6. PEM Fuel Cells Redesign Using Biomimetic and TRIZ Design Methodologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fung, Keith Kin Kei

    Two formal design methodologies, biomimetic design and the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving, TRIZ, were applied to the redesign of a Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell. Proof of concept prototyping was performed on two of the concepts for water management. The liquid water collection with strategically placed wicks concept demonstrated the potential benefits for a fuel cell. Conversely, the periodic flow direction reversal concepts might cause a potential reduction water removal from a fuel cell. The causes of this water removal reduction remain unclear. In additional, three of the concepts generated with biomimetic design were further studied and demonstrated to stimulate more creative ideas in the thermal and water management of fuel cells. The biomimetic design and the TRIZ methodologies were successfully applied to fuel cells and provided different perspectives to the redesign of fuel cells. The methodologies should continue to be used to improve fuel cells.

  7. The use of experimental design to find the operating maximum power point of PEM fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Crăciunescu, Aurelian; Pătularu, Laurenţiu; Ciumbulea, Gloria; Olteanu, Valentin; Pitorac, Cristina; Drugan, Elena

    2015-03-10

    Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cells are difficult to model due to their complex nonlinear nature. In this paper, the development of a PEM Fuel Cells mathematical model based on the Design of Experiment methodology is described. The Design of Experiment provides a very efficient methodology to obtain a mathematical model for the studied multivariable system with only a few experiments. The obtained results can be used for optimization and control of the PEM Fuel Cells systems.

  8. Numerical Simulations of Droplet Dynamics in PEM Fuel Cell Microchannels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cauble, Eric; Owkes, Mark

    2015-11-01

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells are of beneficial interest due to their capability of producing clean energy with zero emissions. An important design challenge hindering the performance of fuel cells is controlling water removal to maintain a hydrated membrane while avoiding excess water that may lead to channel blockage. Fuel cell water management requires a detailed knowledge of multiphase flow dynamics within microchannels. Direct observation of gas-liquid flows is difficult due to the small scale and viewing obstructions of the channels within the fuel cell. Instead, this work uses a CFD approach to compute the formation and dynamics of droplets in fuel cell channels. The method leverages a conservative volume-of-fluid (VOF) formulation coupled with a novel methodology to track dynamic contact angles. We present details of the numerical approach and simulation results relevant to water management in PEM fuel cells. In particular, it is shown that variation of the contact hysteresis angle influences the wetting properties of the droplet and significantly impacts water transport throughout the a fuel cell channel.

  9. Numerical modeling and simulation of PEM fuel cells: Progress and perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Guang-Hua; Meng, Hua

    2013-06-01

    This paper provides a comprehensive review on the research and development in multi-scale numerical modeling and simulation of PEM fuel cells. An overview of recent progress in PEM fuel cell modeling has been provided. Fundamental transport phenomena in PEM fuel cells and the corresponding mathematical formulation of macroscale models are analyzed. Various important issues in PEM fuel cell modeling and simulation are examined in detail, including fluid flow and species transport, electron and proton transport, heat transfer and thermal management, liquid water transport and water management, transient response behaviors, and cold-start processes. Key areas for further improvements have also been discussed.

  10. PEM fuel cell stack development for automotive applications

    SciTech Connect

    Ernst, W.D.

    1996-12-31

    Presently, the major challenges to the introduction of fuel cell power systems for automotive applications are to maximize the effective system power density and minimize cost. The material cost, especially for Platinum, had been a significant factor until recent advances by Los Alamos National Laboratory and others in low Platinum loading electrode design has brought these costs within control. Since the initiation of its PEM stack development efforts, MTI has focused on applying its system and mechanical engineering heritage on both increasing power density and reducing cost. In May of 1995, MTI was selected (along with four other companies) as a subcontractor by the Ford Motor Company to participate in Phase I of the DOE Office of Transportation Technology sponsored PNGV Program entitled: {open_quotes}Direct-Hydrogen-Fueled Proton-Exchange-Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell System for Transportation Applications{close_quotes}. This Program was instituted to: (1) Advance the performance and economic viability of a direct-hydrogen-fueled PEM fuel cell system, (2) Identify the critical problems that must be resolved before system scale-up and vehicle integration, and (3) Integrate the fuel cell power system into a sub-scale vehicle propulsion system. The Phase I objective was to develop and demonstrate a nominal 10 kW stack meeting specific criteria. Figure I is a photograph of the stack used for these demonstrations. After completion of Phase I, MTI was one of only two companies selected to continue into Phase II of the Program. This paper summarizes Phase I stack development and results.

  11. Process simulation of a PEM fuel cell system

    SciTech Connect

    Ledjeff-Hey, K.; Roes, J.; Formanski, V.; Gieshoff, J.; Vogel, B.

    1996-01-01

    The thermodynamic performance of a PEM fuel cell system for producing electrical power from natural gas is investigated by considering the flows of energy and energy through the various steps of the whole system. The flows of energy are evaluated using a computer code for energy and energy analyses. The fuel cell system is designed to produce a hydrogen volumetric flow of nearly 5.0 m{sup 3} {sub NTP}/h, provided to the fuel cell at an absolute pressure of 2.9 bar. The fuel cell itself is working with an efficiency of about 60 % at an operating temperature of 65 - 75{degrees} C with an air ratio of four and provides a maximum electric power of 9 kW. Taking into consideration only the produced electric power as useful output of the fuel cell system a total efficiency of 42.2 % is calculated using the simulation results.

  12. Gold Nanoparticles-Enhanced Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Hongfei; Pan, Cheng; Liu, Ping; Zhu, Yimei; Adzic, Radoslav; Rafailovich, Miriam

    Proton exchange membrane fuel cells have drawn great attention and been taken as a promising alternated energy source. One of the reasons hamper the wider application of PEM fuel cell is the catalytic poison effect from the impurity of the gas flow. Haruta has predicted that gold nanoparticles that are platelet shaped and have direct contact with the metal oxide substrate to be the perfect catalysts of the CO oxidization, yet the synthesis method is difficult to apply in the Fuel Cell. In our approach, thiol-functionalized gold nanoparticles were synthesized through two-phase method developed by Brust et al. We deposit these Au particles with stepped surface directly onto the Nafion membrane in the PEM fuel cell by Langmuir-Blodgett method, resulting in over 50% enhancement of the efficiency of the fuel cell. DFT calculations were conducted to understand the theory of this kind of enhancement. The results indicated that only when the particles were in direct surface contact with the membrane, where AuNPs attached at the end of the Nafion side chains, it could reduce the energy barrier for the CO oxidation that could happen at T<300K.

  13. Method of making MEA for PEM/SPE fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Hulett, Jay S.

    2000-01-01

    A method of making a membrane-electrode-assembly (MEA) for a PEM/SPE fuel cell comprising applying a slurry of electrode-forming material directly onto a membrane-electrolyte film. The slurry comprises a liquid vehicle carrying catalyst particles and a binder for the catalyst particles. The membrane-electrolyte is preswollen by contact with the vehicle before the electrode-forming slurry is applied to the membrane-electrolyte. The swollen membrane-electrolyte is constrained against shrinking in the "x" and "y" directions during drying. Following assembly of the fuel cell, the MEA is rehydrated inside the fuel cell such that it swells in the "z" direction for enhanced electrical contact with contiguous electrically conductive components of the fuel cell.

  14. Novel Hydrogen Purification Device Integrated with PEM Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Joseph Schwartz; Hankwon Lim; Raymond Drnevich

    2010-12-31

    A prototype device containing twelve membrane tubes was designed, built, and demonstrated. The device produced almost 300 scfh of purified hydrogen at 200 psig feed pressure. The extent of purification met the program target of selectively removing enough impurities to enable industrial-grade hydrogen to meet purity specifications for PEM fuel cells. An extrusion process was developed to produce substrate tubes. Membranes met several test objectives, including completing 20 thermal cycles, exceeding 250 hours of operating life, and demonstrating a flux of 965 scfh/ft2 at 200 psid and 400 C.

  15. H2S removal with ZnO during fuel processing for PEM fuel cell applications

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Liyu; King, David L.

    2006-09-15

    The possibility of using ZnO as a H2S absorbent to protect catalysts in the gasoline and diesel fuel processor for PEM fuel cell applications was studied. It is possible to use commercial ZnO absorbent as a guard bed to protect the PROX catalyst and PEM fuel cell. However, it is not feasible to use ZnO to protect high and low temperature WGS catalysts, most likely due to COS formation via reactions CO + H2S = COS + H2 and CO2 + H2S = COS + H2O.

  16. New electroplated aluminum bipolar plate for PEM fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El-Enin, Sanaa A. Abo; Abdel-Salam, Omar E.; El-Abd, Hammam; Amin, Ashraf M.

    Further improvement in the performance of the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells as a power source for automotive applications may be achieved by the use of a new material in the manufacture of the bipolar plate. Several nickel alloys were applied on the aluminum substrate, the use of aluminum as a bipolar plate instead of graphite is to reduce the bipolar plate cost and weight and the ease of machining. The electroplated nickel alloys on aluminum substrate produced a new metallic bipolar plate for PEM fuel cell with a higher efficiency and longer lifetime than the graphite bipolar plate due to its higher electrical conductivity and its lower corrosion rate. Different pretreatment methods were tested; the optimum method for pretreatment consists of dipping the specimen in a 12.5% NaOH for 3 min followed by electroless zinc plating for 2 min, then the specimen is dipped quickly in the electroplating bath after rinsing with distilled water. The produced electroplate was tested with different measurement techniques, chosen based on the requirement for a PEM fuel cell bipolar plate, including X-ray diffraction, EDAX, SEM, corrosion resistance, thickness measurement, microhardness, and electrical conductivity.

  17. Fatigue and Mechanical Damage Propagation in Automotive PEM Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banan, Roshanak

    Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells are generally exposed to high magnitude road-induced vibrations and impact loads, frequent humidity-temperature loading cycles, and freeze/thaw stresses when employed in automotive applications. The resultant mechanical stresses can play a significant role in the evolution of mechanical defects in the membrane electrode assembly (MEA). The focus of this research is to investigate fatigue challenges due to humidity-temperature (hygrothermal) cycles and vibrations and their effects on damage evolution in PEM fuel cells. To achieve this goal, this thesis is divided into three parts that provide insight into damage propagation in the MEA under i) hygrothermal cycles, ii) external applied vibrations, and iii) a combination of both to simulate realistic automotive conditions. A finite element damage model based on cohesive zone theory was developed to simulate the propagation of micro-scale defects (cracks and delaminations) in the MEA under fuel cell operating conditions. It was found that the micro-defects can propagate to critical states under start-up and shut-down cycles, prior to reaching the desired lifespan of the fuel cell. The simultaneous presence of hygrothermal cycles and vibrations severely intensified damage propagation and resulted in considerably large defects within 75% of the fuel cell life expectancy. However, the order of generated damage was found to be larger under hygrothermal cycles than vibrations. Under hygrothermal cycles, membrane crack propagation was more severe compared to delamination propagation. Conversely, the degrading influence of vibrations was more significant on delaminations. The presence of an anode/cathode channel offset under the combined loadings lead to a 2.5-fold increase in the delamination length compared to the aligned-channel case. The developed model can be used to investigate the damage behaviour of current materials employed in fuel cells as well as to evaluate the

  18. Development of Novel PEM Membrane and Multiphase CD Modeling of PEM Fuel Cell

    SciTech Connect

    K. J. Berry; Susanta Das

    2009-12-30

    To understand heat and water management phenomena better within an operational proton exchange membrane fuel cell's (PEMFC) conditions, a three-dimensional, two-phase computational fluid dynamic (CFD) flow model has been developed and simulated for a complete PEMFC. Both liquid and gas phases are considered in the model by taking into account the gas flow, diffusion, charge transfer, change of phase, electro-osmosis, and electrochemical reactions to understand the overall dynamic behaviors of species within an operating PEMFC. The CFD model is solved numerically under different parametric conditions in terms of water management issues in order to improve cell performance. The results obtained from the CFD two-phase flow model simulations show improvement in cell performance as well as water management under PEMFCs operational conditions as compared to the results of a single phase flow model available in the literature. The quantitative information obtained from the two-phase model simulation results helped to develop a CFD control algorithm for low temperature PEM fuel cell stacks which opens up a route in designing improvement of PEMFC for better operational efficiency and performance. To understand heat and water management phenomena better within an operational proton exchange membrane fuel cell's (PEMFC) conditions, a three-dimensional, two-phase computational fluid dynamic (CFD) flow model has been developed and simulated for a complete PEMFC. Both liquid and gas phases are considered in the model by taking into account the gas flow, diffusion, charge transfer, change of phase, electro-osmosis, and electrochemical reactions to understand the overall dynamic behaviors of species within an operating PEMFC. The CFD model is solved numerically under different parametric conditions in terms of water management issues in order to improve cell performance. The results obtained from the CFD two-phase flow model simulations show improvement in cell performance as well

  19. Test of a PEM fuel cell with low voltage static converter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thounthong, Phatiphat; Raël, Stéphane; Davat, Bernard

    This paper presents a test of a 500 W polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell connected with a power electronic converter. The aim of this device is to develop fuel cell dynamic models and to study converter structure and control to adapt fuel cell to an electrical power train. The design of the converter is first discussed before presenting different experimental results involving thermodynamic and mechanical phenomena of the PEM fuel cell.

  20. Small Portable PEM Fuel Cell Systems for NASA Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burke, Kenneth A.

    2005-01-01

    Oxygen-Hydrogen PEM-based fuel cell systems are being examined as a portable power source alternative in addition to advanced battery technology. Fuel cell power systems have been used by the Gemini, Apollo, and Space Shuttle programs. These systems have not been portable, but have been integral parts of their spacecraft, and have used reactants from a separate cryogenic supply. These systems typically have been higher in power. They also have had significant ancillary equipment sections that perform the pumping of reactants and coolant through the fuel cell stack and the separation of the product water from the unused reactant streams. The design of small portable fuel cell systems will be a significant departure from these previous designs. These smaller designs will have very limited ancillary equipment, relying on passive techniques for reactant and thermal management, and the reactant storage will be an integral part of the fuel cell system. An analysis of the mass and volume for small portable fuel cell systems was done to evaluate and quantify areas of technological improvement. A review of current fuel cell technology as well as reactant storage and management technology was completed to validate the analysis and to identify technology challenges

  1. Cerium migration during PEM fuel cell assembly and operation

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Baker, Andrew M.; Torraco, Dennis; Judge, Elizabeth J.; Spernjak, Dusan; Mukundan, Rangachary; Borup, Rod L.; Advani, Suresh G.; Prasad, Ajay K.

    2015-10-02

    Cerium migration between PEM fuel cell components is influenced by potential-driven mobility, ionic diffusion, and gradients in water content. These factors were investigated in ex situ experiments and in operating fuel cells. Potential-induced migration was measured ex situ in hydrated window cells. Cerium-containing MEAs were also fabricated and tested under ASTs. MEA disassembly and subsequent XRF analysis were used to observe rapid cerium migration during cell assembly and operation. During MEA hot pressing, humidification, and low RH operation at OCV, ionic diffusion causes uniform migration from the membrane into the catalyst layers. During high RH operation at OCV, in-plane ceriummore » gradients arise due to variations in water content. These gradients may diminish the scavenging efficacy of cerium by reducing its proximity to generated radicals.« less

  2. Cerium migration during PEM fuel cell assembly and operation

    SciTech Connect

    Baker, Andrew M.; Torraco, Dennis; Judge, Elizabeth J.; Spernjak, Dusan; Mukundan, Rangachary; Borup, Rod L.; Advani, Suresh G.; Prasad, Ajay K.

    2015-09-14

    Cerium migration between PEM fuel cell components is influenced by potential-driven mobility, ionic diffusion, and gradients in water content. These factors were investigated in ex situ experiments and in operating fuel cells. Potential-induced migration was measured ex situ in hydrated window cells. Cerium-containing MEAs were also fabricated and tested under ASTs. MEA disassembly and subsequent XRF analysis were used to observe rapid cerium migration during cell assembly and operation. During MEA hot pressing, humidification, and low RH operation at OCV, ionic diffusion causes uniform migration from the membrane into the catalyst layers. During high RH operation at OCV, in-plane cerium gradients arise due to variations in water content. These gradients may diminish the scavenging efficacy of cerium by reducing its proximity to generated radicals.

  3. A portable power system using PEM fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Long, E.

    1997-12-31

    Ball has developed a proof-of-concept, small, lightweight, portable power system. The power system uses a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell stack, stored hydrogen, and atmospheric oxygen as the oxidant to generate electrical power. Electronics monitor the system performance to control cooling air and oxidant flow, and automatically do corrective measures to maintain performance. With the controller monitoring the system health, the system can operate in an ambient environment from 0 C to +50 C. The paper describes system testing, including load testing, thermal and humidity testing, vibration and shock testing, field testing, destructive testing of high-pressure gas tanks, and test results on the fuel cell power system, metal hydride hydrogen storage, high-pressure hydrogen gas storage, and chemical hydride hydrogen storage.

  4. Parallel operation characteristics of PEM fuel cell and microturbine power plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uzunoglu, M.; Onar, O.; El-Sharkh, M. Y.; Sisworahardjo, N. S.; Rahman, A.; Alam, M. S.

    This paper reports on the dynamic behavior of a 250 kW proton exchange membrane fuel cell power plant (PEM FCPP) and a 250 kW microturbine (MT) when operating in parallel. A load sharing control scheme is used to distribute the load equally between the PEM FCPP and the MT. For stand alone operation of a PEM FCPP, a set of batteries or ultracapacitors are needed in order to satisfy the power mismatch during transient periods. Using MT in parallel with the PEM FCPP helps in eliminating the need for storage devices. Models for the PEM FCPP and the MT with power, voltage and speed controls are used to determine the dynamic response of the system to a step change in the load. Simulation results indicate viability of parallel operation of the PEM FCPP and the MT. These results are obtained using MATLAB ®, Simulink ®, and SimPowerSystems ®.

  5. Novel Polyoxometalate Containing Membranes for PEM Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Mason K. Harrup; Frederick F. Stewart; Thomas A Luther; Tammy Trowbridge

    2009-03-01

    Current proton exchange membrane (PEM) technologies are inadequate to address the projected needs for fuel cell performance above 80 ºC. Continuing research into traditional ion carriers in novel membrane materials offers the promise of marginal improvement, representing only an evolutionary increase in performance. This conclusion is supported by the role of water in conduction. Thus, the key to better PEMs is not to eliminate water, but to change the role of water by developing ion carriers that will bind water more tightly than traditional sulfur or phosphorus based carriers resulting in materials that will conduct at higher temperatures. This change entails having a carrier structure that interacts more intimately with water and by increasing the ion carrier anionic charge to result in more tightly held inner shell protonated waters of hydration. Both of these factors synergistically act to maintain a critical water concentration at the carrier necessary for conduction. In this work, polyoxometalate (POM) clusters were selected to serve as these different proton carriers.

  6. Optimum design of bipolar plates for separate air flow cooling system of PEM fuel cells stacks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franco, Alessandro

    2015-12-01

    The paper discusses about thermal management of PEM fuel cells. The objective is to define criteria and guidelines for the design of the air flow cooling system of fuel cells stacks for different combination of power density, bipolar plates material, air flow rate, operating temperature It is shown that the optimization of the geometry of the channel permits interesting margins for maintaining the use of separate air flow cooling systems for high power density PEM fuel cells.

  7. Non-Kinetic Losses Caused by Electrochemical Carbon Corrosion in PEM Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Park, Seh Kyu; Shao, Yuyan; Viswanathan, Vilayanur V.; Liu, Jun; Wang, Yong

    2012-05-01

    This paper presented non-kinetic losses in PEM fuel cells under an accelerated stress test of catalyst support. The cathode with carbon-supported Pt catalyst was prepared and characterized with potential hold at 1.2 V vs. SHE in PEM fuel cells. Irreversible losses caused by carbon corrosion were evaluated using a variety of electrochemical characterizations including cyclic voltammetry, linear sweep voltammetry, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, and polarization technique. Ohmic losses at the cathode with potential hold were determined using its capacitive responses. Concentration losses in PEM fuel cells were analyzed in terms of Tafel behavior and thin film/flooded-agglomerate dynamics.

  8. Characterization of PEM fuel cell degradation by polarization change curves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bezmalinovic, Dario; Simic, Boris; Barbir, Frano

    2015-10-01

    Polarization change curves, defined as a difference between the polarization curve at the beginning of life and the actual polarization curve after the cell has been operational for some time, were used to analyze degradation of a PEM fuel cell exposed to voltage cycling as an accelerated stress test for electrocatalyst degradation. Degradation, i.e., loss of voltage was due to increase of activation losses and increase of resistance in the catalyst layer, both most likely due to the loss of catalyst electrochemically active area. The results of the polarization change curves analysis correspond to the findings of the periodic individual tests performed during the accelerated stress test, such as electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, cyclic voltammetry and linear sweep voltammetry. Therefore, this method has potential to be used as a relatively quick and simple, yet effective, degradation diagnostic tool.

  9. Engineered nano-scale ceramic supports for PEM fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Brosha, Eric L; Blackmore, Karen J; Burrell, Anthony K; Henson, Neil J; Phillips, Jonathan

    2010-01-01

    Catalyst support durability is currently a technical barrier for commercialization of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells, especially for transportation applications. Degradation and corrosion of the conventional carbon supports leads to losses in active catalyst surface area and, consequently, reduced performance. As a result, the major aim of this work is to develop support materials that interact strongly with Pt, yet sustain bulk-like catalytic activities with very highly dispersed particles. This latter aspect is key to attaining the 2015 DOE technical targets for platinum group metal (PGM) loadings (0.20 mg/cm{sup 2}). The benefits of the use of carbon-supported catalysts to drastically reduce Pt loadings from the early, conventional Pt-black technology are well known. The supported platinum catalyzed membrane approach widely used today for fabrication of membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) was developed shortly thereafter these early reports. Of direct relevance to this present work, are the investigations into Pt particle growth in PEM fuel cells, and subsequent follow-on work showing evidence of Pt particles suspended free of the support within the catalyst layer. Further, durability work has demonstrated the detrimental effects of potential cycling on carbon corrosion and the link between electrochemical surface area and particle growth. To avoid the issues with carbon degradation altogether, it has been proposed by numerous fuel cell research groups to replace carbon supports with conductive materials that are ceramic in nature. Intrinsically, these many conductive oxides, carbides, and nitrides possess the prerequisite electronic conductivity required, and offer corrosion resistance in PEMFC environments; however, most reports indicate that obtaining sufficient surface area remains a significant barrier to obtaining desirable fuel ceU performance. Ceramic materials that exhibit high electrical conductivity and necessary stability under fuel

  10. Real life testing of a Hybrid PEM Fuel Cell Bus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Folkesson, Anders; Andersson, Christian; Alvfors, Per; Alaküla, Mats; Overgaard, Lars

    Fuel cells produce low quantities of local emissions, if any, and are therefore one of the most promising alternatives to internal combustion engines as the main power source in future vehicles. It is likely that urban buses will be among the first commercial applications for fuel cells in vehicles. This is due to the fact that urban buses are highly visible for the public, they contribute significantly to air pollution in urban areas, they have small limitations in weight and volume and fuelling is handled via a centralised infrastructure. Results and experiences from real life measurements of energy flows in a Scania Hybrid PEM Fuel Cell Concept Bus are presented in this paper. The tests consist of measurements during several standard duty cycles. The efficiency of the fuel cell system and of the complete vehicle are presented and discussed. The net efficiency of the fuel cell system was approximately 40% and the fuel consumption of the concept bus is between 42 and 48% lower compared to a standard Scania bus. Energy recovery by regenerative braking saves up 28% energy. Bus subsystems such as the pneumatic system for door opening, suspension and brakes, the hydraulic power steering, the 24 V grid, the water pump and the cooling fans consume approximately 7% of the energy in the fuel input or 17% of the net power output from the fuel cell system. The bus was built by a number of companies in a project partly financed by the European Commission's Joule programme. The comprehensive testing is partly financed by the Swedish programme "Den Gröna Bilen" (The Green Car). A 50 kW el fuel cell system is the power source and a high voltage battery pack works as an energy buffer and power booster. The fuel, compressed hydrogen, is stored in two high-pressure stainless steel vessels mounted on the roof of the bus. The bus has a series hybrid electric driveline with wheel hub motors with a maximum power of 100 kW. Hybrid Fuel Cell Buses have a big potential, but there are

  11. Transient response of high temperature PEM fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peng, J.; Shin, J. Y.; Song, T. W.

    A transient three-dimensional, single-phase and non-isothermal numerical model of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell with high operating temperature has been developed and implemented in computational fluid dynamic (CFD) code. The model accounts for transient convective and diffusive transport, and allows prediction of species concentration. Electrochemical charge double-layer effect is considered. Heat generation according to electrochemical reaction and ohmic loss are involved. Water transportation across membrane is ignored due to low water electro-osmosis drag force of polymer polybenzimidazole (PBI) membrane. The prediction shows transient in current density which overshoots (undershoots) the stabilized state value when cell voltage is abruptly decreased (increased). The result shows that the peak of overshoot (undershoot) is related with cathode air stoichiometric mass flow rate instead of anode hydrogen stoichiometric mass flow rate. Current is moved smoothly and there are no overshoot or undershoot with the influence of charge double-layer effect. The maximum temperature is located in cathode catalyst layer and both fuel cell average temperature and temperature deviation are increased with increasing of current load.

  12. Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell Status and Remaining Challenges for Manned Space-Flight Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reaves, Will F.; Hoberecht, Mark A.

    2003-01-01

    The Fuel Cell has been used for manned space flight since the Gemini program. Its power output and water production capability over long durations for the mass and volume are critical for manned space-flight requirements. The alkaline fuel cell used on the Shuttle, while very reliable and capable for it s application, has operational sensitivities, limited life, and an expensive recycle cost. The PEM fuel cell offers many potential improvements in those areas. NASA Glenn Research Center is currently leading a PEM fuel cell development and test program intended to move the technology closer to the point required for manned space-flight consideration. This paper will address the advantages of PEM fuel cell technology and its potential for future space flight as compared to existing alkaline fuel cells. It will also cover the technical hurdles that must be overcome. In addition, a description of the NASA PEM fuel cell development program will be presented, and the current status of this effort discussed. The effort is a combination of stack and ancillary component hardware development, culminating in breadboard and engineering model unit assembly and test. Finally, a detailed roadmap for proceeding fiom engineering model hardware to qualification and flight hardware will be proposed. Innovative test engineering and potential payload manifesting may be required to actually validate/certify a PEM fuel cell for manned space flight.

  13. Final Report - MEA and Stack Durability for PEM Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Yandrasits, Michael A.

    2008-02-15

    Proton exchange membrane fuel cells are expected to change the landscape of power generation over the next ten years. For this to be realized one of the most significant challenges to be met for stationary systems is lifetime, where 40,000 hours of operation with less than 10% decay is desired. This project conducted fundamental studies on the durability of membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) and fuel cell stack systems with the expectation that knowledge gained from this project will be applied toward the design and manufacture of MEAs and stack systems to meet DOE’s 2010 stationary fuel cell stack systems targets. The focus of this project was PEM fuel cell durability – understanding the issues that limit MEA and fuel cell system lifetime, developing mitigation strategies to address the lifetime issues and demonstration of the effectiveness of the mitigation strategies by system testing. To that end, several discoveries were made that contributed to the fundamental understanding of MEA degradation mechanisms. (1) The classically held belief that membrane degradation is solely due to end-group “unzipping” is incorrect; there are other functional groups present in the ionomer that are susceptible to chemical attack. (2) The rate of membrane degradation can be greatly slowed or possibly eliminated through the use of additives that scavenge peroxide or peroxyl radicals. (3) Characterization of GDL using dry gases is incorrect due to the fact that fuel cells operate utilizing humidified gases. The proper characterization method involves using wet gas streams and measuring capillary pressure as demonstrated in this project. (4) Not all Platinum on carbon catalysts are created equally – the major factor impacting catalyst durability is the type of carbon used as the support. (5) System operating conditions have a significant impact of lifetime – the lifetime was increased by an order of magnitude by changing the load profile while all other variables remain

  14. Intergovernmental Advanced Stationary PEM Fuel Cell System Demonstration Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Rich Chartrand

    2011-08-31

    A program to complete the design, construction and demonstration of a PEMFC system fuelled by Ethanol, LPG or NG for telecom applications was initiated in October 2007. Early in the program the economics for Ethanol were shown to be unfeasible and permission was given by DOE to focus on LPG only. The design and construction of a prototype unit was completed in Jun 2009 using commercially available PEM FC stack from Ballard Power Systems. During the course of testing, the high pressure drop of the stack was shown to be problematic in terms of control and stability of the reformer. Also, due to the power requirements for air compression the overall efficiency of the system was shown to be lower than a similar system using internally developed low pressure drop FC stack. In Q3 2009, the decision was made to change to the Plug power stack and a second prototype was built and tested. Overall net efficiency was shown to be 31.5% at 3 kW output. Total output of the system is 6 kW. Using the new stack hardware, material cost reduction of 63% was achieved over the previous Alpha design. During a November 2009 review meeting Plug Power proposed and was granted permission, to demonstrate the new, commercial version of Plug Power's telecom system at CERL. As this product was also being tested as part of a DOE Topic 7A program, this part of the program was transferred to the Topic 7A program. In Q32008, the scope of work of this program was expanded to include a National Grid demonstration project of a micro-CHP system using hightemperature PEM technology. The Gensys Blue system was cleared for unattended operation, grid connection, and power generation in Aug 2009 at Union College in NY state. The system continues to operate providing power and heat to Beuth House. The system is being continually evaluated and improvements to hardware and controls will be implemented as more is learned about the system's operation. The program is instrumental in improving the efficiency and

  15. Advanced Materials for PEM-Based Fuel Cell Systems

    SciTech Connect

    James E. McGrath; Donald G. Baird; Michael von Spakovsky

    2005-10-26

    Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are quickly becoming attractive alternative energy sources for transportation, stationary power, and small electronics due to the increasing cost and environmental hazards of traditional fossil fuels. Two main classes of PEMFCs include hydrogen/air or hydrogen/oxygen fuel cells and direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). The current benchmark membrane for both types of PEMFCs is Nafion, a perfluorinated sulfonated copolymer made by DuPont. Nafion copolymers exhibit good thermal and chemical stability, as well as very high proton conductivity under hydrated conditions at temperatures below 80 degrees C. However, application of these membranes is limited due to their high methanol permeability and loss of conductivity at high temperatures and low relative humidities. These deficiencies have led to the search for improved materials for proton exchange membranes. Potential PEMs should have good thermal, hydrolytic, and oxidative stability, high proton conductivity, selective permeability, and mechanical durability over long periods of time. Poly(arylene ether)s, polyimides, polybenzimidazoles, and polyphenylenes are among the most widely investigated candidates for PEMs. Poly(arylene ether)s are a promising class of proton exchange membranes due to their excellent thermal and chemical stability and high glass transition temperatures. High proton conductivity can be achieved through post-sulfonation of poly(arylene ether) materials, but this most often results in very high water sorption or even water solubility. Our research has shown that directly polymerized poly(arylene ether) copolymers show important advantages over traditional post-sulfonated systems and also address the concerns with Nafion membranes. These properties were evaluated and correlated with morphology, structure-property relationships, and states of water in the membranes. Further improvements in properties were achieved through incorporation of inorganic

  16. Advanced Materials for PEM-Based Fuel Cell Systems

    SciTech Connect

    James E. McGrath

    2005-10-26

    Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are quickly becoming attractive alternative energy sources for transportation, stationary power, and small electronics due to the increasing cost and environmental hazards of traditional fossil fuels. Two main classes of PEMFCs include hydrogen/air or hydrogen/oxygen fuel cells and direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). The current benchmark membrane for both types of PEMFCs is Nafion, a perfluorinated sulfonated copolymer made by DuPont. Nafion copolymers exhibit good thermal and chemical stability, as well as very high proton conductivity under hydrated conditions at temperatures below 80 °C. However, application of these membranes is limited due to their high methanol permeability and loss of conductivity at high temperatures and low relative humidities. These deficiencies have led to the search for improved materials for proton exchange membranes. Potential PEMs should have good thermal, hydrolytic, and oxidative stability, high proton conductivity, selective permeability, and mechanical durability over long periods of time. Poly(arylene ether)s, polyimides, polybenzimidazoles, and polyphenylenes are among the most widely investigated candidates for PEMs. Poly(arylene ether)s are a promising class of proton exchange membranes due to their excellent thermal and chemical stability and high glass transition temperatures. High proton conductivity can be achieved through post-sulfonation of poly(arylene ether) materials, but this most often results in very high water sorption or even water solubility. Our research has shown that directly polymerized poly(arylene ether) copolymers show important advantages over traditional post-sulfonated systems and also address the concerns with Nafion membranes. These properties were evaluated and correlated with morphology, structure-property relationships, and

  17. High resolution neutron imaging of water in PEM fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Mukundan, Rangachary; Borup, Rodney L; Davey, John R; Spendelow, Jacob S

    2008-01-01

    Optimal water management in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cells is critical to improving the performance and durability of fuel cell systems especially during transient, start-up and shut-down operations. For example, while a high water content is desirable for improved membrane and catalyst ionomer conductivity, high water content can also block gas access to the triple-phase boundary resulting in lowered performance due to catalyst and gas diffusion layer (GDL) flooding. Visualizing liquid water by neutron imaging has been used over the past decade to study the water distribution inside operating fuel cells. In this paper, the results from our imaging at NIST using their recently installed higher resolution ({approx} 25 mm) Microchannel Plate (MCP) detector with a pixel pitch of 14.7 mm are presented. This detector is capable of quantitatively imaging the water inside the MEA (Membrane Electrode Assembly)/GDL (Gas Diffusion Layer) of working fuel cells and can provide the water profiles within these various components in addition to the channel water. Specially designed fuel cells (active area = 2.25 cm{sup 2}) have been used in order to take advantage of the full detector resolution. The cell design is illustrated in a figure where one of the current collector/end plates is shown. The serpentine pattern was machined into a block of aluminum and plated with nickel and then gold to form the flow field. The measurements were performed using beam no. 1 and aperture no. 2 with a fluence rate of 1.9 x 10{sup 6} neutrons cm{sup -2} sec{sup -1}. The cells were assembled with Gore{sup TM} Primea{sup R} MEAs and SGL Sigracet {sup R} 24 series GDLs (PRIMEA, GORE-SELECT and GORE are trademarks of W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc). All the cells were tested at 80 {sup o}C with 1.2 stoichiometry H{sub 2} and 2.0 stoichiometry air flows.

  18. Understanding of ammonia transport in PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jung, Myunghee

    This dissertation investigates ammonia (NH3) as a fuel contaminant to the anode in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs). Since NH 3 is fed to the anode in a gas phase and transferred to the cathode, the effect of a contaminant is distributed through MEA and quite complicated. This study is focused on the investigation of mechanism of NH3 transport and the isolation of multiple effects to degrade the performance of fuel cell. An External Reference Electrode (ERE) was employed to decouple the effect of individual electrode and explain the mechanism of NH3 contamination. A mechanism of NH3 transport is proposed and supported by data for various inlet conditions in a N2/N2 laboratory-scale fuel cell at Open Circuit Conditions (OCC). With a commercialized GORE(TM) PRIMEA RTM 5631 MEAs at 70°C, data were obtained utilizing a material balance technique, which uses an ion selective electrode (ISE) to determine the concentration of ammonium ion in the process streams. The results indicate that ammonia is not transported across the membrane when the feeds to both electrodes are dry. However, with humidified feeds ammonia was transported from the anode to the cathode. The data also indicate the water content of in the MEA is the critical factor that causes NH3 crossover in the MEA. Diffusion coefficients of NH3 in MEA are also calculated at different relative humilities. An ERE was developed for PEM fuel cell by using a NafionRTM strip which was used to understand contamination mechanism. The voltage of anode electrode relative to ERE was measured during a polarization curve. The data showed the measurement of individual electrode potential was extremely affected by the misalignment between two electrodes. We compare the overpotential measured from the reference electrode and the calculated overpotential from subtracting the cell voltages between neat hydrogen and a 25 ppm CO in H 2 stream at same current. The studies indicated that the overpotentials obtained from

  19. PEM fuel cell cost minimization using ``Design For Manufacture and Assembly`` techniques

    SciTech Connect

    Lomax, F.D. Jr.; James, B.D.; Mooradian, R.P.

    1997-12-31

    Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cells fueled with direct hydrogen have demonstrated substantial technical potential to replace Internal Combustion Engines (ICE`s) in light duty vehicles. Such a transition to a hydrogen economy offers the potential of substantial benefits from reduced criteria and greenhouse emissions as well as reduced foreign fuel dependence. Research conducted for the Ford Motor Co. under a US Department of Energy contract suggests that hydrogen fuel, when used in a fuel cell vehicle (FCV), can achieve a cost per vehicle mile less than or equal to the gasoline cost per mile when used in an ICE vehicle. However, fuel cost parity is not sufficient to ensure overall economic success: the PEM fuel cell power system itself must be of comparable cost to the ICE. To ascertain if low cost production of PEM fuel cells is feasible, a powerful set of mechanical engineering tools collectively referred to as Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DFMA) has been applied to several representative PEM fuel cell designs. The preliminary results of this work are encouraging, as presented.

  20. Next Generation Bipolar Plates for Automotive PEM Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Adrianowycz, Orest; Norley, Julian; Stuart, David J; Flaherty, David; Wayne, Ryan; Williams, Warren; Tietze, Roger; Nguyen, Yen-Loan H; Zawodzinski, Tom; Pietrasz, Patrick

    2010-04-15

    The results of a successful U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) funded two-year $2.9 MM program lead by GrafTech International Inc. (GrafTech) are reported and summarized. The program goal was to develop the next generation of high temperature proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell bipolar plates for use in transportation fuel cell applications operating at temperatures up to 120 °C. The bipolar plate composite developed during the program is based on GrafTech’s GRAFCELL resin impregnated flexible graphite technology and makes use of a high temperature Huntsman Advanced Materials resin system which extends the upper use temperature of the composite to the DoE target. High temperature performance of the new composite is achieved with the added benefit of improvements in strength, modulus, and dimensional stability over the incumbent resin systems. Other physical properties, including thermal and electrical conductivity of the new composite are identical to or not adversely affected by the new resin system. Using the new bipolar plate composite system, machined plates were fabricated and tested in high temperature single-cell fuel cells operating at 120 °C for over 1100 hours by Case Western Reserve University. Final verification of performance was done on embossed full-size plates which were fabricated and glued into bipolar plates by GrafTech. Stack testing was done on a 10-cell full-sized stack under a simulated drive cycle protocol by Ballard Power Systems. Freeze-thaw performance was conducted by Ballard on a separate 5-cell stack and shown to be within specification. A third stack was assembled and shipped to Argonne National Laboratory for independent performance verification. Manufacturing cost estimate for the production of the new bipolar plate composite at current and high volume production scenarios was performed by Directed Technologies Inc. (DTI). The production cost estimates were consistent with previous DoE cost estimates performed by DTI for the

  1. EFFECTS OF FUEL IMPURITIES ON PEM FUEL CELL PERFORMANCE.

    SciTech Connect

    Uribe, F. A.; Zawodzinski, T. A. , Jr.

    2001-01-01

    Power generation with polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC), particularly those designed for domestic and transportation applications, will likely operate on hydrogen reformed from hydrocarbons. The primary sources of H{sub 2} can be methane (from natural gas), gasoline or diesel fuel. Unfortunately, the reforming process generates impurities that may negatively affect FC performance. The effects of CO impurity have received most of the attention. However, there are other impurities that also may be detrimental to FC: operation. Here we present the effects of ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, methane and ethylene. Two structural domains of the membrane and electrode assembly (MEA) are usually affected by the presence of a harmful impurity. First, the impurity may decrease the ionic conductivity in the catalyst layer or in the bulk membrane. Second, the impurity may chemisorb onto the anode catalyst surface, suppressing the catalyst activity for H{sub 2} oxidation. Catalyst poisoning by CO is the best known example of this kind of effect. Fuel reforming processes [1] generally involve the reaction of a fuel source with air. The simultaneous presence of N{sub 2} and H{sub 2} may generate NH{sub 3} in concentrations of 30 to 90 ppm [1]. The effect of NH{sub 3} on performance depends on the impurity concentration and the time of anode exposure [2]. Higher concentrations result in more rapid performance decreases. If the cell is exposed to ammonia for about 1 hour and then returned to neat H{sub 2}, it will recover its original performance very slowly (about 12 hrs). This behavior is quite different from that of CO, which can be quickly purged from the anode with pure H{sub 2}, resulting in complete performance restoration within a few minutes. Longer exposure times (e.g. >15 hrs) to ammonia result in severe and irreversible losses in performance. It seems that replacement of H{sup +} ions by NH{sub 4}{sup +} ions, first within the anode catalyst layer and then in

  2. NASA's PEM Fuel Cell Power Plant Development Program for Space Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoberecht, Mark A.

    2008-01-01

    A three-center NASA team led by the Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio is completing a five-year PEM fuel cell power plant development program for future space applications. The focus of the program has been to adapt commercial PEM fuel cell technology for space applications by addressing the key mission requirements of using pure oxygen as an oxidant and operating in a multi-gravity environment. Competing vendors developed breadboard units in the 1 to 5 kW power range during the first phase of the program, and a single vendor developed a nominal 10-kW engineering model power pant during the second phase of the program. Successful performance and environmental tests conducted by NASA established confidence that PEM fuel cell technology will be ready to meet the electrical power needs of future space missions.

  3. Phase 1 feasibility study of an integrated hydrogen PEM fuel cell system. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Luczak, F.

    1998-03-01

    Evaluated in the report is the use of hydrogen fueled proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells for devices requiring less than 15 kW. Metal hydrides were specifically analyzed as a method of storing hydrogen. There is a business and technical part to the study that were developed with feedback from each other. The business potential of a small PEM product is reviewed by examining the markets, projected sales, and required investment. The major technical and cost hurdles to a product are also reviewed including: the membrane and electrode assembly (M and EA), water transport plate (WTP), and the metal hydrides. It was concluded that the best potential stationary market for hydrogen PEM fuel cell less than 15 kW is for backup power use in telecommunications applications.

  4. NASA Non-Flow-Through PEM Fuel Cell System for Aerospace Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Araghi, Koorosh R.

    2011-01-01

    NASA is researching passive NFT Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell technologies for primary fuel cell power plants in air-independent applications. NFT fuel cell power systems have a higher power density than flow through systems due to both reduced parasitic loads and lower system mass and volume. Reactant storage still dominates system mass/volume considerations. NFT fuel cell stack testing has demonstrated equivalent short term performance to flow through stacks. More testing is required to evaluate long-term performance.

  5. Water Transport Characteristics of Gas Diffusion Layer in a PEM Fuel Cell

    SciTech Connect

    Damle, Ashok S; Cole, J Vernon

    2008-11-01

    A presentation addressing the following: Water transport in PEM Fuel Cells - a DoE Project 1. Gas Diffusion Layer--Role and Characteristics 2. Capillary Pressure Determinations of GDL Media 3. Gas Permeability Measurements of GDL Media 4. Conclusions and Future Activities

  6. Simulation and system analysis of an ethanol fuel processor/PEM fuel cell power plant

    SciTech Connect

    Amphlett, J.C.; Leclerc, S.; Mann, R.F.; Peppley, B.A.; Roberge, P.R.

    1998-07-01

    Proton-exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell systems offer a potential power source for utility and mobile applications. Currently, practical fuel cell systems use fuel processors for the production of a hydrogen-rich gas for the fuel cell anode. Liquid fuels such as ethanol, which can be produced from renewable feed stocks, are attractive options as feeds to a fuel processor. The generation of hydrogen gas for fuel cells, in most cases, becomes the crucial design issue with respect to weight and volume in these applications. Furthermore, these fuel processors require a gas clean-up system to ensure that the fuel quality meets the demands of the cell anode. The endothermic nature of the reformer will have a significant effect on the overall system efficiency. The gas clean-up system may also significantly affect the overall heat balance. A model of a methanol steam reformer that was previously developed has been used as the basis for a model for an ethanol steam reformer. Similarly, a steady-state electrochemical fuel cell model (SSEM) that was previously developed was used. A palladium diffuser purifier simulation was used for gas clean-up. The ethanol fuel processor model and the SSEM have been incorporated into a process simulation and system analysis of an ethanol-fueled reformer/fuel cell system. The performance of this complete system has been investigated for a variety of operating conditions. Assuming that ethanol reforming could be done at 400 C, a net electrical efficiency based on the LHV of ethanol of approximately 54% was calculated. The efficiency, however, is very sensitive to reforming temperature and drops rapidly as the reformer temperature increases. The fractional recovery of hydrogen by the gas clean-up system is also an important factor. The net thermal efficiency passes through a maximum at the point when the heating value in the retentate from the purifier just meets the endothermic heating requirements of the reformer.

  7. Degradation and reliability modelling of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fowler, Michael William

    To date there has been very little reliability or end of life analysis conducted for polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell systems. Voltage degradation as a fuel cell ages is a widely observed phenomenon, but little systematic information has been reported, nor has this phenomenon been included in electrochemical models. This work documents and classifies the failure modes that can be experienced in PEM fuel cells. A test station was adapted for the long term operation of a single, 50 cm2, internally hydrated, PEM fuel cell. An endurance test was conducted to age the cell under normal operating conditions for 1350 hours, at which time membrane failure was experienced. Changes in the polarization curve predicted by the Generalized Steady State Electrochemical Degradation Model (GSSEDM) are demonstrated from the data for the performance of typical PEM fuel cell hardware. This work develops and applies the generalized steady state electrochemical model for a PEM cell, and introduces two new terms to account for membrane electrode assembly (MEA) ageing, specifically the ageing of the MEA materials. One term is based on the concept that the water carrying capacity of the membrane deteriorates with time-in-service. The second term involves intrinsic rate constants associated with the reactions on the anode and cathode side, and the changes in catalytic activity due to catalyst degradation. The resulting model is largely mechanistic with most terms being derived from theory or including coefficients that have a theoretical basis, but also includes empirical parameters to deal with the changing performance. The value of such a generic model to predict or correlate PEM fuel cell stack voltages over the life of the fuel cell is demonstrated in this work. From the experimental data a membrane conductivity degradation rate, lambdaDR, was determined, and the value for lambdaDR was found to be -0.0007 hr -1. A term was introduced for degradation rate of the fuel cell due

  8. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of PEM Dehydration and Gas Manifold Flooding During Continuous Fuel Cell Operation

    SciTech Connect

    Minard, Kevin R.; Vishwanathan, Vilanyur V.; Majors, Paul D.; Wang, Li Q.; Rieke, Peter C.

    2006-10-27

    The methods, apparatus, and results are reported for in-situ, near real time, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of MEA dehydration and gas manifold flooding in an operating PEM fuel cell. To acquire high-resolution, artifact-free images for visualizing water distribution, acquisition parameters for a standard, two-dimensional (2D), spin-echo sequence were first optimized for the measured magnetic field heterogeneity induced by fuel cell components. 2D images of water inside the fuel cell were then acquired every 128 seconds during 11.4 hours of continuous operation under constant load. Collected images revealed that MEA dehydration proceeded non-uniformly across its plane, starting from gas inlets and ending at gas outlets, and that upon completion of this dehydration process manifold flooding began. To understand these observations, acquired images were correlated to the current output and operating characteristics of the fuel cell. Results demonstrate the power of MRI for in-situ, near real-time imaging of water distribution and non-uniformity in operating PEM fuel cells, and highlight its utility for understanding PEM fuel cell operation, the causes of cell failure, and for developing new strategies of water management.

  9. Analysis of on-board fuel processing designs for PEM fuel cell vehicles

    SciTech Connect

    Kartha, S.; Fischer, S.; Kreutz, T.

    1996-12-31

    As a liquid fuel with weight and volume energy densities comparable to those of gasoline, methanol is an attractive energy carrier for mobile power systems. It is available without contaminants such as sulfur, and can be easily reformed at relatively low temperatures with inexpensive catalysts. This study is concerned with comparing the net efficiencies of PEM fuel cell vehicles fueled with methanol and hydrogen, using fuel cell system models developed using ASPEN chemical process simulation software. For both the methanol and hydrogen systems, base case designs are developed and several variations are considered that differ with respect to the degree of system integration for recovery of heat and compressive work. The methanol systems are based on steam reforming with the water-gas shift reaction and preferential oxidation, and the hydrogen systems are based on compressed hydrogen. This analysis is an exercise in optimizing the system design for each fuel, which ultimately entails balancing system efficiency against a host of other considerations, including system complexity, performance, cost, reliability, weight and volume.

  10. Fuel processing for PEM fuel cells: transport and kinetic issues of system design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zalc, J. M.; Löffler, D. G.

    In light of the distribution and storage issues associated with hydrogen, efficient on-board fuel processing will be a significant factor in the implementation of PEM fuel cells for automotive applications. Here, we apply basic chemical engineering principles to gain insight into the factors that limit performance in each component of a fuel processor. A system consisting of a plate reactor steam reformer, water-gas shift unit, and preferential oxidation reactor is used as a case study. It is found that for a steam reformer based on catalyst-coated foils, mass transfer from the bulk gas to the catalyst surface is the limiting process. The water-gas shift reactor is expected to be the largest component of the fuel processor and is limited by intrinsic catalyst activity, while a successful preferential oxidation unit depends on strict temperature control in order to minimize parasitic hydrogen oxidation. This stepwise approach of sequentially eliminating rate-limiting processes can be used to identify possible means of performance enhancement in a broad range of applications.

  11. Predicted emissions from a methanol-fueled ``electrochemical automobile engine`` based on a PEM fuel cell

    SciTech Connect

    Amphlett, J.C.; Mann, R.F.; Peppley, B.A.

    1995-12-31

    A simulation of a fuel cell engine (FCE) based on a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel-cell stack was developed using a process simulation software package. Rates of emissions of unburned methanol, formaldehyde, CO and NO{sub x}, were calculated based on chemical equilibria. The predicted rates of emissions for unburned methanol, formaldehyde and CO were found to all be less than 1 {micro}g/km. This is considerably less than has been reported in the literature but represents a theoretical limit which should be achievable as effective catalytic-combustion systems are developed for hydrogen/methanol fueled burners. The worst-case rate of NO{sub x}, emissions was shown to be less than 0.03 g/km (0.05 g/mi.). It was found that increasing the rate of heat transfer in the steam reformer, which converts the methanol to a hydrogen-rich gas, significantly reduced the rate of NO{sub x}, emission due to the lower burner temperatures which could be used. The results indicate that, in terms of emissions reduction, a methanol fueled FCE is an excellent long-term alternative to the ICE.

  12. Final Scientific Report, New Proton Conductive Composite Materials for PEM Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Lvov, Serguei

    2010-11-08

    This project covered one of the main challenges in present-day PEM fuel cell technology: to design a membrane capable of maintaining high conductivity and mechanical integrity when temperature is elevated and water vapor pressure is severely reduced. The DOE conductivity milestone of 0.1 S cm-1 at 120 degrees C and 50 % relative humidity (RH) for designed membranes addressed the target for the project. Our approach presumed to develop a composite membrane with hydrophilic proton-conductive inorganic material and the proton conductive polymeric matrix that is able to “bridge” the conduction paths in the membrane. The unique aspect of our approach was the use of highly functionalized inorganic additives to benefit from their water retention properties and high conductivity as well. A promising result turns out that highly hydrophilic phosphorsilicate gels added in Nafion matrix improved PEM fuel cell performance by over 50% compared with bare Nafion membrane at 120 degrees C and 50 % RH. This achievement realizes that the fuel cell operating pressure can be kept low, which would make the PEM fuel cell much more cost efficient and adaptable to practical operating conditions and facilitate its faster commercialization particularly in automotive and stationary applications.

  13. Three-wheel air turbocompressor for PEM fuel cell systems

    DOEpatents

    Rehg, Tim; Gee, Mark; Emerson, Terence P.; Ferrall, Joe; Sokolov, Pavel

    2003-08-19

    A fuel cell system comprises a compressor and a fuel processor downstream of the compressor. A fuel cell stack is in communication with the fuel processor and compressor. A combustor is downstream of the fuel cell stack. First and second turbines are downstream of the fuel processor and in parallel flow communication with one another. A distribution valve is in communication with the first and second turbines. The first and second turbines are mechanically engaged to the compressor. A bypass valve is intermediate the compressor and the second turbine, with the bypass valve enabling a compressed gas from the compressor to bypass the fuel processor.

  14. Online Soft Sensor of Humidity in PEM Fuel Cell Based on Dynamic Partial Least Squares

    PubMed Central

    Long, Rong; Chen, Qihong; Zhang, Liyan; Ma, Longhua; Quan, Shuhai

    2013-01-01

    Online monitoring humidity in the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell is an important issue in maintaining proper membrane humidity. The cost and size of existing sensors for monitoring humidity are prohibitive for online measurements. Online prediction of humidity using readily available measured data would be beneficial to water management. In this paper, a novel soft sensor method based on dynamic partial least squares (DPLS) regression is proposed and applied to humidity prediction in PEM fuel cell. In order to obtain data of humidity and test the feasibility of the proposed DPLS-based soft sensor a hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) test system is constructed. The time lag of the DPLS-based soft sensor is selected as 30 by comparing the root-mean-square error in different time lag. The performance of the proposed DPLS-based soft sensor is demonstrated by experimental results. PMID:24453923

  15. Online soft sensor of humidity in PEM fuel cell based on dynamic partial least squares.

    PubMed

    Long, Rong; Chen, Qihong; Zhang, Liyan; Ma, Longhua; Quan, Shuhai

    2013-01-01

    Online monitoring humidity in the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell is an important issue in maintaining proper membrane humidity. The cost and size of existing sensors for monitoring humidity are prohibitive for online measurements. Online prediction of humidity using readily available measured data would be beneficial to water management. In this paper, a novel soft sensor method based on dynamic partial least squares (DPLS) regression is proposed and applied to humidity prediction in PEM fuel cell. In order to obtain data of humidity and test the feasibility of the proposed DPLS-based soft sensor a hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) test system is constructed. The time lag of the DPLS-based soft sensor is selected as 30 by comparing the root-mean-square error in different time lag. The performance of the proposed DPLS-based soft sensor is demonstrated by experimental results. PMID:24453923

  16. Investigating Methods of Heat Recovery from Low-Temperature PEM Fuel Cells in CHP Applications

    SciTech Connect

    Jalalzadeh-Azar, A. A.

    2004-01-01

    Heat recovery from low-temperature proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells poses a number of challenges. In response to these challenges, thermodynamic assessments of proposed heat recovery methods are studied in the context of combined heat and power (CHP) for building applications. Preheating combustion air in conjunction with desiccant dehumidification and absorption cooling technologies is one of the two strategies examined in this study. The other approach integrates the PEM fuel cell with a water-loop heat pump (WLHP) for direct heat recovery. As the primary objective, energy-saving potentials of the adopted heat recovery strategies are estimated with respect to various benchmarks. The quantified energy-saving potentials are translated into effective CHP performance indices and compared with those typically specified by the manufacturers for service hot water applications. The need for developing CHP performance protocols is also discussed in light of the proposed energy recovery techniques - thereby, accomplishing the secondary objective.

  17. Novel, low-cost separator plates and flow-field elements for use in PEM fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Edlund, D.J.

    1996-12-31

    PEM fuel cells offer promise for a wide range of applications including vehicular (e.g., automotive) and stationary power generation. The performance and cost targets that must be met for PEM technology to be commercially successful varies to some degree with the application. However, in general the cost of PEM fuel cell stacks must be reduced substantially if they are to see widespread use for electrical power generation. A significant contribution to the manufactured cost of PEM fuel cells is the machined carbon plates that traditionally serve as bipolar separator plates and flow-field elements. In addition, carbon separator plates are inherently brittle and suffer from breakage due to shock, vibration, and improper handling. This report describes a bifurcated separator device with low resistivity, low manufacturing cost, compact size and durability.

  18. Process for recycling components of a PEM fuel cell membrane electrode assembly

    DOEpatents

    Shore, Lawrence

    2012-02-28

    The membrane electrode assembly (MEA) of a PEM fuel cell can be recycled by contacting the MEA with a lower alkyl alcohol solvent which separates the membrane from the anode and cathode layers of the assembly. The resulting solution containing both the polymer membrane and supported noble metal catalysts can be heated under mild conditions to disperse the polymer membrane as particles and the supported noble metal catalysts and polymer membrane particles separated by known filtration means.

  19. On-board removal of CO and other impurities in hydrogen for PEM fuel cell applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Cunping; Jiang, Ruichun; Elbaccouch, Mohamed; Muradov, Nazim; Fenton, James M.

    Carbon monoxide (CO) in the hydrogen (H 2) stream can cause severe performance degradation for an H 2 polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell. The on-board removal of CO from an H 2 stream requires a process temperature less than 80 °C, and a fast reaction rate in order to minimize the reactor volume. At the present time, few technologies have been developed that meet these two requirements. This paper describes a concept of electrochemical water gas shift (EWGS) process to remove low concentration CO under ambient conditions for on-board applications. No on-board oxygen or air supply is needed for CO oxidation. Experimental work has been carried out to prove the concept of EWGS and the results indicate that the process can completely remove low level CO and improve the performance of a PEM fuel cell to the level of a pure H 2 stream. Because the EWGS electrolyzer can be modified from a humidifier for a PEM fuel cell system, no additional device is needed for the CO removal. More experimental data are needed to determine the rate of CO electrochemical removal and to explore the mechanism of the proposed process.

  20. PEM fuel cell stack performance using dilute hydrogen mixture. Implications on electrochemical engine system performance and design

    SciTech Connect

    Inbody, M.A.; Vanderborgh, N.E.; Hedstrom, J.C.; Tafoya, J.I.

    1996-12-31

    Onboard fuel processing to generate a hydrogen-rich fuel for PEM fuel cells is being considered as an alternative to stored hydrogen fuel for transportation applications. If successful, this approach, contrasted to operating with onboard hydrogen, utilizes the existing fuels infrastructure and provides required vehicle range. One attractive, commercial liquid fuels option is steam reforming of methanol. However, expanding the liquid methanol infrastructure will take both time and capital. Consequently technology is also being developed to utilize existing transportation fuels, such as gasoline or diesel, to power PEM fuel cell systems. Steam reforming of methanol generates a mixture with a dry gas composition of 75% hydrogen and 25% carbon dioxide. Steam reforming, autothermal reforming, and partial oxidation reforming of C{sub 2} and larger hydrocarbons produces a mixture with a more dilute hydrogen concentration (65%-40%) along with carbon dioxide ({approx}20%) and nitrogen ({approx}10%-40%). Performance of PEM fuel cell stacks on these dilute hydrogen mixtures will affect the overall electrochemical engine system design as well as the overall efficiency. The Los Alamos Fuel Cell Stack Test facility was used to access the performance of a PEM Fuel cell stack over the range of gas compositions chosen to replicate anode feeds from various fuel processing options for hydrocarbon and alcohol fuels. The focus of the experiments was on the anode performance with dilute hydrogen mixtures with carbon dioxide and nitrogen diluents. Performance with other anode feed contaminants, such as carbon monoxide, are not reported here.

  1. Modeling efficiency and water balance in PEM fuel cell systems with liquid fuel processing and hydrogen membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearlman, Joshua B.; Bhargav, Atul; Shields, Eric B.; Jackson, Gregory S.; Hearn, Patrick L.

    Integrating PEM fuel cells effectively with liquid hydrocarbon reforming requires careful system analysis to assess trade-offs associated with H 2 production, purification, and overall water balance. To this end, a model of a PEM fuel cell system integrated with an autothermal reformer for liquid hydrocarbon fuels (modeled as C 12H 23) and with H 2 purification in a water-gas-shift/membrane reactor is developed to do iterative calculations for mass, species, and energy balances at a component and system level. The model evaluates system efficiency with parasitic loads (from compressors, pumps, and cooling fans), system water balance, and component operating temperatures/pressures. Model results for a 5-kW fuel cell generator show that with state-of-the-art PEM fuel cell polarization curves, thermal efficiencies >30% can be achieved when power densities are low enough for operating voltages >0.72 V per cell. Efficiency can be increased by operating the reformer at steam-to-carbon ratios as high as constraints related to stable reactor temperatures allow. Decreasing ambient temperature improves system water balance and increases efficiency through parasitic load reduction. The baseline configuration studied herein sustained water balance for ambient temperatures ≤35 °C at full power and ≤44 °C at half power with efficiencies approaching ∼27 and ∼30%, respectively.

  2. Final Report: Development of a Thermal and Water Management System for PEM Fuel Cell

    SciTech Connect

    Zia Mirza, Program Manager

    2011-12-06

    This final program report is prepared to provide the status of program activities performed over the period of 9 years to develop a thermal and water management (TWM) system for an 80-kW PEM fuel cell power system. The technical information and data collected during this period are presented in chronological order by each calendar year. Balance of plant (BOP) components of a PEM fuel cell automotive system represents a significant portion of total cost based on the 2008 study by TIAX LLC, Cambridge, MA. The objectives of this TWM program were two-fold. The first objective was to develop an advanced cooling system (efficient radiator) to meet the fuel cell cooling requirements. The heat generated by the fuel cell stack is a low-quality heat (small difference between fuel cell stack operating temperature and ambient air temperature) that needs to be dissipated to the ambient air. To minimize size, weight, and cost of the radiator, advanced fin configurations were evaluated. The second objective was to evaluate air humidification systems which can meet the fuel cell stack inlet air humidity requirements. The moisture from the fuel cell outlet air is transferred to inlet air, thus eliminating the need for an outside water source. Two types of humidification devices were down-selected: one based on membrane and the other based on rotating enthalpy wheel. The sub-scale units for both of these devices have been successfully tested by the suppliers. This project addresses System Thermal and Water Management.

  3. On-board diesel autothermal reforming for PEM fuel cells: Simulation and optimization

    SciTech Connect

    Cozzolino, Raffaello Tribioli, Laura

    2015-03-10

    Alternative power sources are nowadays the only option to provide a quick response to the current regulations on automotive pollutant emissions. Hydrogen fuel cell is one promising solution, but the nature of the gas is such that the in-vehicle conversion of other fuels into hydrogen is necessary. In this paper, autothermal reforming, for Diesel on-board conversion into a hydrogen-rich gas suitable for PEM fuel cells, has investigated using the simulation tool Aspen Plus. A steady-state model has been developed to analyze the fuel processor and the overall system performance. The components of the fuel processor are: the fuel reforming reactor, two water gas shift reactors, a preferential oxidation reactor and H{sub 2} separation unit. The influence of various operating parameters such as oxygen to carbon ratio, steam to carbon ratio, and temperature on the process components has been analyzed in-depth and results are presented.

  4. NEW MATERIAL NEEDS FOR HYDROCARBON FUEL PROCESSING: Generating Hydrogen for the PEM Fuel Cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farrauto, R.; Hwang, S.; Shore, L.; Ruettinger, W.; Lampert, J.; Giroux, T.; Liu, Y.; Ilinich, O.

    2003-08-01

    The hydrogen economy is fast approaching as petroleum reserves are rapidly consumed. The fuel cell promises to deliver clean and efficient power by combining hydrogen and oxygen in a simple electrochemical device that directly converts chemical energy to electrical energy. Hydrogen, the most plentiful element available, can be extracted from water by electrolysis. One can imagine capturing energy from the sun and wind and/or from the depths of the earth to provide the necessary power for electrolysis. Alternative energy sources such as these are the promise for the future, but for now they are not feasible for power needs across the globe. A transitional solution is required to convert certain hydrocarbon fuels to hydrogen. These fuels must be available through existing infrastructures such as the natural gas pipeline. The present review discusses the catalyst and adsorbent technologies under development for the extraction of hydrogen from natural gas to meet the requirements for the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell. The primary market is for residential applications, where pipeline natural gas will be the source of H2 used to power the home. Other applications including the reforming of methanol for portable power applications such as laptop computers, cellular phones, and personnel digital equipment are also discussed. Processing natural gas containing sulfur requires many materials, for example, adsorbents for desulfurization, and heterogeneous catalysts for reforming (either autothermal or steam reforming) water gas shift, preferential oxidation of CO, and anode tail gas combustion. All these technologies are discussed for natural gas and to a limited extent for reforming methanol.

  5. Teledyne Energy Systems, Inc., Proton Exchange Member (PEM) Fuel Cell Engineering Model Powerplant. Test Report: Initial Benchmark Tests in the Original Orientation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Loyselle, Patricia; Prokopius, Kevin

    2011-01-01

    Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell technology is the leading candidate to replace the alkaline fuel cell technology, currently used on the Shuttle, for future space missions. During a 5-yr development program, a PEM fuel cell powerplant was developed. This report details the initial performance evaluation test results of the powerplant.

  6. EXPERIMENTAL AND NUMERICAL ANALYSIS OF SUBFREEZING OPERATION IN PEM FUEL CELLS

    SciTech Connect

    Mukherjee, Partha P

    2010-01-01

    In this work, we present the neutron radiography and analysis, as well as modeling predictions of cold-start operation of PEM fuel cells. Fuel cells with Gore or LANL MEAs and SGL or E-Tek ELAT GDLs are tested in varying subfreezing temperatures (-40 to 0 C) to determine time to failure, amount of water formation, and place of water formation. Theoretical modeling is also conducted and model predictions are compared with the cell voltage evolution during subfreezing operation. A higher PTFE-loading in the MPL is found to decrease loss in ESCA in our case.

  7. Hydrogen as fuel carrier in PEM fuelcell for automobile applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sk, Mudassir Ali; Venkateswara Rao, K.; Ramana Rao, Jagirdar V.

    2015-02-01

    The present work focuses the application of nanostructured materials for storing of hydrogen in different carbon materials by physisorption method. To market a hydrogen-fuel cell vehicle as competitively as the present internal combustion engine vehicles, there is a need for materials that can store a minimum of 6.5wt% of hydrogen. Carbon materials are being heavily investigated because of their promise to offer an economical solution to the challenge of safe storage of large hydrogen quantities. Hydrogen is important as a new source of energy for automotive applications. It is clear that the key challenge in developing this technology is hydrogen storage. Combustion of fossil fuels and their overuse is at present a serious concern as it is creates severe air pollution and global environmental problems; like global warming, acid rains, ozone depletion in stratosphere etc. This necessitated the search for possible alternative sources of energy. Though there are a number of primary energy sources available, such as thermonuclear energy, solar energy, wind energy, hydropower, geothermal energy etc, in contrast to the fossil fuels in most cases, these new primary energy sources cannot be used directly and thus they must be converted into fuels, that is to say, a new energy carrier is needed. Hydrogen fuel cells are two to three times more efficient than combustion engines. As they become more widely available, they will reduce dependence on fossil fuels. In a fuel cell, hydrogen and oxygen are combined in an electrochemical reaction that produces electricity and, as a byproduct, water.

  8. 160 C PROTON EXCHANGE MEMBRANE (PEM) FUEL CELL SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT

    SciTech Connect

    L.G. Marianowski

    2001-12-21

    The objectives of this program were: (a) to develop and demonstrate a new polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) system that operates up to 160 C temperatures and at ambient pressures for stationary power applications, and (b) to determine if the GTI-molded composite graphite bipolar separator plate could provide long term operational stability at 160 C or higher. There are many reasons that fuel cell research has been receiving much attention. Fuel cells represent environmentally friendly and efficient sources of electrical power generation that could use a variety of fuel sources. The Gas Technology Institute (GTI), formerly Institute of Gas Technology (IGT), is focused on distributed energy stationary power generation systems. Currently the preferred method for hydrogen production for stationary power systems is conversion of natural gas, which has a vast distribution system in place. However, in the conversion of natural gas into a hydrogen-rich fuel, traces of carbon monoxide are produced. Carbon monoxide present in the fuel gas will in time cumulatively poison, or passivate the active platinum catalysts used in the anodes of PEMFC's operating at temperatures of 60 to 80 C. Various fuel processors have incorporated systems to reduce the carbon monoxide to levels below 10 ppm, but these require additional catalytic section(s) with sensors and controls for effective carbon monoxide control. These CO cleanup systems must also function especially well during transient load operation where CO can spike 300% or more. One way to circumvent the carbon monoxide problem is to operate the fuel cell at a higher temperature where carbon monoxide cannot easily adsorb onto the catalyst and poison it. Commercially available polymer membranes such as Nafion{trademark} are not capable of operation at temperatures sufficiently high to prevent this. Hence this project investigated a new polymer membrane alternative to Nafion{trademark} that is capable of operation at

  9. Cost Analysis of Fuel Cell Systems for Transportation Compressed Hydrogen and PEM Fuel Cell System

    SciTech Connect

    Eric J. Carlson

    2004-10-20

    PEMFC technology for transportation must be competitive with internal combustion engine powertrains in a number of key metrics, including performance, life, reliability, and cost. Demonstration of PEMFC cost competitiveness has its own challenges because the technology has not been applied to high volume automotive markets. The key stack materials including membranes, electrodes, bipolar plates, and gas diffusion layers have not been produced in automotive volumes to the exacting quality requirements that will be needed for high stack yields and to the evolving property specifications of high performance automotive stacks. Additionally, balance-of-plant components for air, water, and thermal management are being developed to meet the unique requirements of fuel cell systems. To address the question of whether fuel cells will be cost competitive in automotive markets, the DOE has funded this project to assess the high volume production cost of PEM fuel cell systems. In this report a historical perspective of our efforts in assessment of PEMFC cost for DOE is provided along with a more in-depth assessment of the cost of compressed hydrogen storage is provided. Additionally, the hydrogen storage costs were incorporated into a system cost update for 2004. Assessment of cost involves understanding not only material and production costs, but also critical performance metrics, i.e., stack power density and associated catalyst loadings that scale the system components. We will discuss the factors influencing the selection of the system specification (i.e., efficiency, reformate versus direct hydrogen, and power output) and how these have evolved over time. The reported costs reflect internal estimates and feedback from component developers and the car companies. Uncertainty in the cost projection was addressed through sensitivity analyses.

  10. Start-up analysis for automotive PEM fuel cell systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Francesco, M.; Arato, E.

    The development of fuel cell cars can play an important role in resolving transport problems, due to the high environmental compatibility and high efficiency of this kind of vehicle. Among the different types of fuel cells, proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are considered the best solution for automotive applications at the moment. In this work, constructive criteria are discussed with the aim of obtaining a power generation module adaptable to a wide range of cars. A particular problem in accomplishing the overall project is represented by the definition of the compressor system for air feeding. In this work, the design approach to the problem will be delineated: some options are reviewed and the best solution is analysed. The transient response of the system (fuel cell and compressor) is investigated in order to optimise the start-up running through a model of a fuel cell stack and a compressor simulation. The model and its results are proposed as a work procedure to solve the problem, by varying external conditions: in fact, to perform the system start-up under stable conditions, the air relative humidity and temperature must be maintained in a proper range of values. The approach here presented has been utilised for the definition of the characteristics of the power module and layout of a middle-size hybrid city bus in the framework of a project promoted by the European Union.

  11. Low Cost PEM Fuel Cell Metal Bipolar Plates

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Conghua

    2013-05-30

    Bipolar plate is an important component in fuel cell stacks and accounts for more than 75% of stack weight and volume. The technology development of metal bipolar plates can effectively reduce the fuel cells stack weight and volume over 50%. The challenge is the metal plate corrosion protection at low cost for the broad commercial applications. This project is aimed to develop innovative technological solutions to overcome the corrosion barrier of low cost metal plates. The feasibility of has been demonstrated and patented (US Patent 7,309,540). The plan is to further reduce the cost, and scale up the technology. The project is built on three pillars: 1) robust experimental evidence demonstrating the feasibility of our technology, 2) a team that consists of industrial leaders in fuel cell stack application, design, and manufactures; 3) a low-risk, significant-milestone driven program that proves the feasibility of meeting program objectives The implementation of this project will reduce the fuel cell stack metal bipolar separator plate cost which accounts 15-21% of the overall stack cost. It will contribute to the market adoption of fuel cell technologies. In addition, this corrosion protection technology can be used similar energy devices, such as batteries and electrolyzers. Therefore, the success of the project will be benefit in broad markets.

  12. Evaluation of microbial triglyceride oil purification requirements for the CelTherm process: an efficient biochemical pathway to renewable fuels and chemicals.

    PubMed

    Linnen, Michael; Seames, Wayne; Kubatova, Alena; Menon, Suresh; Alisala, Kashinatham; Hash, Sara

    2014-10-01

    CelTherm is a biochemical process to produce renewable fuels and chemicals from lignocellulosic biomass. The present study's objective was to determine the level of treatment/purity of the microbial triacylglyceride oil (TAG) necessary to facilitate fuel production. After a unique microbe aerobically synthesizes TAG from biomass-derived sugars, the microbes were harvested and dried then crude TAG was chemically extracted from the residual biomass. Some TAGs were further purified to hydrotreating process requirements. Both grades were then noncatalytically cracked into a petroleum-like intermediate characterized by gas chromatography. Experiments were repeated using refined soybean oil for comparison to previous studies. The products from crude microbial TAG cracking were then further refined into a jet fuel product. Fuel tests indicate that this jet fuel corresponds to specifications for JP-8 military turbine fuel. It was thus concluded that the crude microbial TAG is a suitable feedstock with no further purification required, demonstrating CelTherm's commercial potential. PMID:24781206

  13. Carbon support oxidation in PEM fuel cell cathodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maass, S.; Finsterwalder, F.; Frank, G.; Hartmann, R.; Merten, C.

    Oxidation of the cathode carbon catalyst support in polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEMFC) has been examined. For this purpose platinum supported electrodes and pure carbon electrodes were fabricated and tested in membrane-electrode-assemblies (MEAs) in air and nitrogen atmosphere. The in situ experiments account for the fuel cell environment characterized by the presence of a solid electrolyte and water in the gas and liquid phases. Cell potential transients occurring during automotive fuel cell operation were simulated by dynamic measurements. Corrosion rates were calculated from CO 2 and CO concentrations in the cathode exhaust measured by non-dispersive infrared spectroscopy (NDIR). Results from these potentiodynamic measurements indicate that different potential regimes relevant for carbon oxidation can be distinguished. Carbon corrosion rates were found to be higher under dynamic operation and to strongly depend on electrode history. These characteristics make it difficult to predict corrosion rates accurately in an automotive drive cycle.

  14. System Design of a Natural Gas PEM Fuel Cell Power Plant for Buildings

    SciTech Connect

    Joe Ferrall, Tim Rehg, Vesna Stanic

    2000-09-30

    The following conclusions are made based on this analysis effort: (1) High-temperature PEM data are not available; (2) Stack development effort for Phase II is required; (3) System results are by definition preliminary, mostly due to the immaturity of the high-temperature stack; other components of the system are relatively well defined; (4) The Grotthuss conduction mechanism yields the preferred system characteristics; the Grotthuss conduction mechanism is also much less technically mature than the vehicle mechanism; (5) Fuel processor technology is available today and can be procured for Phase II (steam or ATR); (6) The immaturity of high-temperature membrane technology requires that a robust system design be developed in Phase II that is capable of operating over a wide temperature and pressure range - (a) Unpressurized or Pressurized PEM (Grotthuss mechanism) at 140 C, Highest temperature most favorable, Lowest water requirement most favorable, Pressurized recommended for base loaded operation, Unpressurized may be preferred for load following; (b) Pressurized PEM (vehicle mechanism) at about 100 C, Pressure required for saturation, Fuel cell technology currently available, stack development required. The system analysis and screening evaluation resulted in the identification of the following components for the most promising system: (1) Steam reforming fuel processor; (2) Grotthuss mechanism fuel cell stack operating at 140 C; (3) Means to deliver system waste heat to a cogeneration unit; (4) Pressurized system utilizing a turbocompressor for a base-load power application. If duty cycling is anticipated, the benefits of compression may be offset due to complexity of control. In this case (and even in the base loaded case), the turbocompressor can be replaced with a blower for low-pressure operation.

  15. Transport Studies and Modeling in PEM Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Mittelsteadt, Cortney K.; Xu, Hui; Brawn, Shelly

    2014-07-30

    This project’s aim was to develop fuel cell components (i.e. membranes, gas-diffusion media (GDM), bipolar plates and flow fields) that possess specific properties (i.e. water transport and conductivity). A computational fluid dynamics model was developed to elucidate the effect of certain parameters on these specific properties. Ultimately, the model will be used to determine sensitivity of fuel cell performance to component properties to determine limiting components and to guide research. We have successfully reached our objectives and achieved most of the milestones of this project. We have designed and synthesized a variety of hydrocarbon block polymer membranes with lower equivalent weight, structure, chemistry, phase separation and process conditions. These membranes provide a broad selection with optimized water transport properties. We have also designed and constructed a variety of devices that are capable of accurately measuring the water transport properties (water uptake, water diffusivity and electro-osmatic drag) of these membranes. These transport properties are correlated to the membranes’ structures derived from X-ray and microscopy techniques to determine the structure-property relationship. We successfully integrated hydrocarbon membrane MEAs with a current distribution board (CBD) to study the impact of hydrocarbon membrane on water transport in fuel cells. We have designed and fabricated various GDM with varying substrate, diffusivity and micro-porous layers (MPL) and characterized their pore structure, tortuosity and hydrophobicity. We have derived a universal chart (MacMullin number as function of wet proofing and porosity) that can be used to characterize various GDM. The abovementioned GDMs have been evaluated in operating fuel cells; their performance is correlated to various pore structure, tortuosity and hydrophobicity of the GDM. Unfortunately, determining a universal relationship between the MacMullin number and these properties

  16. Performance of PEM Liquid-Feed Direct Methanol-Air Fuel Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Narayanan, S. R.

    1995-01-01

    A direct methanol-air fuel cell operating at near atmospheric pressure, low-flow rate air, and at temperatures close to 60oC would tremendously enlarge the scope of potential applications. While earlier studies have reported performance with oxygen, the present study focuses on characterizing the performance of a PEM liquid feed direct methanol-air cell consisting of components developed in house. These cells employ Pt-Ru catalyst in the anode, Pt at the cathode and Nafion 117 as the PEM. The effect of pressure, flow rate of air and temperature on cell performance has been studied. With air, the performance level is as high as 0.437 V at 300 mA/cm2 (90oC, 20 psig, and excess air flow) has been attained. Even more significant is the performance level at 60oC, 1 atm and low flow rates of air (3-5 times stoichiometric), which is 0.4 V at 150 mA/cm2. Individual electrode potentials for the methanol and air electrode have been separated and analyzed. Fuel crossover rates and the impact of fuel crossover on the performance of the air electrode have also been measured. The study identifies issues specific to the methanol-air fuel cell and provides a basis for improvement strategies.

  17. Improved Membrane Materials for PEM Fuel Cell Application

    SciTech Connect

    Kenneth A. Mauritz; Robert B. Moore

    2008-06-30

    The overall goal of this project is to collect and integrate critical structure/property information in order to develop methods that lead to significant improvements in the durability and performance of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) materials. This project is focused on the fundamental improvement of PEMFC membrane materials with respect to chemical, mechanical and morphological durability as well as the development of new inorganically-modified membranes.

  18. Development Status of PEM Non-Flow-Through Fuel Cell System Technology for NASA Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoberecht, Mark A.; Jakupca, Ian J.

    2011-01-01

    Today s widespread development of proton-exchange-membrane (PEM) fuel cell technology for commercial users owes its existence to NASA, where fuel cell technology saw its first applications. Beginning with the early Gemini and Apollo programs, and continuing to this day with the Shuttle Orbiter program, fuel cells have been a primary source of electrical power for many NASA missions. This is particularly true for manned missions, where astronauts are able to make use of the by-product of the fuel cell reaction, potable water. But fuel cells also offer advantages for unmanned missions, specifically when power requirements exceed several hundred watts and primary batteries are not a viable alternative. In recent years, NASA s Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP) funded the development of fuel cell technology for applications that provide both primary power and regenerative fuel cell energy storage for planned Exploration missions that involved a return to the moon. Under this program, the Altair Lunar Lander was a mission requiring fuel cell primary power. There were also various Lunar Surface System applications requiring regenerative fuel cell energy storage, in which a fuel cell and electrolyzer combine to form an energy storage system with hydrogen, oxygen, and water as common reactants. Examples of these systems include habitat modules and large rovers. In FY11, the ETDP has been replaced by the Enabling Technology Development and Demonstration Program (ETDDP), with many of the same technology goals and requirements applied against NASA s revised Exploration portfolio.

  19. PEM Fuel Cell Freeze Durability and Cold Start Project

    SciTech Connect

    Patterson, T.; O'Neill, Jonathan

    2008-01-02

    UTC has taken advantage of the unique water management opportunities inherent in micro-porous bipolar-plates to improve the cold-start performance of its polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFC). Diagnostic experiments were used to determine the limiting factors in micro-porous plate PEFC freeze performance and the causes of any performance decay. Alternative cell materials were evaluated for their freeze performance. Freeze-thaw cycling was also performed to determine micro-porous plate PEFC survivability. Data from these experiments has formed the basis for continuing development of advanced materials capable of supporting DOE's cold-start and durability objectives.

  20. 2004 DOE Hydrogen, Fuel Cells & Infrastructure Technologies Program Review Presentation COST AND PERFORMANCE ENHANCEMENTS FOR A PEM FUEL CELL TURBOCOMPRESSOR

    SciTech Connect

    Mark K. Gee

    2004-04-01

    The objective is to assist the Department of Energy in the development of a low cost, reliable and high performance air compressor/expander. Technical Objective 1: Perform a turbocompressor systems PEM fuel cell trade study to determine the enhanced turbocompressor approach. Technical Objective 2: Using the results from technical objective 1, an enhanced turbocompressor will be fabricated. The design may be modified to match the flow requirements of a selected fuel cell system developer. Technical Objective 3: Design a cost and performance enhanced compact motor and motor controller. Technical Objective 4: Turbocompressor/motor controller development.

  1. Development of a 10 kW hydrogen/air PEM fuel cell stack

    SciTech Connect

    Barbir, F.; Marken, F.; Bahar, B.; Kolde, J.A.

    1996-12-31

    PEM fuel cells have potential for meeting automotive industry`s power density and cost requirements, such as 0.8 kW/kg, 0.8 kW/1 and $30/kW. For automotive applications, the fuel cell power requirements are in the 10-100 kW range. As the first phase in reaching this power output, a 10 kW PEM fuel cell stack has been developed at Energy Partners. The stack consists of 50 cells with relatively large active area of 780 cm{sup 2}. The main feature of the stack is the advanced membrane electrode assembly (MEA) developed by W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc. These novel MEAs consist of a thin composite perfluorinated polymer membrane with a catalyst layer with platinum loading of 0.3 Mg/cm{sup 2} on each side. The combination of reinforcement and thinness provides high membrane conductance and improved water distribution in the operating cell. In addition, the membrane has excellent mechanical properties (particularly when it is hydrated) and dimensional stability.

  2. A new state-observer of the inner PEM fuel cell pressures for enhanced system monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bethoux, Olivier; Godoy, Emmanuel; Roche, Ivan; Naccari, Bruno; Amira Taleb, Miassa; Koteiche, Mohamad; Nassif, Younane

    2014-06-01

    In embedded systems such as electric vehicles, Proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) has been an attractive technology for many years especially in automotive applications. This paper deals with PEMFC operation monitoring which is a current target for improvement for attaining extended durability. In this paper, supervision of the PEMFC is done using knowledge-based models. Without extra sensors, it enables a clear insight of state variables of the gases in the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) which gives the PEMFC controller the ability to prevent abnormal operating conditions and associated irreversible degradations. First, a new state-observer oriented model of the PEM fuel cell is detailed. Based on this model, theoretical and practical observability issues are discussed. This analysis shows that convection phenomena can be considered negligible from the dynamic point of view; this leads to a reduced model. Finally a state-observer enables the estimation of the inner partial pressure of the cathode by using only the current and voltage measurements. This proposed model-based approach has been successfully tested on a PEM fuel cell simulator using a set of possible fault scenarios.

  3. PEM fuel cell fault detection and identification using differential method: simulation and experimental validation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frappé, E.; de Bernardinis, A.; Bethoux, O.; Candusso, D.; Harel, F.; Marchand, C.; Coquery, G.

    2011-05-01

    PEM fuel cell performance and lifetime strongly depend on the polymer membrane and MEA hydration. As the internal moisture is very sensitive to the operating conditions (temperature, stoichiometry, load current, water management…), keeping the optimal working point is complex and requires real-time monitoring. This article focuses on PEM fuel cell stack health diagnosis and more precisely on stack fault detection monitoring. This paper intends to define new, simple and effective methods to get relevant information on usual faults or malfunctions occurring in the fuel cell stack. For this purpose, the authors present a fault detection method using simple and non-intrusive on-line technique based on the space signature of the cell voltages. The authors have the objective to minimize the number of embedded sensors and instrumentation in order to get a precise, reliable and economic solution in a mass market application. A very low number of sensors are indeed needed for this monitoring and the associated algorithm can be implemented on-line. This technique is validated on a 20-cell PEMFC stack. It demonstrates that the developed method is particularly efficient in flooding case. As a matter of fact, it uses directly the stack as a sensor which enables to get a quick feedback on its state of health.

  4. Surface modified stainless steels for PEM fuel cell bipolar plates

    DOEpatents

    Brady, Michael P [Oak Ridge, TN; Wang, Heli [Littleton, CO; Turner, John A [Littleton, CO

    2007-07-24

    A nitridation treated stainless steel article (such as a bipolar plate for a proton exchange membrane fuel cell) having lower interfacial contact electrical resistance and better corrosion resistance than an untreated stainless steel article is disclosed. The treated stainless steel article has a surface layer including nitrogen-modified chromium-base oxide and precipitates of chromium nitride formed during nitridation wherein oxygen is present in the surface layer at a greater concentration than nitrogen. The surface layer may further include precipitates of titanium nitride and/or aluminum oxide. The surface layer in the treated article is chemically heterogeneous surface rather than a uniform or semi-uniform surface layer exclusively rich in chromium, titanium or aluminum. The precipitates of titanium nitride and/or aluminum oxide are formed by the nitriding treatment wherein titanium and/or aluminum in the stainless steel are segregated to the surface layer in forms that exhibit a low contact resistance and good corrosion resistance.

  5. Simulation of gas and water management strategies in PEM fuel cells for UAV power

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wade, Nasir; Smith, Sonya

    2008-11-01

    Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) a involve a number of complex fluid phenomena that are not well understood. The focus of this research is to design a fuel cell that addresses the issues of gas and water management for the power requirements for an Unmanned Arial Vehicle (UAV). Often in conventional stack design, PEM fuel cells are connected electrically in series to create the desired voltage and feed from a common fuel or oxidant stream. This method of fueling, often leads to an uneven distribution of fluid within the stack, causing issues such as cell flooding, dehydration of membrane and inevitably poor fuel cell performance. Generally, fuel cell designers and developers incorporate higher stoichiometric gas flow rates and use flow field designs with high pressure drops in order to counter this phenomenon, ensuring even gas distribution. This method, although effective for water removal, leads to added cost and higher levels of wasted fuel. Using a simulation based approach we demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of an individual fuel and oxidant flow distribution, integrated with an individual sequential exhaust technique for a 6-8 cell stack which outputs 300-500 Watts of power. Using varied exhaust configurations the most optimal active gas management strategy will be outlined and recommended to give the best stack performance.

  6. Research and Development of a PEM Fuel Cell, Hydrogen Reformer, and Vehicle Refueling Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Edward F. Kiczek

    2007-08-31

    Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. has teamed with Plug Power, Inc. of Latham, NY, and the City of Las Vegas, NV, to develop, design, procure, install and operate an on-site hydrogen generation system, an alternative vehicle refueling system, and a stationary hydrogen fuel cell power plant, located in Las Vegas. The facility will become the benchmark for validating new natural gas-based hydrogen systems, PEM fuel cell power generation systems, and numerous new technologies for the safe and reliable delivery of hydrogen as a fuel to vehicles. Most important, this facility will serve as a demonstration of hydrogen as a safe and clean energy alternative. Las Vegas provides an excellent real-world performance and durability testing environment.

  7. Vessel Cold-Ironing Using a Barge Mounted PEM Fuel Cell: Project Scoping and Feasibility.

    SciTech Connect

    Pratt, Joseph William; Harris, Aaron P

    2013-01-01

    A barge-mounted hydrogen-fueled proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell system has the potential to reduce emissions and fossil fuel use of maritime vessels in and around ports. This study determines the technical feasibility of this concept and examines specific options on the U.S. West Coast for deployment practicality and potential for commercialization.The conceptual design of the system is found to be straightforward and technically feasible in several configurations corresponding to various power levels and run times.The most technically viable and commercially attractive deployment options were found to be powering container ships at berth at the Port of Tacoma and/or Seattle, powering tugs at anchorage near the Port of Oakland, and powering refrigerated containers on-board Hawaiian inter-island transport barges. Other attractive demonstration options were found at the Port of Seattle, the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet, the California Maritime Academy, and an excursion vessel on the Ohio River.

  8. On the influence of temperature on PEM fuel cell operation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coppo, M.; Siegel, N. P.; Spakovsky, M. R. von

    The 3D implementation of a previously developed 2D PEMFC model [N.P. Siegel, M.W. Ellis, D.J. Nelson, M.R. von Spakovsky, A two-dimensional computational model of a PEMFC with liquid water transport, J. Power Sources 128 (2) (2004) 173-184; N.P. Siegel, M.W. Ellis, D.J. Nelson, M.R. von Spakovsky, Single domain PEMFC model based on agglomerate catalyst geometry, J. Power Sources 115 (2003) 81-89] has been used to analyze the various pathways by which temperature affects the operation of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell [M. Coppo, CFD analysis and experimental investigation of proton exchange membrane fuel cells, Ph.D. Dissertation, Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy, 2005]. The original model, implemented in a specially modified version of CFDesign ® [CFDesign ® V5.1, Blue Ridge Numerics, 2003] , accounts for all of the major transport processes including: (i) a three-phase model for water transport in the liquid, vapor and dissolved phases, (ii) proton transport, (iii) gaseous species transport and reaction, (iv) an agglomerate model for the catalyst layers and (v) gas phase momentum transport. Since the details of it have been published earlier [N.P. Siegel, M.W. Ellis, D.J. Nelson, M.R. von Spakovsky, A two-dimensional computational model of a PEMFC with liquid water transport, J. Power Sources 128 (2) (2004) 173-184; N.P. Siegel, M.W. Ellis, D.J. Nelson, M.R. von Spakovsky, Single domain PEMFC model based on agglomerate catalyst geometry, J. Power Sources 115 (2003) 81-89; N.P. Siegel, Development and validation of a computational model for a proton exchange membrane fuel cell, Ph.D. Dissertation, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA, 2003], only new features are briefly discussed in the present work. In particular, the model has been extended in order to account for the temperature dependence of all of the physical properties involved in the model formulation. Moreover, a novel model has been developed to describe liquid

  9. Degradation of Ionic Pathway in PEM Fuel Cell Cathode

    SciTech Connect

    Park, Seh Kyu; Shao, Yuyan; Wan, Haiying; Viswanathan, Vilayanur V.; Towne, Silas A.; Rieke, Peter C.; Liu, Jun; Wang, Yong

    2011-11-12

    The degradation of the ionic pathway throughout the catalyst layer in proton exchange membrane fuel cells was studied under an accelerated stress test of catalyst support (potential hold at 1.2 V). Electrochemical behaviors of the cathode based on graphitic mesoporous carbon supported Pt catalyst were examined using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and cyclic voltammetry. Impedance data were plotted and expressed in the complex capacitance form to determine useful parameters in the transmission line model: the double-layer capacitance, peak frequency, and ionic resistance. Electrochemical surface area and hydrogen crossover current through the membrane were estimated from cyclic voltammogram, while cathode Faradaic resistance was compared with ionic resistance as a function of test time. It was observed that during an accelerated stress test of catalyst support, graphitic mesoporous carbon becomes hydrophilic which increases interfacial area between the ionomer and the catalyst up to 100 h. However, the ionic resistance in the catalyst layer drastically increases after 100 h with further carbon support oxidation. The underlying mechanism has been studied and it was found that significant degradation of ionic pathway throughout the catalyst layer due to catalyst support corrosion induces uneven hydration and mechanical stress in the ionomer.

  10. Dependence of high-temperature PEM fuel cell performance on Nafion ® content

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Ying; Xu, Hui; Wei, Yu; Kunz, H. Russell; Bonville, Leonard J.; Fenton, James M.

    Operating a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell at elevated temperatures (above 100 °C) has significant advantages, such as reduced CO poisoning, increased reaction rates, faster heat rejection, easier and more efficient water management and more useful waste heat. Catalyst materials and membrane electrode assembly (MEA) structure must be considered to improve PEM fuel cell performance. As one of the most important electrode design parameters, Nafion ® content was optimized in the high-temperature electrodes in order to achieve high performance. The effect of Nafion ® content on the electrode performance in H 2/air or H 2/O 2 operation was studied under three different operation conditions (cell temperature (°C)/anode (%RH)/cathode (%RH)): 80/100/75, 100/70/70 and 120/35/35, all at atmospheric pressure. Different Nafion ® contents in the cathode catalyst layers, 15-40 wt%, were evaluated. For electrodes with 0.5 mg cm -2 Pt loading, cell voltages of 0.70, 0.68 and 0.60 V at a current density of 400 mA cm -2 were obtained at 35 wt% Nafion ® ionomer loading, when the cells were operated at the three test conditions, respectively. Cyclic voltammetry was conducted to evaluate the electrochemical surface area. The experimental polarization curves were analyzed by Tafel slope, catalyst activity and diffusion capability to determine the influence of the Nafion ® loading, mainly associated with the cathode.

  11. Development and demonstration of a higher temperature PEM fuel cell stack

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonville, Leonard J.; Kunz, H. Russell; Song, Ying; Mientek, Anthony; Williams, Minkmas; Ching, Albert; Fenton, James M.

    Research and development was conducted on a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell stack to demonstrate the capabilities of Ionomem Corporation's composite membrane to operate at 120 °C and ambient pressure for on-site electrical power generation with useful waste heat. The membrane was a composite of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), Nafion ®, and phosphotungstic acid. Studies were first performed on the membrane, cathode catalyst layer, and gas diffusion layer to improve performance in 25 cm 2, subscale cells. This technology was then scaled-up to a commercial 300 cm 2 size and evaluated in multi-cell stacks. The resulting stack obtained a performance near that of the subscale cells, 0.60 V at 400 mA cm -2 at near 120 °C and ambient pressure with hydrogen and air reactants containing water at 35% relative humidity. The water used for cooling the stack resulted in available waste heat at 116 °C. The performance of the stack was verified. This was the first successful test of a higher-temperature, PEM, fuel-cell stack that did not use phosphoric acid electrolyte.

  12. NASA's PEM Fuel Cell Power Plant Development Program for Space Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoberecht, Mark

    2006-01-01

    NASA embarked on a PEM fuel cell power plant development program beginning in 2001. This five-year program was conducted by a three-center NASA team of Glenn Research Center (lead), Johnson Space Center, and Kennedy Space Center. The program initially was aimed at developing hardware for a Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) application, but more recently had shifted to applications supporting the NASA Exploration Program. The first phase of the development effort, to develop breadboard hardware in the 1-5 kW power range, was conducted by two competing vendors. The second phase of the effort, to develop Engineering Model hardware at the 10 kW power level, was conducted by the winning vendor from the first phase of the effort. Both breadboard units and the single engineering model power plant were delivered to NASA for independent testing. This poster presentation will present a summary of both phases of the development effort, along with a discussion of test results of the PEM fuel cell engineering model under simulated mission conditions.

  13. Numerical study of changing the geometry of the flow field of a PEM fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khazaee, I.; Sabadbafan, H.

    2016-05-01

    The geometry of channels of a PEM fuel cell is an important parameter that affects the performance of it that the lower voltage loss in polarization curve can indicate the better performance. In this study a complete three-dimensional and single phase model is used to investigate the effect of increasing the number of serpentine channels in the bipolar plates and also increasing the area (depth) of channels of a PEM fuel cell with rectangular, triangular and elliptical cross-section geometry. A single set of conservation equations which are valid for the flow channels, gas-diffusion electrodes, catalyst layers, and the membrane region is developed and numerically solved using a finite volume based computational fluid dynamics technique. The results show that there are good agreement with the numerical results and experimental results of the previous work of authors. Also the results show that by increasing the number of channels from one to four and eight, the performance improved about 18 % and by decreasing the area of channels from 2 to 1 mm2 the performance improved about 13 %.

  14. Design and fabrication of miniaturized PEM fuel cell combined microreactor with self-regulated hydrogen mechanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balakrishnan, A.; Frei, M.; Kerzenmacher, S.; Reinecke, H.; Mueller, C.

    2015-12-01

    In this work we present the design and fabrication of the miniaturized PEM fuel cell combined microreactor system with hydrogen regulation mechanism and testing of prototype microreactor. The system consists of two components (i) fuel cell component and (ii) microreactor component. The fuel cell component represents the miniaturized PEM fuel cell system (combination of screen printed fuel cell assembly and an on-board hydrogen storage medium). Hydrogen production based on catalytic hydrolysis of chemical hydride takes place in the microreactor component. The self-regulated hydrogen mechanism based on the gaseous hydrogen produced from the catalytic hydrolysis of sodium borohydride (NaBH4) gets accumulated as bubbles at the vicinity of the hydrophobic coated hydrogen exhaust holes. When the built up hydrogen bubbles pressure exceeds the burst pressure at the hydrogen exhaust holes the bubble collapses. This collapse causes a surge of fresh NaBH4 solution onto the catalyst surface leading to the removal of the reaction by-products formed at the active sites of the catalyst. The catalyst used in the system is platinum deposited on a base substrate. Nickel foam, carbon porous medium (CPM) and ceramic plate were selected as candidates for base substrate for developing a robust catalyst surface. For the first time the platinum layer fabricated by pulsed electrodeposition and dealloying (EPDD) technique is used for hydrolysis of NaBH4. The major advantages of such platinum catalyst layers are its high surface area and their mechanical stability. Prototype microreactor system with self-regulated hydrogen mechanism is demonstrated.

  15. Durability of Membrane Electrode Assemblies (MEAs) in PEM Fuel Cells Operated on Pure Hydrogen and Oxygen

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stanic, Vesna; Braun, James; Hoberecht, Mark

    2003-01-01

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells are energy sources that have the potential to replace alkaline fuel cells for space programs. Broad power ranges, high peak-to-nominal power capabilities, low maintenance costs, and the promise of increased life are the major advantages of PEM technology in comparison to alkaline technology. The probability of PEM fuel cells replacing alkaline fuel cells for space applications will increase if the promise of increased life is verified by achieving a minimum of 10,000 hours of operating life. Durability plays an important role in the process of evaluation and selection of MEAs for Teledyne s Phase I contract with the NASA Glenn Research Center entitled Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel cell (PEMFC) Power Plant Technology Development for 2nd Generation Reusable Launch Vehicles (RLVs). For this contract, MEAs that are typically used for H2/air operation were selected as potential candidates for H2/O2 PEM fuel cells because their catalysts have properties suitable for O2 operation. They were purchased from several well-established MEA manufacturers who are world leaders in the manufacturing of diverse products and have committed extensive resources in an attempt to develop and fully commercialize MEA technology. A total of twelve MEAs used in H2/air operation were initially identified from these manufacturers. Based on the manufacturers specifications, nine of these were selected for evaluation. Since 10,000 hours is almost equivalent to 14 months, it was not possible to perform continuous testing with each MEA selected during Phase I of the contract. Because of the lack of time, a screening test on each MEA was performed for 400 hours under accelerated test conditions. The major criterion for an MEA pass or fail of the screening test was the gas crossover rate. If the gas crossover rate was higher than the membrane intrinsic permeability after 400 hours of testing, it was considered that the MEA had failed the test. Three types of

  16. Experimental and theoretical study of a dual-layer gas diffusion layer in PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Sehkyu

    2008-07-01

    The gas diffusion layer (GDL) in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) functions as a diffuser and a current collector. The GDL typically consists of the microporous layer (MPL) and the macroporous substrate (MPS). The MPL reduces the ohmic losses and facilitates water removal in the MEA. In this study, a novel method was developed to prepare a dual-layer GDL that enhances the catalyst utilization and the overall fuel cell performance. Several characterization techniques, including mercury porosimetry, water permeation measurement, electrochemical polarization and ac impedance spectroscopy were performed to investigate how carbon loading (or MPL thickness) and PTFE content in the MPL and in the MPS control the water management in PEM fuel cells. An experimental study on carbon loading in the MPL showed that a relatively low carbon loading (0.5 mg cm-2 in this study) results in a balancing of water saturations in the catalyst layer and the GDL, thus improving the oxygen diffusion kinetics. Experimental studies on PTFE content in the MPL and in the MPS indicated that effective water management is attributed to the trade-off between the pore volume and the hydrophobic property of each diffusion layer. A theoretical study of a dual-layer GDL in PEM fuel cells demonstrated that saturation in the MPS is intimately coupled with both the fraction of hydrophilic surface and the average pore diameter. A thin and more hydrophobic MPL altered the pore geometry and the hydrophobic property of a MPS, resulting in better mass transport of reactants and products in the MEA.

  17. Performance and durability of PEM fuel cells operated at sub-freezing temperatures

    SciTech Connect

    Mukundan, Rangachary; Davey, John R; Lujan, Roger W; Spendelow, Jacob S

    2008-01-01

    The durability of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells operated at sub-freezing temperatures has received increasing attention in recent years. The Department of Energy's PEM fuel cell stack technical targets for the year 2010 include unassisted start-up from -40 {sup o}C and startup from -20 {sup o}C ambient in as low as 30 seconds with < 5 MJ energy consumption. Moreover, the sub-freezing operations should not have any impact on acieving other technical targets including 5000 hours durability. The effect of MEA preparation on the performance of single-PEM fuel cells operated at sub-freezing temperatures is presented. The cell performance and durability are dependent on the MEA and are probably influenced by the porosity of the catalyst layers. When a cell is operated isothermally at -10 {sup o}C in constant current mode, the voltage gradually decreases over time and eventually drops to zero. AC impedance analysis indicated that the rate of voltage loss is initially due to an increase in the charge transfer resistance and is gradual. After a period, the rate of decay accelerates rapidly due to mass transport limitations at the catalyst and/or gas diffusion layers. The high frequency resistance also increases over time during the isothermal operation at sub-freezing temperatures and was a function of the initial membrane water content. LANL prepared MEAs showed very little loss in the catalyst surface area with multiple sub-freezing operations, whereas the commercial MEAs exhibited significant loss in cathode surface area with the anode being unaffected. These results indicate that catalyst layer ice formation is influenced strongly by the MEA and is responsible for the long-term degradation of fuel cells operated at sub-freezing temperatures. This ice formation was monitored using neutron radiography and was found to be concentrated near cell edges at the flow field turns. The water distribution also indicated that ice may be forming mainly in the GDLs at

  18. Bootstrapping a Sustainable North American PEM Fuel Cell Industry: Could a Federal Acquisition Program Make a Difference?

    SciTech Connect

    Greene, David L; Duleep, Dr. K. G.

    2008-10-01

    The North American Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell industry may be at a critical juncture. A large-scale market for automotive fuel cells appears to be several years away and in any case will require a long-term, coordinated commitment by government and industry to insure the co-evolution of hydrogen infrastructure and fuel cell vehicles (Greene et al., 2008). The market for non-automotive PEM fuel cells, on the other hand, may be much closer to commercial viability (Stone, 2006). Cost targets are less demanding and manufacturers appear to be close, perhaps within a factor of two, of meeting them. Hydrogen supply is a significant obstacle to market acceptance but may not be as great a barrier as it is for hydrogen-powered vehicles due to the smaller quantities of hydrogen required. PEM fuel cells appear to be potentially competitive in two markets: (1) Backup power (BuP) supply, and (2) electrically-powered MHE (Mahadevan et al., 2007a, 2007b). There are several Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) of PEM fuel cell systems for these applications but production levels have been quite low (on the order of 100-200 per year) and cumulative production experience is also limited (on the order of 1,000 units to date). As a consequence, costs remain above target levels and PEM fuel cell OEMs are not yet competitive in these markets. If cost targets can be reached and acceptable solutions to hydrogen supply found, a sustainable North American PEM fuel cell industry could be established. If not, the industry and its North American supply chain could disappear within a year or two. The Hydrogen Fuel Cell and Infrastructure Technologies (HFCIT) program of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) requested a rapid assessment of the potential for a government acquisition program to bootstrap the market for non-automotive PEM fuel cells by driving down costs via economies of scale and learning-by-doing. The six week study included in-depth interviews of three manufacturers

  19. WaterTransport in PEM Fuel Cells: Advanced Modeling, Material Selection, Testing and Design Optimization

    SciTech Connect

    J. Vernon Cole; Abhra Roy; Ashok Damle; Hari Dahr; Sanjiv Kumar; Kunal Jain; Ned Djilai

    2012-10-02

    Water management in Proton Exchange Membrane, PEM, Fuel Cells is challenging because of the inherent conflicts between the requirements for efficient low and high power operation. Particularly at low powers, adequate water must be supplied to sufficiently humidify the membrane or protons will not move through it adequately and resistance losses will decrease the cell efficiency. At high power density operation, more water is produced at the cathode than is necessary for membrane hydration. This excess water must be removed effectively or it will accumulate in the Gas Diffusion Layers, GDLs, between the gas channels and catalysts, blocking diffusion paths for reactants to reach the catalysts and potentially flooding the electrode. As power density of the cells is increased, the challenges arising from water management are expected to become more difficult to overcome simply due to the increased rate of liquid water generation relative to fuel cell volume. Thus, effectively addressing water management based issues is a key challenge in successful application of PEMFC systems. In this project, CFDRC and our partners used a combination of experimental characterization, controlled experimental studies of important processes governing how water moves through the fuel cell materials, and detailed models and simulations to improve understanding of water management in operating hydrogen PEM fuel cells. The characterization studies provided key data that is used as inputs to all state-of-the-art models for commercially important GDL materials. Experimental studies and microscopic scale models of how water moves through the GDLs showed that the water follows preferential paths, not branching like a river, as it moves toward the surface of the material. Experimental studies and detailed models of water and airflow in fuel cells channels demonstrated that such models can be used as an effective design tool to reduce operating pressure drop in the channels and the associated

  20. Hydrogen-Oxygen PEM Regenerative Fuel Cell Development at the NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bents, David J.; Scullin, Vincent J.; Chang, Bei-Jiann; Johnson, Donald W.; Garcia, Christoher P.; Jakupca, Ian J.

    2005-01-01

    The closed-cycle hydrogen-oxygen PEM regenerative fuel cell (RFC) at the NASA Glenn Research Center has successfully demonstrated closed cycle operation at rated power for multiple charge-discharge cycles. During charge cycle the RFC has absorbed input electrical power simulating a solar day cycle ranging from zero to 15 kWe peak, and delivered steady 5 kWe output power for periods exceeding 8 hr. Orderly transitions from charge to discharge mode, and return to charging after full discharge, have been accomplished without incident. Continuing test operations focus on: (1) Increasing the number of contiguous uninterrupted charge discharge cycles; (2) Increasing the performance envelope boundaries; (3) Operating the RFC as an energy storage device on a regular basis; (4) Gaining operational experience leading to development of fully automated operation; and (5) Developing instrumentation and in situ fluid sampling strategies to monitor health and anticipate breakdowns.

  1. Nanostructured Electrocatalysts for PEM Fuel Cells and Redox Flow Batteries: A Selected Review

    SciTech Connect

    Shao, Yuyan; Cheng, Yingwen; Duan, Wentao; Wang, Wei; Lin, Yuehe; Wang, Yong; Liu, Jun

    2015-12-04

    PEM fuel cells and redox flow batteries are two very similar technologies which share common component materials and device design. Electrocatalysts are the key components in these two devices. In this Review, we discuss recent progress of electrocatalytic materials for these two technologies with a focus on our research activities at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in the past years. This includes (1) nondestructive functionalization of graphitic carbon as Pt support to improve its electrocatalytic performance, (2) triple-junction of metal–carbon–metal oxides to promote Pt performance, (3) nitrogen-doped carbon and metal-doped carbon (i.e., metal oxides) to improve redox reactions in flow batteries. A perspective on future research and the synergy between the two technologies are also discussed.

  2. Separate in situ measurements of ECA under land and channel in PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Higier, Andrew; Liu, Hongtan

    2012-10-01

    Separate in situ measurements of electrochemical areas (ECA) under land and channel areas in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells are realized using cyclic voltammetry. Experiments are carried out using special membrane electrode assemblies (MEA) in single-channel serpentine flow fields with different widths of channels and lands. The experimental results show that ECAs are significantly higher in the areas under the land than that under the channel. ECA-normalized polarization curves show that ECA is the most significant factor causing higher current density under the land than under the channel in the high cell potential region, and the true concentration polarization under the land in the low potential region is actually much greater than what can be seen in conventional polarization curves. Further experimental results show that, within the compression pressure range examined, ECA increases with compression pressure significantly.

  3. Iron-based alloy and nitridation treatment for PEM fuel cell bipolar plates

    DOEpatents

    Brady, Michael P [Oak Ridge, TN; Yang, Bing [Oak Ridge, TN; Maziasz, Philip J [Oak Ridge, TN

    2010-11-09

    A corrosion resistant electrically conductive component that can be used as a bipolar plate in a PEM fuel cell application is composed of an alloy substrate which has 10-30 wt. % Cr, 0.5 to 7 wt. % V, and base metal being Fe, and a continuous surface layer of chromium nitride and vanadium nitride essentially free of base metal. A oxide layer of chromium vanadium oxide can be disposed between the alloy substrate and the continuous surface nitride layer. A method to prepare the corrosion resistant electrically conductive component involves a two-step nitridization sequence by exposing the alloy to a oxygen containing gas at an elevated temperature, and subsequently exposing the alloy to an oxygen free nitrogen containing gas at an elevated temperature to yield a component where a continuous chromium nitride layer free of iron has formed at the surface.

  4. Analytical Investigation and Improvement of Performance of a Proton Exchange Membrane (Pem) Fuel Cell in Mobile Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khazaee, I.

    2015-05-01

    In this study, the performance of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell in mobile applications is investigated analytically. At present the main use and advantages of fuel cells impact particularly strongly on mobile applications such as vehicles, mobile computers and mobile telephones. Some external parameters such as the cell temperature (Tcell ) , operating pressure of gases (P) and air stoichiometry (λair ) affect the performance and voltage losses in the PEM fuel cell. Because of the existence of many theoretical, empirical and semi-empirical models of the PEM fuel cell, it is necessary to compare the accuracy of these models. But theoretical models that are obtained from thermodynamic and electrochemical approach, are very exact but complex, so it would be easier to use the empirical and smi-empirical models in order to forecast the fuel cell system performance in many applications such as mobile applications. The main purpose of this study is to obtain the semi-empirical relation of a PEM fuel cell with the least voltage losses. Also, the results are compared with the existing experimental results in the literature and a good agreement is seen.

  5. Analysis of liquid water formation in polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell flow fields with a dry cathode supply

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gößling, Sönke; Klages, Merle; Haußmann, Jan; Beckhaus, Peter; Messerschmidt, Matthias; Arlt, Tobias; Kardjilov, Nikolay; Manke, Ingo; Scholta, Joachim; Heinzel, Angelika

    2016-02-01

    PEM fuel cells can be operated within a wide range of different operating conditions. In this paper, the special case of operating a PEM fuel cell with a dry cathode supply and without external humidification of the cathode, is considered. A deeper understanding of the water management in the cells is essential for choosing the optimal operation strategy for a specific system. In this study a theoretical model is presented which aims to predict the location in the flow field at which liquid water forms at the cathode. It is validated with neutron images of a PEM fuel cell visualizing the locations at which liquid water forms in the fuel cell flow field channels. It is shown that the inclusion of the GDL diffusion resistance in the model is essential to describe the liquid water formation process inside the fuel cell. Good agreement of model predictions and measurement results has been achieved. While the model has been developed and validated especially for the operation with a dry cathode supply, the model is also applicable to fuel cells with a humidified cathode stream.

  6. Hydrogen-Oxygen PEM Regenerative Fuel Cell at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bents, David J.

    2004-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center has constructed a closed-cycle hydrogen-oxygen PEM regenerative fuel cell (RFC) to explore its potential use as an energy storage device for a high altitude solar electric aircraft. Built up over the last 2 years from specialized hardware and off the shelf components the Glenn RFC is a complete "brassboard" energy storage system which includes all the equipment required to (1) absorb electrical power from an outside source and store it as pressurized hydrogen and oxygen and (2) make electrical power from the stored gases, saving the product water for re-use during the next cycle. It consists of a dedicated hydrogen-oxygen fuel cell stack and an electrolyzer stack, the interconnecting plumbing and valves, cooling pumps, water transfer pumps, gas recirculation pumps, phase separators, storage tanks for oxygen (O2) and hydrogen (H2), heat exchangers, isolation valves, pressure regulators, nitrogen purge provisions, instrumentation, and other components. It specific developmental functions include: (1) Test fuel cells and fuel cell components under repeated closed-cycle operation (nothing escapes; everything is used over and over again). (2) Simulate diurnal charge-discharge cycles (3) Observe long-term system performance and identify degradation and loss mechanisms. (4) Develop safe and convenient operation and control strategies leading to the successful development of mission-capable, flight-weight RFC's.

  7. Long term testing of start-stop cycles on high temperature PEM fuel cell stack

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kannan, Arvind; Kabza, Alexander; Scholta, Joachim

    2015-03-01

    A PEM fuel cell with an operating temperature above 100 °C is desired for increasing the kinetics of reactions, reduced sensitivity to impurities of the fuel, as well as for the reduction of the requirements on thermal and water management systems. High Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (HT-PEMFC) can effectively be combined with CHP systems to offer a simple system design and higher overall system efficiencies. For HT-PEMFC systems, the development of elaborated start/stop strategies is essential in mitigation of fuel cell degradation during these events. A 5 cell co-flow stack is assembled with BASF P1100W membrane electrode assembly (MEA) with an active area of 163.5 cm2. Continuous operation and more than 1500 start stop cycles have been performed in order to study the degradation effects of both continuous operation and of repeated start stops using a protective start-stop algorithm, which is designed to avoid the formation of aggressive cell potentials. The repeated use of this procedure led to a degradation of 26 μV/cycle at a current density of 0.25 A cm-2 and 11 μV/cycle at a current density of 0.03 A cm-2. At open circuit voltage (OCV), a higher degradation rate of 133 μV/cycle was observed.

  8. Test of Hydrogen-Oxygen PEM Fuel Cell Stack at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bents, David J.; Scullin, Vincent J.; Chang, Bei-Jiann; Johnson, Donald W.; Garcia, Christopher P.; Jakupca, Ian J.

    2003-01-01

    This paper describes performance characterization tests of a 64 cell hydrogen oxygen PEM fuel cell stack at NASA Glenn Research Center in February 2003. The tests were part of NASA's ongoing effort to develop a regenerative fuel cell for aerospace energy storage applications. The purpose of the tests was to verify capability of this stack to operate within a regenerative fuel cell, and to compare performance with earlier test results recorded by the stack developer. Test results obtained include polarization performance of the stack at 50 and 100 psig system pressure, and a steady state endurance run at 100 psig. A maximum power output of 4.8 kWe was observed during polarization runs, and the stack sustained a steady power output of 4.0 kWe during the endurance run. The performance data obtained from these tests compare reasonably close to the stack developer's results although some additional spread between best to worst performing cell voltages was observed. Throughout the tests, the stack demonstrated the consistent performance and repeatable behavior required for regenerative fuel cell operation.

  9. Nanostructured catalyst materials for next generation polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khudhayer, Wisam J.

    Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells are electrochemical energy conversion devices which have demonstrated great promise as future energy sources for electric vehicles, as they convert chemical energy to electrical energy with a significantly higher efficiency and lower environmental impact than in standard combustion processes. However, the commercialization of PEM fuel cells for transportation applications has been hindered by several factors such as high cost of Pt, low Pt utilization, poor long-term durability of the conventional PEM fuel cell catalyst (Pt nanoparticels supported on carbon black; Pt/C), and poor thermal and chemical stability of the electrocatalyst supports (carbon black). The goal of this research was to fabricate high performance, durable, carbon-free, controllable porosity, and low cost (low Pt loading) sputtered-nanostructured electrocatalysts and investigate their morphologies, crystal properties, and electrocatalytic activities. First, the electrocatalytic oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity of vertically-aligned solid Pt nanorods was evaluated. A glancing angle deposition (GLAD) technique was used to fabricate Pt nanorod arrays directly on glassy carbon (GC) electrodes. It was found that Pt-nanorod electrocatalysts exhibit higher area-specific activity, greater electrochemical stability, higher electron-transfer rate constant, and comparable activation energy for ORR than those of Pt/C due to their larger crystallite size, single-crystal property, and dominance of the preferred crystal orientations (Pt[110]) for ORR. However, Pt nanorods show lower mass specific activity than that of Pt/C electrocatalyst due to the large diameter of nanorods. Second, to further enhance the mass-specific activity of solid GLAD Pt nanorods, the GLAD chromium (Cr) nanorods were used as low-cost catalyst supports for conformal Pt thin film coating achieved by a small angle deposition (SAD) technique as a potential catalyst electrode for oxygen

  10. Lattice Boltzmann Simulation of Multiphase Transport in Nanostructured PEM Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stiles, Christopher D.

    As the fossil fuel crisis becomes more critical, it is imperative to develop renewable sources of power generation. Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells are considered a viable option. However, the cost of the platinum catalyst has hindered their commercialization. PEM fuel cells with platinum loading of >0.4 mg cm2 are common. Efforts towards further reducing this loading are currently underway utilizing nanostructured electrodes. A consequence of increased platinum utilization per unit area and thinner nanostructured electrodes is flooding, which is detrimental to fuel cell performance. Flooding causes a two-fold impact on cell performance: a drop in cell voltage and a rise in parasitic pumping power to overcome the increased pressure drop, which together result in a significant reduction in system efficiency. Proper water management is therefore crucial for optimum performance of the fuel cell and also for enhancing membrane durability. The goal of this thesis is to simulate the multiphase fluid transport in the nanostructured PEMFC of H2O in air with realistic density ratios. In order to pursue this goal, the ability of the pseudopotential based multiphase lattice Boltzmann method to realistically model the coexistence of the gas and liquid phases of H2O at low temperatures is explored. This method is expanded to include a gas mixture of O2 and N 2 into the multiphase H2O systems. Beginning with the examination of the phase transition region described by the current implementation of the multiphase pseudopotential lattice Boltzmann model. Following this, a modified form of the pressure term with the use of a scalar multiplier kappa for the Peng-Robinson equation of state is thoroughly investigated. This method proves to be very effective at enabling numerically stable simulations at low temperatures with large density ratios. It is found that for decreasing values of kappa, this model leads to an increase in multiphase interface thickness and a

  11. Mechanical and transport properties of NafionRTM for PEM fuel cells; temperature and hydration effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Majsztrik, Paul William

    This work investigates the mechanical and water transport properties of Nafion, a fully fluorinated ion conducting polymer used as a membrane material in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Both of these properties are extremely important to the short and long term operation of fuel cells. Nafion is a viscoelastic material, responding to stress in a time-dependant manner. The result is that Nafion flows under stress and responds dynamically to changes in hydration and stress. Stresses applied to the membrane of a PEM fuel cell, both from clamping as well as strain from changing levels of hydration, cause Nafion to flow. This results in thinning in spots and sometimes leads to the development of pinholes or contact problems between membrane and electrode. Temperature and water content strongly affect Nafion's viscoelastic response, of direct importance for operating PEM fuel cells. The viscoelastic response of Nafion was measured over a range of temperature and hydration using viscoelastic creep. A specially designed creep apparatus with environmental controls was used. It was found that the effects of temperature and hydration on Nafion's viscoelastic response are very complicated. Around room temperature, water acts to plasticize Nafion; elastic modulus and resistance to creep decrease with increasing hydration. As temperature increases, water has the opposite effect on mechanical response; hydration acts to stabilize the material. Mechanical property values are reported over a range of temperature and hydration germane to the operation of PEMFCs. Additionally, the data is used to infer molecular level interactions and the effects of temperature and hydration on microstructure. Hydration of Nafion and other PEMFC materials is required for the high proton conductivity needed for fuel cell operation. Uptake of water by Nafion results in volumetric swelling. Water transport through Nafion was directly measured by permeation. Both liquid and vapor phase

  12. Experimental study of humidity changes on the performance of an elliptical single four-channel PEM fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gholizadeh, Mohammad; Ghazikhani, Mohsen; Khazaee, Iman

    2016-04-01

    Humidity and humidification in a proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEM) can significantly affect the performance of these energy generating devices. Since protons (H+) needs to be accompanied by water molecules to pass from the anode side to the cathode side, the PEM fuel cell membrane should be sufficiently wet. Low or high amount of water in the membrane can interrupt the flow of protons and thus reduce the efficiency of the fuel cell. In this context, several experimental studies and modeling have been carried out on PEM fuel cell and interesting results have been achieved. In this paper, the humidity and flow rate of gas in the anode and cathode are modified to examine its effect on fuel cell performance. The results show that the effect of humidity changing in the anode side is greater than that of the cathode so that at zero humidity of anode and 70 % humidity of the cathode, a maximum current flow of 0.512 A/cm2 for 0.12 V was obtained. However, at 70 % anode humidity and zero cathode humidity, a maximum flow of 0.86 A/cm2 for 0.13 V was obtained.

  13. Hydrogen-Oxygen PEM Regenerative Fuel Cell Development at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bents, David J.; Scullin, Vincent J.; Chang, B. J.; Johnson, Donald W.; Garcia, Christopher P.; Jakupca, Ian J.

    2006-01-01

    The closed-cycle hydrogen-oxygen PEM regenerative fuel cell (RFC) at NASA Glenn Research Center has demonstrated multiple back to back contiguous cycles at rated power, and round trip efficiencies up to 52 percent. It is the first fully closed cycle regenerative fuel cell ever demonstrated (entire system is sealed: nothing enters or escapes the system other than electrical power and heat). During FY2006 the system has undergone numerous modifications and internal improvements aimed at reducing parasitic power, heat loss and noise signature, increasing its functionality as an unattended automated energy storage device, and in-service reliability. It also serves as testbed towards development of a 600 W-hr/kg flight configuration, through the successful demonstration of lightweight fuel cell and electrolyser stacks and supporting components. The RFC has demonstrated its potential as an energy storage device for aerospace solar power systems such as solar electric aircraft, lunar and planetary surface installations; any airless environment where minimum system weight is critical. Its development process continues on a path of risk reduction for the flight system NASA will eventually need for the manned lunar outpost.

  14. Performance evaluation and characterization of metallic bipolar plates in a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hung, Yue

    Bipolar plate and membrane electrode assembly (MEA) are the two most repeated components of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell stack. Bipolar plates comprise more than 60% of the weight and account for 30% of the total cost of a fuel cell stack. The bipolar plates perform as current conductors between cells, provide conduits for reactant gases, facilitate water and thermal management through the cell, and constitute the backbone of a power stack. In addition, bipolar plates must have excellent corrosion resistance to withstand the highly corrosive environment inside the fuel cell, and they must maintain low interfacial contact resistance throughout the operation to achieve optimum power density output. Currently, commercial bipolar plates are made of graphite composites because of their relatively low interfacial contact resistance (ICR) and high corrosion resistance. However, graphite composite's manufacturability, permeability, and durability for shock and vibration are unfavorable in comparison to metals. Therefore, metals have been considered as a replacement material for graphite composite bipolar plates. Since bipolar plates must possess the combined advantages of both metals and graphite composites in the fuel cell technology, various methods and techniques are being developed to combat metallic corrosion and eliminate the passive layer formed on the metal surface that causes unacceptable power reduction and possible fouling of the catalyst and the electrolyte. The main objective of this study was to explore the possibility of producing efficient, cost-effective and durable metallic bipolar plates that were capable of functioning in the highly corrosive fuel cell environment. Bulk materials such as Poco graphite, graphite composite, SS310, SS316, incoloy 800, titanium carbide and zirconium carbide were investigated as potential bipolar plate materials. In this work, different alloys and compositions of chromium carbide coatings on aluminum and SS316

  15. Modeling the cathode pressure dynamics in the Buckeye Bullet II 540 kW hydrogen PEM fuel cell system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hillstrom, Edward T.; Canova, Marcello; Guezennec, Yann; Rizzoni, Giorgio

    2013-11-01

    The Buckeye Bullet 2 (BB2) is the world's fastest hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, with an international speed record of 302.9 mph. In order to achieve the power levels necessary for reaching the top speed, a unique gas supply system was designed to feed the PEM fuel cell modules. Stored Heliox with 40% oxygen content was used as the oxidizer and supplied to the cathode at high pressure. The high oxygen concentration at the cathode leads to a high rate of water formation in the GDL, with considerable influence on the pressure dynamics. For this reason, a precise monitoring of the pressure and water formation is required so that the cathode can operate at the maximum allowable pressure. This paper presents a novel control-oriented modeling approach to predict the cathode pressure dynamics of the BB2 PEM fuel cell system, developed for system optimization, monitoring and control. A distributed-parameter model was designed to characterize the liquid water formation and transport in the cathode channels, starting from the conservation laws for viscous fluid flow. The model was validated against a set of laboratory tests and actual race data. In this context, the proposed model is compared to a well known control-oriented PEM fuel cell model, to illustrate how the ability to predict the water transport at high reaction rates allows for an improved prediction of the pressure dynamics.

  16. Drinking water purification by electrosynthesis of hydrogen peroxide in a power-producing PEM fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Li, Winton; Bonakdarpour, Arman; Gyenge, Előd; Wilkinson, David P

    2013-11-01

    The industrial anthraquinone auto-oxidation process produces most of the world's supply of hydrogen peroxide. For applications that require small amounts of H2 O2 or have economically difficult transportation means, an alternate, on-site H2 O2 production method is needed. Advanced drinking water purification technologies use neutral-pH H2 O2 in combination with UV treatment to reach the desired water purity targets. To produce neutral H2 O2 on-site and on-demand for drinking water purification, the electroreduction of oxygen at the cathode of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell operated in either electrolysis (power consuming) or fuel cell (power generating) mode could be a possible solution. The work presented here focuses on the H2 /O2 fuel cell mode to produce H2 O2 . The fuel cell reactor is operated with a continuous flow of carrier water through the cathode to remove the product H2 O2 . The impact of the cobalt-carbon composite cathode catalyst loading, Teflon content in the cathode gas diffusion layer, and cathode carrier water flowrate on the production of H2 O2 are examined. H2 O2 production rates of up to 200 μmol h(-1)  cmgeometric (-2) are achieved using a continuous flow of carrier water operating at 30 % current efficiency. Operation times of more than 24 h have shown consistent H2 O2 and power production, with no degradation of the cobalt catalyst. PMID:24039111

  17. Performance evaluation and characterization of metallic bipolar plates in a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hung, Yue

    Bipolar plate and membrane electrode assembly (MEA) are the two most repeated components of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell stack. Bipolar plates comprise more than 60% of the weight and account for 30% of the total cost of a fuel cell stack. The bipolar plates perform as current conductors between cells, provide conduits for reactant gases, facilitate water and thermal management through the cell, and constitute the backbone of a power stack. In addition, bipolar plates must have excellent corrosion resistance to withstand the highly corrosive environment inside the fuel cell, and they must maintain low interfacial contact resistance throughout the operation to achieve optimum power density output. Currently, commercial bipolar plates are made of graphite composites because of their relatively low interfacial contact resistance (ICR) and high corrosion resistance. However, graphite composite's manufacturability, permeability, and durability for shock and vibration are unfavorable in comparison to metals. Therefore, metals have been considered as a replacement material for graphite composite bipolar plates. Since bipolar plates must possess the combined advantages of both metals and graphite composites in the fuel cell technology, various methods and techniques are being developed to combat metallic corrosion and eliminate the passive layer formed on the metal surface that causes unacceptable power reduction and possible fouling of the catalyst and the electrolyte. The main objective of this study was to explore the possibility of producing efficient, cost-effective and durable metallic bipolar plates that were capable of functioning in the highly corrosive fuel cell environment. Bulk materials such as Poco graphite, graphite composite, SS310, SS316, incoloy 800, titanium carbide and zirconium carbide were investigated as potential bipolar plate materials. In this work, different alloys and compositions of chromium carbide coatings on aluminum and SS316

  18. An experimental study of a PEM fuel cell power train for urban bus application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corbo, P.; Migliardini, F.; Veneri, O.

    An experimental study was carried out on a fuel cell propulsion system for minibus application with the aim to investigate the main issues of energy management within the system in dynamic conditions. The fuel cell system (FCS), based on a 20 kW PEM stack, was integrated into the power train comprising DC-DC converter, Pb batteries as energy storage systems and asynchronous electric drive of 30 kW. As reference vehicle a minibus for public transportation in historical centres was adopted. A preliminary experimental analysis was conducted on the FCS connected to a resistive load through a DC-DC converter, in order to verify the stack dynamic performance varying its power acceleration from 0.5 kW s -1 to about 4 kW s -1. The experiments on the power train were conducted on a test bench able to simulate the vehicle parameters and road characteristics on specific driving cycles, in particular the European R40 cycle was adopted as reference. The "soft hybrid" configuration, which permitted the utilization of a minimum size energy storage system and implied the use of FCS mainly in dynamic operation, was compared with the "hard hybrid" solution, characterized by FCS operation at limited power in stationary conditions. Different control strategies of power flows between fuel cells, electric energy storage system and electric drive were adopted in order to verify the two above hybrid approaches during the vehicle mission, in terms of efficiencies of individual components and of the overall power train. The FCS was able to support the dynamic requirements typical of R40 cycle, but an increase of air flow rate during the fastest acceleration phases was necessary, with only a slight reduction of FCS efficiency. The FCS efficiency resulted comprised between 45 and 48%, while the overall power train efficiency reached 30% in conditions of constant stack power during the driving cycle.

  19. Ice formation in PEM fuel cells operated isothermally at sub-freezing temperatures

    SciTech Connect

    Mukundan, Rangachary; Luhan, Roger W; Davey, John R; Spendelow, Jacob S; Borup, Rodney L; Hussey, Daniel S; Jacobson, David L; Arif, Muhammad

    2009-01-01

    The effect of MEA and GDL structure and composition on the performance of single-PEM fuel cells operated isothermally at subfreezing temperatures is presented. The cell performance and durability are not only dependent on the MEA/GDL materials used but also on their interfaces. When a cell is operated isothermally at sub-freezing temperatures in constant current mode, the water formation due to the current density initially hydrates the membrane/ionomer and then forms ice in the catalyst layer/GDL. An increase in high frequency resistance was also observed in certain MEAs where there is a possibility of ice formation between the catalyst layer and GDL leading to a loss in contact area. The total water/ice holding capacity for any MEA was lower at lower temperatures and higher current densities. The durability of MEAs subjected to multiple isothermal starts was better for LANL prepared MEAs as compared to commercial MEAs, and cloth GDLs when compared to paper GDLs. The ice formation was monitored using high-resolution neutron radiography and was found to be concentrated near the cathode catalyst layer. However, there was significant ice formation in the GDLs especially at the higher temperature ({approx} -10 C) and lower current density (0.02 A/cm{sup 2}) operations. These results are consistent with the longer-term durability observations that show more severe degradation at the lower temperatures.

  20. Deformation of PEM fuel cell gas diffusion layers under compressive loading: An analytical approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Norouzifard, Vahid; Bahrami, Majid

    2014-10-01

    In the PEM fuel cell stack, the fibrous porous gas diffusion layer (GDL) provides mechanical support for the membrane assembly against the compressive loads imposed by bipolar plates. In this study, a new mechanistic model is developed using fundamental beam theory that can accurately predict the mechanical deflection of GDL under compressive loads. The present analytical model is built on a unit cell approach, which assumes a simplified geometry for the complex and random GDL microstructure. The model includes salient microstructural parameters and properties of the fibrous porous medium including: carbon fiber diameter, fiber elastic modulus, pore size distribution, and porosity. Carbon fiber bending is proved to be the main deformation mechanism at the unit cell level. A comprehensive optical measurement study with statistical analysis is performed to determine the geometrical parameters of the model for a number of commercially available GDL samples. A comparison between the present model and our experimental stress-strain data shows a good agreement for the linear deformation region, where the compressive pressure is higher than 1 MPa.

  1. Analytical and numerical study on cooling flow field designs performance of PEM fuel cell with variable heat flux

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Afshari, Ebrahim; Ziaei-Rad, Masoud; Jahantigh, Nabi

    2016-06-01

    In PEM fuel cells, during electrochemical generation of electricity more than half of the chemical energy of hydrogen is converted to heat. This heat of reactions, if not exhausted properly, would impair the performance and durability of the cell. In general, large scale PEM fuel cells are cooled by liquid water that circulates through coolant flow channels formed in bipolar plates or in dedicated cooling plates. In this paper, a numerical method has been presented to study cooling and temperature distribution of a polymer membrane fuel cell stack. The heat flux on the cooling plate is variable. A three-dimensional model of fluid flow and heat transfer in cooling plates with 15 cm × 15 cm square area is considered and the performances of four different coolant flow field designs, parallel field and serpentine fields are compared in terms of maximum surface temperature, temperature uniformity and pressure drop characteristics. By comparing the results in two cases, the constant and variable heat flux, it is observed that applying constant heat flux instead of variable heat flux which is actually occurring in the fuel cells is not an accurate assumption. The numerical results indicated that the straight flow field model has temperature uniformity index and almost the same temperature difference with the serpentine models, while its pressure drop is less than all of the serpentine models. Another important advantage of this model is the much easier design and building than the spiral models.

  2. Fault detection and isolation of PEM fuel cell system based on nonlinear analytical redundancy. An application via parity space approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aitouche, A.; Yang, Q.; Ould Bouamama, B.

    2011-05-01

    This paper presents a procedure dealing with the issue of fault detection and isolation (FDI) using nonlinear analytical redundancy (NLAR) technique applied in a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell system based on its mathematic model. The model is proposed and simplified into a five orders state space representation. The transient phenomena captured in the model include the compressor dynamics, the flow characteristics, mass and energy conservation and manifold fluidic mechanics. Nonlinear analytical residuals are generated based on the elimination of the unknown variables of the system by an extended parity space approach to detect and isolate actuator and sensor faults. Finally, numerical simulation results are given corresponding to a faults signature matrix.

  3. Analysis of an energy recovery system for reformate-based PEM fuel cells involving a binary two-phase mixture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Yiding

    A comprehensive analysis on a novel energy recovery system for reformate-based proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell systems is presented. The energy recovery system includes a throttling valve, a heat exchanger, a compressor, and is coupled with a coolant loop for the fuel cell stack. The feed stock of the fuel reformer, which is primarily a mixture of water and fuel, is vaporized in the heat exchanger and is then compressed to a sufficiently high pressure before it is ducted into the fuel reformer. The analysis includes the throttling of two-phase fuel/water mixture and vaporization in the heat exchanger to obtain the temperature and pressure of the mixture at the inlet of the compressor. The results indicate that the power plant efficiency with the energy recovery system can be increased by more than 20% compared to that of a fuel cell power plant without the energy recovery system. Additionally, more than 25% of the waste heat generated by the fuel cell stack can be removed due to the energy recovery system, and the fuel burned for the fuel reforming purpose is reduced by more than 70%.

  4. Research and development of proton-exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell system for transportation applications. Phase I final report

    SciTech Connect

    1996-01-01

    Objective during Phase I was to develop a methanol-fueled 10-kW fuel cell power source and evaluate its feasibility for transportation applications. This report documents research on component (fuel cell stack, fuel processor, power source ancillaries and system sensors) development and the 10-kW power source system integration and test. The conceptual design study for a PEM fuel cell powered vehicle was documented in an earlier report (DOE/CH/10435-01) and is summarized herein. Major achievements in the program include development of advanced membrane and thin-film low Pt-loaded electrode assemblies that in reference cell testing with reformate-air reactants yielded performance exceeding the program target (0.7 V at 1000 amps/ft{sup 2}); identification of oxidation catalysts and operating conditions that routinely result in very low CO levels ({le} 10 ppm) in the fuel processor reformate, thus avoiding degradation of the fuel cell stack performance; and successful integrated operation of a 10-kW fuel cell stack on reformate from the fuel processor.

  5. Radiation grafted and sulfonated (FEP-g-polysterene) - An alternative to perfluorinated membranes for PEM fuel cells?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buechi, F. N.; Gupta, B.; Rouilly, M.; Hauser, P. C.; Chapiro, A.; Scherer, G. G.

    Partially fluorinated proton exchange membranes (PEMs) were synthesized for fuel cell applications by simultaneous radiation grafting of styrene on FEP films followed by sulfonation. Properties of the synthesized membranes can be tailored by varying the degree of grafting and crosslinking. The performance of these membranes was tested in H2/O2 fuel cells. Long time testing showed steady performance for high grafted membranes over periods of more than 300 h at a cell temperature of 60 C. Low grafted membranes and the Morgane CDS membrane showed considerable decay of cell power on the same time scale. A fast degradation of all membranes occurred at a cell temperature of 80 C. It is noted that grafting in film form makes this process a potentially cheap and easy technique for the preparation of solid polymer fuel cell electrolytes.

  6. PEM fuel cell stack testing in the framework of an EU-harmonized fuel cell testing protocol: Results for an 11 kW stack

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bove, Roberto; Malkow, Thomas; Saturnio, Antonio; Tsotridis, Georgios

    Fuel cell testing and standardization thematic network (FCTESTNET) was a Thematic Network funded by the European Commission under the Fifth Framework Program (FP5), which was comprised of 55 European partners. The project concluded in 2006 and the main output was the collection and compilation of agreed testing procedures for different fuel cell technologies (PEM, SOFC, MCFC), applications (stationary, portable, transport), as well as balance of plant. Experimental validation of such testing procedures is the next necessary step for obtaining reliable harmonized testing procedures. The Joint Research Centre (JRC), Institute for Energy (IE) has started the validation process on selected PEM testing procedures. One of the FCTESTNET procedures applied at JRC-IE is the polarization curve for a PEM stack. Results show that the harmonization of some parameters, such as the acquisition and equilibrium time for each value of the current density, and the control of the stack coolant temperature, is a necessary action for an objective and trustworthy comparison of the performance data.

  7. PEM (Proton exchange membrane) fuel cell stack heat and mass measurement

    SciTech Connect

    Vanderborgh, N.E.; Kimble, M.C.; Huff, J.R.; Hedstrom, J.C.

    1992-01-01

    PEM stacks are under evaluation as candidates for future space power technology. Results of long-term operation on a set of contemporary stacks fitted with different proton exchange membrane materials are given. Data on water balances show effects of membrane materials on stack performance. 15 refs.

  8. PEM (Proton exchange membrane) fuel cell stack heat and mass measurement

    SciTech Connect

    Vanderborgh, N.E.; Kimble, M.C.; Huff, J.R.; Hedstrom, J.C.

    1992-08-01

    PEM stacks are under evaluation as candidates for future space power technology. Results of long-term operation on a set of contemporary stacks fitted with different proton exchange membrane materials are given. Data on water balances show effects of membrane materials on stack performance. 15 refs.

  9. Engineered Nano-scale Ceramic Supports for PEM Fuel Cells. Tech Team Meeting Presentaion

    SciTech Connect

    Brosha, Eric L.; Elbaz Alon, Lior; Henson, Neil J.; Rockward, Tommy; Roy, Aaron; Serov, Alexey; Ward, Timothy

    2012-08-13

    Catalyst support durability is currently a technical barrier for commercialization of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells, especially for transportation applications. Degradation and corrosion of the conventional carbon supports leads to losses in active catalyst surface area and, consequently, reduced performance. As a result, the goal of this work is to develop support materials that interact strongly with Pt, yet sustain bulk-like catalytic activities with very highly dispersed particles. Ceramic materials that are prepared using conventional solid-state methods have large grain sizes and low surface areas that can only be minimally ameliorated through grinding and ball milling. Other synthesis routes to produce ceramic materials must be investigated and utilized in order to obtain desired surface areas. In this work, several different synthesis methods are being utilized to prepare electronically conductive ceramic boride, nitride, and oxide materials with high surface areas and have the potential for use as PEMFC catalyst supports. Polymer-assisted deposition (PAD) and aerosol-through plasma (A-T-P) torch are among several methods used to obtain ceramic materials with surface areas that are equal to, or exceed Vulcan XC-72R supports. Cubic Mo-based ceramic phases have been prepared with average XRD-determined crystallite sizes as low as 1.6 nm (from full profile, XRD fitting) and a BET surface area exceeding 200 m{sup 2}/g. Additionally, black, sub-stoichiometric TiO{sub 2-x}, have been prepared with an average crystallite size in the 4 nm range and surface areas exceeding 250 m{sup 2}/gr. Pt disposition using an incipient wetness approach produced materials with activity for hydrogen redox reactions and ORR. Cyclic voltammetry data will be shown for a variety of potential Pt/ceramic catalysts. Initial experiments indicate enhanced Pt metal-support interactions as well. Plane wave periodic density functional calculations (VASP) are being used to

  10. Diesel fuel processor for PEM fuel cells: Two possible alternatives (ATR versus SR)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cutillo, A.; Specchia, S.; Antonini, M.; Saracco, G.; Specchia, V.

    There are large efforts in exploring the on-board reforming technologies, which would avoid the actual lack of hydrogen infrastructure and related safety issues. From this view point, the present work deals with the comparison between two different 10 kW e fuel processors (FP) systems for the production of hydrogen-rich fuel gas starting from diesel oil, based respectively on autothermal (ATR) and steam-reforming (SR) process and related CO clean-up technologies; the obtained hydrogen rich gas is fed to the PEMFC stack of an auxiliary power unit (APU). Based on a series of simulations with Matlab/Simulink, the two systems were compared in terms of FP and APU efficiency, hydrogen concentration fed to the FC, water balance and process scheme complexity. Notwithstanding a slightly higher process scheme complexity and a slightly more difficult water recovery, the FP based on the SR scheme, as compared to the ATR one, shows higher efficiency and larger hydrogen concentration for the stream fed to the PEMFC anode, which represent key issues for auxiliary power generation based on FCs as compared, e.g. to alternators.

  11. 2005 DOE Hydrogen Program Review PresentationCOST AND PERFORMANCE ENHANCEMENTS FOR A PEM FUEL CELL TURBOCOMPRESSOR

    SciTech Connect

    Mark K. Gee

    2005-04-01

    The objectives of the program during the past year was to complete Technical Objectives 2 and 3 and initiate Technical Objective 4 are described. To assist the Department of Energy in the development of a low cost, reliable and high performance air compressor/expander. Technical Objective 1: Perform a turbocompressor systems PEM fuel cell trade study to determine the enhanced turbocompressor approach. Technical Objective 2: Using the results from technical objective 1, an enhanced turbocompressor will be fabricated. The design may be modified to match the flow requirements of a selected fuel cell system developer. Technical Objective 3: Design a cost and performance enhanced compact motor and motor controller. Technical Objective 4: Turbocompressor/motor controller development.

  12. Properties of graphite-stainless steel composite in bipolar plates in simulated anode and cathode environments of PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Włodarczyk, Renata

    2014-09-01

    The use of a graphite-stainless steel composite as bipolar plates (BP) in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) has been evaluated. The study covers measurements of mechanical properties, microstructural examination, analysis of surface profile, wettability, porosity and corrosion resistance of the composite. The corrosion properties of the composite were examined in 0.1 mol·dm-3 H2SO4 + 2 ppm F- saturated with H2 or with O2 and in solutions with different pH: in Na2SO4+ 2 ppm F- (pH = 1.00, 3.00, 5.00) at 80 °C. The performed tests indicate that the graphite modified with stainless steel can be a good choice to be used as a bipolar plate in PEM fuel cells.

  13. Micro reactor integrated μ-PEM fuel cell system: a feed connector and flow field free approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balakrishnan, A.; Mueller, C.; Reinecke, H.

    2013-12-01

    A system level microreactor concept for hydrogen generation with Sodium Borohydride (NaBH4) is demonstrated. The uniqueness of the system is the transport and distribution feature of fuel (hydrogen) to the anode of the fuel cell without any external feed connectors and flow fields. The approach here is to use palladium film instead of feed connectors and the flow fields; palladium's property to adsorb and desorb the hydrogen at ambient and elevated condition. The proof of concept is demonstrated with a polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) based complete system integration which includes microreactor, palladium transport layer and the self-breathing polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell. The hydrolysis of NaBH4 was carried out in the presence of platinum supported by nickel (NiPt). The prototype functionality is tested with NaBH4 chemical hydride. The characterization of the integrated palladium layer and fuel cell is tested with constant and switching load. The presented integrated fuel cell is observed to have a maximum power output and current of 60 mW and 280 mA respectively.

  14. Direct-hydrogen-fueled proton-exchange-membrane (PEM) fuel cell system for transportation applications. Quarterly technical progress report No. 4, April 1, 1995--June 30, 1995

    SciTech Connect

    Oei, D.

    1995-08-03

    This is the fourth Technical Progress Report for DOE Contract No. DE-AC02-94CE50389 awarded to Ford Motor Company on July 1, 1994. The overall objective of this contract is to advance the Proton-Exchange-Membrane (PEM) fuel cell technology for automotive applications. Specifically, the objectives resulting from this contract are to: (1) Develop and demonstrate on a laboratory propulsion system within 2-1/2 years a fully functional PEM Fuel Cell Power System (including fuel cell peripherals, peak power augmentation and controls). This propulsion system will achieve, or will be shown to have the growth potential to achieve, the weights, volumes, and production costs which are competitive with those same attributes of equivalently performing internal combustion engine propulsion systems; (2) Select and demonstrate a baseline onboard hydrogen storage method with acceptable weight, volume, cost, and safety features and analyze future alternatives; and (3) Analyze the hydrogen infrastructure components to ensure that hydrogen can be safely supplied to vehicles at geographically widespread convenient sites and at prices which are less than current gasoline prices per vehicle-mile; (4) Identify any future R&D needs for a fully integrated vehicle and for achieving the system cost and performance goals.

  15. Evolutionary programming-based methodology for economical output power from PEM fuel cell for micro-grid application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El-Sharkh, M. Y.; Rahman, A.; Alam, M. S.

    This paper presents a methodology for finding the optimal output power from a PEM fuel cell power plant (FCPP). The FCPP is used to supply power to a small micro-grid community. The technique used is based on evolutionary programming (EP) to find a near-optimal solution of the problem. The method incorporates the Hill-Climbing technique (HCT) to maintain feasibility during the solution process. An economic model of the FCPP is used. The model considers the production cost of energy and the possibility of selling and buying electrical energy from the local grid. In addition, the model takes into account the thermal energy output from the FCPP and the thermal energy requirement for the micro-grid community. The results obtained are compared against a solution based on genetic algorithms. Results are encouraging and indicate viability of the proposed technique.

  16. Design, Fabrication and Prototype testing of a Chip Integrated Micro PEM Fuel Cell Accumulator combined On-Board Range Extender

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balakrishnan, A.; Mueller, C.; Reinecke, H.

    2014-11-01

    In this work we present the design, fabrication and prototype testing of Chip Integrated Micro PEM Fuel Cell Accumulator (CIμ-PFCA) combined On-Board Range Extender (O-BRE). CIμ-PFCA is silicon based micro-PEM fuel cell system with an integrated hydrogen storage feature (palladium metal hydride), the run time of CIμ-PFCA is dependent on the stored hydrogen, and in order to extend its run time an O-BRE is realized (catalytic hydrolysis of chemical hydride, NaBH4. Combining the CIμ-PFCA and O-BRE on a system level have few important design requirements to be considered; hydrogen regulation, gas -liquid separator between the CIμ-PFCA and the O-RE. The usage of traditional techniques to regulate hydrogen (tubes), gas-liquid phase membranes (porous membrane separators) are less desirable in the micro domain, due to its space constraint. Our approach is to use a passive hydrogen regulation and gas-liquid phase separation concept; to use palladium membrane. Palladium regulates hydrogen by concentration diffusion, and its property to selectively adsorb only hydrogen is used as a passive gas-liquid phase separator. Proof of concept is shown by realizing a prototype system. The system is an assembly of CIμ-PFCA, palladium membrane and the O-BRE. The CIμ-PFCA consist of 2 individually processed silicon chips, copper supported palladium membrane realized by electroplating followed by high temperature annealing process under inter atmosphere and the O-BRE is realized out of a polymer substrate by micromilling process with platinum coated structures, which functions as a catalyst for the hydrolysis of NaBH4. The functionality of the assembled prototype system is demonstrated by the measuring a unit cell (area 1 mm2) when driven by the catalytic hydrolysis of chemical hydride (NaBH4 and the prototype system shows run time more than 15 hours.

  17. In-situ diagnostic tools for hydrogen transfer leak characterization in PEM fuel cell stacks part II: Operational applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niroumand, Amir M.; Homayouni, Hooman; DeVaal, Jake; Golnaraghi, Farid; Kjeang, Erik

    2016-08-01

    This paper describes a diagnostic tool for in-situ characterization of the rate and distribution of hydrogen transfer leaks in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cell stacks. The method is based on reducing the air flow rate from a high to low value at a fixed current, while maintaining an anode overpressure. At high air flow rates, the reduction in air flow results in lower oxygen concentration in the cathode and therefore reduction in cell voltages. Once the air flow rate in each cell reaches a low value at which the cell oxygen-starves, the voltage of the corresponding cell drops to zero. However, oxygen starvation results from two processes: 1) the electrochemical oxygen reduction reaction which produces current; and 2) the chemical reaction between oxygen and the crossed over hydrogen. In this work, a diagnostic technique has been developed that accounts for the effect of the electrochemical reaction on cell voltage to identify the hydrogen leak rate and number of leaky cells in a fuel cell stack. This technique is suitable for leak characterization during fuel cell operation, as it only requires stack air flow and voltage measurements, which are readily available in an operational fuel cell system.

  18. Performance Evaluation of Electrochem's PEM Fuel Cell Power Plant for NASA's 2nd Generation Reusable Launch Vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kimble, Michael C.; Hoberecht, Mark

    2003-01-01

    NASA's Next Generation Launch Technology (NGLT) program is being developed to meet national needs for civil and commercial space access with goals of reducing the launch costs, increasing the reliability, and reducing the maintenance and operating costs. To this end, NASA is considering an all- electric capability for NGLT vehicles requiring advanced electrical power generation technology at a nominal 20 kW level with peak power capabilities six times the nominal power. The proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell has been identified as a viable candidate to supply this electrical power; however, several technology aspects need to be assessed. Electrochem, Inc., under contract to NASA, has developed a breadboard power generator to address these technical issues with the goal of maximizing the system reliability while minimizing the cost and system complexity. This breadboard generator operates with dry hydrogen and oxygen gas using eductors to recirculate the gases eliminating gas humidification and blowers from the system. Except for a coolant pump, the system design incorporates passive components allowing the fuel cell to readily follow a duty cycle profile and that may operate at high 6:1 peak power levels for 30 second durations. Performance data of the fuel cell stack along with system performance is presented to highlight the benefits of the fuel cell stack design and system design for NGLT vehicles.

  19. Platinized Graphene/ceramics Nano-sandwiched Architectures and Electrodes with Outstanding Performance for PEM Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xu; He, Daping; Wu, Hui; Zhao, Xiaofeng; Zhang, Jian; Cheng, Kun; Wu, Peng; Mu, Shichun

    2015-01-01

    For the first time a novel oxygen reduction catalyst with a 3D platinized graphene/nano-ceramic sandwiched architecture is successfully prepared by an unusual method. Herein the specific gravity of graphene nanosheets (GNS) is tailored by platinizing graphene in advance to shorten the difference in the specific gravity between carbon and SiC materials, and then nano-SiC is well intercalated into GNS interlayers. This nano-architecture with highly dispersed Pt nanoparticles exhibits a very high oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity and polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell performance. The mass activity of half cells is 1.6 times of that of the GNS supported Pt, and 2.4 times that of the commercial Pt/C catalyst, respectively. Moreover, after an accelerated stress test our catalyst shows a predominantly electrochemical stability compared with benchmarks. Further fuel cell tests show a maximum power density as high as 747 mW/cm(2) at low Pt loading, which is more than 2 times higher than that of fuel cells with the pristine graphene electrode. PMID:26538366

  20. Platinized Graphene/ceramics Nano-sandwiched Architectures and Electrodes with Outstanding Performance for PEM Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Xu; He, Daping; Wu, Hui; Zhao, Xiaofeng; Zhang, Jian; Cheng, Kun; Wu, Peng; Mu, Shichun

    2015-11-01

    For the first time a novel oxygen reduction catalyst with a 3D platinized graphene/nano-ceramic sandwiched architecture is successfully prepared by an unusual method. Herein the specific gravity of graphene nanosheets (GNS) is tailored by platinizing graphene in advance to shorten the difference in the specific gravity between carbon and SiC materials, and then nano-SiC is well intercalated into GNS interlayers. This nano-architecture with highly dispersed Pt nanoparticles exhibits a very high oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity and polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell performance. The mass activity of half cells is 1.6 times of that of the GNS supported Pt, and 2.4 times that of the commercial Pt/C catalyst, respectively. Moreover, after an accelerated stress test our catalyst shows a predominantly electrochemical stability compared with benchmarks. Further fuel cell tests show a maximum power density as high as 747 mW/cm2 at low Pt loading, which is more than 2 times higher than that of fuel cells with the pristine graphene electrode.

  1. Platinized Graphene/ceramics Nano-sandwiched Architectures and Electrodes with Outstanding Performance for PEM Fuel Cells

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Xu; He, Daping; Wu, Hui; Zhao, Xiaofeng; Zhang, Jian; Cheng, Kun; Wu, Peng; Mu, Shichun

    2015-01-01

    For the first time a novel oxygen reduction catalyst with a 3D platinized graphene/nano-ceramic sandwiched architecture is successfully prepared by an unusual method. Herein the specific gravity of graphene nanosheets (GNS) is tailored by platinizing graphene in advance to shorten the difference in the specific gravity between carbon and SiC materials, and then nano-SiC is well intercalated into GNS interlayers. This nano-architecture with highly dispersed Pt nanoparticles exhibits a very high oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity and polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell performance. The mass activity of half cells is 1.6 times of that of the GNS supported Pt, and 2.4 times that of the commercial Pt/C catalyst, respectively. Moreover, after an accelerated stress test our catalyst shows a predominantly electrochemical stability compared with benchmarks. Further fuel cell tests show a maximum power density as high as 747 mW/cm2 at low Pt loading, which is more than 2 times higher than that of fuel cells with the pristine graphene electrode. PMID:26538366

  2. Electrochemical energy storage using PEM systems

    SciTech Connect

    Vanderborgh, N.E.; Hedstrom, J.C.; Huff, J.R.

    1991-01-01

    This paper gives the results of an engineering assessment for future, long-lived space power systems for extraterrestrial applications. Solar-based, regenerative fuel cell power plants formed from either alkaline or PEM components are the focus. Test results on advanced PEM fuel cell stack components are presented. 7 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab.

  3. Experimental investigation of water droplet-air flow interaction in a non-reacting PEM fuel cell channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esposito, Angelo; Montello, Aaron D.; Guezennec, Yann G.; Pianese, Cesare

    It has been well documented that water production in PEM fuel cells occurs in discrete locations, resulting in the formation and growth of discrete droplets on the gas diffusion layer (GDL) surface within the gas flow channels (GFCs). This research uses a simulated fuel cell GFC with three transparent walls in conjunction with a high speed fluorescence photometry system to capture videos of dynamically deforming droplets. Such videos clearly show that the droplets undergo oscillatory deformation patterns. Although many authors have previously investigated the air flow induced droplet detachment, none of them have studied these oscillatory modes. The novelty of this work is to process and analyze the recorded videos to gather information on the droplets induced oscillation. Plots are formulated to indicate the dominant horizontal and vertical deformation frequency components over the range of sizes of droplets from formation to detachment. The system is also used to characterize droplet detachment size at a variety of channel air velocities. A simplified model to explain the droplet oscillation mechanism is provided as well.

  4. Measurement of effective gas diffusion coefficients of catalyst layers of PEM fuel cells with a Loschmidt diffusion cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, Jun; Zhou, Jianqin; Astrath, Nelson G. C.; Navessin, Titichai; Liu, Zhong-Sheng (Simon); Lei, Chao; Rohling, Jurandir H.; Bessarabov, Dmitri; Knights, Shanna; Ye, Siyu

    In this work, using an in-house made Loschmidt diffusion cell, we measure the effective coefficient of dry gas (O 2-N 2) diffusion in cathode catalyst layers of PEM fuel cells at 25 °C and 1 atmosphere. The thicknesses of the catalyst layers under investigation are from 6 to 29 μm. Each catalyst layer is deposited on an Al 2O 3 membrane substrate by an automated spray coater. Diffusion signal processing procedure is developed to deduce the effective diffusion coefficient, which is found to be (1.47 ± 0.05) × 10 -7 m 2 s -1 for the catalyst layers. Porosity and pore size distribution of the catalyst layers are also measured using Hg porosimetry. The diffusion resistance of the interface between the catalyst layer and the substrate is found to be negligible. The experimental results show that the O 2-N 2 diffusion in the catalyst layers is dominated by the Knudsen effect.

  5. SYSTEMS MODELING OF AMMONIA BORANE BEAD REACTOR FOR OFF-BOARD REGENERABLE HYDROGEN STORAGE IN PEM FUEL CELL APPLICATIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Brooks, Kriston P.; Devarakonda, Maruthi N.; Rassat, Scot D.; King, Dale A.; Herling, Darrell R.

    2010-06-01

    Out of the materials available for chemical hydrogen storage in PEM fuel cell applications, ammonia borane (AB, NH3BH3) has a high hydrogen storage capacity (upto 19.6% by weight for the release of three hydrogen molecules). Therefore, AB was chosen in our chemical hydride simulation studies. A model for the AB bead reactor system was developed to study the system performance and determine the energy, mass and volume requirements for off-board regenerable hydrogen storage. The system includes hot and cold augers, ballast tank and reactor, product tank, H2 burner and a radiator. One dimensional models based on conservation of mass, species and energy were used to predict important state variables such as reactant and product concentrations, temperatures of various components, flow rates, along with pressure in the reactor system. Control signals to various components are governed by a control system which is modeled as an independent subsystem. Various subsystem components in the models were coded as C language S-functions and implemented in Matlab/Simulink environment. Preliminary system simulation results for a start-up case and for a transient drive cycle indicate accurate trends in the reactor system dynamics.

  6. Magnetic resonance imaging of water content across the Nafion membrane in an operational PEM fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ziheng; Martin, Jonathan; Wu, Jinfeng; Wang, Haijiang; Promislow, Keith; Balcom, Bruce J

    2008-08-01

    Water management is critical to optimize the operation of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. At present, numerical models are employed to guide water management in such fuel cells. Accurate measurements of water content variation in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells are required to validate these models and to optimize fuel cell behavior. We report a direct water content measurement across the Nafion membrane in an operational polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell, employing double half k-space spin echo single point imaging techniques. The MRI measurements with T2 mapping were undertaken with a parallel plate resonator to avoid the effects of RF screening. The parallel plate resonator employs the electrodes inherent to the fuel cell to create a resonant circuit at RF frequencies for MR excitation and detection, while still operating as a conventional fuel cell at DC. Three stages of fuel cell operation were investigated: activation, operation and dehydration. Each profile was acquired in 6 min, with 6 microm nominal resolution and a SNR of better than 15. PMID:18555714

  7. A practical PEM fuel cell model for simulating vehicle power sources

    SciTech Connect

    Amphlett, J.C.; Mann, R.F.; Peppley, B.A.; Roberge, P.R.; Rodrigues, A.

    1995-07-01

    The interest in fuel cell technology as an alternative to internal combustion engines is growing rapidly with the increased concern with environmental issues such s reducing vehicle emissions. Fuel cells offer a power source which produces electrical energy from fuel and oxidant which produce little or no emissions. Fuel cell power sources are being considered for both terrestrial and marine applications. The research and commercialization of such systems require system modeling to determine performance levels and fuel and oxidant requirements. A practical model will have to be flexible in its calculations depending on the information available. A model predicting the performance of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell has been developed for a Ballard Mark V 5 kW 35-cell stack. The parametric model combining both empirical and mechanistic qualities was developed to calculate the cell voltage output in terms of complex relationships between current, stack temperature, and inlet partial pressure of hydrogen and oxygen. The model utilizes an iterative computer solution to obtain a practical flexible model which could calculate any variable in terms of the others. This paper illustrates the use of a practical model to determine the fuel and oxidant requirements to achieve various levels of power required for different vehicle power supplies. Applications to automobiles, buses, locomotives, ships, submarines, and unmanned underwater vehicles with power supplies of 3--3,000 kW were investigated.

  8. Development of a 10 kW PEM fuel cell for stationary applications

    SciTech Connect

    Barthels, H.; Mergel, J.; Oetjen, H.F.

    1996-12-31

    A 10 kW Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) is being developed as part of a long-term energy storage path for electricity in the photovoltaic demonstration plant called PHOEBUS at the Forschungszentrum Julich.

  9. Synthesis and Characterization of CO- and H2S-Tolerant Electrocatalysts for PEM Fuel Cell

    SciTech Connect

    Shamsuddin Ilias

    2006-05-18

    The present state-of-art Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) technology is based on platinum (Pt) as a catalyst for both the fuel (anode) and air (cathode) electrodes. This catalyst is highly active but susceptible to poisoning by CO, which may be present in the H{sub 2}-fuel used or may be introduced during the fuel processing. Presence of trace amount of CO and H{sub 2}S in the H{sub 2}-fuel poisons the anode irreversibly and decreases the performance of the PEMFCs. In an effort to reduce the Pt-loading and improve the PEMFC performance, we propose to synthesize a number of Pt-based binary, ternary, and quaternary electrocatalysts using Ru, Mo, Ir, Ni, and Co as a substitute for Pt. By fine-tuning the metal loadings and compositions of candidate electrocatalysts, we plan to minimize the cost and optimize the catalyst activity and performance in PEMFC. The feasibility of the novel electrocatalysts will be demonstrated in the proposed effort with gas phase CO and H{sub 2}S concentrations typical of those found in reformed fuel gas with coal/natural gas/methanol feedstocks. During this reporting period we used four Pt-based electrocatalysts (Pt/Ru/Mo/Se, Pt/Ru/Mo/Ir, Pt/Ru/Mo/W, Ptr/Ru/Mo/Co) in MEAs and these were evaluated for CO-tolerance with 20 and 100 ppm CO concentration in H{sub 2}-fuel. From current-voltage performance study, the catalytic activity was found in the increasing order of Pt/Ru/Mo/Ir > Pt/Ru/Mo/W > Pt/Ru/Mo/Co > Pt/Ru/MO/Se. From preliminary cost analysis it appears that could of the catalyst metal loading can reduced by 40% to 60% depending on the selection of metal combinations without compromising the fuel cell performance.

  10. Inorganic-based proton conductive composite membranes for elevated temperature and reduced relative humidity PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Chunmei

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells are regarded as highly promising energy conversion systems for future transportation and stationary power generation and have been under intensive investigations for the last decade. Unfortunately, cutting edge PEM fuel cell design and components still do not allow economically commercial implementation of this technology. The main obstacles are high cost of proton conductive membranes, low-proton conductivity at low relative humidity (RH), and dehydration and degradation of polymer membranes at high temperatures. The objective of this study was to develop a systematic approach to design a high proton conductive composite membrane that can provide a conductivity of approximately 100 mS cm-1 under hot and dry conditions (120°C and 50% RH). The approach was based on fundamental and experimental studies of the proton conductivity of inorganic additives and composite membranes. We synthesized and investigated a variety of organic-inorganic Nafion-based composite membranes. In particular, we analyzed their fundamental properties, which included thermal stability, morphology, the interaction between inorganic network and Nafion clusters, and the effect of inorganic phase on the membrane conductivity. A wide range of inorganic materials was studied in advance in order to select the proton conductive inorganic additives for composite membranes. We developed a conductivity measurement method, with which the proton conductivity characteristics of solid acid materials, zirconium phosphates, sulfated zirconia (S-ZrO2), phosphosilicate gels, and Santa Barbara Amorphous silica (SBA-15) were discussed in detail. Composite membranes containing Nafion and different amounts of functionalized inorganic additives (sulfated inorganics such as S-ZrO2, SBA-15, Mobil Composition of Matter MCM-41, and S-SiO2, and phosphonated inorganic P-SiO2) were synthesized with different methods. We incorporated inorganic particles within Nafion clusters

  11. Synthesis and Characterization of CO- and H2S-Tolerant Electrocatalysts for PEM Fuel Cell

    SciTech Connect

    Shamsuddin Ilias

    2006-09-30

    The present state-of-art Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) technology is based on platinum (Pt) as a catalyst for both the fuel (anode) and air (cathode) electrodes. This catalyst is highly active but susceptible to poisoning by CO, which may be present in the H{sub 2}-fuel used or may be introduced during the fuel processing. Presence of trace amount of CO and H{sub 2}S in the H{sub 2}-fuel poisons the anode irreversibly and decreases the performance of the PEMFCs. In an effort to reduce the Pt-loading and improve the PEMFC performance, we propose to synthesize a number of Pt-based binary, ternary, and quaternary electrocatalysts using Ru, Mo, Ir, Ni, and Co as a substitute for Pt. By fine-tuning the metal loadings and compositions of candidate electrocatalysts, we plan to minimize the cost and optimize the catalyst activity and performance in PEMFC. The feasibility of the novel electrocatalysts will be demonstrated in the proposed effort with gas phase CO and H{sub 2}S concentrations typical of those found in reformed fuel gas with coal/natural gas/methanol feedstocks. In this work binary, ternary, and quaternary platinum-based electrocatalysts were synthesized for the purpose of lowering the cost and increasing the CO tolerance of the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) in the fuel cell. The metals Ru, Mo, W, Ir, Co and Se were alloyed with platinum on a carbon support using a modified reduction method. These catalysts were fabricated into MEAs and evaluated for electrical performance and CO tolerance with polarization experiments. The quaternary system Pt/Ru/Mo/Ir system is the most CO tolerant in the PEMFC and has a low total metal loading of 0.4 mg/cm{sup 2} in the electrode of the cell.

  12. Studies on Methanol Crossover in Liquid-Feed Direct Methanol Pem Fuel Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Narayanan, S. R.

    1995-01-01

    The performance of liquid feed direct methanol fuel cells using various types of Nafion membranes as the solid polymer electrolyte have been studied. The rate of fuel crossover and electrical performance has been measured for cells with Nafion membranes of various thicknesses and equivalent weights. The crossover rate is found to decrease with increasing thickness and applied current. The dependence of crossover rate on current density can be understood in terms of a simple linear diffusion model which suggests that the crossover rate can be influenced by the electrode structure in addition to the membrane. The studies suggest that Nafion EW 1500 is a very promising alternate to Nafion EW 1100 for direct methanol fuel cells.

  13. Materials, Proton Conductivity and Electrocatalysis in High-Temperature PEM Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daletou, Maria K.; Kallitsis, Joannis; Neophytides, Stylianos G.

    Fuel cells (FCs) are interesting alternatives to existing power conversion systems since they combine high efficiency with the usage of renewable fuels. Fuel cells can generate power from a fraction of a watt to hundreds of kilowatts and can be used in automotive, stationary or portable applications.1,2,3,4,5,6 A FC is an electrochemical device that converts in a continuous manner the free energy of a chemical reaction into electrical energy (via an electrical current). This galvanic cell consists of an electrolyte (liquid or solid) sandwiched between two porous electrodes. In order to reach desirable amounts of energy power, single cell assemblies can be mechanically compressed across electrically conductive separators to fabricate stacks.

  14. Analysis of the energy efficiency of an integrated ethanol processor for PEM fuel cell systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Francesconi, Javier A.; Mussati, Miguel C.; Mato, Roberto O.; Aguirre, Pio A.

    The aim of this work is to investigate the energy integration and to determine the maximum efficiency of an ethanol processor for hydrogen production and fuel cell operation. Ethanol, which can be produced from renewable feedstocks or agriculture residues, is an attractive option as feed to a fuel processor. The fuel processor investigated is based on steam reforming, followed by high- and low-temperature shift reactors and preferential oxidation, which are coupled to a polymeric fuel cell. Applying simulation techniques and using thermodynamic models the performance of the complete system has been evaluated for a variety of operating conditions and possible reforming reactions pathways. These models involve mass and energy balances, chemical equilibrium and feasible heat transfer conditions (Δ T min). The main operating variables were determined for those conditions. The endothermic nature of the reformer has a significant effect on the overall system efficiency. The highest energy consumption is demanded by the reforming reactor, the evaporator and re-heater operations. To obtain an efficient integration, the heat exchanged between the reformer outgoing streams of higher thermal level (reforming and combustion gases) and the feed stream should be maximized. Another process variable that affects the process efficiency is the water-to-fuel ratio fed to the reformer. Large amounts of water involve large heat exchangers and the associated heat losses. A net electric efficiency around 35% was calculated based on the ethanol HHV. The responsibilities for the remaining 65% are: dissipation as heat in the PEMFC cooling system (38%), energy in the flue gases (10%) and irreversibilities in compression and expansion of gases. In addition, it has been possible to determine the self-sufficient limit conditions, and to analyze the effect on the net efficiency of the input temperatures of the clean-up system reactors, combustion preheating, expander unit and crude ethanol as

  15. Synthesis and Characterization of CO- and H2S- Tolerant Electrocatalysts for PEM Fuel Cell

    SciTech Connect

    Shamsuddin Ilias

    2006-12-31

    The present state-of-art Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) technology is based on platinum (Pt) as a catalyst for both the fuel (anode) and air (cathode) electrodes. This catalyst is highly active but susceptible to poisoning by CO, which may be present in the H{sub 2}-fuel used or may be introduced during the fuel processing. Presence of trace amount of CO in the H{sub 2}-fuel poisons the anode irreversibly and decreases the performance of the PEMFCs. In an effort to reduce the Pt-loading and improve the PEMFC performance, we have synthesized a number of Pt-based binary, ternary, and quaternary electrocatalysts using Ru, Mo, Ir, Ni, and Co as a substitute for Pt. Co-catalytic activities were found for the elements Mo, Ru, and Ir. Both the ternary (Pt/Ru/Mo/C) and quaternary (Pt/Ru/Mo/Ir/C) metal catalysts in membrane electrode assemblies (MEA) outperformed pure Pt/C catalysts at all levels in presence of CO up to 100 ppm. Preliminary results suggest that by substituting Mo, Ru, and Ir in catalyst formulation, it is possible to reduce Pt-loading and increase CO-tolerance in PEMFC application. Comparison studies showed that the newly developed ternary and quaternary catalysts with lower Pt outperformed pure Pt catalyst in presence of CO-contaminated H{sub 2} fuel. High performance at low Pt loading of less than 0.4 mg/cm{sup 2} was achieved, thus exceeding the initial targets.

  16. Synthesis and Characterization of CO- and H2S-Tolerant Electrocatalysts for PEM Fuel Cell

    SciTech Connect

    Shamsuddin Ilias

    2005-07-20

    The present state-of-art Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) technology is based on platinum (Pt) as a catalyst for both the fuel (anode) and air (cathode) electrodes. This catalyst is highly active but susceptible to poisoning by CO, which may be present in the H{sub 2}-fuel used or may be introduced during the fuel processing. Presence of trace amount of CO and H{sub 2}S in the H{sub 2}-fuel poisons the anode irreversibly and decreases the performance of the PEMFCs. In an effort to reduce the Pt-loading and improve the PEMFC performance, we propose to synthesize a number of Pt-based binary, ternary, and quaternary electrocatalysts using Ru, Mo, Ir, Ni, and Co as a substitute for Pt. By fine-tuning the metal loadings and compositions of candidate electrocatalysts, we plan to minimize the cost and optimize the catalyst activity and performance in PEMFC. The feasibility of the novel electrocatalysts will be demonstrated in the proposed effort with gas phase CO and H{sub 2}S concentrations typical of those found in reformed fuel gas with coal/natural gas/methanol feedstocks. During this reporting period we synthesized several tri-metallic electrocatalysts catalysts (Pt/Ru/Mo, Pt/Ru/Ir, Pt/Ru/W, Ptr/Ru/Co, and Pt/Ru/Se on Vulcan XG72 Carbon) by ultrasonication method. These catalysts were tested in MEAs for CO tolerance at 20 and 100 ppm CO concentrations. From Galvonstatic study the catalytic activity was found in the order of: Pt/Ru/Mo/C > Pt/Ru/Ir/C > Pt/Ru/W/C > Ptr/Ru/Co/C > and Pt/Ru/Se. The catalysts performed very well at 20 ppm CO but at 100 ppm CO performance dropped significantly.

  17. A PEMS study of the emissions of gaseous pollutants and ultrafine particles from gasoline- and diesel-fueled vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Cheng; Lou, Diming; Hu, Zhiyuan; Feng, Qian; Chen, Yiran; Chen, Changhong; Tan, Piqiang; Yao, Di

    2013-10-01

    On-road emission measurements of gasoline- and diesel-fueled vehicles were conducted by a portable emission measurement system (PEMS) in Shanghai, China. Horiba OBS 2200 and TSI EEPS 3090 were employed to detect gaseous and ultrafine particle emissions during the tests. The driving-based emission factors of gaseous pollutants and particle mass and number were obtained on various road types. The average NOx emission factors of the diesel bus, diesel car, and gasoline car were 8.86, 0.68, and 0.17 g km-1, all of which were in excess of their emission limits. The particle number emission factors were 7.06 × 1014, 6.08 × 1014, and 1.57 × 1014 km-1, generally higher than the results for similar vehicle types reported in the previous studies. The size distributions of the particles emitted from the diesel vehicles were mainly concentrated in the accumulation mode, while those emitted from the gasoline car were mainly distributed in the nucleation mode. Both gaseous and particle emission rates exhibit significant correlations with the change in vehicle speed and power demand. The lowest emission rates for each vehicle type were produced during idling. The highest emission rates for each vehicle type were generally found in high-VSP bins. The particle number emission rates of the gasoline car show the strongest growth trend with increasing VSP and speed. The particle number emission for the gasoline car increased by 3 orders of magnitude from idling to the highest VSP and driving speed conditions. High engine power caused by aggressive driving or heavy loads is the main contributor to high emissions for these vehicles in real-world situations.

  18. Investigation on "saw-tooth" behavior of PEM fuel cell performance during shutdown and restart cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qi, Zhigang; Tang, Hao; Guo, Qunhui; Du, Bin

    It was sometimes observed that the performance of a proton-exchange membrane fuel cell improved after the cell went through shutdown and restart cycles. Such a performance recovery led to a "saw-tooth" performance pattern when multiple shutdowns and restarts occurred during the endurance test of a fuel cell. The shutdowns included both planned shutdowns and unintended ones due to station trips or emergency stops (E-stops). The length of the shutdown periods ranged from a few minutes to several weeks. Although such a "saw-tooth" behavior could be attributed to multiple reasons such as: (1) catalyst surface oxidation state change; (2) catalyst surface cleansing; or (3) water management, we found that it was mainly related to water management in our cases after a systematic investigation employing both single cells and stacks.

  19. The formation of protective nitride surfaces for PEM fuel cell metallic bipolar plates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brady, M. P.; Yang, B.; Wang, H.; Turner, J. A.; More, K. L.; Wilson, M.; Garzon, F.

    2006-08-01

    The selective gas nitridation of model nickel-based alloys was used to form dense, electrically conductive and corrosion-resistant nitride surface layers, including TiN, VN, CrN, Cr2N, as wellas a complex NiNbVN phase. Evaluation for use as a protective surface for metallic bipolar plates in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) indicated that CrN/Cr2N based surfaces holdpromise to meet U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) performance goals for automative applications. The thermally grown CrN/Cr2N surface formed on model Ni-Cr based alloys exhibited good stability and low electrical resistance in single-cell fuel cell testing under simulated drive-cycle conditions. Recent results indicate that similar protective chromium nitride surfaces can be formed on less expensive Fe-Cr based alloys potentially capable of meeting DOE cost goals.

  20. Using Heteropolyacids in the Anode Catalyst Layer of Dimethyl Ether PEM Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Ferrell III, J. R.; Turner, J. A.; Herring, A. M.

    2008-01-01

    In this study, polarization experiments were performed on a direct dimethyl ether fuel cell (DMEFC). The experimental setup allowed for independent control of water and DME flow rates. Thus the DME flow rate, backpressure, and water flow rate were optimized. Three heteropoly acids, phosphomolybdic acid (PMA), phosphotungstic acid (PTA), and silicotungstic acid (STA) were incorporated into the anode catalyst layer in combination with Pt/C. Both PTA-Pt and STA-Pt showed higher performance than the Pt control at 30 psig of backpressure. Anodic polarizations were also performed, and Tafel slopes were extracted from the data. The trends in the Tafel slope values are in agreement with the polarization data. The addition of phosphotungstic acid more than doubled the power density of the fuel cell, compared to the Pt control.

  1. Multiscale Structured and Functionally Graded Gas Diffusion Electrodes for PEM-Fuel Cells and Electrodialysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolf, H.; Franz, M.; Bienhüls, C.; Willert-Porada, M.

    2008-02-01

    In the presented work, different methods of preparation of functionally graded gas diffusion electrodes (GDE) for fuel cell and electrodialysis application were investigated. High electrochemical performance with a low platinum catalyst content of only 0.1 mg/cm2 was achieved. The new GDEs are superior to commercial ones with five times higher platinum content, due to their optimized pore structure and improved distribution of catalyst and ion conductive polymer.

  2. "Dedicated To The Continued Education, Training and Demonstration of PEM Fuel Cell Powered Lift Trucks In Real-World Applications."

    SciTech Connect

    Dever, Thomas J.

    2011-11-29

    The project objective was to further assist in the commercialization of fuel cell and H2 technology by building further upon the successful fuel cell lift truck deployments that were executed by LiftOne in 2007, with longer deployments of this technology in real-world applications. We involved facilities management, operators, maintenance personnel, safety groups, and Authorities Having Jurisdiction. LiftOne strived to educate a broad group from many areas of industry and the community as to the benefits of this technology. Included were First Responders from the local areas. We conducted month long deployments with end-users to validate the value proposition and the market requirements for fuel cell powered lift trucks. Management, lift truck operators, Authorities Having Jurisdiction and the general public experienced 'hands on' fuel cell experience in the material handling applications. We partnered with Hydrogenics in the execution of the deployment segment of the program. Air Products supplied the compressed H2 gas and the mobile fueler. Data from the Fuel Cell Power Packs and the mobile fueler was sent to the DOE and NREL as required. Also, LiftOne conducted the H2 Education Seminars on a rotating basis at their locations for lift trucks users and for other selected segments of the community over the project's 36 month duration. Executive Summary The technology employed during the deployments program was not new, as the equipment had been used in several previous demos and early adoptions within the material handling industry. This was the case with the new HyPx Series PEM - Fuel Cell Power Packs used, which had been demo'd before during the 2007 Greater Columbia Fuel Cell Challenge. The Air Products HF-150 Fueler was used outdoors during the deployments and had similarly been used for many previous demo programs. The methods used centered on providing this technology as the power for electric sit-down lift trucks at high profile companies operating large

  3. A segmented model for studying water transport in a PEM fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Yong-Song

    Fuel Cells are devices that generate electricity by electrochemically combining hydrogen and oxygen. Water management plays an important role in the durability and efficiency of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). In this study, single cells are modeled as lumped models consisting of 15 interconnected segments, which are linked according to the flow field patterns of the anode and cathode but they are treated as individual lumped elements. Parameters of this model were calibrated based on neutron radiography experimental results obtained at the NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR). Three special single cells were designed for the purpose of detecting liquid water and water vapor simultaneously. The major difference between our design and traditional flow field designs is the fact the anode channels and cathode channels were shifted sideways, so that the anode and cathode channels do not overlap in the majority of the active areas. The liquid water is measured by using neutron radiography. The water vapor is measured by the twenty relative humidity sensors embedded in the anode and the cathode flow field plates. The effects of relative humidity and stoichiometry of cathode inlet on relative humidity distribution in the channels and on water accumulation in the GDLs were investigated in this study. The liquid water accumulation at steady-state was calculated by using imaging mask techniques and least-squares method. It is demonstrated that liquid water tends to accumulates in the gas diffusion layers under the rib. Modeling results suggest that opposite flow direction improve the cell performance at low humidity conditions. Accordingly, this segmented model is useful in designing flow field patterns and comparing the influence of different flow field patterns before they are machined on the flow field plates. That reduces the cost of developing and designing a fuel cell.

  4. Design of graphene sheets-supported Pt catalyst layer in PEM fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Park, Seh K.; Shao, Yuyan; Wan, Haiying; Rieke, Peter C.; Viswanathan, Vilayanur V.; Towne, Silas A.; Saraf, Laxmikant V.; Liu, Jun; Lin, Yuehe; Wang, Yong

    2011-03-01

    A series of cathodes using Pt supported onto graphene sheets with different contents of carbon black in the catalyst layer were prepared and characterized. Carbon black was added as a spacer between two-dimensional graphene sheets in the catalyst layer to study its effect on the performances of proton exchange membrane fuel cell. Electrochemical properties and surface morphology of the cathodes with and without carbon black were characterized using cyclic voltammetry, ac-impedance spectroscopy, electrochemical polarization technique, and scanning electron microscopy. The results indicated that carbon black effectively modifies the array of graphene supports, resulting in more Pt nanoparticles available for electrochemical reaction and better mass transport in the catalyst layer.

  5. Evaluation of the effect of impregnated platinum on PFSA degradation for PEM fuel cells.

    SciTech Connect

    Rodgers, Marianne; Pearman, Benjamin P; Bonville, Leonard J.; Cullen, David A; Mohajeri, Nahid; Slattery, Darlene

    2013-01-01

    One of the main sources of membrane degradation in fuel cells is attack by radicals formed wherever Pt, H2, and O2 are present. The effect of Pt precipitated in the membrane is under debate. Although Pt can provide another site for radical formation, it can also scavenge hydrogen peroxide and radicals in the membrane and improve durability. In this work, the effects of Pt particles within the membrane are evaluated and related to membrane degradation. Membranes were ex situ impregnated with 0, 10, 30, and 50 mol% Pt and then tested for 100 h in a fuel cell, at 90 C/100% relative humidity. The highest degradation was observed with the membranes containing 10 mol% Pt, with fluoride emissions of the same magnitude as those of catalyst coated membranes containing Pt/C. Membranes containing 0, 30, and 50 mol% Pt resulted in very low fluoride emission. The high degradation in the 10 mol% membrane was attributed to the low density of platinum particles, which allows generated radicals to attack the membrane before being deactivated. In the 30 mol% and 50 mol% membranes, where the platinum particles were denser, the generated radicals became deactivated on neighboring particles before they attacked the membrane.

  6. Dynamic Model and Experimental Validation of a PEM Fuel Cell System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nassif, Younane; Godoy, Emmanuel; Bethoux, Olivier; Roche, Ivan

    Fuel cells are expected to become a challenging technology in terms of efficiency, and fitting the emission reduction schedules [Lemons, J. Power Sources, 29:251, 1] for the automotive application. Their fundamental component consists of two electrodes separated by a membrane. Fuel cells convert chemical energy into electrical energy while producing water and heat. To not disturb the transportation of the reactant gas, a proper membrane hydration needs to be maintained. Two different conditions can occur facing an inadequate water balance which decreases the performance of the stack. An insufficient removal of the accumulated water causes water flooding, decreasing reactant transport rate. Similarly, excessive water removal dries the membrane. To monitor the amount of water inside the cell, dynamic model based on the mass conservation principles and thermodynamic properties is developed in the form of nonlinear state space representation. Fick's law and Maxwell-Stefan model are used to describe multicomponent diffusion. Darcy's law is used to define the porous medium permeability. To demonstrate the accuracy of the proposed model, obtained results are compared with measured data at steady states operation mode. Investigation of the steady-state behavior is discussed in this paper.

  7. Liquid-Water Uptake and Removal in PEM Fuel-Cell Components

    SciTech Connect

    Das, Prodip K.; Gunterman, Haluna P.; Kwong, Anthony; Weber, Adam Z.

    2011-09-23

    Management of liquid water is critical for optimal fuel-cell operation, especially at low temperatures. It is therefore important to understand the wetting properties and water holdup of the various fuel-cell layers. While the gas-diffusion layer is relatively hydrophobic and exhibits a strong intermediate wettability, the catalyst layer is predominantly hydrophilic. In addition, the water content of the ionomer in the catalyst layer is lower than that of the bulk membrane, and is affected by platinum surfaces. Liquid-water removal occurs through droplets on the surface of the gas-diffusion layer. In order to predict droplet instability and detachment, a force balance is used. While the pressure or drag force on the droplet can be derived, the adhesion or surface-tension force requires measurement using a sliding-angle approach. It is shown that droplets produced by forcing water through the gas-diffusion layer rather than placing them on top of it show much stronger adhesion forces owing to the contact to the subsurface water.

  8. Microwave-assisted synthesis of Pt/CNT nanocomposite electrocatalysts for PEM fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Weimin; Chen, Jun; Swiegers, Gerhard F; Ma, Zi-Feng; Wallace, Gordon G

    2010-02-01

    Microwave-assisted heating of functionalized, single-wall carbon nanotubes (FCNTs) in ethylene glycol solution containing H(2)PtCl(6), led to the reductive deposition of Pt nanoparticles (2.5-4 nm) over the FCNTs, yielding an active catalyst for proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). In single-cell testing, the Pt/FCNT composites displayed a catalytic performance that was superior to Pt nanoparticles supported by raw (unfunctionalized) CNTs (RCNTs) or by carbon black (C), prepared under identical conditions. The supporting single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWNTs), functionalized with carboxyl groups, were studied by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), cyclic voltammetry (CV), and Raman spectroscopy. The loading level, morphology, and crystallinity of the Pt/SWNT catalysts were determined using TGA, SEM, and XRD. The electrochemically active catalytic surface area of the Pt/FCNT catalysts was 72.9 m(2)/g-Pt. PMID:20644806

  9. Mechanism of Pinhole Formation in Membrane Electrode Assemblies for PEM Fuel Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stanic, Vesna; Hoberecht, Mark

    2004-01-01

    The pinhole formation mechanism was studied with a variety of MEAs using ex-situ and in-situ methods. The ex-situ tests included the MEA aging in oxygen and MEA heat of ignition. In-situ durability tests were performed in fuel cells at different operating conditions with hydrogen and oxygen. After the in-situ failure, MEAs were analyzed with an Olympus BX 60 optical microscope and Cambridge 120 scanning electron microscope. MEA chemical analysis was performed with an IXRF EDS microanalysis system. The MEA failure analyses showed that pinholes and tears were the MEA failure modes. The pinholes appeared in MEA areas where the membrane thickness was drastically reduced. Their location coincided with the stress concentration points, indicating that membrane creep was responsible for their formation. Some of the pinholes detected had contaminant particles precipitated within the membrane. This mechanism of pinhole formation was correlated to the polymer blistering.

  10. Investigation of aligned carbon nanotubes as a novel catalytic electrodes for PEM fuel cells.

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, D. J.; Yang, J.; Gosztola, D. J.

    2007-01-01

    Recent progress in synthesizing and characterizing aligned carbon nanotubes (ACNT) as the electrode catalyst material for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) is reported. Catalytically functionalized ACNT active towards the electrocatalytic reduction of oxygen were prepared by a chemical vapor deposition method. The electrocatalytic activities and the nanostructures of the ACNT layers were investigated by cyclic voltammetry and scanning electron microscopy. To understand the nature of the transition metal as the catalytically active site in the ACNT, we also conducted an in situ X-ray absorption spectroscopic investigation at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory. The oxidation state and coordination structure of the transition metals embedded inside the nanotubes were monitored by examining the EXAFS spectra collected under different polarization potentials. We clearly observed the change in the electronic and coordinational structures during the oxygen reduction reaction.

  11. Cathode pressure modeling of the Buckeye Bullet II 500kW PEM fuel cell system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hillstrom, Edward T.

    This dissertation details the development of a model that simulates the pressure dynamics of the cathode supply system for the Buckeye Bullet 2, the worlds fastest hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. Due to the extreme power levels of the BB2 system, and the unique use of heliox as the oxidant supply, it is shown that existing system level models for predicting the fuel cell pressure dynamics do not adequately capture the dynamics of the BB2 system. Several modeling attempts are evaluated, and eventually the most robust model is a model which is derived from a rational system decomposition of the cathode system. By separating the major losses of the cathode system into an upstream and downstream resistance, the performance of the model is significantly improved. It is shown that the rate at which water exits the cathode plays a significant role accurately capturing the pressure dynamics. With this in mind, a distributed parameter model is developed to provide estimates of how the rate of liquid water removal from cathode changes with time. The results of this model are validated through physical testing. The resulting model relies on five empirically tunable parameters to tune the model performance to match that of the system. The method of calibrating these parameters is outlined, and the resulting model developed with stationary test data is compared to data from the actual BB2 race data. Only a few parameters need to be recalibrated, which is due to physical system differences between the data from the stationary tests and the race data.

  12. Statistic analysis of operational influences on the cold start behaviour of PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oszcipok, M.; Riemann, D.; Kronenwett, U.; Kreideweis, M.; Zedda, M.

    For portable fuel cell systems a multitude of applications have been presented over the past few years. Most of these applications were developed for indoor use, and not optimised for outdoor conditions. The key problem concerning this case is the cold start ability of the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). This topic was first investigated by the automotive industry, which has the same requirements for alternative traction systems as for conventional combustion engines. The technical challenge is the fact that produced water freezes to ice after shut-down of the PEMFC and during start-up when the temperature is below 0 °C. To investigate the basic cold start behaviour isothermal, potentiostatic single cell experiments were performed and the results are presented. The cold start behaviour is evaluated using the calculated cumulated charge transfer through the membrane which directly corresponds with the amount of produced water in the PEMFC. The charge transfer curves were mathematically fitted to obtain only three parameters describing the cold start-up with the cumulated charge transfer density and the results are analysed using the statistical software Cornerstone 4.0. The results of the statistic regression analyses are used to establish a statistic-based prediction model of the cold start behaviour which describes the behaviour of the current density during the experiment. The regression shows that the initial start current mainly depends on the membrane humidity and the operation voltage. After the membrane humidity has reached its maximum, the current density drops down to zero. The current decay also depends on the constant gas flows of the reactant gases. Ionic conductivity of the membrane and charge transfer resistance were investigated by a series of ac impedance spectra during potentiostatic operation of the single cell at freezing temperatures. Cyclic voltammetry and polarisation curves between cold start experiments show degradation

  13. Final Project Report: Development of Micro-Structural Mitigation Strategies for PEM Fuel Cells: Morphological Simulations and Experimental Approaches

    SciTech Connect

    Wessel, Silvia; Harvey, David

    2013-06-28

    The durability of PEM fuel cells is a primary requirement for large scale commercialization of these power systems in transportation and stationary market applications that target operational lifetimes of 5,000 hours and 40,000 hours by 2015, respectively. Key degradation modes contributing to fuel cell lifetime limitations have been largely associated with the platinum-based cathode catalyst layer. Furthermore, as fuel cells are driven to low cost materials and lower catalyst loadings in order to meet the cost targets for commercialization, the catalyst durability has become even more important. While over the past few years significant progress has been made in identifying the underlying causes of fuel cell degradation and key parameters that greatly influence the degradation rates, many gaps with respect to knowledge of the driving mechanisms still exist; in particular, the acceleration of the mechanisms due to different structural compositions and under different fuel cell conditions remains an area not well understood. The focus of this project was to address catalyst durability by using a dual path approach that coupled an extensive range of experimental analysis and testing with a multi-scale modeling approach. With this, the major technical areas/issues of catalyst and catalyst layer performance and durability that were addressed are: 1. Catalyst and catalyst layer degradation mechanisms (Pt dissolution, agglomeration, Pt loss, e.g. Pt in the membrane, carbon oxidation and/or corrosion). a. Driving force for the different degradation mechanisms. b. Relationships between MEA performance, catalyst and catalyst layer degradation and operational conditions, catalyst layer composition, and structure. 2. Materials properties a. Changes in catalyst, catalyst layer, and MEA materials properties due to degradation. 3. Catalyst performance a. Relationships between catalyst structural changes and performance. b. Stability of the three-phase boundary and its effect on

  14. PEM Degradation Investigation Final Technical Report

    SciTech Connect

    Dan Stevenson; Lee H Spangler

    2010-10-18

    This project conducted fundamental studies of PEM MEA degradation. Insights gained from these studies were disseminated to assist MEA manufacturers in understanding degradation mechanisms and work towards DOE 2010 fuel cell durability targets.

  15. Characterization of PEM fuel cell membrane-electrode-assemblies by electrochemical methods and microanalysis

    SciTech Connect

    Borup, R.L.; Vanderborgh, N.E.

    1995-09-01

    Characterization of Membrane Electrode Assemblies (MEAs) is used to help optimize construction of the MEA. Characterization techniques include electron microscopies (SEM and TEM), and electrochemical evaluation of the catalyst. Electrochemical hydrogen adsorption/desorption (HAD) and CO oxidation are used to evaluate the active Pt surface area of fuel cell membrane electrode assemblies. Electrochemical surface area measurements have observed large active Pt surface areas, on the order of 50 m{sup 2}/g for 20% weight Pt supported on graphite. Comparison of the hydrogen adsorption/desorption with CO oxidation indicates that on the supported catalysts, the saturation coverage of CO/Pt is about 0.90, the same as observed in H{sub 2}SO{sub 4}. The catalyst surface area measurements are nearly a factor of 2 lower than the Pt surface area calculated from the 30 {angstrom} average particle size observed by TEM. The electrochemical measurements combined with microanalysis of membrane electrode assemblies, allow a greater understanding and optimization of process variables.

  16. Study of a small heat and power PEM fuel cell system generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubert, Charles-Emile; Achard, Patrick; Metkemeijer, Rudolf

    A micro-cogenerator based on a natural gas reformer and a PEMFC is studied in its entirety, pointing out the links between different sub-systems. The study is conducted within the EPACOP project, which aims at testing PEMFC systems on user sites to evaluate development and acceptance of this technology for small stationary applications. Five units were installed from November 2002 to May 2003 and have been operated until now, in real life conditions. They deliver up to 4 kW of AC power and about 6 kW of heat. Center for Energy and Processes (CEP), one of the scientific partners, processes and analyses the experimental data from the five units, running in different regions of France. This database and the study of the flowsheet enable to propose changes to enhance the efficiency of the system composed of a steam reforming, a shift and a preferential oxidation reactor, a fuel cell stack and heat exchangers. The steady state modelling and optimisation of the system is done with Thermoptim ®, a software developed within CEP for applied thermodynamics. At constant power, main targets are to decrease natural gas consumption, to increase heat recovery and to improve the water balance. This study is made using the pinch point analysis, at full load and partial load. Main results of this study are different system configurations that allow improvement of gross electrical and thermal efficiency and enable to obtain a positive water balance.

  17. A Semi-Empirical Two Step Carbon Corrosion Reaction Model in PEM Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Young, Alan; Colbow, Vesna; Harvey, David; Rogers, Erin; Wessel, Silvia

    2013-01-01

    The cathode CL of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) was exposed to high potentials, 1.0 to 1.4 V versus a reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE), that are typically encountered during start up/shut down operation. While both platinum dissolution and carbon corrosion occurred, the carbon corrosion effects were isolated and modeled. The presented model separates the carbon corrosion process into two reaction steps; (1) oxidation of the carbon surface to carbon-oxygen groups, and (2) further corrosion of the oxidized surface to carbon dioxide/monoxide. To oxidize and corrode the cathode catalyst carbon support, the CL was subjected to an accelerated stress test cycled the potential from 0.6 VRHE to an upper potential limit (UPL) ranging from 0.9 to 1.4 VRHE at varying dwell times. The reaction rate constants and specific capacitances of carbon and platinum were fitted by evaluating the double layer capacitance (Cdl) trends. Carbon surface oxidation increased the Cdl due to increased specific capacitance for carbon surfaces with carbon-oxygen groups, while the second corrosion reaction decreased the Cdl due to loss of the overall carbon surface area. The first oxidation step differed between carbon types, while both reaction rate constants were found to have a dependency on UPL, temperature, and gas relative humidity.

  18. Simulation and experimental validation of droplet dynamics in microchannels of PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ashrafi, Moosa; Shams, Mehrzad; Bozorgnezhad, Ali; Ahmadi, Goodarz

    2016-02-01

    In this study, dynamics of droplets in the channels of proton exchange membrane fuel cells with straight and serpentine flow-fields was investigated. Tapered and filleted channels were suggested for the straight and serpentine flow-fields respectively in order to improve water removal in channels. Surface tension and wall adhesion forces were applied by using the volume of fluid method. The hydrophilic walls and hydrophobic gas diffusion layer were considered. The mechanism of droplets movement with different diameters was studied by using the Weber and capillary numbers in simple and tapered straight channels. It was illustrated that the flooding was reduced in tapered channel due to increase of water removal rate, and available reaction sites improved subsequently. In addition, film flow was formed in the tapered channel more than the simple channel, so pressure fluctuation was decreased in the tapered channel. Moreover, the water coverage ratio of hydrophilic tapered surface was more than the simple channel, which enhanced water removal from the channel. The filleted serpentine channel was introduced to improve water removal from the simple serpentine channel. It was shown by observation of the unsteady and time-averaged two-phase pressure drop that in the filleted serpentine channels, the two-phase pressure drop was far less than the simple serpentine channel, and also the accumulation of water droplets in the elbows was less leading to lower pressure fluctuation. The numerical simulation results were validated by experiments.

  19. Artificial Neural Network Modeling of Pt/C Cathode Degradation in PEM Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maleki, Erfan; Maleki, Nasim

    2016-08-01

    Use of computational modeling with a few experiments is considered useful to obtain the best possible result for a final product, without performing expensive and time-consuming experiments. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) can produce clean electricity, but still require further study. An oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) takes place at the cathode, and carbon-supported platinum (Pt/C) is commonly used as an electrocatalyst. The harsh conditions during PEMFC operation result in Pt/C degradation. Observation of changes in the Pt/C layer under operating conditions provides a tool to study the lifetime of PEMFCs and overcome durability issues. Recently, artificial neural networks (ANNs) have been used to solve, predict, and optimize a wide range of scientific problems. In this study, several rates of change at the cathode were modeled using ANNs. The backpropagation (BP) algorithm was used to train the network, and experimental data were employed for network training and testing. Two different models are constructed in the present study. First, the potential cycles, temperature, and humidity are used as inputs to predict the resulting Pt dissolution rate of the Pt/C at the cathode as the output parameter of the network. Thereafter, the Pt dissolution rate and Pt ion diffusivity are regarded as inputs to obtain values of the Pt particle radius change rate, Pt mass loss rate, and surface area loss rate as outputs. The networks are finely tuned, and the modeling results agree well with experimental data. The modeled responses of the ANNs are acceptable for this application.

  20. Graphene-Supported Platinum Catalyst-Based Membrane Electrode Assembly for PEM Fuel Cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Devrim, Yilser; Albostan, Ayhan

    2016-08-01

    The aim of this study is the preparation and characterization of a graphene-supported platinum (Pt) catalyst for proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) applications. The graphene-supported Pt catalysts were prepared by chemical reduction of graphene and chloroplatinic acid (H2PtCl6) in ethylene glycol. X-ray powder diffraction, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and scanning electron microscopy have been used to analyze structure and surface morphology of the graphene-supported catalyst. The TGA results showed that the Pt loading of the graphene-supported catalyst was 31%. The proof of the Pt particles on the support surfaces was also verified by energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy analysis. The commercial carbon-supported catalyst and prepared Pt/graphene catalysts were used as both anode and cathode electrodes for PEMFC at ambient pressure and 70°C. The maximum power density was obtained for the Pt/graphene-based membrane electrode assembly (MEA) with H2/O2 reactant gases as 0.925 W cm2. The maximum current density of the Pt/graphene-based MEA can reach 1.267 and 0.43 A/cm2 at 0.6 V with H2/O2 and H2/air, respectively. The MEA prepared by the Pt/graphene catalyst shows good stability in long-term PEMFC durability tests. The PEMFC cell voltage was maintained at 0.6 V without apparent voltage drop when operated at 0.43 A/cm2 constant current density and 70°C for 400 h. As a result, PEMFC performance was found to be superlative for the graphene-supported Pt catalyst compared with the Pt/C commercial catalyst. The results indicate the graphene-supported Pt catalyst could be utilized as the electrocatalyst for PEMFC applications.

  1. Graphene-Supported Platinum Catalyst-Based Membrane Electrode Assembly for PEM Fuel Cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Devrim, Yilser; Albostan, Ayhan

    2016-06-01

    The aim of this study is the preparation and characterization of a graphene-supported platinum (Pt) catalyst for proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) applications. The graphene-supported Pt catalysts were prepared by chemical reduction of graphene and chloroplatinic acid (H2PtCl6) in ethylene glycol. X-ray powder diffraction, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and scanning electron microscopy have been used to analyze structure and surface morphology of the graphene-supported catalyst. The TGA results showed that the Pt loading of the graphene-supported catalyst was 31%. The proof of the Pt particles on the support surfaces was also verified by energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy analysis. The commercial carbon-supported catalyst and prepared Pt/graphene catalysts were used as both anode and cathode electrodes for PEMFC at ambient pressure and 70°C. The maximum power density was obtained for the Pt/graphene-based membrane electrode assembly (MEA) with H2/O2 reactant gases as 0.925 W cm2. The maximum current density of the Pt/graphene-based MEA can reach 1.267 and 0.43 A/cm2 at 0.6 V with H2/O2 and H2/air, respectively. The MEA prepared by the Pt/graphene catalyst shows good stability in long-term PEMFC durability tests. The PEMFC cell voltage was maintained at 0.6 V without apparent voltage drop when operated at 0.43 A/cm2 constant current density and 70°C for 400 h. As a result, PEMFC performance was found to be superlative for the graphene-supported Pt catalyst compared with the Pt/C commercial catalyst. The results indicate the graphene-supported Pt catalyst could be utilized as the electrocatalyst for PEMFC applications.

  2. Analysis and modeling of PEM fuel cell stack performance: Effect of in situ reverse water gas shift reaction and oxygen bleeding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karimi, G.; Li, Xianguo

    In this study the performance of a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell stack is analyzed with a mathematical model when the stack operates on hydrocarbon reformate gas as the anode feed stream. It is shown that the effect of carbon dioxide dilution of the hydrogen dominated reformate gas has a minimal impact on the stack performance. However, the CO-poisoning effect due to the in situ reverse water gas shift reaction in the anode feed stream could have a very serious adverse impact on the stack performance, especially at high current densities. Thermodynamic calculations indicate that the equilibrium concentrations of CO could be as high as 100 ppm, generated by the in situ reverse water gas shift reaction, under the typical conditions of PEM fuel cell operation; and are influenced by the stack operating temperature and water content of the reformate anode feed. This CO-poisoning of the stack performance is shown mitigated effectively by introducing about 0.5-1% oxygen to the anode feed.

  3. Investigation of water droplet dynamics in PEM fuel cell gas channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gopalan, Preethi

    Water management in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) has remained one of the most important issues that need to be addressed before its commercialization in automotive applications. Accumulation of water on the gas diffusion layer (GDL) surface in a PEMFC introduces a barrier for transport of reactant gases through the GDL to the catalyst layer. Despite the fact that the channel geometry is one of the key design parameters of a fluidic system, very limited research is available to study the effect of microchannel geometry on the two-phase flow structure. In this study, the droplet-wall dynamics and two-phase pressure drop across the water droplet present in a typical PEMFC channel, were examined in auto-competitive gas channel designs (0.4 x 0.7 mm channel cross section). The liquid water flow pattern inside the gas channel was analyzed for different air velocities. Experimental data was analyzed using the Concus-Finn condition to determine the wettability characteristics in the corner region. It was confirmed that the channel angle along with the air velocity and the channel material influences the water distribution and holdup within the channel. Dynamic contact angle emerged as an important parameter in controlling the droplet-wall interaction. Experiments were also performed to understand how the inlet location of the liquid droplet on the GDL surface affects the droplet dynamic behavior in the system. It was found that droplets emerging near the channel wall or under the land lead to corner filling of the channel. Improvements in the channel design has been proposed based on the artificial channel roughness created to act as capillary grooves to transport the liquid water away from the land area. For droplets emerging near the center of the channel, beside the filling and no-filling behavior reported in the literature, a new droplet jumping behavior was observed. As droplets grew and touched the sidewalls, they jumped off to the sidewall leaving the

  4. Water Management In PEM Fuel Cell -“ A Lattice-Boltzmann Modeling Approach

    SciTech Connect

    Mukherjee, Shiladitya; Cole, James Vernon; Jain, Kunal; Gidwani, Ashok

    2009-06-01

    In Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs), water management and the effective transport of water through the gas-diffusion-layer (GDL) are key issues for improved performance at high power density and for durability during freeze-thaw cycles. The diffusion layer is a thin (~150-350{micro}m), porous material typically composed of a web of carbon fibers and particles, and is usually coated with hydrophobic Teflon to remove the excess water through capillary action. In-situ diagnostics of water movement and gas-reactant transport through this thin opaque substrate is challenging. Numerical analyses are typically based on simplified assumptions, such as Darcy's Law and Leverett functions for the capillary pressure. The objective of this work is to develop a high fidelity CFD modeling and analysis tool to capture the details of multiphase transport through the porous GDL. The tool can be utilized to evaluate GDL material design concepts and optimize systems based on the interactions between cell design, materials, and operating conditions. The flow modeling is based on the Lattice Boltzmann Method (LBM). LBM is a powerful modeling tool to simulate multiphase flows. Its strength is in its kinetic theory based foundation, which provides a fundamental basis for incorporating intermolecular forces that lead to liquid-gas phase separation and capillary effects without resorting to expensive or ad-hoc interface reconstruction schemes. At the heart of the solution algorithm is a discrete form of the well-known Boltzmann Transport Equation (BTE) for molecular distribution, tailored to recover the continuum Navier-Stokes flow. The solution advances by a streaming and collision type algorithm, mimicking actual molecular physics, which makes it suitable for porous media involving complex boundaries. We developed a numerical scheme to reconstruct various porous GDL microstructures including Teflon loading. Single and multiphase LBM models are implemented to compute

  5. Synthesis of proton conducting mesoporous materials and composite membranes for high temperature proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Fangxia

    ), and bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide (HTFSI). The effect of TMOS/template content and the acid on the conductivity as well as H2/O2 performance were investigated. The results indicated that the incorporation of TMOs/surfactant/acid could increase the proton conductivity and the fuel cell performance. Sulfonated silica/heteropolyacid (HPA) composite membranes were investigated for high temperature proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. HPAs included tungstosilicic acid (WSA) and tungstophosphoric acid (WPA). The influence of the HPA type, and HPA content on the proton conductivity and fuel cell performance was investigated. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

  6. Alleviating product inhibition in cellulase enzyme Cel7A.

    PubMed

    Atreya, Meera E; Strobel, Kathryn L; Clark, Douglas S

    2016-02-01

    Enzymes that degrade cellulose into glucose are one of the most expensive components of processes for converting cellulosic biomass to fuels and chemicals. Cellulase enzyme Cel7A is the most abundant enzyme naturally employed by fungi to depolymerize cellulose, and like other cellulases is inhibited by its product, cellobiose. There is thus great economic incentive for minimizing the detrimental effects of product inhibition on Cel7A. In this work, we experimentally generated 10 previously proposed site-directed mutant Cel7A enzymes expected to have reduced cellobiose binding energies (the majority of mutations were to alanine). We then tested their resilience to cellobiose as well as their hydrolytic activities on microcrystalline cellulose. Although every mutation tested conferred reduced product inhibition (and abolished it for some), our results confirm a trade-off between Cel7A tolerance to cellobiose and enzymatic activity: Reduced product inhibition was accompanied by lower overall enzymatic activity on crystalline cellulose for the mutants tested. The tempering effect of mutations on inhibition was nearly constant despite relatively large differences in activities of the mutants. Our work identifies an amino acid in the Cel7A product binding site of interest for further mutational studies, and highlights both the challenge and the opportunity of enzyme engineering toward improving product tolerance in Cel7A. PMID:26302366

  7. A distinct model of synergism between a processive endocellulase (TfCel9A) and an exocellulase (TfCel48A) from Thermobifida fusca.

    PubMed

    Kostylev, Maxim; Wilson, David

    2014-01-01

    Lignocellulosic biomass is digested in nature by the synergistic activities of enzymes with complementary properties, and understanding synergistic interactions will improve the efficiency of industrial biomass use for sustainable fuels and chemicals. Cel9A and Cel48A from a model bacterium, Thermobifida fusca (TfCel9A and TfCel48A, respectively), are two cellulases with different properties and have previously been shown to synergize well with each other. TfCel9A is a processive endocellulase with relatively high activity on crystalline cellulose. TfCel48A is a reducing end-directed exocellulase with very low activity on crystalline cellulose. Neither enzyme fits its respective role in the classical synergism model of enzymatic cellulose digestion. Using the results of time course, endpoint, and sequential addition activity assays, we propose a model of synergistic cooperation between the two cellulases. TfCel9A is most effective on fresh bacterial cellulose with a presumably uniform surface at the molecular level. Its processive activity likely erodes the surface and thus reduces its own activity. TfCel48A is able to hydrolyze the TfCel9A-modified substrate efficiently and replenish the uniform surface required by TfCel9A, creating a feedback mechanism. The model of synergistic interactions is comparable to an earlier proposed model for Trichoderma reesei Cel7A and Cel7B, but the roles of endo- and exocellulases are reversed, a finding which suggests that bacteria and fungi may have evolved different approaches to efficient biomass degradation. PMID:24162578

  8. Cooling channels design analysis with chaotic laminar trajectory for closed cathode air-cooled PEM fuel cells using non-reacting numerical approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    N, W. Mohamed W. A.

    2015-09-01

    The thermal management of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cells contributes directly to the overall power output of the system. For a closed cathode PEM fuel cell design, the use of air as a cooling agent is a non-conventional method due to the large heat load involved, but it offers a great advantage for minimizing the system size. Geometrical aspects of the cooling channels have been identified as the basic parameter for improved cooling performance. Numerical investigation using STAR-CCM computational fluid dynamics platform was applied for non-reacting cooling effectiveness study of various channel geometries for fuel cell application. The aspect ratio of channels and the flow trajectory are the parametric variations. A single cooling plate domain was selected with an applied heat flux of 2400 W/m2 while the cooling air are simulated at Reynolds number of 400 that corresponds to normal air flow velocities using standard 6W fans. Three channel designs of similar number of channels (20 channels) are presented here to analyze the effects of having chaotic laminar flow trajectory compared to the usual straight path trajectory. The total heat transfer between the cooling channel walls and coolant were translated into temperature distribution, maximum temperature gradient, average plate temperature and overall cooling effectiveness analyses. The numerical analysis shows that the chaotic flow promotes a 5% to 10% improvement in cooling effectiveness, depending on the single-axis or multi-axis flow paths applied. Plate temperature uniformity is also more realizable using the chaotic flow designs.

  9. Highly porous PEM fuel cell cathodes based on low density carbon aerogels as Pt-support: Experimental study of the mass-transport losses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marie, Julien; Chenitz, Regis; Chatenet, Marian; Berthon-Fabry, Sandrine; Cornet, Nathalie; Achard, Patrick

    Carbon aerogels exhibiting high porous volumes and high surface areas, differentiated by their pore-size distributions were used as Pt-supports in the cathode catalytic layer of H 2/air-fed PEM fuel cell. The cathodes were tested as 50 cm 2 membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs). The porous structure of the synthesized catalytic layers was impacted by the nanostructure of the Pt-doped carbon aerogels (Pt/CAs). In this paper thus we present an experimental study aiming at establishing links between the porous structure of the cathode catalytic layers and the MEAs performances. For that purpose, the polarization curves of the MEAs were decomposed in 3 contributions: the kinetic loss, the ohmic loss and the mass-transport loss. We showed that the MEAs made with the different carbon aerogels had similar kinetic activities (low current density performance) but very different mass-transport voltage losses. It was found that the higher the pore-size of the initial carbon aerogel, the higher the mass-transport voltage losses. Supported by our porosimetry (N 2-adsorption and Hg-porosimetry) measurement, we interpret this apparent contradiction as the consequence of the more important Nafion penetration into the carbon aeorogel with larger pore-size. Indeed, the catalytic layers made from the larger pore-size carbon aerogel had lower porosities. We thus show in this work that carbon aerogels are materials with tailored nanostructured structure which can be used as model materials for experimentally testing the optimization of the PEM fuel cell catalytic layers.

  10. On-board reforming of biodiesel and bioethanol for high temperature PEM fuel cells: Comparison of autothermal reforming and steam reforming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Stefan; Wörner, Antje

    2011-03-01

    In the 21st century biofuels will play an important role as alternative fuels in the transportation sector. In this paper different reforming options (steam reforming (SR) and autothermal reforming (ATR)) for the on-board conversion of bioethanol and biodiesel into a hydrogen-rich gas suitable for high temperature PEM (HTPEM) fuel cells are investigated using the simulation tool Aspen Plus. Special emphasis is placed on thermal heat integration. Methyl-oleate (C19H36O2) is chosen as reference substance for biodiesel. Bioethanol is represented by ethanol (C2H5OH). For the steam reforming concept with heat integration a maximum fuel processing efficiency of 75.6% (76.3%) is obtained for biodiesel (bioethanol) at S/C = 3. For the autothermal reforming concept with heat integration a maximum fuel processing efficiency of 74.1% (75.1%) is obtained for biodiesel (bioethanol) at S/C = 2 and λ = 0.36 (0.35). Taking into account the better dynamic behaviour and lower system complexity of the reforming concept based on ATR, autothermal reforming in combination with a water gas shift reactor is considered as the preferred option for on-board reforming of biodiesel and bioethanol. Based on the simulation results optimum operating conditions for a novel 5 kW biofuel processor are derived.

  11. Gene Integration and Expression and Extracellular Secretion of Erwinia chrysanthemi Endoglucanase CelY (celY) and CelZ (celZ) in Ethanologenic Klebsiella oxytoca P2†

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Shengde; Davis, F. C.; Ingram, L. O.

    2001-01-01

    The development of methods to reduce costs associated with the solubilization of cellulose is essential for the utilization of lignocellulose as a renewable feedstock for fuels and chemicals. One promising approach is the genetic engineering of ethanol-producing microorganisms that also produce cellulase enzymes during fermentation. By starting with an ethanologenic derivative (strain P2) of Klebsiella oxytoca M5A1 with the native ability to metabolize cellobiose, the need for supplemental β-glucosidase was previously eliminated. In the current study, this approach has been extended by adding genes encoding endoglucanase activities. Genes celY and celZ from Erwinia chrysanthemi have been functionally integrated into the chromosome of P2 using surrogate promoters from Zymomonas mobilis for expression. Both were secreted into the extracellular milieu, producing more than 20,000 endoglucanase units (carboxymethyl cellulase activity) per liter of fermentation broth. During the fermentation of crystalline cellulose with low levels of commercial cellulases of fungal origin, these new strains produced up to 22% more ethanol than unmodified P2. Most of the beneficial contribution was attributed to CelY rather than to CelZ. These results suggest that fungal enzymes with substrate profiles resembling CelY (preference for long-chain polymers and lack of activity on soluble cello-oligosaccharides of two to five glucosyl residues) may be limiting in commercial cellulase preparations. PMID:11133422

  12. A structural study of Hypocrea jecorina Cel5A

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Toni M; Farrow, Mary F; Arnold, Frances H; Mayo, Stephen L

    2011-01-01

    Interest in generating lignocellulosic biofuels through enzymatic hydrolysis continues to rise as nonrenewable fossil fuels are depleted. The high cost of producing cellulases, hydrolytic enzymes that cleave cellulose into fermentable sugars, currently hinders economically viable biofuel production. Here, we report the crystal structure of a prevalent endoglucanase in the biofuels industry, Cel5A from the filamentous fungus Hypocrea jecorina. The structure reveals a general fold resembling that of the closest homolog with a high-resolution structure, Cel5A from Thermoascus aurantiacus. Consistent with previously described endoglucanase structures, the H. jecorina Cel5A active site contains a primarily hydrophobic substrate binding groove and a series of hydrogen bond networks surrounding two catalytic glutamates. The reported structure, however, demonstrates stark differences between side-chain identity, loop regions, and the number of disulfides. Such structural information may aid efforts to improve the stability of this protein for industrial use while maintaining enzymatic activity through revealing nonessential and immutable regions. PMID:21898652

  13. A structural study of Hypocrea jecorina Cel5A.

    PubMed

    Lee, Toni M; Farrow, Mary F; Arnold, Frances H; Mayo, Stephen L

    2011-11-01

    Interest in generating lignocellulosic biofuels through enzymatic hydrolysis continues to rise as nonrenewable fossil fuels are depleted. The high cost of producing cellulases, hydrolytic enzymes that cleave cellulose into fermentable sugars, currently hinders economically viable biofuel production. Here, we report the crystal structure of a prevalent endoglucanase in the biofuels industry, Cel5A from the filamentous fungus Hypocrea jecorina. The structure reveals a general fold resembling that of the closest homolog with a high-resolution structure, Cel5A from Thermoascus aurantiacus. Consistent with previously described endoglucanase structures, the H. jecorina Cel5A active site contains a primarily hydrophobic substrate binding groove and a series of hydrogen bond networks surrounding two catalytic glutamates. The reported structure, however, demonstrates stark differences between side-chain identity, loop regions, and the number of disulfides. Such structural information may aid efforts to improve the stability of this protein for industrial use while maintaining enzymatic activity through revealing nonessential and immutable regions. PMID:21898652

  14. Development of a brazing process for the production of water- cooled bipolar plates made of chromium-coated metal foils for PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mueller, M.; Hoehlich, D.; Scharf, I.; Lampke, T.; Hollaender, U.; Maier, H. J.

    2016-03-01

    Beside lithium batteries, PEM fuel cells are the most promising strategy as a power source to achieve the targets for introducing and increasing the usage of electric vehicles. Due to limited space and weight problems, water cooled, metallic bipolar plates in a fuel cell metal stack are preferred in motor vehicles. These plates are stamped metal sheets with a complex structure, interconnected media-tight. To meet the multiple tasks and requirements in use, complex and expensive combinations of materials are currently in use (carbon fiber composites, graphite, gold-plated nickel, stainless and acid resistant steel). The production of such plates is expensive as it is connected with considerable effort or the usage of precious metals. As an alternative, metalloid nitrides (CrN, VN, W2N, etc.) show a high chemical resistance, hardness and a good conductivity. So this material category meets the basic requirements of a top layer. However, the standard methods for their production (PVD, CVD) are expensive and have a slow deposition rate and a lower layer thicknesses. Because of these limitations, a full functionality over the life cycle of a bipolar plate is not guaranteed. The contribution shows the development and quantification of an alternative production process for bipolar plates. The expectation is to get significant advantages from the combination of chromium electrodeposition and thermochemical treatment to form chromium nitrides. Both processes are well researched and suitable for series production. The thermochemical treatment of the chromium layer also enables a process-integrated brazing.

  15. Nb-doped TiO2/carbon composite supports synthesized by ultrasonic spray pyrolysis for proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell catalysts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Senevirathne, Keerthi; Neburchilov, Vladimir; Alzate, Vanesa; Baker, Ryan; Neagu, Roberto; Zhang, Jiujun; Campbell, Stephen; Ye, Siyu

    2012-12-01

    In this paper we report the use of both ultrasonic spray pyrolysis and microwave-assisted polyol reduction methods to synthesize Nb-doped TiO2/carbon (25 wt% Nb0.07Ti0.93O2/75 wt% carbon) composite supports and Pt0.62Pd0.38 alloy catalysts, respectively. The physicochemical properties of the synthesized supports and their Pt0.62Pd0.38 supported catalysts are evaluated using several methods including XRD, TEM, BET surface area analysis, TGA, as well as ICP-MS elemental analysis. The electronic conductivities and thermal/chemical stabilities of the supports are also evaluated with respect to their possible use as catalyst supports. Electrochemical measurements for oxygen reduction activity of the Pt0.62Pd0.38 alloy catalysts supported on oxide/carbon composites are also carried out in order to check their suitability for possible PEM fuel cell applications. The results show that 20wt%Pt0.62Pd0.38/25 wt%(Nb0.07Ti0.93O2)-75 wt%C catalysts exhibit enhanced mass activities compared to those of commercially available 48wt% Pt/C and home-made 20wt% Pt62Pd38/C catalysts.

  16. Mass Production Cost Estimation For Direct H2 PEM Fuel Cell Systesm for Automotive Applications. 2010 Update

    SciTech Connect

    James, Brian D.; Kalinoski, Jeffrey A.; Baum, Kevin N.

    2010-09-30

    This report is the fourth annual update of a comprehensive automotive fuel cell cost analysis. It contains estimates for material and manufacturing costs of complete 80 kWnet direct-hydrogen proton exchange membrane fuel cell systems suitable for powering light-duty automobiles.

  17. Mass Production Cost Estimation for Direct H2 PEM Fuel Cell Systems for Automotive Applications. 2009 Update

    SciTech Connect

    James, Brian D.; Kalinoski, Jeffrey A.; Baum, Kevin N.

    2010-01-01

    This report is the third annual update of a comprehensive automotive fuel cell cost analysis. It contains estimates for material and manufacturing cost of complete 80 kWnet direct hydrogen proton exchange membrane fuel cell systems suitable for powering light duty automobiles.

  18. SYNTHESIS AND CHARACTERIZATION OF CO-AND H2S-TOLERANT ELECTROCATALYSTS FOR PEM FUEL CELL

    SciTech Connect

    Shamsuddin Ilias

    2004-03-31

    The present state-of-art Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) technology is based on platinum (Pt) as a catalyst for both the fuel (anode) and air (cathode) electrodes. This catalyst is highly active but susceptible to poisoning by CO, which may be present in the H{sub 2}-fuel used or may be introduced during the fuel processing. Presence of trace amount of CO and H{sub 2}S in the H{sub 2}-fuel poisons the anode irreversibly and decreases the performance of the PEMFCs. In an effort to reduce the Pt-loading and improve the PEMFC performance, we propose to synthesize a number of Pt-based binary, ternary, and quaternary electrocatalysts using Ru, Mo, Ir, Ni, and Co as a substitute for Pt. By fine-tuning the metal loadings and compositions of candidate electrocatalysts, we plan to minimize the cost and optimize the catalyst activity and performance in PEMFC. The feasibility of the novel electrocatalysts will be demonstrated in the proposed effort with gas phase CO and H{sub 2}S concentrations typical of those found in reformed fuel gas with coal/natural gas/methanol feedstocks. During this reporting period several bi-metallic electrocatalysts were synthesized and tested in MEAs. From Galvonstatic study the catalytic activity was found in the order of: Pt/Ru/C > Pt/Mo/C > Pt/Ir/C > Pt/Ni/C > Pt/Cr/C. Work in progress to further study these catalysts for CO-tolerance in PEMFC and identify potential candidate metals for synthesis of trimetallic electrocatalysts.

  19. SYNTHESIS AND CHARACTERIZATION OF CO- AND H{sub 2}S-TOLERANT ELECTROCATALYSTS FOR PEM FUEL CELL

    SciTech Connect

    Shamsuddin Ilias

    2005-04-05

    The present state-of-art Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) technology is based on platinum (Pt) as a catalyst for both the fuel (anode) and air (cathode) electrodes. This catalyst is highly active but susceptible to poisoning by CO, which may be present in the H{sub 2}-fuel used or may be introduced during the fuel processing. Presence of trace amount of CO and H{sub 2}S in the H{sub 2}-fuel poisons the anode irreversibly and decreases the performance of the PEMFCs. In an effort to reduce the Pt-loading and improve the PEMFC performance, we propose to synthesize a number of Pt-based binary, ternary, and quaternary electrocatalysts using Ru, Mo, Ir, Ni, and Co as a substitute for Pt. By fine-tuning the metal loadings and compositions of candidate electrocatalysts, we plan to minimize the cost and optimize the catalyst activity and performance in PEMFC. The feasibility of the novel electrocatalysts will be demonstrated in the proposed effort with gas phase CO and H{sub 2}S concentrations typical of those found in reformed fuel gas with coal/natural gas/methanol feedstocks. During this reporting period several tri-metallic electrocatalysts were synthesized using both ultra-sonication and conventional method. These catalysts (Pt/Ru/Mo, Pt/Ru/Ir, Pt/Ru/W, Ptr/Ru/Co, and Pt/Ru/Se on carbon) were tested in MEAs. From Galvonstatic study the catalytic activity was found in the order of: Pt/Ru/Mo/C > Pt/Ru/Ir/C > Pt/Ru/W/C > Ptr/Ru/Co/C > and Pt/Ru/Se. It appears that electrocatalysts prepared by ultra-sonication process are more active compared to the conventional technique. Work is in progress to further study these catalysts for CO-tolerance in PEMFC.

  20. SYNTHESIS AND CHARACTERIZATION OF CO-AND H2S-TOLERANT ELECTROCATALYSTS FOR PEM FUEL CELL

    SciTech Connect

    Shamsuddin Ilias

    2005-03-29

    The present state-of-art Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) technology is based on platinum (Pt) as a catalyst for both the fuel (anode) and air (cathode) electrodes. This catalyst is highly active but susceptible to poisoning by CO, which may be present in the H{sub 2}-fuel used or may be introduced during the fuel processing. Presence of trace amount of CO and H{sub 2}S in the H{sub 2}-fuel poisons the anode irreversibly and decreases the performance of the PEMFCs. In an effort to reduce the Pt-loading and improve the PEMFC performance, we propose to synthesize a number of Pt-based binary, ternary, and quaternary electrocatalysts using Ru, Mo, Ir, Ni, and Co as a substitute for Pt. By fine-tuning the metal loadings and compositions of candidate electrocatalysts, we plan to minimize the cost and optimize the catalyst activity and performance in PEMFC. The feasibility of the novel electrocatalysts will be demonstrated in the proposed effort with gas phase CO and H{sub 2}S concentrations typical of those found in reformed fuel gas with coal/natural gas/methanol feedstocks. During this reporting period several bi-metallic electrocatalysts were synthesized using ultra-sonication. These catalysts (Pt/Ru, Pt/Mo and Pt/Ir) were tested in MEAs. From Galvonstatic study the catalytic activity was found in the order of: Pt/Ru/C > Pt/Mo/C > Pt/Ir/C. It appears that electrocatalysts prepared by ultra-sonication process are more active compared to the conventional technique. Work is in progress to further study these catalysts for CO-tolerance in PEMFC and identify potential candidate metals for synthesis of tri-metallic electrocatalysts.

  1. Synthesis and Characterization of CO-and H2S-Tolerant Electrocatalysts for PEM Fuel Cell

    SciTech Connect

    Shamsuddin Ilias

    2005-12-22

    The present state-of-art Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) technology is based on platinum (Pt) as a catalyst for both the fuel (anode) and air (cathode) electrodes. This catalyst is highly active but susceptible to poisoning by CO, which may be present in the H{sub 2}-fuel used or may be introduced during the fuel processing. Presence of trace amount of CO and H{sub 2}S in the H{sub 2}-fuel poisons the anode irreversibly and decreases the performance of the PEMFCs. In an effort to reduce the Pt-loading and improve the PEMFC performance, we propose to synthesize a number of Pt-based binary, ternary, and quaternary electrocatalysts using Ru, Mo, Ir, Ni, and Co as a substitute for Pt. By fine-tuning the metal loadings and compositions of candidate electrocatalysts, we plan to minimize the cost and optimize the catalyst activity and performance in PEMFC. The feasibility of the novel electrocatalysts will be demonstrated in the proposed effort with gas phase CO and H{sub 2}S concentrations typical of those found in reformed fuel gas with coal/natural gas/methanol feedstocks. During this reporting period we synthesized four Pt-based electrocatalysts catalysts (Pt/Ru/Mo/Se, Pt/Ru/Mo/Ir, Pt/Ru/Mo/W, Ptr/Ru/Mo/Co) on Vulcan XG72 Carbon support by both conventional and ultra-sonication method. From current-voltage performance study, the catalytic activity was found in the increasing order of Pt/Ru/Mo/Ir > Pt/Ru/Mo/W > Pt/Ru/Mo/Co > Pt/Ru/MO/Se. Sonication method appears to provide better dispersion of catalysts on carbon support.

  2. Research and development of Proton-Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell system for transportation applications: Initial conceptual design report

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1993-11-01

    This report addresses Task 1.1, model development and application, and Task 1.2, vehicle mission definition. Overall intent is to produce a methanol-fueled 10-kW power source and to evaluate electrochemical engine (ECE) use in transportation. Major achievements include development of an ECE power source model and its integration into a comprehensive power source/electric vehicle propulsion model, establishment of candidate FCV (fuel cell powered electric vehicle) mission requirements, initial FCV studies, and a candidate FCV recommendation for further study.

  3. Research and Development of Proton-Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell System for Transportation Applications: Initial Conceptual Design Report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-11-30

    This report addresses Task 1.1, model development and application, and Task 1.2, vehicle mission definition. Overall intent is to produce a methanol-fueled 10-kW power source, and to evaluate electrochemical engine (ECE) use in transportation. Major achievements include development of an ECE power source model and its integration into a comprehensive power source/electric vehicle propulsion model, establishment of candidate FCV (fuel cell powered electric vehicle) mission requirements, initial FCV studies, and a candidate FCV recommendation for further study.

  4. Heterologous expression of codon optimized Trichoderma reesei Cel6A in Pichia pastoris.

    PubMed

    Sun, Fubao Fuelbiol; Bai, Renhui; Yang, Huimin; Wang, Fei; He, Jing; Wang, Chundi; Tu, Maobing

    2016-10-01

    The Cel6A deficiency has become one of the limiting factors for cellulose saccharification in biochemical conversion of cellulosic biomass to fuels and chemicals. The work attempted to use codon optimization to enhance Trichoderma reesei Cel6A expression in Pichia pastoris. Two recombinants P. pastoris GS115 containing AOX1 and GAP promotors were successfully constructed, respectively. The optimal temperatures and pHs of the expressed Cel6A from two recombinants were consistent with each other, were also in the extremely similar range to that reported on the native Cel6A from T. reesei. Based on the shake flask fermentation, AOX1 promotor enabled the recombinant to produce 265U/L and 300mg/L of the Cel6A enzyme, and the GAP promotor resulted in 145U/L and 200mg/L. High cell density fed batch (HCDFB) fermentation significantly improved the enzyme titer (1100U/L) and protein yield (2.0g/L) for the recombinant with AOX1 promotor. Results have showed that the AOX1 promotor is more suitable than the GAP for the Cel6A expression in P. pastoris. And the HCDFB cultivation is a favorable way to express the Cel6A highly in the methanol inducible yeast. PMID:27542751

  5. Polarization Losses under Accelerated Stress Test Using Multiwalled Carbon Nanotube Supported Pt Catalyst in PEM Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Park, Seh K.; Shao, Yuyan; Kou, Rong; Viswanathan, Vilayanur V.; Towne, Silas A.; Rieke, Peter C.; Liu, Jun; Lin, Yuehe; Wang, Yong

    2011-03-01

    The electrochemical behavior for Pt catalysts supported on multiwalled carbon nanotubes and Vulcan XC-72 in proton exchange membrane fuel cells under accelerated stress test was examined by cyclic voltammetry, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, and polarization technique. Pt catalyst supported on multiwalled carbon nanotubes exhibited highly stable electrochemical surface area, oxygen reduction kinetics, and fuel cell performance at a highly oxidizing condition, indicating multiwalled carbon nanotubes show high corrosion resistance and strong interaction with Pt nanoparticles. The Tafel slope, ohmic resistances, and limiting current density determined were used to differentiate kinetic, ohmic, mass-transfer polarization losses from the actual polarization curve. Kinetic contribution to the total overpotential was larger throughout the stress test. However, the fraction of kinetic overpotential decreased and mass-transfer overpotential portion remained quite constant during accelerated stress test, whereas the fraction of ohmic overpotential primarily originating from severe proton transport limitation in the catalyst layer increased under the anodic potential hold.

  6. Potential Usage of Thermoelectric Devices in a High-Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell System: Two Case Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Xin; Chen, Min; Andreasen, Søren Juhl; Kær, Søren Knudsen

    2012-06-01

    Methanol-fueled, high-temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (HTPEMFC) power systems are promising as the next generation of vehicle engines, efficient and environmentally friendly. Currently, their performance still needs to be improved, and they still rely on a large Li-ion battery for system startup. In this article, to handle these two issues, the potential of thermoelectric (TE) devices applied in a HTPEMFC power system has been preliminarily evaluated. First, right after the fuel cell stack or the methanol reformer, thermoelectric generators (TEGs) are embedded inside a gas-liquid heat exchanger to form a heat recovery subsystem jointly for electricity production. It is calculated that the recovered power can increase the system efficiency and mitigate the dependence on Li-ion battery during system startup. To improve the TEG subsystem performance, a finite-difference model is then employed and two main parameters are identified. Second, TE coolers are integrated into the methanol steam reformer to regulate heat fluxes herein and improve the system dynamic performance. Similar modification is also done on the evaporator to improve its dynamic performance as well as to reduce the heat loss during system startup. The results demonstrate that the TE-assisted heat flux regulation and heat-loss reduction can also effectively help solve the abovementioned two issues. The preliminary analysis in this article shows that a TE device application inside HTPEMFC power systems is of great value and worthy of further study.

  7. ExCELS--The Next Step.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fox, John N.; And Others

    1994-01-01

    ExCELS is a program that supports teachers interested in the use of computer interfacing at the secondary school level. This paper describes an ExCEL-based course developed for science education majors, presents an overview of interface apparatus and how it is used in schools, and gives examples of experiments performed. (LZ)

  8. Cost related sensitivity analysis for optimal operation of a grid-parallel PEM fuel cell power plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El-Sharkh, M. Y.; Tanrioven, M.; Rahman, A.; Alam, M. S.

    Fuel cell power plants (FCPP) as a combined source of heat, power and hydrogen (CHP&H) can be considered as a potential option to supply both thermal and electrical loads. Hydrogen produced from the FCPP can be stored for future use of the FCPP or can be sold for profit. In such a system, tariff rates for purchasing or selling electricity, the fuel cost for the FCPP/thermal load, and hydrogen selling price are the main factors that affect the operational strategy. This paper presents a hybrid evolutionary programming and Hill-Climbing based approach to evaluate the impact of change of the above mentioned cost parameters on the optimal operational strategy of the FCPP. The optimal operational strategy of the FCPP for different tariffs is achieved through the estimation of the following: hourly generated power, the amount of thermal power recovered, power trade with the local grid, and the quantity of hydrogen that can be produced. Results show the importance of optimizing system cost parameters in order to minimize overall operating cost.

  9. Determination of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) degradation products in fuel cell water using electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Zedda, Marco; Tuerk, Jochen; Peil, Stefan; Schmidt, Torsten C

    2010-12-30

    Within the scope of research of membrane degradation phenomena during fuel cell operation a reliable analytical procedure for the extraction, detection and quantification of possible membrane oxidation products has been developed. These oxidation products originate from the attack of hydroxyl or peroxyl radicals on the membrane polymer. Such radicals are formed in situ (during fuel cell operation) or ex situ (Fenton test as oxidative stress simulation). The analysis of membrane oxidation products was carried out by electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry. Five potential membrane oxidation products (4-hydroxybenzoic acid (4-HBA), 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde (4-HBAD), 4,4-biphenol (4,4-BP), 4-hydroxybenzenesulfonate (4-HBS), and 4,4-sulfonylbiphenol (4,4-SBP)) were selected based on the molecular structure of the sulfonated polyarylether membrane used. In conjunction with the development of a multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) method, the ionization and fragmentation of the selected compounds were investigated. For 4,4-BP a molecular ion (M(+•) ) was observed in the positive ionization mode and used for MRM method development. Reproducible extraction of the model compounds was achieved using a mixed-mode sorbent material with both weak anion-exchange and reversed-phase retention properties. By using the developed analytical procedure, the identities of two membrane degradation products (4-HBA and 4-HBAD) were determined in situ and ex situ. In addition to the investigation of membrane degradation phenomena, the combination of extraction on a mixed-mode sorbent material and tandem mass spectrometric detection is attractive for the analysis of aromatic sulfonic acids, phenolic acids and phenols. PMID:21080505

  10. PEM Degradation Investigation Final Technical Report

    SciTech Connect

    Dan Stevenson; Lee H Spangler

    2007-11-02

    The objectives of this paper are: (1) Develop a system capable of measuring current and voltage performance for each membrane in a Polymer Electrolyte Membranes (PEM) fuel cell stack and record the performance of each individual cell; (2) Develop a single cell PEM FC to allow in situ synchrotron x-ray measurements of the cell in operation and to perform spatially resolved x-ray measurements on fuel cell elements before and after degradation; and (3) Perform initial magnetic resonance microimaging experiments on membrane materials. The Montana State University PEM Membrane Degradation program is geared towards determining how and why membranes in fuel cells degrade and fail. By monitoring every individual membrane in a fuel cell 2000 times/sec while the cell is subjected to real-world type use, we hope to: (1) cause the types of degradation users see, but in a controlled environment; (2) determine an electrical signature that will identify what causes failure, or at least warns of impending failure; (3) allows us to perform advanced x-ray and MRI characterization of the degraded membranes to provide information that may result in improvements of the membrane material; and (4) perhaps allow design of electronic control systems that will prevent fuel cells from operating under conditions where damage is likely to occur.