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Sample records for proton-exchange membrane fuel

  1. Proton Exchange Membranes for Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Devanathan, Ramaswami

    2010-11-01

    Proton exchange membrane, also known as polymer electrolyte membrane, fuel cells (PEMFCs) offer the promise of efficient conversion of chemical energy of fuel, such as hydrogen or methanol, into electricity with minimal pollution. Their widespread use to power zero-emission automobiles as part of a hydrogen economy can contribute to enhanced energy security and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. However, the commercial viability of PEMFC technology is hindered by high cost associated with the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) and poor membrane durability under prolonged operation at elevated temperature. Membranes for automotive fuel cell applications need to perform well over a period comparable to the life of an automotive engine and under heavy load cycling including start-stop cycling under sub-freezing conditions. The combination of elevated temperature, changes in humidity levels, physical stresses and harsh chemical environment contribute to membrane degradation. Perfluorinated sulfonic acid (PFSA)-based membranes, such as Nafion®, have been the mainstay of PEMFC technology. Their limitations, in terms of cost and poor conductivity at low hydration, have led to continuing research into membranes that have good proton conductivity at elevated temperatures above 120 °C and under low humidity conditions. Such membranes have the potential to avoid catalyst poisoning, simplify fuel cell design and reduce the cost of fuel cells. Hydrocarbon-based membranes are being developed as alternatives to PFSA membranes, but concerns about chemical and mechanical stability and durability remain. Novel anhydrous membranes based on polymer gels infused with protic ionic liquids have also been recently proposed, but considerable fundamental research is needed to understand proton transport in novel membranes and evaluate durability under fuel cell operating conditions. In order to advance this promising technology, it is essential to rationally design the next generation

  2. Proton-exchange membrane regenerative fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    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 cm 2 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 xPt 3O 4 catalysts as well as for electrode structure variations.

  3. CAPSTONE SENIOR DESIGN - SUPRAMOLECULAR PROTON EXCHANGE MEMBRANES FOR FUEL CELLS

    EPA Science Inventory

    In order to assume a leading role in the burgeoning hydrogen economy, new infrastructure will be required for fuel cell manufacturing and R&D capabilities. The objective of this proposal is the development of a new generation of advanced proton exchange membrane (PEM) technol...

  4. Optomechanical characterization of proton-exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jalani, Nikhil H.; Mizar, Shivananda P.; Choi, Pyoungho; Furlong, Cosme; Datta, Ravindra

    2004-08-01

    Nafion is widely used as the polymer electrolyte in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. The properties that make the Nafion membrane indispensable are the combination of good water uptake, ion-exchange capacity, proton conductivity, gas permeability, and excellent electrochemical stability. The amount of water sorbed in the Nafion membrane is critical as the proton conductivity depends directly on the water content of the membrane which determines the fuel cell performance. The factors which affect the extent of the solvent uptake by Nafion are temperature, ion-exchange capacity, pretreatment of membrane, and the physical state of absorbing water, whether it is in liquid or vapor phase. The water sorption in the membrane is explained in terms of thermodynamic equilibrium of water in the vapor and absorption phases. As the membrane imbibes more water, the membrane matrix expands and exerts a pressure on the pore liquid which affects its chemical potential and limits extent of swelling. The extent of matrix expansion of the membranes depends on the elastic modulus, E, of the membrane, which directly affects the sorption. Hence, it is important to understand the variation of E for Nafion membrane with relative humidity (RH) and temperature. Optoelectronic holography (OEH) techniques are applied to perform quantitative, noninvasive, full field of view investigations to determine temperature and water activity dependence of E. The results obtained confirm that with the increase in temperature, E decreases and the membranes imbibes more water. Such results will allow optimization and realization of fuel cells with improved efficiency and performance.

  5. Proton exchange membrane fuel cell technology for transportation applications

    SciTech Connect

    Swathirajan, S.

    1996-04-01

    Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells are extremely promising as future power plants in the transportation sector to achieve an increase in energy efficiency and eliminate environmental pollution due to vehicles. GM is currently involved in a multiphase program with the US Department of Energy for developing a proof-of-concept hybrid vehicle based on a PEM fuel cell power plant and a methanol fuel processor. Other participants in the program are Los Alamos National Labs, Dow Chemical Co., Ballard Power Systems and DuPont Co., In the just completed phase 1 of the program, a 10 kW PEM fuel cell power plant was built and tested to demonstrate the feasibility of integrating a methanol fuel processor with a PEM fuel cell stack. However, the fuel cell power plant must overcome stiff technical and economic challenges before it can be commercialized for light duty vehicle applications. Progress achieved in phase I on the use of monolithic catalyst reactors in the fuel processor, managing CO impurity in the fuel cell stack, low-cost electrode-membrane assembles, and on the integration of the fuel processor with a Ballard PEM fuel cell stack will be presented.

  6. Percolation in a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Catalyst Layer

    SciTech Connect

    Stacy, Stephen; Allen, Jeffrey

    2012-07-01

    Water management in the catalyst layers of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) is confronted by two issues, flooding and dry out, both of which result in improper functioning of the fuel cell and lead to poor performance and degradation. At the present time, the data that has been reported about water percolation and wettability within a fuel cell catalyst layer is limited. A method and apparatus for measuring the percolation pressure in the catalyst layer has been developed based upon an experimental apparatus used to test water percolation in porous transport layers (PTL). The experimental setup uses a pseudo Hele-Shaw type testing where samples are compressed and a fluid is injected into the sample. Testing the samples gives percolation pressure plots which show trends in increasing percolation pressure with an increase in flow rate. A decrease in pressure was seen as percolation occurred in one sample, however the pressure only had a rising effect in the other sample.

  7. A Novel Unitized Regenerative Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murphy, O. J.; Cisar, A. J.; Gonzalez-Martin, A.; Salinas, C. E.; Simpson, S. F.

    1996-01-01

    A difficulty encountered in designing a unitized regenerative proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell lies in the incompatibility of electrode structures and electrocatalyst materials optimized for either of the two functions (fuel cell or electrolyzer) with the needs of the other function. This difficulty is compounded in previous regenerative fuel cell designs by the fact that water, which is needed for proton conduction in the PEM during both modes of operation, is the reactant supplied to the anode in the electrolyzer mode of operation and the product formed at the cathode in the fuel cell mode. Drawbacks associated with existing regenerative fuel cells have been addressed. In a first innovation, electrodes function either as oxidation electrodes (hydrogen ionization or oxygen evolution) or as reduction electrodes (oxygen reduction or hydrogen evolution) in the fuel cell and electrolyzer modes, respectively. Control of liquid water within the regenerative fuel cell has been brought about by a second innovation. A novel PEM has been developed with internal channels that permit the direct access of water along the length of the membrane. Lateral diffusion of water along the polymer chains of the PEM provides the water needed at electrode/PEM interfaces. Fabrication of the novel single cell unitized regenerative fuel cell and results obtained on testing it are presented.

  8. A novel unitized regenerative proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murphy, O. J.; Cisar, A. J.; Gonzalez-Martin, A.; Salinas, C. E.; Simpson, S. F.

    1995-01-01

    A difficulty encountered in designing a unitized regenerative proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell lies in the incompatibility of electrode structures and electrocatalyst materials optimized for either of the two functions (fuel cell or electrolyzer) with the needs of the other function. This difficulty is compounded in previous regenerative fuel cell designs by the fact that water, which is needed for proton conduction in the PEM during both modes of operation, is the reactant supplied to the anode in the electrolyzer mode of operation and the product formed at the cathode in the fuel cell mode. Drawbacks associated with existing regenerative fuel cells have been addressed in work performed at Lynntech. In a first innovation, electrodes function either as oxidation electrodes (hydrogen ionization or oxygen evolution) or as reduction electrodes (oxygen reduction or hydrogen evolution) in the fuel cell and electrolyzer modes, respectively. Control of liquid water within the regenerative fuel cell has been brought about by a second innovation. A novel PEM has been developed with internal channels that permit the direct access of water along the length of the membrane. Lateral diffusion of water along the polymer chains of the PEM provides the water needed at electrode/PEM interfaces. Fabrication of the novel unitized regenerative fuel cell and results obtained on testing it will be presented.

  9. A novel unitized regenerative proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murphy, O. J.; Cisar, A. J.; Gonzalez-Martin, A.; Salinas, C. E.; Simpson, S. F.

    1995-04-01

    A difficulty encountered in designing a unitized regenerative proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell lies in the incompatibility of electrode structures and electrocatalyst materials optimized for either of the two functions (fuel cell or electrolyzer) with the needs of the other function. This difficulty is compounded in previous regenerative fuel cell designs by the fact that water, which is needed for proton conduction in the PEM during both modes of operation, is the reactant supplied to the anode in the electrolyzer mode of operation and the product formed at the cathode in the fuel cell mode. Drawbacks associated with existing regenerative fuel cells have been addressed in work performed at Lynntech. In a first innovation, electrodes function either as oxidation electrodes (hydrogen ionization or oxygen evolution) or as reduction electrodes (oxygen reduction or hydrogen evolution) in the fuel cell and electrolyzer modes, respectively. Control of liquid water within the regenerative fuel cell has been brought about by a second innovation. A novel PEM has been developed with internal channels that permit the direct access of water along the length of the membrane. Lateral diffusion of water along the polymer chains of the PEM provides the water needed at electrode/PEM interfaces. Fabrication of the novel unitized regenerative fuel cell and results obtained on testing it will be presented.

  10. 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.

  11. Carbon monoxide poisoning of proton-exchange membrane fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

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

    1997-12-31

    The platinum-alloy catalyst used in proton-exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell anodes is highly susceptible to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. CO reduces the catalyst activity by blocking active catalyst sites normally available for hydrogen chemisorption and dissociation. The reaction kinetics at the anode catalyst surface can be used to estimate the decrease in cell voltage due to various levels of CO contamination in the inlet fuel streams on PEM fuel cell performance have been reviewed and analyzed in an attempt to further understand the electrochemical properties of the CO adsorption process. A fuel cell performance model of bipolar, Nafion 117 PEM fuel cell stack has been developed which predicts equilibrium cell output voltage as a function of current density and partial pressure of CO. The model contains both empirical and mechanistic parameters and evolved from a steady-state electrochemical model for a PEM fuel cell fed with a CO-free anode gas. Reaction kinetics and equilibrium surface coverage have been incorporated into the electrochemical model to predict the decrease in fuel cell performance at equilibrium. The effects of CO were studied at various concentrations of CO in hydrogen as the anode feed gas. Literature data were used to develop the model parameters and the resulting model is used to compare the model-predicted voltages, with and without CO, to data found in the literature.

  12. DEVELOPMENT OF NOVEL ELECTROCATALYSTS FOR PROTON EXCHANGE MEMBRANE FUEL CELLS

    SciTech Connect

    Shamsuddin Ilias

    2002-06-11

    The Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) is one of the most promising power sources for stand-alone utility and electric vehicle applications. Platinum (Pt) Catalyst is used for both fuel and air electrodes in PEMFCs. However, carbon monoxide (CO) contamination of H{sub 2} greatly affects electro catalysts used at the anode of PEMFCs and decreases cell performance. The irreversible poisoning of the anode can occur even in CO concentrations as low as few parts per million (ppm). In this work, we have synthesized several novel elctrocatalysts (Pt/C, Pt/Ru/C, Pt/Mo/C, Pt/Ir and Pt/Ru/Mo) for PEMFCs. These catalysts have been tested for CO tolerance in the H{sub 2}/air fuel cell, using CO concentrations in the H{sub 2} fuel that varies from 10 to 100 ppm. The performance of the electrodes was evaluated by determining the cell potential against current density. The effects of catalyst composition and electrode film preparation method on the performance of PEM fuel cell were also studied. It was found that at 70 C and 3.5 atm pressure at the cathode, Pt-alloy catalyst (10 wt% Pt/Ru/C, 20 wt% Pt/Mo/C) were more CO tolerant than the 20 wt% Pt/C catalyst alone. It was also observed that spraying method was better than the brushing technique for the preparation of electrode film.

  13. Ionic Liquids and New Proton Exchange Membranes for Fuel Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Belieres, Jean-Philippe

    2004-01-01

    There is currently a great surge of activity in fuel cell research as laboratories across the world seek to take advantage of the high energy capacity provided by &el cells relative to those of other portable electrochemical power systems. Much of this activity is aimed at high temperature fie1 cells, and a vital component of such &el cells must be the availability of a high temperature stable proton-permeable membrane. NASA Glenn Research Center is greatly involved in developing this technology. Other approaches to the high temperature fuel cell involve the use of single- component or almost-single-component electrolytes that provide a path for protons through the cell. A heavily researched case is the phosphoric acid fuel cell, in which the electrolyte is almost pure phosphoric acid and the cathode reaction produces water directly. The phosphoric acid fie1 cell delivers an open circuit voltage of 0.9 V falling to about 0.7 V under operating conditions at 170 C. The proton transport mechanism is mainly vehicular in character according to the viscosity/conductance relation. Here we describe some Proton Transfer Ionic Liquids (PTILs) with low vapor pressure and high temperature stability that have conductivities of unprecedented magnitude for non-aqueous systems. The first requirement of an ionic liquid is that, contrary to experience with most liquids consisting of ions, it must have a melting point that is not much above room temperature. The limit commonly suggested is 100 C. PTILs constitute an interesting class of non-corrosive proton-exchange electrolyte, which can serve well in high temperature (T = 100 - 250 C) fuel cell applications. We will present cell performance data showing that the open circuit voltage output, and the performance of a simple H2(g)Pt/PTIL/Pt/O2(g) fuel cell may be superior to those of the equivalent phosphoric acid electrolyte fuel cell both at ambient temperature and temperatures up to and above 200 C. My work at NASA Glenn Research

  14. Fault tolerance control for proton exchange membrane fuel cell systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Xiaojuan; Zhou, Boyang

    2016-08-01

    Fault diagnosis and controller design are two important aspects to improve proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) system durability. However, the two tasks are often separately performed. For example, many pressure and voltage controllers have been successfully built. However, these controllers are designed based on the normal operation of PEMFC. When PEMFC faces problems such as flooding or membrane drying, a controller with a specific design must be used. This paper proposes a unique scheme that simultaneously performs fault diagnosis and tolerance control for the PEMFC system. The proposed control strategy consists of a fault diagnosis, a reconfiguration mechanism and adjustable controllers. Using a back-propagation neural network, a model-based fault detection method is employed to detect the PEMFC current fault type (flooding, membrane drying or normal). According to the diagnosis results, the reconfiguration mechanism determines which backup controllers to be selected. Three nonlinear controllers based on feedback linearization approaches are respectively built to adjust the voltage and pressure difference in the case of normal, membrane drying and flooding conditions. The simulation results illustrate that the proposed fault tolerance control strategy can track the voltage and keep the pressure difference at desired levels in faulty conditions.

  15. Computational modeling and optimization of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Secanell Gallart, Marc

    Improvements in performance, reliability and durability as well as reductions in production costs, remain critical prerequisites for the commercialization of proton exchange membrane fuel cells. In this thesis, a computational framework for fuel cell analysis and optimization is presented as an innovative alternative to the time consuming trial-and-error process currently used for fuel cell design. The framework is based on a two-dimensional through-the-channel isothermal, isobaric and single phase membrane electrode assembly (MEA) model. The model input parameters are the manufacturing parameters used to build the MEA: platinum loading, platinum to carbon ratio, electrolyte content and gas diffusion layer porosity. The governing equations of the fuel cell model are solved using Netwon's algorithm and an adaptive finite element method in order to achieve quadratic convergence and a mesh independent solution respectively. The analysis module is used to solve two optimization problems: (i) maximize performance; and, (ii) maximize performance while minimizing the production cost of the MEA. To solve these problems a gradient-based optimization algorithm is used in conjunction with analytical sensitivities. The presented computational framework is the first attempt in the literature to combine highly efficient analysis and optimization methods to perform optimization in order to tackle large-scale problems. The framework presented is capable of solving a complete MEA optimization problem with state-of-the-art electrode models in approximately 30 minutes. The optimization results show that it is possible to achieve Pt-specific power density for the optimized MEAs of 0.422 gPt/kW. This value is extremely close to the target of 0.4 gPt/kW for large-scale implementation and demonstrate the potential of using numerical optimization for fuel cell design.

  16. A flexible portable proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsu, Fu-Kuang; Lee, Ming-San; Lin, Chi-Chang; Lin, Yu-Kuo; Hsu, Wei-Ting

    2012-12-01

    A flexible portable proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is developed with non-directional flexibility acquired through new carbon-fibre-made current collectors and a new cell structure. The performance of a pilot cell suffers no significant loss when bent to curvatures with various radii in multiple directions. It also compares well with a nonflexible cylindrical portable PEMFC composed of similar components. The new cell is made with a single cup-like flexible main body with the membrane glued to the inside rim. The current collector is composed of several bunches of carbon fibre, each with metal wires embedded in them. The soft and flexible fibres not only allow for close and evenly-distributed contact with the bent electrode, but also change the character of the contact so that a large compressional force is no longer required to acquire low contact resistance which is, above all, the key to the success of this flexible cell design. The metal wire provides the needed flexibility to cover large curved electrode areas. A wire spring is used to pressure the collector against the electrode while the main body bends.

  17. High power density proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murphy, Oliver J.; Hitchens, G. Duncan; Manko, David J.

    1993-01-01

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells use a perfluorosulfonic acid solid polymer film as an electrolyte which simplifies water and electrolyte management. Their thin electrolyte layers give efficient systems of low weight, and their materials of construction show extremely long laboratory lifetimes. Their high reliability and their suitability for use in a microgravity environment makes them particularly attractive as a substitute for batteries in satellites utilizing high-power, high energy-density electrochemical energy storage systems. In this investigation, the Dow experimental PEM (XUS-13204.10) and unsupported high platinum loading electrodes yielded very high power densities, of the order of 2.5 W cm(exp -2). A platinum black loading of 5 mg per cm(exp 2) was found to be optimum. On extending the three-dimensional reaction zone of fuel cell electrodes by impregnating solid polymer electrolyte into the electrode structures, Nafion was found to give better performance than the Dow experimental PEM. The depth of penetration of the solid polymer electrolyte into electrode structures was 50-70 percent of the thickness of the platinum-catalyzed active layer. However, the degree of platinum utilization was only 16.6 percent and the roughness factor of a typical electrode was 274.

  18. Tandem cathode for proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Siahrostami, Samira; Björketun, Mårten E; Strasser, Peter; Greeley, Jeff; Rossmeisl, Jan

    2013-06-21

    The efficiency of proton exchange membrane fuel cells is limited mainly by the oxygen reduction reaction at the cathode. The large cathodic overpotential is caused by correlations between binding energies of reaction intermediates in the reduction of oxygen to water. This work introduces a novel tandem cathode design where the full oxygen reduction, involving four electron-transfer steps, is divided into formation (equilibrium potential 0.70 V) followed by reduction (equilibrium potential 1.76 V) of hydrogen peroxide. The two part reactions contain only two electron-transfer steps and one reaction intermediate each, and they occur on different catalyst surfaces. As a result they can be optimized independently and the fundamental problem associated with the four-electron catalysis is avoided. A combination of density functional theory calculations and published experimental data is used to identify potentially active and selective materials for both catalysts. Co-porphyrin is recommended for the first step, formation of hydrogen peroxide, and three different metal oxides - SrTiO3(100), CaTiO3(100) and WO3(100) - are suggested for the subsequent reduction step. PMID:23661187

  19. High temperature polymers for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Einsla, Brian Russel

    Novel proton exchange membranes (PEMs) were investigated that show potential for operating at higher temperatures in both direct methanol (DMFC) and H 2/air PEM fuel cells. The need for thermally stable polymers immediately suggests the possibility of heterocyclic polymers bearing appropriate ion conducting sites. Accordingly, monomers and random disulfonated poly(arylene ether) copolymers containing either naphthalimide, benzoxazole or benzimidazole moieties were synthesized via direct copolymerization. The ion exchange capacity (IEC) was varied by simply changing the ratio of disulfonated monomer to nonsulfonated monomer in the copolymerization step. Water uptake and proton conductivity of cast membranes increased with IEC. The water uptake of these heterocyclic copolymers was lower than that of comparable disulfonated poly(arylene ether) systems, which is a desirable improvement for PEMs. Membrane electrode assemblies were prepared and the initial fuel cell performance of the disulfonated polyimide and polybenzoxazole (PBO) copolymers was very promising at 80°C compared to the state-of-the-art PEM (NafionRTM); nevertheless these membranes became brittle under operating conditions. Several series of poly(arylene ether)s based on disodium-3,3'-disulfonate-4,4 '-dichlorodiphenylsulfone (S-DCDPS) and a benzimidazole-containing bisphenol were synthesized and afforded copolymers with enhanced stability. Selected properties of these membranes were compared to separately prepared miscible blends of disulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone) copolymers and polybenzimidazole (PBI). Complexation of the sulfonic acid groups with the PBI structure reduced water swelling and proton conductivity. The enhanced proton conductivity of NafionRTM membranes has been proposed to be due to the aggregation of the highly acidic side-chain sulfonic acid sites to form ion channels. A series of side-chain sulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone) copolymers based on methoxyhydroquinone was

  20. DEVELOPMENT OF DESIGN TOOLS TO FACILITATE/PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE DESIGN OF PROTON EXCHANGE MEMBRANE FUEL CELLS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Objective is to develop and demonstrate 2 sets of of design tools that are applicable to the manufacture of proton exchange membrane fuel cell systems. First set will offer guidance to fuel cell designers for end of life options suited to subassembly. Second set will give fuel ...

  1. The application of Dow Chemical's perfluorinated membranes in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eisman, G. A.

    1989-01-01

    Dow Chemical's research activities in fuel cell devices revolves around the development and subsequent investigation of the perfluorinated inomeric membrane separator useful in proton-exchange membrane systems. Work is currently focusing on studying the effects of equivalent weight, thickness, water of hydration, pretreatment procedures, as well as the degree of water management required for a given membrane separator in the cell. The presentation will include details of certain aspects of the above as well as some of the requirements for high and low power generation.

  2. The application of Dow Chemical's perfluorinated membranes in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eisman, G. A.

    1989-12-01

    Dow Chemical's research activities in fuel cell devices revolves around the development and subsequent investigation of the perfluorinated inomeric membrane separator useful in proton-exchange membrane systems. Work is currently focusing on studying the effects of equivalent weight, thickness, water of hydration, pretreatment procedures, as well as the degree of water management required for a given membrane separator in the cell. The presentation will include details of certain aspects of the above as well as some of the requirements for high and low power generation.

  3. The application of Dow Chemical's perfluorinated membranes in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eisman, G. A.

    1989-01-01

    Dow Chemical's research activities in fuel cells revolve around the development of perfluorosulfonic acid membranes useful as the proton transport medium and separator. Some of the performance characteristics which are typical for such membranes are outlined. The results of tests utilizing a new experimental membrane useful in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells are presented. The high voltage at low current densities can lead to higher system efficiencies while, at the same time, not sacrificing other critical properties pertinent to membrane fuel cell operation. A series of tests to determine response times indicated that on-off cycles are on the order of 80 milliseconds to reach 90 percent of full power. The IR free voltage at 100 amps/sq ft was determined and the results indicating a membrane/electrode package resistance to be .15 ohm-sq cm at 100 amps/sq ft.

  4. The application of Dow Chemical's perfluorinated membranes in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eisman, G. A.

    1989-12-01

    Dow Chemical's research activities in fuel cells revolve around the development of perfluorosulfonic acid membranes useful as the proton transport medium and separator. Some of the performance characteristics which are typical for such membranes are outlined. The results of tests utilizing a new experimental membrane useful in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells are presented. The high voltage at low current densities can lead to higher system efficiencies while, at the same time, not sacrificing other critical properties pertinent to membrane fuel cell operation. A series of tests to determine response times indicated that on-off cycles are on the order of 80 milliseconds to reach 90 percent of full power. The IR free voltage at 100 amps/sq ft was determined and the results indicating a membrane/electrode package resistance to be .15 ohm-sq cm at 100 amps/sq ft.

  5. Durability of symmetrically and asymmetrically porous polybenzimidazole membranes for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jheng, Li-Cheng; Chang, Wesley Jen-Yang; Hsu, Steve Lien-Chung; Cheng, Po-Yang

    2016-08-01

    Two types of porous polybenzimidazole (PBI) membranes with symmetric and asymmetric morphologies were fabricated by the template-leaching method and characterized by scanning electron microscope (SEM). Their physicochemical properties were compared in terms of acid-doping level, proton conductivity, mechanical strength, and oxidative stability. The durability of fuel cell operation is one of the most challenging for the PBI based membrane electrode assembly (MEA) used in high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells (HT-PEMFCs). In the present work, we carried out a long-term steady-state fuel cell test to compare the effect of membrane structure on the cell voltage degradation. It has also been demonstrated that the asymmetrically porous PBI could bring some notable improvements on the durability of fuel cell operation, the fuel crossover problem, and the phosphoric acid leakage.

  6. Hydrocarbon-based polymer electrolyte cerium composite membranes for improved proton exchange membrane fuel cell durability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Hyejin; Han, Myungseong; Choi, Young-Woo; Bae, Byungchan

    2015-11-01

    Hydrocarbon-based cerium composite membranes were prepared for proton exchange membrane fuel cell applications to increase oxidative stability. Different amounts of cerium ions were impregnated in sulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone) (SPES) membranes and their physicochemical properties were investigated according to the cerium content. Field-emission scanning electron microscopy and inductively coupled plasma analyses confirmed the presence of cerium ions in the composite membranes and 1H NMR indicated the successful coordination of sulfonic acid groups with the metal ions. Increasing amounts of cerium ions resulted in decreases in the proton conductivity and water uptake, but enhanced oxidative stability. The oxidative stability of the composite membranes was proven via a hydrogen peroxide exposure experiment which mimicked fuel cell operating conditions. In addition, more than 2200 h was achieved with the composite membrane under in situ accelerated open circuit voltage (OCV) durability testing (DOE protocol), whereas the corresponding pristine SPES membrane attained only 670 h.

  7. Nonhumidified High-Temperature Membranes Developed for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kinder, James D.

    2005-01-01

    Fuel cells are being considered for a wide variety of aerospace applications. One of the most versatile types of fuel cells is the proton-exchange-membrane (PEM) fuel cell. PEM fuel cells can be easily scaled to meet the power and space requirements of a specific application. For example, small 100-W PEM fuel cells are being considered for personal power for extravehicular activity suit applications, whereas larger PEM fuel cells are being designed for primary power in airplanes and in uninhabited air vehicles. Typically, PEM fuel cells operate at temperatures up to 80 C. To increase the efficiency and power density of the fuel cell system, researchers are pursuing methods to extend the operating temperature of the PEM fuel cell to 180 C. The most widely used membranes in PEM fuel cells are Nafion 112 and Nafion 117--sulfonated perfluorinated polyethers that were developed by DuPont. In addition to their relatively high cost, the properties of these membranes limit their use in a PEM fuel cell to around 80 C. The proton conductivity of Nafion membranes significantly decreases above 80 C because the membrane dehydrates. The useful operating range of Nafion-based PEM fuel cells can be extended to over 100 C if ancillary equipment, such as compressors and humidifiers, is added to maintain moisture levels within the membrane. However, the addition of these components reduces the power density and increases the complexity of the fuel cell system.

  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. Anhydrous phosphoric Acid functionalized sintered mesoporous silica nanocomposite proton exchange membranes for fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Jie; He, Beibei; Lamb, Krystina; De Marco, Roland; Shen, Pei Kang; Jiang, San Ping

    2013-11-13

    A novel inorganic proton exchange membrane based on phosphoric acid (PA)-functionalized sintered mesoporous silica, PA-meso-silica, has been developed and investigated. After sintering at 650 °C, the meso-silica powder forms a dense membrane with a robust and ordered mesoporous structure, which is critical for retention of PA and water within the porous material. The PA-meso-silica membrane achieved a high proton conductivity of 5 × 10(-3) to 5 × 10(-2) S cm(-1) in a temperature range of 80-220 °C, which is between 1 and 2 orders of magnitudes higher than a typical membrane Nafion 117 or polybenzimidazole (PBI)/PA in the absence of external humidification. Furthermore, the PA-meso-silica membranes exhibited good chemical stability along with high performance at elevated temperatures, producing a peak power density of 632 mW cm(-2) using a H2 fuel at 190 °C in the absence of external humidification. The high membrane proton conductivity and excellent fuel cell performance demonstrate the utility of PA-meso-silica as a new class of inorganic proton exchange membranes for use in the high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). PMID:24125494

  10. Modeling of gaseous flows within proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Weisbrod, K.R.; Vanderborgh, N.E.; Grot, S.A.

    1996-12-31

    Development of a comprehensive mechanistic model has been helpful to understand PEM fuel cell performance. Both through-the-electrode and down-the-channel models have been developed to support our experimental effort to enhance fuel cell design and operation. The through-the-electrode model was described previously. This code describes the known transport properties and dynamic processes that occur within a membrane and electrode assembly. Key parameters include transport through the backing layers, water diffusion and electroosmotic transport in the membrane, and reaction electrochemical kinetics within the cathode catalyst layer. In addition, two geometric regions within the cathode layer are represented, the first region below saturation and second with liquid water present. Although processes at high gas stoichiometry are well represented by more simple codes, moderate stoichiometry processes require a two dimensional representation that include the gaseous composition and temperature along flow channel. Although usually PEM hardware utilizes serpentine flow channels, this code does not include such geometric features and thus the flow can be visualized along a single channel.

  11. Conductivity Measurements of Synthesized Heteropoly Acid Membranes for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Record, K.A.; Haley, B.T.; Turner, J.

    2006-01-01

    Fuel cell technology is receiving attention due to its potential to be a pollution free method of electricity production when using renewably produced hydrogen as fuel. In a Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell H2 and O2 react at separate electrodes, producing electricity, thermal energy, and water. A key component of the PEM fuel cell is the membrane that separates the electrodes. DuPont’s Nafion® is the most commonly used membrane in PEM fuel cells; however, fuel cell dehydration at temperatures near 100°C, resulting in poor conductivity, is a major hindrance to fuel cell performance. Recent studies incorporating heteropoly acids (HPAs) into membranes have shown an increase in conductivity and thus improvement in performance. HPAs are inorganic materials with known high proton conductivities. The primary objective of this work is to measure the conductivity of Nafion, X-Ionomer membranes, and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Developed Membranes that are doped with different HPAs at different concentrations. Four-point conductivity measurements using a third generation BekkTech conductivity test cell are used to determine membrane conductivity. The effect of multiple temperature and humidification levels is also examined. While the classic commercial membrane, Nafion, has a conductivity of approximately 0.10 S/cm, measurements for membranes in this study range from 0.0030 – 0.58 S/cm, depending on membrane type, structure of the HPA, and the relative humidity. In general, the X-ionomer with H6P2W21O71 HPA gave the highest conductivity and the Nafion with the 12-phosphotungstic (PW12) HPA gave the lowest. The NREL composite membranes had conductivities on the order of 0.0013 – 0.025 S/cm.

  12. Commercialization of proton exchange membrane fuel cells for transportation applications

    SciTech Connect

    Wismer, L.

    1996-04-01

    Environmental concerns with air quality and global warming have triggered strict federal ambient ozone air quality standards. Areas on non-attainment of these standards exist across the United States. Because it contains several of the most difficult attainment areas, the State of California has adopted low emission standards including a zero emission vehicle mandate that has given rise to development of hybrid electric vehicles, both battery-powered and fuel-cell powered. Fuel cell powered vehicles, using on-board hydrogen as a fuel, share the non-polluting advantage of the battery electric vehicle while offering at least three times the range today`s battery technology.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Hydrogen-oxygen proton-exchange membrane fuel cells and electrolyzers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baldwin, R.; Pham, M.; Leonida, A.; Mcelroy, J.; Nalette, T.

    1989-01-01

    Hydrogen-oxygen solid polymer electrolyte (SPE) fuel cells and SPE electrolyzers (products of Hamilton Standard) both use a Proton-Exchange Membrane (PEM) as the sole electrolyte. These solid electrolyte devices have been under continuous development for over 30 years. This experience has resulted in a demonstrated ten-year SPE cell life capability under load conditions. Ultimate life of PEM fuel cells and electrolyzers is primarily related to the chemical stability of the membrane. For perfluorocarbon proton exchange membranes an accurate measure of the membrane stability is the fluoride loss rate. Millions of cell hours have contributed to establishing a relationship between fluoride loss rates and average expected ultimate cell life. This relationship is shown. Several features have been introduced into SPE fuel cells and SPE electrolyzers such that applications requiring greater than or equal to 100,000 hours of life can be considered. Equally important as the ultimate life is the voltage stability of hydrogen-oxygen fuel cells and electrolyzers. Here again the features of SPE fuel cells and SPE electrolyzers have shown a cell voltage stability in the order of 1 microvolt per hour. That level of stability has been demonstrated for tens of thousands of hours in SPE fuel cells at up to 500 amps per square foot (ASF) current density.

  17. Diffusion-driven proton exchange membrane fuel cell for converting fermenting biomass to electricity.

    PubMed

    Malati, P; Mehrotra, P; Minoofar, P; Mackie, D M; Sumner, J J; Ganguli, R

    2015-10-01

    A membrane-integrated proton exchange membrane fuel cell that enables in situ fermentation of sugar to ethanol, diffusion-driven separation of ethanol, and its catalytic oxidation in a single continuous process is reported. The fuel cell consists of a fermentation chamber coupled to a direct ethanol fuel cell. The anode and fermentation chambers are separated by a reverse osmosis (RO) membrane. Ethanol generated from fermented biomass in the fermentation chamber diffuses through the RO membrane into a glucose solution contained in the DEFC anode chamber. The glucose solution is osmotically neutral to the biomass solution in the fermentation chamber preventing the anode chamber from drying out. The fuel cell sustains >1.3 mW cm(-2) at 47°C with high discharge capacity. No separate purification or dilution is necessary, resulting in an efficient and portable system for direct conversion of fermenting biomass to electricity. PMID:26208756

  18. Improved Electrodes for High Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells using Carbon Nanospheres.

    PubMed

    Zamora, Héctor; Plaza, Jorge; Cañizares, Pablo; Lobato, Justo; Rodrigo, Manuel A

    2016-05-23

    This work evaluates the use of carbon nanospheres (CNS) in microporous layers (MPL) of high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell (HT-PEMFC) electrodes and compares the characteristics and performance with those obtained using conventional MPL based on carbon black. XRD, hydrophobicity, Brunauer-Emmett-Teller theory, and gas permeability of MPL prepared with CNS were the parameters evaluated. In addition, a short life test in a fuel cell was carried out to evaluate performance under accelerated stress conditions. The results demonstrate that CNS is a promising alternative to traditional carbonaceous materials because of its high electrochemical stability and good electrical conductivity, suitable to be used in this technology. PMID:27076055

  19. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells for electrical power generation on-board commercial airplanes.

    SciTech Connect

    Curgus, Dita Brigitte; Munoz-Ramos, Karina; Pratt, Joseph William; Akhil, Abbas Ali; Klebanoff, Leonard E.; Schenkman, Benjamin L.

    2011-05-01

    Deployed on a commercial airplane, proton exchange membrane fuel cells may offer emissions reductions, thermal efficiency gains, and enable locating the power near the point of use. This work seeks to understand whether on-board fuel cell systems are technically feasible, and, if so, if they offer a performance advantage for the airplane as a whole. Through hardware analysis and thermodynamic and electrical simulation, we found that while adding a fuel cell system using today's technology for the PEM fuel cell and hydrogen storage is technically feasible, it will not likely give the airplane a performance benefit. However, when we re-did the analysis using DOE-target technology for the PEM fuel cell and hydrogen storage, we found that the fuel cell system would provide a performance benefit to the airplane (i.e., it can save the airplane some fuel), depending on the way it is configured.

  20. Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells for Electrical Power Generation On-Board Commercial Airplanes

    SciTech Connect

    Pratt, Joesph W.; Klebanoff, Leonard E.; Munoz-Ramos, Karina; Akhil, Abbas A.; Curgus, Dita B.; Schenkman, Benjamin L.

    2011-05-01

    Deployed on a commercial airplane, proton exchange membrane fuel cells may offer emissions reductions, thermal efficiency gains, and enable locating the power near the point of use. This work seeks to understand whether on-board fuel cell systems are technically feasible, and, if so, if they offer a performance advantage for the airplane as a whole. Through hardware analysis and thermodynamic and electrical simulation, we found that while adding a fuel cell system using today’s technology for the PEM fuel cell and hydrogen storage is technically feasible, it will not likely give the airplane a performance benefit. However, when we re-did the analysis using DOE-target technology for the PEM fuel cell and hydrogen storage, we found that the fuel cell system would provide a performance benefit to the airplane (i.e., it can save the airplane some fuel), depending on the way it is configured.

  1. New High-Temperature Membranes Developed for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kinder, James D.

    2004-01-01

    Fuel cells are receiving a considerable amount of attention for potential use in a variety of areas, including the automotive industry, commercial power generation, and personal electronics. Research at the NASA Glenn Research Center has focused on the development of fuel cells for use in aerospace power systems for aircraft, unmanned air vehicles, and space transportation systems. These applications require fuel cells with higher power densities and better durability than what is required for nonaerospace uses. In addition, membrane cost is a concern for any fuel cell application. The most widely used membrane materials for proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells are based on sulfonated perfluorinated polyethers, typically Nafion 117, Flemion, or Aciplex. However, these polymers are costly and do not function well at temperatures above 80 C. At higher temperatures, conventional membrane materials dry out and lose their ability to conduct protons, essential for the operation of the fuel cell. Increasing the operating temperature of PEM fuel cells from 80 to 120 C would significantly increase their power densities and enhance their durability by reducing the susceptibility of the electrode catalysts to carbon monoxide poisoning. Glenn's Polymers Branch has focused on developing new, low-cost membranes that can operate at these higher temperatures. A new series of organically modified siloxane (ORMOSIL) polymers were synthesized for use as membrane materials in a high-temperature PEM fuel cell. These polymers have an organic portion that can allow protons to transport through the polymer film and a cross-linked silica network that gives the polymers dimensional stability. These flexible xerogel polymer films are thermally stable, with decomposition onset as high as 380 C. Two types of proton-conducting ORMOSIL films have been produced: (1) NASA-A, which can coordinate many highly acid inorganic salts that facilitate proton conduction and (2) NASA-B, which has been

  2. A self-sustained, complete and miniaturized methanol fuel processor for proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Mei; Jiao, Fengjun; Li, Shulian; Li, Hengqiang; Chen, Guangwen

    2015-08-01

    A self-sustained, complete and miniaturized methanol fuel processor has been developed based on modular integration and microreactor technology. The fuel processor is comprised of one methanol oxidative reformer, one methanol combustor and one two-stage CO preferential oxidation unit. Microchannel heat exchanger is employed to recover heat from hot stream, miniaturize system size and thus achieve high energy utilization efficiency. By optimized thermal management and proper operation parameter control, the fuel processor can start up in 10 min at room temperature without external heating. A self-sustained state is achieved with H2 production rate of 0.99 Nm3 h-1 and extremely low CO content below 25 ppm. This amount of H2 is sufficient to supply a 1 kWe proton exchange membrane fuel cell. The corresponding thermal efficiency of whole processor is higher than 86%. The size and weight of the assembled reactors integrated with microchannel heat exchangers are 1.4 L and 5.3 kg, respectively, demonstrating a very compact construction of the fuel processor.

  3. Novel proton exchange membrane fuel cell electrodes to improve performance of reversible fuel cell systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Tim Matthew

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells react fuel and oxidant to directly and efficiently produce electrical power, without the need for combustion, heat engines, or motor-generators. Additionally, PEM fuel cell systems emit zero to virtually zero criteria pollutants and have the ability to reduce CO2 emissions due to their efficient operation, including the production or processing of fuel. A reversible fuel cell (RFC) is one particular application for a PEM fuel cell. In this application the fuel cell is coupled with an electrolyzer and a hydrogen storage tank to complete a system that can store and release electrical energy. These devices can be highly tailored to specific energy storage applications, potentially surpassing the performance of current and future secondary battery technology. Like all PEM applications, RFCs currently suffer from performance and cost limitations. One approach to address these limitations is to improve the cathode performance by engineering more optimal catalyst layer geometry as compared to the microscopically random structure traditionally used. Ideal configurations are examined and computer modeling shows promising performance improvements are possible. Several novel manufacturing methods are used to build and test small PEM fuel cells with novel electrodes. Additionally, a complete, dynamic model of an RFC system is constructed and the performance is simulated using both traditional and novel cathode structures. This work concludes that PEM fuel cell microstructures can be tailored to optimize performance based on design operating conditions. Computer modeling results indicate that novel electrode microstructures can improve fuel cell performance, while experimental results show similar performance gains that bolster the theoretical predictions. A dynamic system model predicts that novel PEM fuel cell electrode structures may enable RFC systems to be more competitive with traditional energy storage technology options.

  4. A review on the performance and modelling of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boucetta, A.; Ghodbane, H.; Ayad, M. Y.; Bahri, M.

    2016-07-01

    Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC), are energy efficient and environmentally friendly alternative to conventional energy conversion for various applications in stationary power plants, portable power device and transportation. PEM fuel cells provide low operating temperature and high-energy efficiency with near zero emission. A PEM fuel cell is a multiple distinct parts device and a series of mass, energy, transport through gas channels, electric current transport through membrane electrode assembly and electrochemical reactions at the triple-phase boundaries. These processes play a decisive role in determining the performance of the Fuel cell, so that studies on the phenomena of gas flows and the performance modelling are made deeply. This paper gives a comprehensive overview of the state of the art on the Study of the phenomena of gas flow and performance modelling of PEMFC.

  5. Proton exchange membrane fuel cell system diagnosis based on the signed directed graph method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hua, Jianfeng; Lu, Languang; Ouyang, Minggao; Li, Jianqiu; Xu, Liangfei

    The fuel-cell powered bus is becoming the favored choice for electric vehicles because of its extended driving range, zero emissions, and high energy conversion efficiency when compared with battery-operated electric vehicles. In China, a demonstration program for the fuel cell bus fleet operated at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and the Shanghai Expo in 2010. It is necessary to develop comprehensive proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) diagnostic tools to increase the reliability of these systems. It is especially critical for fuel-cell city buses serving large numbers of passengers using public transportation. This paper presents a diagnostic analysis and implementation study based on the signed directed graph (SDG) method for the fuel-cell system. This diagnostic system was successfully implemented in the fuel-cell bus fleet at the Shanghai Expo in 2010.

  6. Hydrogen-oxygen proton-exchange membrane fuel cells and electrolyzers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baldwin, R.; Pham, M.; Leonida, A.; Mcelroy, J.; Nalette, T.

    1989-01-01

    Hydrogen-oxygen SPE fuel cells and SPE electrolyzers (products of Hamilton Standard) both use a Proton-Exchange Membrane (PEM) as the sole electrolyte. The SPE cells have demonstrated a ten year life capability under load conditions. Ultimate life of PEM fuel cells and electrolyzers is primarily related to the chemical stability of the membrane. For perfluorocarbon proton-exchange membranes an accurate measure of the membrane stability is the fluoride loss rate. Millions of cell hours have contributed to establishing a relationship between fluroride loss rates and average expected ultimate cell life. Several features were introduced into SPE fuel cells and SPE electrolyzers such that applications requiring greater than or equal to 100,000 hours of life can be considered. Equally important as the ultimate life is the voltage stability of hydrogen-oxygen fuel cells and electrolyzers. Here again the features of SPE fuel cells and SPE electrolyzers have shown a cell voltage stability in the order of 1 microvolt per hour. That level of stability were demonstrated for tens of thousands of hours in SPE fuel cells at up to 500 amps per square foot (ASF) current density. The SPE electrolyzers have demonstrated the same at 1000 ASF. Many future extraterrestrial applications for fuel cells require that they be self recharged. To translate the proven SPE cell life and stability into a highly reliable extraterrestrial electrical energy storage system, a simplification of supporting equipment is required. Static phase separation, static fluid transport and static thermal control will be most useful in producting required system reliability. Although some 200,000 SPE fuel cell hours were recorded in earth orbit with static fluid phase separation, no SPE electrolyzer has, as yet, operated in space.

  7. Nanocomposite membranes based on polybenzimidazole and ZrO2 for high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Nawn, Graeme; Pace, Giuseppe; Lavina, Sandra; Vezzù, Keti; Negro, Enrico; Bertasi, Federico; Polizzi, Stefano; Di Noto, Vito

    2015-04-24

    Owing to the numerous benefits obtained when operating proton exchange membrane fuel cells at elevated temperature (>100 °C), the development of thermally stable proton exchange membranes that demonstrate conductivity under anhydrous conditions remains a significant goal for fuel cell technology. This paper presents composite membranes consisting of poly[2,2'-(m-phenylene)-5,5'-bibenzimidazole] (PBI4N) impregnated with a ZrO2 nanofiller of varying content (ranging from 0 to 22 wt %). The structure-property relationships of the acid-doped and undoped composite membranes have been studied using thermogravimetric analysis, differential scanning calorimetry, dynamic mechanical analysis, wide-angle X-ray scattering, infrared spectroscopy, and broadband electrical spectroscopy. Results indicate that the level of nanofiller has a significant effect on the membrane properties. From 0 to 8 wt %, the acid uptake as well as the thermal and mechanical properties of the membrane increase. As the nanofiller level is increased from 8 to 22 wt % the opposite effect is observed. At 185 °C, the ionic conductivity of [PBI4N(ZrO2 )0.231 ](H3 PO4 )13 is found to be 1.04×10(-1)  S cm(-1) . This renders membranes of this type promising candidates for use in high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells. PMID:25801848

  8. In-situ monitoring of internal local temperature and voltage of proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Lee, Chi-Yuan; Fan, Wei-Yuan; Hsieh, Wei-Jung

    2010-01-01

    The distribution of temperature and voltage of a fuel cell are key factors that influence performance. Conventional sensors are normally large, and are also useful only for making external measurements of fuel cells. Centimeter-scale sensors for making invasive measurements are frequently unable to accurately measure the interior changes of a fuel cell. This work focuses mainly on fabricating flexible multi-functional microsensors (for temperature and voltage) to measure variations in the local temperature and voltage of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) that are based on micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS). The power density at 0.5 V without a sensor is 450 mW/cm(2), and that with a sensor is 426 mW/cm(2). Since the reaction area of a fuel cell with a sensor is approximately 12% smaller than that without a sensor, but the performance of the former is only 5% worse. PMID:22163556

  9. Study and development of sulfated zirconia based proton exchange fuel cell membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kemp, Brittany Wilson

    With the increasing consumption of energy, fuel cells are among the most promising alternatives to fossil fuels, provided some technical challenges are overcome. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) have been investigated and improvements have been made, but the problem with NafionRTM, the main membrane for PEMFCs, has not been solved. NafionRTM restricts the membranes from operating at higher temperatures, thus preventing them from working in small electronics. The problem is to develop a novel fuel cell membrane that performs comparably to NafionRTM in PEMFCs. The membranes were fabricated by applying sulfated zirconia, via template wetting, to porous alumina membranes. The fabricated membranes showed a proton conductivity of 0.016 S/cm in comparison to the proton conductivity of Nafion RTM (0.05 S/cm). Both formic acid and methanol had a lower crossover flux through the sulfated zirconia membranes (formic acid- 2.89x10 -7 mols/cm2s and methanol-1.78x10-9 mols/cm2s) than through NafionRTM (formic acid-2.03x10 -8 mols/cm2s methanol-2.42x10-6 mols/cm 2s), indicating that a sulfated zirconia PEMFC may serve as a replacement for NafionRTM.

  10. Effect of anode electrocatalyst for direct hydrazine fuel cell using proton exchange membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamada, Koji; Yasuda, Kazuaki; Tanaka, Hirohisa; Miyazaki, Yoshinori; Kobayashi, Tetsuhiko

    Hydrazine was examined as a fuel in a direct-liquid-fueled fuel cell that uses proton exchange membrane (PEM) such as Nafion ®. Different kinds of noble metals were examined as anode electrocatalysts for direct hydrazine fuel cells (DHFCs). In DHFC using platinum or palladium as the anode electrocatalyst, more than 1 V of cell voltage was obtained in the low-current density region. The I- V characteristics changed drastically depending on the kind of anode electrocatalyst used. Compositions of the exhaust materials from each electrode were analyzed to investigate the reaction occurring at the electrodes. The analysis revealed that the catalytic decomposition reaction of hydrazine proceeded further than the electro-oxidation reaction on the anode side using rhodium or ruthenium.

  11. Influence of water and membrane microstructure on the transport properties of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siu, Ana Rosa

    Proton transport in proton exchange membranes (PEMs) depends on interaction between water and acid groups covalently bound to the polymer. Although the presence of water is important in maintaining the PEM's functions, a thorough understanding of this topic is still lacking. The objective of this work is to provide a better understanding of how the nature water, confined to ionic domains of the polymer, influences the membrane's ability to transport protons, methanol and water. Understanding this topic will facilitate development of new materials with favorable transport properties for fuel cells use. Five classes of polymer membranes were used in this work: polyacrylonitrile-graft-poly(styrenesulfonic) acid (PAN-g-macPSSA); poly(vinylidene difluoride) irradiation-graft-poly(styrenesulfonic) acid (PVDF-g-PSSA); poly(ethylenetetrafluoroethylene) irradiation-graft-poly(styrenesulfonic) acid (ETFE-gPSSA); PVDF-g-PSSA with hydroxyethylmethacrylate (HEMA); and perfluorosulfonic acid membrane (Nafion). The nature of water within the polymers (freezable versus non-freezable states) was measured by systematically freezing samples, and observing the temperature at which water freezes and the amount of heat released in the process. Freezing water-swollen membranes resulted in a 4-fold decrease in the proton conductivity of the PEM. Activation energies of proton transport before and after freezing were ˜ 0.15 eV and 0.5 eV, consistent with proton transport through liquid water and bound water, respectively. Reducing the content of water in membrane samples decreased the amount of freezable and non-freezable water. Calorimetric measurements of membranes in various degrees of hydration showed that water molecules became non-freezable when lambda, (water molecules per sulfonic acid group) was less than ˜14. Proton conduction through membranes containing only non-freezable water was demonstrated to be feasible. Diffusion experiments showed that the permeability of methanol

  12. A New Hybrid Proton-Exchange-Membrane Fuel Cells-Battery Power System with Efficiencies Considered

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chao, Chung-Hsing; Shieh, Jenn-Jong

    Hybrid systems, based on lead-acid or lithium-ion batteries and proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), give the possibility of combining the benefit of both technologies. The merits of high energy density and power density for different applications are discussed in this paper in recognition of the practical realization of such hybrid power systems. Furthermore, experimental data for such a hybrid system is described and the results are shown and discussed. The results show that the combination of lead-acid batteries or lithium-ion batteries and PEMFCs shows advantages in cases of applications with high peak power requirements, such as electric scooters and applications where the fuel cell (FC) is used as an auxiliary power-supply to recharge the battery. The high efficiency of FCs operating with a partial load results in a good fuel economy for the purpose of recharging batteries within a FC system.

  13. Direct-hydrogen-fueled proton-exchange-membrane fuel cell system for transportation applications

    SciTech Connect

    Oei, D.; Adams, J.A.; Kinnelly, A.A.

    1997-07-01

    In partial fulfillment of the U.S. Department of Energy Contract No. DE-ACO2-94CE50389, {open_quotes}Direct Hydrogen-Fueled Proton-Exchange-Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell System for Transportation Applications{close_quotes}, this conceptual vehicle design report addresses the design and packaging of battery augmented fuel cell powertrain vehicles. This report supplements the {open_quotes}Conceptual Vehicle Design Report - Pure Fuel Cell Powertrain Vehicle{close_quotes} and includes a cost study of the fuel cell power system. The three classes of vehicles considered in this design and packaging exercise are the same vehicle classes that were studied in the previous report: the Aspire, representing the small vehicle class; the AIV (Aluminum Intensive Vehicle) Sable, representing the mid-size vehicle; and the E-150 Econoline, representing the van-size class. A preliminary PEM fuel cell power system manufacturing cost study is also presented. As in the case of the previous report concerning the {open_quotes}Pure Fuel Cell Powertrain Vehicle{close_quotes}, the same assumptions are made for the fuel cell power system. These assumptions are fuel cell system power densities of 0.33 kW/ka and 0.33 kW/l, platinum catalyst loading of less than or equal to 0.25 mg/cm{sup 2} total, and hydrogen tanks containing compressed gaseous hydrogen under 340 atm (5000 psia) pressure. The batteries considered for power augmentation of the fuel cell vehicle are based on the Ford Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) program. These are state-of-the-art high power lead acid batteries with power densities ranging from 0.8 kW/kg to 2 kW/kg. The results reported here show that battery augmentation provides the fuel cell vehicle with a power source to meet instant high power demand for acceleration and start-up. Based on the assumptions made in this report, the packaging of the battery augmented fuel cell vehicle appears to be as feasible as the packaging of the pure fuel cell powered vehicle.

  14. Nanostructure and Properties of Sulfonated Polyarylenethioethersulfone Copolymers as Proton Exchange Fuel Cell Membranes

    SciTech Connect

    Yoonessi,M.; Bai, Z.; Dang, T.

    2007-01-01

    A systematic investigation of properties and nanostructure of sulfonated polyarylenethioethersulfone (SPTES) copolymer proton exchange membranes for fuel cell applications has been presented. SPTES copolymers are high temperature resistant (250 C), and form tough films with excellent proton conductivity up to 170 {+-} 5 mS/cm (SPTES 70 @ 85 C, 85%RH). Small angle X-ray scattering of hydrated SPTES 70 revealed the presence of local water domains (diameter {approx}5 nm) within the copolymer. The high proton conductivity of the membranes is attributed to the formation of these ionic aggregates containing water molecules, which facilitate proton transfer. AFM studies of SPTES 70 as a function of humidity (25-65%RH) showed an increase in hydrophilic domains with increasing humidity at 22 C.

  15. Inductive phenomena at low frequencies in impedance spectra of proton exchange membrane fuel cells - A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pivac, Ivan; Barbir, Frano

    2016-09-01

    The results of electrochemical impedance spectroscopy of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells may exhibit inductive phenomena at low frequencies. The occurrence of inductive features at high frequencies is explained by the cables and wires of the test system. However, explanation of inductive loop at low frequencies requires a more detailed study. This review paper discusses several possible causes of such inductive behavior in PEM fuel cells, such as side reactions with intermediate species, carbon monoxide poisoning, and water transport, also as their equivalent circuit representations. It may be concluded that interpretation of impedance spectra at low frequencies is still ambiguous, and that better equivalent circuit models are needed with clearly defined physical meaning of each of the circuit elements.

  16. Passive hydrogen recovery schemes using a vacuum ejector in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hwang, Jenn-Jiang

    2014-02-01

    The present work describes the development of a passive hydrogen-recirculating scheme for the anode of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell system. A vacuum ejector is fluidly connected to the stack anode outlet to entrain the unused hydrogen into the main hydrogen supply. A combination of a continuous-flow mode and a pulse-flow mode is employed to cover a wide range of power consumption. The former deals with the normal and high stack power conditions, while the latter is active only at low stack power. Transient results showed that the hydrogen anode stoichiometry has been successfully stabilized in the range of 1.4-1.6 with an entrainment ratio of 40-50% under the constant system load of 1.45 kW. In addition, the reliable operation of the PEM fuel cell system without any failure during the approximate 1-h test indicates the stability and reliability of the present hydrogen recovery scheme.

  17. Performance of differently cross-linked, partially fluorinated proton exchange membranes in polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Buechi, F.N.; Gupta, B.; Haas, O.; Scherer, G.G.

    1995-09-01

    A series of differently cross-linked FEP-g-polystyrene proton exchange membranes has been synthesized by the preirradiation grafting method [FEP: poly(tetrafluoroethylene-co-hexafluoropropylene)]. Divinylbenzene (DVB) and/or triallyl cyanurate (TAC) were used as cross-linkers in the membranes. It was found that the physical properties of the membranes, such as water-uptake and specific resistance, are strongly influenced by the nature of the cross-linker. Generally it can be stated that DVB decreases water-uptake and increases specific resistance; on the other hand TAC increases swelling and decreases specific resistance to values as low as 5.0 {Omega} cm at 60 C. The membranes were tested in H{sub 2}/O{sub 2} fuel cells for stability and performance. It was found that thick (170 {micro}m) DVB cross-linked membranes showed stable operation for 1,400 h at temperatures up to 80 C. The highest power density in the fuel cell was found for the DVB and TAC double-cross-linked membrane; it exceeded the value of a cell with a Nafion{reg_sign} 117 membrane by more than 60%.

  18. Chloride contamination effects on proton exchange membrane fuel cell performance and durability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Hui; Wang, Haijiang; Qian, Weimin; Zhang, Shengsheng; Wessel, Silvia; Cheng, Tommy T. H.; Shen, Jun; Wu, Shaohong

    2011-08-01

    Chlorine is a major fuel contaminant when by-product hydrogen from the chlor-alkali industry is used as the fuel for proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. Understanding the effects of chlorine contamination on fuel cell performance and durability is essential to address fuel cell applications for the automotive and stationary markets. This paper reports our findings of chloride contamination effects on PEM fuel cell performance and durability, as our first step in understanding the effects of chlorine contamination. Fuel cell contamination tests were conducted by injecting ppm levels of contaminant into the fuel cell from either the fuel stream or the air stream. In situ and ex situ diagnosis were performed to investigate the contamination mechanisms. The results show that cell voltage during chloride contamination is characterized by an initial sudden drop followed by a plateau, regardless of which side the contaminant is introduced into the fuel cell. The drop in cell performance is predominantly due to increased cathode charge transfer resistance as a result of electrochemical catalyst surface area (ECSA) loss attributable to the blocking of active sites by Cl- and enhanced Pt dissolution.

  19. High surface area graphite as alternative support for proton exchange membrane fuel cell catalysts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferreira-Aparicio, P.; Folgado, M. A.; Daza, L.

    The suitability of a high surface area graphite (HSAG) as proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) catalyst support has been evaluated and compared with that of the most popular carbon black: the Vulcan XC72. It has been observed that Pt is arranged on the graphite surface resulting in different structures which depend on the catalysts synthesis conditions. The influence that the metal particle size and the metal-support interaction exert on the catalysts degradation rate is analyzed. Temperature programmed oxidation (TPO) under oxygen containing streams has been shown to be a useful method to assess the resistance of PEMFC catalysts to carbon corrosion. The synthesized Pt/HSAG catalysts have been evaluated in single cell tests in the cathode catalytic layer. The obtained results show that HSAG can be a promising alternative to the traditionally used Vulcan XC72 carbon black when suitable catalysts synthesis conditions are used.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Highly efficient sulfonated polybenzimidazole as a proton exchange membrane for microbial fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singha, Shuvra; Jana, Tushar; Modestra, J. Annie; Naresh Kumar, A.; Mohan, S. Venkata

    2016-06-01

    Although microbial fuel cells (MFCs) represent a promising bio-energy technology with a dual advantage (i.e., electricity production and waste-water treatment), their low power densities and high installation costs are major impediments. To address these bottlenecks and replace highly expensive Nafion, which is a proton exchange membrane (PEM), the current study focuses for the first time on membranes made from an easily synthesizable and more economical oxy-polybenzimidazole (OPBI) and its sulfonated analogue (S-OPBI) as alternate PEMs in single-chambered MFCs. The S-OPBI membrane exhibits better properties, with high water uptake, ion exchange capacity (IEC) and proton conductivity and a comparatively smaller degree of swelling compared to Nafion. The membrane morphology is characterized by atomic force microscopy, and the bright and dark regions of the S-OPBI membrane reveals the formation of ionic domains in the matrix, forming continuous water nanochannels when doped with water. These water-filled nanochannels are responsible for faster proton conduction in S-OPBI than in Nafion; therefore, the power output in the MFC with S-OPBI as the PEM is higher than in other MFCs. The open circuit voltage (460 mV), current generation (2.27 mA) and power density profile (110 mW/m2) as a function of time, as well as the polarization curves, exhibits higher current and power density (87.8 mW/m2) with S-OPBI compared to Nafion as the PEM.

  3. A water and heat management model for proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Nguyen, T.V.; White, R.E. . Dept. of Chemical Engineering)

    1993-08-01

    Proper water and heat management are essential for obtaining high-power-density performance at high energy efficiency for proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells. A water and heat management model was developed and used to investigate the effectiveness of various humidification designs. The model accounts for water transport across the membrane by electro-osmosis and diffusion, heat transfer from the solid phase to the gas phase and latent heat associated with water evaporation and condensation in the flow channels. Results from the model showed that at high current (> 1A/cm[sup 2]) ohmic loss in the membrane accounts for a large fraction of the voltage loss in the cell and back diffusion of water from the cathode side of the membrane is insufficient to keep the membrane hydrated (i.e., conductive). Consequently, to minimize this ohmic loss the anode stream must be humidified, and when air is used instead of pure oxygen the cathode stream must also be humidified.

  4. Numerical simulation of proton exchange membrane fuel cells at high operating temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peng, Jie; Lee, Seung Jae

    A three-dimensional, single-phase, non-isothermal numerical model for proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell at high operating temperature (T ≥ 393 K) was developed and implemented into a computational fluid dynamic (CFD) code. The model accounts for convective and diffusive transport and allows predicting the concentration of species. The heat generated from electrochemical reactions, entropic heat and ohmic heat arising from the electrolyte ionic resistance were considered. The heat transport model was coupled with the electrochemical and mass transport models. The product water was assumed to be vaporous and treated as ideal gas. Water transportation across the membrane was ignored because of its low water electro-osmosis drag force in the polymer polybenzimidazole (PBI) membrane. The results show that the thermal effects strongly affect the fuel cell performance. The current density increases with the increasing of operating temperature. In addition, numerical prediction reveals that the width and distribution of gas channel and current collector land area are key optimization parameters for the cell performance improvement.

  5. Design and simulation of novel flow field plate geometry for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruan, Hanxia; Wu, Chaoqun; Liu, Shuliang; Chen, Tao

    2015-12-01

    Bipolar plate is one of the many important components of proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) stacks as it supplies fuel and oxidant to the membrane-electrode assembly (MEA), removes water, collects produced current and provides mechanical support for the single cells in the stack. The flow field design of a bipolar plate greatly affects the performance of a PEMFC. It must uniformly distribute the reactant gases over the MEA and prevent product water flooding. This paper aims at improving the fuel cell performance by optimizing flow field designs and flow channel configurations. To achieve this, a novel biomimetic flow channel for flow field designs is proposed based on Murray's Law. Computational fluid dynamics based simulations were performed to compare three different designs (parallel, serpentine and biomimetic channel, respectively) in terms of current density distribution, power density distribution, pressure distribution, temperature distribution, and hydrogen mass fraction distribution. It was found that flow field designs with biomimetic flow channel perform better than that with convectional flow channel under the same operating conditions.

  6. Development of novel proton exchange membrane fuel cells using stamped metallic bipolar plates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jung, Shiauh-Ping; Lee, Chun-I.; Chen, Chi-Chang; Chang, Wen-Sheng; Yang, Chang-Chung

    2015-06-01

    This study presents the development of novel proton exchange membrane fuel cells using stamped metallic bipolar plates. To achieve uniformly distributed and low pressure-drop flow fields within fuel cells, a novel bipolar plate with straight channels is designed and verification of a fuel-cell short stack using this bipolar plate is performed. In the experiments, low-temperature and low-humidity operations and high-temperature and high-humidity operations are adopted to evaluate effects of stack temperature and inlet relative humidity on performance at various outlet pressures. Experimental results show that under low-temperature and low-humidity operations, increasing the outlet pressure enhances stack performance and reduces performance differences between various stack temperatures. Under high-temperature and high-humidity operations, stack performance increases with increasing outlet pressures, while the extent of their increase becomes smaller. Compared to low-temperature and low-humidity operations, high-temperature and high-humidity operations have better electrochemical reactions and membrane hydration and, thus, better stack performance. In this study, the operation with a stack temperature of 80 °C and outlet pressure of 4 atm produces the best performance of 1100 mA cm-2 at 0.646 V.

  7. Characterization of Polyethylene-Graft-Sulfonated Polyarylsulfone Proton Exchange Membranes for Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Applications

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hyung Kyu; Zhang, Gang; Nam, Changwoo; Chung, T.C. Mike

    2015-01-01

    This paper examines polymer film morphology and several important properties of polyethylene-graft-sulfonated polyarylene ether sulfone (PE-g-s-PAES) proton exchange membranes (PEMs) for direct methanol fuel cell applications. Due to the extreme surface energy differences between a semi-crystalline and hydrophobic PE backbone and several amorphous and hydrophilic s-PAES side chains, the PE-g-s-PAES membrane self-assembles into a unique morphology, with many proton conductive s-PAES channels embedded in the stable and tough PE matrix and a thin hydrophobic PE layer spontaneously formed on the membrane surfaces. In the bulk, these membranes show good mechanical properties (tensile strength >30 MPa, Young’s modulus >1400 MPa) and low water swelling (λ < 15) even with high IEC >3 mmol/g in the s-PAES domains. On the surface, the thin hydrophobic and semi-crystalline PE layer shows some unusual barrier (protective) properties. In addition to exhibiting higher through-plane conductivity (up to 160 mS/cm) than in-plane conductivity, the PE surface layer minimizes methanol cross-over from anode to cathode with reduced fuel loss, and stops the HO• and HO2• radicals, originally formed at the anode, entering into PEM matrix. Evidently, the thin PE surface layer provides a highly desirable protecting layer for PEMs to reduce fuel loss and increase chemical stability. Overall, the newly developed PE-g-s-PAES membranes offer a desirable set of PEM properties, including conductivity, selectivity, mechanical strength, stability, and cost-effectiveness for direct methanol fuel cell applications. PMID:26690232

  8. Stereochemistry-Dependent Proton Conduction in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

    Thimmappa, Ravikumar; Devendrachari, Mruthyunjayachari Chattanahalli; Kottaichamy, Alagar Raja; Tiwari, Omshanker; Gaikwad, Pramod; Paswan, Bhuneshwar; Thotiyl, Musthafa Ottakam

    2016-01-12

    Graphene oxide (GO) is impermeable to H2 and O2 fuels while permitting H(+) shuttling, making it a potential candidate for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC), albeit with a large anisotropy in their proton transport having a dominant in plane (σIP) contribution over the through plane (σTP). If GO-based membranes are ever to succeed in PEMFC, it inevitably should have a dominant through-plane proton shuttling capability (σTP), as it is the direction in which proton gets transported in a real fuel-cell configuration. Here we show that anisotropy in proton conduction in GO-based fuel cell membranes can be brought down by selectively tuning the geometric arrangement of functional groups around the dopant molecules. The results show that cis isomer causes a selective amplification of through-plane proton transport, σTP, pointing to a very strong geometry angle in ionic conduction. Intercalation of cis isomer causes significant expansion of GO (001) planes involved in σTP transport due to their mutual H-bonding interaction and efficient bridging of individual GO planes, bringing down the activation energy required for σTP, suggesting the dominance of a Grotthuss-type mechanism. This isomer-governed amplification of through-plane proton shuttling resulted in the overall boosting of fuel-cell performance, and it underlines that geometrical factors should be given prime consideration while selecting dopant molecules for bringing down the anisotropy in proton conduction and enhancing the fuel-cell performance in GO-based PEMFC. PMID:26652316

  9. Epoxy-crosslinked sulfonated poly (phenylene) copolymer proton exchange membranes

    DOEpatents

    Hibbs, Michael; Fujimoto, Cy H.; Norman, Kirsten; Hickner, Michael A.

    2010-10-19

    An epoxy-crosslinked sulfonated poly(phenylene) copolymer composition used as proton exchange membranes, methods of making the same, and their use as proton exchange membranes (PEM) in hydrogen fuel cells, direct methanol fuel cell, in electrode casting solutions and electrodes, and in sulfur dioxide electrolyzers. These improved membranes are tougher, have higher temperature capability, and lower SO.sub.2 crossover rates.

  10. Proton exchange membrane micro fuel cells on 3D porous silicon gas diffusion layers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kouassi, S.; Gautier, G.; Thery, J.; Desplobain, S.; Borella, M.; Ventura, L.; Laurent, J.-Y.

    2012-10-01

    Since the 90's, porous silicon has been studied and implemented in many devices, especially in MEMS technology. In this article, we present a new approach to build miniaturized proton exchange membrane micro-fuel cells using porous silicon as a hydrogen diffusion layer. In particular, we propose an innovative process to build micro fuel cells from a “corrugated iron like” 3D structured porous silicon substrates. This structure is able to increase up to 40% the cell area keeping a constant footprint on the silicon wafer. We propose here a process route to perform electrochemically 3D porous gas diffusion layers and to deposit fuel cell active layers on such substrates. The prototype peak power performance was measured to be 90 mW cm-2 in a “breathing configuration” at room temperature. These performances are less than expected if we compare with a reference 2D micro fuel cell. Actually, the active layer deposition processes are not fully optimized but this prototype demonstrates the feasibility of these 3D devices.

  11. Prognostics of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells stack using an ensemble of constraints based connectionist networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Javed, Kamran; Gouriveau, Rafael; Zerhouni, Noureddine; Hissel, Daniel

    2016-08-01

    Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) is considered the most versatile among available fuel cell technologies, which qualify for diverse applications. However, the large-scale industrial deployment of PEMFCs is limited due to their short life span and high exploitation costs. Therefore, ensuring fuel cell service for a long duration is of vital importance, which has led to Prognostics and Health Management of fuel cells. More precisely, prognostics of PEMFC is major area of focus nowadays, which aims at identifying degradation of PEMFC stack at early stages and estimating its Remaining Useful Life (RUL) for life cycle management. This paper presents a data-driven approach for prognostics of PEMFC stack using an ensemble of constraint based Summation Wavelet- Extreme Learning Machine (SW-ELM) models. This development aim at improving the robustness and applicability of prognostics of PEMFC for an online application, with limited learning data. The proposed approach is applied to real data from two different PEMFC stacks and compared with ensembles of well known connectionist algorithms. The results comparison on long-term prognostics of both PEMFC stacks validates our proposition.

  12. Electronically conducting proton exchange polymers as catalyst supports for proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Electrocatalysis of oxygen reduction, hydrogen oxidation, and methanol oxidation

    SciTech Connect

    Lefebvre, M.C.; Qi, Z.; Pickup, P.G.

    1999-06-01

    A variety of supported catalysts were prepared by the chemical deposition of Pt and Pt-Ru particles on chemically prepared poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)/poly(styrene-4-sulfonate) (PEDOT/PSS) and PEDOT/polyvinylsulfate (PVS) composites. The polymer particles were designed to provide a porous, proton-conducting and electron-conducting catalyst support for use in fuel cells. These polymer-supported catalysts were characterized by electron microscopy, impedance spectroscopy, cyclic voltammetry, and conductivity measurements. Their catalytic activities toward hydrogen and methanol oxidation and oxygen reduction were evaluated in proton exchange membrane fuel-cell-type gas diffusion electrodes. Activities for oxygen reduction comparable to that obtained with a commercial carbon-supported catalyst were observed, whereas those for hydrogen and methanol oxidation were significantly inferior, although still high for prototype catalysts.

  13. Investigation of high temperature operation of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adjemian, Kevork Tro

    Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) have garnered much attention in the media over the past years as they can provide a clean, environmentally friendly alternative to internal combustion engines. PEMFCs also have the flexibility to operate on many different types of fuels, thereby diminishing our reliance on foreign oil. PEMFCs, however, suffer from many drawbacks which need to be overcome before mass production becomes viable. One drawback is the expense of the fuel cell system, costing several times more than existing technologies. Another problem is that if the fuel cell is running on reformed fuels, trace amounts of carbon monoxide (10 ppm) in the hydrogen gas stream will completely poison the anode electrocatalyst, killing the PEMFC. Also, as a lot of waste heat is generated, a very elaborate cooling system needs to be used, making the overall system more expensive and complex. A possible solution to both the carbon monoxide poisoning and thermal management of a PEMFC is to elevate its operating temperature above 100°C. Unfortunately, current state-of-the-art electrolytes used in PEMFCs, i.e. Nafion 115, rely on water for the conduction of protons and by elevating the temperature, water loss occurs due to evaporation resulting in inadequate PEMFC performance. This thesis delves into the modification of Nafion and similar electrolytes to permit PEMFC operation above 100°C. This was accomplished by impregnating the pores of the Nafion with hydrophilic inorganic materials-silicon oxide via sol-gel processing and various inorganic particles. By performing these modifications to the various electrolytes, several composite membranes performed exceptionally well at an operating temperature of 130°C and demonstrated carbon monoxide tolerance of up to 500 ppm. In addition, a theory on how these materials help improve the water management characteristics of Nafion was developed, laying the foundation for the development of a completely novel membrane to

  14. High energy density proton exchange membrane fuel cell with dry reactant gases

    SciTech Connect

    Srinivasan, S.; Gamburzev, S.; Velev, O.A.

    1996-12-31

    Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) require careful control of humidity levels in the cell stack to achieve a high and stable level of performance. External humidification of the reactant gases, as in the state-of-the-art PEMFCs, increases the complexity, the weight, and the volume of the fuel cell power plant. A method for the operation of PEMFCs without external humidification (i.e., self-humidified PEMFCs) was first developed and tested by Dhar at BCS Technology. A project is underway in our Center to develop a PEMFC cell stack, which can work without external humidification and attain a performance level of a current density of 0.7 A/cm{sup 2} at a cell potential of 0.7 V, with hydrogen/air as reactants at 1 atm pressure. In this paper, the results of our efforts to design and develop a PEMFC stack requiring no external humidification will be presented. This paper focuses on determining the effects of type of electrodes, the methods of their preparation, as well as that of the membrane and electrode assembly (MEA), platinum loading and types of electrocatalyst on the performance of the PEMFC will be illustrated.

  15. Comparison of platinum/MWCNTs Nanocatalysts Synthesis Processes for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Xuan

    Due to the growing concerns on the depletion of petroleum based energy resources and climate change; fuel cell technologies have received much attention in recent years. Proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFCs) features high energy conversion efficiency and nearly zero greenhouse gas emissions, because of its combination of the hydrogen oxidation reaction (HOR) at anode side and oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) at cathode side. Synthesis of Pt nanoparticles supported on multi walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) possess a highly durable electrochemical surface area (ESA) and show good power output on proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell performance. Platinum on multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) support were synthesized by two different processes to transfer PtCl62- from aqueous to organic phase. While the first method of Pt/MWCNTs synthesis involved dodecane thiol (DDT) and octadecane thiol (ODT) as anchoring agent, the second method used ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS) as the dispersion/anchoring agent. The particle size and distribution of platinum were examined by high-resolution transmission electron microscope (HRTEM). The TEM images showed homogenous distribution and uniform particle size of platinum deposited on the surface of MWCNTs. The single cell fuel cell performance of the Pt/MWCNTs synthesized thiols and ALS based electrode containing 0.2 (anode) and 0.4 mg (cathode) Pt.cm-2 were evaluated using Nafion-212 electrolyte with H2 and O2 gases at 80 °C and ambient pressure. The catalyst synthesis with ALS is relatively simple compared to that with thiols and also showed higher performance (power density reaches about 1070 mW.cm -2). The Electrodes with Pt/MWCNTs nanocatalysts synthesized using ALS were characterized by cyclic voltammetry (CV) for durability evaluation using humidified H2 and N2 gases at room temperature (21 °C) along with commercial Pt/C for comparison. The ESA measured by cyclic voltammetry between 0.15 and 1.2 V showed significant

  16. Impact of heat and water management on proton exchange membrane fuel cells degradation in automotive application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nandjou, F.; Poirot-Crouvezier, J.-P.; Chandesris, M.; Blachot, J.-F.; Bonnaud, C.; Bultel, Y.

    2016-09-01

    In Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells, local temperature is a driving force for many degradation mechanisms such as hygrothermal deformation and creep of the membrane, platinum dissolution and bipolar plates corrosion. In order to investigate and quantify those effects in automotive application, durability testing is conducted in this work. During the ageing tests, the local performance and temperature are investigated using in situ measurements of a printed circuit board. At the end of life, post-mortem analyses of the aged components are conducted. The experimental results are compared with the simulated temperature and humidity in the cell obtained from a pseudo-3D multiphysics model in order to correlate the observed degradations to the local conditions inside the stack. The primary cause of failure in automotive cycling is pinhole/crack formation in the membrane, induced by high variations of its water content over time. It is also observed that water condensation largely increases the probability of the bipolar plates corrosion while evaporation phenomena induce local deposits in the cell.

  17. Improvement in high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells cathode performance with ammonium carbonate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells with optimized cathode structures can provide high performance at higher temperature (120 °C). A "pore-forming" material, ammonium carbonate, applied in the unsupported Pt cathode catalyst layer of a high temperature membrane electrode assembly enhanced the catalyst activity and minimized the mass-transport limitations. The ammonium carbonate amount and Nafion ® loading in the cathode were optimized for performance at two conditions: 80 °C cell temperature with 100% anode/75% cathode R.H. and 120 °C cell temperature with 35% anode/35% cathode R.H., both under ambient pressure. A cell with 20 wt.% ammonium carbonate and 20 wt.% Nafion ® operating at 80 °C and 120 °C presented the maximum cell performance. Hydrogen/air cell voltages at a current density of 400 mA cm -2 using the Ionomem/UConn membrane as the electrolyte with a cathode platinum loading of 0.5 mg cm -2 were 0.70 V and 0.57 V at the two conditions, respectively. This was a 19% cell voltage increase over a cathode without the "pore-forming" ammonium carbonate at the 120 °C operating condition.

  18. Degradation of proton exchange membrane fuel cells due to CO and CO 2 poisoning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Wei-Mon; Chu, Hsin-Sen; Lu, Meng-Xi; Weng, Fang-Bor; Jung, Guo-Bin; Lee, Chi-Yuan

    The CO and CO 2 poisoning effects on the degradation of cell performance of proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) under transient stage were investigated. The mechanism of CO poisoning lies in the preferential adsorbing of CO to the platinum surface and the blocking of active sites of hydrogen. These phenomena were described with adsorption, desorption, and electro-oxidation processes of CO and hydrogen in the present work. In addition, it is well known that the reverse water gas shift reaction (RWGS) is the main effect of the CO 2 poisoning, through which a large part of the catalytic surface area becomes inactive due to the hydrogen dissociation. The predicted results showed that, by contaminating the fuel with 10 ppm CO at the condition of P H = 0.8 atm and PCO2 = 0.2 atm , the current density of the PEM fuel cell was lowered 28% with rate constant of RWGS k rs from zero to 0.02. With 50 ppm CO, the performance drop was only 18%. For the reformed gas, CO 2 poisoning became much more significantly when the CO content in the reactant gas was small.

  19. Femtoelectron-Based Terahertz Imaging of Hydration State in a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buaphad, P.; Thamboon, P.; Kangrang, N.; Rhodes, M. W.; Thongbai, C.

    2015-08-01

    Imbalanced water management in a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell significantly reduces the cell performance and durability. Visualization of water distribution and transport can provide greater comprehension toward optimization of the PEM fuel cell. In this work, we are interested in water flooding issues that occurred in flow channels on cathode side of the PEM fuel cell. The sample cell was fabricated with addition of a transparent acrylic window allowing light access and observed the process of flooding formation (in situ) via a CCD camera. We then explore potential use of terahertz (THz) imaging, consisting of femtoelectron-based THz source and off-angle reflective-mode imaging, to identify water presence in the sample cell. We present simulations of two hydration states (water and nonwater area), which are in agreement with the THz image results. A line-scan plot is utilized for quantitative analysis and for defining spatial resolution of the image. Implementing metal mesh filtering can improve spatial resolution of our THz imaging system.

  20. Binary and ternary nano-catalysts as cathode materials in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trimm, Bryan Dunning

    The need for alternative energy, in order to reduce dependence on petroleum based fuels, has increased in recent years. Public demand is at an all-time high for low emitting or none polluting energy sources, driving the research for cleaner technology. Lithium batteries and fuel cells have the ability to produce this alternative energy with much cleaner standards, while allowing for portability and high energy densities. This work focuses on the performance of nanocatalysts in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell or PEMFC. A key technical challenge is the sluggish rate for oxygen reduction reaction at the cathode of PEMFC, which requires highly-active and stable catalysts. Our investigation is directed at increasing stability and durability as well as reducing high loading of noble metals in these catalyst materials. Binary and ternary structured nanomaterials, e.g., Pt51V1Co48/C and Pd xCu1-x/C, have been synthesized and tested in a PEMFC, in order to gain a better understanding of their durability and efficiency. In addition to electrochemical characterization, synchrotron x-ray techniques at the Advance Photon Source in Argonne National Lab have also been used for the structural characterization.

  1. Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Engineering Model Powerplant. Test Report: Benchmark Tests in Three Spatial Orientations

    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 aging alkaline fuel cell technology, currently used on the Shuttle, for future space missions. This test effort marks the final phase of a 5-yr development program that began under the Second Generation Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) Program, transitioned into the Next Generation Launch Technologies (NGLT) Program, and continued under Constellation Systems in the Exploration Technology Development Program. Initially, the engineering model (EM) powerplant was evaluated with respect to its performance as compared to acceptance tests carried out at the manufacturer. This was to determine the sensitivity of the powerplant performance to changes in test environment. In addition, a series of tests were performed with the powerplant in the original standard orientation. This report details the continuing EM benchmark test results in three spatial orientations as well as extended duration testing in the mission profile test. The results from these tests verify the applicability of PEM fuel cells for future NASA missions. The specifics of these different tests are described in the following sections.

  2. An analytical model and parametric study of electrical contact resistance in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Zhiliang; Wang, Shuxin; Zhang, Lianhong; Hu, S. Jack

    This paper presents an analytical model of the electrical contact resistance between the carbon paper gas diffusion layers (GDLs) and the graphite bipolar plates (BPPs) in a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell. The model is developed based on the classical statistical contact theory for a PEM fuel cell, using the same probability distributions of the GDL structure and BPP surface profile as previously described in Wu et al. [Z. Wu, Y. Zhou, G. Lin, S. Wang, S.J. Hu, J. Power Sources 182 (2008) 265-269] and Zhou et al. [Y. Zhou, G. Lin, A.J. Shih, S.J. Hu, J. Power Sources 163 (2007) 777-783]. Results show that estimates of the contact resistance compare favorably with experimental data by Zhou et al. [Y. Zhou, G. Lin, A.J. Shih, S.J. Hu, J. Power Sources 163 (2007) 777-783]. Factors affecting the contact behavior are systematically studied using the analytical model, including the material properties of the two contact bodies and factors arising from the manufacturing processes. The transverse Young's modulus of chopped carbon fibers in the GDL and the surface profile of the BPP are found to be significant to the contact resistance. The factor study also sheds light on the manufacturing requirements of carbon fiber GDLs for a better contact performance in PEM fuel cells.

  3. Two-phase flow and transport in the air cathode of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    WANG,Z.H.; WANG,C.Y.; CHEN,KEN S.

    2000-03-20

    Two-phase flow and transport of reactants and products in the air cathode of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells is studied analytically and numerically. Four regimes of water distribution and transport are classified by defining three threshold current densities and a maximum current density. They correspond to first appearance of liquid water at the membrane/cathode interface, extension of the gas-liquid two-phase zone to the cathode/channel interface, saturated moist air exiting the gas channel, and complete consumption of oxygen by the electrochemical reaction. When the cell operates above the first threshold current density, liquid water appears and a two-phase zone forms within the porous cathode. A two-phase, multi-component mixture model in conjunction with a finite-volume-based computational fluid dynamics (CFD) technique is applied to simulate the cathode operation in this regime. The model is able to handle the situation where a single-phase region co-exists with a two-phase zone in the air cathode. For the first time, the polarization curve as well as water and oxygen concentration distributions encompassing both single- and two-phase regimes of the air cathode are presented. Capillary action is found to be the dominant mechanism for water transport inside the two-phase zone. The liquid water saturation within the cathode is predicted to reach 6.3% at 1.4 A/cm{sup 2}.

  4. Chlorobenzene Poisoning and Recovery of Platinum-Based Cathodes in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    PubMed Central

    Zhai, Yunfeng; Baturina, Olga; Ramaker, David; Farquhar, Erik; St-Pierre, Jean; Swider-Lyons, Karen

    2015-01-01

    The platinum electrocatalysts found in proton exchange membrane fuel cells are poisoned both reversibly and irreversibly by air pollutants and residual manufacturing contaminants. In this work, the poisoning of a Pt/C PEMFC cathode was probed by a trace of chlorobenzene in the air feed. Chlorobenzene inhibits the oxygen reduction reaction and causes significant cell performance loss. The performance loss is largely restored by neat air operation and potential cycling between 0.08 V and 1.2 V under H2/N2 (anode/cathode). The analysis of emissions, in situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy and electrochemical impedance spectra show the chlorobenzene adsorption/reaction and molecular orientation on Pt surface depend on the electrode potential. At low potentials, chlorobenzene deposits either on top of adsorbed H atoms or on the Pt surface via the benzene ring and is converted to benzene (ca. 0.1 V) or cyclohexane (ca. 0 V) upon Cl removal. At potentials higher than 0.2 V, chlorobenzene binds to Pt via the Cl atom and can be converted to benzene (less than 0.3 V) or desorbed. Cl− is created and remains in the membrane electrode assembly. Cl− binds to the Pt surface much stronger than chlorobenzene, but can slowly be flushed out by liquid water. PMID:26388963

  5. Membrane patterned by pulsed laser micromachining for proton exchange membrane fuel cell with sputtered ultra-low catalyst loadings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cuynet, S.; Caillard, A.; Kaya-Boussougou, S.; Lecas, T.; Semmar, N.; Bigarré, J.; Buvat, P.; Brault, P.

    2015-12-01

    Proton exchange membranes were nano- and micro-patterned on their cathode side by pressing them against stainless steel molds previously irradiated by a Ti:Sapphire femtosecond laser. The membranes were associated to ultra-low loaded thin catalytic layers (25 μgPt cm-2) prepared by plasma magnetron sputtering. The Pt catalyst was sputtered either on the membrane or on the porous electrode. The fuel cell performance in dry conditions were found to be highly dependent on the morphology of the membrane surface. When nanometric ripples covered by a Pt catalyst were introduced on the surface of the membrane, the fuel cell outperformed the conventional one with a flat membrane. By combining nano- and micro-patterns (nanometric ripples and 11-24 μm deep craters), the performance of the cells was clearly enhanced. The maximum power density achieved by the fuel cell was multiplied by a factor of 3.6 (at 50 °C and 3 bar): 438 mW cm-2 vs 122 mW cm-2. This improvement is due to high catalyst utilization with a high membrane conductivity. When Pt is sputtered on the porous electrode (and not on the membrane), the contribution of the patterned membrane to the fuel cell efficiency was less significant, except in the presence of nanometric ripples. This result suggests that the patterning of the membrane must be consistent with the way the catalyst is synthesized, on the membrane or on the porous electrode.

  6. Pt nanoparticle-dispersed graphene-wrapped MWNT composites as oxygen reduction reaction electrocatalyst in proton exchange membrane fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Aravind, S S Jyothirmayee; Ramaprabhu, Sundara

    2012-08-01

    Chemical and electrical synergies between graphite oxide and multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWNT) for processing graphene wrapped-MWNT hybrids has been realized by chemical vapor deposition without any chemical functionalization. Potential of the hybrid composites have been demonstrated by employing them as electrocatalyst supports in proton exchange membrane fuel cells. The defects present in the polyelectrolyte, which have been wrapped over highly dispersed MWNT, act as anchoring sites for the homogeneous deposition of platinum nanoparticles. Single-cell proton exchange membrane fuel cells show that the power density of the hybrid composite-based fuel cells is higher compared to the pure catalyst-support-based fuel cells, because of enhanced electrochemical reactivity and good surface area of the nanocomposites. PMID:22850438

  7. Recovery mechanisms in proton exchange membrane fuel cells after accelerated stress tests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xu; Guo, Liejin; Liu, Hongtan

    2015-11-01

    The mechanisms of performance recovery after accelerated stress test (AST) in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are systematically studied. Experiments are carried out by incorporating a well-designed performance recovery procedure right after the AST protocol. The experiment results show that the cell performance recovers significantly from the degraded state after the AST procedure. The results from cyclic voltammetry (CV) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) measurements further show that the performance recovery can be divided into kinetic and mass transport recoveries. It is further determined that the kinetic recovery, i.e. the recovery of electrochemical active area (ECA), is due to two distinct mechanisms: the reduction of platinum oxide and the re-attachment of detached platinum nanoparticles onto the carbon surface. The mass transport resistance is probably due to reduction of hydrophilic oxide groups on the carbon surface and the microstructure change that alleviates flooding. Performance comparisons show that the recovery procedure is highly effective, indicating the results of AST significantly over-estimate the true degradation in a PEM fuel cell. Therefore, a recovery procedure is highly recommended when an AST protocol is used to evaluate cell degradations to avoid over-estimating true performance degradations in PEMFCs.

  8. Proton exchange membrane materials for the advancement of direct methanol fuel-cell technology

    DOEpatents

    Cornelius, Christopher J.

    2006-04-04

    A new class of hybrid organic-inorganic materials, and methods of synthesis, that can be used as a proton exchange membrane in a direct methanol fuel cell. In contrast with Nafion.RTM. PEM materials, which have random sulfonation, the new class of materials have ordered sulfonation achieved through self-assembly of alternating polyimide segments of different molecular weights comprising, for example, highly sulfonated hydrophilic PDA-DASA polyimide segment alternating with an unsulfonated hydrophobic 6FDA-DAS polyimide segment. An inorganic phase, e.g., 0.5 5 wt % TEOS, can be incorporated in the sulfonated polyimide copolymer to further improve its properties. The new materials exhibit reduced swelling when exposed to water, increased thermal stability, and decreased O.sub.2 and H.sub.2 gas permeability, while retaining proton conductivities similar to Nafion.RTM.. These improved properties may allow direct methanol fuel cells to operate at higher temperatures and with higher efficiencies due to reduced methanol crossover.

  9. Proton dynamics in sulfonated ionic salt composites: Alternative membrane materials for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Almeida, N. E.; Goward, G. R.

    2014-12-01

    Hydrated Nafion, the most prevalent proton exchange membrane utilizes a vehicular mechanism for proton conduction. However, there is an increasing need for such membranes to perform under anhydrous conditions, at high temperatures, which would employ a structural transport mechanism for proton conductivity. Here, several solid-acids are characterized, both as pristine salts, and as polymer composites. Materials of interest include benzimidazolium methanesulfonate (BMSA), imidazolium methanesulfonate (IMSA), and imidazolium trifluoromethanesulfate (IFMS). The proton dynamics of these solid acids are characterized as pure salts, and as composites, embedded into porous Teflon, by solid state NMR. It was determined that spin lattice (T1) relaxation of the composites are systematically lower than that of the pure salt, indicating that local dynamics are enhanced in the composites. Spin-spin relaxation (T2∗) was measured as a function of temperature to determine the activation energy for local mobility for each salt and composite. The activation energy for local proton mobility in each salt decreased after being inserted into porous Teflon. Finally, the long-range ion transport was characterized using impedance spectroscopy. The IFMS-Teflon composite possessed the lowest activation energy for local proton mobility, the highest thermal stability, and the most favorable proton conductivity, among the investigated materials.

  10. Conceptual design report for a Direct Hydrogen Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell for transportation application

    SciTech Connect

    1995-09-05

    This report presents the conceptual design for a Direct-Hydrogen-Fueled Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell System for transportation applications. The design is based on the initial selection of the Chrysler LH sedan as the target vehicle with a 50 kW (gross) PEM Fuel Cell Stack (FCS) as the primary power source, a battery-powered Load Leveling Unit (LLU) for surge power requirements, an on-board hydrogen storage subsystem containing high pressure gaseous storage, a Gas Management Subsystem (GMS) to manage the hydrogen and air supplies for the FCS, and electronic controllers to control the electrical system. The design process has been dedicated to the use of Design-to-Cost (DTC) principles. The Direct Hydrogen-Powered PEM Fuel Cell Stack Hybrid Vehicle (DPHV) system is designed to operate on the Federal Urban Driving Schedule (FUDS) and Hiway Cycles. These cycles have been used to evaluate the vehicle performance with regard to range and hydrogen usage. The major constraints for the DPHV vehicle are vehicle and battery weight, transparency of the power system and drive train to the user, equivalence of fuel and life cycle costs to conventional vehicles, and vehicle range. The energy and power requirements are derived by the capability of the DPHV system to achieve an acceleration from 0 to 60 MPH within 12 seconds, and the capability to achieve and maintain a speed of 55 MPH on a grade of seven percent. The conceptual design for the DPHV vehicle is shown in a figure. A detailed description of the Hydrogen Storage Subsystem is given in section 4. A detailed description of the FCS Subsystem and GMS is given in section 3. A detailed description of the LLU, selection of the LLU energy source, and the power controller designs is given in section 5.

  11. Analysis and Test of a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Power System for Space Power Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vasquez, Arturo; Varanauski, Donald; Clark, Robert, Jr.

    2000-01-01

    An effort is underway to develop a prototype Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell breadboard system for fuhlre space applications. This prototype will be used to develop a comprehensive design basis for a space-rated PEM fuel cell powerplant. The prototype system includes reactant pressure regulators, ejector-based reactant pumps, a 4-kW fuel cell stack and cooling system, and a passive, membranebased oxygen / water separator. A computer model is being developed concurrently to analytically predict fluid flow in the oxidant reactant system. Fuel cells have historically played an important role in human-rated spacecraft. The Gemini and Apollo spacecraft used fuel cells for vehicle electrical power. The Space Shuttle currently uses three Alkaline Fuel Cell Powerplants (AFCP) to generate all of the vehicle's 15-20kW electrical power. Engineers at the Johnson Space Center have leveraged off the development effort ongoing in the commercial arena to develop PEM fuel cel ls for terrestrial uses. The prototype design originated from efforts to develop a PEM fuel cell replacement for the current Space Shuttle AFCP' s. In order to improve on the life and an already excellent hi storical record of reliability and safety, three subsystems were focused on. These were the fuel cell stack itself, the reactant circulation devices, and reactant / product water separator. PEM fuel cell stack performance is already demonstrating the potential for greater than four times the useful life of the current Shuttle's AFCP. Reactant pumping for product water removal has historically been accomplished with mechanical pumps. Ejectors offer an effective means of reactant pumping as well as the potential for weight reduction, control simplification, and long life. Centrifugal water separation is used on the current AFCP. A passive, membrane-based water separator offers compatibility with the micro-gravity environment of space, and the potential for control simplification, elimination of

  12. The application of Dow Chemical's perfluorinated membranes in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eisman, G. A.

    1990-02-01

    Dow Chemical's research activities in fuel cells revolve around the development of perfluorosulfonic acid membranes, useful as the proton transport medium and separator. The following work will outline some of the performance characteristics which are typical for such membranes.

  13. Anticorrosion properties of tin oxide coatings for carbonaceous bipolar plates of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kinumoto, Taro; Nagano, Keita; Yamamoto, Yuji; Tsumura, Tomoki; Toyoda, Masahiro

    2014-03-01

    An anticorrosive surface treatment of a carbonaceous bipolar plate used in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) was demonstrated by addition of a tin oxide surface coating by liquid phase deposition (LPD), and its effectiveness toward corrosion prevention was determined. The tin oxide coating was deposited by immersion in tin fluoride and boric acid solutions, without any observable decrease in the bipolar plate electrical conductivity. Anticorrosion properties of a flat carbonaceous bipolar plate were investigated in an aqueous HClO4 electrolyte solution (10 μmol dm-3) at 80 °C. CO2 release due to corrosion was significant for the bare specimen above 1.3 V, whereas no CO2 release was noted for the tin-oxide-coated specimen, even approaching 1.5 V. Moreover, minimal changes in contact angle against a water droplet before and after treatment indicated suppressed corrosion of the surface-coated specimen. Anticorrosion properties were also confirmed for a model bipolar plate having four gas flow channels. The tin oxide layer remained on the channel surfaces (inner walls, corners and intersections) after durability tests. Based on these results, tin-oxide-based surface coatings fabricated by LPD show promise as an anticorrosion technique for carbonaceous bipolar plates for PEMFCs.

  14. Current short circuit implementation for performance improvement and lifetime extension of proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhan, Yuedong; Guo, Youguang; Zhu, Jianguo; Li, Li

    2014-12-01

    To improve its performance, extend its lifetime, and overcome the problem of the slow dynamic during the start-up and the operation process of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC), this paper presents current short circuit and smart energy management approaches for a main PEMFC with auxiliary PEMFC, battery and supercapacitor as hybrid power source in parallel with an intelligent uninterrupted power supply (UPS) system. The hybrid UPS system consists of two low-cost 63-cell 300 W PEMFC stacks, 3-cell lead-acid battery, and 20-cell series-connected supercapacitors. Based on the designed intelligent hybrid UPS system, experimental tests and theoretical studies are conducted. Firstly, the modeling of PEMFC is obtained and evaluated. Then the performance improvement mechanism of the current short circuit is proposed and analyzed based on the Faradaic process and non-Faradaic process of electrochemical theory. Finally, the performances of the main PEMFC with the auxiliary PEMFC/battery/supercapacitor hybrid power source and intelligent energy management are experimentally measured and analyzed. The proposed current short circuit method can significantly extend the lifetime, improve the performance of PEMFC and decrease the size of the main FC for stationary, backup power sources and vehicular applications.

  15. Method to improve catalyst layer model for modelling proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xiaoxian; Gao, Yuan; Ostadi, Hossein; Jiang, Kyle; Chen, Rui

    2015-09-01

    Correctly describing oxygen reduction within the cathode catalyst layer (CL) in modelling proton exchange membrane fuel cell is an important issue remaining unresolved. In this paper we show how to derive an agglomerate model for calculating oxygen reactions by describing dissolved oxygen in the agglomerates using two independent random processes. The first one is the probability that an oxygen molecule, which dissolves in the ionomer film on the agglomerate surface, moves into and then remains in the agglomerates; the second one is the probability of the molecule being consumed in reactions. The first probability depends on CL structure and can be directly calculated; the second one is derived by assuming that the oxygen reduction is first-order kinetic. It is found that the distribution functions of the first process can be fitted to a generalised gamma distribution function, which enables us to derive an analytical agglomerate model. We also expend the model to include oxygen dissolution in the ionomer film, and apply it to simulate cathode electrodes. The results reveal that the resistance to oxygen diffusion in ionomer film and agglomerate in modern CL is minor, and that the main potential loss is due to oxygen dissolution in the ionomer film.

  16. An extended stochastic reconstruction method for catalyst layers in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kang, Jinfen; Moriyama, Koji; Kim, Seung Hyun

    2016-09-01

    This paper presents an extended, stochastic reconstruction method for catalyst layers (CLs) of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs). The focus is placed on the reconstruction of customized, low platinum (Pt) loading CLs where the microstructure of CLs can substantially influence the performance. The sphere-based simulated annealing (SSA) method is extended to generate the CL microstructures with specified and controllable structural properties for agglomerates, ionomer, and Pt catalysts. In the present method, the agglomerate structures are controlled by employing a trial two-point correlation function used in the simulated annealing process. An off-set method is proposed to generate more realistic ionomer structures. The variations of ionomer structures at different humidity conditions are considered to mimic the swelling effects. A method to control Pt loading, distribution, and utilization is presented. The extension of the method to consider heterogeneity in structural properties, which can be found in manufactured CL samples, is presented. Various reconstructed CLs are generated to demonstrate the capability of the proposed method. Proton transport properties of the reconstructed CLs are calculated and validated with experimental data.

  17. Protective nitride formation on stainless steel alloys for proton exchange membrane fuel cell bipolar plates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, B.; Brady, M. P.; Wang, H.; Turner, J. A.; More, K. L.; Young, D. J.; Tortorelli, P. F.; Payzant, E. A.; Walker, L. R.

    Gas nitridation has shown excellent promise to form dense, electrically conductive and corrosion-resistant Cr-nitride surface layers on Ni-Cr base alloys for use as proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) bipolar plates. Due to the high cost of nickel, Fe-base bipolar plate alloys are needed to meet the cost targets for many PEMFC applications. Unfortunately, nitridation of Fe-base stainless steel alloys typically leads to internal Cr-nitride precipitation rather than the desired protective surface nitride layer formation, due to the high permeability of nitrogen in these alloys. This paper reports the finding that it is possible to form a continuous, protective Cr-nitride (CrN and Cr 2N) surface layer through nitridation of Fe-base stainless steel alloys. The key to form a protective Cr-nitride surface layer was found to be the initial formation of oxide during nitridation, which prevented the internal nitridation typically observed for these alloys, and resulted in external Cr-nitride layer formation. The addition of V to the alloy, which resulted in the initial formation of V 2O 3-Cr 2O 3, was found to enhance this effect, by making the initially formed oxide more amenable to subsequent nitridation. The Cr-nitride surface layer formed on model V-modified Fe-27Cr alloys exhibited excellent corrosion resistance and low interfacial contact resistance under simulated PEMFC bipolar plate conditions.

  18. Carbon composite bipolar plate for high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells (HT-PEMFCs)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Dongyoung; Lee, Dai Gil

    2016-09-01

    A carbon/epoxy composite bipolar plate is an ideal substitute for the brittle graphite bipolar plate for lightweight proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) because of its high specific strength and stiffness. However, conventional carbon/epoxy composite bipolar plates are not applicable for high-temperature PEMFCs (HT-PEMFCs) because these systems are operated at higher temperatures than the glass transition temperatures of conventional epoxies. Therefore, in this study, a cyanate ester-modified epoxy is adopted for the development of a carbon composite bipolar plate for HT-PEMFCs. The composite bipolar plate with exposed surface carbon fibers is produced without any surface treatments or coatings to increase the productivity and is integrated with a silicone gasket to reduce the assembly cost. The developed carbon composite bipolar plate exhibits not only superior electrical properties but also high thermo-mechanical properties. In addition, a unit cell test is performed, and the results are compared with those of the conventional graphite bipolar plate.

  19. Temperature distribution on anodic surface of membrane electrode assembly in proton exchange membrane fuel cell with interdigitated flow bed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Hang; Wang, Mao Hai; Liu, Jia Xing; Nie, Zhi Hua; Ye, Fang; Ma, Chong Fang

    2015-01-01

    Temperature distribution on the surface of a membrane electrode assembly (MEA) significantly influences the performance, lifetime, and reliability of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Entire temperature fields on the surface of an MEA anode side under an interdigitated flow field are experimentally measured at non-humidification conditions with a self-designed PEMFC and infrared imaging technology. The highest temperature on the surface of the MEA anode side appears in the bottom bordered two side channels, and the lowest temperature exists in the area closed to the inlet of the middle channel. The hot region on the surface of the MEA anode side is easy to locate in the infrared temperature image. The reason for the temperature distribution under the interdigitated flow field is analyzed. The temperature of the MEA, the non-uniformity of temperature distribution on the surface of the MEA anode side, and the fuel cell temperature increase with the loaded current density.

  20. Chitosan/silica coated carbon nanotubes composite proton exchange membranes for fuel cell applications.

    PubMed

    Liu, Hai; Gong, Chunli; Wang, Jie; Liu, Xiaoyan; Liu, Huanli; Cheng, Fan; Wang, Guangjin; Zheng, Genwen; Qin, Caiqin; Wen, Sheng

    2016-01-20

    Silica-coated carbon nanotubes (SCNTs), which were obtained by a simple sol-gel method, were utilized in preparation of chitosan/SCNTs (CS/SCNTs) composite membranes. The thermal and oxidative stability, morphology, mechanical properties, water uptake and proton conductivity of CS/SCNTs composite membranes were investigated. The insulated and hydrophilic silica layer coated on CNTs eliminates the risk of electronic short-circuiting and enhances the interaction between SCNTs and chitosan to ensure the homogenous dispersion of SCNTs, although the water uptake of CS/SCNTs membranes is reduced owing to the decrease of the effective number of the amino functional groups of chitosan. The CS/SCNTs composite membranes are superior to the pure CS membrane in thermal and oxidative stability, mechanical properties and proton conductivity. The results of this study suggest that CS/SCNTs composite membranes exhibit promising potential for practical application in proton exchange membranes. PMID:26572483

  1. Studies on PVA based nanocomposite Proton Exchange Membrane for Direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bahavan Palani, P.; Kannan, R.; Rajashabala, S.; Rajendran, S.; Velraj, G.

    2015-02-01

    Different concentrations of Poly (vinyl alcohol)/Montmorillonite (PVA/MMT) based proton exchange membranes (PEMs) have been prepared by solution casting method. The structural and electrical properties of these composite membranes have been characterized by using X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopic (FTIR) and AC impedance spectroscopic methods. The conductivity of the PEMs has been estimated for the different concentration of MMT. Water/Methanol uptake measurement were also analyzed for the prepared PEMs and presented. The proton conductivity studies were carried out at room temperature with 100% of humidity.

  2. A comparison of sodium borohydride as a fuel for proton exchange membrane fuel cells and for direct borohydride fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wee, Jung-Ho

    Two types of fuel cell systems using NaBH 4 aqueous solution as a fuel are possible: the hydrogen/air proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) which uses onsite H 2 generated via the NaBH 4 hydrolysis reaction (B-PEMFC) at the anode and the direct borohydride fuel cell (DBFC) system which directly uses NaBH 4 aqueous solution at the anode and air at the cathode. Recently, research on these two types of fuel cells has begun to attract interest due to the various benefits of this liquid fuel for fuel cell systems for portable applications. It might therefore be relevant at this stage to evaluate the relative competitiveness of the two fuel cells. Considering their current technologies and the high price of NaBH 4, this paper evaluated and analyzed the factors influencing the relative favorability of each type of fuel cell. Their relative competitiveness was strongly dependent on the extent of the NaBH 4 crossover. When considering the crossover in DBFC systems, the total costs of the B-PEMFC system were the most competitive among the fuel cell systems. On the other hand, if the crossover problem were to be completely overcome, the total cost of the DBFC system generating six electrons (6e-DBFC) would be very similar to that of the B-PEMFC system. The DBFC system generating eight electrons (8e-DBFC) became even more competitive if the problem of crossover can be overcome. However, in this case, the volume of NaBH 4 aqueous solution consumed by the DBFC was larger than that consumed by the B-PEMFC.

  3. Non-precious metal catalysis for proton-exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leonard, Nathaniel Dean

    Non-precious metal catalysts (NPMC) for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) are explored. Research into NPMCs is motivated by the growing need for cleaner, more efficient energy options. NPMCs are one option to make fuel cells more commercially viable. To this end, the present work studies and simulates the morphology and function of metal-nitrogen-carbon (MNC) oxygen reduction catalysts. A porosity study finds that mesoporosity is critical to high performance of autogenic pressure metal-nitrogen-carbon (APMNC) oxygen reduction catalysts. Various carbon materials are used as precursors to synthesis APMNC catalysts. The catalysts and the associated porous carbon materials are characterized morphologically, chemically, and electrochemically. The results indicated that substrates adsorbing the most nitrogen and iron show the highest activity. Furthermore, a relationship is found between mesoporosity and nitrogen content indicating the importance of transport to active site creation. A correlation is found between surface alkalinity and catalytic activity for APMNC catalysts. The basic site strength and quantity were calculated by two different methods, and it was shown that increased Bronsted- Lowry basicity correlates to more active catalysts. The relationship between alkalinity and catalytic activity could be the result of the impact of alkalinity on the electron density of the metal centers or basic sites could encourage active site formation. It is found that the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) proceeds both via a direct four-electron pathway to water at high potentials and an indirect peroxide pathway at low potentials on an APMNC catalyst. At higher potential, site availability inhibits peroxide generation causing the direct four-electron reduction pathway to dominate. Oxygen reduction begins to shift to the indirect peroxide pathway due to fast kinetics and higher site availability around 0.6 V vs RHE. The net peroxide generation remains relatively low

  4. 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

  5. Proton-Exchange-Membrane Fuel Cell Powerplants Developed and Tested for Exploration Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoberecht, Mark A.; Pham, Nang T.

    2005-06-01

    Proton-exchange-membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) technology has received major attention for terrestrial applications, such as the automotive and residential markets, for the past 20 years. This attention has significantly advanced the maturity of the technology, resulting in ever more compact, efficient, reliable, and inexpensive PEMFC designs. In comparison to the terrestrial operating environment, the space operating environment is much more demanding. Microgravity to high-gravity loads and the need to use pure oxygen (rather than air) as the fuel cell oxidizer place more stringent demands on PEMFC technology. NASA and its partners from industry are leveraging terrestrial PEMFC advancements by conducting parallel space technology development for future exploration missions. A team from the NASA Glenn Research Center, NASA Johnson Space Center, and NASA Kennedy Space Center recently completed the first phase of a PEMFC powerplant development effort for exploration missions. The industry partners for this phase of the development effort were ElectroChem, Inc., and Teledyne Energy Systems, Inc. Under contract to Glenn, both of these industry partners successfully designed, fabricated, and tested a breadboard PEMFC powerplant in the 1- to 5-kW power range. These powerplants were based on existing company-proprietary fuel cell stack designs, combined with off-the-shelf components, which formed the balance of the powerplant design. Subsequent to the contractor development efforts, both powerplants were independently tested at Johnson to verify operational and performance characteristics, and to determine suitability for further technology development in the second phase of the NASA-led effort. Following the independent NASA testing, Teledyne Energy Systems, Inc., was selected to develop an engineering model PEMFC powerplant. This effort was initiated by the 2nd Generation Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) Program Office in 2001; it transitioned to the Next Generation Launch

  6. Proton-Exchange-Membrane Fuel Cell Powerplants Developed and Tested for Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoberecht, Mark A.; Pham, Nang T.

    2005-01-01

    Proton-exchange-membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) technology has received major attention for terrestrial applications, such as the automotive and residential markets, for the past 20 years. This attention has significantly advanced the maturity of the technology, resulting in ever more compact, efficient, reliable, and inexpensive PEMFC designs. In comparison to the terrestrial operating environment, the space operating environment is much more demanding. Microgravity to high-gravity loads and the need to use pure oxygen (rather than air) as the fuel cell oxidizer place more stringent demands on PEMFC technology. NASA and its partners from industry are leveraging terrestrial PEMFC advancements by conducting parallel space technology development for future exploration missions. A team from the NASA Glenn Research Center, NASA Johnson Space Center, and NASA Kennedy Space Center recently completed the first phase of a PEMFC powerplant development effort for exploration missions. The industry partners for this phase of the development effort were ElectroChem, Inc., and Teledyne Energy Systems, Inc. Under contract to Glenn, both of these industry partners successfully designed, fabricated, and tested a breadboard PEMFC powerplant in the 1- to 5-kW power range. These powerplants were based on existing company-proprietary fuel cell stack designs, combined with off-the-shelf components, which formed the balance of the powerplant design. Subsequent to the contractor development efforts, both powerplants were independently tested at Johnson to verify operational and performance characteristics, and to determine suitability for further technology development in the second phase of the NASA-led effort. Following the independent NASA testing, Teledyne Energy Systems, Inc., was selected to develop an engineering model PEMFC powerplant. This effort was initiated by the 2nd Generation Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) Program Office in 2001; it transitioned to the Next Generation Launch

  7. Sulfated Titania-Silica Reinforced Nafion Nanocomposite Membranes for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

    Abu Sayeed, M D; Kim, Hee Jin; Gopalan, A I; Kim, Young Ho; Lee, Kwang-Pill; Choi, Sang-June

    2015-09-01

    Sulfated titania-silica (SO4(2-)-/TiO2-SiO2) composites were prepared by a sol-gel method with sulfate reaction and characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). The nanometric diameter and geometry of the sulfated titania-silica (STS) was investigated by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). A small amount of the STS composite in the range of 0.5-3 wt% was then added as reinforcing into the Nafion membrane by water-assisted solution casting method to prepare STS reinforced Nafion nanocomposite membranes (STS-Nafion nanocomposite membranes). The additional functional groups, sulfate groups, of the nanocomposite membrane having more surface oxygenated groups enhanced the fuel cell membrane properties. The STS-Nafion nanocomposite membranes exhibited improved water uptake compared to that of neat Nafion membranes, whereas methanol uptake values were decreased dramatically improved thermal property of the prepared nanocomposite membranes were measured by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Furthermore, increased ion exchange capacity values were obtained by thermoacidic pretreatment of the nanocomposite membranes. PMID:26716283

  8. A boron phosphate-phosphoric acid composite membrane for medium temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mamlouk, M.; Scott, K.

    2015-07-01

    A composite membrane based on a non-stoichiometric composition of BPO4 with excess of PO4 (BPOx) was synthesised and characterised for medium temperature fuel cell use (120-180 °C). The electrolyte was characterised by FTIR, SS-NMR, TGA and XRD and showed that the B-O is tetrahedral, in agreement with reports in the literature that boron phosphorus oxide compounds at B:P < 1 are exclusively built of borate and phosphate tetrahedra. Platinum micro electrodes were used to study the electrolyte compatibility and stability towards oxygen reduction at 150 °C and to obtain kinetic and mass transport parameters. The conductivities of the pure BPOx membrane electrolyte and a Polybenzimidazole (PBI)-4BPOx composite membrane were 7.9 × 10-2 S cm-1 and 4.5 × 10-2 S cm-1 respectively at 150 °C, 5%RH. Fuel cell tests showed a significant enhancement in performance of BPOx over that of typical 5.6H3PO4-PBI membrane electrolyte. The enhancement is due to the improved ionic conductivity (3×), a higher exchange current density of the oxygen reduction (30×) and a lower membrane gas permeability (10×). Fuel cell current densities at 0.6 V were 706 and 425 mA cm-2 for BPOx and 5.6H3PO4-PBI, respectively, at 150 °C with O2 (atm).

  9. Oxidation-resistant catalyst supports for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chhina, Harmeet

    In automotive applications, when proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are subjected to frequent startup-shutdown cycles, a significant drop in performance is observed. One reason for this drop in performance is oxidation of the carbon in the catalyst layer when cathode potential excursions as high as 1.5V are observed. In this work, non-carbon based catalyst support materials were studied. The materials investigated include: tungsten carbide (WC), tungsten oxide (WOx), and niobium (Nb) or tungsten (W) doped titania. Platinum was dispersed on commercial samples of WC and WO x. Stability tests were performed by stepping the materials between 0.6 to 1.8V. Higher stability of both WC and WOx was observed compared to carbon based commercial catalyst (HiSpec 4000). The performance of Pt supported on WC or WOx was found to be lower than that of Pt/C due to poor dispersion of Pt on these low surface area commercial powders. High surface area Nb and W doped titania materials synthesized using sol-gel techniques were subjected to several heat treatments and atmospheres, and their resulting physical properties characterized. The materials' phase changes and their impact on electrical conductivity were evaluated. W doped titania was found to be resistive, and for Nb doped titania, the rutile phase was found to be more conductive than the anatase phase. Conventionally, 10-50 wt% Pt is supported on carbon, but as the non-carbon catalyst support materials have different densities, similar mass ratios of catalyst to support will not result in directly comparable performances. It is recommended that the ratio of Pt surface area to the support surface area should be similar when comparing Pt supported on carbon to Pt supported on a non-carbon support. A normalization approach was investigated in this work, and the ORR performance of 40wt.%Pt/C was found to be similar to that of 10wt.%Pt/Nb-TiO2. Fuel cell performance tests showed significantly higher stability of Pt on Nb

  10. UV-visible spectroscopy method for screening the chemical stability of potential antioxidants for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banham, Dustin; Ye, Siyu; Knights, Shanna; Stewart, S. Michael; Wilson, Mahlon; Garzon, Fernando

    2015-05-01

    A novel method based on UV-visible spectroscopy is reported for screening the chemical stability of potential antioxidant additives for proton exchange membrane fuel cells, and the chemical stabilities of three CeOx samples of varying crystallite sizes (6, 13, or 25 nm) are examined. The chemical stabilities predicted by this new screening method are compared to in-situ membrane electrode assembly (MEA) accelerated stress testing, with the results confirming that this rapid and inexpensive method can be used to accurately predict performance impacts of antioxidants.

  11. MnO2 nanotube-Pt/graphene mixture as an ORR catalyst for proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Divya, P.; Ramaprabhu, S.

    2013-02-01

    In the present study, MnO2 nanotubes are synthesized by hydrothermal method and Pt/graphene by co reduction of hexachloroplatinic acid and graphite oxide. The formation of MnO2 nanotubes and Pt/graphene are confirmed by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy. MnO2 nanotubes are mixed with Pt/graphene is applied as the ORR catalyst in proton exchange membrane fuel cell. The single cell measurement is carried out after fabricating the membrane electrode assembly and polarization curves are recorded at different temperatures and the results are discussed.

  12. The Investigation and Development of Low Cost Hardware Components for Proton-Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells - Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    George A. Marchetti

    1999-12-15

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell components, which would have a low-cost structure in mass production, were fabricated and tested. A fuel cell electrode structure, comprising a thin layer of graphite (50 microns) and a front-loaded platinum catalyst layer (600 angstroms), was shown to produce significant power densities. In addition, a PEM bipolar plate, comprising flexible graphite, carbon cloth flow-fields and an integrated polymer gasket, was fabricated. Power densities of a two-cell unit using this inexpensive bipolar plate architecture were shown to be comparable to state-of-the-art bipolar plates.

  13. Photoregenerative I−/I3− couple as a liquid cathode for proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Zhen; Wang, Yadong; Ai, Xinping; Tu, Wenmao; Pan, Mu

    2014-01-01

    A photoassisted oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) through I−/I3− redox couple was investigated for proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell cathode reaction. The I−/I3−-based liquid cathode was used to replace conventional oxygen cathode, and its discharge product I− was regenerated to I3− by photocatalytic oxidation with the participation of oxygen. This new and innovative approach may provide a strategy to eliminate the usage of challenging ORR electrocatalysts, resulting in an avenue for developing low-cost and high-efficiency PEM fuel cells. PMID:25348812

  14. Mass transport in gas diffusion layers of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martinez, Michael J.

    This dissertation describes fundamental properties of gas diffusion media (GDM) and their relationship to the mass transport in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). First, the accuracy of solving the multi-component equations for PEMFC by using a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) technique is examined. This technique uses an approximated multi-component (AMC) model with a correction term that guarantees the overall mass balance. Accuracy is assessed by comparing the species concentrations computed with the Maxwell-Stefan and the AMC model. This comparison is important because the structure of some CFD programs does not permit the direct use of the Maxwell-Stefan equations. Here, it is shown that the maximum error between the two models is less than 5%. Second, the ratio of tortuosity to porosity, known as the MacMullin number, is reported for different carbon cloth and carbon paper GDM. This analysis show that only carbon cloths GDM follow the commonly accepted Bruggeman equation and that carbon paper GDM have a different relationship between the tortuosity and the porosity. These differences are discussed in terms of path length created by the orientation of fibers of each GDM. Third, data for the hydrophilic and hydrophobic pore size distributions (PSD) are presented for two types of GDM used in PEMFCs. The data were obtained by using two common measurement methods, intrusion porosimetry (IP) and the method of standard porosimetry (MSP). The use of multiple working fluids to access hydrophilic and hydrophobic pores is discussed as well as the limitations associated with structural changes of the GDM during the tests. The differences in interpretations of the data between the two methods for both GDM have significant implications relative to the distribution of hydrophilic and hydrophobic pores that control liquid water transport. Finally, a two-phase mass-transport-only model (MTOM) that incorporates the tortuosity and the PSD data described above is

  15. Self-humidified proton exchange membrane fuel cells: Operation of larger cells and fuel cell stacks

    SciTech Connect

    Dhar, H.P.; Lee, J.H.; Lewinski, K.A.

    1996-12-31

    The PEM fuel cell is promising as the power source for use in mobile and stationary applications primarily because of its high power density, all solid components, and simplicity of operation. For wide acceptability of this power source, its cost has to be competitive with the presently available energy sources. The fuel cell requires continuous humidification during operation as a power source. The humidification unit however, increases fuel cell volume, weight, and therefore decreases its overall power density. Great advantages in terms of further fuel cell simplification can be achieved if the humidification process can be eliminated or minimized. In addition, cost reductions are associated with the case of manufacturing and operation. At BCS Technology we have developed a technology of self-humidified operation of PEM fuel cells based on the mass balance of the reactants and products and the ability of membrane electrode assembly (MEA) to retain water necessary for humidification under the cell operating conditions. The reactants enter the fuel cell chambers without carrying any form of water, whether in liquid or vapor form. Basic principles of self-humidified operation of fuel cells as practiced by BCS Technology, Inc. have been presented previously in literature. Here, we report the operation of larger self-humidified single cells and fuel cell stacks. Fuel cells of areas Up to 100 cm{sup 2} have been operated. We also show the self-humidified operation of fuel cell stacks of 50 and 100 cm{sup 2} electrode areas.

  16. Pressure pyrolysed non-precious oxygen reduction catalysts for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nallathambi, Vijayadurga

    2011-12-01

    and increased the porosity, particularly micro and mesopores of the catalysts that led to increased active site density and reduced oxygen transport hindrances respectively. Collaborative efforts with the University of New Mexico facilitated XPS characterization of MNC catalysts. XPS analyses indicated that pyridinic nitrogen sites, present in the edge plane of the catalysts and pyridinic nitrogen coordinated to transition metals correlated to oxygen reduction activity. Further insight into the role of transition metal and the structure of active site was gained through EXAFS measurements, carried out in collaboration with Northeastern University. Electrochemical studies performed in the presence of poisoning anions such as cyanide in alkaline environment indicated a 25% decrease in oxygen reduction activity, suggesting that the metal is part of the active sites and participates in oxygen reduction. In-situ EXAFS analysis of the catalysts indicated the active reaction site for oxygen reduction to be Fe metal coordinated to 4 nitrogen atoms. These low cost MNC catalysts find direct application in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel cells for transportation applications, where there is a huge drive to improve the economy of the fuel cell by reducing the costs associated with state-of the art platinum-based catalysts.

  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. Comparing shut-down strategies for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oyarce, Alejandro; Zakrisson, Erik; Ivity, Matthew; Lagergren, Carina; Ofstad, Axel Baumann; Bodén, Andreas; Lindbergh, Göran

    2014-05-01

    Application of system strategies for mitigating carbon corrosion of the catalyst support in proton exchange fuel cells (PEMFCs) is a requirement for PEMFC systems, especially in the case of systems for transport application undergoing thousands of start-ups and shut-downs (SU/SD) during its lifetime. This study compares several of the most common shut-down strategies for 1100 cycles SU/SD cycles at 70 °C and 80% RH using commercially available fuel cell components. Each cycle simulates a prolonged shut-down, i.e. finishing each cycle with air filled anode and cathode. Furthermore, all start-ups are unprotected, i.e. introducing the H2 rich gas into an air filled anode. Finally, each cycle also includes normal fuel cell operation at 0.5 A cm-2 using synthetic reformate/air. H2 purge of the cathode and O2 consumption using a load were found to be the most effective strategies. The degradation rate using the H2 purge strategy was 23 μV cycle-1 at 0.86 A cm-2 using H2 and air at the anode and cathode, respectively. This degradation rate may be regarded as a generally low value, especially considering that this value also includes the degradation rate caused by unprotected start-ups.

  19. Nanostructured TiOx as a catalyst support material for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, Richard S.

    Recent interest in the development of new catalyst support materials for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) has stimulated research into the viability of TiO2-based support structures. Specifically, substoichiometric TiO2 (TiOx) has been reported to exhibit a combination of high conductivity, stability, and corrosion resistance. These properties make TiOx-based support materials a promising prospect when considering the inferior corrosion resistance of traditional carbon-based supports. This document presents an investigation into the formation of conductive and stable TiOx thin films employing atomic layer deposition (ALD) and a post deposition oxygen reducing anneal (PDORA). Techniques for manufacturing TiOx-based catalyst support nanostructures by means of ALD in conjunction with carbon black (CB), anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) and silicon nanowires (SiNWs) will also be presented. The composition and thickness of resulting TiOx thin films was determined with the aid of Auger electron spectroscopy (AES), Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Film crystal structure was determined with X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis. Film conductivity was calculated using four-point probe (4-PP) and film thickness measurement data. Resulting thin films show a significant decrease of oxygen in ALD TiOx films corresponding with a great increase in conductivity following the PDORA. The effectiveness of the PDORA was also found to be highly dependent on ALD process parameters. TiOx-based nanostructures were coated with platinum using one of three Pt deposition techniques. First, liquid phase deposition (LPD), which was performed at room temperature, provided equal access to catalyst support material surfaces which were suspended in solution. Second, plasma enhanced atomic layer deposition (PEALD), which was performed at 450°C, provided good Pt

  20. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells cold startup global strategy for fuel cell plug-in hybrid electric vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henao, Nilson; Kelouwani, Sousso; Agbossou, Kodjo; Dubé, Yves

    2012-12-01

    This paper investigates the Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) Cold Startup problem within the specific context of the Plugin Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV). A global strategy which aims at providing an efficient method to minimize the energy consumption during the startup of a PEMFC is proposed. The overall control system is based on a supervisory architecture in which the Energy Management System (EMS) plays the role of the power flow supervisor. The EMS estimates in advance, the time to start the fuel cell (FC) based upon the battery energy usage during the trip. Given this estimation and the amount of additional energy required, the fuel cell temperature management strategy computes the most appropriate time to start heating the stack in order to reduce heat loss through the natural convection. As the cell temperature rises, the PEMFC is started and the reaction heat is used as a self-heating power source to further increase the stack temperature. A time optimal self-heating approach based on the Pontryagin minimum principle is proposed and tested. The experimental results have shown that the proposed approach is efficient and can be implemented in real-time on FC-PHEVs.

  1. Carbon nano-chain and carbon nano-fibers based gas diffusion layers for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kannan, Arunachala M.; Munukutla, Lakshmi

    Gas diffusion layers (GDL) for proton exchange membrane fuel cell have been developed using a partially ordered graphitized nano-carbon chain (Pureblack ® carbon) and carbon nano-fibers. The GDL samples' characteristics such as, surface morphology, surface energy, bubble-point pressure and pore size distribution were characterized using electron microscope, inverse gas chromatograph, gas permeability and mercury porosimetry, respectively. Fuel cell performance of the GDLs was evaluated using single cell with hydrogen/air at ambient pressure, 70 °C and 100% RH. The GDLs with combination of vapor grown carbon nano-fibers with Pureblack carbon showed significant improvement in mechanical robustness as well as fuel cell performance. The micro-porous layer of the GDLs as seen under scanning electron microscope showed excellent surface morphology showing the reinforcement with nano-fibers and the surface homogeneity without any cracks.

  2. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells for space and electric vehicle applications: From basic research to technology development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Srinivasan, Supramaniam; Mukerjee, Sanjeev; Parthasarathy, A.; CesarFerreira, A.; Wakizoe, Masanobu; Rho, Yong Woo; Kim, Junbom; Mosdale, Renaut A.; Paetzold, Ronald F.; Lee, James

    1994-01-01

    The proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is one of the most promising electrochemical power sources for space and electric vehicle applications. The wide spectrum of R&D activities on PEMFC's, carried out in our Center from 1988 to date, is as follows (1) Electrode Kinetic and Electrocatalysis of Oxygen Reduction; (2) Optimization of Structures of Electrodes and of Membrane and Electrode Assemblies; (3) Selection and Evaluation of Advanced Proton Conducting Membranes and of Operating Conditions to Attain High Energy Efficiency; (4) Modeling Analysis of Fuel Cell Performance and of Thermal and Water Management; and (5) Engineering Design and Development of Multicell Stacks. The accomplishments on these tasks may be summarized as follows: (1) A microelectrode technique was developed to determine the electrode kinetic parameters for the fuel cell reactions and mass transport parameters for the H2 and O2 reactants in the proton conducting membrane. (2) High energy efficiencies and high power densities were demonstrated in PEMFCs with low platinum loading electrodes (0.4 mg/cm(exp 2) or less), advanced membranes and optimized structures of membrane and electrode assemblies, as well as operating conditions. (3) The modeling analyses revealed methods to minimize mass transport limitations, particularly with air as the cathodic reactant; and for efficient thermal and water management. (4) Work is in progress to develop multi-kilowatt stacks with the electrodes containing low platinum loadings.

  3. Develpment of Higher Temperature Membrane and Electrode Assembly (MEA) for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Devices

    SciTech Connect

    Susan Agro, Anthony DeCarmine, Shari Williams

    2005-12-30

    Our work will fucus on developing higher temperature MEAs based on SPEKK polymer blends. Thse MEAs will be designed to operatre at 120 degrees C Higher temperatures, up to 200 degrees C will also be explored. This project will develop Nafion-free MEAs using only SPEKK blends in both membrane and catalytic layers.

  4. Hydrocarbon and partially fluorinated sulfonated copolymer blends as functional membranes for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arnett, Natalie Y.; Harrison, William L.; Badami, Anand S.; Roy, Abhishek; Lane, Ozma; Cromer, Frank; Dong, Limin; McGrath, James E.

    Polymer blending is recognized as a valuable technique used to modify and improve the mechanical, thermal, and surface properties of two different polymers or copolymers. This paper investigated the solution properties and membrane properties of a biphenol-based disulfonated poly (arylene ether sulfone) random copolymer (BPS-35) with hexafluoroisopropylidene bisphenol based sulfonated poly (arylene ether sulfone) copolymers (6FSH) and an unsulfonated biphenol-based poly (arylene ether sulfone)s. The development of blended membranes with desirable surface characteristics, reduced water swelling and similar proton conductivity is presented. Polymer blends were prepared both in the sodium salt and acid forms from dimethylacetamide (DMAc). Water uptake, specific conductivity, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and contact angles were used to characterize the blended films. Surface enrichment of the fluorinated component is illustrated by an significant increase in the water-surface contact angle was observed when 10 wt.% 6FBPA-00 (106°) was added to BPS 35 (80°). Water weight gain was reduced by a factor of 2.

  5. Surface modification of a proton exchange membrane and hydrogen storage in a metal hydride for fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrews, Lisa

    Interest in fuel cell technology is rising as a result of the need for more affordable and available fuel sources. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells involve the catalysis of a fuel to release protons and electrons. It requires the use of a polymer electrolyte membrane to transfer protons through the cell, while the electrons pass through an external circuit, producing electricity. The surface modification of the polymer, NafionRTM, commonly researched as a proton exchange membrane, may improve efficiency of a fuel cell. Surface modification can change the chemistry of the surface of a polymer while maintaining bulk properties. Plasma modification techniques such as microwave discharge of an argon and oxygen gas mixture as well as vacuum-ultraviolet (VUV) photolysis may cause favorable chemical and physical changes on the surface of Nafion for improved fuel cell function. A possible increase in hydrophilicity as a result of microwave discharge experiments may increase proton conductivity. Grafting of acrylic acid from the surface of modified Nafion may decrease the permeation of methanol in a direct methanol fuel cell, a process which can decrease efficiency. Modification of the surface of Nafion samples were carried out using: 1) An indirect Ar/O2 gas mixture plasma investigating the reaction of oxygen radicals with the surface, 2) A direct Ar/O2 gas mixture plasma investigating the reaction of oxygen radicals and VUV radiation with the surface and, 3) VUV photolysis investigating exclusively the interaction of VUV radiation with the surface and any possible oxidation upon exposure to air. Acrylic acid was grafted from the VUV photolysed Nafion samples. All treated surfaces were analyzed using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) was used to analyze the grafted Nafion samples. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and contact angle measurements were used to analyze experiments 2 and 3. Using hydrogen as fuel is a

  6. The Structure and Properties of Pulsed dc Sputtered Nanocrystalline NbN Coatings for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell.

    PubMed

    Chun, Sung-Yong

    2016-02-01

    Niobium nitride coatings for the surface modified proton exchange membrane fuel cells with various pulse parameters have been prepared using dc (direct current) and asymmetric-bipolar pulsed dc magnetron sputtering. The pulse frequency and the duty cycle were varied from 5 to 50 kHz and 50 to 95%, respectively. The deposition rate, grain size and resistivity of pulsed dc sputtered films were decreased when the pulse frequency increased, while the nano hardness of niobium nitride films increased. We present in detail coatings (e.g., deposition rate, grain size, prefer-orientation, resistivity and hardness). Our studies show that niobium nitride coatings with superior properties can be prepared using asymmetric-bipolar pulsed dc sputtering. PMID:27433732

  7. Effect of through-plane polytetrafluoroethylene distribution in gas diffusion layers on performance of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ito, Hiroshi; Iwamura, Takuya; Someya, Satoshi; Munakata, Tetsuo; Nakano, Akihiro; Heo, Yun; Ishida, Masayoshi; Nakajima, Hironori; Kitahara, Tatsumi

    2016-02-01

    This experimental study identifies the effect of through-plane polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) distribution in gas diffusion backing (GDB) on the performance of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC). PTFE-drying under vacuum pressure created a relatively uniform PTFE distribution in GDB compared to drying under atmospheric pressure. Carbon paper samples with different PTFE distributions due to the difference in drying conditions were prepared and used for the cathode gas diffusion layer (GDL) of PEMFCs. Also investigated is the effect of MPL application on the performance for those samples. The current density (i) - voltage (V) characteristics of these PEMFCs measured under high relative humidity conditions clearly showed that, with or without MPL, the cell using the GDL with PTFE dried under vacuum condition showed better performance than that dried under atmospheric condition. It is suggested that this improved performance is caused by the efficient transport of liquid water through the GDB due to the uniform distribution of PTFE.

  8. Investigating the effects of proton exchange membrane fuel cell conditions on carbon supported platinum electrocatalyst composition and performance

    SciTech Connect

    A. Patel; K. Artyushkova; P. Atanassov; V. Colbow; M. Dutta; D. Harvey; S. Wessel

    2012-04-30

    Changes that carbon-supported platinum electrocatalysts undergo in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell environment were simulated by ex situ heat treatment of catalyst powder samples at 150 C and 100% relative humidity. In order to study modifications that are introduced to chemistry, morphology, and performance of electrocatalysts, XPS, HREELS and three-electrode rotating disk electrode experiments were performed. Before heat treatment, graphitic content varied by 20% among samples with different types of carbon supports, with distinct differences between bulk and surface compositions within each sample. Following the aging protocol, the bulk and surface chemistry of the samples were similar, with graphite content increasing or remaining constant and Pt-carbide decreasing for all samples. From the correlation of changes in chemical composition and losses in performance of the electrocatalysts, we conclude that relative distribution of Pt particles on graphitic and amorphous carbon is as important for electrocatalytic activity as the absolute amount of graphitic carbon present

  9. Investigating the effects of proton exchange membrane fuel cell conditions on carbon supported platinum electrocatalyst composition and performance

    SciTech Connect

    Patel, Anant; Artyushkova, Kateryna; Atanassov, Plamen; Colbow, Vesna; Dutta, Monica; Harvey, Davie; Wessel, Silvia

    2012-04-01

    Changes that carbon-supported platinum electrocatalysts undergo in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell environment were simulated by ex situ heat treatment of catalyst powder samples at 150 #2;C and 100% relative humidity. In order to study modifications that are introduced to chemistry, morphology, and performance of electrocatalysts, XPS, HREELS and three-electrode rotating disk electrode experiments were performed. Before heat treatment, graphitic content varied by 20% among samples with different types of carbon supports, with distinct differences between bulk and surface compositions within each sample. Following the aging protocol, the bulk and surface chemistry of the samples were similar, with graphite content increasing or remaining constant and Pt-carbide decreasing for all samples. From the correlation of changes in chemical composition and losses in performance of the electrocatalysts, we conclude that relative distribution of Pt particles on graphitic and amorphous carbon is as important for electrocatalytic activity as the absolute amount of graphitic carbon present

  10. Sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone)/clay-SO 3H hybrid proton exchange membranes for direct methanol fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, Tiezhu; Cui, Zhiming; Zhong, Shuangling; Shi, Yuhua; Zhao, Chengji; Zhang, Gang; Shao, Ke; Na, Hui; Xing, Wei

    A new type of sulfonated clay (clay-SO 3H) was prepared by the ion exchange method with the sulfanilic acid as the surfactant agent. The grafted amount of sulfanilic acid in clay-SO 3H was 51.8 mequiv. (100 g) -1, which was measured by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) (SPEEK)/clay-SO 3H hybrid membranes which composed of SPEEK and different weight contents of clay-SO 3H, were prepared by a solution casting and evaporation method. For comparison, the SPEEK/clay hybrid membranes were produced with the same method. The performances of hybrid membranes for direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) in terms of mechanical and thermal properties, water uptake, water retention, methanol permeability and proton conductivity were investigated. The mechanical and thermal properties of the SPEEK membranes had been improved by introduction of clay and clay-SO 3H, obviously. The water desorption coefficients of the SPEEK and hybrid membranes were studied at 80 °C. The results showed that the addition of the inorganic part into SPEEK membrane enhanced the water retention of the membrane. Both methanol permeability and proton conductivity of the hybrid membranes decreased in comparison to the pristine SPEEK membrane. However, it was worth noting that higher selectivity defined as ratio of proton conductivity to methanol permeability of the SPEEK/clay-SO 3H-1 hybrid membrane with 1 wt.% clay-SO 3H was obtained than that of the pristine SPEEK membrane. These results showed that the SPEEK/clay-SO 3H hybrid membrane with 1 wt.% clay-SO 3H had potential usage of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) for DMFCs.

  11. An application of indirect model reference adaptive control to a low-power proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Yee-Pien; Liu, Zhao-Wei; Wang, Fu-Cheng

    2008-05-01

    Nonlinearity and the time-varying dynamics of fuel cell systems make it complex to design a controller for improving output performance. This paper introduces an application of a model reference adaptive control to a low-power proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell system, which consists of three main components: a fuel cell stack, an air pump to supply air, and a solenoid valve to adjust hydrogen flow. From the system perspective, the dynamic model of the PEM fuel cell stack can be expressed as a multivariable configuration of two inputs, hydrogen and air-flow rates, and two outputs, cell voltage and current. The corresponding transfer functions can be identified off-line to describe the linearized dynamics with a finite order at a certain operating point, and are written in a discrete-time auto-regressive moving-average model for on-line estimation of parameters. This provides a strategy of regulating the voltage and current of the fuel cell by adaptively adjusting the flow rates of air and hydrogen. Experiments show that the proposed adaptive controller is robust to the variation of fuel cell system dynamics and power request. Additionally, it helps decrease fuel consumption and relieves the DC/DC converter in regulating the fluctuating cell voltage.

  12. In situ measurements of water transfer due to different mechanisms in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Husar, Attila; Higier, Andrew; Liu, Hongtan

    Water management is of critical importance in a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell, in particular, those based on a sulfonic acid polymer, which requires water to conduct protons. Yet there are limited in situ studies of water transfer through the membrane and no data are available for water transfer due to individual mechanisms through the membrane in an operational fuel cell. Thus it is the objective of this study to measure water transfer through the membrane due to each individual mechanism in an operational PEM fuel cell. The three different mechanisms of water transfer, i.e., electro-osmotic drag, diffusion and hydraulic permeation are isolated by specially imposed boundary conditions. Therefore water transfer through the membrane due to each mechanism is measured separately. In this study, all the data is collected in an actual assembled operational fuel cell. The experimental results show that water transfer due to hydraulic permeation, i.e. the pressure difference between the anode and cathode is at least an order of magnitude lower than those due to the other two mechanisms. The data for water transfer due to diffusion through the membrane are in good agreement with some of the ex situ data in the literature. The data for electro-osmosis show that the number of water molecules dragged per proton increases not only with temperature but also with current density, which is different from existing data in the literature. The methodology used in this study is simple and can be easily adopted for in situ water transfer measurement due to different mechanisms in other PEM fuel cells without any cell modifications.

  13. Low platinum loading for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell developed by ultrasonic spray coating technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, Huaneng; Jao, Ting-Chu; Barron, Olivia; Pollet, Bruno G.; Pasupathi, Sivakumar

    2014-12-01

    This paper reports use of an ultrasonic-spray for producing low Pt loadings membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) with the catalyst coated substrate (CCS) fabrication technique. The main MEA sub-components (catalyst, membrane and gas diffusion layer (GDL)) are supplied from commercial manufacturers. In this study, high temperature (HT) MEAs with phosphoric acid (PA)-doped poly(2,5-benzimidazole) (AB-PBI) membrane are fabricated and tested under 160 °C, hydrogen and air feed 100 and 250 cc min-1 and ambient pressure conditions. Four different Pt loadings (from 0.138 to 1.208 mg cm-2) are investigated in this study. The experiment data are determined by in-situ electrochemical methods such as polarization curve, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and cyclic voltammetry (CV). The high Pt loading MEA exhibits higher performance at high voltage operating conditions but lower performances at peak power due to the poor mass transfer. The Pt loading 0.350 mg cm-2 GDE performs the peak power density and peak cathode mass power to 0.339 W cm-2 and 0.967 W mgPt-1, respectively. This work presents impressive cathode mass power and high fuel cell performance for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells (HT-PEMFCs) with low Pt loadings.

  14. Synthesis and characterization of nanostructured sulfonated polyimides for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zou, Lijun

    Sulfonated polyimides (SPI) are considered to be good candidates for proton exchange membranes (PEMs) since they exhibit high strength, good film-forming ability, chemical resistance, thermal stability, and, in their hydrated state, relatively high proton conductivity. Despite intense research in the area of SPIs, fundamental investigations of hydrophilic/hydrophobic phase segregation and studies of humidity dependent morphologies are scarce. In an effort to influence the order and distribution of ionic groups in rigid-rod SPIs and to understand the interrelationships between morphology, hydration and proton conductivity, two novel model systems of SPI polymers containing hydrophobic polysiloxane (SPI-PSX) and hydrophilic silica nanoparticles (SPI-Si) were developed. The first model system of sulfonated polyimide containing hydrophobic polysiloxane segmented copolymers was prepared by a one-pot synthesis. SPI-PSX materials were evaluated using 1H NMR, size-exclusion chromatography. The presence of ion-containing diamines in the reaction mixture was found to inhibit stoichiometric incorporation of hydrophobic siloxane segments. Siloxane segments were found to lower the thermal stability of the polyimide host. Equilibrium water sorption studies of free standing films of copolymers with and without siloxane segments show that the presence of siloxane segments does not interfere with water swelling, which suggests a microphase-segregated morphology may exist. TEM and SAXS analyses show evidence of phase-segregation in sulfonated polyimides and reveal that siloxane segments strongly affect ionic clustering. However, proton conductivity only changes slightly when polysiloxane segments are incorporated. Sulfonated polyimides containing hydrophilic silica nanoparticles is our second model system developed for stabilizing the dispersed morphologies to promote proton conductivity. SPI-Si nanocomposites were prepared by a pre-polymer of anhydride-terminated sulfonated

  15. 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.

  16. Proton exchange membrane fuel cell degradation: A parametric analysis using Computational Fluid Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ozden, Ender; Tari, Ilker

    2016-02-01

    A Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cell is numerically investigated both as fresh and as degraded with the help of observed degradation patterns reported in the literature. The fresh fuel cell model is validated and verified with the data from the literature. Modifying the model by varying the parameters affected by degradation, a degraded PEM fuel cell model is created. The degraded fuel cell is parametrically analyzed by using a commercial Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software. The investigated parameters are the membrane equivalent weight, the Catalyst Layer (CL) porosity and viscous resistance, the Gas Diffusion Layer (GDL) porosity and viscous resistance, and the bipolar plate contact resistance. It is shown for the first time that PEM fuel cell overall degradation can be numerically estimated by combining experimental data from degraded individual components. By comparing the simulation results for the fresh and the degraded PEM fuel cells for two years of operation, it is concluded that the effects of overall degradation on cell potential is significant - estimated to be 17% around the operating point of the fuel cell at 0.95 V open circuit voltage and 70 °C operating temperature.

  17. Membrane electrode assembly with enhanced platinum utilization for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell prepared by catalyst coating membrane method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, Huagen; Su, Huaneng; Pollet, Bruno G.; Linkov, Vladimir; Pasupathi, Sivakumar

    2014-11-01

    In this work, membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) prepared by catalyst coating membrane (CCM) method are investigated for reduced platinum (Pt) loading and improved Pt utilization of high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) based on phosphoric acid (PA)-doped poly(2,5-benzimidazole) (AB-PBI) membrane. The results show that CCM method exhibits significantly higher cell performance and Pt-specific power density than that of MEAs prepared with conventional gas diffusion electrode (GDE) under a low Pt loading level. In-suit cyclic voltammetry (CV) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) show that the MEAs prepared by the CCM method have a higher electrochemical surface area (ECSA), low cell ohmic resistance and low charge transfer resistance as compared to those prepared with GDEs at the same Pt loading.

  18. Local Area Water Removal Analysis of a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell under Gas Purge Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Chi-Yuan; Lee, Yu-Ming; Lee, Shuo-Jen

    2012-01-01

    In this study, local area water content distribution under various gas purging conditions are experimentally analyzed for the first time. The local high frequency resistance (HFR) is measured using novel micro sensors. The results reveal that the liquid water removal rate in a membrane electrode assembly (MEA) is non-uniform. In the under-the-channel area, the removal of liquid water is governed by both convective and diffusive flux of the through-plane drying. Thus, almost all of the liquid water is removed within 30 s of purging with gas. However, liquid water that is stored in the under-the-rib area is not easy to remove during 1 min of gas purging. Therefore, the re-hydration of the membrane by internal diffusive flux is faster than that in the under-the-channel area. Consequently, local fuel starvation and membrane degradation can degrade the performance of a fuel cell that is started from cold. PMID:22368495

  19. Local area water removal analysis of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell under gas purge conditions.

    PubMed

    Lee, Chi-Yuan; Lee, Yu-Ming; Lee, Shuo-Jen

    2012-01-01

    In this study, local area water content distribution under various gas purging conditions are experimentally analyzed for the first time. The local high frequency resistance (HFR) is measured using novel micro sensors. The results reveal that the liquid water removal rate in a membrane electrode assembly (MEA) is non-uniform. In the under-the-channel area, the removal of liquid water is governed by both convective and diffusive flux of the through-plane drying. Thus, almost all of the liquid water is removed within 30 s of purging with gas. However, liquid water that is stored in the under-the-rib area is not easy to remove during 1 min of gas purging. Therefore, the re-hydration of the membrane by internal diffusive flux is faster than that in the under-the-channel area. Consequently, local fuel starvation and membrane degradation can degrade the performance of a fuel cell that is started from cold. PMID:22368495

  20. 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.)

  1. Electrolyte incorporation into composite electrodes for proton-exchange membrane fuel cells and lithium-ion batteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oh, Jung Min

    2011-12-01

    This dissertation describes research on the preparation and characterization of composite electrodes for use in proton-exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells and lithium ion batteries. The general focus of the research was on high-surface-area carbon supports for platinum catalysts in fuel cells, and integration of electrolytes, particularly fluoropolymer electrolytes, into composite electrodes both batteries and fuel cells. Results are described for work in the following three specific topical areas. (1) Carbon nanofibers for use as platinum (Pt) catalyst supports in fuel cells were prepared by carbonization of electrospun acrylic fibers. The resulting carbon nanofibers were found to contain mainly micropores. Following grinding to a powder form, the carbon nanofibers were used as supports for Pt nanoparticles. The pulverized carbon nanofibers were found to be not suitable as supports for Pt catalysts because the microporosity of the individual carbon nanofibers cannot provide continuous porous channels in the electrode. As a result, the Pt utilization was found to be low. (2) Mesoporous carbon composites containing nanoscale embedded zirconia particles (ZCS) were prepared and found to be highly porous and electrically conductive. Surface modification of the composites with organic compounds having phenylphosphonic acid groups (e.g., phenylphosphonic acid, m-sulfophenylphosphonic acid, or sulfonated fluoropolymer ionomer having terminal phosphonic acid groups) was accomplished by simple exposure of the carbon composite to organophosphonate solutions. Nanoscale ZrO2 surfaces present in the composite skeleton acted as reactive sites for anchoring of phosphonates through formation of robust Zr--O--P bonding. Proton-exchange sites were introduced onto the nanocomposite surface by grafting m-sulfophenylphosphonic acid or a sulfonated fluoropolymer ionomer. Modification with the ionomer provided an increase in proton-exchange capacity relative to that found following

  2. Polymeric nanocomposite proton exchange membranes prepared by radiation-induced polymerization for direct methanol fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Young-Seok; Seo, Kwang-Seok; Choi, Seong-Ho

    2016-01-01

    The vinyl group-modified montmorillonite clay (F-MMT), vinyl group-modified graphene oxide (F-GO), and vinyl group-modified multi-walled carbon nanotube (F-MWNT) were first prepared by ion exchange reaction of 1-[(4-ethylphenyl)methyl]-3-butyl-imidazolium chloride in order to use the materials for protection against methanol cross-over in direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) membrane. Then polymeric nanocomposite membranes with F-MMT, F-GO, and F-MWNT were prepared by the solvent casting method after radiation-induced polymerization of vinyl monomers in water-methanol mixture solvents. The proton conductivity, water uptake, ion-exchange capacity, methanol permeability, and DMFC performance of the polymeric nanocomposite membranes with F-MMT, F-GO, and F-MWNT were evaluated.

  3. Acid loaded porous silicon as a proton exchange membrane for micro-fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gold, Scott; Chu, Kuan-Lun; Lu, Chang; Shannon, Mark A.; Masel, Richard I.

    Silicon-based fuel cells are under active development to supply chip-scale electrical power supply. In this paper, we demonstrate the use of sulfuric acid loaded nanoporous silicon as a proton electrolytic membrane (PEM) material for micro-fuel cell applications. Sulfuric acid loaded nanoporous silicon membranes with thickness of 40-70 μm have proton conductivities (0.0068-0.33 S/cm) comparable to, and in some cases better than, Nafion ® (0.05 S/cm), which is the most commonly used commercial PEM material. Additionally, the permeability of formic acid at room temperature through nanoporous silicon membranes was found to be similar to that of Nafion ® membranes, which increases with increasing anodization current density (4.3 × 10 -8 to 3.9 × 10 -7 mol/(s cm 2) for nanoporous silicon as compared to 1.23 × 10 -7 mol/(s cm 2) for Nafion ® 117). These results represent the discovery of a new class of protonic conductor that can be integrated into standard silicon microfabrication processes.

  4. Spatial proton exchange membrane fuel cell performance under carbon monoxide poisoning at a low concentration using a segmented cell system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reshetenko, Tatyana V.; Bethune, Keith; Rocheleau, Richard

    2012-11-01

    The impact of the fuel contaminant CO, which was intentionally injected in to the hydrogen stream at a concentration of 2 ppm, on proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) performance distribution was studied using a segmented cell system and spatial electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The cell was operated under a galvanostatic control of the overall cell current at 0.8 A cm-2, and tests were carried out under H2/O2, H2/air, and H2/H2 gas configurations. Upon CO injection the voltage decreased by 0.080, 0.300, and 0.320 V for O2, air, and H2 cathode gases, respectively. The voltage drop was accompanied by changes in the current density distributions. Inlet segments 1-4 showed a decrease in current due to CO adsorption on Pt, while, downstream segments 7-10 exhibited an increase in current. The performance completely recovered within 1-2 h after CO injection was stopped. The conversion of CO proceeds through a combination of catalytic and electrochemical oxidation reactions; however, the catalytic oxidation of CO is likely the dominant process. It was found that an increased membrane gas permeability can mitigate the impact of CO, mainly due to the catalytic oxidation of adsorbed CO on the Pt anode by the permeated O2.

  5. Improvement the equation of polarization curve of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell at different channel geometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khazaee, I.

    2015-12-01

    The polarization curve of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell is an important parameter which is expressed by the change of voltage and current of it that indicates the performance of the cell. The voltage of the cell is a function of temperature that is expressed by the Nernst equation and the equation of voltage losses such as activation loss, ohmic loss and concentration loss. In this study a new correlation for polarization curve is obtained that it in addition to temperature, a new parameter is involved in it that shows the effect of the geometry of cross-section area of channels. For this purpose three PEM fuel cells with different channels geometry of rectangular, elliptical and triangular have constructed. The active area of each cell is 25 cm2 that its weight is 1300 g. The material of the gas diffusion layer is carbon clothes, the membrane is nafion 117 and the catalyst layer is a plane with 0.004 g/cm2 platinum. Also a test bench designed and constructed for testing the cell and a series of experiments are carried out to investigate the influence of the geometry of the cell on performance of the cell. The results show that when the geometry of channel is rectangular the performance of the cell is better than the triangular and elliptical channel.

  6. High energy efficiency and high power density proton exchange membrane fuel cells: Electrode kinetics and mass transport

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Srinivasan, Supramaniam; Velev, Omourtag A.; Parthasathy, Arvind; Manko, David J.; Appleby, A. John

    1991-01-01

    The development of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell power plants with high energy efficiencies and high power densities is gaining momentum because of the vital need of such high levels of performance for extraterrestrial (space, underwater) and terrestrial (power source for electric vehicles) applications. Since 1987, considerable progress has been made in achieving energy efficiencies of about 60 percent at a current density of 200 mA/sq cm and high power densities (greater than 1 W/sq cm) in PEM fuel cells with high (4 mg/sq cm) or low (0.4 mg/sq cm) platinum loadings in electrodes. The following areas are discussed: (1) methods to obtain these high levels of performance with low Pt loading electrodes - by proton conductor impregnation into electrodes, localization of Pt near front surface; (2) a novel microelectrode technique which yields electrode kinetic parameters for oxygen reduction and mass transport parameters; (3) demonstration of lack of water transport from anode to cathode; (4) modeling analysis of PEM fuel cell for comparison with experimental results and predicting further improvements in performance; and (5) recommendations of needed research and development for achieving the above goals.

  7. A conductive and hydrophilic bipolar plate coating for enhanced proton exchange membrane fuel cell performance and water management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nowak, Andrew P.; Salguero, Tina T.; Kirby, Kevin W.; Zhong, Feng; Blunk, Richard H. J.

    2012-07-01

    Electrically conductive and hydrophilic coatings for proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) stainless steel bipolar plates have been developed in order to minimize voltage losses at the plate and gas diffusion layer (GDL) interface and facilitate liquid water transport in plate channels for efficient stack operation. The coatings are based on a multifunctional silane, 1,2-bis(triethoxysilyl)ethane (BTSE), mixed with conductive, hydrophilic carbon black. Vulcan® XC72 carbon black was modified with either polar phenylsulfonic acid (PSA) or carboxylic acid (COOH) groups to increase hydrophilic character and wetting behavior. Wetting and electrical contact resistance performance was compared with coatings based on nano-particle titania and silica. These conductive silane and carbon composite coating precursors are conveniently formulated in alcohol solution for scalable application via spray coating. Cured films exhibit negligible contact resistance increase (<2 mΩ cm2) at 1.4 MPa when deposited on both physical vapor deposited (PVD) carbon and electroplated gold coated stainless steel. The coatings were tested for hydrophilicity retention under wet and dry fuel cell conditions where the BTSE-COOH coating remained hydrophilic on stamped stainless steel bipolar plate prototypes after greater than 1200 h of simulated fuel cell testing with only moderate loss of hydrophilicity.

  8. A review of composite and metallic bipolar plates in proton exchange membrane fuel cell: Materials, fabrication, and material selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taherian, Reza

    2014-11-01

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells offer exceptional potential for a clean, efficient, and reliable power source. The bipolar plate (BP) is a key component in this device, as it connects each cell electrically, supplies reactant gases to both anode and cathode, and removes reaction products from the cell. BPs have primarily been fabricated from high-density graphite, but in recent years, much attention has been paid to develop the cost-effective and feasible alternative materials. Recently, two different classes of materials have been attracted attention: metals and composite materials. This paper offers a comprehensive review of the current researches being carried out on the metallic and composite BPs, covering materials and fabrication methods. In this research, the phenomenon of ionic contamination due to the release of the corrosion products of metallic BP and relative impact on the durability as well as performance of PEM fuel cells is extensively investigated. Furthermore, in this paper, upon several effective parameters on commercialization of PEM fuel cells, such as stack cost, weight, volume, durability, strength, ohmic resistance, and ionic contamination, a material selection is performed among the most common BPs currently being used. This material selection is conducted by using Simple Additive Weighting Method (SAWM).

  9. Synthesis of transport layers with controlled anisotropy and application thereof to study proton exchange membrane fuel cell performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Todd, Devin; Mérida, Walter

    2016-04-01

    We report on a novel method for the synthesis of fibre-based proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell porous transport layers (PTLs) with controllable fibre alignment. We also report the first application of such layers as diagnostics tools to probe the effect of within-plane PTL anisotropy upon PEM fuel cell performance. These structures are realized via adaptation of electrospinning technology. Electrospun layers with progressive anisotropy magnitude are produced and evaluated. This novel approach is distinguished from the state-of-the-art because an equivalent study using commercially available materials is impossible due to lack of structurally similar substrates with different anisotropies. The anisotropy is visualized via scanning electron microscopy, and quantified using electrical resistivity. The capacity is demonstrated to achieve fibre alignment, and the associated impact on transport properties. A framework is presented for assessing the in-situ performance, whereby transport layer orientation versus bipolar plate flow-field geometry is manipulated. While an effect upon the commercial baseline cannot be discerned, electrospun transport layers with greater anisotropy magnitude suggest greater sensitivity to orientation; where greater performance is obtained with fibres cross-aligned to flow-field channels. Our approach of electrospun transport enables deterministic structures by which fuel cell performance can be explained and optimized.

  10. Effective Transport Properties Accounting for Electrochemical Reactions of Proton-Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Catalyst Layers

    SciTech Connect

    Pharoah, Jon; Choi, Hae-Won; Chueh, Chih-Che; Harvey, David

    2011-07-01

    There has been a rapidly growing interest in three-dimensional micro-structural reconstruction of fuel cell electrodes so as to derive more accurate descriptors of the pertinent geometric and effective transport properties. Due to the limited accessibility of experiments based reconstruction techniques, such as dual-beam focused ion beam-scanning electro microscopy or micro X-Ray computed tomography, within sample micro-structures of the catalyst layers in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), a particle based numerical model is used in this study to reconstruct sample microstructure of the catalyst layers in PEMFCs. Then the reconstructed sample structure is converted into the computational grid using body-fitted/cut-cell based unstructured meshing technique. Finally, finite volume methods (FVM) are applied to calculate effective properties on computational sample domains.

  11. A novel phosphoric acid doped poly(ethersulphone)-poly(vinyl pyrrolidone) blend membrane for high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Xin; Wang, Haining; Lu, Shanfu; Guo, Zhibin; Rao, Siyuan; Xiu, Ruijie; Xiang, Yan

    2015-07-01

    A high-temperature proton exchange membrane, poly(ethersulphone)-poly(vinyl pyrrolidone) (PES-PVP) blend membrane is successfully prepared by scalable polymer blending method. The physical properties of blend membrane are characterized by DSC, TG and tensile strength test. The DSC and TG results indicate PES-PVP blend membranes possess excellent thermal stability. After phosphoric acid (PA) doping treatment, the blend membrane shows enhanced proton conductivity. PA doping level and volume swelling ratio of the blend membrane are found to be positively related to the PVP content. A high proton conductivity of 0.21 S/cm is achieved at 180 °C for PA doped PES-PVP 80% with a PA doping level of 9.1. PEM fuel cell based on PA doped PES-PVP 80% membrane shows a high power density of 850 mW/cm2 and outstanding stability at 180 °C without extra humidification.

  12. Current density and ohmic resistance distribution in the land-channel direction of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shrivastava, Udit N.; Tajiri, Kazuya; Chase, Michael

    2015-12-01

    A highly instrumented segmented cell is designed to measure current density and ohmic resistance distribution in the land-channel direction of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell at resolution of 350 μm. A customized catalyst coated membrane with an active area of 9 mm2 is prepared, and a printed-circuit board technique is introduced to ease fabrication of segmented anode and to adapt design to any flow arrangement. Design of segmented cell is validated by electrochemical pumping of hydrogen from anode to cathode. Current density and ohmic resistance distribution are measured in two wet conditions (at 40 °C and 60 °C) and a dry condition at 60 °C. In all cases a strong correlation between current generation and ohmic resistance distribution is observed. Outcomes from these experiments revealed that the water distribution has a strong effect on the local current generation and ohmic resistance. In wet condition ohmic resistance is uniform but current generation found to be non-uniform because of the non-uniform liquid water distribution. In dry condition, on the other hand, non-uniform water generation resulted in both uneven current generation and ohmic resistance.

  13. Dry gas operation of proton exchange membrane fuel cells with parallel channels: Non-porous versus porous plates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Litster, Shawn; Santiago, Juan G.

    We present a study of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells with parallel channel flow fields for the cathode, dry inlet gases, and ambient pressure at the outlets. The study compares the performance of two designs: a standard, non-porous graphite cathode plate design and a porous hydrophilic carbon plate version. The experimental study of the non-porous plate is a control case and highlights the significant challenges of operation with dry gases and non-porous, parallel channel cathodes. These challenges include significant transients in power density and severe performance loss due to flooding and electrolyte dry-out. Our experimental study shows that the porous plate yields significant improvements in performance and robustness of operation. We hypothesize that the porous plate distributes water throughout the cell area by capillary action; including pumping water upstream to normally dry inlet regions. The porous plate reduces membrane resistance and air pressure drop. Further, IR-free polarization curves confirm operation free of flooding. With an air stoichiometric ratio of 1.3, we obtain a maximum power density of 0.40 W cm -2, which is 3.5 times greater than that achieved with the non-porous plate at the same operating condition.

  14. Synthesis and characterization of sulfonated poly (arylene ether sulfone) copolymers via direct copolymerization: Candidates for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harrison, William Lamont

    A designed series of directly copolymerized homo- and disulfonated copolymers containing controlled degrees of pendant sulfonic acid groups have been synthesized via nucleophilic step polymerization. Novel sulfonated poly (arylene ether sulfone) copolymers using 4,4'-bisphenol A, 4,4'-biphenol, hexafluorinated (6F) bisphenol AF, and hydroquinone, respectively, with dichlorodiphenyl sulfone (DCDPS) and 3,3'-disodiumsulfonyl-4,4'-dichlorodiphenylsulfone (SDCDPS) were investigated. Molar ratios of DCDPS and SDCDPS were systematically varied to produce copolymers of controlled compositions, which contained up to 70 mol% of disulfonic acid moiety. The goal is to identify thermally, hydrolytically, and oxidatively stable high molecular weight, film-forming, ductile ion conducting copolymers, which had properties desirable for proton exchange membranes (PEM) in fuel cells. Commercially available bisphenols were selected to produce cost effective alternative PEMs. Partially aliphatic bisphenol A and hexafluorinated (6F) bisphenol AF produced amorphous copolymers with different thermal oxidative and surface properties. Biphenol and hydroquinone was utilized to produce wholly aromatic copolymers. The sulfonated copolymers were prepared in the sodium-salt form and converted to the acid moiety via two different methodologies and subsequently investigated as proton exchange membranes for fuel cells. Hydrophilicity increased with the level of disulfonation, as expected. Moreover, water sorption increased with increasing mole percent incorporation of SDCDPS. The copolymers' water uptake was a function of both bisphenol structure and degree of disulfonation. Furthermore, the acidification procedures were shown to influence the Tg values, water uptake, and conductivity of the copolymers. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) in the tapping mode confirmed that the morphology of the copolymers could be designed to display nanophase separation in the hydrophobic and hydrophilic (sulfonated

  15. Real-Time Remote Monitoring of Temperature and Humidity Within a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Using Flexible Sensors

    PubMed Central

    Kuo, Long-Sheng; Huang, Hao-Hsiu; Yang, Cheng-Hao; Chen, Ping-Hei

    2011-01-01

    This study developed portable, non-invasive flexible humidity and temperature microsensors and an in situ wireless sensing system for a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). The system integrated three parts: a flexible capacitive humidity microsensor, a flexible resistive temperature microsensor, and a radio frequency (RF) module for signal transmission. The results show that the capacitive humidity microsensor has a high sensitivity of 0.83 pF%RH−1 and the resistive temperature microsensor also exhibits a high sensitivity of 2.94 × 10−3 °C−1. The established RF module transmits the signals from the two microsensors. The transmission distance can reach 4 m and the response time is less than 0.25 s. The performance measurements demonstrate that the maximum power density of the fuel cell with and without these microsensors are 14.76 mW·cm−2 and 15.90 mW·cm−2, with only 7.17% power loss. PMID:22164099

  16. Coupled modeling of water transport and air-droplet interaction in the electrode of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esposito, Angelo; Pianese, Cesare; Guezennec, Yann G.

    In this work, an accurate and computationally fast model for liquid water transport within a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) electrode is developed by lumping the space-dependence of the relevant variables. Capillarity is considered as the main transport mechanism within the gas diffusion layer (GDL). The novelty of the model lies in the coupled simulation of the water transport at the interface between gas diffusion layer and gas flow channel (GFC). This is achieved with a phenomenological description of the process that allows its simulation with relative simplicity. Moreover, a detailed two-dimensional visualization of such interface is achieved via geometric simulation of water droplets formation, growth, coalescence and detachment on the surface of the GDL. The model is useful for optimization analysis oriented to both PEMFC design and balance of plant. Furthermore, the accomplishment of reduced computational time and good accuracy makes the model suitable for control strategy implementation to ensure PEM fuel cells operation within optimal electrode water content.

  17. The Priority and Challenge of High-Power Performance of Low-Platinum Proton-Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

    Kongkanand, Anusorn; Mathias, Mark F

    2016-04-01

    Substantial progress has been made in reducing proton-exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) cathode platinum loadings from 0.4-0.8 mgPt/cm(2) to about 0.1 mgPt/cm(2). However, at this level of cathode Pt loading, large performance loss is observed at high-current density (>1 A/cm(2)), preventing a reduction in the overall stack cost. This next developmental step is being limited by the presence of a resistance term exhibited at these lower Pt loadings and apparently due to a phenomenon at or near the catalyst surface. This issue can be addressed through the design of catalysts with high and stable Pt dispersion as well as through development and implementation of ionomers designed to interact with Pt in a way that does not constrain oxygen reduction reaction rates. Extrapolating from progress made in past decades, we are optimistic that the concerted efforts of materials and electrode designers can resolve this issue, thus enabling a large step toward fuel cell vehicles that are affordable for the mass market. PMID:26961326

  18. Modeling the performance of hydrogen-oxygen unitized regenerative proton exchange membrane fuel cells for energy storage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guarnieri, Massimo; Alotto, Piergiorgio; Moro, Federico

    2015-11-01

    Thanks to the independent sizing of power and energy, hydrogen-based energy storage is one of the very few technologies capable of providing long operational times in addition to the other advantages offered by electrochemical energy storage, for example scalability, site versatility, and mobile service. The typical design consists of an electrolyzer in charge mode and a separate fuel cell in discharge mode. Instead, a unitized regenerative fuel cell (URFC) is a single device performing both energy conversions, achieving a higher compactness and power-to-weight ratio. This paper presents a performance model of a URFC based on a proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyte and working on hydrogen and oxygen, which can provide high energy and power densities (>0.7 W cm-2). It provides voltage, power, and efficiency at varying load conditions as functions of the controlling physical quantities: temperature, pressure, concentration, and humidification. The model constitutes a tool for designing the interface and control sub-system as well as for exploring optimized cell/stack designs and operational conditions. To date, only a few of such analyses have been carried out and more research is needed in order to explore the true potential of URFCs.

  19. Real-time remote monitoring of temperature and humidity within a proton exchange membrane fuel cell using flexible sensors.

    PubMed

    Kuo, Long-Sheng; Huang, Hao-Hsiu; Yang, Cheng-Hao; Chen, Ping-Hei

    2011-01-01

    This study developed portable, non-invasive flexible humidity and temperature microsensors and an in situ wireless sensing system for a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). The system integrated three parts: a flexible capacitive humidity microsensor, a flexible resistive temperature microsensor, and a radio frequency (RF) module for signal transmission. The results show that the capacitive humidity microsensor has a high sensitivity of 0.83 pF%RH(-1) and the resistive temperature microsensor also exhibits a high sensitivity of 2.94 × 10(-3) °C(-1). The established RF module transmits the signals from the two microsensors. The transmission distance can reach 4 m and the response time is less than 0.25 s. The performance measurements demonstrate that the maximum power density of the fuel cell with and without these microsensors are 14.76 mW·cm(-2) and 15.90 mW·cm(-2), with only 7.17% power loss. PMID:22164099

  20. Study of acetylene poisoning of Pt cathode on proton exchange membrane fuel cell spatial performance using a segmented cell system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reshetenko, Tatyana V.; St-Pierre, Jean

    2015-08-01

    Acetylene is a welding fuel and precursor for organic synthesis, which requires considering it to be a possible air pollutant. In this work, the spatial performance of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell exposed to 300 ppm C2H2 and different operating currents was studied with a segmented cell system. The injection of C2H2 resulted in a cell performance decrease and redistribution of segments' currents depending on the operating conditions. Performance loss was 20-50 mV at 0.1-0.2 A cm-2 and was accompanied by a rapid redistribution of localized currents. Acetylene exposure at 0.4-1.0 A cm-2 led to a sharp voltage decrease to 0.07-0.13 V and significant changes in current distribution during a transition period, when the cell reached a voltage of 0.55-0.6 V. A recovery of the cell voltage was observed after stopping the C2H2 injection. Spatial electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) data showed different segments' behavior at low and high currents. It was assumed that acetylene oxidation occurs at high cell voltage, while it reduces at low cell potential. A detailed analysis of the current density distribution, its correlation with EIS data and possible C2H2 oxidation/reduction mechanisms are presented and discussed.

  1. Proton exchange membrane fuel cell model for aging predictions: Simulated equivalent active surface area loss and comparisons with durability tests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robin, C.; Gérard, M.; Quinaud, M.; d'Arbigny, J.; Bultel, Y.

    2016-09-01

    The prediction of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) lifetime is one of the major challenges to optimize both material properties and dynamic control of the fuel cell system. In this study, by a multiscale modeling approach, a mechanistic catalyst dissolution model is coupled to a dynamic PEMFC cell model to predict the performance loss of the PEMFC. Results are compared to two 2000-h experimental aging tests. More precisely, an original approach is introduced to estimate the loss of an equivalent active surface area during an aging test. Indeed, when the computed Electrochemical Catalyst Surface Area profile is fitted on the experimental measures from Cyclic Voltammetry, the computed performance loss of the PEMFC is underestimated. To be able to predict the performance loss measured by polarization curves during the aging test, an equivalent active surface area is obtained by a model inversion. This methodology enables to successfully find back the experimental cell voltage decay during time. The model parameters are fitted from the polarization curves so that they include the global degradation. Moreover, the model captures the aging heterogeneities along the surface of the cell observed experimentally. Finally, a second 2000-h durability test in dynamic operating conditions validates the approach.

  2. Liquid Water Transport in the Reactant Channels of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banerjee, Rupak

    Water management has been identified as a critical issue in the development of PEM fuel cells for automotive applications. Water is present inside the PEM fuel cell in three phases, i.e. liquid phase, vapor phase and mist phase. Liquid water in the reactant channels causes flooding of the cell and blocks the transport of reactants to the reaction sites at the catalyst layer. Understanding the behavior of liquid water in the reactant channels would allow us to devise improved strategies for removing liquid water from the reactant channels. In situ fuel cell tests have been performed to identify and diagnose operating conditions which result in the flooding of the fuel cell. A relationship has been identified between the liquid water present in the reactant channels and the cell performance. A novel diagnostic technique has been established which utilizes the pressure drop multiplier in the reactant channels to predict the flooding of the cell or the drying-out of the membrane. An ex-situ study has been undertaken to quantify the liquid water present in the reactant channels. A new parameter, the Area Coverage Ratio (ACR), has been defined to identify the interfacial area of the reactant channel which is blocked for reactant transport by the presence of liquid water. A parametric study has been conducted to study the effect of changing temperature and the inlet relative humidity on the ACR. The ACR decreases with increase in current density as the gas flow rates increase, removing water more efficiently. With increase in temperature, the ACR decreases rapidly, such that by 60°C, there is no significant ACR to be reported. Inlet relative humidity of the gases does change the saturation of the gases in the channel, but did not show any significant effect on the ACR. Automotive powertrains, which is the target for this work, are continuously faced with transient changes. Water management under transient operating conditions is significantly more challenging and has not

  3. Vertically aligned carbon nanotube electrodes for high current density operating proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murata, Shigeaki; Imanishi, Masahiro; Hasegawa, Shigeki; Namba, Ryoichi

    2014-05-01

    We successfully developed cathode electrodes for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) that enable operation at high current densities by incorporating vertically aligned carbon nanotubes (CNTs) as the catalyst support; additionally, we prepared 236 cm2 membrane electrodes assemblies (MEAs) for vehicular use. The electrode structure improved the mass transport of reactants, i.e. oxygen, proton, electron and water, in systems performing at a 2.6 A cm-2 current density and 0.6 V with extremely low platinum (Pt) loading at the cathode (0.1 mg cm-2). The improved mass transport caused the 70 mV dec-1 Tafel slope to continue up to 1.0 A cm-2. The mass transport was improved because the pores were continuous, the catalyst support materials did not agglomerate and the catalyst layer made good electrical contact with the microporous layer. Utilizing wavy coil-shaped CNTs was also crucial. These CNTs displayed anti-agglomerative characteristics during the wet manufacturing process and maintained a continuous pore structure framing the layered catalyst structure. Because the CNTs had elastic characteristics, they might fill the space between catalyst and microporous layers to prevent flooding. However, the compressed CNTs in the cells were no longer vertically aligned. Therefore, vertically aligning the nanotubes was important during the MEA manufacturing process but was irrelevant for cell performance.

  4. Characterization of proton exchange membrane materials for fuel cells by solid state nuclear magnetic resonance

    SciTech Connect

    Kong, Zueqian

    2010-01-01

    Solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) has been used to explore the nanometer-scale structure of Nafion, the widely used fuel cell membrane, and its composites. We have shown that solid-state NMR can characterize chemical structure and composition, domain size and morphology, internuclear distances, molecular dynamics, etc. The newly-developed water channel model of Nafion has been confirmed, and important characteristic length-scales established. Nafion-based organic and inorganic composites with special properties have also been characterized and their structures elucidated. The morphology of Nafion varies with hydration level, and is reflected in the changes in surface-to-volume (S/V) ratio of the polymer obtained by small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). The S/V ratios of different Nafion models have been evaluated numerically. It has been found that only the water channel model gives the measured S/V ratios in the normal hydration range of a working fuel cell, while dispersed water molecules and polymer ribbons account for the structures at low and high hydration levels, respectively.

  5. Tolerance of non-platinum group metals cathodes proton exchange membrane fuel cells to air contaminants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reshetenko, Tatyana; Serov, Alexey; Artyushkova, Kateryna; Matanovic, Ivana; Sarah Stariha; Atanassov, Plamen

    2016-08-01

    The effects of major airborne contaminants (SO2, NO2 and CO) on the spatial performance of Fe/N/C cathode membrane electrode assemblies were studied using a segmented cell system. The injection of 2-10 ppm SO2 in air stream did not cause any performance decrease and redistribution of local currents due to the lack of stably adsorbed SO2 molecules on Fe-Nx sites, as confirmed by density functional theory (DFT) calculations. The introduction of 5-20 ppm of CO into the air stream also did not affect fuel cell performance. The exposure of Fe/N/C cathodes to 2 and 10 ppm NO2 resulted in performance losses of 30 and 70-75 mV, respectively. DFT results showed that the adsorption energies of NO2 and NO were greater than that of O2, which accounted for the observed voltage decrease and slight current redistribution. The cell performance partially recovered when the NO2 injection was stopped. The long-term operation of the fuel cells resulted in cell performance degradation. XPS analyses of Fe/N/C electrodes revealed that the performance decrease was due to catalyst degradation and ionomer oxidation. The latter was accelerated in the presence of air contaminants. The details of the spatial performance and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy results are presented and discussed.

  6. Design and Development of Highly Sulfonated Polymers as Proton Exchange Membranes for High Temperature Fuel Cell Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dang, Thuy D.; Bai, Zongwu; Yoonessi, Mitra

    attributed to the presence of water molecules. The changes in the scattering features of the water in SPTES-70 membrane were examined as a function of drying time during an in situ drying experiment. The in situ small angle X-ray scattering from water swollen SPTES-70 membrane in a drying experiment exhibited a decrease in the water domain size morphology. AFM studies of SPTES-70 membrane in a humidity range (35 - 65 % RH) revealed an increased size of hydrophilic clusters with increasing humidity. SEM examination of cryofractured dry and swollen SPTES-70 membrane surface indicated a change from a smooth brittle fracture to a fractured surface with plastic deformation, verifying the plasticizing effects of the water molecules in the swollen membrane. Membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs), fabricated using SPTES-50 polymer as proton exchange membrane (PEM) incorporating conventional electrode application techniques, exhibit high proton mobility. The electrochemical performance of SPTES-50 membrane in the MEA was superior to that of Nafion. The SPTES polymers have been demonstrated to be promising candidates for high temperature PEM in fuel cell applications.

  7. Air supply using an ionic wind generator in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kwon, Kilsung; Li, Longnan; Park, Byung Ho; Lee, Seung Jun; Kim, Daejoong

    2015-06-01

    A new air supply is demonstrated for a portable polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). The air supply is an ionic wind generator (IWG) with a needle-to-cylinder configuration. The IWG supplies air to the portable PEMFC owing to momentum transfer to the air by charged molecules generated by the corona discharge from a high applied potential. There is no difference in the performance of the PEMFC when compressed air and the IWG are used as the air supply. For the varying interelectrode distance, IWG performance is varied and measured in terms of the flow rate and current. At the interelectrode distance of 9.0 mm, the air flow rate is a suitable for the portable PEMFC with low power consumption. When the IWG is used to supply air to the portable PEMFC, it is found that the flow rate per unit power consumed decreases with the applied voltage, the gross power generation monotonously increases with the applied voltage, and the highest net power (268 mW) is obtained at the applied voltage of 8.5 kV. The parasitic power ratio reaches a minimum value of ∼0.06 with the applied IWG voltage of 5.5 kV.

  8. Isothermal Ice Crystallization Kinetics in the Gas-Diffusion Layer of a Proton-Exchange-Membrane Fuel Cell

    SciTech Connect

    Dursch, Thomas J.; Ciontea, Monica A.; Radke, Clayton J.; Weber, Adam Z.

    2011-12-01

    Nucleation and growth of ice in the fibrous gas-diffusion layer (GDL) of a proton-exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) are studied using isothermal differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Isothermal crystallization rates and pseudo-steady-state nucleation rates are obtained as a function of subcooling from heat-flow and induction-time measurements. Kinetics of ice nucleation and growth are studied at two polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) loadings (0 and 10 wt %) in a commercial GDL for temperatures between 240 and 273 K. A nonlinear ice-crystallization rate expression is developed using Johnson–Mehl–Avrami–Kolmogorov (JMAK) theory, in which the heat-transfer-limited growth rate is determined from the moving-boundary Stefan problem. Induction times follow a Poisson distribution and increase upon addition of PTFE, indicating that nucleation occurs more slowly on a hydrophobic fiber than on a hydrophilic fiber. The determined nucleation rates and induction times follow expected trends from classical nucleation theory. Finally, a validated rate expression is now available for predicting ice-crystallization kinetics in GDLs.

  9. Performance and degradation of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells: State of the art in modeling from atomistic to system scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jahnke, T.; Futter, G.; Latz, A.; Malkow, T.; Papakonstantinou, G.; Tsotridis, G.; Schott, P.; Gérard, M.; Quinaud, M.; Quiroga, M.; Franco, A. A.; Malek, K.; Calle-Vallejo, F.; Ferreira de Morais, R.; Kerber, T.; Sautet, P.; Loffreda, D.; Strahl, S.; Serra, M.; Polverino, P.; Pianese, C.; Mayur, M.; Bessler, W. G.; Kompis, C.

    2016-02-01

    Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC) are energy efficient and environmentally friendly alternatives to conventional energy conversion systems in many yet emerging applications. In order to enable prediction of their performance and durability, it is crucial to gain a deeper understanding of the relevant operation phenomena, e.g., electrochemistry, transport phenomena, thermodynamics as well as the mechanisms leading to the degradation of cell components. Achieving the goal of providing predictive tools to model PEMFC performance, durability and degradation is a challenging task requiring the development of detailed and realistic models reaching from the atomic/molecular scale over the meso scale of structures and materials up to components, stack and system level. In addition an appropriate way of coupling the different scales is required. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the state of the art in modeling of PEMFC, covering all relevant scales from atomistic up to system level as well as the coupling between these scales. Furthermore, it focuses on the modeling of PEMFC degradation mechanisms and on the coupling between performance and degradation models.

  10. Highly durable silica-coated Pt/carbon nanotubes for proton-exchange membrane fuel cells application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yaowarat, Wattanachai; Li, Oi Lun Helena; Saito, Nagahiro

    2016-01-01

    Platinum nanoparticles supported on carbon nanotubes (Pt/CNTs) have been used as an electrocatalyst in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). These catalysts show higher activity in oxygen reduction reaction in PEMFCs than conventional carbon-black-supported Pt nanoparticles. However, their durability is lower than that of other metal-alloy-based or nonmetal-based catalysts. In this study, Pt/CNTs were synthesized by solution plasma followed by coating with silica layer by the sol-gel method using a cationic surfactant [cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB)]. This material can be used as a cathode in PEMFCs. The silica layer was coated on the surface of Pt/CNTs to prevent agglomeration and detachment of Pt nanoparticles from carbon nanotubes during operation. The formation of silica layers significantly improved the durability of the Pt/CNT catalysts under acidic conditions. After 300 cycles of the cyclic voltammetry test in 0.5#M sulfuric acid (H2SO4), silica-coated Pt/CNTs increased the durability by 43.0 and 24.0% compared with those of noncoated commercial Pt/C and Pt/CNTs, respectively.

  11. Influence of the cathode architecture in the frequency response of self-breathing proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferreira-Aparicio, P.; Chaparro, A. M.

    2014-12-01

    Self-breathing proton exchange membrane fuel cells are apparently simple devices, but efficient water management is critical for their performance. The cathode configuration should guarantee balanced rates between O2 accessibility from the circumventing air and H2O removal, and a good electric contact between catalyst layers and current collectors at the same time. By applying progressive modifications to the initial concept of a conventional PEMFC, the effect of the cathode architecture on cell performance has been analyzed. Frequency response analyses of the cell during steady-state potentiostatic stepping have yielded relevant information regarding limitations originated by the cathode impedance under high current load conditions. The primitive cell design has been optimized for self-breathing operation by means of this diagnostic tool. The thickness of the perforated plate in the cathode has been found to be one of the main factors contributing to limit oxygen accessibility when a high current load is demanded. Adequate cathode architecture is critical for reducing mass transport limitations in the catalytic layer and enhancing performance under self-breathing conditions.

  12. Numerical investigation of interfacial transport resistance due to water droplets in proton exchange membrane fuel cell air channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koz, Mustafa; Kandlikar, Satish G.

    2013-12-01

    Oxygen transport resistance at the air flow channel and gas diffusion layer (GDL) interface is needed in modelling the performance of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). This resistance is expressed through the non-dimensional Sherwood number (Sh). The effect of the presence of a droplet on Sh is studied numerically in an isolated air flow channel using a commercially available package, COMSOL Multiphysics®. A droplet is represented as a solid obstruction placed on the GDL-channel interface and centred along the channel width. The effect of a single droplet is first studied for a range of superficial mean air velocities and droplet sizes. Secondly, the effect of droplet spacing on Sh is studied through simulations of two consecutive droplets. Lastly, multiple droplets in a row are studied as a more representative case of a PEMFC air flow channel. The results show that the droplets significantly increase Sh above the fully developed value in the wake region. This enhancement increases with the number of droplets, droplet size, and superficial mean air velocity. Moreover, the analogy between mass and heat transfer is investigated by comparing Sh to the equivalent Nusselt number.

  13. Surface composition of magnetron sputtered Pt-Co thin film catalyst for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vorokhta, Mykhailo; Khalakhan, Ivan; Václavů, Michal; Kovács, Gábor; Kozlov, Sergey M.; Kúš, Peter; Skála, Tomáš; Tsud, Natalia; Lavková, Jaroslava; Potin, Valerie; Matolínová, Iva; Neyman, Konstantin M.; Matolín, Vladimír

    2016-03-01

    Recently we have tested a magnetron sputtered Pt-Co catalyst in a hydrogen-fed proton exchange membrane fuel cell and showed its high catalytic activity for the oxygen reduction reaction. Here we present further investigation of the magnetron sputtered Pt-Co thin film catalyst by both experimental and theoretical methods. Scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy experiments confirmed the nanostructured character of the catalyst. The surface composition of as-deposited and annealed at 773 K Pt-Co films was investigated by surface analysis techniques, such as synchrotron radiation photoelectron spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Modeling based on density functional theory showed that the surface of 6 nm large 1:1 Pt-Co nanoparticles is almost exclusively composed of Pt atoms (>90%) at typical operation conditions and the Co content does not exceed 20% at 773 K, in agreement with the experimental characterization of such films annealed in vacuum. According to experiment, the density of valence states of surface atoms in Pt-Co nanostructures is shifted by 0.3 eV to higher energies, which can be associated with their higher activity in the oxygen reduction reaction. The changes in electronic structure caused by alloying are also reflected in the measured Pt 4f, Co 3p and Co 2p photoelectron peak binding energies.

  14. Dynamic analysis and linear control strategies for proton exchange membrane fuel cell using a distributed parameter model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Methekar, R. N.; Prasad, V.; Gudi, R. D.

    To satisfy high power density demand in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), a robust control strategy is essential. A linear ratio control strategy is examined in this work. The manipulated variables are selected using steady-state relative gain array (RGA) analysis to be the inlet molar flow rates of hydrogen and coolant, and the controlled variables are average power density and average solid temperature, respectively. By selecting proper manipulated variables, the PEMFC does not exhibit sign change in gain and hence can be controlled by using a linear controller. Transfer function models obtained from step tests on the distributed parameter PEMFC model are used to design controllers for the multiple input-multiple output (MIMO) system. In addition, a ratio control strategy is proposed and evaluated, where the inlet molar flow rate of oxygen is used as a dependent manipulated variable and changed in a constant ratio with respect to the inlet molar flow rate of hydrogen. Simulation results show that the ratio control strategy provides a faster response than a MIMO control strategy. This ratio control strategy is able to circumvent the problem of oxygen starvation, and the increase in average solid temperature is small as compared to the MIMO control strategy.

  15. Numerical study of a novel micro-diaphragm flow channel with piezoelectric device for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, H. K.; Huang, S. H.; Chen, B. R.; Cheng, L. W.

    Previous studies have shown that the amplitude of the vibration of a piezoelectric (PZT) device produces an oscillating flow that changes the chamber volume along with a curvature variation of the diaphragm. In this study, an actuating micro-diaphragm with piezoelectric effects is utilized as an air-flow channel in proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) systems, called PZT-PEMFC. This newly designed gas pump, with a piezoelectric actuation structure, can feed air into the system of an air-breathing PEMFC. When the actuator moves outward to increase the cathode channel volume, the air is sucked into the chamber; moving inward decreases the channel's volume and thereby compresses air into the catalyst layer and enhancing the chemical reaction. The air-standard PZT-PEMFC cycle is proposed to describe an air-breathing PZT-PEMFC. A novel design for PZT-PEMFCs has been proposed and a three-dimensional, transitional model has been successfully built to account for its major phenomena and performance. Moreover, at high frequencies, PZT actuation leads to a more stable current output, more drained water, higher sucked air, higher hydrogen consumption, and also overcomes concentration losses.

  16. Polypyrrole layered SPEES/TPA proton exchange membrane for direct methanol fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neelakandan, S.; Kanagaraj, P.; Sabarathinam, R. M.; Nagendran, A.

    2015-12-01

    Hybrid membranes based on sulfonated poly(1,4-phenylene ether ether sulfone) (SPEES)/tungstophosphoric acid (TPA) were prepared. SPEES/TPA membrane surfaces were modified with polypyrrole (Ppy) by in situ polymerization method to reduce the TPA leaching. The morphology and electrochemical property of the surface coated membranes were studied by SEM, AFM, water uptake, ion exchange capacity, proton conductivity, methanol permeability and tensile strength. The water uptake and the swelling ratio of the surface coated membranes decreased with increasing the Ppy layer. The surface roughness of the hybrid membrane was decreased with an increase in Ppy layer on the membrane surface. The methanol permeability of SPEES/TPA-Ppy4 hybrid membrane was significantly suppressed and found to be 2.1 × 10-7 cm2 s-1, which is 1.9 times lower than pristine SPEES membrane. The SPEES/TPA-Ppy4 membrane exhibits highest relative selectivity (2.86 × 104 S cm-3 s) than the other membrane with low TPA leaching. The tensile strength of hybrid membranes was improved with the introduction of Ppy layer. Combining their lower swelling ratio, high thermal stability and selectivity, SPEES/TPA-Ppy4 membranes could be a promising material as PEM for DMFC applications.

  17. Carbon corrosion of proton exchange membrane fuel cell catalyst layers studied by scanning transmission X-ray microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hitchcock, Adam P.; Berejnov, Viatcheslav; Lee, Vincent; West, Marcia; Colbow, Vesna; Dutta, Monica; Wessel, Silvia

    2014-11-01

    Scanning Transmission X-ray Microscopy (STXM) at the C 1s, F 1s and S 2p edges has been used to investigate degradation of proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEM-FC) membrane electrode assemblies (MEA) subjected to accelerated testing protocols. Quantitative chemical maps of the catalyst, carbon support and ionomer in the cathode layer are reported for beginning-of-test (BOT), and end-of-test (EOT) samples for two types of carbon support, low surface area carbon (LSAC) and medium surface area carbon (MSAC), that were exposed to accelerated stress testing with upper potentials (UPL) of 1.0, 1.2, and 1.3 V. The results are compared in order to characterize catalyst layer degradation in terms of the amounts and spatial distributions of these species. Pt agglomeration, Pt migration and corrosion of the carbon support are all visualized, and contribute to differing degrees in these samples. It is found that there is formation of a distinct Pt-in-membrane (PTIM) band for all EOT samples. The cathode thickness shrinks due to loss of the carbon support for all MSAC samples that were exposed to the different upper potentials, but only for the most aggressive testing protocol for the LSAC support. The amount of ionomer per unit volume significantly increases indicating it is being concentrated in the cathode as the carbon corrosion takes place. S 2p spectra and mapping of the cathode catalyst layer indicates there are still sulfonate groups present, even in the most damaged material.

  18. Effect of relative humidity cycles accompanied by intermittent start/stop switches on performance degradation of membrane electrode assembly components in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qiu, Yanling; Zhong, Hexiang; Wang, Meiri; Zhang, Huamin

    2015-06-01

    The performance degradation of membrane electrode assembly (MEA) components in proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is studied by designing relative humidity (RH) cycles accompanied by intermittent start/stop switches. Cathode catalyst activity, permeability and resistance of proton exchange membrane (PEM) as well as cell performance are monitored during the test procedure. The interfaces of MEA, the catalyst particle distribution near the cathode inlet are characterized by SEM and TEM, respectively. The results demonstrate both the overall H2 permeability and crossover current of PEM are doubled compared with its initial properties. Signs of PEM degradation, including periodical thinning, cracks and pinholes formation, are observed after 300 RH cycles and 40 times of start/stop switches. The average Pt particle size increases by more than 75%, and the cathode electrochemical surface area decreases by 48% after the test procedure. Meanwhile, the cathode catalyst layer becomes looser due to the dissolution of some smaller Pt particles and catalyst agglomeration in the RH cycles and the high potential during the intermittent start/stop switches. The membrane resistance demonstrates downshift variation during the RH cycles. PEMFC performance, however, decays due to the chemical and electrochemical attack as well as the mechanical stresses.

  19. Modeling the dynamic behavior of proton-exchange membrane fuel cell

    SciTech Connect

    Llapade, Peter O; Mukundan, Rangachary; Davey, John R; Borup, Rodney L; Meyers, Jeremy P

    2010-01-01

    A two-phase transient model that incorporates the permanent hysteresis observed in the experimentally measured capillary pressure of GDL has been developed. The model provides explanation for the difference in time constant between membrane hydration and dehydration observed in the HFR experiment conducted at LANL. When there is liquid water at the cathode catalyst layer, time constant of the water content in the membrane is closely tied to that of liquid water saturation in the CCL, as the vapor is already saturated. The water content in the membrane will not reach steady state as long as the liquid water flow in the CCL is not at steady state. Also, Increased resistance to proton transport in the membrane is observed when the cell voltage is stepped down to a very low value.

  20. Development of a Space-Rated Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1999-01-01

    Power systems for human spacecraft have historically included fuel cells due to the superior energy density they offer over battery systems depending on mission length and power consumption. As space exploration focuses on the evolution of reusable spacecraft and also considers planetary exploration power system requirements, fuel cells continue to be a factor in the potential system solutions.

  1. 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.

  2. Insight into proton transfer in phosphotungstic acid functionalized mesoporous silica-based proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Yuhua; Yang, Jing; Su, Haibin; Zeng, Jie; Jiang, San Ping; Goddard, William A

    2014-04-01

    We have developed for fuel cells a novel proton exchange membrane (PEM) using inorganic phosphotungstic acid (HPW) as proton carrier and mesoporous silica as matrix (HPW-meso-silica) . The proton conductivity measured by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy is 0.11 S cm(-1) at 90 °C and 100% relative humidity (RH) with a low activation energy of ∼14 kJ mol(-1). In order to determine the energetics associated with proton migration within the HPW-meso-silica PEM and to determine the mechanism of proton hopping, we report density functional theory (DFT) calculations using the generalized gradient approximation (GGA). These DFT calculations revealed that the proton transfer process involves both intramolecular and intermolecular proton transfer pathways. When the adjacent HPWs are close (less than 17.0 Å apart), the calculated activation energy for intramolecular proton transfer within a HPW molecule is higher (29.1-18.8 kJ/mol) than the barrier for intermolecular proton transfer along the hydrogen bond. We find that the overall barrier for proton movement within the HPW-meso-silica membranes is determined by the intramolecular proton transfer pathway, which explains why the proton conductivity remains unchanged when the weight percentage of HPW on meso-silica is above 67 wt %. In contrast, the activation energy of proton transfer on a clean SiO2 (111) surface is computed to be as high as ∼40 kJ mol(-1), confirming the very low proton conductivity on clean silica surfaces observed experimentally. PMID:24628538

  3. Optimal selection of proton exchange membrane fuel cell condition monitoring thresholds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boškoski, Pavle; Debenjak, Andrej

    2014-12-01

    When commissioning or restarting a system after a maintenance action there is a need to properly tune the decision thresholds of the diagnostic system. Too low or too high thresholds may implicate either missed alarms or false alarm rates. This paper suggests an efficient data-driven approach to optimal setting of decision thresholds for a PEM fuel cell system based solely on data acquired from the system in reference state of health (i.e. under fault free operation). The only design parameter is the desired false alarm rate. Technically, the problem reduces to analytically determining the probability distribution of the fuel cell's complex impedance and its particular components. Employing pseudo-random binary sequence perturbation signals, the distribution of the impedance is estimated through the complex wavelet coefficients of the fuel cell voltage and current. The approach is validated on a PEM fuel cell system subjected to various faults.

  4. Real time monitoring of temperature of a micro proton exchange membrane fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Lee, Chi-Yuan; Lee, Shuo-Jen; Hu, Yuh-Chung; Shih, Wen-Pin; Fan, Wei-Yuan; Chuang, Chih-Wei

    2009-01-01

    Silicon micro-hole arrays (Si-MHA) were fabricated as a gas diffusion layer (GDL) in a micro fuel cell using the micro-electro-mechanical-systems (MEMS) fabrication technique. The resistance temperature detector (RTD) sensor was integrated with the GDL on a bipolar plate to measure the temperature inside the fuel cell. Experimental results demonstrate that temperature was generally linearly related to resistance and that accuracy and sensitivity were within 0.5 °C and 1.68×10(-3)/°C, respectively. The best experimental performance was 9.37 mW/cm(2) at an H(2)/O(2) dry gas flow rate of 30/30 SCCM. Fuel cell temperature during operation was 27 °C, as measured using thermocouples in contact with the backside of the electrode. Fuel cell operating temperature measured in situ was 30.5 °C. PMID:22573963

  5. Proton exchange membrane fuel cell systems engineering at Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Limited (VSEL)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seymour, C. M.

    1992-01-01

    A project, jointly funded by VSEL and CJB Developments Limited, is aimed at the development of complete power generation systems based on PEM fuel cell technology. Potential markets for such systems are seen as being very broadly based, ranging from military land and marine systems through to commercial on-site power generation and transport. From the outset the project was applications driven, the intent being to identify market requirements, in terms of system specifications and to use these to produce development targets. The two companies have based their work on the Ballard PEM stack and have focused their efforts on the development of supporting systems. This benefits all three companies as it allows Ballard to obtain applications information on which to base future research and VSEL/CJBD are able to capitalise on the advanced development of the Ballard stack. Current work is focused on the production of a 20 kW, methanol fuelled, power generation system demonstrator, although work is also in hand to address a wider range of fuels including natural gas. The demonstrator, when complete, will be used to indicate the potential benefits of such systems and to act as a design aid for the applications phase of the project. Preliminary work on this next phase is already in hand, with studies to assess both systems and fuel cell stack design requirements for specific applications and to generate concept designs. Work to date has concentrated on the development of a methanol reformer, suitable for integration into a fuel cell system and on extensive testing and evaluation of the Ballard fuel cell stacks. This testing has covered a wide range of operating parameters, including different fuel and oxidant combinations. The effect of contaminants on the performance and life of the fuel cells is also under evaluation. PEM fuel cells still require a great deal of further development if they are to gain widespread commercial acceptance. A recent study conducted by VSEL in

  6. Hydrogen-oxygen proton-exchange membrane fuel cells and electrolyzers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baldwin, R.; Pham, M.; Leonida, A.; Mcelroy, J.; Nalette, T.

    1990-01-01

    A flight experiment is planned for the validation, in a microgravity environment, of several ground-proven simplification features relating to SPE fuel cells and SPE electrolyzers. With a successful experiment, these features can be incorporated into equipment designs for specific extraterrestrial energy storage applications.

  7. Hydrogen generation from hydrides in millimeter scale reactors for micro proton exchange membrane fuel cell applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, L.; Kim, D.; Kim, H.; Masel, R. I.; Shannon, M. A.

    This paper introduces and discusses the feasibility of millimeter scale powder packed-bed reactors using high energy density chemical hydrides for micro-PEM fuel cell applications. Two different reactors were designed and tested using LiBH 4, LiAlH 4, NaAlH 4 and CaH 2 hydride fuels. The mechanisms that limit the total yield of H 2 generated and impact the performance of the hydrogen generator are investigated in this paper, including density, solubility and porosity of the reaction byproducts. The volume expansion of the byproducts has significant effect on the total energy density of micro-hydrogen generators because the byproducts are left in the millimeter scale reactor after the reactions and the micro-hydrogen generators have limited fuel storage space. The SEM images of the reaction byproducts indicates that the byproducts of LiBH 4 can form a single solid mass that clogged the reaction vessel and limit the full utilization of the hydride. However, the byproducts of LiAlH 4 and CaH 2 reactions are non-agglomerated and they do not form impermeable mass. The experimental results show that the highest yield of hydrogen generation was achieved with LiAlH 4 and CaH 2 fuels.

  8. Design and Characterization of Styrene-Based Proton Exchange Membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ebrasu, D.; Petreanu, I.; Patularu, L.; Stefanescu, I.; Valeanu, M.

    This paper deals with preparation of PEM, based on commercial block copolymer of the styrene-butadiene. The copolymer was structurally changed by sulfonation followed by cross linking, in order to design a Proton Exchange Membrane for Fuel Cells. The membranes were structural tested by FTIR Spectroscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy. Ionic Exchange Capacity (IEC) and thermal behavior by Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) were measured too.

  9. Bipolar plate/diffuser for a proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Besmann, Theodore M.; Burchell, Timothy D.

    2000-01-01

    A combination bipolar plate/diffuser fuel cell component includes an electrically conducting solid material having: a porous region having a porous surface; and a hermetic region, the hermetic region defining at least a portion of at least one coolant channel, the porous region defining at least a portion of at least one reactant channel, the porous region defining a flow field medium for diffusing the reactant to the porous surface.

  10. Bipolar plate/diffuser for a proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Besmann, Theodore M.; Burchell, Timothy D.

    2001-01-01

    A combination bipolar plate/diffuser fuel cell component includes an electrically conducting solid material having: a porous region having a porous surface; and a hermetic region, the hermetic region defining at least a portion of at least one coolant channel, the porous region defining at least a portion of at least one reactant channel, the porous region defining a flow field medium for diffusing the reactant to the porous surface.

  11. Water management of proton exchange membrane fuel cell based on control of hydrogen pressure drop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Mancun; Pei, Pucheng; Zha, Hongshan; Xu, Huachi

    2014-12-01

    Flooding experiments in various conditions are developed and the hydrogen pressure drop is investigated on a two-piece PEM fuel cell in this study. A two-level characteristic of hydrogen pressure drop is observed and analyzed in combination with water droplet accumulation in channels. Based on the characteristic, the flooding process can be divided into four continuous periods, which are the proper period, the humid period, the transitional period and the flooding period. The voltage shows the segmented tendency during these periods. Experimental results show that current and temperature have little influence on the growth rate of the two levels, while the effects of pressure and hydrogen stoichiometry are remarkable. The growth rate can be calculated through the channel dimensions and matches the experimental results well. Hydrogen purge is not a fundamental method to solve flooding. The end of the humid period should be the boundary before flooding. The moist section can be obtained in the beginning part of the humid period. In this section PEM fuel cell is neither flooding nor dehydration by adjusting the cell temperature, which is verified by two additional experiments. This water management is convenient and swift for PEM fuel cell applications and the fault diagnosis.

  12. Modification and improvement of proton-exchange membrane fuel cells via treatment using peracetic acid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Zhiqiang; Qi, Zhigang; Kaufman, Arthur

    Electrodes and catalyst-coated membranes (CCMs) were treated using peracetic acid. After such a treatment, the properties and performance of these electrodes and CCMs were changed in several aspects. First, their catalytic activity was increased compared to the untreated counterparts. Second, their ability to hold water within the catalyst layers was increased so that the cathode did not need to be humidified. Third, if the cathode was humidified together with the anode, some of the electrodes were more readily to be flooded than the untreated counterparts.

  13. Effects of proton exchange membrane on the performance and microbial community composition of air-cathode microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Lee, Yun-Yeong; Kim, Tae Gwan; Cho, Kyung-Suk

    2015-10-10

    This study investigated the effects of proton exchange membranes (PEMs) on performance and microbial community of air-cathode microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Air-cathode MFCs with reactor volume of 1L were constructed in duplicate with or without PEM (designated as ACM-MFC and AC-MFC, respectively) and fed with a mixture of glucose and acetate (1:1, w:w). The maximum power density and coulombic efficiency did not differ between MFCs in the absence or presence of a PEM. However, PEM use adversely affected maximum voltage production and the rate of organic compound removal (p<0.05). Quantitative droplet digital PCR indicated that AC-MFCs had a greater bacterial population than ACM-MFCs (p<0.05). Likewise, ribosomal tag pyrosequencing revealed that the diversity index of bacterial communities was greater for AC-MFCs (p<0.05). Network analysis revealed that the most abundant genus was Enterococcus, which comprised ≥62% of the community and was positively associated with PEM and negatively associated with the rate of chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal (Pearson correlation>0.9 and p<0.05). Geobacter, which is known as an exoelectrogen, was positively associated with maximum power density and negatively associated with PEM. Thus, these results suggest that the absence of PEM favored the growth of Geobacter, a key player for electricity generation in MFC systems. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that MFC systems without PEM are more efficient with respect to power production and COD removal as well as exoelectrogen growth. PMID:26235818

  14. Fabrication BaZrO3/PBI-based nanocomposite as a new proton conducting membrane for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hooshyari, Khadijeh; Javanbakht, Mehran; Shabanikia, Akbar; Enhessari, Morteza

    2015-02-01

    Novel PBI (polybenzimidazole)-BaZrO3 (PBZ) nanocomposite membranes have been prepared for the high temperature proton exchange membrane (HT-PEM) fuel cells. The results showed that the water uptake, acid doping level and proton conductivity of the PBZ nanocomposite membranes were higher than that of virgin PBI membrane due to the presence of perovskite structure BaZrO3 nanoparticles, which as protonic conductor can perform as a special pathway for hydrogen transport. The proton conductivity of the PBZ nanocomposite membranes with 13 mol phosphoric acid per PBI repeat unit was obtained 125 mS/cm at 180 °C and 5% relative humidity. It was found that the performance of the fuel cells increases by increasing temperature; this was explained by faster reaction kinetic and higher proton conductivity. The power density and current density at 0.5 V 180 °C with 5% relative humidity were observed 0.56 W/cm2 and 1.12 A/cm2, respectively for PBZ nanocomposite membranes containing 4 wt% of the nanofillers. The results suggested that PBZ nanocomposite membranes are promising electrolytes for HT-PEM fuel cells with improved proton conductivity.

  15. Lithium polymer batteries and proton exchange membrane fuel cells as energy sources in hydrogen electric vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    This paper deals with the application of lithium ion polymer batteries as electric energy storage systems for hydrogen fuel cell power trains. The experimental study was firstly effected in steady state conditions, to evidence the basic features of these systems in view of their application in the automotive field, in particular charge-discharge experiments were carried at different rates (varying the current between 8 and 100 A). A comparison with conventional lead acid batteries evidenced the superior features of lithium systems in terms of both higher discharge rate capability and minor resistance in charge mode. Dynamic experiments were carried out on the overall power train equipped with PEM fuel cell stack (2 kW) and lithium batteries (47.5 V, 40 Ah) on the European R47 driving cycle. The usage of lithium ion polymer batteries permitted to follow the high dynamic requirement of this cycle in hard hybrid configuration, with a hydrogen consumption reduction of about 6% with respect to the same power train equipped with lead acid batteries.

  16. Degradation modeling of high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells using dual time scale simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pohl, E.; Maximini, M.; Bauschulte, A.; vom Schloß, J.; Hermanns, R. T. E.

    2015-02-01

    HT-PEM fuel cells suffer from performance losses due to degradation effects. Therefore, the durability of HT-PEM is currently an important factor of research and development. In this paper a novel approach is presented for an integrated short term and long term simulation of HT-PEM accelerated lifetime testing. The physical phenomena of short term and long term effects are commonly modeled separately due to the different time scales. However, in accelerated lifetime testing, long term degradation effects have a crucial impact on the short term dynamics. Our approach addresses this problem by applying a novel method for dual time scale simulation. A transient system simulation is performed for an open voltage cycle test on a HT-PEM fuel cell for a physical time of 35 days. The analysis describes the system dynamics by numerical electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. Furthermore, a performance assessment is performed in order to demonstrate the efficiency of the approach. The presented approach reduces the simulation time by approximately 73% compared to conventional simulation approach without losing too much accuracy. The approach promises a comprehensive perspective considering short term dynamic behavior and long term degradation effects.

  17. Bulk and contact resistances of gas diffusion layers in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ye, Donghao; Gauthier, Eric; Benziger, Jay B.; Pan, Mu

    2014-06-01

    A multi-electrode probe is employed to distinguish the bulk and contact resistances of the catalyst layer (CL) and the gas diffusion layer (GDL) with the bipolar plate (BPP). Resistances are compared for Vulcan carbon catalyst layers (CL), carbon paper and carbon cloth GDL materials, and GDLs with microporous layers (MPL). The Vulcan carbon catalyst layer bulk resistance is 100 times greater than the bulk resistance of carbon paper GDL (Toray TG-H-120). Carbon cloth (CCWP) has bulk and contact resistances twice those of carbon paper. Compression of the GDL decreases the GDL contact resistance, but has little effect on the bulk resistance. Treatment of the GDL with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) increases the contact resistance, but has little effect on the bulk resistance. A microporous layer (MPL) added to the GDL decreases the contact resistance, but has little effect on the bulk resistance. An equivalent circuit model shows that for channels less than 1 mm wide the contact resistance is the major source of electronic resistance and is about 10% of the total ohmic resistance associated with the membrane electrode assembly.

  18. Direct-hydrogen-fueled proton-exchange-membrane fuel cell system for transportation applications: Conceptual vehicle design report pure fuel cell powertrain vehicle

    SciTech Connect

    Oei, D.; Kinnelly, A.; Sims, R.; Sulek, M.; Wernette, D.

    1997-02-01

    In partial fulfillment of the Department of Energy (DOE) Contract No. DE-AC02-94CE50389, {open_quotes}Direct-Hydrogen-Fueled Proton-Exchange-Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell for Transportation Applications{close_quotes}, this preliminary report addresses the conceptual design and packaging of a fuel cell-only powered vehicle. Three classes of vehicles are considered in this design and packaging exercise, the Aspire representing the small vehicle class, the Taurus or Aluminum Intensive Vehicle (AIV) Sable representing the mid-size vehicle and the E-150 Econoline representing the van-size class. A fuel cell system spreadsheet model and Ford`s Corporate Vehicle Simulation Program (CVSP) were utilized to determine the size and the weight of the fuel cell required to power a particular size vehicle. The fuel cell power system must meet the required performance criteria for each vehicle. In this vehicle design and packaging exercise, the following assumptions were made: fuel cell power system density of 0.33 kW/kg and 0.33 kg/liter, platinum catalyst loading less than or equal to 0.25 mg/cm{sup 2} total and hydrogen tanks containing gaseous hydrogen under 340 atm (5000 psia) pressure. The fuel cell power system includes gas conditioning, thermal management, humidity control, and blowers or compressors, where appropriate. This conceptual design of a fuel cell-only powered vehicle will help in the determination of the propulsion system requirements for a vehicle powered by a PEMFC engine in lieu of the internal combustion (IC) engine. Only basic performance level requirements are considered for the three classes of vehicles in this report. Each vehicle will contain one or more hydrogen storage tanks and hydrogen fuel for 560 km (350 mi) driving range. Under these circumstances, the packaging of a fuel cell-only powered vehicle is increasingly difficult as the vehicle size diminishes.

  19. Development of membrane electrode assembly for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell by catalyst coating membrane method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, Huagen; Su, Huaneng; Pollet, Bruno G.; Pasupathi, Sivakumar

    2015-08-01

    Membrane electrode assembly (MEA), which contains cathode and anode catalytic layer, gas diffusion layers (GDL) and electrolyte membrane, is the key unit of a PEMFC. An attempt to develop MEA for ABPBI membrane based high temperature (HT) PEMFC is conducted in this work by catalyst coating membrane (CCM) method. The structure and performance of the MEA are examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and I-V curve. Effects of the CCM preparation method, Pt loading and binder type are investigated for the optimization of the single cell performance. Under 160 °C and atmospheric pressure, the peak power density of the MEA, with Pt loading of 0.5 mg cm-2 and 0.3 mg cm-2 for the cathode and the anode, can reach 277 mW cm-2, while a current density of 620 A cm-2 is delivered at the working voltage of 0.4 V. The MEA prepared by CCM method shows good stability operating in a short term durability test: the cell voltage maintained at ∼0.45 V without obvious drop when operated at a constant current density of 300 mA cm-2 and 160 °C under ambient pressure for 140 h.

  20. Application of proton exchange membrane fuel cells for the monitoring and direct usage of biohydrogen produced by Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oncel, S.; Vardar-Sukan, F.

    Photo-biologically produced hydrogen by Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is integrated with a proton exchange (PEM) fuel cell for online electricity generation. To investigate the fuel cell efficiency, the effect of hydrogen production on the open circuit fuel cell voltage is monitored during 27 days of batch culture. Values of volumetric hydrogen production, monitored by the help of the calibrated water columns, are related with the open circuit voltage changes of the fuel cell. From the analysis of this relation a dead end configuration is selected to use the fuel cell in its best potential. After the open circuit experiments external loads are tested for their effects on the fuel cell voltage and current generation. According to the results two external loads are selected for the direct usage of the fuel cell incorporating with the photobioreactors (PBR). Experiments with the PEM fuel cell generate a current density of 1.81 mA cm -2 for about 50 h with 10 Ω load and 0.23 mA cm -2 for about 80 h with 100 Ω load.

  1. The production of sulfonated chitosan-sodium alginate found in brown algae (Sargassum sp.) composite membrane as proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wafiroh, Siti; Pudjiastuti, Pratiwi; Sari, Ilma Indana

    2016-03-01

    The majority of energy was used in this period is from fossil fuel, which getting decreased in the future. The objective of this research is production and characterization of sulfonated chitosan-sodium alginate found in brown algae (Sargassum sp.) composite membrane as Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) for alternative energy. PEMFC was produced with 4 variations (w/w) ratio between chitosan and sodium alginate, 8 : 0, 8 : 1, 8 : 2, 8 : 4 (w/w). The production of membrane was mixed sodium alginate solution into chitosan solution and sulfonated with H2SO4 0.72 N. The characterization of the PEM was uses Modulus Young analysis, water swelling, ion exchange capacity, FTIR, SEM, DTA, methanol permeability and proton conductivity. The result of the research, showed that the optimum membrane was with ratio 8 : 2 (w/w) that the Modulus Young 8564 kN/m2, water swelling 31.86%, ion exchange capacity 1.020 meq/g, proton conductivity 8,8 × 10-6 S/cm, methanol permeability 1.90 × 10-8 g/cm2s and glass transition temperature (Tg) 100.9 °C, crystalline temperature (Tc) 227.6 °C, and the melting temperature (Tm) 267.9 °C.

  2. Addition of sulfonated silicon dioxide on an anode catalyst layer to improve the performance of a self-humidifying proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Chien-Liang; Hsu, Shih-Chieh; Ho, Wei-Yu

    2016-03-01

    Sulfonated SiO2 was added on an anode catalyst layer to manufacture a hygroscopic electrode for self-humidifying proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). The inherent humidity of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) determines the electrical performance of PEMFCs. To maintain the high moisture content of the PEM, self-humidifying PEMFCs can use the water produced by the fuel cell reaction and, thus, do not require external humidification. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, and water contact angle measurement tests were performed to characterize the structures and properties of sulfonated SiO2 and the related electrodes, and the electric current and voltage (I-V) performance curve tests for the fuel cells were conducted under differing gas humidification conditions. When 0.01mg/cm2 of sulfonated SiO2 was added, the electrical performance of the fuel cells (50∘C) increased 29% and 59% when the fuel cell reaction gases were humidified at 70∘C and 50∘C, respectively.

  3. Numerical simulations of two-phase flow in proton exchange membrane fuel cells using the volume of fluid method - A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferreira, Rui B.; Falcão, D. S.; Oliveira, V. B.; Pinto, A. M. F. R.

    2015-03-01

    Water management in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells, i.e., balance between membrane drying and liquid water flooding, is a major aspect in the operation of these devices. Flooding results in gas-liquid two-phase flow that causes high pressure drops, flow maldistribution and poor cell performances. Limitations related to the experimental techniques dedicated to investigate the dynamics of liquid water in a PEM fuel cell have motivated researchers to conduct computational modeling and simulation to better understand the two-phase flow and its implications. Among different mathematical models employed, the volume of fluid (VOF) method is the most popular approach. This paper reviews the VOF numerical simulations of two-phase flow in PEM fuel cells. The focus of the study, numerical details, and main outcomes of each research work are discussed during this review. Moreover, recommendations for future simulations as well as challenges of applying the VOF method to PEM fuel cells are presented.

  4. CeO2 nanocubes-graphene oxide as durable and highly active catalyst support for proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    PubMed Central

    Lei, M.; Wang, Z. B.; Li, J. S.; Tang, H. L.; Liu, W. J.; Wang, Y. G.

    2014-01-01

    Rapid degradation of cell performance still remains a significant challenge for proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). In this work, we develop novel CeO2 nanocubes-graphene oxide nanocomposites as durable and highly active catalyst support for proton exchange membrane fuel cell. We show that the use of CeO2 as the radical scavenger in the catalysts remarkably improves the durability of the catalyst. The catalytic activity retention of Pt-graphene oxide-8 wt.% CeO2 nanocomposites reaches as high as 69% after 5000 CV-cycles at a high voltage range of 0.8–1.23 V, in contrast to 19% for that of the Pt-graphene oxide composites. The excellent durability of the Pt-CeO2 nanocubes-graphene oxide catalyst is attributed to the free radical scavenging activity of CeO2, which significantly slows down the chemical degradation of Nafion binder in catalytic layers, and then alleviates the decay of Pt catalysts, resulting in the excellent cycle life of Pt-CeO2-graphene oxide nanocomposite catalysts. Additionally, the performance of single cell assembled with Nafion 211 membrane and Pt-CeO2-graphene oxide catalysts with different CeO2 contents in the cathode as well as the Pt-C catalysts in the anode are also recorded and discussed in this study. PMID:25491655

  5. Performance and durability of carbon black-supported Pd catalyst covered with silica layers in membrane-electrode assemblies of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujii, Keitaro; Ito, Mizuki; Sato, Yasushi; Takenaka, Sakae; Kishida, Masahiro

    2015-04-01

    Pd metal particles supported on a high surface area carbon black (Pd/CB) were covered with silica layers to improve the durability under severe cathode condition of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). The performance and the durability of the silica-coated Pd/CB (SiO2/Pd/CB) were investigated by rotating disk electrode (RDE) in aqueous HClO4 and single cell test of the membrane-electrode assemblies (MEAs). SiO2/Pd/CB showed excellent durability exceeding Pt/CB during potential cycle in single cell test as well as in RDE measurement while Pd/CB significantly degraded. Furthermore, the MEA using SiO2/Pd/CB as the cathode catalyst showed higher performance than that using Pd/CB even in the initial state. The catalytic activity of SiO2/Pd/CB was higher than that of Pd/CB, and the drop of the cell performances due to the inhibition of electron conduction, proton conduction, and oxygen diffusion by the silica layer was not significant. It has been shown that the silica-coating is a very practical technique that can stabilize metal species originally unstable in the cathode condition of PEMFCs without a decrease in the cell performance.

  6. The influence of humidification and temperature differences between inlet gases on water transport through the membrane of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Kuan-Jen; Hwang, Sheng-Jye; Lai, Wei-Hsiang

    2015-06-01

    This paper discusses the effects of humidification and temperature differences of the anode and cathode on water transport in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell. Heaters are used to cause a difference in gas temperature between two electrodes before the gases enter the fuel cell. The results show that when the temperature of the cathode is higher than that of the anode, the electro-osmotic drag is suppressed. In contrast, when the temperature of the anode is higher than that of cathode, it is enhanced. These effects are more significant when the temperature difference between the anode and cathode is greater. The same trends are seen with back diffusion. Three cases are tested, and the results show that the suppression due to the temperature difference occurs even when the relative humidity is low at the hotter side. The water transport tendencies of electro-osmotic drag and back diffusion in different situations can be expressed as dominant percentages calculated by the water masses collected at the anode and cathode. The suppression effect due to the temperature difference is relatively insignificant with regard to back diffusion compared to electro-osmosis, so water tends to accumulate on the anode rather than the cathode side.

  7. 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.

  8. Pre-oxidized and nitrided stainless steel alloy foil for proton exchange membrane fuel cell bipolar plates. Part 2: Single-cell fuel cell evaluation of stamped plates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toops, Todd J.; Brady, Michael P.; Tortorelli, Peter F.; Pihl, Josh A.; Estevez, Francisco; Connors, Daniel; Garzon, Fernando; Rockward, Tommy; Gervasio, Don; Mylan, William; Kosaraju, Sree Harsha

    Thermal (gas) nitridation of stainless steel alloys can yield low interfacial contact resistance (ICR), electrically conductive and corrosion-resistant nitride containing surface layers (Cr 2N, CrN, TiN, V 2N, VN, etc.) of interest for fuel cells, batteries, and sensors. This paper presents results of proton exchange membrane (PEM) single-cell fuel cell studies of stamped and pre-oxidized/nitrided developmental Fe-20Cr-4V weight percent (wt.%) and commercial type 2205 stainless steel alloy foils. The single-cell fuel cell behavior of the stamped and pre-oxidized/nitrided material was compared to as-stamped (no surface treatment) 904L, 2205, and Fe-20Cr-4V stainless steel alloy foils and machined graphite of similar flow field design. The best fuel cell behavior among the alloys was exhibited by the pre-oxidized/nitrided Fe-20Cr-4V, which exhibited ∼5-20% better peak power output than untreated Fe-20Cr-4V, 2205, and 904L metal stampings. Durability was assessed for pre-oxidized/nitrided Fe-20Cr-4V, 904L metal, and graphite plates by 1000+ h of cyclic single-cell fuel cell testing. All three materials showed good durability with no significant degradation in cell power output. Post-test analysis indicated no metal ion contamination of the membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) occurred with the pre-oxidized and nitrided Fe-20Cr-4V or graphite plates, and only a minor amount of contamination with the 904L plates.

  9. Composite proton exchange membranes based on phosphosilicate sol and sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) for fuel cell applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, Qiang; Li, Yifan; Chen, Xiaojing; Hu, Jing; Li, Lu; Li, Haibin

    2015-05-01

    The phosphosilicate sol/sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) (SPEEK) composite membranes are fabricated by using a simple mechanical mixing process. The performance of the composite membranes is investigated, including their morphology, thermal and mechanical properties, water adsorption and swelling ratio, proton conductivity and fuel cell performance. The composite membranes obtain the advantages of both components while avert their disadvantages, showing excellent comprehensive performance. The utilization of SPEEK endows the composite membranes with good mechanical properties even if the proportion of inorganic components in the membranes is as high as 40 wt.%. The incorporation of phosphosilicate sol not only enhances the dimensional and thermal stability of the composite membranes, but also improves their conductivity significantly. A maximum of proton conductivity of 0.138 S cm-1, higher than that of Nafion 212 membrane (0.124 S cm-1), is obtained from the composite membrane 6SPEEK/4(P-Si) under the conditions of 70 °C and 95% relative humidity, owing to its enhanced hygroscopicity and functional groups. Besides, a single fuel cell equipped with the composite membrane 7SPEEK/3(P-Si) releases a peak power density of 449.9 mW cm-2 at 60 °C, higher than that of cells equipped with SPEEK and Nafion 212 membrane measured under the same conditions.

  10. Improved corrosion resistance and interfacial contact resistance of 316L stainless-steel for proton exchange membrane fuel cell bipolar plates by chromizing surface treatment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, S. B.; Cho, K. H.; Lee, W. G.; Jang, H.

    The electrochemical performance and electrical contact resistance of chromized 316 stainless-steel (SS) are investigated under simulated operating condition in a proton-exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). The corrosion resistance of the chromized stainless steel is assessed by potentiodynamic and potentiostatic tests and the interfacial contact resistance (ICR) is examined by measuring the electrical contact resistance as a function of the compaction force. The results show that the chromizing surface treatment improves the corrosion resistance of the stainless steel due to the high-chromium concentration in the diffuse coating layer. On the other hand, the excess Chromium content on the surface increases the contact resistance of the steel plate to a level that is excessively high for commercial applications. This study examines the root cause of the high-contact resistance after chromizing and reports the optimum process to improve the corrosion resistance without sacrificing the ICR by obtaining a chrome carbide on the outer layer.

  11. Corrosion behavior of TiN, TiAlN, TiAlSiN-coated 316L stainless steel in simulated proton exchange membrane fuel cell environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nam, Nguyen Dang; Vaka, Mahesh; Tran Hung, Nguyen

    2014-12-01

    To gain high hardness, good thermal stability and corrosion resistance, multicomponent TiAlSiN coating has been developed using different deposition methods. In this study, the influence of Al and Si on the electrochemical properties of TiN-coated 316L stainless steel as bipolar plate (BP) materials has been investigated in simulated proton exchange membrane fuel cell environment. The deposited TiN, TiAlN and TiAlSiN possess high hardness of 23.9, 31.7, 35.0 GPa, respectively. The coating performance of the TiN coating is enhanced by Al and Si addition due to lower corrosion current density and higher Rcoating and Rct values. This result could be attributed to the formation of crystalline-refined TiN(200), which improves the surface roughness, surface resistance, corrosion performance, and decreased passive current density.

  12. Interfacial Water-Transport Effects in Proton-Exchange Membranes

    SciTech Connect

    Kienitz, Brian; Yamada, Haruhiko; Nonoyama, Nobuaki; Weber, Adam

    2009-11-19

    It is well known that the proton-exchange membrane is perhaps the most critical component of a polymer-electrolyte fuel cell. Typical membranes, such as Nafion(R), require hydration to conduct efficiently and are instrumental in cell water management. Recently, evidence has been shown that these membranes might have different interfacial morphology and transport properties than in the bulk. In this paper, experimental data combined with theoretical simulations will be presented that explore the existence and impact of interfacial resistance on water transport for Nafion(R) 21x membranes. A mass-transfer coefficient for the interfacial resistance is calculated from experimental data using different permeation cells. This coefficient is shown to depend exponentially on relative humidity or water activity. The interfacial resistance does not seem to exist for liquid/membrane or membrane/membrane interfaces. The effect of the interfacial resistance is to flatten the water-content profiles within the membrane during operation. Under typical operating conditions, the resistance is on par with the water-transport resistance of the bulk membrane. Thus, the interfacial resistance can be dominant especially in thin, dry membranes and can affect overall fuel-cell performance.

  13. Cross-linked poly (vinyl alcohol)/sulfosuccinic acid polymer as an electrolyte/electrode material for H2-O2 proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ebenezer, D.; Deshpande, Abhijit P.; Haridoss, Prathap

    2016-02-01

    Proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) performance with a cross-linked poly (vinyl alcohol)/sulfosuccinic acid (PVA/SSA) polymer is compared with Nafion® N-115 polymer. In this study, PVA/SSA (≈5 wt. % SSA) polymer membranes are synthesized by a solution casting technique. These cross-linked PVA/SSA polymers and Nafion are used as electrolytes and ionomers in catalyst layers, to fabricate different membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) for PEMFCs. Properties of each MEA are evaluated using scanning electron microscopy, contact angle measurements, impedance spectroscopy and hydrogen pumping technique. I-V characteristics of each cell are evaluated in a H2-O2 fuel cell testing fixture under different operating conditions. PVA/SSA ionomer causes only an additional ≈4% loss in the anode performance compared to Nafion ionomer. The maximum power density obtained from PVA/SSA based cells range from 99 to 117.4 mW cm-2 with current density range of 247 to 293.4 mA cm-2. Ionic conductivity of PVA/SSA based cells is more sensitive to state of hydration of MEA, while maximum power density obtained is less sensitive to state of hydration of MEA. Maximum power density of cross-linked PVA/SSA membrane based cell is about 35% that of Nafion® N-115 based cell. From these results, cross-linked PVA/SSA polymer is identified as potential candidate for PEMFCs.

  14. Direct-hydrogen-fueled proton-exchange-membrane fuel cell system for transportation applications. Hydrogen vehicle safety report

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, C.E.

    1997-05-01

    This report reviews the safety characteristics of hydrogen as an energy carrier for a fuel cell vehicle (FCV), with emphasis on high pressure gaseous hydrogen onboard storage. The authors consider normal operation of the vehicle in addition to refueling, collisions, operation in tunnels, and storage in garages. They identify the most likely risks and failure modes leading to hazardous conditions, and provide potential countermeasures in the vehicle design to prevent or substantially reduce the consequences of each plausible failure mode. They then compare the risks of hydrogen with those of more common motor vehicle fuels including gasoline, propane, and natural gas.

  15. 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.

  16. A double-fuzzy diagnostic methodology dedicated to online fault diagnosis of proton exchange membrane fuel cell stacks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Zhixue; Péra, Marie-Cécile; Hissel, Daniel; Becherif, Mohamed; Agbli, Kréhi-Serge; Li, Yongdong

    2014-12-01

    To improve the performance and lifetime of the low temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) stack, water management is an important issue. This paper aims at developing an online diagnostic methodology with the capability of discriminating different degrees of flooding/drying inside the fuel cell stack. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) is utilized as a basis tool and a double-fuzzy method consisting of fuzzy clustering and fuzzy logic is developed to mine diagnostic rules from the experimental data automatically. Through online experimental verification, a high interpretability and computational efficiency of the proposed methodology can be achieved.

  17. A novel process for fabricating membrane-electrode assemblies with low platinum loading for use in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karimi, Shahram

    A novel method based on pulse current electrodeposition (PCE) employing four different waveforms was developed and utilized for fabricating membrane-electrode assemblies (MEAs) with low platinum loading for use in low-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells. It was found that both peak deposition current density and duty cycle control the nucleation rate and the growth of platinum crystallites. Based on the combination of parameters used in this study, the optimum conditions for PCE were found to be a peak deposition current density of 400 mA cm-2, a duty cycle of 4%, and a pulse generated and delivered in the microsecond range utilizing a ramp-down waveform. MEAs prepared by PCE using the ramp-down waveform show performance comparable with commercial MEAs that employ ten times the loading of platinum catalyst. The thickness of the pulse electrodeposited catalyst layer is about 5-7 mum, which is ten times thinner than that of commercial state-of-the-art electrodes. MEAs prepared by PCE outperformed commercial MEAs when subjected to a series of steady-state and transient lifetime tests. In steady-state lifetime tests, the average cell voltage over a 3000-h period at a constant current density of 619 mA cm-2 for the in-house and the state-of-the-art MEAs were 564 mV and 505 mV, respectively. In addition, the influence of substrate and carbon powder type, hydrophobic polymer content in the gas diffusion layer, microporous layer loading, and the through-plane gas permeability of different gas diffusion layers on fuel cell performance were investigated and optimized. Finally, two mathematical models based on the microhardness model developed by Molina et al. [J. Molina, B. A. Hoyos, Electrochim. Acta, 54 (2009) 1784-1790] and Milchev [A. Milchev, "Electrocrystallization: Fundamentals of Nucleation And Growth" 2002, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 189-215] were refined and further developed, one based on pure diffusion control and another based on joint diffusion

  18. Multi-block sulfonated poly(phenylene) copolymer proton exchange membranes

    DOEpatents

    Fujimoto, Cy H.; Hibbs, Michael; Ambrosini, Andrea

    2012-02-07

    Improved multi-block sulfonated poly(phenylene) copolymer compositions, methods of making the same, and their use as proton exchange membranes (PEM) in hydrogen fuel cells, direct methanol fuel cells, in electrode casting solutions and electrodes. The multi-block architecture has defined, controllable hydrophobic and hydrophilic segments. These improved membranes have better ion transport (proton conductivity) and water swelling properties.

  19. Efficiency measurement and uncertainty discussion of an electric engine powered by a "self-breathing" and "self-humidified" proton exchange membrane fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Schiavetti, Pierluigi; Del Prete, Zaccaria

    2007-08-01

    The efficiency of an automotive engine based on a "self-breathing" and "self-humidified" proton exchange membrane fuel cell stack (PEM FC) connected to a dc brushless electrical motor was measured under variable power load conditions. Experiments have been carried out on a small scale 150 W engine model. After determining the fuel cell static polarization curve and the time response to power steps, the system was driven to copy on the test bench a "standard urban load cycle" and its instantaneous efficiencies were measured at an acquisition rate of 5 Hz. The integral system efficiency over the entire urban load cycle, comprising the losses of the unavoidable auxiliary components of the engine, was then calculated. The fuel cell stack was operated mainly in "partial" dead-end mode, with a periodic anode flow channel purging, and one test was carried out in "pure" dead-end mode, with no anode channel purging. An uncertainty analysis of the efficiencies was carried out, taking into account either type A and type B evaluation methods, strengthening the discussion about the outcomes obtained for a system based on this novel simplified FC type. For our small scale engine we measured over the standard urban cycle, on the basis of the H(2) high heating value (HHV), a tank-to-wheel integral efficiency of (18.2+/-0.8)%, when the fuel cell was operated with periodic flow channel purging, and of (21.5+/-1.3)% in complete dead-end operation mode. PMID:17764355

  20. Performance degradation studies on an poly 2,5-benzimidazole high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell using an accelerated degradation technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jung, Guo-Bin; Chen, Hsin-Hung; Yan, Wei-Mon

    2014-02-01

    In this work, the performance degradation of a poly 2,5-benzimidazole (ABPBI) based high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell (HT-PEMFC) was examined using an accelerated degradation technique (ADT). Experiments using an ADT with 30 min intervals were performed by applying 1.5 V to a membrane electrode assembly (MEA) with hydrogen and nitrogen feeding to the anode and cathode, respectively, to simulate the high voltage generated during fuel cell shutdown and restart. The characterization of the MEAs was performed using in-situ and ex-situ electrochemical methods, such as polarization curves, AC impedance, and cyclic voltammetry (CV), and TEM imaging before and after the ADT experiments. The measured results demonstrated that the ADT testing could be used to dramatically reduce the duration of the degradation. The current output at 0.4 V decreased by 48% after performing ADT testing for 30 min. From the AC impedance, CV and RTGA measurements, the decline in cell performance was found to be primarily due to corrosion and thinning of the catalyst layer (or carbon support) during the first 30 min, leading to the dissolution and agglomeration of the platinum catalyst.

  1. Investigation of carbon supported PtW catalysts as CO tolerant anodes at high temperature in proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hassan, Ayaz; Paganin, Valdecir A.; Ticianelli, Edson A.

    2016-09-01

    The CO tolerance mechanism and the stability of carbon supported PtW electrocatalysts are evaluated in the anode of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) at two different temperatures. The electrocatalysts are characterized by energy dispersive spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and transmission electron spectroscopy. Employed electrochemical techniques include cyclic voltammetry, CO stripping, fuel cell polarization, and online mass spectrometry. At a cell temperature of 85 °C, the PtW/C catalyst shows higher CO tolerance compared to Pt/C due an electronic effect of WOx in the Pt 5d band, which reduces the CO adsorption. An increase in hydrogen oxidation activity in the presence of CO is observed for both the catalysts at a higher temperature, due to the decrease of the Pt-CO coverage. A reduction in the current densities occurs for the PtW/C catalyst in both polarization curves and cyclic voltammograms after 5000 cycles of the anode in the range of 0.1-0.7 V vs. RHE at 50 mVs-1. This decrease in performance is assigned to the dissolution of W, with a consequent increase in the membrane resistivity. However, the observed decline of performance is small either in the presence of pure H2 or in the presence of H2/CO.

  2. Water emergence from the land region and water-sidewall interactions in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell gas channels with microgrooves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shah, Mihir M.; Kandlikar, Satish G.

    2015-11-01

    Liquid water produced in a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) can adversely affect the fuel cell performance in two ways: (a) reduction in surface area available for reactant transport at the channel-gas diffusion layer (GDL) interface, and (b) increase in two-phase pressure drop in channels leading to flow maldistribution and increased pumping power. Further, the channels blocked by water reduce reactant availability at reaction sites. Most of the earlier water transport studies were focused on water droplet formation on the gas diffusion layer (GDL) in the channel and its removal from the gas flow without considering the sidewall interactions. In an actual fuel cell, water under the land emerges in the channel and fills the corner, drawing in additional water from the GDL surface. The present work explores water droplet-sidewall interactions and the transport of water from the corner region. Transverse micro-grooves are introduced on the sidewalls and their effect on water removal from the corner region, flow patterns, area coverage ratio and pressure drop are investigated. The micro-grooves are also seen to introduce a wetting regime that facilitates removal of water at the channel exit without causing blockage at the manifold region.

  3. A Comparison of Flow-Through Versus Non-Flow-Through Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Systems for NASA's Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoberecht, Mark A.

    2010-01-01

    As part of the Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP) under the auspices of the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD), NASA is developing both primary fuel cell power systems and regenerative fuel cell (RFC) energy storage systems within the fuel cell portion of the Energy Storage Project. This effort is being led by the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) in partnership with the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC), Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC), and industrial partners. The development goals are to improve fuel cell and electrolysis stack electrical performance, reduce system mass, volume, and parasitic power requirements, and increase system life and reliability. A major focus of this effort has been the parallel development of both flow-through and non-flow-through proton exchange membrane (PEM) primary fuel cell power systems. The plan has been, at the appropriate time, to select a single primary fuel cell technology for eventual flight hardware development. Ideally, that appropriate time would occur after both technologies have achieved a technology readiness level (TRL) of six, which represents an engineering model fidelity PEM fuel cell system being successfully tested in a relevant environment. Budget constraints in fiscal year 2009 and beyond have prevented NASA from continuing to pursue the parallel development of both primary fuel cell options. Because very limited data exists for either system, a toplevel, qualitative assessment based on engineering judgement was performed expeditiously to provide guidance for a selection. At that time, the non-flow-through technology was selected for continued development because of potentially major advantages in terms of weight, volume, parasitic power, reliability, and life. This author believes that the advantages are significant enough, and the potential benefits great enough, to offset the higher state of technology readiness of flow-through technology. This paper

  4. Enhanced performance and stability of high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell by incorporating zirconium hydrogen phosphate in catalyst layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barron, Olivia; Su, Huaneng; Linkov, Vladimir; Pollet, Bruno G.; Pasupathi, Sivakumar

    2015-03-01

    Zirconium hydrogen phosphate (ZHP) together with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) polymer binder is incorporated into the catalyst layers (CLs) of ABPBI (poly(2,5-benzimidazole))-based high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (HT-PEMFCs) to improve its performance and durability. The influence of ZHP content (normalised with respect to dry PTFE) on the CL properties are structurally characterised by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and mercury intrusion porosimetry. Electrochemical analyses of the resultant membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) are performed by recording polarisation curves and impedance spectra at 160 °C, ambient pressure and humidity. The result show that a 30 wt.% ZHP/PTFE content in the CL is optimum for improving fuel cell performance, the resultant MEA delivers a peak power of 592 mW cm-2 at a cell voltage of 380 mV. Electrochemical impedance spectra (EIS) indicate that 30% ZHP in the CL can increase the proton conductivity compared to the pristine PTFE-gas diffusion electrode (GDE). A short term stability test (∼500 h) on the 30 wt.% ZHP/PTFE-GDE shows a remarkable high durability with a degradation rate as low as ∼19 μV h-1 at 0.2 A cm-2, while 195 μV h-1 was obtained for the pristine GDE.

  5. Towards developing a backing layer for proton exchange membrane electrolyzers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lettenmeier, P.; Kolb, S.; Burggraf, F.; Gago, A. S.; Friedrich, K. A.

    2016-04-01

    Current energy policies require the urgent replacement of fossil energy carriers by carbon neutral ones, such as hydrogen. The backing or micro-porous layer plays an important role in the performance of hydrogen proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells, reducing contact resistance and improving reactant/product management. Such carbon-based coating cannot be used in PEM electrolysis since it oxidizes to CO2 at high voltages. A functional titanium macro-porous layer (MPL) on the current collectors of a PEM electrolyzer is developed by thermal spraying. It improves the contact with the catalyst layers by ca. 20 mΩ cm2, increasing significantly the efficiency of the device when operating at high current densities.

  6. Improvement of proton exchange membrane fuel cell performance in low-humidity conditions by adding hygroscopic agarose powder to the catalyst layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hou, Sanying; Liao, Shijun; Xiong, Ziang; Zou, Haobin; Dang, Dai; Zheng, Ruiping; Shu, Ting; Liang, Zhenxing; Li, Xiuhua; Li, Yingwei

    2015-01-01

    A high-performance membrane electrode assembly (MEA) with agarose added to the anodic catalyst layer (CL) was successfully prepared. The MEA exhibited excellent performance at low relative humidity (RH) in an air/hydrogen proton exchange membrane fuel cell. The effects of agarose content, RH, cell temperature, and back pressure on the low-humidity performance of this MEA were investigated. The results of water contact angles and water uptake measurements reveal that the hydrophilicity of the anode is significantly improved with the addition of agarose. With a low RH of 20% and a cell temperature of 60 °C, the optimal MEA (MEA-4), containing 4 wt.% agarose in the anode CL, achieves excellent low-humidity performance: the current density reaches 960 mA cm-2 at 0.6 V and 500 mA cm-2 at 0.7 V. After 10 h of continuous operation under the same conditions, the current density decreases just slightly, from 960 to 840 mA cm-2, whereas the current density of a blank MEA without added agarose degrades sharply.

  7. Coating TiVCr hydrogen storage alloy on the anode gas diffusion layer of proton exchange membrane fuel cells to improve performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fang, Sheng-Yu; Huang, Rong-Hsin; Teoh, Lay Gaik; Hsueh, Kan-Lin; Chao, Wen-Kai; Tsai, Du-Cheng; Yang, Tse-Ning; Shieu, Fuh-Sheng

    2014-12-01

    In this study, a TiVCr hydrogen storage alloy was coated onto the anode gas diffusion layer (GDL) of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) by direct-current sputtering to improve cell performance and durability. Scanning electron microscopy analysis indicated that the GDLs are well coated and that the TiVCr coating shows pyramidal protrusions. The single-cell performance of PEMFCs, in which the GDLs were coated with TiVCr hydrogen storage alloy as the anode, was investigated at cell temperatures of 25 and 65 °C (non-humidification and full-humidification conditions, respectively). The membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) with TiVCr hydrogen storage alloy-coated GDL (10 min sputtering time) exhibited optimal performance at 25 and 65 °C, with power densities 18.49% and 43.67%, respectively, higher than that without TiVCr hydrogen storage alloy coating. The MEA with the TiVCr-coated GDL obtained by 60 min of sputtering exhibited 90.6% greater durability under no-hydrogen flow conditions than the MEA without the TiVCr hydrogen storage alloy coating. These results demonstrate for the first time that GDLs coated with a hydrogen storage alloy such as TiVCr may be applied in PEMFCs to improve their performance and durability.

  8. Microscale X-ray tomographic investigation of the interfacial morphology between the catalyst and micro porous layers in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prass, Sebastian; Hasanpour, Sadegh; Sow, Pradeep Kumar; Phillion, André B.; Mérida, Walter

    2016-07-01

    The interfacial morphology between the catalyst layer (CL) and micro porous layer (MPL) influences the performance of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Here we report a direct method to investigate the CL-MPL interfacial morphology of stacked and compressed gas diffusion layer (GDL with MPL)-catalyst coated membrane (CCM) assemblies. The area, origin and dimensions of interfacial gaps are studied with high-resolution X-ray micro computed tomography (X-μCT). The projected gap area (fraction of the CL-MPL interface separated by gaps) is higher for GDL-CCM assemblies with large differences in the surface roughness between CL and MPL but reduces with increasing compression and similarity in roughness. Relatively large continuous gaps are found in proximity to cracks in the MPL. These are hypothesized to form due to the presence of large pores on the surface of the GDL. Smaller gaps are induced by the surface roughness features throughout the CL-MPL interface. By modification of the pore sizes on the GDL surface serving as substrate for the MPL, the number and dimension of MPL crack induced gaps can be manipulated. Moreover, adjusting the CL and MPL surface roughness parameters to achieve similar orders of roughness can improve the surface mating characteristics of these two components.

  9. Pre-Oxidized and Nitrided Stainless Steel Foil for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Bipolar Plates: Part 1 Corrosion, Interfacial Contact Resistance, and Surface Structure

    SciTech Connect

    Brady, Michael P; Wang, Heli; Turner, John; Meyer III, Harry M; More, Karren Leslie; Tortorelli, Peter F; McCarthy, Brian D

    2010-01-01

    Thermal (gas) nitridation of stainless steels can yield low interfacial contact resistance (ICR), electrically-conductive and corrosion-resistant nitride containing surfaces (Cr2N, CrN, TiN, V2N, VN, etc) of interest for fuel cells, batteries, and sensors. This paper presents the results of scale up studies to determine the feasibility of extending the nitridation approach to thin 0.1 mm stainless steel alloy foils for proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) bipolar plates. A major emphasis was placed on selection of alloy foil composition and nitidation conditions potentially capable of meeting the stringent cost goals for automotive PEMFC applications. Developmental Fe-20Cr-4V alloy and type 2205 stainless steel foils were treated by pre-oxidation and nitridation to form low-ICR, corrosion-resistant surfaces. Promising behavior was observed under simulated aggressive anode- and cathode- side bipolar plate conditions for both materials. Variation in ICR values were observed for treated 2205 foil, with lower (better) values generally observed for the treated Fe-20Cr-4V. This behavior was linked to the nature of the pre-oxidized and nitrided surface structure, which contained through surface layer thickness V-nitride particles in the case of Fe-20Cr-4V but near continuous chromia in the case of 2205 stainless steel. The implications of these findings for stamped bipolar plate foils are discussed.

  10. Oxygen transport resistance at gas diffusion layer - Air channel interface with film flow of water in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koz, Mustafa; Kandlikar, Satish G.

    2016-01-01

    Water present as films on the gas diffusion layer-air channel interface in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) alters the oxygen transport resistance, which is expressed through Sherwood number (Sh). The effect of multiple films along the flow length on Sh is investigated through 3D and stationary simulations. The effects of air Péclet number, non-dimensional film width, length, and spacing are studied. Using the simulation results, non-dimensional correlations are developed for local Sh within a mean absolute percentage error of 9%. These correlations can be used for simulating PEMFC performance over temperature and relative humidity ranges of 20-80 °C and 0-100%, respectively. Sh on the film side can be up to 31% lower than that for a dry channel, while a film may reduce the interfacial width by up to 39%. The corresponding increase in transport resistance results in lowering the voltage by 5 and 8 mV respectively at a current density of 1.5 A cm-2. However, their combined effect leads to a voltage loss of 20 mV due to this additional mass transport resistance. It is therefore important to incorporate the additional resistance introduced by the films while modeling fuel cell performance.

  11. Pre-oxidized and nitrided stainless steel alloy foil for proton exchange membrane fuel cell bipolar plates: Part 1. Corrosion, interfacial contact resistance, and surface structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brady, M. P.; Wang, H.; Turner, J. A.; Meyer, H. M.; More, K. L.; Tortorelli, P. F.; McCarthy, B. D.

    Thermal (gas) nitridation of stainless steel alloys can yield low interfacial contact resistance (ICR), electrically conductive and corrosion-resistant nitride containing surface layers (Cr 2N, CrN, TiN, V 2N, VN, etc.) of interest for fuel cells, batteries, and sensors. This paper presents results of scale-up studies to determine the feasibility of extending the nitridation approach to thin 0.1 mm stainless steel alloy foils for proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) bipolar plates. Developmental Fe-20Cr-4V alloy and type 2205 stainless steel foils were treated by pre-oxidation and nitridation to form low-ICR, corrosion-resistant surfaces. As-treated Fe-20Cr-4V foil exhibited target (low) ICR values, whereas 2205 foil suffered from run-to-run variation in ICR values, ranging up to 2× the target value. Pre-oxidized and nitrided surface structure examination revealed surface-through-layer-thickness V-nitride particles for the treated Fe-20Cr-4V, but near continuous chromia for treated 2205 stainless steel, which was linked to the variation in ICR values. Promising corrosion resistance was observed under simulated aggressive PEMFC anode- and cathode-side bipolar plate conditions for both materials, although ICR values were observed to increase. The implications of these findings for stamped bipolar plate foils are discussed.

  12. A highly stable anode, carbon-free, catalyst support based on tungsten trioxide nanoclusters for proton-exchange membrane fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Dou, Meiling; Hou, Ming; Zhang, Huabing; Li, Guangfu; Lu, Wangting; Wei, Zidong; Shao, Zhigang; Yi, Baolian

    2012-05-01

    Durability is an important issue in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). One of the major challenges lies in the degradation caused by the oxidation of the carbon support under high anode potentials (under fuel starvation conditions). Herein, we report highly stable, carbon-free, WO(3) nanoclusters as catalyst supports. The WO(3) nanoclusters are synthesized through a hard template method and characterized by means of electron microscopy and electrochemical analysis. The electrochemical studies show that the WO(3) nanoclusters have excellent electrochemical stability under a high potential (1.6 V for 10 h) compared to Vulcan XC-72. Pt nanoparticles supported on these nanoclusters exhibit high and stable electrocatalytic activity for the oxidation of hydrogen. The catalyst shows negligible loss in electrochemically active surface area (ECA) after an accelerated durability test, whereas the ECA of the Pt nanoparticles immobilized on conventional carbon decreases significantly after the same oxidation condition. Therefore, Pt/WO(3) could be considered as a promising alternative anode catalyst for PEMFCs. PMID:22532479

  13. Production of high-performance and improved-durability Pt-catalyst /support for proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells with pulsed laser deposition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Ting-Wei; Qayyum, Hamza; Lin, Guan-Ren; Chen, Szu-yuan; Tseng, Chung-Jen

    2016-06-01

    Pulsed laser deposition in Ar atmosphere is used to deposit Pt nanoparticles onto gas diffusion layer, and its application to proton-exchange-membrane fuel cell is optimized and characterized. When used at anode side, with a Pt loading of 17 μg cm‑2 the fuel-cell current density at 0.6 V reaches 1.08 A cm‑2, which is close to that of a cell with the anode made by conventional slurry process using E-TEK Pt /C of 200 μg cm‑2 Pt loading. The usage of Pt is decreased by 12 fold. Such a low usage of Pt prepared by pulsed laser deposition can be ascribed to the prevention of forming isolated regions that occurs with Pt /C slurry, good dispersion of Pt particles on support, and small particle sizes of 2–3 nm. Furthermore, using accelerated degradation test, it is found that the pulsed laser deposition sample retains 60% of its initial electrochemical surface area after 5000 potential cycles, much higher than that with E-TEK Pt /C, which retains only 7% of its initial electrochemical surface area. The higher electrochemical durability can be attributed to the higher degree of graphitization in the gas diffusion layer used as compared with the carbon black in E-TEK Pt /C, which leads to stronger binding of the Pt nanoparticles onto the carbon support and stronger corrosion resistance of the carbon support.

  14. Synthesizing 2D MoS2 Nanofins on carbon nanospheres as catalyst support for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Yan; Chua, Daniel H. C.

    2016-06-01

    Highly dense 2D MoS2 fin-like nanostructures on carbon nanospheres were fabricated and formed the main catalyst support structure in the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) for polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells. These nanofins were observed growing perpendicular to the carbon nanosphere surface in random orientations and high resolution transmission electron microscope confirmed 2D layers. The PEM fuel cell test showed enhanced electrochemical activity with good stability, generating over 8.5 W.mgPt‑1 as compared to standard carbon black of 7.4 W.mgPt‑1 under normal operating conditions. Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy confirmed that the performance improvement is highly due to the excellent water management of the MoS2 lamellar network, which facilitates water retention at low current density and flood prevention at high current density. Reliability test further demonstrated that these nanofins are highly stable in the electrochemical reaction and is an excellent ORR catalyst support.

  15. Synthesizing 2D MoS2 Nanofins on carbon nanospheres as catalyst support for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Yan; Chua, Daniel H. C.

    2016-01-01

    Highly dense 2D MoS2 fin-like nanostructures on carbon nanospheres were fabricated and formed the main catalyst support structure in the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) for polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells. These nanofins were observed growing perpendicular to the carbon nanosphere surface in random orientations and high resolution transmission electron microscope confirmed 2D layers. The PEM fuel cell test showed enhanced electrochemical activity with good stability, generating over 8.5 W.mgPt−1 as compared to standard carbon black of 7.4 W.mgPt−1 under normal operating conditions. Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy confirmed that the performance improvement is highly due to the excellent water management of the MoS2 lamellar network, which facilitates water retention at low current density and flood prevention at high current density. Reliability test further demonstrated that these nanofins are highly stable in the electrochemical reaction and is an excellent ORR catalyst support. PMID:27302135

  16. Synthesizing 2D MoS2 Nanofins on carbon nanospheres as catalyst support for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

    Hu, Yan; Chua, Daniel H C

    2016-01-01

    Highly dense 2D MoS2 fin-like nanostructures on carbon nanospheres were fabricated and formed the main catalyst support structure in the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) for polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells. These nanofins were observed growing perpendicular to the carbon nanosphere surface in random orientations and high resolution transmission electron microscope confirmed 2D layers. The PEM fuel cell test showed enhanced electrochemical activity with good stability, generating over 8.5 W.mgPt(-1) as compared to standard carbon black of 7.4 W.mgPt(-1) under normal operating conditions. Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy confirmed that the performance improvement is highly due to the excellent water management of the MoS2 lamellar network, which facilitates water retention at low current density and flood prevention at high current density. Reliability test further demonstrated that these nanofins are highly stable in the electrochemical reaction and is an excellent ORR catalyst support. PMID:27302135

  17. Renewable Electricity Generation via Solar-Powered Methanol Reforming: Hybrid Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Systems Based on Novel Non-Concentrating, Intermediate-Temperature Solar Collectors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Real, Daniel J.

    Tremendous research efforts have been conducted studying the capturing and conversion of solar energy. Solar thermal power systems offer a compelling opportunity for renewable energy utilization with high efficiencies and excellent cost-effectiveness. The goal of this work was to design a non-concentrating collector capable of reaching temperatures above 250 °C, use this collector to power methanol steam reforming, and operate a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell using the generated hydrogen. The study presents the construction and characterization of a non-concentrating, intermediate-temperature, fin-in-tube evacuated solar collector, made of copper and capable of reaching stagnation temperatures of 268.5 °C at 1000 W/m2 irradiance. The collector was used to power methanol steam reforming, including the initial heating and vaporization of liquid reactants and the final heating of the gaseous reactants. A preferential oxidation (PROX) catalyst was used to remove CO from simulated reformate gas, and this product gas was used to operate a PEM fuel cell. The results show 1) that the outlet temperature is not limited by heat transfer from the absorber coating to the heat transfer fluid, but by the amount of solar energy absorbed. This implicates a constant heat flux description of the heat transfer process and allows for the usage of materials with lower thermal conductivity than copper. 2) It is possible to operate a PEM fuel cell from reformate gas if a PROX catalyst is used to remove CO from the gas. 3) The performance of the fuel cell is only slightly decreased (~4%) by CO2 dilution present in the reformate and PROX gas. These results provide a foundation for the first renewable electricity generation via solar-powered methanol reforming through a hybrid PEM fuel cell system based on novel non-concentrating, intermediate-temperature solar collectors.

  18. Electroless Ni-Cu-P/nano-graphite composite coatings for bipolar plates of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Cheng-Kuo

    2012-12-01

    This study evaluates the effects of an electroless Ni-Cu-P/nano-graphite composite coating on the surface characteristics of anodized 5083 aluminum alloy, including electrical resistivity, corrosion resistance of the alloy in a simulated solution of 0.5 M H2SO4 + 2 ppm NaF in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). The co-deposition and adhesion of the composite coatings on a 5083 substrate are enhanced by an anodizing process. The electroless Ni-Cu-P plating solution is prepared by adding different CuSO4·5H2O concentrations into the electroless Ni-P plating solution and adding nano-graphite (15-40 nm) particles to form the Ni-Cu-P/nano-graphite composite coatings. Experimental results indicate that the electroless Ni-Cu-P/nano-graphite composite coating enhances the hardness, conductivity, corrosion resistance of the 5083 substrate in the corrosive solution. The anodizing treatment enhances the electroless composite coatings by providing better uniformity, density, and adhesion compared to substrate without anodizing treatment. The electroless Ni-Cu-P/nano-graphite composite coating deposited on the optimal anodized 5083 substrate at a low CuSO4·5H2O concentration of 0.25 g l-1 with 20 g l-1 nano-graphite added have the best surface structure, highest hardness, electrical conductivity and corrosion resistance. Therefore, this novel electroless Ni-Cu-P/nano-graphite composite-coated 5083 aluminum alloy has potential applications in bipolar plates of PEM fuel cells.

  19. Advanced proton-exchange materials for energy efficient fuel cells.

    SciTech Connect

    Fujimoto, Cy H.; Grest, Gary Stephen; Hickner, Michael A.; Cornelius, Christopher James; Staiger, Chad Lynn; Hibbs, Michael R.

    2005-12-01

    The ''Advanced Proton-Exchange Materials for Energy Efficient Fuel Cells'' Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project began in October 2002 and ended in September 2005. This LDRD was funded by the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy strategic business unit. The purpose of this LDRD was to initiate the fundamental research necessary for the development of a novel proton-exchange membranes (PEM) to overcome the material and performance limitations of the ''state of the art'' Nafion that is used in both hydrogen and methanol fuel cells. An atomistic modeling effort was added to this LDRD in order to establish a frame work between predicted morphology and observed PEM morphology in order to relate it to fuel cell performance. Significant progress was made in the area of PEM material design, development, and demonstration during this LDRD. A fundamental understanding involving the role of the structure of the PEM material as a function of sulfonic acid content, polymer topology, chemical composition, molecular weight, and electrode electrolyte ink development was demonstrated during this LDRD. PEM materials based upon random and block polyimides, polybenzimidazoles, and polyphenylenes were created and evaluated for improvements in proton conductivity, reduced swelling, reduced O{sub 2} and H{sub 2} permeability, and increased thermal stability. Results from this work reveal that the family of polyphenylenes potentially solves several technical challenges associated with obtaining a high temperature PEM membrane. Fuel cell relevant properties such as high proton conductivity (>120 mS/cm), good thermal stability, and mechanical robustness were demonstrated during this LDRD. This report summarizes the technical accomplishments and results of this LDRD.

  20. Effects of hydrophobic agent content in macro-porous substrates on the fracture behavior of the gas diffusion layer for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Sanwi; Jeong, Byeong-Heon; Hong, Bo Ki; Kim, Taek-Soo

    2014-12-01

    Although the adhesion between the macro-porous substrate (MPS) and micro-porous layer (MPL) of a gas diffusion layer (GDL) is a critical factor that affects the reliability and durability of proton exchange membrane fuel cells, systematic studies quantifying the interfacial fracture energy of GDL have not yet been reported. Therefore, in this study, the interfacial fracture energy of GDLs with different contents of hydrophobic agents in the MPS is quantitatively measured. GDL samples with 0, 5, 10, and 20 wt% of hydrophobic agent content are tested using double cantilever beam fracture mechanics tests. It is observed that the interfacial fracture energy of the GDLs increases as the content of hydrophobic agent increases, due to more favorable interactions between the hydrophobic agents of the MPL and MPS. Optical microscope, scanning electron microscope, and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscope analyses are performed on the bare and delaminated surfaces in order to investigate the mechanism of the interfacial fracture energy increase of the GDLs.

  1. Improved anticorrosion properties and electrical conductivity of 316L stainless steel as bipolar plate for proton exchange membrane fuel cell by lower temperature chromizing treatment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Lijun; Yu, Haijun; Jiang, Lijun; Zhu, Lei; Jian, Xuyu; Wang, Zhong

    The lower temperature chromizing treatment is developed to modify 316L stainless steel (SS 316L) for the application of bipolar plate in proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). The treatment is performed to produce a coating, containing mainly Cr-carbide and Cr-nitride, on the substrate to improve the anticorrosion properties and electrical conductivity between the bipolar plate and carbon paper. Shot peening is used as the pretreatment to produce an activated surface on stainless steel to reduce chromizing temperature. Anticorrosion properties and interfacial contact resistance (ICR) are investigated in this study. Results show that the chromized SS 316L exhibits better corrosion resistance and lower ICR value than those of bare SS 316L. The chromized SS 316L shows the passive current density about 3E-7 A cm -2 that is about four orders of magnitude lower than that of bare SS 316L. ICR value of the chromized SS 316L is 13 mΩ cm 2 that is about one-third of bare SS 316L at 200 N cm -2 compaction forces. Therefore, this study clearly states the performance advantages of using chromized SS 316L by lower temperature chromizing treatment as bipolar plate for PEMFC.

  2. Electrochemical behavior of nanocrystalline Ta/TaN multilayer on 316L stainless steel: Novel bipolar plates for proton exchange membrane fuel-cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alishahi, M.; Mahboubi, F.; Mousavi Khoie, S. M.; Aparicio, M.; Hübner, R.; Soldera, F.; Gago, R.

    2016-08-01

    Insufficient corrosion resistance and surface conductivity are two main issues that plague large-scale application of stainless steel (SS) bipolar plates in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). This study explores the use of nanocrystalline Ta/TaN multilayer coatings to improve the electrical and electrochemical performance of polished 316L SS bipolar plates. The multilayer coatings have been deposited by (reactive) magnetron sputtering and characterized by X-ray diffraction, field-emission scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. The electrochemical behavior of bare and coated substrates has been evaluated in simulated PEMFC working environments by potentiodynamic and potentiostatic polarization tests at ambient temperature and 80 °C. The results show that the Ta/TaN multilayer coating increases the polarization resistance of 316L SS by about 30 and 104 times at ambient and elevated temperatures, respectively. The interfacial contact resistance (ICR) shows a low value of 12 mΩ × cm2 before the potentiostatic test. This ICR is significantly lower than for the bare substrate and remains mostly unchanged after potentiostatic polarization for 14 h. In addition, the high contact angle (92°) with water for coated substrates indicates a hydrophobic character, which can improve the water management within the cell in PEMFC stacks.

  3. Electrodeposited conductive polypyrrole/polyaniline composite film for the corrosion protection of copper bipolar plates in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, T. J.; Zuo, X. W.; Wang, T.; Hu, J.; Chen, Z. D.; Ren, Y. J.

    2016-01-01

    A conductive composite coating consisting of an inner polypyrrole (PPY) layer and an outer polyaniline (PANI) layer is prepared on a copper substrate by an electrochemical synthesis. Potential application of these composite coatings in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is evaluated. The corrosion performance of the copper substrate without and with the polymer coatings in the acidic solutions containing H2SO4 (0.2 M), HCl (0.1 M) and HF (3 ppm) is investigated by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, polarization and open-circuit potential measurements. The results indicate that both the bilayered PPY/PANI and the single PPY coating can increase the corrosion potential of copper substrate by more than 250 mV (SCE), and effectively decrease the corrosion current density by an order of magnitude in comparison with the uncoated copper substrate. Long-term test further confirms that the bilayered PPY/PANI coating with acceptable contact resistance provides better protection for the substrate than the single PPY coating. The bilayered structure with different ion-permselective nature may serve as an effective physical barrier to the inward penetration of corrosive species.

  4. A review of the stability and durability of non-precious metal catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banham, Dustin; Ye, Siyu; Pei, Katie; Ozaki, Jun-ichi; Kishimoto, Takeaki; Imashiro, Yasuo

    2015-07-01

    A major hurdle to the widespread commercialization of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) is the high loading of noble metal (Pt/Pt-alloy) catalyst at the cathode, which is necessary to facilitate the inherently sluggish oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). To eliminate the use of Pt/Pt-alloy catalysts at the cathode of PEMFCs and thus significantly reduce the cost, extensive research on non-precious metal catalysts (NPMCs) has been carried out over the past decade. Major advances in improving the ORR activity of NPMCs, particularly Fe- and Co-based NPMCs, have elevated these materials to a level at which they can start to be considered as potential alternatives to Pt/Pt-alloy catalysts. Unfortunately, the stability (performance loss following galvanostatic experiments) of these materials is currently unacceptably low and the durability (performance loss following voltage cycling) remains uncertain. The three primary mechanisms of instability are: (a) Leaching of the metal site, (b) Oxidative attack by H2O2, and (c) Protonation followed by possible anion adsorption of the active site. While (a) has largely been solved, further work is required to understand and prevent losses from (b) and/or (c). Thus, this review is focused on historical progress in (and possible future strategies for) improving the stability/durability of NPMCs.

  5. Study of the acetonitrile poisoning of platinum cathodes on proton exchange membrane fuel cell spatial performance using a segmented cell system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reshetenko, Tatyana V.; St-Pierre, Jean

    2015-10-01

    Due to the wide applications of acetonitrile as a solvent in the chemical industry, acetonitrile can be present in the air and should be considered a possible pollutant. In this work, the spatial proton exchange membrane fuel cell performance exposed to air with 20 ppm CH3CN was studied using a segmented cell system. The injection of CH3CN led to performance losses of 380 mV at 0.2 A cm-2 and 290 mV at 1.0 A cm-2 accompanied by a significant change in the current density distribution. The observed local currents behavior is likely attributed to acetonitrile chemisorption and the subsequent two consecutive reduction/oxidation reactions. The hydrolysis of CH3CN and its intermediate imine species resulted in NH4+ formation, which increased the high-frequency resistance of the cell and affected oxygen reduction and performance. Other products of hydrolysis can be oxidized to CO2 under the operating conditions. The reintroduction of pure air completely recovered cell performance within 4 h at 1.0 A cm-2, while at 0.2 A cm-2 the cell recovery was only partial. A detailed analysis of the current density distribution, its correlation with spatial electrochemical impedance spectroscopy data, possible CH3CN oxidation/reduction mechanisms and mitigation strategies are presented and discussed.

  6. Gram-level synthesis of core-shell structured catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Mingchuan; Wei, Lingli; Wang, Fanghui; Han, Kefei; Zhu, Hong

    2014-12-01

    Over the past decade, Pt based core-shell structured alloys have been studied extensively as oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalysts for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) because of their distinctive electrochemical performance and low Pt loading. In this paper, a facile route based on microwave-assisted polyol method and chemical dealloying process is proposed to synthesize carbon supported core-shell structured nanoparticles (NPs) in gram-level for ORR electrocatalysis in PEMFCs. The obtained samples are characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). These physical characterization indicate that the final synthesized NPs are highly dispersed on the carbon support, and in a core-shell structure with CuPt alloy as the core and Pt as the shell. Electrochemical measurements, conducted by cyclic voltammetry (CV) and rotating disk electrode (RDE) tests, show the core-shell structured catalyst exhibit a 3× increase in mass activity and a 2× increase in specific activity over the commercial Pt/C catalyst, respectively. These results demonstrate that this route can be a reliable way to synthesize low-Pt catalyst in large-scale for PEMFCs.

  7. Pt/C catalyst degradation in proton exchange membrane fuel cells due to high-frequency potential cycling induced by switching power converters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uno, Masatoshi; Tanaka, Koji

    Proton exchange membrane fuel cells are operated using switching power converters that produce high-frequency ripple currents. These ripples cause high-frequency potential cycling of cells, which is believed to lead premature deterioration in the electrochemical surface area (ECA) of Pt/C catalysts. The qualitative relationship between ECA losses and the frequency of potential cycling was investigated in the range of 1 Hz to 1 kHz. For frequencies higher than 100 Hz, ECA losses were comparable with those at the potential hold condition. However, for lower frequencies, ECA decreased significantly with decreasing frequency. TEM observations showed that there was marked Pt particle growth for the 1-Hz cycling condition, whereas particle size distributions at 100 Hz and potential hold conditions were comparable. The currents associated with Pt oxidation and reduction during potential cycling were also investigated at various potentials and frequencies, and the charges associated with Pt loss (Δ Q) were determined by integrating the measured current. A correlation between the ECA trend and Δ Q was observed. The results obtained in this study are considered informative for electrical engineering research, because it relates to the design of switching power converters that do not negatively influence the Pt/C catalyst durability.

  8. An investigation on corrosion protection of chromium nitride coated Fe-Cr alloy as a bipolar plate material for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, T. J.; Zhang, B.; Li, J.; He, Y. X.; Lin, F.

    2014-12-01

    The corrosion properties of chromium nitride (CrN) coating are investigated to assess the potential use of this material as a bipolar plate for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Conductive metallic ceramic CrN layers are firstly deposited onto Fe-Cr alloy using a multi-arc ion plating technique to increase the corrosion resistance of the base alloy. Electrochemical measurements indicate that the corrosion resistance of the substrate alloy is greatly enhanced by the CrN coating. The free corrosion potential of the substrate is increased by more than 50 mV. Furthermore, a decrease in three orders of magnitude of corrosive current density for the CrN-coated alloy is observed compared to the as-received Fe-Cr alloy. Long-term immersion tests show that the CrN layer is highly stable and effectively acts as a barrier to inhibit permeation of corrosive species. On the contrary, corrosion of the Fe-Cr alloy is rather severe without the protection of CrN coating due to the active dissolution. Finally, the corresponding electrochemical impedance models are proposed to elucidate the corrosion process of the CrN/Fe-Cr alloy submerged in a simulated PEMFCs environment.

  9. Effects of passive films on corrosion resistance of uncoated SS316L bipolar plates for proton exchange membrane fuel cell application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Ying; Ning, Xiaohui; Tang, Hongsheng; Guo, Liejin; Liu, Hongtan

    2014-11-01

    The effects of passive films on the corrosion behaviors of uncoated SS316L in anode and cathode environments of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are studied. Potentiodynamic and potentiostatic polarizations are employed to study the corrosion behavior; Mott-Schottky measurements are used to characterize the semiconductor properties of passive films; X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analyses are used to identify the compositions and the depth profiles of passive films. The passive films formed in the PEMFC anode and cathode environments under corresponding conditions both behave as n-type semiconductor. The passive film formed in the anode environment has a single-layer structure, Cr is the major element (Cr/Fe atomic ratio > 1), and the Cr/Fe atomic ratio decreases from the surface to the bulk; while the passive film formed in the PEMFC cathode environment has a bi-layer structure, Fe is the major element (Cr/Fe atomic ratio < 0.5), and in the external layer of the bi-layer structure Fe content increases rapidly and gradually in the internal layer. SS316L shows better corrosion resistance owing to both the high content of Cr oxide in the passive film and low band bending in normal PEMFC anode environments.

  10. High throughput study of fuel cell proton exchange membranes: Poly(vinylidene fluoride)/acrylic polyelectrolyte blends and nanocomposites with zirconium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zapata B., Pedro Jose

    Sustainability is perhaps one of the most heard buzzwords in the post-20 th century society; nevertheless, it is not without a reason. Our present practices for energy supply are largely unsustainable if we consider their environmental and social impact. In view of this unfavorable panorama, alternative sustainable energy sources and conversion approaches have acquired noteworthy significance in recent years. Among these, proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are being considered as a pivotal building block in the transition towards a sustainable energy economy in the 21st century. The polyelectrolyte membrane or proton exchange membrane (PEM) is a vital component, as well as a performance-limiting factor, of the PEMFC. Consequently, the development of high-performance PEM materials is of utmost importance for the advance of the PEMFC field. In this work, alternative PEM materials based on semi-interpenetrated networks from blends of poly(vinyledene fluoride) (PVDF) (inert phase) and sulfonated crosslinked acrylic polyelectrolytes (PE) (proton-conducting phase), as well as tri-phase PVDF/PE/zirconium-based composites, are studied. To alleviate the burden resulting from the vast number of possible combinations of the different precursors utilized in the preparation of the membranes (PVDF: 5x, PE: 2x, Nanoparticle: 3x), custom high-throughput (HT) screening systems have been developed for their characterization. By coupling the data spaces obtained via these systems with the appropriate statistical and data analysis tools it was found that, despite not being directly involved in the proton transport process, the inert PVDF phase plays a major role on proton conductivity. Particularly, a univocal inverse correlation between the PVDF crystalline characteristics (i.e., crystallinity and crystallite size) and melt viscosity, and membrane proton conductivity was discovered. Membranes based on highly crystalline and viscous PVDF homopolymers exhibited reduced proton