Science.gov

Sample records for air fuel cells

  1. Fuel cell stack with passive air supply

    DOEpatents

    Ren, Xiaoming; Gottesfeld, Shimshon

    2006-01-17

    A fuel cell stack has a plurality of polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) where each PEFC includes a rectangular membrane electrode assembly (MEA) having a fuel flow field along a first axis and an air flow field along a second axis perpendicular to the first axis, where the fuel flow field is long relative to the air flow field. A cathode air flow field in each PEFC has air flow channels for air flow parallel to the second axis and that directly open to atmospheric air for air diffusion within the channels into contact with the MEA.

  2. Air breathing direct methanol fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Ren, Xiaoming

    2002-01-01

    An air breathing direct methanol fuel cell is provided with a membrane electrode assembly, a conductive anode assembly that is permeable to air and directly open to atmospheric air, and a conductive cathode assembly that is permeable to methanol and directly contacting a liquid methanol source.

  3. Air breathing direct methanol fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Ren, Xiaoming; Gottesfeld, Shimshon

    2002-01-01

    An air breathing direct methanol fuel cell is provided with a membrane electrode assembly, a conductive anode assembly that is permeable to air and directly open to atmospheric air, and a conductive cathode assembly that is permeable to methanol and directly contacting a liquid methanol source. Water loss from the cell is minimized by making the conductive cathode assembly hydrophobic and the conductive anode assembly hydrophilic.

  4. Air-cooled, hydrogen-air fuel cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shelekhin, Alexander B. (Inventor); Bushnell, Calvin L. (Inventor); Pien, Michael S. (Inventor)

    1999-01-01

    An air-cooled, hydrogen-air solid polymer electrolyte (SPE) fuel cell with a membrane electrode assembly operatively associated with a fluid flow plate having at least one plate cooling channel extending through the plate and at least one air distribution hole extending from a surface of the cathode flow field into the plate cooling channel.

  5. Air Breathing Direct Methanol Fuel Cell

    DOEpatents

    Ren; Xiaoming

    2003-07-22

    A method for activating a membrane electrode assembly for a direct methanol fuel cell is disclosed. The method comprises operating the fuel cell with humidified hydrogen as the fuel followed by running the fuel cell with methanol as the fuel.

  6. Annular feed air breathing fuel cell stack

    DOEpatents

    Wilson, Mahlon S.

    1996-01-01

    A stack of polymer electrolyte fuel cells is formed from a plurality of unit cells where each unit cell includes fuel cell components defining a periphery and distributed along a common axis, where the fuel cell components include a polymer electrolyte membrane, an anode and a cathode contacting opposite sides of the membrane, and fuel and oxygen flow fields contacting the anode and the cathode, respectively, wherein the components define an annular region therethrough along the axis. A fuel distribution manifold within the annular region is connected to deliver fuel to the fuel flow field in each of the unit cells. In a particular embodiment, a single bolt through the annular region clamps the unit cells together. In another embodiment, separator plates between individual unit cells have an extended radial dimension to function as cooling fins for maintaining the operating temperature of the fuel cell stack.

  7. Degradation characteristics of air cathode in zinc air fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Ze; Pei, Pucheng; Wang, Keliang; Wang, Xizhong; Xu, Huachi; Liu, Yongfeng; peng, Guanlin

    2015-01-01

    The zinc air fuel cell (ZAFC) is a promising candidate for electrical energy storage and electric vehicle propulsion. However, its limited durability has become a major obstacle for its successful commercialization. In this study, 2-cell stacks, 25 cm² cells and three-electrode half-cells are constructed to experimentally investigate the degradation characteristics of the air cathode. The results of electrochemical tests reveal that the peak power density for the 25 cm2 cell with a new air cathode is 454 mW cm-2, which is twice as the value of the used air cathode. The electrochemical impedance analysis shows that both the charge transfer resistance and the mass transfer resistance of the used air cathodes have increased, suggesting that the catalyst surface area and gas diffusion coefficient have decreased significantly. Additionally, the microstructure and morphology of the catalytic layer (CL) and gas diffusion layer (GDL) are characterized by scanning electron microscopes (SEM). SEM results confirm that the micropores in CL and GDL of the used air cathode are seriously clogged, and many catalyst particles are lost. Therefore, the performance degradation is mainly due to the clogging of micropores and loss of catalyst particles. Furthermore, hypotheses of degradation mechanism and mitigation strategies for GDL and CL are discussed briefly.

  8. Pressurized solid oxide fuel cell integral air accumular containment

    DOEpatents

    Gillett, James E.; Zafred, Paolo R.; Basel, Richard A.

    2004-02-10

    A fuel cell generator apparatus contains at least one fuel cell subassembly module in a module housing, where the housing is surrounded by a pressure vessel such that there is an air accumulator space, where the apparatus is associated with an air compressor of a turbine/generator/air compressor system, where pressurized air from the compressor passes into the space and occupies the space and then flows to the fuel cells in the subassembly module, where the air accumulation space provides an accumulator to control any unreacted fuel gas that might flow from the module.

  9. Annular feed air breathing fuel cell stack

    DOEpatents

    Wilson, Mahlon S.; Neutzler, Jay K.

    1997-01-01

    A stack of polymer electrolyte fuel cells is formed from a plurality of unit cells where each unit cell includes fuel cell components defining a periphery and distributed along a common axis, where the fuel cell components include a polymer electrolyte membrane, an anode and a cathode contacting opposite sides of the membrane, and fuel and oxygen flow fields contacting the anode and the cathode, respectively, wherein the components define an annular region therethrough along the axis. A fuel distribution manifold within the annular region is connected to deliver fuel to the fuel flow field in each of the unit cells. The fuel distribution manifold is formed from a hydrophilic-like material to redistribute water produced by fuel and oxygen reacting at the cathode. In a particular embodiment, a single bolt through the annular region clamps the unit cells together. In another embodiment, separator plates between individual unit cells have an extended radial dimension to function as cooling fins for maintaining the operating temperature of the fuel cell stack.

  10. Combustor air flow control method for fuel cell apparatus

    DOEpatents

    Clingerman, Bruce J.; Mowery, Kenneth D.; Ripley, Eugene V.

    2001-01-01

    A method for controlling the heat output of a combustor in a fuel cell apparatus to a fuel processor where the combustor has dual air inlet streams including atmospheric air and fuel cell cathode effluent containing oxygen depleted air. In all operating modes, an enthalpy balance is provided by regulating the quantity of the air flow stream to the combustor to support fuel cell processor heat requirements. A control provides a quick fast forward change in an air valve orifice cross section in response to a calculated predetermined air flow, the molar constituents of the air stream to the combustor, the pressure drop across the air valve, and a look up table of the orifice cross sectional area and valve steps. A feedback loop fine tunes any error between the measured air flow to the combustor and the predetermined air flow.

  11. Fuel Cells Utilizing Oxygen From Air at Low Pressures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cisar, Alan; Boyer, Chris; Greenwald, Charles

    2006-01-01

    A fuel cell stack has been developed to supply power for a high-altitude aircraft with a minimum of air handling. The fuel cell is capable of utilizing oxygen from ambient air at low pressure with no need for compression. For such an application, it is advantageous to take oxygen from the air (in contradistinction to carrying a supply of oxygen onboard), but it is a challenging problem to design a fuel-cell stack of reasonable weight that can generate sufficient power while operating at reduced pressures. The present fuel-cell design is a response to this challenge. The design features a novel bipolar plate structure in combination with a gas-diffusion structure based on a conductive metal core and a carbon gas-diffusion matrix. This combination makes it possible for the flow fields in the stack to have a large open fraction (ratio between open volume and total volume) to permit large volumes of air to flow through with exceptionally low backpressure. Operations at reduced pressure require a corresponding increase in the volume of air that must be handled to deliver the same number of moles of oxygen to the anodes. Moreover, the increase in the open fraction, relative to that of a comparable prior fuel-cell design, reduces the mass of the stack. The fuel cell has been demonstrated to operate at a power density as high as 105 W/cm2 at an air pressure as low as 2 psia (absolute pressure 14 kPa), which is the atmospheric pressure at an altitude of about 50,000 ft ( 15.2 km). The improvements in the design of this fuel cell could be incorporated into designs of other fuel cells to make them lighter in weight and effective at altitudes higher than those of prior designs. Potential commercial applications for these improvements include most applications now under consideration for fuel cells.

  12. The California fuel cell partnership: an avenue to clean air

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lloyd, Alan C.

    The California Fuel Cell Partnership presently consists of eight private companies, two state agencies and a federal government representative that will attempt to demonstrate the feasibility of fuel cell cars and buses. California has attempted to advance the commercialization of zero-emission vehicles for much of the past decade to help the state reduce its high levels of air pollution. A special advisory panel convened by the California Air Resources Board concluded last year that fuel cell technology could meet the key requirements for automobiles. The successful commercialization of fuel cell vehicles would help to reduce the levels of ozone, fine particles and toxic air contaminants that pose health risks to California's population. This technology can also help to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. California regulations now encourage the development of zero and near-zero emission vehicle technologies, including fuel cells. The Fuel Cell Partnership will operate approximately 50 fuel cell cars and buses until the year 2003 in order to produce important information on the vehicles and fueling infrastructure needed to support them.

  13. Modeling and Analysis of Aluminum/Air Fuel Cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leon, Armando J.

    The technical and scientific challenges to provide reliable sources energy for US and global economy are enormous tasks, and especially so when combined with strategic and recent economic concerns of the last five years. It is clear that as part of the mix of energy sources necessary to deal with these challenges, fuel cells technology will play critical or even a central role. The US Department of Energy, as well as a number of the national laboratories and academic institutions have been aware of the importance such technology for some time. Recently, car manufacturers, transportation experts, and even utilities are paying attention to this vital source of energy for the future. In this thesis, a review of the main fuel cell technologies is presented with the focus on the modeling, and control of one particular and promising fuel cell technology, aluminum air fuel cells. The basic principles of this fuel cell technology are presented. A major part of the study consists of a description of the electrochemistry of the process, modeling, and simulations of aluminum air FC using Matlab Simulink(TM). The controller design of the proposed model is also presented. In sequel, a power management unit is designed and analyzed as an alternative source of power. Thus, the system commutes between the fuel cell output and the alternative power source in order to fulfill a changing power load demand. Finally, a cost analysis and assessment of this technology for portable devices, conclusions and future recommendations are presented.

  14. Planar solid oxide fuel cell with staged indirect-internal air and fuel preheating and reformation

    DOEpatents

    Geisbrecht, Rodney A; Williams, Mark C

    2003-10-21

    A solid oxide fuel cell arrangement and method of use that provides internal preheating of both fuel and air in order to maintain the optimum operating temperature for the production of energy. The internal preheat passes are created by the addition of two plates, one on either side of the bipolar plate, such that these plates create additional passes through the fuel cell. This internal preheat fuel cell configuration and method reduce the requirements for external heat exchanger units and air compressors. Air or fuel may be added to the fuel cell as required to maintain the optimum operating temperature through a cathode control valve or an anode control valve, respectively. A control loop comprises a temperature sensing means within the preheat air and fuel passes, a means to compare the measured temperature to a set point temperature and a determination based on the comparison as to whether the control valves should allow additional air or fuel into the preheat or bypass manifolds of the fuel cell.

  15. Air-breathing fuel cell stacks for portable power applications

    SciTech Connect

    Wilson, M.S.; DeCaro, D.; Neutzler, J.K.; Zawodzinski, C.; Gottesfeld, S.

    1996-10-01

    Increasing attention is being directed towards polymer electrolyte fuel cells as battery replacements because of their potentially superior energy densities and the possibility of `mechanical` refueling. On the low end of the power requirement scale (ca. 10 W), fuel cells can compete with primary and secondary batteries only if the fuel cell systems are simple, inexpensive, and reliable. Considerations of cost and simplicity (and minimal parasitic power) discourage the use of conventional performance enhancing subsystems (e.g., humidification, cooling, or forced-reactant flow). We are developing a stack design that is inherently self-regulating to allow effective operation without the benefit of such auxiliary components. The air cathode does not use forced flow to replenish the depleted oxygen. Instead, the oxygen in the air must diffuse into the stack from the periphery of the unit cells. For this reason the stack is described as `air-breathing.` This configuration limits the ability of water to escape which prevents the polymer electrolyte membranes from drying out, even at relatively high continuous operation temperatures (+60 degrees C). This results in stacks with reliable and stable performance. This air-breathing configuration assumes a unique stack geometry that utilizes circular flow-field plates with an annular hydrogen feed manifold and the single tie-bolt extending up through the central axis of the stack. With this geometry, the hydrogen supply to the unit cells is radially outward, and the air supply is from the periphery inward. This configuration has several advantages. The entire periphery is free to air access and allows greater heat conduction to enhance cooling. Furthermore, all of the components in the stack (e.g., the flow-fields, seals and membrane/electrode assemblies), are radially symmetrical, so part fabrication is simple and the entire system is potentially low-cost. Lastly, this configuration is compact and lightweight.

  16. Air electrode composition for solid oxide fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Kuo, L.; Ruka, R.J.; Singhal, S.C.

    1999-08-03

    An air electrode composition for a solid oxide fuel cell is disclosed. The air electrode material is based on lanthanum manganite having a perovskite-like crystal structure ABO{sub 3}. The A-site of the air electrode composition comprises a mixed lanthanide in combination with rare earth and alkaline earth dopants. The B-site of the composition comprises Mn in combination with dopants such as Mg, Al, Cr and Ni. The mixed lanthanide comprises La, Ce, Pr and, optionally, Nd. The rare earth A-site dopants preferably comprise La, Nd or a combination thereof, while the alkaline earth A-site dopant preferably comprises Ca. The use of a mixed lanthanide substantially reduces raw material costs in comparison with compositions made from high purity lanthanum starting materials. The amount of the A-site and B-site dopants is controlled in order to provide an air electrode composition having a coefficient of thermal expansion which closely matches that of the other components of the solid oxide fuel cell. 3 figs.

  17. Air electrode composition for solid oxide fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Kuo, Lewis; Ruka, Roswell J.; Singhal, Subhash C.

    1999-01-01

    An air electrode composition for a solid oxide fuel cell is disclosed. The air electrode material is based on lanthanum manganite having a perovskite-like crystal structure ABO.sub.3. The A-site of the air electrode composition comprises a mixed lanthanide in combination with rare earth and alkaline earth dopants. The B-site of the composition comprises Mn in combination with dopants such as Mg, Al, Cr and Ni. The mixed lanthanide comprises La, Ce, Pr and, optionally, Nd. The rare earth A-site dopants preferably comprise La, Nd or a combination thereof, while the alkaline earth A-site dopant preferably comprises Ca. The use of a mixed lanthanide substantially reduces raw material costs in comparison with compositions made from high purity lanthanum starting materials. The amount of the A-site and B-site dopants is controlled in order to provide an air electrode composition having a coefficient of thermal expansion which closely matches that of the other components of the solid oxide fuel cell.

  18. A pound of prevention: Air pollution and the fuel cell

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, B.L.; Rose, R.

    1996-12-31

    The expanded use of fuel cells in transportation and power generation is an exciting proposition for public health officials because of the potential of this technology to help reduce air pollution levels around the globe. Such work is about prevention -- prevention of air emissions of hazardous substances. Prevention is a key concept in public health. An example is quarantine, which aims to prevent the spread of a disease-causing organism. In the environmental arena, prevention includes cessation of pollution. Air pollution prevention policies also have a practical impact. Sooner or later ideas on technology, especially new technology, must be sold to policy makers, legislators, and eventually the public. Advocating technologies that will improve human health and welfare can be an effective marketing strategy.

  19. A review on air cathodes for zinc-air fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neburchilov, Vladimir; Wang, Haijiang; Martin, Jonathan J.; Qu, Wei

    This paper reviews the compositions, design and methods of fabrication of air cathodes for alkali zinc-air fuel cells (ZAFCs), one of the few successfully commercialized fuel cells. The more promising compositions for air cathodes are based on individual oxides, or mixtures of such, with a spinel, perovskite, or pyrochlore structure: MnO 2, Ag, Co 3O 4, La 2O 3, LaNiO 3, NiCo 2O 4, LaMnO 3, LaNiO 3, etc. These compositions provide the optimal balance of ORR activity and chemical stability in an alkali electrolyte. The sol-gel and reverse micelle methods supply the most uniform distribution of the catalyst on carbon and the highest catalyst BET surface area. It is shown that the design of the air cathode, including types of carbon black, binding agents, current collectors, Teflon membranes, thermal treatment of the GDL, and catalyst layers, has a strong effect on performance.

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

    DOEpatents

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

    2003-08-19

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

  1. Zinc/air fuel cell for electric vehicles

    SciTech Connect

    Cherepy, N. J.; Krueger, R.; Cooper, J. F.

    1999-01-01

    We are conducting tests of an advanced zinc/air fuel cell design to determine effectiveness in various commercial applications. Our 322-cm2 cell uses gravity-fed zinc pellets as the anode, 12 M KOH electrolyte, and an air cathode catalyzed by a cobalt-porphyrin complex on carbon black. A single 322 cm2 cell runs at a standard operating power of 38 W (1200 W/m2) at 39 A (1245 A/m2) and 0.96 V with a power density of 2400 W/m2 at 0.67 V. With improved current collection hardware, already demonstrated in the laboratory, power generation increases to -3600 W/m2 at 1V. We conducted a 50-hour test in which a cell generated 587 Ah and 569 Wh. The power that may be generated increases by a factor of 2.5 between T = 28 °C and 52 °C. Electrolyte capacity, without stabilization additives, was measured at 147 Ah/L

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franco, Alessandro

    2015-12-01

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

  3. Low-friction coatings for air bearings in fuel cell air compressors

    SciTech Connect

    Ajayi, O. O.; Fenske, G. R.; Erdemir, A.; Woodford, J.; Sitts, J.; Elshot, K.; Griffey, K.

    2000-01-06

    In an effort to reduce fuel consumption and emissions, hybrid vehicles incorporating fuel cell systems are being developed by automotive manufacturers, their suppliers, federal agencies (specifically, the US Department of Energy) and national laboratories. The fuel cell system will require an air management subsystem that includes a compressor/expander. Certain components in the compressor will require innovative lubrication technology in order to reduce parasitic energy losses and improve their reliability and durability. One such component is the air bearing for air turbocompressors designed and fabricated by Meruit, Inc. Argonne National Laboratory recently developed a carbon-based coating with low friction and wear attributes; this near-frictionless-carbon (NFC) coating is a potential candidate for use in turbocompressor air bearings. The authors present here an evaluation of the Argonne coating for air compressor thrust bearings. With two parallel 440C stainless steel discs in unidirectional sliding contact, the NFC reduced the frictional force four times and the wear rate by more than two orders of magnitude. Wear mechanism on the uncoated surface involved oxidation and production of iron oxide debris. Wear occurred on the coated surfaces primarily by a polishing mechanism.

  4. Air feed tube support system for a solid oxide fuel cell generator

    DOEpatents

    Doshi, Vinod B.; Ruka, Roswell J.; Hager, Charles A.

    2002-01-01

    A solid oxide fuel cell generator (12), containing tubular fuel cells (36) with interior air electrodes (18), where a supporting member (82) containing a plurality of holes (26) supports oxidant feed tubes (51), which pass from an oxidant plenum (52") into the center of the fuel cells, through the holes (26) in the supporting member (82), where a compliant gasket (86) around the top of the oxidant feed tubes and on top (28) of the supporting member (82) helps support the oxidant feed tubes and center them within the fuel cells, and loosen the tolerance for centering the air feed tubes.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Narayanan, S. R.

    1995-01-01

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

  6. Fuel Cell Propulsion Systems for an All-Electric Personal Air Vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kohout, Lisa L.

    2003-01-01

    There is a growing interest in the use of fuel cells as a power source for all-electric aircraft propulsion as a means to substantially reduce or eliminate environmentally harmful emissions. Among the technologies under consideration for these concepts are advanced proton exchange membrane and solid oxide fuel cells, alternative fuels and fuel processing, and fuel storage. This paper summarizes the results of a first-order feasibility study for an all-electric personal air vehicle utilizing a fuel cell-powered propulsion system. A representative aircraft with an internal combustion engine was chosen as a baseline to provide key parameters to the study, including engine power and subsystem mass, fuel storage volume and mass, and aircraft range. The engine, fuel tank, and associated ancillaries were then replaced with a fuel cell subsystem. Various configurations were considered including: a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell with liquid hydrogen storage; a direct methanol PEM fuel cell; and a direct internal reforming solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC)/turbine hybrid system using liquid methane fuel. Each configuration was compared to the baseline case on a mass and range basis.

  7. Fuel Cell Propulsion Systems for an All-electric Personal Air Vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kohout, Lisa L.; Schmitz, Paul C.

    2003-01-01

    There is a growing interest in the use of fuel cells as a power source for all-electric aircraft propulsion as a means to substantially reduce or eliminate environmentally harmful emissions. Among the technologies under consideration for these concepts are advanced proton exchange membrane and solid oxide fuel cells, alternative fuels and fuel processing, and fuel storage. This paper summarizes the results of a first-order feasibility study for an all-electric personal air vehicle utilizing a fuel cell-powered propulsion system. A representative aircraft with an internal combustion engine was chosen as a baseline to provide key parameters to the study, including engine power and subsystem mass, fuel storage volume and mass, and aircraft range. The engine, fuel tank, and associated ancillaries were then replaced with a fuel cell subsystem. Various configurations were considered including: a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell with liquid hydrogen storage; a direct methanol PEM fuel cell; and a direct internal reforming solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC)/turbine hybrid system using liquid methane fuel. Each configuration was compared to the baseline case on a mass and range basis.

  8. Emerging Fuel Cell Technology Being Developed: Offers Many Benefits to Air Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walker, James F.; Civinskas, Kestutis C.

    2004-01-01

    Fuel cells, which have recently received considerable attention for terrestrial applications ranging from automobiles to stationary power generation, may enable new aerospace missions as well as offer fuel savings, quiet operations, and reduced emissions for current and future aircraft. NASA has extensive experience with fuel cells, having used them on manned space flight systems over four decades. Consequently, the NASA Glenn Research Center has initiated an effort to investigate and develop fuel cell technologies for multiple aerospace applications. Two promising fuel cell types are the proton exchange membrane (PEM) and solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC). PEM technology, first used on the Gemini spacecraft in the sixties, remained unutilized thereafter until the automotive industry recently recognized the potential. PEM fuel cells are low-temperature devices offering quick startup time but requiring relatively pure hydrogen fuel. In contrast, SOFCs operate at high temperatures and tolerate higher levels of impurities. This flexibility allows SOFCs to use hydrocarbon fuels, which is an important factor considering our current liquid petroleum infrastructure. However, depending on the specific application, either PEM or SOFC can be attractive. As only NASA can, the Agency is pursuing fuel cell technology for civil uninhabited aerial vehicles (UAVs) because it offers enhanced scientific capabilities, including enabling highaltitude, long-endurance missions. The NASA Helios aircraft demonstrated altitudes approaching 100,000 ft using solar power in 2001, and future plans include the development of a regenerative PEM fuel cell to provide nighttime power. Unique to NASA's mission, the high-altitude aircraft application requires the PEM fuel cell to operate on pure oxygen, instead of the air typical of terrestrial applications.

  9. CLIMATE CHANGE FUEL CELL PROGRAM UNITED STATES COAST GUARD AIR STATION CAPE COD BOURNE, MASSACHUSETTS

    SciTech Connect

    John K. Steckel Jr

    2004-06-30

    This report covers the first year of operation of a fuel cell power plant, installed by PPL Spectrum, Inc. (PPL) under contract with the United States Coast Guard (USCG), Research and Development Center (RDC). The fuel cell was installed at Air Station Cape Cod in Bourne, MA. The project had the support of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC), the Department of Energy (DOE), and Keyspan Energy. PPL selected FuelCell Energy, Inc. (FCE) and its fuel cell model DFC{reg_sign}300 for the contract. Grant contributions were finalized and a contract between PPL and the USCG for the manufacture, installation, and first year's maintenance of the fuel cell was executed on September 24, 2001. As the prime contractor, PPL was responsible for all facets of the project. All the work was completed by PPL through various subcontracts, including the primary subcontract with FCE for the manufacture, delivery, and installation of the fuel cell. The manufacturing and design phases proceeded in a relatively timely manner for the first half of the project. However, during latter stages of manufacture and fuel cell testing, a variety of issues were encountered that ultimately resulted in several delivery delays, and a number of contract modifications. Final installation and field testing was completed in April and May 2003. Final acceptance of the fuel cell was completed on May 16, 2003. The fuel cell has operated successfully for more than one year. The unit achieved an availability rate of 96%, which exceeded expectations. The capacity factor was limited because the unit was set at 155 kW (versus a nameplate of 250 kW) due to the interconnection with the electric utility. There were 18 shutdowns during the first year and most were brief. The ability of this plant to operate in the island mode improved availability by 3 to 4%. Events that would normally be shutdowns were simply island mode events. The mean time between failure was calculated at 239 hours, or slightly less

  10. Investigation of novel electrolyte systems for advanced metal/air batteries and fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ye, Hui

    It is a worldwide challenge to develop advanced green power sources for modern portable devices, transportation and stationary power generation. Metal/air batteries and fuel cells clearly stand out in view of their high specific energy, high energy efficiency and environment-friendliness. Advanced metal/air batteries based on metal ion conductors and proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells operated at elevated temperatures (>120°C) can circumvent the limitations of current technologies and bring considerable advantages. The key is to develop suitable electrolytes to enable these new technologies. In this thesis research, investigation of novel electrolytes systems for advanced metal/air batteries and PEM fuel cells is conducted. Novel polymer gel electrolyte systems, [metal salt/ionic liquid/polymer] and [metal salt/liquid polyether/polymer] are prepared. Such systems contain no volatile solvents, conduct metal ions (Li+ or Zn 2+) with high ionic conductivity, possess wide electrochemical stability windows, and exhibit wide operating temperature ranges. They promise to enable non-aqueous, all-solid-state, thin-film Li/air batteries and Zn/air batteries. They are advantageous for application in other battery systems as well, such as rechargeable lithium and lithium ion batteries. In the case of proton exchange membranes, polymer gel electrolyte systems [acid/ionic liquid/polymer] are prepared. Especially, H3PO4/PMIH2PO 4/PBI is demonstrated as prospective proton exchange membranes for PEM fuel cells operating at elevated temperatures. Comprehensive electrochemical characterization, thermal analysis (TGA and DSC) and spectroscopy analysis (NMR and FTIR) are carried out to investigate these novel electrolyte systems and their ion transport mechanisms. The design and synthesis of novel ionic liquids and electrolyte systems based on them for advantageous application in various electrochemical power sources are highlighted in this work.

  11. Combinatorial electrochemical cell array for high throughput screening of micro-fuel-cells and metal/air batteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Rongzhong

    2007-07-01

    An electrochemical cell array was designed that contains a common air electrode and 16 microanodes for high throughput screening of both fuel cells (based on polymer electrolyte membrane) and metal/air batteries (based on liquid electrolyte). Electrode materials can easily be coated on the anodes of the electrochemical cell array and screened by switching a graphite probe from one cell to the others. The electrochemical cell array was used to study direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs), including high throughput screening of electrode catalysts and determination of optimum operating conditions. For screening of DMFCs, there is about 6% relative standard deviation (percentage of standard deviation versus mean value) for discharge current from 10to20mA/cm2. The electrochemical cell array was also used to study tin/air batteries. The effect of Cu content in the anode electrode on the discharge performance of the tin/air battery was investigated. The relative standard deviations for screening of metal/air battery (based on zinc/air) are 2.4%, 3.6%, and 5.1% for discharge current at 50, 100, and 150mA/cm2, respectively.

  12. Combinatorial electrochemical cell array for high throughput screening of micro-fuel-cells and metal/air batteries.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Rongzhong

    2007-07-01

    An electrochemical cell array was designed that contains a common air electrode and 16 microanodes for high throughput screening of both fuel cells (based on polymer electrolyte membrane) and metal/air batteries (based on liquid electrolyte). Electrode materials can easily be coated on the anodes of the electrochemical cell array and screened by switching a graphite probe from one cell to the others. The electrochemical cell array was used to study direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs), including high throughput screening of electrode catalysts and determination of optimum operating conditions. For screening of DMFCs, there is about 6% relative standard deviation (percentage of standard deviation versus mean value) for discharge current from 10 to 20 mAcm(2). The electrochemical cell array was also used to study tin/air batteries. The effect of Cu content in the anode electrode on the discharge performance of the tin/air battery was investigated. The relative standard deviations for screening of metal/air battery (based on zinc/air) are 2.4%, 3.6%, and 5.1% for discharge current at 50, 100, and 150 mAcm(2), respectively. PMID:17672740

  13. Computational modeling of alkaline air-breathing microfluidic fuel cells with an array of cylinder anodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ye, Ding-Ding; Zhang, Biao; Zhu, Xun; Sui, Pang-Chieh; Djilali, Ned; Liao, Qiang

    2015-08-01

    A three-dimensional computational model is developed for an alkaline air-breathing microfluidic fuel cell (AMFC) with an array of cylinder anodes. The model is validated against experimental data from an in-house prototype AMFC. The distributions of fluid velocity, fuel concentration and current density of the fuel cell are analyzed in detail. The effect of reactant flow rate on the cell performance and electrode potentials is also studied. The model results suggest that fuel crossover is minimized by the fast electrolyte flow in the vicinity of the cathode. The current production of each anode is uneven and is well correlated with internal ohmic resistance. Fuel transfer limitation occurs at low flow rates (<100 μL min-1) but diminishes at high flow rates. The model results also indicate that cathode potential reversal takes place at combined low flow rate and high current density conditions, mainly due to the improved overpotential downstream where fuel starvation occurs. The anode reaction current distribution is found to be relatively uniform, which is a result of a compensating mechanism that improves the current production of the bottom anodes downstream.

  14. Experimental investigation on a turbine compressor for air supply system of a fuel cell

    SciTech Connect

    Matsuda, Masayasu; Tsuchiyama, Syozo

    1996-12-31

    This report covers part of a joint study on a PEFC propulsion system for surface ships, summarized in a presentation to this Seminar, entitled {open_quotes}Study on a Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell (PEFC) Propulsion System for Surface Ships{close_quotes}, and which envisages application to a 1,500 DWT cargo vessel. The aspect treated here concerns a study on the air supply system for the PEFC, with particular reference to system components.

  15. Seeking effective dyes for a mediated glucose-air alkaline battery/fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eustis, Ross; Tsang, Tsz Ming; Yang, Brigham; Scott, Daniel; Liaw, Bor Yann

    2014-02-01

    A significant level of power generation from an abiotic, air breathing, mediated reducing sugar-air alkaline battery/fuel cell has been achieved in our laboratories at room temperature without complicated catalysis or membrane separation in the reaction chamber. Our prior studies suggested that mass transport limitation by the mediator is a limiting factor in power generation. New and effective mediators were sought here to improve charge transfer and power density. Forty-five redox dyes were studied to identify if any can facilitate mass transport in alkaline electrolyte solution; namely, by increasing the solubility and mobility of the dye, and the valence charge carried per molecule. Indigo dyes were studied more closely to understand the complexity involved in mass transport. The viability of water-miscible co-solvents was also explored to understand their effect on solubility and mass transport of the dyes. Using a 2.0 mL solution, 20% methanol by volume, with 100 mM indigo carmine, 1.0 M glucose and 2.5 M sodium hydroxide, the glucose-air alkaline battery/fuel cell attained 8 mA cm-2 at short-circuit and 800 μW cm-2 at the maximum power point. This work shall aid future optimization of mediated charge transfer mechanism in batteries or fuel cells.

  16. Zinc air refuelable battery: alternative zinc fuel morphologies and cell behavior

    SciTech Connect

    Cooper, J.F.; Krueger, R.

    1997-01-01

    Multicell zinc/air batteries have been tested previously in the laboratory and as part of the propulsion system of an electric bus; cut zinc wire was used as the anode material. This battery is refueled by a hydraulic transport of 0.5-1 mm zinc particles into hoppers above each cell. We report an investigation concerning alternative zinc fuel morphologies, and energy losses associated with refueling and with overnight or prolonged standby. Three types of fuel pellets were fabricated, tested and compared with results for cut wire: spheres produced in a fluidized bed electrolysis cell; elongated particles produced by gas-atomization; and pellets produced by chopping 1 mm porous plates made of compacted zinc fines. Relative sizes of the particles and cell gap dimensions are critical. All three types transported within the cell 1553 and showed acceptable discharge characteristics, but a fluidized bed approach appears especially attractive for owner/user recovery operations.

  17. Air-breathing direct formic acid microfluidic fuel cell with an array of cylinder anodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Xun; Zhang, Biao; Ye, Ding-Ding; Li, Jun; Liao, Qiang

    2014-02-01

    An air-breathing direct formic acid membraneless microfluidic fuel cell using graphite cylinder arrays as the anode is proposed. The three dimensional anode volumetrically extends the reactive surface area and improves fuel utilization. The effects of spacer configuration, fuel and electrolyte concentration as well as reactant flow rate on the species transport and cell performance are investigated. The dynamic behavior of generated CO2 bubbles is visualized and its effect on current generation is discussed. The results show that the absence of two spacers adjacent to the cathode surface improves the cell performance by reducing the proton transfer resistance. The CO2 gas bubbles are constrained within the anode array and expelled by the fluid flow periodically. Proper reactant concentration and flow rate are crucial for cell operation. At optimum conditions, a maximum current density of 118.3 mA cm-3 and a peak power density of 21.5 mW cm-3 are obtained. In addition, benefit from the volumetrically stacked anodes and enhanced fuel transfer, the maximum single pass fuel utilization rate reaches up to 87.6% at the flow rate of 1 mL h-1.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Fuel cell arrangement

    DOEpatents

    Isenberg, Arnold O.

    1987-05-12

    A fuel cell arrangement is provided wherein cylindrical cells of the solid oxide electrolyte type are arranged in planar arrays where the cells within a plane are parallel. Planes of cells are stacked with cells of adjacent planes perpendicular to one another. Air is provided to the interior of the cells through feed tubes which pass through a preheat chamber. Fuel is provided to the fuel cells through a channel in the center of the cell stack; the fuel then passes the exterior of the cells and combines with the oxygen-depleted air in the preheat chamber.

  1. Fuel cell arrangement

    DOEpatents

    Isenberg, A.O.

    1987-05-12

    A fuel cell arrangement is provided wherein cylindrical cells of the solid oxide electrolyte type are arranged in planar arrays where the cells within a plane are parallel. Planes of cells are stacked with cells of adjacent planes perpendicular to one another. Air is provided to the interior of the cells through feed tubes which pass through a preheat chamber. Fuel is provided to the fuel cells through a channel in the center of the cell stack; the fuel then passes the exterior of the cells and combines with the oxygen-depleted air in the preheat chamber. 3 figs.

  2. Determining air quality and greenhouse gas impacts of hydrogen infrastructure and fuel cell vehicles.

    PubMed

    Stephens-Romero, Shane; Carreras-Sospedra, Marc; Brouwer, Jacob; Dabdub, Donald; Samuelsen, Scott

    2009-12-01

    Adoption of hydrogen infrastructure and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (HFCVs) to replace gasoline internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles has been proposed as a strategy to reduce criteria pollutant and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transportation sector and transition to fuel independence. However, it is uncertain (1) to what degree the reduction in criteria pollutants will impact urban air quality, and (2) how the reductions in pollutant emissions and concomitant urban air quality impacts compare to ultralow emission gasoline-powered vehicles projected for a future year (e.g., 2060). To address these questions, the present study introduces a "spatially and temporally resolved energy and environment tool" (STREET) to characterize the pollutant and GHG emissions associated with a comprehensive hydrogen supply infrastructure and HFCVs at a high level of geographic and temporal resolution. To demonstrate the utility of STREET, two spatially and temporally resolved scenarios for hydrogen infrastructure are evaluated in a prototypical urban airshed (the South Coast Air Basin of California) using geographic information systems (GIS) data. The well-to-wheels (WTW) GHG emissions are quantified and the air quality is established using a detailed atmospheric chemistry and transport model followed by a comparison to a future gasoline scenario comprised of advanced ICE vehicles. One hydrogen scenario includes more renewable primary energy sources for hydrogen generation and the other includes more fossil fuel sources. The two scenarios encompass a variety of hydrogen generation, distribution, and fueling strategies. GHG emissions reductions range from 61 to 68% for both hydrogen scenarios in parallel with substantial improvements in urban air quality (e.g., reductions of 10 ppb in peak 8-h-averaged ozone and 6 mug/m(3) in 24-h-averaged particulate matter concentrations, particularly in regions of the airshed where concentrations are highest for the gasoline scenario

  3. Morphology control of zinc regeneration for zinc-air fuel cell and battery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Keliang; Pei, Pucheng; Ma, Ze; Xu, Huachi; Li, Pengcheng; Wang, Xizhong

    2014-12-01

    Morphology control is crucial both for zinc-air batteries and for zinc-air fuel cells during zinc regeneration. Zinc dendrite should be avoided in zinc-air batteries and zinc pellets are yearned to be formed for zinc-air fuel cells. This paper is mainly to analyze the mechanism of shape change and to control the zinc morphology during charge. A numerical three-dimensional model for zinc regeneration is established with COMSOL software on the basis of ionic transport theory and electrode reaction electrochemistry, and some experiments of zinc regeneration are carried out. The deposition process is qualitatively analyzed by the kinetics Monte Carlo method to study the morphological change from the electrocrystallization point of view. Morphological evolution of deposited zinc under different conditions of direct currents and pulse currents is also investigated by simulation. The simulation shows that parametric variables of the flowing electrolyte, the surface roughness and the structure of the electrode, the charging current and mode affect morphological evolution. The uniform morphology of deposited zinc is attained at low current, pulsating current or hydrodynamic electrolyte, and granular morphology is obtained by means of an electrode of discrete columnar structure in combination with high current and flowing electrolyte.

  4. Solid oxide fuel cells, and air electrode and electrical interconnection materials therefor

    DOEpatents

    Bates, J.L.

    1992-09-01

    In one aspect of the invention, an air electrode material for a solid oxide fuel cell comprises Y[sub 1[minus]a]Q[sub a]MnO[sub 3], where Q is selected from the group consisting of Ca and Sr or mixtures thereof and a' is from 0.1 to 0.8. Preferably, a' is from 0.4 to 0.7. In another aspect of the invention, an electrical interconnection material for a solid oxide fuel cell comprises Y[sub 1[minus]b]Ca[sub b]Cr[sub 1[minus]c]Al[sub c]O[sub 3], where b' is from 0.1 to 0.6 and c' is from 0 to 9.3. Preferably, b' is from 0.3 to 0.5 and c' is from 0.05 to 0.1. A composite solid oxide electrochemical fuel cell incorporating these materials comprises: a solid oxide air electrode and an adjacent solid oxide electrical interconnection which commonly include the cation Y, the air electrode comprising Y[sub 1[minus]a]Q[sub a]MnO[sub 3], where Q is selected from the group consisting of Ca and Sr or mixtures thereof and a' is from 0.1 to 0.8, the electrical interconnection comprising Y[sub 1[minus]b]Ca[sub b]Cr[sub 1[minus]c]Al[sub c]O[sub 3], where b' is from 0.1 to 0.6 and c' is from 0.0 to 0.3; a yttrium stabilized solid electrolyte comprising (1[minus]d)ZrO[sub 2]-(d)Y[sub 2]O[sub 3] where d' is from 0.06 to 0.5; and a solid fuel electrode comprising X-ZrO[sub 2], where X' is an elemental metal. 5 figs.

  5. Solid oxide fuel cells, and air electrode and electrical interconnection materials therefor

    DOEpatents

    Bates, J. Lambert

    1992-01-01

    In one aspect of the invention, an air electrode material for a solid oxide fuel cell comprises Y.sub.1-a Q.sub.a MnO.sub.3, where "Q" is selected from the group consisting of Ca and Sr or mixtures thereof and "a" is from 0.1 to 0.8. Preferably, "a" is from 0.4 to 0.7. In another aspect of the invention, an electrical interconnection material for a solid oxide fuel cell comprises Y.sub.1-b Ca.sub.b Cr.sub.1-c Al.sub.c O.sub.3, where "b" is from 0.1 to 0.6 and "c" is from 0 to 9.3. Preferably, "b" is from 0.3 to 0.5 and "c" is from 0.05 to 0.1. A composite solid oxide electrochemical fuel cell incorporating these materials comprises: a solid oxide air electrode and an adjacent solid oxide electrical interconnection which commonly include the cation Y, the air electrode comprising Y.sub.1-a Q.sub.a MnO.sub.3, where "Q" is selected from the group consisting of Ca and Sr or mixtures thereof and "a" is from 0.1 to 0.8, the electrical interconnection comprising Y.sub.1-b Ca.sub.b Cr.sub.1-c Al.sub.c O.sub.3, where "b" is from 0.1 to 0.6 and "c" is from 0.0 to 0.3; a yttrium stabilized solid electrolyte comprising (1-d)ZrO.sub.2 -(d)Y.sub.2 O.sub.3 where "d" is from 0.06 to 0.5; and a solid fuel electrode comprising X-ZrO.sub.2, where "X" is an elemental metal.

  6. Optimisation of air cooled, open-cathode fuel cells: Current of lowest resistance and electro-thermal performance mapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyer, Quentin; Ronaszegi, Krisztian; Pei-June, Gan; Curnick, Oliver; Ashton, Sean; Reisch, Tobias; Adcock, Paul; Shearing, Paul R.; Brett, Daniel J. L.

    2015-09-01

    Selecting the ideal operating point for a fuel cell depends on the application and consequent trade-off between efficiency, power density and various operating considerations. A systematic methodology for determining the optimal operating point for fuel cells is lacking; there is also the need for a single-value metric to describe and compare fuel cell performance. This work shows how the 'current of lowest resistance' can be accurately measured using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and used as a useful metric of fuel cell performance. This, along with other measures, is then used to generate an 'electro-thermal performance map' of fuel cell operation. A commercial air-cooled open-cathode fuel cell is used to demonstrate how the approach can be used; in this case leading to the identification of the optimum operating temperature of ∼45 °C.

  7. Passive cathodic water/air management device for micro-direct methanol fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peng, Hsien-Chih; Chen, Po-Hon; Chen, Hung-Wen; Chieng, Ching-Chang; Yeh, Tsung-Kuang; Pan, Chin; Tseng, Fan-Gang

    A high efficient passive water/air management device (WAMD) is proposed and successfully demonstrated in this paper. The apparatus consists of cornered micro-channels and air-breathing windows with hydrophobicity arrangement to regulate liquids and gases to flow on their predetermined pathways. A high performance water/air separation with water removal rate of about 5.1 μl s -1 cm -2 is demonstrated. The performance of the proposed WAMD is sufficient to manage a cathode-generated water flux of 0.26 μl s -1 cm -2 in the micro-direct methanol fuel cells (μDMFCs) which are operated at 100 mW cm -2 or 400 mA cm -2. Furthermore, the condensed vapors can also be collected and recirculated with the existing micro-channels which act as a passive water recycling system for μDMFCs. The durability testing shows that the fuel cells equipped with WAMD exhibit improved stability and higher current density.

  8. Temperature dependence of an abiotic glucose/air alkaline fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orton, Dane; Scott, Daniel

    2015-11-01

    The temperature dependence of a previously developed glucose fuel cell is explored. This cell uses a small molecule dye mediator to transport oxidizable electrons from glucose to a carbon felt anode. This reaction is driven by an air breathing MnO2 cathode. This research investigates how the temperature of the system affects the power production of the fuel cell. Cell performance is observed using either methyl viologen, indigo carmine, trypan blue, or hydroquinone as a mediator at temperatures of 15, 19, 27, 32, 37, 42, and 49 °C. Cyclic voltammetry of the cell anode at the given temperatures with the individual dyes is also presented. The highest power production amongst all of the cells occurs at 32 °C. This occurs with the mediator indigo carmine or with the mediator methyl viologen. These sustained powers are 2.31 mW cm-2 and 2.39 mW cm-2, respectively. This is approximately a 350% increase for these cells compared to their power produced at room temperature. This dramatic increase is likely due to increased solubility of the mediator dye at higher temperatures.

  9. 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}.

  10. NanoCapillary Network Proton Conducting Membranes for High Temperature Hydrogen/Air Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Pintauro, Peter

    2012-07-09

    The objective of this proposal is to fabricate and characterize a new class of NanoCapillary Network (NCN) proton conducting membranes for hydrogen/air fuel cells that operate under high temperature, low humidity conditions. The membranes will be intelligently designed, where a high density interconnecting 3-D network of nm-diameter electrospun proton conducting polymer fibers is embedded in an inert (uncharged) water/gas impermeable polymer matrix. The high density of fibers in the resulting mat and the high ion-exchange capacity of the fiber polymer will ensure high proton conductivity. To further enhance water retention, molecular silica will be added to the sulfonated polymer fibers. The uncharged matrix material will control water swelling of the high ion-exchange capacity proton conducting polymer fibers and will impart toughness to the final nanocapillary composite membrane. Thus, unlike other fuel cell membranes, the role of the polymer support matrix will be decoupled from that of the proton-conducting channels. The expected final outcome of this 5-year project is the fabrication of fuel cell membranes with properties that exceed the DOE’s technical targets, in particular a proton conductivity of 0.1 S/cm at a temperature less than or equal to120°C and 25-50% relative humidity.

  11. Alternative materials for solid oxide fuel cells: Factors affecting air-sintering of chromite interconnections

    SciTech Connect

    Chick, L.A.; Bates, J.L.

    1992-07-01

    The purpose of this research is to develop alternative materials for solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) interconnections and electrodes with improved electrical, thermal and electrochemical properties. Another objective is to develop synthesis and fabrication processes for these materials whereby they can be consolidated in air into SOFCs. The approach is to (1) develop modifications of the current, state-of-the-art materials used in SOFCs, (2) minimize the number of cations used in the SOFC materials to reduce potential deleterious interactions, (3) improve thermal, electrical, and electrochemical properties, (4) develop methods to synthesize both state-of-the-art and alternative materials for the simultaneous fabrication and consolidation in air of the interconnections and electrodes with the solid electrolyte, and (5) understand electrochemical reactions at materials interfaces and the effects of component compositions and processing on those reactions.

  12. Specific features of operation of a membrane-electrode assembly of an air-hydrogen fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nechitailov, A. A.; Glebova, N. V.; Koshkina, D. V.; Tomasov, A. A.; Zelenina, N. K.; Terukova, E. E.

    2013-09-01

    Specific features of the operation of the membrane-electrode assembly with high catalytic activity that are a part of the simplified design of a low-temperature air-hydrogen fuel cell under conditions of forced and natural convection of air on the cathode are studied. The governing effect of water balance on the specific power of the fuel cell in the stationary mode (˜1 h) is shown, and the range of the operating conditions of the cell with self-control is determined. The power of the fuel cell at an efficiency of ˜50% and the surface density of platinum on a cathode of ≈0.2 mg/cm2 is 200-250 and 100 mW/cm2 in the forced and natural air-convection modes, respectively, which is comparable with the advanced results.

  13. Lanthanum manganite-based air electrode for solid oxide fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Ruka, Roswell J.; Kuo, Lewis; Li, Baozhen

    1999-01-01

    An air electrode material for a solid oxide fuel cell is disclosed. The electrode material is based on lanthanum manganite having a perovskite-like crystal structure ABO.sub.3. The A-site of the air electrode material preferably comprises La, Ca, Ce and at least one lanthanide selected from Sm, Gd, Dy, Er, Y and Nd. The B-site of the electrode material comprises Mn with substantially no dopants. The ratio of A:B is preferably slightly above 1. A preferred air electrode composition is of the formula La.sub.w Ca.sub.x Ln.sub.y Ce.sub.z MnO.sub.3, wherein Ln comprises at least one lanthanide selected from Sm, Gd, Dy, Er, Y and Nd, w is from about 0.55 to about 0.56, x is from about 0.255 to about 0.265, y is from about 0.175 to about 0.185, and z is from about 0.005 to about 0.02. The air electrode material possesses advantageous chemical and electrical properties as well as favorable thermal expansion and thermal cycle shrinkage characteristics.

  14. Lanthanum manganite-based air electrode for solid oxide fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Ruka, R.J.; Kuo, L.; Li, B.

    1999-06-29

    An air electrode material for a solid oxide fuel cell is disclosed. The electrode material is based on lanthanum manganite having a perovskite-like crystal structure ABO[sub 3]. The A-site of the air electrode material preferably comprises La, Ca, Ce and at least one lanthanide selected from Sm, Gd, Dy, Er, Y and Nd. The B-site of the electrode material comprises Mn with substantially no dopants. The ratio of A:B is preferably slightly above 1. A preferred air electrode composition is of the formula La[sub w]Ca[sub x]Ln[sub y]Ce[sub z]MnO[sub 3], wherein Ln comprises at least one lanthanide selected from Sm, Gd, Dy, Er, Y and Nd, w is from about 0.55 to about 0.56, x is from about 0.255 to about 0.265, y is from about 0.175 to about 0.185, and z is from about 0.005 to about 0.02. The air electrode material possesses advantageous chemical and electrical properties as well as favorable thermal expansion and thermal cycle shrinkage characteristics. 10 figs.

  15. Cycle analysis of an integrated solid oxide fuel cell and recuperative gas turbine with an air reheating system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xiongwen; Li, Jun; Li, Guojun; Feng, Zhenping

    Cycle simulation and analysis for two kinds of SOFC/GT hybrid systems were conducted with the help of the simulation tool: Aspen Custom Modeler. Two cycle schemes of recuperative heat exchanger (RHE) and exhaust gas recirculated (EGR) were described according to the air reheating method. The system performance with operating pressure, turbine inlet temperature and fuel cell load were studied based on the simulation results. Then the effects of oxygen utilization, fuel utilization, operating temperature and efficiencies of the gas turbine components on the system performance of the RHE cycle and the EGR cycle were discussed in detail. Simulation results indicated that the system optimum efficiency for the EGR air reheating cycle scheme was higher than that of the RHE cycle system. A higher pressure ratio would be available for the EGR cycle system in comparison with the RHE cycle. It was found that increasing fuel utilization or oxygen utilization would decrease fuel cell efficiency but improve the system efficiency for both of the RHE and EGR cycles. The efficiency of the RHE cycle hybrid system decreased as the fuel cell air inlet temperature increased. However, the system efficiency of EGR cycle increased with fuel cell air inlet temperature. The effect of turbine efficiency on the system efficiency was more obvious than the effect of the compressor and recuperator efficiencies among the gas turbine components. It was also indicated that improving the gas turbine component efficiencies for the RHE cycle increased system efficiency higher than that for the EGR cycle.

  16. Open air biocathode enables effective electricity generation with microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Clauwaert, Peter; Van der Ha, David; Boon, Nico; Verbeken, Kim; Verhaege, Marc; Rabaey, Korneel; Verstraete, Willy

    2007-11-01

    The reduction of oxygen at the cathode is one of the major bottlenecks of microbial fuel cells (MFCs). While research so far has mainly focused on chemical catalysis of this oxygen reduction, here we present a continuously wetted cathode with microorganisms that act as biocatalysts for oxygen reduction. We combined the anode of an acetate oxidizing tubular microbial fuel cell with an open air biocathode for electricity production. The maximum power production was 83 +/- 11 W m(-3) MFC (0.183 L MFC) for batch-fed systems (20-40% Coulombic yield) and 65 +/- 5 W m(-3) MFC for a continuous system with an acetate loading rate of 1.5 kg COD m(-3) day(-1) (90 +/- 3% Coulombic yield). Electrochemical precipitation of manganese oxides on the cathodic graphite felt decreased the start-up period with approximately 30% versus a non-treated graphite felt. After the start-up period, the cell performance was similar for the pretreated and non-treated cathodic electrodes. Several reactor designs were tested, and it was found that enlargement of the 0.183 L MFC reactor by a factor 2.9-3.8 reduced the volumetric power output by 60-67%. Biocathodes alleviate the need to use noble or non-noble catalysts for the reduction of oxygen, which increases substantially the viability and sustainability of MFCs. PMID:18044542

  17. Computational modeling of air-breathing microfluidic fuel cells with flow-over and flow-through anodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Biao; Ye, Ding-ding; Sui, Pang-Chieh; Djilali, Ned; Zhu, Xun

    2014-08-01

    A three-dimensional computational model for air-breathing microfluidic fuel cells (AMFCs) with flow-over and flow-through anodes is developed. The coupled multiphysics phenomena of fluid flow, species transport and electrochemical reactions are resolved numerically. The model has been validated against experimental data using an in-house AMFC prototype with a flow-through anode. Characteristics of fuel transfer and fuel crossover for both types of anodes are investigated. The model results reveal that the fuel transport to the flow-over anode is intrinsically limited by the fuel concentration boundary layer. Conversely, fuel transport for the flow-through anode is convectively enhanced by the permeate flow, and no concentration boundary layer is observed. An unexpected additional advantage of the flow-through anode configuration is lower parasitic (crossover) current density than the flow-over case at practical low flow rates. Cell performance of the flow-through case is found to be limited by reaction kinetics. The present model provides insights into the fuel transport and fuel crossover in air-breathing microfluidic fuel cells and provides guidance for further design and operation optimization.

  18. Power generation by packed-bed air-cathode microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiaoyuan; Shi, Juan; Liang, Peng; Wei, Jincheng; Huang, Xia; Zhang, Chuanyi; Logan, Bruce E

    2013-08-01

    Catalysts and catalyst binders are significant portions of the cost of microbial fuel cell (MFC) cathodes. Many materials have been tested as aqueous cathodes, but air-cathodes are needed to avoid energy demands for water aeration. Packed-bed air-cathodes were constructed without expensive binders or diffusion layers using four inexpensive carbon-based materials. Cathodes made from activated carbon produced the largest maximum power density of 676 ± 93 mW/m(2), followed by semi-coke (376 ± 47 mW/m(2)), graphite (122 ± 14 mW/m(2)) and carbon felt (60 ± 43 mW/m(2)). Increasing the mass of activated carbon and semi-coke from 5 to ≥ 15 g significantly reduced power generation because of a reduction in oxygen transfer due to a thicker water layer in the cathode (∼3 or ∼6 cm). These results indicate that a thin packed layer of activated carbon or semi-coke can be used to make inexpensive air-cathodes for MFCs. PMID:23732924

  19. Olive mill wastewater treatment in single-chamber air-cathode microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Bermek, Hakan; Catal, Tunc; Akan, S Süha; Ulutaş, Mehmet Sefa; Kumru, Mert; Özgüven, Mine; Liu, Hong; Özçelik, Beraat; Akarsubaşı, Alper Tunga

    2014-04-01

    Olive mill wastewaters create significant environmental issues in olive-processing countries. One of the most hazardous groups of pollutants in these wastewaters is phenolic compounds. Here, olive mill wastewater was used as substrate and treated in single-chamber air-cathode microbial fuel cells. Olive mill wastewater yielded a maximum voltage of 381 mV on an external resistance of 1 kΩ. Notable decreases in the contents of 3,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid, tyrosol, gallic acid and p-coumaric acid were detected. Chemical oxygen demand removal rates were 65 % while removal of total phenolics by the process was lower (49 %). Microbial community analysis during the olive mill wastewater treating MFC has shown that both exoelectrogenic and phenol-degrading microorganisms have been enriched during the operation. Brevundimonas-, Sphingomonas- and Novosphingobium-related phylotypes were enriched on the anode biofilm, while Alphaproteobacteria and Bacteriodetes dominated the cathode biofilm. As one of the novel studies, it has been demonstrated that recalcitrant olive mill wastewaters could be treated and utilized for power generation in microbial fuel cells. PMID:24165748

  20. Cleaning the air and improving health with hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles

    SciTech Connect

    Jacobson, M.Z.; Colella, W.G.; Golden, D.M.

    2005-06-24

    Converting all U.S. onroad vehicles to hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles (HFCVs) may improve air quality, health, and climate significantly, whether the hydrogen is produced by steam reforming of natural gas, wind electrolysis, or coal gasification. Most benefits would result from eliminating current vehicle exhaust. Wind and natural gas HFCVs offer the greatest potential health benefits and could save 3700 to 6400 U.S. lives annually. Wind HFCVs should benefit climate most. An all-HFCV fleet would hardly affect tropospheric water vapor concentrations. Conversion to coal HFCVs may improve health but would damage climate more than fossil/electric hybrids. The real cost of hydrogen from wind electrolysis may be below that of U.S. gasoline.

  1. Cleaning the Air and Improving Health with Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacobson, M. Z.; Colella, W. G.; Golden, D. M.

    2005-06-01

    Converting all U.S. onroad vehicles to hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles (HFCVs) may improve air quality, health, and climate significantly, whether the hydrogen is produced by steam reforming of natural gas, wind electrolysis, or coal gasification. Most benefits would result from eliminating current vehicle exhaust. Wind and natural gas HFCVs offer the greatest potential health benefits and could save 3700 to 6400 U.S. lives annually. Wind HFCVs should benefit climate most. An all-HFCV fleet would hardly affect tropospheric water vapor concentrations. Conversion to coal HFCVs may improve health but would damage climate more than fossil/electric hybrids. The real cost of hydrogen from wind electrolysis may be below that of U.S. gasoline.

  2. Cleaning the air and improving health with hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, M Z; Colella, W G; Golden, D M

    2005-06-24

    Converting all U.S. onroad vehicles to hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles (HFCVs) may improve air quality, health, and climate significantly, whether the hydrogen is produced by steam reforming of natural gas, wind electrolysis, or coal gasification. Most benefits would result from eliminating current vehicle exhaust. Wind and natural gas HFCVs offer the greatest potential health benefits and could save 3700 to 6400 U.S. lives annually. Wind HFCVs should benefit climate most. An all-HFCV fleet would hardly affect tropospheric water vapor concentrations. Conversion to coal HFCVs may improve health but would damage climate more than fossil/electric hybrids. The real cost of hydrogen from wind electrolysis may be below that of U.S. gasoline. PMID:15976300

  3. Fuel cells 101

    SciTech Connect

    Hirschenhofer, J.H.

    1999-07-01

    This paper discusses the various types of fuel cells, the importance of cell voltage, fuel processing for natural gas, cell stacking, fuel cell plant description, advantages and disadvantages of the types of fuel cells, and applications. The types covered include: polymer electrolyte fuel cell, alkaline fuel cell, phosphoric acid fuel cell; molten carbonate fuel cell, and solid oxide fuel cell.

  4. Air/fuel ratio controller

    SciTech Connect

    Schechter, M.M.; Simko, A.O.

    1980-12-23

    An internal combustion engine has a fuel injection pump and an air/fuel ratio controller. The controller has a lever that is connected to the pump lever. An aneroid moves the controller lever as a function of changes in intake manifold vacuum to maintain a constant air/fuel ratio to the mixture charge. A fuel enrichment linkage is provided that modifies the movement of the fuel flow control lever by the aneroid in response to changes in manifold gas temperature levels and exhaust gas recirculation to maintain the constant air/fuel ratio. A manual override is provided to obtain a richer air/fuel ratio for maximum acceleration.

  5. Perspective use of direct human blood as an energy source in air-breathing hybrid microfluidic fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dector, A.; Escalona-Villalpando, R. A.; Dector, D.; Vallejo-Becerra, V.; Chávez-Ramírez, A. U.; Arriaga, L. G.; Ledesma-García, J.

    2015-08-01

    This work presents a flexible and light air-breathing hybrid microfluidic fuel cell (HμFC) operated under biological conditions. A mixture of glucose oxidase, glutaraldehyde, multi-walled carbon nanotubes and vulcan carbon (GOx/VC-MWCNT-GA) was used as the bioanode. Meanwhile, integrating an air-exposed electrode (Pt/C) as the cathode enabled direct oxygen delivery from air. The microfluidic fuel cell performance was evaluated using glucose obtained from three different sources as the fuel: 5 mM glucose in phosphate buffer, human serum and human blood. For the last fuel, an open circuit voltage and maximum power density of 0.52 V and 0.20 mW cm-2 (at 0.38 V) were obtained respectively; meanwhile the maximum current density was 1.1 mA cm-2. Furthermore, the stability of the device was measured in terms of recovery after several polarization curves, showing excellent results. Although this air-breathing HμFC requires technological improvements before being tested in a biomedical device, it represents the best performance to date for a microfluidic fuel cell using human blood as glucose source.

  6. Investigation of low temperature solid oxide fuel cells for air-independent UUV applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moton, Jennie Mariko

    Unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) will benefit greatly from high energy density (> 500 Wh/L) power systems utilizing high-energy-density fuels and air-independent oxidizers. Current battery-based systems have limited energy densities (< 400 Wh/L), which motivate development of alternative power systems such as solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). SOFC-based power systems have the potential to achieve the required UUV energy densities, and the current study explores how SOFCs based on gadolinia-doped ceria (GDC) electrolytes with operating temperatures of 650°C and lower may operate in the unique environments of a promising UUV power plant. The plant would contain a H 2O2 decomposition reactor to supply humidified O2 to the SOFC cathode and exothermic aluminum/H2O combustor to provide heated humidified H2 fuel to the anode. To characterize low-temperature SOFC performance with these unique O2 and H2 source, SOFC button cells based on nickel/GDC (Gd0.1Ce0.9O 1.95) anodes, GDC electrolytes, and lanthanum strontium cobalt ferrite (La0.6Sr0.4Co0.2Fe0.8O3-δ or LSCF)/GDC cathodes were fabricated and tested for performance and stability with humidity on both the anode and the cathode. Cells were also tested with various reactant concentrations of H2 and O2 to simulate gas depletion down the channel of an SOFC stack. Results showed that anode performance depended primarily on fuel concentration and less on the concentration of the associated increase in product H2O. O 2 depletion with humidified cathode flows also caused significant loss in cell current density at a given voltage. With the humidified flows in either the anode or cathode, stability tests of the button cells at 650 °C showed stable voltage is maintained at low operating current (0.17 A/cm2) at up to 50 % by mole H2O, but at higher current densities (0.34 A/cm2), irreversible voltage degradation occurred at rates of 0.8-3.7 mV/hour depending on exposure time. From these button cell results, estimated average

  7. Silver electrodeposition on the activated carbon air cathode for performance improvement in microbial fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pu, Liangtao; Li, Kexun; Chen, Zhihao; Zhang, Peng; Zhang, Xi; Fu, Zhou

    2014-12-01

    The present work was to study silver electrodeposition on the activated carbon (AC) air cathode for performance improvement in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). The treated cathodes were proved to be effective to enhance the performance of MFCs. The maximum power density of MFC with silver electrodeposition time of 50 s (Ag-50) cathode was 1080 ± 60 mW m-2, 69% higher than the bare AC air cathode. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) results showed that zero-valent, monovalent and divalent silver were present to transform mutually, which illustrated that the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) at the cathode took place through four-electron pathway. From electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) analysis, the electrodeposition method made the total resistance of the electrodes largely reduced. Meanwhile the deposited silver had no toxic effects on anode culture but inhibited the biofilm growth of the cathodes. This kind of antimicrobial efficient cathode, prepared with a simple, fast and economical method, was of good benefit to the performance improvement of MFCs.

  8. Miniature ceramic fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Lessing, Paul A.; Zuppero, Anthony C.

    1997-06-24

    A miniature power source assembly capable of providing portable electricity is provided. A preferred embodiment of the power source assembly employing a fuel tank, fuel pump and control, air pump, heat management system, power chamber, power conditioning and power storage. The power chamber utilizes a ceramic fuel cell to produce the electricity. Incoming hydro carbon fuel is automatically reformed within the power chamber. Electrochemical combustion of hydrogen then produces electricity.

  9. MWCNT-supported phthalocyanine cobalt as air-breathing cathodic catalyst in glucose/O2 fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elouarzaki, Kamal; Haddad, Raoudha; Holzinger, Michael; Le Goff, Alan; Thery, Jessica; Cosnier, Serge

    2014-06-01

    Simple and highly efficient glucose fuel cells using abiotic catalysts and different ion exchange membranes were designed. The glucose fuel cells are based on a multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT)-supported cobalt phthalocyanine (CoPc) cathode and a carbon black/platinum (C/Pt) anode. The electrocatalytic activity of the MWCNT/CoPc electrode for oxygen reduction was investigated by cyclic and linear sweep voltammetry. The electrochemical experiments show that CoPc exhibits promising catalytic properties for oxygen reduction due to its high overpotential and efficiency at reduced metal load. The MWCNT/CoPc electrodes were applied to the oxygen reduction reaction as air-breathing cathode in a single-chambered glucose fuel cell. This cathode was associated with a C/Pt anode in fuel cell configurations using either an anion (Nafion®) or a cation (Tokuyama) exchange membrane. The best fuel cell configuration delivered a maximum power density of 2.3 mW cm-2 and a cell voltage of 0.8 V in 0.5 M KOH solution containing 0.5 M glucose using the Tokuyama membrane at ambient conditions. Beside the highest power density per cathodic catalyst mass (383 W g-1), these glucose fuel cells exhibit a high operational stability, delivering 0.3 mW cm-2 after 50 days.

  10. Air-Independent Solid Oxide Fuel Cells for NASA's LOX-CH4 Landers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ryan, Abigail C.; Araghi, Koorosh R.; Farmer, Serene C.

    2013-01-01

    Gemini, Apollo, and Space Shuttle used fuel cells as main power source for vehicle and water source for life support and thermal PEM (Gemini) and Alkaline (Apollo, Shuttle) fuel cells were used Ideal for short (less than 3 weeks) missions when the required O2 and H2 can be launched with the vehicle. New missions that might require long-duration stays in orbit or at a habitat, cannot rely on the availability of pure reactants but should also aim to be sun-independent - a problem for which Solid Oxide Fuel Cells might be the answer. Recently, NASA has investigated & developed LOX/CH4-propelled landers (Altair, MORPHEUS). In order to preserve mission flexibility, fuel cells are being studied as a potential power source. Much of NASA's fuel cell development has been focused on creating a dead-headed, non-flow through PEM fuel cells which would weigh less and be more reliable than the existing Alkaline and PEM technology; however, LOX/CH4 as a propellant introduces SOFCs as a power option due to their ability to accept those reactants without much reforming.

  11. Anolyte recirculation effects in buffered and unbuffered single-chamber air-cathode microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Liang; Zhu, Xun; Kashima, Hiroyuki; Li, Jun; Ye, Ding-ding; Liao, Qiang; Regan, John M

    2015-03-01

    Two identical microbial fuel cells (MFCs) with a floating air-cathode were operated under either buffered (MFC-B) or bufferless (MFC-BL) conditions to investigate anolyte recirculation effects on enhancing proton transfer. With an external resistance of 50 Ω and recirculation rate of 1.0 ml/min, MFC-BL had a 27% lower voltage (9.7% lower maximal power density) but a 64% higher Coulombic efficiency (CE) than MFC-B. MFC-B had a decreased voltage output, batch time, and CE with increasing recirculation rate resulting from more oxygen transfer into the anode. However, increasing the recirculation rate within a low range significantly enhanced proton transfer in MFC-BL, resulting in a higher voltage output, a longer batch time, and a higher CE. A further increase in recirculation rate decreased the batch time and CE of MFC-BL due to excess oxygen transfer into anode outweighing the proton-transfer benefits. The unbuffered MFC had an optimal recirculation rate of 0.35 ml/min. PMID:25514399

  12. Development of carbon free diffusion layer for activated carbon air cathode of microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Yang, Wulin; Kim, Kyoung-Yeol; Logan, Bruce E

    2015-12-01

    The fabrication of activated carbon air cathodes for larger-scale microbial fuel cells requires a diffusion layer (DL) that is highly resistant to water leakage, oxygen permeable, and made using inexpensive materials. A hydrophobic polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membrane synthesized using a simple phase inversion process was examined as a low cost ($0.9/m(2)), carbon-free DL that prevented water leakage at high pressure heads compared to a polytetrafluoroethylene/carbon black DL ($11/m(2)). The power density produced with a PVDF (20%, w/v) DL membrane of 1400±7mW/m(2) was similar to that obtained using a wipe DL [cloth coated with poly(dimethylsiloxane)]. Water head tolerance reached 1.9m (∼19kPa) with no mesh supporter, and 2.1m (∼21kPa, maximum testing pressure) with a mesh supporter, compared to 0.2±0.05m for the wipe DL. The elimination of carbon black from the DL greatly simplified the fabrication procedure and further reduced overall cathode costs. PMID:26342345

  13. Multi-variable mathematical models for the air-cathode microbial fuel cell system

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Ou, Shiqi; Kashima, Hiroyuki; Aaron, Douglas S.; Regan, John M.; Mench, Matthew M.

    2016-03-10

    This research adopted the version control system into the model construction for the single chamber air-cathode microbial fuel cell (MFC) system, to understand the interrelation of biological, chemical, and electrochemical reactions. The anodic steady state model was used to consider the chemical species diffusion and electric migration influence to the MFC performance. In the cathodic steady state model, the mass transport and reactions in a multi-layer, abiotic cathode and multi-bacteria cathode biofilm were simulated. Transport of hydroxide was assumed for cathodic pH change. This assumption is an alternative to the typical notion of proton consumption during oxygen reduction to explainmore » elevated cathode pH. The cathodic steady state model provided the power density and polarization curve performance results that can be compared to an experimental MFC system. Another aspect we considered was the relative contributions of platinum catalyst and microbes on the cathode to the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). We found simulation results showed that the biocatalyst in a cathode that includes a Pt/C catalyst likely plays a minor role in ORR, contributing up to 8% of the total power calculated by the models.« less

  14. Multi-variable mathematical models for the air-cathode microbial fuel cell system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ou, Shiqi; Kashima, Hiroyuki; Aaron, Douglas S.; Regan, John M.; Mench, Matthew M.

    2016-05-01

    This research adopted the version control system into the model construction for the single chamber air-cathode microbial fuel cell (MFC) system, to understand the interrelation of biological, chemical, and electrochemical reactions. The anodic steady state model was used to consider the chemical species diffusion and electric migration influence to the MFC performance. In the cathodic steady state model, the mass transport and reactions in a multi-layer, abiotic cathode and multi-bacteria cathode biofilm were simulated. Transport of hydroxide was assumed for cathodic pH change. This assumption is an alternative to the typical notion of proton consumption during oxygen reduction to explain elevated cathode pH. The cathodic steady state model provided the power density and polarization curve performance results that can be compared to an experimental MFC system. Another aspect considered was the relative contributions of platinum catalyst and microbes on the cathode to the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). Simulation results showed that the biocatalyst in a cathode that includes a Pt/C catalyst likely plays a minor role in ORR, contributing up to 8% of the total power calculated by the models.

  15. The electrolyte challenge for a direct methanol-air polymer electrolyte fuel cell operating at temperatures up to 200 C

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Savinell, Robert; Yeager, Ernest; Tryk, Donald; Landau, Uziel; Wainright, Jesse; Gervasio, Dominic; Cahan, Boris; Litt, Morton; Rogers, Charles; Scherson, Daniel

    1993-01-01

    Novel polymer electrolytes are being evaluated for use in a direct methanol-air fuel cell operating at temperatures in excess of 100 C. The evaluation includes tests of thermal stability, ionic conductivity, and vapor transport characteristics. The preliminary results obtained to date indicate that a high temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cell is feasible. For example, Nafion 117 when equilibrated with phosphoric acid has a conductivity of at least 0.4 Omega(exp -1)cm(exp -1) at temperatures up to 200 C in the presence of 400 torr of water vapor and methanol vapor cross over equivalent to 1 mA/cm(exp 2) under a one atmosphere methanol pressure differential at 135 C. Novel polymers are also showing similar encouraging results. The flexibility to modify and optimize the properties by custom synthesis of these novel polymers presents an exciting opportunity to develop an efficient and compact methanol fuel cell.

  16. 2009 Fuel Cell Market Report

    SciTech Connect

    Vincent, Bill; Gangi, Jennifer; Curtin, Sandra; Delmont, Elizabeth

    2010-11-01

    Fuel cells are electrochemical devices that combine hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, water, and heat. Unlike batteries, fuel cells continuously generate electricity, as long as a source of fuel is supplied. Moreover, fuel cells do not burn fuel, making the process quiet, pollution-free and two to three times more efficient than combustion. Fuel cell systems can be a truly zero-emission source of electricity, if the hydrogen is produced from non-polluting sources. Global concerns about climate change, energy security, and air pollution are driving demand for fuel cell technology. More than 630 companies and laboratories in the United States are investing $1 billion a year in fuel cells or fuel cell component technologies. This report provides an overview of trends in the fuel cell industry and markets, including product shipments, market development, and corporate performance. It also provides snapshots of select fuel cell companies, including general.

  17. Fuel Cells

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hawkins, M. D.

    1973-01-01

    Discusses the theories, construction, operation, types, and advantages of fuel cells developed by the American space programs. Indicates that the cell is an ideal small-scale power source characterized by its compactness, high efficiency, reliability, and freedom from polluting fumes. (CC)

  18. Fuel economy of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahluwalia, Rajesh K.; Wang, X.; Rousseau, A.; Kumar, R.

    On the basis of on-road energy consumption, fuel economy (FE) of hydrogen fuel cell light-duty vehicles is projected to be 2.5-2.7 times the fuel economy of the conventional gasoline internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEV) on the same platforms. Even with a less efficient but higher power density 0.6 V per cell than the base case 0.7 V per cell at the rated power point, the hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are projected to offer essentially the same fuel economy multiplier. The key to obtaining high fuel economy as measured on standardized urban and highway drive schedules lies in maintaining high efficiency of the fuel cell (FC) system at low loads. To achieve this, besides a high performance fuel cell stack, low parasitic losses in the air management system (i.e., turndown and part load efficiencies of the compressor-expander module) are critical.

  19. A lithium-air fuel cell using copper to catalyze oxygen-reduction based on copper-corrosion mechanism.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yonggang; Zhou, Haoshen

    2010-09-14

    The copper-catalyzed O(2) reduction in aqueous electrolyte and the Li-anode in organic electrolyte were united together by a ceramic Li-ions exchange film to form a lithium-air fuel cell. The achieved results demonstrate the cycle between Cu and Cu(2)O can be used to catalyze O(2) electrochemical reduction based on the copper-corrosion mechanism. PMID:20668776

  20. Microbial community structures differentiated in a single-chamber air-cathode microbial fuel cell fueled with rice straw hydrolysate

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The microbial fuel cell represents a novel technology to simultaneously generate electric power and treat wastewater. Both pure organic matter and real wastewater can be used as fuel to generate electric power and the substrate type can influence the microbial community structure. In the present study, rice straw, an important feedstock source in the world, was used as fuel after pretreatment with diluted acid method for a microbial fuel cell to obtain electric power. Moreover, the microbial community structures of anodic and cathodic biofilm and planktonic culturewere analyzed and compared to reveal the effect of niche on microbial community structure. Results The microbial fuel cell produced a maximum power density of 137.6 ± 15.5 mW/m2 at a COD concentration of 400 mg/L, which was further increased to 293.33 ± 7.89 mW/m2 through adjusting the electrolyte conductivity from 5.6 mS/cm to 17 mS/cm. Microbial community analysis showed reduction of the microbial diversities of the anodic biofilm and planktonic culture, whereas diversity of the cathodic biofilm was increased. Planktonic microbial communities were clustered closer to the anodic microbial communities compared to the cathodic biofilm. The differentiation in microbial community structure of the samples was caused by minor portion of the genus. The three samples shared the same predominant phylum of Proteobacteria. The abundance of exoelectrogenic genus was increased with Desulfobulbus as the shared most abundant genus; while the most abundant exoelectrogenic genus of Clostridium in the inoculum was reduced. Sulfate reducing bacteria accounted for large relative abundance in all the samples, whereas the relative abundance varied in different samples. Conclusion The results demonstrated that rice straw hydrolysate can be used as fuel for microbial fuel cells; microbial community structure differentiated depending on niches after microbial fuel cell operation; exoelectrogens were

  1. Alkaline fuel cells applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kordesch, Karl; Hacker, Viktor; Gsellmann, Josef; Cifrain, Martin; Faleschini, Gottfried; Enzinger, Peter; Fankhauser, Robert; Ortner, Markus; Muhr, Michael; Aronson, Robert R.

    On the world-wide automobile market technical developments are increasingly determined by the dramatic restriction on emissions as well as the regimentation of fuel consumption by legislation. Therefore there is an increasing chance of a completely new technology breakthrough if it offers new opportunities, meeting the requirements of resource preservation and emission restrictions. Fuel cell technology offers the possibility to excel in today's motive power techniques in terms of environmental compatibility, consumer's profit, costs of maintenance and efficiency. The key question is economy. This will be decided by the costs of fuel cell systems if they are to be used as power generators for future electric vehicles. The alkaline hydrogen-air fuel cell system with circulating KOH electrolyte and low-cost catalysed carbon electrodes could be a promising alternative. Based on the experiences of Kordesch [K. Kordesch, Brennstoffbatterien, Springer, Wien, 1984, ISBN 3-387-81819-7; K. Kordesch, City car with H 2-air fuel cell and lead-battery, SAE Paper No. 719015, 6th IECEC, 1971], who operated a city car hybrid vehicle on public roads for 3 years in the early 1970s, improved air electrodes plus new variations of the bipolar stack assembly developed in Graz are investigated. Primary fuel choice will be a major issue until such time as cost-effective, on-board hydrogen storage is developed. Ammonia is an interesting option. The whole system, ammonia dissociator plus alkaline fuel cell (AFC), is characterised by a simple design and high efficiency.

  2. Fuel cell-fuel cell hybrid system

    DOEpatents

    Geisbrecht, Rodney A.; Williams, Mark C.

    2003-09-23

    A device for converting chemical energy to electricity is provided, the device comprising a high temperature fuel cell with the ability for partially oxidizing and completely reforming fuel, and a low temperature fuel cell juxtaposed to said high temperature fuel cell so as to utilize remaining reformed fuel from the high temperature fuel cell. Also provided is a method for producing electricity comprising directing fuel to a first fuel cell, completely oxidizing a first portion of the fuel and partially oxidizing a second portion of the fuel, directing the second fuel portion to a second fuel cell, allowing the first fuel cell to utilize the first portion of the fuel to produce electricity; and allowing the second fuel cell to utilize the second portion of the fuel to produce electricity.

  3. Steam Methane Reformation Testing for Air-Independent Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mwara, Kamwana N.

    2015-01-01

    Recently, NASA has been looking into utilizing landers that can be propelled by LOX-CH (sub 4), to be used for long duration missions. Using landers that utilize such propellants, also provides the opportunity to use solid oxide fuel cells as a power option, especially since they are able to process methane into a reactant through fuel reformation. One type of reformation, called steam methane reformation, is a process to reform methane into a hydrogen-rich product by reacting methane and steam (fuel cell exhaust) over a catalyst. A steam methane reformation system could potentially use the fuel cell's own exhaust to create a reactant stream that is hydrogen-rich, and requires less internal reforming of the incoming methane. Also, steam reformation may hold some advantages over other types of reforming, such as partial oxidation (PROX) reformation. Steam reformation does not require oxygen, while up to 25 percent can be lost in PROX reformation due to unusable CO (sub 2) reformation. NASA's Johnson Space Center has conducted various phases of steam methane reformation testing, as a viable solution for in-space reformation. This has included using two different types of catalysts, developing a custom reformer, and optimizing the test system to find the optimal performance parameters and operating conditions.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1996-12-31

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

  5. Simultaneous processes of electricity generation and ceftriaxone sodium degradation in an air-cathode single chamber microbial fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wen, Qing; Kong, Fanying; Zheng, Hongtao; Yin, Jinling; Cao, Dianxue; Ren, Yueming; Wang, Guiling

    2011-03-01

    A single chamber microbial fuel cell (MFC) with an air-cathode is successfully demonstrated using glucose-ceftriaxone sodium mixtures or ceftriaxone sodium as fuel. Results show that the ceftriaxone sodium can be biodegraded and produce electricity simultaneously. Interestingly, these ceftriaxone sodium-glucose mixtures play an active role in production of electricity. The maximum power density is increased in comparison to 1000 mg L-1 glucose (19 W m-3) by 495% for 50 mg L-1 ceftriaxone sodium + 1000 mg L-1 glucose (113 W m-3), while the maximum power density is 11 W m-3 using 50 mg L-1 ceftriaxone sodium as the sole fuel. Moreover, ceftriaxone sodium biodegradation rate reaches 91% within 24 h using the MFC in comparison with 51% using the traditional anaerobic reactor. These results indicate that some toxic and bio-refractory organics such as antibiotic wastewater might be suitable resources for electricity generation using the MFC technology.

  6. Autocorrelation standard deviation and root mean square frequency analysis of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell to monitor for hydrogen and air undersupply

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Joo Gon; Mukherjee, Santanu; Bates, Alex; Zickel, Benjamin; Park, Sam; Son, Byung Rak; Choi, Jae Sung; Kwon, Osung; Lee, Dong Ha; Chung, Hyun-Youl

    2015-12-01

    Proton exchange membrane fuel cells are a promising energy conversion device which can help to solve urgent environmental and economic problems. Among the various types of fuel cells, the air breathing proton exchange membrane fuel cell, which minimizes the balance of plant, has drawn a lot of attention due to its superior energy density. In this study a compact, air breathing, proton exchange membrane fuel cell based on Nafion and a Pt/C membrane electrode assembly was designed. The fuel cell was tested using a Scribner Associates 850e fuel cell test station. Specifically, the hydrogen fuel and oxygen starvation of the fuel cell were accurately and systematically tested and analyzed using a frequency analysis method which can analyze the input and output frequency. The analysis of the frequency variation under a fuel starvation condition was done using RMSF (root mean square frequency) and ACSD (autocorrelation standard deviation). The study reveals two significant results: first, the fuel starvations show entirely different phenomenon in both RMSF and ACSD and second, the results of the Autocorrelation show clearer results for fuel starvation detection than the results with RMSF.

  7. Long-term room-temperature hydrazine/air fuel cells based on low-cost nanotextured Cu-Ni catalysts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filanovsky, Boris; Granot, Eran; Presman, Igor; Kuras, Iliya; Patolsky, Fernando

    2014-01-01

    We present here a long-term room-temperature (RT) direct-liquid hydrazine/air fuel cell device. This hydrazine/air fuel cell is based on low-cost easily-prepared nanotextured Cu-Ni anodes as the hydrazine (Hz) catalyst, combined with a commercial anion-exchange membrane film and a commercial air cathode. In addition, our hydrazine/air fuel cell consists on an improved novel design that results in remarkably high mechanical and chemical stabilities for long periods of operation. This hydrazine/air fuel cell can operates continuously for about ∼2000 h (limited mainly by cathode and membrane deterioration) with continuous fuel supply, and supplies about 0.58 V at 1 A (14.3 mA cm-2, with a discharge efficiency of about 70% (drift is less than 0.01% h-1), and appears to be suitable for mass production. The use of optimally-combined multi-metal electrodes suggests the possibility to create novel catalysts of improved electrochemical efficiency and stability. Our fuel cell devices can find broad applications in different civilian and military field mobile and stationary uses, for instance, in future fuel-cell operated vehicles and stationary back-up power electrical stations.

  8. Fuel cells: A handbook

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kinoshita, K.; McLarnon, F. R.; Cairns, E. J.

    1988-05-01

    The purpose of this handbook is to present information describing fuel cells that is helpful to scientists, engineers, and technical managers who are not experienced in this technology, as well as to provide an update on the current technical status of the various types of fuel cells. Following the introduction, contents of this handbook are: fuel cell performance variables; phosphoric acid fuel cell; molten carbonate fuel cell; solid oxide fuel cell; alternative fuel cell technologies; fuel cell systems; and concluding remarks.

  9. Active water management at the cathode of a planar air-breathing polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell using an electroosmotic pump

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fabian, T.; O'Hayre, R.; Litster, S.; Prinz, F. B.; Santiago, J. G.

    In a typical air-breathing fuel cell design, ambient air is supplied to the cathode by natural convection and dry hydrogen is supplied to a dead-ended anode. While this design is simple and attractive for portable low-power applications, the difficulty in implementing effective and robust water management presents disadvantages. In particular, excessive flooding of the open-cathode during long-term operation can lead to a dramatic reduction of fuel cell power. To overcome this limitation, we report here on a novel air-breathing fuel cell water management design based on a hydrophilic and electrically conductive wick in conjunction with an electroosmotic (EO) pump that actively pumps water out of the wick. Transient experiments demonstrate the ability of the EO-pump to "resuscitate" the fuel cell from catastrophic flooding events, while longer term galvanostatic measurements suggest that the design can completely eliminate cathode flooding using less than 2% of fuel cell power, and lead to stable operation with higher net power performance than a control design without EO-pump. This demonstrates that active EO-pump water management, which has previously only been demonstrated in forced-convection fuel cell systems, can also be applied effectively to miniaturized (<5 W) air-breathing fuel cell systems.

  10. Ambient pressure fuel cell system

    DOEpatents

    Wilson, Mahlon S.

    2000-01-01

    An ambient pressure fuel cell system is provided with a fuel cell stack formed from a plurality of fuel cells having membrane/electrode assemblies (MEAs) that are hydrated with liquid water and bipolar plates with anode and cathode sides for distributing hydrogen fuel gas and water to a first side of each one of the MEAs and air with reactant oxygen gas to a second side of each one of the MEAs. A pump supplies liquid water to the fuel cells. A recirculating system may be used to return unused hydrogen fuel gas to the stack. A near-ambient pressure blower blows air through the fuel cell stack in excess of reaction stoichiometric amounts to react with the hydrogen fuel gas.

  11. Handbook of fuel cell performance

    SciTech Connect

    Benjamin, T.G.; Camara, E.H.; Marianowski, L.G.

    1980-05-01

    The intent of this document is to provide a description of fuel cells, their performances and operating conditions, and the relationship between fuel processors and fuel cells. This information will enable fuel cell engineers to know which fuel processing schemes are most compatible with which fuel cells and to predict the performance of a fuel cell integrated with any fuel processor. The data and estimates presented are for the phosphoric acid and molten carbonate fuel cells because they are closer to commercialization than other types of fuel cells. Performance of the cells is shown as a function of operating temperature, pressure, fuel conversion (utilization), and oxidant utilization. The effect of oxidant composition (for example, air versus O/sub 2/) as well as fuel composition is examined because fuels provided by some of the more advanced fuel processing schemes such as coal conversion will contain varying amounts of H/sub 2/, CO, CO/sub 2/, CH/sub 4/, H/sub 2/O, and sulfur and nitrogen compounds. A brief description of fuel cells and their application to industrial, commercial, and residential power generation is given. The electrochemical aspects of fuel cells are reviewed. The phosphoric acid fuel cell is discussed, including how it is affected by operating conditions; and the molten carbonate fuel cell is discussed. The equations developed will help systems engineers to evaluate the application of the phosphoric acid and molten carbonate fuel cells to commercial, utility, and industrial power generation and waste heat utilization. A detailed discussion of fuel cell efficiency, and examples of fuel cell systems are given.

  12. Fuel processor for fuel cell power system

    DOEpatents

    Vanderborgh, Nicholas E.; Springer, Thomas E.; Huff, James R.

    1987-01-01

    A catalytic organic fuel processing apparatus, which can be used in a fuel cell power system, contains within a housing a catalyst chamber, a variable speed fan, and a combustion chamber. Vaporized organic fuel is circulated by the fan past the combustion chamber with which it is in indirect heat exchange relationship. The heated vaporized organic fuel enters a catalyst bed where it is converted into a desired product such as hydrogen needed to power the fuel cell. During periods of high demand, air is injected upstream of the combustion chamber and organic fuel injection means to burn with some of the organic fuel on the outside of the combustion chamber, and thus be in direct heat exchange relation with the organic fuel going into the catalyst bed.

  13. Fuel cell sesquicentennial

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cohn, E. M.

    1979-01-01

    The development of fuel cell technology is summarized, and the potential for utility-type fuel cell installations is assessed on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the construction of the first fuel cell by Sir William Grove. The only functional fuel-cell systems developed to date, the hydrogen-oxygen cells used by NASA, are indicated, and hydrazine and alcohol (methanol) cells are considered. Areas requiring development before the implementation of fuel cells as general purpose utility-type electric generators include catalysts for naturally occurring hydrocarbons or processes for low-cost methanol or hydrazine production, efficient means of scrubbing and enriching air, self-regulating systems, and 15- to 20-fold power density increases. It is argued that although ideas for eliminating certain of the above-mentioned problems have been proposed, fuel-cell systems can never be expected to equal the efficiency, reliability and low cost of conventional power plants, and thus developmental support should be discontinued.

  14. Enhanced performance of an air-cathode microbial fuel cell with oxygen supply from an externally connected algal bioreactor.

    PubMed

    Kakarla, Ramesh; Kim, Jung Rae; Jeon, Byong-Hun; Min, Booki

    2015-11-01

    An algae bioreactor (ABR) was externally connected to air-cathode microbial fuel cells (MFCs) to increase power generation by supplying a high amount of oxygen to cathode electrode. The MFC with oxygen fed from ABR produced maximum cell voltage and cathode potential at a fixed loading of 459 mV and 10 mV, respectively. During polarization analysis, the MFC displayed a maximum power density of 0.63 W/m(2) (at 2.06 A/m(2)) using 39.2% O2 from ABR, which was approximately 30% higher compared with use of atmospheric air (0.44 W/m(2), 20.8% O2,). The cyclic voltammogram analysis exhibited a higher reduction current of -137 mA with 46.5% O2 compared to atmospheric air (-115 mA). Oxygen supply by algae bioreactor to air-cathode MFC could also maintain better MFC performance in long term operation by minimizing cathode potential drop over time. PMID:26188984

  15. 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.

  16. Fuel-air control device

    SciTech Connect

    Norman, J.

    1981-12-15

    The invention concerns a device for controlling the vehicles fuel-air mixture by regulating the air in the ventilation passage leading to the engine air intake from the crankcase. In a vehicle provided with a PCV valve, the device is located in the ventilation passage leading from the crankcase to the engine air intake and the device is downstream of the PCV valve. The device admits outside air to the ventilation passage to lean the gas mixture when the engine creates a vacuum less than 8 psi in the ventilation passage.

  17. Critical importance of humidification of the anode in miniature air-breathing polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamel, Simon; Fréchette, Luc G.

    2011-08-01

    Although water management at the cathode is known to be critical in miniature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (mPEMFCs), this study shows that control of water transport towards the anode is a determining factor to increase air-breathing mPEMFC performances. An analytical 1D model is developed to capture the water transport and water content profile in the membrane. It shows that drying at the anode and flooding at the cathode can happen simultaneously, mainly due to dominant electro-osmotic drag at low cell temperatures. Experimental results demonstrate that injecting water at the anode, at a rate of 3 times the amount produced at the cathode, increases the cell performances at high current densities. By this method, the limiting current and maximum power densities have been raised by 100% and 30% respectively.

  18. Numerical investigation of interfacial mass transport resistance and two-phase flow in PEM fuel cell air channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koz, Mustafa

    Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are efficient and environmentally friendly electrochemical engines. The performance of a PEMFC is adversely affected by oxygen (O2) concentration loss from the air flow channel to the cathode catalyst layer (CL). Oxygen transport resistance at the gas diffusion layer (GDL) and air channel interface is a non-negligible component of the O2 concentration loss. Simplified PEMFC performance models in the available literature incorporate the O2 resistance at the GDL-channel interface as an input parameter. However, this parameter has been taken as a constant so far in the available literature and does not reflect variable PEMFC operating conditions and the effect of two-phase flow in the channels. This study numerically calculates the O2 transport resistance at the GDL-air channel interface and expresses this resistance through the non-dimensional Sherwood number (Sh). Local Sh is investigated in an air channel with multiple droplets and films inside. These water features are represented as solid obstructions and only air flow is simulated. Local variations of Sh in the flow direction are obtained as a function of superficial air velocity, water feature size, and uniform spacing between water features. These variations are expressed with mathematical expressions for the PEMFC performance models to utilize and save computational resources. The resulting mathematical correlations for Sh can be utilized in PEMFC performance models. These models can predict cell performance more accurately with the help of the results of this work. Moreover, PEMFC performance models do not need to use a look-up table since the results were expressed through correlations. Performance models can be kept simplified although their predictions will become more realistic. Since two-phase flow in channels is experienced mostly at lower temperatures, performance optimization at low temperatures can be done easier.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  20. Inhibition of microbial growth on air cathodes of single chamber microbial fuel cells by incorporating enrofloxacin into the catalyst layer.

    PubMed

    Liu, Weifeng; Cheng, Shaoan; Sun, Dan; Huang, Haobin; Chen, Jie; Cen, Kefa

    2015-10-15

    The inevitable growth of aerobic bacteria on the surface of air cathodes is an important factor reducing the performance stability of air cathode single-chamber membrane-free microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Thus searching for effective methods to inhibit the cathodic microbial growth is critical for the practical application of MFCs. In this study, enrofloxacin (ENR), a broad spectrum fluoroquinolone antibiotic, was incorporated into the catalyst layer of activated carbon air cathodes (ACACs) to inhibit the cathodic microbial growth. The biomass content on ACACs was substantially reduced by 60.2% with ENR treatment after 91 days of MFCs operation. As a result of the inhibited microbial growth, the oxygen reduction catalytic performance of the ENR treated ACACs was much stable compared to the fast performance decline of the untreated control. Consequently, a quite stable electricity production was obtained for the MFCs with the ENR treated ACACs, in contrast with a 22.5% decrease in maximum power density of the MFCs with the untreated cathode. ENR treatment of ACACs showed minimal effects on the anode performance. These results indicate that incorporating antibiotics into ACACs should be a simple and effective strategy to inhibit the microbial growth and improve the long-term stability of the performance of air cathode and the electricity production of MFCs. PMID:25957076

  1. Sustainable design of high-performance microsized microbial fuel cell with carbon nanotube anode and air cathode.

    PubMed

    Mink, Justine E; Hussain, Muhammad Mustafa

    2013-08-27

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are a promising alternative energy source that both generates electricity and cleans water. Fueled by liquid wastes such as wastewater or industrial wastes, the microbial fuel cell converts waste into energy. Microsized MFCs are essentially miniature energy harvesters that can be used to power on-chip electronics, lab-on-a-chip devices, and/or sensors. As MFCs are a relatively new technology, microsized MFCs are also an important rapid testing platform for the comparison and introduction of new conditions or materials into macroscale MFCs, especially nanoscale materials that have high potential for enhanced power production. Here we report a 75 μL microsized MFC on silicon using CMOS-compatible processes and employ a novel nanomaterial with exceptional electrochemical properties, multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs), as the on-chip anode. We used this device to compare the usage of the more commonly used but highly expensive anode material gold, as well as a more inexpensive substitute, nickel. This is the first anode material study done using the most sustainably designed microsized MFC to date, which utilizes ambient oxygen as the electron acceptor with an air cathode instead of the chemical ferricyanide and without a membrane. Ferricyanide is unsustainable, as the chemical must be continuously refilled, while using oxygen, naturally found in air, makes the device mobile and is a key step in commercializing this for portable technology such as lab-on-a-chip for point-of-care diagnostics. At 880 mA/m(2) and 19 mW/m(2) the MWCNT anode outperformed the others in both current and power densities with between 6 and 20 times better performance. All devices were run for over 15 days, indicating a stable and high-endurance energy harvester already capable of producing enough power for ultra-low-power electronics and able to consistently power them over time. PMID:23899322

  2. Effect of indoor air pollution from biomass fuel use on argyrophilic nuclear organizer regions in buccal epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Mondal, Nandan K; Dutta, Anindita; Banerjee, Anirban; Chakraborty, Sreeparna; Lahiri, Twisha; Ray, Manas Ranjan

    2009-01-01

    This study investigated the effect of indoor air pollution from biomass-fuel use on the expression of argyrophilic nucleolar organizer regions (AgNORs), an indicator of ribosome biosynthesis, in epithelial cells of oral mucosa. AgNORs were evaluated using cytochemical staining in 62 nonsmoking indian women (median age, 34 years), who cooked exclusively with biomass, and 55 age-matched women, who were from a similar neighborhood and cooked with relatively clean liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Concentrations of particulate pollutants in indoor air were measured using a real-time aerosol monitor. Compared to the LPG-using controls, biomass-fuel users showed a remarkably increased number of AgNOR dots per nucleus (6.08 +/-2.26 vs 3.16 +/-0.86, p < 0.001), AgNOR size (0.85 +/-0.19 vs 0.53 +/-0.15 mum2, p < 0.001), and percentage of AgNOR-occupied nuclear area (4.88 +/-1.49 vs 1.75 +/-0.13%, p < 0.001). Biomass-using households had 2 to 4 times more particulate pollutants than that of LPG-using households. The changes in AgNOR expression were positively associated with PM10 and PM2.5 levels in indoor air after controlling for potential confounders such as age, kitchen location, and family income. Thus, biomass smoke appears to be a risk factor for abnormal cell growth via upregulation of ribosome biogenesis. PMID:19888913

  3. Electrochemically exfoliated graphene anodes with enhanced biocurrent production in single-chamber air-breathing microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Najafabadi, Amin Taheri; Ng, Norvin; Gyenge, Előd

    2016-07-15

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) present promising options for environmentally sustainable power generation especially in conjunction with waste water treatment. However, major challenges remain including low power density, difficult scale-up, and durability of the cell components. This study reports enhanced biocurrent production in a membrane-free MFC, using graphene microsheets (GNs) as anode and MnOx catalyzed air cathode. The GNs are produced by ionic liquid assisted simultaneous anodic and cathodic electrochemical exfoliation of iso-molded graphite electrodes. The GNs produced by anodic exfoliation increase the MFC peak power density by over 300% compared to plain carbon cloth (i.e., 2.85Wm(-2) vs 0.66Wm(-2), respectively), and by 90% compared to conventional carbon black (i.e., Vulcan XC-72) anode. These results exceed previously reported power densities for graphene-containing MFC anodes. The fuel cell polarization results are corroborated by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy indicating three times lower charge transfer resistance for the GN anode. Material characterizations suggest that the best performing GN samples were of relatively smaller size (~500nm), with higher levels of ionic liquid induced surface functionalization during the electrochemical exfoliation process. PMID:26926591

  4. Fuel cells: A survey

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Crowe, B. J.

    1973-01-01

    A survey of fuel cell technology and applications is presented. The operating principles, performance capabilities, and limitations of fuel cells are discussed. Diagrams of fuel cell construction and operating characteristics are provided. Photographs of typical installations are included.

  5. Fuel cell electric power production

    DOEpatents

    Hwang, Herng-Shinn; Heck, Ronald M.; Yarrington, Robert M.

    1985-01-01

    A process for generating electricity from a fuel cell includes generating a hydrogen-rich gas as the fuel for the fuel cell by treating a hydrocarbon feed, which may be a normally liquid feed, in an autothermal reformer utilizing a first monolithic catalyst zone having palladium and platinum catalytic components therein and a second, platinum group metal steam reforming catalyst. Air is used as the oxidant in the hydrocarbon reforming zone and a low oxygen to carbon ratio is maintained to control the amount of dilution of the hydrogen-rich gas with nitrogen of the air without sustaining an insupportable amount of carbon deposition on the catalyst. Anode vent gas may be utilized as the fuel to preheat the inlet stream to the reformer. The fuel cell and the reformer are preferably operated at elevated pressures, up to about a pressure of 150 psia for the fuel cell.

  6. Aircraft Fuel Cell Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Needham, Robert

    2004-01-01

    In recent years, fuel cells have been explored for use in aircraft. While the weight and size of fuel cells allows only the smallest of aircraft to use fuel cells for their primary engines, fuel cells have showed promise for use as auxiliary power units (APUs), which power aircraft accessories and serve as an electrical backup in case of an engine failure. Fuel cell MUS are both more efficient and emit fewer pollutants. However, sea-level fuel cells need modifications to be properly used in aircraft applications. At high altitudes, the ambient air has a much lower pressure than at sea level, which makes it much more difficult to get air into the fuel cell to react and produce electricity. Compressors can be used to pressurize the air, but this leads to added weight, volume, and power usage, all of which are undesirable things. Another problem is that fuel cells require hydrogen to create electricity, and ever since the Hindenburg burst into flames, aircraft carrying large quantities of hydrogen have not been in high demand. However, jet fuel is a hydrocarbon, so it is possible to reform it into hydrogen. Since jet fuel is already used to power conventional APUs, it is very convenient to use this to generate the hydrogen for fuel-cell-based APUs. Fuel cells also tend to get large and heavy when used for applications that require a large amount of power. Reducing the size and weight becomes especially beneficial when it comes to fuel cells for aircraft. My goal this summer is to work on several aspects of Aircraft Fuel Cell Power System project. My first goal is to perform checks on a newly built injector rig designed to test different catalysts to determine the best setup for reforming Jet-A fuel into hydrogen. These checks include testing various thermocouples, transmitters, and transducers, as well making sure that the rig was actually built to the design specifications. These checks will help to ensure that the rig will operate properly and give correct results

  7. Accelerated OH(-) transport in activated carbon air cathode by modification of quaternary ammonium for microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xin; Feng, Cuijuan; Ding, Ning; Zhang, Qingrui; Li, Nan; Li, Xiaojing; Zhang, Yueyong; Zhou, Qixing

    2014-04-01

    Activated carbon (AC) is a promising catalyst for the air cathode of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) because of its high performance and low cost. To increase the performance of AC air cathodes, the acceleration of OH(-) transport is one of the most important methods, but it has not been widely investigated. Here we added quaternary ammonium to ACs by in situ anchoring of a quaternary ammonium/epoxide-reacting compound (QAE) or ex situ mixing with anion exchange resins in order to modify ACs from not only the external surface but also inside the pores. In 50 mM phosphate buffer solution (PBS), the in situ anchoring of QAE was a more effective way to increase the power. The highest power density of 2781 ± 36 mW/m(2), which is 10% higher than that of the control, was obtained using QAE-anchored AC cathodes. When the medium was switched to an unbuffered NaCl solution, the increase in maximum power density (885 ± 25 mW/m(2)) was in accordance with the anion exchange capacity (0.219 mmol/g). The highest power density of the anion exchange resin-mixed air cathode was 51% higher than that of the control, indicating that anion exchange is urgently needed in real wastewaters. Excess anchoring of QAE blocked both the mesopores and micropores, causing the power output to be inhibited. PMID:24597673

  8. Study of azo dye decolorization and determination of cathode microorganism profile in air-cathode microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Kumru, Mert; Eren, Hilal; Catal, Tunc; Bermek, Hakan; Akarsubaşi, Alper Tunga

    2012-09-01

    Five textile azo dyes, as part of an artificial mixture, were treated in single-chamber air-cathode microbial fuel cells while simultaneously utilizing acetate for electricity production. Remazol Black, Remazol Brilliant Blue, Remazol Turquoise Blue, Reactive Yellow and Reactive Red at concentrations of 40 or 80 mg L(-1) were decolorized to a similar extent, at averages of 78, 95, 53, 93 and 74%, respectively, in 24 hours. During the process of decolorization, electricity generation from acetate oxidation continued. Power densities obtained in the presence of textile dyes ranged from 347 to 521 mW m(-2) at the current density range of 0.071 - 0.086 mA cm(-2). Microbial community analyses of cathode biofilm exhibited dynamic changes in abundant species following dye decolorization. Upon the addition of the first dye, a major change (63%) in microbial diversity was observed; however, subsequent addition of other dyes did not affect the community profile significantly. Actinobacteria, Aquamicrobium, Mesorhizobium, Ochrobactrum, Thauera, Paracoccus, Achromobacter and Chelatacoccus affiliated phylotypes were the major phylotypes detected. Our results demonstrate that microbial fuel cells could be a promising alternative for treatment of textile wastewaters and an active bacterial community can rapidly be established for simultaneous azo dye decolorization and sustainable electricity generation. PMID:23240212

  9. Electricity generation using white and red wine lees in air cathode microbial fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pepe Sciarria, Tommy; Merlino, Giuseppe; Scaglia, Barbara; D'Epifanio, Alessandra; Mecheri, Barbara; Borin, Sara; Licoccia, Silvia; Adani, Fabrizio

    2015-01-01

    Microbial fuel cell (MFC) is a useful biotechnology to produce electrical energy from different organic substrates. This work reports for the first time results of the application of single chamber MFCs to generate electrical energy from diluted white wine (WWL) and red wine (RWL) lees. Power obtained was of 8.2 W m-3 (262 mW m-2; 500 Ω) and of 3.1 W m-3 (111 mW m-2; 500Ω) using white and red wine lees, respectively. Biological processes lead to a reduction of chemical oxygen (TCOD) and biological oxygen demand (BOD5) of 27% and 83% for RWL and of 90% and 95% for WWL, respectively. These results depended on the degradability of organic compounds contained, as suggest by BOD5/TCOD of WWL (0.93) vs BOD5/TCOD of RWL (0.33), and to the high presence of polyphenols in RWL that inhibited the process. Coulombic efficiency (CE) of 15 ± 0%, for WWL, was in line with those reported in the literature for other substrates, i.e. CE of 14.9 ± 11.3%. Different substrates led to different microbial consortia, particularly at the anode. Bacterial species responsible for the generation of electricity, were physically connected to the electrode, where the direct electron transfer took place.

  10. Compact fuel cell

    SciTech Connect

    Jacobson, Craig; DeJonghe, Lutgard C.; Lu, Chun

    2010-10-19

    A novel electrochemical cell which may be a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) is disclosed where the cathodes (144, 140) may be exposed to the air and open to the ambient atmosphere without further housing. Current collector (145) extends through a first cathode on one side of a unit and over the unit through the cathode on the other side of the unit and is in electrical contact via lead (146) with housing unit (122 and 124). Electrical insulator (170) prevents electrical contact between two units. Fuel inlet manifold (134) allows fuel to communicate with internal space (138) between the anodes (154 and 156). Electrically insulating members (164 and 166) prevent the current collector from being in electrical contact with the anode.

  11. 78. PIPING CHANNEL FOR FUEL LOADING, FUEL TOPPING, COMPRESSED AIR, ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    78. PIPING CHANNEL FOR FUEL LOADING, FUEL TOPPING, COMPRESSED AIR, GASEOUS NITROGEN, AND HELIUM - Vandenberg Air Force Base, Space Launch Complex 3, Launch Pad 3 East, Napa & Alden Roads, Lompoc, Santa Barbara County, CA

  12. ARPA advanced fuel cell development

    SciTech Connect

    Dubois, L.H.

    1995-08-01

    Fuel cell technology is currently being developed at the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) for several Department of Defense applications where its inherent advantages such as environmental compatibility, high efficiency, and low noise and vibration are overwhelmingly important. These applications range from man-portable power systems of only a few watts output (e.g., for microclimate cooling and as direct battery replacements) to multimegawatt fixed base systems. The ultimate goal of the ARPA program is to develop an efficient, low-temperature fuel cell power system that operates directly on a military logistics fuel (e.g., DF-2 or JP-8). The absence of a fuel reformer will reduce the size, weight, cost, and complexity of such a unit as well as increase its reliability. In order to reach this goal, ARPA is taking a two-fold, intermediate time-frame approach to: (1) develop a viable, low-temperature proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell that operates directly on a simple hydrocarbon fuel (e.g., methanol or trimethoxymethane) and (2) demonstrate a thermally integrated fuel processor/fuel cell power system operating on a military logistics fuel. This latter program involves solid oxide (SOFC), molten carbonate (MCFC), and phosphoric acid (PAFC) fuel cell technologies and concentrates on the development of efficient fuel processors, impurity scrubbers, and systems integration. A complementary program to develop high performance, light weight H{sub 2}/air PEM and SOFC fuel cell stacks is also underway. Several recent successes of these programs will be highlighted.

  13. Fuel cells seminar

    SciTech Connect

    1996-12-01

    This year`s meeting highlights the fact that fuel cells for both stationary and transportation applications have reached the dawn of commercialization. Sales of stationary fuel cells have grown steadily over the past 2 years. Phosphoric acid fuel cell buses have been demonstrated in urban areas. Proton-exchange membrane fuel cells are on the verge of revolutionizing the transportation industry. These activities and many more are discussed during this seminar, which provides a forum for people from the international fuel cell community engaged in a wide spectrum of fuel cell activities. Discussions addressing R&D of fuel cell technologies, manufacturing and marketing of fuel cells, and experiences of fuel cell users took place through oral and poster presentations. For the first time, the seminar included commercial exhibits, further evidence that commercial fuel cell technology has arrived. A total of 205 papers is included in this volume.

  14. Temporal variations of cathode performance in air-cathode single-chamber microbial fuel cells with different separators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Jinxing; Wang, Zhiwei; Suor, Denis; Liu, Shumeng; Li, Jiaqi; Wu, Zhichao

    2014-12-01

    An ideal separator is essential for efficient power production from air-cathode single-chamber microbial fuel cells (MFCs). In this study, we use different kinds of membranes as separators, including Nafion 117 proton exchange membrane, polyethersulfone and poly(vinylidene fluoride) microfiltration membranes. Temporal variations of cathode performance are monitored during the experiment. Results show that MFCs with microfiltration membranes present higher power output but deterioration is still observed after about 600-h operation. With the utilization of appropriate separators (e.g., polyethersulfone membrane), biofouling, cation fouling and chemical scale fouling of the cathodes are alleviated while reaction fouling seems inevitable. Moreover, it is found that Coulombic efficiency (CE) and energy efficiency (EE) are also related to the cathode performance. Despite relatively high oxygen diffusivity (1.49 × 10-5 cm2 s-1), CE and EE of the MFC with 0.1 μm pore-size polyethersulfone membrane can reach 92.8% and 13.7%, respectively, when its average power density registers 403.5 mW m-2. This phenomenon might be attributed to the finding that the overall substrate consumption rate due to oxygen reduction and respiration is almost constant in the air-cathode MFCs. Oxygen leakage into the electrolyte can be inhibited due to the efficient oxygen reduction reaction on the surface of the cathode.

  15. 2009 Fuel Cell Market Report, November 2010

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2010-11-01

    Fuel cells are electrochemical devices that combine hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, water, and heat. Unlike batteries, fuel cells continuously generate electricity, as long as a source of fuel is supplied. Moreover, fuel cells do not burn fuel, making the process quiet, pollution-free and two to three times more efficient than combustion. Fuel cell systems can be a truly zero-emission source of electricity, if the hydrogen is produced from non-polluting sources. Global concerns about climate change, energy security, and air pollution are driving demand for fuel cell technology. More than 630 companies and laboratories in the United States are investing $1 billion a year in fuel cells or fuel cell component technologies. This report provides an overview of trends in the fuel cell industry and markets, including product shipments, market development, and corporate performance. It also provides snapshots of select fuel cell companies, including general.

  16. Detonability of hydrocarbon fuels in air

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beeson, H. D.; Mcclenagan, R. D.; Bishop, C. V.; Benz, F. J.; Pitz, W. J.; Westbrook, C. K.; Lee, J. H. S.

    1991-01-01

    Studies were conducted of the detonation of gas-phase mixtures of n-hexane and JP-4, with oxidizers as varied as air and pure oxygen, measuring detonation velocities and cell sizes as a function of stoichiometry and diluent concentration. The induction length of a one-dimensional Zeldovich-von Neumann-Doering detonation was calculated on the basis of a theoretical model that employed the reaction kinetics of the hydrocarbon fuels used. Critical energy and critical tube diameter are compared for a relative measure of the heavy hydrocarbon fuels studied; detonation sensitivity appears to increase slightly with increasing carbon number.

  17. Fuel cell integrated with steam reformer

    DOEpatents

    Beshty, Bahjat S.; Whelan, James A.

    1987-01-01

    A H.sub.2 -air fuel cell integrated with a steam reformer is disclosed wherein a superheated water/methanol mixture is fed to a catalytic reformer to provide a continuous supply of hydrogen to the fuel cell, the gases exhausted from the anode of the fuel cell providing the thermal energy, via combustion, for superheating the water/methanol mixture.

  18. Controlled shutdown of a fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Clingerman, Bruce J.; Keskula, Donald H.

    2002-01-01

    A method is provided for the shutdown of a fuel cell system to relieve system overpressure while maintaining air compressor operation, and corresponding vent valving and control arrangement. The method and venting arrangement are employed in a fuel cell system, for instance a vehicle propulsion system, comprising, in fluid communication, an air compressor having an outlet for providing air to the system, a combustor operative to provide combustor exhaust to the fuel processor.

  19. Combined current and temperature mapping in an air-cooled, open-cathode polymer electrolyte fuel cell under steady-state and dynamic conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyer, Q.; Ronaszegi, K.; Robinson, J. B.; Noorkami, M.; Curnick, O.; Ashton, S.; Danelyan, A.; Reisch, T.; Adcock, P.; Kraume, R.; Shearing, P. R.; Brett, D. J. L.

    2015-11-01

    In situ diagnostic techniques provide a means of understanding the internal workings of fuel cells so that improved designs and operating regimes can be identified. Here, for the first time, a combined current density and temperature distributed measurement system is used to generate an electro-thermal performance map of an air-cooled, air-breathing polymer electrolyte fuel cell stack operating in an air/hydrogen cross-flow configuration. Analysis is performed in low- and high-current regimes and a complex relationship between localised current density, temperature and reactant supply is identified that describes the way in which the system enters limiting performance conditions. Spatiotemporal analysis was carried out to characterise transient operations in dead-ended anode/purge mode which revealed extensive current density and temperature gradients.

  20. Fuel cell system for transportation applications

    DOEpatents

    Kumar, Romesh; Ahmed, Shabbir; Krumpelt, Michael; Myles, Kevin M.

    1993-01-01

    A propulsion system for a vehicle having pairs of front and rear wheels and a fuel tank. An electrically driven motor having an output shaft operatively connected to at least one of said pair of wheels is connected to a fuel cell having a positive electrode and a negative electrode separated by an electrolyte for producing dc power to operate the motor. A partial oxidation reformer is connected both to the fuel tank and to the fuel cell receives hydrogen-containing fuel from the fuel tank and water and air and for partially oxidizing and reforming the fuel with water and air in the presence of an oxidizing catalyst and a reforming catalyst to produce a hydrogen-containing gas. The hydrogen-containing gas is sent from the partial oxidation reformer to the fuel cell negative electrode while air is transported to the fuel cell positive electrode to produce dc power for operating the electric motor.

  1. Microscale Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Holladay, Jamie D.; Viswanathan, Vish V.

    2005-11-03

    Perhaprs some of the most innovative work on fuel cells has been the research dedicated to applying silicon fabrication techniques to fuel cells technology creating low power microscale fuel cells applicable to microelectro mechanical systems (MEMS), microsensors, cell phones, PDA’s, and other low power (0.001 to 5 We) applications. In this small power range, fuel cells offer the decoupling of the energy converter from the energy storage which may enable longer operating times and instant or near instant charging. To date, most of the microscale fuel cells being developed have been based on proton exchange membrane fuel cell technology (PEMFC) or direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) technology. This section will discuss requirements and considerations that need to be addressed in the development of microscale fuel cells, as well as some proposed designs and fabrication strategies.

  2. 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

  3. Electricity generation and nutrients removal from high-strength liquid manure by air-cathode microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Lin, Hongjian; Wu, Xiao; Nelson, Chad; Miller, Curtis; Zhu, Jun

    2016-01-01

    Air-cathode microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are widely tested to recover electrical energy from waste streams containing organic matter. When high-strength wastewater, such as liquid animal manure, is used as a medium, inhibition on anode and cathode catalysts potentially impairs the effectiveness of MFC performance in power generation and pollutant removal. This study evaluated possible inhibitive effects of liquid swine manure components on MFC power generation, improved liquid manure-fed MFCs performance by pretreatment (dilution and selective adsorption), and modeled the kinetics of organic matter and nutrients removal kinetics. Parameters monitored included pH, conductivity, chemical oxygen demand (COD), volatile fatty acids (VFAs), total ammoniacal nitrogen (TAN), nitrite, nitrate, and phosphate concentrations. The removals of VFA and TAN were efficient, indicated by the short half-life times of 4.99 and 7.84 d, respectively. The mechanism for phosphate decrease was principally the salt precipitation on cathode, but the removal was incomplete after 42-d operation. MFC with an external resistor of 2.2 kΩ and fed with swine wastewater generated relatively small power (28.2 μW), energy efficiency (0.37%) and Coulombic efficiency (1.5%). Dilution of swine wastewater dramatically improved the power generation as the inhibitory effect was decreased. Zeolite and granular activated carbon were effective in the selective adsorption of ammonia or organic matter in swine wastewater, and so substantially improved the power generation, energy efficiency, and Coulombic efficiency. A smaller external resistor in the circuit was also observed to promote the organic matter degradation and thus to shorten the treatment time. Overall, air-cathode MFCs are promising for generating electrical power from livestock wastewater and meanwhile reducing the level of organic matter and nutrients. PMID:26654000

  4. A small-scale air-cathode microbial fuel cell for on-line monitoring of water quality.

    PubMed

    Di Lorenzo, Mirella; Thomson, Alexander R; Schneider, Kenneth; Cameron, Petra J; Ieropoulos, Ioannis

    2014-12-15

    The heavy use of chemicals for agricultural, industrial and domestic purposes has increased the risk of freshwater contamination worldwide. Consequently, the demand for efficient new analytical tools for on-line and on-site water quality monitoring has become particularly urgent. In this study, a small-scale single chamber air-cathode microbial fuel cell (SCMFC), fabricated by rapid prototyping layer-by-layer 3D printing, was tested as a biosensor for continuous water quality monitoring. When acetate was fed as the rate-limiting substrate, the SCMFC acted as a sensor for chemical oxygen demand (COD) in water. The linear detection range was 3-164 ppm, with a sensitivity of 0.05 μA mM(-1) cm(-2) with respect to the anode total surface area. The response time was as fast as 2.8 min. At saturating acetate concentrations (COD>164 ppm), the miniature SCMFC could rapidly detect the presence of cadmium in water with high sensitivity (0.2 μg l(-1) cm(-2)) and a lower detection limit of only 1 μg l(-1). The biosensor dynamic range was 1-25 μg l(-1). Within this range of concentrations, cadmium affected only temporarily the electroactive biofilm at the anode. When the SCMFCs were again fed with fresh wastewater and no pollutant, the initial steady-state current was recovered within 12 min. PMID:25005554

  5. Using ammonium bicarbonate as pore former in activated carbon catalyst layer to enhance performance of air cathode microbial fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Da; Qu, Youpeng; Liu, Jia; He, Weihua; Wang, Haiman; Feng, Yujie

    2014-12-01

    The rolling catalyst layers in air cathode microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are prepared by introducing NH4HCO3 as pore former (PF) with four PF/activated carbon mass ratios of 0.1, 0.2, 0.3 and 1.0. The maximum power density of 892 ± 8 mW m-2 is obtained by cathodes with the mass ratio of 0.2, which is 33% higher than that of the control reactor (without PF, 671 ± 22 mW m-2). Pore analysis indicates the porosity increases by 38% and the major pore range concentrates between 0.5 μm-0.8 μm which likely facilitates to enrich the active reaction sites compared to 0.8 μm-3.0 μm in the control and other PF-cathodes. In addition, pore structure endows the cathode improved exchange current density by 2.4 times and decreased charge transfer resistance by 44%, which are the essential reasons to enhance the oxygen reduction. These results show that addition of NH4HCO3 proves an effective way to change the porosity and pore distribution of catalyst layers and then enhance the MFC performance.

  6. Bio-electrochemical characterization of air-cathode microbial fuel cells with microporous polyethylene/silica membrane as separator.

    PubMed

    Kircheva, Nina; Outin, Jonathan; Perrier, Gérard; Ramousse, Julien; Merlin, Gérard; Lyautey, Emilie

    2015-12-01

    The aim of this work was to study the behavior over time of a separator made of a low-cost and non-selective microporous polyethylene membrane (RhinoHide®) in an air-cathode microbial fuel cell with a reticulated vitreous carbon foam bioanode. Performances of the microporous polyethylene membrane (RhinoHide®) were compared with Nafion®-117 as a cationic exchange membrane. A non-parametric test (Mann-Whitney) done on the different sets of coulombic or energy efficiency data showed no significant difference between the two types of tested membrane (p<0.05). Volumetric power densities were ranging from 30 to 90 W·m(-3) of RVC foam for both membranes. Similar amounts of biomass were observed on both sides of the polyethylene membrane illustrating bacterial permeability of this type of separator. A monospecific denitrifying population on cathodic side of RhinoHide® membrane has been identified. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) was used at OCV conditions to characterize electrochemical behavior of MFCs by equivalent electrical circuit fitted on both Nyquist and Bode plots. Resistances and pseudo-capacitances from EIS analyses do not differ in such a way that the nature of the membrane could be considered as responsible. PMID:26073676

  7. Use of pyrolyzed iron ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid modified activated carbon as air-cathode catalyst in microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Xia, Xue; Zhang, Fang; Zhang, Xiaoyuan; Liang, Peng; Huang, Xia; Logan, Bruce E

    2013-08-28

    Activated carbon (AC) is a cost-effective catalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in air-cathode microbial fuel cells (MFCs). To enhance the catalytic activity of AC cathodes, AC powders were pyrolyzed with iron ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (FeEDTA) at a weight ratio of FeEDTA:AC = 0.2:1. MFCs with FeEDTA modified AC cathodes and a stainless steel mesh current collector produced a maximum power density of 1580 ± 80 mW/m(2), which was 10% higher than that of plain AC cathodes (1440 ± 60 mW/m(2)) and comparable to Pt cathodes (1550 ± 10 mW/m(2)). Further increases in the ratio of FeEDTA:AC resulted in a decrease in performance. The durability of AC-based cathodes was much better than Pt-catalyzed cathodes. After 4.5 months of operation, the maximum power density of Pt cathode MFCs was 50% lower than MFCs with the AC cathodes. Pyridinic nitrogen, quaternary nitrogen and iron species likely contributed to the increased activity of FeEDTA modified AC. These results show that pyrolyzing AC with FeEDTA is a cost-effective and durable way to increase the catalytic activity of AC. PMID:23902951

  8. Fuel cells feasibility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schonfeld, D.; Charng, T.

    1981-01-01

    The technical and economic status of fuel cells is assessed with emphasis on their potential benefits to the Deep Space Network. The fuel cell, what it is, how it operates, and what its outputs are, is reviewed. Major technical problems of the fuel cell and its components are highlighted. Due to these problems and economic considerations it is concluded that fuel cells will not become commercially viable until the early 1990s.

  9. Open end protection for solid oxide fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Zafred, Paolo R.; Dederer, Jeffrey T.; Tomlins, Gregory W.; Toms, James M.; Folser, George R.; Schmidt, Douglas S.; Singh, Prabhakar; Hager, Charles A.

    2001-01-01

    A solid oxide fuel cell (40) having a closed end (44) and an open end (42) operates in a fuel cell generator (10) where the fuel cell open end (42) of each fuel cell contains a sleeve (60, 64) fitted over the open end (42), where the sleeve (60, 64) extends beyond the open end (42) of the fuel cell (40) to prevent degradation of the interior air electrode of the fuel cell by fuel gas during operation of the generator (10).

  10. Micro fuel cell

    SciTech Connect

    Zook, L.A.; Vanderborgh, N.E.; Hockaday, R.

    1998-12-31

    An ambient temperature, liquid feed, direct methanol fuel cell device is under development. A metal barrier layer was used to block methanol crossover from the anode to the cathode side while still allowing for the transport of protons from the anode to the cathode. A direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) is an electrochemical engine that converts chemical energy into clean electrical power by the direct oxidation of methanol at the fuel cell anode. This direct use of a liquid fuel eliminates the need for a reformer to convert the fuel to hydrogen before it is fed into the fuel cell.

  11. Fuel Cell Handbook update

    SciTech Connect

    Owens, W.R.; Hirschenhofer, J.H.; Engleman, R.R. Jr.; Stauffer, D.B.

    1993-11-01

    The objective of this work was to update the 1988 version of DOE`s Fuel Cell Handbook. Significant developments in the various fuel cell technologies required revisions to reflect state-of-the-art configurations and performance. The theoretical presentation was refined in order to make the handbook more useful to both the casual reader and fuel cell or systems analyst. In order to further emphasize the practical application of fuel cell technologies, the system integration information was expanded. In addition, practical elements, such as suggestions and guidelines to approximate fuel cell performance, were provided.

  12. Fuel Cell Handbook update

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Owens, W. R.; Hirschenhofer, J. H.; Engleman, R. R., Jr.; Stauffer, D. B.

    The objective of this work was to update the 1988 version of DOE's Fuel Cell Handbook. Significant developments in the various fuel cell technologies required revisions to reflect state-of-the-art configurations and performance. The theoretical presentation was refined in order to make the handbook more useful to both the casual reader and fuel cell or systems analyst. In order to further emphasize the practical application of fuel cell technologies, the system integration information was expanded. In addition, practical elements, such as suggestions and guidelines to approximate fuel cell performance, were provided.

  13. Direct hydrocarbon fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Barnett, Scott A.; Lai, Tammy; Liu, Jiang

    2010-05-04

    The direct electrochemical oxidation of hydrocarbons in solid oxide fuel cells, to generate greater power densities at lower temperatures without carbon deposition. The performance obtained is comparable to that of fuel cells used for hydrogen, and is achieved by using novel anode composites at low operating temperatures. Such solid oxide fuel cells, regardless of fuel source or operation, can be configured advantageously using the structural geometries of this invention.

  14. Fuel cell system for transportation applications

    DOEpatents

    Kumar, R.; Ahmed, S.; Krumpelt, M.; Myles, K.M.

    1993-09-28

    A propulsion system is described for a vehicle having pairs of front and rear wheels and a fuel tank. An electrically driven motor having an output shaft operatively connected to at least one of said pair of wheels is connected to a fuel cell having a positive electrode and a negative electrode separated by an electrolyte for producing dc power to operate the motor. A partial oxidation reformer is connected both to the fuel tank and to the fuel cell and receives hydrogen-containing fuel from the fuel tank and uses water and air for partially oxidizing and reforming the fuel in the presence of an oxidizing catalyst and a reforming catalyst to produce a hydrogen-containing gas. The hydrogen-containing gas is sent from the partial oxidation reformer to the fuel cell negative electrode while air is transported to the fuel cell positive electrode to produce dc power for operating the electric motor. 3 figures.

  15. Fuel cells and fuel cell catalysts

    DOEpatents

    Masel, Richard I.; Rice, Cynthia A.; Waszczuk, Piotr; Wieckowski, Andrzej

    2006-11-07

    A direct organic fuel cell includes a formic acid fuel solution having between about 10% and about 95% formic acid. The formic acid is oxidized at an anode. The anode may include a Pt/Pd catalyst that promotes the direct oxidation of the formic acid via a direct reaction path that does not include formation of a CO intermediate.

  16. Fuel cell generator

    DOEpatents

    Isenberg, Arnold O.

    1983-01-01

    High temperature solid oxide electrolyte fuel cell generators which allow controlled leakage among plural chambers in a sealed housing. Depleted oxidant and fuel are directly reacted in one chamber to combust remaining fuel and preheat incoming reactants. The cells are preferably electrically arranged in a series-parallel configuration.

  17. Fuel-Cell Water Separator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burke, Kenneth Alan; Fisher, Caleb; Newman, Paul

    2010-01-01

    The main product of a typical fuel cell is water, and many fuel-cell configurations use the flow of excess gases (i.e., gases not consumed by the reaction) to drive the resultant water out of the cell. This two-phase mixture then exits through an exhaust port where the two fluids must again be separated to prevent the fuel cell from flooding and to facilitate the reutilization of both fluids. The Glenn Research Center (GRC) has designed, built, and tested an innovative fuel-cell water separator that not only removes liquid water from a fuel cell s exhaust ports, but does so with no moving parts or other power-consuming components. Instead it employs the potential and kinetic energies already present in the moving exhaust flow. In addition, the geometry of the separator is explicitly intended to be integrated into a fuel-cell stack, providing a direct mate with the fuel cell s existing flow ports. The separator is also fully scalable, allowing it to accommodate a wide range of water removal requirements. Multiple separators can simply be "stacked" in series or parallel to adapt to the water production/removal rate. GRC s separator accomplishes the task of water removal by coupling a high aspect- ratio flow chamber with a highly hydrophilic, polyethersulfone membrane. The hydrophilic membrane readily absorbs and transports the liquid water away from the mixture while simultaneously resisting gas penetration. The expansive flow path maximizes the interaction of the water particles with the membrane while minimizing the overall gas flow restriction. In essence, each fluid takes its corresponding path of least resistance, and the two fluids are effectively separated. The GRC fuel-cell water separator has a broad range of applications, including commercial hydrogen-air fuel cells currently being considered for power generation in automobiles.

  18. Reforming of fuel inside fuel cell generator

    DOEpatents

    Grimble, R.E.

    1988-03-08

    Disclosed is an improved method of reforming a gaseous reformable fuel within a solid oxide fuel cell generator, wherein the solid oxide fuel cell generator has a plurality of individual fuel cells in a refractory container, the fuel cells generating a partially spent fuel stream and a partially spent oxidant stream. The partially spent fuel stream is divided into two streams, spent fuel stream 1 and spent fuel stream 2. Spent fuel stream 1 is burned with the partially spent oxidant stream inside the refractory container to produce an exhaust stream. The exhaust stream is divided into two streams, exhaust stream 1 and exhaust stream 2, and exhaust stream 1 is vented. Exhaust stream 2 is mixed with spent fuel stream 2 to form a recycle stream. The recycle stream is mixed with the gaseous reformable fuel within the refractory container to form a fuel stream which is supplied to the fuel cells. Also disclosed is an improved apparatus which permits the reforming of a reformable gaseous fuel within such a solid oxide fuel cell generator. The apparatus comprises a mixing chamber within the refractory container, means for diverting a portion of the partially spent fuel stream to the mixing chamber, means for diverting a portion of exhaust gas to the mixing chamber where it is mixed with the portion of the partially spent fuel stream to form a recycle stream, means for injecting the reformable gaseous fuel into the recycle stream, and means for circulating the recycle stream back to the fuel cells. 1 fig.

  19. Reforming of fuel inside fuel cell generator

    DOEpatents

    Grimble, Ralph E.

    1988-01-01

    Disclosed is an improved method of reforming a gaseous reformable fuel within a solid oxide fuel cell generator, wherein the solid oxide fuel cell generator has a plurality of individual fuel cells in a refractory container, the fuel cells generating a partially spent fuel stream and a partially spent oxidant stream. The partially spent fuel stream is divided into two streams, spent fuel stream I and spent fuel stream II. Spent fuel stream I is burned with the partially spent oxidant stream inside the refractory container to produce an exhaust stream. The exhaust stream is divided into two streams, exhaust stream I and exhaust stream II, and exhaust stream I is vented. Exhaust stream II is mixed with spent fuel stream II to form a recycle stream. The recycle stream is mixed with the gaseous reformable fuel within the refractory container to form a fuel stream which is supplied to the fuel cells. Also disclosed is an improved apparatus which permits the reforming of a reformable gaseous fuel within such a solid oxide fuel cell generator. The apparatus comprises a mixing chamber within the refractory container, means for diverting a portion of the partially spent fuel stream to the mixing chamber, means for diverting a portion of exhaust gas to the mixing chamber where it is mixed with the portion of the partially spent fuel stream to form a recycle stream, means for injecting the reformable gaseous fuel into the recycle stream, and means for circulating the recycle stream back to the fuel cells.

  20. Hydrogen/Air Fuel Nozzle Emissions Experiments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Timothy D.

    2001-01-01

    The use of hydrogen combustion for aircraft gas turbine engines provides significant opportunities to reduce harmful exhaust emissions. Hydrogen has many advantages (no CO2 production, high reaction rates, high heating value, and future availability), along with some disadvantages (high current cost of production and storage, high volume per BTU, and an unknown safety profile when in wide use). One of the primary reasons for switching to hydrogen is the elimination of CO2 emissions. Also, with hydrogen, design challenges such as fuel coking in the fuel nozzle and particulate emissions are no longer an issue. However, because it takes place at high temperatures, hydrogen-air combustion can still produce significant levels of NOx emissions. Much of the current research into conventional hydrocarbon-fueled aircraft gas turbine combustors is focused on NOx reduction methods. The Zero CO2 Emission Technology (ZCET) hydrogen combustion project will focus on meeting the Office of Aerospace Technology goal 2 within pillar one for Global Civil Aviation reducing the emissions of future aircraft by a factor of 3 within 10 years and by a factor of 5 within 25 years. Recent advances in hydrocarbon-based gas turbine combustion components have expanded the horizons for fuel nozzle development. Both new fluid designs and manufacturing technologies have led to the development of fuel nozzles that significantly reduce aircraft emissions. The goal of the ZCET program is to mesh the current technology of Lean Direct Injection and rocket injectors to provide quick mixing, low emissions, and high-performance fuel nozzle designs. An experimental program is planned to investigate the fuel nozzle concepts in a flametube test rig. Currently, a hydrogen system is being installed in cell 23 at NASA Glenn Research Center's Research Combustion Laboratory. Testing will be conducted on a variety of fuel nozzle concepts up to combustion pressures of 350 psia and inlet air temperatures of 1200 F

  1. Fuel issues for fuel cell vehicles

    SciTech Connect

    Borroni-Bird, C.E.

    1995-12-31

    In the near-term, infrastructure and energy density concerns dictate that the most appropriate fuel for a light-duty fuel cell vehicle is probably not hydrogen; there are also several concerns with using methanol, the generally accepted most convenient fuel. In order to accelerate fuel cell commercialization it may be necessary to use petroleum-based fuels and on-board fuel processors. In the near-term, this approach may reduce fuel cell system efficiency to a level comparable with advanced diesel engines but in the long-term fuel cells powered by hydrogen should be the most efficient and cleanest of all automotive powertrains.

  2. Air blast type coal slurry fuel injector

    DOEpatents

    Phatak, Ramkrishna G.

    1986-01-01

    A device to atomize and inject a coal slurry in the combustion chamber of an internal combustion engine, and which eliminates the use of a conventional fuel injection pump/nozzle. The injector involves the use of compressed air to atomize and inject the coal slurry and like fuels. In one embodiment, the breaking and atomization of the fuel is achieved with the help of perforated discs and compressed air. In another embodiment, a cone shaped aspirator is used to achieve the breaking and atomization of the fuel. The compressed air protects critical bearing areas of the injector.

  3. Air blast type coal slurry fuel injector

    DOEpatents

    Phatak, R.G.

    1984-08-31

    A device to atomize and inject a coal slurry in the combustion chamber of an internal combustion engine is disclosed which eliminates the use of a conventional fuel injection pump/nozzle. The injector involves the use of compressed air to atomize and inject the coal slurry and like fuels. In one embodiment, the breaking and atomization of the fuel is achieved with the help of perforated discs and compressed air. In another embodiment, a cone shaped aspirator is used to achieve the breaking and atomization of the fuel. The compressed air protects critical bearing areas of the injector.

  4. Properties of air and combustion products of fuel with air

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Poferl, D. J.; Svehla, R. A.

    1975-01-01

    Thermodynamic and transport properties have been calculated for air, the combustion products of natural gas and air, and combustion products of ASTM-A-1 jet fuel and air. Properties calculated include: ratio of specific heats, molecular weight, viscosity, specific heat, thermal conductivity, Prandtl number, and enthalpy.

  5. Molten carbonate fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Kaun, T.D.; Smith, J.L.

    1986-07-08

    A molten electrolyte fuel cell is disclosed with an array of stacked cells and cell enclosures isolating each cell except for access to gas manifolds for the supply of fuel or oxidant gas or the removal of waste gas. The cell enclosures collectively provide an enclosure for the array and effectively avoid the problems of electrolyte migration and the previous need for compression of stack components. The fuel cell further includes an inner housing about and in cooperation with the array enclosure to provide a manifold system with isolated chambers for the supply and removal of gases. An external insulated housing about the inner housing provides thermal isolation to the cell components.

  6. Molten carbonate fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Kaun, Thomas D.; Smith, James L.

    1987-01-01

    A molten electrolyte fuel cell with an array of stacked cells and cell enclosures isolating each cell except for access to gas manifolds for the supply of fuel or oxidant gas or the removal of waste gas, the cell enclosures collectively providing an enclosure for the array and effectively avoiding the problems of electrolyte migration and the previous need for compression of stack components, the fuel cell further including an inner housing about and in cooperation with the array enclosure to provide a manifold system with isolated chambers for the supply and removal of gases. An external insulated housing about the inner housing provides thermal isolation to the cell components.

  7. Gas-phase reactions of methane and natural-gas with air and steam in non-catalytic regions of a solid-oxide fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gupta, Gaurav K.; Hecht, Ethan S.; Zhu, Huayang; Dean, Anthony M.; Kee, Robert J.

    This paper uses a large elementary reaction mechanism to study the homogeneous chemistry of methane and natural-gas mixed with air and steam. Temperatures and residence times are chosen to represent SOFC operating conditions, including within feed lines that may be at elevated temperature but without any electrochemical or catalytic interactions. Mole fractions of six major species (CH 4, O 2, H 2O, H 2, CO, and CO 2) are presented as contour maps as functions of temperature, residence time, and initial fuel mixture compositions. In addition, deposit propensity is predicted by the sum of mole fractions of all species containing five or more carbon atoms, designated as C5+ . Comparison with chemical equilibrium predictions shows that the homogeneous reactions are far from equilibrium. These results indicate that the composition of the fuel mixture entering the active SOFC region might be significantly different from that originally entering the fuel cell.

  8. Fuel cell market applications

    SciTech Connect

    Williams, M.C.

    1995-12-31

    This is a review of the US (and international) fuel cell development for the stationary power generation market. Besides DOE, GRI, and EPRI sponsorship, the US fuel cell program has over 40% cost-sharing from the private sector. Support is provided by user groups with over 75 utility and other end-user members. Objectives are to develop and demonstrate cost-effective fuel cell power generation which can initially be commercialized into various market applications using natural gas fuel by the year 2000. Types of fuel cells being developed include PAFC (phosphoric acid), MCFC (molten carbonate), and SOFC (solid oxide); status of each is reported. Potential international applications are reviewed also. Fuel cells are viewed as a force in dispersed power generation, distributed power, cogeneration, and deregulated industry. Specific fuel cell attributes are discussed: Fuel cells promise to be one of the most reliable power sources; they are now being used in critical uninterruptible power systems. They need hydrogen which can be generated internally from natural gas, coal gas, methanol landfill gas, or other fuels containing hydrocarbons. Finally, fuel cell development and market applications in Japan are reviewed briefly.

  9. System for controlling air-fuel ratio

    SciTech Connect

    Morozumi, T.

    1982-09-14

    A system for controlling the air-fuel ratio for an internal combustion engine having an induction passage, an exhaust passage , a choke valve in the induction passage, an automatic choke device comprising a positive temperature coefficient (Ptc) heater and a bimetal element connected to the choke valve, a detector for detecting the concentration of a constituent of exhaust gases passing through the exhaust passage, an electronic control circuit, an on-off type electromagnetic valve actuated by the output signal from the electronic control circuit for correcting the air-fuel ratio of the air-fuel mixture supplied by an airfuel mixture supplier, and means for actuating the on-off type electromagnetic valve at a fixed duty ratio during cold engine operation. The electronic control circuit comprises a vacuum sensor for converting the amount of the induced air to an electric quantity, an engine temperature detector for converting the engine temperature to an electric quantity, a first calculating circuit for producing a proper desired air-fuel mixture ratio signal from the output signals of the vacuum sensor and of the engine temperature detector, and a second calculation circuit for producing an actual air-fuel ratio signal from output signals of the vacuum sensor and of the ptc heater. A summing circuit for summing the proper air-fuel ratio signal and the actual air-fuel ratio signal produces a pulse duty ratio correcting signal which is applied to the electronic control circuit for correcting the fixed duty ratio.

  10. PLATINUM, FUEL CELLS, AND FUTURE ROAD TRANSPORT

    EPA Science Inventory

    A vehicle powered by a fuel cell will emit virtually no air polution and, depending on fuel choice, can substantially improve fuel economy above that of current technology. Those attributes are complementary to issues of increasing national importance including the effects of tra...

  11. Effect of pH in a Pd-based ethanol membraneless air breathing nanofluidic fuel cell with flow-through electrodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López-Rico, C. A.; Galindo-de-la-Rosa, J.; Ledesma-García, J.; Arriaga, L. G.; Guerra-Balcázar, M.; Arjona, N.

    2015-12-01

    In this work, a nanofluidic fuel cell (NFC) in which streams flow through electrodes was used to investigate the role of pH in the cell performance using ethanol as fuel and two Pd nanoparticles as electrocatalysts: one commercially available (Pd/C from ETEK) and other synthesized using ionic liquids (Pd/C IL). The cell performances for both electrocatalysts in acid/acid (anodic/cathodic) streams were of 18.05 and 9.55 mW cm-2 for Pd/C ETEK and Pd/C IL. In alkaline/alkaline streams, decrease to 15.94 mW cm-2 for Pd/C ETEK and increase to 15.37 mW cm-2 for Pd/C IL. In alkaline/acidic streams both electrocatalysts showed similar cell voltages (up to 1 V); meanwhile power densities were of 87.6 and 99.4 mW cm-2 for Pd/C ETEK and Pd/C IL. The raise in cell performance can be related to a decrease in activation losses, the combined used of alkaline and acidic streams and these high values compared with flow-over fuel cells can be related to the enhancement of the cathodic mass transport by using three dimensional porous electrodes and two sources of oxygen: from air and from a saturated solution.

  12. Instant power generation from an air-breathing paper and pencil based bacterial bio-fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Veerubhotla, Ramya; Bandopadhyay, Aditya; Das, Debabrata; Chakraborty, Suman

    2015-06-21

    We present a low-cost, disposable microbial fuel cell fabricated on a paper based platform, having a start-up time of 10 s. The platform deploys ordinary pencil strokes for graphite electrode deposition. The device uses a membrane-less design in a one-time injection (OTI) mode or a continuous capillary driven flow mode (CPF), where oxygen from the atmosphere is used up at the cathode for water formation, leading to the generation of bioelectricity. The performance of the fuel cell is evaluated using two bacterial strains, namely, Pseudomonas aeruginosa IIT BT SS1 and Shewanella putrefaciens. This flexible device is shown to retain bacteria for a period of at least one hour, resulting in the generation of almost 0.4 V using P. aeruginosa and a maximum current of 18 μA using S. putrefaciens without the use of any additional catalysts. PMID:25998260

  13. Development of a Novel Home Cogeneration System using a Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell which Enabled Air Conditioning by Its Low-TemperatureWaste Heat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nishimura, Nobuya; Honda, Kuniaki; Kawakami, Ryuichiro; Nishikawa, Toshimichi; Iyota, Hiroyuki; Nomura, Tomohiro

    Micro-scale distributed power generation system, which means a micro-cogeneration system in almost cases, has been paid a great attention from a standpoint of saving fossil fuels' consumption and preventing global warming. Especially, polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) is considered the most promising power generation system for small scale commercial use and residential use. In the PEFC cogeneration system, small amount of waste heat at low temperature from a cell stack is almost used to produce hot water. Therefore, in the paper, we proposed a new heat utilization method of the waste heat for air conditioning. In the proposed home cogeneration system, absorption refrigerator is introduced in order to produce chilled water. Thermal performances of the proposed system have been analyzed by a computer simulation which was developed for the prediction both of power generation characteristics of PEFC and absorption refrigerator's behavior.

  14. Improvement of performance in low temperature solid oxide fuel cells operated on ethanol and air mixtures using Cu-ZnO-Al2O3 catalyst layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morales, M.; Espiell, F.; Segarra, M.

    2015-10-01

    Anode-supported single-chamber solid oxide fuel cells with and without Cu-ZnO-Al2O3 catalyst layers deposited on the anode support have been operated on ethanol and air mixtures. The cells consist of gadolinia-doped ceria electrolyte, Ni-doped ceria anode, and La0.6Sr0.4CoO3-δ-doped ceria cathode. Catalyst layers with different Cu-ZnO-Al2O3 ratios are deposited and sintered at several temperatures. Since the performance of single-chamber fuel cells strongly depends on catalytic properties of electrodes for partial oxidation of ethanol, the cells are electrochemically characterized as a function of the temperature, ethanol-air molar ratio and gas flow rate. In addition, catalytic activities of supported anode, catalytic layer-supported anode and cathode for partial oxidation of ethanol are analysed. Afterwards, the effect of composition and sintering temperature of catalyst layer on the cell performance are determined. The results indicate that the cell performance can be significantly enhanced using catalyst layers of 30:35:35 and 40:30:30 wt.% Cu-ZnO-Al2O3 sintered at 1100 °C, achieving power densities above 50 mW cm-2 under 0.45 ethanol-air ratio at temperatures as low as 450 °C. After testing for 15 h, all cells present a gradual loss of power density, without carbon deposition, which is mainly attributed to the partial re-oxidation of Ni at the anode.

  15. Interfacial material for solid oxide fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Baozhen, Li; Ruka, Roswell J.; Singhal, Subhash C.

    1999-01-01

    Solid oxide fuel cells having improved low-temperature operation are disclosed. In one embodiment, an interfacial layer of terbia-stabilized zirconia is located between the air electrode and electrolyte of the solid oxide fuel cell. The interfacial layer provides a barrier which controls interaction between the air electrode and electrolyte. The interfacial layer also reduces polarization loss through the reduction of the air electrode/electrolyte interfacial electrical resistance. In another embodiment, the solid oxide fuel cell comprises a scandia-stabilized zirconia electrolyte having high electrical conductivity. The scandia-stabilized zirconia electrolyte may be provided as a very thin layer in order to reduce resistance. The scandia-stabilized electrolyte is preferably used in combination with the terbia-stabilized interfacial layer. The solid oxide fuel cells are operable over wider temperature ranges and wider temperature gradients in comparison with conventional fuel cells.

  16. Liquid fuel cells

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Summary The advantages of liquid fuel cells (LFCs) over conventional hydrogen–oxygen fuel cells include a higher theoretical energy density and efficiency, a more convenient handling of the streams, and enhanced safety. This review focuses on the use of different types of organic fuels as an anode material for LFCs. An overview of the current state of the art and recent trends in the development of LFC and the challenges of their practical implementation are presented. PMID:25247123

  17. Tilted fuel cell apparatus

    DOEpatents

    Cooper, John F.; Cherepy, Nerine; Krueger, Roger L.

    2005-04-12

    Bipolar, tilted embodiments of high temperature, molten electrolyte electrochemical cells capable of directly converting carbon fuel to electrical energy are disclosed herein. The bipolar, tilted configurations minimize the electrical resistance between one cell and others connected in electrical series. The tilted configuration also allows continuous refueling of carbon fuel.

  18. Fuel Cells for Society

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    Through a SBIR contract with Lewis Research Center, ElectroChem, Inc. developed a hydrogen/oxygen fuel cell. The objective for Lewis Research Center's collaboration with ElectroChem was to develop a fuel cell system that could deliver 200-W (minimum) approximately to 10kWh of electrical energy.

  19. PLATINUM AND FUEL CELLS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Platinum requirements for fuel cell vehicles (FCVS) have been identified as a concern and possible problem with FCV market penetration. Platinum is a necessary component of the electrodes of fuel cell engines that power the vehicles. The platinum is deposited on porous electrodes...

  20. Regenerative fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swette, Larry L.; Kackley, Nancy D.; Laconti, Anthony B.

    1992-01-01

    A development status evaluation is presented for moderate-temperature, single-unit, regenerative fuel cells using either alkaline or solid polymer proton-exchange membrane (PEM) electrolytes. Attention is given to the results thus far obtained for Pt, Ir, Rh, and Na(x)Pt3O4 catalysts. Alkaline electrolyte tests have been performed on a half-cell basis with a floating-electrode cell; PEM testing has been with complete fuel cells, using Nafion 117.

  1. Mechanical performance of reactive-air-brazed (RAB) ceramic/metal joints for solid oxide fuel cells at ambient temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuhn, B.; Wetzel, F. J.; Malzbender, J.; Steinbrech, R. W.; Singheiser, L.

    Mechanical integrity of the sealants in planar SOFC stacks is a key prerequisite for reliable operation. In this respect joining with metals rather than brittle glass-ceramics is considered to have advantages. Hence, as one of the joining solutions for SOFCs of planar design, reactive air brazing of ceramic cells into metallic frames gains increasing interest. Fracture experiments are carried out to characterize fracture energy and failure mechanisms of silver-based reactive-air-brazes, used for joining the zirconia electrolytes of anode supported planar cells with metallic Crofer22APU frames. The specimens are mechanically tested in notched beam bending geometry. In-situ observation in optical and SEM resolution reveals specific failure mechanisms. The influence of braze formulation and associated interfacial reactions on the crack path location is addressed. Discussion of the results focuses in particular on the role of oxide scale formation.

  2. Linear air-fuel sensor development

    SciTech Connect

    Garzon, F.; Miller, C.

    1996-12-14

    The electrochemical zirconia solid electrolyte oxygen sensor, is extensively used for monitoring oxygen concentrations in various fields. They are currently utilized in automobiles to monitor the exhaust gas composition and control the air-to-fuel ratio, thus reducing harmful emission components and improving fuel economy. Zirconia oxygen sensors, are divided into two classes of devices: (1) potentiometric or logarithmic air/fuel sensors; and (2) amperometric or linear air/fuel sensors. The potentiometric sensors are ideally suited to monitor the air-to-fuel ratio close to the complete combustion stoichiometry; a value of about 14.8 to 1 parts by volume. This occurs because the oxygen concentration changes by many orders of magnitude as the air/fuel ratio is varied through the stoichiometric value. However, the potentiometric sensor is not very sensitive to changes in oxygen partial pressure away from the stoichiometric point due to the logarithmic dependence of the output voltage signal on the oxygen partial pressure. It is often advantageous to operate gasoline power piston engines with excess combustion air; this improves fuel economy and reduces hydrocarbon emissions. To maintain stable combustion away from stoichiometry, and enable engines to operate in the excess oxygen (lean burn) region several limiting-current amperometric sensors have been reported. These sensors are based on the electrochemical oxygen ion pumping of a zirconia electrolyte. They typically show reproducible limiting current plateaus with an applied voltage caused by the gas diffusion overpotential at the cathode.

  3. Cell module and fuel conditioner development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoover, D. Q., Jr.

    1982-01-01

    The phosphoric acid fuel cell module (stack) development which culminated in an 80 cell air-cooled stack with separated gas cooling and treed cooling plates is described. The performance of the 80 cell stack was approx. 100 mV per cell higher than that attained during phase 1. The components and materials performed stably for over 8000 hours in a 5 cell stack. The conceptual design of a fuel conditioning system is described.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    N, W. Mohamed W. A.

    2015-09-01

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

  5. Solid oxide fuel cell generator with removable modular fuel cell stack configurations

    DOEpatents

    Gillett, J.E.; Dederer, J.T.; Zafred, P.R.; Collie, J.C.

    1998-04-21

    A high temperature solid oxide fuel cell generator produces electrical power from oxidation of hydrocarbon fuel gases such as natural gas, or conditioned fuel gases, such as carbon monoxide or hydrogen, with oxidant gases, such as air or oxygen. This electrochemical reaction occurs in a plurality of electrically connected solid oxide fuel cells bundled and arrayed in a unitary modular fuel cell stack disposed in a compartment in the generator container. The use of a unitary modular fuel cell stack in a generator is similar in concept to that of a removable battery. The fuel cell stack is provided in a pre-assembled self-supporting configuration where the fuel cells are mounted to a common structural base having surrounding side walls defining a chamber. Associated generator equipment may also be mounted to the fuel cell stack configuration to be integral therewith, such as a fuel and oxidant supply and distribution systems, fuel reformation systems, fuel cell support systems, combustion, exhaust and spent fuel recirculation systems, and the like. The pre-assembled self-supporting fuel cell stack arrangement allows for easier assembly, installation, maintenance, better structural support and longer life of the fuel cells contained in the fuel cell stack. 8 figs.

  6. Solid oxide fuel cell generator with removable modular fuel cell stack configurations

    DOEpatents

    Gillett, James E.; Dederer, Jeffrey T.; Zafred, Paolo R.; Collie, Jeffrey C.

    1998-01-01

    A high temperature solid oxide fuel cell generator produces electrical power from oxidation of hydrocarbon fuel gases such as natural gas, or conditioned fuel gases, such as carbon monoxide or hydrogen, with oxidant gases, such as air or oxygen. This electrochemical reaction occurs in a plurality of electrically connected solid oxide fuel cells bundled and arrayed in a unitary modular fuel cell stack disposed in a compartment in the generator container. The use of a unitary modular fuel cell stack in a generator is similar in concept to that of a removable battery. The fuel cell stack is provided in a pre-assembled self-supporting configuration where the fuel cells are mounted to a common structural base having surrounding side walls defining a chamber. Associated generator equipment may also be mounted to the fuel cell stack configuration to be integral therewith, such as a fuel and oxidant supply and distribution systems, fuel reformation systems, fuel cell support systems, combustion, exhaust and spent fuel recirculation systems, and the like. The pre-assembled self-supporting fuel cell stack arrangement allows for easier assembly, installation, maintenance, better structural support and longer life of the fuel cells contained in the fuel cell stack.

  7. Fuel cell power supply with oxidant and fuel gas switching

    DOEpatents

    McElroy, J.F.; Chludzinski, P.J.; Dantowitz, P.

    1987-04-14

    This invention relates to a fuel cell vehicular power plant. Fuel for the fuel stack is supplied by a hydrocarbon (methanol) catalytic cracking reactor and CO shift reactor. A water electrolysis subsystem is associated with the stack. During low power operation part of the fuel cell power is used to electrolyze water with hydrogen and oxygen electrolysis products being stored in pressure vessels. During peak power intervals, viz, during acceleration or start-up, pure oxygen and pure hydrogen from the pressure vessel are supplied as the reaction gases to the cathodes and anodes in place of air and methanol reformate. This allows the fuel cell stack to be sized for normal low power/air operation but with a peak power capacity several times greater than that for normal operation. 2 figs.

  8. Fuel cell power supply with oxidant and fuel gas switching

    DOEpatents

    McElroy, James F.; Chludzinski, Paul J.; Dantowitz, Philip

    1987-01-01

    This invention relates to a fuel cell vehicular power plant. Fuel for the fuel stack is supplied by a hydrocarbon (methanol) catalytic cracking reactor and CO shift reactor. A water electrolysis subsystem is associated with the stack. During low power operation part of the fuel cell power is used to electrolyze water with hydrogen and oxygen electrolysis products being stored in pressure vessels. During peak power intervals, viz, during acceleration or start-up, pure oxygen and pure hydrogen from the pressure vessel are supplied as the reaction gases to the cathodes and anodes in place of air and methanol reformate. This allows the fuel cell stack to be sized for normal low power/air operation but with a peak power capacity several times greater than that for normal operation.

  9. Fuel cell water transport

    DOEpatents

    Vanderborgh, Nicholas E.; Hedstrom, James C.

    1990-01-01

    The moisture content and temperature of hydrogen and oxygen gases is regulated throughout traverse of the gases in a fuel cell incorporating a solid polymer membrane. At least one of the gases traverses a first flow field adjacent the solid polymer membrane, where chemical reactions occur to generate an electrical current. A second flow field is located sequential with the first flow field and incorporates a membrane for effective water transport. A control fluid is then circulated adjacent the second membrane on the face opposite the fuel cell gas wherein moisture is either transported from the control fluid to humidify a fuel gas, e.g., hydrogen, or to the control fluid to prevent excess water buildup in the oxidizer gas, e.g., oxygen. Evaporation of water into the control gas and the control gas temperature act to control the fuel cell gas temperatures throughout the traverse of the fuel cell by the gases.

  10. Water injected fuel cell system compressor

    DOEpatents

    Siepierski, James S.; Moore, Barbara S.; Hoch, Martin Monroe

    2001-01-01

    A fuel cell system including a dry compressor for pressurizing air supplied to the cathode side of the fuel cell. An injector sprays a controlled amount of water on to the compressor's rotor(s) to improve the energy efficiency of the compressor. The amount of water sprayed out the rotor(s) is controlled relative to the mass flow rate of air inputted to the compressor.

  11. Microfluidic fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kjeang, Erik

    Microfluidic fuel cell architectures are presented in this thesis. This work represents the mechanical and microfluidic portion of a microfluidic biofuel cell project. While the microfluidic fuel cells developed here are targeted to eventual integration with biocatalysts, the contributions of this thesis have more general applicability. The cell architectures are developed and evaluated based on conventional non-biological electrocatalysts. The fuel cells employ co-laminar flow of fuel and oxidant streams that do not require a membrane for physical separation, and comprise carbon or gold electrodes compatible with most enzyme immobilization schemes developed to date. The demonstrated microfluidic fuel cell architectures include the following: a single cell with planar gold electrodes and a grooved channel architecture that accommodates gaseous product evolution while preventing crossover effects; a single cell with planar carbon electrodes based on graphite rods; a three-dimensional hexagonal array cell based on multiple graphite rod electrodes with unique scale-up opportunities; a single cell with porous carbon electrodes that provides enhanced power output mainly attributed to the increased active area; a single cell with flow-through porous carbon electrodes that provides improved performance and overall energy conversion efficiency; and a single cell with flow-through porous gold electrodes with similar capabilities and reduced ohmic resistance. As compared to previous results, the microfluidic fuel cells developed in this work show improved fuel cell performance (both in terms of power density and efficiency). In addition, this dissertation includes the development of an integrated electrochemical velocimetry approach for microfluidic devices, and a computational modeling study of strategic enzyme patterning for microfluidic biofuel cells with consecutive reactions.

  12. Rejuvenation of automotive fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Kim, Yu Seung; Langlois, David A.

    2016-08-23

    A process for rejuvenating fuel cells has been demonstrated to improve the performance of polymer exchange membrane fuel cells with platinum/ionomer electrodes. The process involves dehydrating a fuel cell and exposing at least the cathode of the fuel cell to dry gas (nitrogen, for example) at a temperature higher than the operating temperature of the fuel cell. The process may be used to prolong the operating lifetime of an automotive fuel cell.

  13. PEM regenerative fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  14. PEM regenerative fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1993-11-01

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

  15. Bipolar fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    McElroy, James F.

    1989-01-01

    The present invention discloses an improved fuel cell utilizing an ion transporting membrane having a catalytic anode and a catalytic cathode bonded to opposite sides of the membrane, a wet-proofed carbon sheet in contact with the cathode surface opposite that bonded to the membrane and a bipolar separator positioned in electrical contact with the carbon sheet and the anode of the adjacent fuel cell. Said bipolar separator and carbon sheet forming an oxidant flowpath, wherein the improvement comprises an electrically conductive screen between and in contact with the wet-proofed carbon sheet and the bipolar separator improving the product water removal system of the fuel cell.

  16. Determination of Microbial Growth by Protein Assay in an Air-Cathode Single Chamber Microbial Fuel Cell.

    PubMed

    Li, Na; Kakarla, Ramesh; Moon, Jung Mi; Min, Booki

    2015-07-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) have gathered attention as a novel bioenergy technology to simultaneously treat wastewater with less sludge production than the conventional activated sludge system. In two different operations of the MFC and aerobic process, microbial growth was determined by the protein assay method and their biomass yields using real wastewater were compared. The biomass yield on the anode electrode of the MFC was 0.02 g-COD-cell/g- COD-substrate and the anolyte planktonic biomass was 0.14 g-COD-cell/g-COD-substrate. An MFC without anode electrode resulted in the biomass yield of 0.07 ± 0.03 g-COD-cell/g-COD-substrate, suggesting that oxygen diffusion from the cathode possibly supported the microbial growth. In a comparative test, the biomass yield under aerobic environment was 0.46 ± 0.07 g-COD-cell/g-COD-substrate, which was about 3 times higher than the total biomass value in the MFC operation. PMID:25674807

  17. Fuel processors for fuel cell APU applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aicher, T.; Lenz, B.; Gschnell, F.; Groos, U.; Federici, F.; Caprile, L.; Parodi, L.

    The conversion of liquid hydrocarbons to a hydrogen rich product gas is a central process step in fuel processors for auxiliary power units (APUs) for vehicles of all kinds. The selection of the reforming process depends on the fuel and the type of the fuel cell. For vehicle power trains, liquid hydrocarbons like gasoline, kerosene, and diesel are utilized and, therefore, they will also be the fuel for the respective APU systems. The fuel cells commonly envisioned for mobile APU applications are molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFC), solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC), and proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC). Since high-temperature fuel cells, e.g. MCFCs or SOFCs, can be supplied with a feed gas that contains carbon monoxide (CO) their fuel processor does not require reactors for CO reduction and removal. For PEMFCs on the other hand, CO concentrations in the feed gas must not exceed 50 ppm, better 20 ppm, which requires additional reactors downstream of the reforming reactor. This paper gives an overview of the current state of the fuel processor development for APU applications and APU system developments. Furthermore, it will present the latest developments at Fraunhofer ISE regarding fuel processors for high-temperature fuel cell APU systems on board of ships and aircrafts.

  18. 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.

  19. Fuel cell power system for utility vehicle

    SciTech Connect

    Graham, M.; Barbir, F.; Marken, F.; Nadal, M.

    1996-12-31

    Based on the experience of designing and building the Green Car, a fuel cell/battery hybrid vehicle, and Genesis, a hydrogen/oxygen fuel cell powered transporter, Energy Partners has developed a fuel cell power system for propulsion of an off-road utility vehicle. A 10 kW hydrogen/air fuel cell stack has been developed as a prototype for future mass production. The main features of this stack are discussed in this paper. Design considerations and selection criteria for the main components of the vehicular fuel cell system, such as traction motor, air compressor and compressor motor, hydrogen storage and delivery, water and heat management, power conditioning, and control and monitoring subsystem are discussed in detail.

  20. 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.

  1. Cell module and fuel conditioner

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoover, D. Q., Jr.

    1981-01-01

    The results of the completed tests on Stack 561 and the on-going tests of 562 (23 cell stacks of the MK-1 and M-2 designs respectively) are reported and their performance is compared. Results of the on-going endurance test of Stack 560 (5 cell, MK-2) are reported. Plans for fabrication of Stacks 563 and 564 (23 cell stacks of the MK-1 and MK-2 design) are summarized. Results of the burner tests are given. Excellent performance was achieved on simulated anode exhaust gas over very wide load and air/fuel ranges.

  2. Fuel Cells: Reshaping the Future

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Toay, Leo

    2004-01-01

    In conjunction with the FreedomCAR (Cooperative Automotive Research) and Fuel Initiative, President George W. Bush has pledged nearly two billion dollars for fuel cell research. Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors have unveiled fuel cell demonstration vehicles, and all three of these companies have invested heavily in fuel cell research. Fuel cell…

  3. Fuel cell generator energy dissipator

    DOEpatents

    Veyo, Stephen Emery; Dederer, Jeffrey Todd; Gordon, John Thomas; Shockling, Larry Anthony

    2000-01-01

    An apparatus and method are disclosed for eliminating the chemical energy of fuel remaining in a fuel cell generator when the electrical power output of the fuel cell generator is terminated. During a generator shut down condition, electrically resistive elements are automatically connected across the fuel cell generator terminals in order to draw current, thereby depleting the fuel

  4. Fuel Cell Animation

    NASA Video Gallery

    Oxygen (O2) and hydrogen (H2) migrate into the fuel cell. The oxygen molecules migrate to the catalyst where the anode strips some of their electrons. This allows them to move through the cathode a...

  5. 2008 Fuel Cell Technologies Market Report

    SciTech Connect

    Vincent, B.

    2010-06-30

    Fuel cells are electrochemical devices that combine hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, water, and heat. Unlike batteries, fuel cells continuously generate electricity, as long as a source of fuel is supplied. Moreover, fuel cells do not burn fuel, making the process quiet, pollution-free and two to three times more efficient than combustion. Fuel cell systems can be a truly zero-emission source of electricity, if the hydrogen is produced from non-polluting sources. Global concerns about climate change, energy security, and air pollution are driving demand for fuel cell technology. More than 630 companies and laboratories in the United States are investing $1 billion a year in fuel cells or fuel cell component technologies. This report provides an overview of trends in the fuel cell industry and markets, including product shipments, market development, and corporate performance. It also provides snapshots of select fuel cell companies, including general business strategy and market focus, as well as, financial information for select publicly-traded companies.

  6. 2008 Fuel Cell Technologies Market Report

    SciTech Connect

    DOE

    2010-06-01

    Fuel cells are electrochemical devices that combine hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, water, and heat. Unlike batteries, fuel cells continuously generate electricity, as long as a source of fuel is supplied. Moreover, fuel cells do not burn fuel, making the process quiet, pollution-free and two to three times more efficient than combustion. Fuel cell systems can be a truly zero-emission source of electricity, if the hydrogen is produced from non-polluting sources. Global concerns about climate change, energy security, and air pollution are driving demand for fuel cell technology. More than 630 companies and laboratories in the United States are investing $1 billion a year in fuel cells or fuel cell component technologies. This report provides an overview of trends in the fuel cell industry and markets, including product shipments, market development, and corporate performance. It also provides snapshots of select fuel cell companies, including general business strategy and market focus, as well as, financial information for select publicly-traded companies.

  7. Fuel-air munition and device

    DOEpatents

    Carlson, Gary A.

    1976-01-01

    An aerially delivered fuel-air munition consisting of an impermeable tank filled with a pressurized liquid fuel and joined at its two opposite ends with a nose section and a tail assembly respectively to complete an aerodynamic shape. On impact the tank is explosively ruptured to permit dispersal of the fuel in the form of a fuel-air cloud which is detonated after a preselected time delay by means of high explosive initiators ejected from the tail assembly. The primary component in the fuel is methylacetylene, propadiene, or mixtures thereof to which is added a small mole fraction of a relatively high vapor pressure liquid diluent or a dissolved gas diluent having a low solubility in the primary component.

  8. Composite fuel cell membranes

    DOEpatents

    Plowman, Keith R.; Rehg, Timothy J.; Davis, Larry W.; Carl, William P.; Cisar, Alan J.; Eastland, Charles S.

    1997-01-01

    A bilayer or trilayer composite ion exchange membrane suitable for use in a fuel cell. The composite membrane has a high equivalent weight thick layer in order to provide sufficient strength and low equivalent weight surface layers for improved electrical performance in a fuel cell. In use, the composite membrane is provided with electrode surface layers. The composite membrane can be composed of a sulfonic fluoropolymer in both core and surface layers.

  9. Compliant fuel cell system

    DOEpatents

    Bourgeois, Richard Scott; Gudlavalleti, Sauri

    2009-12-15

    A fuel cell assembly comprising at least one metallic component, at least one ceramic component and a structure disposed between the metallic component and the ceramic component. The structure is configured to have a lower stiffness compared to at least one of the metallic component and the ceramic component, to accommodate a difference in strain between the metallic component and the ceramic component of the fuel cell assembly.

  10. Composite fuel cell membranes

    DOEpatents

    Plowman, K.R.; Rehg, T.J.; Davis, L.W.; Carl, W.P.; Cisar, A.J.; Eastland, C.S.

    1997-08-05

    A bilayer or trilayer composite ion exchange membrane is described suitable for use in a fuel cell. The composite membrane has a high equivalent weight thick layer in order to provide sufficient strength and low equivalent weight surface layers for improved electrical performance in a fuel cell. In use, the composite membrane is provided with electrode surface layers. The composite membrane can be composed of a sulfonic fluoropolymer in both core and surface layers.

  11. The enhancement of ammonium removal from ethanolamine wastewater using air-cathode microbial fuel cells coupled to ferric reduction.

    PubMed

    Shin, Ja-Won; Seo, Seok-Ju; Maitlo, Hubdar Ali; Park, Joo-Yang

    2015-08-01

    A microbial fuel cell (MFC) with biological Fe(III) reduction was implemented for simultaneous ethanolamine (ETA) degradation and electrical energy generation. In the feasibility experiment using acetate as a substrate in a single-chamber MFC with goethite and ammonium at a ratio of 3.0(mol/mol), up to 96.1% of the ammonium was removed through the novel process related to Fe(III). In addition, the highest voltage output (0.53V) and maximum power density (0.49Wm(-2)) were obtained. However, the ammonium removal and electrical performance decreased as acetate was replaced with ETA. In the long-term experiment, the electrical performance markedly decreased where the voltage loss increased due to Fe deposition on the membranes. PMID:25804534

  12. Fuel cells: principles, types, fuels, and applications.

    PubMed

    Carrette, L; Friedrich, K A; Stimming, U

    2000-12-15

    During the last decade, fuel cells have received enormous attention from research institutions and companies as novel electrical energy conversion systems. In the near future, they will see application in automotive propulsion, distributed power generation, and in low power portable devices (battery replacement). This review gives an introduction into the fundamentals and applications of fuel cells: Firstly, the environmental and social factors promoting fuel cell development are discussed, with an emphasis on the advantages of fuel cells compared to the conventional techniques. Then, the main reactions, which are responsible for the conversion of chemical into electrical energy in fuel cells, are given and the thermodynamic and kinetic fundamentals are stated. The theoretical and real efficiencies of fuel cells are also compared to that of internal combustion engines. Next, the different types of fuel cells and their main components are explained and the related material issues are presented. A section is devoted to fuel generation and storage, which is of paramount importance for the practical aspects of fuel cell use. Finally, attention is given to the integration of the fuel cells into complete systems. PMID:23696319

  13. Fuel dissipater for pressurized fuel cell generators

    DOEpatents

    Basel, Richard A.; King, John E.

    2003-11-04

    An apparatus and method are disclosed for eliminating the chemical energy of fuel remaining in a pressurized fuel cell generator (10) when the electrical power output of the fuel cell generator is terminated during transient operation, such as a shutdown; where, two electrically resistive elements (two of 28, 53, 54, 55) at least one of which is connected in parallel, in association with contactors (26, 57, 58, 59), a multi-point settable sensor relay (23) and a circuit breaker (24), are automatically connected across the fuel cell generator terminals (21, 22) at two or more contact points, in order to draw current, thereby depleting the fuel inventory in the generator.

  14. Seventh Edition Fuel Cell Handbook

    SciTech Connect

    NETL

    2004-11-01

    Provides an overview of fuel cell technology and research projects. Discusses the basic workings of fuel cells and their system components, main fuel cell types, their characteristics, and their development status, as well as a discussion of potential fuel cell applications.

  15. Fuel cell cogeneration

    SciTech Connect

    Wimer, J.G.; Archer, D.

    1995-08-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy`s Morgantown Energy Technology Center (METC) sponsors the research and development of engineered systems which utilize domestic fuel supplies while achieving high standards of efficiency, economy, and environmental performance. Fuel cell systems are among the promising electric power generation systems that METC is currently developing. Buildings account for 36 percent of U.S. primary energy consumption. Cogeneration systems for commercial buildings represent an early market opportunity for fuel cells. Seventeen percent of all commercial buildings are office buildings, and large office buildings are projected to be one of the biggest, fastest-growing sectors in the commercial building cogeneration market. The main objective of this study is to explore the early market opportunity for fuel cells in large office buildings and determine the conditions in which they can compete with alternative systems. Some preliminary results and conclusions are presented, although the study is still in progress.

  16. Fuel cell system

    DOEpatents

    Early, Jack; Kaufman, Arthur; Stawsky, Alfred

    1982-01-01

    A fuel cell system is comprised of a fuel cell module including sub-stacks of series-connected fuel cells, the sub-stacks being held together in a stacked arrangement with cold plates of a cooling means located between the sub-stacks to function as electrical terminals. The anode and cathode terminals of the sub-stacks are connected in parallel by means of the coolant manifolds which electrically connect selected cold plates. The system may comprise a plurality of the fuel cell modules connected in series. The sub-stacks are designed to provide a voltage output equivalent to the desired voltage demand of a low voltage, high current DC load such as an electrolytic cell to be driven by the fuel cell system. This arrangement in conjunction with switching means can be used to drive a DC electrical load with a total voltage output selected to match that of the load being driven. This arrangement eliminates the need for expensive voltage regulation equipment.

  17. Study of temperature, air dew point temperature and reactant flow effects on proton exchange membrane fuel cell performances using electrochemical spectroscopy and voltammetry techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wasterlain, S.; Candusso, D.; Hissel, D.; Harel, F.; Bergman, P.; Menard, P.; Anwar, M.

    A single PEMFC has been operated by varying the assembly temperature, the air dew point temperature and the anode/cathode stoichiometry rates with the aim to identify the parameters and combinations of factors affecting the cell performance. Some of the experiments were conducted with low humidified reactants (relative humidity of 12%). The FC characterizations tests have been conducted using in situ electrochemical methods based on load current and cell voltage signal analysis, namely: polarization curves, EIS measurements, cyclic and linear sweep voltammetries (CV and LSV). The impacts of the parameters on the global FC performances were observed using the polarization curves whereas EIS, CV and LSV test results were used to discriminate the different voltage loss sources. The test results suggest that some parameter sets allow maximal output voltages but can also induce material degradation. For instance, higher FC temperature and air flow values can induce significant electrical efficiency benefits, notably by increasing the reversible potential and the reaction kinetics. However, raising the cell temperature can also gradually dry the FC and increase the risk of membrane failure. LSV has also shown that elevated FC temperature and relative humidity can also accelerate the electrolyte degradation (i.e. slightly higher fuel crossover rate) and reduce the lifetime consequently.

  18. Fuel Processors for PEM Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Levi T. Thompson

    2008-08-08

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

  19. A perovskite oxide with high conductivities in both air and reducing atmosphere for use as electrode for solid oxide fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Lan, Rong; Cowin, Peter I; Sengodan, Sivaprakash; Tao, Shanwen

    2016-01-01

    Electrode materials which exhibit high conductivities in both oxidising and reducing atmospheres are in high demand for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) and solid oxide electrolytic cells (SOECs). In this paper, we investigated Cu-doped SrFe0.9Nb0.1O3-δ finding that the primitive perovskite oxide SrFe0.8Cu0.1Nb0.1O3-δ (SFCN) exhibits a conductivity of 63 Scm(-1)and 60 Scm(-1) at 415 °C in air and 5%H2/Ar respectively. It is believed that the high conductivity in 5%H2/Ar is related to the exsolved Fe (or FeCu alloy) on exposure to a reducing atmosphere. To the best of our knowledge, the conductivity of SrFe0.8Cu0.1Nb0.1O3-δ in a reducing atmosphere is the highest of all reported oxides which also exhibit a high conductivity in air. Fuel cell performance using SrFe0.8Cu0.1Nb0.1O3-δ as the anode, (Y2O3)0.08(ZrO2)0.92 as the electrolyte and La0.8Sr0.2FeO3-δ as the cathode achieved a power density of 423 mWcm(-2) at 700 °C indicating that SFCN is a promising anode for SOFCs. PMID:27545200

  20. A perovskite oxide with high conductivities in both air and reducing atmosphere for use as electrode for solid oxide fuel cells

    PubMed Central

    Lan, Rong; Cowin, Peter I.; Sengodan, Sivaprakash; Tao, Shanwen

    2016-01-01

    Electrode materials which exhibit high conductivities in both oxidising and reducing atmospheres are in high demand for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) and solid oxide electrolytic cells (SOECs). In this paper, we investigated Cu-doped SrFe0.9Nb0.1O3−δ finding that the primitive perovskite oxide SrFe0.8Cu0.1Nb0.1O3−δ (SFCN) exhibits a conductivity of 63 Scm−1and 60 Scm−1 at 415 °C in air and 5%H2/Ar respectively. It is believed that the high conductivity in 5%H2/Ar is related to the exsolved Fe (or FeCu alloy) on exposure to a reducing atmosphere. To the best of our knowledge, the conductivity of SrFe0.8Cu0.1Nb0.1O3−δ in a reducing atmosphere is the highest of all reported oxides which also exhibit a high conductivity in air. Fuel cell performance using SrFe0.8Cu0.1Nb0.1O3−δ as the anode, (Y2O3)0.08(ZrO2)0.92 as the electrolyte and La0.8Sr0.2FeO3−δ as the cathode achieved a power density of 423 mWcm−2 at 700 °C indicating that SFCN is a promising anode for SOFCs. PMID:27545200

  1. Fuel cell system configurations

    DOEpatents

    Kothmann, Richard E.; Cyphers, Joseph A.

    1981-01-01

    Fuel cell stack configurations having elongated polygonal cross-sectional shapes and gaskets at the peripheral faces to which flow manifolds are sealingly affixed. Process channels convey a fuel and an oxidant through longer channels, and a cooling fluid is conveyed through relatively shorter cooling passages. The polygonal structure preferably includes at least two right angles, and the faces of the stack are arranged in opposite parallel pairs.

  2. Advanced fuel cell development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierce, R. D.; Baumert, B.; Claar, T. D.; Fousek, R. J.; Huang, H. S.; Kaun, T. D.; Krumpelt, M.; Minh, N.; Mrazek, F. C.; Poeppel, R. B.

    1985-01-01

    Fuel cell research and development activities at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) during the period January through March 1984 are described. These efforts have been directed principally toward seeking alternative cathode materials to NiO for molten carbonate fuel cells. Based on an investigation of the thermodynamically stable phases formed under cathode conditions, a number of prospective alternative cathode materials have been identified. From the list of candidates, LiFeO2, Li2MnO3, and ZnO were selected for further investigation. During this quarter, they were doped to promote conductivity and tested for solubility and ion migration in the cell environment. An investigation directed to understanding in cell densification of anode materials was initiated. In addition, calculations were made to evaluate the practicality of controlling sulfur accumulation in molten carbonate fuel cells by bleed off of a portion of the anode gas that could be recycled to the cathode. In addition, a model is being developed to predict the performance of solid oxide fuel cells as a function of cell design and operation.

  3. N-type Cu2O doped activated carbon as catalyst for improving power generation of air cathode microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xi; Li, Kexun; Yan, Pengyu; Liu, Ziqi; Pu, Liangtao

    2015-01-01

    A novel n-type Cu2O doped activated carbon (AC) air cathode (Cu/AC) was developed as an alternative to Pt electrode for oxygen reduction in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). The maximum power density of MFCs using this novel air cathode was as high as 1390±76mWm(-2), almost 59% higher than the bare AC air cathode. Specifically, the resistance including total resistance and charge transfer resistance significantly decreased comparing to the control. Tafel curve also showed the faster electro-transfer kinetics of Cu/AC with exchange current density of 1.03×10(-3)Acm(-2), which was 69% higher than the control. Ribbon-like Cu2O was deposited on the surface of AC with the mesopore surface area increasing. Cubic Cu2O crystals exclusively expose (111) planes with the interplanar crystal spacing of 2.48Å, which was the dominate active sites for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). N-type Cu2O with oxygen vacancies played crucial roles in electrochemical catalytic activity. PMID:25863207

  4. The performance and mechanism of modified activated carbon air cathode by non-stoichiometric nano Fe3O4 in the microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Fu, Zhou; Yan, Litao; Li, Kexun; Ge, Baochao; Pu, Liangtao; Zhang, Xi

    2015-12-15

    Cathodic catalyst is one of the key materials in microbial fuel cell (MFC). The addition of non-stoichiometric nano Fe3O4 in activated carbon (NSFe3O4/AC) air cathode was beneficial to boosting the charge transfer of the cathode accompanying with the enhancement of power performance in MFC. The air cathode modified by NSFe3O4 (5%, Wt%) increased the maximum power density by 83.3% from 780 mW/m(2) to 1430 mW/m(2) compared with bare air cathode. The modified cathodes showed enhanced electrochemical properties and appeared the maximum exchange current density of 18.71×10(-4) A/cm(2) for oxygen reduction reaction. The mechanism of oxygen reduction for the NSFe3O4/AC catalyst was a 4-electron pathway. The oxygen vacancy of the NSFe3O4 played a crucial role in electrochemical catalytic activity. The great catalytic performance made NSFe3O4 have a promising outlook applied in MFC. PMID:26264265

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

    SciTech Connect

    Wheeler, D.J.

    1996-04-01

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

  6. Porous nitrogen-doped carbon nanosheet on graphene as metal-free catalyst for oxygen reduction reaction in air-cathode microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Wen, Qing; Wang, Shaoyun; Yan, Jun; Cong, Lijie; Chen, Ye; Xi, Hongyuan

    2014-02-01

    Porous nitrogen-doped carbon nanosheet on graphene (PNCN) was used as an alternative cathode catalyst for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in air-cathode microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Here we report a novel, low-cost, scalable, synthetic method for preparation of PNCN via the carbonization of graphite oxide-polyaniline hybrid (GO-PANI), subsequently followed by KOH activation treatment. Due to its high concentration of nitrogen and high specific surface area, PNCN exhibited an excellent catalytic activity for ORR. As a result, the maximum power density of 1159.34mWm(-2) obtained with PNCN catalyst was higher than that of Pt/C catalyst (858.49mWm(-2)) in a MFC. Therefore, porous nitrogen-doped carbon nanosheet could be a good alternative to Pt catalyst in MFCs. PMID:24239870

  7. Acidic and alkaline pretreatments of activated carbon and their effects on the performance of air-cathodes in microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xin; Gao, Ningshengjie; Zhou, Qixing; Dong, Heng; Yu, Hongbing; Feng, Yujie

    2013-09-01

    Activated carbon (AC) is a high performing and cost effective catalyst for oxygen reduction reactions (ORRs) of air-cathodes in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Acidic (HNO3) and alkaline (KOH) pretreatments on AC at low temperature (85°C) are conducted to enhance the performance of MFCs. The alkaline pretreatment increased the power density by 16% from 804±70 to 957±31 mW m(-2), possibly due to the decrease of ohmic resistance (from 20.58 to 19.20 Ω) and the increase of ORR activities provided by the adsorbed hydroxide ion and extra micropore area/volume after alkaline pretreatment. However, acidic pretreatment decreased the power output to 537±36 mW m(-2), which can be mainly attributed to the corrosion by adsorbed proton at the interface of AC powder and stainless steel mesh and the decreased pore area. PMID:23890977

  8. Novel ferrocene-anchored ZnO nanoparticle/carbon nanotube assembly for glucose oxidase wiring: application to a glucose/air fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Haddad, Raoudha; Mattei, Jean-Gabriel; Thery, Jessica; Auger, Aurélien

    2015-06-28

    Glucose oxidase (GOx) is immobilized on ZnO nanoparticle-modified electrodes. The immobilized glucose oxidase shows efficient mediated electron transfer with ZnO nanoparticles to which the ferrocenyl moiety is π-stacked into a supramolecular architecture. The constructed ZnO-Fc/CNT modified electrode exhibits high ferrocene surface coverage, preventing any leakage of the π-stacked ferrocene from the newly described ZnO hybrid nanoparticles. The use of the new architecture of ZnO supported electron mediators to shuttle electrons from the redox centre of the enzyme to the surface of the working electrode can effectively bring about successful glucose oxidation. These modified electrodes evaluated as a highly efficient architecture provide a catalytic current for glucose oxidation and are integrated in a specially designed glucose/air fuel cell prototype using a conventional platinum-carbon (Pt/C) cathode at physiological pH (7.0). The obtained architecture leads to a peak power density of 53 μW cm(-2) at 300 mV for the Nafion® based biofuel cell under "air breathing" conditions at room temperature. PMID:26024212

  9. Novel ferrocene-anchored ZnO nanoparticle/carbon nanotube assembly for glucose oxidase wiring: application to a glucose/air fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haddad, Raoudha; Mattei, Jean-Gabriel; Thery, Jessica; Auger, Aurélien

    2015-06-01

    Glucose oxidase (GOx) is immobilized on ZnO nanoparticle-modified electrodes. The immobilized glucose oxidase shows efficient mediated electron transfer with ZnO nanoparticles to which the ferrocenyl moiety is π-stacked into a supramolecular architecture. The constructed ZnO-Fc/CNT modified electrode exhibits high ferrocene surface coverage, preventing any leakage of the π-stacked ferrocene from the newly described ZnO hybrid nanoparticles. The use of the new architecture of ZnO supported electron mediators to shuttle electrons from the redox centre of the enzyme to the surface of the working electrode can effectively bring about successful glucose oxidation. These modified electrodes evaluated as a highly efficient architecture provide a catalytic current for glucose oxidation and are integrated in a specially designed glucose/air fuel cell prototype using a conventional platinum-carbon (Pt/C) cathode at physiological pH (7.0). The obtained architecture leads to a peak power density of 53 μW cm-2 at 300 mV for the Nafion® based biofuel cell under ``air breathing'' conditions at room temperature.

  10. Fuel cell technology program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

    A program to advance the technology for a cost-effective hydrogen/oxygen fuel cell system for future manned spacecraft is discussed. The evaluation of base line design concepts and the development of product improvements in the areas of life, power, specific weight and volume, versatility of operation, field maintenance and thermal control were conducted from the material and component level through the fabrication and test of an engineering model of the fuel cell system. The program was to be accomplished in a 13 month period.

  11. Internal reforming fuel cell assembly with simplified fuel feed

    DOEpatents

    Farooque, Mohammad; Novacco, Lawrence J.; Allen, Jeffrey P.

    2001-01-01

    A fuel cell assembly in which fuel cells adapted to internally reform fuel and fuel reformers for reforming fuel are arranged in a fuel cell stack. The fuel inlet ports of the fuel cells and the fuel inlet ports and reformed fuel outlet ports of the fuel reformers are arranged on one face of the fuel cell stack. A manifold sealing encloses this face of the stack and a reformer fuel delivery system is arranged entirely within the region between the manifold and the one face of the stack. The fuel reformer has a foil wrapping and a cover member forming with the foil wrapping an enclosed structure.

  12. Mathematical modeling of polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sousa, Ruy; Gonzalez, Ernesto R.

    Fuel cells with a polymer electrolyte membrane have been receiving more and more attention. Modeling plays an important role in the development of fuel cells. In this paper, the state-of-the-art regarding modeling of fuel cells with a polymer electrolyte membrane is reviewed. Modeling has allowed detailed studies concerning the development of these cells, e.g. in discussing the electrocatalysis of the reactions and the design of water-management schemes to cope with membrane dehydration. Two-dimensional models have been used to represent reality, but three-dimensional models can cope with some important additional aspects. Consideration of two-phase transport in the air cathode of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell seems to be very appropriate. Most fuel cells use hydrogen as a fuel. Besides safety concerns, there are problems associated with production, storage and distribution of this fuel. Methanol, as a liquid fuel, can be the solution to these problems and direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) are attractive for several applications. Mass transport is a factor that may limit the performance of the cell. Adsorption steps may be coupled to Tafel kinetics to describe methanol oxidation and methanol crossover must also be taken into account. Extending the two-phase approach to the DMFC modeling is a recent, important point.

  13. Fuel cell tubes and method of making same

    DOEpatents

    Borglum, Brian P.

    1999-11-30

    A method of manufacturing porous ceramic tubes for fuel cells with improved properties and higher manufacturing yield is disclosed. The method involves extruding a closed end fuel cell tube, such as an air electrode of a solid oxide fuel cell, in which the closed end also functions as the sintering support. The resultant fuel cell tube has a superior porosity distribution which allows improved diffusion of oxygen at the closed end of the tube during operation of the fuel cell. Because this region has the highest current density, performance enhancement and improved reliability of the fuel cell tube result. Furthermore, the higher manufacturing yield associated with the present method decreases the overall fuel cell cost. A method of manufacturing porous ceramic tubes for fuel cells with improved properties and higher manufacturing yield is disclosed. The method involves extruding a closed end fuel cell tube, such as an air electrode of a solid oxide fuel cell, in which the closed end also functions as the sintering support. The resultant fuel cell tube has a superior porosity distribution which allows improved diffusion of oxygen at the closed end of the tube during operation of the fuel cell. Because this region has the highest current density, performance enhancement and improved reliability of the fuel cell tube result. Furthermore, the higher manufacturing yield associated with the present method decreases the overall fuel cell cost.

  14. Fuel economy of hybrid fuel cell vehicles.

    SciTech Connect

    Ahluwalia, R.; Wang, X.; Rousseau, A.; Nuclear Engineering Division

    2004-01-01

    The potential improvement in fuel economy of a mid-size fuel-cell vehicle by combining it with an energy storage system has been assessed. An energy management strategy is developed and used to operate the direct hydrogen, pressurized fuel-cell system in a load-following mode and the energy storage system in a charge-sustaining mode. The strategy places highest priority on maintaining the energy storage system in a state where it can supply unanticipated boost power when the fuel-cell system alone cannot meet the power demand. It is found that downsizing a fuel-cell system decreases its efficiency on a drive cycle which is compensated by partial regenerative capture of braking energy. On a highway cycle with limited braking energy the increase in fuel economy with hybridization is small but on the stop-and-go urban cycle the fuel economy can improve by 27%. On the combined highway and urban drive cycles the fuel economy of the fuel-cell vehicle is estimated to increase by up to 15% by hybridizing it with an energy storage system.

  15. Fuel cell generator energy dissipator

    SciTech Connect

    Veyo, S.E.; Dederer, J.T.; Gordon, J.T.; Shockling, L.A.

    2000-02-15

    An apparatus and method are disclosed for eliminating the chemical energy of fuel remaining in a fuel cell generator when the electrical power output of the fuel cell generator is terminated. During a generator shut down condition, electrically resistive elements are automatically connected across the fuel cell generator terminals in order to draw current, thereby depleting the fuel inventory in the generator. The invention provides a safety function in eliminating the fuel energy, and also provides protection to the fuel cell stack by eliminating overheating.

  16. Batteries and fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eberhardt, J.; Landgrebe, A.

    Electrochemical energy systems are dominated by interfacial phenomena. Catalysis, corrosion, electrical and ionic contact, and wetting behavior are critical to the performance of fuel cells and batteries. Accordingly, development of processing techniques to control these surface properties is important to successful commercialization of advanced batteries and fuel cells. Many of the surface processing issues are specific to a particular electrochemical system. Therefore, the working group focused on systems that are of specific interest to DOE/conservation and renewable energy. These systems addressed were: polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells, direct methanol oxidation (DMO) fuel cells, and lithium/polymer batteries. The approach used by the working group for each of these systems was to follow the current path through the system and to identify the principal interfaces. The function of each interface was specified together with its desired properties. The degree to which surface properties limit performance in present systems was rated. Finally, the surface processing needs associated with the performance limiting interfaces were identified. This report summarizes this information.

  17. Pressurized solid oxide fuel cell testing

    SciTech Connect

    Basel, R.A.; Pierre, J.F.

    1995-08-01

    The goals of the SOFC pressurized test program are to obtain cell voltage versus current (VI) performance data as a function of pressure; to evaluate the effects of operating parameters such as temperature, air stoichiometry, and fuel utilization on cell performance, and to demonstrate long term stability of the SOFC materials at elevated pressures.

  18. Lightweight Stacks of Direct Methanol Fuel Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Narayanan, Sekharipuram; Valdez, Thomas

    2004-01-01

    An improved design concept for direct methanol fuel cells makes it possible to construct fuel-cell stacks that can weigh as little as one-third as much as do conventional bipolar fuel-cell stacks of equal power. The structural-support components of the improved cells and stacks can be made of relatively inexpensive plastics. Moreover, in comparison with conventional bipolar fuel-cell stacks, the improved fuel-cell stacks can be assembled, disassembled, and diagnosed for malfunctions more easily. These improvements are expected to bring portable direct methanol fuel cells and stacks closer to commercialization. In a conventional bipolar fuel-cell stack, the cells are interspersed with bipolar plates (also called biplates), which are structural components that serve to interconnect the cells and distribute the reactants (methanol and air). The cells and biplates are sandwiched between metal end plates. Usually, the stack is held together under pressure by tie rods that clamp the end plates. The bipolar stack configuration offers the advantage of very low internal electrical resistance. However, when the power output of a stack is only a few watts, the very low internal resistance of a bipolar stack is not absolutely necessary for keeping the internal power loss acceptably low.

  19. Fuel cell generator

    DOEpatents

    Makiel, Joseph M.

    1985-01-01

    A high temperature solid electrolyte fuel cell generator comprising a housing means defining a plurality of chambers including a generator chamber and a combustion products chamber, a porous barrier separating the generator and combustion product chambers, a plurality of elongated annular fuel cells each having a closed end and an open end with the open ends disposed within the combustion product chamber, the cells extending from the open end through the porous barrier and into the generator chamber, a conduit for each cell, each conduit extending into a portion of each cell disposed within the generator chamber, each conduit having means for discharging a first gaseous reactant within each fuel cell, exhaust means for exhausting the combustion product chamber, manifolding means for supplying the first gaseous reactant to the conduits with the manifolding means disposed within the combustion product chamber between the porous barrier and the exhaust means and the manifolding means further comprising support and bypass means for providing support of the manifolding means within the housing while allowing combustion products from the first and a second gaseous reactant to flow past the manifolding means to the exhaust means, and means for flowing the second gaseous reactant into the generator chamber.

  20. Coal-fuelled systems for peaking power with 100% CO2 capture through integration of solid oxide fuel cells with compressed air energy storage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nease, Jake; Adams, Thomas A.

    2014-04-01

    In this study, a coal-fuelled integrated solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) and compressed air energy storage (CAES) system in a load-following power production scenario is discussed. Sixteen SOFC-based plants with optional carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) and syngas shifting steps are simulated and compared to a state-of-the-art supercritical pulverised coal (SCPC) plant. Simulations are performed using a combination of MATLAB and Aspen Plus v7.3. It was found that adding CAES to a SOFC-based plant can provide load-following capabilities with relatively small effects on efficiencies (1-2% HHV depending on the system configuration) and levelized costs of electricity (∼0.35 ¢ kW-1 h-1). The load-following capabilities, as measured by least-squares metrics, show that this system may utilize coal and achieve excellent load-tracking that is not adversely affected by the inclusion of CCS. Adding CCS to the SOFC/CAES system reduces measurable direct CO2 emission to zero. A seasonal partial plant shutdown schedule is found to reduce fuel consumption by 9.5% while allowing for cleaning and maintenance windows for the SOFC stacks without significantly affecting the performance of the system (∼1% HHV reduction in efficiency). The SOFC-based systems with CCS are found to become economically attractive relative to SCPC above carbon taxes of 22 ton-1.

  1. Fuel cell technology program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

    A fuel cell technology program was established to advance the state-of-the-art of hydrogen-oxygen fuel cells using low temperature, potassium hydroxide electrolyte technology as the base. Program tasks are described consisting of baseline cell design and stack testing, hydrogen pump design and testing, and DM-2 powerplant testing and technology extension efforts. A baseline cell configuration capable of a minimum of 2000 hours of life was defined. A 6-cell prototype stack, incorporating most of the scheme cell features, was tested for a total of 10,497 hours. A 6-cell stack incorporating all of the design features was tested. The DM-2 powerplant with a 34 cell stack, an accessory section packaged in the basic configuration anticipated for the space shuttle powerplant and a powerplant control unit, was defined, assembled, and tested. Cells were used in the stack and a drag-type hydrogen pump was installed in the accessory section. A test program was established, in conjunction with NASA/JSC, based on space shuttle orbiter mission. A 2000-hour minimum endurance test and a 5000-hour goal were set and the test started on August 8, 1972. The 2000-hour milestone was completed on November 3, 1972. On 13 March 1973, at the end of the thirty-first simulated seven-day mission and 5072 load hours, the test was concluded, all goals having been met. At this time, the DM-2 was in excellent condition and capable of additional endurance.

  2. Solid oxide fuel cell with monolithic core

    DOEpatents

    McPheeters, Charles C.; Mrazek, Franklin C.

    1988-01-01

    A solid oxide fuel cell in which fuel and oxidant gases undergo an electrochemical reaction to produce an electrical output includes a monolithic core comprised of a corrugated conductive sheet disposed between upper and lower generally flat sheets. The corrugated sheet includes a plurality of spaced, parallel, elongated slots which form a series of closed, linear, first upper and second lower gas flow channels with the upper and lower sheets within which a fuel gas and an oxidant gas respectively flow. Facing ends of the fuel cell are generally V-shaped and provide for fuel and oxidant gas inlet and outlet flow, respectively, and include inlet and outlet gas flow channels which are continuous with the aforementioned upper fuel gas and lower oxidant gas flow channels. The upper and lower flat sheets and the intermediate corrugated sheet are preferably comprised of ceramic materials and are securely coupled together such as by assembly in the green state and sintering together during firing at high temperatures. A potential difference across the fuel cell, or across a stacked array of similar fuel cells, is generated when an oxidant gas such as air and a fuel such as hydrogen gas is directed through the fuel cell at high temperatures, e.g., between 700.degree. C. and 1100.degree. C.

  3. Solid oxide fuel cell with monolithic core

    DOEpatents

    McPheeters, C.C.; Mrazek, F.C.

    1988-08-02

    A solid oxide fuel cell in which fuel and oxidant gases undergo an electrochemical reaction to produce an electrical output includes a monolithic core comprised of a corrugated conductive sheet disposed between upper and lower generally flat sheets. The corrugated sheet includes a plurality of spaced, parallel, elongated slots which form a series of closed, linear, first upper and second lower gas flow channels with the upper and lower sheets within which a fuel gas and an oxidant gas respectively flow. Facing ends of the fuel cell are generally V-shaped and provide for fuel and oxidant gas inlet and outlet flow, respectively, and include inlet and outlet gas flow channels which are continuous with the aforementioned upper fuel gas and lower oxidant gas flow channels. The upper and lower flat sheets and the intermediate corrugated sheet are preferably comprised of ceramic materials and are securely coupled together such as by assembly in the green state and sintering together during firing at high temperatures. A potential difference across the fuel cell, or across a stacked array of similar fuel cells, is generated when an oxidant gas such as air and a fuel such as hydrogen gas is directed through the fuel cell at high temperatures, e.g., between 700 C and 1,100 C. 8 figs.

  4. Coaxial fuel and air premixer for a gas turbine combustor

    DOEpatents

    York, William D; Ziminsky, Willy S; Lacy, Benjamin P

    2013-05-21

    An air/fuel premixer comprising a peripheral wall defining a mixing chamber, a nozzle disposed at least partially within the peripheral wall comprising an outer annular wall spaced from the peripheral wall so as to define an outer air passage between the peripheral wall and the outer annular wall, an inner annular wall disposed at least partially within and spaced from the outer annular wall, so as to define an inner air passage, and at least one fuel gas annulus between the outer annular wall and the inner annular wall, the at least one fuel gas annulus defining at least one fuel gas passage, at least one air inlet for introducing air through the inner air passage and the outer air passage to the mixing chamber, and at least one fuel inlet for injecting fuel through the fuel gas passage to the mixing chamber to form an air/fuel mixture.

  5. Organic fuel cells and fuel cell conducting sheets

    DOEpatents

    Masel, Richard I.; Ha, Su; Adams, Brian

    2007-10-16

    A passive direct organic fuel cell includes an organic fuel solution and is operative to produce at least 15 mW/cm.sup.2 when operating at room temperature. In additional aspects of the invention, fuel cells can include a gas remover configured to promote circulation of an organic fuel solution when gas passes through the solution, a modified carbon cloth, one or more sealants, and a replaceable fuel cartridge.

  6. Effects on Air Pollution and Regional Climate of Producing and Using Hydrogen in Fuel Cells in all U.S. OnroadVehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacobson, M. Z.; Colella, W. G.; Golden, D. M.

    2004-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the potential effects on U.S. air pollution and regional climate of switching the current U.S. fleet of onroad motor vehicles to hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, where hydrogen was produced by (1) steam-reforming of methane, (2) wind energy, or (3) coal gasification. An additional scenario in which the U.S. fleet was switched to gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles was also examined. The model used was GATOR-GCMOM, a global-through-urban-scale nested and parallelized gas, aerosol, transport, radiation, general-circulation, mesoscale, and ocean model. U.S. emission data for the baseline case were obtained from the U.S. National Emission Inventory, which considers 370,000 stack and fugitive sources, 250,000 area sources, and 1700 categories of onroad and nonroad vehicular sources (including motorcycles, passenger vehicles, trucks, recreational vehicles, construction vehicles, farm vehicles, industrial vehicles, etc.). Emission inventories for each of the three hydrogen scenarios were prepared following a process chain analysis that accounted for energy inputs and pollution outputs during all stages of hydrogen and fossil-fuel production, distribution, storage, and end-use. Emitted pollutants accounted for included CO, CO2, H2, H2O, CH4, speciated ROGs, NOx, NH3, SOx, and speciated particulate matter. Results from the first scenario suggest that switching vehicles in the U.S. to hydrogen produced by steam-reforming of methane may reduce emission of NOx, reactive hydrocarbons, CO, CO2, BC, NO3-, and NH4+, but increase CH4, H2, and SO2 (slightly).The switch may also decrease O3 over most of the U.S. but short-term near-surfaces increases may occur over low-vegetated cities (e.g., in Los Angeles and along the Boston-Washington corridor) due to loss of NOx that otherwise titrates O3. The switch is also estimated to decrease PAN, HCHO, and several other pollutants formed in the atmosphere. Isoprene may increase since fewer oxidants (OH, O3

  7. Mass transfer in fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walker, R. D., Jr.

    1973-01-01

    Developments in the following areas are reported: surface area and pore size distribution in electrolyte matrices, electron microscopy of electrolyte matrices, surface tension of KOH solutions, water transport in fuel cells, and effectiveness factors for fuel cell components.

  8. Fuel Cell Technical Team Roadmap

    SciTech Connect

    2013-06-01

    The Fuel Cell Technical Team promotes the development of a fuel cell power system for an automotive powertrain that meets the U.S. DRIVE Partnership (United States Driving Research and Innovation for Vehicle efficiency and Energy sustainability) goals.

  9. A comparison between molten carbonate fuel cells based hybrid systems using air and supercritical carbon dioxide Brayton cycles with state of the art technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sánchez, D.; Muñoz de Escalona, J. M.; Chacartegui, R.; Muñoz, A.; Sánchez, T.

    A proposal for high efficiency hybrid systems based on molten carbonate fuel cells is presented in this paper. This proposal is based on adopting a closed cycle bottoming gas turbine using supercritical carbon dioxide as working fluid as opposed to open cycle hot air turbines typically used in this type of power generators. First, both bottoming cycles are compared for the same operating conditions, showing that their performances do not differ as much as initially expected, even if the initial objective of reducing compression work is accomplished satisfactorily. In view of these results, a profound review of research and industrial literature is carried out in order to determine realistic specifications for the principal components of the bottoming systems. From this analysis, it is concluded that an appropriate set of specifications must be developed for each bottoming cycle as the performances of compressor, turbine and recuperator differ significantly from one working fluid to another. Thus, when the operating conditions are updated, the performances of the resulting systems show a remarkable advantage of carbon dioxide based systems over conventional air units. Actually, the proposed hybrid system shows its capability to achieve 60% net efficiency, what represents a 10% increase with respect to the reference system.

  10. Bifunctional quaternary ammonium compounds to inhibit biofilm growth and enhance performance for activated carbon air-cathode in microbial fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Nan; Liu, Yinan; An, Jingkun; Feng, Cuijuan; Wang, Xin

    2014-12-01

    The slow diffusion of hydroxyl out of the catalyst layer as well as the biofouling on the surface of cathode are two problems affecting power for membrane-less air-cathode microbial fuel cells (MFCs). In order to solve both of them simultaneously, here we simply modify activated carbon air-cathode using a bifunctional quaternary ammonium compound (QAC) by forced evaporation. The maximum power density reaches 1041 ± 12 mW m-2 in an unbuffered medium (0.5 g L-1 NaCl), which is 17% higher than the control, probably due to the accelerated anion transport in the catalyst layer. After 2 months, the protein content reduced by a factor of 26 and the power density increases by 33%, indicating that the QAC modification can effectively inhibit the growth of cathodic biofilm and improve the stability of performance. The addition of NaOH and QAC epoxy have a negative effect on power production due to the clogging of pores in catalyst layer.

  11. The addition of ortho-hexagon nano spinel Co3O4 to improve the performance of activated carbon air cathode microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Ge, Baochao; Li, Kexun; Fu, Zhou; Pu, Liangtao; Zhang, Xi

    2015-11-01

    Commercial Co3O4 and ortho-hexagon spinel nano-Co3O4 (OHSNC) were doped in the AC at a different percentage (5%, 10% and 15%) to enhance the performance of microbial fuel cell (MFC). The maximum power density of MFC with 10% OHSNC doped cathode was 1500±14 mW m(-2), which was 97.36% and 41.24% higher than that with the bare AC air cathode and commercial Co3O4 respectively. The electrocatalytic behavior for their better performance was discussed in detail with the help of various structural and electrochemical techniques. The OHSNC was characterized via X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The results showed that the improved performance owed to the enhancement of both kinetics activity and the number of electron transfer in the ORR, and the internal resistance was largely reduced. Therefore, OHSNC was proved to be an excellent cathodic catalyst in AC air cathode MFC. PMID:26112347

  12. Organic fuel cell methods and apparatus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vamos, Eugene (Inventor); Surampudi, Subbarao (Inventor); Narayanan, Sekharipuram R. (Inventor); Frank, Harvey A. (Inventor); Halpert, Gerald (Inventor); Olah, George A. (Inventor); Prakash, G. K. Surya (Inventor)

    2008-01-01

    A liquid organic, fuel cell is provided which employs a solid electrolyte membrane. An organic fuel, such as a methanol/water mixture, is circulated past an anode of a cell while oxygen or air is circulated past a cathode of the cell. The cell solid electrolyte membrane is preferably fabricated from Nafion.TM.. Additionally, a method for improving the performance of carbon electrode structures for use in organic fuel cells is provided wherein a high surface-area carbon particle/Teflon.TM.-binder structure is immersed within a Nafion.TM./methanol bath to impregnate the electrode with Nafion.TM.. A method for fabricating an anode for use in a organic fuel cell is described wherein metal alloys are deposited onto the electrode in an electro-deposition solution containing perfluorooctanesulfonic acid. A fuel additive containing perfluorooctanesulfonic acid for use with fuel cells employing a sulfuric acid electrolyte is also disclosed. New organic fuels, namely, trimethoxymethane, dimethoxymethane, and trioxane are also described for use with either conventional or improved fuel cells.

  13. Organic fuel cell methods and apparatus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Surampudi, Subbarao (Inventor); Narayanan, Sekharipuram R. (Inventor); Vamos, Eugene (Inventor); Frank, Harvey A. (Inventor); Halpert, Gerald (Inventor); Olah, George A. (Inventor); Prakash, G. K. Surya (Inventor)

    2004-01-01

    A liquid organic, fuel cell is provided which employs a solid electrolyte membrane. An organic fuel, such as a methanol/water mixture, is circulated past an anode of a cell while oxygen or air is circulated past a cathode of the cell. The cell solid electrolyte membrane is preferably fabricated from Nafion.TM.. Additionally, a method for improving the performance of carbon electrode structures for use in organic fuel cells is provided wherein a high surface-area carbon particle/Teflon.TM.-binder structure is immersed within a Nafion.TM./methanol bath to impregnate the electrode with Nafion.TM.. A method for fabricating an anode for use in a organic fuel cell is described wherein metal alloys are deposited onto the electrode in an electro-deposition solution containing perfluorooctanesulfonic acid. A fuel additive containing perfluorooctanesulfonic acid for use with fuel cells employing a sulfuric acid electrolyte is also disclosed. New organic fuels, namely, trimethoxymethane, dimethoxymethane, and trioxane are also described for use with either conventional or improved fuel cells.

  14. Organic fuel cell methods and apparatus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Surampudi, Subbarao (Inventor); Narayanan, Sekharipuram R. (Inventor); Vamos, Eugene (Inventor); Frank, Harvey A. (Inventor); Halpert, Gerald (Inventor); Olah, George A. (Inventor); Prakash, G. K. Surya (Inventor)

    2001-01-01

    A liquid organic fuel cell is provided which employs a solid electrolyte membrane. An organic fuel, such as a methanol/water mixture, is circulated past an anode of a cell while oxygen or air is circulated past a cathode of the cell. The cell solid electrolyte membrane is preferably fabricated from Nafion.TM.. Additionally, a method for improving the performance of carbon electrode structures for use in organic fuel cells is provided wherein a high surface-area carbon particle/Teflon.TM.-binder structure is immersed within a Nafion.TM./methanol bath to impregnate the electrode with Nafion.TM.. A method for fabricating an anode for use in a organic fuel cell is described wherein metal alloys are deposited onto the electrode in an electro-deposition solution containing perfluorooctanesulfonic acid. A fuel additive containing perfluorooctanesulfonic acid for use with fuel cells employing a sulfuric acid electrolyte is also disclosed. New organic fuels, namely, trimethoxymethane, dimethoxymethane, and trioxane are also described for use with either conventional or improved fuel cells.

  15. The direct methanol fuel cell

    SciTech Connect

    Halpert, G.; Narayanan, S.R.; Frank, H.

    1995-08-01

    This presentation describes the approach and progress in the ARPA-sponsored effort to develop a Direct Methanol, Liquid-Feed Fuel Cell (DMLFFC) with a solid Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) for battery replacement in small portable applications. Using Membrane Electrode Assemblies (MEAs) developed by JPL and Giner, significant voltage was demonstrated at relatively high current densities. The DMLFFC utilizes a 3 percent aqueous solution of methanol that is oxidized directly in the anode (fuel) chamber and oxygen (air) in the cathode chamber to produce water and significant power. The only products are water and CO{sub 2}. The ARPA effort is aimed at replacing the battery in the BA 5590 military radio.

  16. Fuel cell membrane humidification

    DOEpatents

    Wilson, Mahlon S.

    1999-01-01

    A polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell assembly has an anode side and a cathode side separated by the membrane and generating electrical current by electrochemical reactions between a fuel gas and an oxidant. The anode side comprises a hydrophobic gas diffusion backing contacting one side of the membrane and having hydrophilic areas therein for providing liquid water directly to the one side of the membrane through the hydrophilic areas of the gas diffusion backing. In a preferred embodiment, the hydrophilic areas of the gas diffusion backing are formed by sewing a hydrophilic thread through the backing. Liquid water is distributed over the gas diffusion backing in distribution channels that are separate from the fuel distribution channels.

  17. Progress in Fuel Cell Technologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanaka, Yasuzo

    Progress in fuel cell technologies is reviewed for this special issue. In the diversified society, the fuel cell technology is a significant and most promising field. The fuel cell technologies provide many variations for our uses and possibilities for our lives. Especially, some technological battles in the PEFC, SOFC and DMFC are excitedly interested us.

  18. Fuel cell report to congress

    SciTech Connect

    None, None

    2003-02-28

    This report describes the status of fuel cells for Congressional committees. It focuses on the technical and economic barriers to the use of fuel cells in transportation, portable power, stationary, and distributed power generation applications, and describes the need for public-private cooperative programs to demonstrate the use of fuel cells in commercial-scale applications by 2012. (Department of Energy, February 2003).

  19. Fuel Cell Handbook, Fourth Edition

    SciTech Connect

    Stauffer, D.B; Hirschenhofer, J.H.; Klett, M.G.; Engleman, R.R.

    1998-11-01

    Robust progress has been made in fuel cell technology since the previous edition of the Fuel Cell Handbook was published in January 1994. This Handbook provides a foundation in fuel cells for persons wanting a better understanding of the technology, its benefits, and the systems issues that influence its application. Trends in technology are discussed, including next-generation concepts that promise ultra high efficiency and low cost, while providing exceptionally clean power plant systems. Section 1 summarizes fuel cell progress since the last edition and includes existing power plant nameplate data. Section 2 addresses the thermodynamics of fuel cells to provide an understanding of fuel cell operation at two levels (basic and advanced). Sections 3 through 6 describe the four major fuel cell types and their performance based on cell operating conditions. The section on polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells has been added to reflect their emergence as a significant fuel cell technology. Phosphoric acid, molten carbonate, and solid oxide fuel cell technology description sections have been updated from the previous edition. New information indicates that manufacturers have stayed with proven cell designs, focusing instead on advancing the system surrounding the fuel cell to lower life cycle costs. Section 7, Fuel Cell Systems, has been significantly revised to characterize near-term and next-generation fuel cell power plant systems at a conceptual level of detail. Section 8 provides examples of practical fuel cell system calculations. A list of fuel cell URLs is included in the Appendix. A new index assists the reader in locating specific information quickly.

  20. Fuel Cell Handbook, Fifth Edition

    SciTech Connect

    Energy and Environmental Solutions

    2000-10-31

    Progress continues in fuel cell technology since the previous edition of the Fuel Cell Handbook was published in November 1998. Uppermost, polymer electrolyte fuel cells, molten carbonate fuel cells, and solid oxide fuel cells have been demonstrated at commercial size in power plants. The previously demonstrated phosphoric acid fuel cells have entered the marketplace with more than 220 power plants delivered. Highlighting this commercial entry, the phosphoric acid power plant fleet has demonstrated 95+% availability and several units have passed 40,000 hours of operation. One unit has operated over 49,000 hours. Early expectations of very low emissions and relatively high efficiencies have been met in power plants with each type of fuel cell. Fuel flexibility has been demonstrated using natural gas, propane, landfill gas, anaerobic digester gas, military logistic fuels, and coal gas, greatly expanding market opportunities. Transportation markets worldwide have shown remarkable interest in fuel cells; nearly every major vehicle manufacturer in the U.S., Europe, and the Far East is supporting development. This Handbook provides a foundation in fuel cells for persons wanting a better understanding of the technology, its benefits, and the systems issues that influence its application. Trends in technology are discussed, including next-generation concepts that promise ultrahigh efficiency and low cost, while providing exceptionally clean power plant systems. Section 1 summarizes fuel cell progress since the last edition and includes existing power plant nameplate data. Section 2 addresses the thermodynamics of fuel cells to provide an understanding of fuel cell operation at two levels (basic and advanced). Sections 3 through 8 describe the six major fuel cell types and their performance based on cell operating conditions. Alkaline and intermediate solid state fuel cells were added to this edition of the Handbook. New information indicates that manufacturers have stayed

  1. Performance of 2-propanol in direct-oxidation fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qi, Zhigang; Kaufman, Arthur

    A direct-oxidation fuel cell using 2-propanol as fuel has been evaluated. The cell performance, open circuit voltage (OCV), and alcohol crossover were measured at various alcohol concentration, cell temperature, and air/nitrogen flow rate. The cell shows much higher performance than a direct methanol fuel cell, especially at current densities less than ca. 200 mA/cm 2. This performance is the highest among any direct-liquid-oxidation fuel cells. The cell open circuit voltage can be as much as 0.27 V higher than that of a methanol cell, while the amount of 2-propanol crossing through the membrane can be as low as 1/7 of that of methanol. Therefore, a direct 2-propanol fuel cell can have much higher fuel and fuel cell efficiencies. One problem associated with using 2-propanol as fuel is the anode poisoning by reaction intermediates and a frequent cleaning of the electrode surface is needed.

  2. Tubular solid oxide fuel cell current collector

    DOEpatents

    Bischoff, Brian L.; Sutton, Theodore G.; Armstrong, Timothy R.

    2010-07-20

    An internal current collector for use inside a tubular solid oxide fuel cell (TSOFC) electrode comprises a tubular coil spring disposed concentrically within a TSOFC electrode and in firm uniform tangential electrical contact with the electrode inner surface. The current collector maximizes the contact area between the current collector and the electrode. The current collector is made of a metal that is electrically conductive and able to survive under the operational conditions of the fuel cell, i.e., the cathode in air, and the anode in fuel such as hydrogen, CO, CO.sub.2, H.sub.2O or H.sub.2S.

  3. Fuel cell CO sensor

    DOEpatents

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

    1999-12-14

    The CO concentration in the H.sub.2 feed stream to a PEM fuel cell stack is monitored by measuring current and/or voltage behavior patterns from a PEM-probe communicating with the reformate feed stream. Pattern recognition software may be used to compare the current and voltage patterns from the PEM-probe to current and voltage telltale outputs determined from a reference cell similar to the PEM-probe and operated under controlled conditions over a wide range of CO concentrations in the H.sub.2 fuel stream. A CO sensor includes the PEM-probe, an electrical discharge circuit for discharging the PEM-probe to monitor the CO concentration, and an electrical purging circuit to intermittently raise the anode potential of the PEM-probe's anode to at least about 0.8 V (RHE) to electrochemically oxidize any CO adsorbed on the probe's anode catalyst.

  4. Two-dimensional two-phase mass transport model for methanol and water crossover in air-breathing direct methanol fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ye, Dingding; Zhu, Xun; Liao, Qiang; Li, Jun; Fu, Qian

    A two-dimensional two-phase mass transport model has been developed to predict methanol and water crossover in a semi-passive direct methanol fuel cell with an air-breathing cathode. The mass transport in the catalyst layer and the discontinuity in liquid saturation at the interface between the diffusion layer and catalyst layer are particularly considered. The modeling results agree well with the experimental data of a home-assembled cell. Further studies on the typical two-phase flow and mass transport distributions including species, pressure and liquid saturation in the membrane electrode assembly are investigated. Finally, the methanol crossover flux, the net water transport coefficient, the water crossover flux, and the total water flux at the cathode as well as their contributors are predicted with the present model. The numerical results indicate that diffusion predominates the methanol crossover at low current densities, while electro-osmosis is the dominator at high current densities. The total water flux at the cathode is originated primarily from the water generated by the oxidation reaction of the permeated methanol at low current densities, while the water crossover flux is the main source of the total water flux at high current densities.

  5. Carbonate fuel cell matrix

    DOEpatents

    Farooque, M.; Yuh, C.Y.

    1996-12-03

    A carbonate fuel cell matrix is described comprising support particles and crack attenuator particles which are made platelet in shape to increase the resistance of the matrix to through cracking. Also disclosed is a matrix having porous crack attenuator particles and a matrix whose crack attenuator particles have a thermal coefficient of expansion which is significantly different from that of the support particles, and a method of making platelet-shaped crack attenuator particles. 8 figs.

  6. Carbonate fuel cell matrix

    DOEpatents

    Farooque, Mohammad; Yuh, Chao-Yi

    1996-01-01

    A carbonate fuel cell matrix comprising support particles and crack attenuator particles which are made platelet in shape to increase the resistance of the matrix to through cracking. Also disclosed is a matrix having porous crack attenuator particles and a matrix whose crack attenuator particles have a thermal coefficient of expansion which is significantly different from that of the support particles, and a method of making platelet-shaped crack attenuator particles.

  7. Fuel cell oxygen electrode

    DOEpatents

    Shanks, Howard R.; Bevolo, Albert J.; Danielson, Gordon C.; Weber, Michael F.

    1980-11-04

    An oxygen electrode for a fuel cell utilizing an acid electrolyte has a substrate of an alkali metal tungsten bronze of the formula: A.sub.x WO.sub.3 where A is an alkali metal and x is at least 0.2, which is covered with a thin layer of platinum tungsten bronze of the formula: Pt.sub.y WO.sub.3 where y is at least 0.8.

  8. Fuel cell oxygen electrode

    DOEpatents

    Shanks, H.R.; Bevolo, A.J.; Danielson, G.C.; Weber, M.F.

    An oxygen electrode for a fuel cell utilizing an acid electrolyte has a substrate of an alkali metal tungsten bronze of the formula: A/sub x/WO/sub 3/ where A is an alkali metal and x is at least 0.2, which is covered with a thin layer of platinum tungsten bronze of the formula: Pt/sub y/WO/sub 3/ where y is at least 0.8.

  9. Fuel cell technology program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1971-01-01

    The results of a solid polymer electrolyte fuel cell development program are summarized. A base line design was defined, and materials and components of the base line configuration were fabricated and tested. Concepts representing base line capability extensions in the areas of life, power, specific weight and volume, versatility of operation, field maintenance, and thermal control were identified and evaluated. Liaison and coordination with space shuttle contractors resulted in the exchange of engineering data.

  10. Fuel cell current collector

    DOEpatents

    Katz, Murray; Bonk, Stanley P.; Maricle, Donald L.; Abrams, Martin

    1991-01-01

    A fuel cell has a current collector plate (22) located between an electrode (20) and a separate plate (25). The collector plate has a plurality of arches (26, 28) deformed from a single flat plate in a checkerboard pattern. The arches are of sufficient height (30) to provide sufficient reactant flow area. Each arch is formed with sufficient stiffness to accept compressive load and sufficient resiliently to distribute the load and maintain electrical contact.

  11. Hydrogen Fuel Cell Automobiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feldman, Bernard J.

    2005-11-01

    With gasoline now more than 2.00 a gallon, alternate automobile technologies will be discussed with greater interest and developed with more urgency. For our government, the hydrogen fuel cell-powered automobile is at the top of the list of future technologies. This paper presents a simple description of the principles behind this technology and a brief discussion of the pros and cons. It is also an extension on my previous paper on the physics of the automobile engine.

  12. Liquid-feed direct oxidation fuel cells using neat 2-propanol as fuel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qi, Zhigang; Kaufman, Arthur

    Neat 2-propanol was used as the fuel in liquid-feed direct oxidation fuel cells. The fuel that was intentionally not mixed with any amount of water was oxidized directly at the fuel cell anode. The fuel cell showed very good performance. For example, at a cell temperature of 60 °C and an air flow rate of 970 ml/min, the cell output voltage was as high as 0.485 V at a current density of 200 mA/cm 2. This performance was among the highest numbers ever reported for liquid-feed direct oxidation fuel cells. The energy density of a fuel cell using a neat fuel is expected to be much higher than that of one using dilute fuel solutions because the latter needs to carry between 10 and 30 parts by weight of water for each part of alcohol.

  13. Operando fuel cell spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kendrick, Ian Michael

    The active state of a catalyst only exists during catalysis (1) provided the motivation for developing operando spectroscopic techniques. A polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) was designed to interface with commercially available instruments for acquisition of infrared spectra of the catalytic surface of the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) during normal operation. This technique has provided insight of the complex processes occurring at the electrode surface. Nafion, the solid electrolyte used in most modern-day polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC), serves many purposes in fuel cell operation. However, there is little known of the interface between Nafion and the electrode surface. Previous studies of complex Stark tuning curves of carbon monoxide on the surface of a platinum electrode were attributed the co-adsorption of bisulfite ions originating from the 0.5M H2SO4 electrolyte used in the study(2). Similar tuning curves obtained on a fuel cell MEA despite the absence of supplemental electrolytes suggest the adsorption of Nafion onto platinum (3). The correlation of spectra obtained using attenuated total reflectance spectroscopy (ATR) and polarization modulated IR reflection-absorption spectroscopy (PM-IRRAS) to a theoretical spectrum generated using density functional theory (DFT) lead to development of a model of Nafion and platinum interaction which identified participation of the SO3- and CF3 groups in Nafion adsorption. The use of ethanol as a fuel stream in proton exchange membrane fuel cells provides a promising alternative to methanol. Relative to methanol, ethanol has a greater energy density, lower toxicity and can be made from the fermentation of biomass(4). Operando IR spectroscopy was used to study the oxidation pathway of ethanol and Stark tuning behavior of carbon monoxide on Pt, Ru, and PtRu electrodes. Potential dependent products such as acetaldehyde, acetic acid and carbon monoxide are identified as well as previously

  14. Fuel cell generator with fuel electrodes that control on-cell fuel reformation

    DOEpatents

    Ruka, Roswell J.; Basel, Richard A.; Zhang, Gong

    2011-10-25

    A fuel cell for a fuel cell generator including a housing including a gas flow path for receiving a fuel from a fuel source and directing the fuel across the fuel cell. The fuel cell includes an elongate member including opposing first and second ends and defining an interior cathode portion and an exterior anode portion. The interior cathode portion includes an electrode in contact with an oxidant flow path. The exterior anode portion includes an electrode in contact with the fuel in the gas flow path. The anode portion includes a catalyst material for effecting fuel reformation along the fuel cell between the opposing ends. A fuel reformation control layer is applied over the catalyst material for reducing a rate of fuel reformation on the fuel cell. The control layer effects a variable reformation rate along the length of the fuel cell.

  15. EFFECT OF FUEL IMPURITIES ON FUEL CELL PERFORMANCE AND DURABILITY

    SciTech Connect

    Colon-Mercado, H.

    2010-09-28

    A fuel cell is an electrochemical energy conversion device that produces electricity during the combination of hydrogen and oxygen to produce water. Proton exchange membranes fuel cells are favored for portable applications as well as stationary ones due to their high power density, low operating temperature, and low corrosion of components. In real life operation, the use of pure fuel and oxidant gases results in an impractical system. A more realistic and cost efficient approach is the use of air as an oxidant gas and hydrogen from hydrogen carriers (i.e., ammonia, hydrocarbons, hydrides). However, trace impurities arising from different hydrogen sources and production increases the degradation of the fuel cell. These impurities include carbon monoxide, ammonia, sulfur, hydrocarbons, and halogen compounds. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has set maximum limits for trace impurities in the hydrogen stream; however fuel cell data is needed to validate the assumption that at those levels the impurities will cause no degradation. This report summarizes the effect of selected contaminants tested at SRNL at ISO levels. Runs at ISO proposed concentration levels show that model hydrocarbon compound such as tetrahydrofuran can cause serious degradation. However, the degradation is only temporary as when the impurity is removed from the hydrogen stream the performance completely recovers. Other molecules at the ISO concentration levels such as ammonia don't show effects on the fuel cell performance. On the other hand carbon monoxide and perchloroethylene shows major degradation and the system can only be recovered by following recovery procedures.

  16. Advances in direct oxidation methanol fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Surampudi, S.; Narayanan, S. R.; Vamos, E.; Frank, H.; Halpert, G.; Laconti, Anthony B.; Kosek, J.; Prakash, G. K. Surya; Olah, G. A.

    1993-01-01

    Fuel cells that can operate directly on fuels such as methanol are attractive for low to medium power applications in view of their low weight and volume relative to other power sources. A liquid feed direct methanol fuel cell has been developed based on a proton exchange membrane electrolyte and Pt/Ru and Pt catalyzed fuel and air/O2 electrodes, respectively. The cell has been shown to deliver significant power outputs at temperatures of 60 to 90 C. The cell voltage is near 0.5 V at 300 mA/cm(exp 2) current density and an operating temperature of 90 C. A deterrent to performance appears to be methanol crossover through the membrane to the oxygen electrode. Further improvements in performance appear possible by minimizing the methanol crossover rate.

  17. Polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gottesfeld, S.

    The recent increase in attention to polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFC's) is the result of significant technical advances in this technology and the initiation of some projects for the demonstration of complete PEFC-based power system in a bus or in a passenger car. A PEFC powered vehicle has the potential for zero emission, high energy conversion efficiency and extended range compared to present day battery powered EV's. This paper describes recent achievements in R&D on PEFC's. The major thrust areas have been: (1) demonstration of membrane/electrode assemblies with stable high performance in life tests lasting 4000 hours, employing ultra-low Pt loadings corresponding to only 1/2 oz of Pt for the complete power source of a passenger car; (2) effective remedies for the high sensitivity of the Pt electrocatalyst to impurities in the fuel feed stream; and (3) comprehensive evaluation of the physicochemical properties of membrane and electrodes in the PEFC, clarifying the water management issues and enabling effective codes and diagnostics for this fuel cell.

  18. Market penetration scenarios for fuel cell vehicles

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, C.E.; James, B.D.; Lomax, F.D. Jr.

    1997-12-31

    Fuel cell vehicles may create the first mass market for hydrogen as an energy carrier. Directed Technologies, Inc., working with the US Department of Energy hydrogen systems analysis team, has developed a time-dependent computer market penetration model. This model estimates the number of fuel cell vehicles that would be purchased over time as a function of their cost and the cost of hydrogen relative to the costs of competing vehicles and fuels. The model then calculates the return on investment for fuel cell vehicle manufacturers and hydrogen fuel suppliers. The model also projects the benefit/cost ratio for government--the ratio of societal benefits such as reduced oil consumption, reduced urban air pollution and reduced greenhouse gas emissions to the government cost for assisting the development of hydrogen energy and fuel cell vehicle technologies. The purpose of this model is to assist industry and government in choosing the best investment strategies to achieve significant return on investment and to maximize benefit/cost ratios. The model can illustrate trends and highlight the sensitivity of market penetration to various parameters such as fuel cell efficiency, cost, weight, and hydrogen cost. It can also illustrate the potential benefits of successful R and D and early demonstration projects. Results will be shown comparing the market penetration and return on investment estimates for direct hydrogen fuel cell vehicles compared to fuel cell vehicles with onboard fuel processors including methanol steam reformers and gasoline partial oxidation systems. Other alternative fueled vehicles including natural gas hybrids, direct injection diesels and hydrogen-powered internal combustion hybrid vehicles will also be analyzed.

  19. Dynamic Modeling in Solid-Oxide Fuel Cells Controller Design

    SciTech Connect

    Lu, Ning; Li, Qinghe; Sun, Xin; Khaleel, Mohammad A.

    2007-06-28

    In this paper, a dynamic model of the solid-oxide fuel cell (SOFC) power unit is developed for the purpose of designing a controller to regulate fuel flow rate, fuel temperature, air flow rate, and air temperature to maintain the SOFC stack temperature, fuel utilization rate, and voltage within operation limits. A lumped model is used to consider the thermal dynamics and the electro-chemial dynamics inside an SOFC power unit. The fluid dynamics at the fuel and air inlets are considered by using the in-flow ramp-rates.

  20. Fuel cell serves as oxygen level detector

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1965-01-01

    Monitoring the oxygen level in the air is accomplished by a fuel cell detector whose voltage output is proportional to the partial pressure of oxygen in the sampled gas. The relationship between output voltage and partial pressure of oxygen can be calibrated.

  1. FUEL CELL BUS DEMONSTRATION IN MEXICO CITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    The report discusses the performance of a cull-size, zero-emission, Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel-cell-powered transit bus in the atmospheric environment of Mexico City. To address the air quality problems caused by vehicle emissions in Mexico City, a seminar on clean vehic...

  2. Iron-nitrogen-activated carbon as cathode catalyst to improve the power generation of single-chamber air-cathode microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Pan, Yajun; Mo, Xiaoping; Li, Kexun; Pu, Liangtao; Liu, Di; Yang, Tingting

    2016-04-01

    In order to improve the performance of microbial fuel cell (MFC), iron-nitrogen-activated carbon (Fe-N-C) as an excellent oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalyst was prepared here using commercial activated carbon (AC) as matrix and employed in single chamber MFC. In MFC, the maximum power density increased to 2437±55mWm(-2), which was 2 times of that with AC. The open circuit potential (OCP) of Fe-N-C cathode (0.47) was much higher than that of AC cathode (0.21V). The R0 of Fe-N-C decreased by 47% from 14.36Ω (AC) to 7.6Ω (Fe-N-C). From X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), pyridinic nitrogen, quaternary nitrogen and iron species were present, which played an important role in the ORR performance of Fe-N-C. These results demonstrated that the as-prepared Fe-N-C material provided a potential alternative to Pt in AC air cathode MFC for relatively desirable energy generation and wastewater treatment. PMID:26898678

  3. The performance of nano urchin-like NiCo2O4 modified activated carbon as air cathode for microbial fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ge, Baochao; Li, Kexun; Fu, Zhou; Pu, Liangtao; Zhang, Xi; Liu, Ziqi; Huang, Kan

    2016-01-01

    A nano urchin-like NiCo2O4 has been successfully synthesized via a facile and scalable hydrothermal method. A NiCo2O4 modified active carbon air cathode was designed, optimized and fabricated. The maximum power density of the microbial fuel cell with newly developed cathode is 2.28 time higher than bare active carbon and is comparable to the commercial available Pt/C, reaching 1730 ± 14 mW m-2. The modified active carbon showed remarkable improvement in activity towards the oxygen reduction reaction, which was due to the lower charger transfer, lower activation barrier, and higher exchange current density. Electrochemical evaluation showed a direct four-electron the oxygen reduction reaction on NiCo2O4 modified active carbon, compared to a two-stage process on bare active carbon. The non-precious NiCo2O4 could be considered as a promising alternative to the costly Pt.

  4. Effect of chemically modified Vulcan XC-72R on the performance of air-breathing cathode in a single-chamber microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Duteanu, N; Erable, B; Senthil Kumar, S M; Ghangrekar, M M; Scott, K

    2010-07-01

    The catalytic activity of modified carbon powder (Vulcan XC-72R) for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in an air-breathing cathode of a microbial fuel cell (MFC) has been investigated. Chemical modification was carried out by using various chemicals, namely 5% nitric acid, 0.2N phosphoric acid, 0.2N potassium hydroxide and 10% hydrogen peroxide. Electrochemical study was performed for ORR of these modified carbon materials in the buffer solution pH range of 6-7.5 in the anodic compartment. Although, these treatments influenced the surface properties of the carbon material, as evident from the SEM-EDX analysis, treatment with H(2)PO(4), KOH, and H(2)O(2) did not show significant activity during the electrochemical test. The HNO(3) treated Vulcan demonstrated significant ORR activity and when used in the single-chamber MFC cathode, current densities (1115mA/m(2), at 5.6mV) greater than those for a Pt-supported un-treated carbon cathode were achieved. However, the power density for the latter was higher. Such chemically modified carbon material can be a cheaper alternative for expensive platinum catalyst used in MFC cathode construction. PMID:20171090

  5. Multi-objective trade-offs for fuel cell-based auxiliary power units: case study of South California Air Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baratto, Francesco; Diwekar, Urmila M.

    Auxiliary power units (APUs) are energy devices that complement the main internal combustion engine of a vehicle providing power for the non-propulsion needs. There are several goals or objectives that need to be achieved for designing and operating fuel cell-based APUs. The system should have as high efficiency as possible, but also be economically viable with cost or profits competitive with the existing technology. Not only should the environmental impacts of the chemicals released during the process be as low as possible, but also the human health impact has to be minimum. This becomes an extremely challenging multi-objective problem and its solution leads to the quantification of the trade-offs between the different objectives. The fact that these multiple objectives are often conflicting in nature and can have completely different trends with respect to multiple process variables makes the representation and analysis of the trade-off information an extremely formidable task. The solution of the multi-objective optimization of the system, which comprehends sensitivity analysis, payoff table and optimal trade-off surfaces, is illustrated. The case study that was chosen for the simulations is South California Air Basin and the assumptions that were taken to model this region are briefly discussed.

  6. Fuel cells for extraterrestrial and terrestrial applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Srinivasan, S.

    The fuel cell is a nineteenth century invention and a twentieth century technology development. Due to the high power and energy density, high efficiency, reliability, and production of pure water, hydrogen-oxygen fuel cell systems have no competition as auxiliary power sources for space vehicles. The alkaline fuel cell system is a well developed and proven technology for this application. The solid polymer electrolyte system may be its future competitor. The energy crisis of 1973 stimulated research, development and demonstration of the phosphoric acid, molten carbonate, solid oxide and solid polymer electrolyte fuel cell systems using natural gas, petroleum or coal derived hydrogen (and carbon monoxide for the high temperature systems) for terrestrial applications. The direct methanol-air fuel cell is still an electrochemist's dream. Though considerable technological advances have been made, the present price of crude oil, and the high capital costs and limited lifetime of fuel cell systems impede their terrestrial applications in the developed countries. Conversely, the potential for lower capital costs of labor intensive manufacturing processes and the relatively higher fossil fuel prices make these systems more attractive for such applications in the developing countries.

  7. Fuel cell power plant economic and operational considerations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lance, J. R.

    1984-01-01

    Fuel cell power plants intended for electric utility and cogeneration applications are now in the design and construction stage. This paper describes economic and operational considerations being used in the development and design of plants utilizing air cooled phosphoric acid fuel cells. Fuel cell power plants have some unique characteristics relative to other types of power plants. As a result it was necessary to develop specific definitions of the fuel cell power plant characteristics in order to perform cost of electricity calculations. This paper describes these characteristics and describes the economic analyses used in the Westinghouse fuel cell power plant program.

  8. Enhancement of electricity production in a mediatorless air-cathode microbial fuel cell using Klebsiella sp. IR21.

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

    A novel dissimilatory iron-reducing bacteria, Klebsiella sp. IR21, was isolated from the anode biofilm of an MFC reactor. Klebsiella sp. IR21 reduced 27.8 % of ferric iron to ferrous iron demonstrating that Klebsiella sp. IR21 has electron transfer ability. Additionally, Klebsiella sp. IR21 generated electricity forming a biofilm on the anode surface. When a pure culture of Klebsiella sp. IR21 was supplied into a single chamber, air-cathode MFC fed with a mixture of glucose and acetate (500 mg L(-1) COD), 40-60 mV of voltage (17-26 mA m(-2) of current density) was produced. Klebsiella sp. IR21 was also utilized as a biocatalyst to improve the electrical performance of a conventional MFC reactor. A single chamber, air-cathode MFC was fed with reject wastewater (10,000 mg L(-1) COD) from a H2 fermentation reactor. The average voltage, current density, and power density were 142.9 ± 25.74 mV, 60.5 ± 11.61 mA m(-2), and 8.9 ± 3.65 mW m(-2), respectively, in the MFC without inoculation of Klebsiella sp. IR21. However, these electrical performances of the MFC were significantly increased to 204.7 ± 40.24 mV, 87.5 ± 17.20 mA m(-2), and 18.6 ± 7.23 mW m(-2), respectively, with inoculation of Klebsiella sp. IR21. The results indicate that Klebsiella sp. IR21 can be utilized as a biocatalyst for enhancement of electrical performance in MFC systems. PMID:26956141

  9. Carbonate fuel cell anodes

    DOEpatents

    Donado, R.A.; Hrdina, K.E.; Remick, R.J.

    1993-04-27

    A molten alkali metal carbonates fuel cell porous anode of lithium ferrite and a metal or metal alloy of nickel, cobalt, nickel/iron, cobalt/iron, nickel/iron/aluminum, cobalt/iron/aluminum and mixtures thereof wherein the total iron content including ferrite and iron of the composite is about 25 to about 80 percent, based upon the total anode, provided aluminum when present is less than about 5 weight percent of the anode. A process is described for production of the lithium ferrite containing anode by slipcasting.

  10. Carbonate fuel cell anodes

    DOEpatents

    Donado, Rafael A.; Hrdina, Kenneth E.; Remick, Robert J.

    1993-01-01

    A molten alkali metal carbonates fuel cell porous anode of lithium ferrite and a metal or metal alloy of nickel, cobalt, nickel/iron, cobalt/iron, nickel/iron/aluminum, cobalt/iron/aluminum and mixtures thereof wherein the total iron content including ferrite and iron of the composite is about 25 to about 80 percent, based upon the total anode, provided aluminum when present is less than about 5 weight percent of the anode. A process for production of the lithium ferrite containing anode by slipcasting.

  11. Fuel cell having electrolyte

    DOEpatents

    Wright, Maynard K.

    1989-01-01

    A fuel cell having an electrolyte control volume includes a pair of porous opposed electrodes. A maxtrix is positioned between the pair of electrodes for containing an electrolyte. A first layer of backing paper is positioned adjacent to one of the electrodes. A portion of the paper is substantially previous to the acceptance of the electrolyte so as to absorb electrolyte when there is an excess in the matrix and to desorb electrolyte when there is a shortage in the matrix. A second layer of backing paper is positioned adjacent to the first layer of paper and is substantially impervious to the acceptance of electrolyte.

  12. MOLTEN CARBONATE FUEL CELL PRODUCT DESIGN IMPROVEMENT

    SciTech Connect

    H.C. Maru; M. Farooque

    2004-08-01

    The ongoing program is designed to advance the carbonate fuel cell technology from full-size proof-of-concept field test to the commercial design. DOE has been funding Direct FuelCell{reg_sign} (DFC{reg_sign}) development at FuelCell Energy, Inc. (FCE) for stationary power plant applications. The program efforts are focused on technology and system optimization for cost reduction, leading to commercial design development and prototype system field trials. FCE, Danbury, CT, is a world-recognized leader for the development and commercialization of high efficiency fuel cells that can generate clean electricity at power stations, or at distributed locations near the customers such as hospitals, schools, universities, hotels and other commercial and industrial applications. FCE has designed three different fuel cell power plant models (DFC300A, DFC1500 and DFC3000). FCE's power plants are based on its patented DFC{reg_sign} technology, where the fuel is directly fed to the fuel cell and hydrogen is generated internally. These power plants offer significant advantages compared to the existing power generation technologies--higher fuel efficiency, significantly lower emissions, quieter operation, flexible siting and permitting requirements, scalability and potentially lower operating costs. Also, the exhaust heat by-product can be used for cogeneration applications such as high-pressure steam, district heating and air conditioning. Several FCE sub-megawatt power plants are currently operating in Europe, Japan and the US. Because hydrogen is generated directly within the fuel cell module from readily available fuels such as natural gas and waste water treatment gas, DFC power plants are ready today and do not require the creation of a hydrogen infrastructure. Product improvement progress made during the reporting period in the areas of technology, manufacturing processes, cost reduction and balance of plant equipment designs is discussed in this report.

  13. High specific power, direct methanol fuel cell stack

    DOEpatents

    Ramsey, John C.; Wilson, Mahlon S.

    2007-05-08

    The present invention is a fuel cell stack including at least one direct methanol fuel cell. A cathode manifold is used to convey ambient air to each fuel cell, and an anode manifold is used to convey liquid methanol fuel to each fuel cell. Tie-bolt penetrations and tie-bolts are spaced evenly around the perimeter to hold the fuel cell stack together. Each fuel cell uses two graphite-based plates. One plate includes a cathode active area that is defined by serpentine channels connecting the inlet manifold with an integral flow restrictor to the outlet manifold. The other plate includes an anode active area defined by serpentine channels connecting the inlet and outlet of the anode manifold. Located between the two plates is the fuel cell active region.

  14. Enrichment of anodic biofilm inoculated with anaerobic or aerobic sludge in single chambered air-cathode microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Gao, Chongyang; Wang, Aijie; Wu, Wei-Min; Yin, Yalin; Zhao, Yang-Guo

    2014-09-01

    Aerobic sludge after anaerobic pretreatment and anaerobic sludge were separately used as inoculum to start up air-cathode single-chamber MFCs. Aerobic sludge-inoculated MFCs arrived at 0.27 V with a maximum power density of 5.79 W m(-3), while anaerobic sludge-inoculated MFCs reached 0.21 V with 3.66 W m(-3). Microbial analysis with DGGE profiling and high-throughput sequencing indicated that aerobic sludge contained more diverse bacterial populations than anaerobic sludge. Nitrospira species dominated in aerobic sludge, while anaerobic sludge was dominated by Desulfurella and Acidithiobacillus species. Microbial community structure and composition in anodic biofilms enriched, respectively from aerobic and anaerobic sludges tended gradually to be similar. Potentially exoelectrogenic Geobacter and Anaeromusa species, biofilm-forming Zoogloea and Acinetobacter species were abundant in both anodic biofilms. This study indicated that aerobic sludge performed better for MFCs startup, and the enrichment of anodic microbial consortium with different inocula but same substrate resulted in uniformity of functional microbial communities. PMID:24973773

  15. Hybrid Fuel Cell Technology Overview

    SciTech Connect

    None available

    2001-05-31

    For the purpose of this STI product and unless otherwise stated, hybrid fuel cell systems are power generation systems in which a high temperature fuel cell is combined with another power generating technology. The resulting system exhibits a synergism in which the combination performs with an efficiency far greater than can be provided by either system alone. Hybrid fuel cell designs under development include fuel cell with gas turbine, fuel cell with reciprocating (piston) engine, and designs that combine different fuel cell technologies. Hybrid systems have been extensively analyzed and studied over the past five years by the Department of Energy (DOE), industry, and others. These efforts have revealed that this combination is capable of providing remarkably high efficiencies. This attribute, combined with an inherent low level of pollutant emission, suggests that hybrid systems are likely to serve as the next generation of advanced power generation systems.

  16. Unitized regenerative fuel cell system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burke, Kenneth A. (Inventor)

    2008-01-01

    A Unitized Regenerative Fuel Cell system uses heat pipes to convey waste heat from the fuel cell stack to the reactant storage tanks. The storage tanks act as heat sinks/sources and as passive radiators of the waste heat from the fuel cell stack. During charge up, i.e., the electrolytic process, gases are conveyed to the reactant storage tanks by way of tubes that include dryers. Reactant gases moving through the dryers give up energy to the cold tanks, causing water vapor in with the gases to condense and freeze on the internal surfaces of the dryer. During operation in its fuel cell mode, the heat pipes convey waste heat from the fuel cell stack to the respective reactant storage tanks, thereby heating them such that the reactant gases, as they pass though the respective dryers on their way to the fuel cell stacks retrieve the water previously removed.

  17. US Department of Energy fuel cell program for transportation applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patil, Pandit G.

    1992-01-01

    Fuel cells of offer promise as the best future replacement for internal combustion engines in transportation applications. Fuel cells operate more efficiently than internal combustion engines, and are capable of running on non-petroleum fuels such as methanol, ethanol, natural gas or hydrogen. Fuel cells can also have a major impact on improving air quality. They virtually eliminate particulates, NO(x) and sulfur oxide emissions, and significantly reduce hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide. The U.S. Department of Energy program on fuel cells for transportation applications is structured to advance fuel cells technologies from the R&D phase, through engineering design and scale-tip, to demonstration in cars, trucks, buses and locomotives, in order to provide energy savings, fuel flexibility and air quality improvements. This paper describes the present status of the U.S. program.

  18. Fuel cells: A handbook (Revision 3)

    SciTech Connect

    Hirschenhofer, J.H.; Stauffer, D.B.; Engleman, R.R.

    1994-01-01

    Fuel cells are electrochemical devices that convert the chemical energy of reaction directly into electrical energy. In a typical fuel cell, gaseous fuels are fed continuously to the anode (negative electrode) compartment and an oxidant (i.e., oxygen from air) is fed continuously to the cathode (positive electrode) compartment; the electrochemical reactions take place at the electrodes to produce an electric current. A fuel cell, although having similar components and several characteristics, differs from a typical battery in several respects. The battery is an energy storage device, that is, the maximum energy that is available is determined by the amount of chemical reactant stored within the battery itself. Thus, the battery will cease to produce electrical energy when the chemical reactants are consumed (i.e., discharged). In a secondary battery, the reactants are regenerated by recharging, which involves putting energy into the battery from an external source. The fuel cell, on the other hand, is an energy conversion device which theoretically has the capability of producing electrical energy for as long as the fuel and oxidant are supplied to the electrodes. In reality, degradation or malfunction of components limits the practical operating life of fuel cells.

  19. Fuel cell gas management system

    DOEpatents

    DuBose, Ronald Arthur

    2000-01-11

    A fuel cell gas management system including a cathode humidification system for transferring latent and sensible heat from an exhaust stream to the cathode inlet stream of the fuel cell; an anode humidity retention system for maintaining the total enthalpy of the anode stream exiting the fuel cell equal to the total enthalpy of the anode inlet stream; and a cooling water management system having segregated deionized water and cooling water loops interconnected by means of a brazed plate heat exchanger.

  20. Improved electrolytes for fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Gard, G.L.; Roe, D.K.

    1991-06-01

    Present day fuel cells based upon hydrogen and oxygen have limited performance due to the use of phosphoric acid as an electrolyte. Improved performance is desirable in electrolyte conductivity, electrolyte management, oxygen solubility, and the kinetics of the reduction of oxygen. Attention has turned to fluorosulfonic acids as additives or substitute electrolytes to improve fuel cell performance. The purpose of this project is to synthesize and electrochemically evaluate new fluorosulfonic acids as superior alternatives to phosphoric acid in fuel cells. (VC)

  1. Fuel cell design and assembly

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Myerhoff, Alfred (Inventor)

    1984-01-01

    The present invention is directed to a novel bipolar cooling plate, fuel cell design and method of assembly of fuel cells. The bipolar cooling plate used in the fuel cell design and method of assembly has discrete opposite edge and means carried by the plate defining a plurality of channels extending along the surface of the plate toward the opposite edges. At least one edge of the channels terminates short of the edge of the plate defining a recess for receiving a fastener.

  2. Opportunities for portable Ballard Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Voss, H.H.; Huff, J.R.

    1996-12-31

    With the increasing proliferation and sophistication of portable electronic devices in both commercial and military markets, the need has arisen for small, lightweight power supplies that can provide increased operating life over those presently available. A solution to this power problem is the development of portable Ballard Fuel Cell power systems that operate with a hydrogen fuel source and air. Ballard has developed PEM fuel cell stacks and power systems in the 25 to 100 watt range for both of these markets. For military use, Ballard has teamed with Ball Corporation and Hydrogen Consultants, Inc. and has provided the Ballard Fuel Cell stack for an ambient PEM fuel cell power system for the DoD. The system provides power from idle to I 00 watts and has the capability of delivering overloads of 125 watts for short periods of time. The system is designed to operate over a wide range of temperature, relative humidity and altitude. Hydrogen is supplied as a compressed gas, metal hydride or chemical hydride packaged in a unit that is mated to the power/control unit. The hydrogen sources provide 1.5, 5 and 15 kWh of operation, respectively. The design of the fuel cell power system enables the unit to operate at 12 volts or 24 volts depending upon the equipment being used. For commercial applications, as with the military, fuel cell power sources in the 25 to 500 watt range will be competing with advanced batteries. Ambient PEM fuel cell designs and demonstrators are being developed at 25 watts and other low power levels. Goals are minimum stack volume and weight and greatly enhanced operating life with reasonable system weight and volume. This paper will discuss ambient PEM fuel cell designs and performance and operating parameters for a number of power levels in the multiwatt range.

  3. Landfill gas pretreatment for fuel cell applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sandelli, G. J.; Trocciola, J. C.; Spiegel, R. J.

    1994-04-01

    The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed regulations (1) to control air emissions from municipal solid waste landfills. If these regulations are adopted, they would require waste methane mitigation in order to prevent emission into the atmosphere and reduce the effect on global warming. One potential use of the waste methane is in a device which produces energy, the fuel cell. This device would reduce air emissions affecting global warming, acid rain, and other health and environmental issues. By producing useable energy, it would also reduce our dependency on foreign oil. This paper discusses the US EPA program underway at International Fuel Cells Corporation to demonstrate landfill methane control, and the fuel cell energy recovery concept. In this program, two critical issues needed to be addressed: (1) a landfill gas cleanup method that would remove contaminants from the gas sufficient for fuel cell operation; and (2) successful operation of a commercial fuel cell power plant on that lower-heating value waste methane gas.

  4. Orbiter fuel cell improvement assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, R. E.

    1981-01-01

    The history of fuel cells and the theory of fuel cells is given. Expressions for thermodynamic and electrical efficiencies are developed. The voltage losses due to electrode activation, ohmic resistance and ionic diffusion are discussed. Present limitations of the Orbiter Fuel Cell, as well as proposed enhancements, are given. These enhancements are then evaluated and recommendations are given for fuel cell enhancement both for short-range as well as long-range performance improvement. Estimates of reliability and cost savings are given for enhancements where possible.

  5. CLIMATE CHANGE FUEL CELL PROGRAM

    SciTech Connect

    Steven A. Gabrielle

    2004-12-03

    This report discusses the first year of operation of a fuel cell power plant located at the Sheraton Edison Hotel, Edison, New Jersey. PPL EnergyPlus, LLC installed the plant under a contract with the Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. A DFC{reg_sign}300 fuel cell, manufactured by FuelCell Energy, Inc. of Danbury, CT was selected for the project. The fuel cell successfully operated from June 2003 to May 2004. This report discusses the performance of the plant during this period.

  6. Molten carbonate fuel cell separator

    DOEpatents

    Nickols, Richard C.

    1986-09-02

    In a stacked array of molten carbonate fuel cells, a fuel cell separator is positioned between adjacent fuel cells to provide isolation as well as a conductive path therebetween. The center portion of the fuel cell separator includes a generally rectangular, flat, electrical conductor. Around the periphery of the flat portion of the separator are positioned a plurality of elongated resilient flanges which form a gas-tight seal around the edges of the fuel cell. With one elongated flange resiliently engaging a respective edge of the center portion of the separator, the sealing flanges, which are preferably comprised of a noncorrosive material such as an alloy of yttrium, iron, aluminum or chromium, form a tight-fitting wet seal for confining the corrosive elements of the fuel cell therein. This arrangement permits a good conductive material which may be highly subject to corrosion and dissolution to be used in combination with a corrosion-resistant material in the fuel cell separator of a molten carbonate fuel cell for improved fuel cell conductivity and a gas-tight wet seal.

  7. Molten carbonate fuel cell separator

    DOEpatents

    Nickols, R.C.

    1984-10-17

    In a stacked array of molten carbonate fuel cells, a fuel cell separator is positioned between adjacent fuel cells to provide isolation as well as a conductive path therebetween. The center portion of the fuel cell separator includes a generally rectangular, flat, electrical conductor. Around the periphery of the flat portion of the separator are positioned a plurality of elongated resilient flanges which form a gas-tight seal around the edges of the fuel cell. With one elongated flange resiliently engaging a respective edge of the center portion of the separator, the sealing flanges, which are preferably comprised of a noncorrosive material such as an alloy of yttrium, iron, aluminum or chromium, form a tight-fitting wet seal for confining the corrosive elements of the fuel cell therein. This arrangement permits a good conductive material which may be highly subject to corrosion and dissolution to be used in combination with a corrosion-resistant material in the fuel cell separator of a molten carbonate fuel cell for improved fuel cell conductivity and a gas-tight wet seal.

  8. Small airblast fuel nozzle with high efficiency inner air swirler

    SciTech Connect

    Koblish, T.R.; Bell, L.D.

    1992-09-08

    This patent describes a gas turbine engine wherein upon cold ignition a stagnation air pressure of generally about 1 to about 1 [1/2] inches of water is supplied by the compressor to airblast fuel nozzles communicating with the combustor, means for introducing fuel into the chamber and air inlet passages space apart around the nozzle body upstream of the fuel discharge orifice and extending from the chamber to the exterior of the nozzle body for receiving air at the the stagnation air pressure, each air passage having converging sections canted relative to one another effective to provide an air pressure in the inner air swirl chamber of at least about 70% of the stagnation air pressure for enhancing inner air swirl strength for fuel atomization and cold ignition of the engine.

  9. Fuel Cell Powered Lift Truck

    SciTech Connect

    Moulden, Steve

    2015-08-20

    This project, entitled “Recovery Act: Fuel Cell-Powered Lift Truck Sysco (Houston) Fleet Deployment”, was in response to DOE funding opportunity announcement DE-PS36-08GO98009, Topic 7B, which promotes the deployment of fuel cell powered material handling equipment in large, multi-shift distribution centers. This project promoted large-volume commercialdeployments and helped to create a market pull for material handling equipment (MHE) powered fuel cell systems. Specific outcomes and benefits involved the proliferation of fuel cell systems in 5-to 20-kW lift trucks at a high-profile, real-world site that demonstrated the benefits of fuel cell technology and served as a focal point for other nascent customers. The project allowed for the creation of expertise in providing service and support for MHE fuel cell powered systems, growth of existing product manufacturing expertise, and promoted existing fuel cell system and component companies. The project also stimulated other MHE fleet conversions helping to speed the adoption of fuel cell systems and hydrogen fueling technology. This document also contains the lessons learned during the project in order to communicate the successes and difficulties experienced, which could potentially assist others planning similar projects.

  10. Effect of fuel/air nonuniformity on nitric oxide emissions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lyons, V. J.

    1979-01-01

    A flame tube combustor holding jet A fuel was used in experiments performed at a pressure of .3 Mpa and a reference velocity of 25 meters/second for three inlet air temperatures of 600, 700, and 800 K. The gas sample measurements were taken at locations 18 cm and 48 cm downstream of the perforated plate flameholder. Nonuniform fuel/air profiles were produced using a fuel injector by separately fueling the inner five fuel tubes and the outer ring of twelve fuel tubes. Six fuel/air profiles were produced for nominal overall equivalence ratios of .5 and .6. An example of three of three of these profiles and their resultant nitric oxide NOx emissions are presented. The uniform fuel/air profile cases produced uniform and relatively low profile levels. When the profiles were either center-peaked or edge-peaked, the overall mass-weighted nitric oxide levels increased.

  11. 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.

  12. Design considerations for miniaturized PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyers, Jeremy P.; Maynard, Helen L.

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

  13. Technology Status: Fuel Cells and Electrolysis Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcbryar, H.

    1978-01-01

    The status of the baselined shuttle fuel cell as well as the acid membrane fuel cell and space-oriented water electrolysis technologies are presented. The more recent advances in the alkaline fuel cell technology area are the subject of a companion paper. A preliminary plan for the focusing of these technologies towards regenerative energy storage applications in the multi-hundred kilowatt range is also discussed.

  14. 1986 fuel cell seminar: Program and abstracts

    SciTech Connect

    1986-10-01

    Ninety nine brief papers are arranged under the following session headings: gas industry's 40 kw program, solid oxide fuel cell technology, phosphoric acid fuel cell technology, molten carbonate fuel cell technology, phosphoric acid fuel cell systems, power plants technology, fuel cell power plant designs, unconventional fuels, fuel cell application and economic assessments, and plans for commerical development. The papers are processed separately for the data base. (DLC)

  15. Solid oxide fuel cell operable over wide temperature range

    DOEpatents

    Baozhen, Li; Ruka, Roswell J.; Singhal, Subhash C.

    2001-01-01

    Solid oxide fuel cells having improved low-temperature operation are disclosed. In one embodiment, an interfacial layer of terbia-stabilized zirconia is located between the air electrode and electrolyte of the solid oxide fuel cell. The interfacial layer provides a barrier which controls interaction between the air electrode and electrolyte. The interfacial layer also reduces polarization loss through the reduction of the air electrode/electrolyte interfacial electrical resistance. In another embodiment, the solid oxide fuel cell comprises a scandia-stabilized zirconia electrolyte having high electrical conductivity. The scandia-stabilized zirconia electrolyte may be provided as a very thin layer in order to reduce resistance. The scandia-stabilized electrolyte is preferably used in combination with the terbia-stabilized interfacial layer. The solid oxide fuel cells are operable over wider temperature ranges and wider temperature gradients in comparison with conventional fuel cells.

  16. Near-ambient solid polymer fuel cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holleck, G. L.

    1993-01-01

    Fuel cells are extremely attractive for extraterrestrial and terrestrial applications because of their high energy conversion efficiency without noise or environmental pollution. Among the various fuel cell systems the advanced polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells based on sulfonated fluoropolymers (e.g., Nafion) are particularly attractive because they are fairly rugged, solid state, quite conductive, of good chemical and thermal stability and show good oxygen reduction kinetics due to the low specific adsorption of the electrolyte on the platinum catalyst. The objective of this program is to develop a solid polymer fuel cell which can efficiently operate at near ambient temperatures without ancillary components for humidification and/or pressurization of the fuel or oxidant gases. During the Phase 1 effort we fabricated novel integral electrode-membrane structures where the dispersed platinum catalyst is precipitated within the Nafion ionomer. This resulted in electrode-membrane units without interfacial barriers permitting unhindered water diffusion from cathode to anode. The integral electrode-membrane structures were tested as fuel cells operating on H2 and O2 or air at 1 to 2 atm and 10 to 50 C without gas humidification. We demonstrated that cells with completely dry membranes could be self started at room temperature and subsequently operated on dry gas for extended time. Typical room temperature low pressure operation with unoptimized electrodes yielded 100 mA/cm(exp 2) at 0.5V and maximum currents over 300 mA/cm(exp 2) with low platinum loadings. Our results clearly demonstrate that operation of proton exchange membrane fuel cells at ambient conditions is feasible. Optimization of the electrode-membrane structure is necessary to assess the full performance potential but we expect significant gains in weight and volume power density for the system. The reduced complexity will make fuel cells also attractive for smaller and portable power supplies and as

  17. Solid oxide fuel cell generator

    DOEpatents

    Draper, Robert; George, Raymond A.; Shockling, Larry A.

    1993-01-01

    A solid oxide fuel cell generator has a pair of spaced apart tubesheets in a housing. At least two intermediate barrier walls are between the tubesheets and define a generator chamber between two intermediate buffer chambers. An array of fuel cells have tubes with open ends engaging the tubesheets. Tubular, axially elongated electrochemical cells are supported on the tubes in the generator chamber. Fuel gas and oxidant gas are preheated in the intermediate chambers by the gases flowing on the other side of the tubes. Gas leakage around the tubes through the tubesheets is permitted. The buffer chambers reentrain the leaked fuel gas for reintroduction to the generator chamber.

  18. Solid oxide fuel cell generator

    DOEpatents

    Draper, R.; George, R.A.; Shockling, L.A.

    1993-04-06

    A solid oxide fuel cell generator has a pair of spaced apart tubesheets in a housing. At least two intermediate barrier walls are between the tubesheets and define a generator chamber between two intermediate buffer chambers. An array of fuel cells have tubes with open ends engaging the tubesheets. Tubular, axially elongated electrochemical cells are supported on the tubes in the generator chamber. Fuel gas and oxidant gas are preheated in the intermediate chambers by the gases flowing on the other side of the tubes. Gas leakage around the tubes through the tubesheets is permitted. The buffer chambers reentrain the leaked fuel gas for reintroduction to the generator chamber.

  19. Defense applications of fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barthelemy, R. R.

    Applications and developmental efforts by the service branches of the U.S. toward implementation of fuel cells for military purposes are reviewed. The fuel cells are being produced as a petroleum fuel substitute and are foreseen to offer quieter, more efficient power at less expense, with lower logistic problems, and to possess cogeneration potential. Applications are indicated for mobile, remote, facility, and emergency/auxiliary power systems. The systems range from one kilowatt to several MW, and can be interfaced with weapon systems. Research in phosphoric acid fuel cells is noted, as are applications in space, undersea, and in aircraft.

  20. Solid-oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fee, D. C.; Ackerman, J. P.

    Solid-Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) systems offer significant advantages for a variety of fuels and applications. The simplicity and high efficiency of a direct reforming, contaminant-tolerant power system is advantageous for small natural gas or volatile liquid-fueled utility and industrial congeneration plants, as well as residential use. The further gain in efficiency from the incorporation of a bottoming cycle in large-scale plants is advantageous for coal-fueled utility baseload or industrial cogeneration facilities. Development of SOFC components is well advanced. The present effort focuses on improving cell life and performance as well as integration of cells into an array.

  1. Electrode electrolyte interlayers containing cerium oxide for electrochemical fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Borglum, Brian P.; Bessette, Norman F.

    2000-01-01

    An electrochemical cell is made having a porous fuel electrode (16) and a porous air electrode (13), with solid oxide electrolyte (15) therebetween, where the air electrode surface opposing the electrolyte has a separate, attached, dense, continuous layer (14) of a material containing cerium oxide, and where electrolyte (16) contacts the continuous oxide layer (14), without contacting the air electrode (13).

  2. PEM fuel cell degradation

    SciTech Connect

    Borup, Rodney L; Mukundan, Rangachary

    2010-01-01

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

  3. Microbial fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Nealson, Kenneth H; Pirbazari, Massoud; Hsu, Lewis

    2013-04-09

    A microbial fuel cell includes an anode compartment with an anode and an anode biocatalyst and a cathode compartment with a cathode and a cathode biocatalyst, with a membrane positioned between the anode compartment and the cathode compartment, and an electrical pathway between the anode and the cathode. The anode biocatalyst is capable of catalyzing oxidation of an organic substance, and the cathode biocatalyst is capable of catalyzing reduction of an inorganic substance. The reduced organic substance can form a precipitate, thereby removing the inorganic substance from solution. In some cases, the anode biocatalyst is capable of catalyzing oxidation of an inorganic substance, and the cathode biocatalyst is capable of catalyzing reduction of an organic or inorganic substance.

  4. Fuel cells: Hydrogen induced insulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Wei; Shao, Zongping

    2016-06-01

    Coupling high ionic and low electronic conductivity in the electrolyte of low-temperature solid-oxide fuel cells remains a challenge. Now, the electronic conductivity of a perovskite electrolyte, which has high proton conductivity, is shown to be heavily suppressed when exposed to hydrogen, leading to high fuel cell performance.

  5. Zirconia fuel cells and electrolyzers

    SciTech Connect

    Isaacs, H.S.

    1980-01-01

    A review of the historical development, operation, and problems of solid oxide electrolyte fuel cells and electrolyzers is given. The thermodynamic principles of operation are reviewed, and the overvoltage losses during operation of fuel cells and steam electrolyzers are discussed including physical factors and electrochemical factors. (WHK)

  6. Bronx Zoo Fuel Cell Project

    SciTech Connect

    Hoang Pham

    2007-09-30

    A 200 kW Fuel Cell has been installed in the Lion House, Bronx Zoo, NY. The Fuel Cell is a 200 kW phosphoric acid type manufactured by United Technologies Corporation (UTC) and will provide thermal energy at 725,000 Btu/hr.

  7. Bonded polyimide fuel cell package

    DOEpatents

    Morse, Jeffrey D.; Jankowski, Alan; Graff, Robert T.; Bettencourt, Kerry

    2010-06-08

    Described herein are processes for fabricating microfluidic fuel cell systems with embedded components in which micron-scale features are formed by bonding layers of DuPont Kapton.TM. polyimide laminate. A microfluidic fuel cell system fabricated using this process is also described.

  8. Energy 101: Fuel Cell Technology

    ScienceCinema

    None

    2014-06-06

    Learn how fuel cell technology generates clean electricity from hydrogen to power our buildings and transportation-while emitting nothing but water. This video illustrates the fundamentals of fuel cell technology and its potential to supply our homes, offices, industries, and vehicles with sustainable, reliable energy.

  9. Energy 101: Fuel Cell Technology

    SciTech Connect

    2014-03-11

    Learn how fuel cell technology generates clean electricity from hydrogen to power our buildings and transportation-while emitting nothing but water. This video illustrates the fundamentals of fuel cell technology and its potential to supply our homes, offices, industries, and vehicles with sustainable, reliable energy.

  10. Commercializing fuel cells: managing risks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bos, Peter B.

    Commercialization of fuel cells, like any other product, entails both financial and technical risks. Most of the fuel cell literature has focussed upon technical risks, however, the most significant risks during commercialization may well be associated with the financial funding requirements of this process. Successful commercialization requires an integrated management of these risks. Like any developing technology, fuel cells face the typical 'Catch-22' of commercialization: "to enter the market, the production costs must come down, however, to lower these costs, the cumulative production must be greatly increased, i.e. significant market penetration must occur". Unless explicit steps are taken to address this dilemma, fuel cell commercialization will remain slow and require large subsidies for market entry. To successfully address this commercialization dilemma, it is necessary to follow a market-driven commercialization strategy that identifies high-value entry markets while minimizing the financial and technical risks of market entry. The financial and technical risks of fuel cell commercialization are minimized, both for vendors and end-users, with the initial market entry of small-scale systems into high-value stationary applications. Small-scale systems, in the order of 1-40 kW, benefit from economies of production — as opposed to economies to scale — to attain rapid cost reductions from production learning and continuous technological innovation. These capital costs reductions will accelerate their commercialization through market pull as the fuel cell systems become progressively more viable, starting with various high-value stationary and, eventually, for high-volume mobile applications. To facilitate market penetration via market pull, fuel cell systems must meet market-derived economic and technical specifications and be compatible with existing market and fuels infrastructures. Compatibility with the fuels infrastructure is facilitated by a

  11. Fuel cell system with interconnect

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Zhien; Goettler, Richard

    2015-09-29

    The present invention includes a fuel cell system having a plurality of adjacent electrochemical cells formed of an anode layer, a cathode layer spaced apart from the anode layer, and an electrolyte layer disposed between the anode layer and the cathode layer. The fuel cell system also includes at least one interconnect, the interconnect being structured to conduct free electrons between adjacent electrochemical cells. Each interconnect includes a primary conductor embedded within the electrolyte layer and structured to conduct the free electrons.

  12. Fuel cell system with interconnect

    SciTech Connect

    Goettler, Richard; Liu, Zhien

    2015-08-11

    The present invention includes a fuel cell system having a plurality of adjacent electrochemical cells formed of an anode layer, a cathode layer spaced apart from the anode layer, and an electrolyte layer disposed between the anode layer and the cathode layer. The fuel cell system also includes at least one interconnect, the interconnect being structured to conduct free electrons between adjacent electrochemical cells. Each interconnect includes a primary conductor embedded within the electrolyte layer and structured to conduct the free electrons.

  13. Fuel cell system with interconnect

    SciTech Connect

    Goettler, Richard; Liu, Zhien

    2015-03-10

    The present invention includes a fuel cell system having a plurality of adjacent electrochemical cells formed of an anode layer, a cathode layer spaced apart from the anode layer, and an electrolyte layer disposed between the anode layer and the cathode layer. The fuel cell system also includes at least one interconnect, the interconnect being structured to conduct free electrons between adjacent electrochemical cells. Each interconnect includes a primary conductor embedded within the electrolyte layer and structured to conduct the free electrons.

  14. Fuel Cells: Status and Technical/Economic Needs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rambach, Glenn

    1996-01-01

    The need for fuel cell and alternative fuels has become increasingly important in that the U.S. spends 1 billion dollars per week to import oil, and is expected to import 80-100 billion per year in oil by the year 2010. These imports account for half of our oil supply. If 20% of the U.S. vehicle fleet were powered by fuel cells there would be: an offset 1.1 million barrels of oil per day; and a reduction of 2 million tons per year of regulated air pollutants. Fueling fuel cells with hydrogen from reformed natural gas results in more than 90% reduction in regulated emissions, and a 70% reduction in CO2, a greenhouse gas. And fueling fuel cells with hydrogen from renewables (wind, solar geothermal, hydro) results in total elimination of all emissions. When fuel cells become commercialized: they will improve America's economic competitiveness; and the regions where they are produced will benefit economically.

  15. Parametric Design Studies on a Direct Liquid Feed Fuel Cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frank, H. A.; Narayanan, S. R.; Nakamura, B.; Surampudi, S.; Halpert, G.

    1995-01-01

    Parametric design studies were carried out on a direct methanol liquid feed fuel cell employing 1 M MeOH fuel, air and oxygen as oxidant in a 2 inch x 2 inch cell employing polymeric electrolyte membranes. Measurements include voltage-current output parameters, methanol crossover rate, and impedance as a function of several design and operational variables. Design variables are described.

  16. Fuel cell applications literature review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nochumson, D. H.; Altseimer, J. H.; Williamson, K. D., Jr.; Frank, J. A.; Peaslee, A. T.; Martinez, A. J.; Stroup, C. A.

    1985-03-01

    The fuel cell applications literature is reviewed and evaluated. The purpose is to identify those applications that show promise. Over 40 computerized data bases were queried, and over 4000 abstracts were screened, resulting in the selection of over 600 pertinent documents that were entered into a fuel cell applications computerized data base. These documents were reviewed and evaluated. Fuel cells will need to be manufactured at low cost in order to compete against internal combustion engines for land transportation applications. Further study is recommended to evaluate fuel cell use in both fixed applications (industrial, institutional, and military) and mobile applications (marine, aircraft, space, and military land transportation). In addition to the recommendations of this report, a computerized data base of literature covering fuel cell uses and applications has been established and is available for use.

  17. Configuration and performance of fuel cell-combined cycle options

    SciTech Connect

    Rath, L.K.; Le, P.H.; Sudhoff, F.A.

    1995-12-31

    The natural gas, indirect-fired, carbonate fuel-cell-bottomed, combined cycle (NG-IFCFC) and the topping natural-gas/solid-oxide fuel-cell combined cycle (NG-SOFCCC) are introduced as novel power-plant systems for the distributed power and on-site markets in the 20-200 mega-watt (MW) size range. The novel NG-IFCFC power-plant system configures the ambient pressure molten-carbonate fuel cell (MCFC) with a gas turbine, air compressor, combustor, and ceramic heat exchanger: The topping solid-oxide fuel-cell (SOFC) combined cycle is not new. The purpose of combining a gas turbine with a fuel cell was to inject pressurized air into a high-pressure fuel cell and to reduce the size, and thereby, to reduce the cost of the fuel cell. Today, the SOFC remains pressurized, but excess chemical energy is combusted and the thermal energy is utilized by the Carnot cycle heat engine to complete the system. ASPEN performance results indicate efficiencies and heat rates for the NG-IFCFC or NG-SOFCCC are better than conventional fuel cell or gas turbine steam-bottomed cycles, but with smaller and less expensive components. Fuel cell and gas turbine systems should not be viewed as competitors, but as an opportunity to expand to markets where neither gas turbines nor fuel cells alone would be commercially viable. Non-attainment areas are the most likely markets.

  18. MOLTEN CARBONATE FUEL CELL PRODUCT DESIGN IMPROVEMENT

    SciTech Connect

    H. C. Maru; M. Farooque

    2003-12-19

    The ongoing program is designed to advance the carbonate fuel cell technology from full-size proof-of-concept field test to the commercial design. DOE has been funding Direct FuelCell{reg_sign} (DFC{reg_sign}) development at FuelCell Energy, Inc. (FCE) for stationary power plant applications. The program efforts are focused on technology and system optimization for cost reduction leading to commercial design development and prototype system field trials. FCE, Danbury, CT, is a world-recognized leader for the development and commercialization of high efficiency fuel cells that can generate clean electricity at power stations or in distributed locations near the customer, including hospitals, schools, universities, hotels and other commercial and industrial applications. FuelCell Energy has designed three different fuel cell power plant models (DFC300, DFC1500 and DFC3000). FCE's power plants are based on its patented Direct FuelCell technology, where the fuel is directly fed to fuel cell and hydrogen is generated internally. These power plants offer significant advantages compared to existing power generation technologies--higher fuel efficiency, significantly lower emissions, quieter operation, flexible siting and permitting requirements, scalability and potentially lower operating costs. Also, the exhaust heat by-product can be used for cogeneration applications such as high-pressure steam, district heating, and air conditioning. Several FCE sub-megawatt power plants are currently operating in Europe, Japan and the US. Because hydrogen is generated directly within the fuel cell module from readily available fuels such as natural gas and waste water treatment gas, DFC power plants are ready today and do not require the creation of a hydrogen infrastructure. Product improvement progress made during the reporting period in the areas of technology, manufacturing processes, cost reduction and balance of plant equipment designs is discussed in this report. FCE's DFC

  19. Fuel cells for vehicle propulsion applications: A preliminary comparison

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, R.; Krumpelt, M.; Myles, K. M.; Nelson, P. A.

    Fuel cells are being considered seriously as a potential replacement for internal combustion engines in buses, vans, and ultimately passenger cars. Concern for air quality in urban areas, the possibility of better fuel efficiency, and the prospect of using coal- or biomass-derived alcohols rather than imported oil as fuel are the major motivations. The challenges are to reduce the capital cost of the fuel cell systems and to adapt them for automative use. This study was conducted to make a preliminary comparison of the major types of fuel cells for vehicle propulsion applications. Simplified schematic flow sheets were devised for different fuel cell types. These flow sheets were then used for thermodynamic analyses. Other factors investigated include startup, transient response capability, and system complexity, but no attempt was made to analyze system behavior with reference to any specific driving cycle. For these analyses, fuel cell systems of 60 kWe (gross) were used, equivalent to the approx. 55 kWe battery systems required for advanced electric vans. Four fuel cell types were considered in this study: phosphoric acid (PAFC), proton exchange membrane (PEM), molten carbonate (MCFC), and monolithic acid oxide (MSOFC). Although an experimental van has been successfully operated with an alkaline fuel cell on bottled hydrogen fuel in Europe, this type of fuel cell was not considered in this study. In our view, the alkaline fuel cell is not compatible with alcohol fuels because of the CO2.

  20. Climate Change Fuel Cell Program

    SciTech Connect

    Alice M. Gitchell

    2006-09-15

    A 200 kW, natural gas fired fuel cell was installed at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. The purpose of this project was to demonstrate the financial and operational suitability of retrofit fuel cell technology at a medium sized college. Target audience was design professionals and the wider community, with emphasis on use in higher education. ''Waste'' heat from the fuel cell was utilized to supplement boiler operations and provide domestic hot water. Instrumentation was installed in order to measure the effectiveness of heat utilization. It was determined that 26% of the available heat was captured during the first year of operation. The economics of the fuel cell is highly dependent on the prices of electricity and natural gas. Considering only fuel consumed and energy produced (adjusted for boiler efficiency), the fuel cell saved $54,000 in its first year of operation. However, taking into account the price of maintenance and the cost of financing over the short five-year life span, the fuel cell operated at a loss, despite generous subsidies. As an educational tool and market stimulus, the fuel cell attracted considerable attention, both from design professionals and the general public.

  1. Lithium-Air Cell Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reid, Concha M.; Dobley, Arthur; Seymour, Frasier W.

    2014-01-01

    Lithium-air (Li-air) primary batteries have a theoretical specific capacity of 11,400 Wh/kg, the highest of any common metal-air system. NASA is developing Li-air technology for a Mobile Oxygen Concentrator for Spacecraft Emergencies, an application which requires an extremely lightweight primary battery that can discharge over 24 hours continuously. Several vendors were funded through the NASA SBIR program to develop Li-air technology to fulfill the requirements of this application. New catalysts and carbon cathode structures were developed to enhance the oxygen reduction reaction and increase surface area to improve cell performance. Techniques to stabilize the lithium metal anode surface were explored. Experimental results for prototype laboratory cells are given. Projections are made for the performance of hypothetical cells constructed from the materials that were developed.

  2. A dynamic simulation tool for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, R. M.; Hauer, K. H.; Friedman, D.; Cunningham, J.; Badrinarayanan, P.; Ramaswamy, S.; Eggert, A.

    This paper describes a dynamic fuel cell vehicle simulation (FCVSim) tool for the load-following direct-hydrogen (DH) fuel cell vehicle. The emphasis is on simulation of the direct-hydrogen fuel cell system (FC System) within the vehicle simulation tool. This paper is focused on the subsystems that are specific to the load-following direct-hydrogen model. The four major subsystems discussed are the fuel cell stack, the air supply, the water and thermal management (WTM), and the hydrogen supply. The discussion provides the details of these subsystem simulations. The basic vehicle configuration has been previously outlined by Hauer [An Analysis Tool For Fuel Cell Vehicle Hardware and Software (Controls) with an Application to Fuel Economy Comparisons of Alternative System Designs, Dissertation, UC California, Davis, USA, 2001] and Hauer and Moore [Fuel Cells for Automotive Applications, Professional Engineering Publishing, 2003, pp. 157-177, ISBN 1860584233] and is only briefly reviewed in this paper.

  3. Indirect-fired gas turbine dual fuel cell power cycle

    DOEpatents

    Micheli, Paul L.; Williams, Mark C.; Sudhoff, Frederick A.

    1996-01-01

    A fuel cell and gas turbine combined cycle system which includes dual fuel cell cycles combined with a gas turbine cycle wherein a solid oxide fuel cell cycle operated at a pressure of between 6 to 15 atms tops the turbine cycle and is used to produce CO.sub.2 for a molten carbonate fuel cell cycle which bottoms the turbine and is operated at essentially atmospheric pressure. A high pressure combustor is used to combust the excess fuel from the topping fuel cell cycle to further heat the pressurized gas driving the turbine. A low pressure combustor is used to combust the excess fuel from the bottoming fuel cell to reheat the gas stream passing out of the turbine which is used to preheat the pressurized air stream entering the topping fuel cell before passing into the bottoming fuel cell cathode. The CO.sub.2 generated in the solid oxide fuel cell cycle cascades through the system to the molten carbonate fuel cell cycle cathode.

  4. Navy fuel cell demonstration project.

    SciTech Connect

    Black, Billy D.; Akhil, Abbas Ali

    2008-08-01

    This is the final report on a field evaluation by the Department of the Navy of twenty 5-kW PEM fuel cells carried out during 2004 and 2005 at five Navy sites located in New York, California, and Hawaii. The key objective of the effort was to obtain an engineering assessment of their military applications. Particular issues of interest were fuel cell cost, performance, reliability, and the readiness of commercial fuel cells for use as a standalone (grid-independent) power option. Two corollary objectives of the demonstration were to promote technological advances and to improve fuel performance and reliability. From a cost perspective, the capital cost of PEM fuel cells at this stage of their development is high compared to other power generation technologies. Sandia National Laboratories technical recommendation to the Navy is to remain involved in evaluating successive generations of this technology, particularly in locations with greater environmental extremes, and it encourages their increased use by the Navy.

  5. Air Force Achieves Fuel Efficiency through Industry Best Practices

    SciTech Connect

    2012-12-01

    The U.S. Air Force’s Air Mobility Command (AMC) is changing the way it does business. It is saving energy and money through an aircraft fleet fuel-efficiency program inspired by private industry best practices and ideas resulting from the empowered fuel savings culture.

  6. Advanced-fuel-cell development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierce, R. D.; Arons, R. M.; Dusek, J. T.; Fraioli, A. V.; Kucera, G. H.; Sim, J. W.; Smith, J. L.

    1982-08-01

    Fuel cell research and development activities are described. The efforts are directed toward: (1) understanding of component behavior in molten carbonate fuel cells, and (2) developing alternative concepts for components. The principal focus was on the development of sintered gamma LiAlO2 electrolyte supports, stable NiO cathodes, and hydrogen diffusion barriers. Cell tests were performed to assess diffusion barriers and to study cathode voltage relaxation following current interruption.

  7. Corrosion resistant PEM fuel cell

    DOEpatents

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

    1997-04-29

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

  8. Fuel cell with internal flow control

    DOEpatents

    Haltiner, Jr., Karl J.; Venkiteswaran, Arun

    2012-06-12

    A fuel cell stack is provided with a plurality of fuel cell cassettes where each fuel cell cassette has a fuel cell with an anode and cathode. The fuel cell stack includes an anode supply chimney for supplying fuel to the anode of each fuel cell cassette, an anode return chimney for removing anode exhaust from the anode of each fuel cell cassette, a cathode supply chimney for supplying oxidant to the cathode of each fuel cell cassette, and a cathode return chimney for removing cathode exhaust from the cathode of each fuel cell cassette. A first fuel cell cassette includes a flow control member disposed between the anode supply chimney and the anode return chimney or between the cathode supply chimney and the cathode return chimney such that the flow control member provides a flow restriction different from at least one other fuel cell cassettes.

  9. Climate Change Fuel Cell Program

    SciTech Connect

    Paul Belard

    2006-09-21

    Verizon is presently operating the largest Distributed Generation Fuel Cell project in the USA. Situated in Long Island, NY, the power plant is composed of seven (7) fuel cells operating in parallel with the Utility grid from the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). Each fuel cell has an output of 200 kW, for a total of 1.4 mW generated from the on-site plant. The remaining power to meet the facility demand is purchased from LIPA. The fuel cell plant is utilized as a co-generation system. A by-product of the fuel cell electric generation process is high temperature water. The heat content of this water is recovered from the fuel cells and used to drive two absorption chillers in the summer and a steam generator in the winter. Cost savings from the operations of the fuel cells are forecasted to be in excess of $250,000 per year. Annual NOx emissions reductions are equivalent to removing 1020 motor vehicles from roadways. Further, approximately 5.45 million metric tons (5 millions tons) of CO2 per year will not be generated as a result of this clean power generation. The project was partially financed with grants from the New York State Energy R&D Authority (NYSERDA) and from Federal Government Departments of Defense and Energy.

  10. Fuel Cell Research

    SciTech Connect

    Weber, Peter M.

    2014-03-30

    Executive Summary In conjunction with the Brown Energy Initiative, research Projects selected for the fuel cell research grant were selected on the following criteria: They should be fundamental research that has the potential to significantly impact the nation’s energy infrastructure. They should be scientifically exciting and sound. They should synthesize new materials, lead to greater insights, explore new phenomena, or design new devices or processes that are of relevance to solving the energy problems. They involve top-caliper senior scientists with a record of accomplishment, or junior faculty with outstanding promise of achievement. They should promise to yield at least preliminary results within the given funding period, which would warrant further research development. They should fit into the overall mission of the Brown Energy Initiative, and the investigators should contribute as partners to an intellectually stimulating environment focused on energy science. Based on these criteria, fourteen faculty across three disciplines (Chemistry, Physics and Engineering) and the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory were selected to participate in this effort.1 In total, there were 30 people supported, at some level, on these projects. This report highlights the findings and research outcomes of the participating researchers.

  11. Chip integrated fuel cell accumulator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frank, M.; Erdler, G.; Frerichs, H.-P.; Müller, C.; Reinecke, H.

    A unique new design of a chip integrated fuel cell accumulator is presented. The system combines an electrolyser and a self-breathing polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell with integrated palladium hydrogen storage on a silicon substrate. Outstanding advantages of this assembly are the fuel cell with integrated hydrogen storage, the possibility of refuelling it by electrolysis and the opportunity of simply refilling the electrolyte by adding water. By applying an electrical current, wiring the palladium hydrogen storage as cathode and the counter-electrode as anode, the electrolyser produces hydrogen at the palladium surface and oxygen at the electrolyser cell anode. The generated hydrogen is absorbed by the palladium electrode and the hydrogen storage is refilled consequently enabling the fuel cell to function.

  12. Micro-Tubular Fuel Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kimble, Michael C.; Anderson, Everett B.; Jayne, Karen D.; Woodman, Alan S.

    2004-01-01

    Micro-tubular fuel cells that would operate at power levels on the order of hundreds of watts or less are under development as alternatives to batteries in numerous products - portable power tools, cellular telephones, laptop computers, portable television receivers, and small robotic vehicles, to name a few examples. Micro-tubular fuel cells exploit advances in the art of proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells. The main advantage of the micro-tubular fuel cells over the plate-and-frame fuel cells would be higher power densities: Whereas the mass and volume power densities of low-pressure hydrogen-and-oxygen-fuel plate-and-frame fuel cells designed to operate in the targeted power range are typically less than 0.1 W/g and 0.1 kW/L, micro-tubular fuel cells are expected to reach power densities much greater than 1 W/g and 1 kW/L. Because of their higher power densities, micro-tubular fuel cells would be better for powering portable equipment, and would be better suited to applications in which there are requirements for modularity to simplify maintenance or to facilitate scaling to higher power levels. The development of PEMFCs has conventionally focused on producing large stacks of cells that operate at typical power levels >5 kW. The usual approach taken to developing lower-power PEMFCs for applications like those listed above has been to simply shrink the basic plate-and-frame configuration to smaller dimensions. A conventional plate-and-frame fuel cell contains a membrane/electrode assembly in the form of a flat membrane with electrodes of the same active area bonded to both faces. In order to provide reactants to both electrodes, bipolar plates that contain flow passages are placed on both electrodes. The mass and volume overhead of the bipolar plates amounts to about 75 percent of the total mass and volume of a fuel-cell stack. Removing these bipolar plates in the micro-tubular fuel cell significantly increases the power density.

  13. Neat methanol fuel cell power plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abens, S.; Farooque, M.

    1985-12-01

    Attention is given to a fuel cell development effort which has been directed, by ease-of-supply, low weight, and low volume criteria toward the use of undiluted methanol. Partial oxidation and internal water recovery concepts are incorporated, allowing the onboard dilution of methanol fuel through mixing with exhaust-recovered water. This scheme is successfully demonstrated for the case of a 3 kW unit employing commercial cross flow heat exchangers, as well as for a 5 kW reformer flue exhaust water recovery design with U.S. Air force baseload stationary applications. The USAF powerplant has an overall thermal efficiency of 32 percent at rated load.

  14. Fuel switching for Clean Air Act compliance-boiler considerations

    SciTech Connect

    Warchol, J.J.; Kitto, B. Jr.; Kulig, J.S.

    1995-03-01

    Boiler considerations in fuel switching for Clean Air Act Compliance are outlined. The following topics are discussed: fuel switching options, major fuel characteristics, coal receiving and handling, dust control, grindability vs coal rank, pulverizers and burners, burning profiles, deposition zones in a coal-fired boiler, sootblower location, flues, ducts, and fans, air heaters, electrostatic precipitator (ESP), fly ash resistivity, potential ESP upgrades, ash handling system, auxiliary power system, economic factors, site considerations, and political issues. A summary and conclusion is presented.

  15. Fuel electrode containing pre-sintered nickel/zirconia for a solid oxide fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Ruka, Roswell J.; Vora, Shailesh D.

    2001-01-01

    A fuel cell structure (2) is provided, having a pre-sintered nickel-zirconia fuel electrode (6) and an air electrode (4), with a ceramic electrolyte (5) disposed between the electrodes, where the pre-sintered fuel electrode (6) contains particles selected from the group consisting of nickel oxide, cobalt and cerium dioxide particles and mixtures thereof, and titanium dioxide particles, within a matrix of yttria-stabilized zirconia and spaced-apart filamentary nickel strings having a chain structure, and where the fuel electrode can be sintered to provide an active solid oxide fuel cell.

  16. Effects of ambient conditions on fuel cell vehicle performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haraldsson, K.; Alvfors, P.

    Ambient conditions have considerable impact on the performance of fuel cell hybrid vehicles. Here, the vehicle fuel consumption, the air compressor power demand, the water management system and the heat loads of a fuel cell hybrid sport utility vehicle (SUV) were studied. The simulation results show that the vehicle fuel consumption increases with 10% when the altitude increases from 0 m up to 3000 m to 4.1 L gasoline equivalents/100 km over the New European Drive Cycle (NEDC). The increase is 19% on the more power demanding highway US06 cycle. The air compressor is the major contributor to this fuel consumption increase. Its load-following strategy makes its power demand increase with increasing altitude. Almost 40% of the net power output of the fuel cell system is consumed by the air compressor at the altitude of 3000 m with this load-following strategy and is thus more apparent in the high-power US06 cycle. Changes in ambient air temperature and relative humidity effect on the fuel cell system performance in terms of the water management rather in vehicle fuel consumption. Ambient air temperature and relative humidity have some impact on the vehicle performance mostly seen in the heat and water management of the fuel cell system. While the heat loads of the fuel cell system components vary significantly with increasing ambient temperature, the relative humidity did not have a great impact on the water balance. Overall, dimensioning the compressor and other system components to meet the fuel cell system requirements at the minimum and maximum expected ambient temperatures, in this case 5 and 40 °C, and high altitude, while simultaneously choosing a correct control strategy are important parameters for efficient vehicle power train management.

  17. Fuel cell power plants for transportation applications

    SciTech Connect

    Huff, J.R.

    1991-12-31

    Over the past 35 years, the transportation sector has accounted fr approximately 25% of the total gross energy consumption in the United States. As the largest energy user in the United States, transportation accounts for approximately 66% of the country`s current petroleum consumption. Fuel cell power plants using nonpetroleum fuels such as methanol could significantly reduce US dependency on petroleum resources. They offer the additional advantage of minimal air pollution thereby addressing another issue of major concern in the US fuel cell power plant use in city buses and other vehicles is being explored in a number of US Department of Energy and industrial programs that will be described in this paper. 5 refs.

  18. Water reactive hydrogen fuel cell power system

    DOEpatents

    Wallace, Andrew P; Melack, John M; Lefenfeld, Michael

    2014-11-25

    A water reactive hydrogen fueled power system includes devices and methods to combine reactant fuel materials and aqueous solutions to generate hydrogen. The generated hydrogen is converted in a fuel cell to provide electricity. The water reactive hydrogen fueled power system includes a fuel cell, a water feed tray, and a fuel cartridge to generate power for portable power electronics. The removable fuel cartridge is encompassed by the water feed tray and fuel cell. The water feed tray is refillable with water by a user. The water is then transferred from the water feed tray into the fuel cartridge to generate hydrogen for the fuel cell which then produces power for the user.

  19. Water reactive hydrogen fuel cell power system

    DOEpatents

    Wallace, Andrew P; Melack, John M; Lefenfeld, Michael

    2014-01-21

    A water reactive hydrogen fueled power system includes devices and methods to combine reactant fuel materials and aqueous solutions to generate hydrogen. The generated hydrogen is converted in a fuel cell to provide electricity. The water reactive hydrogen fueled power system includes a fuel cell, a water feed tray, and a fuel cartridge to generate power for portable power electronics. The removable fuel cartridge is encompassed by the water feed tray and fuel cell. The water feed tray is refillable with water by a user. The water is then transferred from the water feed tray into a fuel cartridge to generate hydrogen for the fuel cell which then produces power for the user.

  20. Fuel cell technology for prototype logistic fuel cell mobile systems

    SciTech Connect

    Sederquist, R.A.; Garow, J.

    1995-08-01

    Under the aegis of the Advanced Research Project Agency`s family of programs to develop advanced technology for dual use applications, International Fuel Cells Corporation (IFC) is conducting a 39 month program to develop an innovative system concept for DoD Mobile Electric Power (MEP) applications. The concept is to integrate two technologies, the phosphoric acid fuel cell (PAFC) with an auto-thermal reformer (ATR), into an efficient fuel cell power plant of nominally 100-kilowatt rating which operates on logistic fuels (JP-8). The ATR fuel processor is the key to meeting requirements for MEP (including weight, volume, reliability, maintainability, efficiency, and especially operation on logistic fuels); most of the effort is devoted to ATR development. An integrated demonstration test unit culminates the program and displays the benefits of the fuel cell system, relative to the standard 100-kilowatt MEP diesel engine generator set. A successful test provides the basis for proceeding toward deployment. This paper describes the results of the first twelve months of activity during which specific program aims have remained firm.

  1. Double interconnection fuel cell array

    DOEpatents

    Draper, Robert; Zymboly, Gregory E.

    1993-01-01

    A fuel cell array (10) is made, containing number of tubular, elongated fuel cells (12) which are placed next to each other in rows (A, B, C, D), where each cell contains inner electrodes (14) and outer electrodes (18 and 18'), with solid electrolyte (16 and 16') between the electrodes, where the electrolyte and outer electrode are discontinuous, having two portions, and providing at least two opposed discontinuities which contain at least two oppositely opposed interconnections (20 and 20') contacting the inner electrode (14), each cell (12) having only three metallic felt electrical connectors (22) which contact surrounding cells, where each row is electrically connected to the other.

  2. CLIMATE CHANGE FUEL CELL PROGRAM

    SciTech Connect

    Mike Walneuski

    2004-09-16

    ChevronTexaco has successfully operated a 200 kW PC25C phosphoric acid fuel cell power plant at the corporate data center in San Ramon, California for the past two years and seven months following installation in December 2001. This site was chosen based on the ability to utilize the combined heat (hot water) and power generation capability of this modular fuel cell power plant in an office park setting . In addition, this project also represents one of the first commercial applications of a stationary fuel cell for a mission critical data center to assess power reliability benefits. This fuel cell power plant system has demonstrated outstanding reliability and performance relative to other comparably sized cogeneration systems.

  3. Metrology for Fuel Cell Manufacturing

    SciTech Connect

    Stocker, Michael; Stanfield, Eric

    2015-02-04

    The project was divided into three subprojects. The first subproject is Fuel Cell Manufacturing Variability and Its Impact on Performance. The objective was to determine if flow field channel dimensional variability has an impact on fuel cell performance. The second subproject is Non-contact Sensor Evaluation for Bipolar Plate Manufacturing Process Control and Smart Assembly of Fuel Cell Stacks. The objective was to enable cost reduction in the manufacture of fuel cell plates by providing a rapid non-contact measurement system for in-line process control. The third subproject is Optical Scatterfield Metrology for Online Catalyst Coating Inspection of PEM Soft Goods. The objective was to evaluate the suitability of Optical Scatterfield Microscopy as a viable measurement tool for in situ process control of catalyst coatings.

  4. The outlook for fuel supplies for fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foster, R. B.

    Factors such as the type, cost, and continued availability of fuel for commercial fuel cells are discussed as a guide for fuel cell designers in decisions regarding the economic lifetime of a fuel cell system. Deregulation of natural gas from new wells is cited as increasing the implementation of natural gas as a fuel for the cells. Gas will be preferred to coal as an energy source due to higher conversion efficiencies with gas in a fuel cell. Light oil supplies are growing in free world nations due to increased exploration, with a consequent stabilization in world oil prices. Methanol, which can be made from natural gas, wood or cellulose, or coal, can only be used in fuel cells if sufficient production facilities are constructed. The use of methanol as an automotive fuel may stimulate development of production facilities. It is concluded that natural gas is the most suitable fuel cell feedstock on the bases of guaranteed availability and cost.

  5. Stationary Fuel Cell Evaluation (Presentation)

    SciTech Connect

    Kurtz, J.; Wipke, K.; Sprik, S.; Ramsden, T.; Ainscough, C.

    2012-05-01

    This powerpoint presentation discusses its objectives: real world operation data from the field and state-of-the-art lab; collection; analysis for independent technology validation; collaboration with industry and end users operating stationary fuel cell systems and reporting on technology status, progress and technical challenges. The approach and accomplishments are: A quarterly data analysis and publication of first technical stationary fuel cell composite data products (data through June 2012).

  6. Corrosion resistant PEM fuel cell

    DOEpatents

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

    2002-01-01

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

  7. Corrosion resistant PEM fuel cell

    DOEpatents

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

    2001-07-17

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

  8. Corrosion resistant PEM fuel cell

    DOEpatents

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

    1997-01-01

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

  9. Integrated Fuel Cell/Coal Gasifier

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ferrall, J. F.

    1985-01-01

    Powerplant design with low-temperature coal gasifier coupled to highly-exothermic fuel cell for efficient production of dc power eliminates need for oxygen in gasifier and achieves high fuel efficiency with recycling of waste heat from fuel cell.

  10. Fuel cell chemistry and operation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamrock, Steven J.; Herring, Andrew M.; Zawodzinski, Thomas A.

    The annual fall symposium on Fuel Cell Chemistry and Operation was held at the 232nd National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Francisco, CA on September 11-14, 2006. Similar symposia sponsored by the Fuel Division have been held every fall since 1999. Significantly, this symposium was part of an ACS Presidential Event on Hydrogen, and was sponsored by a number of other ACS divisions including, Polymer, Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering, Petroleum, Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, and the Inorganic divisions. Additional support was provided by the Petroleum Research Fund and the 3M Fuel Cell Components Group.

  11. MOLTEN CARBONATE FUEL CELL PRODUCT DESIGN IMPROVEMENT

    SciTech Connect

    H.C. Maru; M. Farooque

    2005-03-01

    The program was designed to advance the carbonate fuel cell technology from full-size proof-of-concept field test to the commercial design. DOE has been funding Direct FuelCell{reg_sign} (DFC{reg_sign}) development at FuelCell Energy, Inc. (FCE, formerly Energy Research Corporation) from an early state of development for stationary power plant applications. The current program efforts were focused on technology and system development, and cost reduction, leading to commercial design development and prototype system field trials. FCE, in Danbury, CT, is a world-recognized leader for the development and commercialization of high efficiency fuel cells that can generate clean electricity at power stations, or at distributed locations near the customers such as hospitals, schools, universities, hotels and other commercial and industrial applications. FCE has designed three different fuel cell power plant models (DFC300A, DFC1500 and DFC3000). FCE's power plants are based on its patented DFC{reg_sign} technology, where a hydrocarbon fuel is directly fed to the fuel cell and hydrogen is generated internally. These power plants offer significant advantages compared to the existing power generation technologies--higher fuel efficiency, significantly lower emissions, quieter operation, flexible siting and permitting requirements, scalability and potentially lower operating costs. Also, the exhaust heat by-product can be used for cogeneration applications such as high-pressure steam, district heating and air conditioning. Several sub-MW power plants based on the DFC design are currently operating in Europe, Japan and the US. Several one-megawatt power plant design was verified by operation on natural gas at FCE. This plant is currently installed at a customer site in King County, WA under another US government program and is currently in operation. Because hydrogen is generated directly within the fuel cell module from readily available fuels such as natural gas and waste

  12. 14 CFR 31.45 - Fuel cells.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Fuel cells. 31.45 Section 31.45 Aeronautics... STANDARDS: MANNED FREE BALLOONS Design Construction § 31.45 Fuel cells. If fuel cells are used, the fuel cells, their attachments, and related supporting structure must be shown by tests to be capable...

  13. 14 CFR 31.45 - Fuel cells.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Fuel cells. 31.45 Section 31.45 Aeronautics... STANDARDS: MANNED FREE BALLOONS Design Construction § 31.45 Fuel cells. If fuel cells are used, the fuel cells, their attachments, and related supporting structure must be shown by tests to be capable...

  14. 14 CFR 31.45 - Fuel cells.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Fuel cells. 31.45 Section 31.45 Aeronautics... STANDARDS: MANNED FREE BALLOONS Design Construction § 31.45 Fuel cells. If fuel cells are used, the fuel cells, their attachments, and related supporting structure must be shown by tests to be capable...

  15. 14 CFR 31.45 - Fuel cells.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Fuel cells. 31.45 Section 31.45 Aeronautics... STANDARDS: MANNED FREE BALLOONS Design Construction § 31.45 Fuel cells. If fuel cells are used, the fuel cells, their attachments, and related supporting structure must be shown by tests to be capable...

  16. 14 CFR 31.45 - Fuel cells.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Fuel cells. 31.45 Section 31.45 Aeronautics... STANDARDS: MANNED FREE BALLOONS Design Construction § 31.45 Fuel cells. If fuel cells are used, the fuel cells, their attachments, and related supporting structure must be shown by tests to be capable...

  17. Fuel processor for fuel cell power system. [Conversion of methanol into hydrogen

    DOEpatents

    Vanderborgh, N.E.; Springer, T.E.; Huff, J.R.

    1986-01-28

    A catalytic organic fuel processing apparatus, which can be used in a fuel cell power system, contains within a housing a catalyst chamber, a variable speed fan, and a combustion chamber. Vaporized organic fuel is circulated by the fan past the combustion chamber with which it is in indirect heat exchange relationship. The heated vaporized organic fuel enters a catalyst bed where it is converted into a desired product such as hydrogen needed to power the fuel cell. During periods of high demand, air is injected upstream of the combustion chamber and organic fuel injection means to burn with some of the organic fuel on the outside of the combustion chamber, and thus be in direct heat exchange relation with the organic fuel going into the catalyst bed.

  18. Low contaminant formic acid fuel for direct liquid fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Masel, Richard I.; Zhu, Yimin; Kahn, Zakia; Man, Malcolm

    2009-11-17

    A low contaminant formic acid fuel is especially suited toward use in a direct organic liquid fuel cell. A fuel of the invention provides high power output that is maintained for a substantial time and the fuel is substantially non-flammable. Specific contaminants and contaminant levels have been identified as being deleterious to the performance of a formic acid fuel in a fuel cell, and embodiments of the invention provide low contaminant fuels that have improved performance compared to known commercial bulk grade and commercial purified grade formic acid fuels. Preferred embodiment fuels (and fuel cells containing such fuels) including low levels of a combination of key contaminants, including acetic acid, methyl formate, and methanol.

  19. Direct hydrogen fuel cell systems for hybrid vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahluwalia, Rajesh K.; Wang, X.

    Hybridizing a fuel cell system with an energy storage system offers an opportunity to improve the fuel economy of the vehicle through regenerative braking and possibly to increase the specific power and decrease the cost of the combined energy conversion and storage systems. Even in a hybrid configuration it is advantageous to operate the fuel cell system in a load-following mode and use the power from the energy storage system when the fuel cell alone cannot meet the power demand. This paper discusses an approach for designing load-following fuel cell systems for hybrid vehicles and illustrates it by applying it to pressurized, direct hydrogen, polymer-electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) systems for a mid-size family sedan. The vehicle level requirements relative to traction power, response time, start-up time and energy conversion efficiency are used to select the important parameters for the PEFC stack, air management system, heat rejection system and the water management system.

  20. 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.

  1. Contaminant effects in solid oxide fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Maskalisk, N.J.; Ray, E.R.

    1992-09-01

    Two full scale (50-cm length) SOFCS, each representative of generator cells in the field, were electrically connected in series; then operated at 1000{degrees}C and 350 mA/cm{sup 2}. An initial run of approximately 150 hours served to establish baseline performance in 89% H{sub 2}, 11% H{sub 2}0 fuel at 85% fuel utilization and 4 stoichs, air. Then, for approximately 200 hours, a similar base-line was established for operation in simulated coal gas fuel. Finally, the fuel impurity components were sequentially added. The cumulative effect on performance as shown in Table 3. These data reveal no strong association of cell resistance with cell performance change in the cases of NH{sub 3} and HCI. When H{sub 2}S is added, resistance increases account for a minor part of the 0.06V decline observed for each cell over the first 24 hours. However, cell resistances thereafter change linearly, along with linearly declining voltages. In this latter phase, resistance accounts for a major part of each observed cell voltage decline. The same two SOFCs were subsequently continued in operation, but at a moderately higher temperature, 1025{degrees}C. As Figure 2 demonstrates, No. 1 cell tended to decline more slowly, and No. 2 cell continued to decline at the same rate as before, when it was operating at 1OOO{degrees}C. Later operation, without impurities, at 1025{degrees}C for 450 hours served to improve performance and stabilize the cells. When operation at 1000{degrees}C resumed, the cell resistance trend lines returned to approximately the original R vs. t slopes observed during 0-500 hours on test, signifying cessation of impurity-related voltage degradation.

  2. Contaminant effects in solid oxide fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Maskalisk, N.J.; Ray, E.R.

    1992-01-01

    Two full scale (50-cm length) SOFCS, each representative of generator cells in the field, were electrically connected in series; then operated at 1000{degrees}C and 350 mA/cm{sup 2}. An initial run of approximately 150 hours served to establish baseline performance in 89% H{sub 2}, 11% H{sub 2}0 fuel at 85% fuel utilization and 4 stoichs, air. Then, for approximately 200 hours, a similar base-line was established for operation in simulated coal gas fuel. Finally, the fuel impurity components were sequentially added. The cumulative effect on performance as shown in Table 3. These data reveal no strong association of cell resistance with cell performance change in the cases of NH{sub 3} and HCI. When H{sub 2}S is added, resistance increases account for a minor part of the 0.06V decline observed for each cell over the first 24 hours. However, cell resistances thereafter change linearly, along with linearly declining voltages. In this latter phase, resistance accounts for a major part of each observed cell voltage decline. The same two SOFCs were subsequently continued in operation, but at a moderately higher temperature, 1025{degrees}C. As Figure 2 demonstrates, No. 1 cell tended to decline more slowly, and No. 2 cell continued to decline at the same rate as before, when it was operating at 1OOO{degrees}C. Later operation, without impurities, at 1025{degrees}C for 450 hours served to improve performance and stabilize the cells. When operation at 1000{degrees}C resumed, the cell resistance trend lines returned to approximately the original R vs. t slopes observed during 0-500 hours on test, signifying cessation of impurity-related voltage degradation.

  3. Aerosol feed direct methanol fuel cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kindler, Andrew (Inventor); Narayanan, Sekharipuram R. (Inventor); Valdez, Thomas I. (Inventor)

    2002-01-01

    Improvements to fuel cells include introduction of the fuel as an aerosol of liquid fuel droplets suspended in a gas. The particle size of the liquid fuel droplets may be controlled for optimal fuel cell performance by selection of different aerosol generators or by separating droplets based upon size using a particle size conditioner.

  4. 1990 fuel cell seminar: Program and abstracts

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1990-12-31

    This volume contains author prepared short resumes of the presentations at the 1990 Fuel Cell Seminar held November 25-28, 1990 in Phoenix, Arizona. Contained herein are 134 short descriptions organized into topic areas entitled An Environmental Overview, Transportation Applications, Technology Advancements for Molten Carbonate Fuel Cells, Technology Advancements for Solid Fuel Cells, Component Technologies and Systems Analysis, Stationary Power Applications, Marine and Space Applications, Technology Advancements for Acid Type Fuel Cells, and Technology Advancement for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells.

  5. Evaluation of solid oxide fuel cell systems for electricity generation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Somers, E. V.; Vidt, E. J.; Grimble, R. E.

    1982-01-01

    Air blown (low BTU) gasification with atmospheric pressure Solid Electrolyte Fuel Cells (SOFC) and Rankine bottoming cycle, oxygen blown (medium BTU) gasification with atmospheric pressure SOFC and Rankine bottoming cycle, air blown gasification with pressurized SOFC and combined Brayton/Rankine bottoming cycle, oxygen blown gasification with pressurized SOFC and combined Brayton/Rankine bottoming cycle were evaluated.

  6. Component Development - Advanced Fuel Cells for Transportation Applications

    SciTech Connect

    Butler, William

    2000-06-19

    Report summarizes results of second phase of development of Vairex air compressor/expander for automotive fuel cell power systems. Project included optimizing key system performance parameters, as well as reducing number of components and the project cost, size and weight of the air system. Objectives were attained. Advanced prototypes are in commercial test environments.

  7. Advanced-fuel-cell development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierce, R. D.; Arons, R. M.; Dusek, J. T.; Fraioli, A. V.; Kucera, G. H.; Sim, J. W.; Smith, J. L.

    1982-06-01

    The fuel cell research and development activities at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) for the period October through December 1980. These efforts have been directed toward (1) developing alternative concepts for components of molten carbonate fuel cells, and (2) improving understanding of component behavior. The principal focus has been on development of gamma-LiAlO2 sinters as electrolyte structures. Green bodies were prepared by tape casting and then sintering beta-LiAlO2; this has produced gamma-LiAlO2 sinters of 69% porosity. In addition, a cathode prepared by sintering lithiated nickel oxide was tested in a 10-cm square cell.

  8. Solid-polymer-electrolyte fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Fuller, T.F.

    1992-07-01

    A transport model for polymer electrolytes is presented, based on concentrated solution theory and irreversible thermodynamics. Thermodynamic driving forces are developed, transport properties are identified and experiments devised. Transport number of water in Nafion 117 membrane is determined using a concentration cell. It is 1.4 for a membrane equilibrated with saturated water vapor at 25{degrees}C, decreases slowly as the membrane is dehydrated, and falls sharply toward zero as the water content approaches zero. The relation between transference number, transport number, and electroosmotic drag coefficient is presented, and their relevance to water-management is discussed. A mathematical model of transport in a solid-polymer-electrolyte fuel cell is presented. A two-dimensional membrane-electrode assembly is considered. Water management, thermal management, and utilization of fuel are examined in detail. The membrane separators of these fuel cells require sorbed water to maintain conductivity; therefore it is necessary to manage the water content in membranes to ensure efficient operation. Water and thermal management are interrelated. Rate of heat removal is shown to be a critical parameter in the operation of these fuel cells. Current-voltage curves are presented for operation on air and reformed methanol. Equations for convective diffusion to a rotating disk are solved numerically for a consolute point between the bulk concentration and the surface. A singular-perturbation expansion is presented for the condition where the bulk concentration is nearly equal to the consolute-point composition. Results are compared to Levich's solution and analysis.

  9. Humidifier for fuel cell using high conductivity carbon foam

    DOEpatents

    Klett, James W.; Stinton, David P.

    2006-12-12

    A method and apparatus of supplying humid air to a fuel cell is disclosed. The extremely high thermal conductivity of some graphite foams lends itself to enhance significantly the ability to humidify supply air for a fuel cell. By utilizing a high conductivity pitch-derived graphite foam, thermal conductivity being as high as 187 W/m.dot.K, the heat from the heat source is more efficiently transferred to the water for evaporation, thus the system does not cool significantly due to the evaporation of the water and, consequently, the air reaches a higher humidity ratio.

  10. Miniature fuel-cell system complete with on-demand fuel and oxidant supply

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hur, Janet I.; Kim, Chang-Jin

    2015-01-01

    The size of a functioning "system" rather than the individual components determines the success of many miniaturization efforts. While most of the existing micro fuel-cell research has been focusing on the fuel-cell stack, our approach has been to systematically eliminate all the ancillary components with the goal of miniaturizing the full system. In this paper, we present a miniature fuel-cell system that combines the self-pumping of fuel and self-generation of oxidant altogether in a box-shape device of a few centimeters. Since the fuel is pumped on demand inside the system without requiring any external assistance, the device is self-sufficient and portable. Furthermore, the oxygen is generated on demand inside the system without requiring the ambient air, so that the device can be stacked in multiple. Constructed simply as liquids in a solid container, this active fuel-cell system resembles a battery to the user.

  11. Limitations of Commercializing Fuel Cell Technologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nordin, Normayati

    2010-06-01

    Fuel cell is the technology that, nowadays, is deemed having a great potential to be used in supplying energy. Basically, fuel cells can be categorized particularly by the kind of employed electrolyte. Several fuel cells types which are currently identified having huge potential to be utilized, namely, Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC), Molten Carbonate Fuel Cells (MCFC), Alkaline Fuel Cells (AFC), Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cells (PAFC), Polymer Electron Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC), Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFC) and Regenerative Fuel Cells (RFC). In general, each of these fuel cells types has their own characteristics and specifications which assign the capability and suitability of them to be utilized for any particular applications. Stationary power generations and transport applications are the two most significant applications currently aimed for the fuel cell market. It is generally accepted that there are lots of advantages if fuel cells can be excessively commercialized primarily in context of environmental concerns and energy security. Nevertheless, this is a demanding task to be accomplished, as there is some gap in fuel cells technology itself which needs a major enhancement. It can be concluded, from the previous study, cost, durability and performance are identified as the main limitations to be firstly overcome in enabling fuel cells technology become viable for the market.

  12. The fuel cell in space: Yesterday, today and tomorrow

    SciTech Connect

    Warshay, M.; Prokopius, P.R.

    1989-09-01

    The past, present, and future of space fuel cell power systems is reviewed, starting with the first practical fuel cell by F.T. Bacon which led to the 1.5 kW Apollo alkaline fuel cell. However, the first fuel cell to be used for space power was the Gemini 1.0 kW Acid IEM fuel cell. The successor to the Apollo fuel cell is today's 12 kW Orbiter alkaline fuel cell whose technology is considerably different and considerably better than that of its ancestor, the Bacon cell. And in terms of specific weight there has been a steady improvement from the past to the present, from the close to 200 lb/kW of Apollo to the 20 lb/kW of the orbiter. For NASA future Lunar and Martian surface power requirements the regenerative fuel cell (RFC) energy storage system is enabling technology, with the alkaline and the PEM the leading RFC candidate systems. The U.S. Air Force continues to support fuel cell high power density technology development for its future short duration applications.

  13. Automotive Fuel Processor Development and Demonstration with Fuel Cell Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Nuvera Fuel Cells

    2005-04-15

    The potential for fuel cell systems to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions over conventional power systems has generated significant interest in fuel cell technologies. While fuel cells are being investigated for use in many applications such as stationary power generation and small portable devices, transportation applications present some unique challenges for fuel cell technology. Due to their lower operating temperature and non-brittle materials, most transportation work is focusing on fuel cells using proton exchange membrane (PEM) technology. Since PEM fuel cells are fueled by hydrogen, major obstacles to their widespread use are the lack of an available hydrogen fueling infrastructure and hydrogen's relatively low energy storage density, which leads to a much lower driving range than conventional vehicles. One potential solution to the hydrogen infrastructure and storage density issues is to convert a conventional fuel such as gasoline into hydrogen onboard the vehicle using a fuel processor. Figure 2 shows that gasoline stores roughly 7 times more energy per volume than pressurized hydrogen gas at 700 bar and 4 times more than liquid hydrogen. If integrated properly, the fuel processor/fuel cell system would also be more efficient than traditional engines and would give a fuel economy benefit while hydrogen storage and distribution issues are being investigated. Widespread implementation of fuel processor/fuel cell systems requires improvements in several aspects of the technology, including size, startup time, transient response time, and cost. In addition, the ability to operate on a number of hydrocarbon fuels that are available through the existing infrastructure is a key enabler for commercializing these systems. In this program, Nuvera Fuel Cells collaborated with the Department of Energy (DOE) to develop efficient, low-emission, multi-fuel processors for transportation applications. Nuvera's focus was on (1) developing fuel processor

  14. Effect of Intake Air Filter Condition on Vehicle Fuel Economy

    SciTech Connect

    Norman, Kevin M; Huff, Shean P; West, Brian H

    2009-02-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) jointly maintain a fuel economy website (www.fueleconomy.gov), which helps fulfill their responsibility under the Energy Policy Act of 1992 to provide accurate fuel economy information [in miles per gallon (mpg)] to consumers. The site provides information on EPA fuel economy ratings for passenger cars and light trucks from 1985 to the present and other relevant information related to energy use such as alternative fuels and driving and vehicle maintenance tips. In recent years, fluctuations in the price of crude oil and corresponding fluctuations in the price of gasoline and diesel fuels have renewed interest in vehicle fuel economy in the United States. (User sessions on the fuel economy website exceeded 20 million in 2008 compared to less than 5 million in 2004 and less than 1 million in 2001.) As a result of this renewed interest and the age of some of the references cited in the tips section of the website, DOE authorized the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Fuels, Engines, and Emissions Research Center (FEERC) to initiate studies to validate and improve these tips. This report documents a study aimed specifically at the effect of engine air filter condition on fuel economy. The goal of this study was to explore the effects of a clogged air filter on the fuel economy of vehicles operating over prescribed test cycles. Three newer vehicles (a 2007 Buick Lucerne, a 2006 Dodge Charger, and a 2003 Toyota Camry) and an older carbureted vehicle were tested. Results show that clogging the air filter has no significant effect on the fuel economy of the newer vehicles (all fuel injected with closed-loop control and one equipped with MDS). The engine control systems were able to maintain the desired AFR regardless of intake restrictions, and therefore fuel consumption was not increased. The carbureted engine did show a decrease in

  15. Small airblast fuel nozzle with high efficiency inner air swirler

    SciTech Connect

    Koblish, T.R.; Bell, L.D.

    1992-02-11

    This patent describes a airblast fuel nozzle for a gas turbine engine. It comprises: a nozzle body having a longitudinal inner air swirl chamber with a downstream discharge orifice, means for discharging fuel from the nozzle body and a plurality of air inlet passages circumferentially spaced apart around the nozzle body upstream of the fuel discharge orifice and extending from the inner air swirl chamber to the exterior of the nozzle body for receiving air flow, each air inlet passage having an inner section converging toward and intersecting with the inner air swirl chamber and an outer section converging toward and intersecting with the inner section, the inner section having an outlet communicating with the inner air swirl chamber and an inlet communicating with the outer section, the outer section having an outlet communicating with the inlet of the inner section and an inlet on the exterior of the nozzle body for receiving the air flow, the convergence of the outer section and inner section being selected to provide an effective air flow area through the outer section greater than the effective air flow area through the inner section, the inner section and outer section of each air inlet passage being relatively canted in the same circumferential direction and oriented relative to the air swirl chamber to, in effect, provide a distance X between centerlines of the air swirl chamber and the inner section that increases the air swirl strength achievable in the air swirl chamber at a given air pressure value at the inlet of the outer section.

  16. Analysis of Fuel Vaporization, Fuel-Air Mixing, and Combustion in Integrated Mixer-Flame Holders

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Deur, J. M.; Cline, M. C.

    2004-01-01

    Requirements to limit pollutant emissions from the gas turbine engines for the future High-Speed Civil Transport (HSCT) have led to consideration of various low-emission combustor concepts. One such concept is the Integrated Mixer-Flame Holder (IMFH). This report describes a series of IMFH analyses performed with KIVA-II, a multi-dimensional CFD code for problems involving sprays, turbulence, and combustion. To meet the needs of this study, KIVA-II's boundary condition and chemistry treatments are modified. The study itself examines the relationships between fuel vaporization, fuel-air mixing, and combustion. Parameters being considered include: mixer tube diameter, mixer tube length, mixer tube geometry (converging-diverging versus straight walls), air inlet velocity, air inlet swirl angle, secondary air injection (dilution holes), fuel injection velocity, fuel injection angle, number of fuel injection ports, fuel spray cone angle, and fuel droplet size. Cases are run with and without combustion to examine the variations in fuel-air mixing and potential for flashback due to the above parameters. The degree of fuel-air mixing is judged by comparing average, minimum, and maximum fuel/air ratios at the exit of the mixer tube, while flame stability is monitored by following the location of the flame front as the solution progresses from ignition to steady state. Results indicate that fuel-air mixing can be enhanced by a variety of means, the best being a combination of air inlet swirl and a converging-diverging mixer tube geometry. With the IMFH configuration utilized in the present study, flashback becomes more common as the mixer tube diameter is increased and is instigated by disturbances associated with the dilution hole flow.

  17. Air-fuel ratio control system for an automotive engine

    SciTech Connect

    Ohishi, H.

    1988-04-19

    An air-fuel ratio control system for an automotive engine is described comprising: a first lookup table storing basic fuel injection pulse widths from which one of pulse widths is derived in accordance with engine operating conditions; a second lookup table storing maximum correcting quantities for correcting a derived basic fuel injection pulse width in order to correct deviation of air-fuel ratio due to change of a characteristic of a device used in the engine; first means for producing a necessary correcting quantity by multiplying a learning coefficient and a maximum correcting quantity derived from the second lookup table; second means for producing a desired fuel injection pulse width in accordance with the necessary correcting quantity and the derived basic fuel injection pulse width.

  18. Design and performance of a prototype fuel cell powered vehicle

    SciTech Connect

    Lehman, P.A.; Chamberlin, C.E.

    1996-12-31

    The Schatz Energy Research Center (SERC) is now engaged in the Palm Desert Renewable Hydrogen Transportation System Project. The Project involves a consortium which includes the City of Palm Desert, SERC, the U.S. Department of Energy, the South Coast Air Quality Management District, and Sandia and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories. Its goal to develop a clean and sustainable transportation system for a community will be accomplished by producing a fleet of fuel cell vehicles, installing a refueling infrastructure utilizing hydrogen generated from solar and wind power, and developing and staffing a fuel cell service and diagnostic center. We will describe details of the project and performance goals for the fuel cell vehicles and associated peripheral systems. In the past year during the first stage in the project, SERC has designed and built a prototype fuel cell powered personal utility vehicle (PUV). These steps included: (1) Designing, building, and testing a 4.0 kW proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell as a power plant for the PUV. (2) Designing, building and testing peripherals including the air delivery, fuel storage/delivery, refueling, water circulation, cooling, and electrical systems. (3) Devising a control algorithm for the fuel cell power plant in the PUV. (4) Designing and building a test bench in which running conditions in the PUV could be simulated and the fuel cell and its peripheral systems tested. (5) Installing an onboard computer and associated electronics into the PUV (6) Assembling and road testing the PUV.

  19. Development of alkaline fuel cells.

    SciTech Connect

    Hibbs, Michael R.; Jenkins, Janelle E.; Alam, Todd Michael; Janarthanan, Rajeswari; Horan, James L.; Caire, Benjamin R.; Ziegler, Zachary C.; Herring, Andrew M.; Yang, Yuan; Zuo, Xiaobing; Robson, Michael H.; Artyushkova, Kateryna; Patterson, Wendy; Atanassov, Plamen Borissov

    2013-09-01

    This project focuses on the development and demonstration of anion exchange membrane (AEM) fuel cells for portable power applications. Novel polymeric anion exchange membranes and ionomers with high chemical stabilities were prepared characterized by researchers at Sandia National Laboratories. Durable, non-precious metal catalysts were prepared by Dr. Plamen Atanassov's research group at the University of New Mexico by utilizing an aerosol-based process to prepare templated nano-structures. Dr. Andy Herring's group at the Colorado School of Mines combined all of these materials to fabricate and test membrane electrode assemblies for single cell testing in a methanol-fueled alkaline system. The highest power density achieved in this study was 54 mW/cm2 which was 90% of the project target and the highest reported power density for a direct methanol alkaline fuel cell.

  20. Carbon-based Fuel Cell

    SciTech Connect

    Steven S. C. Chuang

    2005-08-31

    The direct use of coal in the solid oxide fuel cell to generate electricity is an innovative concept for power generation. The C-fuel cell (carbon-based fuel cell) could offer significant advantages: (1) minimization of NOx emissions due to its operating temperature range of 700-1000 C, (2) high overall efficiency because of the direct conversion of coal to CO{sub 2}, and (3) the production of a nearly pure CO{sub 2} exhaust stream for the direct CO{sub 2} sequestration. The objective of this project is to determine the technical feasibility of using a highly active anode catalyst in a solid oxide fuel for the direct electrochemical oxidation of coal to produce electricity. Results of this study showed that the electric power generation from Ohio No 5 coal (Lower Kittanning) Seam, Mahoning County, is higher than those of coal gas and pure methane on a solid oxide fuel cell assembly with a promoted metal anode catalyst at 950 C. Further study is needed to test the long term activity, selectivity, and stability of anode catalysts.

  1. USING LANDFILL GAS IN FUEL CELLS - A STEP CLOSER TO COMMERICAL REALITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    The article discusses Phase II and Phase III results of a U.S. EPA program underway at International Fuel Cells Corporation. The program involves controlling methane emissions from landfills using a fuel cell. The fuel cell would reduce air emissions affecting global warming, aci...

  2. Fuel Cell Forklift Project Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Cummings, Clifton C

    2013-10-23

    This project addresses the DOE’s priorities related to acquiring data from real-world fuel cell operation, eliminating non-technical barriers, and increasing opportunities for market expansion of hydrogen fuel cell technologies. The project involves replacing the batteries in a complete fleet of class-1 electric lift trucks at FedEx Freight’s Springfield, MO parcel distribution center with 35 Plug Power GenDrive fuel cell power units. Fuel for the power units involves on-site hydrogen handling and dispensing equipment and liquid hydrogen delivery by Air Products. The project builds on FedEx Freight’s previous field trial experience with a handful of Plug Power’s GenDrive power units. Those trials demonstrated productivity gains and improved performance compared to battery-powered lift trucks. Full lift truck conversion at our Springfield location allows us to improve the competitiveness of our operations and helps the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and toxic battery material use. Success at this distribution center may lead to further fleet conversions at some of our distribution centers.

  3. The low-temperature partial-oxidation reforming of fuels for transportation fuel cell systems

    SciTech Connect

    Kumar, R.; Ahmed, S.; Krumpelt, M.

    1996-12-31

    Passenger cars powered by fuel cell propulsion systems with high efficiency offer superior fuel economy, very low to zero pollutant emissions, and the option to operate on alternative and/or renewable fuels. Although the fuel cell operates on hydrogen, a liquid fuel such as methanol or gasoline is more attractive for automotive use because of the convenience in handling and vehicle refueling. Such a liquid fuel must be dynamically converted (reformed) to hydrogen on board the vehicle in real time to meet fluctuating power demands. This paper describes the low-temperature Argonne partial-oxidation reformer (APOR) developed for this application. The APOR is a rapid-start, compact, lightweight, catalytic device that is efficient and dynamically responsive. The reformer is easily controlled by varying the feed rates of the fuel, water, and air to satisfy the rapidly changing system power demands during the vehicle`s driving cycle.

  4. PEM fuel cell durability studies

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-01-01

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

  5. Air/fuel supply system for use in a gas turbine engine

    DOEpatents

    Fox, Timothy A; Schilp, Reinhard; Gambacorta, Domenico

    2014-06-17

    A fuel injector for use in a gas turbine engine combustor assembly. The fuel injector includes a main body and a fuel supply structure. The main body has an inlet end and an outlet end and defines a longitudinal axis extending between the outlet and inlet ends. The main body comprises a plurality of air/fuel passages extending therethrough, each air/fuel passage including an inlet that receives air from a source of air and an outlet. The fuel supply structure communicates with and supplies fuel to the air/fuel passages for providing an air/fuel mixture within each air/fuel passage. The air/fuel mixtures exit the main body through respective air/fuel passage outlets.

  6. Analysis of regenerative fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gross, S.

    1982-01-01

    The concept of a rechargeable fuel cell (RFC) system is considered. A newer type of rechargeable battery, the nickel hydrogen (Ni-H2) battery, is also evaluated. A review was made of past studies which showed large variations in weight, cost, and efficiency. Hydrogen-bromine and hydrogen-chlorine regenerable fuel cells were studied, and were found to have a potential for higher energy storage efficiency then the hydrogen-oxygen system. A reduction of up to 15 percent in solar array size may be possible as a result. These systems are not yet developed, but further study of them is recommended.

  7. DIGESTER GAS - FUEL CELL - PROJECT

    SciTech Connect

    Dr.-Eng. Dirk Adolph; Dipl.-Eng. Thomas Saure

    2002-03-01

    GEW has been operating the first fuel cell in Europe producing heat and electricity from digester gas in an environmentally friendly way. The first 9,000 hours in operation were successfully concluded in August 2001. The fuel cell powered by digester gas was one of the 25 registered ''Worldwide projects'' which NRW presented at the EXPO 2000. In addition to this, it is a key project of the NRW State Initiative on Future Energies. All of the activities planned for the first year of operation were successfully completed: installing and putting the plant into operation, the transition to permanent operation as well as extended monitoring till May 2001.

  8. Fuel Cell Applied Research Project

    SciTech Connect

    Lee Richardson

    2006-09-15

    Since November 12, 2003, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology has been operating a 200 kW phosphoric acid fuel cell to provide electrical and thermal energy to its campus. The project was made possible by funding from the U.S. Department of Energy as well as by a partnership with the provincial Alberta Energy Research Institute; a private-public partnership, Climate Change Central; the federal Ministry of Western Economic Development; and local natural gas supplier, ATCO Gas. Operation of the fuel cell has contributed to reducing NAIT's carbon dioxide emissions through its efficient use of natural gas.

  9. Integrating fuel cell power systems into building physical plants

    SciTech Connect

    Carson, J.

    1996-12-31

    This paper discusses the integration of fuel cell power plants and absorption chillers to cogenerate chilled water or hot water/steam for all weather air conditioning as one possible approach to building system applications. Absorption chillers utilize thermal energy in an absorption based cycle to chill water. It is feasible to use waste heat from fuel cells to provide hydronic heating and cooling. Performance regimes will vary as a function of the supply and quality of waste heat. Respective performance characteristics of fuel cells, absorption chillers and air conditioning systems will define relationships between thermal and electrical load capacities for the combined systems. Specifically, this paper develops thermodynamic relationships between bulk electrical power and cooling/heating capacities for combined fuel cell and absorption chiller system in building applications.

  10. The new generation of vehicles: market opportunities for fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chalk, Steven G.; Patil, Pandit G.; Venkateswaran, S. R.

    The Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV), a historic US Government-auto industry partnership initiated in 1993, is pursuing three specific, interrelated goals, including the development of the next generation of vehicles capable of achieving up to three times the fuel efficiency of today's comparable vehicles. Fuel cells have been identified as one of three primary propulsion system candidates to meet this triple fuel efficiency goal, since they can dramatically increase automotive propulsion efficiency combined with very low to zero emissions. The US Government is working closely with industry and research institutions in pursuing a strategy of aggressive research and development (R&D) to accelerate the commercialization of fuel cell vehicles. The US Department of Energy has a major role in this fuel cell technology development effort. R&D activities are focused on overcoming the major technical, economic, and infrastructure-related hurdles. The high efficiency, very low emissions, and other favorable characteristics of fuel cells (such as fuel flexibility, low noise, and vibration) create significant market opportunities for fuel cells over the entire spectrum of transportation applications. While the focus of near-term markets for fuel cell vehicles will be urban areas having severe air-quality problems, long-term market prospects are encouraging since fuel cell vehicles can compete on an even ground with conventional vehicles in all key aspects, including vehicle range and refueling. This paper will discuss near- and long-term market opportunities for fuel cells in transportation and provide an update on driving regulatory developments in the USA at the federal and state level. The paper also provides an introduction to the PNGV (focusing on the role and prospects for fuel cells) and discusses the status of fuel cell vehicle development projects.

  11. Process simulation of a PEM fuel cell system

    SciTech Connect

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

    1996-01-01

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

  12. Solid oxide fuel cell matrix and modules

    DOEpatents

    Riley, Brian

    1990-01-01

    Porous refractory ceramic blocks arranged in an abutting, stacked configuration and forming a three dimensional array provide a support structure and coupling means for a plurality of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). Each of the blocks includes a square center channel which forms a vertical shaft when the blocks are arranged in a stacked array. Positioned within the channel is a SOFC unit cell such that a plurality of such SOFC units disposed within a vertical shaft form a string of SOFC units coupled in series. A first pair of facing inner walls of each of the blocks each include an interconnecting channel hole cut horizontally and vertically into the block walls to form gas exit channels. A second pair of facing lateral walls of each block further include a pair of inner half circular grooves which form sleeves to accommodate anode fuel and cathode air tubes. The stack of ceramic blocks is self-supporting, with a plurality of such stacked arrays forming a matrix enclosed in an insulating refractory brick structure having an outer steel layer. The necessary connections for air, fuel, burnt gas, and anode and cathode connections are provided through the brick and steel outer shell. The ceramic blocks are so designed with respect to the strings of modules that by simple and logical design the strings could be replaced by hot reloading if one should fail. The hot reloading concept has not been included in any previous designs.

  13. Corrugated Membrane Fuel Cell Structures

    SciTech Connect

    Grot, Stephen

    2013-09-30

    One of the most challenging aspects of traditional PEM fuel cell stacks is the difficulty achieving the platinum catalyst utilization target of 0.2 gPt/kWe set forth by the DOE. Good catalyst utilization can be achieved with state-of-the-art catalyst coated membranes (CCM) when low catalyst loadings (<0.3 mg/cm2) are used at a low current. However, when low platinum loadings are used, the peak power density is lower than conventional loadings, requiring a larger total active area and a larger bipolar plate. This results in a lower overall stack power density not meeting the DOE target. By corrugating the fuel cell membrane electrode structure, Ion Power?s goal is to realize both the Pt utilization targets as well as the power density targets of the DOE. This will be achieved by demonstrating a fuel cell single cell (50 cm2) with a twofold increase in the membrane active area over the geometric area of the cell by corrugating the MEA structure. The corrugating structure must be able to demonstrate the target properties of < 10 mOhm-cm2 electrical resistance at > 20 psi compressive strength over the active area, in combination with offering at least 80% of power density that can be achieved by using the same MEA in a flat plate structure. Corrugated membrane fuel cell structures also have the potential to meet DOE power density targets by essentially packaging more membrane area into the same fuel cell volume as compared to conventional stack constructions.

  14. Fuel Cell Seminar, 1992: Program and abstracts

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-12-31

    This year`s theme, ``Fuel Cells: Realizing the Potential,`` focuses on progress being made toward commercial manufacture and use of fuel cell products. Fuel cell power plants are competing for market share in some applications and demonstrations of market entry power plants are proceeding for additional applications. Development activity on fuel cells for transportation is also increasing; fuel cell products have potential in energy and transportation industries, with very favorable environmental impacts. This Seminar has the purpose of fostering communication by providing a forum for the international community interested in development, application, and business opportunities related fuel cells. Over 190 technical papers are included, the majority being processed for the data base.

  15. Fuel cell stack monitoring and system control

    DOEpatents

    Keskula, Donald H.; Doan, Tien M.; Clingerman, Bruce J.

    2004-02-17

    A control method for monitoring a fuel cell stack in a fuel cell system in which the actual voltage and actual current from the fuel cell stack are monitored. A preestablished relationship between voltage and current over the operating range of the fuel cell is established. A variance value between the actual measured voltage and the expected voltage magnitude for a given actual measured current is calculated and compared with a predetermined allowable variance. An output is generated if the calculated variance value exceeds the predetermined variance. The predetermined voltage-current for the fuel cell is symbolized as a polarization curve at given operating conditions of the fuel cell.

  16. Spontaneous Ignition Characteristics of Hydrocarbon Fuel-air Mixtures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lefebvre, A. H.; Freeman, G. W.

    1983-01-01

    Although the subject of spontaneous ignition of liquid fuels has received considerable attention in the past, the role of fuel evaporation in the overall spontaneous ignition process is still unclear. A main purpose of this research is to carry out measurements of ignition delay times, using fuels of current and anticipated future aeronautical interest, at test conditions that are representative of those encountered in modern gas turbine engines. Attention is focused on the fuel injection process, in particlar the measurement and control of man fuel drop size and fuel-air spatial distribution. The experiments are designed to provide accurate information on the role of fuel evaporation processes in determining the overall ignition delay time. The second objective is to examine in detail the theoretical aspects of spontaneous ignition in order to improve upon current knowledge and understanding of the basic processes involved, so that the results of the investigation can find general and widespead application.

  17. Direct methanol feed fuel cell and system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Surampudi, Subbarao (Inventor); Frank, Harvey A. (Inventor); Narayanan, Sekharipuram R. (Inventor); Chun, William (Inventor); Jeffries-Nakamura, Barbara (Inventor); Kindler, Andrew (Inventor); Halpert, Gerald (Inventor)

    2009-01-01

    Improvements to non acid methanol fuel cells include new formulations for materials. The platinum and ruthenium are more exactly mixed together. Different materials are substituted for these materials. The backing material for the fuel cell electrode is specially treated to improve its characteristics. A special sputtered electrode is formed which is extremely porous. The fuel cell system also comprises a fuel supplying part including a meter which meters an amount of fuel which is used by the fuel cell, and controls the supply of fuel based on said metering.

  18. High Efficiency Direct Carbon and Hydrogen Fuel Cells for Fossil Fuel Power Generation

    SciTech Connect

    Steinberg, M; Cooper, J F; Cherepy, N

    2002-01-02

    Hydrogen he1 cells have been under development for a number of years and are now nearing commercial applications. Direct carbon fuel cells, heretofore, have not reached practical stages of development because of problems in fuel reactivity and cell configuration. The carbon/air fuel cell reaction (C + O{sub 2} = CO{sub 2}) has the advantage of having a nearly zero entropy change. This allows a theoretical efficiency of 100 % at 700-800 C. The activities of the C fuel and CO{sub 2} product do not change during consumption of the fuel. Consequently, the EMF is invariant; this raises the possibility of 100% fuel utilization in a single pass. (In contrast, the high-temperature hydrogen fuel cell has a theoretical efficiency of and changes in fuel activity limit practical utilizations to 75-85%.) A direct carbon fuel cell is currently being developed that utilizes reactive carbon particulates wetted by a molten carbonate electrolyte. Pure COZ is evolved at the anode and oxygen from air is consumed at the cathode. Electrochemical data is reported here for the carbon/air cell utilizing carbons derived from he1 oil pyrolysis, purified coal, purified bio-char and petroleum coke. At 800 O C, a voltage efficiency of 80% was measured at power densities of 0.5-1 kW/m2. Carbon and hydrogen fuels may be produced simultaneously at lugh efficiency from: (1) natural gas, by thermal decomposition, (2) petroleum, by coking or pyrolysis of distillates, (3) coal, by sequential hydrogasification to methane and thermal pyrolysis of the methane, with recycle of the hydrogen, and (4) biomass, similarly by sequential hydrogenation and thermal pyrolysis. Fuel production data may be combined with direct C and H2 fuel cell operating data for power cycle estimates. Thermal to electric efficiencies indicate 80% HHV [85% LHV] for petroleum, 75.5% HHV [83.4% LHV] for natural gas and 68.3% HHV [70.8% LHV] for lignite coal. Possible benefits of integrated carbon and hydrogen fuel cell power

  19. INTEGRATED GASIFICATION COMBINED CYCLE PROJECT 2 MW FUEL CELL DEMONSTRATION

    SciTech Connect

    FuelCell Energy

    2005-05-16

    treatment/instrument air, and power conditioning/controls were built and shipped to the site. The two fuel cell modules, each rated at 1 MW on natural gas, were fabricated by FuelCell Energy in its Torrington, CT manufacturing facility. The fuel cell modules were conditioned and tested at FuelCell Energy in Danbury and shipped to the site. Installation of the power plant and connection to all required utilities and syngas was completed. Pre-operation checkout of the entire power plant was conducted and the plant was ready to operate in July 2004. However, fuel gas (natural gas or syngas) was not available at the WREL site due to technical difficulties with the gasifier and other issues. The fuel cell power plant was therefore not operated, and subsequently removed by October of 2005. The WREL fuel cell site was restored to the satisfaction of WREL. FuelCell Energy continues to market carbonate fuel cells for natural gas and digester gas applications. A fuel cell/turbine hybrid is being developed and tested that provides higher efficiency with potential to reach the DOE goal of 60% HHV on coal gas. A system study was conducted for a 40 MW direct fuel cell/turbine hybrid (DFC/T) with potential for future coal gas applications. In addition, FCE is developing Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) power plants with Versa Power Systems (VPS) as part of the Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA) program and has an on-going program for co-production of hydrogen. Future development in these technologies can lead to future coal gas fuel cell applications.

  20. Pulsation effects on the air fuel ratio of carburetor engines

    SciTech Connect

    Tanaka, M.; Sato, T.; Watanabe, K.

    1986-01-01

    A significant wavewise change of air fuel ratio in line with the engine speed having a long intake pipe was studied experimentally and theoretically. The results show the pulsewise change in fuel flow plays the dominant role in the wavewise change in the air fuel ratio. It is found that this pulsewise fluctuation of the fuel flow forms an oscillation wave with both the amplitude and frequency becoming larger according to the engine speed resulted by the phase change of the pulsation wave in the intake pipe according to the engine speed. A modified frequency ratio of gas vibration in the intake pipe to that of engine intake stroke is proposed to explain this pulsation effect on the fuel flow and an effective simulator for this phenomena is established.

  1. Critical assessment of power trains with fuel-cell systems and different fuels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Höhlein, B.; von Andrian, S.; Grube, Th; Menzer, R.

    Legal regulations (USA, EU) are a major driving force for intensifying technological developments with respect to the global automobile market. In the future, highly efficient vehicles with very low emission levels will include low-temperature fuel-cell systems (PEFC) as units of electric power trains. With alcohols, ether or hydrocarbons used as fuels for these new electric power trains, hydrogen as PEFC fuel has to be produced on board. These concepts including the direct use of methanol in fuel-cell systems, differ considerably in terms of both their development prospects and the results achieved so far. Based on process engineering analyses for net electricity generation in PEFC-powered power trains, as well as on assumptions for electric power trains and vehicle configurations, different fuel-cell performances and fuel processing units for octane, diesel, methanol, ethanol, propane and dimethylether have been evaluated as fuels. The possible benefits and key challenges for different solutions of power trains with fuel-cell systems/on-board hydrogen production and with direct methanol fuel-cell (DMFC) systems have been assessed. Locally, fuel-cell power trains are almost emission-free and, unlike battery-powered vehicles, their range is comparable to conventional vehicles. Therefore, they have application advantages cases of particularly stringent emission standards requiring zero emission. In comparison to internal combustion engines, using fuel-cell power trains can lead to clear reductions in primary energy demand and global, climate-relevant emissions providing the advantage of the efficiency of the hydrogen/air reaction in the fuel cell is not too drastically reduced by additional conversion steps of on-board hydrogen production, or by losses due to fuel supply provision.

  2. Fuel Cell/Electrochemical Cell Voltage Monitor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vasquez, Arturo

    2012-01-01

    A concept has been developed for a new fuel cell individual-cell-voltage monitor that can be directly connected to a multi-cell fuel cell stack for direct substack power provisioning. It can also provide voltage isolation for applications in high-voltage fuel cell stacks. The technology consists of basic modules, each with an 8- to 16-cell input electrical measurement connection port. For each basic module, a power input connection would be provided for direct connection to a sub-stack of fuel cells in series within the larger stack. This power connection would allow for module power to be available in the range of 9-15 volts DC. The relatively low voltage differences that the module would encounter from the input electrical measurement connection port, coupled with the fact that the module's operating power is supplied by the same substack voltage input (and so will be at similar voltage), provides for elimination of high-commonmode voltage issues within each module. Within each module, there would be options for analog-to-digital conversion and data transfer schemes. Each module would also include a data-output/communication port. Each of these ports would be required to be either non-electrical (e.g., optically isolated) or electrically isolated. This is necessary to account for the fact that the plurality of modules attached to the stack will normally be at a range of voltages approaching the full range of the fuel cell stack operating voltages. A communications/ data bus could interface with the several basic modules. Options have been identified for command inputs from the spacecraft vehicle controller, and for output-status/data feeds to the vehicle.

  3. Fuel cell development for transportation: Catalyst development

    SciTech Connect

    Doddapaneni, N.

    1996-04-01

    Fuel cells are being considered as alternate power sources for transportation and stationary applications. With proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells the fuel crossover to cathodes causes severe thermal management and cell voltage drop due to oxidation of fuel at the platinized cathodes. The main goal of this project was to design, synthesize, and evaluate stable and inexpensive transition metal macrocyclic catalysts for the reduction of oxygen and be electrochemically inert towards anode fuels such as hydrogen and methanol.

  4. Indirect-fired gas turbine bottomed with fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Micheli, Paul L.; Williams, Mark C.; Parsons, Edward L.

    1995-01-01

    An indirect-heated gas turbine cycle is bottomed with a fuel cell cycle with the heated air discharged from the gas turbine being directly utilized at the cathode of the fuel cell for the electricity-producing electrochemical reaction occurring within the fuel cell. The hot cathode recycle gases provide a substantial portion of the heat required for the indirect heating of the compressed air used in the gas turbine cycle. A separate combustor provides the balance of the heat needed for the indirect heating of the compressed air used in the gas turbine cycle. Hot gases from the fuel cell are used in the combustor to reduce both the fuel requirements of the combustor and the NOx emissions therefrom. Residual heat remaining in the air-heating gases after completing the heating thereof is used in a steam turbine cycle or in an absorption refrigeration cycle. Some of the hot gases from the cathode can be diverted from the air-heating function and used in the absorption refrigeration cycle or in the steam cycle for steam generating purposes.

  5. Indirect-fired gas turbine bottomed with fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Micheli, P.L.; Williams, M.C.; Parsons, E.L.

    1995-09-12

    An indirect-heated gas turbine cycle is bottomed with a fuel cell cycle with the heated air discharged from the gas turbine being directly utilized at the cathode of the fuel cell for the electricity-producing electrochemical reaction occurring within the fuel cell. The hot cathode recycle gases provide a substantial portion of the heat required for the indirect heating of the compressed air used in the gas turbine cycle. A separate combustor provides the balance of the heat needed for the indirect heating of the compressed air used in the gas turbine cycle. Hot gases from the fuel cell are used in the combustor to reduce both the fuel requirements of the combustor and the NOx emissions therefrom. Residual heat remaining in the air-heating gases after completing the heating thereof is used in a steam turbine cycle or in an absorption refrigeration cycle. Some of the hot gases from the cathode can be diverted from the air-heating function and used in the absorption refrigeration cycle or in the steam cycle for steam generating purposes. 1 fig.

  6. Fuel-Cell Drivers Wanted

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clark, Todd; Jones, Rick

    2004-01-01

    While the political climate seems favorable for the development of fuel-cell vehicles for personal transportation, the market's demand may not be so favorable. Nonetheless, middle level students will be the next generation of drivers and voters, and they need to be able to make informed decisions regarding the nation's energy and transportation…

  7. Corrosion resistant PEM fuel cell

    DOEpatents

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

    2002-01-01

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

  8. Corrosion resistant PEM fuel cell

    DOEpatents

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

    2011-06-07

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

  9. In situ PEM fuel cell water measurements

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-01-01

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

  10. Air assist fuel nozzle reduces aircraft gas turbine engine emissions at idle operation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Briehl, D.; Papathakos, L. C.

    1972-01-01

    Reduction in unburned hydrocarbons from jet engine by use of air assist fuel nozzle is discussed. Operation of nozzle for improving combustion efficiency by improving fuel atomization is analyzed. Advantages to be achieved by air assist fuel nozzle are analyzed.

  11. PEM fuel cell monitoring system

    DOEpatents

    Meltser, Mark Alexander; Grot, Stephen Andreas

    1998-01-01

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

  12. PEM fuel cell monitoring system

    DOEpatents

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

    1998-06-09

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

  13. Catalysts compositions for use in fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Chuang, Steven S.C.

    2015-12-01

    The present invention generally relates to the generation of electrical energy from a solid-state fuel. In one embodiment, the present invention relates to a solid-oxide fuel cell for generating electrical energy from a carbon-based fuel, and to catalysts for use in a solid-oxide fuel cell.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Araghi, Koorosh R.

    2011-01-01

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

  15. Carbon fuel particles used in direct carbon conversion fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Cooper, John F.; Cherepy, Nerine

    2012-10-09

    A system for preparing particulate carbon fuel and using the particulate carbon fuel in a fuel cell. Carbon particles are finely divided. The finely dividing carbon particles are introduced into the fuel cell. A gas containing oxygen is introduced into the fuel cell. The finely divided carbon particles are exposed to carbonate salts, or to molten NaOH or KOH or LiOH or mixtures of NaOH or KOH or LiOH, or to mixed hydroxides, or to alkali and alkaline earth nitrates.

  16. Carbon fuel particles used in direct carbon conversion fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Cooper, John F.; Cherepy, Nerine

    2012-01-24

    A system for preparing particulate carbon fuel and using the particulate carbon fuel in a fuel cell. Carbon particles are finely divided. The finely dividing carbon particles are introduced into the fuel cell. A gas containing oxygen is introduced into the fuel cell. The finely divided carbon particles are exposed to carbonate salts, or to molten NaOH or KOH or LiOH or mixtures of NaOH or KOH or LiOH, or to mixed hydroxides, or to alkali and alkaline earth nitrates.

  17. Carbon Fuel Particles Used in Direct Carbon Conversion Fuel Cells

    DOEpatents

    Cooper, John F.; Cherepy, Nerine

    2008-10-21

    A system for preparing particulate carbon fuel and using the particulate carbon fuel in a fuel cell. Carbon particles are finely divided. The finely dividing carbon particles are introduced into the fuel cell. A gas containing oxygen is introduced into the fuel cell. The finely divided carbon particles are exposed to carbonate salts, or to molten NaOH or KOH or LiOH or mixtures of NaOH or KOH or LiOH, or to mixed hydroxides, or to alkali and alkaline earth nitrates.

  18. Carbon fuel particles used in direct carbon conversion fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Cooper, John F.; Cherepy, Nerine

    2011-08-16

    A system for preparing particulate carbon fuel and using the particulate carbon fuel in a fuel cell. Carbon particles are finely divided. The finely dividing carbon particles are introduced into the fuel cell. A gas containing oxygen is introduced into the fuel cell. The finely divided carbon particles are exposed to carbonate salts, or to molten NaOH or KOH or LiOH or mixtures of NaOH or KOH or LiOH, or to mixed hydroxides, or to alkali and alkaline earth nitrates.

  19. Electrochemical fuel cell generator having an internal and leak tight hydrocarbon fuel reformer

    DOEpatents

    Dederer, Jeffrey T.; Hager, Charles A.

    1998-01-01

    An electrochemical fuel cell generator configuration is made having a generator section which contains a plurality of axially elongated fuel cells, each cell containing a fuel electrode, air electrode, and solid oxide electrolyte between the electrodes, in which axially elongated dividers separate portions of the fuel cells from each other, and where at least one divider also reforms a reformable fuel gas mixture prior to electricity generation reactions, the at least one reformer-divider is hollow having a closed end and an open end entrance for a reformable fuel mixture to pass to the closed end of the divider and then reverse flow and pass back along the hollowed walls to be reformed, and then finally to pass as reformed fuel out of the open end of the divider to contact the fuel cells, and further where the reformer-divider is a composite structure having a gas diffusion barrier of metallic foil surrounding the external walls of the reformer-divider except at the entrance to prevent diffusion of the reformable gas mixture through the divider, and further housed in an outer insulating jacket except at the entrance to prevent short-circuiting of the fuel cells by the gas diffusion barrier.

  20. Electrochemical fuel cell generator having an internal and leak tight hydrocarbon fuel reformer

    DOEpatents

    Dederer, J.T.; Hager, C.A.

    1998-03-31

    An electrochemical fuel cell generator configuration is made having a generator section which contains a plurality of axially elongated fuel cells, each cell containing a fuel electrode, air electrode, and solid oxide electrolyte between the electrodes, in which axially elongated dividers separate portions of the fuel cells from each other, and where at least one divider also reforms a reformable fuel gas mixture prior to electricity generation reactions, the at least one reformer-divider is hollow having a closed end and an open end entrance for a reformable fuel mixture to pass to the closed end of the divider and then reverse flow and pass back along the hollowed walls to be reformed, and then finally to pass as reformed fuel out of the open end of the divider to contact the fuel cells, and further where the reformer-divider is a composite structure having a gas diffusion barrier of metallic foil surrounding the external walls of the reformer-divider except at the entrance to prevent diffusion of the reformable gas mixture through the divider, and further housed in an outer insulating jacket except at the entrance to prevent short-circuiting of the fuel cells by the gas diffusion barrier. 10 figs.

  1. 2007 Fuel Cell Technologies Market Report

    SciTech Connect

    McMurphy, K.

    2009-07-01

    The fuel cell industry, which has experienced continued increases in sales, is an emerging clean energy industry with the potential for significant growth in the stationary, portable, and transportation sectors. Fuel cells produce electricity in a highly efficient electrochemical process from a variety of fuels with low to zero emissions. This report describes data compiled in 2008 on trends in the fuel cell industry for 2007 with some comparison to two previous years. The report begins with a discussion of worldwide trends in units shipped and financing for the fuel cell industry for 2007. It continues by focusing on the North American and U.S. markets. After providing this industry-wide overview, the report identifies trends for each of the major fuel cell applications -- stationary power, portable power, and transportation -- including data on the range of fuel cell technologies -- polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC), solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC), alkaline fuel cell (AFC), molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC), phosphoric acid fuel cell (PAFC), and direct-methanol fuel cell (DMFC) -- used for these applications.

  2. In Situ fuel processing in a microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Bahartan, Karnit; Amir, Liron; Israel, Alvaro; Lichtenstein, Rachel G; Alfonta, Lital

    2012-09-01

    A microbial fuel cell (MFC) was designed in which fuel is generated in the cell by the enzyme glucoamylase, which is displayed on the surface of yeast. The enzyme digests starch specifically into monomeric glucose units and as a consequence enables further glucose oxidation by microorganisms present in the MFC anode. The oxidative enzyme glucose oxidase was coupled to the glucoamylase digestive enzyme. When both enzymes were displayed on the surface of yeast cells in a mixed culture, superior fuel-cell performance was observed in comparison with other combinations of yeast cells, unmodified yeast, or pure enzymes. The feasibility of the use of the green macroalgae Ulva lactuca in such a genetically modified MFC was also demonstrated. Herein, we report the performance of such fuel cells as a proof of concept for the enzymatic digestion of complex organic fuels in the anode of MFCs to render the fuel more available to microorganisms. PMID:22833422

  3. Fundamentals of fuel cell system integration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krumpelt, Michael; Kumar, Romesh; Myles, Kevin M.

    1994-04-01

    Fuel cells are theoretically very efficient energy conversion devices that have the potential of becoming a commercial product for numerous uses in the civilian economy. We have analyzed several fuel cell system designs with regard to thermal and chemical integration of the fuel cell stack into the rest of the system. Thermal integration permits the use of the stack waste heat for the endothermic steps of fuel reforming. Chemical integration provides the steam needed for fuel reforming from the water produced by the electrochemical cell reaction. High-temperature fuel cells, such as the molten carbonate and the solid oxide fuel cells, permit this system integration in a relatively simple manner. Lower temperature fuel cells, such as the polymer electrolyte and phosphoric acid systems, require added system complexity to achieve such integration. The system economics are affected by capital and fuel costs and technical parameters, such as electrochemical fuel utilization, current density, and system complexity. At today's low fuel prices and the high fuel cell costs (in part, because of the low rates of production of the early prototypes), fuel cell systems are not cost competitive with conventional power generation. With the manufacture and sale of larger numbers of fuel cell systems, the total costs will decrease from the current several thousand dollars per kW, to perhaps less than $100 per kW as production volumes approa ch a million units per year.

  4. Study of fuel cell powerplant with heat recovery

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    King, J. M.; Grasso, A. P.; Clausi, J. V.

    1975-01-01

    It was shown that heat can be recovered from fuel cell power plants by replacing the air-cooled heat exchangers in present designs with units which transfer the heat to the integrated utility system. Energy availability for a 40-kW power plant was studied and showed that the total usable energy at rated power represents 84 percent of the fuel lower heating value. The effects of design variables on heat availability proved to be small. Design requirements were established for the heat recovery heat exchangers, including measurement of the characteristics of two candidate fuel cell coolants after exposure to fuel cell operating conditions. A heat exchanger test program was defined to assess fouling and other characteristics of fuel cell heat exchangers needed to confirm heat exchanger designs for heat recovery.

  5. Silver-chlorine fuel cell: A concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lieberman, M.

    1972-01-01

    Fuel cell regenerated by photochemical reduction enables novel slurry system to transport particles of reduced silver between regenerator section and anode. Fundamental reactions which provide electrical power from the fuel cell are given.

  6. Fuel-cell engine stream conditioning system

    DOEpatents

    DuBose, Ronald Arthur

    2002-01-01

    A stream conditioning system for a fuel cell gas management system or fuel cell engine. The stream conditioning system manages species potential in at least one fuel cell reactant stream. A species transfer device is located in the path of at least one reactant stream of a fuel cell's inlet or outlet, which transfer device conditions that stream to improve the efficiency of the fuel cell. The species transfer device incorporates an exchange media and a sorbent. The fuel cell gas management system can include a cathode loop with the stream conditioning system transferring latent and sensible heat from an exhaust stream to the cathode inlet stream of the fuel cell; an anode humidity retention system for maintaining the total enthalpy of the anode stream exiting the fuel cell related to the total enthalpy of the anode inlet stream; and a cooling water management system having segregated deionized water and cooling water loops interconnected by means of a brazed plate heat exchanger.

  7. Interconnection of bundled solid oxide fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, Michael; Bessette, II, Norman F; Litka, Anthony F; Schmidt, Douglas S

    2014-01-14

    A system and method for electrically interconnecting a plurality of fuel cells to provide dense packing of the fuel cells. Each one of the plurality of fuel cells has a plurality of discrete electrical connection points along an outer surface. Electrical connections are made directly between the discrete electrical connection points of adjacent fuel cells so that the fuel cells can be packed more densely. Fuel cells have at least one outer electrode and at least one discrete interconnection to an inner electrode, wherein the outer electrode is one of a cathode and and anode and wherein the inner electrode is the other of the cathode and the anode. In tubular solid oxide fuel cells the discrete electrical connection points are spaced along the length of the fuel cell.

  8. System for controlling the operating temperature of a fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Fabis, Thomas R.; Makiel, Joseph M.; Veyo, Stephen E.

    2006-06-06

    A method and system are provided for improved control of the operating temperature of a fuel cell (32) utilizing an improved temperature control system (30) that varies the flow rate of inlet air entering the fuel cell (32) in response to changes in the operating temperature of the fuel cell (32). Consistent with the invention an improved temperature control system (30) is provided that includes a controller (37) that receives an indication of the temperature of the inlet air from a temperature sensor (39) and varies the heat output by at least one heat source (34, 36) to maintain the temperature of the inlet air at a set-point T.sub.inset. The controller (37) also receives an indication of the operating temperature of the fuel cell (32) and varies the flow output by an adjustable air mover (33), within a predetermined range around a set-point F.sub.set, in order to maintain the operating temperature of the fuel cell (32) at a set-point T.sub.opset.

  9. Strongly correlated perovskite fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Zhou, You; Guan, Xiaofei; Zhou, Hua; Ramadoss, Koushik; Adam, Suhare; Liu, Huajun; Lee, Sungsik; Shi, Jian; Tsuchiya, Masaru; Fong, Dillon D; Ramanathan, Shriram

    2016-06-01

    Fuel cells convert chemical energy directly into electrical energy with high efficiencies and environmental benefits, as compared with traditional heat engines. Yttria-stabilized zirconia is perhaps the material with the most potential as an electrolyte in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), owing to its stability and near-unity ionic transference number. Although there exist materials with superior ionic conductivity, they are often limited by their ability to suppress electronic leakage when exposed to the reducing environment at the fuel interface. Such electronic leakage reduces fuel cell power output and the associated chemo-mechanical stresses can also lead to catastrophic fracture of electrolyte membranes. Here we depart from traditional electrolyte design that relies on cation substitution to sustain ionic conduction. Instead, we use a perovskite nickelate as an electrolyte with high initial ionic and electronic conductivity. Since many such oxides are also correlated electron systems, we can suppress the electronic conduction through a filling-controlled Mott transition induced by spontaneous hydrogen incorporation. Using such a nickelate as the electrolyte in free-standing membrane geometry, we demonstrate a low-temperature micro-fabricated SOFC with high performance. The ionic conductivity of the nickelate perovskite is comparable to the best-performing solid electrolytes in the same temperature range, with a very low activation energy. The results present a design strategy for high-performance materials exhibiting emergent properties arising from strong electron correlations. PMID:27279218

  10. Strongly correlated perovskite fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, You; Guan, Xiaofei; Zhou, Hua; Ramadoss, Koushik; Adam, Suhare; Liu, Huajun; Lee, Sungsik; Shi, Jian; Tsuchiya, Masaru; Fong, Dillon D.; Ramanathan, Shriram

    2016-06-01

    Fuel cells convert chemical energy directly into electrical energy with high efficiencies and environmental benefits, as compared with traditional heat engines. Yttria-stabilized zirconia is perhaps the material with the most potential as an electrolyte in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), owing to its stability and near-unity ionic transference number. Although there exist materials with superior ionic conductivity, they are often limited by their ability to suppress electronic leakage when exposed to the reducing environment at the fuel interface. Such electronic leakage reduces fuel cell power output and the associated chemo-mechanical stresses can also lead to catastrophic fracture of electrolyte membranes. Here we depart from traditional electrolyte design that relies on cation substitution to sustain ionic conduction. Instead, we use a perovskite nickelate as an electrolyte with high initial ionic and electronic conductivity. Since many such oxides are also correlated electron systems, we can suppress the electronic conduction through a filling-controlled Mott transition induced by spontaneous hydrogen incorporation. Using such a nickelate as the electrolyte in free-standing membrane geometry, we demonstrate a low-temperature micro-fabricated SOFC with high performance. The ionic conductivity of the nickelate perovskite is comparable to the best-performing solid electrolytes in the same temperature range, with a very low activation energy. The results present a design strategy for high-performance materials exhibiting emergent properties arising from strong electron correlations.

  11. Rapidly refuelable fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Joy, R.W.

    1982-09-20

    A rapidly refuelable dual cell of an electrochemical type is described wherein a single anode cooperates with two cathodes and wherein the anode has a fixed position and the cathodes are urged toward opposite faces of the anodes at constant and uniform force. The associated cathodes are automatically retractable to permit the consumed anode remains to be removed from the housing and a new anode inserted between the two cathodes.

  12. Development of portable fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Nakatou, K.; Sumi, S.; Nishizawa, N.

    1996-12-31

    Sanyo Electric has been concentrating on developing a marketable portable fuel cell using phosphoric acid fuel cells (PAFC). Due to the fact that this power source uses PAFC that operate at low temperature around 100{degrees} C, they are easier to handle compared to conventional fuel cells that operate at around 200{degrees} C , they can also be expected to provide extended reliable operation because corrosion of the electrode material and deterioration of the electrode catalyst are almost completely nonexistent. This power source is meant to be used independently and stored at room temperature. When it is started up, it generates electricity itself using its internal load to raise the temperature. As a result, the phosphoric acid (the electolyte) absorbs the reaction water when the temperature starts to be raised (around room temperature). At the same time the concentration and volume of the phosphoric acid changes, which may adversely affect the life time of the cell. We have studied means for starting, operating PAFC stack using methods that can simply evaluate changes in the concentration of the electrolyte in the stack with the aim of improving and extending cell life and report on them in this paper.

  13. Fuel cell manifold sealing system

    DOEpatents

    Grevstad, Paul E.; Johnson, Carl K.; Mientek, Anthony P.

    1980-01-01

    A manifold-to-stack seal and sealing method for fuel cell stacks. This seal system solves the problem of maintaining a low leak rate manifold seal as the fuel cell stack undergoes compressive creep. The seal system eliminates the problem of the manifold-to-stack seal sliding against the rough stack surface as the stack becomes shorter because of cell creep, which relative motion destroys the seal. The seal system described herein utilizes a polymer seal frame firmly clamped between the manifold and the stack such that the seal frame moves with the stack. Thus, as the stack creeps, the seal frame creeps with it, and there is no sliding at the rough, tough to seal, stack-to-seal frame interface. Here the sliding is on a smooth easy to seal location between the seal frame and the manifold.

  14. Fuel cell system and method

    DOEpatents

    Maru, Hansraj C.; Farooque, Mohammad

    1984-01-01

    A fuel cell system comprising a fuel cell including first and second electrolyte-communicative passage means, a third electrolyte-isolated passage means in thermal communication with a heat generating surface of the cell, independent first, second and third input manifolds for the first, second and third passage means, the first input manifold being adapted to be connected to a first supply for a first process gas and one of the second and third input manifold means being adapted to be connected to a second supply for a second process gas, and means for conveying a portion of the gas passing out of the passage means fed by the one input manifold means to the other of the second and third input manifold means.

  15. A Modeling and Experimental Framework for Controls for Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Lu, Ning; Sun, Xin; Khaleel, Mohammad A.

    2006-03-15

    OLID oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) hold the promise of playing a major role in future power grids either as distributed generators (DGs) or as stand-alone power units because of their higher efficiency, lower emission, modular structure, and higher generation capability over other DGs or batteries. SOFCs operate at temperatures ranging from 600 C to 1000 C. To avoid thermal shock during heat-up as well as operation, inlet flow (fuel and air) temperatures and speeds must be carefully controlled to maintain the temperature gradient within the SOFC stack. Furthermore, increased fuel flow tends to decrease the fuel utilization and increase uniformity of the reaction rates across the active area, while decreased fuel flow tends to increase the fuel utilization but it can cause local fuel depletion and cold spots that exacerbate temperature non-uniformities [1]. Therefore, when maintaining reasonable fuel utilization at any loading level, the air flow rate and the fuel flow rate must be adjusted so that the fuel distribution and temperature gradient across the cell is more uniform.

  16. Solid oxide fuel cell matrix and modules

    DOEpatents

    Riley, B.

    1988-04-22

    Porous refractory ceramic blocks arranged in an abutting, stacked configuration and forming a three dimensional array provide a support structure and coupling means for a plurality of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). The stack of ceramic blocks is self-supporting, with a plurality of such stacked arrays forming a matrix enclosed in an insulating refractory brick structure having an outer steel layer. The necessary connections for air, fuel, burnt gas, and anode and cathode connections are provided through the brick and steel outer shell. The ceramic blocks are so designed with respect to the strings of modules that by simple and logical design the strings could be replaced by hot reloading if one should fail. The hot reloading concept has not been included in any previous designs. 11 figs.

  17. 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.

  18. FUEL CELL ENERGY RECOVERY FROM LANDFILL GAS

    EPA Science Inventory

    International Fuel Cells Corporation is conducting a US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sponsored program to demonstrate energy recovery from landfill gas using a commercial phosphoric acid fuel cell power plant. The US EPA is interested in fuel cells for this application b...

  19. Fuel cell/gas turbine integration

    SciTech Connect

    Knickerbocker, T.

    1995-10-19

    The Allison Engine Company`s very high efficiency fuel cell/advanced turbine power cycle program is discussed. The power cycle has the following advantages: high system efficiency potential, reduced emissions inherent to fuel cells, unmanned operation(no boiler) particularly suited for distributed power, and existing product line matches fuel cell operating environment. Cost effectiveness, estimates, and projections are given.

  20. Low cost, lightweight fuel cell elements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kindler, Andrew (Inventor)

    2001-01-01

    New fuel cell elements for use in liquid feed fuel cells are provided. The elements including biplates and endplates are low in cost, light in weight, and allow high efficiency operation. Electrically conductive elements are also a part of the fuel cell elements.

  1. The TMI regenerable solid oxide fuel cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cable, Thomas L.

    1995-01-01

    Energy storage and production in space requires rugged, reliable hardware which minimizes weight, volume, and maintenance while maximizing power output and usable energy storage. These systems generally consist of photovoltaic solar arrays which operate during sunlight cycles to provide system power and regenerate fuel (hydrogen) via water electrolysis; during dark cycles, hydrogen is converted by the fuel cell into system. The currently preferred configuration uses two separate systems (fuel cell and electrolyzer) in conjunction with photovoltaic cells. Fuel cell/electrolyzer system simplicity, reliability, and power-to-weight and power-to-volume ratios could be greatly improved if both power production (fuel cell) and power storage (electrolysis) functions can be integrated into a single unit. The Technology Management, Inc. (TMI), solid oxide fuel cell-based system offers the opportunity to both integrate fuel cell and electrolyzer functions into one unit and potentially simplify system requirements. Based an the TMI solid oxide fuel cell (SOPC) technology, the TMI integrated fuel cell/electrolyzer utilizes innovative gas storage and operational concepts and operates like a rechargeable 'hydrogen-oxygen battery'. Preliminary research has been completed on improved H2/H2O electrode (SOFC anode/electrolyzer cathode) materials for solid oxide, regenerative fuel cells. Improved H2/H2O electrode materials showed improved cell performance in both fuel cell and electrolysis modes in reversible cell tests. ln reversible fuel cell/electrolyzer mode, regenerative fuel cell efficiencies (ratio of power out (fuel cell mode) to power in (electrolyzer model)) improved from 50 percent (using conventional electrode materials) to over 80 percent. The new materials will allow the TMI SOFC system to operate as both the electrolyzer and fuel cell in a single unit. Preliminary system designs have also been developed which indicate the technical feasibility of using the TMI SOFC

  2. Clean fuels prices dependent on regional air quality standards

    SciTech Connect

    Thompson, R.G.; Singleton, F.D.

    1983-12-01

    With continuing high real oil prices, society's demands for regional air quality in terms of sulfur oxide emissions will be the primary determinant of the marginal values of clean fuels and the marginal costs of electricity. Increases in electricity costs may be dampened significantly by using economic instruments, rather than uniform technology controls, to work toward a clean environment and a transition in boiler fuels. However, the level of this dampening effect will be significantly affected by whether or not licenses continue to be granted for new nuclear power plants. Legislated environmental policies to prevent significant deterioration of regional air quality (PSD Standards) will significantly increase the economic incentives (shadow prices) for investments in new clean fuels technologies. With the increasing shadow prices resulting from stringent PSD standards, only modest tax breaks will be necessary at oil prices of $30 per barrel (in 1982 dollars) to stimulate the economic development of the synthetic fossil fuels industry in the United States.

  3. Solid-polymer-electrolyte fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Fuller, T.F.

    1992-07-01

    A transport model for polymer electrolytes is presented, based on concentrated solution theory and irreversible thermodynamics. Thermodynamic driving forces are developed, transport properties are identified and experiments devised. Transport number of water in Nafion 117 membrane is determined using a concentration cell. It is 1.4 for a membrane equilibrated with saturated water vapor at 25{degrees}C, decreases slowly as the membrane is dehydrated, and falls sharply toward zero as the water content approaches zero. The relation between transference number, transport number, and electroosmotic drag coefficient is presented, and their relevance to water-management is discussed. A mathematical model of transport in a solid-polymer-electrolyte fuel cell is presented. A two-dimensional membrane-electrode assembly is considered. Water management, thermal management, and utilization of fuel are examined in detail. The membrane separators of these fuel cells require sorbed water to maintain conductivity; therefore it is necessary to manage the water content in membranes to ensure efficient operation. Water and thermal management are interrelated. Rate of heat removal is shown to be a critical parameter in the operation of these fuel cells. Current-voltage curves are presented for operation on air and reformed methanol. Equations for convective diffusion to a rotating disk are solved numerically for a consolute point between the bulk concentration and the surface. A singular-perturbation expansion is presented for the condition where the bulk concentration is nearly equal to the consolute-point composition. Results are compared to Levich`s solution and analysis.

  4. Sensor Development for PEM Fuel Cell Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Steve Magee; Richard Gehman

    2005-07-12

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

  5. Basic Considerations in the Combustion of Hydrocarbon Fuels with Air

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barnett, Henry C; Hibbard, Robert R

    1957-01-01

    Basic combustion research is collected, collated, and interpreted as it applies to flight propulsion. The following fundamental processes are treated in separate chapters: atomization and evaporation of liquid fuels, flow and mixing processes in combustion chambers, ignition and flammability of hydrocarbon fuels, laminar flame propagation, turbulent flames, flame stabilization, diffusion flames, oscillations in combustors, and smoke and coke formation in the combustion of hydrocarbon-air mixtures. Theoretical background, basic experimental data, and practical significance to flight propulsion are presented.

  6. Fuel-injector/air-swirl characterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McVey, J. B.; Kennedy, J. B.; Bennett, J. C.

    1985-10-01

    The objectives of this program are to establish an experimental data base documenting the behavior of gas turbine engine fuel injector sprays as the spray interacts with the swirling gas flow existing in the combustor dome, and to conduct an assessment of the validity of current analytical techniques for predicting fuel spray behavior. Emphasis is placed on the acquisition of data using injector/swirler components which closely resemble components currently in use in advanced aircraft gas turbine engines, conducting tests under conditions that closely simulate or closely approximate those developed in actual combustors, and conducting a well-controlled experimental effort which will comprise using a combination of low-risk experiments and experiments requiring the use of state-of-the-art diagnostic instrumentation. Analysis of the data is to be conducted using an existing, TEACH-type code which employs a stochastic analysis of the motion of the dispersed phase in the turbulent continuum flow field.

  7. Air-fuel ratio control in a gasoline engine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lauber, J.; Guerra, T. M.; Dambrine, M.

    2011-02-01

    The aim of this article is to design an air-fuel ratio control law for a gasoline IC engine. The air-fuel ratio is measured by a lambda sensor in the exhaust manifold. As a consequence, a variable transport delay arises in the model considered. A non-linear control approach based on a Takagi-Sugeno's model of the system is used. Then, two structures of control law are compared based on parallel distributed compensation control laws, which take into account the variable time delay. Finally, some simulations are given to show the efficiency of the developed control law.

  8. Cell module and fuel conditioner

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoover, D. Q., Jr.

    1980-01-01

    The computer code for the detailed analytical model of the MK-2 stacks is described. An ERC proprietary matrix is incorporated in the stacks. The mechanical behavior of the stack during thermal cycles under compression was determined. A 5 cell stack of the MK-2 design was fabricated and tested. Designs for the next three stacks were selected and component fabrication initiated. A 3 cell stack which verified the use of wet assembly and a new acid fill procedure were fabricated and tested. Components for the 2 kW test facility were received or fabricated and construction of the facility is underway. The definition of fuel and water is used in a study of the fuel conditioning subsystem. Kinetic data on several catalysts, both crushed and pellets, was obtained in the differential reactor. A preliminary definition of the equipment requirements for treating tap and recovered water was developed.

  9. Residential Fuel Cell Demonstration Handbook

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torrero, E.; McClelland, R.

    2002-07-01

    This report is a guide for rural electric cooperatives engaged in field testing of equipment and in assessing related application and market issues. Dispersed generation and its companion fuel cell technology have attracted increased interest by rural electric cooperatives and their customers. In addition, fuel cells are a particularly interesting source because their power quality, efficiency, and environmental benefits have now been coupled with major manufacturer development efforts. The overall effort is structured to measure the performance, durability, reliability, and maintainability of these systems, to identify promising types of applications and modes of operation, and to assess the related prospect for future use. In addition, technical successes and shortcomings will be identified by demonstration participants and manufacturers using real-world experience garnered under typical operating environments.

  10. Spray-on polyvinyl alcohol separators and impact on power production in air-cathode microbial fuel cells with different solution conductivities.

    PubMed

    Hoskins, Daniel L; Zhang, Xiaoyuan; Hickner, Michael A; Logan, Bruce E

    2014-11-01

    Separators are used to protect cathodes from biofouling and to avoid electrode short-circuiting, but they can adversely affect microbial fuel cell (MFC) performance. A spray method was used to apply a polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) separator to the cathode. Power densities were unaffected by the PVA separator (339±29mW/m(2)), compared to a control lacking a separator in a low conductivity solution (1mS/cm) similar to wastewater. Power was reduced with separators in solutions typical of laboratory tests (7-13mS/cm), compared to separatorless controls. The PVA separator produced more power in a separator assembly (SEA) configuration (444±8mW/m(2)) in the 1mS/cm solution, but power was reduced if a PVA or wipe separator was used in higher conductivity solutions with either Pt or activated carbon catalysts. Spray and cast PVA separators performed similarly, but the spray method is preferred as it was easier to apply and use. PMID:25260178

  11. Intermediate Temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Development

    SciTech Connect

    S. Elangovan; Scott Barnett; Sossina Haile

    2008-06-30

    Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are high efficiency energy conversion devices. Present materials set, using yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) electrolyte, limit the cell operating temperatures to 800 C or higher. It has become increasingly evident however that lowering the operating temperature would provide a more expeditious route to commercialization. The advantages of intermediate temperature (600 to 800 C) operation are related to both economic and materials issues. Lower operating temperature allows the use of low cost materials for the balance of plant and limits degradation arising from materials interactions. When the SOFC operating temperature is in the range of 600 to 700 C, it is also possible to partially reform hydrocarbon fuels within the stack providing additional system cost savings by reducing the air preheat heat-exchanger and blower size. The promise of Sr and Mg doped lanthanum gallate (LSGM) electrolyte materials, based on their high ionic conductivity and oxygen transference number at the intermediate temperature is well recognized. The focus of the present project was two-fold: (a) Identify a cell fabrication technique to achieve the benefits of lanthanum gallate material, and (b) Investigate alternative cathode materials that demonstrate low cathode polarization losses at the intermediate temperature. A porous matrix supported, thin film cell configuration was fabricated. The electrode material precursor was infiltrated into the porous matrix and the counter electrode was screen printed. Both anode and cathode infiltration produced high performance cells. Comparison of the two approaches showed that an infiltrated cathode cells may have advantages in high fuel utilization operations. Two new cathode materials were evaluated. Northwestern University investigated LSGM-ceria composite cathode while Caltech evaluated Ba-Sr-Co-Fe (BSCF) based pervoskite cathode. Both cathode materials showed lower polarization losses at temperatures as low as 600

  12. Fuel cell with ionization membrane

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hartley, Frank T. (Inventor)

    2007-01-01

    A fuel cell is disclosed comprising an ionization membrane having at least one area through which gas is passed, and which ionizes the gas passing therethrough, and a cathode for receiving the ions generated by the ionization membrane. The ionization membrane may include one or more openings in the membrane with electrodes that are located closer than a mean free path of molecules within the gas to be ionized. Methods of manufacture are also provided.

  13. Molten carbonate fuel cell matrices

    DOEpatents

    Vogel, Wolfgang M.; Smith, Stanley W.

    1985-04-16

    A molten carbonate fuel cell including a cathode electrode of electrically conducting or semiconducting lanthanum containing material and an electrolyte containing matrix of an electrically insulating lanthanum perovskite. In addition, in an embodiment where the cathode electrode is LaMnO.sub.3, the matrix may include LaAlO.sub.3 or a lithium containing material such as LiAlO.sub.2 or Li.sub.2 TiO.sub.3.

  14. Solid oxide fuel cell power plant having a fixed contact oxidation catalyzed section of a multi-section cathode air heat exchanger

    DOEpatents

    Saito, Kazuo; Lin, Yao

    2015-02-17

    The multi-section cathode air heat exchanger (102) includes at least a first heat exchanger section (104), and a fixed contact oxidation catalyzed section (126) secured adjacent each other in a stack association. Cool cathode inlet air flows through cool air channels (110) of the at least first (104) and oxidation catalyzed sections (126). Hot anode exhaust flows through hot air channels (124) of the oxidation catalyzed section (126) and is combusted therein. The combusted anode exhaust then flows through hot air channels (112) of the first section (104) of the cathode air heat exchanger (102). The cool and hot air channels (110, 112) are secured in direct heat exchange relationship with each other so that temperatures of the heat exchanger (102) do not exceed 800.degree. C. to minimize requirements for using expensive, high-temperature alloys.

  15. Fuel quality issues in stationary fuel cell systems.

    SciTech Connect

    Papadias, D.; Ahmed, S.; Kumar, R.

    2012-02-07

    Fuel cell systems are being deployed in stationary applications for the generation of electricity, heat, and hydrogen. These systems use a variety of fuel cell types, ranging from the low temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) to the high temperature solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC). Depending on the application and location, these systems are being designed to operate on reformate or syngas produced from various fuels that include natural gas, biogas, coal gas, etc. All of these fuels contain species that can potentially damage the fuel cell anode or other unit operations and processes that precede the fuel cell stack. These detrimental effects include loss in performance or durability, and attenuating these effects requires additional components to reduce the impurity concentrations to tolerable levels, if not eliminate the impurity entirely. These impurity management components increase the complexity of the fuel cell system, and they add to the system's capital and operating costs (such as regeneration, replacement and disposal of spent material and maintenance). This project reviewed the public domain information available on the impurities encountered in stationary fuel cell systems, and the effects of the impurities on the fuel cells. A database has been set up that classifies the impurities, especially in renewable fuels, such as landfill gas and anaerobic digester gas. It documents the known deleterious effects on fuel cells, and the maximum allowable concentrations of select impurities suggested by manufacturers and researchers. The literature review helped to identify the impurity removal strategies that are available, and their effectiveness, capacity, and cost. A generic model of a stationary fuel-cell based power plant operating on digester and landfill gas has been developed; it includes a gas processing unit, followed by a fuel cell system. The model includes the key impurity removal steps to enable predictions of impurity breakthrough

  16. Issues in fuel cell commercialization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Appleby, A. J.

    After 25 years of effort, the phosphoric acid fuel cell (PAFC) is approaching commercialization as cell stack assemblies (CAS) show convincingly low degradation and its balance-of-plant (BOP) achieves mature reliability. A high present capital cost resulting from limited cumulative production remains an issue. The primary PAFC developer in the USA (International Fuel Cells, IFC) has only manufactured 40 MW of PAFC components to date, the equivalent of a single large gas turbine aero-engine or 500 compact car engines. The system is therefore still far up the production learning curve. Even so, the next generation of on-site 40% electrical efficiency (LHV) combined heat-and-power (CHP) PAFC system was available for order from IFC in 1995 at US 3000/kW (1995). To effectively compete in the marketplace with diesel generators, the dispersed cogeneration PAFC must cost approximately US 1550/kW (1995) in the USA and Europe. At somewhat lower costs than this, dispersed cogeneration PAFCs will compete with large combined-cycle generators. However, in Japan, costs greater than US 2000/kW will be competitive, based on the late-1995 trade exchange rate of 100-105 Yen/US ). The perceived advantages of fuel cell technologies over developments of more conventional generators (e.g., ultra-low emissions, siting) are not strong selling points in the marketplace. The ultimate criterion is cost. Cost reduction is now the key to market penetration. This must include reduced installation costs, for which the present goal is US$ 385/kW (1995). How further capital cost reductions can be achieved by the year 2000 is discussed. Progress to date is reviewed, and the potential for pressurized electric utility PAFC units is determined. Markets for high-temperature fuel cell system (molten carbonate, MCFC, and solid oxide, SOFC), which many consider to be 20 and 30 years, respectively, behind the PAFC, are discussed. Their high efficiency and high-quality waste heat should make them attractive

  17. General Motors automotive fuel cell program

    SciTech Connect

    Fronk, M.H.

    1995-08-01

    The objectives of the second phase of the GM/DOE fuel cell program is to develop and test a 30 kW fuel cell powerplant. This powerplant will be based on a methanol fuel processor and a proton exchange membrane PM fuel cell stack. In addition, the 10 kW system developed during phase I will be used as a {open_quotes}mule{close_quotes} to test automotive components and other ancillaries, needed for transient operation.

  18. Recent advances in high-performance direct methanol fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Narayanan, S.R.; Chun, W.; Valdez, T.I.

    1996-12-31

    Direct methanol fuel cells for portable power applications have been advanced significantly under DARPA- and ARO-sponsored programs over the last five years. A liquid-feed direct methanol fuel cell developed under these programs, employs a proton exchange membrane as electrolyte and operates on aqueous solutions of methanol with air or oxygen as the oxidant. Power densities as high as 320 mW/cm{sup 2} have been demonstrated. Demonstration of five-cell stack based on the liquid-feed concept have been successfully performed by Giner Inc. and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Over 2000 hours of life-testing have been completed on these stacks. These fuel cells have been also been demonstrated by USC to operate on alternate fuels such as trimethoxymethane, dimethoxymethane and trioxane. Reduction in the parasitic loss of fuel across the fuel cell, a phenomenon termed as {open_quotes}fuel crossover{close_quotes} has been achieved using polymer membranes developed at USC. As a result efficiencies as high as 40% is considered attainable with this type of fuel cell. The state-of-development has reached a point where it is now been actively considered for stationary, portable and transportation applications. The research and development issues have been the subject of several previous articles and the present article is an attempt to summarize the key advances in this technology.

  19. Combined goal gasifier and fuel cell system and method

    DOEpatents

    Gmeindl, Frank D.; Geisbrecht, Rodney A.

    1990-01-01

    A molten carbonate fuel cell is combined with a catalytic coal or coal char gasifier for providing the reactant gases comprising hydrogen, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide used in the operation of the fuel cell. These reactant gases are stripped of sulfur compounds and particulate material and are then separated in discrete gas streams for conveyance to appropriate electrodes in the fuel cell. The gasifier is arranged to receive the reaction products generated at the anode of the fuel cell by the electricity-producing electrochemical reaction therein. These reaction products from the anode are formed primarily of high temperature steam and carbon dioxide to provide the steam, the atmosphere and the heat necessary to endothermically pyrolyze the coal or char in the presence of a catalyst. The reaction products generated at the cathode are substantially formed of carbon dioxide which is used to heat air being admixed with the carbon dioxide stream from the gasifier for providing the oxygen required for the reaction in the fuel cell and for driving an expansion device for energy recovery. A portion of this carbon dioxide from the cathode may be recycled into the fuel cell with the air-carbon dioxide mixture.

  20. Alkaline fuel cell performance investigation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, R. E.; Manzo, M. A.

    1988-01-01

    An exploratory experimental fuel cell test program was conducted to investigate the performance characteristics of alkaline laboratory research electrodes. The objective of this work was to establish the effect of temperature, pressure, and concentration upon performance and evaluate candidate cathode configurations having the potential for improved performance. The performance characterization tests provided data to empirically establish the effect of temperature, pressure, and concentration upon performance for cell temperatures up to 300 F and reactant pressures up to 200 psia. Evaluation of five gold alloy cathode catalysts revealed that three doped gold alloys had more than two times the surface areas of reference cathodes and therefore offered the best potential for improved performance.

  1. Alkaline fuel cell performance investigation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, R. E.; Manzo, M. A.

    1988-01-01

    An exploratory experimental fuel cell test program was conducted to investigate the performance characteristics of alkaline laboratory research electrodes. The objective of this work was to establish the effect of temperature, pressure, and concentration upon performance and evaluate candidate cathode configurations having the potential for improved performance. The performance characterization tests provided data to empirically establish the effect of temperature, pressure, and concentration upon performance for cell temperatures up to 300 F and reactant pressures up to 200 psia. Evaluation of five gold alloy cathode catalysts revealed that three doped gold alloys had more that two times the surface areas of reference cathodes and therefore offered the best potential for improved performance.

  2. Electrode Performance in Reversible Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Marina, Olga A.; Pederson, Larry R.; Williams, Mark C.; Coffey, Greg W.; Meinhardt, Kerry D.; Nguyen, Carolyn D.; Thomsen, Ed C.

    2007-03-22

    The performance of several negative (fuel) and positive (air) electrode compositions for use in reversible solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) that are capable of operating both as a fuel cell and as an electrolyzer was investigated in half-cell and full-cell tests. Negative electrode compositions studied were a nickel/zirconia cermet (Ni/YSZ) and lanthanum-substituted strontium titanate/ceria composite, whereas positive electrode compositions examined included mixed ion and electron-conducting lanthanum strontium ferrite (LSF), lanthanum strontium copper ferrite (LSCuF), lanthanum strontium cobalt ferrite (LSCoF), and lanthanum strontium manganite (LSM). While titanate/ceria and Ni/YSZ electrodes performed similarly in the fuel cell mode in half-cell tests, losses associated with electrolysis were lower for the titanate/ceria electrode. Positive electrodes all gave higher losses in the electrolysis mode when compared to the fuel cell mode. This behavior was most apparent for mixed-conducting LSF, LSCuF, and LSCoF electrodes, and discernible but smaller for LSM; observations are consistent with expected trends in the interfacial oxygen vacancy concentration under anodic and cathodic polarization. Full-cell tests conducted for cells with a thin electrolyte (7 um YSZ) similarly showed higher polarization losses in the electrolysis than fuel cell direction.

  3. Fuel Cells for Space Science Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burke, Kenneth A.

    2003-01-01

    Fuel cell technology has been receiving more attention recently as a possible alternative to the internal combustion engine for our automobile. Improvements in fuel cell designs as well as improvements in lightweight high-pressure gas storage tank technology make fuel cell technology worth a look to see if fuel cells can play a more expanded role in space missions. This study looks at the specific weight density and specific volume density of potential fuel cell systems as an alternative to primary and secondary batteries that have traditionally been used for space missions. This preliminary study indicates that fuel cell systems have the potential for energy densities of greater than 500 W-hr/kg, greater than 500W/kg and greater than 400 W-hr/liter, greater than 200 W/liter. This level of performance makes fuel cells attractive as high-power density, high-energy density sources for space science probes, planetary rovers and other payloads. The power requirements for these space missions are, in general, much lower than the power levels where fuel cells have been used in the past. Adaptation of fuel cells for space science missions will require down-sizing the fuel cell stack and making the fuel cell operate without significant amounts of ancillary equipment.

  4. Spontaneous ignition delay characteristics of hydrocarbon fuel-air mixtures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lefebvre, A. H.; Freeman, W. G.; Cowell, L. H.

    1986-01-01

    The influence of pressure on the autoignition characteristics of homogeneous mixtures of hydrocarbon fuels in air is examined. Autoignition delay times are measured for propane, ethylene, methane, and acetylene in a continuous flow apparatus featuring a multi-point fuel injector. Results are presented for mixture temperatures from 670K to 1020K, pressures from 1 to 10 atmospheres, equivalence ratios from 0.2 to 0.7, and velocities from 5 to 30 m/s. Delay time is related to pressure, temperature, and fuel concentration by global reaction theory. The results show variations in global activation energy from 25 to 38 kcal/kg-mol, pressure exponents from 0.66 to 1.21, and fuel concentration exponents from 0.19 to 0.75 for the fuels studied. These results are generally in good agreement with previous studies carried out under similar conditions.

  5. Fuel injection system uses air-bled nozzles

    SciTech Connect

    Gayler, R.J.

    1983-04-01

    A microprocessor-controlled fuel injection system known as ''Pijet'' has been developed by researchers at Piper FM Ltd. It is explained that air and fuel are mixed in the fuel injectors and the mixture is distributed to each cylinder via ''natural selection.'' The system consists of integrated primary pressure pump and pressure relief valve; control box, integrated with the throttle valve housing and containing throttle angle sensor and fuel metering slot valve; solenoid-operated fuel metering pulser and fuel accumulator; fuel injectors; electronic control module; engine speed sensor; and engine, air temperature, and barometric pressure sensors. It is pointed out that the Pijet system has been used successfully in a number of European and Japanese cars ranging from 1.1 to 2.0 L with operating mileage from 5000 to 30,000 miles. The application of inertia-ram tuned induction systems has shown maximum torque increases of 10-15% with a torque spread increase of 1200 rpm into the low speed range.

  6. Use of fluidic oscillator to measure fuel-air ratios of combustion gases

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Riddlebaugh, S. M.

    1974-01-01

    A fluidic oscillator was investigated for use in measuring fuel-air ratios in hydrocarbon combustion processes. The oscillator was operated with dry exhaust gas from an experimental combustor burning ASTM A-1 fuel. Tests were conducted with fuel-air ratios between 0.015 and 0.031. Fuel-air ratios determined by oscillator frequency were within 0.001 of the values computed from separate flow measurements of the air and fuel.

  7. Sea water magnesium fuel cell power supply

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hahn, Robert; Mainert, Jan; Glaw, Fabian; Lang, K.-D.

    2015-08-01

    An environmentally friendly magnesium fuel cell system using seawater electrolyte and atmospheric oxygen was tested under practical considerations for use as maritime power supply. The hydrogen rate and therefore the power density of the system were increased by a factor of two by using hydrogen evolution cathodes with a gas separation membrane instead of submerged cathodes without gas separation. Commercial magnesium AZ31 rolled sheet anodes can be dissolved in seawater for hydrogen production, down to a thickness below 100 μm thickness, resulting in hydrogen generation efficiency of the anode of over 80%. A practical specific energy/energy density of the alloy of more than 1200 Wh/kg/3000 Wh/l was achieved when coupled to a fuel cell with atmospheric air breathing cathode. The performance of several AZ31 alloy anodes was tested as well as the influence of temperature, electrolyte concentration and anode - cathode separation. The excess hydrogen produced by the magnesium hydrogen evolving cell, due to the negative difference effect, is proportional to the cell current in case of the AZ31 alloys, which simplifies system control considerably. Stable long-term operation of the system was demonstrated at low pressures which can be maintained in an open-seawater-submerged hydrogen generator.

  8. Preventing CO poisoning in fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Gottesfeld, Shimshon

    1990-01-01

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell performance with CO contamination of the H.sub.2 fuel stream is substantially improved by injecting O.sub.2 into the fuel stream ahead of the fuel cell. It is found that a surface reaction occurs even at PEM operating temperatures below about 100.degree. C. to oxidatively remove the CO and restore electrode surface area for the H.sub.2 reaction to generate current. Using an O.sub.2 injection, a suitable fuel stream for a PEM fuel cell can be formed from a methanol source using conventional reforming processes for producing H.sub.2.

  9. Hydrogen fuel reforming in a fog cooled fuel cell power plant assembly

    SciTech Connect

    Levy, A.H.; Wertheim, R.J.

    1989-09-12

    This patent describes a high pressure phosphoric acid fuel cell stack assembly. The cell comprising: a stack of fuel cells for producing electricity. The stack including cathode means, anode means, and the stack being formed without a separate cooling system; means for delivering a pressurized air supply to the cathode means; means for delivering a hydrogen rich fuel gas to the anode means for electrochemically reacting with oxygen in the pressurized air to produce electricity and water; first exhaust means for removing a mixture of oxygen-depleted air and product water from the cathode means; means for delivering a water fog stream to the anode means for mixture with the hydrogen rich fuel gas. The water fog stream being evaporated in the anode means to cool the stack; means for exhausting a mixture of hydrogen-depleted gas and water vapor from the anode means; reformer means for reforming a raw hydrocarbon fuel to the hydrogen rich fuel gas; and means for delivering the mixture of hydrogen-depleted exhaust gas and water vapor to the reformer means to provide water for the reforming reaction.

  10. Ansaldo programs on fuel cell vehicles

    SciTech Connect

    Marcenaro, B.G.; Federici, F.

    1996-12-31

    The growth in traffic and the importance of maintaining a stable ecology at the global scale, particularly with regard to atmospheric pollution, raises the necessity to realize a new generation of vehicles which are more efficient, more economical and compatible with the environment. At European level, the Car of Tomorrow task force has identified fuel cells as a promising alternative propulsion system. Ansaldo Ricerche has been involved in the development of fuel cell vehicles since the early nineties. Current ongoing programs relates to: (1) Fuel cell bus demonstrator (EQHEPP BUS) Test in 1996 (2) Fuel cell boat demonstrator (EQHHPP BOAT) Test in 1997 (3) Fuel cell passenger car prototype (FEVER) Test in 1997 (4) 2nd generation Fuel cell bus (FCBUS) 1996-1999 (5) 2nd generation Fuel cell passenger car (HYDRO-GEN) 1996-1999.

  11. Fuel cell stack monitoring and system control

    DOEpatents

    Keskula, Donald H.; Doan, Tien M.; Clingerman, Bruce J.

    2005-01-25

    A control method for monitoring a fuel cell stack in a fuel cell system in which the actual voltage and actual current from the fuel cell stack are monitored. A preestablished relationship between voltage and current over the operating range of the fuel cell is established. A variance value between the actual measured voltage and the expected voltage magnitude for a given actual measured current is calculated and compared with a predetermined allowable variance. An output is generated if the calculated variance value exceeds the predetermined variance. The predetermined voltage-current for the fuel cell is symbolized as a polarization curve at given operating conditions of the fuel cell. Other polarization curves may be generated and used for fuel cell stack monitoring based on different operating pressures, temperatures, hydrogen quantities.

  12. STAGING OF FUEL CELLS - PHASE II

    SciTech Connect

    Per Onnerud; Suresh Sriramulu

    2002-08-29

    TIAX has executed a laboratory-based development program aiming at the improvement of stationary fuel cell systems. The two-year long development program resulted in an improved understanding of staged fuel cells and inorganic proton conductors through evaluation of results from a number of laboratory tasks: (1) Development of a fuel cell modeling tool--Multi-scale model was developed, capable of analyzing the effects of materials and operating conditions; and this model allowed studying various ''what-if'' conditions for hypothetically staged fuel cells; (2) Study of new high temperature proton conductor--TIAX discovery of a new class of sulfonated inorganics capable of conducting protons when exposed to water; and study involved synthesis and conductivity measurements of novel compounds up to 140 C; (3) Electrochemical fuel cell measurements--the feasibility of staged fuel cells was tested in TIAX's fuel cell laboratories experimental design was based on results from modeling.

  13. Fuel-injector/air-swirl characterization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcvey, J. B.; Kennedy, J. B.; Russell, S.

    1988-01-01

    Experimental data on the characteristics of the spray produced by a gas-turbine engine airblast fuel injector are reported. The data acquired include the mass-flux distribution measured by use of a high-resolution spray patternator; the gas-phase velocity field measured by use of a two-component laser Doppler velocimeter, and the liquid droplet size and velocity distributions measured by use of a single-component phase-Doppler anemometer. The data are intended for use in assessments of two-phase flow computational methods as applied to combustor design procedures.

  14. Air quality effects of alternative fuels. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Guthrie, P.; Ligocki, M.; Looker, R.; Cohen, J.

    1997-11-01

    To support the Alternative Fuels Utilization Program, a comparison of potential air quality effects of alternative transportation fuels is being performed. This report presents the results of Phase 1 of this program, focusing on reformulated gasoline (RFG), methanol blended with 15 percent gasoline (M85), and compressed natural gas (CNG). The fuels are compared in terms of effects on simulated future concentrations of ozone and mobile source air toxics in a photochemical grid model. The fuel comparisons were carried out for the future year 2020 and assumed complete replacement of gasoline in the projected light-duty gasoline fleet by each of the candidate fuels. The model simulations were carried out for the areas surrounding Los Angeles and Baltimore/DC, and other (non-mobile) sources of atmospheric emissions were projected according to published estimates of economic and population growth, and planned emission control measures specific to each modeling domain. The future-year results are compared to a future-year run with all gasoline vehicle emissions removed. The results of the comparison indicate that the use of M85 is likely to produce similar ozone and air toxics levels as those projected from the use of RFG. Substitution of CNG is projected to produce significantly lower levels of ozone and the mobile source air toxics than those projected for RFG or M85. The relative benefits of CNG substitution are consistent in both modeling domains. The projection methodologies used for the comparison are subject to a large uncertainty, and modeled concentration distributions depend on meteorological conditions. The quantitative comparison of fuel effects is thus likely to be sensitive to alternative assumptions. The consistency of the results for two very different modeling domains, using very different base assumptions, lends credibility to the qualitative differentiation among these fuels. 32 refs., 42 figs., 47 tabs.

  15. A polymer electrolyte fuel cell stack for stationary power generation from hydrogen fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Zawodzinski, C.; Wilson, M.; Gottesfeld, S.

    1996-10-01

    The fuel cell is the most efficient device for the conversion of hydrogen fuel to electric power. As such, the fuel cell represents a key element in efforts to demonstrate and implement hydrogen fuel utilization for electric power generation. A central objective of a LANL/Industry collaborative effort supported by the Hydrogen Program is to integrate PEM fuel cell and novel stack designs at LANL with stack technology of H-Power Corporation (H-Power) in order to develop a manufacturable, low-cost/high-performance hydrogen/air fuel cell stack for stationary generation of electric power. A LANL/H-Power CRADA includes Tasks ranging from exchange, testing and optimization of membrane-electrode assemblies of large areas, development and demonstration of manufacturable flow field, backing and bipolar plate components, and testing of stacks at the 3-5 cell level and, finally, at the 4-5 kW level. The stack should demonstrate the basic features of manufacturability, overall low cost and high energy conversion efficiency. Plans for future work are to continue the CRADA work along the time line defined in a two-year program, to continue the LANL activities of developing and testing stainless steel hardware for longer term stability including testing in a stack, and to further enhance air cathode performance to achieve higher energy conversion efficiencies as required for stationary power application.

  16. Direct FuelCell/Turbine Power Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Hossein Ghezel-Ayagh

    2008-09-30

    This report summarizes the progress made in development of Direct FuelCell/Turbine (DFC/T{reg_sign}) power plants for generation of clean power at very high efficiencies. The DFC/T system employs an indirectly heated Turbine Generator to supplement fuel cell generated power. The concept extends the high efficiency of the fuel cell by utilizing the fuel cell's byproduct heat in a Brayton cycle. Features of the DFC/T system include: electrical efficiencies of up to 75% on natural gas, minimal emissions, reduced carbon dioxide release to the environment, simplicity in design, direct reforming internal to the fuel cell, and potential cost competitiveness with existing combined cycle power plants. Proof-of-concept tests using a sub-MW-class DFC/T power plant at FuelCell Energy's (FCE) Danbury facility were conducted to validate the feasibility of the concept and to measure its potential for electric power production. A 400 kW-class power plant test facility was designed and retrofitted to conduct the tests. The initial series of tests involved integration of a full-size (250 kW) Direct FuelCell stack with a 30 kW Capstone microturbine. The operational aspects of the hybrid system in relation to the integration of the microturbine with the fuel cell, process flow and thermal balances, and control strategies for power cycling of the system, were investigated. A subsequent series of tests included operation of the sub-MW Direct FuelCell/Turbine power plant with a Capstone C60 microturbine. The C60 microturbine extended the range of operation of the hybrid power plant to higher current densities (higher power) than achieved in initial tests using the 30kW microturbine. The proof-of-concept test results confirmed the stability and controllability of operating a fullsize (250 kW) fuel cell stack in combination with a microturbine. Thermal management of the system was confirmed and power plant operation, using the microturbine as the only source of fresh air supply to the

  17. Modeling, analysis and control of fuel cell hybrid power systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suh, Kyung Won

    Transient performance is a key characteristic of fuel cells, that is sometimes more critical than efficiency, due to the importance of accepting unpredictable electric loads. To fulfill the transient requirement in vehicle propulsion and portable fuel cell applications, a fuel cell stack is typically coupled with a battery through a DC/DC converter to form a hybrid power system. Although many power management strategies already exist, they all rely on low level controllers that realize the power split. In this dissertation we design controllers that realize various power split strategies by directly manipulating physical actuators (low level commands). We maintain the causality of the electric dynamics (voltage and current) and investigate how the electric architecture affects the hybridization level and the power management. We first establish the performance limitations associated with a stand-alone and power-autonomous fuel cell system that is not supplemented by an additional energy storage and powers all its auxiliary components by itself. Specifically, we examine the transient performance in fuel cell power delivery as it is limited by the air supplied by a compressor driven by the fuel cell itself. The performance limitations arise from the intrinsic coupling in the fluid and electrical domain between the compressor and the fuel cell stack. Feedforward and feedback control strategies are used to demonstrate these limitations analytically and with simulations. Experimental tests on a small commercial fuel cell auxiliary power unit (APU) confirm the dynamics and the identified limitations. The dynamics associated with the integration of a fuel cell system and a DC/DC converter is then investigated. Decentralized and fully centralized (using linear quadratic techniques) controllers are designed to regulate the power system voltage and to prevent fuel cell oxygen starvation. Regulating these two performance variables is a difficult task and requires a compromise

  18. Cost and energy consumption estimates for the aluminum-air battery anode fuel cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1990-01-01

    At the request of DOE's Office of Energy Storage and Distribution (OESD), Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) conducted a study to generate estimates of the energy use and costs associated with the aluminum anode fuel cycle of the aluminum-air (Al-air) battery. The results of this analysis indicate that the cost and energy consumption characteristics of the mechanically rechargeable Al-air battery system are not as attractive as some other electrically rechargeable electric vehicle battery systems being developed by OESD. However, there are distinct advantages to mechanically rechargeable batteries, which may make the Al-air battery (or other mechanically rechargeable batteries) attractive for other uses, such as stand-alone applications. Fuel cells, such as the proton exchange membrane (PEM), and advanced secondary batteries may be better suited to electric vehicle applications.

  19. Cost and energy consumption estimates for the aluminum-air battery anode fuel cycle

    SciTech Connect

    Humphreys, K.K.; Brown, D.R.

    1990-01-01

    At the request of DOE's Office of Energy Storage and Distribution (OESD), Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) conducted a study to generate estimates of the energy use and costs associated with the aluminum anode fuel cycle of the aluminum-air (Al-air) battery. The results of this analysis indicate that the cost and energy consumption characteristics of the mechanically rechargeable Al-air battery system are not as attractive as some other electrically rechargeable electric vehicle battery systems being developed by OESD. However, there are distinct advantages to mechanically rechargeable batteries, which may make the Al-air battery (or other mechanically rechargeable batteries) attractive for other uses, such as stand-alone applications. Fuel cells, such as the proton exchange membrane (PEM), and advanced secondary batteries may be better suited to electric vehicle applications. 26 refs., 3 figs., 25 tabs.

  20. City of Chula Vista hydrogen fuel cell bus demonstration project

    SciTech Connect

    Gustafson, B.; Bamberger, B.

    1996-10-01

    Hydrogen as an energy carrier and fuel has potential for various uses including electricity, commercial, residential, transportation, and industrial. It is an energy carrier that can be produced from a variety of primary sources and potentially can accomplish these various uses while significantly reducing pollution by substituting for or reducing the use of fossil fuels. One of the most immediate and potentially viable roles for hydrogen as an energy carrier will be its use as a transportation fuel, especially in densely populated urban areas where automotive emissions contribute significantly to air pollution. The Department of Energy`s commitment to research and development of hydrogen as an alternative fuel, and California`s Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) requirements, both provide the impetus and favorable circumstance for demonstrating hydrogen as a transportation fuel on an urban bus system. The purpose of this project is to demonstrate the feasibility of using solid polymer fuel cells in a hydrogen-powered electric drive system for an urban transit bus application. Fuel cell buses use hydrogen fuel and oxygen from the air to produce electrical power with the only byproduct being pure water. Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells are proposed for this project. Current evidence suggests that fuel cells, which rely on hydrogen and a process known as proton exchange to generate their power, appear to have an infinite life span. All exhaust pollution is completely eliminated, resulting in a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV). An urban bus system offers the potential for developing a market for the production of hydrogen propulsion technology due to extensive vehicular use in densely populated areas experiencing pollution from numerous sources, and because the central garaging facilities or the bus system facilitates fueling and maintenance functions.

  1. Measurement of Species Distributions in Operating Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Partridge Jr, William P; Toops, Todd J; Parks, II, James E; Armstrong, Timothy R.

    2004-10-01

    Measurement and understanding of transient species distributions across and within fuel cells is a critical need for advancing fuel cell technology. The Spatially Resolved Capillary Inlet Mass Spectrometer (SpaciMS) instrument has been applied for in-situ measurement of transient species distributions within operating reactors; including diesel catalyst, air-exhaust mixing systems, and non-thermal plasma reactors. The work described here demonstrates the applicability of this tool to proton exchange membrane (PEM) and solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) research. Specifically, we have demonstrated SpaciMS measurements of (1) transient species dynamics across a PEM fuel cell (FC) associated with load switching, (2) intra-PEM species distributions, and transient species dynamics at SOFC temperatures associated with FC load switching.

  2. Staged venting of fuel cell system during rapid shutdown

    DOEpatents

    Keskula, Donald H.; Doan, Tien M.; Clingerman, Bruce J.

    2004-09-14

    A venting methodology and system for rapid shutdown of a fuel cell apparatus of the type used in a vehicle propulsion system. H.sub.2 and air flows to the fuel cell stack are slowly bypassed to the combustor upon receipt of a rapid shutdown command. The bypass occurs over a period of time (for example one to five seconds) using conveniently-sized bypass valves. Upon receipt of the rapid shutdown command, the anode inlet of the fuel cell stack is instantaneously vented to a remote vent to remove all H.sub.2 from the stack. Airflow to the cathode inlet of the fuel cell stack gradually diminishes over the bypass period, and when the airflow bypass is complete the cathode inlet is also instantaneously vented to a remote vent to eliminate pressure differentials across the stack.

  3. NAS Miramar Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell demonstration status

    SciTech Connect

    Scroppo, J.A.

    1996-12-31

    Part of M-C Power`s Technology Development Program, this MCFC power plant is designed to supply 250 kW of electricity to Naval Air Station (NAS) Miramar. It also cogenerates steam for the district heating system. The power plant is a fully integrated unit incorporating an advanced design fuel cell based on years of laboratory tests and a prior field test. This demonstration incorporates many innovative features, one of which is the plate type reformer which processes the natural gas fuel for use in the fuel cell. M-C Power Corp. has completed the design, fabrication, and conditioning of a 250-cell fuel cell stack, which was shipped to the site where it will be installed, tested, and evaluated as a 250 kW Proof-of-Concept MCFC Power Plant. (Originally going to Kaiser Permanente`s Sand Diego Medical Center, it was relocated to Miramar.)

  4. Staged venting of fuel cell system during rapid shutdown

    DOEpatents

    Clingerman, Bruce J.; Doan, Tien M.; Keskula, Donald H.

    2002-01-01

    A venting methodology and system for rapid shutdown of a fuel cell apparatus of the type used in a vehicle propulsion system. H.sub.2 and air flows to the fuel cell stack are slowly bypassed to the combustor upon receipt of a rapid shutdown command. The bypass occurs over a period of time (for example one to five seconds) using conveniently-sized bypass valves. Upon receipt of the rapid shutdown command, the anode inlet of the fuel cell stack is instantaneously vented to a remote vent to remove all H.sub.2 from the stack. Airflow to the cathode inlet of the fuel cell stack gradually diminishes over the bypass period, and when the airflow bypass is complete the cathode inlet is also instantaneously vented to a remote vent to eliminate pressure differentials across the stack.

  5. Hydrogen Fuel Cells: Part of the Solution

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Busby, Joe R.; Altork, Linh Nguyen

    2010-01-01

    With the decreasing availability of oil and the perpetual dependence on foreign-controlled resources, many people around the world are beginning to insist on alternative fuel sources. Hydrogen fuel cell technology is one answer to this demand. Although modern fuel cell technology has existed for over a century, the technology is only now becoming…

  6. Hybrid Cars Now, Fuel Cell Cars Later

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demirdöven, Nurettin; Deutch, John

    2004-08-01

    We compare the energy efficiency of hybrid and fuel cell vehicles as well as conventional internal combustion engines. Our analysis indicates that fuel cell vehicles using hydrogen from fossil fuels offer no significant energy efficiency advantage over hybrid vehicles operating in an urban drive cycle. We conclude that priority should be placed on hybrid vehicles by industry and government.

  7. Status of the US Fuel Cell Program

    SciTech Connect

    Williams, M.C.

    1996-04-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is sponsoring major programs to develop high efficiency fuel cell technologies to produce electric power from natural gas and other hydrogen sources. Fuel cell systems offer attractive potential for future electric power generation and are expected to have worldwide markets. They offer ultra-high energy conversion efficiency and extremely low environmental emissions. As modular units for distributed power generation, fuel cells are expected to be particularly beneficial where their by-product, heat, can be effectively used in cogeneration applications. Advanced fuel cell power systems fueled with natural gas are expected to be commercially available after the turn of the century.

  8. Landfill gas cleanup for fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    1995-08-01

    EPRI is to test the feasibility of using a carbonate fuel cell to generate electricity from landfill gas. Landfills produce a substantial quantity of methane gas, a natural by-product of decaying organic wastes. Landfill gas, however, contains sulfur and halogen compounds, which are known contaminants to fuel cells and their fuel processing equipment. The objective of this project is to clean the landfill gas well enough to be used by the fuel cell without making the process prohibitively expensive. The cleanup system tested in this effort could also be adapted for use with other fuel cells (e.g., solid oxide, phosphoric acid) running on landfill gas.

  9. Fuel economy and range estimates for fuel cell powered automobiles

    SciTech Connect

    Steinbugler, M.; Ogden, J.

    1996-12-31

    While a number of automotive fuel cell applications have been demonstrated, including a golf cart, buses, and a van, these systems and others that have been proposed have utilized differing configurations ranging from direct hydrogen fuel cell-only power plants to fuel cell/battery hybrids operating on reformed methanol. To date there is no clear consensus on which configuration, from among the possible combinations of fuel cell, peaking device, and fuel type, is the most likely to be successfully commercialized. System simplicity favors direct hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, but infrastructure is lacking. Infrastructure favors a system using a liquid fuel with a fuel processor, but system integration and performance issues remain. A number of studies have analyzed particular configurations on either a system or vehicle scale. The objective of this work is to estimate, within a consistent framework, fuel economies and ranges for a variety of configurations using flexible models with the goal of identifying the most promising configurations and the most important areas for further research and development.

  10. Fuel economy of hybrid fuel-cell vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahluwalia, Rajesh K.; Wang, X.; Rousseau, A.

    The potential improvement in fuel economy of a mid-size fuel-cell vehicle by combining it with an energy storage system has been assessed. An energy management strategy is developed and used to operate the direct hydrogen, pressurized fuel-cell system in a load-following mode and the energy storage system in a charge-sustaining mode. The strategy places highest priority on maintaining the energy storage system in a state where it can supply unanticipated boost power when the fuel-cell system alone cannot meet the power demand. It is found that downsizing a fuel-cell system decreases its efficiency on a drive cycle which is compensated by partial regenerative capture of braking energy. On a highway cycle with limited braking energy the increase in fuel economy with hybridization is small but on the stop-and-go urban cycle the fuel economy can improve by 27%. On the combined highway and urban drive cycles the fuel economy of the fuel-cell vehicle is estimated to increase by up to 15% by hybridizing it with an energy storage system.

  11. Microbial fuel cell treatment of fuel process wastewater

    DOEpatents

    Borole, Abhijeet P; Tsouris, Constantino

    2013-12-03

    The present invention is directed to a method for cleansing fuel processing effluent containing carbonaceous compounds and inorganic salts, the method comprising contacting the fuel processing effluent with an anode of a microbial fuel ell, the anode containing microbes thereon which oxidatively degrade one or more of the carbonaceous compounds while producing electrical energy from the oxidative degradation, and directing the produced electrical energy to drive an electrosorption mechanism that operates to reduce the concentration of one or more inorganic salts in the fuel processing effluent, wherein the anode is in electrical communication with a cathode of the microbial fuel cell. The invention is also directed to an apparatus for practicing the method.

  12. Comparative analysis of selected fuel cell vehicles

    SciTech Connect

    1993-05-07

    Vehicles powered by fuel cells operate more efficiently, more quietly, and more cleanly than internal combustion engines (ICEs). Furthermore, methanol-fueled fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) can utilize major elements of the existing fueling infrastructure of present-day liquid-fueled ICE vehicles (ICEVs). DOE has maintained an active program to stimulate the development and demonstration o fuel cell technologies in conjunction with rechargeable batteries in road vehicles. The purpose of this study is to identify and assess the availability of data on FCVs, and to develop a vehicle subsystem structure that can be used to compare both FCVs and ICEV, from a number of perspectives--environmental impacts, energy utilization, materials usage, and life cycle costs. This report focuses on methanol-fueled FCVs fueled by gasoline, methanol, and diesel fuel that are likely to be demonstratable by the year 2000. The comparative analysis presented covers four vehicles--two passenger vehicles and two urban transit buses. The passenger vehicles include an ICEV using either gasoline or methanol and an FCV using methanol. The FCV uses a Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell, an on-board methanol reformer, mid-term batteries, and an AC motor. The transit bus ICEV was evaluated for both diesel and methanol fuels. The transit bus FCV runs on methanol and uses a Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cell (PAFC) fuel cell, near-term batteries, a DC motor, and an on-board methanol reformer. 75 refs.

  13. Interaction of Failed Fuel Rods Under Air Ingress Conditions

    SciTech Connect

    Hozer, Zoltan; Windberg, Peter; Nagy, Imre; Maroti, Laszlo; Matus, Lajos; Horvath, Marta; Csordas, Anna Pinter; Balasko, Marton; Czitrovszky, Aladar; Jani, Peter

    2003-03-15

    In the late phase of a severe reactor accident, the molten corium interacts with the vessel wall, and it can lead to the failure of the lower head. Through the failed bottom wall, part of the corium can flow into the cavity, and air can enter the primary circuit. The residual fuel in the core periphery will be further oxidized in air atmosphere. The degradation process will accelerate, and new chemical species will be formed, which can have an impact on the release of radioactive materials.Two experiments were carried out with electrically heated nine-rod pressurized water reactor-type bundles in the CODEX (COre Degradation EXperiment) facility to provide experimental data on the behavior of real fuel bundles under air oxidation conditions. The main objective of the tests was the investigation of oxidation phenomena, and some other important aspects (e.g., enhanced fission product release) were not addressed.The CODEX air ingress tests indicated the acceleration of oxidation phenomena and core degradation processes during the late phase of the vessel melt through accident, when air can have access to the residual fuel bundles in the reactor core. The degradation process was accompanied with zirconium-nitride formation and release of uranium-rich aerosols.

  14. Heat recovery subsystem and overall system integration of fuel cell on-site integrated energy systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mougin, L. J.

    1983-01-01

    The best HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) subsystem to interface with the Engelhard fuel cell system for application in commercial buildings was determined. To accomplish this objective, the effects of several system and site specific parameters on the economic feasibility of fuel cell/HVAC systems were investigated. An energy flow diagram of a fuel cell/HVAC system is shown. The fuel cell system provides electricity for an electric water chiller and for domestic electric needs. Supplemental electricity is purchased from the utility if needed. An excess of electricity generated by the fuel cell system can be sold to the utility. The fuel cell system also provides thermal energy which can be used for absorption cooling, space heating and domestic hot water. Thermal storage can be incorporated into the system. Thermal energy is also provided by an auxiliary boiler if needed to supplement the fuel cell system output. Fuel cell/HVAC systems were analyzed with the TRACE computer program.

  15. Stabilizing platinum in phosphoric acid fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Remick, R. J.

    1982-01-01

    Platinum sintering on phosphoric acid fuel cell cathodes is discussed. The cathode of the phosphoric acid fuel cell uses a high surface area platinum catalyst dispersed on a conductive carbon support to minimize both cathode polarization and fabrication costs. During operation, however, the active surface area of these electrodes decreases, which in turn leads to decreased cell performance. This loss of active surface area is a major factor in the degradation of fuel cell performance over time.

  16. Dimethoxymethane: A Fuel For Direct-Oxidation Fuel Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olah, George A.; Prakash, Surya G.; Narayanan, Sekharipuram R.; Vamos, Eugene; Halpert, Gerald

    1995-01-01

    Dimethoxymethane (DMM) identified as one of several high-energy fuels for direct-oxidation fuel cells. Found to undergo facile electro-oxidation to carbon dioxide and water, with methanol as possible intermediate product. Fuel electro-oxidized at sustained high rates without poisoning electrodes. Performance superior to that of methanol at same temperature. Synthesized from natural gas (methane) and is thus viable alternative to methanol in direct-oxidation fuel cells. Better performance expected at higher temperature and by use of Pt/Sn catalyst. Alternatively, low boiling temperature of DMM also makes it candidate for gas-feed operation.

  17. High efficiency carbonate fuel cell/turbine hybrid power cycle

    SciTech Connect

    Steinfeld, G.; Maru, H.C.; Sanderson, R.A.

    1996-07-01

    The hybrid power cycle studies were conducted to identify a high efficiency, economically competitive system. A hybrid power cycle which generates power at an LHV efficiency > 70% was identified that includes an atmospheric pressure direct carbonate fuel cell, a gas turbine, and a steam cycle. In this cycle, natural gas fuel is mixed with recycled fuel cell anode exhaust, providing water for reforming fuel. The mixed gas then flows to a direct carbonate fuel cell which generates about 70% of the power. The portion of the anode exhaust which is not recycled is burned and heat transferred through a heat exchanger (HX) to the compressed air from a gas turbine. The heated compressed air is then heated further in the gas turbine burner and expands through the turbine generating 15% of the power. Half the exhaust from the turbine provides air for the anode exhaust burner. All of the turbine exhaust eventually flows through the fuel cell cathodes providing the O2 and CO2 needed in the electrochemical reaction. Exhaust from the cathodes flows to a steam system (heat recovery steam generator, staged steam turbine generating 15% of the cycle power). Simulation of a 200 MW plant with a hybrid power cycle had an LHV efficiency of 72.6%. Power output and efficiency are insensitive to ambient temperature, compared to a gas turbine combined cycle; NOx emissions are 75% lower. Estimated cost of electricity for 200 MW is 46 mills/kWh, which is competitive with combined cycle where fuel cost is > $5.8/MMBTU. Key requirement is HX; in the 200 MW plant studies, a HX operating at 1094 C using high temperature HX technology currently under development by METC for coal gassifiers was assumed. A study of a near term (20 MW) high efficiency direct carbonate fuel cell/turbine hybrid power cycle has also been completed.

  18. Fuel cell operation characterization using simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schott, Pascal; Baurens, Pierre

    The first step of fuel cell stack characterization consists in experimental testing of its global electrochemical performances under various working conditions. The second step is devoted to link the collected data to local species concentrations, membrane hydration and resulting current density in the stack. In the project PICOS, we have to characterize a 1.5 kW 12-cells' stack of 330 cm 2. The stack performances are measured on a specific test bench and analyzed using a fuel cell-stack modeling tool. The test bench allows to control the oxygen (or air) and hydrogen flow rates and humidity at the inlet of the stack, the pressure at the outlet, and the delivered current. Each cell potential and the total stack potential are monitored, the produced water is condensed at the outlet in order to measure its amount. The model used is a mono-dimensional description of a single cell. It is based on a semi-empirical law for the local electrochemical response computation. The local pressures, temperatures, gas compositions and membrane hydration are computed dynamically. A semi-empirical electrochemical model of the active layer is fitted to experimental data, the gas diffusion layer porosity and electro-osmosis coefficient of the membrane have been adjusted to obtain the best fit. The simulations calculate the cell potential and the current density profile in the cell for various feeding conditions. The simulations allow us to explain the effect of gas hydration on the stack potential and to predict possible drying out of the membrane.

  19. Materials Challenges for Automotive PEM Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gasteiger, Hubert

    2004-03-01

    environment more corrosion-resistant support materials (e.g., graphitized carbons) are desirable. While thin polymer electrolyte membranes (20-30 micrometer) enable high power density operation, the requirements on their chemical and mechanical stability are significantly more demanding compared to the thick membranes (100-200 micrometer) used in the past [1]. While the currently used perfluoro-sulfonicacid (PFSA) membranes are chemically very stable, they are known to degrade in the fuel cell environment [4] via peroxyl-radical attack, strongly enhanced in the presence of iron [8]. While the exact degradation mechanism is actively investigated, its understanding is clearly required to improve the chemical stability of PFSA's. Similarly, very little is known about the mechanical properties of polymer electrolyte membranes and critical issues will be discussed. References: 1. Strasser, K.; ``H2/O2 PEM Fuel Cell Module for an Air-Independent Propulsion System in a Submarine''; in: Handbook of Fuel Cells Fundamentals, Technology and Applications; Vielstich, W.; Lamm, A.; Gasteiger, H. A. (Eds.); John Wiley & Sons (Chichester, UK): volume 4, chapter 88, 2003, pp. 1201-1214. 2. Gasteiger, H. A.; Panels, J. E.; Yan, S. G.; J. Power Sources in press. 3. Gasteiger, H. A.; Gu, W.; Makharia, R.; Mathias, M. F.; Sompalli, S.; ``Beginning-of-Life MEA Performance: Efficiency Loss Contributions''; in: Handbook of Fuel Cells Fundamentals, Technology and Applications; Vielstich, W.; Lamm, A.; Gasteiger, H. A. (Eds.); John Wiley & Sons (Chichester, UK): volume 3, chapter 46, 2003, pp. 593-610. 4. Cleghorn, S.; Kolde, J.; Liu, W.; ``Catalyst-Coated Composite Membranes''; in: Handbook of Fuel Cells - Fundamentals, Technology and Applications; Vielstich, W.; Lamm, A.; Gasteiger, H. A. (Eds.); John Wiley & Sons (Chichester, UK): volume 3, chapter 44, 2003, pp. 566-575. 5. Mathias, M. F.; Gasteiger, H. A.; Fundamental Research and Development Challenges in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Technology

  20. Air Shipment of Spent Nuclear Fuel from Romania to Russia

    SciTech Connect

    Igor Bolshinsky; Ken Allen; Lucian Biro; Alexander Buchelnikov

    2010-10-01

    Romania successfully completed the world’s first air shipment of spent nuclear fuel transported in Type B(U) casks under existing international laws and without shipment license special exceptions when the last Romanian highly enriched uranium (HEU) spent nuclear fuel was transported to the Russian Federation in June 2009. This air shipment required the design, fabrication, and licensing of special 20 foot freight containers and cask tiedown supports to transport the eighteen TUK 19 shipping casks on a Russian commercial cargo aircraft. The new equipment was certified for transport by road, rail, water, and air to provide multi modal transport capabilities for shipping research reactor spent fuel. The equipment design, safety analyses, and fabrication were performed in the Russian Federation and transport licenses were issued by both the Russian and Romanian regulatory authorities. The spent fuel was transported by truck from the VVR S research reactor to the Bucharest airport, flown by commercial cargo aircraft to the airport at Yekaterinburg, Russia, and then transported by truck to the final destination in a secure nuclear facility at Chelyabinsk, Russia. This shipment of 23.7 kg of HEU was coordinated by the Russian Research Reactor Fuel Return Program (RRRFR), as part of the U.S. Department of Energy Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI), in close cooperation with the Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation and the International Atomic Energy Agency, and was managed in Romania by the National Commission for Nuclear Activities Control (CNCAN). This paper describes the planning, shipment preparations, equipment design, and license approvals that resulted in the safe and secure air shipment of this spent nuclear fuel.