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Sample records for alkaline electrolyte fuel

  1. Novel inorganic materials for polymer electrolyte and alkaline fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tadanaga, Kiyoharu

    2012-06-01

    Inorganic materials with high ionic conductivity must have big advantages for the thermal and long term stability when the materials are used as the electrolyte of fuel cells. In the present paper, novel ionic conductive inorganic materials for polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) and all solid state alkaline fuel cells (AFCs) that have been developed by our group have been reviewed. PEFCs which can operate in temperature range from 100 to 200 °C are intensively studied because of some advantages such as reduction of CO poisoning of Pt catalyst and acceleration of electrode reactions. We showed that the fuel cells using the composite membranes prepared from phosphosilicate gel powder and polyimide precursor can operate in the temperature range from 30 to 180 °C. We also found that the inorganic-organic hybrid membranes with acid-base pairs from 3-aminopropyl triethoxy silane and H2SO4 or H3PO4 show high proton conductivity under dry atmosphere, and the membranes are thermally stable at intermediate temperatures. On the other hand, because the use of noble platinum is the serious problem for the commercialization of PEFCs and because oxidation reactions are usually faster than those of acid-type fuel cells, alkaline type fuel cells, in which a nonplatinum catalyst can be used, are attractive. Recently, we have proposed an alkaline-type direct ethanol fuel cell (DEFC) using a natural clay electrolyte with non-platinum catalysts. So-called hydrotalcite clay, Mg-Al layered double hydroxide intercalated with CO32- (Mg-Al CO32- LDH), has been proved to be a hydroxide ion conductor. An alkalinetype DEFC using Mg-Al CO32- LDH as the electrolyte and aqueous solution of ethanol and potassium hydroxide as a source of fuel exhibited excellent electrochemical performance.

  2. DEVELOPMENT AND SELECTION OF IONIC LIQUID ELECTROLYTES FOR HYDROXIDE CONDUCTING POLYBENZIMIDAZOLE MEMBRANES IN ALKALINE FUEL CELLS

    SciTech Connect

    Fox, E.

    2012-05-01

    Alkaline fuel cell (AFC) operation is currently limited to specialty applications such as low temperatures and pure HO due to the corrosive nature of the electrolyte and formation of carbonates. AFCs are the cheapest and potentially most efficient (approaching 70%) fuel cells. The fact that non-Pt catalysts can be used, makes them an ideal low cost alternative for power production. The anode and cathode are separated by and solid electrolyte or alkaline porous media saturated with KOH. However, CO from the atmosphere or fuel feed severely poisons the electrolyte by forming insoluble carbonates. The corrosivity of KOH (electrolyte) limits operating temperatures to no more than 80°C. This chapter examines the development of ionic liquids electrolytes that are less corrosive, have higher operating temperatures, do not chemically bond to CO and enable alternative fuels. Work is detailed on the IL selection and characterization as well as casting methods within the polybenzimidazole based solid membrane. This approach is novel as it targets the root of the problem (the electrolyte) unlike other current work in alkaline fuel cells which focus on making the fuel cell components more durable.

  3. Porous matrix structures for alkaline electrolyte fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vine, R. W.; Narsavage, S. T.

    1975-01-01

    A number of advancements have been realized by a continuing research program to develop higher chemically stable porous matrix structures with high bubble pressure (crossover resistance) for use as separators in potassium hydroxide electrolyte fuel cells. More uniform, higher-bubble-pressure asbestos matrices were produced by reconstituting Johns-Manville asbestos paper; Fybex potassium titanate which was found compatible with 42% KOH at 250 F for up to 3000 hr; good agreement was found between bubble pressures predicted by an analytical study and those measured with filtered structures; Teflon-bonded Fybex matrices with bubble pressures greater than 30 psi were obtained by filtering a water slurry of the mixture directly onto fuel cell electrodes; and PBI fibers have satisfactory compatibility with 42% KOH at 250 F.

  4. A review of radiation-grafted polymer electrolyte membranes for alkaline polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Tianchi; Shao, Rong; Chen, Song; He, Xuemei; Qiao, Jinli; Zhang, Jiujun

    2015-10-01

    The past two decades have witnessed many efforts to develop radiation-grafted alkaline membranes for alkaline PEM fuel cell applications, as such membranes have certain advantages over other kinds of alkaline membranes, including well-controlled composition, functionality, and other promising properties. To facilitate research and development in this area, the present paper reviews radiation-grafted alkaline membranes. We examine their synthesis/fabrication/characterization, membrane material selection, and theoretical approaches for fundamental understanding. We also present detailed examinations of their application in fuel cell in terms of the working principles of the radiation grafting process, the fabrication of MEAs using radiation-grafted membranes, the membranes' corresponding performance in alkaline PEM fuel cells, as well as performance optimization. The paper also summarizes the challenges and mitigation strategies for radiation-grafted alkaline membranes and their application in PEM fuel cells, presenting an overall picture of the technology as it presently stands.

  5. Alkaline polymer electrolyte fuel cells completely free from noble metal catalysts

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Shanfu; Pan, Jing; Huang, Aibin; Zhuang, Lin; Lu, Juntao

    2008-01-01

    In recent decades, fuel cell technology has been undergoing revolutionary developments, with fundamental progress being the replacement of electrolyte solutions with polymer electrolytes, making the device more compact in size and higher in power density. Nowadays, acidic polymer electrolytes, typically Nafion, are widely used. Despite great success, fuel cells based on acidic polyelectrolyte still depend heavily on noble metal catalysts, predominantly platinum (Pt), thus increasing the cost and hampering the widespread application of fuel cells. Here, we report a type of polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFC) employing a hydroxide ion-conductive polymer, quaternary ammonium polysulphone, as alkaline electrolyte and nonprecious metals, chromium-decorated nickel and silver, as the catalyst for the negative and positive electrodes, respectively. In addition to the development of a high-performance alkaline polymer electrolyte particularly suitable for fuel cells, key progress has been achieved in catalyst tailoring: The surface electronic structure of nickel has been tuned to suppress selectively the surface oxidative passivation with retained activity toward hydrogen oxidation. This report of a H2–O2 PEFC completely free from noble metal catalysts in both the positive and negative electrodes represents an important advancement in the research and development of fuel cells.

  6. Cellulose nanocrystal-based composite electrolyte with superior dimensional stability for alkaline fuel cell membranes

    SciTech Connect

    Lu, Yuan; Artmentrout, Aaron A.; Li, Juchuan; Tekinalp, Halil L.; Nanda, Jagjit; Ozcan, Soydan

    2015-05-13

    Cellulose nanocrystal (CNC)-based composite films were prepared as a solid electrolyte for alkaline fuel cells. Poly (vinyl alcohol) (PVA) and silica gel hybrid was used to bind the CNCs to form a robust composite film. The mass ratio (i.e., 1 : 1, 1 : 2) of PVA and silica gel was tuned to control the hydrophobicity of the resulting films. Composite films with a range of CNC content (i.e., 20 to 60%) were prepared to demonstrate the impact of CNC on the performance of these materials as a solid electrolyte for alkaline fuel cells. Different from previously reported cross-linked polymer films, CNC-based composite films with 40% hydrophobic binder (i.e., PVA : silica gel=1 : 2) exhibited simultaneous low water swelling (e.g., ~5%) and high water uptake (e.g., ~80%) due to the hydrophilicity and extraordinary dimensional stability of CNC. It also showed a conductivity of 0.044 and 0.065 S/cm at 20 and 60 oC, respectively. To the best of our knowledge, the film with 60% CNC and 40% binder is characterized by the lowest hydroxide conductivity-normalized swelling ratio. Decreased CNC content (i.e., 40 and 20%) resulted in comparable hydroxide conductivity but a greater swelling ratio. These results demonstrate the advantage of CNC as a key component for a solid electrolyte for alkaline fuel cells over conventional polymers, suggesting the great potential of CNCs in improving the dimensional stability while maintaining the conductivity of existing anion exchange membranes.

  7. Cellulose nanocrystal-based composite electrolyte with superior dimensional stability for alkaline fuel cell membranes

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Lu, Yuan; Artmentrout, Aaron A.; Li, Juchuan; Tekinalp, Halil L.; Nanda, Jagjit; Ozcan, Soydan

    2015-05-13

    Cellulose nanocrystal (CNC)-based composite films were prepared as a solid electrolyte for alkaline fuel cells. Poly (vinyl alcohol) (PVA) and silica gel hybrid was used to bind the CNCs to form a robust composite film. The mass ratio (i.e., 1 : 1, 1 : 2) of PVA and silica gel was tuned to control the hydrophobicity of the resulting films. Composite films with a range of CNC content (i.e., 20 to 60%) were prepared to demonstrate the impact of CNC on the performance of these materials as a solid electrolyte for alkaline fuel cells. Different from previously reported cross-linked polymermore » films, CNC-based composite films with 40% hydrophobic binder (i.e., PVA : silica gel=1 : 2) exhibited simultaneous low water swelling (e.g., ~5%) and high water uptake (e.g., ~80%) due to the hydrophilicity and extraordinary dimensional stability of CNC. It also showed a conductivity of 0.044 and 0.065 S/cm at 20 and 60 oC, respectively. To the best of our knowledge, the film with 60% CNC and 40% binder is characterized by the lowest hydroxide conductivity-normalized swelling ratio. Decreased CNC content (i.e., 40 and 20%) resulted in comparable hydroxide conductivity but a greater swelling ratio. These results demonstrate the advantage of CNC as a key component for a solid electrolyte for alkaline fuel cells over conventional polymers, suggesting the great potential of CNCs in improving the dimensional stability while maintaining the conductivity of existing anion exchange membranes.« less

  8. Water removal studies on high power hydrogen-oxygen fuel cells with alkaline electrolytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kordesch, K.; Oliveira, J. C. T.; Gruber, Ch.; Winkler, G.

    1989-08-01

    Research in verification of bipolar fuel cell design, containing mass-produceable all-carbon electrodes which can be used in alkaline or acidic cells with liquid or immobilized (matrix) electrolytes, is described. Spin-offs from the research related to the Hermes manned spaceplane could be useful for applications on Earth. Peak-power plants, electric vehicles and storage devices used in combination with renewable energy sources could all benefit from the research. A subsequent investigation of water transpiration properties of carbon electrodes is described.

  9. Efficiency of non-optimized direct carbon fuel cell with molten alkaline electrolyte fueled by carbonized biomass

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kacprzak, A.; Kobyłecki, R.; Włodarczyk, R.; Bis, Z.

    2016-07-01

    The direct carbon fuel cells (DCFCs) belong to new generation of energy conversion devices that are characterized by much higher efficiencies and lower emission of pollutants than conventional coal-fired power plants. In this paper the DCFC with molten hydroxide electrolyte is considered as the most promising type of the direct carbon fuel cells. Binary alkali hydroxide mixture (NaOH-LiOH, 90-10 mol%) is used as electrolyte and the biochar of apple tree origin carbonized at 873 K is applied as fuel. The performance of a lab-scale DCFC with molten alkaline electrolyte is investigated and theoretical, practical, voltage, and fuel utilization efficiencies of the cell are calculated and discussed. The practical efficiency is assessed on the basis of fuel HHV and LHV and the values are estimated at 40% and 41%, respectively. The average voltage efficiency is calculated as roughly 59% (at 0.65 V) and it is in a relatively good agreement with the values obtained by other researchers. The calculated efficiency of fuel utilization exceeds 95% thus indicating a high degree of carbon conversion into the electric power.

  10. Alkaline direct ethanol fuel cell performance using alkali-impregnated polyvinyl alcohol/functionalized carbon nano-tube solid electrolytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Chien-Yi; Lin, Jia-Shiun; Pan, Wen-Han; Shih, Chao-Ming; Liu, Ying-Ling; Lue, Shingjiang Jessie

    2016-01-01

    This study investigates the application of a polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)/functionalized carbon nano-tubes (m-CNTs) composite in alkaline direct ethanol fuel cells (ADEFC). The m-CNTs are functionalized with PVA using the ozone mediation method, and the PVA composite containing the modified CNTs is prepared. Adding m-CNT into the PVA matrix enhances the alkaline uptake and the ionic conductivity of the KOH-doped electrolyte. Meanwhile, the m-CNT-containing membrane exhibited a lower swelling ratio and suppressed ethanol permeability compared to the pristine PVA film. The optimal condition for the ADEFC is determined to be under operation at an anode feed of 3 M ethanol in a 5 M KOH solution (at a flow rate of 5 cm3 min-1) with a cathode feed of moisturized oxygen (with a flow rate of 100 cm3 min-1) and the KOH-doped PVA/m-CNT electrolyte. We achieved a peak power density value of 65 mW cm-2 at 60 °C, which is the highest among the ADEFC literature data and several times higher than the proton-exchange direct ethanol fuel cells using sulfonated membrane electrolytes. Therefore, the KOH-doped PVA/m-CNT electrolyte is a suitable solid electrolyte for ADEFCs and has potential for commercialization in alkaline fuel cell applications.

  11. The evolution of the performance of alkaline fuel cells with circulating electrolyte

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gouérec, P.; Poletto, L.; Denizot, J.; Sanchez-Cortezon, E.; Miners, J. H.

    The most recent information is presented concerning the development of the alkaline fuel cell (AFC) with circulating aqueous electrolyte technology at Eident Energy (EE). The latest version of this commercially sold sub-stack or "module" results in improved performance (400-430 to 590 W at 4 V and 51% total efficiency ( η) versus LHV, i.e. from 100 to 137 mA cm -2 at 0.67 V per cell) and durability (2500 h expected with 10% decrease in power when operating at constant nominal current). The catalyst content in the module is also reduced from 1.2 to 0.5-0.6 mg cm -2. These improvements were achieved via an optimisation the porosity of the electrodes in order to obtain greater air diffusion inside the electrode. The authors also present the results of experiments that determine the origin of the performance loss of the AFC module over time. In contrast to much of the literature, the results do not support the irreversible corrosion of materials due to the oxygen reduction reaction. Indeed, over the investigated working period (i.e. ca. 1500-2000 h), the degradation of the performance was attributed to a slow and constant physical flooding due to imperfections in the wet proofing coating. Based on these facts, strategies are proposed to slow, avoid and even reverse to this flooding.

  12. Plasma membranes modified by plasma treatment or deposition as solid electrolytes for potential application in solid alkaline fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Reinholdt, Marc; Ilie, Alina; Roualdès, Stéphanie; Frugier, Jérémy; Schieda, Mauricio; Coutanceau, Christophe; Martemianov, Serguei; Flaud, Valérie; Beche, Eric; Durand, Jean

    2012-01-01

    In the highly competitive market of fuel cells, solid alkaline fuel cells using liquid fuel (such as cheap, non-toxic and non-valorized glycerol) and not requiring noble metal as catalyst seem quite promising. One of the main hurdles for emergence of such a technology is the development of a hydroxide-conducting membrane characterized by both high conductivity and low fuel permeability. Plasma treatments can enable to positively tune the main fuel cell membrane requirements. In this work, commercial ADP-Morgane® fluorinated polymer membranes and a new brand of cross-linked poly(aryl-ether) polymer membranes, named AMELI-32®, both containing quaternary ammonium functionalities, have been modified by argon plasma treatment or triallylamine-based plasma deposit. Under the concomitant etching/cross-linking/oxidation effects inherent to the plasma modification, transport properties (ionic exchange capacity, water uptake, ionic conductivity and fuel retention) of membranes have been improved. Consequently, using plasma modified ADP-Morgane® membrane as electrolyte in a solid alkaline fuel cell operating with glycerol as fuel has allowed increasing the maximum power density by a factor 3 when compared to the untreated membrane. PMID:24958295

  13. Plasma Membranes Modified by Plasma Treatment or Deposition as Solid Electrolytes for Potential Application in Solid Alkaline Fuel Cells

    PubMed Central

    Reinholdt, Marc; Ilie, Alina; Roualdès, Stéphanie; Frugier, Jérémy; Schieda, Mauricio; Coutanceau, Christophe; Martemianov, Serguei; Flaud, Valérie; Beche, Eric; Durand, Jean

    2012-01-01

    In the highly competitive market of fuel cells, solid alkaline fuel cells using liquid fuel (such as cheap, non-toxic and non-valorized glycerol) and not requiring noble metal as catalyst seem quite promising. One of the main hurdles for emergence of such a technology is the development of a hydroxide-conducting membrane characterized by both high conductivity and low fuel permeability. Plasma treatments can enable to positively tune the main fuel cell membrane requirements. In this work, commercial ADP-Morgane® fluorinated polymer membranes and a new brand of cross-linked poly(aryl-ether) polymer membranes, named AMELI-32®, both containing quaternary ammonium functionalities, have been modified by argon plasma treatment or triallylamine-based plasma deposit. Under the concomitant etching/cross-linking/oxidation effects inherent to the plasma modification, transport properties (ionic exchange capacity, water uptake, ionic conductivity and fuel retention) of membranes have been improved. Consequently, using plasma modified ADP-Morgane® membrane as electrolyte in a solid alkaline fuel cell operating with glycerol as fuel has allowed increasing the maximum power density by a factor 3 when compared to the untreated membrane. PMID:24958295

  14. Development of gold alloy catalyst cathode for alkaline electrolyte fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Freed, M. S.; Lawrance, R. J.

    1975-01-01

    A program for the development of improved catalyst and Teflon-bonded electrode structures using this improved catalyst is described, for use in fuel cell cathodes. It was found that Au-Pt was superior to the traditional platinum black as a catalyst. The impetus to the program was provided by the discovery that a life-limiting mechanism on the old catalyst was the gradual dissolution of platinum from the cathode and subsequent redeposition in the electrolyte-containing matrix.

  15. 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.

  16. Electrolytic recycling of a carbonate salt in a process with a dissolution of spent nuclear fuel in a strong alkaline carbonate media

    SciTech Connect

    Kwang-Wook Kim; In-Tae Kim; Seong-Min Kim; Yeon-Hwa Kim; Eil-Hee Lee; Kwang-Yong Jee

    2007-07-01

    A removal of only uranium from spent nuclear fuel with the concepts of a high proliferation-resistance and a minimal generation of waste is helpful for a spent fuel management in view of a volume reduction of the high level radioactive waste generated from the spent fuel treatment. That can be accomplished by a process using a selective oxidative dissolution of the spent fuel in a carbonate solution of high alkalinity. In this work, an electrolytic method for a de-carbonation and a recovery of CO{sub 2} for recycling the used carbonate solution contaminated with some impurity metal ions generated in such a process with a concept of zero-release of waste solution was studied. A carbonate solution generated from such a system was confirmed to be completely recycled within the system, while the impurity ions being separated from the carbonate solution. (authors)

  17. 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.

  18. High pressure pyrolyzed non-precious metal oxygen reduction catalysts for alkaline polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Sanetuntikul, Jakkid; Shanmugam, Sangaraju

    2015-05-01

    Non-precious metal catalysts, such as metal-coordinated to nitrogen doped-carbon, have shown reasonable oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) performances in alkaline fuel cells. In this report, we present the development of a highly active, stable and low-cost non-precious metal ORR catalyst by direct synthesis under autogenic-pressure conditions. Transmission electron microscopy studies show highly porous Fe-N-C and Co-N-C structures, which were further confirmed by Brunauer-Emmett-Teller surface area measurements. The surface areas of the Fe-N-C and Co-N-C catalysts were found to be 377.5 and 369.3 m(2) g(-1), respectively. XPS results show the possible existence of N-C and M-Nx structures, which are generally proposed to be the active sites in non-precious metal catalysts. The Fe-N-C electrocatalyst exhibits an ORR half-wave potential 20 mV higher than the reference Pt/C catalyst. The cycling durability test for Fe-N-C over 5000 cycles shows that the half-wave potential lost only 4 mV, whereas the half-wave potential of the Pt/C catalyst lost about 50 mV. The Fe-N-C catalyst exhibited an improved activity and stability compared to the reference Pt/C catalyst and it possesses a direct 4-electron transfer pathway for the ORR process. Further, the Fe-N-C catalyst produces extremely low HO2(-) content, as confirmed by the rotating ring-disk electrode measurements. In the alkaline fuel single cell tests, maximum power densities of 75 and 80 mW cm(-2) were observed for the Fe-N-C and Pt/C cathodes, respectively. Durability studies (100 h) showed that decay of the fuel cell current was more prominent for the Pt/C cathode catalyst compared to the Fe-N-C cathode catalyst. Therefore, the Fe-N-C catalyst appears to be a promising new class of non-precious metal catalysts prepared by an autogenic synthetic method. PMID:25833146

  19. Cross-linked anion exchange membranes with pendent quaternary pyrrolidonium salts for alkaline polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lan, Chunhua; Fang, Jun; Guan, Yingjie; Zhou, Huili; Zhao, Jinbao

    2015-11-01

    Novel anion-exchange membranes based on two kinds of pyrrolidonium type ionic liquids, N-methyl-N-vinyl-pyrrolidonium (NVMP) and N-ethyl-N-vinyl-pyrrolidonium (NVEP), have been synthesized via polymerization and crosslinking treatment, followed by membrane casting. The covalent cross-linked structures of these membranes are confirmed by FT-IR. The obtained membranes are also characterized in terms of water uptake, ion exchange capacity (IEC), ionic conductivity as well as thermal, dimensional and chemical stability. The membranes display hydroxide conductivity of above 10-2 S cm-1 at 25 °C. Excellent thermal stability with onset degradation temperature above 235 °C, good alkaline stability in 6 mol L-1 NaOH at 60 °C for 168 h and remarkable dimensional stability of the resulting membranes have been proved. H2/air single fuel cells employed membrane M3 and N3 show the open-circuit voltage (OCV) of 0.953 V and 0.933 V, and the maximum power density of 88.90 mW cm-2 and 81.90 mW cm-2 at the current density of 175 mA cm-2 and 200 mA cm-2 at 65 °C, respectively.

  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. 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.

  2. Advanced technology for extended endurance alkaline fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sheibley, D. W.; Martin, R. A.

    1987-01-01

    Advanced components have been developed for alkaline fuel cells with a view to the satisfaction of NASA Space Station design requirements for extended endurance. The components include a platinum-on-carbon catalyst anode, a potassium titanate-bonded electrolyte matrix, a lightweight graphite electrolyte reservoir plate, a gold-plated nickel-perforated foil electrode substrate, a polyphenylene sulfide cell edge frame material, and a nonmagnesium cooler concept. When incorporated into the alkaline fuel cell unit, these components are expected to yield regenerative operation in a low earth orbit Space Station with a design life greater than 5 years.

  3. Oxygen reduction in fuel cell electrolytes

    SciTech Connect

    Striebel, K.A.

    1987-01-01

    Voltage losses in the O{sub 2} cathode represent the major inefficiency in aqueous fuel cells for transportation or stationary applications. Experimental and theoretical studies of oxygen reduction (OR) in novel acid and alkaline electrolytes on smooth and supported Pt have been carried out. Similar kinetically limited rates for OR were measured in the super-acid electrolytes trifluoromethane sulfonic acid (TFMSA) and tetrafluoroethane-1,2-disulfonic acid (TFEDSA), with the rotating disk electrode (RDE) technique at 23 C and pH = 1. The mechanism for OR on Pt in alkaline electrolytes is complicated by the concurrent oxidation and reduction of Pt. Rotating ring-disk electrode (RRDE) studies carried out with anodic and cathodic potential sweeps in 0.1 to 6.9 M KOH and 0.1 to 4.0 M K{sub 2}CO{sub 3} revealed similar currents when corrected for O{sub 2} solubility differences. Porous gas diffusion electrodes (GDE) with supported Pt catalyst were studied in a special cell with low uncompensated solution resistance. Cyclic voltammograms yielded measurements of the wetted areas of carbon and Pt and the local electrolyte composition. Models for the steady-state operation of porous GDE's were developed. These models account for the diffusion and reaction of O{sub 2} and ionic transport in KOH and K{sub 2}CO{sub 3}. The results suggest that modifications of the GDE structure will be necessary to obtain good performance with aqueous carbonate electrolytes.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. The Nickel(111)/Alkaline Electrolyte Interface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wang, Kuilong; Chottiner, G. S.; Scherson, D. A.; Reid, Margaret A.

    1991-01-01

    The electrochemical properties of Ni (111) prepared and characterized in ultra high vacuum, UHV, by surface analytical techniques have been examined in alkaline media by cyclic voltammetry using an UHV-electrochemical cell transfer system designed and built in this laboratory. Prior to the transfer, the Ni(111) surfaces were exposed to saturation coverages of CO in UHV in an attempt to protect the surface from possible contamination with other gases during the transfer. Temperature Programmed Desorption, TPD, of CO-dosed Ni (111) surfaces displaying sharp c(4x2), LEED patterns, subsequently exposed to water-saturated Ar at atmospheric pressure in an auxiliary UHV compatible chamber and finally transferred back to the main UHV chamber, yielded CO2 and water as the only detectable products. This indicates that the CO-dosed surfaces react with water and/or bicarbonate and hydroxide as the most likely products. Based on the integration of the TPD peaks, the combined amounts of H2O and CO2 were found to be on the order of a single monolayer. The reacted c(4x2)CO/Ni(111) layer seems to protect the surface from undergoing spontaneous oxidation in strongly alkaline solutions. This was evidenced by the fact that the open circuit potential observed immediately after contact with deaerated 0.1 M KOH was about 0.38 V vs. DHE, drifting slightly towards more negative values prior to initiating the voltametric scans. The average ratio of the integrated charge obtained in the first positive linear scan in the range of 0.35 to 1.5 V vs. DHE (initiated at the open circuit potential) and the first (and subsequent) linear negative scans in the same solution yielded for various independent runs a value of 3.5 +/- 0.3. Coulometric analysis of the cyclic voltammetry curves indicate that the electrochemically formed oxyhydroxide layer involves a charge equivalent to 3.2 +/- 0.4 layers of Ni metal.

  8. Transpassive electrodissolution of depleted uranium in alkaline electrolytes

    SciTech Connect

    Weisbrod, K.R.; Schake, A.R.; Morgan, A.N.; Purdy, G.M.; Martinez, H.E.; Nelson, T.O.

    1998-03-01

    To aid in removal of oralloy from the nuclear weapons stockpile, scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory Plutonium Facility are decontaminating oralloy parts by electrodissolution in neutral to alkaline electrolytes composed of sodium nitrate and sodium sulfate. To improve the process, electrodissolution experiments were performed with depleted uranium to understand the effects of various operating parameters. Sufficient precipitate was also produced to evaluate the feasibility of using ultrafiltration to separate the uranium oxide precipitates from the electrolyte before it enters the decontamination fixture. In preparation for the experiments, a potential-pH diagram for uranium was constructed from thermodynamic data for fully hydrated species. Electrodissolution in unstirred solutions showed that uranium dissolution forms two layers, an acidic bottom layer rich in uranium and an alkaline upper layer. Under stirred conditions results are consistent with the formation of a yellow precipitate of composition UO{sub 3}{center_dot}2H{sub 2}O, a six electron process. Amperometric experiments showed that current efficiency remained near 100% over a wide range of electrolytes, electrolyte concentrations, pH, and stirring conditions.

  9. Electrolyte paste for molten carbonate fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Bregoli, Lawrance J.; Pearson, Mark L.

    1995-01-01

    The electrolyte matrix and electrolyte reservoir plates in a molten carbonate fuel cell power plant stack are filled with electrolyte by applying a paste of dry electrolyte powder entrained in a dissipatable carrier to the reactant flow channels in the current collector plate. The stack plates are preformed and solidified to final operating condition so that they are self sustaining and can be disposed one atop the other to form the power plant stack. Packing the reactant flow channels with the electrolyte paste allows the use of thinner electrode plates, particularly on the anode side of the cells. The use of the packed electrolyte paste provides sufficient electrolyte to fill the matrix and to entrain excess electrolyte in the electrode plates, which also serve as excess electrolyte reservoirs. When the stack is heated up to operating temperatures, the electrolyte in the paste melts, the carrier vaporizes, or chemically decomposes, and the melted electrolyte is absorbed into the matrix and electrode plates.

  10. Fuel cell with electrolyte feed system

    DOEpatents

    Feigenbaum, Haim

    1984-01-01

    A fuel cell having a pair of electrodes at the sites of electrochemical reactions of hydrogen and oxygen and a phosphoric acid electrolyte provided with an electrolyte supporting structure in the form of a laminated matrix assembly disposed between the electrodes. The matrix assembly is formed of a central layer disposed between two outer layers, each being permeable to the flow of the electrolyte. The central layer is provided with relatively large pores while the outer layers are provided with relatively small pores. An external reservoir supplies electrolyte via a feed means to the central layer to compensate for changes in electrolyte volume in the matrix assembly during the operation of fuel cell.

  11. Electrolyte creepage barrier for liquid electrolyte fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Li, Jian; Farooque, Mohammad; Yuh, Chao-Yi

    2008-01-22

    A dielectric assembly for electrically insulating a manifold or other component from a liquid electrolyte fuel cell stack wherein the dielectric assembly includes a substantially impermeable dielectric member over which electrolyte is able to flow and a barrier adjacent the dielectric member and having a porosity of less than 50% and greater than 10% so that the barrier is able to measurably absorb and chemically react with the liquid electrolyte flowing on the dielectric member to form solid products which are stable in the liquid electrolyte. In this way, the barrier inhibits flow or creepage of electrolyte from the dielectric member to the manifold or component to be electrically insulated from the fuel cell stack by the dielectric assembly.

  12. Fuel cell assembly with electrolyte transport

    DOEpatents

    Chi, Chang V.

    1983-01-01

    A fuel cell assembly wherein electrolyte for filling the fuel cell matrix is carried via a transport system comprising a first passage means for conveying electrolyte through a first plate and communicating with a groove in a second plate at a first point, the first and second plates together sandwiching the matrix, and second passage means acting to carry electrolyte exclusively through the second plate and communicating with the groove at a second point exclusive of the first point.

  13. Alkaline regenerative fuel cell systems for energy storage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schubert, F. H.; Reid, M. A.; Martin, R. E.

    1981-01-01

    A description is presented of the results of a preliminary design study of a regenerative fuel cell energy storage system for application to future low-earth orbit space missions. The high energy density storage system is based on state-of-the-art alkaline electrolyte cell technology and incorporates dedicated fuel cell and electrolysis cell modules. In addition to providing energy storage, the system can provide hydrogen and oxygen for attitude control of the satellite and for life support. During the daylight portion of the orbit the electrolysis module uses power provided by the solar array to generate H2 and O2 from the product water produced by the fuel cell module. The fuel cell module supplies electrical power during the dark period of the orbit.

  14. Space Shuttle Upgrades: Long Life Alkaline Fuel Cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McCurdy, Kerri

    2004-01-01

    NASA has utilized the alkaline fuel cell technology to provide electrical power for manned launch vehicles such as Gemini, Apollo, and the Space Shuttle. The current Shuttle alkaline fuel cells are procured from UTC Fuel Cells, a United Technologies Company. The alkaline fuel cells are very reliable but the operating life is limited to 2600 hours due to voltage degradation of the individual cells. The main limiting factor in the life of the cells is corrosion of the cell's fiberglass/epoxy frame by the aqueous potassium hydroxide electrolyte. To reduce operating costs, the orbiter program office approved the Long Life Alkaline Fuel Cell (LLAFC) program as a shuttle upgrade in 1999 to increase the operating life of the fuel cell powerplant to 5000 hours. The LLAFC program incorporates improving the cell by extending the length of the corrosion path, which reduces the cell frame corrosion. UTCFC performed analysis to understand the fundamental mechanisms that drive the cell frame corrosion. The analysis indicated that the corrosion path started along the bond line between the cathode and the cell frame. Analysis also showed that the oxygen available at the cathode, the catalyst on the electrode, and the electrode substrate all supported or intensified the corrosion. The new cell design essentially doubled the corrosion path to mitigate the problem. A 10-cell stack was tested for 5000 hours during the development phase of this program to verify improved cell performance. A complete 96-cell stack was then tested for 5000 hours during the full manned-space qualification phase of this program. Additional upgrades to the powerplant under this program are: replacing the aluminum body in the pressure regulator with stainless steel to reduce corrosion, improving stack insulator plate with improved resistance to stress failure and improved temperature capability, and replacing separator plate elastomer seals with a more durable material and improved seal retention.

  15. Evaluation parameters for the alkaline fuel cell oxygen electrode

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Singer, J.; Srinivasan, V.

    1985-01-01

    Studies were made of Pt- and Au-catalyzed porous electrodes, designed for the cathode of the alkaline H2/O2 fuel cell, employing cyclic voltammetry and the floating half-cell method. The purpose was to obtain parameters from the cyclic voltammograms which could predict performance in the fuel cell. It was found that a satisfactory relationship between these two types of measurement could not be established; however, useful observations were made of relative performance of several types of carbon used as supports for noble metal catalysts and of some Au catalysts. The best half-cell performance with H2/O2 in a 35 percent KOH electrolyte at 80 C was given by unsupported fine particle Au on Teflon; this electrode is used in the Orbiter fuel cell.

  16. Degradation of nickel anodes in alkaline fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schulze, M.; Gülzow, E.

    Alkaline fuel cells (AFC) are an interesting alternative to polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFC), especially AFCs need neither expensive electrolytes nor expensive noble metal catalysts. For using of AFCs long-term stability of the components is decisive, in particular the stability of the electrodes, because the electrolyte can be easily exchanged. The long-term behavior of AFC anodes was investigated electrochemically by measuring U- i curves. The electrodes consisting of a mixture of a nickel catalyst, which is formed from an aluminium-nickel alloy by dissolving the aluminum, polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE) as organic binder and with added copper powder, rolled onto a metal web. In addition, these electrodes were characterized physically after different operation times by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), porosimetry measurements by nitrogen adsorption, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX). The electrochemical performance decreases with operating time. The decrease of the electrochemical performance can be described by combination of two exponential functions with different time constants. The physical characterization shows that the PTFE in the electrodes partially decomposes and the nickel catalysts disintegrates. The changes of the physical characteristics can be correlated with the electrochemical performance.

  17. Long term investigations of silver cathodes for alkaline fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagner, N.; Schulze, M.; Gülzow, E.

    Alkaline fuel cells (AFC) are an interesting alternative to polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFC). In AFC no expensive platinum metal is necessary; silver can be used for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) (cathode catalyst). For technical use of AFC the long term behavior of AFC components is important, especially that of the electrodes. The investigated cathodes for AFC consist of a mixture of silver catalyst and polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE) as organic binder rolled onto a metal web. The electrodes were electrochemically investigated through measuring V- i curves and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The electrochemical characterization and the long term tests were performed in half-cells at 70 °C using pure oxygen (1 bar) under galvanostatic conditions. The cathodes were electrochemically investigated in half-cells using reference electrodes (Hg/HgO) by periodically recording V- i curve and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. In addition, the cathodes were physically characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS).

  18. Fuel cell with electrolyte matrix assembly

    DOEpatents

    Kaufman, Arthur; Pudick, Sheldon; Wang, Chiu L.

    1988-01-01

    This invention is directed to a fuel cell employing a substantially immobilized electrolyte imbedded therein and having a laminated matrix assembly disposed between the electrodes of the cell for holding and distributing the electrolyte. The matrix assembly comprises a non-conducting fibrous material such as silicon carbide whiskers having a relatively large void-fraction and a layer of material having a relatively small void-fraction.

  19. Electrolytic recovery of reactor metal fuel

    DOEpatents

    Miller, W.E.; Tomczuk, Z.

    1993-02-03

    This invention is comprised of a new electrolytic process and apparatus using sodium, cerium or a similar metal in an alloy or within a sodium beta or beta-alumina sodium ion conductor to electrolytically displace each of the spent fuel metals except for Cesium and strontium on a selective basis from the electrolyte to an inert metal cathode. Each of the metals can be deposited separately. An electrolytic transfer of spent fuel into the electrolyte includes a sodium or cerium salt in the electrolyte with sodium or cerium alloy being deposited on the cathode during the transfer of the metals from the spent fuel. The cathode with the deposit of sodium or cerium alloy is then changed to an anode and the reverse transfer is carried out on a selective basis with each metal being deposited separately at the cathode. The result is that the sodium or cerium needed for the process is regenerated in the first step and no additional source of these reactants is required.

  20. Electrolytic recovery of reactor metal fuel

    DOEpatents

    Miller, William E.; Tomczuk, Zygmunt

    1994-01-01

    A new electrolytic process and apparatus are provided using sodium, cerium or a similar metal in alloy or within a sodium beta or beta"-alumina sodium ion conductor to electrolytically displace each of the spent fuel metals except for cesium and strontium on a selective basis from the electrolyte to an inert metal cathode. Each of the metals can be deposited separately. An electrolytic transfer of spent fuel into the electrolyte includes a sodium or cerium salt in the electrolyte with sodium or cerium alloy being deposited on the cathode during the transfer of the metals from the spent fuel. The cathode with the deposit of sodium or cerium alloy is then chanted to an anode and the reverse transfer is carried out on a selective basis with each metal being deposited separately at the cathode. The result is that the sodium or cerium needed for the process is regenerated in the first step and no additional source of these reactants is required.

  1. Electrolytic recovery of reactor metal fuel

    DOEpatents

    Miller, W.E.; Tomczuk, Z.

    1994-09-20

    A new electrolytic process and apparatus are provided using sodium, cerium or a similar metal in alloy or within a sodium beta or beta[double prime]-alumina sodium ion conductor to electrolytically displace each of the spent fuel metals except for cesium and strontium on a selective basis from the electrolyte to an inert metal cathode. Each of the metals can be deposited separately. An electrolytic transfer of spent fuel into the electrolyte includes a sodium or cerium salt in the electrolyte with sodium or cerium alloy being deposited on the cathode during the transfer of the metals from the spent fuel. The cathode with the deposit of sodium or cerium alloy is then shunted to an anode and the reverse transfer is carried out on a selective basis with each metal being deposited separately at the cathode. The result is that the sodium or cerium needed for the process is regenerated in the first step and no additional source of these reactants is required. 2 figs.

  2. The direct formate fuel cell with an alkaline anion exchange membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartrom, Amy M.; Haan, John L.

    2012-09-01

    We demonstrate for the first time an operating Direct Formate Fuel Cell employing formate salts as the anode fuel, air or oxygen as the oxidant, a polymer anion exchange membrane, and metal catalysts at the anode and cathode. Operation of the DFFC at 60 °C using 1 M KOOCH and 2 M KOH as the anode fuel and electrolyte and oxygen gas at the cathode produces 144 mW cm-2 of peak power density, 181 mA cm-2 current density at 0.6 V, and an open circuit voltage of 0.931 V. This performance is competitive with alkaline Direct Liquid Fuel Cells (DLFCs) previously reported in the literature and demonstrates that formate fuel is a legitimate contender with alcohol fuels for alkaline DLFCs. A survey of the literature shows that a formate-oxygen fuel cell has a high theoretical potential, and the safe, renewable formate fuel does not poison the anode catalyst.

  3. Development of an alkaline fuel cell subsystem

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1987-01-01

    A two task program was initiated to develop advanced fuel cell components which could be assembled into an alkaline power section for the Space Station Prototype (SSP) fuel cell subsystem. The first task was to establish a preliminary SSP power section design to be representative of the 200 cell Space Station power section. The second task was to conduct tooling and fabrication trials and fabrication of selected cell stack components. A lightweight, reliable cell stack design suitable for the SSP regenerative fuel cell power plant was completed. The design meets NASA's preliminary requirements for future multikilowatt Space Station missions. Cell stack component fabrication and tooling trials demonstrated cell components of the SSP stack design of the 1.0 sq ft area can be manufactured using techniques and methods previously evaluated and developed.

  4. Electrolyte reservoir for carbonate fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Iacovangelo, C.D.; Shores, D.A.

    1984-05-23

    An electrode for a carbonate fuel cell and method of making same are described wherein a substantially uniform mixture of an electrode-active powder and porous ceramic particles suitable for a carbonate fuel cell are formed into an electrode with the porous ceramic particles having pores in the range of from about 1 micron to about 3 microns, and a carbonate electrolyte is in the pores of the ceramic particles.

  5. Electrolyte reservoir for carbonate fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Iacovangelo, Charles D.; Shores, David A.

    1985-01-01

    An electrode for a carbonate fuel cell and method of making same wherein a substantially uniform mixture of an electrode-active powder and porous ceramic particles suitable for a carbonate fuel cell are formed into an electrode with the porous ceramic particles having pores in the range of from about 1 micron to about 3 microns, and a carbonate electrolyte is in the pores of the ceramic particles.

  6. Alkaline composite PEO-PVA-glass-fibre-mat polymer electrolyte for Zn-air battery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Chun-Chen; Lin, Sheng-Jen

    An alkaline composite PEO-PVA-glass-fibre-mat polymer electrolyte with high ionic conductivity (10 -2 S cm -1) at room temperature has been prepared and applied to solid-state primary Zn-air batteries. The electrolyte shows excellent mechanical strength. The electrochemical characteristics of the batteries were experimentally investigated by means of ac impedance spectroscopy and galvanostatic discharge. The results indicate that the PEO-PVA-glass-fibre-mat composite polymer electrolyte is a promising candidate for application in alkaline primary Zn-air batteries.

  7. 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.

  8. Block copolymers for alkaline fuel cell membrane materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yifan

    Alkaline fuel cells (AFCs) using anion exchange membranes (AEMs) as electrolyte have recently received considerable attention. AFCs offer some advantages over proton exchange membrane fuel cells, including the potential of non-noble metal (e.g. nickel, silver) catalyst on the cathode, which can dramatically lower the fuel cell cost. The main drawback of traditional AFCs is the use of liquid electrolyte (e.g. aqueous potassium hydroxide), which can result in the formation of carbonate precipitates by reaction with carbon dioxide. AEMs with tethered cations can overcome the precipitates formed in traditional AFCs. Our current research focuses on developing different polymer systems (blend, block, grafted, and crosslinked polymers) in order to understand alkaline fuel cell membrane in many aspects and design optimized anion exchange membranes with better alkaline stability, mechanical integrity and ionic conductivity. A number of distinct materials have been produced and characterized. A polymer blend system comprised of poly(vinylbenzyl chloride)-b-polystyrene (PVBC-b-PS) diblock copolymer, prepared by nitroxide mediated polymerization (NMP), with poly(2,6-dimethyl-1,4-phenylene oxide) (PPO) or brominated PPO was studied for conversion into a blend membrane for AEM. The formation of a miscible blend matrix improved mechanical properties while maintaining high ionic conductivity through formation of phase separated ionic domains. Using anionic polymerization, a polyethylene based block copolymer was designed where the polyethylene-based block copolymer formed bicontinuous morphological structures to enhance the hydroxide conductivity (up to 94 mS/cm at 80 °C) while excellent mechanical properties (strain up to 205%) of the polyethylene block copolymer membrane was observed. A polymer system was designed and characterized with monomethoxy polyethylene glycol (mPEG) as a hydrophilic polymer grafted through substitution of pendent benzyl chloride groups of a PVBC

  9. Poly(imide)/Organically-Modified Montmorillonite Nanocomposite as a Potential Membrane for Alkaline Fuel Cells

    PubMed Central

    Battirola, Liliane C.; Gasparotto, Luiz H. S.; Rodrigues-Filho, Ubirajara P.; Tremiliosi-Filho, Germano

    2012-01-01

    In this work we evaluated the potentiality of a poly(imide) (PI)/organically-modified montmorillonite (O-MMT) nanocomposite membrane for the use in alkaline fuel cells. Both X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy revealed a good dispersion of O-MMT into the PI matrix and preservation of the O-MMT layered structure. When compared to the pure PI, the addition of O-MMT improved thermal stability and markedly increased the capability of absorbing electrolyte and ionic conductivity of the composite. The results show that the PI/O-MMT nanocomposite is a promising candidate for alkaline fuel cell applications. PMID:24958290

  10. Novel VN/C nanocomposites as methanol-tolerant oxygen reduction electrocatalyst in alkaline electrolyte

    PubMed Central

    Huang, K.; Bi, K.; Liang, C.; Lin, S.; Zhang, R.; Wang, W. J.; Tang, H. L.; Lei, M.

    2015-01-01

    A novel VN/C nanostructure consisting of VN nanoparticles and graphite-dominant carbon layers is synthesized by nitridation of V2O5 using melamine as reductant under inert atmosphere. High crystalline VN nanoparticles are observed to be uniformly distributed in carbon layers with an average size of ca13.45 nm. Moreover, the electrocatalytic performance of VN/C towards oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in alkaline electrolyte is fascinating. The results show that VN/C has a considerable ORR activity, including a 75 percent value of the diffusion-limited current density and a 0.11 V smaller value about the onset potential with respect to Pt/C catalyst. Moreover, the excellent methanol-tolerance performance of VN/C has also been verified with 3 M methanol. Combined with the competitive prices, this VN/C nanocomposite can serve as an appropriate non-precious methanol-tolerant ORR catalyst for alkaline fuel cells. PMID:26100367

  11. Novel VN/C nanocomposites as methanol-tolerant oxygen reduction electrocatalyst in alkaline electrolyte.

    PubMed

    Huang, K; Bi, K; Liang, C; Lin, S; Zhang, R; Wang, W J; Tang, H L; Lei, M

    2015-01-01

    A novel VN/C nanostructure consisting of VN nanoparticles and graphite-dominant carbon layers is synthesized by nitridation of V2O5 using melamine as reductant under inert atmosphere. High crystalline VN nanoparticles are observed to be uniformly distributed in carbon layers with an average size of ca13.45 nm. Moreover, the electrocatalytic performance of VN/C towards oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in alkaline electrolyte is fascinating. The results show that VN/C has a considerable ORR activity, including a 75 percent value of the diffusion-limited current density and a 0.11 V smaller value about the onset potential with respect to Pt/C catalyst. Moreover, the excellent methanol-tolerance performance of VN/C has also been verified with 3 M methanol. Combined with the competitive prices, this VN/C nanocomposite can serve as an appropriate non-precious methanol-tolerant ORR catalyst for alkaline fuel cells. PMID:26100367

  12. Novel VN/C nanocomposites as methanol-tolerant oxygen reduction electrocatalyst in alkaline electrolyte

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, K.; Bi, K.; Liang, C.; Lin, S.; Zhang, R.; Wang, W. J.; Tang, H. L.; Lei, M.

    2015-06-01

    A novel VN/C nanostructure consisting of VN nanoparticles and graphite-dominant carbon layers is synthesized by nitridation of V2O5 using melamine as reductant under inert atmosphere. High crystalline VN nanoparticles are observed to be uniformly distributed in carbon layers with an average size of ca13.45 nm. Moreover, the electrocatalytic performance of VN/C towards oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in alkaline electrolyte is fascinating. The results show that VN/C has a considerable ORR activity, including a 75 percent value of the diffusion-limited current density and a 0.11 V smaller value about the onset potential with respect to Pt/C catalyst. Moreover, the excellent methanol-tolerance performance of VN/C has also been verified with 3 M methanol. Combined with the competitive prices, this VN/C nanocomposite can serve as an appropriate non-precious methanol-tolerant ORR catalyst for alkaline fuel cells.

  13. Stability in alkaline aqueous electrolyte of air electrode protected with fluorinated interpenetrating polymer network membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bertolotti, Bruno; Messaoudi, Houssam; Chikh, Linda; Vancaeyzeele, Cédric; Alfonsi, Séverine; Fichet, Odile

    2015-01-01

    We developed original anion exchange membranes to protect air electrodes operating in aqueous lithium-air battery configuration, i.e. supplied with atmospheric air and in concentrated aqueous lithium hydroxide. These protective membranes have an interpenetrating polymer network (IPN) architecture combining a hydrogenated cationic polyelectrolyte network based on poly(epichlorohydrin) (PECH) and a fluorinated neutral network based on perfluoropolyether (Fluorolink® MD700). Two phases, each one rich in one of the polymer, are co-continuous in the materials. This morphology allows combining their properties according to the weight proportions of each polymer. Thus, PECH/Fluorolink IPNs show ionic conductivity varying from 1 to 2 mS cm-1, water uptake from 30 to 90 wt.% and anionic transport number from 0.65 to 0.80 when the PECH proportion varies from 40 to 90 wt.%. These membranes have been systematically assembled on air electrodes. Air electrode protected with PECH/Fluorolink 70/30 IPN shows outstanding stability higher than 1000 h, i.e. a 20-fold increase in the lifetime of the non-modified electrode. This efficient membrane/air electrode assembly is promising for development of alkaline electrolyte based storage or production energy systems, such as metal air batteries or alkaline fuel cells.

  14. Correlating the hydrogen evolution reaction activity in alkaline electrolytes with the hydrogen binding energy on monometallic surfaces

    SciTech Connect

    Sheng, WC; Myint, M; Chen, JGG; Yan, YS

    2013-05-01

    The slow reaction kinetics of the hydrogen evolution and oxidation reactions (HER/HOR) on platinum in alkaline electrolytes hinders the development of alkaline electrolysers, solar hydrogen cells and alkaline fuel cells. A fundamental understanding of the exchange current density of the HER/HOR in alkaline media is critical for the search and design of highly active electrocatalysts. By studying the HER on a series of monometallic surfaces, we demonstrate that the HER exchange current density in alkaline solutions can be correlated with the calculated hydrogen binding energy (HBE) on the metal surfaces via a volcano type of relationship. The HER activity varies by several orders of magnitude from Pt at the peak of the plot to W and Au located on the bottom of each side of the plot, similar to the observation in acids. Such a correlation suggests that the HBE can be used as a descriptor for identifying electrocatalysts for HER/HOR in alkaline media, and that the HER exchange current density can be tuned by modifying the surface chemical properties.

  15. Polymer electrolyte membrane assembly for fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yen, Shiao-Ping S. (Inventor); Kindler, Andrew (Inventor); Yavrouian, Andre (Inventor); Halpert, Gerald (Inventor)

    2002-01-01

    An electrolyte membrane for use in a fuel cell can contain sulfonated polyphenylether sulfones. The membrane can contain a first sulfonated polyphenylether sulfone and a second sulfonated polyphenylether sulfone, wherein the first sulfonated polyphenylether and the second sulfonated polyphenylether sulfone have equivalent weights greater than about 560, and the first sulfonated polyphenylether and the second sulfonated polyphenylether sulfone also have different equivalent weights. Also, a membrane for use in a fuel cell can contain a sulfonated polyphenylether sulfone and an unsulfonated polyphenylether sulfone. Methods for manufacturing a membrane electrode assemblies for use in fuel cells can include roughening a membrane surface. Electrodes and methods for fabricating such electrodes for use in a chemical fuel cell can include sintering an electrode. Such membranes and electrodes can be assembled into chemical fuel cells.

  16. Polymer electrolyte membrane assembly for fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yen, Shiao-Ping S. (Inventor); Kindler, Andrew (Inventor); Yavrouian, Andre (Inventor); Halpert, Gerald (Inventor)

    2000-01-01

    An electrolyte membrane for use in a fuel cell can contain sulfonated polyphenylether sulfones. The membrane can contain a first sulfonated polyphenylether sulfone and a second sulfonated polyphenylether sulfone, wherein the first sulfonated polyphenylether and the second sulfonated polyphenylether sulfone have equivalent weights greater than about 560, and the first sulfonated polyphenylether and the second sulfonated polyphenylether sulfone also have different equivalent weights. Also, a membrane for use in a fuel cell can contain a sulfonated polyphenylether sulfone and an unsulfonated polyphenylether sulfone. Methods for manufacturing a membrane electrode assemblies for use in fuel cells can include roughening a membrane surface. Electrodes and methods for fabricating such electrodes for use in a chemical fuel cell can include sintering an electrode. Such membranes and electrodes can be assembled into chemical fuel cells.

  17. Electrochemical determination of activation energies for methanol oxidation on polycrystalline platinum in acidic and alkaline electrolytes.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Jamie L; Volpe, David J; Abruña, Héctor D

    2007-01-01

    The oxidation pathways of methanol (MeOH) have been the subject of intense research due to its possible application as a liquid fuel in polyelectrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells. The design of improved catalysts for MeOH oxidation requires a deep understanding of these complex oxidation pathways. This paper will provide a discussion of the literature concerning the extensive research carried out in acidic and alkaline electrolytes. It will highlight techniques that have proven useful in the determination of product ratios, analysis of surface poisoning, anion adsorption, and oxide formation processes, in addition to the effects of temperature on the MeOH oxidation pathways at bulk polycrystalline platinum (Pt(poly)) electrodes. This discussion will provide a framework with which to begin the analysis of activation energy (E(a)) values. This kinetic parameter may prove useful in characterizing the rate-limiting step of the MeOH oxidation at an electrode surface. This paper will present a procedure for the determination of E(a) values for MeOH oxidation at a Pt(poly) electrode in acidic and alkaline media. Values from 24-76 kJ mol(-1) in acidic media and from 36-86 kJ mol(-1) in alkaline media were calculated and found to be a function of applied potential and direction of the potential sweep in a voltammetric experiment. Factors that influence the magnitude of the calculated E(a) include surface poisoning from MeOH oxidation intermediates, anion adsorption from the electrolyte, pH effects, and oxide formation processes. These factors are all potential, and temperature, dependent and must clearly be addressed when citing E(a) values in the literature. Comparison of E(a) values must be between systems of comparable electrochemical environment and at the same potential. E(a) values obtained on bulk Pt(poly), compared with other catalysts, may give insight into the superiority of other Pt-based catalysts for MeOH oxidation and lead to the development of new catalysts

  18. Comparative study of CoFeNx/C catalyst obtained by pyrolysis of hemin and cobalt porphyrin for catalytic oxygen reduction in alkaline and acidic electrolytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Rongzhong; Chu, Deryn

    2014-01-01

    Comparative studies of the oxygen reduction kinetics and mechanisms of CoFeNx/C catalysts have been conducted with rotating disk electrode (RDE) and rotating ring-disk electrode (RRDE) in aqueous acid and alkaline solutions, as well as acidic and alkaline polymer electrolytes. The CoFeNx/C catalysts in this study were obtained by the pyrolysis of hemin and a cobalt porphyrin. In an alkaline electrolyte, a larger electron transfer coefficient (0.63) was obtained in comparison to that in an acidic electrolyte (0.44), signifying a lower free energy barrier for oxygen reduction. The kinetic rate constant (2.69 × 10-2 cm s-1) for catalytic oxygen reduction in alkaline solution at 0.6 V (versus RHE) is almost 4 times larger than that in acidic solution (7.3 × 10-3 cm s-1). A synergetic catalytic mechanism is proposed. The overall reduction is a 4-electron reduction of oxygen. The obtained CoFeNx/C catalyst was further evaluated as a cathode catalyst in single fuel cells with acidic, neutral and alkaline electrolyte membranes. The order of the single cell performances either for power density or for stability is acidic > neutral > alkaline. The different behaviors of the CoFeNx/C catalyst in half cell and single cell are discussed.

  19. Oxygen reduction in fuel cell electrolytes

    SciTech Connect

    Striebel, K.A.; McLarnon, F.R.; Cairns, E.J.

    1987-12-01

    Experimental and theoretical studies of oxygen reduction (OR) in novel acid and alkaline electrolytes on smooth and supported Pt have been carried out. Similar kinetically limited rates for OR were measured in the /open quotes/super-acid/close quotes/ electrolytes trifluoromethane sulfonic acid (TFMSA) and tetrafluoroethane-1,2-disulfonic acid (TFEDSA), with the rotating disk electrode (RDE) technique at 23/degree/C and pH = 1. A first-order dependence on O/sub 2/ pressure was measured. The mechanism for OR on Pt in alkaline electrolytes is complicated by the concurrent oxidation and reduction of Pt. Rotating ring-disk electrode (RRDE) studies carried out with anodic and cathodic potential sweeps in 0.1 to 6.9 M KOH and 0.1 to 4.0 M K/sub 2/CO/sub 3/ revealed similar currents when corrected for O/sub 2/ solubility differences. In dilute electrolytes, OR proceeds primarily through the 4-electron pathway to water, independent of pH. In KOH, the mechanism for Pt oxidation changes and the fraction of current yielding a peroxide product increases at 2 to 3 M. These changes were not observed in K/sub 2/CO/sub 3/. Porous gas diffusion electrodes (GDE) with supported Pt catalyst were studied in a special cell with low uncompensated solution resistance. Cyclic voltammograms yielded measurements of the wetted areas of carbon and Pt and the local electrolyte composition. GDE galvanostatic steady-state performance with 100% O/sub 2/ was measured in 2 to 11 M KOH and 2 to 5.5 M K/sub 2/CO/sub 3/. Results suggest that OR on carbon contributes to the high currents in 6.9 M KOH at high overpotentials. In K/sub 2/CO/sub 3/, lower wetted areas and slow OH/sup /minus// ion transport are responsible for the poor performance when compared with KOH. Models for the steady-state operation of porous GDE's were developed. These models account for the diffusion and reaction of O/sub 2/ and ionic transport in KOH and K/sub 2/CO/sub 3/. 120 refs., 71 figs., 11 tabs.

  20. Oxygen electrodes for rechargeable alkaline fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swette, Larry; Giner, Jose

    1987-01-01

    Electrocatalysts and supports for the positive electrode of moderate temperature single unit rechargeable alkaline fuel cells were investigated and developed. The electrocatalysts are defined as the material with a higher activity for the oxygen electrode reaction than the support. Advanced development will require that the materials be prepared in high surface area forms, and may also entail integration of various candidate materials. Eight candidate support materials and seven electrocatalysts were investigated. Of the 8 support, 3 materials meet the preliminary requirements in terms of electrical conductivity and stability. Emphasis is now on preparing in high surface area form and testing under more severe corrosion stress conditions. Of the 7 electrocatalysts prepared and evaluated, at least 5 materials remain as potential candidates. The major emphasis remains on preparation, physical characterization and electrochemical performance testing.

  1. Electrogeneration of hydroperoxide ion using an alkaline fuel cell

    SciTech Connect

    Alcaide, F.; Brillas, E.; Cabot, P.L.; Casado, J.

    1998-10-01

    Hydrogen peroxide is a pollution-control chemical commonly used as a bleaching agent, as a disinfectant, and as a nonselective oxidant for water purification and in different industrial processes. This paper describes a novel electrochemical method for the generation of HO{sub 2}{sup {minus}} using an alkaline fuel cell (AFC). The system is formed by an undivided cell containing a H{sub 2}-diffusion anode, an O{sub 2}-diffusion cathode, and a KOH solution as electrolyte. It can work in batch or in continuous mode, cogenerating electricity and HO{sub 2}{sup {minus}}, which is formed from the two-electron reduction of O{sub 2} at the cathode. The evolution of cell voltage, current density, HO{sub 2}{sup {minus}} production, and current efficiency with time have been determined when the electrolyte remains quiescent, recirculates through the cell, or is continuously injected to it. This last device yields the best operative parameters, allowing current densities of 130 mA/cm{sup 2} and current efficiencies close to 100% using 1 mol/dm{sup 3} KOH at 20 C. The effect of HO{sub 2}{sup {minus}} upon the anodic and cathodic reactions has been studied by linear sweep voltammetry. Adsorption of this species on the cathode can explain the loss of performance of the AFC with working time using a quiescent electrolyte or under recirculation conditions. The O{sub 2}-diffusion cathode and the AFC showed good reversibility when the cell contained a fresh KOH solution with HO{sub 2}{sup {minus}}.

  2. Electrocatalysis of fuel cell reactions: Investigation of alternate electrolytes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chin, D. T.; Hsueh, K. L.; Chang, H. H.

    1983-01-01

    Oxygen reduction and transport properties of the electrolyte in the phosphoric acid fuel cell are studied. A theoretical expression for the rotating ring-disk electrode technique; the intermediate reaction rate constants for oxygen reduction on platinum in phosphoric acid electrolyte; oxygen reduction mechanism in trifluoromethanesulfonic acid (TFMSA), considered as an alternate electrolyte for the acid fuel cells; and transport properties of the phosphoric acid electrolyte at high concentrations and temperatures are covered.

  3. Fuel cell and system for supplying electrolyte thereto

    DOEpatents

    Adlhart, Otto J.; Feigenbaum, Haim

    1984-01-01

    An electrolyte distribution and supply system for use with a fuel cell having means for drawing electrolyte therein is formed by a set of containers of electrolyte joined to respective fuel cells in a stack of such cells. The electrolyte is separately stored so as to provide for electrical isolation between electrolytes of the individual cells of the stack. Individual storage compartments are coupled by capillary tubes to the respective fuel cells. Hydrostatic pressure is maintained individually for each of the fuel cells by separately elevating each compartment of the storing means to a specific height above the corresponding fuel cell which is to be fed from that compartment of the storing means. The individual compartments are filled with electrolyte by allowing the compartments to overflow thereby maintaining the requisite depth of electrolyte in each of the storage compartments.

  4. Nickel supported on nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes as hydrogen oxidation reaction catalyst in alkaline electrolyte.

    PubMed

    Zhuang, Zhongbin; Giles, Stephen A; Zheng, Jie; Jenness, Glen R; Caratzoulas, Stavros; Vlachos, Dionisios G; Yan, Yushan

    2016-01-01

    The development of a low-cost, high-performance platinum-group-metal-free hydroxide exchange membrane fuel cell is hindered by the lack of a hydrogen oxidation reaction catalyst at the anode. Here we report that a composite catalyst, nickel nanoparticles supported on nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes, has hydrogen oxidation activity similar to platinum-group metals in alkaline electrolyte. Although nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes are a very poor hydrogen oxidation catalyst, as a support, it increases the catalytic performance of nickel nanoparticles by a factor of 33 (mass activity) or 21 (exchange current density) relative to unsupported nickel nanoparticles. Density functional theory calculations indicate that the nitrogen-doped support stabilizes the nanoparticle against reconstruction, while nitrogen located at the edge of the nanoparticle tunes local adsorption sites by affecting the d-orbitals of nickel. Owing to its high activity and low cost, our catalyst shows significant potential for use in low-cost, high-performance fuel cells. PMID:26762466

  5. Nickel supported on nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes as hydrogen oxidation reaction catalyst in alkaline electrolyte

    PubMed Central

    Zhuang, Zhongbin; Giles, Stephen A.; Zheng, Jie; Jenness, Glen R.; Caratzoulas, Stavros; Vlachos, Dionisios G.; Yan, Yushan

    2016-01-01

    The development of a low-cost, high-performance platinum-group-metal-free hydroxide exchange membrane fuel cell is hindered by the lack of a hydrogen oxidation reaction catalyst at the anode. Here we report that a composite catalyst, nickel nanoparticles supported on nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes, has hydrogen oxidation activity similar to platinum-group metals in alkaline electrolyte. Although nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes are a very poor hydrogen oxidation catalyst, as a support, it increases the catalytic performance of nickel nanoparticles by a factor of 33 (mass activity) or 21 (exchange current density) relative to unsupported nickel nanoparticles. Density functional theory calculations indicate that the nitrogen-doped support stabilizes the nanoparticle against reconstruction, while nitrogen located at the edge of the nanoparticle tunes local adsorption sites by affecting the d-orbitals of nickel. Owing to its high activity and low cost, our catalyst shows significant potential for use in low-cost, high-performance fuel cells. PMID:26762466

  6. Nickel supported on nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes as hydrogen oxidation reaction catalyst in alkaline electrolyte

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Zhuang, Zhongbin; Giles, Stephen A.; Zheng, Jie; Jenness, Glen R.; Caratzoulas, Stavros; Vlachos, Dionisios G.; Yan, Yushan

    2016-01-14

    The development of a low-cost, high-performance platinum-group-metal-free hydroxide exchange membrane fuel cell is hindered by the lack of a hydrogen oxidation reaction catalyst at the anode. Here we report that a composite catalyst, nickel nanoparticles supported on nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes, has hydrogen oxidation activity similar to platinum-group metals in alkaline electrolyte. Although nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes are a very poor hydrogen oxidation catalyst, as a support, it increases the catalytic performance of nickel nanoparticles by a factor of 33 (mass activity) or 21 (exchange current density) relative to unsupported nickel nanoparticles. Density functional theory calculations indicate that the nitrogen-doped support stabilizesmore » the nanoparticle against reconstruction, while nitrogen located at the edge of the nanoparticle tunes local adsorption sites by affecting the d-orbitals of nickel. Here, owing to its high activity and low cost, our catalyst shows significant potential for use in low-cost, high-performance fuel cells.« less

  7. Nickel supported on nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes as hydrogen oxidation reaction catalyst in alkaline electrolyte

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhuang, Zhongbin; Giles, Stephen A.; Zheng, Jie; Jenness, Glen R.; Caratzoulas, Stavros; Vlachos, Dionisios G.; Yan, Yushan

    2016-01-01

    The development of a low-cost, high-performance platinum-group-metal-free hydroxide exchange membrane fuel cell is hindered by the lack of a hydrogen oxidation reaction catalyst at the anode. Here we report that a composite catalyst, nickel nanoparticles supported on nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes, has hydrogen oxidation activity similar to platinum-group metals in alkaline electrolyte. Although nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes are a very poor hydrogen oxidation catalyst, as a support, it increases the catalytic performance of nickel nanoparticles by a factor of 33 (mass activity) or 21 (exchange current density) relative to unsupported nickel nanoparticles. Density functional theory calculations indicate that the nitrogen-doped support stabilizes the nanoparticle against reconstruction, while nitrogen located at the edge of the nanoparticle tunes local adsorption sites by affecting the d-orbitals of nickel. Owing to its high activity and low cost, our catalyst shows significant potential for use in low-cost, high-performance fuel cells.

  8. Recent advances in solid polymer electrolyte fuel cell technology with low platinum loading electrodes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Srinivasan, Supramaniam; Manko, David J.; Koch, Hermann; Enayetullah, Mohammad A.; Appleby, A. John

    1989-01-01

    Of all the fuel cell systems only alkaline and solid polymer electrolyte fuel cells are capable of achieving high power densities (greater than 1 W/sq cm) required for terrestrial and extraterrestrial applications. Electrode kinetic criteria for attaining such high power densities are discussed. Attainment of high power densities in solid polymer electrolyte fuel cells has been demonstrated earlier by different groups using high platinum loading electrodes (4 mg/sq cm). Recent works at Los Alamos National Laboratory and at Texas A and M University (TAMU) demonstrated similar performance for solid polymer electrolyte fuel cells with ten times lower platinum loading (0.45 mg/sq cm) in the electrodes. Some of the results obtained are discussed in terms of the effects of type and thickness of membrane and of the methods platinum localization in the electrodes on the performance of a single cell.

  9. 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.

  10. Electrolyte matrix for molten carbonate fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Huang, C.M.; Yuh, C.Y.

    1999-02-09

    A matrix is described for a carbonate electrolyte including a support material and an additive constituent having a relatively low melting temperature and a relatively high coefficient of thermal expansion. The additive constituent is from 3 to 45 weight percent of the matrix and is formed from raw particles whose diameter is in a range of 0.1 {micro}m to 20 {micro}m and whose aspect ratio is in a range of 1 to 50. High energy intensive milling is used to mix the support material and additive constituent during matrix formation. Also disclosed is the use of a further additive constituent comprising an alkaline earth containing material. The further additive is mixed with the support material using high energy intensive milling. 5 figs.

  11. Electrolyte matrix for molten carbonate fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Huang, Chao M.; Yuh, Chao-Yi

    1999-01-01

    A matrix for a carbonate electrolyte including a support material and an additive constituent having a relatively low melting temperature and a relatively high coefficient of thermal expansion. The additive constituent is from 3 to 45 weight percent of the matrix and is formed from raw particles whose diameter is in a range of 0.1 .mu.m to 20 .mu.m and whose aspect ratio is in a range of 1 to 50. High energy intensive milling is used to mix the support material and additive constituent during matrix formation. Also disclosed is the use of a further additive constituent comprising an alkaline earth containing material. The further additive is mixed with the support material using high energy intensive milling.

  12. Hydroponics gel as a new electrolyte gelling agent for alkaline zinc-air cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Othman, R.; Basirun, W. J.; Yahaya, A. H.; Arof, A. K.

    The viability of hydroponics gel as a new alkaline electrolyte gelling agent is investigated. Zinc-air cells are fabricated employing 12 wt.% KOH electrolyte immobilised with hydroponics gel. The cells are discharged at constant currents of 5, 50 and 100 mA. XRD and SEM analysis of the anode plates after discharge show that the failure mode is due to the formation of zinc oxide insulating layers and not due to any side reactions between the gel and the plate or the electrolyte.

  13. Inorganic salt mixtures as electrolyte media in fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Angell, Charles Austen (Inventor); Belieres, Jean-Philippe (Inventor); Francis-Gervasio, Dominic (Inventor)

    2012-01-01

    Fuel cell designs and techniques for converting chemical energy into electrical energy uses a fuel cell are disclosed. The designs and techniques include an anode to receive fuel, a cathode to receive oxygen, and an electrolyte chamber in the fuel cell, including an electrolyte medium, where the electrolyte medium includes an inorganic salt mixture in the fuel cell. The salt mixture includes pre-determined quantities of at least two salts chosen from a group consisting of ammonium trifluoromethanesulfonate, ammonium trifluoroacetate, and ammonium nitrate, to conduct charge from the anode to the cathode. The fuel cell includes an electrical circuit operatively coupled to the fuel cell to transport electrons from the cathode.

  14. Advanced composite polymer electrolyte fuel cell membranes

    SciTech Connect

    Wilson, M.S.; Zawodzinski, T.A.; Gottesfeld, S.; Kolde, J.A.; Bahar, B.

    1995-09-01

    A new type of reinforced composite perfluorinated polymer electrolyte membrane, GORE-SELECT{trademark} (W.L. Gore & Assoc.), is characterized and tested for fuel cell applications. Very thin membranes (5-20 {mu}m thick) are available. The combination of reinforcement and thinness provides high membrane, conductances (80 S/cm{sup 2} for a 12 {mu}m thick membrane at 25{degrees}C) and improved water distribution in the operating fuel cell without sacrificing longevity or durability. In contrast to nonreinforced perfluorinated membranes, the x-y dimensions of the GORE-SELECT membranes are relatively unaffected by the hydration state. This feature may be important from the viewpoints of membrane/electrode interface stability and fuel cell manufacturability.

  15. Solid Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Technology Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1980-01-01

    Work is reported on phase 5 of the Solid Polymer Electrolyte (SPE) Fuel Cell Technology Development program. The SPE fuel cell life and performance was established at temperatures, pressures, and current densities significantly higher than those previously demonstrated in sub-scale hardware. Operation of single-cell Buildup No. 1 to establish life capabilities of the full-scale hardware was continued. A multi-cell full-scale unit (Buildup No. 2) was designed, fabricated, and test evaluated laying the groundwork for the construction of a reactor stack. A reactor stack was then designed, fabricated, and successfully test-evaluated to demonstrate the readiness of SPE fuel cell technology for future space applications.

  16. A self-humidifying acidic-alkaline bipolar membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peng, Sikan; Xu, Xin; Lu, Shanfu; Sui, Pang-Chieh; Djilali, Ned; Xiang, Yan

    2015-12-01

    To maintain membrane hydration and operate effectively, polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) require elaborate water management, which significantly increases the complexity and cost of the fuel cell system. Here we propose a novel and entirely different approach to membrane hydration by exploiting the concept of bipolar membranes. Bipolar membrane (BPM) fuel cells utilize a composite membrane consisting of an acidic polymer electrolyte membrane on the anode side and an alkaline electrolyte membrane on the cathode side. We present a novel membrane electrode assembly (MEA) fabrication method and demonstrate experimentally and theoretically that BPM fuel cells can (a) self-humidify to ensure high ionic conductivity; and (b) allow use of non-platinum catalysts due to inherently faster oxygen reduction kinetics on an alkaline cathode. Our Pt-based BPM fuel cell achieves a two orders of magnitude gain in power density of 327 mW cm-2 at 323 K under dry gas feed, the highest power output achieved under anhydrous operation conditions. A theoretical analysis and in situ measurements are presented to characterize the unique interfacial water generation and transport behavior that make self-humidification possible during operation. Further optimization of these features and advances in fabricating bipolar MEAs would open the way for a new generation of self-humidifying and water-management-free PEMFCs.

  17. Determination of hydroxide and carbonate contents of alkaline electrolytes containing zinc

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Otterson, D. A.

    1975-01-01

    A method to prevent zinc interference with the titration of OH- and CO3-2 ions in alkaline electrolytes with standard acid is presented. The Ba-EDTA complex was tested and shown to prevent zinc interference with acid-base titrations without introducing other types of interference. Theoretical considerations indicate that this method can be used to prevent interference by other metals.

  18. Positive Active Material For Alkaline Electrolyte Storage Battert Nickel Electrodes

    DOEpatents

    Bernard, Patrick; Baudry, Michelle

    2000-12-05

    A method of manufacturing a positive active material for nickel electrodes of alkaline storage batteries which consists of particles of hydroxide containing mainly nickel and covered with a layer of a hydroxide phase based on nickel and yttrium is disclosed. The proportion of the hydroxide phase is in the range 0.15% to 3% by weight of yttrium expressed as yttrium hydroxide relative to the total weight of particles.

  19. 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).

  20. 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.

  1. Alkaline regenerative fuel cell energy storage system for manned orbital satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, R. E.; Gitlow, B.; Sheibley, D. W.

    1982-01-01

    It is pointed out that the alkaline regenerative fuel cell system represents a highly efficient, lightweight, reliable approach for providing energy storage in an orbiting satellite. In addition to its energy storage function, the system can supply hydrogen and oxygen for attitude control of the satellite and for life support. A summary is presented of the results to date obtained in connection with the NASA-sponsored fuel cell technology advancement program, giving particular attention to the requirements of the alkaline regenerative fuel cell and the low-earth mission. Attention is given to system design guidelines, weight considerations, gold-platinum cathode cell performance, matrix development, the electrolyte reservoir plate, and the cyclical load profile tests.

  2. Corrosion and anodic behaviour of zinc and its ternary alloys in alkaline battery electrolytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suresh Kannan, A. R.; Muralidharan, S.; Sarangapani, K. B.; Balaramachandran, V.; Kapali, V.

    Several attempts are being made to avoid the use of mercury-bearing zinc/zinc alloys as anodes in alkaline power sources. The work presented here suggests the possible use of some ternary alloys based on zinc of purity 99.9 to 99.95 wt.% as anodes in 10 M NaOH solution with sodium citrate, sodium stannate and calcium oxide as complexing agents and inhibitors. The corrosion of zinc and its alloys in 10 M NaOH solution is under cathodic control; in other alkaline electrolytes, it is under anodic control. Anode efficiency of up to 99.0% is achieved. The corrosion rates of zinc and its alloys are found to be comparable with those of mercury-bearing zinc in the chosen electrolytes. It is concluded that both dry cells and Zn-air batteries can be constructed with the above anodes and alkaline electrolytes. Thus, the presence of mercury, either in the anode or in the electrolyte, is avoided.

  3. Alkaline water electrolysis technology for Space Station regenerative fuel cell energy storage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schubert, F. H.; Hoberecht, M. A.; Le, M.

    1986-01-01

    The regenerative fuel cell system (RFCS), designed for application to the Space Station energy storage system, is based on state-of-the-art alkaline electrolyte technology and incorporates a dedicated fuel cell system (FCS) and water electrolysis subsystem (WES). In the present study, emphasis is placed on the WES portion of the RFCS. To ensure RFCS availability for the Space Station, the RFCS Space Station Prototype design was undertaken which included a 46-cell 0.93 cu m static feed water electrolysis module and three integrated mechanical components.

  4. Molecular level mechanisms of quartz dissolution at neutral and alkaline conditions with the presence of electrolytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Y.; Zhang, S.

    2012-12-01

    The mechanisms of quartz dissolution are intricately affected by pH and electrolyte types. While most of previous studies have focused on mechanisms of quartz dissolution under a single specific condition (e.g., temperature, pH, saturation, or electrolyte type), this study investigates the molecular level mechanisms at combinations of electrolyte and pH conditions, which are more complicated but closer to the reality. Under neutral and alkaline pH conditions, with one of the Ca2+, Mg2+ or Na+ electrolytes in the solution, the dissolution of Q1(Si) and Q2(Si) sites on quartz surface, which represents the most important part of the quartz dissolution story, were investigated by first-principles quantum chemistry calculation methods. Also, large cluster models were used to represent the surface structures of quartz. The M05-2X/6-311+G** level DFT (Density Functional Theory) calculations and the STQN (Synchronous Transit-Guided Quasi-Newton) method (i.e., the QST3 method in Gaussian 03) were used to search transition-state structures and calculate energy barriers of the elementary Si-O bond breaking steps. Our results confirm that the dissolution of quartz can be significantly enhanced with the presence of electrolytes under neutral pH conditions, while under alkaline pH conditions, the behaviors of electrolytes are complicated, depending on where and how the electrolytes bond to quartz surfaces. Under neutral conditions, almost all types of electrolytes can directly bond to the bridging oxygen (BO) sites, leading to a weakened Si-Obr bonding and an increase of quartz dissolution. At alkaline conditions, however, electrolytes can no longer link to BO sites but rather link to terminal oxygen sites, leading to different dissolution mechanisms of quartz. The behaviors of specific electrolytes Na+, Ca2+, and Mg2+ on Q1(Si) and Q2 (Si) sites are also different, leading to more complicated dissolution mechanisms. Finally, the calculated energy barriers of possible hydrolysis

  5. Oxygen electrodes for rechargeable alkaline fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swette, L.; Kackley, N.

    1989-01-01

    Electrocatalysts and supports for the positive electrode of moderate temperature single-unit rechargeable alkaline fuel cells are being investigated and developed. Candidate support materials were drawn from transition metal carbides, borides, nitrides and oxides which have high conductivity (greater than 1 ohm/cm). Candidate catalyst materials were selected largely from metal oxides of the form ABO sub x (where A = Pb, Cd, Mn, Ti, Zr, La, Sr, Na, and B = Pt, Pd, Ir, Ru, Ni (Co) which were investigated and/or developed for one function only, O2 reduction or O2 evolution. The electrical conductivity requirement for catalysts may be lower, especially if integrated with a higher conductivity support. All candidate materials of acceptable conductivity are subjected to corrosion testing. Materials that survive chemical testing are examined for electrochemical corrosion activity. For more stringent corrosion testing, and for further evaluation of electrocatalysts (which generally show significant O2 evolution at at 1.4 V), samples are held at 1.6 V or 0.6 V for about 100 hours. The surviving materials are then physically and chemically analyzed for signs of degradation. To evaluate the bifunctional oxygen activity of candidate catalysts, Teflon-bonded electrodes are fabricated and tested in a floating electrode configuration. Many of the experimental materials being studied have required development of a customized electrode fabrication procedure. In advanced development, the goal is to reduce the polarization to about 300 to 350 mV. Approximately six support materials and five catalyst materials were identified to date for further development. The test results will be described.

  6. Development of a method for the regeneration of an alkaline electrolyte in an air-aluminum chemical power supply

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pushkin, K. V.; Sevruk, S. D.; Suvorova, E. V.; Farmakovskaya, A. A.

    2015-12-01

    The results of studying the development of a regeneration technology for the spent alkaline electrolyte in an air-aluminum chemical power supply are presented. The application of this technology is a component of the wasteless and friendly environmental operation of an energy installation based on an air-aluminum chemical power supply. The operability of the energy installation based on the air-aluminum chemical power supply using regenerated alkaline electrolytes is experimentally confirmed. Technical requirements for the technological equipment for alkaline electrolyte regeneration are developed on the basis of the obtained results.

  7. Development of electrolyte plate for molten carbonate fuel cell

    SciTech Connect

    Shoji, C.; Matsuo, T.; Suzuki, A.; Yamamasu, Y.

    1998-07-01

    It is important for the commercialization of molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC) to improve the endurance and the reliability of the electrolyte plate. The electrolyte-loss in the electrolyte plate increases the cell resistance and deteriorates the cell voltage. The formulation of cracks in the electrolyte plate causes a gas cross leakage between the fuel gas and the oxidizer gas. The pore structure of electrolyte plate must be stable and fine to support liquid electrolyte under MCFC operation. It is necessary to prevent the formation of cracks in electrolyte plate during thermal cycling. The authors have improved the stability of electrolyte plate using advanced LiAlO{sub 2} powder and improved the durability of electrolyte plate for thermal cycling by the addition of the ceramic fiber. The initial cell voltage using electrolyte plate with advanced LiAlO{sub 2} powder was 820 mV at current density 150mA/cm{sup 2} and the decay rate of cell voltage was under 0.5%/1,000h for 8,800h. According to the post analyses, the pore structure of the electrolyte plate did not change. The stability of advanced LiAlO{sub 2} powder was confirmed. It was proved that the electrolyte plate reinforced with ceramic fiber is effective for thermal cycling.

  8. A portable air-aluminum power source with an alkaline electrolytic solution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alekseenko, S. V.; Galkin, P. S.; Kashinskii, O. N.; Markovich, D. M.; Novopashin, S. A.; Randin, V. V.; Kharlamov, S. M.

    2014-04-01

    The results from development of a portable air-aluminum chemical power source (AA CPS) with an alkaline electrolytic solution without any additional service circuits are presented. The feasibility of making air cathodes on the basis of a metal-carbon composite produced by the plasma method has been shown. Special features of the operational conditions of a portable AA CPS have been investigated. It has been found that the aluminum cathode passivation when aluminum hydroxide precipitates from a solution significantly restricts the specific capacity of such power sources. It was shown that it is possible to overcome the anode passivation and to considerably increase the specific capacity of an AA CPS with an alkaline electrolytic solution by means of modifying an anode alloy.

  9. Electrocatalysis of fuel cell reactions: Investigation of alternate electrolytes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chin, D. T.; Hsueh, K. L.; Chang, H. H.

    1984-01-01

    Oxygen reduction and transport properties of the electrolyte in the phosphoric acid fuel cell are studied. The areas covered were: (1) development of a theoretical expression for the rotating ring disk electrode technique; (2) determination of the intermediate reaction rate constants for oxygen reduction on platinum in phosphoric acid electrolyte; (3) determination of oxygen reduction mechanism in trifluoreomethanesulfonic acid (TFMSA) which was considered as an alternate electrolyte for the acid fuel cells; and (4) the measurement of transport properties of the phosphoric acid electrolyte at high concentrations and temperatures.

  10. Alkaline direct alcohol fuel cells using an anion exchange membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsuoka, Koji; Iriyama, Yasutoshi; Abe, Takeshi; Matsuoka, Masao; Ogumi, Zempachi

    Alkaline direct alcohol fuel cells using an OH-form anion exchange membrane and polyhydric alcohols were studied. A high open circuit voltage of ca. 800 mV was obtained for a cell using Pt-Ru/C (anode) and Pt/C (cathode) at 323 K, which was about 100-200 mV higher than that for a DMFC using Nafion ®. The maximum power densities were in the order of ethylene glycol > glycerol > methanol > erythritol > xylitol. Silver catalysts were used as a cathode catalyst to fabricate alkaline fuel cells, since silver catalyst is almost inactive in the oxidation of polyhydric alcohols. Alkaline direct ethylene glycol fuel cells using silver as a cathode catalyst gave excellent performance because higher concentrations of fuel could be supplied to the anode.

  11. Highly Stable, Anion Conductive, Comb-Shaped Copolymers for Alkaline Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Li, NW; Leng, YJ; Hickner, MA; Wang, CY

    2013-07-10

    To produce an anion-conductive and durable polymer electrolyte for alkaline fuel cell applications, a series of quaternized poly(2,6-dimethyl phenylene oxide)s containing long alkyl side chains pendant to the nitrogen-centered cation were synthesized using a Menshutkin reaction to form comb-shaped structures. The pendant alkyl chains were responsible for the development of highly conductive ionic domains, as confirmed by small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). The comb-shaped polymers having one alkyl side chain showed higher hydroxide conductivities than those with benzyltrimethyl ammonium moieties or structures with more than one alkyl side chain per cationic site. The highest conductivity was observed for comb-shaped polymers with benzyldimethylhexadecyl ammonium cations. The chemical stabilities of the comb-shaped membranes were evaluated under severe, accelerated-aging conditions, and degradation was observed by measuring IEC and ion conductivity changes during aging. The comb-shaped membranes retained their high ion conductivity in 1 M NaOH at 80 degrees C for 2000 h. These cationic polymers were employed as ionomers in catalyst layers for alkaline fuel cells. The results indicated that the C-16 alkyl side chain ionomer had a slightly better initial performance, despite its low IEC value, but very poor durability in the fuel cell. In contrast, 90% of the initial performance was retained for the alkaline fuel cell with electrodes containing the C-6 side chain after 60 h of fuel cell operation.

  12. All-solid-state Al-air batteries with polymer alkaline gel electrolyte

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Zhao; Zuo, Chuncheng; Liu, Zihui; Yu, Ying; Zuo, Yuxin; Song, Yu

    2014-04-01

    Aluminum-air (Al-air) battery is one of the most promising candidates for next-generation energy storage systems because of its high capacity and energy density, and abundance. The polyacrylic acid (PAA)-based alkaline gel electrolyte is used in all-solid-state Al-air batteries instead of aqueous electrolytes to prevent leakage. The optimal gel electrolyte exhibits an ionic conductivity of 460 mS cm-1, which is close to that of aqueous electrolytes. The Al-air battery peak capacity and energy density considering only Al can reach 1166 mAh g-1-Al and 1230 mWh g-1-Al, respectively, during constant current discharge. The battery prototype also exhibits a high power density of 91.13 mW cm-2. For the battery is a laminated structure, area densities of 29.2 mAh cm-2 and 30.8 mWh cm-2 are presented to appraise the performance of the whole cell. A novel design to inhibit anodic corrosion is proposed by separating the Al anode from the gel electrolyte when not in use, thereby effectively maintaining the available capacity of the battery.

  13. Electrocatalytic activity and operational stability of electrodeposited Pd-Co films towards ethanol oxidation in alkaline electrolytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsui, Lok-kun; Zafferoni, Claudio; Lavacchi, Alessandro; Innocenti, Massimo; Vizza, Francesco; Zangari, Giovanni

    2015-10-01

    Direct alkaline ethanol fuel cells (DEFCs) are usually run with Pd anodic catalysts, but their performance can be improved by utilizing alloys of Pd and Co. The oxyphilic Co serves to supply ample -OH to the ethanol oxidation reaction, accelerating the rate limiting step at low overpotential under alkaline conditions. Pd-Co films with compositions between 20 and 80 at% Co can be prepared by electrodeposition from a NH3 complexing electrolyte. Cyclic voltammetry studies show that the ethanol oxidation peak exhibits increasing current density with increasing Co content, reaching a maximum at 77% Co. In contrast, potentiostatic measurements under conditions closer to fuel cell operating conditions show that a 50 at% Co alloy has the highest performance. Importantly, the Co-Pd film is also found to undergo phase and morphological transformations during ethanol oxidation, resulting in a change from a compact film to high surface area flake-like structures containing Co3O4 and CoOOH; such a transformation instead is not observed when operating at a constant potential of 0.7 VRHE.

  14. High temperature solid electrolyte fuel cell configurations and interconnections

    DOEpatents

    Isenberg, Arnold O.

    1984-01-01

    High temperature fuel cell configurations and interconnections are made including annular cells having a solid electrolyte sandwiched between thin film electrodes. The cells are electrically interconnected along an elongated axial outer surface.

  15. Anion exchange polymer electrolytes

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Yu Seung; Kim, Dae Sik

    2015-06-02

    Anion exchange polymer electrolytes that include guanidinium functionalized polymers may be used as membranes and binders for electrocatalysts in preparation of anodes for electrochemical cells such as solid alkaline fuel cells.

  16. Carbonate fuel cell endurance: Hardware corrosion and electrolyte management status

    SciTech Connect

    Yuh, C.; Johnsen, R.; Farooque, M.; Maru, H.

    1993-05-01

    Endurance tests of carbonate fuel cell stacks (up to 10,000 hours) have shown that hardware corrosion and electrolyte losses can be reasonably controlled by proper material selection and cell design. Corrosion of stainless steel current collector hardware, nickel clad bipolar plate and aluminized wet seal show rates within acceptable limits. Electrolyte loss rate to current collector surface has been minimized by reducing exposed current collector surface area. Electrolyte evaporation loss appears tolerable. Electrolyte redistribution has been restrained by proper design of manifold seals.

  17. Carbonate fuel cell endurance: Hardware corrosion and electrolyte management status

    SciTech Connect

    Yuh, C.; Johnsen, R.; Farooque, M.; Maru, H.

    1993-01-01

    Endurance tests of carbonate fuel cell stacks (up to 10,000 hours) have shown that hardware corrosion and electrolyte losses can be reasonably controlled by proper material selection and cell design. Corrosion of stainless steel current collector hardware, nickel clad bipolar plate and aluminized wet seal show rates within acceptable limits. Electrolyte loss rate to current collector surface has been minimized by reducing exposed current collector surface area. Electrolyte evaporation loss appears tolerable. Electrolyte redistribution has been restrained by proper design of manifold seals.

  18. Solid-oxide fuel cell electrolyte

    DOEpatents

    Bloom, Ira D.; Hash, Mark C.; Krumpelt, Michael

    1993-01-01

    A solid-oxide electrolyte operable at between 600.degree. C. and 800.degree. C. and a method of producing the solid-oxide electrolyte are provided. The solid-oxide electrolyte comprises a combination of a compound having weak metal-oxygen interactions with a compound having stronger metal-oxygen interactions whereby the resulting combination has both strong and weak metal-oxygen interaction properties.

  19. Electrolytic hydrogen fuel production with solid polymer electrolyte technology.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Titterington, W. A.; Fickett, A. P.

    1973-01-01

    A water electrolysis technology based on a solid polymer electrolyte (SPE) concept is presented for applicability to large-scale hydrogen production in a future energy system. High cell current density operation is selected for the application, and supporting cell test performance data are presented. Demonstrated cell life data are included to support the adaptability of the SPE system to large-size hydrogen generation utility plants as needed for bulk energy storage or transmission. The inherent system advantages of the acid SPE electrolysis technology are explained. System performance predictions are made through the year 2000, along with plant capital and operating cost projections.

  20. Electrolyte matrix in a molten carbonate fuel cell stack

    DOEpatents

    Reiser, C.A.; Maricle, D.L.

    1987-04-21

    A fuel cell stack is disclosed with modified electrolyte matrices for limiting the electrolytic pumping and electrolyte migration along the stack external surfaces. Each of the matrices includes marginal portions at the stack face of substantially greater pore size than that of the central body of the matrix. Consequently, these marginal portions have insufficient electrolyte fill to support pumping or wicking of electrolyte from the center of the stack of the face surfaces in contact with the vertical seals. Various configurations of the marginal portions include a complete perimeter, opposite edge portions corresponding to the air plenums and tab size portions corresponding to the manifold seal locations. These margins will substantially limit the migration of electrolyte to and along the porous manifold seals during operation of the electrochemical cell stack. 6 figs.

  1. Electrolyte matrix in a molten carbonate fuel cell stack

    DOEpatents

    Reiser, Carl A.; Maricle, Donald L.

    1987-04-21

    A fuel cell stack is disclosed with modified electrolyte matrices for limiting the electrolytic pumping and electrolyte migration along the stack external surfaces. Each of the matrices includes marginal portions at the stack face of substantially greater pore size than that of the central body of the matrix. Consequently, these marginal portions have insufficient electrolyte fill to support pumping or wicking of electrolyte from the center of the stack of the face surfaces in contact with the vertical seals. Various configurations of the marginal portions include a complete perimeter, opposite edge portions corresponding to the air plenums and tab size portions corresponding to the manifold seal locations. These margins will substantially limit the migration of electrolyte to and along the porous manifold seals during operation of the electrochemical cell stack.

  2. Theoretical analysis of solid oxide fuel cells with two-layer, composite electrolytes - Electrolyte stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Virkar, Anil V.

    1991-05-01

    Theoretical analysis of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) using two-layer, composite electrolytes consisting of a solid electrolyte of a significantly higher conductivity compared to zirconia (such as ceria or bismuth oxide) with a thin layer of zirconia or thoria on the fuel side is presented. Electrochemical transport in the two-layer composite electrolytes is examined by taking both ionic and electronic fluxes into account. Similar to most electrochemical transport phenomena, it is assumed that local equilibrium prevails. An equivalent circuit approach is used to estimate the partial pressure of oxygen at the interface. It is shown that thermodynamic stability of the electrolyte (ceria or bismuth oxide) depends upon the transport characteristics of the composite electrolyte, in particular the electronic conductivity of the air-side part of the electrolyte. The analysis shows that it would be advantageous to use composite electrolytes instead of all-zirconia electrolytes, thus making low-temperature (about 600-800 C) SOFCs feasible. Implications of the analysis from the standpoint of the desired characteristics of SOFC components are discussed.

  3. Low hydrostatic head electrolyte addition to fuel cell stacks

    DOEpatents

    Kothmann, Richard E.

    1983-01-01

    A fuel cell and system for supply electrolyte, as well as fuel and an oxidant to a fuel cell stack having at least two fuel cells, each of the cells having a pair of spaced electrodes and a matrix sandwiched therebetween, fuel and oxidant paths associated with a bipolar plate separating each pair of adjacent fuel cells and an electrolyte fill path for adding electrolyte to the cells and wetting said matrices. Electrolyte is flowed through the fuel cell stack in a back and forth fashion in a path in each cell substantially parallel to one face of opposite faces of the bipolar plate exposed to one of the electrodes and the matrices to produce an overall head uniformly between cells due to frictional pressure drop in the path for each cell free of a large hydrostatic head to thereby avoid flooding of the electrodes. The bipolar plate is provided with channels forming paths for the flow of the fuel and oxidant on opposite faces thereof, and the fuel and the oxidant are flowed along a first side of the bipolar plate and a second side of the bipolar plate through channels formed into the opposite faces of the bipolar plate, the fuel flowing through channels formed into one of the opposite faces and the oxidant flowing through channels formed into the other of the opposite faces.

  4. Stress-life interrelationships associated with alkaline fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thaller, Lawrence H.; Martin, Ronald E.; Stedman, James K.

    1987-01-01

    A review is presented concerning the interrelationships between applied stress and the expected service life of alkaline fuel cells. Only the physical, chemical, and electrochemical phenomena that take place within the fuel cell stack portion of an overall fuel cell system will be discussed. A brief review will be given covering the significant improvements in performance and life over the past two decades as well as summarizing the more recent advances in understanding which can be used to predict the performance and life characteristics of fuel cell systems that have yet to be built.

  5. An improved method for analysis of hydroxide and carbonate in alkaline electrolytes containing zinc

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reid, M. A.

    1978-01-01

    A simplified method for titration of carbonate and hydroxide in alkaline battery electrolyte is presented involving a saturated KSCN solution as a complexing agent for zinc. Both hydroxide and carbonate can be determined in one titration, and the complexing reagent is readily prepared. Since the pH at the end point is shifted from 8.3 to 7.9 - 8.0, m-cresol purple or phenol red are used as indicators rather than phenolphthalein. Bromcresol green is recommended for determination of the second end point of a pH of 4.3 to 4.4.

  6. An improved method for analysis of hydroxide and carbonate in alkaline electrolytes containing zinc

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reid, M. A.

    1978-01-01

    A simplified method for titration of carbonate and hydroxide in alkaline battery electrolyte is presented involving a saturated KSCN solution as a complexing agent for zinc. Both hydroxide and carbonate can be determined in one titration, and the complexing reagent is readily prepared. Since the pH at the end point is shifted from 8.3 to 7.9-8.0, m-cresol purple or phenol red are used as indicators rather than phenolphthalein. Bromcresol green is recommended for determination of the second end point of a pH of 4.3 to 4.4.

  7. Oxygen electrodes for rechargeable alkaline fuel cells. II

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swette, L.; Kackley, N.

    1990-01-01

    The primary objective of this program is the investigation and development of electrocatalysts and supports for the positive electrode of moderate temperature, single-unit, rechargeable alkaline fuel cells. Approximately six support materials and five catalyst materials have been identified to date for further development.

  8. Oxygen electrodes for rechargeable alkaline fuel cells, 3

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swette, L.; Kackley, N.; Mccatty, S. A.

    1991-01-01

    The investigation and development of electrocatalysts and supports for the positive electrode of moderate temperature single unit rechargeable alkaline fuel cells is described. Focus is on chemical and electrochemical stability and O2 reduction/evolution activity of the electrode in question.

  9. Oxygen electrodes for rechargeable alkaline fuel cells-II

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swette, L.; Kackley, N.

    1989-01-01

    The primary objective of this program is the investigation and development of electrocatalysts and supports for the positive electrode of moderate temperature single-unit rechargeable alkaline fuel cells. Approximately six support materials and five catalyst materials have been identified to date for further development.

  10. 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.

  11. Imidazolium-Based Polymeric Materials as Alkaline Anion-Exchange Fuel Cell Membranes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Narayan, Sri R.; Yen, Shiao-Ping S.; Reddy, Prakash V.; Nair, Nanditha

    2012-01-01

    Polymer electrolyte membranes that conduct hydroxide ions have potential use in fuel cells. A variety of polystyrene-based quaternary ammonium hydroxides have been reported as anion exchange fuel cell membranes. However, the hydrolytic stability and conductivity of the commercially available membranes are not adequate to meet the requirements of fuel cell applications. When compared with commercially available membranes, polystyrene-imidazolium alkaline membrane electrolytes are more stable and more highly conducting. At the time of this reporting, this has been the first such usage for imidazolium-based polymeric materials for fuel cells. Imidazolium salts are known to be electrochemically stable over wide potential ranges. By controlling the relative ratio of imidazolium groups in polystyrene-imidazolium salts, their physiochemical properties could be modulated. Alkaline anion exchange membranes based on polystyrene-imidazolium hydroxide materials have been developed. The first step was to synthesize the poly(styrene-co-(1-((4-vinyl)methyl)-3- methylimidazolium) chloride through a free-radical polymerization. Casting of this material followed by in situ treatment of the membranes with sodium hydroxide solutions provided the corresponding hydroxide salts. Various ratios of the monomers 4-chloromoethylvinylbenzine (CMVB) and vinylbenzine (VB) provided various compositions of the polymer. The preferred material, due to the relative ease of casting the film, and its relatively low hygroscopic nature, was a 2:1 ratio of CMVB to VB. Testing confirmed that at room temperature, the new membranes outperformed commercially available membranes by a large margin. With fuel cells now in use at NASA and in transportation, and with defense potential, any improvement to fuel cell efficiency is a significant development.

  12. Tunable high performance cross-linked alkaline anion exchange membranes for fuel cell applications.

    PubMed

    Robertson, Nicholas J; Kostalik, Henry A; Clark, Timothy J; Mutolo, Paul F; Abruña, Héctor D; Coates, Geoffrey W

    2010-03-17

    Fuel cells are energy conversion devices that show great potential in numerous applications ranging from automobiles to portable electronics. However, further development of fuel cell components is necessary for them to become commercially viable. One component critical to their performance is the polymer electrolyte membrane, which is an ion conductive medium separating the two electrodes. While proton conducting membranes are well established (e.g., Nafion), hydroxide conducting membranes (alkaline anion exchange membranes, AAEMs) have been relatively unexplored by comparison. Operating under alkaline conditions offers significant efficiency benefits, especially for the oxygen reduction reaction; therefore, effective AAEMs could significantly advance fuel cell technologies. Here we demonstrate the use of ring-opening metathesis polymerization to generate new cross-linked membrane materials exhibiting high hydroxide ion conductivity and good mechanical properties. Cross-linking allows for increased ion incorporation, which, in turn supports high conductivities. This facile synthetic approach enables the preparation of cross-linked materials with the potential to meet the demands of hydrogen-powered fuel cells as well as direct methanol fuel cells. PMID:20178312

  13. Tunable High Performance Cross-Linked Alkaline Anion Exchange Membranes for Fuel Cell Applications

    SciTech Connect

    Robertson, Nicholas J.; Kostalik, IV, Henry A.; Clark, Timothy J.; Mutolo, Paul F.; Abruña, Héctor D.; Coates, Geoffrey W.

    2010-02-23

    Fuel cells are energy conversion devices that show great potential in numerous applications ranging from automobiles to portable electronics. However, further development of fuel cell components is necessary for them to become commercially viable. One component critical to their performance is the polymer electrolyte membrane, which is an ion conductive medium separating the two electrodes. While proton conducting membranes are well established (e.g., Nafion), hydroxide conducting membranes (alkaline anion exchange membranes, AAEMs) have been relatively unexplored by comparison. Operating under alkaline conditions offers significant efficiency benefits, especially for the oxygen reduction reaction; therefore, effective AAEMs could significantly advance fuel cell technologies. Here we demonstrate the use of ring-opening metathesis polymerization to generate new cross-linked membrane materials exhibiting high hydroxide ion conductivity and good mechanical properties. Cross-linking allows for increased ion incorporation, which, in turn supports high conductivities. This facile synthetic approach enables the preparation of cross-linked materials with the potential to meet the demands of hydrogen-powered fuel cells as well as direct methanol fuel cells.

  14. Fuel cell system with separating structure bonded to electrolyte

    DOEpatents

    Bourgeois, Richard Scott; Gudlavalleti, Sauri; Quek, Shu Ching; Hasz, Wayne Charles; Powers, James Daniel

    2010-09-28

    A fuel cell assembly comprises a separating structure configured for separating a first reactant and a second reactant wherein the separating structure has an opening therein. The fuel cell assembly further comprises a fuel cell comprising a first electrode, a second electrode, and an electrolyte interposed between the first and second electrodes, and a passage configured to introduce the second reactant to the second electrode. The electrolyte is bonded to the separating structure with the first electrode being situated within the opening, and the second electrode being situated within the passage.

  15. Solid Polymer Electrolyte (SPE) fuel cell technology program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    The overall objectives of the Phase IV Solid Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Technology Program were to: (1) establish fuel cell life and performance at temperatures, pressures and current densities significantly higher than those previously demonstrated; (2) provide the ground work for a space energy storage system based on the solid polymer electrolyte technology (i.e., regenerative H2/O2 fuel cell); (3) design, fabricate and test evaluate a full-scale single cell unit. During this phase, significant progress was made toward the accomplishment of these objectives.

  16. Highly selective determination of copper corrosion products by voltammetric reduction in a strongly alkaline electrolyte.

    PubMed

    Nakayama, Shigeyoshi; Notoya, Takenori; Osakai, Toshiyuki

    2012-01-01

    Until recently, there had been two conflicting views about the order of copper oxides (Cu(2)O and CuO) in their cathodic reduction with a neutral or weak alkaline electrolyte (typically 0.1 M KCl). In 2001, we successfully employed a strongly alkaline electrolyte (SAE; i.e., 6 M KOH + 1 M LiOH) to achieve a perfect separation of the reduction peaks of the two oxides. It was then found that the oxides were reduced in SAE according to a thermodynamic order, i.e., "CuO → Cu(2)O", and also that the reduction of CuO occurred in one step. At an extremely slow scan rate of <0.2 mV s(-1), however, CuO appears to be reduced in two steps via Cu(2)O. It has also been shown that the developed method with SAE can be applied to analysis of various corrosion products, including Cu(2)S, Cu(OH)(2), and patinas. Use of the developed method has allowed researchers to clarify the mechanism of the atmospheric corrosion of copper. PMID:22498457

  17. Method of preparing electrolyte for use in fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Kinoshita, Kimio; Ackerman, John P.

    1978-01-01

    An electrolyte compact for fuel cells includes a particulate support material of lithium aluminate that contains a mixture of alkali metal compounds, such as carbonates or hydroxides, as the active electrolyte material. The porous lithium aluminate support structure is formed by mixing alumina particles with a solution of lithium hydroxide and another alkali metal hydroxide, evaporating the solvent from the solution and heating to a temperature sufficient to react the lithium hydroxide with alumina to form lithium aluminate. Carbonates are formed by reacting the alkali metal hydroxides with carbon dioxide gas in an exothermic reaction which may proceed simultaneously with the formation with the lithium aluminate. The mixture of lithium aluminate and alkali metal in an electrolyte active material is pressed or otherwise processed to form the electrolyte structure for assembly into a fuel cell.

  18. High temperature solid electrolyte fuel cell with ceramic electrodes

    DOEpatents

    Marchant, David D.; Bates, J. Lambert

    1984-01-01

    A solid oxide electrolyte fuel cell is described having a central electrolyte comprised of a HfO.sub.2 or ZrO.sub.2 ceramic stabilized and rendered ionically conductive by the addition of Ca, Mg, Y, La, Nd, Sm, Gd, Dy Er, or Yb. The electrolyte is sandwiched between porous electrodes of a HfO.sub.2 or ZrO.sub.2 ceramic stabilized by the addition of a rare earth and rendered electronically conductive by the addition of In.sub.2 O.sub.3. Alternatively, the anode electrode may be made of a metal such as Co, Ni, Ir Pt, or Pd.

  19. High temperature solid electrolyte fuel cell with ceramic electrodes

    DOEpatents

    Bates, J.L.; Marchant, D.D.

    A solid oxide electrolyte fuel cell is described having a central electrolyte comprised of a HfO/sub 2/ or ZrO/sub 2/ ceramic stabilized and rendered ionically conductive by the addition of Ca, Mg, Y, La, Nd, Sm, Gd, Dy Er, or Yb. The electrolyte is sandwiched between porous electrodes of a HfO/sub 2/ or ZrO/sub 2/ ceramic stabilized by the addition of a rare earth and rendered electronically conductive by the addition of In/sub 2/O/sub 3/. Alternatively, the anode electrode may be made of a metal such as Co, Ni, Ir Pt, or Pd.

  20. Fuel cells with solid polymer electrolyte and their application on vehicles

    SciTech Connect

    Fateev, V.

    1996-04-01

    In Russia, solid polymer electrolyte MF-4-SK has been developed for fuel cells. This electrolyte is based on perfluorinated polymer with functional sulfogroups. Investigations on electrolyte properties and electrocatalysts have been carried out.

  1. Development of direct methanol alkaline fuel cells using anion exchange membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Eileen Hao; Scott, Keith

    Research into the development of direct methanol alkaline fuel cell (DMAFC) using an anion exchange polymer electrolyte membrane is described. The commercial membrane used had a higher electric resistance, but a lower methanol diffusion coefficient than Nafion ® membranes. Fuel cell tests were performed using carbon supported Pt catalyst, and the effect of temperature, methanol concentration, methanol flow rate, air pressure and Pt loading were investigated. It was found that the cell performance improved drastically with a membrane assembly electrode (MEA) which did not include the gas diffusion layer on the anode, because of lower reactant mass transfer resistance. To give suitable cathode performance, humidification of the air and a subtle balance between the air pressure and water transport is required.

  2. Intermittent use of a low-cost alkaline fuel cell-hybrid system for electric vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kordesch, Karl; Gsellmann, Josef; Cifrain, Martin; Voss, Susanne; Hacker, Victor; Aronson, Robert R.; Fabjan, Christoph; Hejze, Thomas; Daniel-Ivad, Josef

    Alkaline fuel cell (AFC) hybrids with the capability to shut down completely between uses (by draining the circulating KOH electrolyte) can expect an operating life of about 4000 h, which is equivalent to 200,000 km of driving, They should be able to compete on cost with heat engines (US50 to US100 per kW). An early model is the hydrogen/air fuel cell lead-acid hybrid car, built by K. Kordesch in the 1970s. Improved air electrodes plus new variations of the bipolar stack assembly developed in Graz, make success probable. In cooperation with Electric Auto (EAC), an ammonia cracker is also in development. A RAM™ battery-AFC hybrid combination has been optimized.

  3. Fuel cell electrolyte membrane with basic polymer

    DOEpatents

    Larson, James M.; Pham, Phat T.; Frey, Matthew H.; Hamrock, Steven J.; Haugen, Gregory M.; Lamanna, William M.

    2010-11-23

    The present invention is an electrolyte membrane comprising an acid and a basic polymer, where the acid is a low-volatile acid that is fluorinated and is either oligomeric or non-polymeric, and where the basic polymer is protonated by the acid and is stable to hydrolysis.

  4. Fuel cell electrolyte membrane with basic polymer

    DOEpatents

    Larson, James M.; Pham, Phat T.; Frey, Matthew H.; Hamrock, Steven J.; Haugen, Gregory M.; Lamanna, William M.

    2012-12-04

    The present invention is an electrolyte membrane comprising an acid and a basic polymer, where the acid is a low-volatile acid that is fluorinated and is either oligomeric or non-polymeric, and where the basic polymer is protonated by the acid and is stable to hydrolysis.

  5. Porous electrolyte retainer for molten carbonate fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Singh, Raj N.; Dusek, Joseph T.

    1983-06-21

    A porous tile for retaining molten electrolyte within a fuel cell is prepared by sintering particles of lithium aluminate into a stable structure. The tile is assembled between two porous metal plates which serve as electrodes with fuels gases such as H.sub.2 and CO opposite to oxidant gases such as O.sub.2 and CO.sub.2. The tile is prepared with a porosity of 55-65% and a pore size distribution selected to permit release of sufficient molten electrolyte to wet but not to flood the adjacent electrodes.

  6. Porous electrolyte retainer for molten carbonate fuel cell. [lithium aluminate

    DOEpatents

    Singh, R.N.; Dusek, J.T.

    1979-12-27

    A porous tile for retaining molten electrolyte within a fuel cell is prepared by sintering particles of lithium aluminate into a stable structure. The tile is assembled between two porous metal plates which serve as electrodes with fuels gases such as H/sub 2/ and CO opposite to oxidant gases such as O/sub 2/ and CO/sub 2/. The tile is prepared with a porosity of 55 to 65% and a pore size distribution selected to permit release of sufficient molten electrolyte to wet but not to flood the adjacent electrodes.

  7. Corrosion testing of candidates for the alkaline fuel cell cathode

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Singer, Joseph; Fielder, William L.

    1990-01-01

    Current/voltage data have been obtained for specially made corrosion electrodes of some oxides and of gold materials for the purpose of developing a screening test of catalysts and supports for use at the cathode of the alkaline fuel cell. The data consist of measurements of current at fixed potentials and cyclic voltammograms. These data will have to be correlated with longtime performance data in order to evaluate fully this approach to corrosion screening.

  8. High performance and eco-friendly chitosan hydrogel membrane electrolytes for direct borohydride fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choudhury, Nurul A.; Ma, Jia; Sahai, Yogeshwar

    2012-07-01

    Novel, cost-effective, and environmentally benign polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMs) consisting of ionically cross-linked chitosan (CS) hydrogel is reported for direct borohydride fuel cells (DBFCs). The membranes have been prepared by ionic cross-linking of CS with sulfate and hydrogen phosphate salts of sodium. Use of Na2SO4 and Na2HPO4 as cross-linking agents in the preparation of ionically cross-linked CS hydrogel membrane electrolytes (ICCSHMEs) not only enhances cost-effectiveness but also environmental friendliness of fuel cell technologies. The DBFCs have been assembled with a composite of nickel and carbon-supported palladium as anode catalyst, carbon-supported platinum as cathode catalyst and ICCSHMEs as electrolytes-cum-separators. The DBFCs have been studied by using an aqueous alkaline solution of sodium borohydride as fuel in flowing mode using a peristaltic pump and oxygen as oxidant. A maximum peak power density of about 810 mW cm-2 has been achieved for the DBFC employing Na2HPO4-based ICCSHME and operating at a cell temperature of 70 °C.

  9. 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.

  10. An effective approach for alleviating cation-induced backbone degradation in aromatic ether-based alkaline polymer electrolytes.

    PubMed

    Han, Juanjuan; Liu, Qiong; Li, Xueqi; Pan, Jing; Wei, Ling; Wu, Ying; Peng, Hanqing; Wang, Ying; Li, Guangwei; Chen, Chen; Xiao, Li; Lu, Juntao; Zhuang, Lin

    2015-02-01

    Aromatic ether-based alkaline polymer electrolytes (APEs) are one of the most popular types of APEs being used in fuel cells. However, recent studies have demonstrated that upon being grafted by proximal cations some polar groups in the backbone of such APEs can be attacked by OH(-), leading to backbone degradation in an alkaline environment. To resolve this issue, we performed a systematic study on six APEs. We first replaced the polysulfone (PS) backbone with polyphenylsulfone (PPSU) and polyphenylether (PPO), whose molecular structures contain fewer polar groups. Although improved stability was seen after this change, cation-induced degradation was still obvious. Thus, our second move was to replace the ordinary quaternary ammonia (QA) cation, which had been closely attached to the polymer backbone, with a pendant-type QA (pQA), which was linked to the backbone through a long side chain. After a stability test in a 1 mol/L KOH solution at 80 °C for 30 days, all pQA-type APEs (pQAPS, pQAPPSU, and pQAPPO) exhibited as low as 8 wt % weight loss, which is close to the level of the bare backbone (5 wt %) and remarkably lower than those of the QA-type APEs (QAPS, QAPPSU, and QAPPO), whose weight losses under the same conditions were >30%. The pQA-type APEs also possessed clear microphase segregation morphology, which led to ionic conductivities that were higher, and water uptakes and degrees of membrane swelling that were lower, than those of the QA-type APEs. These observations unambiguously indicate that designing pendant-type cations is an effective approach to increasing the chemical stability of aromatic ether-based APEs. PMID:25594224

  11. Chemical degradation mechanisms of membranes for alkaline membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choe, Yoong-Kee; Henson, Neil J.; Kim, Yu Seung

    2015-12-01

    Chemical degradation mechanisms of membranes for alkaline membrane fuel cells have been investigated using density functional theory (DFT). We have elucidated that the aryl-ether moiety of membranes is one of the weakest site against attack of hydroxide ions. The results of DFT calculations for hydroxide initiated aryl-ether cleavage indicated that the aryl-ether cleavage occurred prior to degradation of cationic functional group. Such a weak nature of the aryl-ether group arises from the electron deficiency of the aryl group as well as the low bond dissociation energy. The DFT results suggests that removal of the aryl-ether group in the membrane should enhance the stability of membranes under alkaline conditions. In fact, an ether fee poly(phenylene) membrane exhibits excellent stability against the attack from hydroxide ions.

  12. Chemical degradation mechanisms of membranes for alkaline membrane fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Choe, Yoong-Kee; Henson, Neil J.; Kim, Yu Seung

    2015-12-31

    Chemical degradation mechanisms of membranes for alkaline membrane fuel cells have been investigated using density functional theory (DFT). We have elucidated that the aryl-ether moiety of membranes is one of the weakest site against attack of hydroxide ions. The results of DFT calculations for hydroxide initiated aryl-ether cleavage indicated that the aryl-ether cleavage occurred prior to degradation of cationic functional group. Such a weak nature of the aryl-ether group arises from the electron deficiency of the aryl group as well as the low bond dissociation energy. The DFT results suggests that removal of the aryl-ether group in the membrane should enhance the stability of membranes under alkaline conditions. In fact, an ether fee poly(phenylene) membrane exhibits excellent stability against the attack from hydroxide ions.

  13. Enhanced Catalytic Activities of NiPt Truncated Octahedral Nanoparticles toward Ethylene Glycol Oxidation and Oxygen Reduction in Alkaline Electrolyte.

    PubMed

    Xia, Tianyu; Liu, Jialong; Wang, Shouguo; Wang, Chao; Sun, Young; Gu, Lin; Wang, Rongming

    2016-05-01

    The high cost and poor durability of Pt nanoparticles (NPs) are great limits for the proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) from being scaled-up for commercial applications. Pt-based bimetallic NPs together with a uniform distribution can effectively reduce the usage of expensive Pt while increasing poison resistance of intermediates. In this work, a simple one-pot method was used to successfully synthesize ultrafine (about 7.5 nm) uniform NiPt truncated octahedral nanoparticles (TONPs) in dimethylformamid (DMF) without any seeds or templates. The as-prepared NiPt TONPs with Pt-rich surfaces exhibit greatly improved catalytic activities together with good tolerance and better stability for ethylene glycol oxidation reaction (EGOR) and oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in comparison with NiPt NPs and commercial Pt/C catalysts in alkaline electrolyte. For example, the value of mass and specific activities for EGOR are 23.2 and 17.6 times higher comparing with those of commercial Pt/C, respectively. Our results demonstrate that the dramatic enhancement is mainly attributed to Pt-rich surface, larger specific surface area, together with coupling between Ni and Pt atoms. This developed method provides a promising pathway for simple preparation of highly efficient electrocatalysts for PEMFCs in the near future. PMID:27093304

  14. Control of electrolyte fill to fuel cell stack

    DOEpatents

    Pollack, William

    1982-01-01

    A fuel cell stack which can be operated with cells in a horizontal position so that the fuel cell stack does not have to be taken out of operation when adding an electrolyte such as an acid. Acid is supplied to each matrix in a stack of fuel cells at a uniform, low pressure so that the matrix can either be filled initially or replenished with acid lost in operation of the cell, without exceeding the bubble pressure of the matrix or the flooding pressure of the electrodes on either side of the matrix. Acid control to each cell is achieved by restricting and offsetting the opening of electrolyte fill holes in the matrix relative to openings in the plates which sandwich the matrix and electrodes therebetween.

  15. Determination of optimum electrolyte composition for molten carbonate fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Yuh, C.Y.; Pigeaud, A.

    1987-01-01

    The objective of this study is to determine the optimum electrolyte composition for molten carbonate fuel cells. To accomplish this, the contractor will provide: (1) Comprehensive reports of on-going efforts to optimize carbonate composition. (2) A list of characteristics affected by electrolyte composition variations (e.g. ionic conductivity, vapor pressure, melting range, gas solubility, exchange current densities on NiO, corrosion and cathode dissolution effects). (3) Assessment of the overall effects that these characteristics have state-of-the-art cell voltage and lifetime.

  16. Evaluation of organic acids as fuel cell electrolytes

    SciTech Connect

    Ahmad, J.; Nguyen, T.H.; Foley, R.T.

    1981-11-01

    The electrochemical behavior of methanesulfonic acid, ethanesulfonic acid, and sulfoacetic acid as fuel cell electrolytes was studied in half-cell at various temperatures. The rate of the electro-oxidation of hydrogen at 115/degree/C was very high in methanesulfonic acid. The rate of the electro-oxidation of propane in all three acids was low even at 135/degree/C. Further, there is evidence for adsorption of these acids on the platinum electrode. It is concluded that anhydrous sulfonic acids are not good electrolytes; water solutions are required. Sulfonic acids containing unprotected carbon-hydrogen bonds are adsorbed on platinum and probably decompose during electrolysis. 9 refs.

  17. Recent advances in solid polymer electrolyte fuel cell technology

    SciTech Connect

    Ticianelli, E.A.; Srinivasan, S.; Gonzalez, E.R.

    1988-01-01

    With methods used to advance solid polymer electrolyte fuel cell technology, we are close to obtaining the goal of 1 A/cm/sup 2/ at 0.7. Higher power densities have been reported (2 A/cm/sup 2/ at 0.5 V) but only with high catalyst loading electrodes (2 mg/cm/sup 2/ and 4 mg/cm/sup 2/ at anode and cathode, respectively) and using a Dow membrane with a better conductivity and water retention characteristics. Work is in progress to ascertain performances of cells with Dow membrane impregnated electrodes and Dow membrane electrolytes. 5 refs., 6 figs.

  18. Synthesis and characterization of alkaline polyvinyl alcohol and poly(epichlorohydrin) blend polymer electrolytes and performance in electrochemical cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Chun-Chen; Lin, Sheng-Jen; Hsu, Sung-Ting

    Alkaline SPE was obtained from a blend of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and poly(epichlorohydrin) (PECH), PVA-PECH, by a solution-cast technique. The PVA host polymer is blended with PECH polymer to provide a polymer electrolyte with improved chemical and mechanical properties. The ionic conductivity of the PVA-PECH polymer electrolytes is between 10 -2 and 10 -3 S cm -1 at room temperature when the blend ratio is varied from 1:0.2 to 1:1. The PVA-PECH polymer was characterized by means of scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, stress-strain test, cyclic voltammetry, and a.c. impedance spectroscopy. It is found that the polymer electrolytes exhibit good mechanical strength and excellent chemical stability. The electrochemical performance of solid-state Zn-air batteries with various types of the blended polymer electrolyte films is examined by a galvanostatic discharge method.

  19. 2011 Alkaline Membrane Fuel Cell Workshop Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Pivovar, B.

    2012-02-01

    A workshop addressing the current state-of-the-art in alkaline membrane fuel cells (AMFCs) was held May 8-9, 2011, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia. This workshop was the second of its kind, with the first being held December 11-13, 2006, in Phoenix, Arizona. The 2011 workshop and associated workshop report were created to assess the current state of AMFC technology (taking into account recent advances), investigate the performance potential of AMFC systems across all possible power ranges and applications, and identify the key research needs for commercial competitiveness in a variety of areas.

  20. Development of small polymer electrolyte fuel cell stacks

    SciTech Connect

    Paganin, V.A.; Ticianelli, E.A.; Gonzalez, E.R.

    1996-12-31

    The polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) has been one of the most studied fuel cell systems, because of several advantages for transportation applications. Research involve fundamental aspects related to the water transport and the fuel cell reactions, the practical aspects related to the optimization of the structure and operational conditions of gas diffusion electrodes, and technological aspects related to water management and the engineering of operational sized fuel cell modules. In many of these works it is observed that very satisfactory results regarding the performance of low catalyst loading electrodes (0.15 to 0.4 mg Pt/cm{sup 2}) have been obtained in single cells. However, the use of such electrodes is not yet being considered for building fuel cell stacks and, although not usually mentioned, fuel cell modules are assembled employing electrodes presenting catalyst loadings in the range of 2 to 4 mgPt cm{sup -2}. In this work the results on the research and development of small polymer electrolyte fuel cell stacks employing low catalyst loading electrodes are described. The systems include the assembly of single cells, 6-cell and 21-cell modules. Testing of the stacks was conducted in a specially designed test station employing non-pressurized H{sub 2}/O{sub 2} reactants and measuring the individual and the overall cell voltage versus current characteristics under several operational conditions for the system.

  1. Improved electrolytes for fuel cells. Final report, June 16, 1988--June 15, 1990

    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)

  2. Chalcogen catalysts for polymer electrolyte fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Zelenay, Piotr; Choi, Jong-Ho; Alonso-Vante, Nicolas; Wieckowski, Andrzej; Cao, Dianxue

    2010-08-24

    A methanol-tolerant cathode catalyst and a membrane electrode assembly for fuel cells that includes such a cathode catalyst. The cathode catalyst includes a support having at least one transition metal in elemental form and a chalcogen disposed on the support. Methods of making the cathode catalyst and membrane electrode assembly are also described.

  3. Alkaline fuel cells for the regenerative fuel cell energy storage system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, R. E.

    1983-01-01

    The development of the alkaline Regenerative Fuel Cell System, whose fuel cell module would be a derivative of the 12-kW fuel cell power plant currently being produced for the Space Shuttle Orbiter, is reviewed. Long-term endurance testing of full-size fuel cell modules has demonstrated: (1) the extended endurance capability of potassium titanate matrix cells, (2) the long-term performance stability of the anode catalyst, and (3) the suitability of a lightweight graphite structure for use at the anode. These approaches, developed in the NASA-sponsored fuel cell technology advancement program, would also reduce cell weight by nearly one half.

  4. Performance of direct methanol polymer electrolyte fuel cell

    SciTech Connect

    Shin, Dong Ryul; Jung, Doo Hwan; Lee, Chang Hyeong; Chun, Young Gab

    1996-12-31

    Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC) using polymer electrolyte membrane are promising candidate for application of portable power sources and transportation applications because they do not require any fuel processing equipment and can be operated at low temperature of 60{degrees}C - 130{degrees}C. Elimination of the fuel processor results in simpler design, higher operation reliability, lower weight volume, and lower capital and operating cost. However, methanol as a fuel is relatively electrochemical inert, so that kinetics of the methanol oxidation is too slow. Platinum and Pt-based binary alloy electrodes have been extensively studied for methanol electro-oxidation in acid electrolyte at ambient and elevated temperatures. Particularly, unsupported carbon Pt-Ru catalyst was found to be superior to the anode of DMFC using a proton exchange membrane electrolyte (Nafion). The objective of this study is to develop the high performance DNTC. This paper summarizes the results from half cell and single cell tests, which focus on the electrode manufacturing process, catalyst selection, and operating conditions of single cell such as methanol concentration, temperature and pressure.

  5. Surface charge density on silica in alkali and alkaline earth chloride electrolyte solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dove, Patricia M.; Craven, Colin M.

    2005-11-01

    The surface charge density of colloidal SiO 2 (Aerosil 380) was measured in alkali chloride (0.067 and 0.20 M LiCl, NaCl, and KCl) and alkaline earth chloride (0.067 M MgCl 2, CaCl 2, SrCl 2, BaCl 2) solutions. Measurements were conducted at 25°C by potentiometric titrations using the constant ionic medium method in a CO 2-free system. The experimental design measured surface charge for solutions with constant ionic strength as well as constant cation concentration. Alkali chloride solutions promote negative surface charge density in the order LiCl < NaCl < KCl to give the "regular" lyotropic behavior previously reported. In contrast, the alkaline earth chloride solutions exhibit a reversed lyotropic trend with increasing crystallographic radius where increasing negative charge is promoted in the order BaCl 2 < SrCl 2 < CaCl 2 < MgCl 2. The origin of the opposing affinity trends is probed by testing the hypothesis that this reversal is rooted in the differing solvent structuring characteristics of the IA and IIA cations at the silica-water interface. This idea arises from earlier postulations that solvent structuring effects increase entropy through solvent disordering and these gains must be much greater than the small, positive enthalpy associated with electrostatic interactions. By correlating measured charge density with a proxy for the solvent-structuring ability of cations, this study shows that silica surface charge density is maximized by those electrolytes that have the strongest effects on solvent structuring. We suggest that for a given solid material, solvation entropy has a role in determining the ionic specificity of electrostatic interactions and reiterate the idea that the concept of lyotropy is rooted in the solvent-structuring ability of cations at the interface.

  6. Fuel cell and system for supplying electrolyte thereto with wick feed

    DOEpatents

    Cohn, J. Gunther; Feigenbaum, Haim; Kaufman, Arthur

    1984-01-01

    An electrolyte distribution and supply system for use with a fuel cell having a means for drawing electrolyte therein is formed by a set of containers of electrolyte joined to respective fuel cells in a stack of such cells. The electrolyte is separately stored so as to provide for electrical isolation between electrolytes of the individual cells of the stack. Individual storage compartments are coupled by tubes containing wicking fibers, the ends of the respective tubes terminating on the means for drawing electrolyte in each of the respective fuel cells. Each tube is heat shrunk to tightly bind the fibers therein.

  7. Aluminum corrosion mitigation in alkaline electrolytes containing hybrid inorganic/organic inhibitor system for power sources applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gelman, Danny; Lasman, Itay; Elfimchev, Sergey; Starosvetsky, David; Ein-Eli, Yair

    2015-07-01

    The severe corrosion accompanied with hydrogen evolution process is the main obstacle preventing the implementation of Al as an anode in alkaline batteries. It impairs the functionality of alkaline battery, due to a drastic capacity loss and a short shelf life. The possibility to reduce Al corrosion rate in alkaline solution with the use of hybrid organic∖inorganic inhibitor based on poly (ethylene glycol) di-acid (PEG di-acid) and zinc oxide (ZnO) was examined in this work. A correlation between an Al corrosion rates and the concentrations of both PEG di-acid and ZnO in alkaline is shown. Selecting 5000 ppm PEG di-acid and 16 gr/l ZnO provides substantial corrosion protection of Al, reducing the corrosion rate in a strong alkaline solution by more than one order of magnitude. Moreover, utilizing the same formulation results in increase in Al-air battery discharge capacity, from 44.5 (for a battery utilizing only KOH in the electrolyte) to 70 mhA/cm2 (for a battery utilizing ZnO/PEG di-acid hybrid inhibitor in the electrolyte). The morphology and composition of the Al electrode surface (studied by SEM, EDS, and XRD) depend on PEG di-acid and ZnO concentrations.

  8. Corrosion testing of candidates for the alkaline fuel cell cathode

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Singer, Joseph; Fielder, William L.

    1989-01-01

    Current/voltage data was obtained for specially made corrosion electrodes of some oxides and of gold materials for the purpose of developing a screening test of catalysts and supports for use at the cathode of the alkaline fuel cell. The data consists of measurements of current at fixed potentials and cyclic voltammograms. These data will have to be correlated with longtime performance data in order to fully evaluate this approach to corrosion screening. Corrosion test screening of candidates for the oxygen reduction electrode of the alkaline fuel cell was applied to two substances, the pyrochlore Pb2Ru2O6.5 and the spinel NiCo2O4. The substrate gold screen and a sample of the IFC Orbiter Pt-Au performance electrode were included as blanks. The pyrochlore data indicate relative stability, although nothing yet can be said about long term stability. The spinel was plainly unstable. For this type of testing to be validated, comparisons will have to be made with long term performance tests.

  9. Carbonate fuel cell and components thereof for in-situ delayed addition of carbonate electrolyte

    DOEpatents

    Johnsen, Richard; Yuh, Chao-Yi; Farooque, Mohammad

    2011-05-10

    An apparatus and method in which a delayed carbonate electrolyte is stored in the storage areas of a non-electrolyte matrix fuel cell component and is of a preselected content so as to obtain a delayed time release of the electrolyte in the storage areas in the operating temperature range of the fuel cell.

  10. 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.

  11. The effect of grain size on aluminum anodes for Al-air batteries in alkaline electrolytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fan, Liang; Lu, Huimin

    2015-06-01

    Aluminum is an ideal material for metallic fuel cells. In this research, different grain sizes of aluminum anodes are prepared by equal channel angular pressing (ECAP) at room temperature. Microstructure of the anodes is examined by electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) in scanning electron microscope (SEM). Hydrogen corrosion rates of the Al anodes in 4 mol L-1 NaOH are determined by hydrogen collection method. The electrochemical properties of the aluminum anodes are investigated in the same electrolyte using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and polarization curves. Battery performance is also tested by constant current discharge at different current densities. Results confirm that the electrochemical properties of the aluminum anodes are related to grain size. Finer grain size anode restrains hydrogen evolution, improves electrochemical activity and increases anodic utilization rate. The proposed method is shown to effectively improve the performance of Al-air batteries.

  12. Non-precious metal electrocatalysts with high activity for hydrogen oxidation reaction in alkaline electrolytes

    SciTech Connect

    Sheng, WC; Bivens, AP; Myint, M; Zhuang, ZB; Forest, RV; Fang, QR; Chen, JG; Yan, YS

    2014-05-01

    A ternary metallic CoNiMo catalyst is electrochemically deposited on a polycrystalline gold (Au) disk electrode using pulse voltammetry, and characterized for hydrogen oxidation reaction (HOR) activity by temperature-controlled rotating disk electrode measurements in 0.1 M potassium hydroxide (KOH). The catalyst exhibits the highest HOR activity among all non-precious metal catalysts (e.g., 20 fold higher than Ni). At a sufficient loading, the CoNiMo catalyst is expected to outperform Pt and thus provides a promising low cost pathway for alkaline or alkaline membrane fuel cells. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations and parallel H-2-temperature programmed desorption (TPD) experiments on structurally much simpler model alloy systems show a trend that CoNiMo has a hydrogen binding energy (HBE) similar to Pt and much lower than Ni, suggesting that the formation of multi-metallic bonds modifies the HBE of Ni and is likely a significant contributing factor for the enhanced HOR activity.

  13. A direct 2-propanol polymer electrolyte fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Dianxue; Bergens, Steven H.

    We report the performance of a polymer electrolyte membrane direct 2-propanol fuel cell (DPFC). The cell consisted of a Pt-Ru (atomic ratio of 1:1) black anode, a Pt black cathode, and a Nafion ®-117 membrane electrolyte. The cell was operated at 90 °C with aqueous 2-propanol as fuel and with oxygen as oxidant. The performance of the cell operating on 2-propanol is substantially higher than when it was operating on methanol at current densities lower than ˜200 mA/cm 2. The electrical efficiency of the direct 2-propanol fuel cell is nearly 1.5 times that of the direct methanol fuel cell at power densities below 128 mW/cm 2. Studies on the effects of electrocatalyst loading, of 2-propanol concentration, and of oxygen pressure on cell performance indicate that the cells operating on 2-propanol require lower anode and cathode loadings than cells operating on methanol. Cathode poisoning by 2-propanol is less severe than by methanol. Hydrogen gas evolution observed at the anode at low current densities indicated that catalytic dehydrogenation of 2-propanol occurred over the anode catalyst. A rapid voltage drop occurred at high current densities and after operating the cell for extended periods of time at constant current. The rapid voltage drop is an anode phenomenon.

  14. Failure analysis of electrolyte-supported solid oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fleischhauer, Felix; Tiefenauer, Andreas; Graule, Thomas; Danzer, Robert; Mai, Andreas; Kuebler, Jakob

    2014-07-01

    For solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) one key aspect is the structural integrity of the cell and hence its thermo mechanical long term behaviour. The present study investigates the failure mechanisms and the actual causes for fracture of electrolyte supported SOFCs which were run using the current μ-CHP system of Hexis AG, Winterthur - Switzerland under lab conditions or at customer sites for up to 40,000 h. In a first step several operated stacks were demounted for post-mortem inspection, followed by a fractographic evaluation of the failed cells. The respective findings are then set into a larger picture including an analysis of the present stresses acting on the cell like thermal and residual stresses and the measurements regarding the temperature dependent electrolyte strength. For all investigated stacks, the mechanical failure of individual cells can be attributed to locally acting bending loads, which rise due to an inhomogeneous and uneven contact between the metallic interconnect and the cell.

  15. Improved solid oxide fuel cell performance with nanostructured electrolytes.

    PubMed

    Chao, Cheng-Chieh; Hsu, Ching-Mei; Cui, Yi; Prinz, Fritz B

    2011-07-26

    Considerable attention has been focused on solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) due to their potential for providing clean and reliable electric power. However, the high operating temperatures of current SOFCs limit their adoption in mobile applications. To lower the SOFC operating temperature, we fabricated a corrugated thin-film electrolyte membrane by nanosphere lithography and atomic layer deposition to reduce the polarization and ohmic losses at low temperatures. The resulting micro-SOFC electrolyte membrane showed a hexagonal-pyramid array nanostructure and achieved a power density of 1.34 W/cm(2) at 500 °C. In the future, arrays of micro-SOFCs with high power density may enable a range of mobile and portable power applications. PMID:21657222

  16. Electrical contact structures for solid oxide electrolyte fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Isenberg, Arnold O.

    1984-01-01

    An improved electrical output connection means is provided for a high temperature solid oxide electrolyte type fuel cell generator. The electrical connection of the fuel cell electrodes to the electrical output bus, which is brought through the generator housing to be connected to an electrical load line maintains a highly uniform temperature distribution. The electrical connection means includes an electrode bus which is spaced parallel to the output bus with a plurality of symmetrically spaced transversely extending conductors extending between the electrode bus and the output bus, with thermal insulation means provided about the transverse conductors between the spaced apart buses. Single or plural stages of the insulated transversely extending conductors can be provided within the high temperatures regions of the fuel cell generator to provide highly homogeneous temperature distribution over the contacting surfaces.

  17. Fuel cell and system for supplying electrolyte thereto utilizing cascade feed

    DOEpatents

    Feigenbaum, Haim

    1984-01-01

    An electrolyte distribution supply system for use with a fuel cell having a wicking medium for drawing electrolyte therein is formed by a set of containers of electrolyte joined to respective fuel cells or groups thereof in a stack of such cells. The electrolyte is separately stored so as to provide for electrical isolation between electrolytes of the individual cells or groups of cells of the stack. Individual storage compartments are coupled by individual tubes, the ends of the respective tubes terminating on the wicking medium in each of the respective fuel cells. The individual compartments are filled with electrolyte by allowing the compartments to overflow such as in a cascading fashion thereby maintaining the requisite depth of electrolyte in each of the storage compartments. The individual compartments can also contain packed carbon fibers to provide a three stage electrolyte distribution system.

  18. Method for producing electricity from a fuel cell having solid-oxide ionic electrolyte

    DOEpatents

    Mason, David M.

    1984-01-01

    Stabilized quadrivalent cation oxide electrolytes are employed in fuel cells at elevated temperatures with a carbon and/or hydrogen containing fuel anode and an oxygen cathode. The fuel cell is operated at elevated temperatures with conductive metallic coatings as electrodes and desirably having the electrolyte surface blackened. Of particular interest as the quadrivalent oxide is zirconia.

  19. Low Crossover Polymer Electrolyte Membranes for Direct Methanol Fuel Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prakash, G. K. Surya; Smart, Marshall; Atti, Anthony R.; Olah, George A.; Narayanan, S. R.; Valdez, T.; Surampudi, S.

    1996-01-01

    Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFC's) using polymer electrolyte membranes are promising power sources for portable and vehicular applications. State of the art technology using Nafion(R) 117 membranes (Dupont) are limited by high methanol permeability and cost, resulting in reduced fuel cell efficiencies and impractical commercialization. Therefore, much research in the fuel cell field is focused on the preparation and testing of low crossover and cost efficient polymer electrolyte membranes. The University of Southern California in cooperation with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory is focused on development of such materials. Interpenetrating polymer networks are an effective method used to blend polymer systems without forming chemical links. They provide the ability to modify physical and chemical properties of polymers by optimizing blend compositions. We have developed a novel interpenetrating polymer network based on poly (vinyl - difluoride)/cross-linked polystyrenesulfonic acid polymer composites (PVDF PSSA). Sulfonation of polystyrene accounts for protonic conductivity while the non-polar, PVDF backbone provides structural integrity in addition to methanol rejection. Precursor materials were prepared and analyzed to characterize membrane crystallinity, stability and degree of interpenetration. USC JPL PVDF-PSSA membranes were also characterized to determine methanol permeability, protonic conductivity and sulfur distribution. Membranes were fabricated into membrane electrode assemblies (MEA) and tested for single cell performance. Tests include cell performance over a wide range of temperatures (20 C - 90 C) and cathode conditions (ambient Air/O2). Methanol crossover values are measured in situ using an in-line CO2 analyzer.

  20. Non-segregating electrolytes for molten carbonate fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Kaun, T.D.; Bloom, I.D.; Krumpelt, M.

    1997-09-01

    Argonne National Laboratory is developing molten carbonate electrolyte compositions which have minimal segregation in the individual fuel cell and cell stack under an electric field. The approach is to characterize Li-Na carbonate mixtures in terms of their segregation properties in an electric field and, if necessary, to modify the observed segregation by adding Ba and Ca carbonates. Both non-segregating properties and MCFC test-cell performance show improvement as the lithium content is modified, up or down, from a baseline of 52/48 Li/Na. Results of gasket strip (20 V) screening studies, as well as those from cell tests, will be discussed.

  1. Cold-start characteristics of polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Mishler, Jeff; Mukundan, Rangachary; Wang, Yun; Mishler, Jeff; Mukherjee, Partha P

    2010-01-01

    In this paper, we investigate the electrochemical reaction kinetics, species transport, and solid water dynamics in a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) during cold start. A simplitied analysis is developed to enable the evaluation of the impact of ice volume fraction on cell performance during coldstart. Supporting neutron imaging data are also provided to reveal the real-time water evolution. Temperature-dependent voltage changes due to the reaction kinetics and ohmic loss are also analyzed based on the ionic conductivity of the membrane at subfreezing temperature. The analysis is valuable for the fundamental study of PEFC cold-start.

  2. Microstructured Electrolyte Membranes to Improve Fuel Cell Performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Xue

    Fuel cells, with the advantages of high efficiency, low greenhouse gas emission, and long lifetime are a promising technology for both portable power and stationary power sources. The development of efficient electrolyte membranes with high ionic conductivity, good mechanical durability and dense structure at low cost remains a challenge to the commercialization of fuel cells. This thesis focuses on exploring novel composite polymer membranes and ceramic electrolytes with the microstructure engineered to improve performance in direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) and solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), respectively. Polymer/particle composite membranes hold promise to meet the demands of DMFCs at lower cost. The structure of composite membranes was controlled by aligning proton conducting particles across the membrane thickness under an applied electric field. The field-induced structural changes caused the membranes to display an enhanced water uptake, proton conductivity, and methanol permeability in comparison to membranes prepared without an applied field. Although both methanol permeability and proton conductivity are enhanced by the applied field, the permeability increase is relatively lower than the proton conductivity improvement, which results in enhanced proton/methanol selectivity and improved DMFC performance. Apatite ceramics are a new class of fast ion conductors being studied as alternative SOFC electrolytes in the intermediate temperature range. An electrochemical/hydrothermal deposition method was developed to grow fully dense apatite membranes containing well-developed crystals with c-axis alignment to promote ion conductivity. Hydroxyapatite seed crystals were first deposited onto a metal substrate electrochemically. Subsequent ion substitution during the hydrothermal growth process promoted the formation of dense, fully crystalline films with microstructure optimal for ion transport. The deposition parameters were systematically investigated, such as

  3. Strength of an electrolyte supported solid oxide fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fleischhauer, Felix; Bermejo, Raul; Danzer, Robert; Mai, Andreas; Graule, Thomas; Kuebler, Jakob

    2015-11-01

    For the proper function of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) their structural integrity must be maintained during their whole lifetime. Any cell fracture would cause leakage and partial oxidization of the anode, leading to a reduced performance, if not catastrophic failure of the whole stack. In this study, the mechanical strength of a state of the art SOFC, developed and produced by Hexis AG/Switzerland, was investigated with respect to the influence of temperature and ageing, whilst for the anode side of the cell the strength was measured under reducing and oxidizing atmospheres. Ball-on-3-Ball bending strength tests and fractography conducted on anode and cathode half-cells revealed the underlying mechanisms, which lead to cell fracture. They were found to be different for the cathode and the anode side and that they change with temperature and ageing. Both anode and cathode sides exhibit the lowest strength at T = 850 °C, which is greatly reduced to the initial strength of the bare electrolyte. This reduction is the consequence of the formation of cracks in the electrode layer which either directly penetrate into the electrolyte (anode side) or locally increase the stress intensity level of pre-existing flaws of the electrolytes at the interface (cathode side).

  4. Formulations for Stronger Solid Oxide Fuel-Cell Electrolytes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bansal, Narottam P.; Goldsby, John C.; Choi, Sung R.

    2004-01-01

    Tests have shown that modification of chemical compositions can increase the strengths and fracture toughnesses of solid oxide fuel-cell (SOFC) electrolytes. Heretofore, these solid electrolytes have been made of yttria-stabilized zirconia, which is highly conductive for oxygen ions at high temperatures, as needed for operation of fuel cells. Unfortunately yttria-stabilized zirconia has a high coefficient of thermal expansion, low resistance to thermal shock, low fracture toughness, and low mechanical strength. The lack of strength and toughness are especially problematic for fabrication of thin SOFC electrolyte membranes needed for contemplated aeronautical, automotive, and stationary power-generation applications. The modifications of chemical composition that lead to increased strength and fracture toughness consist in addition of alumina to the basic yttria-stabilized zirconia formulations. Techniques for processing of yttria-stabilized zirconia/alumina composites containing as much as 30 mole percent of alumina have been developed. The composite panels fabricated by these techniques have been found to be dense and free of cracks. The only material phases detected in these composites has been cubic zirconia and a alumina: this finding signifies that no undesired chemical reactions between the constituents occurred during processing at elevated temperatures. The flexural strengths and fracture toughnesses of the various zirconia-alumina composites were measured in air at room temperature as well as at a temperature of 1,000 C (a typical SOFC operating temperature). The measurements showed that both flexural strength and fracture toughness increased with increasing alumina content at both temperatures. In addition, the modulus of elasticity and the thermal conductivity were found to increase and the density to decrease with increasing alumina content. The oxygen-ion conductivity at 1,000 C was found to be unchanged by the addition of alumina.

  5. Performance of AA5052 alloy anode in alkaline ethylene glycol electrolyte with dicarboxylic acids additives for aluminium-air batteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, DaPeng; Zhang, DaQuan; Lee, KangYong; Gao, LiXin

    2015-11-01

    Dicarboxylic acid compounds, i.e. succinic acid (SUA), adipic acid (ADA) and sebacic acid (SEA), are used as electrolyte additives in the alkaline ethylene glycol solution for AA5052 aluminium-air batteries. It shows that the addition of dicarboxylic acids lowers the hydrogen gas evolution rate of commercial AA5052 aluminium alloy anode. AA5052 aluminium alloy has wide potential window for electrochemical activity and better discharge performance in alkaline ethylene glycol solution containing dicarboxylic acid additives. ADA has the best inhibition effect for the self-corrosion of AA5052 anode among the three dicarboxylic acid additives. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) reveals that dicarboxylic acids and aluminium ions can form coordination complexes. Quantum chemical calculations shows that ADA has a smaller energy gap (ΔE, the energy difference between the lowest unoccupied orbital and the highest occupied orbital), indicating that ADA has the strongest interaction with aluminium ions.

  6. Low loadings of platinum on transition metal carbides for hydrogen oxidation and evolution reactions in alkaline electrolytes.

    PubMed

    Wang, Lu; Mahoney, Elizabeth G; Zhao, Shen; Yang, Bolun; Chen, Jingguang G

    2016-03-01

    Low-loadings of Pt supported over six transition metal carbide (Pt/TMC) powder catalysts were synthesized and evaluated for hydrogen oxidation and evolution reactions in an alkaline electrolyte. The roughness factor of each Pt/TMC catalyst was different, indicating that the carbide supports affect the dispersion of Pt. Furthermore, when normalized by the corresponding roughness factors, all Pt/TMC catalysts were found to have similar intrinsic activities that were comparable to the state-of-the-art commercial Pt/C electrocatalysts. PMID:26862592

  7. Direct liquid-feed fuel cell with membrane electrolyte and manufacturing thereof

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Narayanan, Sekharipuram (Inventor); Surampudi, Subbarao (Inventor); Halpert, Gerald (Inventor)

    1999-01-01

    An improved direct liquid-feed fuel cell having a solid membrane electrolyte for electrochemical reactions of an organic fuel. Improvements in interfacing of the catalyst layer and the membrane and activating catalyst materials are disclosed.

  8. Multiphase transport in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gauthier, Eric D.

    Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) enable efficient conversion of fuels to electricity. They have enormous potential due to the high energy density of the fuels they utilize (hydrogen or alcohols). Power density is a major limitation to wide-scale introduction of PEMFCs. Power density in hydrogen fuel cells is limited by accumulation of water in what is termed fuel cell `flooding.' Flooding may occur in either the gas diffusion layer (GDL) or within the flow channels of the bipolar plate. These components comprise the electrodes of the fuel cell and balance transport of reactants/products with electrical conductivity. This thesis explores the role of electrode materials in the fuel cell and examines the fundamental connection between material properties and multiphase transport processes. Water is generated at the cathode catalyst layer. As liquid water accumulates it will utilize the largest pores in the GDL to go from the catalyst layer to the flow channels. Water collects to large pores via lateral transport at the interface between the GDL and catalyst layer. We have shown that water may be collected in these large pores from several centimeters away, suggesting that we could engineer the GDL to control flooding with careful placement and distribution of large flow-directing pores. Once liquid water is in the flow channels it forms slugs that block gas flow. The slugs are pushed along the channel by a pressure gradient that is dependent on the material wettability. The permeable nature of the GDL also plays a major role in slug growth and allowing bypass of gas between adjacent channels. Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) have analogous multiphase flow issues where carbon dioxide bubbles accumulate, `blinding' regions of the fuel cell. This problem is fundamentally similar to water management in hydrogen fuel cells but with a gas/liquid phase inversion. Gas bubbles move laterally through the porous GDL and emerge to form large bubbles within the

  9. Membrane electrode assemblies for unitised regenerative polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wittstadt, U.; Wagner, E.; Jungmann, T.

    Membrane electrode assemblies for regenerative polymer electrolyte fuel cells were made by hot pressing and sputtering. The different MEAs are examined in fuel cell and water electrolysis mode at different pressure and temperature conditions. Polarisation curves and ac impedance spectra are used to investigate the influence of the changes in coating technique. The hydrogen gas permeation through the membrane is determined by analysing the produced oxygen in electrolysis mode. The analysis shows, that better performances in both process directions can be achieved with an additional layer of sputtered platinum on the oxygen electrode. Thus, the electrochemical round-trip efficiency can be improved by more than 4%. Treating the oxygen electrode with PTFE solution shows better performance in fuel cell and less performance in electrolysis mode. The increase of the round-trip efficiency is negligible. A layer sputtered directly on the membrane shows good impermeability, and hence results in high voltages at low current densities. The mass transportation is apparently constricted. The gas diffusion layer on the oxygen electrode, in this case a titanium foam, leads to flooding of the cell in fuel cell mode. Stable operation is achieved after pretreatment of the GDL with a PTFE solution.

  10. Recent advances in solid polymer electrolyte fuel cell technology with low platinum loading electrodes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Srinivasan, Supramaniam; Manko, David J.; Enayatullah, Mohammad; Appleby, A. John

    1989-01-01

    High power density fuel cell systems for defense and civilian applications are being developed. Taking into consideration the main causes for efficiency losses (activation, mass transport and ohmic overpotentials) the only fuel cell systems capable of achieving high power densities are the ones with alkaline and solid polymer electrolyte. High power densities (0.8 W/sq cm at 0.8 V and 1 A/sq cm with H2 and O2 as reactants), were already used in NASA's Apollo and Space Shuttle flights as auxiliary power sources. Even higher power densities (4 W/sq cm - i.e., 8 A sq cm at 0.5 V) were reported by the USAF/International Fuel Cells in advanced versions of the alkaline system. High power densities (approximately 1 watt/sq cm) in solid polymer electrolyte fuel cells with ten times lower platinum loading in the electrodes (i.e., 0.4 mg/sq cm) were attained. It is now possible to reach a cell potential of 0.620 V at a current density of 2 A/sq cm and at a temperature of 95 C and pressure of 4/5 atm with H2/O2 as reactants. The slope of the linear region of the potential-current density plot for this case is 0.15 ohm-sq cm. With H2/air as reactants and under the same operating conditions, mass transport limitations are encountered at current densities above 1.4 A/sq cm. Thus, the cell potential at 1 A/sq cm with H2/air as reactants is less than that with H2/O2 as reactants by 40 mV, which is the expected value based on electrode kinetics of the oxygen reduction reaction, and at 2 A/sq cm with H2/air as reactant is less than the corresponding value with H2/O2 as reactants by 250 mV, which is due to the considerably greater mass transport limitations in the former case.

  11. PREPARATION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF SOLID ELECTROLYTES: FUEL CELL APPLICATIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Rambabu Bobba; Josef Hormes; T. Wang; Jaymes A. Baker; Donald G. Prier; Tommy Rockwood; Dinesha Hawkins; Saleem Hasan; V. Rayanki

    1997-12-31

    The intent of this project with Federal Energy Technology Center (FETC)/Morgantown Energy Technology Center (METC) is to develop research infrastructure conductive to Fuel Cell research at Southern University and A and M College, Baton Route. A state of the art research laboratory (James Hall No.123 and No.114) for energy conversion and storage devices was developed during this project duration. The Solid State Ionics laboratory is now fully equipped with materials research instruments: Arbin Battery Cycling and testing (8 channel) unit, Electrochemical Analyzer (EG and G PAR Model 273 and Solartron AC impedance analyzer), Fuel Cell test station (Globe Tech), Differential Scanning Calorimeter (DSC-10), Thermogravimetric Analyzer (TGA), Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM), UV-VIS-NIR Absorption Spectrometer, Fluorescence Spectrometer, FT-IR Spectrometer, Extended X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (EXAFS) measurement capability at Center for Advanced Microstructure and Devices (CAMD- a multimillion dollar DOE facility), Glove Box, gas hood chamber, high temperature furnaces, hydraulic press and several high performance computers. IN particular, a high temperature furnace (Thermodyne 6000 furnace) and a high temperature oven were acquired through this project funds. The PI Dr. R Bobba has acquired additional funds from federal agencies include NSF-Academic Research Infrastructure program and other DOE sites. They have extensively used the multimillion dollar DOE facility ''Center'' for Advanced Microstructures and Devices (CAMD) for electrochemical research. The students were heavily involved in the experimental EXAFS measurements and made use of their DCM beamline for EXAFS research. The primary objective was to provide hands on experience to the selected African American undergraduate and graduate students in experimental energy research.The goal was to develop research skills and involve them in the Preparation and Characterization of Solid Electrolytes. Ionically

  12. Overview of fuel processing options for polymer electrolyte fuel cell systems

    SciTech Connect

    Kumar, R.

    1995-12-31

    The polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) is being developed for use in heavy- and light-duty transportation applications. While this fuel cell has been used successfully in buses and vans with compressed hydrogen as the on-board fuel [1,2], the fuel cell system must incorporate fuel processing (reforming) for any other on-board fuel to produce the hydrogen or hydrogen-rich fuel gas to be fed to the fuel cell stack. This is true even for alternative methods of storing hydrogen, such as use of a metal hydride or liquefied hydrogen. The ``fuel processing`` needed to recover the hydrogen includes providing the heat of dissociation of the hydride and cooling the hydrogen to the temperature of the fuel cell stack. Discussed below are some of the options being considered for processing of on-board fuels (other than compressed hydrogen) to generate the fuel cell anode gas, and the effects of fuel processing on system design, efficiency, steady-state and dynamic performance, and other factors.

  13. The effect of crystal orientation on the aluminum anodes of the aluminum-air batteries in alkaline electrolytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fan, Liang; Lu, Huimin; Leng, Jing; Sun, Zegao; Chen, Chunbo

    2015-12-01

    Recently, aluminum-air (Al-air) batteries have received attention from researchers as an exciting option for safe and efficient batteries. The electrochemical performance of Aluminum anode remains an active area of investigation. In this paper, the electrochemical properties of polycrystalline Al, Al (001), (110) and (111) single crystals are investigated using potentiodynamic polarization and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) in 4 M NaOH and KOH. Hydrogen corrosion rates of the Al anodes are determined by hydrogen collection. Battery performance using the anodes is tested by constant current discharge at 10 mA cm-2. This is the first report showing that the electrochemical properties of Al are closely related to the crystallographic orientation in alkaline electrolytes. The (001) crystallographic plane has good corrosion resistance but (110) is more sensitive. Al (001) single crystals display higher anode efficiency and capacity density. Controlling the crystallographic orientation of the Al anode is another way to improve the performance of Al-air batteries in alkaline electrolytes.

  14. Developments of Novel Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Irita, Tomomi; Kondo, Masahiro; Aoyama, Hirokazu; Russell, Thomas

    2006-03-01

    Perfluorinated polymer electrolyte membranes (PEM), such as Nafion, are considered to be the most promising candidate for the development of the next generation fuel cell technology. The key technological challenges facing PEMs are their performance, durability and cost. In this research, the polymer electrolyte emulsions (PEE) were obtained by a simple hydrolysis reaction of the precursor polymer emulsion. PEMs are obtained by solvent casting the PEE. The PEE obtained here has a very low viscosity even at high solution concentrations. Using high concentration emulsions greatly reduces the amount of the waste, which makes this technology superior to the conventional ones. Casting conditions were optimized to enhance the mechanical properties, e.g. the tensile strength and viscoelastic properties, of the membrane. The PEMs obtained possessed better ionic conductivity than Nafion while their mechanical properties are comparable. Finally, the cost evaluation for this process was conducted and it was shown that the contribution to the cost reduction becomes bigger. (This research was sponsored by New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, Japan)

  15. Humidification studies on polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sridhar, P.; Perumal, Ramkumar; Rajalakshmi, N.; Raja, M.; Dhathathreyan, K. S.

    Two methods of humidifying the anode gas, namely, external and membrane humidification, for a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel (PEMFC) cell are explained. It is found that the water of solvation of protons decreases with increase in the current density and the electrode area. This is due to insufficient external humidification. In a membrane-based humidification, an optimum set of parameters, such as gas flow rate, area and type of the membrane, must be chosen to achieve effective humidification. The present study examines the dependence of water pick-up by hydrogen on the temperature, area and thickness of the membrane in membrane humidification. Since the performance of the fuel cell is dependent more on hydrogen humidification than on oxygen humidification, the scope of the work is restricted to the humidification of hydrogen using Nafion ® membrane. An examination is made on the dependence of water pick-up by hydrogen in membrane humidification on the temperature, area and thickness of the membrane. The dependence of fuel cell performance on membrane humidification and external humidification in the anode gas is also considered.

  16. Gradiently crosslinked polymer electrolyte membranes in fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    An, De; Wu, Bin; Zhang, Genlei; Zhang, Wen; Wang, Yuxin

    2016-01-01

    Polymer electrolyte membranes in fuel cells should be high in both ionic conductivity and mechanical strength. However, the two are often exclusive to each other. To solve this conundrum, a novel strategy is proposed in this paper, with extensively researched sulfonated poly (ether ether ketone) (SPEEK) membrane as a paradigm. A SPEEK membrane of high sulfonation degree is simply post-treated with NaBH4 and H2SO4 solution at ambient temperature for a certain time to afford the membrane with a gradient crosslinking structure. Measurements via 1H NMR, ATR-FTIR and SEM-EDS are conducted to verify such structural changes. The gradient crosslinks make practically no damage to proton conductance, but effectively restrain the membrane from over swelling and greatly enhance its tensile strength. A H2-O2 fuel cell with the gradiently crosslinked SPEEK membrane shows a maximal power density of 533 mW cm-2 at 80 °C, whereas the fuel cell with the pristine SPEEK membrane cannot be operated beyond 30 °C.

  17. On a Pioneering Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Model

    SciTech Connect

    Weber, Adam Z.; Meyers, Jeremy P.

    2010-07-07

    "Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Model" is a seminal work that continues to form the basis for modern modeling efforts, especially models concerning the membrane and its behavior at the continuum level. The paper is complete with experimental data, modeling equations, model validation, and optimization scenarios. While the treatment of the underlying phenomena is limited to isothermal, single-phase conditions, and one-dimensional flow, it represents the key interactions within the membrane at the center of the PEFC. It focuses on analyzing the water balance within the cell and clearly demonstrates the complex interactions of water diffusion and electro-osmotic flux. Cell-level and system-level water balance are key to the development of efficient PEFCs going forward, particularly as researchers address the need to simplify humidification and recycle configurations while increasing the operating temperature of the stack to minimize radiator requirements.

  18. Graphitic Carbon Nitride Supported Catalysts for Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

    Mansor, Noramalina; Jorge, A Belen; Corà, Furio; Gibbs, Christopher; Jervis, Rhodri; McMillan, Paul F; Wang, Xiaochen; Brett, Daniel J L

    2014-04-01

    Graphitic carbon nitrides are investigated for developing highly durable Pt electrocatalyst supports for polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs). Three different graphitic carbon nitride materials were synthesized with the aim to address the effect of crystallinity, porosity, and composition on the catalyst support properties: polymeric carbon nitride (gCNM), poly(triazine) imide carbon nitride (PTI/Li(+)Cl(-)), and boron-doped graphitic carbon nitride (B-gCNM). Following accelerated corrosion testing, all graphitic carbon nitride materials are found to be more electrochemically stable compared to conventional carbon black (Vulcan XC-72R) with B-gCNM support showing the best stability. For the supported catalysts, Pt/PTI-Li(+)Cl(-) catalyst exhibits better durability with only 19% electrochemical surface area (ECSA) loss versus 36% for Pt/Vulcan after 2000 scans. Superior methanol oxidation activity is observed for all graphitic carbon nitride supported Pt catalysts on the basis of the catalyst ECSA. PMID:24748912

  19. Graphitic Carbon Nitride Supported Catalysts for Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Graphitic carbon nitrides are investigated for developing highly durable Pt electrocatalyst supports for polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs). Three different graphitic carbon nitride materials were synthesized with the aim to address the effect of crystallinity, porosity, and composition on the catalyst support properties: polymeric carbon nitride (gCNM), poly(triazine) imide carbon nitride (PTI/Li+Cl–), and boron-doped graphitic carbon nitride (B-gCNM). Following accelerated corrosion testing, all graphitic carbon nitride materials are found to be more electrochemically stable compared to conventional carbon black (Vulcan XC-72R) with B-gCNM support showing the best stability. For the supported catalysts, Pt/PTI-Li+Cl– catalyst exhibits better durability with only 19% electrochemical surface area (ECSA) loss versus 36% for Pt/Vulcan after 2000 scans. Superior methanol oxidation activity is observed for all graphitic carbon nitride supported Pt catalysts on the basis of the catalyst ECSA. PMID:24748912

  20. A review of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell stack testing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, M.; Bazylak, A.

    This paper presents an overview of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) stack testing. Stack testing is critical for evaluating and demonstrating the viability and durability required for commercial applications. Single cell performance cannot be employed alone to fully derive the expected performance of PEMFC stacks, due to the non-uniformity in potential, temperature, and reactant and product flow distributions observed in stacks. In this paper, we provide a comprehensive review of the state-of-the art in PEMFC testing. We discuss the main topics of investigation, including single cell vs. stack-level performance, cell voltage uniformity, influence of operating conditions, durability and degradation, dynamic operation, and stack demonstrations. We also present opportunities for future work, including the need to verify the impact of stack size and cell voltage uniformity on performance, determine operating conditions for achieving a balance between electrical efficiency and flooding/dry-out, meet lifetime requirements through endurance testing, and develop a stronger understanding of degradation.

  1. Device for equalizing molten electrolyte content in a fuel cell stack

    DOEpatents

    Smith, James L.

    1987-01-01

    A device for equalizing the molten electrolyte content throughout the height of a fuel cell stack is disclosed. The device includes a passageway for electrolyte return with electrolyte wettable wicking material in the opposite end portions of the passageway. One end portion is disposed near the upper, negative end of the stack where electrolyte flooding occurs. The second end portion is placed near the lower, positive end of the stack where electrolyte is depleted. Heating means are provided at the upper portion of the passageway to increase electrolyte vapor pressure in the upper wicking material. The vapor is condensed in the lower passageway portion and conducted as molten electrolyte in the lower wick to the positive end face of the stack. An inlet is provided to inject a modifying gas into the passageway and thereby control the rate of electrolyte return.

  2. Device for equalizing molten electrolyte content in a fuel cell stack

    DOEpatents

    Smith, J.L.

    1985-12-23

    A device for equalizing the molten electrolyte content throughout the height of a fuel cell stack is disclosed. The device includes a passageway for electrolyte return with electrolyte wettable wicking material in the opposite end portions of the passageway. One end portion is disposed near the upper, negative end of the stack where electrolyte flooding occurs. The second end portion is placed near the lower, positive end of the stack where electrolyte is depleted. Heating means are provided at the upper portion of the passageway to increase electrolyte vapor pressure in the upper wicking material. The vapor is condensed in the lower passageway portion and conducted as molten electrolyte in the lower wick to the positive end face of the stack. An inlet is provided to inject a modifying gas into the passageway and thereby control the rate of electrolyte return.

  3. Understanding the transport processes in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheah, May Jean

    Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells are energy conversion devices suitable for automotive, stationary and portable applications. An engineering challenge that is hindering the widespread use of PEM fuel cells is the water management issue, where either a lack of water (resulting in membrane dehydration) or an excess accumulation of liquid water (resulting in fuel cell flooding) critically reduces the PEM fuel cell performance. The water management issue is addressed by this dissertation through the study of three transport processes occurring in PEM fuel cells. Water transport within the membrane is a combination of water diffusion down the water activity gradient and the dragging of water molecules by protons when there is a proton current, in a phenomenon termed electro-osmotic drag, EOD. The impact of water diffusion and EOD on the water flux across the membrane is reduced due to water transport resistance at the vapor/membrane interface. The redistribution of water inside the membrane by EOD causes an overall increase in the membrane resistance that regulates the current and thus EOD, thereby preventing membrane dehydration. Liquid water transport in the PEM fuel cell flow channel was examined at different gas flow regimes. At low gas Reynolds numbers, drops transitioned into slugs that are subsequently pushed out of the flow channel by the gas flow. The slug volume is dependent on the geometric shape, the surface wettability and the orientation (with respect to gravity) of the flow channel. The differential pressure required for slug motion primarily depends on the interfacial forces acting along the contact lines at the front and the back of the slug. At high gas Reynolds number, water is removed as a film or as drops depending on the flow channel surface wettability. The shape of growing drops at low and high Reynolds number can be described by a simple interfacial energy minimization model. Under flooding conditions, the fuel cell local current

  4. Development of alkaline solution separations for potential partitioning of used nuclear fuels

    SciTech Connect

    Jarvinen, Gordon D; Runde, Wolfgang H; Goff, George S

    2009-01-01

    The processing of used nuclear fuel in alkaline solution provides potentially useful new selectivity for separating the actinides from each other and f rom the fission products. Over the ast decade, several research teams around the world have considered dissolution of used fuel in alkaline solution and further partitioning in this medium as an alternative to acid dissolution. The chemistry of the actinides and fission products in alkaline soilltion requires extensive investigation to more carefully evaluate its potential for developing useful separation methods for used nuclear fueI.

  5. Inactive end cell assembly for fuel cells for improved electrolyte management and electrical contact

    DOEpatents

    Yuh, Chao-Yi; Farooque, Mohammad; Johnsen, Richard

    2007-04-10

    An assembly for storing electrolyte in a carbonate fuel cell is provided. The combination of a soft, compliant and resilient cathode current collector and an inactive anode part including a foam anode in each assembly mitigates electrical contact loss during operation of the fuel cell stack. In addition, an electrode reservoir in the positive end assembly and an electrode sink in the negative end assembly are provided, by which ribbed and flat cathode members inhibit electrolyte migration in the fuel cell stack.

  6. A polymer electrolyte fuel cell stack for stationary power generation from hydrogen fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Wilson, M.S.; Moeller-Holst, S.; Webb, D.M.; Zawodzinski, C.; Gottesfeld, S.

    1998-08-01

    The objective is to develop and demonstrate a 4 kW, hydrogen-fueled polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) stack, based on non-machined stainless steel hardware and on membrane/electrode assemblies (MEAs) of low catalyst loadings. The stack is designed to operate at ambient pressure on the air-side and can accommodate operation at higher fuel pressures, if so required. This is to be accomplished by working jointly with a fuel cell stack manufacturer, based on a CRADA. The performance goals are 57% energy conversion efficiency hydrogen-to-electricity (DC) at a power density of 0.9 kW/liter for a stack operating at ambient inlet pressures. The cost goal is $600/kW, based on present materials costs.

  7. Poly(arylene)-based anion exchange polymer electrolytes

    DOEpatents

    Kim, Yu Seung; Bae, Chulsung

    2015-06-09

    Poly(arylene) electrolytes including copolymers lacking ether groups in the polymer may be used as membranes and binders for electrocatalysts in preparation of anodes for electrochemical cells such as solid alkaline fuel cells.

  8. 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.

  9. Rechargeable zinc cell with alkaline electrolyte which inhibits shape change in zinc electrode

    DOEpatents

    Adler, Thomas C.; McLarnon, Frank R.; Cairns, Elton J.

    1995-01-01

    An improved rechargeable zinc cell is described comprising a zinc electrode and another electrode such as, for example, a nickel-containing electrode, and having an electrolyte containing one or more hydroxides having the formula M(OH), one or more fluorides having the formula MF, and one or more carbonates having the formula M.sub.2 CO.sub.3, where M is a metal selected from the group consisting of alkali metals. The electrolyte inhibits shape change in the zinc electrode, i.e., the zinc electrode exhibits low shape change, resulting in an improved capacity retention of the cell over an number of charge-discharge cycles, while still maintaining high discharge rate characteristics.

  10. Development of small polymer electrolyte fuel cell stacks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paganin, V. A.; Ticianelli, E. A.; Gonzalez, E. R.

    The results on the research and development of small polymer electrolyte fuel cell stacks, including the assembly of single cell. 6-cell and 21-cell modules, are described. The important characteristics of the systems are: (i) membrane and electrode assemblies were made with Nafion ® 115 and 117 membranes and particularly low catalyst loading electrodes presenting a geometric area of 20 cm 2 and a catalyst loading of 0.4 mg Pt/cm 2: (ii) bipolar plates were fabricated using a nonporous graphite material in which a series/parallel flow field was machined out: (iii) external distribution of gases to the cells was done using parallel manifolding; (iv) cooling systems were tested employing water/air cooling plates distributed every three cells throughout the stack; (v) the reactant gases were externally humidified using temperature controlled humidification bottles. Testing of the stacks was conducted in a specially designed test station employing nonpressurized H 2/O 2 reactants and measuring the individual and the overall cell voltage vs. current under several conditions for the overall system operation.

  11. HEAT AND WATER TRANSPORT IN A POLYMER ELECTROLYTE FUEL CELL

    SciTech Connect

    Mukherjee, Partha P

    2010-01-01

    In the present scenario of a global initiative toward a sustainable energy future, the polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) has emerged as one of the most promising alternative energy conversion devices for various applications. Despite tremendous progress in recent years, a pivotal performance limitation in the PEFC comes from liquid water transport and the resulting flooding phenomena. Liquid water blocks the open pore space in the electrode and the fibrous diffusion layer leading to hindered oxygen transport. The electrode is also the only component in the entire PEFC sandwich which produces waste heat from the electrochemical reaction. The cathode electrode, being the host to several competing transport mechanisms, plays a crucial role in the overall PEFC performance limitation. In this work, an electrode model is presented in order to elucidate the coupled heat and water transport mechanisms. Two scenarios are specifically considered: (1) conventional, Nafion impregnated, three-phase electrode with the hydrated polymeric membrane phase as the conveyer of protons where local electro-neutrality prevails; and (2) ultra-thin, two-phase, nano-structured electrode without the presence of ionomeric phase where charge accumulation due to electro-statics in the vicinity of the membrane-CL interface becomes important. The electrode model includes a physical description of heat and water balance along with electrochemical performance analysis in order to study the influence of electro-statics/electro-migration and phase change on the PEFC electrode performance.

  12. Capillary, wettability and interfacial dynamics in polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Mukherjee, Partha P

    2009-01-01

    In the present scenario of a global initiative toward a sustainable energy future, the polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) has emerged as one of the most promising alternative energy conversion devices for different applications. Despite tremendous progress in recent years, a pivotal performance/durability limitation in the PEFC arises from liquid water transport, perceived as the Holy Grail in PEFC operation. The porous catalyst layer (CL), fibrous gas diffusion layer (GDL) and flow channels play a crucial role in the overall PEFC performance due to the transport limitation in the presence of liquid water and flooding phenomena. Although significant research, both theoretical and experimental, has been performed, there is serious paucity of fundamental understanding regarding the underlying structure-transport-performance interplay in the PEFC. The inherent complex morphologies, micro-scale transport physics involving coupled multiphase, multicomponent, electrochemically reactive phenomena and interfacial interactions in the constituent components pose a formidable challenge. In this paper, the impact of capillary transport, wetting characteristics and interfacial dynamics on liquid water transport is presented based on a comprehensive mesoscopic modeling framework with the objective to gain insight into the underlying electrodynamics, two-phase dynamics and the intricate structure-transport-interface interactions in the PEFC.

  13. Electrolytes

    MedlinePlus

    ... part of blood that doesn't contain cells. Sodium, potassium, and chloride levels can also be measured as part of ... in urine. It test the levels of calcium, chloride, potassium, sodium, and other electrolytes.

  14. Electrolytes

    MedlinePlus

    ... part of blood that doesn't contain cells. Sodium, potassium, and chloride levels can also be measured as part of ... in urine. It test the levels of calcium, chloride, potassium, sodium, and other electrolytes. References Chernecky CC, Berger BJ. ...

  15. Internal electrolyte supply system for reliable transport throughout fuel cell stacks

    DOEpatents

    Wright, Maynard K.; Downs, Robert E.; King, Robert B.

    1988-01-01

    An improved internal electrolyte supply system in a fuel cell stack employs a variety of arrangements of grooves and passages in bipolar plates of the multiplicity of repeating fuel cells to route gravity-assisted flowing electrolyte throughout the stack. The grooves route electrolyte flow along series of first paths which extend horizontally through the cells between the plates thereof. The passages route electrolyte flow along series of second paths which extend vertically through the stack so as to supply electrolyte to the first paths in order to expose the electrolyte to the matrices of the cells. Five different embodiments of the supply system are disclosed. Some embodiments employ wicks in the grooves for facilitating transfer of the electrolyte to the matrices as well as providing support for the matrices. Additionally, the passages of some embodiments by-pass certain of the grooves and supply electrolyte directly to other of the grooves. Some embodiments employ single grooves and others have dual grooves. Finally, in some embodiments the passages are connected to the grooves by a step which produces a cascading electrolyte flow.

  16. Rechargeable zinc cell with alkaline electrolyte which inhibits shape change in zinc electrode

    DOEpatents

    Adler, Thomas C.; McLarnon, Frank R.; Cairns, Elton J.

    1994-01-01

    An improved rechargeable zinc cell is described comprising a zinc electrode and another electrode such as, for example, a nickel-containing electrode, and having an electrolyte containing KOH and a combination of KF and K.sub.2 CO.sub.3 salts which inhibits shape change in the zinc electrode, i.e., the zinc electrode exhibits low shape change, resulting in an improved capacity retention of the cell over an number of charge-discharge cycles, while still maintaining high discharge rate characteristics.

  17. Rechargeable zinc cell with alkaline electrolyte which inhibits shape change in zinc electrode

    DOEpatents

    Adler, T.C.; McLarnon, F.R.; Cairns, E.J.

    1994-04-12

    An improved rechargeable zinc cell is described comprising a zinc electrode and another electrode such as, for example, a nickel-containing electrode, and having an electrolyte containing KOH and a combination of KF and K[sub 2]CO[sub 3] salts which inhibits shape change in the zinc electrode, i.e., the zinc electrode exhibits low shape change, resulting in an improved capacity retention of the cell over an number of charge-discharge cycles, while still maintaining high discharge rate characteristics. 8 figures.

  18. PEALD YSZ-based bilayer electrolyte for thin film-solid oxide fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Yu, Wonjong; Cho, Gu Young; Hong, Soonwook; Lee, Yeageun; Kim, Young Beom; An, Jihwan; Cha, Suk Won

    2016-10-14

    Yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) thin film electrolyte deposited by plasma enhanced atomic layer deposition (PEALD) was investigated. PEALD YSZ-based bi-layered thin film electrolyte was employed for thin film solid oxide fuel cells on nanoporous anodic aluminum oxide substrates, whose electrochemical performance was compared to the cell with sputtered YSZ-based electrolyte. The cell with PEALD YSZ electrolyte showed higher open circuit voltage (OCV) of 1.0 V and peak power density of 182 mW cm(-2) at 450 °C compared to the one with sputtered YSZ electrolyte(0.88 V(OCV), 70 mW cm(-2)(peak power density)). High OCV and high power density of the cell with PEALD YSZ-based electrolyte is due to the reduction in ohmic and activation losses as well as the gas and electrical current tightness. PMID:27595193

  19. Effect of fuel utilization on the carbon monoxide poisoning dynamics of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pérez, Luis C.; Koski, Pauli; Ihonen, Jari; Sousa, José M.; Mendes, Adélio

    2014-07-01

    The effect of fuel utilization on the poisoning dynamics by carbon monoxide (CO) is studied for future automotive conditions of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC). Three fuel utilizations are used, 70%, 40% and 25%. CO is fed in a constant concentration mode of 1 ppm and in a constant molar flow rate mode (CO concentrations between 0.18 and 0.57 ppm). The concentrations are estimated on a dry gas basis. The CO concentration of the anode exhaust gas is analyzed using gas chromatography. CO is detected in the anode exhaust gas almost immediately after it is added to the inlet gas. Moreover, the CO concentration of the anode exhaust gas increases with the fuel utilization for both CO feed modes. It is demonstrated that the lower the fuel utilization, the higher the molar flow rate of CO at the anode outlet at early stages of the CO poisoning. These results suggest that the effect of CO in PEMFC systems with anode gas recirculation is determined by the dynamics of its accumulation in the recirculation loop. Consequently, accurate quantification of impurities limits in current fuel specification (ISO 14687-2:2012) should be determined using anode gas recirculation.

  20. Regenerative fuel cell energy storage system for a low Earth orbit space station

    SciTech Connect

    Martin, R.E.; Garow, J.; Michaels, K.B.

    1984-08-01

    Results of a study to define the characteristics of a regenerative fuel cell energy storage system for a large space station operating in low earth orbit (LEO) are presented. The regenerative fuel cell system employs an alkaline electrolyte fuel cell with the option of employing either an alkaline or a solid polymer electrolyte electrolyzer.

  1. Solid polymer electrolyte (SPE) fuel cell technology program, phase 1/1A. [design and fabrication

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1975-01-01

    A solid polymer electrolyte fuel cell was studied for the purpose of improving the characteristics of the technology. Several facets were evaluated, namely: (1) reduced fuel cell costs; (2) reduced fuel cell weight; (3) improved fuel cell efficiency; and (4) increased systems compatibility. Demonstrated advances were incorporated into a full scale hardware design. A single cell unit was fabricated. A substantial degree of success was demonstrated.

  2. Efficient Pt catalysts for polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Fournier, J.; Gaubert, G.; Tilquin, J.Y.

    1996-12-31

    Commercialization of polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) requires an important decrease in their production cost. Cost reduction for the electrodes principally concerns the decrease in the amount of Pt catalyst necessary for the functioning of the PEFC without affecting cell performance. The first PEFCs used in the Gemini Space Program had a loading of 4-10 mg pt/cm{sup 2}. The cost of the electrodes was drastically reduced when pure colloidal Pt was replaced by Pt supported on carbon (Pt/C) with a Pt content of 0.4 Mg/cm{sup 2}. Since the occurrence of that breakthrough, many studies have been aimed at further lowering the Pt loading. Today, the lowest loadings reported for oxygen reduction are of the order of 0.05 mg pt/cm{sup 2}. The carbon support of commercial catalysts is Vulcan XC-72 from Cabot, a carbon black with a specific area of 254 m{sup 2}/g. Graphites with specific areas ranging from 20 to 305 m{sup 2}/g are now available from Lonza. The first aim of the present study was to determine the catalytic properties for 02 reduction of Pt supported on these high specific area graphites. The second aim was to use Pt inclusion synthesis on these high area graphites, and to measure the catalytic performances of these materials. Lastly, this same Pt-inclusion synthesis was extended even for use with Vulcan and Black Pearls as substrates (two carbon blacks from Cabot). All these catalysts have been labelled Pt-included materials to distinguish them from the Pt-supported ones. It will be shown that the reduced Pt content Pt-included materials obtained with high specific area substrates a are excellent catalysts for oxygen reduction, especially at high currents. Therefore, Pt inclusion synthesis appears to be a new method to decrease the cathodic Pt loading.

  3. CRACK GROWTH ANALYSIS OF SOLID OXIDE FUEL CELL ELECTROLYTES

    SciTech Connect

    S. Bandopadhyay; N. Nagabhushana

    2003-10-01

    Defects and Flaws control the structural and functional property of ceramics. In determining the reliability and lifetime of ceramics structures it is very important to quantify the crack growth behavior of the ceramics. In addition, because of the high variability of the strength and the relatively low toughness of ceramics, a statistical design approach is necessary. The statistical nature of the strength of ceramics is currently well recognized, and is usually accounted for by utilizing Weibull or similar statistical distributions. Design tools such as CARES using a combination of strength measurements, stress analysis, and statistics are available and reasonably well developed. These design codes also incorporate material data such as elastic constants as well as flaw distributions and time-dependent properties. The fast fracture reliability for ceramics is often different from their time-dependent reliability. Further confounding the design complexity, the time-dependent reliability varies with the environment/temperature/stress combination. Therefore, it becomes important to be able to accurately determine the behavior of ceramics under simulated application conditions to provide a better prediction of the lifetime and reliability for a given component. In the present study, Yttria stabilized Zirconia (YSZ) of 9.6 mol% Yttria composition was procured in the form of tubes of length 100 mm. The composition is of interest as tubular electrolytes for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells. Rings cut from the tubes were characterized for microstructure, phase stability, mechanical strength (Weibull modulus) and fracture mechanisms. The strength at operating condition of SOFCs (1000 C) decreased to 95 MPa as compared to room temperature strength of 230 MPa. However, the Weibull modulus remains relatively unchanged. Slow crack growth (SCG) parameter, n = 17 evaluated at room temperature in air was representative of well studied brittle materials. Based on the results, further work

  4. A polymer electrolyte fuel cell stack for stationary power generation from hydrogen fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Gottesfeld, S.

    1995-09-01

    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. The low temperature, polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) has recently been identified as an attractive option for stationary power generation, based on the relatively simple and benign materials employed, the zero-emission character of the device, and the expected high power density, high reliability and low cost. However, a PEMFC stack fueled by hydrogen with the combined properties of low cost, high performance and high reliability has not yet been demonstrated. Demonstration of such a stack will remove a significant barrier to implementation of this advanced technology for electric power generation from hydrogen. Work done in the past at LANL on the development of components and materials, particularly on advanced membrane/electrode assemblies (MEAs), has contributed significantly to the capability to demonstrate in the foreseeable future a PEMFC stack with the combined characteristics described above. A joint effort between LANL and an industrial stack manufacturer will result in the demonstration of such a fuel cell stack for stationary power generation. The stack could operate on hydrogen fuel derived from either natural gas or from renewable sources. The technical plan includes collaboration with a stack manufacturer (CRADA). It stresses the special requirements from a PEMFC in stationary power generation, particularly maximization of the energy conversion efficiency, extension of useful life to the 10 hours time scale and tolerance to impurities from the reforming of natural gas.

  5. Copper nitride nanocubes: size-controlled synthesis and application as cathode catalyst in alkaline fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Wu, Haibin; Chen, Wei

    2011-10-01

    Copper nitride nanocubes are synthesized in a facile one-phase process. The crystal size could be tuned easily by using different primary amines as capping agents. Such Pt-free nanocrystals exhibit electrocatalytic activity toward oxygen reduction and appear to be promising cathodic electrocatalysts in alkaline fuel cells. PMID:21894995

  6. Studies on the development of mossy zinc electrodeposits from flowing alkaline electrolytes

    SciTech Connect

    Mc Vay, L.

    1991-07-01

    The initiation and characteristics of mossy zinc electrodeposits have been investigated. Batteries with zinc electrodes are candidates for electric vehicle applications; however, this electrode is prone to form non-compact deposits that contribute to capacity loss and battery failure. Moss is deposited when the current density is far from the limiting current. This morphology first appears only after the bulk deposit is approximately 1 {mu}m thick. In this investigation, the effects of flow rate (Re=0--4000), current density (0--50 mA/cm{sup 2}), concentration of the electroactive species (0.25 and 0.5 M), and the concentration of supporting electrolyte (3, 6, and 12 M) on the initiation of moss were examined. The rotating concentric cylinder electrode was employed for most of the experiments; and a flow channel was used to study the development of morphology. After the experiment, the deposit was characterized using microscopic, x-ray diffraction, and profilometric techniques. 94 refs., 72 figs.

  7. 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.

  8. Segregated Pt on Pd nanotubes for enhanced oxygen reduction activity in alkaline electrolyte.

    PubMed

    St John, Samuel; Atkinson, Robert W; Dyck, Ondrej; Sun, Cheng-Jun; Zawodzinski, Thomas A; Papandrew, Alexander B

    2015-12-01

    Nanoscaled Pt domains were integrated with Pd nanotubes via vapor deposition to yield a highly active electrocatalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in alkaline media. The surface-area-normalized ORR activity of these bi-metallic Pt-on-Pd nanotubes (PtPdNTs) was nearly 6× the corresponding carbon-supported Pt nanoparticle (Pt/C) activity at 0.9 V vs. RHE (1.5 vs. 0.24 mA cmmetal(-2), respectively). Furthermore, the high specific activity of the PtPdNTs was achieved without sacrificing mass-normalized activity, which is more than twice that of Pt/C (0.333 A mgPtPdNT(-1)vs. 0.141 A mgPt/C(-1)) and also greater than that of Pd/C (0.221 A mgPd/C(-1)). We attribute the enhancements in specific and mass activity to modifications of the segregated Pt electronic structure and to nanoscale porosity, respectively. PMID:26553367

  9. Modeling Cold Start in a Polymer-Electrolyte Fuel Cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balliet, Ryan James

    Polymer-electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) are electrochemical devices that create electricity by consuming hydrogen and oxygen, forming water and heat as byproducts. PEFCs have been proposed for use in applications that may require start-up in environments with temperatures below 0 degrees C. Doing so requires that the cell heat up, and when its own waste heat is used to do so, the process is referred to here as "cold start.'' However, at low temperatures the cell's product water freezes, and if the temperature does not rise fast enough, the accumulation of ice in the cathode catalyst layer (cCL) can reduce cell performance significantly, extending the time required to heat up. In addition to reducing performance during cold start, under some conditions the accumulation of ice can lead to irreversible structural degradation of the cCL. The objective of this dissertation is to construct and verify a cold-start model for a single PEFC, use it to improve understanding of cold-start behavior, and to demonstrate how this understanding can lead to better start protocols and material properties. The macrohomogeneous model that has been developed to meet the objective is two-dimensional, transient, and nonisothermal. A key differentiating feature is the inclusion of water in all four of the possible phases: ice, liquid, gas, and membrane. In order to predict water content in the ice, liquid, and gas phases that are present in the porous media, the thermodynamics of phase equilibrium are revisited, and a method for relating phase pressures to water content in each of these phases is developed. Verification of the model is performed by comparing model predictions for cell behavior during parametric studies to measured values taken from various sources. In most cases, good agreement is observed between the model and the experiments. Results from the simulations are used to explain the trends that are observed. The verified cold-start model is deployed to determine a cold

  10. Development of structured polymer electrolyte membranes for fuel cell applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gasa, Jeffrey

    The objective of this research was to explore structure-property relationships to develop the understanding needed for introduction of superior PEM materials. Polymer electrolyte membranes based on sulfonated poly(ether ketone ketone) (SPEKK) were fabricated using N-methyl pyrrolidone as casting solvent. The membranes were characterized in terms of properties that were relevant to fuel cell applications, such as proton conductivity, methanol permeability, and swelling properties, among others. It was found in this study that the proton conductivity of neat SPEKK membranes could reach the conductivity of commercial membranes such as NafionRTM. However, when the conductivity of SPEKK was comparable to NafionRTM, the swelling of SPEKK in water was quite excessive. The swelling problem was remedied by modifying the microstructure of SPEKK using different techniques. One of them involved blending of lightly sulfonated PEKK with highly acidic particles (sulfonated crosslinked polystyrene-SXLPS). Low sulfonation level of SPEKK was used to reduce the swelling of the membrane in water and the role of the highly acidic particles was to enhance the proton conductivity of the membrane. Because of the residual crystallinity in SPEKK with low sulfonation levels (IEC < 1 meq/g), the composite membranes exhibited excellent dimensional stability in water at elevated temperatures (30-90 °C). Also, the resistance to swelling of these composite membranes in methanol-water mixtures was far better than NafionRTM, and so was the methanol permeability. Another technique explored was blending with non-conductive polymers (poly(ether imide) and poly(ether sulfone)) to act as mechanical reinforcement. It was found that miscibility behavior of the blends had a significant impact on the transport and swelling properties of these blends, which could be explained by the blend microstructure. The miscibility behavior was found to be strongly dependent on the sulfonation level of SPEKK. The

  11. Assemblies of protective anion exchange membrane on air electrode for its efficient operation in aqueous alkaline electrolyte

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bertolotti, Bruno; Chikh, Linda; Vancaeyzeele, Cédric; Alfonsi, Séverine; Fichet, Odile

    2015-01-01

    Aqueous alkaline metal-air batteries represent promising energy storage devices when supplied with atmospheric air. However, under this condition, the air electrode shows a very short life time (i.e. 50 h of operation in 5 M LiOH at -10 mA cm-2), mainly due to the precipitation of carbonates inside the electrode porosity. The air electrode can then be protected by an anion exchange membrane on the electrolyte side. In this paper, we demonstrate that the efficiency of this protective membrane depends on the assembly method on the electrode. When a modified poly(epichlorohydrin) (PECH) network is synthesized directly on the electrode, the polymer seeps inside the electrode porosity, and a suitable interface inducing negligible additional polarization in comparison with classical pressure-assembled membranes is obtained. This protected electrode shows improved stability of up to 160 h of operation in 5 M LiOH. This performance is improved to 350 h by adjusting the conductivity and the ionic exchange capacity. Finally, the interest of interpenetrating polymer network (IPN) architecture compared to a single network is confirmed. Indeed, an electrode protected with a PECH/poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (PHEMA) IPN is stable for 650 h in 5 M LiOH. In addition, degradation process becomes reversible since the assembly can be regenerated, which is not possible for the bare electrode.

  12. Thin-film electrolytes for reduced temperature solid oxide fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Visco, S.J.; Wang, L.S.; De Souza, S.; De Jonghe, L.C.

    1994-11-01

    Solid oxide fuel cells produce electricity at very high efficiency and have very low to negligible emissions, making them an attractive option for power generation for electric utilities. However, conventional SOFC`s are operated at 1000{degrees}C or more in order to attain reasonable power density. The high operating temperature of SOFC`s leads to complex materials problems which have been difficult to solve in a cost-effective manner. Accordingly, there is much interest in reducing the operating temperature of SOFC`s while still maintaining the power densities achieved at high temperatures. There are several approaches to reduced temperature operation including alternative solid electrolytes having higher ionic conductivity than yttria stabilized zirconia, thin solid electrolyte membranes, and improved electrode materials. Given the proven reliability of zirconia-based electrolytes (YSZ) in long-term SOFC tests, the use of stabilized zirconia electrolytes in reduced temperature fuel cells is a logical choice. In order to avoid compromising power density at intermediate temperatures, the thickness of the YSZ electrolyte must be reduced from that in conventional cells (100 to 200 {mu}m) to approximately 4 to 10 {mu}m. There are a number of approaches for depositing thin ceramic films onto porous supports including chemical vapor deposition/electrochemical vapor deposition, sol-gel deposition, sputter deposition, etc. In this paper we describe an inexpensive approach involving the use of colloidal dispersions of polycrystalline electrolyte for depositing 4 to 10 {mu}m electrolyte films onto porous electrode supports in a single deposition step. This technique leads to highly dense, conductive, electrolyte films which exhibit near theoretical open circuit voltages in H{sub 2}/air fuel cells. These electrolyte films exhibit bulk ionic conductivity, and may see application in reduced temperature SOFC`s, gas separation membranes, and fast response sensors.

  13. Fuel ethanol production from alkaline peroxide pretreated corn stover

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Corn stover (CS) has the potential to serve as an abundant low-cost feedstock for production of fuel ethanol. Due to heterogeneous complexity and recalcitrance of lignocellulosic feedstocks, pretreatment is required to break the lignin seal and/or disrupt the structure of crystalline cellulose to in...

  14. Analysis and control of a hybrid fuel delivery system for a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Jinglin; Choe, Song-Yul; Hong, Chang-Oug

    A polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEM FC) system as a power source used in mobile applications should be able to produce electric power continuously and dynamically to meet the demand of the driver by consuming the fuel, hydrogen. The hydrogen stored in the tank is supplied to the anode of the stack by a fuel delivery system (FDS) that is comprised of supply and recirculation lines controlled by different actuators. Design of such a system and its operation should take into account several aspects, particularly efficient fuel usage and safe operation of the stack. The exiting unconsumed hydrogen is circulated and reused to increase the efficiency and at the same time maintain the humidity in the anode side of the stack, thereby preventing drying and flooding in the channel which can affect the stack performance. A high pressure difference across a cell between the anode and cathode could cause damage on thin layers of the cell components and water imbalance in the membranes. In this paper, we analyze a hybrid fuel delivery system that consists of two supply and two recirculation lines. The major components were a pressure regulator, a flow control valve, an ejector, and a blower. These models were developed and connected in order to analyze dynamic behavior of the fuel delivery system. Based on the models, two control strategies, a decentralized classic proportional and integral control and a state feed-back control were designed and optimized to keep a constant pressure in the anode flow channel and a constant ratio of mass flow rates from recirculation to supply lines. The integrated system with the two different controllers was simulated to evaluate its tracking and rejection performance at different references and disturbances.

  15. A fuel-cell reactor for the direct synthesis of hydrogen peroxide alkaline solutions from H(2) and O(2).

    PubMed

    Yamanaka, Ichiro; Onisawa, Takeshi; Hashimoto, Toshikazu; Murayama, Toru

    2011-04-18

    The effects of the type of fuel-cell reactors (undivided or divided by cation- and anion-exchange membranes), alkaline electrolytes (LiOH, NaOH, KOH), vapor-grown carbon fiber (VGCF) cathode components (additives: none, activated carbon, Valcan XC72, Black Pearls 2000, Seast-6, and Ketjen Black), and the flow rates of anolyte (0, 1.5, 12 mL h(-1)) and catholyte (0, 12 mL h(-1)) on the formation of hydrogen peroxide were studied. A divided fuel-cell system, O(2) (g)|VGCF-XC72 cathode|2 M NaOH catholyte|cation-exchange membrane (Nafion-117)|Pt/XC72-VGCF anode|2 M NaOH anolyte at 12 mL h(-1) flow|H(2) (g), was effective for the selective formation of hydrogen peroxide, with 130 mA cm(-2) , a 2 M aqueous solution of H(2)O(2)/NaOH, and a current efficiency of 95 % at atmospheric pressure and 298 K. The current and formation rate gradually decreased over a long period of time. The cause of the slow decrease in electrocatalytic performance was revealed and the decrease was stopped by a flow of catholyte. Cyclic voltammetry studies at the VGCF-XC72 electrode indicated that fast diffusion of O(2) from the gas phase to the electrode, and quick desorption of hydrogen peroxide from the electrode to the electrolyte were essential for the efficient formation of solutions of H(2)O(2)/NaOH. PMID:21400665

  16. An improved alkaline direct formate paper microfluidic fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Galvan, Vicente; Domalaon, Kryls; Tang, Catherine; Sotez, Samantha; Mendez, Alex; Jalali-Heravi, Mehdi; Purohit, Krutarth; Pham, Linda; Haan, John; Gomez, Frank A

    2016-02-01

    Paper-based microfluidic fuel cells (MFCs) are a potential replacement for traditional FCs and batteries due to their low cost, portability, and simplicity to operate. In MFCs, separate solutions of fuel and oxidant migrate through paper due to capillary action and laminar flow and, upon contact with each other and catalyst, produce electricity. In the present work, we describe an improved microfluidic paper-based direct formate FC (DFFC) employing formate and hydrogen peroxide as the anode fuel and cathode oxidant, respectively. The dimensions of the lateral column, current collectors, and cathode were optimized. A maximum power density of 2.53 mW/cm(2) was achieved with a DFFC of surface area 3.0 cm(2) , steel mesh as current collector, 5% carbon to paint mass ratio for cathode electrode and, 30% hydrogen peroxide. The longevity of the MFC's detailed herein is greater than eight hours with continuous flow of streams. In a series configuration, the MFCs generate sufficient energy to power light-emitting diodes and a handheld calculator. PMID:26572774

  17. Three-dimensional ionic conduction in the strained electrolytes of solid oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Yupei; Zou, Minda; Lv, Weiqiang; Mao, Yiwu; Wang, Wei; He, Weidong

    2016-05-01

    Flexible power sources including fuel cells and batteries are the key to realizing flexible electronic devices with pronounced foldability. To understand the bending effects in these devices, theoretical analysis on three-dimensional (3-D) lattice bending is necessary. In this report, we derive a 3-D analytical model to analyze the effects of electrolyte crystal bending on ionic conductivity in flexible solid-state batteries/fuel cells. By employing solid oxide fuel cells as a materials' platform, the intrinsic parameters of bent electrolyte materials, including lattice constant, Young's modulus, and Poisson ratio, are evaluated. Our work facilitates the rational design of highly efficient flexible electrolytes for high-performance flexible device applications.

  18. Aqueous liquid feed organic fuel cell using solid polymer electrolyte membrane

    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)

    1997-01-01

    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.

  19. Economics of Direct Hydrogen Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Mahadevan, Kathyayani

    2011-10-04

    Battelle's Economic Analysis of PEM Fuel Cell Systems project was initiated in 2003 to evaluate the technology and markets that are near-term and potentially could support the transition to fuel cells in automotive markets. The objective of Battelle?s project was to assist the DOE in developing fuel cell systems for pre-automotive applications by analyzing the technical, economic, and market drivers of direct hydrogen PEM fuel cell adoption. The project was executed over a 6-year period (2003 to 2010) and a variety of analyses were completed in that period. The analyses presented in the final report include: Commercialization scenarios for stationary generation through 2015 (2004); Stakeholder feedback on technology status and performance status of fuel cell systems (2004); Development of manufacturing costs of stationary PEM fuel cell systems for backup power markets (2004); Identification of near-term and mid-term markets for PEM fuel cells (2006); Development of the value proposition and market opportunity of PEM fuel cells in near-term markets by assessing the lifecycle cost of PEM fuel cells as compared to conventional alternatives used in the marketplace and modeling market penetration (2006); Development of the value proposition of PEM fuel cells in government markets (2007); Development of the value proposition and opportunity for large fuel cell system application at data centers and wastewater treatment plants (2008); Update of the manufacturing costs of PEM fuel cells for backup power applications (2009).

  20. Optimizing end-group cross-linking polymer electrolytes for fuel cell applications

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Yu Seung; Lee, Kwan Soo; Jeong, Myung - Hwan; Lee, Jae - Suk

    2009-01-01

    This paper demonstrates the optimization of proton conductivity and water uptake for cross-linkable polymer electrolytes through synthesis and characterization of end-group cross-linkable sulfonated poly(arylene ether) copolymers (ESF-BPs). The extent of reaction of cross-linking was controlled by reaction time resulting in a series of polymers with two, independent tunable parameters, degree of sulfonation (DS) and degree of cross-linking (DC). For the polymers presented, cross-linking improved proton conductivity while reducing water uptake, an uncommon trend in polymer electrolytes where water is critical for proton conduction. Other trends relating to changes are reported and the results yield insight into the role of DS and DC and how to optimize electrochemical properties and performance of polymer electrolytes through these tunable parameters. Select polymer electrolytes were tested in fuel cells where performance and durability with accelerated relative humidity cycling were compared with Nafion{reg_sign}.

  1. Assembly of a Cost-Effective Anode Using Palladium Nanoparticles for Alkaline Fuel Cell Applications

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Nanotechnology allows the synthesis of nanoscale catalysts, which offer an efficient alternative for fuel cell applications. In this laboratory experiment, the student selects a cost-effective anode for fuel cells by comparing three different working electrodes. These are commercially available palladium (Pd) and glassy carbon (GC) electrodes, and a carbon paste (CP) electrode that is prepared by the students in the laboratory. The GC and CP were modified with palladium nanoparticles (PdNP) suspensions. The electrodes efficiencies were studied for ethanol oxidation in alkaline solution using cyclic voltammetry techniques. The ethanol oxidation currents obtained were used to determine the current density using the geometric and surface area of each electrode. Finally, students were able to choose the best electrode and relate catalytic activity to surface area for ethanol oxidation in alkaline solution by completing a critical analysis of the cyclic voltammetry results. With this activity, fundamental electrochemical concepts were reinforced. PMID:25691801

  2. Corrosion testing of candidates for the alkaline fuel cell cathode

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Singer, Joseph; Fielder, William L.

    1989-01-01

    It is desirable to employ a corrosion screening test for catalyst or support candidates for the fuel cell cathode before entering upon optimization of the candidate or of the catalytic electrode. To this end, corrosion test electrodes, intended for complete immersion and maximum wetting, have been made with 30 to 40 vol. pct Teflon; with perovskites this is about 10 to 15 pct. The candidates were synthesized by methods intended for single-phase product without special emphasis on high surface area, although the substances tested were no coarser than 2 m squared/g. A typical loading was 25 mg/cm sq of the pure substance, usually on gold screen, a few mm squared of which were left bare for contacting. Contact to the gold lead wire was made by welding with a micro-torch or a spot-welder. Corrosion testing consisted of obtaining current-voltage data under flowing inert gas in the potential region for reduction of O2. The electrode was immersed in 30 pct KOH. Observations were made at 20 C and 80 C, and the results compared with data from gold standards. Results with some perovskites, pyrochlores, spinels, and interstitial compounds will be discussed.

  3. 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.

  4. Cathode and electrolyte materials for solid oxide fuel cells and ion transport membranes

    DOEpatents

    Jacobson, Allan J; Wang, Shuangyan; Kim, Gun Tae

    2014-01-28

    Novel cathode, electrolyte and oxygen separation materials are disclosed that operate at intermediate temperatures for use in solid oxide fuel cells and ion transport membranes based on oxides with perovskite related structures and an ordered arrangement of A site cations. The materials have significantly faster oxygen kinetics than in corresponding disordered perovskites.

  5. X-ray evaluation of the boundary between polymer electrolyte and platinum and carbon functionalization to conduct protons in polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oka, Kazuki; Ogura, Yuta; Izumi, Yasuo

    2014-07-01

    In polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs), it is important to secure proximate diffusion paths of reactants and electrons. One approach is to optimize the boundary between polymer electrolyte and Pt nanoparticle surface. Based on synchrotron X-ray absorption fine structure to monitor directly the status of catalysts in PEFCs, it was found that Pt sites were reduced to Pt0 by alcohols contained in polymer electrolyte dispersion solution during the preparation of cathode of PEFC. As in membrane electrolyte assembly, only the Pt sites not covered by polymer electrolyte re-oxidized to Pt2+/4+. Thus, the interface between Pt and polymer electrolyte was evaluated. The other approach is to functionalize carbon surface with sulfonate/sulfate group to conduct protons. Similar level of proton conductivity was observed in current-voltage dependence compared to using polymer electrolyte, but polymer electrolyte was advantageous to lose less voltage for activation. Based on this comparison, optimum catalyst on cathode is proposed comprising surface sulfonate/sulfate group on carbon mixed with polymer electrolyte. Further optimization of cathode catalyst is proposed to functionalize carbon with sulfonate group linked to fluorocarbon branch.

  6. Electrolytic Reduction of Spent Nuclear Oxide Fuel -- Effects of Fuel Form and Cathode Containment Materials on Bench-Scale Operations

    SciTech Connect

    S. D. Herrmann

    2007-09-01

    A collaborative effort between the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) is underway per an International Nuclear Energy Research Initiative to advance the development of a pyrochemical process for the treatment of spent nuclear oxide fuel. To assess the effects of specific process parameters that differ between oxide reduction operations at INL and KAERI, a series of 4 electrolytic reduction runs will be performed with a single salt loading of LiCl-Li2O at 650 °C using a test apparatus located inside of a hot cell at INL. The spent oxide fuel for the tests will be irradiated UO2 that has been subjected to a voloxidation process to form U3O8. The primary variables in the 4 electrolytic reduction runs will be fuel basket containment material and Li2O concentration in the LiCl salt. All 4 runs will be performed with comparable fuel loadings (approximately 50 g) and fuel compositions and will utilize a platinum anode and a Ni/NiO reference electrode. The first 2 runs will elucidate the effect of fuel form on the electrolytic reduction process by comparison of the above test results with U3O8 versus results from previous tests with UO2. The first 3 runs will investigate the impact that the cathode containment material has on the electrolytic reduction of spent oxide fuel. The 3rd and 4th runs will investigate the effect of Li2O concentration on the reduction process with a porous MgO cathode containment.

  7. The effect of porosity on performance of phosphoric acid doped polybenzimidazole polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Celik, Muhammet; Genc, Gamze; Elden, Gulsah; Yapici, Huseyin

    2016-03-01

    A polybenzimidazole (PBI) based polymer electrolyte fuel cells, which called high temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cells (HT-PEMS), operate at higher temperatures (120-200°C) than conventional PEM fuel cells. Although it is known that HT-PEMS have some of the significant advantages as non-humidification requirements for membrane and the lack of liquid water at high temperature in the fuel cell, the generated water as a result of oxygen reduction reaction causes in the degradation of these systems. The generated water absorbed into membrane side interacts with the hydrophilic PBI matrix and it can cause swelling of membrane, so water transport mechanism in a membrane electrode assembly (MEA) needs to be well understood and water balance must be calculated in MEA. Therefore, the water diffusion transport across the electrolyte should be determined. In this study, various porosity values of gas diffusion layers are considered in order to investigate the effects of porosity on the water management for two phase flow in fuel cell. Two-dimensional fuel cell with interdigitated flow-field is modelled using COMSOL Multiphysics 4.2a software. The operating temperature and doping level is selected as 160°C and 6.75mol H3PO4/PBI, respectively.

  8. STABLE HIGH CONDUCTIVITY BILAYERED ELECTROLYTES FOR LOW TEMPERATURE SOLID OXIDE FUEL CELLS

    SciTech Connect

    Eric D. Wachsman; Keith L. Duncan

    2001-09-30

    Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are the future of energy production in America. They offer great promise as a clean and efficient process for directly converting chemical energy to electricity while providing significant environmental benefits (they produce negligible hydrocarbons, CO, or NO{sub x} and, as a result of their high efficiency, produce about one-third less CO{sub 2} per kilowatt hour than internal combustion engines). Unfortunately, the current SOFC technology, based on a stabilized zirconia electrolyte, must operate in the region of 1000 C to avoid unacceptably high ohmic losses. These high temperatures demand (a) specialized (expensive) materials for the fuel cell interconnects and insulation, (b) time to heat up to the operating temperature and (c) energy input to arrive at the operating temperature. Therefore, if fuel cells could be designed to give a reasonable power output at low to intermediate1 temperatures tremendous benefits may be accrued. At low temperatures, in particular, it becomes feasible to use ferritic steel for interconnects instead of expensive and brittle ceramic materials such as those based on LaCrO{sub 3}. In addition, sealing the fuel cell becomes easier and more reliable; rapid start-up is facilitated; thermal stresses (e.g., those caused by thermal expansion mismatches) are reduced; radiative losses ({approx}T{sup 4}) become minimal; electrode sintering becomes negligible and (due to a smaller thermodynamic penalty) the SOFC operating cycle (heating from ambient) would be more efficient. Combined, all these improvements further result in reduced initial and operating costs. The problem is, at lower temperatures the conductivity of the conventional stabilized zirconia electrolyte decreases to the point where it cannot supply electrical current efficiently to an external load. The primary objectives of the proposed research are to develop a stable high conductivity (> 0.05 S cm{sup -1} at {le} 550 C) electrolyte for lower

  9. Solid Polymer Electrolyte (SPE) fuel cell technology program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1978-01-01

    Many previously demonstrated improved fuel cell features were consolidated to (1) obtain a better understanding of the observed characteristics of the operating laboratory-sized cells; (2) evaluate appropriate improved fuel cell features in 0.7 sq ft cell hardware; and (3) study the resultant fuel cell capability and determine its impact on various potential fuel cell space missions. The observed performance characteristics of the fuel cell at high temperatures and high current densities were matched with a theoretical model based on the change in Gibbs free energy voltage with respect to temperature and internal resistance change with current density. Excellent agreement between the observed and model performance was obtained. The observed performance decay with operational time on cells with very low noble metal loadings (0.05 mg/sq cm) were shown to be related to loss in surface area. Cells with the baseline amount of noble catalyst electrode loading demonstrated over 40,000 hours of stable performance.

  10. Characterization and development of a new ceramic electrolyte for fuel cell applications

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1991-06-01

    This work consisted of research directed toward characterization and development of new solid electrolyte materials that are potentially superior to other solid electrolyte materials currently under development (such as yttria-stabilized zirconia). The solid electrolyte technology described herein is based on new ceramic materials generally described as Bismuth Oxide doped with Niobium or Yyyrium oxides that were exclusively licensed to Solid-State Fuel Cells, Inc. by CeramPhysics, Inc. The technology is also based on further material, cell and stack technology concepts and manufacturing methods that were earlier reduced to practice by Solid- State Fuel Cells, Inc., and which are therefore proprietary to the Company. In this report a presentation of the overall program background is provided in Section 2.0. This includes a technical discussion of the technology in the context of the current state of the art. The task work description for the applicable portion of Phase 1 is presented in Section 3.0. Specifically, Phase 1-A comprises the following elements: Electrolyte materials development; testing of electrolyte stability under a reducing environment; development of cell electrodes; test fixtures design and facility erection; and preliminary coupon cell tests. 24 figs., 6 tabs.

  11. Characterization and development of a new ceramic electrolyte for fuel cell applications. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1991-06-01

    This work consisted of research directed toward characterization and development of new solid electrolyte materials that are potentially superior to other solid electrolyte materials currently under development (such as yttria-stabilized zirconia). The solid electrolyte technology described herein is based on new ceramic materials generally described as Bismuth Oxide doped with Niobium or Yyyrium oxides that were exclusively licensed to Solid-State Fuel Cells, Inc. by CeramPhysics, Inc. The technology is also based on further material, cell and stack technology concepts and manufacturing methods that were earlier reduced to practice by Solid- State Fuel Cells, Inc., and which are therefore proprietary to the Company. In this report a presentation of the overall program background is provided in Section 2.0. This includes a technical discussion of the technology in the context of the current state of the art. The task work description for the applicable portion of Phase 1 is presented in Section 3.0. Specifically, Phase 1-A comprises the following elements: Electrolyte materials development; testing of electrolyte stability under a reducing environment; development of cell electrodes; test fixtures design and facility erection; and preliminary coupon cell tests. 24 figs., 6 tabs.

  12. Determination of optimum electrolyte composition for molten carbonate fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Yuh, C.Y.; Pigeaud, A.

    1987-01-01

    The goal of this program is the development of a molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC) anode which is more tolerant of sulfur contaminants in the fuel than the current state-of-the-art nickel-based anode structures. This program addresses two different but related aspects of the sulfur contamination problem. The primary aspect is concerned with the development of a sulfur tolerant electrocatalyst for the fuel oxidation reaction. A secondary issue is the development of a sulfur tolerant water-gas-shift reaction catalyst and an investigation of potential steam reforming catalysts which also have some sulfur tolerant capabilities. These two aspects are being addressed as two separate tasks.

  13. Multi-laminated copper nanoparticles deposited on conductive substrates for electrocatalytic oxidation of methanol in alkaline electrolytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xia, Lun-Peng; Guo, Peng; Wang, Yan; Ding, Shi-Qi; He, Jian-Bo

    2014-09-01

    A simple electrodeposition approach to grow multi-laminated copper particles on two conductive substrates is presented. Morphological and structural characterization was performed using SEM and XRD. The copper crystallites are preferentially oriented with {111} planes parallel to the substrate surfaces, providing an optimum interface for methanol oxidation. There are a large number of edges, corners, and atomic steps around individual multi-laminated nanostructured particles. The excellent electrocatalytic activity of the particles to methanol oxidation in alkaline solutions is demonstrated by cyclic voltammetry, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and chronoamperometry. The presence of the conductive poly(2-amino-5-mercapto-1,3,4-thiadiazole) interlayer between the Cu particles and the carbon paste substrate results in larger specific surface areas of the particles and smaller charge-transfer resistances of methanol oxidation reaction in the lower potential range. Such an anisotropic laminated structure of non-noble metal nanomaterials deserves further investigation for finding a suitable alternative to noble metal-based anodic catalysts in fuel cells.

  14. Ultrasonic synthesis and evaluation of non-platinum catalysts for alkaline direct methanol fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bunazawa, Hideaki; Yamazaki, Yohtaro

    Ultrasonic synthesis was investigated as a synthesis method of non-platinum catalysts for alkaline direct methanol fuel cells (alkaline DMFCs) such as 20% mass Pd/C, Au/C, and PdAu/C. Among four kinds of solvents, ethylene glycol was demonstrated to be the optimum solvent for the synthesis of those catalysts. When ethylene glycol was used, the synthesized metal nanoparticles were highly dispersed on carbon particles. The synthesized Pd/C and PdAu/C showed the high oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity in alkaline condition (0.5 M NaOH aqueous solution), which was comparable to conventional Pt/C. Moreover, they showed lower methanol oxidation reaction (MOR) activity. Membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) containing the synthesized Pd/C cathode catalysts and alkaline ion exchange membranes were fabricated and evaluated by single cell tests. They showed high performance that was comparable to MEAs with Pt/C cathode. In addition, it was found that the synthesized Pd/C was relatively tolerant to methanol crossover.

  15. Current-Distribution Measurement in Polymer Electrolyte Water Electrolysis Equipment and Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Using NMR Sensor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yokouchi, Yasuo; Ogawa, Kuniyasu; Haishi, Tomoyuki; Ito, Kohei

    In a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC), the current density through the polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) is distributed along the electrode on the membrane electrode assembly (MEA). To increase the electric power density of a PEFC, it is necessary to locate local decreases in current density where electric power generation decreases due to a lack of hydrogen, flooding, and so on. Therefore, achieving a higher current density in a PEFC requires monitoring the local current density. We developed a new method to estimate the spatial distribution of current flowing through the MEA in a polymer electrolyte water electrolysis equipment (PEWEE) and a PEFC using Nuclear-Magnetic-Resonance (NMR) sensors. The magnetic field strength induced by current through the MEA in a PEWEE is acquired as the frequency shift of the NMR signal which is measured by the NMR sensor. The spatial distributions of the frequency shifts occurring along the MEA in a PEWEE and a PEFC was measured. In order to verify the method, the magnetic field strength induced by the current through the gas diffusion layer (GDL) in a PEWEE was analyzed theoretically under the assumption that the current through MEA was uniform. The frequency shift was then calculated as a function of the geometry of the GDL, current, and the position of the NMR sensor. From experimental and theoretical results, the frequency shift of the NMR signal is proportional to current density and depends on the position of the sensors. Using the measurement system, we also obtained the current distribution through the GDL in a PEFC generating electric power. In these studies, the experimental and theoretical results agree.

  16. Nanomaterials for Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells; Materials Challenges Facing Electrical Energy Storate

    SciTech Connect

    Gopal Rao, MRS Web-Editor; Yury Gogotsi, Drexel University; Karen Swider-Lyons, Naval Research Laboratory

    2010-08-05

    Symposium T: Nanomaterials for Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells are under intense investigation worldwide for applications ranging from transportation to portable power. The purpose of this seminar is to focus on the nanomaterials and nanostructures inherent to polymer fuel cells. Symposium topics will range from high-activity cathode and anode catalysts, to theory and new analytical methods. Symposium U: Materials Challenges Facing Electrical Energy Storage Electricity, which can be generated in a variety of ways, offers a great potential for meeting future energy demands as a clean and efficient energy source. However, the use of electricity generated from renewable sources, such as wind or sunlight, requires efficient electrical energy storage. This symposium will cover the latest material developments for batteries, advanced capacitors, and related technologies, with a focus on new or emerging materials science challenges.

  17. Composite electrolyte with proton conductivity for low-temperature solid oxide fuel cell

    SciTech Connect

    Raza, Rizwan; Ahmed, Akhlaq; Akram, Nadeem; Saleem, Muhammad; Niaz Akhtar, Majid; Ajmal Khan, M.; Abbas, Ghazanfar; Alvi, Farah; Yasir Rafique, M.; Sherazi, Tauqir A.; Shakir, Imran; Mohsin, Munazza; Javed, Muhammad Sufyan; Zhu, Bin E-mail: zhubin@hubu.edu.cn

    2015-11-02

    In the present work, cost-effective nanocomposite electrolyte (Ba-SDC) oxide is developed for efficient low-temperature solid oxide fuel cells (LTSOFCs). Analysis has shown that dual phase conduction of O{sup −2} (oxygen ions) and H{sup +} (protons) plays a significant role in the development of advanced LTSOFCs. Comparatively high proton ion conductivity (0.19 s/cm) for LTSOFCs was achieved at low temperature (460 °C). In this article, the ionic conduction behaviour of LTSOFCs is explained by carrying out electrochemical impedance spectroscopy measurements. Further, the phase and structure analysis are investigated by X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy techniques. Finally, we achieved an ionic transport number of the composite electrolyte for LTSOFCs as high as 0.95 and energy and power density of 90% and 550 mW/cm{sup 2}, respectively, after sintering the composite electrolyte at 800 °C for 4 h, which is promising. Our current effort toward the development of an efficient, green, low-temperature solid oxide fuel cell with the incorporation of high proton conductivity composite electrolyte may open frontiers in the fields of energy and fuel cell technology.

  18. STABLE HIGH CONDUCTIVITY BILAYERED ELECTROLYTES FOR LOW TEMPERATURE SOLID OXIDE FUEL CELLS

    SciTech Connect

    Eric D. Wachsman

    2000-10-01

    Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are the future of energy production in America. They offer great promise as a clean and efficient process for directly converting chemical energy to electricity while providing significant environmental benefits (they produce negligible CO, HC, or NOx and, as a result of their high efficiency, produce about one-third less CO{sub 2} per kilowatt hour than internal combustion engines). Unfortunately, the current SOFC technology, based on a stabilized zirconia electrolyte, must operate in the region of 1000 C to avoid unacceptably high ohmic losses. These high temperatures demand (a) specialized (expensive) materials for the fuel cell interconnects and insulation, (b) time to heat up to the operating temperature and (c) energy input to arrive at the operating temperature. Therefore, if fuel cells could be designed to give a reasonable power output at lower temperatures tremendous benefits may be accrued, not the least of which is reduced cost. The problem is, at lower temperatures the conductivity of the conventional stabilized zirconia electrolyte decreases to the point where it cannot supply electrical current efficiently to an external load. The primary objectives of the proposed research is to develop a stable high conductivity (>0.05 S cm{sup -1} at 550 C) electrolyte for lower temperature SOFCs. This objective is specifically directed toward meeting the lowest (and most difficult) temperature criteria for the 21st Century Fuel Cell Program. Meeting this objective provides a potential for future transportation applications of SOFCs, where their ability to directly use hydrocarbon fuels could permit refueling within the existing transportation infrastructure. In order to meet this objective we are developing a functionally gradient bilayer electrolyte comprised of bismuth oxide on the air side and ceria on the fuel side. Bismuth oxide and doped ceria are among the highest ionic conducting electrolytes and in fact bismuth oxide based

  19. An electrolyte distribution model in consideration of the electrode wetting in the molten carbonate fuel cell

    SciTech Connect

    Kawase, Makoto; Mugikura, Yoshihiro; Watanabe, Takao

    2000-03-01

    In the molten carbonate fuel cell, the electrolyte distribution in the electrode is one of the major factors affecting cell performance. An electrolyte distribution model was developed in consideration of the electrode's wetting properties and the pore size distribution within the electrode. Because wettability data, e.g., contact angles, are required for model calculations, the meniscus heights of (Li/K)CO{sub 3} and (Li/Na)CO{sub 3} on Ni were measured under various anode gas conditions, and contact angles were derived.

  20. Evaluation of AA5052 alloy anode in alkaline electrolyte with organic rare-earth complex additives for aluminium-air batteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Dapeng; Li, Heshun; Liu, Jie; Zhang, Daquan; Gao, Lixin; Tong, Lin

    2015-10-01

    Behaviours of the AA5052 aluminium alloy anode of the alkaline aluminium-air battery are studied by the hydrogen evolution test, the electrochemical measurements and the surface analysis method. The combination of amino-acid and rare earth as electrolyte additives effectively retards the self-corrosion of AA5052 aluminium alloy in 4 M NaOH solution. It shows that the combination of L-cysteine and cerium nitrate has a synergistic effect owing to the formation of a complex film on AA5052 alloy surface. The organic rare-earth complex can decrease the anodic polarisation, suppress the hydrogen evolution and increase the anodic utilization rate.

  1. In-situ investigation water distribution in polymer electrolyte fuel cell using neutron radiography

    SciTech Connect

    Mishler, Jeffrey H; Mukundan, Rangachary; Borup, Rodney L; Wang, Eunkyoung Y; Jacobson, David L

    2010-01-01

    This paper investigates the water content within operating polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells using neutron radiography. We consider fuel cells with various PTFE loadings in their gas diffusion layers (GDL) and microporous layers (MPL), and examine the impacts of MPL/GDL properties on the liquid water behavior and fuel cell performance. Fuel cells are tested at both dry and fully hydrated conditions with different serpentine flow fields. Water contents in the projected areas of channel and land regions are probed. The fuel cell may be subject to more flooding at low current-density operation. Both MPL and GDL wetting properties have substantial impacts on the water content in fuel cell. Cell performance also varies on different scenarios of the MPL/GDL wetting properties. A quad-serpentine channel flow field exhibits higher water content without remarkable change in performance at low current densities. Liquid water profile along the channel is presented and on-set clearly indicated.

  2. STABLE HIGH CONDUCTIVITY BILAYERED ELECTROLYTES FOR LOW TEMPERATURE SOLID OXIDE FUEL CELLS

    SciTech Connect

    Eric D. Wachsman; Keith L. Duncan

    2002-03-31

    Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are the future of energy production in America. They offer great promise as a clean and efficient process for directly converting chemical energy to electricity while providing significant environmental benefits (they produce negligible hydrocarbons, CO, or NO{sub x} and, as a result of their high efficiency, produce about one-third less CO{sub 2} per kilowatt hour than internal combustion engines). Unfortunately, the current SOFC technology, based on a stabilized zirconia electrolyte, must operate in the region of 1000 C to avoid unacceptably high ohmic losses. These high temperatures demand (a) specialized (expensive) materials for the fuel cell interconnects and insulation, (b) time to heat up to the operating temperature and (c) energy input to arrive at the operating temperature. Therefore, if fuel cells could be designed to give a reasonable power output at low to intermediate temperatures tremendous benefits may be accrued. At low temperatures, in particular, it becomes feasible to use ferritic steel for interconnects instead of expensive and brittle ceramic materials such as those based on LaCrO{sub 3}. In addition, sealing the fuel cell becomes easier and more reliable; rapid startup is facilitated; thermal stresses (e.g., those caused by thermal expansion mismatches) are reduced; radiative losses ({approx}T{sup 4}) become minimal; electrode sintering becomes negligible and (due to a smaller thermodynamic penalty) the SOFC operating cycle (heating from ambient) would be more efficient. Combined, all these improvements further result in reduced initial and operating costs. The problem is, at lower temperatures the conductivity of the conventional stabilized zirconia electrolyte decreases to the point where it cannot supply electrical current efficiently to an external load. The primary objectives of the proposed research is to develop a stable high conductivity (> 0.05 S cm{sup -1} at {le} 550 C) electrolyte for lower

  3. Factors Affecting Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells Performance and Reproducibility

    SciTech Connect

    Moller-Holst S.

    1998-11-01

    Development of fuel cells is often based on small-scale laboratory studies. Due to limited time and budgets, a minimum number of cells are usually prepared and tested, thus, conclusions about improved performance are often drawn from studies of a few cells. Generally, statistics showing the significance of an effect are seldom reported. In this work a simple PEM fuel cell electrode optimization experiment is used as an example to illustrate the importance of statistical evaluation of factors affecting cell performance. The use of fractional factorial design of experiments to reduce the number of cells that have to be studied is also addressed.

  4. Electrochemical kinetic and mass transfer model for direct ethanol alkaline fuel cell (DEAFC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdullah, S.; Kamarudin, S. K.; Hasran, U. A.; Masdar, M. S.; Daud, W. R. W.

    2016-07-01

    A mathematical model is developed for a liquid-feed DEAFC incorporating an alkaline anion-exchange membrane. The one-dimensional mass transport of chemical species is modelled using isothermal, single-phase and steady-state assumptions. The anode and cathode electrochemical reactions use the Tafel kinetics approach, with two limiting cases, for the reaction order. The model fully accounts for the mixed potential effects of ethanol oxidation at the cathode due to ethanol crossover via an alkaline anion-exchange membrane. In contrast to a polymer electrolyte membrane model, the current model considers the flux of ethanol at the membrane as the difference between diffusive and electroosmotic effects. The model is used to investigate the effects of the ethanol and alkali inlet feed concentrations at the anode. The model predicts that the cell performance is almost identical for different ethanol concentrations at a low current density. Moreover, the model results show that feeding the DEAFC with 5 M NaOH and 3 M ethanol at specific operating conditions yields a better performance at a higher current density. Furthermore, the model indicates that crossover effects on the DEAFC performance are significant. The cell performance decrease from its theoretical value when a parasitic current is enabled in the model.

  5. Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells for communication applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chu, Deryn; Jiang, R.; Gardner, K.; Jacobs, R.; Schmidt, J.; Quakenbush, T.; Stephens, J.

    An advanced portable power source using a 50 Watt (PPS-50) polymer electrolyte membrane cell EMFC) system was developed by Ball Aerospace under the US Army, Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) and the Office Special Technology (OST) joint program. The PEMFC system was designed as required for commercial and military applications. The system as evaluated extensively under different environmental temperatures and humidity conditions. The thermal behavior and discharge performances of the PEMFC system at different discharge currents, temperatures and relative humidities were also investigated. The temperature range was from -10 to 50°C and the relative humidity (r.h.) from 10 to 90%. The PPS-50 system can provide a normal power output about 50 W at 12 V, while the peak power output can reach approximately 65 W (11 V, 6 A). The water production efficiency from the cathode was approximately 70%, and the residual 30% diffused to the anode side. The system was also used to power PRC-119 radios for communication applications, and it performed extremely well during the retransmission site test, operating continuously for over 25 h.

  6. Development of composite membranes of PVA-TEOS doped KOH for alkaline membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haryadi, Sugianto, D.; Ristopan, E.

    2015-12-01

    Anion exchange membranes (AEMs) play an important role in separating fuel and oxygen (or air) in the Alkaline Membrane Fuel Cells. Preparation of hybrid organic inorganic materials of Polyvinylalcohol (PVA) - Tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS) composite membrane doped KOH for direct alcohol alkaline fuel cell application has been investigated. The sol-gel method has been used to prepare the composite membrane of PVA-TEOS through crosslinking step and catalyzed by concentrated of hydrochloric acid. The gel solution was cast on the membrane plastic plate to obtain membrane sheets. The dry membranes were then doped by immersing in various concentrations of KOH solutions for about 4 hours. Investigations of the cross-linking process and the presence of hydroxyl group were conducted by FTIR as shown for frequency at about 1600 cm-1 and 3300 cm-1 respectively. The degree of swelling in ethanol decreased as the KOH concentration for membrane soaking process increased. The ion exchange capacity (IEC) of the membrane was 0.25meq/g. This composite membranes display significant ionic conductivity of 3.23 x 10-2 S/cm in deionized water at room temperature. In addition, the morphology observation by scanning electron microscope (SEM) of the membrane indicates that soaking process of membrane in KOH increased thermal resistant.

  7. Development of composite membranes of PVA-TEOS doped KOH for alkaline membrane fuel cell

    SciTech Connect

    Haryadi, Sugianto, D.; Ristopan, E.

    2015-12-29

    Anion exchange membranes (AEMs) play an important role in separating fuel and oxygen (or air) in the Alkaline Membrane Fuel Cells. Preparation of hybrid organic inorganic materials of Polyvinylalcohol (PVA) - Tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS) composite membrane doped KOH for direct alcohol alkaline fuel cell application has been investigated. The sol-gel method has been used to prepare the composite membrane of PVA-TEOS through crosslinking step and catalyzed by concentrated of hydrochloric acid. The gel solution was cast on the membrane plastic plate to obtain membrane sheets. The dry membranes were then doped by immersing in various concentrations of KOH solutions for about 4 hours. Investigations of the cross-linking process and the presence of hydroxyl group were conducted by FTIR as shown for frequency at about 1600 cm{sup −1} and 3300 cm{sup −1} respectively. The degree of swelling in ethanol decreased as the KOH concentration for membrane soaking process increased. The ion exchange capacity (IEC) of the membrane was 0.25meq/g. This composite membranes display significant ionic conductivity of 3.23 x 10{sup −2} S/cm in deionized water at room temperature. In addition, the morphology observation by scanning electron microscope (SEM) of the membrane indicates that soaking process of membrane in KOH increased thermal resistant.

  8. Membrane resistance and current distribution measurements under various operating conditions in a polymer electrolyte fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brett, D. J. L.; Atkins, S.; Brandon, N. P.; Vasileiadis, N.; Vesovic, V.; Kucernak, A. R.

    The ability to make spatially resolved measurements in a fuel cell provides one of the most useful ways in which to monitor and optimise their performance. Localised membrane resistance and current density measurements for a single channel polymer electrolyte fuel cell are presented for a range of operating conditions. The current density distribution results are compared with an analytical model that exhibited generally good agreement across a broad range of operating conditions. However, under conditions of high air flow rate, an increase in current is observed along the channel which is not predicted by the model. Under such circumstances, localised electrochemical impedance measurements show a decrease in membrane resistance along the channel. This phenomenon is attributed to drying of the electrolyte at the start of the channel and is more pronounced with increasing operating temperature. Under conditions of reactant depletion, an increase in electrolyte resistance with decreasing current is observed. This is due to the hydrating effect of product water and electro-osmotic drag through the membrane when ionic current is flowing. Localised conduction is shown to be an effective means of conditioning previously unused membrane electrode assemblies by forcing passage of ionic current through the electrolyte.

  9. Operando X-ray Investigation of Electrode/Electrolyte Interfaces in Model Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    We employed operando anomalous surface X-ray diffraction to investigate the buried interface between the cathode and the electrolyte of a model solid oxide fuel cell with atomic resolution. The cell was studied under different oxygen pressures at elevated temperatures and polarizations by external potential control. Making use of anomalous X-ray diffraction effects at the Y and Zr K-edges allowed us to resolve the interfacial structure and chemical composition of a (100)-oriented, 9.5 mol % yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) single crystal electrolyte below a La0.6Sr0.4CoO3−δ (LSC) electrode. We observe yttrium segregation toward the YSZ/LSC electrolyte/electrode interface under reducing conditions. Under oxidizing conditions, the interface becomes Y depleted. The yttrium segregation is corroborated by an enhanced outward relaxation of the YSZ interfacial metal ion layer. At the same time, an increase in point defect concentration in the electrolyte at the interface was observed, as evidenced by reduced YSZ crystallographic site occupancies for the cations as well as the oxygen ions. Such changes in composition are expected to strongly influence the oxygen ion transport through this interface which plays an important role for the performance of solid oxide fuel cells. The structure of the interface is compared to the bare YSZ(100) surface structure near the microelectrode under identical conditions and to the structure of the YSZ(100) surface prepared under ultrahigh vacuum conditions. PMID:27346923

  10. In-Situ Electrolyte Replenishment for Long Fuel Cell Life. Phase II Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Johnsen, R.

    2001-01-31

    The carbonate fuel cell has many advantages over conventional methods of producing electricity. It converts hydrocarbon fuels directly into electricity with a high efficiency (>70% in a co-generation plant configuration) and consequently releases less carbon dioxide greenhouse gases (>30% less compared to a combined cycle gas turbine plant). Its adaptability to meet the customers' specific power requirements is ideally suited for distributed power generation. The advantages of distributed power generation include site flexibility, fuel source flexibility, less capital investment risk and elimination of transmission and distribution investments. The fuel cell becomes economically competitive if its life exceeds 40,000h. The current predicted lifetime of the central cells of a stack is 44,000h, based on electrolyte inventory considerations. Methods of extending fuel cell life even further are being sought to enhance its commercial competitiveness.

  11. Estimation of localized current anomalies in polymer electrolyte fuel cells from magnetic flux density measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nara, Takaaki; Koike, Masanori; Ando, Shigeru; Gotoh, Yuji; Izumi, Masaaki

    2016-05-01

    In this paper, we propose novel inversion methods to estimate defects or localized current anomalies in membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) in polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs). One method is an imaging approach with L1-norm regularization that is suitable for estimation of focal anomalies compared to Tikhonov regularization. The second is a complex analysis based method in which multiple pointwise current anomalies can be identified directly and algebraically from the measured magnetic flux density.

  12. High resolution neutron imaging of water in the polymer electrolyte fuel cell membrane

    SciTech Connect

    Mukherjee, Partha P; Makundan, Rangachary; Spendelow, Jacob S; Borup, Rodney L; Hussey, D S; Jacobson, D L; Arif, M

    2009-01-01

    Water transport in the ionomeric membrane, typically Nafion{reg_sign}, has profound influence on the performance of the polymer electrolyte fuel cell, in terms of internal resistance and overall water balance. In this work, high resolution neutron imaging of the Nafion{reg_sign} membrane is presented in order to measure water content and through-plane gradients in situ under disparate temperature and humidification conditions.

  13. Recent achievements in polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) research at Los Alamos National Laboratory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, M. S.; Springer, T. E.; Zawodzinski, T. A.; Gottesfeld, S.

    Recent research work on the polymer electrolyte fuel cell is described. The main topics are: (1) a new approach to the fabrication of Pt/C catalyst layers of high performance employing loadings as low as 0.1 mgPt/sq cm; (2) measurements and modelling of membrane water transport and water management in the PEFC; and (3) carbon monoxide poisoning of anode electrocatalysts in the PEFC -- the problem and possible solutions.

  14. Performance improvements of alkaline batteries by studying the effects of different kinds of surfactant and different derivatives of benzene on the electrochemical properties of electrolytic zinc

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghavami, Robab Khayat; Rafiei, Zahra

    Electrolytic zinc powders were prepared in 12 M KOH, 4 wt.% zinc oxide solutions in the presence of different kinds of surfactant and organic additives using the galvanostatic technique. Then the electrochemical behavior of zinc was investigated using the sweep voltametry technique. Zinc samples electrolyzed in the presence of cationic cetyl trimethyl ammonium bromide (Zn-CTAB), have maximum corrosion rate. Furthermore, scanning electron microscopy revealed the highest surface area. Zinc deposited with anionic surfactants, sodium dodecyl benzene sulfonate (SDBS) and sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), have high dendritic and secondary growth. More zinc ions electrolyzed on the cathode electrode in the presence of SDBS compared with SDS. We suppose the Benzene molecule in SDBS changes morphology, thus effects of the benzene molecule is investigated by utilizing several organic compounds during zinc electrodeposition. Naphthalene with 10 pi electrons at two fused rings decreases corrosion rate and needle growth of zinc deposited, compared to benzyl chloride which has 6 pi electrons. Enhanced delocalization of pi electrons by strongly activating group (-NH 2) in the aniline molecule increases the corrosion rate and dendrites compared with benzyl chloride, which has the weakly activating group (-CH 2Cl). The addition of chloro benzene with inactivating and electrodrawing group (-Cl) creates high surface area without any dendritic growth. The effects of electrolyte additives on the electrochemical capacity of AA-sized alkaline Zn-MnO 2 batteries are verified. The addition of Triton X-100 in anode gel resulted in maximum electrical capacity. Anionic (SDBS and SDS) additives gave higher electrical capacity than cationic (CTAB). Also, the reaction mechanism for zinc electrodeposition in alkaline electrolytes and its dependence upon the presence of organic additives are discussed in detail.

  15. Immobilization of imidazole moieties in polymer electrolyte composite membrane for elevated temperature fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Ke; Zhou, Bei; Ye, Gongbo; Pan, Mu; Zhang, Haining

    2015-12-01

    Development of membrane electrolyte with reasonable proton conductivity at elevated temperature without external humidification is essential for practical applications of elevated temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Herein, a novel polymer electrolyte composite membrane using imidazole as anhydrous proton carriers for elevated temperature fuel cells is investigated. The imidazole moieties are immobilized inside the Nafion/poly(tetrafluoroethylene) (PTFE) composite membrane through in situ formation of imidazole functionalized silica nanoparticles in Nafion dispersion. The thus-formed membrane exhibits strong Coulombic interaction between negatively charged sulfonic acid groups of Nafion and protonated imidazole moieties, leading to an anhydrous proton conductivity of 0.018 S cm-1 at 180 °C. With the introduction of PTFE matrix, the mechanical strength of the membrane is greatly improved. The peak power density of a single cell assembled from the hybrid membrane is observed to be 130 mW cm-2 under 350 mA cm-2 at 110 °C without external humidification and it remains stable for 20 h continuous operation. The obtained results demonstrate that the developed composite membranes could be utilized as promising membrane electrolytes for elevated temperature fuel cells.

  16. Iron-based cathode catalyst with enhanced power density in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Proietti, Eric; Jaouen, Frédéric; Lefèvre, Michel; Larouche, Nicholas; Tian, Juan; Herranz, Juan; Dodelet, Jean-Pol

    2011-01-01

    H(2)-air polymer-electrolyte-membrane fuel cells are electrochemical power generators with potential vehicle propulsion applications. To help reduce their cost and encourage widespread use, research has focused on replacing the expensive Pt-based electrocatalysts in polymer-electrolyte-membrane fuel cells with a lower-cost alternative. Fe-based cathode catalysts are promising contenders, but their power density has been low compared with Pt-based cathodes, largely due to poor mass-transport properties. Here we report an iron-acetate/phenanthroline/zeolitic-imidazolate-framework-derived electrocatalyst with increased volumetric activity and enhanced mass-transport properties. The zeolitic-imidazolate-framework serves as a microporous host for phenanthroline and ferrous acetate to form a catalyst precursor that is subsequently heat treated. A cathode made with the best electrocatalyst from this work, tested in H(2)-O(2,) has a power density of 0.75 W cm(-2) at 0.6 V, a meaningful voltage for polymer-electrolyte-membrane fuel cells operation, comparable with that of a commercial Pt-based cathode tested under identical conditions. PMID:21811245

  17. Study of the mechanism for electrodeposition of dendrite-free zinc in an alkaline electrolyte modified with 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium dicyanamide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, M.; Ivey, D. G.; Qu, W.; Xie, Z.

    2015-01-01

    Electrodeposition of Zn was conducted in a new electrolyte system composed of an alkaline solution (9 M KOH + 5 wt% ZnO) modified with a small amount (0.5 wt%) of room temperature ionic liquid 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium dicyanamide (EMI-DCA). At a high deposition current density of 80 mA cm-2, a porous, dendrite-free Zn film characterized by clusters of small Zn particles was obtained. The mechanism for the modified Zn morphology in the EMI-DCA containing electrolyte was studied by cyclic voltammetry, chronoamperometry, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and scanning electron microscopy. It was found that the addition of EMI-DCA changed the Zn nucleation process and reduced the potential variation during electrodeposition, which suppressed the uneven growth of Zn deposits and the formation of Zn dendrites. EIS results indicated that there was adsorption of EMI+ cations at the Zn film/electrolyte interface, which may have contributed to suppressed dendritic Zn growth.

  18. Platinum- and membrane-free swiss-roll mixed-reactant alkaline fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Aziznia, Amin; Oloman, Colin W; Gyenge, Előd L

    2013-05-01

    Eliminating the expensive and failure-prone proton exchange membrane (PEM) together with the platinum-based anode and cathode catalysts would significantly reduce the high capital and operating costs of low-temperature (<373 K) fuel cells. We recently introduced the Swiss-roll mixed-reactant fuel cell (SR-MRFC) concept for borohydride-oxygen alkaline fuel cells. We now present advances in anode electrocatalysis for borohydride electrooxidation through the development of osmium nanoparticulate catalysts supported on porous monolithic carbon fiber materials (referred to as an osmium 3D anode). The borohydride-oxygen SR-MRFC operates at 323 K and near atmospheric pressure, generating a peak power density of 1880 W m(-2) in a single-cell configuration by using an osmium-based anode (with an osmium loading of 0.32 mg cm(-2)) and a manganese dioxide gas-diffusion cathode. To the best of our knowledge, 1880 W m(-2) is the highest power density ever reported for a mixed-reactant fuel cell operating under similar conditions. Furthermore, the performance matches the highest reported power densities for conventional dual chamber PEM direct borohydride fuel cells. PMID:23589385

  19. Theoretical performance of hydrogen-bromine rechargeable SPE fuel cell. [Solid Polymer Electrolyte

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Savinell, R. F.; Fritts, S. D.

    1988-01-01

    A mathematical model was formulated to describe the performance of a hydrogen-bromine fuel cell. Porous electrode theory was applied to the carbon felt flow-by electrode and was coupled to theory describing the solid polymer electrolyte (SPE) system. Parametric studies using the numerical solution to this model were performed to determine the effect of kinetic, mass transfer, and design parameters on the performance of the fuel cell. The results indicate that the cell performance is most sensitive to the transport properties of the SPE membrane. The model was also shown to be a useful tool for scale-up studies.

  20. Coupled Thermal and Water Management in Polymer-Electrolyte FuelCells

    SciTech Connect

    Weber, Adam Z.; Newman, John

    2006-11-01

    Thermal and water management are intricately coupled in polymer-electrolyte fuel cells. In this paper, we simulate fuel-cell performance and account for nonisothermal phenomena. The transport of water due to a temperature gradient and its associated effects on performance are described, with the increase of reactant dilution by the water-vapor partial pressure being the most dominant. In addition, simulations are undergone to find the optimum operating temperature and maximum power density as a function of external heat-transfer coefficient. The shape of the optimization curves and the magnitudes of the nonisothermal phenomena are also detailed and explained.

  1. Mechanisms and effects of mechanical compression and dimensional change in polymer electrolyte fuel cells - A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Millichamp, Jason; Mason, Thomas J.; Neville, Tobias P.; Rajalakshmi, Natarajan; Jervis, Rhodri; Shearing, Paul R.; Brett, Daniel J. L.

    2015-06-01

    Conventional polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) require a means of placing the series of laminar components that make up cells under mechanical compression so as to ensure effective electrical conduction, mass transport and gas-tight operation. This review describes the effect of mechanical compression and dimensional change on the components of PEFCs and reviews the range of methods used to achieve desired stack compression. The case is made for improved understanding of the mechanisms of fuel cell component compression and greater attention to the development of technological approaches for stack compression.

  2. Quasi-in situ neutron tomography on polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell stacks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manke, I.; Hartnig, Ch.; Grünerbel, M.; Kaczerowski, J.; Lehnert, W.; Kardjilov, N.; Hilger, A.; Banhart, J.; Treimer, W.; Strobl, M.

    2007-04-01

    Quasi-in situ neutron tomography is applied to polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell stacks for a cell-by-cell detection of liquid water agglomerates. Water distributions in the corresponding anodic and cathodic flow fields are analyzed separately. The influence of the membrane thickness as well as effects of the electro-osmotic drag and of back-diffusion from the cathode to the anode on the water distribution are investigated. Furthermore, the well-known engineering problem of the anomalous behavior of the outermost cells in long multistacks is addressed. The suitability of neutron tomography to support the development of fuel cells is shown.

  3. Development of anion-conducting ionomer binder solutions for electrodes of solid alkaline fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Shin, Mun-Sik; Kang, Moon-Sung; Park, Jin-Soo

    2014-10-01

    For solid alkaline fuel cell applications, membrane-electrode assemblies (MEAs) should be prepared. Thus, in this study, anion-conducting ionomer binder was prepared for electrodes of MEAs. Specifically, we synthesized water soluble anionic binder solutions based on quaternized chitosan derivatives (QCDs) and cross-linked QCDs and prepared a novel electrode. The electrochemical and physicochemical properties of ionomer binder and electrode were investigated by FT-IR, NMR and ionic conductivity. The ionic conductivity of these cross-linked QCDs was 9.7 x 10(-3) S cm(-1) in deionized water at room temperature. The membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) were prepared by a spray method and were investigated in terms of cyclic voltammetry, impedance and fuel cell performance. The MEA with the 35 wt% QCD ionomer showed the highest performance and confirmed the successful formation of ionomer binder at the electrode of the MEA by the on-site crosslinking reaction. PMID:25942868

  4. Modified carbon-free silver electrodes for the use as cathodes in lithium-air batteries with an aqueous alkaline electrolyte

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wittmaier, Dennis; Wagner, Norbert; Friedrich, K. Andreas; Amin, Hatem M. A.; Baltruschat, Helmut

    2014-11-01

    Gas diffusion electrodes with silver catalysts show a high activity towards oxygen reduction reaction in alkaline media but a rather poor activity towards oxygen evolution reaction. For the use in future lithium-air batteries with an aqueous alkaline electrolyte the activity of such electrodes must be improved significantly. As Co3O4 is a promising metal oxide catalyst for oxygen evolution in alkaline media, silver electrodes were modified with Co3O4. For comparison silver electrodes were also modified with IrO2. Due to the poor stability of carbon materials at high anodic potentials these gas diffusion electrodes were prepared without carbon support to improve especially the long-term stability. Gas diffusion electrodes were electrochemically investigated in an electrochemical half-cell arrangement. In addition to cyclic voltammograms electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) was carried out. SEM and XRD were used for the physical and morphological investigations. Investigations showed that silver electrodes containing 20 wt.% Co3O4 exhibited the highest performance and highest long-term stability. For comparison, rotating - ring - disc - electrode experiments have been performed using model electrodes with thin catalyst layers, showing that the amount of hydrogen peroxide evolved is negligible.

  5. Fuel-Cell Electrolytes Based on Organosilica Hybrid Proton Conductors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Narayan, Sri R.; Yen, Shiao-Pin S.

    2008-01-01

    A new membrane composite material that combines an organosilica proton conductor with perfluorinated Nafion material to achieve good proton conductivity and high-temperature performance for membranes used for fuel cells in stationary, transportation, and portable applications has been developed. To achieve high proton conductivities of the order of 10(exp -1)S/cm over a wide range of temperatures, a composite membrane based on a new class of mesoporous, proton-conducting, hydrogen-bonded organosilica, used with Nafion, will allow for water retention and high proton conductivity over a wider range of temperatures than currently offered by Nafion alone. At the time of this reporting, this innovation is at the concept level. Some of the materials and processes investigated have shown good proton conductivity, but membranes have not yet been prepared and demonstrated.

  6. Modeling Water Management in Polymer-Electrolyte Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Department of Chemical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley; Weber, Adam; Weber, Adam Z.; Balliet, Ryan; Gunterman, Haluna P.; Newman, John

    2007-09-07

    Fuel cells may become the energy-delivery devices of the 21st century with realization of a carbon-neutral energy economy. Although there are many types of fuel cells, polymerelectrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) are receiving the most attention for automotive and small stationary applications. In a PEFC, hydrogen and oxygen are combined electrochemically to produce water, electricity, and waste heat. During the operation of a PEFC, many interrelated and complex phenomena occur. These processes include mass and heat transfer, electrochemical reactions, and ionic and electronic transport. Most of these processes occur in the through-plane direction in what we term the PEFC sandwich as shown in Figure 1. This sandwich comprises multiple layers including diffusion media that can be composite structures containing a macroporous gas-diffusion layer (GDL) and microporous layer (MPL), catalyst layers (CLs), flow fields or bipolar plates, and a membrane. During operation fuel is fed into the anode flow field, moves through the diffusion medium, and reacts electrochemically at the anode CL to form hydrogen ions and electrons. The oxidant, usually oxygen in air, is fed into the cathode flow field, moves through the diffusion medium, and is electrochemically reduced at the cathode CL by combination with the generated protons and electrons. The water, either liquid or vapor, produced by the reduction of oxygen at the cathode exits the PEFC through either the cathode or anode flow field. The electrons generated at the anode pass through an external circuit and may be used to perform work before they are consumed at the cathode. The performance of a PEFC is most often reported in the form of a polarization curve, as shown in Figure 2. Roughly speaking, the polarization curve can be broken down into various regions. First, it should be noted that the equilibrium potential differs from the open-circuit voltage due mainly to hydrogen crossover through the membrane (i.e., a mixed potential

  7. Development of electrically conductive DLC coated stainless steel separators for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suzuki, Yasuo; Watanabe, Masanori; Toda, Tadao; Fujii, Toshiaki

    2013-06-01

    Polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) as one of generation devices of electrical power is rapidly expanding the market as clean energy instead of petroleum and atomic energy. Residential fuel cell goes into quantity production and introduction of fuel cell for use in automobiles starts in the year 2015 in Japan. Critical subject for making fuel cell expand is how to reduce cost of fuel cell. In this paper we describe about separator plate which domains large ratio of cost in fuel cell stack. In present time, carbon is used in material of residential fuel cell separator. Metal separators are developed in fuel cell for use in automobiles because of need of mechanical strength at first. In order to make fuel cell expand in market, further cost reduction is required. But the metal separator has problem that by using metal separator contact resistance occurred by metal corrosion increases and catalyst layer and membrane degrade. In recent time we found out to protect from corrosion and dissolution of metals by coating the film of porous free conductive DLC with plasma ion implantation and deposition technology that we have developed. Film of electrically conductive DLC was formed with high speed of 13 μm/hr by ICP plasma, and coating cost breakout was performed.

  8. High performance radiation-grafted membranes and electrodes for polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Nezu, Shinji; Seko, Hideo; Gondo, Masaki; Ito, Naoki

    1996-12-31

    Polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFC) have attracted much attention for stationary and electric vehicle applications. Much progress has been made to improve their performance recently. However there are still several problems to overcome for commercialization. Among them, the cost of polymer electrolyte membranes seems to be rather critical, because a cost estimate of a practical fuel cell stack shows that the membrane cost must be reduced at least by two orders of magnitude based on current perfluorosulfonic acid membranes eg. Nafion{reg_sign}. Thus the development of new membrane materials is strongly desired. Styrene grafted tetrafluoroethylene-hexafluoropropylene copolymer (FEP) membranes have been studied for a fuel cell application by G. Scherer et al. These authors showed that membranes obtained by radiation grafting served as an alternative membrane for fuel cells although there were several problems to overcome in the future. These problems include shorter life time which was concluded to result from the decomposition of grafted polystyrene side chains. We report here the performance of our fuel cells which were fabricated from our radiation grafted membranes (IMRA MEMBRANE) and gas diffusion electrodes.

  9. Binary and ternary palladium based electrocatalysts for alkaline direct glycerol fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geraldes, Adriana Napoleão; da Silva, Dionisio Furtunato; e Silva, Leonardo Gondim de Andrade; Spinacé, Estevam Vitório; Neto, Almir Oliveira; dos Santos, Mauro Coelho

    2015-10-01

    Pd/C, PdAu/C 50:50, PdSn/C 50:50, PdAuSn/C 50:40:10 and PdAuSn/C 50:10:40 electrocatalysts are prepared using an electron beam irradiation reduction method and tested for glycerol electro-oxidation in alkaline medium. X-Ray diffraction (XRD), Energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX), Transmission electron Microscopy (TEM) and Cyclic Voltammetry (CV) are used to characterize the resulting materials. The activity for glycerol electro-oxidation is tested in alkaline medium at room temperature using Cyclic Voltammetry and Chronoamperometry (CA) and in a single alkaline direct glycerol fuel cell (ADGFC) at temperature range of 60-90 °C. EDX analysis demonstrate that Pd:Au:Sn atomic ratios are very similar to the nominal ones. X-ray diffractograms of PdAuSn/C electrocatalysts evidence the presence of Pd (fcc), Au (fcc) and SnO2 phases. TEM analysis demonstrates a good dispersion of the nanoparticles on the carbon support with some agglomerates. Cyclic Voltammetry experiments suggest that PdAuSn/C electrocatalysts demonstrate better results. In single fuel cell tests, at 85 °C, using 2.0 mol L-1 glycerol in 2.0 mol L-1 KOH solutions, the electrocatalyst PdAuSn/C 50:40:10 demonstrate highest power density (51 mW cm-2) and the 120 h durability tests demonstrate a 210 μV h-1 degradation rate.

  10. Electrocatalysis in alkaline media: Mechanistic studies of fuel cell reactions on well-defined model catalysts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spendelow, Jacob S.

    Scanning tunneling microscopy and electrochemical techniques have been used to study several electrocatalytic reactions occurring on Pt(111) and Pt(111)/Ru surfaces in alkaline media. The reactions chosen, CO oxidation, methanol oxidation, and oxygen reduction, are relevant to direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). Each is relatively slow, and therefore requires high loading of precious metal catalysts to achieve sufficient fuel cell power density. The focus of these studies has been on determining mechanisms and limiting factors in each reaction. Special attention has been given to the role of adsorbed Ru and the role of Pt defects in enhancing catalytic activity. All defects were found to be more active than terraces for CO oxidation on Pt(111) in alkaline media at DMFC-relevant potentials. Step-typed defects enhance methanol dehydrogenation, but kink-type defects are inactive for this reaction. All defects are inactive for oxygen reduction. These observations can be explained in terms of the local geometric and electronic structure at defects. Adsorbate-adsorbate repulsions, with resultant effects on activation barriers, control the rates of CO oxidation, as well as methanol oxidation. In the case of CO, coverage-dependent CO-CO repulsions and OH-OH repulsions on defects both enhance kinetics. In the case of methanol, repulsive interactions with CO decrease the rate of methanol dehydrogenation, thus giving rise to the CO poisoning effect. Ru was found to promote both methanol dehydrogenation and CO oxidation on adjacent Pt sites. Ru enhances methanol dehydrogenation through two distinct ligand effects: it increases the intrinsic dehydrogenation activity of adjacent Pt sites, and it causes CO to diffuse away from these active sites, decreasing the CO poisoning effect. A Ru ligand effect also enhances CO oxidation by weakening the Pt-CO bond. Ru supplies adsorbed OH for bifunctional CO oxidation, but since Pt defects can also supply OH in alkaline media, the Ru

  11. Palladium/nickel bifunctional electrocatalyst for hydrogen oxidation reaction in alkaline membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alesker, Maria; Page, Miles; Shviro, Meital; Paska, Yair; Gershinsky, Gregory; Dekel, Dario R.; Zitoun, David

    2016-02-01

    Investigation of the hydrogen oxidation reaction (HOR) in alkaline media has been pursued in the past few years side by side with the development of alkaline membrane fuel cells (AMFCs), also called anion exchange membrane fuel cells (AEM-FCs). In this communication, we present the synthesis, electrochemistry and AMFC test of a platinum-free HOR catalyst. The anode catalyst is prepared by growing palladium nanoparticles onto nanoparticles of an oxophilic metal (nickel), resulting in nano-dispersed, interconnected crystalline phases of Ni and Pd. When used in the anode of a hydrogen/air AMFC, such Pd/Ni catalyst exhibits high HOR activity, resulting in record high performance for a platinum-free AMFC (0.4 A cm-2 at 0.6 V vs RHE). The enhancement of HOR catalytic activity vs. that observed at Pd (or Ni) alone is revealed directly in rotating disc electrode tests of this Pd/Ni catalyst that shows a significant negative shift (200 mV) of the onset potential for the HOR current vs. the case of Pd.

  12. XRD and XPS analysis of the degradation of the polymer electrolyte in H 2-O 2 fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Chengde; Seng Tan, Kim; Lin, Jianyi; Lee Tan, Kuang

    2003-03-01

    Nafion ® is frequently used as electrolyte membrane in polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFC). In this Letter the degradation of the Nafion ® polymer electrolyte was investigated using X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). XRD showed that the electrode potential and low gas humidification temperature could decrease the crystallinity of Nafion ®. XPS analysis indicated that the Nafion ® was decomposed in the hydrogen potential region of the fuel cell, through the interaction of the hydrophobic (CF 2) n groups of the membrane with H or/and C atoms.

  13. Evaluation of tetrafluoroethane-1,2-disulfonic acid as a fuel cell electrolyte

    SciTech Connect

    Ross, P.N. Jr.

    1983-04-01

    Fuel cell cathode polarization in 70 w/o tetrafluoroethane-1,2-disulfonic acid (TFEDSA) was compared with that observed in trifluoromethane sulfonic acid (TFMSA) and phosphoric acid electrolytes. The type of electrode used was a wet-proofed Stackpole carbon paper substrate with the catalyst layer applied by direct filtration. The catalyst was 10 w/o Pt on Vulcan XC-72R carbon black supplied by Prototech and used as received. The polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) content and the curing conditions for the cathodes were optimized for each electrolyte by trial and error. The resulting polarization curves were infrarad corrected and show that all three electrolytes have about the same conductivity under the conditions used. The polarization behavior in TFEDSA was intermediate between that for 85 w/o phosphoric acid and that for 60 w/o TFMSA. More quantitative kinetic measurements in concentrated TFEDSA and also TFMSA were attempted using the rotating disc method but electrolyte impurity problems prevented definite determinations. The polarization results and the conductivity data indicate that it should be possible to operate a reformed methanol (0.1% CO) fuel cell using 70% TFEDSA at 110 degrees C and achieve a potential of 0.64V per cell on air at 200 mA/cm/sup 2/ with 0.75 mg Pt/cm/sup 2/ of catalyst. An impurity in TFMSA appears to be the source of sulfur produced at a hydrogen electrode in unpurified acid; the impurity is probably SO/sub 3/. Early samples of TFESDA were badly contaminated with sulfur oxides but improvement in synthesis eliminated these impurities. Purified forms of TFMSA and TFEDSA showed no chemical instability in the fuel cell tests in this laboratory.

  14. Characterization of Titanium Phosphate as Electrolytes in Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tran, A. T. T.; Duke, M. C.; Gray, P. G.; Diniz da Costa, J. C.

    Titanium phosphate is currently a promising material for proton exchange membrane fuel cells applications (PEMFC) allowing for operation at high temperature conditions. In this work, titanium phosphate was synthesized from tetra iso-propoxide (TTIP) and orthophosphoric acid (H3PO4) in different ratios by a sol gel method. High BET surface areas of 271 m2.g-1 were obtained for equimolar Ti:P samples whilst reduced surface areas were observed by varying the molar ratio either way. Highest proton conductivity of 5.4×10-2 S.cm-1 was measured at 20°C and 93% relative humidity (RH). However, no correlation was observed between surface area and proton conductivity. High proton conductivity was directly attributed to hydrogen bonding in P-OH groups and the water molecules retained in the sample structure. The proton conductivity increased with relative humidity, indicating that the Grotthuss mechanism governed proton transport. Further, sample Ti/P with 1:9 molar ratio showed proton conductivity in the order of 10-1 S.cm-1 (5% RH) and ~1.6×10-2 S.cm-1 (anhydrous condition) at 200°C. These proton conductivities were mainly attributed to excess acid locked into the functionalized TiP structure, thus forming ionisable protons.

  15. Polymer Electrolytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hallinan, Daniel T.; Balsara, Nitash P.

    2013-07-01

    This review article covers applications in which polymer electrolytes are used: lithium batteries, fuel cells, and water desalination. The ideas of electrochemical potential, salt activity, and ion transport are presented in the context of these applications. Potential is defined, and we show how a cell potential measurement can be used to ascertain salt activity. The transport parameters needed to fully specify a binary electrolyte (salt + solvent) are presented. We define five fundamentally different types of homogeneous electrolytes: type I (classical liquid electrolytes), type II (gel electrolytes), type III (dry polymer electrolytes), type IV (dry single-ion-conducting polymer electrolytes), and type V (solvated single-ion-conducting polymer electrolytes). Typical values of transport parameters are provided for all types of electrolytes. Comparison among the values provides insight into the transport mechanisms occurring in polymer electrolytes. It is desirable to decouple the mechanical properties of polymer electrolyte membranes from the ionic conductivity. One way to accomplish this is through the development of microphase-separated polymers, wherein one of the microphases conducts ions while the other enhances the mechanical rigidity of the heterogeneous polymer electrolyte. We cover all three types of conducting polymer electrolyte phases (types III, IV, and V). We present a simple framework that relates the transport parameters of heterogeneous electrolytes to homogeneous analogs. We conclude by discussing electrochemical stability of electrolytes and the effects of water contamination because of their relevance to applications such as lithium ion batteries.

  16. Polybenzimidazole-multiwall carbon nanotubes composite membranes for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guerrero Moreno, Nayibe; Gervasio, Dominic; Godínez García, Andrés; Pérez Robles, Juan Francisco

    2015-12-01

    Polymer membranes are prepared as a composite of polybenzimidazole and non-functionalized multiwall carbon nanotubes (PBI-CNT) and polybenzimidazole (PBI) only. Each is doped with H3PO4 (PA) and used as a proton exchange membrane (PEM) as the electrolyte in a fuel cell. The proton conductivities at 180 °C for the doped PBI membrane (PBIPA) and the doped PBI-CNT membrane (PBICNTPA) are 6.3 × 10-2 and 7.4 × 10-2 Scm-1 respectively. A single fuel cell having these membranes as electrolyte has a Pt catalyzed hydrogen gas fed anode and a similar oxygen cathode without humidification of feed gases; the cell with the PBICNTPA membrane has higher open circuit voltage (0.96 V) than that with a PBIPA membrane (0.8 V) at 180 °C. The mechanical stability of the membrane improves with CNTs addition. The tensile strength of the composite PBI-CNT membrane with 1 wt.% CNTs loading is 32% higher and the Young's Modulus is 147% higher than the values for a membrane of PBI alone. The improvement in conductivity and mechanical properties in the composite membrane due to the CNT addition indicates that a PBI-CNT membrane is a good alternative as a membrane electrolyte in a PEMFC.

  17. Electro-thermal impedance spectroscopy applied to an open-cathode polymer electrolyte fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engebretsen, Erik; Robinson, James B.; Obeisun, Oluwamayowa; Mason, Tom; Finegan, Donal; Hinds, Gareth; Shearing, Paul R.; Brett, Daniel J. L.

    2016-01-01

    The development of in-situ diagnostic techniques is critical to ensure safe and effective operation of polymer electrolyte fuel cell systems. Infrared thermal imaging is an established technique which has been extensively applied to fuel cells; however, the technique is limited to measuring surface temperatures and is prone to errors arising from emissivity variations and reflections. Here we demonstrate that electro-thermal impedance spectroscopy can be applied to enhance infrared thermal imaging and mitigate its limitations. An open-cathode polymer electrolyte fuel cell is used as a case study. The technique operates by imposing a periodic electrical stimulus to the fuel cell and measuring the consequent surface temperature response (phase and amplitude). In this way, the location of heat generation from within the component can be determined and the thermal conduction properties of the materials and structure between the point of heat generation and the point of measurement can be determined. By selectively 'locking-in' to a suitable modulation frequency, spatially resolved images of the relative amplitude between the current stimulus and temperature can be generated that provide complementary information to conventional temporal domain thermograms.

  18. A mathematical model of the maximum power density attainable in an alkaline hydrogen/oxygen fuel cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kimble, Michael C.; White, Ralph E.

    1991-01-01

    A mathematical model of a hydrogen/oxygen alkaline fuel cell is presented that can be used to predict the polarization behavior under various power loads. The major limitations to achieving high power densities are indicated and methods to increase the maximum attainable power density are suggested. The alkaline fuel cell model describes the phenomena occurring in the solid, liquid, and gaseous phases of the anode, separator, and cathode regions based on porous electrode theory applied to three phases. Fundamental equations of chemical engineering that describe conservation of mass and charge, species transport, and kinetic phenomena are used to develop the model by treating all phases as a homogeneous continuum.

  19. Performance analysis of molten carbonate fuel cell using a Li/Na electrolyte

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morita, H.; Komoda, M.; Mugikura, Y.; Izaki, Y.; Watanabe, T.; Masuda, Y.; Matsuyama, T.

    Several years ago, Li/Na carbonate (Li 2CO 3/Na 2CO 3) was developed as the electrolyte of molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFCs) in place of the usual Li/K carbonate (Li 2CO 3/K 2CO 3) to the advantage of a higher ionic conductivity and lower rate of cathode NiO dissolution. To estimate the potential of Li/Na carbonate as the MCFC electrolyte, the dependence of the cell performance on the operating conditions and the behavior during long-term performance was investigated in several bench-scale cell operations. The obtained data on the performance of Li/Na cells was analyzed to estimate the impact of voltage losses by using a performance model and discussed in comparison with the data of conventional Li/K cell performance.

  20. Electrode assembly for use in a solid polymer electrolyte fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Raistrick, Ian D.

    1989-01-01

    A gas reaction fuel cell may be provided with a solid polymer electrolyte membrane. Porous gas diffusion electrodes are formed of carbon particles supporting a catalyst which is effective to enhance the gas reactions. The carbon particles define interstitial spaces exposing the catalyst on a large surface area of the carbon particles. A proton conducting material, such as a perfluorocarbon copolymer or ruthenium dioxide contacts the surface areas of the carbon particles adjacent the interstitial spaces. The proton conducting material enables protons produced by the gas reactions adjacent the supported catalyst to have a conductive path with the electrolyte membrane. The carbon particles provide a conductive path for electrons. A suitable electrode may be formed by dispersing a solution containing a proton conducting material over the surface of the electrode in a manner effective to coat carbon surfaces adjacent the interstitial spaces without impeding gas flow into the interstitial spaces.

  1. From polymer chemistry to membrane elaboration. A global approach of fuel cell polymeric electrolytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iojoiu, C.; Chabert, F.; Maréchal, M.; Kissi, N. El.; Guindet, J.; Sanchez, J.-Y.

    The paper tries to make a critical inventory of Ionomers, free of fluorine or fluorine less, which can be used as alternatives to Nafion ® in polymer electrolytes fuel cells, as Ionomer is indisputably one of the main bolts of these technologies. All the Ionomer families are discussed, with their main advantages and drawbacks, in particular in terms of their possible industrial scale-up. Special attention has been paid to the discussions about the choice of the ionic functions and that of polymeric backbones of the Ionomers, with regard to the required electrochemical properties and also to their thermomechanical behaviour. It has been emphasized that a global approach of the polymer electrolytes is essential to progress. This must involve (i) a control of the syntheses up to the pilot scale, (ii) thorough characterizations, (iii) attention to the membrane and the MEA assembly and (iv) durability investigations, including post-mortem characterizations.

  2. Evaluation of lanthanum tungstates as electrolytes for proton conductors Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zayas-Rey, M. J.; dos Santos-Gómez, L.; Porras-Vázquez, J. M.; Losilla, E. R.; Marrero-López, D.

    2015-10-01

    La27W4NbO55-δ (LWNO) has been tested as electrolyte for proton conductor Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (PC-SOFCs). For this purpose, different electrodes and composite electrodes are considered, including: La0.8Sr0.2MnO3-δ, La0.6Sr0.4Co1-xFexO3-δ, La0.75Sr0.25Cr0.5Mn0.5O3-δ, SrFe0.75Nb0.25O3-δ and NiO. Chemical compatibility between the cell components is investigated by X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). Furthermore, area specific resistance (ASR) for the different electrodes is determined in symmetrical cells by impedance spectroscopy. XRPD and EDS analysis does not reveal significant bulk reactivity between most of these electrodes and LWNO electrolyte in the typical operating temperature range of an SOFC (600-900 °C). However, minor interdiffusion of elements at the electrolyte/electrode interface has negative effects on both the ohmic losses and electrode polarization of the cells. ASR values are significantly improved by using a porous buffer layer of Ce0.8Gd0.2O1.9 (CGO), deposited between the electrolyte and electrode materials, to prevent reactivity. A single cell with a 350 μm-thick electrolyte, NiO-CGO and La0.6Sr0.4Co0.8Fe0.2O3-δ-CGO composite as anode and cathode, respectively, generates maximum power densities of 140 and 18 mWcm-2 at 900 and 650 °C, respectively.

  3. STABLE HIGH CONDUCTIVITY BILAYERED ELECTROLYTES FOR LOW TEMPERATURE SOLID OXIDE FUEL CELLS

    SciTech Connect

    Eric D. Wachsman; Keith L. Duncan

    2002-09-30

    A bilayer electrolyte consisting of acceptor-doped ceria (on the fuel/reducing side) and cubic-stabilized bismuth oxide (on the oxidizing side) was developed. The bilayer electrolyte that was developed showed significant improvement in open-circuit potential versus a typical ceria based SOFC. Moreover, the OCP of the bilayer cells increased as the thickness of the bismuth oxide layer increased relative to the ceria layer. Thereby, verifying the bilayer concept. Although, because of the absence of a suitable cathode (a problem we are still working assiduously to solve), we were unable to obtain power density curves, our modeling work predicts a reduction in electrolyte area specific resistance of two orders of magnitude over cubic-stabilized zirconia and projects a maximum power density of 9 W/m{sup 2} at 800 C and 0.09 W/m{sup 2} at 500 C. Towards the development of the bilayer electrolyte other significant strides were made. Among these were, first, the development of a, bismuth oxide based, oxide ion conductor with the highest conductivity (0.56 S/cm at 800 C and 0.043 S/cm at 500 C) known to date. Second, a physical model of the defect transport mechanisms and the driving forces for the ordering phenomena in bismuth oxide and other fluorite systems was developed. Third, a model for point defect transport in oxide mixed ionic-electronic conductors was developed, without the typical assumption of a uniform distribution of ions and including the effect of variable loads on the transport properties of an SOFC (with either a single or bilayer electrolyte).

  4. Influence of supporting electrolyte in electricity generation and degradation of organic pollutants in photocatalytic fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Khalik, Wan Fadhilah; Ong, Soon-An; Ho, Li-Ngee; Wong, Yee-Shian; Voon, Chun-Hong; Yusuf, Sara Yasina; Yusoff, Nik Athirah; Lee, Sin-Li

    2016-08-01

    This study investigated the effect of different supporting electrolyte (Na2SO4, MgSO4, NaCl) in degradation of Reactive Black 5 (RB5) and generation of electricity. Zinc oxide (ZnO) was immobilized onto carbon felt acted as photoanode, while Pt-coated carbon paper as photocathode was placed in a single chamber photocatalytic fuel cell, which then irradiated by UV lamp for 24 h. The degradation and mineralization of RB5 with 0.1 M NaCl rapidly decreased after 24-h irradiation time, followed by MgSO4, Na2SO4 and without electrolyte. The voltage outputs for Na2SO4, MgSO4 and NaCl were 908, 628 and 523 mV, respectively, after 24-h irradiation time; meanwhile, their short-circuit current density, J SC, was 1.3, 1.2 and 1.05 mA cm(-2), respectively. The power densities for Na2SO4, MgSO4 and NaCl were 0.335, 0.256 and 0.245 mW cm(-2), respectively. On the other hand, for without supporting electrolyte, the voltage output and short-circuit current density was 271.6 mV and 0.055 mA cm(-2), respectively. The supporting electrolyte NaCl showed greater performance in degradation of RB5 and generation of electricity due to the formation of superoxide radical anions which enhance the degradation of dye. The mineralization of RB5 with different supporting electrolyte was measured through spectrum analysis and reduction in COD concentration. PMID:27184147

  5. Strength and Fracture Toughness of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Electrolyte Material Improved

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bansal, Narottam P.; Choi, Sung R.

    2002-01-01

    Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) are being developed for various applications in the automobile, power-generation, and aeronautics industries. Recently, the NASA Glenn Research Center has been exploring the possibility of using SOFC's for aeropropulsion under its Zero Carbon Dioxide Emission Technology (ZCET) Program. 10-mol% yttriastabilized zirconia (10YSZ) is a very good anionic conductor at high temperatures and is, therefore, used as an oxygen solid electrolyte in SOFC. However, it has a high thermal expansion coefficient, low thermal shock resistance, low fracture toughness, and poor mechanical strength. For aeronautic applications, the thin ceramic electrolyte membrane of the SOFC needs to be strong and tough. Therefore, we have been investigating the possibility of enhancing the strength and fracture toughness of the 10YSZ electrolyte without degrading its electrical conductivity to an appreciable extent. We recently demonstrated that the addition of alumina to zirconia electrolyte increases its strength as well as its fracture toughness. Zirconia-alumina composites containing 0 to 30 mol% of alumina were fabricated by hot pressing. The hot pressing procedure was developed and various hot pressing parameters were optimized, resulting in dense, crackfree panels of composite materials. Cubic zirconia and a-alumina were the only phases detected, indicating that there was no chemical reaction between the constituents during hot pressing at elevated temperatures. Flexure strength sf and fracture toughness K(sub IC) of the various zirconia-alumina composites were measured at room temperature as well as at 1000 C in air. Both properties showed systematic improvement with increased alumina addition at room temperature and at 1000 C. Use of these modified electrolytes with improved strength and fracture toughness should prolong the life and enhance the performance of SOFC in aeronautics and other applications.

  6. Novel refractory alkaline earth silicate sealing glasses for planar solid oxide fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Chou, Y. S.; Stevenson, Jeffry W.; Singh, Prabhakar

    2007-07-01

    A novel “refractory” Sr-Ca-Y-B-Si sealing glass (glass-ceramic) was developed for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). The objective was to develop sealing glass with desired thermal properties and minimal interfacial reactions with SOFC components, ceramic electrolyte and metallic interconnect. The current glass was different from conventional sealing glass in that the sealing temperatures were targeted higher (>950 degree C) and hence more refractory. Six glasses were formulated and made by conventional glass-making process. Thermal properties were characterized in the glass state and the sintered (crystallized) state. The effect of formulation on thermal properties was discussed. Candidate glasses were also aged for 1000 to 2000 h at elevated temperatures. Thermal expansion measurements showed minimal change after aging. A candidate glass (YSO-1) was used in sealing ceramic electrolyte to a metallic interconnect from 900 degree C to 1050 degree C in air. The interfacial microstructure was characterized and SrCrO4 was identified near the metal interface. Possible reaction mechanism for the chromate formation was discussed.

  7. Visualization of Water Accumulation Process in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Using Neutron Radiography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murakawa, Hideki; Sugimoto, Katsumi; Kitamura, Nobuki; Sawada, Masataka; Asano, Hitoshi; Takenaka, Nobuyuki; Saito, Yasushi

    In order to clarify the water-accumulation phenomena in an operating polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC), the water distribution in a small fuel cell was measured in the through-plane direction by using neutron radiography. The fuel cell had nine parallel channels for classifying the water-accumulation process in the gas diffusion layer (GDL) under the lands and channels. The experimental results were compared with numerical results. The water accumulation in the GDL under the lands was larger than that under the channels during the period of early PEFC operation. The difference of the water accumulation in the GDL under the land and channel was related to the water vapor. Because of the land, the vapor fraction in the GDL under the land was also higher than that under the channel. As a result, condensation was easy to occur in the GDL under the land.

  8. Neutron Computed Tomography of Freeze/thaw Phenomena in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Matthew M. Mech; Jack Brenizer; Kenan Unlu; A.K. Heller

    2008-12-12

    This report summarizes the final year's progress of the three-year NEER program. The overall objectives of this program were to 1) design and construct a sophisticated hight-resolution neutron computed tomography (NCT) facility, 2) develop novel and sophisticated liquid water and ice quantification analysis software for computed tomography, and 3) apply the advanced software and NCT capability to study liquid and ice distribution in polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) under cold-start conditions. These objectives have been accomplished by the research team, enabling a new capability for advanced 3D image quantification with neutron imaging for fuel cell and other applications. The NCT water quantification methodology and software will greatly add to the capabilities of the neutron imaging community, and the quantified liquid water and ice distribution provided by its application to PEFCs will enhance understanding and guide design in the fuel cell community.

  9. Acid electrolyte fuel cell technology program. [for application to the space shuttle orbiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

    The development of an acid electrolyte fuel cell was investigated to provide a cost effective electrical power system for the space shuttle orbiter. Previous investigation showed the life capability of the fuel cell was improved by proper prehumidification of the reactant gases. Breadboard models were developed which incorporate reactant prehumidification and have a life duration time of 2000 hours. Fuel cell performance was found to be invariant with cell life, and reactant consumption was unchanged from start to end of life. Satisfactory start and stop procedures are demonstrated along with scale-up capabilities for the number of cells in a stack, and for cell active areas. Safety design features, which operate to isolate the affected module from the remainder of the system, to eliminate single point failure modes from affecting the entire electrical power system are included.

  10. Poly(arylene ether sulfone)s ionomers containing quaternized triptycene groups for alkaline fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Zhuo; Gong, Feixiang; Zhang, Suobo; Li, Shenghai

    2012-11-01

    A series of poly(arylene ether sulfone)s containing quaternized triptycene groups are synthesized through a chloromethylation reaction following a quaternization process. The resulting ionomers are soluble in polar aprotic solvents; thus, flexible, tough membranes could be prepared by solution casting. Novel anion exchange membranes based on these ionomers are obtained by anion exchange with hydroxide ions. All anion exchange membranes show conductivities above 10-2 S cm-1 at room temperature. The highest hydroxide conductivity is 7.2 × 10-2 S cm-1, which is achieved by the anion exchange membrane with ion exchange capacity (IEC) = 2.61 mmol g-1. Meanwhile, these anion exchange membranes have low water uptake and good dimensional stability even at high IEC values. For example, the membrane water uptake (IEC = 1.97 mmol g-1) is only 21% at room temperature, and the swelling ratio is 11%. The anion exchange membranes are stable in alkaline conditions. All the membranes have no significant change in 4 M NaOH solution at 25 °C after 30 days. All results suggest that these anion exchange membranes have potential application in alkaline fuel cells.

  11. Studies of a granular aluminum anode in an alkaline fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Popovich, Neil A.; Govind, Rakesh

    A granular aluminum anode was investigated for use in an alkaline aluminum/hydrogen peroxide fuel cell. The fuel cell utilizes granules of aluminum (8-12 mm in diameter) as an anode, potassium hydroxide (KOH) as an anolyte and hydrogen peroxide as a catholyte. Granular anodes have a significantly higher surface area than planar surfaces, thereby resulting in higher utilization of the anode material. Polarization experiments were performed as well as closed circuit power production experiments. KOH concentrations were varied in the experiments. Polarization experiments achieved a current density of 10.02 mA/cm 2 using 2 M KOH and granular aluminum with a surface area of 205.6 cm 2. Power production experiments sustained a current density of 0.05 mA/cm 2 using 1.5 M KOH and granular aluminum with a surface area of 59.8 cm 2. Results indicate that granular metal anodes have potential for use in high energy density fuel cells.

  12. Guanidinium based blend anion exchange membranes for direct methanol alkaline fuel cells (DMAFCs)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sajjad, Syed D.; Liu, Dong; Wei, Zi; Sakri, Shambhavi; Shen, Yi; Hong, Yi; Liu, Fuqiang

    2015-12-01

    Guanidinium based blend anion exchange membranes (AEMs) for direct methanol alkaline fuel cells have been fabricated and studied. The guanidinium prepolymer is first synthesized through a simple polycondensation process with the ion exchange moieties incorporated directly into the polymer backbone, and then is used to make guanidinium - chitosan (Gu-Chi) blend membranes. Besides, a lipophilic guanidinium prepolymer, synthesized by means of a precipitation reaction between sodium stearate and guanidinium salt, is adopted to tune solubility and mechanical properties of the blend AEMs. Results show that both ionic conductivity and methanol permeability of the AEMs can be tuned by blend composition and chemistry of the guanidinium based prepolymer. The selectivity (ratio of ionic conductivity to methanol permeability) of the fabricated membranes is superior to that of commercial membranes. Under fuel cell tests using 3 M methanol, the open circuit voltage (OCV) value for the blend AEM with 72 wt% of the guanidinium polymer (0.69 V) is much higher than that of the commercial Tokuyama A201 (0.47 V) at room temperature, while the blend AEMs with 50 wt% guanidinium content still show comparable values. Overall, the developed membranes demonstrate superior performance and therefore pose great promise for direct methanol anion exchange fuel cell (DMAFC) applications.

  13. Anion conductive aromatic ionomers containing a 1,2-dibenzoylbenzene moiety for alkaline fuel cell applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hossain, Md. Awlad; Lim, Young-Don; Jang, Ho-Hyoun; Jeon, Young-Tae; Lim, Jin-Sung; Lee, Soon-Ho; Kim, Whan-Gi; Jeon, Heung-Seok

    2013-11-01

    Novel anion-exchange membranes with high conductivities have been prepared for application to alkaline fuel cells. A quaternary ammonium poly(dibenzoylbenzene ether sulfone) membrane was synthesized by chloromethylation, followed by substitution with trimethylamine with an ion-exchange reaction. The quaternary ammonium groups were selectively substituted in the para-position of the pendant phenyl groups of the dibenzoylbenzene unit. The di-quaternary ammonium hydroxide polymers showed an elevated molecular weight and exhibited excellent solubility in polar aprotic solvents. Quaternization and the subsequent ion-exchange reactions were quantitative such that the obtained ionomer membranes had a high ion-exchange capacity (IEC) of up to 1.69 mmolg-1. The resultant polymer membranes were studied by 1H NMR, FT-IR, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), IEC, water uptake analysis, and ion conductivity analysis.

  14. Generating power from cellulose in an alkaline fuel cell enhanced by methyl viologen as an electron-transfer catalyst

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hao, Miaoqing; Liu, Xianhua; Feng, Mengnan; Zhang, Pingping; Wang, Guangyi

    2014-04-01

    In this work, we developed a single-compartment direct cellulose alkaline fuel cell by using nickel foam as the anode and methyl viologen as an electron transfer catalyst. The maximum power density of the fuel cell at optimal conditions is 450 mW m-2. High-performance liquid chromatography detected short-chain aliphatic carboxylic acids in the oxidation products. Using common reed and red algae as fuels, the fuel cell achieved maximum power densities of 295 mW m-2 and 154 mW m-2, respectively.

  15. Advances in solid polymer electrolyte fuel cell technology with low-platinum-loading electrodes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Srinivasan, Supramaniam; Ticianelli, E. A.; Derouin, C. R.; Redondo, A.

    1987-01-01

    The Gemini Space program demonstrated the first major application of fuel cell systems. Solid polymer electrolyte fuel cells were used as auxiliary power sources in the spacecraft. There has been considerable progress in this technology since then, particularly with the substitution of Nafion for the polystyrene sulfonate membrane as the electrolyte. Until recently the performance was good only with high platinum loading (4 mg/sq cm) electrodes. Methods are presented to advance the technology by (1) use of low platinum loading (0.35 mg/sq cm) electrodes; (2) optimization of anode/membrane/cathode interfaces by hot pressing; (3) pressurization of reactant gases, which is most important when air is used as cathodic reactant; and (4) adequate humidification of reactant gases to overcome the water management problem. The high performance of the fuel cell with the low loading of platinum appears to be due to the extension of the three dimensional reaction zone by introduction of a proton conductor, Nafion. This was confirmed by cyclic voltammetry.

  16. Several new catalysts for reduction of oxygen in fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cattabriga, R. A.; Cohn, E. M.; Giner, J. D.; Makrides, A. C.; Swette, L. L.

    1970-01-01

    Test results prove nickel carbide or nitride, nickel-cobalt carbide, titanium carbide or nitride, and intermetallic compounds of the transition or noble metals to be efficient electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction in alkaline electrolytes in low temperature fuel cells.

  17. In-situ investigation of water distribution in polymer electrolyte fuel cell using neutron radiography

    SciTech Connect

    Mishler, Jeffrey H; Mukundan, Rangachary; Borup, Rodney L; Wang, Yun; Hussey, Daniel S; Jacobson, David L

    2010-01-01

    This paper investigates the water content within operating polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells using neutron radiography. We consider fuel cells with various PTFE loadings in their gas diffusion layers (GDL) and microporous layers (MPL), and examine the impacts of MPL/GDL properties on the liquid water behavior and fuel cell performance. Fuel cells are tested at both dry and fully hydrated conditions with different serpentine flow fields. Water contents in the projected areas of channel and land regions are probed. We find that the fuel cell may be subject to more flooding at low current-density operation. In addition, both MPL and GDL wetting properties have substantial impacts on the water content in fuel cell. The cell performance also varies on different scenarios of the MPL/GDL wetting properties. The quad-channel flow field exhibits higher water content without remarkable change in performance at low current densities. Liquid water profile along the channel is presented and liquid water on-set clearly indicated.

  18. Surface engineering of nanoporous substrate for solid oxide fuel cells with atomic layer-deposited electrolyte

    PubMed Central

    Ji, Sanghoon; Tanveer, Waqas Hassan; Yu, Wonjong; Kang, Sungmin; Cho, Gu Young; Kim, Sung Han

    2015-01-01

    Summary Solid oxide fuel cells with atomic layer-deposited thin film electrolytes supported on anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) are electrochemically characterized with varying thickness of bottom electrode catalyst (BEC); BECs which are 0.5 and 4 times thicker than the size of AAO pores are tested. The thicker BEC ensures far more active mass transport on the BEC side and resultantly the thicker BEC cell generates ≈11 times higher peak power density than the thinner BEC cell at 500 °C. PMID:26425432

  19. Surface engineering of nanoporous substrate for solid oxide fuel cells with atomic layer-deposited electrolyte.

    PubMed

    Ji, Sanghoon; Tanveer, Waqas Hassan; Yu, Wonjong; Kang, Sungmin; Cho, Gu Young; Kim, Sung Han; An, Jihwan; Cha, Suk Won

    2015-01-01

    Solid oxide fuel cells with atomic layer-deposited thin film electrolytes supported on anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) are electrochemically characterized with varying thickness of bottom electrode catalyst (BEC); BECs which are 0.5 and 4 times thicker than the size of AAO pores are tested. The thicker BEC ensures far more active mass transport on the BEC side and resultantly the thicker BEC cell generates ≈11 times higher peak power density than the thinner BEC cell at 500 °C. PMID:26425432

  20. Pseudo one-dimensional analysis of polymer electrolyte fuel cell cold-start

    SciTech Connect

    Mukherjee, Partha P; Mukundan, Rangachary; Borup, Rodney L; Wang, Yun; Mishlera, Jeff

    2009-01-01

    This paper investigates the electrochemical kinetics, oxygen transport, and solid water formation in polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) during cold start. Following [Yo Wang, J. Electrochem. Soc., 154 (2007) B1041-B1048], we develop a pseudo one-dimensional analysis, which enables the evaluation of the impact of ice volume fraction and temperature variations on cell performance during cold-start. The oxygen profile, starvation ice volume fraction, and relevant overpotentials are obtained. This study is valuable for studying the characteristics of PEFC cold-start.

  1. Properties of solid polymer electrolyte fluorocarbon film. [used in hydrogen/oxygen fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Alston, W. B.

    1973-01-01

    The ionic fluorocarbon film used as the solid polymer electrolyte in hydrogen/oxygen fuel cells was found to exhibit delamination failures. Polarized light microscopy of as-received film showed a lined region at the center of the film thickness. It is shown that these lines were not caused by incomplete saponification but probably resulted from the film extrusion process. The film lines could be removed by an annealing process. Chemical, physical, and tensile tests showed that annealing improved or sustained the water contents, spectral properties, thermo-oxidative stability, and tensile properties of the film. The resistivity of the film was significantly decreased by the annealing process.

  2. Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell fault diagnosis based on empirical mode decomposition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Damour, Cédric; Benne, Michel; Grondin-Perez, Brigitte; Bessafi, Miloud; Hissel, Daniel; Chabriat, Jean-Pierre

    2015-12-01

    Diagnosis tool for water management is relevant to improve the reliability and lifetime of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). This paper presents a novel signal-based diagnosis approach, based on Empirical Mode Decomposition (EMD), dedicated to PEMFCs. EMD is an empirical, intuitive, direct and adaptive signal processing method, without pre-determined basis functions. The proposed diagnosis approach relies on the decomposition of FC output voltage to detect and isolate flooding and drying faults. The low computational cost of EMD, the reduced number of required measurements, and the high diagnosis accuracy of flooding and drying faults diagnosis make this approach a promising online diagnosis tool for PEMFC degraded modes management.

  3. Using a Quasipotential Transformation for Modeling Diffusion Media inPolymer-Electrolyte Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Weber, Adam Z.; Newman, John

    2008-08-29

    In this paper, a quasipotential approach along with conformal mapping is used to model the diffusion media of a polymer-electrolyte fuel cell. This method provides a series solution that is grid independent and only requires integration along a single boundary to solve the problem. The approach accounts for nonisothermal phenomena, two-phase flow, correct placement of the electronic potential boundary condition, and multilayer media. The method is applied to a cathode diffusion medium to explore the interplay between water and thermal management and performance, the impact of the rib-to-channel ratio, and the existence of diffusion under the rib and flooding phenomena.

  4. Components and materials issues in polymer electrolyte fuel cells for transportation applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Derouin, C. R.; Springer, T. E.; Uribe, F. A.; Valerio, J. A.; Wilson, M. S.; Zawodzinski, T. A.; Gottesfeld, S.

    Recent research work on the polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) is described. This research work addresses the goal of bringing the PEFC technology to the performance and the cost levels required for its wide spread use in transportation. The main topics are (1) a new approach to the fabrication of Pt/C catalyst layers of high performance, employing loadings as low as 0.1 mgPt/cm(sup 2); (2) measurements and modeling of membrane, cathode catalyst and cathode backing contributions to cell loses in the PEFC; and (3) carbon monoxide poisoning of anode electrocatalysts in the PEFC -- the problem and possible solutions.

  5. Effective Diffusion-Medium Thickness for Simplified Polymer-Electrolyte-Fuel-Cell Modeling

    SciTech Connect

    Weber, Adam; Weber, Adam Z.

    2008-07-30

    In this manuscript, conformal mapping is applied to a rib/channel domain of a polymer-electrolyte-fuel-cell diffusion medium. The analysis leads to the calculation of an effective diffusion-medium thickness, which can subsequently be used in 1-D simulations to account for the average rib/channel 2-D geometric effect. Extensions of the analysis to anisotropic and multilayer diffusion media are also given. Both equations and figures show the impact on a given variable at the catalyst layer of having a combined conducting/nonconducting boundary across from it.

  6. Mathematical model of water transport in Bacon and alkaline matrix-type hydrogen-oxygen fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prokopius, P. R.; Easter, R. W.

    1972-01-01

    Based on general mass continuity and diffusive transport equations, a mathematical model was developed that simulates the transport of water in Bacon and alkaline-matrix fuel cells. The derived model was validated by using it to analytically reproduce various Bacon and matrix-cell experimental water transport transients.

  7. High performance zirconia-bismuth oxide nanocomposite electrolytes for lower temperature solid oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joh, Dong Woo; Park, Jeong Hwa; Kim, Do Yeub; Yun, Byung-Hyun; Lee, Kang Taek

    2016-07-01

    We develop a novel nanocomposite electrolyte, consisting of yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) and erbia-stabilized bismuth oxide (ESB). The 20 mol% ESB-incorporated YSZ composite (20ESB-YSZ) achieves the high density (>97%) at the low sintering temperature of 800 °C. The microstructural analysis of 20ESB-YSZ reveals the characteristic nanocomposite structure of the highly percolated ESB phase at the YSZ grain boundaries (a few ∼ nm thick). The ionic conductivity of 20ESB-YSZ is increased by 5 times compared to that of the conventional YSZ due to the fast oxygen ion transport along the ESB phase. Moreover, this high conductivity is maintained up to 580 h, indicating high stability of the ESB-YSZ nanocomposite. In addition, the oxygen reduction reaction at the composite electrolyte/cathode interface is effectively enhanced (∼70%) at the temperature below 650 °C, mainly due to the fast dissociative oxygen adsorption on the ESB surface as well as the rapid oxygen ion incorporation into the ESB lattice. Thus, we believe this ESB-YSZ nanocomposite is a promising electrolyte for high performance solid oxide fuel cells at reduced temperatures.

  8. Solid oxide fuel cell electrolytes produced via very low pressure suspension plasma spray and electrophoretic deposition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fleetwood, James D.

    Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are a promising element of comprehensive energy policies due to their direct mechanism for converting the oxidization of fuel, such as hydrogen, into electrical energy. Both very low pressure plasma spray and electrophoretic deposition allow working with high melting temperature SOFC suspension based feedstock on complex surfaces, such as in non-planar SOFC designs. Dense, thin electrolytes of ideal composition for SOFCs can be fabricated with each of these processes, while compositional control is achieved with dissolved dopant compounds that are incorporated into the coating during deposition. In the work reported, sub-micron 8 mole % Y2O3-ZrO2 (YSZ) and gadolinia-doped ceria (GDC), powders, including those in suspension with scandium-nitrate dopants, were deposited on NiO-YSZ anodes, via very low pressure suspension plasma spray (VLPSPS) at Sandia National Laboratories' Thermal Spray Research Laboratory and electrophoretic deposition (EPD) at Purdue University. Plasma spray was carried out in a chamber held at 320 - 1300 Pa, with the plasma composed of argon, hydrogen, and helium. EPD was characterized utilizing constant current deposition at 10 mm electrode separation, with deposits sintered from 1300 -- 1500 °C for 2 hours. The role of suspension constituents in EPD was analyzed based on a parametric study of powder loading, powder specific surface area, polyvinyl butyral (PVB) content, polyethyleneimine (PEI) content, and acetic acid content. Increasing PVB content and reduction of particle specific surface area were found to eliminate the formation of cracks when drying. PEI and acetic acid content were used to control suspension stability and the adhesion of deposits. Additionally, EPD was used to fabricate YSZ/GDC bilayer electrolyte systems. The resultant YSZ electrolytes were 2-27 microns thick and up to 97% dense. Electrolyte performance as part of a SOFC system with screen printed LSCF cathodes was evaluated with peak

  9. The effects of H{sub 2}S on electrolyte distribution and cell performance in the molten carbonate fuel cell

    SciTech Connect

    Kawase, Makoto; Mugikura, Yoshihiro; Watanabe, Takao

    2000-04-01

    To evaluate the effects of H{sub 2}S on the performance of molten carbonate fuel cells, bench-scale cell tests were performed and the meniscus heights of the electrolyte on Ni were measured with fuel gases containing various amounts of H{sub 2}S. In bench-scale cell tests, H{sub 2}S in the fuel gas had a large effect on cell voltage in the early operating stages, but this effect showed a tendency to decrease with operating time. Basic wetting property measurements revealed that Ni becomes better wetted at higher H{sub 2}S concentrations. In calculations of the electrolyte distributions, the electrolyte fill of the anode with {sub 2}S was found to be higher than that without H{sub 2}S. This study simulates the electrolyte distributions taking into account the effects of H{sub 2}S levels, the electrolyte loss and the change in pore size distributions of the electrodes, and discusses the relation between electrolyte distribution and cell performance.

  10. Imidazolium-based Block Copolymers as Solid-State Separators for Alkaline Fuel Cells and Lithium Ion Batteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nykaza, Jacob Richard

    In this study, polymerized ionic liquid (PIL) diblock copolymers were explored as solid-state polymer separators as an anion exchange membrane (AEM) for alkaline fuel cells AFCs and as a solid polymer electrolyte (SPE) for lithium-ion batteries. Polymerized ionic liquid (PIL) block copolymers are a distinct set of block copolymers that combine the properties of both ionic liquids (e.g., high conductivity, high electrochemical stability) and block copolymers (e.g., self-assembly into various nanostructures), which provides the opportunity to design highly conductive robust solid-state electrolytes that can be tuned for various applications including AFCs and lithium-ion batteries via simple anion exchange. A series of bromide conducting PIL diblock copolymers with an undecyl alkyl side chain between the polymer backbone and the imidazolium moiety were first synthesized at various compositions comprising of a PIL component and a non-ionic component. Synthesis was achieved by post-functionalization from its non-ionic precursor PIL diblock copolymer, which was synthesized via the reverse addition fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) technique. This PIL diblock copolymer with long alkyl side chains resulted in flexible, transparent films with high mechanical strength and high bromide ion conductivity. The conductivity of the PIL diblock copolymer was three times higher than its analogous PIL homopolymer and an order of magnitude higher than a similar PIL diblock copolymer with shorter alkyl side chain length, which was due to the microphase separated morphology, more specifically, water/ion clusters within the PIL microdomains in the hydrated state. Due to the high conductivity and mechanical robustness of this novel PIL block copolymer, its application as both the ionomer and AEM in an AFC was investigated via anion exchange to hydroxide (OH-), where a maximum power density of 29.3 mW cm-1 (60 °C with H2/O2 at 25 psig (172 kPa) backpressure) was achieved. Rotating disk

  11. Highly active nitrogen-doped nanocarbon electrocatalysts for alkaline direct methanol fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kruusenberg, Ivar; Ratso, Sander; Vikkisk, Merilin; Kanninen, Petri; Kallio, Tanja; Kannan, Arunachala M.; Tammeveski, Kaido

    2015-05-01

    Direct methanol fuel cells are assembled and evaluated using Fumatech FAA3 alkaline anion exchange membrane. Two novel metal-free cathode catalysts are synthesised, investigated and compared with the commercial Pt-based catalyst. In this work nitrogen-doped few-layer graphene/multi-walled carbon nanotube (N-FLG/MWCNT) composite and nitrogen-doped MWCNT (N-MWCNT) catalyst are prepared by pyrolysing the mixture of dicyandiamide (DCDA) and carbon nanomaterials at 800 °C. The resulting cathode catalyst material shows a remarkable electrocatalytic activity for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in 0.1 M KOH solution employing the rotating disk electrode (RDE) method. Fuel cell tests are performed by using 1 M methanol as anode and pure oxygen gas cathode feed. The maximum power density obtained with the N-FLG/MWCNT material (0.72 mW cm-2) is similar to that of the Pt/C catalyst (0.72 mW cm-2), whereas the N-MWCNT material shows higher peak power density (0.92 mW cm-2) than the commercial Pt/C catalyst.

  12. Utilization of methanol for polymer electrolyte fuel cells in mobile systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, V. M.; Brockerhoff, P.; Hohlein, B.; Menzer, R.; Stimming, U.

    1994-04-01

    The constantly growing volume of road traffic requires the introduction of new vehicle propulsion systems with higher efficiency and drastically reduced emission rates. As part of the fuel cell programme of the Research Centre Julich a vehicle propulsion system with methanol as secondary energy carrier and a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) as the main component for energy conversion is developed. The fuel gas is produced by a heterogeneously catalyzed steam reforming reaction in which methanol is converted to H2, CO and CO2. The required energy is provided by the catalytic conversion of methanol for both heating up the system and reforming methanol. The high CO content of the fuel gas requires further processing of the gas or the development of new electrocatalysts for the anode. Various Pt-Ru alloys show promising behaviour as CO-tolerant anodes. The entire fuel cell system is discussed in terms of energy and emission balances. The development of important components is described and experimental results are discussed.

  13. Investigation of degradation effects in polymer electrolyte fuel cells under automotive-related operating conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Enz, S.; Dao, T. A.; Messerschmidt, M.; Scholta, J.

    2015-01-01

    The influence of artificial starvation effects during automotive-related operating conditions is investigated within a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) using non-dispersive infrared sensors and a current scan shunt. Driving cycles (DC) and single load change experiments are performed with specific fuel and oxidant starvation conditions. Within the DC experiments, a maximal CO2 amount of 4.67 μmol per cycle is detected in the cathode and 0.97 μmol per cycle in the anode exhaust without reaching fuel starvation conditions during the DC. Massive cell reversal conditions occur within the single load change experiments as a result of anodic fuel starvation. As soon as a fuel starvation appears, the emitted CO2 increases exponentially in the anode and cathode exhaust. A maximal CO2 amount of 143.8 μmol CO2 on the anode side and 5.8 μmol CO2 on the cathode side is detected in the exhaust gases. The critical cell reversal conditions only occur by using hydrogen reformate as anode reactant. The influence of the starvation effects on the PEFC performance is investigated via polarization curves, cyclic and linear sweep voltammetry as well as electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. The PEFC performance is reduced by 47% as a consequence of the dynamic operation.

  14. The Effect of Platinum Electrocatalyst on Membrane Degradation in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

    Bodner, Merit; Cermenek, Bernd; Rami, Mija; Hacker, Viktor

    2015-01-01

    Membrane degradation is a severe factor limiting the lifetime of polymer electrolyte fuel cells. Therefore, obtaining a deeper knowledge is fundamental in order to establish fuel cells as competitive product. A segmented single cell was operated under open circuit voltage with alternating relative humidity. The influence of the catalyst layer on membrane degradation was evaluated by measuring a membrane without electrodes and a membrane-electrode-assembly under identical conditions. After 100 h of accelerated stress testing the proton conductivity of membrane samples near the anode and cathode was investigated by means of ex situ electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. The membrane sample near the cathode inlet exhibited twofold lower membrane resistance and a resulting twofold higher proton conductivity than the membrane sample near the anode inlet. The results from the fluoride ion analysis have shown that the presence of platinum reduces the fluoride emission rate; which supports conclusions drawn from the literature. PMID:26670258

  15. Proton conductive inorganic-organic hybrid membranes functionalized with phosphonic acid for polymer electrolyte fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Umeda, Junji; Suzuki, Masashi; Kato, Masaki; Moriya, Makoto; Sakamoto, Wataru; Yogo, Toshinobu

    Proton conductive sol-gel derived hybrid membranes were synthesized from aromatic derivatives of methoxysilanes and ethyl 2-[3-(dihydroxyphosphoryl)-2-oxapropyl]acrylate (EPA). Two aromatic derivatives of methoxysilanes with different number of methoxy groups were used as the starting materials. Hybrid membranes from difunctional (methyldimethoxysilylmethyl)styrene (MDMSMS(D))/EPA revealed a higher chemical stability and mechanical properties than those from monofunctional (dimethylmethoxysilylmethyl)styrene (DMMSMS(M))/EPA. The membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) using the hybrid membranes as electrolytes worked as a fuel cell at 100 °C under saturated humidity. The DMMSMS(M)/EPA membrane-based MEA showed a larger current density than that from MDMSMS(D)/EPA. On the other hand, the MDMSMS(D)/EPA membrane-based MEA exhibited higher open circuit voltages than the DMMSMS(M)/EPA-based MEA, and was stable during fuel cell operation at 80 °C at least for 48 h.

  16. The Effect of Platinum Electrocatalyst on Membrane Degradation in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells

    PubMed Central

    Bodner, Merit; Cermenek, Bernd; Rami, Mija; Hacker, Viktor

    2015-01-01

    Membrane degradation is a severe factor limiting the lifetime of polymer electrolyte fuel cells. Therefore, obtaining a deeper knowledge is fundamental in order to establish fuel cells as competitive product. A segmented single cell was operated under open circuit voltage with alternating relative humidity. The influence of the catalyst layer on membrane degradation was evaluated by measuring a membrane without electrodes and a membrane-electrode-assembly under identical conditions. After 100 h of accelerated stress testing the proton conductivity of membrane samples near the anode and cathode was investigated by means of ex situ electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. The membrane sample near the cathode inlet exhibited twofold lower membrane resistance and a resulting twofold higher proton conductivity than the membrane sample near the anode inlet. The results from the fluoride ion analysis have shown that the presence of platinum reduces the fluoride emission rate; which supports conclusions drawn from the literature. PMID:26670258

  17. Multiplex lithography for multilevel multiscale architectures and its application to polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Hyesung; Moon Kim, Sang; Sik Kang, Yun; Kim, Junsoo; Jang, Segeun; Kim, Minhyoung; Park, Hyunchul; Won Bang, Jung; Seo, Soonmin; Suh, Kahp-Yang; Sung, Yung-Eun; Choi, Mansoo

    2015-01-01

    The production of multiscale architectures is of significant interest in materials science, and the integration of those structures could provide a breakthrough for various applications. Here we report a simple yet versatile strategy that allows for the LEGO-like integrations of microscale membranes by quantitatively controlling the oxygen inhibition effects of ultraviolet-curable materials, leading to multilevel multiscale architectures. The spatial control of oxygen concentration induces different curing contrasts in a resin allowing the selective imprinting and bonding at different sides of a membrane, which enables LEGO-like integration together with the multiscale pattern formation. Utilizing the method, the multilevel multiscale Nafion membranes are prepared and applied to polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell. Our multiscale membrane fuel cell demonstrates significant enhancement of performance while ensuring mechanical robustness. The performance enhancement is caused by the combined effect of the decrease of membrane resistance and the increase of the electrochemical active surface area. PMID:26412619

  18. Dually cross-linked polymer electrolyte membranes for direct methanol fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Won Hyo; Lee, Kang Hyuck; Shin, Dong Won; Hwang, Doo Sung; Kang, Na Rae; Cho, Doo Hee; Kim, Ji Hoon; Lee, Young Moo

    2015-05-01

    End-group crosslinkable sulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone) copolymer (ESPAES) and imidazolium poly(arylene ether sulfone) copolymer (IPAES) are synthesized as a proton exchange membrane and ionic crosslinker, respectively. A novel dually cross-linked membrane (DCM) based on ESPAES is similar to an inter-penetrating network and is prepared via blending IPAES and thermal treatment for direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) applications. The synergistic effects of end-group crosslinking and ionic crosslinking improve chemical and thermal stability and mechanical properties. In addition, the DMFC performance of the DCM outperforms that of the end-group cross-linked SPAES and Nafion® 212 due to its excellent fuel barrier property in spite of relatively low proton conductivity, which is derived from the content of the non-proton conducting IPAES copolymer. Consequently, the DCM has great potential as an electrolyte membrane for DMFC applications.

  19. Further refinements in the segmented cell approach to diagnosing performance in polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bender, Guido; Wilson, Mahlon S.; Zawodzinski, Thomas A.

    Described is the most recent configuration of a segmented cell used to measure current distribution across the surface of an electrode in a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC). In this fourth generation cell design, measurement and data collection capabilities have been modified to significantly improve ease of use and quality of information obtained. The current configuration allows examination of spatial resolution of the cell current and cell voltage with respect to well-defined baseline reference measurements, as well as measurement of the high frequency resistance (HFR) distribution and spatial ac impedance spectroscopy. This specially designed cell is intended for use in studies on time and location resolved carbon monoxide poisoning, humidification and flow-field design effects on fuel cell performance.

  20. Multiplex lithography for multilevel multiscale architectures and its application to polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cho, Hyesung; Moon Kim, Sang; Sik Kang, Yun; Kim, Junsoo; Jang, Segeun; Kim, Minhyoung; Park, Hyunchul; Won Bang, Jung; Seo, Soonmin; Suh, Kahp-Yang; Sung, Yung-Eun; Choi, Mansoo

    2015-09-01

    The production of multiscale architectures is of significant interest in materials science, and the integration of those structures could provide a breakthrough for various applications. Here we report a simple yet versatile strategy that allows for the LEGO-like integrations of microscale membranes by quantitatively controlling the oxygen inhibition effects of ultraviolet-curable materials, leading to multilevel multiscale architectures. The spatial control of oxygen concentration induces different curing contrasts in a resin allowing the selective imprinting and bonding at different sides of a membrane, which enables LEGO-like integration together with the multiscale pattern formation. Utilizing the method, the multilevel multiscale Nafion membranes are prepared and applied to polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell. Our multiscale membrane fuel cell demonstrates significant enhancement of performance while ensuring mechanical robustness. The performance enhancement is caused by the combined effect of the decrease of membrane resistance and the increase of the electrochemical active surface area.

  1. Multiplex lithography for multilevel multiscale architectures and its application to polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Cho, Hyesung; Moon Kim, Sang; Sik Kang, Yun; Kim, Junsoo; Jang, Segeun; Kim, Minhyoung; Park, Hyunchul; Won Bang, Jung; Seo, Soonmin; Suh, Kahp-Yang; Sung, Yung-Eun; Choi, Mansoo

    2015-01-01

    The production of multiscale architectures is of significant interest in materials science, and the integration of those structures could provide a breakthrough for various applications. Here we report a simple yet versatile strategy that allows for the LEGO-like integrations of microscale membranes by quantitatively controlling the oxygen inhibition effects of ultraviolet-curable materials, leading to multilevel multiscale architectures. The spatial control of oxygen concentration induces different curing contrasts in a resin allowing the selective imprinting and bonding at different sides of a membrane, which enables LEGO-like integration together with the multiscale pattern formation. Utilizing the method, the multilevel multiscale Nafion membranes are prepared and applied to polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell. Our multiscale membrane fuel cell demonstrates significant enhancement of performance while ensuring mechanical robustness. The performance enhancement is caused by the combined effect of the decrease of membrane resistance and the increase of the electrochemical active surface area. PMID:26412619

  2. Prism-patterned Nafion membrane for enhanced water transport in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Sang Moon; Kang, Yun Sik; Ahn, Chiyeong; Jang, Segeun; Kim, Minhyoung; Sung, Yung-Eun; Yoo, Sung Jong; Choi, Mansoo

    2016-06-01

    Here, we report a simple and effective strategy to enhance the performance of the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell by imprinting prism-patterned arrays onto the Nafion membrane, which provides three combined effects directly related to the device performance. First, a locally thinned membrane via imprinted micro prism-structures lead to reduced membrane resistance, which is confirmed by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. Second, increments of the geometrical surface area of the prism-patterned Nafion membrane compared to a flat membrane result in the increase in the electrochemical active surface area. Third, the vertically asymmetric geometry of prism structures in the cathode catalyst layer lead to enhanced water transport, which is confirmed by oxygen gain calculation. To explain the enhanced water transport, we propose a simple theoretical model on removal of water droplets existing in the asymmetric catalyst layer. These three combined effects achieved via incorporating prism patterned arrays into the Nafion membrane effectively enhance the performance of the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell.

  3. Quantitative characterization of water transport and flooding in the diffusion layers of polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Casalegno, A.; Colombo, L.; Galbiati, S.; Marchesi, R.

    Optimization of water management in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) and in direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC) is a very important factor for the achievement of high performances and long lifetime. A good hydration of the electrolyte membrane is essential for high proton conductivity; on the contrary water in excess may lead to electrode flooding and severe reduction in performances. Many studies on water transport across the gas diffusion layer (GDL) have been carried out to improve these components; anyway efforts in this field are affected by lack of effective experimental methods. The present work reports an experimental investigation with the purpose to determine the global coefficient of water transport across different diffusion layers under real operating conditions. An appropriate and accurate experimental apparatus has been designed and built to test the single GDL under a wide range of operating conditions. Data analysis has allowed quantification of both the water vapor transport across different diffusion layers, and the effects of micro-porous layers; furthermore flooding onset and its consequences on the mass transport coefficient have been characterized by means of suitably defined parameters.

  4. High temperature mechanical properties of zirconia tapes used for electrolyte supported solid oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fleischhauer, Felix; Bermejo, Raul; Danzer, Robert; Mai, Andreas; Graule, Thomas; Kuebler, Jakob

    2015-01-01

    Solid-Oxide-Fuel-Cell systems are efficient devices to convert the chemical energy stored in fuels into electricity. The functionality of the cell is related to the structural integrity of the ceramic electrolyte, since its failure can lead to drastic performance losses. The mechanical property which is of most interest is the strength distribution at all relevant temperatures and how it is affected with time due to the environment. This study investigates the impact of the temperature on the strength and the fracture toughness of different zirconia electrolytes as well as the change of the elastic constants. 3YSZ and 6ScSZ materials are characterised regarding the influence of sub critical crack growth (SCCG) as one of the main lifetime limiting effects for ceramics at elevated temperatures. In addition, the reliability of different zirconia tapes is assessed with respect to temperature and SCCG. It was found that the strength is only influenced by temperature through the change in fracture toughness. SCCG has a large influence on the strength and the lifetime for intermediate temperature, while its impact becomes limited at temperatures higher than 650 °C. In this context the tetragonal 3YSZ and 6ScSZ behave quite different than the cubic 10Sc1CeSZ, so that at 850 °C it can be regarded as competitive compared to the tetragonal compounds.

  5. Separation and Recovery of Uranium Metal from Spent Light Water Reactor Fuel via Electrolytic Reduction and Electrorefining

    SciTech Connect

    S. D. Herrmann; S. X. Li

    2010-09-01

    A series of bench-scale experiments was performed in a hot cell at Idaho National Laboratory to demonstrate the separation and recovery of uranium metal from spent light water reactor (LWR) oxide fuel. The experiments involved crushing spent LWR fuel to particulate and separating it from its cladding. Oxide fuel particulate was then converted to metal in a series of six electrolytic reduction runs that were performed in succession with a single salt loading of molten LiCl – 1 wt% Li2O at 650 °C. Analysis of salt samples following the series of electrolytic reduction runs identified the diffusion of select fission products from the spent fuel to the molten salt electrolyte. The extents of metal oxide conversion in the post-test fuel were also quantified, including a nominal 99.7% conversion of uranium oxide to metal. Uranium metal was then separated from the reduced LWR fuel in a series of six electrorefining runs that were performed in succession with a single salt loading of molten LiCl-KCl-UCl3 at 500 °C. Analysis of salt samples following the series of electrorefining runs identified additional partitioning of fission products into the molten salt electrolyte. Analyses of the separated uranium metal were performed, and its decontamination factors were determined.

  6. A compact and highly efficient natural gas fuel processor for 1-kW residential polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Doohwan; Lee, Hyun Chul; Lee, Kang Hee; Kim, Soonho

    A compact and highly efficient natural gas fuel processor for 1-kW residential polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) has been developed at the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT). The fuel processor, referred to as SFP-2, consists of a natural gas reformer, a water-gas shift reactor, a heat-exchanger and a burner, in which the overall integrated volume including insulation is exceptionally small, namely, about 14 l. The SFP-2 produces hydrogen at 1000 l h -1 (STP) at full load with the carbon monoxide concentration in the process gas below 7000 ppmv (dry gas base). The maximum thermal efficiency is ∼78% (lower heating value) at full load and even ∼72% at 25% partial load. This fuel processor of small size with high thermal efficiency is one of the best such technologies for the above given H 2 throughputs. The time required for starting up the SFP-2 is within 20 min with the addition of external heating for the shift reactor. No additional medium, such as nitrogen, is required either for start-up or for shut down of the SFP-2, which is an advantage for application in residential PEMFC co-generations systems.

  7. Ionic conductivity studies of solid oxide fuel cell electrolytes and theoretical modeling of an entire solid oxide fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pornprasertsuk, Rojana

    Because of the steep increase in oil prices, the global warming effect and the drive for energy independence, alternative energy research has been encouraged worldwide. The sustainable fuels such as hydrogen, biofuel, natural gas, and solar energy have attracted the attention of researchers. To convert these fuels into a useful energy source, an energy conversion device is required. Fuel cells are one of the energy conversion devices which convert chemical potentials into electricity. Due to their high efficiency, the ease to scale from 1 W range to megawatts range, no recharging requirement and the lack of CO2 and NOx emission (if H2 and air/O 2 are used), fuel cells have become a potential candidate for both stationary power generators and portable applications. This thesis has been focused primarily on solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) studies due to its high efficiency, varieties of fuel choices, and no water management problem. At the present, however, practical applications of SOFCs are limited by high operating temperatures that are needed to create the necessary oxide-ion vacancy mobility in the electrolyte and to create sufficient electrode reactivities. This thesis introduces several experimental and theoretical approaches to lower losses both in the electrolyte and the electrodes. Yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) is commonly used as a solid electrolyte for SOFCs due to its high oxygen-ion conductivity. To improve the ionic conductivity for low temperature applications, an approach that involves dilating the structure by irradiation and introducing edge dislocations into the electrolyte was studied. Secondly, to understand the activation loss in SOFC, the kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC) technique was implemented to model the SOFC operation to determining the rate-limiting step due to the electrodes on different sizes of Pt catalysts. The isotope exchange depth profiling technique was employed to investigate the irradiation effect on the ionic transport in different

  8. A review of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell durability test protocols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yuan, Xiao-Zi; Li, Hui; Zhang, Shengsheng; Martin, Jonathan; Wang, Haijiang

    Durability is one of the major barriers to polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) being accepted as a commercially viable product. It is therefore important to understand their degradation phenomena and analyze degradation mechanisms from the component level to the cell and stack level so that novel component materials can be developed and novel designs for cells/stacks can be achieved to mitigate insufficient fuel cell durability. It is generally impractical and costly to operate a fuel cell under its normal conditions for several thousand hours, so accelerated test methods are preferred to facilitate rapid learning about key durability issues. Based on the US Department of Energy (DOE) and US Fuel Cell Council (USFCC) accelerated test protocols, as well as degradation tests performed by researchers and published in the literature, we review degradation test protocols at both component and cell/stack levels (driving cycles), aiming to gather the available information on accelerated test methods and degradation test protocols for PEMFCs, and thereby provide practitioners with a useful toolbox to study durability issues. These protocols help prevent the prolonged test periods and high costs associated with real lifetime tests, assess the performance and durability of PEMFC components, and ensure that the generated data can be compared.

  9. Performance modeling of the Ballard Mark IV solid polymer electrolyte fuel cell. 2: Empirical model development

    SciTech Connect

    Amphlett, J.C.; Baumert, R.M.; Mann, R.F.; Peppley, B.A.; Roberge, P.R. ); Harris, T.J. )

    1995-01-01

    A parametric model predicting the performance of a solid polymer electrolyte, proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell has been developed using a combination of mechanistic and empirical modeling techniques. This paper details the empirical analysis which yielded the parametric coefficients employed in the model. A 28 run experiment covering a range of operating currents (50 to 300 ASF), temperatures (328 to 358 K), oxygen partial pressures (0.6 to 3.1 atm abs.) and hydrogen partial pressures (2.0 to 3.1 atm abs.) was conducted. Parametric equations for the activation overvoltage and the internal resistance of the fuel cell were obtained from linear regression. The factors to be employed in the linear regression had been previously determined through a mechanistic analysis of fuel cell processes. Activation overvoltage was modeled as a function of the operating temperature, the product of operating temperature, and the logarithm of the operating current, and the product of operating temperature and the logarithm of the oxygen concentration at the catalyst reaction sites. The internal resistance of the fuel cell was modeled as a function of the operating temperature and the current. Correlation of the empirical model to experimental data was very good. It is anticipated that the mechanistic validity yielded by the coupling of mechanistic and empirical modeling techniques will also allow for accurate predictive capabilities outside of the experimental range.

  10. Performance modeling of the Ballard Mark IV solid polymer electrolyte fuel cell. 1: Mechanistic model development

    SciTech Connect

    Amphlett, J.C.; Baumert, R.M.; Mann, R.F.; Peppley, B.A.; Roberge, P.R. ); Harris, T.J. )

    1995-01-01

    A parametric model predicting the performance of a solid polymer electrolyte, proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell has been developed using a combination of mechanistic and empirical modeling techniques. This paper details the mechanistic model development. Mass transport properties are considered in the mechanistic development via Stefan-Maxwell equations. Thermodynamic equilibrium potentials are defined using the Nernst equation. Activation overvoltages are defined via a Tafel equation, and internal resistance are defined via the Nernst-Planck equation, leading to a definition of ohmic overvoltage via an Ohm's law equation. The mechanistic model cannot adequately model fuel cell performance, since several simplifying approximations have been used in order to facilitate model development. Additionally, certain properties likely to be observed in operational fuel cells, such as thermal gradients, have not been considered. Nonetheless, the insights gained from the mechanistic assessment of fuel cell processes were found to give the resulting empirical model a firmer theoretical basis than many of the models presently available in the literature. Correlation of the empirical model to actual experimental data was very good.

  11. Effects of anode flooding on the performance degradation of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Mansu; Jung, Namgee; Eom, KwangSup; Yoo, Sung Jong; Kim, Jin Young; Jang, Jong Hyun; Kim, Hyoung-Juhn; Hong, Bo Ki; Cho, EunAe

    2014-11-01

    Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) stacks in a fuel cell vehicle can be inevitably exposed to harsh environments such as cold weather in winter, causing water flooding by the direct flow of condensed water to the electrodes. In this study, anode flooding was experimentally investigated with condensed water generated by cooling the anode gas line during a long-term operation (∼1600 h). The results showed that the performance of the PEMFC was considerably degraded. After the long-term experiment, the thickness of the anode decreased, and the ratio of Pt to carbon in the anode increased. Moreover, repeated fuel starvation of the half-cell severely oxidized the carbon surface due to the high induced potential (>1.5 VRHE). The cyclic voltammogram of the anode in the half-cell experiments indicated that the characteristic feature of the oxidized carbon surface was similar to that of the anode in the single cell under anode flooding conditions during the long-term experiment. Therefore, repeated fuel starvation by anode flooding caused severe carbon corrosion in the anode because the electrode potential locally increased to >1.0 VRHE. Consequently, the density of the tri-phase boundary decreased due to the corrosion of carbons supporting the Pt nanoparticles in the anode.

  12. Solid oxide fuel cell electrolytes produced by a combination of suspension plasma spray and very low pressure plasma spray.

    SciTech Connect

    Slamovich, Elliot; Fleetwood, James; McCloskey, James F.; Hall, Aaron Christopher; Trice, Rodney Wayne

    2010-07-01

    Plasma spray coating techniques allow unique control of electrolyte microstructures and properties as well as facilitating deposition on complex surfaces. This can enable significantly improved solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), including non-planar designs. SOFCs are promising because they directly convert the oxidization of fuel into electrical energy. However, electrolytes deposited using conventional plasma spray are porous and often greater than 50 microns thick. One solution to form dense, thin electrolytes of ideal composition for SOFCs is to combine suspension plasma spray (SPS) with very low pressure plasma spray (VLPPS). Increased compositional control is achieved due to dissolved dopant compounds in the suspension that are incorporated into the coating during plasma spraying. Thus, it is possible to change the chemistry of the feed stock during deposition. In the work reported, suspensions of sub-micron diameter 8 mol.% Y2O3-ZrO2 (YSZ) powders were sprayed on NiO-YSZ anodes at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) Thermal Spray Research Laboratory (TSRL). These coatings were compared to the same suspensions doped with scandium nitrate at 3 to 8 mol%. The pressure in the chamber was 2.4 torr and the plasma was formed from a combination of argon and hydrogen gases. The resultant electrolytes were well adhered to the anode substrates and were approximately 10 microns thick. The microstructure of the resultant electrolytes will be reported as well as the electrolyte performance as part of a SOFC system via potentiodynamic testing and impedance spectroscopy.

  13. Yttria-stabilized zirconia solid oxide electrolyte fuel cells, monolithic solid oxide fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1989-01-01

    The MSOFC features of thin ceramic components, small cell size, and 1000{degree}C operating temperature combine to provide very high power densities of about 8 kW/kg or 4 kW/L for the MSOFC (fuel cell only, coflow version). This very high power density coupled with expected efficiencies of over 50 percent offers the possibility of successful competition with existing electrical generation systems. The ability of the MSOFC to reform hydrocarbon fuels within the fuel channels allows existing fuels and fuel distribution methods to be used with minor modifications for most applications. The power density of the MSOFC is high enough to meet the demands of many diverse applications such as aerospace, transportation, portable power systems, and micro-cogeneration systems, as well as more conventional utilities systems. The primary development challenge is to fabricate the MSOFC structure by co-sintering all four fuel cell materials into the corrugated honeycomb'' structure (stack). The objectives of the cost study are: To assess the manufacturing cost for the MSOFC assuming a nominal production rate of 200 MW/year for coal-based system applications. To define an integrated coal gasification MSOFC system with a potential for reducing plant heat rate and capital costs below 7,100 BTU/kWh and $1,300/kW, respectively.

  14. 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.

  15. SrCo(0.9)Ti(0.1)O(3-δ) As a New Electrocatalyst for the Oxygen Evolution Reaction in Alkaline Electrolyte with Stable Performance.

    PubMed

    Su, Chao; Wang, Wei; Chen, Yubo; Yang, Guangming; Xu, Xiaomin; Tadé, Moses O; Shao, Zongping

    2015-08-19

    The development of efficient, inexpensive, and stable electrocatalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) is critical for many electrochemical energy conversion technologies. The prohibitive price and insufficient stability of the state-of-the-art IrO2 electrocatalyst for the OER inhibits its use in practical devices. Here, SrM0.9Ti0.1O3-δ (M = Co, Fe) perovskites with different B-site transition metal elements were investigated as potentially cheaper OER electrocatalysts. They were prepared through a typical sol-gel route, and their catalytic activities for the OER in alkaline medium were comparatively studied using rotating disk electrodes. Both materials show high initial intrinsic activities in alkaline electrolyte for the OER, comparable to the benchmark perovskite-type electrocatalyst Ba0.5Sr0.5Co0.8Fe0.2O3-δ (BSCF), but SrCo0.9Ti0.1O3-δ (SCT) possessed more operational stability than SrFe0.9Ti0.1O3-δ (SFT), even better than BSCF and IrO2 catalysts. Based on the X-ray photoelectron spectra analysis of the oxidation states of the surface Co/Fe in both SFT and SCT before and after the OER tests, an explanation for their different operational stabilities was proposed by adopting a reported activity descriptor correlated to the eg occupancy of the 3d electron of the surface transition metal cations in the perovskite oxides. The above results indicate that SCT is a promising alternative electrocatalyst for the OER and can be used in electrochemical devices for water oxidation. PMID:26222739

  16. Fabrication of thin yttria-stabilized-zirconia dense electrolyte layers by inkjet printing for high performing solid oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esposito, Vincenzo; Gadea, Christophe; Hjelm, Johan; Marani, Debora; Hu, Qiang; Agersted, Karsten; Ramousse, Severine; Jensen, Søren Højgaard

    2015-01-01

    In this work, we present how a low-cost HP Deskjet 1000 inkjet printer was used to fabricate a 1.2 μm thin, dense and gas tight 16 cm2 solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) electrolyte. The electrolyte was printed using an ink made of highly diluted (<4 vol.%) nanometric yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) powders (50 nm in size) in an aqueous medium. The ink was designed to be a highly dispersed, long term stable colloidal suspension, with optimal printability characteristics. The electrolyte was made by a multiple printing procedure, which ensures coverage of the several flaws occurring in a single printing pass. Together with an optimized sintering procedure this resulted in good adhesion and densification of the electrolyte. The SOFC exhibited a close-to-theoretical open circuit voltage and a remarkable peak power density above 1.5 W cm-2 at 800 °C.

  17. High performance of SDC and GDC core shell type composite electrolytes using methane as a fuel for low temperature SOFC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Irshad, Muneeb; Siraj, Khurram; Raza, Rizwan; Javed, Fayyaz; Ahsan, Muhammad; Shakir, Imran; Rafique, Muhammad Shahid

    2016-02-01

    Nanocomposites Samarium doped Ceria (SDC), Gadolinium doped Ceria (GDC), core shell SDC amorphous Na2CO3 (SDCC) and GDC amorphous Na2CO3 (GDCC) were synthesized using co-precipitation method and then compared to obtain better solid oxide electrolytes materials for low temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFCs). The comparison is done in terms of structure, crystallanity, thermal stability, conductivity and cell performance. In present work, XRD analysis confirmed proper doping of Sm and Gd in both single phase (SDC, GDC) and dual phase core shell (SDCC, GDCC) electrolyte materials. EDX analysis validated the presence of Sm and Gd in both single and dual phase electrolyte materials; also confirming the presence of amorphous Na2CO3 in SDCC and GDCC. From TGA analysis a steep weight loss is observed in case of SDCC and GDCC when temperature rises above 725 °C while SDC and GDC do not show any loss. The ionic conductivity and cell performance of single phase SDC and GDC nanocomposite were compared with core shell GDC/amorphous Na2CO3 and SDC/ amorphous Na2CO3 nanocomposites using methane fuel. It is observed that dual phase core shell electrolytes materials (SDCC, GDCC) show better performance in low temperature range than their corresponding single phase electrolyte materials (SDC, GDC) with methane fuel.

  18. Evaluation of electricity production from alkaline pretreated sludge using two-chamber microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Benyi; Yang, Fang; Liu, Junxin

    2013-06-15

    Electricity production from alkaline pretreated sludge was evaluated using a two-chamber microbial fuel cell (MFC). The electricity production was found to be stable over a long period of time (approximately 17 d) with voltage outputs and power densities of 0.47-0.52 V and 46.80-55.88 mW/m(2), respectively. The anode resistance was the main internal resistance (73.2%) of MFC in the stable stage. Most soluble organic matters (proteins and carbohydrates) in the anode chamber were first degraded and converted into volatile fatty acids (0-15 d), which were then degraded and converted into electricity and methane (15-29 d). The insoluble organics were solubilized thereby decreasing the sludge concentration and reducing the sludge mass. Methane was produced in the anode chamber owing to the growth of methanogens, which did not obviously affect the electricity production. The change in humic-like substances displayed a positive correlation with the electricity production of the MFC. Microbial analysis showed that methanogens and electricity-producing bacteria co-existed mostly on the surface as well as inside the anode. Decreasing the anode resistance and increasing the anode utilization could enhance the electricity production. PMID:23583949

  19. Influence of Hydration Level on Polymer and Water Dynamics in Alkaline Anion Exchange Fuel Cell Membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarver, Jacob; Kim, Jenny; Tyagi, Madhu; Soles, Christopher; Tsai, Tsung-Han; Coughlin, Bryan

    2015-03-01

    Triblock copolymers based on poly(chloromethylstyrene)-b-poly(ethylene)-b-poly(chloromethylstyrene) can be quaternized to different extents to yield anion exchange membranes for alkaline fuel cells. In the absence of moisture, these membranes demonstrate bilayer lamellar morphology. Upon high levels of hydration, however, in-situ small angle neutron scattering reveals the emergence of higher-order diffraction peaks. This phenomena has previously been observed in analogous diblock copolymer-based membranes and has been attributed to the induction of a multilayer lamellar morphology in which selective striping of water occurs in the center of the ion-rich domain. By conducting humidity-resolved quasielastic neutron scattering (QENS) measurements using deuterated water, we are able to isolate differences in the pico- to nanosecond timescale dynamics of the hydrogenated membrane upon hydration. QENS measurements in the presence of a hydrogenated water source subsequently permit deconvolution and isolation of the translational and rotational dynamics of water as a function of relative humidity, revealing spatial and temporal changes in polymer and water motion at high levels of hydration.

  20. Life cycle assessment of gas atomised sponge nickel for use in alkaline hydrogen fuel cell applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, Benjamin P.; Lavery, Nicholas P.; Jarvis, David J.; Anttila, Tomi; Rantanen, Jyri; Brown, Stephen G. R.; Adkins, Nicholas J.

    2013-12-01

    This paper presents a cradle-to-grave comparative Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of new gas atomised (GA) sponge nickel catalysts and evaluates their performance against the both cast and crush (CC) sponge nickel and platinum standards currently used in commercial alkaline fuel cells (AFC). The LCA takes into account the energy used and emissions throughout the entire life cycle of sponge nickel catalysts - ranging from the upstream production of materials (mainly aluminium and nickel), to the manufacturing, to the operation and finally to the recycling and disposal. Through this assessment it was found that the energy and emissions during the operational phase associated with a given catalyst considerably outweigh the primary production, manufacturing and recycling. Primary production of the nickel (and to a lesser extent dopant materials) also has a significant environmental impact but this is offset by operational energy savings over the electrode's estimated lifetime and end of life recyclability. From the results it can be concluded that higher activity spongy nickel catalysts produced by gas atomisation could have a significantly lower environmental impact than either CC nickel or platinum. Doped GA sponge nickel in particular showed comparable performance to that of the standard platinum electrode used in AFCs.

  1. Electrocatalytic conversion of CO2 to produce solar fuels in electrolyte or electrolyte-less configurations of PEC cells.

    PubMed

    Ampelli, C; Genovese, C; Marepally, B C; Papanikolaou, G; Perathoner, S; Centi, G

    2015-01-01

    The electrocatalytic reduction of CO2 is studied on a series of electrodes (based on Cu, Co, Fe and Pt metal nanoparticles deposited on carbon nanotubes or carbon black and then placed at the interface between a Nafion membrane and a gas-diffusion-layer electrode) on two types of cells: one operating in the presence of a liquid bulk electrolyte and the other in the absence of the electrolyte (electrolyte-less conditions). The results evidence how the latter conditions allow productivity of about one order of magnitude higher and how to change the type of products formed. Under electrolyte-less conditions, the formation of >C2 products such as acetone and isopropanol is observed, but not in liquid-phase cell operations on the same electrodes. The relative order of productivity in CO2 electrocatalytic reduction in the series of electrodes investigated is also different between the two types of cells. The implications of these results in terms of possible differences in the reaction mechanism are commented on, as well as in terms of the design of photoelectrocatalytic (PEC) solar cells. PMID:26392133

  2. Preparation method of ultra low platinum loading electrodes for polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Fukuoka, Yuko; Uchida, Makoto; Sugawara, Yasushi

    1996-12-31

    Polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) necessitates platinum (Pt) catalyst for its operating temperature. It is important to enhance the utilization of Pt for the cost. The reaction sites exist on the Pt Surface covered with perfluorosulfonate ionomer (PFSI) in PEFC. PFSI solution was usually impregnated into the catalyst layers to increase the contact areas. We proposed a preparation method of the M&E assembly which emphasized the colloid formation of the PFSI to optimize the network of PFSIs in the catalyst layer. After this work, we focused on the microstructure of the catalyst layer. We recently reported that the PFSI was distributed only in the pores formed between the agglomerates, and the reaction sites were therefore limited to that area. The results indicated that the PEFC system required a particular design compared with a conventional one with liquid electrolytes. We proposed novel structure and/or preparation methods of the catalyst layer to be key issues to get higher Pt utilization. We studied the effect of the carbon support on the cell performance. The performance was improved by an optimal carbon support: that has (i) a larger pore volume (0.04 to 1.0 {mu}m in diameter) able to be distributed the PFSI and (ii) smaller pore volume (< 8 nm in diameter) on the surface of the carbon primary particles. We report here the high dispersion method of the PFSI colloid to lower Pt loading with optimal carbon support.

  3. Performance and degradation of high temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cell catalysts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aricò, A. S.; Stassi, A.; Modica, E.; Ornelas, R.; Gatto, I.; Passalacqua, E.; Antonucci, V.

    An investigation of carbon-supported Pt/C and PtCo/C catalysts was carried out with the aim to evaluate their stability under high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) operation. Carbon-supported nanosized Pt and PtCo particles with a mean particle size between 1.5 nm and 3 nm were prepared by using a colloidal route. A suitable degree of alloying was obtained for the PtCo catalyst by using a carbothermal reduction. The catalyst stability was investigated to understand the influence of carbon black corrosion, platinum dissolution and sintering in gas-fed sulphuric acid electrolyte half-cell at 75 °C and in PEMFC at 130 °C. Electrochemical active surface area and catalyst performance were determined in PEMFC at 80 °C and 130 °C. A maximum power density of about 700 mW cm -2 at 130 °C and 3 bar abs. O 2 pressure with 0.3 mg Pt cm -2 loading was achieved. The PtCo alloy showed a better stability than Pt in sulphuric acid after cycling; yet, the PtCo/C catalyst showed a degradation after the carbon corrosion test. The PtCo/C catalyst showed smaller sintering effects than Pt/C after accelerated degradation tests in PEMFC at 130 °C.

  4. Theoretical studies on membranes and non-platinum catalysts for polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ushiyama, Hiroshi

    2015-12-01

    Mechanism of proton transfer among high-density acid groups in the interface between organic and inorganic materials for polymer electrolyte fuel cells has been theoretically examined. It has been clearly shown that the interactions between the phosphate groups at the surface of the inorganic material, zirconium phosphate (ZrP), and the adsorbed water molecules are relatively large and a strong hydrogen-bond network is generated locally. Because of the strong interactions, water molecules can be attached to ZrP and the O-O distance becomes shorter than that in bulk water systems. Because of the short O-O distances and the delocalized charge of each atom, the activation energy of proton transfer at the ZrP surface decreases and causes high proton conductivity even under conditions of high temperature and low humidity. Based on the above studies, the origin of the high proton conductivity of hybrid electrolytes is also discussed. We will also discuss the mechanism of oxygen reduction reaction on non-platinum catalysts such as Ta3N5.

  5. High performance Bi-layered electrolytes via atomic layer deposition for solid oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jee, Youngseok; Cho, Gu Young; An, Jihwan; Kim, Hae-Ryoung; Son, Ji-Won; Lee, Jong-Ho; Prinz, Fritz B.; Lee, Min Hwan; Cha, Suk Won

    2014-05-01

    This study investigates the functionality of bi-layered electrolytes in intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells. A thin yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) layer is expected to protect the underlying gadolinia doped ceria (GDC) electrolyte from being chemically reduced and significantly improve cell stability and durability. Although a thinner YSZ layer is preferable to minimize ohmic loss, there are limitations as to how thin the YSZ film can be and still serves as a valid protection layer. The limitation is partially attributed to the inter-diffusion and significant morphological changes during the high temperature sintering processes. In this study, a stable operation was demonstrated for extended duration (>80 h) with only a 28 nm YSZ layer (corresponding to a YSZ/GDC thickness ratio of 6.5 × 10-5) when limitations in both fabrication (<∼800 °C) and operating conditions (<∼600 °C, dry H2) were imposed. Furthermore, the functionality of a protection layer with a given thickness was found to strongly depend on the method of depositing the protective layer. Protective layers deposited by atomic layer deposition (ALD) can be much thinner than those prepared by physical vapor deposition; the YSZ/GDC thickness ratio for a stable operation approached close to a theoretical value when the ALD was used.

  6. Theoretical studies on membranes and non-platinum catalysts for polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Ushiyama, Hiroshi

    2015-12-31

    Mechanism of proton transfer among high-density acid groups in the interface between organic and inorganic materials for polymer electrolyte fuel cells has been theoretically examined. It has been clearly shown that the interactions between the phosphate groups at the surface of the inorganic material, zirconium phosphate (ZrP), and the adsorbed water molecules are relatively large and a strong hydrogen-bond network is generated locally. Because of the strong interactions, water molecules can be attached to ZrP and the O–O distance becomes shorter than that in bulk water systems. Because of the short O–O distances and the delocalized charge of each atom, the activation energy of proton transfer at the ZrP surface decreases and causes high proton conductivity even under conditions of high temperature and low humidity. Based on the above studies, the origin of the high proton conductivity of hybrid electrolytes is also discussed. We will also discuss the mechanism of oxygen reduction reaction on non-platinum catalysts such as Ta{sub 3}N{sub 5}.

  7. Morphology studies on high-temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell electrodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mack, Florian; Klages, Merle; Scholta, Joachim; Jörissen, Ludwig; Morawietz, Tobias; Hiesgen, Renate; Kramer, Dominik; Zeis, Roswitha

    2014-06-01

    The electrode morphology influences the properties and performance of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC). Here we report our studies of two different electrodes for high-temperature PEMFC prepared by spraying and coating and their impact on the fuel cell performance. Differences in 3D microstructure and adhesion between catalyst layer and gas diffusion layer (GDL) of the electrodes were studied with X-ray microtomography. Scanning electrode microscope investigations show hairline cracks between agglomerates on the surface of the sprayed electrode, whereas the coated electrode shows a network of shrinkage cracks in the catalyst layer. The distribution of the electrode binder polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is related to the locally resolved conductivity, which was determined by scanning the electrode surfaces with a conductive atomic force microscopy (AFM) tip. The macrostructures of the sprayed and coated electrodes are different but contain similar pore structures. The coated electrode has a higher PTFE concentration on the top region, which tends to form a nonconductive and less wettable "skin" on the electrode surface and delays the start-up of the fuel cell. In contrast to low-temperature PEMFC, the electrode morphology has only a minor impact on the steady-state cell performance of high-temperature PEMFC.

  8. Low-Cost Composite Materials for Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Bipolar Plates

    SciTech Connect

    Busick, D.N.; Wilson, M.S.

    1998-11-01

    Polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCS) are under widespread development to produce electrical power for a variety of stationary and transportation applications. To date, the bipolar plate remains the most problematic and costly component of PEFC stacks (1). In addition to meeting cost constraints, bipolar plates must possess a host of other properties, the most important of which are listed in Table 1. The most commonly used material for single cell testing is machined graphite, which is expensive and costly to machine. The brittle nature of graphite also precludes the use of thin components for reducing stack size and weight, which is particularly important for transportation applications. Other stack designs consider the use of metal hardware such as stainless steel (2,3). But a number of disadvantages are associated with stainless steel, including high density, high cost of machining, and possible corrosion in the fuel cell environment. In light of these difficulties, much of the recent work on fuel cell bipolar plate materials has concentrated on graphite/polymer composites (4--8). Composite materials offer the potential advantages of lower cost, lower weight, and greater ease of manufacture than traditional graphite and metal plates. For instance, flow fields can be molded directly into these composites, thereby eliminating the costly and difficult machining step required for graphite or metal hardware.

  9. Effect of catalyst layer defects on local membrane degradation in polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tavassoli, Arash; Lim, Chan; Kolodziej, Joanna; Lauritzen, Michael; Knights, Shanna; Wang, G. Gary; Kjeang, Erik

    2016-08-01

    Aiming at durability issues of fuel cells, this research is dedicated to a novel experimental approach in the analysis of local membrane degradation phenomena in polymer electrolyte fuel cells, shedding light on the potential effects of manufacturing imperfections on this process. With a comprehensive review on historical failure analysis data from field operated fuel cells, local sources of iron oxide contaminants, catalyst layer cracks, and catalyst layer delamination are considered as potential candidates for initiating or accelerating the local membrane degradation phenomena. Customized membrane electrode assemblies with artificial defects are designed, fabricated, and subjected to membrane accelerated stress tests followed by extensive post-mortem analysis. The results reveal a significant accelerating effect of iron oxide contamination on the global chemical degradation of the membrane, but dismiss local traces of iron oxide as a potential stressor for local membrane degradation. Anode and cathode catalyst layer cracks are observed to have negligible impact on the membrane degradation phenomena. Notably however, distinct evidence is found that anode catalyst layer delamination can accelerate local membrane thinning, while cathode delamination has no apparent effect. Moreover, a substantial mitigating effect for platinum residuals on the site of delamination is observed.

  10. Flooding of the diffusion layer in a polymer electrolyte fuel cell: Experimental and modelling analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Casalegno, A.; Bresciani, F.; Groppi, G.; Marchesi, R.

    Water management is widely investigated because it affects both the performance and the lifetime of polymer electrolyte fuel cells. Membrane hydration is necessary to ensure the high proton conductivity, but too much water can cause flooding and pore obstruction within the cathode gas diffusion layer and the electrode. Experimental studies prove that the characteristics of the diffusion layer have great influence on water transport; the introduction of a micro-porous layer between the gas diffusion layer and the electrode reduces flooding and stabilizes the performance of the fuel cell, although the reason is not fully explained. A quantitative method to characterize water transport through the diffusion layers was proposed in our previous work, and the present work aims to further understand the flooding phenomenon and the role of the micro-porous layer. The improved experimental setup and methodology allow an accurate and reliable evaluation of water transport through the diffusion layer in a wide range of operating conditions. The proposed 1D + 1D model faithfully reproduces the experimental data adopting effective diffusivity values in agreement with literature. The presented experimental and modelling analysis allows us to evaluate the influence of pore obstruction on the effective diffusivity, the overall transport coefficient and water flow through the diffusion layer, elucidating the effect of the micro-porous layer on fuel cell performance and operation stability.

  11. Methods for using novel cathode and electrolyte materials for solid oxide fuel cells and ion transport membranes

    DOEpatents

    Jacobson, Allan J.; Wang, Shuangyan; Kim, Gun Tae

    2016-01-12

    Methods using novel cathode, electrolyte and oxygen separation materials operating at intermediate temperatures for use in solid oxide fuel cells and ion transport membranes include oxides with perovskite related structures and an ordered arrangement of A site cations. The materials have significantly faster oxygen kinetics than in corresponding disordered perovskites.

  12. Analyzing the electrooxidation of ethylene glycol and glucose over platinum-modified gold electrocatalysts in alkaline electrolyte using in-situ infrared spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahoney, Elizabeth G.; Sheng, Wenchao; Cheng, Mei; Lee, Kevin X.; Yan, Yushan; Chen, Jingguang G.

    2016-02-01

    Platinum modified gold (Pt/Au) catalysts are evaluated for the electrooxidation of ethylene glycol (EG) and glucose (Glc). The Pt/Au catalysts are synthesized on an Au disk and supported Au/C particles through the galvanic displacement of a copper monolayer with Pt. The Pt/Au catalysts are compared to monometallic Pt and Au catalysts for the oxidation of EG and Glc in alkaline electrolyte. The Pt/Au disk has an onset potential for these reactions that is similar to Pt and is lower than Au. The supported catalysts are less active toward the electrooxidation of EG and Glc than the corresponding disk electrodes, but the Pt/Au/C also has an onset potential similar to Pt/C. In-situ FTIR is used to analyze the C-C bond scission in both reactions on the surfaces of Pt, Au, and Pt/Au disks. While the Pt/Au disk is found to have a low onset potential for the oxidation of EG, it does not produce as much CO2 as bulk Pt. On the other hand, the FTIR results show that CO2 is produced for the oxidation of Glc on the Pt/Au disk. These results show promise for the possibility of decreasing the amount of Pt needed for the electrooxidation of polyol molecules.

  13. Distributed effects of calcium ion contaminant on polymer electrolyte fuel cell performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uddin, Md Aman; Wang, Xiaofeng; Park, Jaehyung; Pasaogullari, Ugur; Bonville, Leonard

    2015-11-01

    Distributed performance of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) is studied both in galvanostatic and potentiostatic mode during in-situ injection of Ca2+ in the air stream using a segmented cell. In the galvanostatic mode, segments near the inlet are affected first by the contaminant resulting in decreased current density. At the same time, despite the presence of contaminants, current density for the other segments increases in order to maintain constant total current. In the potentiostatic mode, all segments are affected by the contaminants simultaneously and the current density in all segments decreases with time. The performance of the downstream segments is lower than the upstream segments. During both tests, the contaminant is found to precipitate on both the cathode flow field and the cathode GDL surface. As the test progresses, the contaminant penetrates into the GDL and deposits, causing mass transport losses.

  14. Energy balance affected by electrolyte recirculation and operating modes in microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, Kyle S; Kelly, Patrick T; He, Zhen

    2015-03-01

    Energy recovery and consumption in a microbial fuel cell (MFC) can be significantly affected by the operating conditions. This study investigated the effects of electrolyte recirculation and operation mode (continuous vs sequence batch reactor) on the energy balance in a tubular MFC. It was found that decreasing the anolyte recirculation also decreased the energy recovery. Because of the open environment of the cathode electrode, the catholyte recirculation consumed 10 to 50 times more energy than the anolyte recirculation, and resulted in negative energy balances despite the reduction of the anolyte recirculation. Reducing the catholyte recirculation to 20% led to a positive energy balance of 0.0288 kWh m(-3). The MFC operated as a sequence batch reactor generated less energy and had a lower energy balance than the one with continuous operation. Those results encourage the further development of MFC technology to achieve neutral or even positive energy output. PMID:25842536

  15. Hydrogenase-based nanomaterials as anode electrode catalyst in polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsuda, Muneyuki; Diño, Wilson Agerico; Kasai, Hideaki

    2005-03-01

    We consider hydrogenase-based nanomaterials for possible use as anode electrode catalysts in polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs). We choose Fe-only hydrogenase component of Desulfovibrio desulfuricans (DdHase) as a hydrogenase complex, and investigate its catalytic activity for H 2 dissociation using ab initio calculations based on density functional theory (DFT). We found two possible H-H bond cleavage pathways, which are heterolytic and possess low activation barriers. Moreover, the H 2 dissociation can be promoted by inducing spin polarization of the H 2 adduct. We report that hydrogenase or hydrogenase-based nanomaterials can manipulate to exhibit the catalytic activity equivalent to the well-known platinum catalyst.

  16. Radiation Effects on Platinum Nanostructured Electrocatalysts for Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cemmi, A.; Paoletti, C.; Pozio, A.; Baccaro, S.; Giorgi, L.; Serra, E.

    2008-06-01

    Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells (PEFCs) offer low weight and high power density and are being considered for automotive and stationary power production besides space and electronic applications. In this work, gamma radiation effects on carbon materials (carbon powder and multiwalled carbon nanotubes) used as substrates in PEFCs electrodes, were studied. The enhancing of free radicals formation (especially on carbon powder) was observed and studied by EPR spectroscopy. This evidence leads to a significant activation of carbon materials because paramagnetic sites represent the preferential position for platinum electrocatalyst nucleation. Galvanostatic techniques were applied to deposits platinum nanoparticles on carbon substrates while FEG-SEM characterization and cyclic voltammetry (CV) were carried out to study the morphology and the electrochemical performances of PEFCs electrodes.

  17. Improved electrochemical in-situ characterization of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell stacks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hartung, I.; Kirsch, S.; Zihrul, P.; Müller, O.; von Unwerth, T.

    2016-03-01

    In-situ diagnostics for single polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells are well known and established. Comparable stack level techniques are urgently needed to enhance the understanding of degradation during real system operation, but have not yet reached a similar level of sophistication. We have therefore developed a new method for the quantification of the hydrogen crossover current in stacks, which in combination with a previously published technique now allows a clear quantitative characterization of the individual cells' membranes and electrodes. The limits of the reported methods are theoretically assessed and application is then demonstrated on automotive short stacks. The results prove to be highly reproducible and are validated for individual cells of the respective stacks by direct comparison with cyclic voltammetry results, showing good quantitative agreement for the hydrogen crossover current, the double layer capacitance and the electrochemically active surface area.

  18. A Review of Molecular-Level Mechanism of Membrane Degradation in the Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell

    PubMed Central

    Ishimoto, Takayoshi; Koyama, Michihisa

    2012-01-01

    Chemical degradation of perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) membrane is one of the most serious problems for stable and long-term operations of the polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC). The chemical degradation is caused by the chemical reaction between the PFSA membrane and chemical species such as free radicals. Although chemical degradation of the PFSA membrane has been studied by various experimental techniques, the mechanism of chemical degradation relies much on speculations from ex-situ observations. Recent activities applying theoretical methods such as density functional theory, in situ experimental observation, and mechanistic study by using simplified model compound systems have led to gradual clarification of the atomistic details of the chemical degradation mechanism. In this review paper, we summarize recent reports on the chemical degradation mechanism of the PFSA membrane from an atomistic point of view. PMID:24958288

  19. Nanostructured Gd-CeO2 electrolyte for solid oxide fuel cell by aqueous tape casting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akbari-Fakhrabadi, A.; Mangalaraja, R. V.; Sanhueza, Felipe A.; Avila, Ricardo E.; Ananthakumar, S.; Chan, S. H.

    2012-11-01

    Gadolinia-doped ceria (Ce0.9Gd0.1O1.95, GDC) electrolyte was fabricated by aqueous-based tape casting method for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). The ceramic powder prepared by combustion synthesis was used with poly acrylic acid (PAA), poly vinyl alcohol (PVA), poly ethylene glycol (PEG), Octanol, 2,4,7,9-tetramethyl-5-decyne-4,7-diol ethoxylate and double distilled water as dispersant, binder, plasticizer, defoamer, surfactant and solvent respectively, to prepare stable GDC slurry. The conditions for preparing stable GDC slurries were studied and optimized by sedimentation, zeta potential and viscosity measurements. Green tapes with smooth surface, flexibility, thickness in the range of 0.35-0.4 mm and 45% relative green density were prepared. Conventional and flash sintering techniques were used and compared for densification which demonstrated the possibility of surpassing sintering at high temperatures and retarding related grain growth.

  20. Controlling gas diffusion layer oxidation by homogeneous hydrophobic coating for polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hiramitsu, Yusuke; Sato, Hitoshi; Kobayashi, Kenji; Hori, Michio

    Reduced production costs and enhanced durability are necessary for practical application of polymer electrolyte fuel cells. There has been a great deal of concern about degradation of the gas diffusion layer located outside the membrane electrode assembly. However, very few studies have been carried out on the degradation process, and no suitable methods for improving the durability of the cell have been found. In this work, the influence on the cell performance and factors involved in the degradation of the gas diffusion layer has been clarified through power generation tests. Long-term power generation tests on single cells for 6000 h were carried out under high humidity conditions with homogeneous and inhomogeneous hydrophobic coating gas diffusion layers. The results showed that the increase in the diffusion overvoltage from the gas diffusion layer could be controlled by the use of a homogeneous coating. Post-analyses indicated that this occurred by controlling oxidation of the carbon fiber.

  1. Mesoscopic modeling of liquid water transport in polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Mukherjee, Partha P; Wang, Chao Yang

    2008-01-01

    A key performance limitation in polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFC), manifested in terms of mass transport loss, originates from liquid water transport and resulting flooding phenomena in the constituent components. Liquid water leads to the coverage of the electrochemically active sites in the catalyst layer (CL) rendering reduced catalytic activity and blockage of the available pore space in the porous CL and fibrous gas diffusion layer (GDL) resulting in hindered oxygen transport to the active reaction sites. The cathode CL and the GDL therefore playa major role in the mass transport loss and hence in the water management of a PEFC. In this article, we present the development of a mesoscopic modeling formalism coupled with realistic microstructural delineation to study the profound influence of the pore structure and surface wettability on liquid water transport and interfacial dynamics in the PEFC catalyst layer and gas diffusion layer.

  2. Metallic plate corrosion and uptake of corrosion products by nafion in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Bozzini, Benedetto; Gianoncelli, Alessandra; Kaulich, Burkhard; Kiskinova, Maya; Prasciolu, Mauro; Sgura, Ivonne

    2010-07-19

    Nafion contamination by ferrous-alloy corrosion products, resulting in dramatic drops of the Ohmic potential, is a suspected major failure mode of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells that make use of metallic bipolar plates. This study demonstrates the potential of scanning transmission X-ray microscopy combined with X-ray absorption and fluorescence microspectroscopy for exploring corrosion processes of Ni and Fe electrodes in contact with a hydrated Nafion film in a thin-layer cell. The imaged morphology changes of the Ni and Fe electrodes and surrounding Nafion film that result from relevant electrochemical processes are correlated to the spatial distribution, local concentration, and chemical state of Fe and Ni species. The X-ray fluorescence maps and absorption spectra, sampled at different locations, show diffusion of corrosion products within the Nafion film only in the case of the Fe electrodes, whereas the Ni electrodes appear corrosion resistant. PMID:20564283

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fowler, Michael William

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

  4. Americium/Lanthanide Separations in Alkaline Solutions for Advanced Nuclear Fuel Cycles

    SciTech Connect

    Goff, George S.; Long, Kristy Marie; Reilly, Sean D.; Jarvinen, Gordon D.; Runde, Wolfgang H.

    2012-06-11

    Project goals: Can used nuclear fuel be partitioned by dissolution in alkaline aqueous solution to give a solution of uranium, neptunium, plutonium, americium and curium and a filterable solid containing nearly all of the lanthanide fission products and certain other fission products? What is the chemistry of Am/Cm/Ln in oxidative carbonate solutions? Can higher oxidation states of Am be stabilized and exploited? Conclusions: Am(VI) is kinetically stable in 0.5-2.0 M carbonate solutions for hours. Aliquat 336 in toluene has been successfully shown to extract U(VI) and Pu(VI) from carbonate solutions. (Stepanov et al 2011). Higher carbonate concentration gives lower D, SF{sub U/Eu} for = 4 in 1 M K{sub 2}CO{sub 3}. Experiments with Am(VI) were unsuccessful due to reduction by the organics. Multiple sources of reducing organics...more optimization. Reduction experiments of Am(VI) in dodecane/octanol/Aliquat 336 show that after 5 minutes of contact, only 30-40% of the Am(VI) has been reduced. Long enough to perform an extraction. Shorter contact times, lower T, and lower Aliquat 336 concentration still did not result in any significant extraction of Am. Anion exchange experiments using a strong base anion exchanger show uptake of U(VI) with minimal uptake of Nd(III). Experiments with Am(VI) indicate Am sorption with a Kd of 9 (10 minute contact) but sorption mechanism is not yet understood. SF{sub U/Nd} for = 7 and SF{sub U/Eu} for = 19 after 24 hours in 1 M K{sub 2}CO{sub 3}.

  5. Determination of optimum electrolyte composition for molten carbonate fuel cells. Quarterly technical progress report, January--March 1987

    SciTech Connect

    Yuh, C.Y.; Pigeaud, A.

    1987-12-31

    The objective of this study is to determine the optimum electrolyte composition for molten carbonate fuel cells. To accomplish this, the contractor will provide: (1) Comprehensive reports of on-going efforts to optimize carbonate composition. (2) A list of characteristics affected by electrolyte composition variations (e.g. ionic conductivity, vapor pressure, melting range, gas solubility, exchange current densities on NiO, corrosion and cathode dissolution effects). (3) Assessment of the overall effects that these characteristics have state-of-the-art cell voltage and lifetime.

  6. Applications of ceramic electrolytes and electrodes in the beta battery and solid oxide fuel cell: Current assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Gordon, R.S.; Fischer, W.; Virkar, A.V.

    1996-12-31

    The use of ceramics as electrolytes, electrodes, cell interconnects and other structural components will be reviewed for two advanced electrochemical systems: (1) the beta battery for electric vehicle and utility load leveling applications and (2) the solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) for power generation. Specific attention will be given to the processing and properties of the beta{double_prime}-alumina ceramic electrolyte, the heart of the beta battery, and stabilized zirconia, the key element in the SOFC. Thin film component fabrication, as an approach to lowering the operational temperature of the SOFC, will be discussed. The current state of development of these two electro-chemical systems will be assessed.

  7. Adsorption behavior of low concentration carbon monoxide on polymer electrolyte fuel cell anodes for automotive applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsuda, Yoshiyuki; Shimizu, Takahiro; Mitsushima, Shigenori

    2016-06-01

    The adsorption behavior of CO on the anode around the concentration of 0.2 ppm allowed by ISO 14687-2 is investigated in polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs). CO and CO2 concentrations in the anode exhaust are measured during the operation of a JARI standard single cell at 60 °C cell temperature and 1000 mA cm-2 current density. CO coverage is estimated from the gas analysis and CO stripping voltammetry. The cell voltage decrease as a result of 0.2 ppm CO is 29 mV and the CO coverage is 0.6 at the steady state with 0.11 mg cm-2 of anode platinum loading. The CO coverage as a function of CO concentration approximately follows a Temkin-type isotherm. Oxygen permeated to the anode through a membrane is also measured during fuel cell operation. The exhaust velocity of oxygen from the anode was shown to be much higher than the CO supply velocity. Permeated oxygen should play an important role in CO oxidation under low CO concentration conditions.

  8. Polymer electrolytes based on sulfonated polysulfone for direct methanol fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lufrano, F.; Baglio, V.; Staiti, P.; Arico', A. S.; Antonucci, V.

    This paper reports the development and characterization of sulfonated polysulfone (SPSf) polymer electrolytes for direct methanol fuel cells. The synthesis of sulfonated polysulfone was performed by a post sulfonation method using trimethyl silyl chlorosulfonate as a mild sulfonating agent. Bare polysulfone membranes were prepared with two different sulfonation levels (60%, SPSf-60 and 70%, SPSf-70), whereas, a composite membrane of SPSf-60 was prepared with 5 wt% silica filler. These membranes were investigated in direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) operating at low (30-40 °C) and high temperatures (100-120 °C). DMFC power densities were about 140 mW cm -2 at 100 °C with the bare SPSf-60 membrane and 180 mW cm -2 at 120 °C with the SPSf-60-SiO2 composite membrane. The best performance achieved at ambient temperature using a membrane with high degree of sulfonation (70%, SPSf-70) was 20 mW cm -2 at atmospheric pressure. This makes the polysulfone-based DMFC suitable for application in portable devices.

  9. Study of water distribution and transport in a polymer electrolyte fuel cell using neutron imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pekula, N.; Heller, K.; Chuang, P. A.; Turhan, A.; Mench, M. M.; Brenizer, J. S.; Ünlü, K.

    2005-04-01

    A procedure to utilize neutron imaging for the visualization of two-phase flow within an operating polymer electrolyte fuel cell has been developed at the Penn State Breazeale Nuclear Reactor. Neutron images allow us to visualize the liquid water inside the flow channel (˜0.5 mm deep) and gas diffusion media (˜200 μm thick) in real operating conditions. The current temporal and spatial resolution for radioscopy is approximately 30 frames/s and 129 μm/pixel in a 50 cm 2 image area. Continuous digital radioscopy can be recorded for 45 min. The determination of water volume within the cell has been enabled by referencing a calibration look-up table that correlates neutron attenuation to an equivalent liquid water thickness. It was found that liquid water tends to accumulate at specific locations within the fuel cell, depending on operating conditions. Anode flow channel blockage was observed to occur at low power, while higher power conditions resulted in more dispersed distribution of liquid droplets. Under high-power conditions, liquid water tended to accumulate along or under the channel walls at 180° turns, and radioscopy revealed that individual liquid droplet velocities were several orders of magnitude less than that of the reactant flow, indicating a slug-flow regime up to at least 1 A/cm 2.

  10. Liquid water transport characteristics of porous diffusion media in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells: A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Xunliang; Peng, Fangyuan; Lou, Guofeng; Wen, Zhi

    2015-12-01

    Fundamental understanding of liquid water transport in gas diffusion media (GDM) is important to improve the material and structure design of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells. Continuum methods of two-phase flow modeling facilitate to give more details of relevant information. The proper empirical correlations of liquid water transport properties, such as capillary characteristics, water relative permeability and effective contact angle, are crucial to two phase flow modeling and cell performance prediction. In this work, researches on these properties in the last decade are reviewed. Various efforts have been devoted to determine the water transport properties for GDMs. However, most of the experimental studies are ex-situ measurements. In-situ measurements for GDMs and extending techniques available to study the catalyst layer and the microporous layer will be further challenges. Using the Leverett-Udell correlation is not recommended for quantitative modeling. The reliable Leverett-type correlation for GDMs, with the inclusion of the cosine of effective contact angle, is desirable but hard to be established for modeling two-phase flow in GDMs. A comprehensive data set of liquid water transport properties is needed for various GDM materials under different PEM fuel cell operating conditions.

  11. Numerical evaluation of crack growth in polymer electrolyte fuel cell membranes based on plastically dissipated energy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ding, Guoliang; Santare, Michael H.; Karlsson, Anette M.; Kusoglu, Ahmet

    2016-06-01

    Understanding the mechanisms of growth of defects in polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells is essential for improving cell longevity. Characterizing the crack growth in PEM fuel cell membrane under relative humidity (RH) cycling is an important step towards establishing strategies essential for developing more durable membrane electrode assemblies (MEA). In this study, a crack propagation criterion based on plastically dissipated energy is investigated numerically. The accumulation of plastically dissipated energy under cyclical RH loading ahead of the crack tip is calculated and compared to a critical value, presumed to be a material parameter. Once the accumulation reaches the critical value, the crack propagates via a node release algorithm. From the literature, it is well established experimentally that membranes reinforced with expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) reinforced perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) have better durability than unreinforced membranes, and through-thickness cracks are generally found under the flow channel regions but not land regions in unreinforced PFSA membranes. We show that the proposed plastically dissipated energy criterion captures these experimental observations and provides a framework for investigating failure mechanisms in ionomer membranes subjected to similar environmental loads.

  12. Biodegradation test of SPS-LS blends as polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Putri, Zufira; Arcana, I. Made

    2014-03-01

    Sulfonated polystyrene (SPS) can be applied as a proton exchange membrane fuel cell due to its fairly good chemical stability. In order to be applied as polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), membrane polymer should have a good ionic conductivity, high proton conductivity, and high mechanical strength. Lignosulfonate (LS) is a complex biopolymer which has crosslinks and sulfonate groups. SPS-LS blends with addition of SiO2 are used to increase the proton conductivity and to improve the mechanical properties and thermal stability. However, the biodegradation test of SPS-LS blends is required to determine whether the application of these membranes to be applied as an environmentally friendly membrane. In this study, had been done the synthesis of SPS, biodegradability test of SPS-LS blends with variations of LS and SiO2 compositions. The biodegradation test was carried out in solid medium of Luria Bertani (LB) with an activated sludge used as a source of microorganism at incubation temperature of 37°C. Based on the results obtained indicated that SPS-LS-SiO2 blends are more decomposed by microorganism than SPS-LS blends. This result is supported by analysis of weight reduction percentage, functional groups with Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy, and morphological surface with Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM).

  13. Biodegradation test of SPS-LS blends as polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Putri, Zufira E-mail: arcana@chem.itb.ac.id; Arcana, I Made E-mail: arcana@chem.itb.ac.id

    2014-03-24

    Sulfonated polystyrene (SPS) can be applied as a proton exchange membrane fuel cell due to its fairly good chemical stability. In order to be applied as polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), membrane polymer should have a good ionic conductivity, high proton conductivity, and high mechanical strength. Lignosulfonate (LS) is a complex biopolymer which has crosslinks and sulfonate groups. SPS-LS blends with addition of SiO{sub 2} are used to increase the proton conductivity and to improve the mechanical properties and thermal stability. However, the biodegradation test of SPS-LS blends is required to determine whether the application of these membranes to be applied as an environmentally friendly membrane. In this study, had been done the synthesis of SPS, biodegradability test of SPS-LS blends with variations of LS and SiO{sub 2} compositions. The biodegradation test was carried out in solid medium of Luria Bertani (LB) with an activated sludge used as a source of microorganism at incubation temperature of 37°C. Based on the results obtained indicated that SPS-LS-SiO{sub 2} blends are more decomposed by microorganism than SPS-LS blends. This result is supported by analysis of weight reduction percentage, functional groups with Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy, and morphological surface with Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)

  14. Materials, design, and modeling for bipolar/end plates in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Atul

    New vehicle technologies are required to improve upon conventional internal combustion engine technologies. In this regard, the development of fuel cell (polymer electrolyte membrane type) vehicles with improved efficiency and reliability seems promising. However, some technical issues exist that hinder the commercialization of this technology. One such issue is the high cost, volume, and mass of the bipolar/end plates in the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) stack. This research, therefore, focuses on materials, design, and modeling for bipolar/end plates in PEMFC stack. Alternative materials were tested that can replace the conventionally used graphite in the PEMFC stack. With regards to these, a two-cell PEMFC stack was fabricated with SS-316 multi-parallel flow-field (MPFF) designed bipolar/end plates. The stack was run for over 1000 hours and showed no appreciable drop in performance. To enhance the understanding and for determining the effect of operating parameters in PEMFC, a single cell model was developed. The model results agree well with the experimental data. The gas flow-field in bipolar/end plates of the PEMFC was optimized with respect to channel dimensions, channel shape, flow-field design, and flow-field permeability. It was seen that lower the flow-field permeability better is the fuel cell performance. Based on this, the concept of use of metal foams in the gas flow-field was proposed. Experiments were carried out to test the feasibility of metal foams in the gas flow-field of bipolar/end plates in PEMFC stack. Three different porous materials, viz. Ni-Cr metal foam (50 P PI, pores per inch), S S-316 metal foam (20 PPI), and carbon cloth were tested, and the results were compared to the conventional MPFF channel design concept. It was seen that the performance with Ni-Cr metal foam was highest, and decreased in the order of SS-316 metal foam, conventional MPFF design, and carbon cloth. This trend was explained based on the effective

  15. Synthesis and characterization of 3D Ni nanoparticle/carbon nanotube cathodes for hydrogen evolution in alkaline electrolyte

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McArthur, M. A.; Jorge, L.; Coulombe, S.; Omanovic, S.

    2014-11-01

    Renewable alternative energy sources are required to decrease or eliminate the use of environmentally unfriendly fossil fuels. Hydrogen produced by electrolysis has been identified as one such renewable energy carrier. In the current work, Ni nanoparticle (NP)-decorated multiwall carbon nanotube (MWCNT) electrocatalyst cathodes are prepared by a simple two-step procedure. MWCNTs are grown on stainless steel meshes by thermal-chemical vapour deposition (t-CVD) and then decorated with Ni NPs by pulsed laser ablation (PLA). The morphological and electrochemical properties of the produced Ni NP/MWCNT cathodes were characterized through electron microscopy and linear Tafel polarization (LTP)/electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), respectively. SEM and TEM imaging revealed that the Ni NPs deposited by PLA are on the order of 4 nm in diameter with a narrow size distribution. The LTP measurements showed that the electrocatalytic activity of the Ni NP/MWCNT cathodes towards the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) is dependent on PLA time and shows a maximum at tPLA = 40 min. EIS measurements revealed that the HER response is characterized by a two time constants process representing HER kinetics and adsorption of hydrogen.

  16. Energetics of Intermediate Temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Electrolytes: Singly and Doubly doped Ceria Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buyukkilic, Salih

    Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) have potential to convert chemical energy directly to electrical energy with high efficiency, with only water vapor as a by-product. However, the requirement of extremely high operating temperatures (~1000 °C) limits the use of SOFCs to only in large scale stationary applications. In order to make SOFCs a viable energy solution, enormous effort has been focused on lowering the operating temperatures below 700 °C. A low temperature operation would reduce manufacturing costs by slowing component degradation, lessening thermal mismatch problems, and sharply reducing costs of operation. In order to optimize SOFC applications, it is critical to understand the thermodynamic stabilities of electrolytes since they directly influence device stability, sustainability and performance. Rare-earth doped ceria electrolytes have emerged as promising materials for SOFC applications due to their high ionic conductivity at the intermediate temperatures (500--700 °C). However there is a fundamental lack of understanding regarding their structure, thermodynamic stability and properties. Therefore, the enthalpies of formation from constituent oxides and ionic conductivities were determined to investigate a relationship between the stability, composition, structural defects and ionic conductivity in rare earth doped ceria systems. For singly doped ceria electrolytes, we investigated the solid solution phase of bulk Ce1-xLnxO2-0.5x where Ln = Sm and Nd (0 ≤ x ≤ 0.30) and analyzed their enthalpies of formation, mixing and association, and bulk ionic conductivities while considering cation size mismatch and defect associations. It was shown that for ambient temperatures in the dilute dopant region, the positive heat of formation reaches a maximum as the system becomes increasingly less stable due to size mismatch. In concentrated region, stabilization to a certain solubility limit was observed probably due to the defect association of trivalent cations

  17. High-Performance Protonic Ceramic Fuel Cells with Thin-Film Yttrium-Doped Barium Cerate-Zirconate Electrolytes on Compositionally Gradient Anodes.

    PubMed

    Bae, Kiho; Lee, Sewook; Jang, Dong Young; Kim, Hyun Joong; Lee, Hunhyeong; Shin, Dongwook; Son, Ji-Won; Shim, Joon Hyung

    2016-04-13

    In this study, we used a compositionally gradient anode functional layer (AFL) consisting of Ni-BaCe0.5Zr0.35Y0.15O3-δ (BCZY) with increasing BCZY contents toward the electrolyte-anode interface for high-performance protonic ceramic fuel cells. It is identified that conventional homogeneous AFLs fail to stably accommodate a thin film of BCZY electrolyte. In contrast, a dense 2 μm thick BCZY electrolyte was successfully deposited onto the proposed gradient AFL with improved adhesion. A fuel cell containing this thin electrolyte showed a promising maximum peak power density of 635 mW cm(-2) at 600 °C, with an open-circuit voltage of over 1 V. Impedance analysis confirmed that minimizing the electrolyte thickness is essential for achieving a high power output, suggesting that the anode structure is important in stably accommodating thin electrolytes. PMID:27029066

  18. Engineered interfaces and nano-scale thin films for solid oxide fuel cell electrolytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nandasiri, Manjula I.

    Solid state electrolytes with high oxygen ionic conductivity at low temperatures are required to develop cost effective and efficient solid oxide fuel cells. This study investigates the influence of engineered interfaces on the oxygen ionic conductivity of nano-scale multilayer thin film electrolytes. The epitaxial Sm2O3 doped CeO2 (SDC) and Sc2O3 stabilized ZrO2 (ScSZ) are selected as the alternative layers for the proposed multilayer thin film electrolyte based on the optimum structural, chemical, and electrical properties reported in the previous studies. The epitaxial SDC(111)/ScSZ(111) multilayer thin films are grown on high purity Al2O3(0001) substrates by oxygen-plasma assisted molecular beam epitaxy. Prior to the deposition of multilayers, the growth parameters are optimized for epitaxial CeO 2, ZrO2, SDC, and ScSZ thin films. The epitaxial orientation and surface morphology of CeO2 thin films shows dependency on the growth rate. Epitaxial CeO2(111) is obtained at relatively high growth rates (>9 A/min) at a substrate temperature of 650°C and an oxygen partial pressure of 2 x 10 -5 Torr. The same growth parameters are used for the deposition of ZrO2 thin films. ZrO2 exhibits both monoclinic and cubic phases, which is stabilized in the cubic structure by doping with Sc 2O3. The Sm and Sc evaporation rates are varied during the growth to obtain thin films of 15 mol % SmO1.5 doped CeO2 and 20 mol % ScO1.5 stabilized ZrO2, respectively. The SDC/ScSZ multilayer thin films are grown using the same growth parameters by varying the number of layers. The SDC/ScSZ multilayer thin films show significant enhancement in the oxygen ionic conductivity in comparison to single layer SDC and ScSZ thin films. The increase in the oxygen ionic conductivity with the increase in number of layers can be attributed to lattice mismatch induced ionic conductivity along the interfaces. The 8-layer film exhibits the maximum oxygen ionic conductivity with one order of magnitude

  19. U.S. DOE Progress Towards Developing Low-Cost, High Performance, Durable Polymer Electrolyte Membranes for Fuel Cell Applications

    PubMed Central

    Houchins, Cassidy; Kleen, Greg J.; Spendelow, Jacob S.; Kopasz, John; Peterson, David; Garland, Nancy L.; Ho, Donna Lee; Marcinkoski, Jason; Martin, Kathi Epping; Tyler, Reginald; Papageorgopoulos, Dimitrios C.

    2012-01-01

    Low cost, durable, and selective membranes with high ionic conductivity are a priority need for wide-spread adoption of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) and direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). Electrolyte membranes are a major cost component of PEMFC stacks at low production volumes. PEMFC membranes also impose limitations on fuel cell system operating conditions that add system complexity and cost. Reactant gas and fuel permeation through the membrane leads to decreased fuel cell performance, loss of efficiency, and reduced durability in both PEMFCs and DMFCs. To address these challenges, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Fuel Cell Technologies Program, in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, supports research and development aimed at improving ion exchange membranes for fuel cells. For PEMFCs, efforts are primarily focused on developing materials for higher temperature operation (up to 120 °C) in automotive applications. For DMFCs, efforts are focused on developing membranes with reduced methanol permeability. In this paper, the recently revised DOE membrane targets, strategies, and highlights of DOE-funded projects to develop new, inexpensive membranes that have good performance in hot and dry conditions (PEMFC) and that reduce methanol crossover (DMFC) will be discussed. PMID:24958432

  20. U.S. DOE Progress Towards Developing Low-Cost, High Performance, Durable Polymer Electrolyte Membranes for Fuel Cell Applications.

    PubMed

    Houchins, Cassidy; Kleen, Greg J; Spendelow, Jacob S; Kopasz, John; Peterson, David; Garland, Nancy L; Ho, Donna Lee; Marcinkoski, Jason; Martin, Kathi Epping; Tyler, Reginald; Papageorgopoulos, Dimitrios C

    2012-01-01

    Low cost, durable, and selective membranes with high ionic conductivity are a priority need for wide-spread adoption of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) and direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). Electrolyte membranes are a major cost component of PEMFC stacks at low production volumes. PEMFC membranes also impose limitations on fuel cell system operating conditions that add system complexity and cost. Reactant gas and fuel permeation through the membrane leads to decreased fuel cell performance, loss of efficiency, and reduced durability in both PEMFCs and DMFCs. To address these challenges, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Fuel Cell Technologies Program, in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, supports research and development aimed at improving ion exchange membranes for fuel cells. For PEMFCs, efforts are primarily focused on developing materials for higher temperature operation (up to 120 °C) in automotive applications. For DMFCs, efforts are focused on developing membranes with reduced methanol permeability. In this paper, the recently revised DOE membrane targets, strategies, and highlights of DOE-funded projects to develop new, inexpensive membranes that have good performance in hot and dry conditions (PEMFC) and that reduce methanol crossover (DMFC) will be discussed. PMID:24958432

  1. Performance evaluation of a membraneless divergent electrode-flow-through (DEFT) alkaline electrolyser based on optimisation of electrolytic flow and electrode gap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gillespie, M. I.; van der Merwe, F.; Kriek, R. J.

    2015-10-01

    A membraneless divergent electrode-flow-through (DEFT) alkaline electrolysis design and operating principle is investigated, which allows for the ohmic drop contribution and performance threshold limitations of a conventional membrane barrier to be overcome. Employing mesh electrodes of 30 mm diameter, operation of the electrolyser at an electrolytic flow velocity of 0.075-0.1 m s-1, resulted in an optimal electrode gap of ∼2.5 mm, while operating at greater velocities (>0.1-0.2 m s-1) allows for the employment of a smaller optimal gap of ∼0.8 mm. At an electrode gap of 2.5 mm and current densities of 3500 mA cm-2, hydrogen purity of 99.83% has been recorded. With pure nickel electrodes current densities of 101.19 mA cm-2 (at 1.80 VDC) and 326.33 mA cm-2 (at 2 VDC) have been achieved, while the use of superior catalysts, namely, RuO2/IrO2/TiO2 and Pt for the anode and cathode respectively, resulted in the current densities to increase to 219.99 mA cm-2 (at 1.8 VDC) and 474.40 mA cm-2 (at 2 VDC) at an electrode gap of 2.5 mm and a minimum flow velocity of 0.075 m s-1. The test rig is capable of generating hydrogen at a rate of 63.6 L/hr at normal temperature and pressure (NTP). The production rate follows current density linearly at high overpotentials.

  2. New approaches towards novel composite and multilayer membranes for intermediate temperature-polymer electrolyte fuel cells and direct methanol fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Branco, Carolina Musse; Sharma, Surbhi; de Camargo Forte, Maria Madalena; Steinberger-Wilckens, Robert

    2016-06-01

    This review analyses the current and existing literature on novel composite and multilayer membranes for Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell applications, including intermediate temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cell (IT-PEFC) and direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) systems. It provides a concise scrutiny of the vast body of literature available on organic and inorganic filler based polymer membranes and links it to the new emerging trend towards novel combinations of multilayered polymer membranes for applications in DMFC and IT-PEFC. The paper carefully explores the advantages and disadvantages of the most common preparation techniques reported for multilayered membranes such as hot-pressing, casting and dip-coating and also summarises various other fresh and unique techniques employed for multilayer membrane preparation.

  3. Materials and characterization techniques for high-temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Summary The performance of high-temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (HT-PEMFC) is critically dependent on the selection of materials and optimization of individual components. A conventional high-temperature membrane electrode assembly (HT-MEA) primarily consists of a polybenzimidazole (PBI)-type membrane containing phosphoric acid and two gas diffusion electrodes (GDE), the anode and the cathode, attached to the two surfaces of the membrane. This review article provides a survey on the materials implemented in state-of-the-art HT-MEAs. These materials must meet extremely demanding requirements because of the severe operating conditions of HT-PEMFCs. They need to be electrochemically and thermally stable in highly acidic environment. The polymer membranes should exhibit high proton conductivity in low-hydration and even anhydrous states. Of special concern for phosphoric-acid-doped PBI-type membranes is the acid loss and management during operation. The slow oxygen reduction reaction in HT-PEMFCs remains a challenge. Phosphoric acid tends to adsorb onto the surface of the platinum catalyst and therefore hampers the reaction kinetics. Additionally, the binder material plays a key role in regulating the hydrophobicity and hydrophilicity of the catalyst layer. Subsequently, the binder controls the electrode–membrane interface that establishes the triple phase boundary between proton conductive electrolyte, electron conductive catalyst, and reactant gases. Moreover, the elevated operating temperatures promote carbon corrosion and therefore degrade the integrity of the catalyst support. These are only some examples how materials properties affect the stability and performance of HT-PEMFCs. For this reason, materials characterization techniques for HT-PEMFCs, either in situ or ex situ, are highly beneficial. Significant progress has recently been made in this field, which enables us to gain a better understanding of underlying processes occurring during

  4. Examining of the segmented electrode use from the viewpoint of the electrolyte volatilizing in molten carbonate fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sugiura, Kimihiko; Yamauchi, Makoto; Soga, Masatsugu; Tanimoto, Kazumi

    Molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFCs) have entered the pre-commercialization phase, and have been experimentally demonstrated in real world applications, including beer brewery, etc. However, though MCFCs have a high potential and an enough operating experience as an energy supply system, they are not explosively widespread. One of these reasons is cost of cell components. Because the thickness of both electrodes is 0.8 mm and both electrodes are made of porous plates of 1 m 2 of the electrode area, they are often broken by a thermal stress in the sintering process of an electrode and by a worker's carelessness at the cell assembly process. Generally, because these cracking electrodes can potentially cause electrolyte leakage and gas crossover, they are not used to a MCFC stack and are disposed of. Therefore, it made the cost of MCFC be raised. The performance of a cell that uses a mosaic electrode has been evaluated. However, the causal relation between the cracking of an electrode and an electrolyte-leakage has not been yet confirmed. If this causal relationship is elucidated, a cracking electrode or a mosaic electrode can be used to MCFC, such that the cost of MCFC systems would consequently decrease. Therefore, we studied the causal relation between the cracking of an electrode and electrolyte leakage and gas crossover using a visualization technique. In the case of an anode electrode where the centre section of a cell has crack of about 1 mm, the electrolyte leakage from this crack could not be observed by the visualization technique. Moreover, the gas crossover could not be also observed by the visualization technique, and nitrogen in the anode exhaust gas was not detected by a gas chromatography. However, the electrolyte leakage observed from the wet-seal section though the gap between the separator and the electrode was always 1 mm or less. Therefore, electrolyte leakage hardly occurs, even if a cracked anode electrode is installed into the centre section of

  5. Water balance simulations of a polymer-electrolyte membrane fuel cell using a two-fluid model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berning, T.; Odgaard, M.; Kær, S. K.

    2011-08-01

    A previously published computational multi-phase model of a polymer-electrolyte membrane fuel cell cathode has been extended in order to account for the anode side and the electrolyte membrane. The model has been applied to study the water balance of a fuel cell during operation under various humidification conditions. It was found that the specific surface area of the electrolyte in the catalyst layers close to the membrane is of critical importance for the overall water balance. Applying a high specific electrolyte surface area close to the membrane (a water-uptake layer) can prevent drying out of the anode and flooding at the cathode while the average membrane water content is only weakly affected. The results also indicate that in contrast to common presumption membrane dehydration may occur at either anode or cathode side, entirely depending on the direction of the net water transport because the predominant transport mechanism is diffusion. Consequently, operating conditions with a high net water transport from anode to cathode should be avoided as it is important to keep the cathode catalyst layer well humidified in order to prevent high protonic losses. Addition of the micro-porous layer did not affect the overall water balance or membrane water content in our study.

  6. Testing of a De Nora polymer electrolyte fuel cell stack of 1 kW for naval applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmal, D.; Kluiters, C. E.; Barendregt, I. P.

    In a previous study calculations were carried out for a navy frigate with respect to the energy consumption of a propulsion/electricity generation system based on fuel cells. The fuel consumption for the 'all-fuel cell' ship was compared with the consumption of the current propulsion/electricity generation system based on gas turbines and diesel engines; it showed potential energy savings of a fuel cell based system amounting from 25 to 30%. On the basis of these results and taking into account various military aspects it was decided to start tests with a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) stack. For this purpose a De Nora 1 kW PEFC was chosen. Results of the first tests after installation are satisfying.

  7. Reclaiming the spent alkaline zinc manganese dioxide batteries collected from the manufacturers to prepare valuable electrolytic zinc and LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4 materials.

    PubMed

    Ma, Ya; Cui, Yan; Zuo, Xiaoxi; Huang, Shanna; Hu, Keshui; Xiao, Xin; Nan, Junmin

    2014-10-01

    A process for reclaiming the materials in spent alkaline zinc manganese dioxide (Zn-Mn) batteries collected from the manufacturers to prepare valuable electrolytic zinc and LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4 materials is presented. After dismantling battery cans, the iron cans, covers, electric rods, organic separator, label, sealing materials, and electrolyte are separated through the washing, magnetic separation, filtrating, and sieving operations. Then, the powder residues react with H2SO4 (2 mol L(-1)) solution to dissolve zinc under a liquid/solid ratio of 3:1 at room temperature, and subsequently, the electrolytic Zn with purity of ⩾99.8% is recovered in an electrolytic cell with a cathode efficiency of ⩾85% under the conditions of 37-40°C and 300 A m(-2). The most of MnO2 and a small quantity of electrolytic MnO2 are recovered from the filtration residue and the electrodeposit on the anode of electrolytic cell, respectively. The recovered manganese oxides are used to synthesize LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4 material of lithium-ion battery. The as-synthesized LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4 discharges 118.3 mAh g(-1) capacity and 4.7 V voltage plateau, which is comparable to the sample synthesized using commercial electrolytic MnO2. This process can recover the substances in the spent Zn-Mn batteries and innocuously treat the wastewaters, indicating that it is environmentally acceptable and applicable. PMID:24906867

  8. A comparison of low-pressure and supercharged operation of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell systems for aircraft applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Werner, C.; Preiß, G.; Gores, F.; Griebenow, M.; Heitmann, S.

    2016-08-01

    Multifunctional fuel cell systems are competitive solutions aboard future generations of civil aircraft concerning energy consumption, environmental issues, and safety reasons. The present study compares low-pressure and supercharged operation of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells with respect to performance and efficiency criteria. This is motivated by the challenge of pressure-dependent fuel cell operation aboard aircraft with cabin pressure varying with operating altitude. Experimental investigations of low-pressure fuel cell operation use model-based design of experiments and are complemented by numerical investigations concerning supercharged fuel cell operation. It is demonstrated that a low-pressure operation is feasible with the fuel cell device under test, but that its range of stable operation changes between both operating modes. Including an external compressor, it can be shown that the power demand for supercharging the fuel cell is about the same as the loss in power output of the fuel cell due to low-pressure operation. Furthermore, the supercharged fuel cell operation appears to be more sensitive with respect to variations in the considered independent operating parameters load requirement, cathode stoichiometric ratio, and cooling temperature. The results indicate that a pressure-dependent self-humidification control might be able to exploit the potential of low-pressure fuel cell operation for aircraft applications to the best advantage.

  9. Performance enhancement of low temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells by catalyst and support layer modifications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, Timothy David

    Possible enhancement of low temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) or direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC) was investigated by modifying catalyst and support layers. Platinum (Pt) and platinum cobalt (Pt xCo1-x) alloys were prepared by pulsed electrodeposition onto Toray carbon paper. Composite supports composed of either commercial multi-walled nanofiber (MWNF) mats or MWNF layers on a commercial backing were also investigated. X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES), and energy dispersive x-ray (EDX) were used to characterize the surface structure, composition, and catalyst loading. Various electrochemical techniques with a wet electrochemical cell, a Nuvant multi-array system, and a Scribner fuel cell system were used to study and rank the effectiveness of the catalysts and supports toward both the methanol oxidation reaction and the oxygen reduction reaction. The activity toward methanol oxidation of the electrodeposited Pt catalyst was found to be dependent on the deposited mass. Further comparisons between commercial electrodes in the Nuvant system showed these deposits can yield activities comparable to those of commercially available electrodes. The structure of the Pt electrodeposits was highly non-uniform due to the H2 evolution during the deposition process blocking the cathodes surface. The activities of the planar structured PtxCo1-x deposits were insignificant for both oxygen reduction and methanol oxidation. The composition of the deposits ranged from 5 to 15 at% Pt. It was found by both the Nuvant and Scribner systems that the addition of a thin hydrophilic MWNF layer to a hydrophobic electrode would enhance the performance of a DMFC anode. In the Nuvant system, the addition of a thin hydrophilic MWNF layer to a hydrophobic electrode also enhanced the PEM cathode activity. This however was not corroborated by Scribner analysis, showing a

  10. Interactions between liquid-water and gas-diffusion layers in polymer-electrolyte fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Das, Prodip K.; Santamaria, Anthony D.; Weber, Adam Z.

    2015-06-11

    Over the past few decades, a significant amount of research on polymer-electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) has been conducted to improve performance and durability while reducing the cost of fuel cell systems. However, the cost associated with the platinum (Pt) catalyst remains a barrier to their commercialization and PEFC durability standards have yet to be established. An effective path toward reducing PEFC cost is making the catalyst layers (CLs) thinner thus reducing expensive Pt content. The limit of thin CLs is high gas-transport resistance and the performance of these CLs is sensitive to the operating temperature due to their inherent low water uptake capacity, which results in higher sensitivity to liquid-water flooding and reduced durability. Therefore, reducing PEFC's cost by decreasing Pt content and improving PEFC's performance and durability by managing liquid-water are still challenging and open topics of research. An overlooked aspect nowadays of PEFC water management is the gas-diffusion layer (GDL). While it is known that GDL's properties can impact performance, typically it is not seen as a critical component. In this work, we present data showing the importance of GDLs in terms of water removal and management while also exploring the interactions between liquid-water and GDL surfaces. The critical interface of GDL and gas-flow-channel in the presence of liquid-water was examined through systematic studies of adhesion forces as a function of water-injection rate for various GDLs of varying thickness. GDL properties (breakthrough pressure and adhesion force) were measured experimentally under a host of test conditions. Specifically, the effects of GDL hydrophobic (PTFE) content, thickness, and water-injection rate were examined to identify trends that may be beneficial to the design of liquid-water management strategies and next-generation GDL materials for PEFCs.

  11. Interactions between liquid-water and gas-diffusion layers in polymer-electrolyte fuel cells

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Das, Prodip K.; Santamaria, Anthony D.; Weber, Adam Z.

    2015-06-11

    Over the past few decades, a significant amount of research on polymer-electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) has been conducted to improve performance and durability while reducing the cost of fuel cell systems. However, the cost associated with the platinum (Pt) catalyst remains a barrier to their commercialization and PEFC durability standards have yet to be established. An effective path toward reducing PEFC cost is making the catalyst layers (CLs) thinner thus reducing expensive Pt content. The limit of thin CLs is high gas-transport resistance and the performance of these CLs is sensitive to the operating temperature due to their inherent lowmore » water uptake capacity, which results in higher sensitivity to liquid-water flooding and reduced durability. Therefore, reducing PEFC's cost by decreasing Pt content and improving PEFC's performance and durability by managing liquid-water are still challenging and open topics of research. An overlooked aspect nowadays of PEFC water management is the gas-diffusion layer (GDL). While it is known that GDL's properties can impact performance, typically it is not seen as a critical component. In this work, we present data showing the importance of GDLs in terms of water removal and management while also exploring the interactions between liquid-water and GDL surfaces. The critical interface of GDL and gas-flow-channel in the presence of liquid-water was examined through systematic studies of adhesion forces as a function of water-injection rate for various GDLs of varying thickness. GDL properties (breakthrough pressure and adhesion force) were measured experimentally under a host of test conditions. Specifically, the effects of GDL hydrophobic (PTFE) content, thickness, and water-injection rate were examined to identify trends that may be beneficial to the design of liquid-water management strategies and next-generation GDL materials for PEFCs.« less

  12. In situ membrane resistance measurements in polymer electrolyte fuel cells by fast auxiliary current pulses

    SciTech Connect

    Buechi, F.N.; Scherer, G.G.; Marek, A.

    1995-06-01

    A solid-state current Pulse generator for in situ membrane resistance measurements by superimposed square current pulses in polymer electrolyte fuel cells was designed and built. The choice of the measuring technique and of parameters of the instrumentation was based on a critical analysis of the relevant electrochemical and physical processes. The inductance of the current pulse path is very low ({approx}5 nH), because the last stage of the generator is directly attached to the fuel cell. This low inductance -permits the generation of 5 A pulses with extremely fast (decay time {<=}5 ns) trailing edges (accompanied by a moderate ringing), which in turn makes it possible to measure the voltage transient induced by the current decay, with gigahertz resolution. The voltage transient is analyzed in a time window of 200 to 700 ns after the end of the pulse. By measurements in this time window, it is possible to separate accurately the ohmic series resistance of the cell (membrane resistance) from the other over potentials at the electrochemical interfaces. Because the pulse current path is independent of the dc loop, the resistance can be measured independently of the dc value, i.e., at open circuit and under high current density conditions. The instrument was tested, and the results were analyzed for accuracy. Resistances down to 2 m{Omega} can be measured with an error of <5%. The influence of the pulse length and pulse amplitude on the cell voltage response was also investigated. For cell resistances in the order of few milliohms, a current pulse amplitude of 5 A is the minimum requirement for accurate measurements.

  13. Robust DC/DC converter control for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Ya-Xiong; Yu, Duck-Hyun; Chen, Shi-An; Kim, Young-Bae

    2014-09-01

    This study investigates a robust controller in regulating the pulse width modulation (PWM) of a DC/DC converter for a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) application. A significant variation in the output voltage of a PEMFC depends on the power requirement and prevents a PEMFC from directly connecting to a subsequent power bus. DC/DC converters are utilized to step-up or step-down voltage to match the subsequent power bus voltage. In this study, a full dynamic model, which includes a PEMFC and boost and buck DC/DC converters, is developed under MATLAB/Simulink environment for control. A robust PWM duty ratio control for the converters is designed using time delay control (TDC). This control enables state variables to accurately follow the dynamics of a reference model using time-delayed information of plant input and output information within a few sampling periods. To prove the superiority of the TDC performance, traditional proportional-integral control (PIC) and model predictive control (MPC) are designed and implemented, and the simulation results are compared. The efficacies of TDC for the PEMFC-fed PWM DC/DC converters are validated through experimental test results using a 100 W PEMFC as well as boost and buck DC/DC converters.

  14. Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell performance degradation by coolant leakage and recovery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jung, Ju Hae; Kim, Se Hoon; Hur, Seung Hyun; Joo, Sang Hoon; Choi, Won Mook; Kim, Junbom

    2013-03-01

    Coolant leakage leads to decrease in performance during the operation of electric vehicles which make use of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC). This study examines the effects of various coolant leak conditions in 3-cell stack and single cell. The experimental results show that an irreversible reduction in performance occurs after coolant injection into the anode side of the stack. Poisoning of carbon monoxide (CO) on the platinum (Pt) catalyst is caused by electro-oxidation reaction of EG. Water cleaning is selected because CO poisoning is desorbed to reaction with water molecules. Performance is quickly reduced when the interval between coolant injections is short. Performance reduction is indicated by the experimental results for the gas diffusion layer (GDL) and the membrane electrode assembly (MEA). It shows that performance of the MEA with the GDL exposed to coolant decreased, but it is recovered after water cleaning. In contrast, results for performance of the MEA exposed to coolant for long time could not be reversed after water cleaning. Therefore, we propose that performance degradation of coolant leak on the Pt catalyst surface and GDL can be recovered by the water cleaning simply without disassembly of stack.

  15. Development of catalytically active and highly stable catalyst supports for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Taekeun; Xie, Tianyuan; Jung, Wonsuk; Gadala-Maria, Francis; Ganesan, Prabhu; Popov, Branko N.

    2015-01-01

    Novel procedures are developed for the synthesis of highly stable carbon composite catalyst supports (CCCS-800 °C and CCCS-1100 °C) and an activated carbon composite catalyst support (A-CCCS). These supports are synthesized through: (i) surface modification with acids and inclusion of oxygen groups, (ii) metal-catalyzed pyrolysis, and (iii) chemical leaching to remove excess metal used to dope the support. The procedure results in increasing carbon graphitization and inclusion of non-metallic active sites on the support surface. Catalytic activity of CCCS indicates an onset potential of 0.86 V for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) with well-defined kinetic and mass-transfer regions and ∼2.5% H2O2 production in rotating ring disk electrode (RRDE) studies. Support stability studies at 1.2 V constant potential holding for 400 h indicate high stability for the 30% Pt/A-CCCS catalyst with a cell potential loss of 27 mV at 800 mA cm-2 under H2-air, 32% mass activity loss, and 30% ECSA loss. Performance evaluation in polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell shows power densities (rated) of 0.18 and 0.23 gPt kW-1 for the 30% Pt/A-CCCS and 30% Pt/CCCS-800 °C catalysts, respectively. The stabilities of various supports developed in this study are compared with those of a commercial Pt/C catalyst.

  16. Metal foams application to enhance cooling of open cathode polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sajid Hossain, Mohammad; Shabani, Bahman

    2015-11-01

    Conventional channel flow fields of open cathode Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs) introduce some challenges linked to humidity, temperature, pressure and oxygen concentration gradients along the conventional flow fields that reduce the cell performance. According to previous experimental reports, with conventional air flow fields, hotspot formation due to water accumulation in Gas Diffusion Layer (GDL) is common. Unlike continuous long flow passages in conventional channels, metal foams provide randomly interrupted flow passages. Re-circulation of fluid, due to randomly distributed tortuous ligaments, enhances temperature and humidity uniformity in the fluid. Moreover, the higher electrical conductivity of metal foams compared to non-metal current collectors and their very low mass density compared to solid metal materials are expected to increase the electrical performance of the cell while significantly reducing its weight. This article reviews the existing cooling systems and identifies the important parameters on the basis of reported literature in the air cooling systems of PEMFCs. This is followed by investigating metal foams as a possible option to be used within the structure of such PEMFCs as an option that can potentially address cooling and flow distribution challenges associated with using conventional flow channels, especially in air-cooled PEMFCs.

  17. Degradation of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell by siloxane in biogas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seo, Ji-Sung; Kim, Da-Yeong; Hwang, Sun-Mi; Seo, Min Ho; Seo, Dong-Jun; Yang, Seung Yong; Han, Chan Hui; Jung, Yong-Min; Guim, Hwanuk; Nahm, Kee Suk; Yoon, Young-Gi; Kim, Tae-Young

    2016-06-01

    We studied the degradation and durability of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) at membrane-electrode-assembly (MEA) level by injection of octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (D4) as a representative siloxane, which has been found in many industrial and personal products. Specifically, i) GC/MS analysis demonstrated that the ring-opening polymerization of D4 could result in the formation of various linear and cyclic siloxanes in both electrodes of MEA; ii) post-test analysis revealed that the transformed siloxanes were transported from the anode to the cathode via free-volumes in the polymer membrane; iii) RDE measurement and DFT calculation revealed that D4 was not directly responsible for the electrocatalytic activity of Pt; iv) electrochemical analysis demonstrated that the residual methyl groups of siloxane and various siloxanes did not hinder the proton transport in the polymer membrane; and v) siloxanes accumulated in the primary and secondary pores with the exception of an external surface of carbon, causing an increase in the oxygen reactant's resistance and resulting in a decrease of the cell performance. In addition, we confirmed that injection of D4 did not affect the carbon corrosion adversely because the siloxane had little influence on water sorption in the catalyst layer.

  18. Transient non-isothermal model of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shah, A. A.; Kim, G.-S.; Sui, P. C.; Harvey, D.

    In this paper we present a one-dimensional transient model for the membrane electrode assembly of a polymer-electrolyte fuel cell. In earlier work we established a framework to describe the water balance in a steady-state, non-isothermal cathode model that explicitly included an agglomerate catalyst layer component. This paper extends that work in several directions, explicitly incorporating components of the anode, including a micro-porous layer, and accounting for electronic potential variations, gas convection and time dependance. The inclusion of temperature effects, which are vital to the correct description of condensation and evaporation, is new to transient modelling. Several examples of the modelling results are given in the form of potentiostatic sweeps and compared to experimental results. Excellent qualitative agreement is demonstrated, particularly in regard to the phenomenon of hysteresis, a manifestation of the sensitive response of the system to the presence of water. Results pertaining to pore size, contact angle and the presence of a micro-porous layer are presented and future work is discussed.

  19. Enhanced stability of multilayer graphene-supported catalysts for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell cathodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marinkas, A.; Hempelmann, R.; Heinzel, A.; Peinecke, V.; Radev, I.; Natter, H.

    2015-11-01

    One of the biggest challenges in the field of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) is to enhance the lifetime and the long-term stability of PEMFC electrodes, especially of cathodes, furthermore, to reduce their platinum loading, which could lead to a cost reduction for efficient PEMFCs. These demands could be achieved with a new catalyst support architecture consisting of a composite of carbon structures with significant different morphologies. A highly porous cathode catalyst support layer is prepared by addition of various carbon types (carbon black particles, multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT)) to multilayer graphene (MLG). The reported optimized cathodes shows extremely high durability and similar performance to commercial standard cathodes but with 89% lower Pt loading. The accelerated aging protocol (AAP) on the membrane electrode assemblies (MEA) shows that the presence of MLG increases drastically the durability and the Pt-extended electrochemical surface area (ECSA). In fact, after the AAP slightly enhanced performance can be observed for the MLG-containing cathodes instead of a performance loss, which is typical for the commercial carbon-based cathodes. Furthermore, the presence of MLG drastically decreases the ECSA loss rate. The MLG-containing cathodes show up to 6.8 times higher mass-normalized Pt-extended ECSA compared to the commercial standard systems.

  20. A New, Scalable and Low Cost Multi-Channel Monitoring System for Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

    Calderón, Antonio José; González, Isaías; Calderón, Manuel; Segura, Francisca; Andújar, José Manuel

    2016-01-01

    In this work a new, scalable and low cost multi-channel monitoring system for Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells (PEFCs) has been designed, constructed and experimentally validated. This developed monitoring system performs non-intrusive voltage measurement of each individual cell of a PEFC stack and it is scalable, in the sense that it is capable to carry out measurements in stacks from 1 to 120 cells (from watts to kilowatts). The developed system comprises two main subsystems: hardware devoted to data acquisition (DAQ) and software devoted to real-time monitoring. The DAQ subsystem is based on the low-cost open-source platform Arduino and the real-time monitoring subsystem has been developed using the high-level graphical language NI LabVIEW. Such integration can be considered a novelty in scientific literature for PEFC monitoring systems. An original amplifying and multiplexing board has been designed to increase the Arduino input port availability. Data storage and real-time monitoring have been performed with an easy-to-use interface. Graphical and numerical visualization allows a continuous tracking of cell voltage. Scalability, flexibility, easy-to-use, versatility and low cost are the main features of the proposed approach. The system is described and experimental results are presented. These results demonstrate its suitability to monitor the voltage in a PEFC at cell level. PMID:27005630

  1. A New, Scalable and Low Cost Multi-Channel Monitoring System for Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells

    PubMed Central

    Calderón, Antonio José; González, Isaías; Calderón, Manuel; Segura, Francisca; Andújar, José Manuel

    2016-01-01

    In this work a new, scalable and low cost multi-channel monitoring system for Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells (PEFCs) has been designed, constructed and experimentally validated. This developed monitoring system performs non-intrusive voltage measurement of each individual cell of a PEFC stack and it is scalable, in the sense that it is capable to carry out measurements in stacks from 1 to 120 cells (from watts to kilowatts). The developed system comprises two main subsystems: hardware devoted to data acquisition (DAQ) and software devoted to real-time monitoring. The DAQ subsystem is based on the low-cost open-source platform Arduino and the real-time monitoring subsystem has been developed using the high-level graphical language NI LabVIEW. Such integration can be considered a novelty in scientific literature for PEFC monitoring systems. An original amplifying and multiplexing board has been designed to increase the Arduino input port availability. Data storage and real-time monitoring have been performed with an easy-to-use interface. Graphical and numerical visualization allows a continuous tracking of cell voltage. Scalability, flexibility, easy-to-use, versatility and low cost are the main features of the proposed approach. The system is described and experimental results are presented. These results demonstrate its suitability to monitor the voltage in a PEFC at cell level. PMID:27005630

  2. Heat and water transport in a polymer electrolyte fuel cell electrode

    SciTech Connect

    Mukherjee, Partha P; Mukundan, Rangachary; Borup, Rod L; Ranjan, Devesh

    2010-01-01

    In the present scenario of a global initiative toward a sustainable energy future, the polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) has emerged as one of the most promising alternative energy conversion devices for various applications. Despite tremendous progress in recent years, a pivotal performance limitation in the PEFC comes from liquid water transport and the resulting flooding phenomena. Liquid water blocks the open pore space in the electrode and the fibrous diffusion layer leading to hindered oxygen transport. The electrode is also the only component in the entire PEFC sandwich which produces waste heat from the electrochemical reaction. The cathode electrode, being the host to several competing transport mechanisms, plays a crucial role in the overall PEFC performance limitation. In this work, an electrode model is presented in order to elucidate the coupled heat and water transport mechanisms. Two scenarios are specifically considered: (1) conventional, Nafion{reg_sign} impregnated, three-phase electrode with the hydrated polymeric membrane phase as the conveyer of protons where local electro-neutrality prevails; and (2) ultra-thin, two-phase, nano-structured electrode without the presence of ionomeric phase where charge accumulation due to electro-statics in the vicinity of the membrane-CL interface becomes important. The electrode model includes a physical description of heat and water balance along with electrochemical performance analysis in order to study the influence of electro-statics/electro-migration and phase change on the PEFC electrode performance.

  3. Current collector design for closed-plenum polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daniels, F. A.; Attingre, C.; Kucernak, A. R.; Brett, D. J. L.

    2014-03-01

    This work presents a non-isothermal, single-phase, three-dimensional model of the effects of current collector geometry in a 5 cm2 closed-plenum polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell constructed using printed circuit boards (PCBs). Two geometries were considered in this study: parallel slot and circular hole designs. A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) package was used to account for species, momentum, charge and membrane water distribution within the cell for each design. The model shows that the cell can reach high current densities in the range of 0.8 A cm-2-1.2 A cm-2 at 0.45 V for both designs. The results indicate that the transport phenomena are significantly governed by the flow field plate design. A sensitivity analysis on the channel opening ratio shows that the parallel slot design with a 50% opening ratio shows the most promising performance due to better species, heat and charge distribution. Modelling and experimental analysis confirm that flooding inhibits performance, but the risk can be minimised by reducing the relative humidity of the cathode feed to 50%. Moreover, overheating is a potential problem due to the insulating effect of the PCB base layer and as such strategies should be implemented to combat its adverse effects.

  4. Two-phase flow modeling for the cathode side of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qin, Chaozhong; Rensink, Dirk; Fell, Stephan; Majid Hassanizadeh, S.

    2012-01-01

    Liquid water flooding in micro gas channels is an important issue in the water management of polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs). However, in most previous numerical studies liquid water transport in the gas channels (GC) has been simplified by the mist flow assumption. In this work, we present a two-phase flow model for the cathode side of a PEFC. The GC is assumed to be a structured porous medium with the porosity of 1.0. The two-phase Darcy's law is applied to both diffusion layers and GC. Based on the developed model, the liquid water flooding in the GC and its impact on the liquid water distribution in the diffusion layers are explored in detail. Furthermore, we study the effect of the immobile saturation on the predicted liquid water distribution in the diffusion layers. The results show that neglecting the GC flooding leads to an incorrect prediction of liquid water distribution in the diffusion layers and an overestimation of the cell performance. The gas flow rate in the GC can be optimized to achieve the best cell performance. Finally, when considering the immobile saturation in the model, more liquid water is predicted in the diffusion layers.

  5. Effects of operating conditions on durability of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell Pt cathode catalyst layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohyagi, Shinsuke; Matsuda, Toshihiko; Iseki, Yohei; Sasaki, Tatsuyoshi; Kaito, Chihiro

    In this study, we investigated the effects of humidity and oxygen reduction on the degradation of the catalyst of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) in a voltage cycling test. To elucidate the effect of humidity on the voltage cycling corrosion of a carbon-supported Pt catalyst with 3 nm Pt particles, voltage cycling tests based on 10,000 cycles were conducted using 100% relative humidity (RH) hydrogen as anode gas and nitrogen of varying humidities as cathode gas. The degradation rate of an electrochemical surface area (ECSA) was almost 50% under 189% RH nitrogen atmosphere and the Pt average particle diameter after 10,000 cycles under these conditions was about 2.3 times that of a particle of fresh catalyst because of the agglomeration of Pt particles. The oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) that facilitated Pt catalyst agglomeration when oxygen was employed as the cathode gas also demonstrated that Pt agglomeration was prominent in higher concentrations of oxygen. The ECSA degradation figure in 100% RH oxygen was similar to that in 189% RH nitrogen. It was concluded that liquid water, which was dropped under a supersaturated condition or generated by ORR, accelerated Pt agglomeration. In this paper, we suggest that the Pt agglomeration degradation occurs in a flooding area in a cell plane.

  6. Nano mineral fiber enhanced catalyst coated membranes for improving polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell durability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Feng; Xu, Ran; Mu, Shichun

    In order to protect the perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) ionomer from an attack of contaminant metal ions as well as to enhance the mechanical stability of catalyst layers, palygorskite (PGS) is introduced into the catalyst layer of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. PGS is a widely used natural nano-sized silicate mineral fiber with unique nano-sized channel structure, has a strong absorption capacity for heavy metal ions. We identify a negative influence of Fe 2+ on PFSA membranes to make a comparative study. Subsequently catalyst coated membranes (CCMs) prepared with a PGS-Pt/C composite catalyst show a great effect in reducing Fe 2+ ion crossover. Results display that PGS absorbs Fe 2+ in nano-structure channels, and effectively protect PFSA ionomer in both the catalyst layer and membrane from hydroxyl radicals (OH rad) attack. Thus, the chemical stability of PFSA ionomer in both the catalyst layer and membrane is greatly improved. Furthermore, the enhancement of the mechanical performance of catalyst layers is discussed.

  7. Rapid self-start of polymer electrolyte fuel cells from sub-freezing temperatures.

    SciTech Connect

    Ahluwalia, R. K.; Wang, X.; Nuclear Engineering Division

    2005-01-01

    Polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) systems for light-duty vehicles must be able to start unassisted and rapidly from temperatures below -20 degrees C. Managing buildup of ice within the porous cathode catalyst and electrode structure is the key to self-starting a PEFC stack from subfreezing temperatures. The stack temperature must be raised above the melting point of ice before the ice completely covers the cathode catalyst and shuts down the electrochemical reaction. For rapid and robust self-start it is desirable to operate the stack near the short-circuit conditions. This mode of operation maximizes hydrogen utilization, favors production of waste heat that is absorbed by the stack, and delays complete loss of effective electrochemical surface area by causing a large fraction of the ice to form in the gas diffusion layer rather than in the cathode catalyst layer. Preheating the feed gases, using the power generated to electrically heat the stack, and operating pressures have only small effect on the ability to self-start or the startup time. In subfreezing weather, the stack shut-down protocol should include flowing ambient air through the hot cathode passages to vaporize liquid water remaining in the cathode catalyst. Self-start is faster and more robust if the bipolar plates are made from metal rather than graphite.

  8. Rapid self-start of polymer electrolyte fuel cell stacks from subfreezing temperatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahluwalia, R. K.; Wang, X.

    Polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) systems for light-duty vehicles must be able to start unassisted and rapidly from temperatures below -20 °C. Managing buildup of ice within the porous cathode catalyst and electrode structure is the key to self-starting a PEFC stack from subfreezing temperatures. The stack temperature must be raised above the melting point of ice before the ice completely covers the cathode catalyst and shuts down the electrochemical reaction. For rapid and robust self-start it is desirable to operate the stack near the short-circuit conditions. This mode of operation maximizes hydrogen utilization, favors production of waste heat that is absorbed by the stack, and delays complete loss of effective electrochemical surface area by causing a large fraction of the ice to form in the gas diffusion layer rather than in the cathode catalyst layer. Preheating the feed gases, using the power generated to electrically heat the stack, and operating pressures have only small effect on the ability to self-start or the startup time. In subfreezing weather, the stack shut-down protocol should include flowing ambient air through the hot cathode passages to vaporize liquid water remaining in the cathode catalyst. Self-start is faster and more robust if the bipolar plates are made from metal rather than graphite.

  9. Development of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell stack for an underwater vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, In-Su; Kho, Back-Kyun; Cho, Sungbaek

    2016-02-01

    This paper presents a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell stack that is specifically designed for the propulsion of an underwater vehicle (UV). The stack for a UV must be continuously operated in a closed space using hydrogen and pure oxygen; it should meet various performance requirements such as high hydrogen and oxygen utilizations, low hydrogen and oxygen consumptions, a high ramp-up rate, and a long lifetime. To this end, a cascade-type stack design is employed and the cell components, including the membrane electrode assembly and bipolar plate, are evaluated using long-term performance tests. The feasibility of a fabricated 4-kW-class stack was confirmed through various performance evaluations. The proposed cascade-type stack exhibited a high efficiency of 65% and high hydrogen and oxygen utilizations of 99.89% and 99.68%, respectively, resulting in significantly lesser purge-gas emissions to the outside of the stack. The load-following test was successfully performed at a high ramp-up rate. The lifetime of the stack was confirmed by a 3500-h performance test, from which the degradation rate of the cell voltage was obtained. The advantages of the cascade-type stack were also confirmed by comparing its performance with that of a single-stage stack operating in dead-end mode.

  10. Oxygen vacancy diffusion across cathode/electrolyte interface in solid oxide fuel cells: An electrochemical phase-field model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hong, Liang; Hu, Jia-Mian; Gerdes, Kirk; Chen, Long-Qing

    2015-08-01

    An electrochemical phase-field model is developed to study electronic and ionic transport across the cathode/electrolyte interface in solid oxide fuel cells. The influences of local current density and interfacial electrochemical reactions on the transport behaviors are incorporated. This model reproduces two electrochemical features. Nernst equation is satisfied through the thermodynamic equilibriums of the electron and oxygen vacancy. The distributions of charged species around the interface induce charge double layer. Moreover, we verify the nonlinear current/overpotential relationship. This model facilitates the exploration of problems in solid oxide fuel cells, which are associated with transport of species and electrochemical reactions at high operating temperature.

  11. Determination of Optimal Parameters for Dual-Layer Cathode of Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Using Computational Intelligence-Aided Design

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yi; Huang, Weina; Peng, Bei

    2014-01-01

    Because of the demands for sustainable and renewable energy, fuel cells have become increasingly popular, particularly the polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC). Among the various components, the cathode plays a key role in the operation of a PEFC. In this study, a quantitative dual-layer cathode model was proposed for determining the optimal parameters that minimize the over-potential difference and improve the efficiency using a newly developed bat swarm algorithm with a variable population embedded in the computational intelligence-aided design. The simulation results were in agreement with previously reported results, suggesting that the proposed technique has potential applications for automating and optimizing the design of PEFCs. PMID:25490761

  12. Effect of alkali and alkaline-earth chloride addition on electrolytic reduction of UO 2 in LiCl salt bath

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakamura, Yoshiharu

    2011-05-01

    The electrolytic reduction process of actinide oxides in a LiCl salt bath at 923 K has been developed for nuclear fuel reprocessing. Since some salt-soluble fission products, such as Cs, Sr and Ba, accumulate in the LiCl salt bath, their effect on UO 2 reduction was investigated. In the experiments, UO 2 specimens were reduced by potential- or current-controlled electrolysis in various LiCl salt baths containing up to 30 mol% of KCl, CsCl, SrCl 2 or BaCl 2. The rate of UO 2 reduction in a LiCl salt bath was considerably decreased by the addition of alkali metal chlorides (KCl and CsCl) and slightly decreased by BaCl 2 addition. SrCl 2 addition had no appreciable effect. It was suggested that the diffusion of O 2- ions from the inside of UO 2 specimens to the bulk salt determined the reduction rate during the electrolysis and that the effect of salt composition was related to the solubility of O 2- ions in the salt bath.

  13. Effect of proton-conduction in electrolyte on electric efficiency of multi-stage solid oxide fuel cells

    PubMed Central

    Matsuzaki, Yoshio; Tachikawa, Yuya; Somekawa, Takaaki; Hatae, Toru; Matsumoto, Hiroshige; Taniguchi, Shunsuke; Sasaki, Kazunari

    2015-01-01

    Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are promising electrochemical devices that enable the highest fuel-to-electricity conversion efficiencies under high operating temperatures. The concept of multi-stage electrochemical oxidation using SOFCs has been proposed and studied over the past several decades for further improving the electrical efficiency. However, the improvement is limited by fuel dilution downstream of the fuel flow. Therefore, evolved technologies are required to achieve considerably higher electrical efficiencies. Here we present an innovative concept for a critically-high fuel-to-electricity conversion efficiency of up to 85% based on the lower heating value (LHV), in which a high-temperature multi-stage electrochemical oxidation is combined with a proton-conducting solid electrolyte. Switching a solid electrolyte material from a conventional oxide-ion conducting material to a proton-conducting material under the high-temperature multi-stage electrochemical oxidation mechanism has proven to be highly advantageous for the electrical efficiency. The DC efficiency of 85% (LHV) corresponds to a net AC efficiency of approximately 76% (LHV), where the net AC efficiency refers to the transmission-end AC efficiency. This evolved concept will yield a considerably higher efficiency with a much smaller generation capacity than the state-of-the-art several tens-of-MW-class most advanced combined cycle (MACC). PMID:26218470

  14. Cell performance of Pd-Sn catalyst in passive direct methanol alkaline fuel cell using anion exchange membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Jandee; Momma, Toshiyuki; Osaka, Tetsuya

    Direct methanol alkaline fuel cell (DMAFC) using anion exchange membrane (AEM) was operated in passive condition. Cell with AEM exhibits a higher open circuit voltage (OCV) and superior cell performance than those in cell using Nafion. From the concentration dependences of methanol, KOH in fuel and ionomer in anode catalyst layer, it is found that the key factors are to improve the ionic conductivity at the anode and to form a favorable ion conductive path in catalyst layer in order to enhance the cell performance. In addition, by using home-made Pd-Sn/C catalyst as a cathode catalyst on DMAFC, the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) using Pd-Sn/C catalyst as cathode exhibits the higher performance than the usual commercially available Pt/C catalyst in high methanol concentration. Therefore, the Pd-Sn/C catalyst with high tolerance for methanol is expected as the promising oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalyst in DMAFC.

  15. Alkaline RFC Space Station prototype - 'Next step Space Station'. [Regenerative Fuel Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hackler, I. M.

    1986-01-01

    The regenerative fuel cell, a candidate technology for the Space Station's energy storage system, is described. An advanced development program was initiated to design, manufacture, and integrate a regenerative fuel cell Space Station prototype (RFC SSP). The RFC SSP incorporates long-life fuel cell technology, increased cell area for the fuel cells, and high voltage cell stacks for both units. The RFC SSP's potential for integration with the Space Station's life support and propulsion systems is discussed.

  16. Palladium and palladium-tin supported on multi wall carbon nanotubes or carbon for alkaline direct ethanol fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geraldes, Adriana Napoleão; Furtunato da Silva, Dionisio; Martins da Silva, Júlio César; Antonio de Sá, Osvaldo; Spinacé, Estevam Vitório; Neto, Almir Oliveira; Coelho dos Santos, Mauro

    2015-02-01

    Pd and PdSn (Pd:Sn atomic ratios of 90:10), supported on Multi Wall Carbon Nanotubes (MWCNT) or Carbon (C), are prepared by an electron beam irradiation reduction method. The obtained materials are characterized by X-Ray diffraction (XRD), Energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX), Transmission electron Microscopy (TEM) and Cyclic Voltammetry (CV). The activity for ethanol electro-oxidation is tested in alkaline medium, at room temperature, using Cyclic Voltammetry and Chronoamperometry (CA) and in a single alkaline direct ethanol fuel cell (ADEFC), in the temperature range of 60-90 °C. CV analysis finds that Pd/MWCNT and PdSn/MWCNT presents onset potentials changing to negative values and high current values, compared to Pd/C and PdSn/C electrocatalysts. ATR-FTIR analysis, performed during the CV, identifies acetate and acetaldehyde as principal products formed during the ethanol electro-oxidation, with low conversion to CO2. In single fuel cell tests, at 85 °C, using 2.0 mol L-1 ethanol in 2.0 mol L-1 KOH solutions, the electrocatalysts supported on MWCNT, also, show higher power densities, compared to the materials supported on carbon: PdSn/MWCNT, presents the best result (36 mW cm-2). The results show that the use of MWCNT, instead of carbon, as support, plus the addition of small amounts of Sn to Pd, improves the electrocatalytic activity for Ethanol Oxidation Reaction (EOR).

  17. Nb doped TiO2 as a Cathode Catalyst Support Material for Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Toole, Alexander W.

    In order to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases and reduce dependence on the use of fossil fuels, it is necessary to pursue alternative sources of energy. Transportation is a major contributor to the emission of greenhouse gases due to the use of fossil fuels in the internal combustion engine. To reduce emission of these pollutants into the atmosphere, research is needed to produce alternative solutions for vehicle transportation. Low temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells are energy conversion devices that provide an alternative to the internal combustion engine, however, they still have obstacles to overcome to achieve large scale implementation. T he following work presents original research with regards to the development of Nb doped TiO2 as a cathode catalyst support material for low temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. The development of a new process to synthesize nanoparticles of Nb doped TiO2 with controlled compositions is presented as well as methods to scale up the process and optimize the synthesis for the aforementioned application. In addition to this, comparison of both electrochemical activity and durability with current state of the art Pt on high surface area carbon black (Vulcan XC-72) is investigated. Effects of the strong metal-support interaction on the electrochemical behavior of these materials is also observed and discussed.

  18. Generalized flooded agglomerate model for the cathode catalyst layer of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kamarajugadda, Sai; Mazumder, Sandip

    2012-06-01

    The flooded agglomerate model has found prolific usage in modeling the oxygen reduction reaction within the cathode catalyst layer of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). The assumption made in this model is that the ionomer-coated carbon-platinum agglomerate is spherical in shape and that the spheres are non-overlapping. This assumption is convenient because the governing equations lend themselves to closed-form analytical solution when a spherical shape is assumed. In reality, micrographs of the catalyst layer show that the agglomerates are best represented by sets of overlapping spheres of unequal radii. In this article, the flooded agglomerate is generalized by considering overlapping spheres of unequal radii. As a first cut, only two overlapping spheres are considered. The governing reaction-diffusion equations are solved numerically using the unstructured finite-volume method. The volumetric current density is extracted for various parametric variations, and tabulated. This sub-grid-scale generalized flooded agglomerate model is first validated and finally coupled to a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code for predicting the performance of the PEMFC. Results show that when the agglomerates are small (<200 nm equivalent radius), the effect of agglomerate shape on the overall PEMFC performance is insignificant. For large agglomerates, on the other hand, the effect of agglomerate shape was found to be critical, especially for high current densities for which the mass transport resistance within the agglomerate is strongly dependent on the shape of the agglomerate, and was found to correlate well with the surface-to-volume ratio of the agglomerate.

  19. (Titanium, chromium) nitride coatings for bipolar plate of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, H. S.; Han, D. H.; Hong, W. H.; Lee, J. J.

    (Titanium, chromium) nitride [(Ti,Cr)N] coatings are synthesized on a 316L stainless-steel substrate by inductively-coupled, plasma-assisted, reactive direct current magnetron sputtering. The chemical and electrical properties of the coating are investigated from the viewpoint of it application to bipolar plates. Nanocrystallized Cr-Ti films are formed in the absence of nitrogen gas, while a hexagonal β-(Ti,Cr) 2N phase is observed at N 2 = 1.2 sccm. Well-crystallized (Ti,Cr)N films are obtained at N 2 > 2.0 sccm. The corrosion resistance of the coating is examined by potentiodynamic and potentiostatic tests in 0.05 M H 2SO 4 + 0.2 ppm HF solution at 80 °C, which simulates the operation conditions of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell. The Davies method is used to measure the interfacial contact resistance between the sample and carbon paper. The (Ti,Cr)N coating exhibits the highest corrosion potential and lowest current density. In a cathode environment, the corrosion potential and current density are 0.33 V (vs. SCE) and <5 × 10 -7 A cm -2 (at 0.6 V), respectively. In an anode environment the corresponding values are 0.16 V and <-5 × 10 -8 A cm -2 at -0.1 V. The (Ti,Cr)N coatings exhibit excellent stability during potentiostatic polarization tests in both anode and cathode environments. The interfacial contact resistance decreases with deposition of the (Ti,Cr)N film, and a minimum value of 4.5 mΩ cm 2 is obtained at a compaction force of 150 N cm -2, which indicates that the formation of oxide films can be successfully prevented by the (Ti,Cr)N film. Analysis with Auger electron spectroscopy reveals that the oxygen content at the surface decreases with increase in the nitrogen content.

  20. Water transport during startup and shutdown of polymer electrolyte fuel cell stacks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, X.; Tajiri, K.; Ahluwalia, R. K.

    A dynamic three-phase transport model is developed to analyze water uptake and transport in the membrane and catalyst layers of polymer electrolyte fuel cells during startup from subfreezing temperatures and subsequent shutdown. The initial membrane water content (λ, the number of water molecules per sulfonic acid site) is found to be an important parameter that determines whether a successful unassisted self-start is possible. For a given initial subfreezing temperature at startup, there is a critical λ (λ h), above which self-start is not possible because the product water completely engulfs the catalyst layers with ice before the stack can warm-up to 0 °C. There is a second value of λ (λ l), below which the stack can be self-started without forming ice. Between λ l and λ h, the stack can be self-started, but with intermediate formation of ice that melts as the stack warms up to 0 °C. Both λ l and λ h are functions of the initial stack temperature, cell voltage at startup, membrane thickness, catalyst loading, and stack heat capacity. If the stack is purged during the previous shutdown by flowing air in the cathode passages, then depending on the initial amount of water in the membrane and gas diffusion layers and the initial stack temperature, it may not be possible to dry the membrane to the critical λ for a subsequent successful startup. There is an optimum λ for robust and rapid startup and shutdown. Startup and shutdown time and energy may be unacceptable if the λ is much less than the optimum. Conversely, a robust startup from subfreezing temperatures cannot be assured if the λ is much higher than this optimum.

  1. Water transport during startup and shutdown of polymer electrolyte fuel cell stacks.

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, X.; Tajiri, K.; Ahluwalia, R.; Nuclear Engineering Division

    2010-10-01

    A dynamic three-phase transport model is developed to analyze water uptake and transport in the membrane and catalyst layers of polymer electrolyte fuel cells during startup from subfreezing temperatures and subsequent shutdown. The initial membrane water content (?, the number of water molecules per sulfonic acid site) is found to be an important parameter that determines whether a successful unassisted self-start is possible. For a given initial subfreezing temperature at startup, there is a critical ? (?h), above which self-start is not possible because the product water completely engulfs the catalyst layers with ice before the stack can warm-up to 0 C. There is a second value of ? (?l), below which the stack can be self-started without forming ice. Between ?l and ?h, the stack can be self-started, but with intermediate formation of ice that melts as the stack warms up to 0 C. Both ?l and ?h are functions of the initial stack temperature, cell voltage at startup, membrane thickness, catalyst loading, and stack heat capacity. If the stack is purged during the previous shutdown by flowing air in the cathode passages, then depending on the initial amount of water in the membrane and gas diffusion layers and the initial stack temperature, it may not be possible to dry the membrane to the critical ? for a subsequent successful startup. There is an optimum ? for robust and rapid startup and shutdown. Startup and shutdown time and energy may be unacceptable if the ? is much less than the optimum. Conversely, a robust startup from subfreezing temperatures cannot be assured if the ? is much higher than this optimum.

  2. Modeling of Multiphase Flow through Thin Porous Layers: Application to a Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell (PEFC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qin, C.; Hassanizadeh, S.

    2013-12-01

    Multiphase flow and species transport though thin porous layers are encountered in a number of industrial applications, such as fuel cells, filters, and hygiene products. Based on some macroscale models like the Darcy's law, to date, the modeling of flow and transport through such thin layers has been mostly performed in 3D discretized domains with many computational cells. But, there are a number of problems with this approach. First, a proper representative elementary volume (REV) is not defined. Second, one needs to discretize a thin porous medium into computational cells whose size may be comparable to the pore sizes. This suggests that the traditional models are not applicable to such thin domains. Third, the interfacial conditions between neighboring layers are usually not well defined. Last, 3D modeling of a number of interacting thin porous layers often requires heavy computational efforts. So, to eliminate the drawbacks mentioned above, we propose a new approach to modeling multilayers of thin porous media as 2D interacting continua (see Fig. 1). Macroscale 2D governing equations are formulated in terms of thickness-averaged material properties. Also, the exchange of thermodynamic properties between neighboring layers is described by thickness-averaged quantities. In Comparison to previous macroscale models, our model has the distinctive advantages of: (1) it is rigorous thermodynamics-based model; (2) it is formulated in terms of thickness-averaged material properties which are easily measureable; and (3) it reduces 3D modeling to 2D leading to a very significant reduction of computation efforts. As an application, we employ the new approach in the study of liquid water flooding in the cathode of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC). To highlight the advantages of the present model, we compare the results of water distribution with those obtained from the traditional 3D Darcy-based modeling. Finally, it is worth noting that, for specific case studies, a

  3. Poly(cyclohexadiene)-Based Polymer Electrolyte Membranes for Fuel Cell Applications

    SciTech Connect

    Mays, Jimmy W.

    2011-03-07

    The goal of this research project was to create and develop fuel cell membranes having high proton conductivity at high temperatures and high chemical and mechanical durability. Poly(1,3-cyclohexadiene) (PCHD) is of interest as an alternative polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) material due to its ring-like structure which is expected to impart superior mechanical and thermal properties, and due to the fact that PCHD can readily be incorporated into a range of homopolymer and copolymer structures. PCHD can be aromatized, sulfonated, or fluorinated, allowing for tuning of key performance structure and properties. These factors include good proton transport, hydrophilicity, permeability (including fuel gas impermeability), good mechanical properties, morphology, thermal stability, crystallinity, and cost. The basic building block, 1,3-cyclohexadiene, is a hydrocarbon monomer that could be inexpensively produced on a commercial scale (pricing typical of other hydrocarbon monomers). Optimal material properties will result in novel low cost PEM membranes engineered for high conductivity at elevated temperatures and low relative humidities, as well as good performance and durability. The primary objectives of this project were: (1) To design, synthesize and characterize new non-Nafion PEM materials that conduct protons at low (25-50%) RH and at temperatures ranging from room temperature to 120 C; and (2) To achieve these objectives, a range of homopolymer and copolymer materials incorporating poly(cyclohexadiene) (PCHD) will be synthesized, derivatized, and characterized. These two objectives have been achieved. Sulfonated and crosslinked PCHD homopolymer membranes exhibit proton conductivities similar to Nafion in the mid-RH range, are superior to Nafion at higher RH, but are poorer than Nafion at RH < 50%. Thus to further improve proton conductivity, particularly at low RH, poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) was incorporated into the membrane by blending and by

  4. The single cell of low temperature solid oxide fuel cell with sodium carbonate-SDC (samarium-doped ceria) as electrolyte and biodiesel as fuel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rahmawati, F.; Nuryanto, A.; Nugrahaningtyas, K. D.

    2016-02-01

    In this research NSDC (composite of Na2CO3-SDC) was prepared by the sol-gel method to produce NSDC1 and also by the ceramic method to produce NSDC2. The prepared NSDC then were analyzed by XRD embedded with Le Bail refinement to study the change of characteristic peaks, their crystal structure, and their cell parameters. Meanwhile, the measurement of impedance was conducted to study the electrical conductivity of the prepared materials. A single cell was prepared by coating NSDC-L (a composite of NSDC with Li0.2Ni0.7Cu0.1O2) on both surfaces of NSDC. The NSDC-L was used as anode and cathode. The ionic conductivity of NSDC1 and NSDC2 at 400 oC are 4.1109 x 10-2 S.cm-1 and 1.6231 x 10-2 S.cm-1, respectively. Both electrolytes have ionic conductivity higher than 1 x 10-4 S.cm-1, therefore, can be categorized as good electrolyte [1]. However, the NSDC1 shows electrodeelectrolyte conduction. It indicates the existence of electronic migration from electrolyte- electrode or vice versa. Those may cause a short circuit during fuel cell operation and will reduce the fuel cell performance fastly. The single cell tests were conducted at 300, 400, 500 and 600 °C. The single fuel cell with NSDC1 and NSDC2 as electrolyte show maximum power density at 400 °C with the power density of 3.736 x 10-2 mW.cm-2 and 2.245 x 10-2 mW.cm-2, respectively.

  5. Effects of surface chemistry and microstructure of electrolyte on oxygen reduction kinetics of solid oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Joong Sun; An, Jihwan; Lee, Min Hwan; Prinz, Fritz B.; Lee, Wonyoung

    2015-11-01

    We report systematic investigation of the surface properties of yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) electrolytes with the control of the grain boundary (GB) density at the surface, and its effects on electrochemical activities. The GB density of thin surface layers deposited on single crystal YSZ substrates is controlled by changing the annealing temperature (750-1450 °C). Higher oxygen reduction reactions (ORR) kinetics is observed in samples annealed at lower temperatures. The higher ORR activity is ascribed to the higher GB density at the YSZ surface where 'mobile' oxide ion vacancies are more populated. Meanwhile, oxide ion vacancies concurrently created with yttrium segregation at the surface at the higher annealing temperature are considered inactive to oxygen incorporation reactions. Our results provide additional insight into the interplay between the surface chemistry, microstructures, and electrochemical activity. They potentially provide important guidelines for engineering the electrolyte-electrode interfaces of solid oxide fuel cells for higher electrochemical performance.

  6. Effects of surface chemistry and microstructure of electrolyte on oxygen reduction kinetics of solid oxide fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Park, Joong Sun; An, Jihwan; Lee, Min Hwan; Prinz, Friedrich B.; Lee, Wonyoung

    2015-07-10

    In this study, we report systematic investigation of the surface properties of yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) electrolytes with the control of the grain boundary (GB) density at the surface, and its effects on electrochemical activities. The GB density of thin surface layers deposited on single crystal YSZ substrates is controlled by changing the annealing temperature (750-1450 °C). Higher oxygen reduction reactions (ORR) kinetics is observed in samples annealed at lower temperatures. The higher ORR activity is ascribed to the higher GB density at the YSZ surface where 'mobile' oxide ion vacancies are more populated. Meanwhile, oxide ion vacancies concurrently created with yttrium segregation at the surface at the higher annealing temperature are considered inactive to oxygen incorporation reactions. Our results provide additional insight into the interplay between the surface chemistry, microstructures, and electrochemical activity. They potentially provide important guidelines for engineering the electrolyte electrode interfaces of solid oxide fuel cells for higher electrochemical performance.

  7. Reclaiming the spent alkaline zinc manganese dioxide batteries collected from the manufacturers to prepare valuable electrolytic zinc and LiNi{sub 0.5}Mn{sub 1.5}O{sub 4} materials

    SciTech Connect

    Ma, Ya; Cui, Yan; Zuo, Xiaoxi; Huang, Shanna; Hu, Keshui; Xiao, Xin; Nan, Junmin

    2014-10-15

    Highlights: • The spent Zn–Mn batteries collected from manufacturers is the target waste. • A facile reclaiming process is presented. • The zinc is reclaimed to valuable electrolytic zinc by electrodepositing method. • The manganese elements are to produce valuable LiNi{sub 0.5}Mn{sub 1.5}O{sub 4} battery material. • The reclamation process features environmental friendliness and saving resource. - Abstract: A process for reclaiming the materials in spent alkaline zinc manganese dioxide (Zn–Mn) batteries collected from the manufacturers to prepare valuable electrolytic zinc and LiNi{sub 0.5}Mn{sub 1.5}O{sub 4} materials is presented. After dismantling battery cans, the iron cans, covers, electric rods, organic separator, label, sealing materials, and electrolyte are separated through the washing, magnetic separation, filtrating, and sieving operations. Then, the powder residues react with H{sub 2}SO{sub 4} (2 mol L{sup −1}) solution to dissolve zinc under a liquid/solid ratio of 3:1 at room temperature, and subsequently, the electrolytic Zn with purity of ⩾99.8% is recovered in an electrolytic cell with a cathode efficiency of ⩾85% under the conditions of 37–40 °C and 300 A m{sup −2}. The most of MnO{sub 2} and a small quantity of electrolytic MnO{sub 2} are recovered from the filtration residue and the electrodeposit on the anode of electrolytic cell, respectively. The recovered manganese oxides are used to synthesize LiNi{sub 0.5}Mn{sub 1.5}O{sub 4} material of lithium-ion battery. The as-synthesized LiNi{sub 0.5}Mn{sub 1.5}O{sub 4} discharges 118.3 mAh g{sup −1} capacity and 4.7 V voltage plateau, which is comparable to the sample synthesized using commercial electrolytic MnO{sub 2}. This process can recover the substances in the spent Zn–Mn batteries and innocuously treat the wastewaters, indicating that it is environmentally acceptable and applicable.

  8. Effects of microstructure on carbon support in the catalyst layer on the performance of polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Uchida, Makoto; Fukuoka, Yuko; Sugawara, Yasushi

    1996-12-31

    In the case of the Polymer-electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs), the reaction sites exist on the platinum (Pt) surface covered with PFSI. Though PFSI membrane is used as an electrolyte of the PEFC, the membrane does not soak deeply into the electrodes as a liquid electrolyte does. Therefore, PFSI solution was impregnated into the catalyst layers to increase the contact areas between Pt and PFSI. In our previous work we proposed a new preparation method of the M&E assembly which emphasized the colloid formation of the PFSI to optimize the network of PFSIs in the catalyst layer and also to simplify the fabrication process of the M&E assembly. Following this work, we focused on the microstructure of the catalyst layer. The importance of the morphological properties of the gas-diffusion electrodes on performance has been reported in several papers. The catalyst layer was claimed to have had two distinctive pore distributions with a boundary of ca. 0.1 {mu}m. The smaller pore (primary pore) was identified with the space in and between the primary particles in the agglomerate of the carbon support and the larger one (secondary pore) was that between the agglomerates. In our recent work, we reported that the PFSI was distributed only in the secondary pores, and the reaction sites were therefore limited to that location. The results indicated that the PEFC system required a particular design rather than a conventional one for the fuel cells with liquid electrolytes. We proposed that novel structure and/or preparation methods of the catalyst layer were keys to higher utilization of Pt.

  9. Aerosol synthesis and electrochemical analysis of niobium mixed-metal oxides for the ethanol oxidation reaction in acid and alkaline electrolyte

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konopka, Daniel A.

    . For the first time, in situ FTIR measurements in acid electrolyte showed that highly dispersed Pt nanoparticles (2--5nm) on NbRuyO z (at% 8Nb:1Ru) catalyze the formation of CO2 from ethanol in greater yield, and 0.35--0.4V lower, than Pt(111). Compared to conventional Pt/carbon, this indicates that, (1) Pt supported on NbRuyO z can be more effective at splitting the C---C bond in ethanol and, (2) the scission occurs at potentials more ideal for a higher efficiency fuel cell anode. Ex situ-microscopy revealed the polarization-induced two- and three-dimensional formation of Pt-NbOx interfacial adsorption sites responsible for the facilitation of the total oxidation pathway of ethanol. The results show that synthesis and post-treatment of niobia supports can bias the utility of Pt/niobia systems towards the ethanol oxidation reaction at the anode or the oxygen reduction reaction at the cathode. Experimental and computational-theoretical analyses indicate that the mechanism of interfacial site formation is dependent upon the local oxygen concentration, as well as the availability of multiple, energetically accessible oxidation states like those inherent to niobia. Future directions for the development of highly active, niobium-based materials tailored for efficient catalysis of the total oxidation pathway of ethanol are discussed.

  10. Assembly of a Cost-Effective Anode Using Palladium Nanoparticles for Alkaline Fuel Cell Applications

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Feliciano-Ramos, Ileana; Casan~as-Montes, Barbara; García-Maldonado, María M.; Menendez, Christian L.; Mayol, Ana R.; Díaz-Vazquez, Liz M.; Cabrera, Carlos R.

    2015-01-01

    Nanotechnology allows the synthesis of nanoscale catalysts, which offer an efficient alternative for fuel cell applications. In this laboratory experiment, the student selects a cost-effective anode for fuel cells by comparing three different working electrodes. These are commercially available palladium (Pd) and glassy carbon (GC) electrodes, and…

  11. Electrolyte Racers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kellie, Shawn; Kellie, Tonya; Corbin-Tipton, Elizabeth

    2006-01-01

    A fast way to teach investigative skills in science is to tie them to NASCAR using Hot Wheels Formula Fuelers Race Cars. These inexpensive toy cars travel different distances based on the strength of the "electrolyte" (a substance that conducts electricity when dissolved in water) in their "fuel" tanks. Advertisements for these race cars urge kids…

  12. High performance nano-Ni/Graphite electrode for electro-oxidation in direct alkaline ethanol fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soliman, Ahmed B.; Abdel-Samad, Hesham S.; Abdel Rehim, Sayed S.; Ahmed, Mohamed A.; Hassan, Hamdy H.

    2016-09-01

    Ni/Graphite electrocatalysts (Ni/G) are successfully prepared through electrodeposition of Ni from acidic (pH = 0.8) and feebly acidic (pH = 5.5) aqueous Ni (II) baths. The efficiencies of such electrodes are investigated as anodes for direct alkaline ethanol fuel cells through their ethanol electrooxidation cyclic voltammetric (CV) response in alkaline medium. A direct proportionality between the amount of the electrodeposited Ni and its CV response is found. The amounts of the deposited Ni from the two baths are recorded using the Electrochemical Quartz Crystal Microbalance (eQCM). The Ni/G electrodes prepared from the feebly acidic bath show a higher electrocatalytic response than those prepared from the acidic bath. Surface morphology of the Ni particles electrodeposited from feebly acidic bath appears in a nano-scale dimension. Various electrochemical experiments are conducted to confirm that the Ni/G ethanol electrooxidation CV response greatly depends on the pH rather than nickel ion concentration of the deposition bath. The eQCM technique is used to detect the crystalline phases of nickel as α-Ni(OH)2/γ-NiOOH and β-Ni(OH)2/β-NiOOH and their in-situ inter-transformations during the potentiodynamic polarization.

  13. Alkaline battery operational methodology

    DOEpatents

    Sholklapper, Tal; Gallaway, Joshua; Steingart, Daniel; Ingale, Nilesh; Nyce, Michael

    2016-08-16

    Methods of using specific operational charge and discharge parameters to extend the life of alkaline batteries are disclosed. The methods can be used with any commercial primary or secondary alkaline battery, as well as with newer alkaline battery designs, including batteries with flowing electrolyte. The methods include cycling batteries within a narrow operating voltage window, with minimum and maximum cut-off voltages that are set based on battery characteristics and environmental conditions. The narrow voltage window decreases available capacity but allows the batteries to be cycled for hundreds or thousands of times.

  14. An electrochemical treatment to improve corrosion and contact resistance of stainless steel bipolar plates used in polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gabreab, Ebrahim M.; Hinds, Gareth; Fearn, Sarah; Hodgson, David; Millichamp, Jason; Shearing, Paul R.; Brett, Daniel J. L.

    2014-01-01

    An electrochemical surface treatment is presented that improves the properties of stainless steel (316SS) used as bipolar plates for polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs). The process is an anodic treatment, whereby the material is polarised beyond the transpassive region. Potentiodynamic corrosion testing, chemical and morphological surface characterisation and interfacial contact resistance measurements indicate that the improved properties of 316SS are primarily a consequence of an enrichment of Cr at the near-surface of the material. The surface treatment increases the corrosion resistance and significantly reduces interfacial contact resistance.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khudhayer, Wisam J.

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

  16. MEA for alkaline direct ethanol fuel cell with alkali doped PBI membrane and non-platinum electrodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Modestov, A. D.; Tarasevich, M. R.; Leykin, A. Yu.; Filimonov, V. Ya.

    This paper reports on the fabrication of MEA for alkaline direct ethanol fuel cell (ADEFC). The MEA was fabricated using non-platinum electrocatalysts and a membrane of alkali doped polybenzimidazole (PBI). The employed oxygen reduction catalyst was prepared by pyrolysis of 5,10,15,20-tetrakis(4-methoxyphenyl)-21H,23H-porphine cobalt(II) supported on XC72 carbon. This catalyst is tolerant to ethanol. Electrocatalyst at the anode was RuV alloy supported on XC72 carbon. It was synthesized by reduction of respective salts at elevated temperature. Single cell power density of 100 mW cm -2 at U = 0.4 V was achieved at 80 °C using air at ambient pressure and 3 M KOH + 2 M EtOH anode feed. The developed MEA is considered viable for use in emergency power supply units and in power sources for portable electronic equipment.

  17. Reduced-temperature firing of solid oxide fuel cells with zirconia/ceria bi-layer electrolytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Zhan; Kennouche, David; Barnett, Scott A.

    2014-08-01

    Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) with bi-layer Zirconia/Ceria electrolytes have been studied extensively because of their great potential for producing high power density at reduced operating temperature, important for reducing cost and thereby allowing broader SOFC commercialization. The bi-layer electrolytes are designed to take advantage of the high oxygen ion conductivity of Ceria, the low electronic conductivity of Zirconia, and the low reactivity of Ceria with high-performance cathodes. However, zirconia/ceria processing has proven problematic due to interdiffusion during high temperature co-firing, or ceria layer porosity after two-step firing. Here we first show a new method for bi-layer co-firing at a reduced temperature of 1250 °C, ∼150 °C lower than the usual sintering temperature, achieved using Fe2O3 as a sintering aid. This novel process enables high power density SOFCs by producing: (1) low-resistance Y0.16Zr0.92O2-δ (YSZ)/Gd0.1Ce0.9O1.95 (GDC) electrolytes that also yield high open-circuit voltage, (2) dense GDC layers that prevent reactions between highly-active La0.6Sr0.4Fe0.8Co0.2O3 (LSFC) cathode materials and YSZ, and (3) Ni-YSZ anodes with high electrochemical activity due to fine-scale microstructure with high TPB densities.

  18. Micro-solid oxide fuel cells using free-standing 3 mol.% yttria-stabilised-tetragonal-zirconia-polycrystal electrolyte foils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, Anna; Bieberle-Hütter, Anja; Bonderer, Lorenz J.; Stuckenholz, Stefanie; Gauckler, Ludwig J.

    Ultrathin 3 mol.% yttria-stabilised-tetragonal-zirconia-polycrystal (Y-TZP) foils with thicknesses of 1-10 μm are fabricated by a new wet-chemical processing route. The foils are free-standing, semi-transparent and flexible. The in-plane electrical conductivity of the Y-TZP foil is 0.03 S m -1 at 500 °C. Cross-plane impedance measurements with sputtered Pt electrodes yield two arcs, of which the high-frequency arc is attributed to the ohmic resistance of the electrolyte and the low-frequency arc to the electrode-electrolyte interface. A symmetrical micro-solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) is designed using this ultrathin free-standing Y-TZP foil as the electrolyte and sputtered Pt electrodes. An open-circuit voltage of 0.98 V and a maximum power density of 12 mW cm -2 are measured at 500 °C. These results prove the feasibility of this approach to the fabrication of miniaturised planar SOFCs without the need for microfabrication.

  19. Physical properties of molten carbonate electrolyte

    SciTech Connect

    Kojima, T.; Yanagida, M.; Tanimoto, K.

    1996-12-31

    Recently many kinds of compositions of molten carbonate electrolyte have been applied to molten carbonate fuel cell in order to avoid the several problems such as corrosion of separator plate and NiO cathode dissolution. Many researchers recognize that the addition of alkaline earth (Ca, Sr, and Ba) carbonate to Li{sub 2}CO{sub 3}-Na{sub 2}CO{sub 3} and Li{sub 2}CO{sub 3}-K{sub 2}CO{sub 3} eutectic electrolytes is effective to avoid these problems. On the other hand, one of the corrosion products, CrO{sub 4}{sup 2-} ion is found to dissolve into electrolyte and accumulated during the long-term MCFC operations. This would affect the performance of MCFC. There, however, are little known data of physical properties of molten carbonate containing alkaline earth carbonates and CrO{sub 4}{sup 2-}. We report the measured and accumulated data for these molten carbonate of electrical conductivity and surface tension to select favorable composition of molten carbonate electrolytes.

  20. A study of the effect of water management and electrode flooding on the dimensional change of polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mason, Thomas J.; Millichamp, Jason; Neville, Tobias P.; Shearing, Paul R.; Simons, Stefaan; Brett, Daniel J. L.

    2013-11-01

    Water management and flooding play an important role in the performance and durability of polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs). In this study, a dynamic electro-mechanical analysis is performed to examine the performance of a working PEFC during hydration transients and flooding events. Cell resistance is measured using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), and the stress/strain characteristics - cell compression and membrane electrode assembly (MEA) dimensional change - are studied using a controlled compression unit (CCU). Ex-situ measurements of membrane thickness as a function of hydration level provide a direct correlation between ionic conductivity and thickness. During initial hydration of Nafion membranes there is a direct relationship between membrane conductivity and dimensional change (swelling) of MEAs. Electrode flooding is found to result in membrane hydration and an increase in stress or strain, depending on the compression mode of the fuel cell. Results suggest that hydration cycles and flooding events can lead to cell degradation due to the stresses imposed.

  1. Influence of nano-sized LSCF cathode and its firing temperature on electrochemical performance in oxygen-excess-type solid electrolyte (OESE)-based fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mieda, Hiroyuki; Mineshige, Atsushi; Saito, Atsushi; Yazawa, Tetsuo; Yoshioka, Hideki; Mori, Ryohei

    2014-12-01

    Dense films of an oxygen-excess-type solid electrolyte (OESE) based on Mg-doped lanthanum silicate (MDLS) were fabricated and applied to electrolyte materials for intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells (IT-SOFCs). To obtain dense MDLS films on NiO-MDLS porous substrates, a conventional spin-coating technique using the MDLS printable paste, obtained by mixing nano-sized MDLS particles and a dispersant, was employed. The Ni-MDLS anode supported single cells were then fabricated by printing porous cathode layer onto the electrolyte film surface. By optimizing fabrication conditions of an MDLS film and cathode, the highly active cathode/OESE interface (ASR = 0.23 Ω cm2 at 873 K) were successfully obtained, which resulted in high power density of 0.166 W cm-2 at 873 K in the fuel cell test when operated with argon-diluted hydrogen and pure oxygen as the fuel and the cathode gas, respectively.

  2. In-Situ Anomalous Small-Angle X-ray Scattering Studies of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell Catalyst Degradation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilbert, James Andrew

    Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are a promising high efficiency energy conversion technology, but their cost effective implementation, especially for automotive power, has been hindered by degradation of the electrochemically-active surface area (ECA) of the Pt nanoparticle electrocatalysts. While numerous studies using ex-situ post-mortem techniques have provided insight into the effect of operating conditions on ECA loss, the governing mechanisms and underlying processes are not fully understood. Toward the goal of elucidating the electrocatalyst degradation mechanisms, we have followed particle size distribution (PSD) growth evolutions of Pt and Pt-alloy nanoparticle catalysts during potential cycling in an aqueous acidic environment (with and without flow of electrolyte) and in a fuel cell environment using in-situ anomalous small-angle X-ray scattering (ASAXS). The results of this thesis show a surface area loss mechanism of Pt nanoparticles supported on carbon to be predominantly controlled by Pt dissolution, the particle size dependence of Pt dissolution, the loss of dissolved Pt into the membrane and electrolyte, and, to a lesser extent, the re-deposition of dissolved Pt onto larger particles. The relative extent of these loss mechanisms are shown to be dependent on the environment, the temperature, and the potential cycling conditions. Correlation of ASAXS-determined particle growth with both calculated and voltammetrically-determined oxide coverages demonstrates that the oxide coverage is playing a key role in the dissolution process and in the corresponding growth of the mean Pt nanoparticle size and loss of ECA. This understanding potentially reduces the complex changes in PSDs and ECA resulting from various voltage profiles to the response to a single variable, oxide coverage. A better understanding of the degradation mechanisms of Pt and Pt-alloy nanoparticle distributions could lead to more stable electrocatalysts while

  3. Water Transport in the Micro Porous Layer and Gas Diffusion Layer of a Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qin, C.; Hassanizadeh, S. M.

    2015-12-01

    In this work, a recently developed dynamic pore-network model is presented [1]. The model explicitly solves for both water pressure and capillary pressure. A semi-implicit scheme is used in updating water saturation in each pore body, which considerably increases the numerical stability at low capillary number values. Furthermore, a multiple-time-step algorithm is introduced to reduce the computational effort. A number of case studies of water transport in the micro porous layer (MPL) and gas diffusion layer (GDL) are conducted. We illustrate the role of MPL in reducing water flooding in the GDL. Also, the dynamic water transport through the MPL-GDL interface is explored in detail. This information is essential to the reduced continua model (RCM), which was developed for multiphase flow through thin porous layers [2, 3]. C.Z. Qin, Water transport in the gas diffusion layer of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell: dynamic pore-network modeling, J Electrochimical. Soci., 162, F1036-F1046, 2015. C.Z. Qin and S.M. Hassanizadeh, Multiphase flow through multilayers of thin porous media: general balance equations and constitutive relationships for a solid-gas-liquid three-phase system, Int. J. Heat Mass Transfer, 70, 693-708, 2014. C.Z. Qin and S.M. Hassanizadeh, A new approach to modeling water flooding in a polymer electrolyte fuel cell, Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 40, 3348-3358, 2015.

  4. Effect of the alkaline cation size on the conductivity in gel polymer electrolytes and their influence on photo electrochemical solar cells.

    PubMed

    Bandara, T M W J; Fernando, H D N S; Furlani, M; Albinsson, I; Dissanayake, M A K L; Ratnasekera, J L; Mellander, B-E

    2016-04-20

    The nature and concentration of cationic species in the electrolyte exert a profound influence on the efficiency of nanocrystalline dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). A series of DSSCs based on gel electrolytes containing five alkali iodide salts (LiI, NaI, KI, RbI and CsI) and polyacrylonitrile with plasticizers were fabricated and studied, in order to investigate the dependence of solar cell performance on the cation size. The ionic conductivity of electrolytes with relatively large cations, K(+), Rb(+) and Cs(+), was higher and essentially constant, while for the electrolytes containing the two smaller cations, Na(+) and Li(+), the conductivity values were lower. The temperature dependence of conductivity in this series appears to follow the Vogel-Tamman-Fulcher equation. The sample containing the smallest cation shows the lowest conductivity and the highest activation energy of ∼36.5 meV, while K(+), Rb(+) and Cs(+) containing samples show an activation energy of ∼30.5 meV. DSSCs based on the gel electrolyte and a TiO2 double layer with the N719 dye exhibited an enhancement in the open circuit voltage with increasing cation size. This can be attributed to the decrease in the recombination rate of electrons and to the conduction band shift resulting from cation adsorption by TiO2. The maximum efficiency value, 3.48%, was obtained for the CsI containing cell. The efficiencies shown in this study are lower compared to values reported in the literature, and this can be attributed to the use of a single salt and the absence of other additives, since the focus of the present study was to analyze the cation effect. The highest short circuit current density of 9.43 mA cm(-2) was shown by the RbI containing cell. The enhancement of the solar cell performance with increasing size of the cation is discussed in terms of the effect of the cations on the TiO2 anode and ion transport in the electrolyte. In liquid electrolyte based DSSCs, the short circuit current density

  5. Environmental and economic assessment of a cracked ammonia fuelled alkaline fuel cell for off-grid power applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cox, Brian; Treyer, Karin

    2015-02-01

    Global mobile telecommunication is possible due to millions of Base Transceiver Stations (BTS). Nearly 1 million of these are operating off-grid, typically powered by diesel generators and therefore leading to significant CO2 emissions and other environmental burdens. A novel type of Alkaline Fuel Cell (AFC) powered by cracked ammonia is being developed for replacement of these generators. This study compares the environmental and economic performance of the two systems by means of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE), respectively. Results show that the production of ammonia dominates the LCA results, and that renewable ammonia production pathways greatly improve environmental performance. Sensitivity analyses reveal that the fuel cell parameters that most affect system cost and environmental burdens are cell power density and lifetime and system efficiency. Recycling of anode catalyst and electrode substrate materials is found to have large impacts on environmental performance, though without large cost incentives. For a set of target parameter values and fossil sourced ammonia, the AFC is calculated to produce electricity with life cycle CO2 eq emissions of 1.08 kg kWh-1, which is 23% lower than a diesel generator with electricity costs that are 14% higher in the same application.

  6. Mechanical and water sorption properties of nafion and composite nafion/titanium dioxide membranes for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Satterfield, May Barclay

    The mechanical properties of the membranes used in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells are important to the performance and longevity of the cell. The speed and extent of membrane water uptake depend on the membrane's viscoelastic mechanical properties, which are themselves dependent on membrane hydration, and increased hydration improves membrane proton conductivity and fuel cell performance. Membrane mechanical properties also affect durability and cell longevity, preventing membrane failure from stresses induced by changing temperature and water content during operational cycling. Further, membrane creep and stress-relaxation can change the extent of membrane/electrode contact, also changing cell behavior. New composite membrane materials have exhibited superior performance in fuel cells, and it is suspected that improved mechanical properties are responsible. Studies of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell dynamics using Nafion membranes have demonstrated the importance of membrane mechanical properties, swelling and water-absorption behavior to cell performance. Nonlinear and delayed dynamic responses to changing operating parameters were unexpected, but reminiscent of polymer viscoelastic behavior and water sorption dynamics, illustrating the need to better understand membrane properties to design and operate fuel cells. Further, Nafion/TiO2 composite membranes developed by the Princeton Chemistry Department improve fuel cell performance, which may be due to changes in membrane microstructure and enhanced mechanical properties. Mechanical properties, stress-relaxation behavior, water sorption and desorption rates and pressures exerted during hydration by a confined membrane have been measured for Nafion and for Nafion/TiO2 composite membranes. Mechanical properties, including the Young's modulus and limits of elastic deformation are dependent on temperature and membrane water content. The Young's modulus decreases with increasing water content and

  7. Alkaline/peracetic acid as a pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass for ethanol fuel production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teixeira, Lincoln Cambraia

    Peracetic acid is a lignin oxidation pretreatment with low energy input by which biomass can be treated in a silo type system for improving enzymatic digestibility of lignocellulosic materials for ethanol production. Experimentally, ground hybrid poplar wood and sugar cane bagasse are placed in plastic bags and a peracetic acid solution is added to the biomass in different concentrations based on oven-dry biomass. The ratio of solution to biomass is 6:1; after initial mixing of the resulting paste, a seven-day storage period at about 20°C is used in this study. As a complementary method, a series of pre-pretreatments using stoichiometric amounts of sodium hydroxide and ammonium hydroxide based on 4-methyl-glucuronic acid and acetyl content in the biomass is been performed before addition of peracetic acid. The alkaline solutions are added to the biomass in a ratio of 14:1 solution to biomass; the slurry is mixed for 24 hours at ambient temperature. The above procedures give high xylan content substrates. Consequently, xylanase/beta-glucosidase combinations are more effective than cellulase preparations in hydrolyzing these materials. The pretreatment effectiveness is evaluated using standard enzymatic hydrolysis and simultaneous saccharification and cofermentation (SSCF) procedures. Hybrid poplar wood pretreated with 15 and 21% peracetic acid based on oven-dry weight of wood gives glucan conversion yields of 76.5 and 98.3%, respectively. Sugar cane bagasse pretreated with the same loadings gives corresponding yields of 85.9 and 93.1%. Raw wood and raw bagasse give corresponding yields of 6.8 and 28.8%, respectively. The combined 6% NaOH/15% peracetic acid pretreatments increase the glucan conversion yields from 76.5 to 100.0% for hybrid poplar wood and from 85.9 to 97.6% for sugar cane bagasse. Respective ethanol yields of 92.8 and 91.9% are obtained from 6% NaOH/15% peracetic acid pretreated materials using recombinant Zymomonas mobilis CP4/pZB5. Peracetic acid

  8. Fuel cell systems for auxiliary, main propulsion power: Planar solid-oxide and polymer-electrolyte systems yield stealth, endurance, reduced costs & emissions

    SciTech Connect

    Scoles, S.W.; Sapyta, J.J.

    1995-07-01

    The US Navy has identified fuel-cell systems as having significant promise for meeting the power needs of future generations of ships. A resently released report from the Carderock Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center entitled, The Assessment of Fuel Cell Power Plants for Surface Combatants, compares various fuel-cell technologies with conventional shipboard power sources on the basis of the fuel-cell system`s influence in the design, cost, and effectiveness of surface combatants. Fuel-cell technologies have been available for many years but only recently have any of the five major types of fuel cells emerged from the R&D environments in a form usable in shipboard applications. The Carderock report identified planar solid-oxide fuel cells (PSOFC) and polymer-electrolyte fuel cells (PEFC) as the only fuel-cell technologies with the potential to provide combatants in all applications. This article examines each type and provides a technical and economic analysis.

  9. Theoretical study of support effect of Au catalyst for glucose oxidation of alkaline fuel cell anode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishimoto, Takayoshi; Hamatake, Yumi; Kazuno, Hiroki; Kishida, Takayuki; Koyama, Michihisa

    2015-01-01

    We theoretically analyzed the glucose oxidation reaction mechanism and reaction activity of Au catalyst supported by carbon (graphite(0 0 0 1), (1 0 1 bar 0), and (1 1 2 bar 0)) and oxide (ZrO2(1 1 1) and SnO2(1 1 0)) in alkaline solution environment by using density functional theory method. We observed large stabilization of Au catalyst on support materials due to the electron transfer in the case of graphite(1 1 2 bar 0) and SnO2(1 1 0) systems. The catalytic activity for glucose oxidation reaction over Au supported by graphite(1 0 1 bar 0) and (1 1 2 bar 0) is calculated to be low in comparison with those of unsupported system. We found that SnO2(1 1 0) supported Au catalyst shows high activity toward the glucose oxidation. One of the main factors for the observed high catalytic activity is charge transfer from Au catalyst to support materials. When the atomic charge of Au catalyst becomes positive by the support effect, the activity of glucose oxidation reaction on Au catalyst is improved.

  10. Analysis and control of a fuel delivery system considering a two-phase anode model of the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell stack

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Jinglin; Ahn, Jongwoo; Choe, Song-Yul

    2011-05-01

    The fuel delivery system using both an ejector and a blower for a PEM fuel cell stack is introduced as a fuel efficiency configuration because of the possibility of hydrogen recirculation dependent upon load states. A high pressure difference between the cathode and anode could potentially damage the thin polymer electrolyte membrane. Therefore, the hydrogen pressure imposed to the stack should follow any change of the cathode pressure. In addition, stoichiometric ratio of the hydrogen should be maintained at a constant to prevent a fuel starvation at abrupt load changes. Furthermore, liquid water in the anode gas flow channels should be purged out in time to prevent flooding in the channels and other layers. The purging control also reduces the impurities concentration in cells to improve the cell performance. We developed a set of control oriented dynamic models that include a anode model considering the two-phase phenomenon and system components The model is used to design and optimize a state feedback controller along with an observer that controls the fuel pressure and stoichiometric ratio, whereby purging processes are also considered. Finally, included is static and dynamic analysis with respect to tracking and rejection performance of the proposed control.

  11. DEVELOPMENT OF GLASS COMPOSITIONS TO IMMOBILIZE ALKALI, ALKALINE EARTH, LANTHANIDE AND TRANSITION METAL FISSION PRODUCTS FROM NUCLEAR FUEL REPROCESSING

    SciTech Connect

    Marra, J.; Billings, A.

    2009-06-24

    The Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative (AFCI) waste management strategy revolves around specific treatment of individual or groups of separated waste streams. A goal for the separations processes is to efficiently manage the waste to be dispositioned as high level radioactive waste. The Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative (AFCI) baseline technology for immobilization of the lanthanide (Ln) and transition metal fission product (TM) wastes is vitrification into a borosilicate glass. A current interest is to evaluate the feasibility of vitrifying combined waste streams to most cost effectively immobilize the wastes resulting from aqueous fuel reprocessing. Studies showed that high waste loadings are achievable for the Ln only (Option 1) stream. Waste loadings in excess of 60 wt % (on a calcined oxide basis) were demonstrated via a lanthanide borosilicate (LaBS) glass. The resulting glasses had excellent relative durability as determined by the Product Consistency Test (PCT). For a combined Ln and TM waste stream glass (Option 2), noble metal solubility was found to limit waste loading. However, the measured PCT normalized elemental releases for this glass were at least an order of magnitude below that of Environmental Assessment (EA) glass. Current efforts to evaluate the feasibility of vitrifying combined Ln, TM, alkali (Cs is the primary radionuclide of concern) and alkaline earth (Sr is the primary radionuclide of concern) wastes (Option 3) have shown that these approaches are feasible. However, waste loading limitations with respect to heat load (Cs/Sr loading), molybdenum solubility and/or noble metal solubility will likely be realized and must be considered in determining the cost effectiveness of these approaches.

  12. Performance of vapor-fed direct dimethyl ether fuel cell utilizing high temperature polybenzimidazole polymer electrolyte membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neutzler, Jay; Qian, Guoqing; Huang, Kevin; Benicewicz, Brian

    2012-10-01

    There is increasing interest in dimethyl ether (DME) as a synthetic fuel. It has present-day relevance and introduces an effective path forward as an energy-dense, low-pressure hydrogen carrier/storage fuel for fuel cells with applications in transportation, stationary, and portable power. Direct reaction DME fuel cells have particular relevance to portable power. This study presents the performance of the vapor-fed direct reaction of DME using high temperature Polybenzimidazole (PBI) Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM). Catalyzed PBI membrane utilized a Pt/Ru black anode and a Pt/C supported cathode. Performance was evaluated from temperatures of 180 °C-210 °C and at pressures from 100 kPa to 300 kPa. A strong performance correlation was observed in this study for these temperatures and pressures. A peak power density of 50 mW cm-2 was achieved at 180 °C without back pressure, whereas, an increase to 129 mW cm-2 was achieved at 210 °C at 300 kPa pressure. The performance of high temperature PBI PEMFCs with direct vapor-fed DME are investigated with emphasis on the critical variables of cell operation; temperature, back pressure, and humidity.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oh, Jung Min

    2011-12-01

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

  14. State of the Art of Common Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Technology and Adaptations NEEDED for Space Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gave, G.

    2002-01-01

    In the frame of the power source activity at CNES. a statement of fuel cell technology for terrestrial application has been performed followed by a survey of reseach and technology actions necessary for space applications. In the last years a lot of different research and development actions have been performed on fuel cells for terrestrial particulaly for vehicles in the frame of an antipollution policy.The main results obtained concern : - solid polymer fuel cell technology using hydrogen ( high pressure stored or obtained by methanol - cost reduction with a future mass production as target (subtantial results have been obtained on - easy utilization - hydrogen production and storage ( source of hydrogen being mainly brought by methanol an overview is given mainly on technologies which present a certain interrest for space In the field of terrestrial reseach and development actions, proton conductive solid polymer technology fuel cell is perfectlly re-usable for space applications ,particularly : - new polymer membranes ( high conductive protonic conductivity, additives permitting to preserve - catalysts ( Pt nanoparticles technology,transition metal additives for increasing electrode - initial humification of reactant gases - gas management - stack technology in terms of, materials,machining, assembly, electrical contacts - thermal management taking into account that the main requirements for space applications are : - operation under zero gravity ( this requirement concerns the fuel cell stack in which electrolyte - an attractive mass budget - reliability and safety Some space specificities nevertheless remain and lead to make some technical choices and to guide developments, these scopes are the following : - the use of pure hydrogen, and oxygen gases ( for evident advantageous mass budget) doe not need - conversion efficiency leading to an attractive energy density budget is preferrred than high power - water rejection from the fuel cell systems need

  15. Electrolyte salts for power sources

    DOEpatents

    Doddapaneni, N.; Ingersoll, D.

    1995-11-28

    Electrolyte salts are disclosed for power sources comprising salts of phenyl polysulfonic acids and phenyl polyphosphonic acids. The preferred salts are alkali and alkaline earth metal salts, most preferably lithium salts. 2 figs.

  16. Plasma-enhanced atomic layer deposition of nanoscale yttria-stabilized zirconia electrolyte for solid oxide fuel cells with porous substrate.

    PubMed

    Ji, Sanghoon; Cho, Gu Young; Yu, Wonjong; Su, Pei-Chen; Lee, Min Hwan; Cha, Suk Won

    2015-02-11

    Nanoscale yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) electrolyte film was deposited by plasma-enhanced atomic layer deposition (PEALD) on a porous anodic aluminum oxide supporting substrate for solid oxide fuel cells. The minimum thickness of PEALD-YSZ electrolyte required for a consistently high open circuit voltage of 1.17 V at 500 °C is 70 nm, which is much thinner than the reported thickness of 180 nm using nonplasmatic ALD and is also the thinnest attainable value reported in the literatures on a porous supporting substrate. By further reducing the electrolyte thickness, the grain size reduction resulted in high surface grain boundary density at the cathode/electrolyte interface. PMID:25625537

  17. Solid polymer electrolyte (SPE) fuel cell technology program, phase 2/2A. [testing and evaluations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1976-01-01

    Test evaluations were performed on a fabricated single solid polymer electrolyte cell unit. The cell operated at increased current density and at higher performance levels. This improved performance was obtained through a combination of increased temperature, increased reactant pressures, improved activation techniques and improved thermal control over the baseline cell configuration. The cell demonstrated a higher acid content membrane which resulted in increased performance. Reduced catalyst loading and low cost membrane development showed encouraging results.

  18. Conductivity measurements of molten metal oxide electrolytes and their evaluation in a direct carbon fuel cell (DCFC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yarlagadda, Venkata Raviteja

    2011-12-01

    Since Direct Carbon Fuel Cell (DCFC) technology is in a beginning stage, emphasis should be laid on addressing the fundamental aspects. A molten electrolyte is required to facilitate ionic contact between solid carbon fuel and electrolyte in a DCFC Three different metal oxide electrolytes (Bi2O3 , V2O5, and TeO2) have been chosen based on their ability to form stable liquids in air at higher temperatures. Conductivity data beyond their melting points was not readily available for most of the metal oxides. Conductivity studies concerning the above mentioned molten metal oxides have been thoroughly investigated in this study. A four probe measurement method using an AC milliohm-meter at 1 KHz validated by Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) was used to acquire the conductivity data because of its accuracy when compared to two probe measurement widely used in literature. Also, a DC ohmmeter was used to check whether these metal oxides exhibit electronic conductivity. Experimental results corresponding to the accuracy of DC ohmmeter showed that, it accurately detected the electronic component of the electrolyte. These conductivity studies revealed that the molten oxide electrolytes exhibit high ionic conductivity, in particular, beyond their melting points. Of all the three metal oxides, Bi2O 3 demonstrated high ionic conductivity but with minor stability issues under CO2 environment. Under CO2 environment Bi 2O3 showed a slight decrease in the conductivity. EDX analysis revealed an increase in carbon content by 50 percent per one mole of bismuth which can be attributed to possible carbonate formation. V2O 5 exhibited lower ionic conductivity when compared to Bi2O 3 but had the advantage of lower cost and higher abundance. Also, the higher volumetric expansion of V2O5 upon cooling from its melting point i.e. 690°C caused the alumina crucible containing the metal oxide to break leading to leakage problems. Investigating further, quartz was found to be the best

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Electrolyte vapor condenser

    DOEpatents

    Sederquist, Richard A.; Szydlowski, Donald F.; Sawyer, Richard D.

    1983-01-01

    A system is disclosed for removing electrolyte from a fuel cell gas stream. The gas stream containing electrolyte vapor is supercooled utilizing conventional heat exchangers and the thus supercooled gas stream is passed over high surface area passive condensers. The condensed electrolyte is then drained from the condenser and the remainder of the gas stream passed on. The system is particularly useful for electrolytes such as phosphoric acid and molten carbonate, but can be used for other electrolyte cells and simple vapor separation as well.

  2. Electrolyte vapor condenser

    DOEpatents

    Sederquist, R.A.; Szydlowski, D.F.; Sawyer, R.D.

    1983-02-08

    A system is disclosed for removing electrolyte from a fuel cell gas stream. The gas stream containing electrolyte vapor is supercooled utilizing conventional heat exchangers and the thus supercooled gas stream is passed over high surface area passive condensers. The condensed electrolyte is then drained from the condenser and the remainder of the gas stream passed on. The system is particularly useful for electrolytes such as phosphoric acid and molten carbonate, but can be used for other electrolyte cells and simple vapor separation as well. 3 figs.

  3. Nonlinear empirical model of gas humidity-related voltage dynamics of a polymer-electrolyte-membrane fuel cell stack

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meiler, M.; Andre, D.; Schmid, O.; Hofer, E. P.

    Intelligent energy management is a cost-effective key path to realize efficient automotive drive trains [R. O'Hayre, S.W. Cha, W. Colella, F.B. Prinz. Fuel Cell Fundamentals, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, 2006]. To develop operating strategy in fuel cell drive trains, precise and computational efficient models of all system components, especially the fuel cell stack, are needed. Should these models further be used in diagnostic or control applications, then some major requirements must be fulfilled. First, the model must predict the mean fuel cell voltage very precisely in all possible operating conditions, even during transients. The model output should be as smooth as possible to support best efficient optimization strategies of the complete system. At least, the model must be computational efficient. For most applications, a difference between real fuel cell voltage and model output of less than 10 mV and 1000 calculations per second will be sufficient. In general, empirical models based on system identification offer a better accuracy and consume less calculation resources than detailed models derived from theoretical considerations [J. Larminie, A. Dicks. Fuel Cell Systems Explained, John Wiley & Sons, West Sussex, 2003]. In this contribution, the dynamic behaviour of the mean cell voltage of a polymer-electrolyte-membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) stack due to variations in humidity of cell's reactant gases is investigated. The validity of the overall model structure, a so-called general Hammerstein model (or Uryson model), was introduced recently in [M. Meiler, O. Schmid, M. Schudy, E.P. Hofer. Dynamic fuel cell stack model for real-time simulation based on system identification, J. Power Sources 176 (2007) 523-528]. Fuel cell mean voltage is calculated as the sum of a stationary and a dynamic voltage component. The stationary component of cell voltage is represented by a lookup-table and the dynamic voltage by a parallel placed, nonlinear transfer function. A

  4. Comparison between numerical simulation and visualization experiment on water behavior in single straight flow channel polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Masuda, Hiromitsu; Ito, Kohei; Oshima, Toshihiro; Sasaki, Kazunari

    A relationship between a flooding and a cell voltage drop for polymer electrolyte fuel cell was investigated experimentally and numerically. A visualization cell, which has single straight gas flow channel (GFC) and observation window, was fabricated to visualize the flooding in GFC. We ran the cell with changing operation condition, and measured the time evolution of cell voltage and took the images of cathode GFC. Considering the operation condition, we executed a developed numerical simulation, which is based on multiphase mixture model with a formulation on water transport through the surface of polymer electrolyte membrane and the interface of gas diffusion layer/GFC. As a result in experiment, we found that the cell voltage decreased with time and this decrease was accelerated by larger current and smaller air flow rate. Our simulation succeeded to demonstrate this trend of cell voltage. In experiment, we also found that the water flushing in GFC caused an immediate voltage change, resulting in voltage recovery or electricity generation stop. Although our simulation could not replicate this immediate voltage change, the supersaturated area obtained by our simulation well corresponded to fogging area appeared on the window surface in the GFC.

  5. Effects of surface chemistry and microstructure of electrolyte on oxygen reduction kinetics of solid oxide fuel cells

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Park, Joong Sun; An, Jihwan; Lee, Min Hwan; Prinz, Friedrich B.; Lee, Wonyoung

    2015-07-10

    In this study, we report systematic investigation of the surface properties of yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) electrolytes with the control of the grain boundary (GB) density at the surface, and its effects on electrochemical activities. The GB density of thin surface layers deposited on single crystal YSZ substrates is controlled by changing the annealing temperature (750-1450 °C). Higher oxygen reduction reactions (ORR) kinetics is observed in samples annealed at lower temperatures. The higher ORR activity is ascribed to the higher GB density at the YSZ surface where 'mobile' oxide ion vacancies are more populated. Meanwhile, oxide ion vacancies concurrently created withmore » yttrium segregation at the surface at the higher annealing temperature are considered inactive to oxygen incorporation reactions. Our results provide additional insight into the interplay between the surface chemistry, microstructures, and electrochemical activity. They potentially provide important guidelines for engineering the electrolyte electrode interfaces of solid oxide fuel cells for higher electrochemical performance.« less

  6. Effect of ionic conductivity of zirconia electrolytes on the polarization behavior of various cathodes in solid oxide fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Uchida, Hiroyuki; Yoshida, Manabu; Watanabe, Masahiro

    1999-01-01

    The polarization behaviors of porous platinum and La(Sr)MnO{sub 3} (LSM) cathodes coupled with zirconia electrolytes with various ionic conductivities ({sigma}{sub ion}) were investigated. The exchange current density, j{sub 0}, on Pt cathode was not influenced by the {sigma}{sub ion} at 900 and 1,000 C, whereas j{sub 0} increased proportionally to {sigma}{sub ion} at a lower temperature of 800 C. However, the j{sub 0} on LSM cathodes increased in proportion to the {sigma}{sub ion} in the temperature region between 800 and 1,000 C. The dispersion of nanometer-sized Pt catalysts on LSM particles greatly enhanced the performance, the magnitude of which depended on the temperature, the {sigma}{sub ion}, and the microstructure of LSM. The observations are well explained kinetically, i.e., the cathode performance is controlled by the transport rate of O{sup 2{minus}} at the interface when the surface reaction rate is sufficiently high. Consequently, the use of high-performance electrodes in combination with the solid electrolyte having high {sigma}{sub ion} is very important for achieving the high performance of solid oxide fuel cells.

  7. Improved Durability of Electrocatalyst Based on Coating of Carbon Black with Polybenzimidazole and their Application in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

    Fujigaya, Tsuyohiko; Hirata, Shinsuke; Berber, Mohamed R; Nakashima, Naotoshi

    2016-06-15

    Improvement of durability of the electrocatalyst has been the key issue to be solved for the practical application of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. One of the promising strategies to improve the durability is to enhance the oxidation stability of the carbon-supporting materials. In this report, we describe in detail the mechanism of the stability improvement of carbon blacks (CBs; Vulcan and Ketjen) by coating with polybenzimidazole (PBI). Nitrogen adsorption experiments reveal that the PBI coating of CBs results in the capping of the gates of the CB-micropores by the PBI. Since the surface of the micropores inside the CBs are inherently highly oxidized, the capping of such pores effectively prevents the penetration of the electrolyte into the pore and works to avoid the further oxidation of interior of the micropore, which is proved by cyclic voltammogram measurements. Above mechanism agrees very well with the dramatic enhancement of the durability of the membrane electrode assembly fabricated using Pt on the PBI-coated CBs as an electrocatalyst compared to the conventional Pt/CB (PBI-non coated) catalyst. PMID:27227977

  8. A mathematical model for predicting the life of polymer electrolyte fuel cell membranes subjected to hydration cycling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burlatsky, S. F.; Gummalla, M.; O'Neill, J.; Atrazhev, V. V.; Varyukhin, A. N.; Dmitriev, D. V.; Erikhman, N. S.

    2012-10-01

    Under typical Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) fuel cell operating conditions, part of the membrane electrode assembly is subjected to humidity cycling due to variation of inlet gas RH and/or flow rate. Cyclic membrane hydration/dehydration would cause cyclic swelling/shrinking of the unconstrained membrane. In a constrained membrane, it causes cyclic stress resulting in mechanical failure in the area adjacent to the gas inlet. A mathematical modeling framework for prediction of the lifetime of a PEMFC membrane subjected to hydration cycling is developed in this paper. The model predicts membrane lifetime as a function of RH cycling amplitude and membrane mechanical properties. The modeling framework consists of three model components: a fuel cell RH distribution model, a hydration/dehydration induced stress model that predicts stress distribution in the membrane, and a damage accrual model that predicts membrane lifetime. Short descriptions of the model components along with overall framework are presented in the paper. The model was used for lifetime prediction of a GORE-SELECT membrane.

  9. Advanced control of liquid water region in diffusion media of polymer electrolyte fuel cells through a dimensionless number

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yun; Chen, Ken S.

    2016-05-01

    In the present work, a three-dimension (3-D) model of polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) is employed to investigate the complex, non-isothermal, two-phase flow in the gas diffusion layer (GDL). Phase change in gas flow channels is explained, and a simplified approach accounting for phase change is incorporated into the fuel cell model. It is found that the liquid water contours in the GDL are similar along flow channels when the channels are subject to two-phase flow. Analysis is performed on a dimensionless parameter Da0 introduced in our previous paper [Y. Wang and K. S. Chen, Chemical Engineering Science 66 (2011) 3557-3567] and the parameter is further evaluated in a realistic fuel cell. We found that the GDL's liquid water (or liquid-free) region is determined by the Da0 number which lumps several parameters, including the thermal conductivity and operating temperature. By adjusting these factors, a liquid-free GDL zone can be created even though the channel stream is two-phase flow. Such a liquid-free zone is adjacent to the two-phase region, benefiting local water management, namely avoiding both severe flooding and dryness.

  10. Analysis of multi-phase transport phenomena with catalyst reactions in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells - A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khan, Munir Ahmed; Sundén, Bengt; Yuan, Jinliang

    2011-10-01

    A review is presented for two-phase modeling approaches to study various transport processes and reactions in polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells along with some experimental work. It has been noted that water management is still one of the least accurate modeled phenomena. The lackness in complete descriptive models for water management inside PEM fuel cells can be attributed to the complexity of the phenomena, lack of empirical or measured data and non-availability of apt governing equations. Another discrepancy found in present models is the proper validation of the numerical work as it has been observed that mere comparison with V-I curve can sometimes lead to misguided conclusions. Additionally, keeping in mind the multi-scale nature of a PEM fuel cell, application of the Lattice Boltzmann (LB) method has also been reviewed in this work and it was noticed that LB methods offer bright perspective at meso-scale by incorporating details of local structure. Furthermore, a brief description of the catalyst layer models is also presented with some technological developments at nano-scale to improve the physio- and electro-chemical properties. A test case for a 2D PEM cathode is also simulated for different operating voltages to predict the water saturation effects.

  11. Industrial-grade rare-earth and perovskite oxide for high-performance electrolyte layer-free fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xia, Chen; Wang, Baoyuan; Ma, Ying; Cai, Yixiao; Afzal, Muhammad; Liu, Yanyan; He, Yunjuan; Zhang, Wei; Dong, Wenjing; Li, Junjiao; Zhu, Bin

    2016-03-01

    In the present work, we report a composite of industrial-grade material LaCePr-oxide (LCP) and perovskite La0.6Sr0.4Co0.2Fe0.8O3-δ (LSCF) for advanced electrolyte layer-free fuel cells (EFFCs). The microstructure, morphology, and electrical properties of the LCP, LSCF, and LCP-LSCF composite were investigated and characterized by XRD, SEM, EDS, TEM, and EIS. Various ratios of LCP to LSCF in the composite were modulated to achieve balanced ionic and electronic conductivities. Fuel cell with an optimum ratio of 60 wt% LCP to 40 wt% LSCF reached the highest open circuit voltage (OCV) at 1.01 V and a maximum power density of 745 mW cm-2 at 575 °C, also displaying a good performance stability. The high performance is attributed to the interfacial mechanisms and electrode catalytic effects. The findings from the present study promote industrial-grade rare-earth oxide as a promising new material for innovative low temperature solid oxide fuel cell (LTSOFC) technology.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-06-01

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

  13. Stabilization of polymer electrolyte fuel cell voltage with reduced-order Lyapunov exponent feedback and corrective pressure perturbations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burkholder, Michael B.; Litster, Shawn

    2015-02-01

    Polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) system efficiency can be decreased by instabilities resulting from the accumulation of water in the cathode as well as by excessive air delivery parasitic loads used to prevent liquid water accumulation. In this work, we present a new instability detection diagnostic tailored for the nonlinear and chaotic dynamics of PEFC operation with multi-phase flow in the gas channels. The instability statistic, the Lyapunov exponent of the reduced-order voltage return map, λ, is a measure of the exponential rate of divergence in the dynamic voltage signal measured from the fuel cell. A key advantage of this statistic for embedded control is that it is a self-referencing measure of the system stability for feedback and is not based on an a priori performance threshold. Our experiments demonstrate that the Lyapunov exponent statistic provides a warning typically 100 s in advance of significant power loss. Using this statistic as a control diagnostic, a new control scheme that detects PEFC instability in real time and mitigates it with pressure perturbations was applied experimentally to several fuel cell systems, including one that simulates stack operation. Our control scheme resulted in increased PEFC power, decreased cathode flooding leading to a lower parasitic load for air delivery, and stable PEFC performance.

  14. An investigation of the typical corrosion parameters used to test polymer electrolyte fuel cell bipolar plate coatings, with titanium nitride coated stainless steel as a case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orsi, A.; Kongstein, O. E.; Hamilton, P. J.; Oedegaard, A.; Svenum, I. H.; Cooke, K.

    2015-07-01

    Stainless steel bipolar plates (BPP) for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) have good manufacturability, durability and low costs, but inadequate corrosion resistance and elevated interfacial contact resistance (ICR) in the fuel cell environment. Thin film coatings of titanium nitride (TiN) of 1 μm in thickness, were deposited by means of physical vapour deposition (PVD) process on to stainless steel (SS) 316L substrates and were evaluated, in a series of tests, for their level of corrosion protection and ICR. In the ex-situ corrosion tests, variables such as applied potential, experimental duration and pH of the sulphate electrolyte at 80 °C were altered. The ICR values were found to increase after exposure to greater applied potentials and electrolytes of a higher pH. In terms of experimental duration, the ICR increased most rapidly at the beginning of each experiment. It was also found that the oxidation of TiN was accelerated after exposure to electrolytes of a higher pH. When coated BPPs were incorporated into an accelerated fuel cell test, the degradation of the fuel cell cathode resembled the plates that were tested at the highest anodic potential (1.4 VSHE).

  15. Global optimization and oxygen dissociation on polyicosahedral Ag32Cu6 core-shell cluster for alkaline fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, N.; Chen, F. Y.; Wu, X. Q.

    2015-07-01

    The structure of 38 atoms Ag-Cu cluster is studied by using a combination of a genetic algorithm global optimization technique and density functional theory (DFT) calculations. It is demonstrated that the truncated octahedral (TO) Ag32Cu6 core-shell cluster is less stable than the polyicosahedral (pIh) Ag32Cu6 core-shell cluster from the atomistic models and the DFT calculation shows an agreeable result, so the newfound pIh Ag32Cu6 core-shell cluster is further investigated for potential application for O2 dissociation in oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). The activation energy barrier for the O2 dissociation on pIh Ag32Cu6 core-shell cluster is 0.715 eV, where the d-band center is -3.395 eV and the density of states at the Fermi energy level is maximal for the favorable absorption site, indicating that the catalytic activity is attributed to a maximal charge transfer between an oxygen molecule and the pIh Ag32Cu6 core-shell cluster. This work revises the earlier idea that Ag32Cu6 core-shell nanoparticles are not suitable as ORR catalysts and confirms that Ag-Cu nanoalloy is a potential candidate to substitute noble Pt-based catalyst in alkaline fuel cells.

  16. Global optimization and oxygen dissociation on polyicosahedral Ag32Cu6 core-shell cluster for alkaline fuel cells

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, N.; Chen, F. Y.; Wu, X.Q.

    2015-01-01

    The structure of 38 atoms Ag-Cu cluster is studied by using a combination of a genetic algorithm global optimization technique and density functional theory (DFT) calculations. It is demonstrated that the truncated octahedral (TO) Ag32Cu6 core-shell cluster is less stable than the polyicosahedral (pIh) Ag32Cu6 core-shell cluster from the atomistic models and the DFT calculation shows an agreeable result, so the newfound pIh Ag32Cu6 core-shell cluster is further investigated for potential application for O2 dissociation in oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). The activation energy barrier for the O2 dissociation on pIh Ag32Cu6 core-shell cluster is 0.715 eV, where the d-band center is −3.395 eV and the density of states at the Fermi energy level is maximal for the favorable absorption site, indicating that the catalytic activity is attributed to a maximal charge transfer between an oxygen molecule and the pIh Ag32Cu6 core-shell cluster. This work revises the earlier idea that Ag32Cu6 core-shell nanoparticles are not suitable as ORR catalysts and confirms that Ag-Cu nanoalloy is a potential candidate to substitute noble Pt-based catalyst in alkaline fuel cells. PMID:26148904

  17. Electrocatalytic Activity of Transition Metal Oxide-Carbon Composites for Oxygen Reduction in Alkaline Batteries and Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Malkhandi, S; Trinh, P; Manohar, AK; Jayachandrababu, KC; Kindler, A; Prakash, GKS; Narayanan, SR

    2013-06-07

    Conductive transition metal oxides (perovskites, spinels and pyrochlores) are attractive as catalysts for the air electrode in alkaline rechargeable metal-air batteries and fuel cells. We have found that conductive carbon materials when added to transition metal oxides such as calcium-doped lanthanum cobalt oxide, nickel cobalt oxide and calcium-doped lanthanum manganese cobalt oxide increase the electrocatalytic activity of the oxide for oxygen reduction by a factor of five to ten. We have studied rotating ring-disk electrodes coated with (a) various mass ratios of carbon and transition metal oxide, (b) different types of carbon additives and (c) different types of transition metal oxides. Our experiments and analysis establish that in such composite catalysts, carbon is the primary electro- catalyst for the two-electron electro-reduction of oxygen to hydroperoxide while the transition metal oxide decomposes the hydroperoxide to generate additional oxygen that enhances the observed current resulting in an apparent four-electron process. These findings are significant in that they change the way we interpret previous reports in the scientific literature on the electrocatalytic activity of various transition metal oxide- carbon composites for oxygen reduction, especially where carbon is assumed to be an additive that just enhances the electronic conductivity of the oxide catalyst. (C) 2013 The Electrochemical Society. All rights reserved.

  18. Electrolytic/fuel cell bundles and systems including a current collector in communication with an electrode thereof

    DOEpatents

    Hawkes, Grant L.; Herring, James S.; Stoots, Carl M.; O& #x27; Brien, James E.

    2013-03-05

    Electrolytic/fuel cell bundles and systems including such bundles include an electrically conductive current collector in communication with an anode or a cathode of each of a plurality of cells. A cross-sectional area of the current collector may vary in a direction generally parallel to a general direction of current flow through the current collector. The current collector may include a porous monolithic structure. At least one cell of the plurality of cells may include a current collector that surrounds an outer electrode of the cell and has at least six substantially planar exterior surfaces. The planar surfaces may extend along a length of the cell, and may abut against a substantially planar surface of a current collector of an adjacent cell. Methods for generating electricity and for performing electrolysis include flowing current through a conductive current collector having a varying cross-sectional area.

  19. Two-dimensional modeling of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell with long flow channel. Part I. Model development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bao, Cheng; Bessler, Wolfgang G.

    2015-02-01

    A two-dimensional single-phase model is developed for the steady-state and transient analysis of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC). Based on diluted and concentrated solution theories, viscous flow is introduced into a phenomenological multi-component modeling framework in the membrane. Characteristic variables related to the water uptake are discussed. A Butler-Volmer formulation of the current-overpotential relationship is developed based on an elementary mechanism of electrochemical oxygen reduction. Validated by using published V-I experiments, the model is then used to analyze the effects of operating conditions on current output and water management, especially net water transport coefficient along the channel. For a power PEMFC, the long-channel configuration is helpful for internal humidification and anode water removal, operating in counterflow mode with proper gas flow rate and humidity. In time domain, a typical transient process with closed anode is also investigated.

  20. Intermediate-temperature operation of solid oxide fuel cells (IT-SOFCs) with thin film proton conductive electrolyte

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kariya, T.; Uchiyama, K.; Tanaka, H.; Hirono, T.; Kuse, T.; Yanagimoto, K.; Henmi, M.; Hirose, M.; Kimura, I.; Suu, K.; Funakubo, H.

    2015-12-01

    A novel solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) structure, which is fabricated on a Pd-plated porous stainless steel substrate, was proposed for low-temperature SOFC operation. The surface of the substrate was covered with Pd layer without any pores, which reduces the difficulty of depositing thin film electrolyte on the porous substrate. A 1.2-μm thick proton conductive Sr(Zr0.8Y0.2)O3-δ (SZYO) layer and the cathode of a 100-nm thick (La0.6Sr0.4)(Co0.2Fe0.8)O3-δ (LSCF) layer were deposited on the Pd-plated substrates by the pulsed laser deposition (PLD) method. The low temperature operations at 400 and 450 °C were demonstrated with proposed SOFC cells.

  1. Numerical study of droplet dynamics in a polymer electrolyte fuel cell gas channel using an embedded Eulerian-Lagrangian approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jarauta, Alex; Ryzhakov, Pavel; Secanell, Marc; Waghmare, Prashant R.; Pons-Prats, Jordi

    2016-08-01

    An embedded Eulerian-Lagrangian formulation for the simulation of droplet dynamics within a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) channel is presented. Air is modeled using an Eulerian formulation, whereas water is described with a Lagrangian framework. Using this framework, the gas-liquid interface can be accurately identified. The surface tension force is computed using the curvature defined by the boundary of the Lagrangian mesh. The method naturally accounts for material property changes across the interface and accurately represents the pressure discontinuity. A sessile drop in a horizontal surface, a sessile drop in an inclined plane and droplets in a PEFC channel are solved for as numerical examples and compared to experimental data. Numerical results are in excellent agreement with experimental data. Numerical results are also compared to results obtained with the semi-analytical model previously developed by the authors in order to discuss the limitations of the semi-analytical approach.

  2. Analysis of gas transport in polymer electrolyte fuel cells using porous structure constructed from X-ray nano CT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kinefuchi, Ikuya; Oyama, Junpei; Yokoyama, Koji; Kubo, Norio; Tokumasu, Takashi; Matsumoto, Yoichiro

    2013-03-01

    This paper describes the analysis of gas transport in micro porous layers of polymer electrolyte fuel cells based on the three-dimensional structure obtained from X-ray nano computed tomography (CT). The polygonal surface representation of the porous structure was constructed from the cross-sectional CT images using the marching tetrahedrons algorithm. The diffusion flux through the porous layer was evaluated by the direct simulation Monte Carlo method since the characteristic pore size is comparable to the mean free path of gas molecules. The numerical simulation well reproduces the experimentally observed pressure dependence of diffusion resistance originating from the transition between Knudsen and molecular diffusion regimes. The effect of porous media morphology on gas transport was examined by an analysis of the trajectories of transmitted molecules through the porous layer. This work was partially supported by New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) of Japan.

  3. Impact of compression on gas transport in non-woven gas diffusion layers of high temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Froning, Dieter; Yu, Junliang; Gaiselmann, Gerd; Reimer, Uwe; Manke, Ingo; Schmidt, Volker; Lehnert, Werner

    2016-06-01

    Gas transport in non-woven gas diffusion layers of a high-temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cell was calculated with the Lattice Boltzmann method. The underlying micro structure was taken from two sources. A real micro structure was analyzed in the synchrotron under the impact of a compression mask mimicking the channel/rib structure of a flow field. Furthermore a stochastic geometry model based on synchrotron X-ray tomography studies was applied. The effect of compression is included in the stochastic model. Gas transport in these micro structures was simulated and the impact of compression was analyzed. Fiber bundles overlaying the micro structure were identified which affect the homogeneity of the gas flow. There are significant deviations between the impact of compression on effective material properties for this type of gas diffusion layers and the Kozeny-Carman equation.

  4. 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.

  5. Simultaneous visualization of oxygen distribution and water blockages in an operating triple-serpentine polymer electrolyte fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takada, Kenji; Ishigami, Yuta; Inukai, Junji; Nagumo, Yuzo; Takano, Hiroshi; Nishide, Hiroyuki; Watanabe, Masahiro

    2011-03-01

    Visualization inside polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) is important for elucidating reaction distributions to improve the performance and durability of the cells. An O2-sensitive porphyrin luminescent dye film was used to visualize oxygen partial pressures and water blockages simultaneously in triple-serpentine gas flow channels in an operating PEFC. Water droplets formed near the exit of a gas-flow channel lowered the oxygen partial pressure noticeably over the channel by blocking air flow near the entrance. Meanwhile, air was continuously supplied from the other channels through the gas diffusion layer, thus allowing power to be generated in the blocked channel. With water blockages, however, the catalyst layer under the channel became flooded by the water produced during the reaction, and the flooded state continued to exist in the catalyst and/or porous layers, even after blowing the water droplet out, so that the power generation was lowered along the channel.

  6. Improvements of electrical properties containing carbon nanotube in epoxy/graphite bipolar plate for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Lee, HongKi; Rim, HyungRyul; Lee, JaeYoung; Lee, Jongmin; Yoon, JeongMo; Bae, WooJung; Yang, SeungWeon

    2008-10-01

    The epoxy based graphite bipolar plate containing carbon nanotube (CNT) for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) has been prepared and the electrical properties were compared. The density of graphite composite bipolar plate showed from 1.85 to 0.94 as expanded graphite content is increased from 10 to 50 w/o. The improvement of electrical properties was accomplished by addition of CNT. Rapid increase of conductivity was found due to the compensation between increases of the electrical pathway by addition of CNT and sufficient electrical contact among isolated large graphite particle. The polarisation curves of bipolar plate were measured at 1 M H2SO4 solution with 1 mV/sec of scan rate and the value of 1.903 uA/cm2 of corrosion rate was obtained. PMID:19198477

  7. Alkaline battery, separator therefore

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmidt, George F. (Inventor)

    1980-01-01

    An improved battery separator for alkaline battery cells has low resistance to electrolyte ion transfer and high resistance to electrode ion transfer. The separator is formed by applying an improved coating to an electrolyte absorber. The absorber, preferably, is a flexible, fibrous, and porous substrate that is resistant to strong alkali and oxidation. The coating composition includes an admixture of a polymeric binder, a hydrolyzable polymeric ester and inert fillers. The coating composition is substantially free of reactive fillers and plasticizers commonly employed as porosity promoting agents in separator coatings. When the separator is immersed in electrolyte, the polymeric ester of the film coating reacts with the electrolyte forming a salt and an alcohol. The alcohol goes into solution with the electrolyte while the salt imbibes electrolyte into the coating composition. When the salt is formed, it expands the polymeric chains of the binder to provide a film coating substantially permeable to electrolyte ion transfer but relatively impermeable to electrode ion transfer during use.

  8. Yttria-stabilized zirconia solid oxide electrolyte fuel cells, monolithic solid oxide fuel cells. Quarterly report, July--September 1989

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1989-12-31

    The MSOFC features of thin ceramic components, small cell size, and 1000{degree}C operating temperature combine to provide very high power densities of about 8 kW/kg or 4 kW/L for the MSOFC (fuel cell only, coflow version). This very high power density coupled with expected efficiencies of over 50 percent offers the possibility of successful competition with existing electrical generation systems. The ability of the MSOFC to reform hydrocarbon fuels within the fuel channels allows existing fuels and fuel distribution methods to be used with minor modifications for most applications. The power density of the MSOFC is high enough to meet the demands of many diverse applications such as aerospace, transportation, portable power systems, and micro-cogeneration systems, as well as more conventional utilities systems. The primary development challenge is to fabricate the MSOFC structure by co-sintering all four fuel cell materials into the corrugated ``honeycomb`` structure (stack). The objectives of the cost study are: To assess the manufacturing cost for the MSOFC assuming a nominal production rate of 200 MW/year for coal-based system applications. To define an integrated coal gasification MSOFC system with a potential for reducing plant heat rate and capital costs below 7,100 BTU/kWh and $1,300/kW, respectively.

  9. A method for making an alkaline battery electrode plate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chida, K.; Ezaki, T.

    1983-01-01

    A method is described for making an alkaline battery electrode plate where the desired active substances are filled into a nickel foam substrate. In this substrate an electrolytic oxidation reduction occurs in an alkaline solution containing lithium hydroxide.

  10. Inorganic-organic separators for alkaline batteries

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sheibley, D. W. (Inventor)

    1978-01-01

    A flexible separator is reported for use between the electrodes of Ni-Cd and Ni-Zn batteries using alkaline electrolytes. The separator was made by coating a porous substrate with a battery separator composition. The coating material included a rubber-based resin copolymer, a plasticizer and inorganic and organic fillers which comprised 55% by volume or less of the coating as finally dried. One or more of the filler materials, whether organic or inorganic, is preferably active with the alkaline electrolyte to produce pores in the separator coating. The plasticizer was an organic material which is hydrolyzed by the alkaline electrolyte to improve conductivity of the separator coating.

  11. Influence of PTFE coating on gas diffusion backing for unitized regenerative polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ioroi, Tsutomu; Oku, Takanori; Yasuda, Kazuaki; Kumagai, Naokazu; Miyazaki, Yoshinori

    Gas diffusion backings (GDBs) with various PTFE loadings for unitized regenerative polymer fuel cells (URFCs) were prepared and the relations between the PTFE loading amount and the URFC performance were examined. As for the GDB of the hydrogen electrode, both the fuel cell and water electrolysis performances were not affected by the amount of PTFE loading on the hydrogen side GDB. However, the URFC performances significantly depended on the PTFE loading amount of the GDB for the oxygen electrode; during the fuel cell and water electrolysis operations, URFC showed higher performances with smaller PTFE loadings but the cell with no PTFE-coated GDB showed a very deteriorated fuel cell performance. Cycle properties of the URFC revealed that the efficiency of the URFC decreased with the increasing cycles when the PTFE loading on oxygen side GDB was too low, however, a stable operation can be achieved with the appropriate PTFE loading on the GDB.

  12. Influences of current collector foils with different opening ratios in passive polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krumbholz, S.; Kaiser, J.; Weiland, M.; Hahn, R.; Reichl, H.

    Even if many fuel cell applications are ready to start into the market, more research needs to be done to improve the currently achieved power density further. In the power range of about 10-20 W micro-PEM fuel cells have a high improvement potential concerning the current collector design and the design of the passive air supply. These two points have a high impact on the water management of a PEM fuel cell and allow a significant decrease of the fuel cell system in size and weight. The current work shows calculations for the fuel cell impedance based on a mathematical resistance model which was already presented for similarly constructed direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) [4]. Selected publications on water uptake and membrane humidification for the used Gore MEAs [6,7] are taken into account. The model is evaluated with realized versions of cathode side current collector designs, which influence the maximum power density and the self-heating of the fuel cell stack. Several measurement results are presented, which can confirm the validity of the used model. A very low opening ratio of less than 0.1 induces a very high concentration gradient of the generated water in relation to the net water outtake. From this it follows that the cell impedance is very low and the membrane has a very high ionic conductivity. Additionally it can be shown that the power density of these fuel cells is twice as high as for the cells with an opening ratio greater than 0.45.

  13. A taxonomy of apatite frameworks for the crystal chemical design of fuel cell electrolytes

    SciTech Connect

    Pramana, Stevin S.; Klooster, Wim T.; White, Timothy J.

    2008-08-15

    Apatite framework taxonomy succinctly rationalises the crystallographic modifications of this structural family as a function of chemical composition. Taking the neutral apatite [La{sub 8}Sr{sub 2}][(GeO{sub 4}){sub 6}]O{sub 2} as a prototype electrolyte, this classification scheme correctly predicted that 'excess' oxygen in La{sub 9}SrGe{sub 6}O{sub 26.5} is tenanted in the framework as [La{sub 9}Sr][(GeO{sub 4}){sub 5.5}(GeO{sub 5}){sub 0.5}]O{sub 2}, rather than the presumptive tunnel location of [La{sub 9}Sr][(GeO{sub 4}){sub 6}]O{sub 2.5}. The implication of this approach is that in addition to the three known apatite genera-A{sub 10}(BO{sub 3}){sub 6}X{sub 2}, A{sub 10}(BO{sub 4}){sub 6}X{sub 2}, A{sub 10}(BO{sub 5}){sub 6}X{sub 2}-hybrid electrolytes of the types A{sub 10}(BO{sub 3}/BO{sub 4}/BO{sub 5}){sub 6}X{sub 2} can be designed, with potentially superior low-temperature ion conduction, mediated by the introduction of oxygen to the framework reservoir. - Graphical abstract: Apatite framework taxonomy succinctly rationalises the crystallographic modifications of this structural family as a function of chemical composition. Neutron diffraction identified that the excess oxygen in La{sub 9}SrGe{sub 6}O{sub 26.5} is tenanted in the framework as [La{sub 9}Sr][(GeO{sub 4}){sub 5.5}(GeO{sub 5}){sub 0.5}]O{sub 2}. The implication of this approach is that in addition to the three known apatite genera-A{sub 10}(BO{sub 3}){sub 6}X{sub 2}, A{sub 10}(BO{sub 4}){sub 6}X{sub 2}, A{sub 10}(BO{sub 5}){sub 6}X{sub 2}-hybrid electrolytes of the types A{sub 10}(BO{sub 3}/BO{sub 4}/BO{sub 5}){sub 6}X{sub 2} can be designed.

  14. 3D printed sample holder for in-operando EPR spectroscopy on high temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Niemöller, Arvid; Jakes, Peter; Kayser, Steffen; Lin, Yu; Lehnert, Werner; Granwehr, Josef

    2016-08-01

    Electrochemical cells contain electrically conductive components, which causes various problems if such a cell is analyzed during operation in an EPR resonator. The optimum cell design strongly depends on the application and it is necessary to make certain compromises that need to be individually arranged. Rapid prototyping presents a straightforward option to implement a variable cell design that can be easily adapted to changing requirements. In this communication, it is demonstrated that sample containers produced by 3D printing are suitable for EPR applications, with a particular emphasis on electrochemical applications. The housing of a high temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cell (HT-PEFC) with a phosphoric acid doped polybenzimidazole membrane was prepared from polycarbonate by 3D printing. Using a custom glass Dewar, this fuel cell could be operated at temperatures up to 140°C in a standard EPR cavity. The carbon-based gas diffusion layer showed an EPR signal with a characteristic Dysonian line shape, whose evolution could be monitored in-operando in a non-invasive manner. PMID:27323280

  15. TOPSIS multiple-criteria decision support analysis for material selection of metallic bipolar plates for polymer electrolyte fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shanian, A.; Savadogo, O.

    Several kinds of metallic bipolar plates for PEMFCs are currently being developed in order to meet the demands of cost reduction, stack volume, lower weight and enhanced power density. This work shows an application of the Technique of ranking Preferences by Similarity to the Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) Multiple Attribute Decision Making (MADM) method for solving the material selection problem of metallic bipolar plates for polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC), which often involves multiple and conflicting objectives. The proposed methodological tool can aid the material designer in the modeling and selection of suitable materials according to a set of predefined criteria. After introducing the theoretical background, a case study is presented for the material selection of a bipolar plate in a PEFC. A list of all possible choices, from the best to the worst materials, is obtained by taking into account all the material selection criteria, including the cost of production. A user-defined code in Mathematica has been developed to facilitate the implementation of the method. It was shown that the optimum value of each criterion is independent of other criteria values (i.e., no interaction is allowed). The proposed approach may be applied to other problems of material selection of fuel cell components.

  16. Effect of flow pulsation on mass transport in a cathode channel of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Hun Sik; Kim, Yun Ho; Kim, Seo Young; Hyun, Jae Min

    2012-09-01

    An experimental and theoretical study on the cathode flow pulsation in a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell is performed. A 10-cell PEM fuel cell stack with open-air cathode channels is employed to investigate the effects of the cathode flow pulsation on the overall performance. The polarization and corresponding power curves obtained show that both the limiting current density and the maximum power density are substantially enhanced when the pulsating component is added to the cathode mainstream flow. The flow pulsation at Re = 77 provides the maximum increment of 40% and 35.5% in the limiting current density and in the maximum power density, respectively. The enhancement of the overall performance is more pronounced at low Reynolds numbers. Also, the theoretical mass transport analysis in the pulsating cathode flow channel is carried out to verify the present experimental results. The momentum and species conservation equations are analytically solved, and the effective time-averaged dispersion coefficient is defined to account for the enhanced mass transport by the flow pulsation. Comprehensive analytical solutions show that the effect of the relevant parameters is in well accordance with the experimental results.

  17. Polydopamine as a promising candidate for the design of high performance and corrosion-tolerant polymer electrolyte fuel cell electrodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Long, Hongtao; Del Frari, Doriane; Martin, Arnaud; Didierjean, Joffrey; Ball, Vincent; Michel, Marc; Ahrach, Hicham Ibn El

    2016-03-01

    Carbon materials such as carbon black or nanotubes suffer from degradation when subjected to harsh conditions occurring in a Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs) electrode. Hence, nowadays it is more and more important to search for alternative support materials. The present work shows the results for the incorporation of alternative materials into PEMFCs electrode architectures. Commercially available Multi-Walled NanoTubes (MWNTs) are used as a support for Pt nanoparticles in combination with Polydopamine (PDA). The role of MWNTs is to confer a high electronic conductivity and help to form a porous network. On the other side the role of polydopamine is both to promote the proton conductivity similarly to ionomers such as Nafion and to protect the MWNTs against corrosion. The fuel cell polarization test shows a maximum power density of 780 mW cm-2 and a Pt utilization of 6051 mW mg(Pt)-1. The Pt utilization reached in this work is almost three times higher than for Pt/MWNTs electrodes containing the same Pt loading. Beside this, it is also shown for the first time that PDA serves as protective layer against carbon corrosion.

  18. 3D printed sample holder for in-operando EPR spectroscopy on high temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niemöller, Arvid; Jakes, Peter; Kayser, Steffen; Lin, Yu; Lehnert, Werner; Granwehr, Josef

    2016-08-01

    Electrochemical cells contain electrically conductive components, which causes various problems if such a cell is analyzed during operation in an EPR resonator. The optimum cell design strongly depends on the application and it is necessary to make certain compromises that need to be individually arranged. Rapid prototyping presents a straightforward option to implement a variable cell design that can be easily adapted to changing requirements. In this communication, it is demonstrated that sample containers produced by 3D printing are suitable for EPR applications, with a particular emphasis on electrochemical applications. The housing of a high temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cell (HT-PEFC) with a phosphoric acid doped polybenzimidazole membrane was prepared from polycarbonate by 3D printing. Using a custom glass Dewar, this fuel cell could be operated at temperatures up to 140 °C in a standard EPR cavity. The carbon-based gas diffusion layer showed an EPR signal with a characteristic Dysonian line shape, whose evolution could be monitored in-operando in a non-invasive manner.

  19. H2O2 detection analysis of oxygen reduction reaction on cathode and anode catalysts for polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kishi, Akira; Shironita, Sayoko; Umeda, Minoru

    2012-01-01

    The generation percentage of H2O2 during oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) at practical powder electrocatalysts was evaluated using a scanning electrochemical microscope (SECM). We employed a porous microelectrode that contains electrocatalysts, namely, Pt/C, Pt-Co/C, and Pt-Ru/C as the oxygen reduction electrode of the SECM, and the Pt microelectrode was used as the H2O2 detector. First, the H2O2 generation amount at Pt/Cs was measured by changing the Pt loading amount. A Pt/C with a higher Pt loading has a higher ORR activity and generates a larger amount of H2O2. However, the percentage of H2O2 generated with respect to the ORR is the same regardless of the Pt loading amount. Next, H2O2 generation is markedly suppressed at the Pt-Co/C and Pt-Ru/C in the potential ranges of practical fuel cell cathode and anode, respectively. This explains that the Pt-Co/C is effective when used as a cathode, and the anode Pt-Ru/C enables the reduction of the H2O2 generation even if O2 crossleak occurs in the practical polymer electrolyte fuel cell.

  20. Incorporation of Platinum and Gold Partially Reduced Graphene Oxide in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells for Increased Carbon Monoxide Tolerance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blackburn, Lee; Isseroff, Rebecca; Rafailovich, Miriam; Kang, Jaymo; Li, Hongfei; Gentleman, Molly; Qaio, Qaio

    Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs) can potentially provide ``green'' energy but the platinum catalyst's susceptibility to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning reduces output power. This project hypothesized that gold and platinum-partially reduced graphene oxide (Au/Pt-prGO) catalysts, incorporated into the electrodes and Nafion membrane of a PEMFC, will increase CO tolerance. Aliquots of graphene oxide (GO) were functionalized with platinum and/or gold nanoparticles. Partial reduction with NaBH4 prevented precipitation. Raman Spectroscopy and HRTEM verified the chemical identity, structure, and presence of the materials. Setups were tested in a PEM fuel cell with a gas feed containing 1000 ppm of CO, and averaged an output power >200% over the control, with the most effective sample, Pt-prGO Electrode + Membrane, yielding an output power ~250% greater than the control. Additionally, each setup's poisoned output power (PP) was compared to its highest possible output power (PM) . AuPt-prGO Electrode + Membrane produced 100% of its highest possible output power when poisoned, displaying 100% resistance to all CO poisoning at the resistances tested. Garcia MRSEC.