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Sample records for alkaline electrolyte fuel

  1. Designing advanced alkaline polymer electrolytes for fuel cell applications.

    PubMed

    Pan, Jing; Chen, Chen; Zhuang, Lin; Lu, Juntao

    2012-03-20

    Although the polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) is a superior power source for electric vehicles, the high cost of this technology has served as the primary barrier to the large-scale commercialization. Over the last decade, researchers have pursued lower-cost next-generation materials for fuel cells, and alkaline polymer electrolytes (APEs) have emerged as an enabling material for platinum-free fuel cells. To fulfill the requirements of fuel cell applications, the APE must be as conductive and stable as its acidic counterpart, such as Nafion. This benchmark has proved challenging for APEs because the conductivity of OH(-) is intrinsically lower than that of H(+), and the stability of the cationic functional group in APEs, typically quaternary ammonia (-NR(3)(+)), is usually lower than that of the sulfonic functional group (-SO(3)(-)) in acidic polymer electrolytes. To improve the ionic conductivity, APEs are often designed to be of high ion-exchange capacity (IEC). This modification has caused unfavorable changes in the materials: these high IEC APEs absorb excessive amounts of water, leading to significant swelling and a decline in mechanical strength of the membrane. Cross-linking the polymer chains does not completely solve the problem because stable ionomer solutions would not be available for PEFC assembly. In this Account, we report our recent progress in the development of advanced APEs, which are highly resistant to swelling and show conductivities comparable with Nafion at typical temperatures for fuel-cell operation. We have proposed two strategies for improving the performance of APEs: self-cross-linking and self-aggregating designs. The self-cross-linking design builds on conventional cross-linking methods and works for APEs with high IEC. The self-aggregating design improves the effective mobility of OH(-) and boosts the ionic conductivity of APEs with low IEC. For APEs with high IEC, cross-linking is necessary to restrict the swelling of the

  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

    DOE PAGES

    Lu, Yuan; Artmentrout, Aaron A.; Li, Juchuan; ...

    2015-01-01

    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

  7. 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

    2015-01-01

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

    2012-07-30

    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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Zinc electrode in alkaline electrolyte

    SciTech Connect

    McBreen, J.

    1995-12-31

    The zinc electrode in alkaline electrolyte is unusual in that supersaturated zincate solutions can form during discharge and spongy or mossy zinc deposits can form on charge at low overvoltages. The effect of additives on regular pasted ZnO electrodes and calcium zincate electrodes is discussed. The paper also reports on in situ x-ray absorption (XAS) results on mossy zinc deposits.

  15. 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)

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Sanetuntikul, Jakkid; Shanmugam, Sangaraju

    2015-05-07

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanetuntikul, Jakkid; Shanmugam, Sangaraju

    2015-04-01

    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 m2 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.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

  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. Alkaline regenerative fuel cell systems for energy storage

    SciTech Connect

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

    1981-01-01

    This paper presents the results of a preliminary design study of a Regenerative Fuel Cell Energy Storage system for application to future low-earth orbit space missions. This 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. 11 refs.

  3. Advanced technology for extended endurance alkaline fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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 Atanassovs research group at the University of New Mexico by utilizing an aerosol-based process to prepare templated nano-structures. Dr. Andy Herrings 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.

  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. Electrolyte paste for molten carbonate fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  8. Direct use of alcohols and sodium borohydride as fuel in an alkaline fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verma, A.; Basu, S.

    The performance of an alkaline fuel cell (AFC) was studied at different electrolyte concentrations and temperatures for the direct feeding of methanol, ethanol and sodium borohydride as fuels. Potassium hydroxide is used as the electrolyte in the alkaline fuel cell. The anode was prepared by using Pt black, carbon paper and Nafion dispersion. Nickel mesh was used as the current collector. A standard cathode made of manganese dioxide/carbon paper/Ni-mesh/Teflon dispersion (Electro-Chem-Technic, UK) was used for testing the fuel cell performance. The experimental results showed that the current density increases with increase in KOH concentration. Maximum current densities of 300, 270 and 360 A m -2 were obtained for methanol, ethanol and sodium borohydride as fuel respectively with 3 M KOH electrolyte at 25 °C. The cell performance decreases with further increase in the KOH concentration. The current density of the alkaline fuel cell increases with increase in temperature for all the three fuels. The increase in current density with temperature is not as high as expected for sodium borohydride. These results are explained based on an electrochemical phenomenon and different associated losses.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  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. Quantification of carbon dioxide poisoning in air breathing alkaline fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tewari, A.; Sambhy, V.; Urquidi Macdonald, M.; Sen, A.

    Carbon dioxide intolerance has impeded the development of alkaline fuel cells as an alternate source of power supply. The CO 2, in a fuel cell system, could come from the anode side (if "dirty" H 2 is used as fuel), from the cathode side (if air instead of pure O 2 is used as an oxidant) or from inside the electrolyte (if methanol is used as a fuel). In this work, an novel analytical approach is proposed to study and quantify the carbon dioxide poisoning problem. Accelerated tests were carried out in an alkaline fuel cell using methanol as a fuel with different electrical loads and varying the concentration of carbon dioxide in a mixture CO 2/O 2 used as oxidant. Two characteristic quantities, t max and R max, were specified which were shown to comprehensively define the nature and extent of carbon dioxide poisoning in alkaline fuel cells. The poisoning phenomenon was successfully quantified by determining the dependence of these characteristic quantities on the operating parameters, viz. atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and applied electrical load. Such quantification enabled the prediction of the output of a fuel cell operating in a carbon dioxide enriched atmosphere. In addition, static and dynamic analyses of electrolytes were carried out to determine the dependence of cell current on the electrolyte composition in a fuel cell undergoing poisoning. It was observed that there is a critical concentration of KOH in the electrolyte only below which the effect of carbon dioxide poisoning is reflected on the cell performance. Potentiostatic polarization tests confirmed that the underlying reason for the decreased cell performance because of carbon dioxide poisoning is the sluggish kinetics of methanol oxidation in the presence of potassium carbonate in the electrolyte. Moreover, the decreased conductivity of the electrolyte resulting from hydroxide to carbonate conversion was also shown to increase the ohmic loses in an alkaline fuel cell leading to lower

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Development of an alkaline fuel cell subsystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1987-03-01

    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.

  6. Thermodynamic model for an alkaline fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verhaert, Ivan; De Paepe, Michel; Mulder, Grietus

    Alkaline fuel cells are low temperature fuel cells for which stationary applications, e.g. cogeneration in buildings, are a promising market. In order to guarantee a long life, water and thermal management has to be done in a careful way. In order to better understand the water, alkali and thermal flows, a two-dimensional model for an Alkaline Fuel Cell is developed using a control volume approach. In each volume the electrochemical reactions together with the mass and energy balance are solved. The model is created in Aspen Custom Modeller, the development environment of Aspen Plus, where special attention is given to the physical flow of hydrogen, water and air in the system. In this way the developed component, the AFC-cell, can be built into stack configurations to understand its effect on the overall performance. The model is validated by experimental data from measured performance by VITO with their Cell Voltage Monitor at a test case, where the AFC-unit is used as a cogeneration unit.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Degradation modes of alkaline fuel cells and their components

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tomantschger, Klaus; Findlay, Robert; Hanson, Michael; Kordesch, Karl; Srinivasan, Supramaniam

    The performance and life-limiting parameters of multilayer polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) bonded carbon air cathodes and hydrogen anodes, developed at the Institute for Hydrogen Systems (IHS) for use in low temperature alkaline electrolyte fuel cells (AFC) and batteries, were investigated. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray energy spectroscopy (XES), electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis (ESCA), microcalorimetry and intrusion porosimetry techniques in conjunction with electrochemical testing methods were used to characterize electrode components, electrodes and alkaline fuel cells. The lifetime of air cathodes is mainly limited by carbon corrosion and structural degradation, while that of hydrogen anodes is frequently limited by electrocatalyst problems and structural degradation. The PTFE binder was also found to degrade in both the cathodes and the anodes. The internal resistance, which was found to generally increase in AFCs in particular between the cathode and the current collector, can be minimized by the proper choice of materials. Temperature cycling of AFCs may result in mechanical problems; however, these problems can be overcome by using AFC components with compatible thermal expansion coefficients.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Solid-polymer-electrolyte fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 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.

  15. Long life expectancy of alkaline fuel cells in hybrid vehicles

    SciTech Connect

    Kordesch, K.; Gsellmann, J.; Aronson, R.R.

    1998-07-01

    The alkaline Hydrogen-Air fuel cell system with circulating KOH-electrolyte and low-cost catalyzed carbon electrodes has a simple design and a good efficiency (high voltage). With new electrodes current densities of 200 to 300 mA/cm 2 are expected with air operation at 80 o C. The Austin A-40 City Car Hybrid vehicle which K. Kordesch operated on public roads for 3 years, demonstrated already in the early 1970s that the useful life of the alkaline system with circulating electrolyte can be increased by completely shutting down the fuel cell part of an AFC-lead-acid battery hybrid system. In this way, only the operating hours during driving time of the vehicle are counting and the electrode deterioration processes going on at open circuit (e.g. carbon oxidation, deep wetting of the electrode interface, parasitic current phenomena, etc.) are reduced. Like with a combustion engine, 3000--4000 actual operating hours are what are required for 200.000 km driving. The stacks, which use low-cost modular cell units, could be replaced after that. Another objective is to lower the fuel cell system cost on a mass production scale to the range of $ 100 to 150 per kW, which is then competitive with car engines, which cost only $ 50 to 75 per kW. No other fuel cell system could even approach such cost estimates. For reasons demanded by space requirements the historic development of AFC's shifted to matrix AFC systems. However, for terrestrial applications the use of circulation systems is more advantageous for thermal and water management. Jet pumps are usable for providing a load-dependent gas circulation. The exchangeability of the KOH makes it possible to operate on air with a less than complete removal of the CO{sub 2}. Cell reversal of series-connected cells, a frequent failure mode during shut-down and starting, is one of the main causes for the short life of electrodes in a high voltage stack. It can be prevented by a parallel, potential providing circuit.

  16. 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.

  17. Advanced-capability alkaline fuel cell powerplant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deronck, Henry J.

    The alkaline fuel cell powerplant utilized in the Space Shuttle Orbiter has established an excellent performance and reliability record over the past decade. Recent AFC technology programs have demonstrated significant advances in cell durability and power density. These capabilities provide the basis for substantial improvement of the Orbiter powerplant, enabling new mission applications as well as enhancing performance in the Orbiter. Improved durability would extend the powerplant's time between overhaul fivefold, and permit longer-duration missions. The powerplant would also be a strong candidate for lunar/planetary surface power systems. Higher power capability would enable replacement of the Orbiter's auxiliary power units with electric motors, and benefits mass-critical applications such as the National AeroSpace Plane.

  18. Oxygen electrodes for rechargeable alkaline fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swette, Larry; Giner, Jose

    1987-09-01

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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).

  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. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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 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. Here, owing to its high activity and low cost, our catalyst shows significant potential for use in low-cost, high-performance fuel cells.

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

    DOE PAGES

    Zhuang, Zhongbin; Giles, Stephen A.; Zheng, Jie; ...

    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

  16. 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

    2016-01-14

    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 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Catalyst supports for polymer electrolyte fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Subban, Chinmayee; Zhou, Qin; Leonard, Brian; Ranjan, Chinmoy; Edvenson, Heather M; Disalvo, F J; Munie, Semeret; Hunting, Janet

    2010-07-28

    A major challenge in obtaining long-term durability in fuel cells is to discover catalyst supports that do not corrode, or corrode much more slowly than the current carbon blacks used in today's polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. Such materials must be sufficiently stable at low pH (acidic conditions) and high potential, in contact with the polymer membrane and under exposure to hydrogen gas and oxygen at temperatures up to perhaps 120 degrees C. Here, we report the initial discovery of a promising class of doped oxide materials for this purpose: Ti(1-x)M(x)O(2), where M=a variety of transition metals. Specifically, we show that Ti(0.7)W(0.3)O(2) is electrochemically inert over the appropriate potential range. Although the process is not yet optimized, when Pt nanoparticles are deposited on this oxide, electrochemical experiments show that hydrogen is oxidized and oxygen reduced at rates comparable to those seen using a commercial Pt on carbon black support.

  20. Polymer electrolyte fuel cells for transportation applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    The application of the polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) as a primary power source in electric vehicles has received increasing attention during the last few years. This increased attention has been fueled by a combination of significant technical advances in this field and by the initiation of some projects for the demonstration of a complete, PEFC-based power system in a bus or in a passenger car. Such demonstration projects reflect an increased faith of industry in the potential of this technology for transportation applications, or, at least, in the need for a detailed evaluation of this potential. Nevertheless, large scale transportation applications of PEFC's require a continued concerted effort of research on catalysis, materials and components, combined with the engineering efforts addressing the complete power system. This is required to achieve cost effective, highly performing PEFC stack and power system. We describe in this contribution some recent results of work performed within the Core Research PEFC Program at Los Alamos National Laboratory, which has addressed transportation applications of PEFC's.

  1. A study of the direct dimethyl ether fuel cell using alkaline anolyte

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Kan; Lao, Shao Jiang; Qin, Hai Ying; Liu, Bin Hong; Li, Zhou Peng

    The electrooxidation behavior of dimethyl ether (DME) dissolved in acidic, neutral or alkaline anolyte has been studied. The cyclic voltammetry measurements reveal that DME in alkaline anolyte demonstrates higher electrooxidation reactivity than that in acidic or neutral anolyte. With increasing the NaOH concentration in the anolyte, the electrooxidation reactivity of DME can be further improved. Direct dimethyl ether fuel cells (DDFCs) are assembled by using Nafion membrane as the electrolyte, Pt/C as the cathode catalyst, and Pt-Ru/C as the anode catalyst. It is found that the use of alkaline anolyte can significantly improve the performance of DDFCs. A maximum power density of 60 mW cm -2 has been achieved when operating the DDFC at 80 °C under ambient pressure.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. The choice of low-temperature hydrogen fuel cells: Acidic - or alkaline

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kordesch, K.

    A comparison of the major types of hydrogen-oxygen (air) fuel cells is given. The criteria for the selection is the fuel availability, system performance, optimal cost and life expectancy in most suitable application areas. Special recommendations are given for designs of bipolar alkaline batteries for intermittent use in electric vehicles on the road, combining high conversion efficiency with long stand-by periods. Such batteries with liquid alkaline electrolytes will have to compete with matrix-type cells using improved acidic- or membrane-type cells. Hybrid systems will be discussed and their advantages from the economic point of view will be considered. In electric vehicles the combination with an advanced rechargeable battery system, like zinc-bromine, could be decisive for success. Unfortunately, there are not enough cost data available to compare the systems now.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Liquid-Feed Methanol Fuel Cell With Membrane Electrolyte

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Surampudi, Subbarao; Narayanan, S. R.; Halpert, Gerald; Frank, Harvey; Vamos, Eugene

    1995-01-01

    Fuel cell generates electricity from direct liquid feed stream of methanol/water solution circulated in contact with anode, plus direct gaseous feed stream of air or oxygen in contact with cathode. Advantages include relative simplicity and elimination of corrosive electrolytic solutions. Offers potential for reductions in size, weight, and complexity, and for increases in safety of fuel-cell systems.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Alkaline fuel cells for prime power and energy storage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stedman, J. K.

    Alkaline fuel cell technology and its application to future space missions requiring high power and energy storage are discussed. Energy densities exceeding 100 watthours per pound and power densities approaching 0.5 pounds per kilowatt are calculated for advanced systems. Materials research to allow reversible operation of cells for energy storage and higher temperature operation for peaking power is warranted.

  1. Oxygen electrodes for rechargeable alkaline fuel cells, 3

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1991-09-01

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Fluoride-based, low temperature solid electrolyte fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oh, Seajin; Otagawa, T.; Madou, M.

    Lanthanum fluoride electrolytes were tested to determine whether fluoride electrolytes can be used as fuel cell electrolytes at low temperatures. The planar-type fuel cell were operated in oxygen/hydrogen gases with nickel oxide/nickel as the anode and a perovskite structure oxide (La(0.6)Sr(0.4)CoO3) as the cathode. In order to reduce the fuel cell operating temperature while maintaining the highest possible current, various thin and thick film techniques were assessed. They include e-beam evaporation and dc plasma spray methods. Fuel cells incorporating plasma-sprayed LaF3 films yielded a short-circuit current density on the order of 0.4 mA/sq cm at 450 C, and the current density under an overpotential of 0.2V showed no sign of decay over 17 hours. In the co-ionic (fluoride and oxide ion) conduction mode, the lanthanum fluoride electrolyte based fuel cells could sustain current in oxygen/hydrogen gases.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Electrolytes for Hydrocarbon Air Fuel Cells.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1981-01-01

    performed on four commercially available electrolytes; namely, -methanedisulfonic acid - sulfoacetic acid -10-dl-camphorsulfonic acid -and...hydrocarbon chain can increase the stability of aliphatic sulfonic acids . Sulfoacetic and dl-10-camphorsulfonic acids were tested and found to decompose...thermally. 0 Sulfoacetic acid thermally decomposes at 180 C apparently due to decarboxylation. This is substantially below the 245 C reported by previous

  15. Electrolytes for Hydrocarbon Air Fuel Cells.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1980-04-01

    available electrolytes; namely, -methanedisulfonic acid - sulfoacetic acid -10-dl-camphorsulfonic acid -and pentadecafluorooctanoic acid . These four...in the hydrocarbon chain can increase the stability of aliphatic sulfonic acids . Sulfoacetic and dl-10-camphorsulfonic acids were tested and found to...decompose thermally. 6 Sulfoacetic acid thermally decomposes at 180 C apparently due to decarboxylation. This is substantially 6 below the 245 C

  16. 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.

  17. Fuel Cell Electrolyte for Portable Electrical Generating Equipment.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1982-08-01

    KEY WORDS (Continue on reverse side It necessay end Identify by block number) Electrochemistry; Fuel Cell; Electrolytes; Sulfonic Acids 116 ABST RACT (C...phosphoric acid in primary fuel cells with the necessary physical, chemical and electro- * chemical stability to operate from room temperature to 1500 C...This goal was successfully met and exceeded with a perfluorinated acid (hexafluorobutane tetrasulfonic) produced which operates over the temperature

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Mass Spectrometry of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells

    PubMed Central

    Ostroverkh, Anna; Fiala, Roman; Rednyk, Andrii; Matolín, Vladimír

    2016-01-01

    The chemical analysis of processes inside fuel cells under operating conditions in either direct or inverted (electrolysis) mode and their correlation with potentiostatic measurements is a crucial part of understanding fuel cell electrochemistry. We present a relatively simple yet powerful experimental setup for online monitoring of the fuel cell exhaust (of either cathode or anode side) downstream by mass spectrometry. The influence of a variety of parameters (composition of the catalyst, fuel type or its concentration, cell temperature, level of humidification, mass flow rate, power load, cell potential, etc.) on the fuel cell operation can be easily investigated separately or in a combined fashion. We demonstrate the application of this technique on a few examples of low-temperature (70°C herein) polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (both alcohol- and hydrogen-fed) subjected to a wide range of conditions. PMID:28042492

  2. Mass Spectrometry of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

    Johánek, Viktor; Ostroverkh, Anna; Fiala, Roman; Rednyk, Andrii; Matolín, Vladimír

    2016-01-01

    The chemical analysis of processes inside fuel cells under operating conditions in either direct or inverted (electrolysis) mode and their correlation with potentiostatic measurements is a crucial part of understanding fuel cell electrochemistry. We present a relatively simple yet powerful experimental setup for online monitoring of the fuel cell exhaust (of either cathode or anode side) downstream by mass spectrometry. The influence of a variety of parameters (composition of the catalyst, fuel type or its concentration, cell temperature, level of humidification, mass flow rate, power load, cell potential, etc.) on the fuel cell operation can be easily investigated separately or in a combined fashion. We demonstrate the application of this technique on a few examples of low-temperature (70°C herein) polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (both alcohol- and hydrogen-fed) subjected to a wide range of conditions.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, R. E.

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  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. 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)

  14. 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.

  15. Fuel cell using novel electrolyte membrane

    SciTech Connect

    Polak, A.J.; Beuhler, A.J.

    1986-06-10

    An apparatus is described for producing electricity from a fuel gas having a gaseous component which is capable, in the presence of a catalytic agent, of dissociating to yield hydrogen ions comprising: (a) a thin film organic-inorganic membrane which comprises a single phase blend from about 1% to about 70% by weight of a heteropoly acid and salts; (b) a membrane housing comprising a fuel gas chamber and an oxidant gas chamber separated by a substantially imporous partition comprising the membrane defined in element (a), the membrane having a first surface in communication with the fuel gas chamber and a second surface in communication with the oxidant gas chamber; (c) two separate portions of catalytic agent effective to promote dissociation and combination, one portion in contact with the first surface of the membrane and one portion in contact with the second surface of the membrane; and, (d) means for forming electrical connection in operative contact with the catalytic agent in contact with the first surface of the membrane and in operative contact with the catalytic agent in contact with the second surface of the membrane.

  16. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Martin, R.E.

    1983-08-01

    United Technologies Corporation has been conducting a development program sponsored by Lewis Research Center of NASA directed toward advancing the state of the art of the alkaline fuel cell. The goal of the program is the development of an extended endurance, high-performance, high-efficiency fuel cell for use in a multi-hundred kilowatt regenerative fuel cell. This technology advancement program has identified a low-weight design and cell components with increased performance and extended endurance. Longterm endurance testing of full-size fuel cell modules has demonstrated the extended endurance capability of potassium titanate matrix cells, the long-term performance stability of the anode catalyst, and the suitability of a lightweight graphite structure for use at the anode in an alkaline fuel cell. In addition under the program, a full-size alkaline fuel cell module has completed 5,000 hours of a planned 20,000-hour test to a cyclical load profile. The continuous load profile consists of 60 minutes at open circuit followed by 30 minutes at 200 ASF which simulates the operation of a Regenerative Fuel Cell Energy Storage System in low earth orbit.

  18. 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.

  19. Alkaline stability of quaternary ammonium cations for alkaline fuel cell membranes and ionic liquids.

    PubMed

    Marino, M G; Kreuer, K D

    2015-02-01

    The alkaline stability of 26 different quaternary ammonium groups (QA) is investigated for temperatures up to 160 °C and NaOH concentrations up to 10 mol L(-1) with the aim to provide a basis for the selection of functional groups for hydroxide exchange membranes in alkaline fuel cells and of ionic-liquid cations stable in basic conditions. Most QAs exhibit unexpectedly high alkaline stability with the exception of aromatic cations. β-Protons are found to be far less susceptible to nucleophilic attack than previously suggested, whereas the presence of benzyl groups, nearby hetero-atoms, or other electron-withdrawing species promote degradation reactions significantly. Cyclic QAs proved to be exceptionally stable, with the piperidine-based 6-azonia-spiro[5.5]undecane featuring the highest half-life at the chosen conditions. Absolute and relative stabilities presented herein stand in contrast to literature data, the differences being ascribed to solvent effects on degradation.

  20. 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.

  1. A lumped parameter model of the polymer electrolyte fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chu, Keonyup; Ryu, Junghwan; Sunwoo, Myoungho

    A model of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) is developed that captures dynamic behaviour for control purposes. The model is mathematically simple, but accounts for the essential phenomena that define PEFC performance. In particular, performance depends principally on humidity, temperature and gas pressure in the fuel cell system. To simulate accurately PEFC operation, the effects of water transport, hydration in the membrane, temperature, and mass transport in the fuel cells system are simultaneously coupled in the model. The PEFC model address three physically distinctive fuel cell components, namely, the anode channel, the cathode channel, and the membrane electrode assembly (MEA). The laws of mass and energy conservation are applied to describe each physical component as a control volume. In addition, the MEA model includes a steady-state electrochemical model, which consists of membrane hydration and the stack voltage models.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cells Modeling and Optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Zhuqian; Wang, Xia; Shi, Zhongying; Zhang, Xinxin; Yu, Fan

    2006-11-01

    Performance of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells is dependent on operating parameters and designing parameters. Operating parameters mainly include temperature, pressure, humidity and the flow rate of the inlet reactants. Designing parameters include reactants distributor patterns and dimensions, electrodes dimensions, and electrodes properties such as porosity, permeability and so on. This work aims to investigate the effects of various designing parameters on the performance of PEM fuel cells, and the optimum values will be determined under a given operating condition.A three-dimensional steady-state electrochemical mathematical model was established where the mass, fluid and thermal transport processes are considered as well as the electrochemical reaction. A Powell multivariable optimization algorithm will be applied to investigate the optimum values of designing parameters. The objective function is defined as the maximum potential of the electrolyte fluid phase at the membrane/cathode interface at a typical value of the cell voltage. The robustness of the optimum design of the fuel cell under different cell potentials will be investigated using a statistical sensitivity analysis. By comparing with the reference case, the results obtained here provide useful tools for a better design of fuel cells.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Model-based analysis of water management in alkaline direct methanol fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weinzierl, C.; Krewer, U.

    2014-12-01

    Mathematical modelling is used to analyse water management in Alkaline Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (ADMFCs) with an anion exchange membrane as electrolyte. Cathodic water supply is identified as one of the main challenges and investigated at different operation conditions. Two extreme case scenarios are modelled to study the feasible conditions for sufficient water supply. Scenario 1 reveals that water supply by cathodic inlet is insufficient and, thus, water transport through membrane is essential for ADMFC operation. The second scenario is used to analyse requirements on water transport through the membrane for different operation conditions. These requirements are influenced by current density, evaporation rate, methanol cross-over and electro-osmotic drag of water. Simulations indicate that water supply is mainly challenging for high current densities and demands on high water diffusion are intensified by water drag. Thus, current density might be limited by water transport through membrane. The presented results help to identify important effects and processes in ADMFCs with a polymer electrolyte membrane and to understand these processes. Furthermore, the requirements identified by modelling show the importance of considering water transport through membrane besides conductivity and methanol cross-over especially for designing new membrane materials.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Effect of Multiple Cation Electrolyte Mixtures on Rechargeable Zn?MnO2 Alkaline Battery

    DOE PAGES

    Hertzberg, Benjamin J.; Huang, An; Hsieh, Andrew; ...

    2016-05-23

    A Bi2O3 in β-MnO2 composite cathode material has been synthesized using a simple hydrothermal method and cycled in a mixed KOH–LiOH electrolyte with a range of concentrations. We show that, at a KOH:LiOH molar ratio of 1:3, both proton insertion and lithium insertion occur, allowing access to a higher fraction of the theoretical capacity of the MnO2 while preventing the formation of ZnMn2O4. This enables a capacity of 360 mAh/g for over 60 cycles, with cycling limited more by anode properties than traditional cathodic failure mechanisms. The structural changes occurring during cycling are characterized using electron microscopy and in situmore » synchrotron energy-dispersive X-ray diffraction (EDXRD) techniques. This mixed electrolyte shows exceptional cyclability and capacity and can be used as a drop-in replacement for current alkaline batteries, potentially drastically improving their cycle life and creating a wide range of new applications for this energy storage technology.« less

  11. Effect of Multiple Cation Electrolyte Mixtures on Rechargeable Zn?MnO2 Alkaline Battery

    SciTech Connect

    Hertzberg, Benjamin J.; Huang, An; Hsieh, Andrew; Chamoun, Mylad; Davies, G.; Seo, Joon Kyo; Zhong, Zhong; Croft, Mark; Erdonmez, Can; Meng, Ying Shirley; Steingart, Dan

    2016-05-23

    A Bi2O3 in β-MnO2 composite cathode material has been synthesized using a simple hydrothermal method and cycled in a mixed KOH–LiOH electrolyte with a range of concentrations. We show that, at a KOH:LiOH molar ratio of 1:3, both proton insertion and lithium insertion occur, allowing access to a higher fraction of the theoretical capacity of the MnO2 while preventing the formation of ZnMn2O4. This enables a capacity of 360 mAh/g for over 60 cycles, with cycling limited more by anode properties than traditional cathodic failure mechanisms. The structural changes occurring during cycling are characterized using electron microscopy and in situ synchrotron energy-dispersive X-ray diffraction (EDXRD) techniques. This mixed electrolyte shows exceptional cyclability and capacity and can be used as a drop-in replacement for current alkaline batteries, potentially drastically improving their cycle life and creating a wide range of new applications for this energy storage technology.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Temperature dependent surface electrochemistry on Pt singlecrystals in alkaline electrolyte: Part 3: The oxygen reductionreaction

    SciTech Connect

    tom.schmidt@psi.ch

    2002-08-01

    The kinetics of the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) was studied in alkaline electrolyte at 293-333K on Pt(hkl) surfaces by means of the rotating ring-disk electrode technique with solution phase peroxide detected at the ring electrode. The ORR on Pt(hkl) was found to be highly structure sensitive with activities increasing in the sequence (111) > (100) > (110)(1x2). Very similar apparent activation energies (37-45 {+-} 5 kJmol-1, {eta} = 0.35 V) were found on all three surfaces. Furthermore, at elevated temperature, significantly smaller amounts of peroxide are formed in agreement with enhanced peroxide reduction rates by increasing temperature. We found that the Tafel slopes on all three single crystal surfaces decrease with increasing temperature, indicating that the logi-E relationship is not represented by a classical Butler-Volmer expression. Based on the kinetic analysis of the polarization curves and from simulations of logi-E curves, we propose that the rate of the ORR on Pt(hkl) in alkaline solution is mainly determined by the potential/temperature dependent surface coverage by OH{sub ad}. We propose two modes of action of the OH{sub ad}: (i) OH{sub ad} blocks the adsorption of O{sub 2} on active platinum sites; and (ii) OH{sub ad} alters the adsorption energy of intermediates which are formed during the ORR on Pt sites.

  15. Recent progress in alkaline direct ethylene glycol fuel cells for sustainable energy production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    An, L.; Chen, R.

    2016-10-01

    Alkaline direct ethylene glycol fuel cells are one of the most promising power sources for portable, mobile and stationary power applications, primarily because this type of fuel cell runs on a sustainable fuel and the key materials that constitute the fuel cell are relatively inexpensive. This review article summarizes and discusses the past investigations on the development of alkaline direct ethylene glycol fuel cells, including the physical and chemical processes through the fuel cell structure, the electrocatalytic oxidation and electrocatalysts of ethylene glycol, the singe-cell performance, and innovative system designs.

  16. Polymer electrolyte fuel cell mini power unit for portable application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urbani, F.; Squadrito, G.; Barbera, O.; Giacoppo, G.; Passalacqua, E.; Zerbinati, O.

    This paper describes the design, realisation and test of a power unit based on a polymer electrolyte fuel cell, operating at room temperature, for portable application. The device is composed of an home made air breathing fuel cell stack, a metal hydride tank for H 2 supply, a dc-dc converter for power output control and a fan for stack cooling. The stack is composed by 10 cells with an active surface of 25 cm 2 and produces a rated power of 15 W at 6 V and 2 A. The stack successfully runs with end-off fed hydrogen without appreciable performance degradation during the time. The final assembled system is able to generate 12 W at 9.5 V, and power a portable DVD player for 3 h in continuous. The power unit has collected about 100 h of operation without maintenance.

  17. Modeling polymer electrolyte fuel cells: an innovative approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maggio, G.; Recupero, V.; Pino, L.

    In this paper, a mathematical simulation model is proposed to describe the water transport in proton conductive membranes, used in polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs). The model, which includes the calculation of electrochemical parameters of a PEFC, represents a quite innovative approach. In fact, it is based on the use of original mathematical relationships taking into account diffusional and ohmic overpotentials for electrode flooding and membrane dehydration problems. The calculated performance of polymer fuel cells using a Nafion 117 membrane clearly demonstrates the model validation (±3% variation with respect to experimental data). Besides, analysis of model results allows a useful comparison of two different membranes (Nafion 117, Dow) in order to define the best membrane/electrode assembly.

  18. 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).

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Electrochemical characteristics of acid electrolytes for fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gervasio, D.; Razaq, M.; Razaq, A.; Adzic, R.; Kanamura, K.; Yeager, E. B.

    1992-01-01

    The electrochemical evaluation of new perfluorinated fuel cell electrolytes provided by GRI contractors at Clemson and Iowa shows the kinetics for O2 reduction on Pt improves with these acids compared to with phosphoric acid. The improvement is mainly due to the lesser tendency of these acids to absorb on Pt. Kinetics do not have a strong dependence on pH or O2 solubility when mass transport is not involved. Concentrated sulfonyl acids were usually found to wet Teflon resulting in the flooding of Teflon-bonded gas fed electrodes and poor performance at high current densities. These perfluorinated electrolytes were, however, found to be useful as performance enhancing additives to concentrated phosphoric acid in some cases. The alpha, omega-bis-phosphonic acid with a perfluoroethylene bridge gave superior performance compared to phosphoric acid at elevated temperatures (up to 200 C) for 500 hours. Bis-phosphonic acids with higher CF2 to PO3H2 ratios dehydrated more readily at elevated temperatures, resulting in resistive voltage losses. New perfluorinated phosphonic acid containing olefins were found to be polymerizable. This suggests that with a reasonable synthetic effort, new kinds of ionomer membrames are attainable, and these may be superior to Nafion for fuel cell applications.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Characterization and optimization of polymer electrolyte fuel cell electrodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boyer, Christopher Carter

    Experimental characterization and modeling were combined to find a procedure for optimizing the design of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) electrodes. The mass transfer and kinetic properties of the active layer used in electrodes fabricated at the Center for Electrochemical Systems and Hydrogen Research (CESHR) were characterized as a function of electrolyte polymer content NafionRTM, DuPont, Fayetteville, NC) and catalyst loading for different types of platinum catalysts (E-Tek, Natick, MA). Expressions from limiting cases of the fuel cell model showed the combination of electrode materials for maximum current density at maximum catalyst utilization. Models describing the fuel cell behavior were selected and used to explain how different operating pressures affect the system power density and efficiency. An "inert layer" method was developed to determine the effective proton conductivity of the active layer. A "buffer layer" method was developed to determine the oxygen diffusivity in the gas pores. A review of the literature and experiments at CESHR was used to determine the oxygen reduction activity of the active layer. Finally, a fitting method was developed to measure the agglomerate diffusivity from cell tests. A PEMFC model demonstrated that operating the fuel cell pressurized can improve the power density at high currents because of oxygen mass transport. limitations in the substrate. However. as better electrode designs improve oxygen mass transfer, pressurized operation will lose this advantage. In addition, the model confirmed that oxygen enrichment systems require too much energy to separate oxygen from air to improve the net performance of a fuel cell. From limiting approximations of the solutions of the differential material balances in the fuel cell model, a simple set of analytical expressions were derived that predict the optimum active layer thickness and maximum current density based on the materials of construction and operating

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. In situ spectroscopic ellipsometry during electrochemical treatment of zinc in alkaline carbonate electrolyte

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Ying; Erbe, Andreas

    2013-01-01

    In situ spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE, 297-820 nm, 4.4-1.5 eV) during electrochemical oxidation/reduction of zinc in alkaline carbonate electrolyte was performed using a specially designed optical-electrochemical cell. The growth and shrinkage of the interfacial layer on Zn was analysed on the basis of Lekner's first order perturbation theory. For non-absorbing thin films on metal surfaces, an algorithm has been derived to extract the thickness of a surface film directly from ellipsometric data without the need of optical modelling. During cyclic voltammetry (CV), a rapid decrease/increase in the layer thickness in the reduction/oxidation peak has been found. In the potential regime where the surface is oxide-covered, the layer thickness increases/decreases linearly with potential in anodic/cathodic scans. The density of the interfacial region in this regime is constant. During chronoamperometric experiments, a fast correlating jump in thickness was found after potential jumps. An ageing of the films is observed in the absorption spectrum (from the ellipsometric parameter Ψ), which shows changes until ≈ 30 min after potential jumps. Analysis of the current transients points to continuous dissolution of Zn.

  12. 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

    2014-04-03

    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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Modeling and experimental diagnostics in polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1993-12-01

    This paper presents a fit between model and experiments for well-humidified polymer electrolyte fuel cells operated to maximum current density with a range of cathode gas compositions. The model considers, in detail, losses caused by: (1) interfacial kinetics at the Pt/ionomer interface; (2) gas-transport and ionic-conductivity limitations in the catalyst layer; and (3) gas-transport limitations in the cathode backing. Our experimental data were collected with cells that utilized thin-film catalyst layers bonded directly to the membrane, and a separate catalyst-free hydrophobic backing layer. This structure allows a clearer resolution of the processes taking place in each of these distinguishable parts of the cathode. In our final comparison of model predictions with the experimental data, we stress the simultaneous fit of a family of complete polarization curves obtained for gas compositions ranging from 5 atoms O2 to a mixture of 5% O2 in N2, employing in each case the same model parameters for interracial kinetics, catalyst-layer transport, and backing-layer transport. This approach allowed us to evaluate losses in the cathode backing and in the cathode catalyst layer, and thus identify the improvements required to enhance the performance of air cathodes in polymer electrolyte fuel cells. Finally, we show that effects of graded depletion in oxygen along the gas flow channel can be accurately modeled using a uniform effective oxygen concentration in the flow channel, equal to the average of inlet and exit concentrations. This approach has enabled simplified and accurate consideration of oxygen utilization effects.

  16. Modeling transport in polymer-electrolyte fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Weber, Adam Z; Newman, John

    2004-10-01

    In this review, we have examined the different models for polymer-electrolyte fuel cells operating with hydrogen. The major focus has been on transport of the various species within the fuel cell. The different regions of the fuel cell were examined, and their modeling methodologies and equations were elucidated. In particular, the 1-D fuel-cell sandwich was discussed thoroughly because it is the most important part of the fuel-cell assembly. Models that included other effects such as temperature gradients and transport in other directions besides through the fuel-cell sandwich were also discussed. Models were not directly compared to each other; instead they were broken down into their constitutive parts. The reason for this is that validation of the models is usually accomplished by comparison of simulation to experimental polarization data (e.g., Figure 3). However, other data can also be used such as the net flux of water through the membrane. In fitting these data, the models vary not only in their complexity and treatments but also in their number and kind of fitting parameters. This is one reason it is hard to justify one approach over another by just looking at the modeling results. In general, it seems reasonable that the more complex models, which are based on physical arguments and do not contain many fitting parameters, are perhaps closest to reality. Of course, this assumes that they fit the experimental data and observations. This last point has been overlooked in the validation of many models. For example, a model may fit the data very well for certain operating conditions, but if it does not at least predict the correct trend when one of those conditions is changed, then the model is shown to be valid only within a certain operating range. This review has highlighted the important effects that should be modeled. These include two-phase flow of liquid water and gas in the fuel-cell sandwich, a robust membrane model that accounts for the different

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Cationic Polymers Developed for Alkaline Fuel Cell Applications

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-01-20

    cell (AEMFC) adopts cationic group-functionalized polymers as the solid electrolyte instead of liquid potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide used in...hydroxide or sodium hydroxide used in the traditional AFC, avoiding leakage problems, bicarbonate and carbonate salt induced electrode degradation...the solid electrolyte instead of liquid potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide used in the traditional AFC, avoiding leakage problems, bicarbonate

  20. 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.

  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. Electrolytic Reduction of Spent Oxide Fuel – Bench-Scale Test Results

    SciTech Connect

    S. D. Herrmann; S. X. Li; M. F. Simpson

    2005-10-01

    A series of tests were performed to demonstrate the electrolytic reduction of spent light water reactor fuel at bench-scale in a hot cell at the Idaho National Laboratory Materials and Fuels Complex (formerly Argonne National Laboratory - West). The process involves the conversion of oxide fuel to metal by electrolytic means, which would then enable subsequent separation and recovery of actinides via existing electrometallurgical technologies, i.e., electrorefining. Four electrolytic reduction runs were performed at bench scale using ~500 ml of molten LiCl -- 1 wt% Li2O electrolyte at 650 ºC. In each run, ~50 g of crushed spent oxide fuel was loaded into a permeable stainless steel basket and immersed into the electrolyte as the cathode. A spiral wound platinum wire was immersed into the electrolyte as the anode. When a controlled electric current was conducted through the anode and cathode, the oxide fuel was reduced to metal in the basket and oxygen gas was evolved at the anode. Salt samples were extracted before and after each electrolytic reduction run and analyzed for fuel and fission product constituents. The fuel baskets following each run were sectioned and sampled, revealing an extent of uranium oxide reduction in excess of 98%.

  3. Materials development and electrochemical characterization of polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xin

    In this thesis, the materials development and mechanism characterizations of polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) are addressed. This work starts with a new preparation technique for a modified electrode structure containing two carbon support materials. The resulted catalyzed electrode, which exhibits good materials properties, demonstrates an improved kinetics in the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). A new electrocatalyst synthesis procedure utilizing an amphiphilic surfactant to stabilize the nanophase catalyst particles is proposed to fabricate the Pt and Pt-Ru electrocatalysts supported on carbon powders. Physicochemical and electrochemical characterizations of this electrocatalyst show that the nanmeter-scale, well-dispersed catalyst with a high catalytic activity can be obtained. In addition to developing the electrocatalytic materials, an electrochemical impedance based study, aiming to achieve a better understanding of the H 2/CO and methanol oxidation mechanism, is carried out. Unlike the equivalent circuit fitting model frequently used in the fuel cell community, a mathematical simulation tool, utilizing the impedance theory and the reaction kinetics, is developed. This model not only successfully predicts the effects of applied potentials to the impedance but also captures most of the impedance characteristics found in the experiments. In particular, the occurrence of the "pseudo inductive" behavior observed both in the experiments and simulations can be used as an effective criterion for the onset of surface CO oxidation. It is believed that the simulation strategy employed in this study can be utilized to assist the materials design of electrocatalysts with improved CO tolerance and high electrocatalytic activity.

  4. Modeling water content effects in polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    Water content and transport is the key factor in the one-dimensional, steady-state model of a complete polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) described here. Water diffusion coefficients, electroosmotic drag coefficients, water sorption isotherms, and membrane conductivities, all measured in our laboratory as functions of membrane water content, were used in the model. The model predicts a net-water-per-proton flux ratio of 0.2 H2O/H(sup +) under typical operating conditions, which is much less than the measured electroosmotic drag coefficient for a fully hydrated membrane. It also predicts an increase in membrane resistance with increased current density and demonstrates the great advantage of thinner membranes in alleviating this resistance problem. Both of these predictions were verified experimentally under certain conditions. We also describe the sensitivity of the water concentration profile and associated observables to variations in the values of some of the transport parameters in anticipation of applying the model to fuel cells employing other membranes.

  5. Yttria-stabilized zirconia solid oxide electrolyte fuel cells--- monolithic solid oxide fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1990-10-01

    The monolithic solid oxide fuel cell (MSOFC) is currently under development for a variety of applications including coal-based power generation. The MSOFC is a design concept that places the thin components of a solid oxide fuel cell in lightweight, compact, corrugated structure, and so achieves high efficiency and excellent performance simultaneously with high power density. The MSOFC can be integrated with coal gasification plants and is expected to have high overall efficiency in the conversion of the chemical energy of coal to electrical energy. This report describes work aimed at (1) assessing manufacturing costs for the MSOFC and system costs for a coal-based plant; (2) modifying electrodes and electrode/electrolyte interfaces to improve the electrochemical performance of the MSOFC; and (3) testing the performance of the MSOFC on hydrogen and simulated coal gas. Manufacturing costs for both the coflow and crossflow MSOFC's were assessed based on the fabrication flow charts developed by direct scaleup of tape calendering and other laboratory processes. Integrated coal-based MSOFC systems were investigated to determine capital costs and costs of electricity. Design criteria were established for a coal-fueled 200-Mw power plant. Four plant arrangements were evaluated, and plant performance was analyzed. Interfacial modification involved modification of electrodes and electrode/electrolyte interfaces to improve the MSOFC electrochemical performance. Work in the cathode and cathode/electrolyte interface was concentrated on modification of electrode porosity, electrode morphology, electrode material, and interfacial bonding. Modifications of the anode and anode/electrolyte interface included the use of additives and improvement of nickel distribution. Single cells have been tested for their electrochemical performance. Performance data were typically obtained with humidified H{sub 2} or simulated coal gas and air or oxygen. 68 figs., 29 tabs.

  6. Yttria-stabilized zirconia solid oxide electrolyte fuel cells: Monolithic solid oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1990-10-01

    The monolithic solid oxide fuel cell (MSOFC) is currently under development for a variety of applications including coal-based power generation. The MSOFC is a design concept that places the thin components of a solid oxide fuel cell in lightweight, compact, corrugated structure, and so achieves high efficiency and excellent performance simultaneously with high power density. The MSOFC can be integrated with coal gasification plants and is expected to have high overall efficiency in the conversion of the chemical energy of coal to electrical energy. This report describes work aimed at: (1) assessing manufacturing costs for the MSOFC and system costs for a coal-based plant; (2) modifying electrodes and electrode/electrolyte interfaces to improve the electrochemical performance of the MSOFC; and (3) testing the performance of the MSOFC on hydrogen and simulated coal gas. Manufacturing costs for both the coflow and crossflow MSOFC's were assessed based on the fabrication flow charts developed by direct scaleup of tape calendering and other laboratory processes. Integrated coal-based MSOFC systems were investigated to determine capital costs and costs of electricity. Design criteria were established for a coal-fueled 200-Mw power plant. Four plant arrangements were evaluated, and plant performance was analyzed. Interfacial modification involved modification of electrodes and electrode/electrolyte interfaces to improve the MSOFC electrochemical performance. Work in the cathode and cathode/electrolyte interface was concentrated on modification of electrode porosity, electrode morphology, electrode material, and interfacial bonding. Modifications of the anode and anode/electrolyte interface included the use of additives and improvement of nickel distribution. Single cells have been tested for their electrochemical performance. Performance data were typically obtained with humidified H2 or simulated coal gas and air or oxygen.

  7. 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.

  8. In and ex situ characterization of an anion-exchange membrane for alkaline direct methanol fuel cell (ADMFC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santasalo-Aarnio, Annukka; Hietala, Sami; Rauhala, Taina; Kallio, Tanja

    2011-08-01

    Anion exchange membrane fumasep® FAA-2 was characterized with ex and in situ methods in order to estimate the membranes' suitability as an electrolyte for an alkaline direct methanol fuel cell (ADMFC). The interactions of this membrane with water, hydroxyl ions and methanol were studied with both calorimetry and NMR and compared with the widely used proton exchange membrane Nafion® 115. The results indicate that FAA-2 has a tighter structure and more homogeneous distribution of ionic groups in contrast to the clustered structure of Nafion, moreover, the diffusion of OH- ions through this membrane is clearly slower compared to water molecules. The permeability of methanol through the FAA-2 membrane was found to be an order of magnitude lower than for Nafion. Fuel cell experiments in 1 mol dm-3 methanol with FAA-2 resulted in OCV of 0.58 V and maximum power density of 0.32 mW cm-2. However, even higher current densities were obtained with highly concentrated fuels. This implies that less water is needed for fuel dilution, thereby decreasing the mass of the fuel cell system. In addition, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy for the ADMFC was used to determine ohmic resistance of the cell facilitating the further membrane development.

  9. Hydroxide Self-Feeding High-Temperature Alkaline Direct Formate Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

    Li, Yinshi; Sun, Xianda; Feng, Ying

    2017-03-11

    Conventionally, both the thermal degradation of the anion-exchange membrane and the requirement of additional hydroxide for fuel oxidation reaction hinder the development of the high-temperature alkaline direct liquid fuel cells. The present work addresses these two issues by reporting a polybenzimidazole-membrane-based direct formate fuel cell (DFFC). Theoretically, the cell voltage of the high-temperature alkaline DFFC can be as high as 1.45 V at 90 °C. It has been demonstrated that a proof-of-concept alkaline DFFC without adding additional hydroxide yields a peak power density of 20.9 mW cm(-2) , an order of magnitude higher than both alkaline direct ethanol fuel cells and alkaline direct methanol fuel cells, mainly because the hydrolysis of formate provides enough OH(-) ions for formate oxidation reaction. It was also found that this hydroxide self-feeding high-temperature alkaline DFFC shows a stable 100 min constant-current discharge at 90 °C, proving the conceptual feasibility.

  10. Characteristics of Subfreezing Operation of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mishler, Jeffrey Harris

    Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cells are capable of high efficiency operation, and are free of NOx, SOx, and CO2 emissions when using hydrogen fuel, and ideally suited for use in transportation applications due to their high power density and low operating temperatures. However, under subfreezing conditions which may be encountered during winter seasons in some areas, product water will freeze within the membrane, cathode side catalyst layer and gas diffusion media, leading to voltage loss and operation failure. Experiments were undertaken in order to characterize the amount and location of water during fuel cell operation. First, in-situ neutron radiography was undertaken on the fuel cells at a normal operating temperature for various operating current densities, inlet relative humidities, and diffusion media hydrophobicities. It was found that more hydrophobic cathode microporous layer (MPL) or hydrophilic anode MPL may result in a larger amount of water transporting back to the anode. The water profiles along the channels were measured and the point of liquid water emergence, where two phase flow begins, was compared to previous models. Secondly, under subfreezing temperatures, neutron imaging showed that water ice product accumulates because of lack of a water removal mechanism. Water was observed under both the lands and channels, and increased almost linearly with time. It is found that most ice exists in the cathode side. With evidence from experimental observation, a cold start model was developed and explained, following existing approaches in the literature. Three stages of cold start are explained: membrane saturation, ice storage in catalyst layer pores, and then ice melting. The voltage losses due to temperature change, increased transport resistance, and reduced electrochemical surface area. The ionic conductivity of the membrane at subfreezing temperatures was modeled. Voltage evolution over time for isothermal cold starts was predicted and

  11. Nickel-silver alloy electrocatalysts for hydrogen evolution and oxidation in an alkaline electrolyte.

    PubMed

    Tang, Maureen H; Hahn, Christopher; Klobuchar, Aidan J; Ng, Jia Wei Desmond; Wellendorff, Jess; Bligaard, Thomas; Jaramillo, Thomas F

    2014-09-28

    The development of improved catalysts for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and hydrogen oxidation reaction (HOR) in basic electrolytes remains a major technical obstacle to improved fuel cells, water electrolyzers, and other devices for electrochemical energy storage and conversion. Based on the free energy of adsorbed hydrogen intermediates, theory predicts that alloys of nickel and silver are active for these reactions. In this work, we synthesize binary nickel-silver bulk alloys across a range of compositions and show that nickel-silver alloys are indeed more active than pure nickel for hydrogen evolution and, possibly, hydrogen oxidation. To overcome the mutual insolubility of silver and nickel, we employ electron-beam physical vapor codeposition, a low-temperature synthetic route to metastable alloys. This method also produces flat and uniform films that facilitate the measurement of intrinsic catalytic activity with minimal variations in the surface area, ohmic contact, and pore transport. Rotating-disk-electrode measurements demonstrate that the hydrogen evolution activity per geometric area of the most active catalyst in this study, Ni0.75Ag0.25, is approximately twice that of pure nickel and has comparable stability and hydrogen oxidation activity. Our experimental results are supported by density functional theory calculations, which show that bulk alloying of Ni and Ag creates a variety of adsorption sites, some of which have near-optimal hydrogen binding energy.

  12. Durability aspects of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sethuraman, Vijay Anand

    activity. The H2O 2 selectivity in ORR was independent of oxygen concentration but increased with decrease in water activity (i.e., decreased humidity). Presences of trace impurities (such as CO, H2S, NH3, etc.) in the fuel also affect PEMFC durability. Among these impurities, H 2S causes significantly higher performance loss and irreversible catalytic poisoning. A concise mechanism for the poisoning kinetics of H2S on composite solid polymer electrolyte Pt (SPE-Pt) electrode was validated experimentally by charge balances and theoretically by a model, which predicted the oxidation current as a function of the applied potential. H2S dissociatively adsorbed onto SPE-Pt electrode as linear and bridge bonded sulfur (S) species and, under favorable potentials, underwent electro-oxidation to sulfur and then to sulfur dioxide (SO2). Fraction of the adsorbed S species remained as 'hard-to-oxidize' adsorbents and caused irreversible loss of catalytic activity. Deactivation of bridge sites occurred first followed by the loss of linear sites. A method to estimate the catalytic sites irreversibly lost due to sulfur poisoning was developed.

  13. 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.

  14. Transport phenomena in alkaline direct ethanol fuel cells for sustainable energy production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    An, L.; Zhao, T. S.

    2017-02-01

    Alkaline direct ethanol fuel cells (DEFC), which convert the chemical energy stored in ethanol directly into electricity, are one of the most promising energy-conversion devices for portable, mobile and stationary power applications, primarily because this type of fuel cell runs on a carbon-neutral, sustainable fuel and the electrocatalytic and membrane materials that constitute the cell are relatively inexpensive. As a result, the alkaline DEFC technology has undergone a rapid progress over the last decade. This article provides a comprehensive review of transport phenomena of various species in this fuel cell system. The past investigations into how the design and structural parameters of membrane electrode assemblies and the operating parameters affect the fuel cell performance are discussed. In addition, future perspectives and challenges with regard to transport phenomena in this fuel cell system are also highlighted.

  15. 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.

  16. Externally cooled high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell stack

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scholta, J.; Messerschmidt, M.; Jörissen, L.; Hartnig, Ch.

    One key issue in high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (HT-PEMFC) stack development is heat removal at the operating temperature of 140-180 °C. Conventionally, this process is done using coolants such as thermooil, steam or pressurized water. In this contribution, external liquid cooling designs are described, which are avoiding two constraints. First, in the cell active area, no liquid coolant is present avoiding any sealing problems with respect to the electrode. Secondly, the external positioning allows high temperature gradients between the heat removal zone and the active area resulting in a good adjustability of appropriate reformate conversion temperatures (e.g. 160 °C) and a more compact cell design. Different design concepts were investigated using modeling techniques and a selection of them has also been investigated experimentally. The experiments proved the feasibility of the external cooling design and showed that the temperature gradients within the active area are below 15 K under typical operating conditions.

  17. Simulation of nanostructured electrodes for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rao, Sanjeev M.; Xing, Yangchuan

    Aligned carbon nanotubes (CNTs) with Pt uniformly deposited on them are being considered in fabricating the catalyst layer of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell electrodes. When coated with a proton conducting polymer (e.g., Nafion) on the Pt/CNTs, each Pt/CNT acts as a nanoelectrode and a collection of such nanoelectrodes constitutes the proposed nanostructured electrodes. Computer modeling was performed for the cathode side, in which both multicomponent and Knudsen diffusion were taken into account. The effect of the nanoelectrode lengths was also studied with catalyst layer thicknesses of 2, 4, 6, and 10 μm. It was observed that shorter lengths produce better electrode performance due to lower diffusion barriers and better catalyst utilization. The effect of spacing between the nanoelectrodes was studied. Simulation results showed the need to have sufficiently large gas pores, i.e., large spacing, for good oxygen transport. However, this is at the cost of obtaining large electrode currents due to reduction of the number of nanoelectrodes per unit geometrical area of the nanostructured electrode. An optimization of the nanostructured electrodes was obtained when the spacing was at about 400 nm that produced the best limiting current density.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. Analytical performance of direct-hydrogen-fueled polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) systems for transportation applications.

    SciTech Connect

    Doss, E. D.

    1998-06-02

    The performance of a stand-alone polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) system directly fueled by hydrogen has been evaluated for transportation vehicles. The study was carried out using a systems analysis code and a vehicle analysis code. The systems code includes models for the various PEFC components and is applicable for steady-state and transient situations. At the design point the system efficiency is above 50% for a 50-kW system. The efficiency improves under partial load and approaches 60% at 40% load, as the fuel cell operating point moves to lower current densities on the V-I polarization curve. At much lower loads, the system efficiency drops because of the deterioration in the performance of the compressor, expander, and eventually the fuel cell. The system performance suffers at lower temperatures, as the V-I characteristic curve for the fuel cell shifts downward because of the increased ohmic losses. The results of the transient analysis indicate that the hydrogen-fueled PEFC system can start rather rapidly, within seconds from ambient conditions. However, the warm-up time constant to reach the design operating temperatures is about 180 s. It is important during this period for the coolant to bypass the system radiator until the coolant temperature approaches the design temperature for the fuel cell. The systems analysis code has been applied to two mid-size vehicles: the near-term Ford AIV Sable and the future P2000 vehicle. The results of this study show that the PEFC system in these vehicles can respond well to the demands of the FUDS and Highway driving cycles, with both warm and cold starting conditions. The results also show that the fuel-cell AIV Sable vehicle has impressive gains in fuel economy over that of the internal combustion engine vehicle. However, this vehicle will not be able to meet the PNGV goal of 80 mpg. On the other hand, the P2000 vehicle approaches this goal with variable efficiency of the compressor and expander. It is expected

  6. 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.

  7. Regenerative fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    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. Computer simulation of thermal modelling of alkaline hydrogen/oxygen fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baumann, A.; Hauff, S.; Bolwin, K.

    1991-11-01

    An essential problem connected with the operation of regenerative fuel cell systems in space is the rejection of waste heat, produced mainly during discharging the regenerative fuel cell. The intention of this investigation was to gain a better understanding of the heat generation and heat rejection mechanism in alkaline fuel cells by performing detailed thermal modeling of a single cell stack. In particular, spatial temperature profiles within the fuel cell stack and the start-up behavior of the cells were predicted. Furthermore a model simulation of an emergency situation due to a partial failure of the coolant circuit was performed and theoretically temperature versus time curves were given for restarting the cooling.

  9. 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.

  10. Near-infrared imaging of water in a polymer electrolyte membrane during a fuel cell operation.

    PubMed

    Morita, Shigeaki; Jojima, Yuki; Miyata, Yasushi; Kitagawa, Kuniyuki

    2010-11-15

    A novel technique of spectroscopic imaging using a near-infrared (NIR) laser sheet beam was developed for visualization of liquid water in a proton-exchange membrane (PEM) sandwiched between two opaque electrodes set in a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC). In-plane two-dimensional distribution of water in the thin membrane was clearly visualized during the fuel cell operation. Under the condition of fuel feeding into the PEFC without humidification, water was generated by the fuel cell reaction in the whole electrode area. In contrast, under the condition of fuel feeding with humidification, the PEM got wet in the vicinity of a gas flow field locally.

  11. Effect of Plasticizers on Methyl Cellulose-Based Alkaline Solid Polymer Electrolytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosli, N. H. A.; Harun, N. I.; Taib, M. F. M.; Saaid, S. I. Y.; Kudin, T. I. T.; Ali, A. M. M.; Yahya, M. Z. A.

    2010-07-01

    A preliminary investigation of biopolymer electrolytes based on methyl cellulose (MC), potassium hydroxide (KOH), and various plasticizing additives are described in this presentation. The electrolyte films with the composition of KOH between 5 and 50 wt.% (with respect to MC), were prepared by the solution cast technique. The biopolymer was first dissolved in distilled water with controlled amount of the KOH. The homogenous solutions obtained were evaporated in vacuum oven at constant temperature (40 °C) to form thin films. The room temperature ionic conductivity of the solvent free electrolytes films were characterized using impedance spectroscopy technique. In general, the unplasticized KOH based electrolytes were found to show moderate ionic conductivity up to 5.64×10-6 S/cm. Upon the addition of plasticizers PC and EC the conductivity rises to 6.70×10×6 and up to 3.58×10-3 respectively. However, the addition of propylene carbonate (PC) and ethylene carbonate (EC) as a plasticizing additive lowered the mechanical stability. To control mechanical stability, the addition of such plasticizers is limited the suitability use of the electrolytes.

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

    PubMed

    Wu, Haibin; Chen, Wei

    2011-10-05

    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.

  13. Nanofiber Composite Membranes for Alkaline Fuel Cells: Generation of Compositional, Morphological, and Functional Property Relationships

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-12-01

    properties of nanofiber composite anion-exchange membranes for alkaline fuel cells. A new membrane fabrication strategy, utilizing polymer fiber...electrospinning, will be employed to make hydroxide-conducting membranes with an entirely new morphology, where one electrospun polymer provides pathways...for ion conductivity and the second electrospun polymer restricts ionomer swelling and imparts mechanical strength to the membrane. The functional

  14. Fabrication of Thin Electrolytes for Second-Generation Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1999-05-05

    methods for oxides, especially for stabilized zirconia and compares them with regard to SOFC applications. These methods will be classified into chemical...Keywords: SOFC ; Thin films; Zirconia; PVD; CVD; Liquid precursor methods 1. Introduction components [1-6]. One problem associated with lowering the...electrolyte material for Solid Oxide Fuel lowering the electrolyte resistance either by decreas- Cells ( SOFCs ) because of its unique combination of ing the

  15. Fabric-based alkaline direct formate microfluidic fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Domalaon, Kryls; Tang, Catherine; Mendez, Alex; Bernal, Franky; Purohit, Krutarth; Pham, Linda; Haan, John; Gomez, Frank A

    2017-01-12

    Fabric-based microfluidic fuel cells (MFCs) serve as a novel, cost-efficient alternative to traditional FCs and batteries, since fluids naturally travel across fabric via capillary action, eliminating the need for an external pump and lowering production and operation costs. Building on previous research with Y-shaped paper-based MFCs, fabric-based MFCs mitigate fragility and durability issues caused by long periods of fuel immersion. In this study, we describe a microfluidic fabric-based direct formate fuel cell, with 5 M potassium formate and 30% hydrogen peroxide as the anode fuel and cathode oxidant, respectively. Using a two-strip, stacked design, the optimized parameters include the type of encasement, the barrier, and the fabric type. Surface contact of the fabric and laminate sheet expedited flow and respective chemical reactions. The maximum current (22.83 mA/cm(2) ) and power (4.40 mW/cm(2) ) densities achieved with a 65% cotton/35% polyester blend material are a respective 8.7% and 32% higher than previous studies with Y-shaped paper-based MFCs. In series configuration, the MFCs generate sufficient energy to power a handheld calculator, a thermometer, and a spectrum of light-emitting diodes.

  16. 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...

  17. A high performance intermediate temperature fuel cell based on a thick oxide-carbonate electrolyte

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Lei; Lan, Rong; Xu, Xiaoxiang; Tao, Shanwen; Jiang, Yinzhu; Kraft, Arno

    A high performance intermediate temperature fuel cell (ITFC) with composite electrolyte composed of co-doped ceria Ce 0.8Gd 0.05Y 0.15O 1.9 (GYDC) and a binary carbonate-based (52 mol% Li 2CO 3/48 mol% Na 2CO 3), 1.2 mm thick electrolyte layer has been developed. Co-doped Ce 0.8Gd 0.05Y 0.15O 1.9 was synthesized by a glycine-nitrate process and used as solid support matrix for the composite electrolyte. The conductivity of both composite electrolyte and GYDC supporting substrate were measured by AC impedance spectroscopy. It showed a sharp conductivity jump at about 500 °C when the carbonates melted. Single cells with thick electrolyte layer were fabricated by a dry-pressing technique using NiO as anode and Ba 0.5Sr 0.5Co 0.8Fe 0.2O 3- δ or lithiated NiO as cathode. The cell was tested at 450-550 °C using hydrogen as the fuel and air as the oxidant. Excellent performance with high power density of 670 mW cm -2 at 550 °C was achieved for a 1.2 mm thick composite electrolyte containing 40 wt% carbonates which is much higher than that of a cell based on pure GYDC with a 70 μm thick electrolyte layer.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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).

  1. Electricity generation from macroalgae Enteromorpha prolifera hydrolysates using an alkaline fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Liu, Susu; Liu, Xianhua; Wang, Ying; Zhang, Pingping

    2016-12-01

    The goal of this work was to develop a method for the direct power generation using macroalgae Enteromorpha prolifera. The process conditions for the saccharification of macroalgae were optimized and a type of alkaline fuel cell contained no precious metal catalysts was developed. Under optimum conditions (170°C and 2% hydrochloric acid for 45min), dilute acid hydrolysis of the homogenized plants yielded 272.25g reducing sugar/kg dry algal biomass. The maximum power density reached 3.81W/m(2) under the condition of 3M KOH and 18.15g/L reducing sugar in hydrolysate, higher than any other reported algae-fed fuel cells. This study represents the first report on direct electricity generation from macroalgae using alkaline fuel cells, suggesting that there is great potential for the production of renewable energy using marine biomass.

  2. 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.

  3. Reliability computing of polymer-electrolyte-membrane fuel cell stacks through Petri nets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wieland, C.; Schmid, O.; Meiler, M.; Wachtel, A.; Linsler, D.

    In this paper a model is introduced which computes reliability data of PEMFC (polymer-electrolyte-membrane fuel cell) stacks, especially the average lifetime of a single stack or the reliability of stacks of a whole fuel cell vehicle fleet within a given timing. The stack and its behaviour over time is modelled by a Petri net. The behaviour is divided into degradation, spontaneous and reversible events. Through the worsening over time the characteristics voltage, internal and external leakages, which are assigned to the components MEA (membrane electrolyte assembly) and BIP (bipolar plate), are changed. Thresholds for every characteristic monitor the operating ability of the whole stack.

  4. 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.

  5. Polypropylene oil as fuel for solid oxide fuel cell with samarium doped-ceria (SDC)-carbonate as electrolyte

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Syahputra, R. J. E.; Rahmawati, F.; Prameswari, A. P.; Saktian, R.

    2017-03-01

    The research focusses on converting polypropylene oil as pyrolysis product of polypropylene plastic into an electricity. The converter was a direct liquid fuel-solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) with cerium oxide based material as electrolyte. The polypropylene vapor flowed into fuel cell, in the anode side and undergo oxidation reaction, meanwhile, the Oxygen in atmosphere reduced into oxygen ion at cathode. The fuel cell test was conducted at 400 - 600 °C. According to GC-MS analysis, the polypropylene oil consist of C8 to C27 hydrocarbon chain. The XRD analysis result shows that Na2CO3 did not change the crystal structure of SDC even increases the electrical conductivity. The maximum power density is 0.079 mW.cm-2 at 773 K. The open circuite voltage is 0.77 volt. Chemical stability test by analysing the single cell at before and after fuel cell test found that ionic migration occured during fuel cell operation. It is supported by the change of elemental composition in the point position of electrolyte and at the electrolyte-electrode interface

  6. Modelling of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells with variable degrees of water flooding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baschuk, J. J.; Li, Xianguo

    Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells have received increasing attention from both the public and fuel cell community due to their great potential for transport applications. The phenomenon of water flooding in the PEM fuel cells is not well understood, and few modelling studies have included the effect of water flooding. On the other hand, water management is one of the critical issues to be resolved in the design and operation of PEM fuel cells. In the present study, a mathematical model has been formulated for the performance and operation of a single polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell. This model incorporates all the essential fundamental physical and electrochemical processes occurring in the membrane electrolyte, cathode catalyst layer, electrode backing and flow channel. A special feature of the model is that it includes the effect of variable degree of water flooding in the cathode catalyst layer and/or cathode electrode backing region on the cell performance. The model predictions have been compared with the existing experimental results available in the literature and excellent agreement has been demonstrated between the model results and the measured data for the cell polarisation curves. Hence, this model can be used for the optimisation of PEM fuel cell design and operation, and can serve as a building block for the modelling and understanding of PEM fuel cell stacks and systems.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Piezoelectric Microvalve for Flow Control in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Bucci, B.A.; Vipperman, J.S.; Clark, W.; Hensel, J.P.; Thornton, J.D.; Kim. S.

    2006-11-01

    Maldistribution of fuel across the cells of a fuel cell stack is an issue that can contribute to poor cell performance and possible cell failure. It has been proposed that an array of microvalves could promote even distribution of fuel across a fuel cell stack. A piezoelectric microvalve has been developed for this purpose. This valve can be tuned to a nominal flow rate (and failure position) from which the actuator would either increase or decrease the flow rate and fuel. The valve can successfully regulate the flow of fuel from 0.7 to 1.1 slpm of hydrogen in the range of temperatures from 80° to 100°C and has been tested over pressure drops from 0.5 to 1 psi. A bank of these valves is currently being tested in a four-cell stack at the U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory.

  10. Design, integration, and trade-off analyses of gasoline-fueled polymer electrolyte fuel cell systems for transportation.

    SciTech Connect

    Kumar, R.

    1998-09-14

    Prototype fuel-cell-powered vehicles have recently been demonstrated in Japan, Europe, and North America. Conceptual designs and simulations of fuel-cell-powered vehicles have also been published [1-3]. Many of these simulations include detailed vehicle performance models, but they use relatively simplistic fuel-cell power system models. We have developed a comprehensive model of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) power system for automotive propulsion. This system simulation has been used to design and analyze fuel-cell systems and vehicles with gasoline (or other hydrocarbons) as the on-board fuel. The major objective of this analysis is to examine the influence of design parameters on system efficiency and performance, and component sizes.

  11. 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. ...

  12. Definition of Chemical and Electrochemical Properties of a Fuel Cell Electrolyte.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1980-01-01

    electrochemical behavior of methanesulfonic acid , ethanesulfonic acid , and sulfoacetic acid as fuel cell -lectrolytes was studies in a half cell at...the platinum electrode. Sulfoacetic acid with H2 has supporte IO JAM~ 43 E9~WF~o6IoSLT UNCLASSIFIED SECUITV CLASSIFIC ATION OF THIS PAGE (Whewe.Etrd...behavior of methanesulfonic acid , ethanesulfonic acid , and sulfoacetic acid as fuel cell electrolytes was studied in a half cell at various temperatures

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Hierarchically oriented macroporous anode-supported solid oxide fuel cell with thin ceria electrolyte film.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yu; Zhang, Yanxiang; Baker, Jeffrey; Majumdar, Prasun; Yang, Zhibin; Han, Minfang; Chen, Fanglin

    2014-04-09

    Application of anode-supported solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) with ceria based electrolyte has often been limited by high cost of electrolyte film fabrication and high electrode polarization. In this study, dense Gd0.1Ce0.9O2 (GDC) thin film electrolytes have been fabricated on hierarchically oriented macroporous NiO-GDC anodes by a combination of freeze-drying tape-casting of the NiO-GDC anode, drop-coating GDC slurry on NiO-GDC anode, and co-firing the electrolyte/anode bilayers. Using 3D X-ray microscopy and subsequent analysis, it has been determined that the NiO-GDC anode substrates have a porosity of around 42% and channel size from around 10 μm at the electrolyte side to around 20 μm at the other side of the NiO-GDC (away from the electrolyte), indicating a hierarchically oriented macroporous NiO-GDC microstructure. Such NiO-GDC microstructure shows a tortuosity factor of ∼1.3 along the thickness direction, expecting to facilitate gas diffusion in the anode during fuel cell operation. SOFCs with such Ni-GDC anode, GDC film (30 μm) electrolyte, and La0.6Sr0.4Co0.2Fe0.8O3-GDC (LSCF-GDC) cathode show significantly enhanced cell power output of 1.021 W cm(-2) at 600 °C using H2 as fuel and ambient air as oxidant. Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) analysis indicates a decrease in both activation and concentration polarizations. This study has demonstrated that freeze-drying tape-casting is a very promising approach to fabricate hierarchically oriented porous substrate for SOFC and other applications.

  16. 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.

  17. Extremely thin bilayer electrolyte for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) fabricated by chemical solution deposition (CSD).

    PubMed

    Oh, Eun-Ok; Whang, Chin-Myung; Lee, Yu-Ri; Park, Sun-Young; Prasad, Dasari Hari; Yoon, Kyung Joong; Son, Ji-Won; Lee, Jong-Ho; Lee, Hae-Weon

    2012-07-03

    An extremely thin bilayer electrolyte consisting of yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) and gadolinia-doped ceria (GDC) is successfully fabricated on a sintered NiO-YSZ substrate. Major processing flaws are effectively eliminated by applying local constraints to YSZ nanoparticles, and excellent open circuit voltage and cell performance are demonstrated in a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) at intermediate operating temperatures.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

    Feliciano-Ramos, Ileana; Casañas-Montes, Barbara; García-Maldonado, María M; Menéndez, Christian L; Mayol, Ana R; Díaz-Vázquez, Liz M; Cabrera, Carlos R

    2015-02-10

    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.

  5. Modeling the effect of membrane conductivity on the performance of alkaline fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raya, Isaac P.; Ellis, Michael W.; Hernandez-Guerrero, Abel; Elizalde-Blancas, Francisco

    2016-03-01

    The present work proposes and demonstrates a methodology to capture the effect of operating conditions on ionic conductivity of membranes immersed in alkaline media. Based on reported experimental results for an anion exchange membrane (A-201 by Tokuyama) and a cation exchange membrane (Nafion 211), two novel expressions are developed for the ionic conductivity by incorporating the effects of solution concentration and temperature. The expression for the cationic conductivity is applied in a cell-level model to predict the performance of an alkaline direct borohydride fuel cell; it is found that the membrane ionic conductivity significantly affects the cell performance and capturing its functionality is essential to accurately predict the fuel cell performance.

  6. Modeling and simulation of the dynamic behavior of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yerramalla, Sampath; Davari, Asad; Feliachi, Ali; Biswas, Tamal

    The focus of this paper is to develop a mathematical model for investigating the dynamic performance of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell. The model in this work is based on physical laws having clear significance in replicating the fuel cell system and can easily be used to set up different operational strategies. Simulation results display the transient behavior of the voltage within each single cell, and also within a number of such single cells combined into a fuel cell stack system. A linear as well as a nonlinear analysis of the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell system has been discussed in order to present a complete and comprehensive view of this kind of modeling. Also, a comparison of the two kinds of analysis has been performed. Finally, the various characteristics of the fuel cell system are plotted in order to help us understand its dynamic behavior. Results indicate that there is a considerable amount of error in the modeling process if we use a linear model of the fuel cell. Thus, the nonlinearities present in the fuel cell system should be taken into account in order to obtain a better understanding of the dynamic behavior of the fuel cell system.

  7. Redistribution of wastewater alkalinity with a microbial fuel cell to support nitrification of reject water.

    PubMed

    Modin, Oskar; Fukushi, Kensuke; Rabaey, Korneel; Rozendal, René A; Yamamoto, Kazuo

    2011-04-01

    In wastewater treatment plants, the reject water from the sludge treatment processes typically contains high ammonium concentrations, which constitute a significant internal nitrogen load in the plant. Often, a separate nitrification reactor is used to treat the reject water before it is fed back into the plant. The nitrification reaction consumes alkalinity, which has to be replenished by dosing e.g. NaOH or Ca(OH)(2). In this study, we investigated the use of a two-compartment microbial fuel cell (MFC) to redistribute alkalinity from influent wastewater to support nitrification of reject water. In an MFC, alkalinity is consumed in the anode compartment and produced in the cathode compartment. We use this phenomenon and the fact that the influent wastewater flow is many times larger than the reject water flow to transfer alkalinity from the influent wastewater to the reject water. In a laboratory-scale system, ammonium oxidation of synthetic reject water passed through the cathode chamber of an MFC, increased from 73.8 ± 8.9 mgN/L under open-circuit conditions to 160.1 ± 4.8 mgN/L when a current of 1.96 ± 0.37 mA (15.1 mA/L total MFC liquid volume) was flowing through the MFC. These results demonstrated the positive effect of an MFC on ammonium oxidation of alkalinity-limited reject water.

  8. High power density alkaline fuel cell technology for MMW space burst power

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Preston, J. Lawrence, Jr.; Trocciola, John C.; Wertheim, Ronald J.

    The use of advanced alkaline regenerative fuel cell energy storage systems to provide 10's to 100's of MWe of sprint (burst) power for 100's of seconds per orbit of SDI weapons platform was studied. Recharge power is supplied by a multimegawatt space based nuclear power system. Regenerative fuel cell energy storage systems offer the potential for significant platform mass reduction by reducing the size and mass of the nuclear power source required. This is because the reactor can be sized for the smaller average power level for the energy storage system, rather than the sprint power level. The regenerative fuel cell is a particularly attractive energy storage device because the fuel cell is essentially a static power conversion device, which results in excellent platform stability for weapon pointing and tracking. Based upon the detailed point design and conceptual layout, the alkaline regenerative fuel cell energy storage system is an attractive choice for integration with a nuclear thermionic system for providing multimegawatt burst power and multi orbit capability.

  9. 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.

  10. [Changes of serum alkaline phosphatase and electrolytes during 21 d head down bed-rest].

    PubMed

    Yao, Yong-jie; Sun, Xi-qing; Wang, Zhong-bo; Zhao, Shuang-bao; Yang, Chang-bin; Wu, Xing-yu

    2002-06-01

    Objective. To investigate the effect of simulated weightlessness on serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP), calcium, magnesium, chlorine and phosphorus. Method. 6 healthy males, aged 24.8 +/- 6.1, were exposed to -6 degrees HDT bed rest for 21 d. Activity of serum alkaline phosphatase, serum contents of calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), chlorine (Cl) and phosphorus (P) ions were assayed before HDT (d-3), on the 3rd, 10th and 21st day during HDT and after HDT (d+2). Ca was measured by methyl thymol blue method, P was determined with ultraviolet spectrophotography, determination of Mg and Cl were made with enzyme method, ALP was examined with 4-nitrobenzene phosphate method. Result. Serum Ca2+ levels were significantly higher at d10, d2l and d+2 than the value of d-3 (P<0.01). P3+ levels declined significantly on d2l as compared with d-3 (P<0.01). During the HDT and after HDT, Mg2+ declined to a level below that before HDT (P<0.05 or P<0.01). Cl- were significantly higher at d2l and d+2 than the value of d-3 (P<0.01). ALP level was higher on d2l than on d-3 (P<0.01). Conclusion. 21 d HDT induced increase of Ca, Cl, ALP, and decline of Mg and P. The changes may reflect the imbalance of metabolism.

  11. Analysis of Double Layer and Adsorption Effects at the Alkaline Polymer Electrolyte-Electrode Interface

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-10-05

    27 The tests for ethylene glycol, glycerol, methanol, erythritol, and xylitol as fuel in 1 M KOH resulted in the power densities of 9.5, 6.5, 6.0...need to dispose of the reaction products also increases the complexity of the fuel cell system and operation. Downloaded 17 Oct 2011 to...electrode assemblies (MEAs) were prepared using commercial PtRu (Alfa Aesar, 4.0 mgPtRu/cm2) or Pt (Alfa Aesar, 2.0 mgPt/cm2) anodes on Toray paper, Pt

  12. 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.

  13. State-of-the-art Thin Film Electrolytes For Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Thevuthasan, Suntharampillai; Nandasiri, Manjula I.

    2015-02-19

    State-of-the-Art solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) are amongst the main candidates for clean energy technology due to their high efficiency, fuel flexibility, low air pollution, and minimal greenhouse gas emission. However, high operational temperature of SOFC is a greater challenge in commercialization these devices for low cost and portable applications. High temperature operation of SOFC degrades its performance with aging, limits the selection of materials for fuel cell components, and increases the fabrication cost. Thus, there have been enormous efforts to improve the properties of existing materials and develop new materials for SOFC components in order to lower the operating temperature of SOFC. Recent advances in thin film technology have also been utilized to develop new materials with improved properties for SOFC. One of the key components in SOFC is the electrolyte and several research groups are working on developing new electrolyte materials. In this chapter, we will discuss the recent advances in thin film SOFC electrolytes. This extensive discussion includes the evolution of doped ceria, doped zirconia, and multilayer hetero-structured thin film electrolytes. The newly developed nanoscale thin films and multi-layer hetero-structures with improved oxygen ionic conductivity will have significant impact on SOFC devices.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Computational modeling study on polymer electrolyte membranes for fuel cell applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choe, Yoong-Kee; Tsuchida, Eiji

    2016-12-01

    Properties of polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMs) for use in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEFCs) were investigated using the first-principles molecular dynamics simulations. One important issue in PEMs is how to improve the proton conductivity of PEMs under low hydration conditions. Results of the simulation show that perfluorinated type membranes such as Nafion exhibit excellent hydrophilic/hydrophobic phase separation while a hydrocarbon membrane has a relatively poor phase separation property. We found that such a poor phase separation behavior of a hydrocarbon membrane arise from hydrophilic functional groups attached to the PEMs.

  19. Improved electrocatalytic ethanol oxidation activity in acidic and alkaline electrolytes using size-controlled Pt-Sn nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    St John, Samuel; Boolchand, Punit; Angelopoulos, Anastasios P

    2013-12-31

    The promotion of the electrocatalytic ethanol oxidation reaction (EOR) on extended single-crystal Pt surfaces and dispersed Pt nanoparticles by Sn under acidic conditions is well known. However, the correlation of Sn coverage on Pt nanoparticle electrocatalysts to their size has proven difficult. The reason is that previous investigations have typically relied on commercially difficult to reproduce electrochemical treatments of prepared macroscopic electrodes to adsorb Sn onto exposed Pt surfaces. We demonstrate here how independent control over both Sn coverage and particle size can yield a significant enhancement in EOR activity in an acidic electrolyte relative to previously reported electrocatalysts. Our novel approach uses electroless nanoparticle synthesis where surface-adsorbed Sn is intrinsic to Pt particle formation. Sn serves as both a reducing agent and stabilizing ligand, producing particles with a narrow particle size distribution in a size range where the mass-specific electrocatalytic activity can be maximized (ca. 1-4 nm) as a result of the formation of a fully developed Sn shell. The extent of fractional Sn surface coverage on carbon-supported Pt nanoparticles can be systematically varied through wet-chemical treatment subsequent to nanoparticle formation but prior to incorporation into macroscopic electrodes. EOR activity for Pt nanoparticles is found to be optimum at a fractional Sn surface coverage of ca. 0.6. Furthermore, the EOR activity is shown to increase with Pt particle size and correlate with the active area of available Pt (110) surface sites for the corresponding Sn-free nanoparticles. The maximum area- and mass-specific EOR activities for the most active catalyst investigated were 17.9 μA/cm(2)Pt and 12.5 A/gPt, respectively, after 1 h of use at 0.42 V versus RHE in an acidic electrolyte. Such activity is a substantial improvement over that of commercially available Pt, Pt-Sn, and Pt-Ru alloy catalysts under either acidic or alkaline

  20. 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

  1. Performance and modelling of a direct methanol solid polymer electrolyte fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scott, K.; Taama, W.; Cruickshank, J.

    The performance and modelling of a direct methanol fuel cell based on a solid polymer electrolyte membrane (SPE) is reported. Two sizes of cell are used: a small cell with an area of 9 cm 2 and a large single cell with an area of 250 cm 2. The fuel cell utilises a vapourised methanol fuel at a porous carbon/Pt-Ru catalyst electrode. The performance of the fuel cell is affected by the cross-over of methanol from the anode to the cathode through the polymer membrane and this behaviour is modelled. To evaluate cell performance, mathematical models are constructed which describe mass transport in the porous electrode structures and the potential and concentration distributions in the electrode regions. These models are used to predict the cell voltage and current density response of the fuel cell.

  2. Demonstrating the potential of yttrium-doped barium zirconate electrolyte for high-performance fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Bae, Kiho; Jang, Dong Young; Choi, Hyung Jong; Kim, Donghwan; Hong, Jongsup; Kim, Byung-Kook; Lee, Jong-Ho; Son, Ji-Won; Shim, Joon Hyung

    2017-02-23

    In reducing the high operating temperatures (≥800 °C) of solid-oxide fuel cells, use of protonic ceramics as an alternative electrolyte material is attractive due to their high conductivity and low activation energy in a low-temperature regime (≤600 °C). Among many protonic ceramics, yttrium-doped barium zirconate has attracted attention due to its excellent chemical stability, which is the main issue in protonic-ceramic fuel cells. However, poor sinterability of yttrium-doped barium zirconate discourages its fabrication as a thin-film electrolyte and integration on porous anode supports, both of which are essential to achieve high performance. Here we fabricate a protonic-ceramic fuel cell using a thin-film-deposited yttrium-doped barium zirconate electrolyte with no impeding grain boundaries owing to the columnar structure tightly integrated with nanogranular cathode and nanoporous anode supports, which to the best of our knowledge exhibits a record high-power output of up to an order of magnitude higher than those of other reported barium zirconate-based fuel cells.

  3. Demonstrating the potential of yttrium-doped barium zirconate electrolyte for high-performance fuel cells

    PubMed Central

    Bae, Kiho; Jang, Dong Young; Choi, Hyung Jong; Kim, Donghwan; Hong, Jongsup; Kim, Byung-Kook; Lee, Jong-Ho; Son, Ji-Won; Shim, Joon Hyung

    2017-01-01

    In reducing the high operating temperatures (≥800 °C) of solid-oxide fuel cells, use of protonic ceramics as an alternative electrolyte material is attractive due to their high conductivity and low activation energy in a low-temperature regime (≤600 °C). Among many protonic ceramics, yttrium-doped barium zirconate has attracted attention due to its excellent chemical stability, which is the main issue in protonic-ceramic fuel cells. However, poor sinterability of yttrium-doped barium zirconate discourages its fabrication as a thin-film electrolyte and integration on porous anode supports, both of which are essential to achieve high performance. Here we fabricate a protonic-ceramic fuel cell using a thin-film-deposited yttrium-doped barium zirconate electrolyte with no impeding grain boundaries owing to the columnar structure tightly integrated with nanogranular cathode and nanoporous anode supports, which to the best of our knowledge exhibits a record high-power output of up to an order of magnitude higher than those of other reported barium zirconate-based fuel cells. PMID:28230080

  4. Demonstrating the potential of yttrium-doped barium zirconate electrolyte for high-performance fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bae, Kiho; Jang, Dong Young; Choi, Hyung Jong; Kim, Donghwan; Hong, Jongsup; Kim, Byung-Kook; Lee, Jong-Ho; Son, Ji-Won; Shim, Joon Hyung

    2017-02-01

    In reducing the high operating temperatures (>=800 °C) of solid-oxide fuel cells, use of protonic ceramics as an alternative electrolyte material is attractive due to their high conductivity and low activation energy in a low-temperature regime (<=600 °C). Among many protonic ceramics, yttrium-doped barium zirconate has attracted attention due to its excellent chemical stability, which is the main issue in protonic-ceramic fuel cells. However, poor sinterability of yttrium-doped barium zirconate discourages its fabrication as a thin-film electrolyte and integration on porous anode supports, both of which are essential to achieve high performance. Here we fabricate a protonic-ceramic fuel cell using a thin-film-deposited yttrium-doped barium zirconate electrolyte with no impeding grain boundaries owing to the columnar structure tightly integrated with nanogranular cathode and nanoporous anode supports, which to the best of our knowledge exhibits a record high-power output of up to an order of magnitude higher than those of other reported barium zirconate-based fuel cells.

  5. 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.

  6. Synthesis, spectroscopic and electrochemical performance of pasted β-nickel hydroxide electrode in alkaline electrolyte.

    PubMed

    Shruthi, B; Bheema Raju, V; Madhu, B J

    2015-01-25

    β-Nickel hydroxide (β-Ni(OH)2) was successfully synthesized using precipitation method. The structure and property of the β-Ni(OH)2 were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier Transform infra-red (FT-IR), Raman spectra and thermal gravimetric-differential thermal analysis (TG-DTA). The results of the FTIR spectroscopy and TG-DTA studies indicate that the β-Ni(OH)2 contains water molecules and anions. The microstructural and composition studies have been performed using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis. A pasted-type electrode is prepared using β-Ni(OH)2 powder as the active material on a nickel sheet as a current collector. Cyclic voltammetry (CV) and Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) studies were performed to evaluate the electrochemical performance of the β-Ni(OH)2 electrode in 6M KOH electrolyte. CV curves showed a pair of strong redox peaks as a result of the Faradaic redox reactions of β-Ni(OH)2. The proton diffusion coefficient (D) for the present β-Ni(OH)2 electrode material is found to be 1.44×10(-12) cm(2) s(-1). Further, electrochemical impedance studies confirmed that the β-Ni(OH)2 electrode reaction processes are diffusion controlled.

  7. Influences of alkaline ionized water on milk electrolyte concentrations in maternal rats.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, T; Kamata, H; Fukuda, Y; Murasugi, E; Sato, T; Uwatoko, K; Pan, I J

    2000-12-01

    We previously reported that body weight on day 14 after birth in male offspring of rats given alkaline ionized water (AKW) was significantly heavier than that in offspring of rats given tap water (TPW), but no significant difference was noted in milk yield and in suckled milk volume between the two groups. Additionally, the offspring in the AKW group and TPW group were given AKW and TPW, respectively, at weaning, and unexpectedly, the necrotic foci in the cardiac muscle were observed at the 15-week-old age in the AKW group, but not in the TPW group. The present study was designed to clarify the factors which are involved in that unusual increase of body weight and occurrence of cardiac necrosis. Eight dams in each group were given AKW or TPW (control) from day 0 of gestation to day 14 of lactation. The milk samples were collected on day 14 of lactation and analyzed for concentrations of calcium (Ca), sodium (Na), potassium (K), magnesium (Mg) and chloride (Cl). The AKW and TPW were also analyzed. Ca, Na and K levels in milk were significantly higher in the AKW group compared to the TPW group. No significant difference was noted in the Mg and Cl levels between the two groups. These data suggested that the Ca cation of AKW enriched the Ca concentration of the milk and accelerated the postnatal growth of the offspring of rats given AKW.

  8. Composite materials for polymer electrolyte membrane microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Antolini, Ermete

    2015-07-15

    Recently, the feasibility of using composite metal-carbon, metal-polymer, polymer-carbon, polymer-polymer and carbon-carbon materials in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) has been investigated. These materials have been tested as MFC anode catalyst (microorganism) supports, cathode catalysts and membranes. These hybrid materials, possessing the properties of each component, or even with a synergistic effect, would present improved characteristics with respect to the bare components. In this paper we present an overview of the use of these composite materials in microbial fuel cells. The characteristics of the composite materials as well as their effect on MFC performance were compared with those of the individual component and/or the conventionally used materials.

  9. Novel approaches for fabrication of thin film layers for solid oxide electrolyte fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murugesamoorthi, K. A.; Srinivasan, S.; Cocke, D. L.; Appleby, A. J.

    1990-01-01

    The main objectives of the SOFC (solid oxide fuel cell) project are to (1) identify viable and cost-effective techniques to prepare cell components for stable MSOFCs (monolithic SOFCs); (2) fabricate half and single cells; and (3) evaluate their performances. The approach used to fabricate stable MSOFCs is as follows: (1) the electrolyte layer is prepared in the form of a honeycomb structure by alloy oxidation and other cell components are deposited on it; (2) the electrolyte and anode layers are deposited on the cathode layer, which has a porous, honeycomb structure; and (3) the electrolyte and cathode layers are deposited on the anode layer. The current status of the project is reported.

  10. 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.

  11. Suggested mechanism for the MAO ceramic coating on aluminium substrates using bipolar current mode in the alkaline silicate electrolytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Al Bosta, Mohannad M. S.; Ma, Kung-Jeng

    2014-07-01

    102 samples were treated by the micro arc oxidation at different bipolar pulsing periods in the alkaline silicate electrolyte. The obtained results demonstrated that the duty cycle has no correlation with the layer growth or the surface roughness. The results were analyzed by the multiple linear regression and then the proper diagrams for thickness and roughness were plotted. The growth mechanism of the ceramic coating was influenced by many complicated and interrelated factors. We suggested a new mechanism to describe the resultant coating phenomenon taking into account the different reactions during the four periods of bipolar pulsing mode. The plasma discharge generator, anodic period, affected significantly in the layer growth and the surface roughness. The cathodic period affected the growth by the etching-protection effect, and affected the surface morphology by the production of hydrogen gaseous sheath. The contribution of the anodic neutral period was caused by the internal etching. The cathodic neutral period significantly affected the surface roughness by releasing the cathodic-hydrogen gaseous sheath, and contributed in the layer growth. The phase formation was also described by the suggested mechanism.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Volkov, Sergey; Vonk, Vedran; Khorshidi, Navid; Franz, Dirk; Kubicek, Markus; Kilic, Volkan; Felici, Roberto; Huber, Tobias M; Navickas, Edvinas; Rupp, Ghislain M; Fleig, Jürgen; Stierle, Andreas

    2016-06-14

    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.

  14. 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

  15. Definition of chemical and electrochemical properties of a fuel cell electrolyte

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahmad, J.; Foley, R. T.

    1980-01-01

    The present research is oriented toward the task of developing an improved electrolyte for the direct hydrocarbon-air fuel cell. The electrochemical behavior of methanesulfonic acid, ethanesulfonic acid, and sulfoacetic acid as fuel cell electrolytes was studied in a half cell at various temperatures. The rate of electro-oxidation of hydrogen at 115 degrees was very high in methanesulfonic acid and sulfoacetic acids. The rate of the electro-oxidation of propane in methanesulfonic acid at 80 C and 115 C was low. Further, there is evidence for adsorption of these acids on the platinum electrode. Sulfoacetic acid with H2 has supported about two times higher current density than trifluoromethanesulfonic acid monohydrate, but, attempts to purify the compound were unsuccessful. It was concluded that anhydrous sulfonic acids are not good electrolytes; water solutions are required. Sulfonic acids containing unprotected C-H bonds are adsorbed on platinum and probably decompose during electrolysis. A completely substituted sulfonic acid would be the preferred electrolyte.

  16. Nitrogen plasma-implanted titanium as bipolar plates in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Kai; Kwok, Dixon T. K.; Liu, Dongan; Li, Zhuguo; Cai, Xun; Chu, Paul K.

    Nitrogen plasma immersion ion implantation (PIII), a non-line-of-sight surface treatment technique suitable for bipolar plates in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells, is conducted at low and high temperature to improve the corrosion resistance and conductivity of titanium sheets. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) shows that high-temperature (HT) nitrogen PIII produces a thick oxy-nitride layer on the titanium surface. This layer which provides good corrosion resistance and high electrical conductivity as verified by electrochemical tests, inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy, and interfacial contact resistance (ICR) measurements renders the materials suitable for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. In comparison, the low-temperature (LT) PIII titanium sample exhibits poorer corrosion resistance and electrical conductivity than the untreated titanium control.

  17. 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.

  18. Alkaline membrane fuel cells with in-situ cross-linked ionomers

    SciTech Connect

    Leng, YJ; Wang, LZ; Hickner, MA; Wang, CY

    2015-01-10

    Improving cell performance and durability through both new materials and membrane electrode processing optimization is needed for the commercialization of alkaline membrane fuel cell (AMFC) technologies. In this work, we adopted an in-situ cross-linking strategy of an anion-conducting block copolymer to prepare durable ionomers for use in alkaline membrane fuel cells (AMFCs). Our goal was to use new ionomers and binders with an aim at improving long-term stability of AMFCs, especially at high operation temperatures. At 80 degrees C, AMFCs with in-situ cross-linked ionomers showed promising stability with an operating life time of more than 350 hours at 100 mA/cm(2). We found that the optimized electrode fabrication process and operating conditions can significantly improve the durability performance of AMFCs. For example, a suitable electrode binder in addition to the ion-conducting ionomer can greatly enhance the durability performance of AMFCs. Operating fuel cells under a cathode over-humification condition can also enhance the long-term stability of AMFCs. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Definition of Chemical and Electrochemical Properties of a Fuel Cell Electrolyte.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1980-06-01

    behavior of methanesulfonic acid , ethanesulfonic acid , ind sulfoacetic acid as fuel cell electrolytes was studied in half cells at / ,arious...temperatures. The rate of the electro-oxidation of hydrogen at 1150C was ,ery high in methanesulfonic acid and sulfoacetic acids . The rate of the electro...on the latinum electr’de. Sulfoacetic acid with H2 has supported about two times highey urrent density than trifluoromethanesulfonic acid monohydrate

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Integrated carbon composite bipolar plate for polymer-electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Ha Na; Hwang, In Uk; Kim, Seong Su; Lee, Dai Gil

    The electrical resistance of bipolar plates for polymer-electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) should be very low to conduct the electricity generated with minimum electrical loss. The resistance of a bipolar plate consists of the bulk material resistance and the interfacial contact resistance when two such plates are contacted to provide channels for fuel and air (oxygen) supplies. Since the interfacial contact resistance is much larger than the bulk resistance in an actual fuel cell stack, an integrated carbon composite bipolar plate is developed in this study to eliminate the contact resistance between contacting bipolar plates. To fabricate this plate with channels for fuel, air and coolant, many stainless-steel pipes of 1 mm diameter are uniformly embedded in the carbon fiber/epoxy composite prepreg and co-cured. The contact resistance, flexural strength and thermal degradation temperatures of the developed composite bipolar plate are then measured.

  5. 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.

  6. Low-temperature ceria-electrolyte solid oxide fuel cells for efficient methanol oxidation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meng, Xie; Zhan, Zhongliang; Liu, Xuejiao; Wu, Hao; Wang, Shaorong; Wen, Tinglian

    Low temperature anode-supported solid oxide fuel cells with thin films of samarium-doped ceria (SDC) as electrolytes, graded porous Ni-SDC anodes and composite La 0.6Sr 0.4Co 0.2Fe 0.8O 3 (LSCF)-SDC cathodes are fabricated and tested with both hydrogen and methanol fuels. Power densities achieved with hydrogen are between 0.56 W cm -2 at 500 °C and 1.09 W cm -2 at 600 °C, and with methanol between 0.26 W cm -2 at 500 °C and 0.82 W cm -2 at 600 °C. The difference in the cell performance can be attributed to variation in the interfacial polarization resistance due to different fuel oxidation kinetics, e.g., 0.21 Ω cm 2 for methanol versus 0.10 Ω cm 2 for hydrogen at 600 °C. Further analysis suggests that the leakage current densities as high as 0.80 A cm -2 at 600 °C and 0.11 A cm -2 at 500 °C, resulting from the mixed electronic and ionic conductivity in the SDC electrolyte and thus reducing the fuel efficiency, can nonetheless help remove any carbon deposit and thereby ensure stable and coking-free operation of low temperature SOFCs in methanol fuels.

  7. 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

    2011-08-02

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Thermodynamic properties of direct methanol polymer electrolyte fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seong, Ji Yun; Bae, Young Chan; Sun, Yang Kook

    A new semi-empirical model is established to describe the cell voltage of a direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) as a function of current density. The model equation is validated experimental data over a wide range of a methanol concentration and temperatures. A number of existing models are semi-empirical. They, however, have a serious mathematical defect. When the current density, j, becomes zero, the equation should reduce to the open circuit voltage, E0. These models, however, do not meet the mathematical boundary condition. The proposed model focuses on very unfavorable conditions for the cell operation, i.e. low methanol solution concentrations and relatively low cell temperatures. A newly developed semi-empirical equation with reasonable boundary conditions includes the methanol crossover effect that plays a major role in determining the cell voltage of DMFC. Also, it contains methanol activity based on thermodynamic functions to represent methanol crossover effect.

  12. A membraneless alkaline direct liquid fuel cell (DLFC) platform developed with a catalyst-selective strategy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Xingwen; Pascual, Emilio J.; Wauson, Joshua C.; Manthiram, Arumugam

    2016-11-01

    With a logical management of the catalyst selectivity, we present a scalable, membraneless alkaline direct liquid fuel cell (DLFC) platform. The uniqueness of this innovation is that the inexpensive (non-platinum) cathode catalysts, based on strongly coupled transition-metal-oxide nanocrystals and nano-structured carbon materials (e. g., NiCo2O4 nano-particles on a nitrogen-doped graphene and MnNiCoO4 nano-particles on a nitrogen-doped multi-wall carbon nanotube), exhibit high activity for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) but without activity for the anode fuel oxidation reaction (FOR). Therefore, operation of the DLFCs allows the anode fuel to freely enter the cathode. This strategy avoids the reliance on expensive or difficult-to-develop cation- or anion-exchange membranes and circumvents the scalability concerns of the conventional membraneless DLFCs that are operated under a laminar-flow principle. With proper catalyst selectivity, a variety of organic liquids can be used as anode fuels. The high power density delivered by the membraneless DLFCs with inexpensive components and safe fuels can enable the development of not only small-scale portable power sources but also large-scale energy generation systems for transportation and stationary storage.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Optimal control of fuel overpressure in a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell with hydrogen transfer leak during load change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ebadighajari, Alireza; DeVaal, Jake; Golnaraghi, Farid

    2017-02-01

    Formation of membrane pinholes is a common defect in fuel cells, inflicting more cost and making less durable cells. This work focuses on mitigating this issue, and offers a continuous online treatment instead of attempting to dynamically model the hydrogen transfer leak rate. This is achieved by controlling the differential pressure between the anode and cathode compartments at the inlet side of the fuel cell stack, known as the fuel overpressure. The model predictive control approach is used to attain the objectives in a Ballard 9-cell Mk1100 polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) with inclusion of hydrogen transfer leak. Furthermore, the pneumatic modeling technique is used to model the entire anode side of a fuel cell station. The hydrogen transfer leak is embedded in the model in a novel way, and is considered as a disturbance during the controller design. Experimental results for different sizes of hydrogen transfer leaks are provided to show the benefits of fuel overpressure control system in alleviating the effects of membrane pinholes, which in turn increases membrane longevity, and reduces hydrogen emissions in the eventual presence of transfer leaks. Moreover, the model predictive controller provides an optimal control input while satisfying the problem constraints.

  17. Optimisation of electrophoretic deposition parameters for gas diffusion electrodes in high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Felix, Cecil; Jao, Ting-Chu; Pasupathi, Sivakumar; Pollet, Bruno G.

    2013-12-01

    Electrophoretic deposition (EPD) method was used to fabricate gas diffusion electrodes (GDEs) for high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (HT PEMFC). Parameters related to the catalyst suspension and the EPD process were studied. Optimum suspension conditions are obtained when the catalyst particles are coated with Nafion® ionomer and the pH is adjusted to an alkaline range of about 8-10. These suspensions yield good stability with sufficient conductivity to form highly porous catalyst layers on top of the gas diffusion layers (GDLs). GDEs were fabricated by applying various electric field strengths of which 100 V cm-1 yields the best membrane electrode assembly (MEA) performance. Compared to an MEA fabricated by the traditional hand sprayed (HS) method, the EPD MEA shows superior performance with a peak power increase of about 73% at similar platinum (Pt) loadings. Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) analysis shows lower charge transfer resistance for the MEA fabricated via the EPD method compared to the HS MEA. The EPD GDE exhibits a greater total pore area (22.46 m2 g-1) compared to the HS GDE (13.43 m2 g-1) as well as better dispersion of the Pt particles within the catalyst layer (CL).

  18. Effect of dynamic operation on chemical degradation of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jung, Minjae; Williams, Keith A.

    2011-03-01

    Dynamic operation is known as one of the factors for accelerating chemical degradation of the polymer electrolyte membrane in a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). However, little effort has been made dealing with the quantification of the degradation process. In this investigation, cyclic current operation is carried out on a fuel cell system, and the frequency effect of cyclic operation on chemical degradation is investigated. The dynamic behavior of a fuel cell system is analyzed first with the modified Randles model, where the charge double layer is modeled by three components; a charge transfer resistance (Rct), and two RC cells for the Warburg impedance. After calculating each parameter value through exponential curve fitting, the dynamic behaviors of the three components are simulated using MATLAB Simulink®. Fluoride release as a function of the frequency of cyclic operation is evaluated by measuring the concentration of fluoride ion in effluent from a fuel cell exhaust. The frequency effect on chemical degradation is explained by comparing the simulated results and the fluoride release results. Two possible reasons for the accelerated degradation at cyclic operation are also suggested.

  19. Water equilibria and management using a two-volume model of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karnik, Amey Y.; Stefanopoulou, Anna G.; Sun, Jing

    In this paper, we introduce a modified interpretation of the water activity presented in Springer et al. [T.E. Springer, T.A. Zawodzinski, S. Gottesfeld, Polymer electrolyte fuel cell model, J. Electrochem. Soc. 138 (8) (1991) 2334-2342]. The modification directly affects the membrane water transport between the anode and the cathode (two electrodes) of the polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell in the presence of liquid water inside the stack. The modification permits calibration of a zero-dimensional isothermal model to predict the flooding and drying conditions in the two electrodes observed at various current levels [D. Spernjak, S. Advani, A.K. Prasad, Experimental investigation of liquid water formation and transport in a transparent single-serpentine PEM fuel cell, in: Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology (FUELCELL2006-97271), June 2006]. Using this model the equilibria of the lumped water mass in the two electrodes are analyzed at various flow conditions of the stack to determine stable and unstable (liquid water growth) operating conditions. Two case studies of water management through modification of cathode inlet humidification and anode water removal are then evaluated using this model. The desired anode water removal and the desired cathode inlet humidification are specified based upon (i) the water balance requirements, (ii) the desired conditions in the electrodes, and (iii) the maximum membrane transport at those conditions.

  20. Gas phase recovery of hydrogen sulfide contaminated polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kakati, Biraj Kumar; Kucernak, Anthony R. J.

    2014-04-01

    The effect of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) on the anode of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) and the gas phase recovery of the contaminated PEMFC using ozone (O3) were studied. Experiments were performed on fuel cell electrodes both in an aqueous electrolyte and within an operating fuel cell. The ex-situ analyses of a fresh electrode; a H2S contaminated electrode (23 μmolH2S cm-2); and the contaminated electrode cleaned with O3 shows that all sulfide can be removed within 900 s at room temperature. Online gas analysis of the recovery process confirms the recovery time required as around 720 s. Similarly, performance studies of an H2S contaminated PEMFC shows that complete rejuvenation occurs following 600-900 s O3 treatment at room temperature. The cleaning process involves both electrochemical oxidation (facilitated by the high equilibrium potential of the O3 reduction process) and direct chemical oxidation of the contaminant. The O3 cleaning process is more efficient than the external polarization of the single cell at 1.6 V. Application of O3 at room temperature limits the amount of carbon corrosion. Room temperature O3 treatment of poisoned fuel cell stacks may offer an efficient and quick remediation method to recover otherwise inoperable systems.

  1. Towards high conductivity in anion-exchange membranes for alkaline fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Li, Nanwen; Guiver, Michael D; Binder, Wolfgang H

    2013-08-01

    Quaternized poly(2,6-dimethylphenylene oxide) materials (PPOs) containing clicked 1,2,3-triazoles were first prepared through Cu(I) -catalyzed "click chemistry" to improve the anion transport in anion-exchange membranes (AEMs). Clicked 1,2,3-triazoles incorporated into AEMs provided more sites to form efficient and continuous hydrogen-bond networks between the water/hydroxide and the triazole for anion transport. Higher water uptake was observed for these triazole membranes. Thus, the membranes showed an impressive enhancement of the hydroxide diffusion coefficient and, therefore, the anion conductivities. The recorded hydroxide conductivity was 27.8-62 mS cm(-1) at 20 °C in water, which was several times higher than that of a typical PPO-based AEM (TMA-20) derived from trimethylamine (5 mS cm(-1) ). Even at reduced relative humidity, the clicked membrane showed superior conductivity to a trimethylamine-based membrane. Moreover, similar alkaline stabilities at 80 °C in 1 M NaOH were observed for the clicked and non-clicked membranes. The performance of a H2 /O2 single cell assembled with a clicked AEM was much improved compared to that of a non-clicked TMA-20 membrane. The peak power density achieved for an alkaline fuel cell with the synthesized membrane 1a(20) was 188.7 mW cm(-2) at 50 °C. These results indicated that clicked AEM could be a viable strategy for improving the performance of alkaline fuel cells.

  2. 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.

  3. Enhanced durability of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells by functionalized 2D boron nitride nanoflakes.

    PubMed

    Oh, Keun-Hwan; Lee, Dongju; Choo, Min-Ju; Park, Kwang Hyun; Jeon, Seokwoo; Hong, Soon Hyung; Park, Jung-Ki; Choi, Jang Wook

    2014-05-28

    We report boron nitride nanoflakes (BNNFs), for the first time, as a nanofiller for polymer electrolyte membranes in fuel cells. Utilizing the intrinsic mechanical strength of two-dimensional (2D) BN, addition of BNNFs even at a marginal content (0.3 wt %) significantly improves mechanical stability of the most representative hydrocarbon-type (HC-type) polymer electrolyte membrane, namely sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) (sPEEK), during substantial water uptake through repeated wet/dry cycles. For facile processing with BNNFs that frequently suffer from poor dispersion in most organic solvents, we non-covalently functionalized BNNFs with 1-pyrenesulfonic acid (PSA). Besides good dispersion, PSA supports efficient proton transport through its sulfonic functional groups. Compared to bare sPEEK, the composite membrane containing BNNF nanofiller exhibited far improved long-term durability originating from enhanced dimensional stability and diminished chronic edge failure. This study suggests that introduction of properly functionalized 2D BNNFs is an effective strategy in making various HC-type membranes sustainable without sacrificing their original adventurous properties in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. A review of polymer electrolyte membranes for direct methanol fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neburchilov, Vladimir; Martin, Jonathan; Wang, Haijiang; Zhang, Jiujun

    This review describes the polymer electrolyte membranes (PEM) that are both under development and commercialized for direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC). Unlike the membranes for hydrogen fuelled PEM fuel cells, among which perfluorosulfonic acid based membranes show complete domination, the membranes for DMFC have numerous variations, each has its advantages and disadvantages. No single membrane is emerging as absolutely superior to others. This review outlines the prospects of the currently known membranes for DMFC. The membranes are evaluated according to various properties, including: methanol crossover, proton conductivity, durability, thermal stability and maximum power density. Hydrocarbon and composite fluorinated membranes currently show the most potential for low cost membranes with low methanol permeability and high durability. Some of these membranes are already beginning to impact the portable fuel cell market.

  7. Polymer electrolyte direct methanol fuel cells: an option for transportation applications

    SciTech Connect

    Gottesfeld, S.; Cleghorn, S.J.C.; Ren, X.; Springer, T.E.; Wilson, M.S.; Zawodzinski, T.A.

    1996-10-01

    PEFCs most frequently considered for electric vehicles have been based on either hydrogen carried aboard, or steam-reforming of methanol on board to produce H2 + CO2. Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs), which use a liquid methanol fuel feed, completely avoid the complexity and weight penalties of the reformer, but have not been considered a serious option until recently, because of much lower power densities. Recent advances in DMFCs have been dramatic, however, with the DMFC reaching power densities which are significant fractions of those provided by reformate/air fuel cells. Use of established Pt-Ru anode electrocatalysts and Pt cathode electrocatalysts in polymer electrolyte DMFCs has resulted in enhanced DMFC performance, particularly when operated above 100 C and when catalyst layer composition and structure are optimized. The higher DMFC power densities recently achieved provide a new basis for considering DMFCs for transportation applications.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Boronization of nickel and nickel clad materials for potential use in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Weil, K. Scott; Kim, Jin Yong Y.; Xia, Gordon; Coleman, J. E.; Yang, Z Gary

    2006-12-20

    A new low-cost, nickel clad bipolar plate concept is currently being developed for use in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. Reported in this paper are the details of a powder-pack boronization process that would be used to establish a passivation layer on the electrolyte exposed surfaces of the bipolar plate in the final stage of manufacture. Results from energy dispersive X-ray analysis, X-ray diffraction, and scanning electron microscopy indicate that under moderate boronization conditions a homogeneous Ni3B layer grows on the exposed surfaces of the nickel clad material, the thickness of which depends on the time and temperature of boronization according to a Wagner-type scale growth relationship. At higher temperatures and longer reaction times, a Ni2B overlayer forms on top of the Ni3B during boronization.

  11. Performance equations for a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell with unsaturated cathode feed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsuen, Hsiao-Kuo; Yin, Ken-Ming

    A mathematical formulation for the cathode of a membrane electrode assembly of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell is proposed, in which the effect of unsaturated vapor feed in the cathode is considered. This mechanistic model formulates the water saturation front within the gas diffusion layer with an explicit analytical expression as a function of operating conditions. The multi-phase flows of gaseous species and liquid water are correlated with the established capillary pressure equilibrium in the medium. In addition, less than fully hydrated water contents in the polymer electrolyte and catalyst layers are considered, and are integrated with the relevant liquid and vapor transfers in the gas diffusion layer. The developed performance equations take into account the influences of all pertinent material properties on cell performance using first principles. The mathematical approach is logical and concise in terms of revealing the underlying physical significance in comparison with many other empirical data fitting models.

  12. Operation of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells with dry feeds: Design and operating strategies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hogarth, Warren H. J.; Benziger, Jay B.

    The operation of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) with dry feeds has been examined with different fuel cell flow channel designs as functions of pressure, temperature and flow rate. Auto-humidified (or self-humidifying) PEMFC operation is improved at higher pressures and low gas velocities where axial dispersion enhances "back-mixing" of the product water with the dry feed. We demonstrate auto-humidified operation of the channel-less, self-draining fuel cell, based on a stirred tank reactor; data is presented showing auto-humidified operation from 25 to 115 °C at 1 and 3 atm. Design and operating requirements are derived for the auto-humidified operation of the channel-less, self-draining fuel cell. The auto-humidified self-draining fuel cell outperforms a fully humidified serpentine flow channel fuel cell at high current densities. The new design offers substantial benefits for simplicity of operation and control including: the ability to self-drain reducing flooding, the ability to uniformly disperse water removing current gradients and the ability to operate on dry feeds eliminating the need for humidifiers. Additionally, the design lends itself well to a modular design concept.

  13. Effect of gas composition on Ru dissolution and crossover in polymer-electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Tommy T. H.; Jia, Nengyou; Colbow, Vesna; Wessel, Silvia; Dutta, Monica

    Pt-Ru-based anodes are commonly used in polymer-electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) to provide improved CO tolerance for reformate fuel applications. However, Ru crossover from the anode to the cathode has been identified as a critical durability problem that has severe performance implications. In the present study, an anode accelerated stress test (AST) was used to simulate potential spikes that occur during fuel cell start-ups and shutdowns to induce Ru crossover. The effects of fuel gas composition, namely hydrogen and carbon dioxide concentrations, on Ru dissolution and crossover were investigated. The cell performance losses were correlated with the degree of Ru crossover as determined by the changes in cathode cyclic voltammetry (CV) characteristics and neutron activation analysis (NAA). It was found that higher hydrogen concentration in the fuel accelerated Ru crossover and that the presence of carbon dioxide hindered Ru crossover. In particular, the injection of 20 vol.% carbon dioxide during potential cycling resulted in very minor Ru crossover, which showed essentially identical performance losses and CV characteristic changes as a fuel cell composed of a Ru-free anode. The experimental results suggest that the Ru species in our Pt-Ru metal oxide catalysts need to go through a reduction step by hydrogen before dissolution. The presence of carbon dioxide may play a role in hindering the reduction step.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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).

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Nanoporous palladium anode for direct ethanol solid oxide fuel cells with nanoscale proton-conducting ceramic electrolyte

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yong; Wong, Lai Mun; Xie, Hanlin; Wang, Shijie; Su, Pei-Chen

    2017-02-01

    In this work, we demonstrate the operation of micro-solid oxide fuel cells (μ-SOFCs) with nanoscale proton-conducting Y-BaZrO3 (BZY) electrolyte to avoid the fuel crossover problem for direct ethanol fuel cells (DEFCs). The μ-SOFCs are operated with the direct utilisation of ethanol vapour as a fuel and Pd as anode at the temperature range of 300-400 °C. The nanoporous Pd anode is achieved by DC sputtering at high Ar pressure of 80 mTorr. The Pd-anode/BYZ-electrolyte/Pt-cathode cell show peak power densities of 72.4 mW/cm2 using hydrogen and 15.3 mW/cm2 using ethanol at 400 °C. No obvious carbon deposition is seen from XPS analysis after fuel cell test with ethanol fuel.

  3. 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.

  4. Improvement in the solid-state alkaline fuel cell performance through efficient water management strategies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oshiba, Yuhei; Hiura, Junya; Suzuki, Yuto; Yamaguchi, Takeo

    2017-03-01

    In solid-state alkaline fuel cells (SAFCs), water is generated at the anode and is reacted at the cathode; as such, flooding occurs much more easily at the anode than it does in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Anode flooding is a reason for the low performance of SAFCs, and so it is important that this flooding phenomenon is mitigated. In this study, we control water transport to suppress anode flooding. We do this through two approaches: changing the thickness of the anion exchange membrane (AEM) and changing the anode flow rate. Among two AEMs with two different thicknesses (27 μm and 6 μm) prepared, thinner AEM shows improved fuel cell performance. Increasing the anode flow rate also improved the performance of SAFCs. To find out what caused this, the water transport inside the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) was analyzed. The flooding region was estimated using calculated relative humidity at anode outlet. On the basis of our experimental and calculation approaches, flooding can be suppressed by using thin AEMs and increasing the anode flow rate.

  5. Proton electrolyte membrane properties and direct methanol fuel cell performance. II. Fuel cell performance and membrane properties effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silva, V. S.; Schirmer, J.; Reissner, R.; Ruffmann, B.; Silva, H.; Mendes, A.; Madeira, L. M.; Nunes, S. P.

    In order to study the relationship between the properties of proton electrolyte membranes (PEMs), obtained through standard characterization methods, and the direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) performance, inorganic-organic hybrid membranes, modified via in situ hydrolysis, were used in a membrane electrolyte assembly (MEA) for DMFC application. The membranes, the characterization of which was performed in the previous paper of this series, were based on sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) (sPEEK) with a sulfonation degree (SD) of 87% and were loaded with different amounts of zirconium oxide (5.0, 7.5, 10.0, 12.5 wt.%). The standard characterization methods applied were impedance spectroscopy (proton conductivity), water uptake, and pervaporation (permeability to methanol). The MEAs were characterized investigating the DMFC current-voltage polarization curves, constant voltage current (CV, 35 mV), and open-circuit voltage (OCV). The fuel cell ohmic resistance (null phase angle impedance, NPAI) and CO 2 concentration in the cathode outlet were also measured. The characterization results show that the incorporation of the inorganic oxide in the polymer network decreases the DMFC current density for CV experiments, CO 2 concentration in the cathode outlet for both OCV and CV experiments and, finally, the maximum power density output. The opposite effect was verified in terms of the NPAI (ohmic resistance) for both OCV and CV experiments. A good agreement was found between the studied DMFC performance parameters and the characterization results evaluated by impedance spectroscopy, water uptake and pervaporation experiments.

  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. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Synergistic effects of carboxymethyl cellulose and ZnO as alkaline electrolyte additives for aluminium anodes with a view towards Al-air batteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-12-01

    The synergistic effects of carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) and zinc oxide (ZnO) have been investigated as alkaline electrolyte additives for the AA5052 aluminium alloy anode in aluminium-air battery by the hydrogen evolution test, the electrochemical measurements and the surface analysis method. The combination of CMC and ZnO effectively retards the self-corrosion of AA5052 alloy in 4 M NaOH solution. A complex film is formed via the interaction between CMC and Zn2+ ions on the alloy surface. The carboxyl groups adsorbed on the surface of aluminium make the protective film more stable. The cathodic reaction process is mainly suppressed significantly. AA5052 alloy electrode has a good discharge performance in the applied electrolyte containing the composite CMC/ZnO additives.

  14. 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.

  15. Evaluation of a process for aqueous alkaline digestion of biomass to produce a liquid fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Alexander, B.F.; Rosson, H.F.

    1983-12-01

    The aqueous alkaline digestion of microcrystalline cellulose was studied over the temperature range of 480-540/sup 0/F (249-282/sup 0/C) at residence times of 10-25 minutes and catalyst (Na/sub 2/CO/sub 3/) loadings of 11-76 g/kg. The reaction products were characterized as an oil fraction, water soluble fraction, gas and residue. Addition of carbon monoxide and synthesis gas (50/50 mole ratio CO/H/sub 2/) and simulated recycle of the water soluble fraction were also investigated. Batch experiments were conducted in a one-liter stirred autoclave equipped with rapid feed injection. The information gained from the experimental program plus that available in the literature was used to design a plant for conversion of wood to fuel oil. The cost of producing oil was then calculated based on this design.

  16. Radiation grafted membranes for polymer electrolyte fuel cells, ex situ and in situ characterization

    SciTech Connect

    Scherer, G.G.; Buchi, F.N.; Gupta, B.

    1993-12-31

    Proton conducting membranes for polymer electrolyte fuel cells were prepared by radiation grafting of styrene/divinylbenzene onto Telon-FEP films and subsequent sulfonation. Films with degrees of grafting up to 50% were obtained and characterized FTIR-ATR with respect to their homogeneity, by DSC and TGA with respect to their thermal properties. After sulfonation thermal stability was again probed by TGA in combination with one-line FTIR and MS. Water uptake and protonic resistivity were determined after pretreatment in boiling water. The decrease in resistivity with increasing degree of grafting is mainly due to an increasing proton mobility. The membranes were tested in H{sub 2}/O{sub 2} fuel cells (ambient pressure, 60 to 90{degrees}C) with respect to their short- and long-term (up to 1000 h) polarization performance. The results of the ex and in situ characterization will be presented and discussed.

  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. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-08

    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.

  20. Relative humidity control in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells without extra humidification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riascos, Luis A. M.

    The performance of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells is highly influenced by the water content in the membrane. To prevent the membrane from drying, several researchers have proposed extra humidification on the input reactants. But in some applications, the extra size and weight of the humidifier should be avoided. In this research a control technique, which maintains the relative humidity on saturated conditions, is implemented by adjusting the air stoichiometry; the effects of drying of membrane and flooding of electrodes are considered, as well. For initial analysis, a mathematical model reveals the relationship among variables that can be difficult to monitor in a real machine. Also prediction can be tested optimizing time and resources. For instance, the effects of temperature and humidity can be analyzed separately. For experimental validation, tests in a fault tolerant fuel cell are conducted.

  1. Characterization of flooding and two-phase flow in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell stacks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karimi, G.; Jafarpour, F.; Li, X.

    A partially flooded gas diffusion layer (GDL) model is proposed and solved simultaneously with a stack flow network model to estimate the operating conditions under which water flooding could be initiated in a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell stack. The models were applied to the cathode side of a stack, which is more sensitive to the inception of GDL flooding and/or flow channel two-phase flow. The model can predict the stack performance in terms of pressure, species concentrations, GDL flooding and quality distributions in the flow fields as well as the geometrical specifications of the PEM fuel cell stack. The simulation results have revealed that under certain operating conditions, the GDL is fully flooded and the quality is lower than one for parts of the stack flow fields. Effects of current density, operating pressure, and level of inlet humidity on flooding are investigated.

  2. 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.

  3. Transient Response Analysis of Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Considering Equivalent Electric Circuit and Mass Conservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ito, Kohei; Miyauchi, Nobuhito; Onda, Kazuo; Koori, Hironori

    Since PEFC (Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell) can produce electricity at high power density with a simple stack constitution, PEFC is expected to be applied to electric vehicles and to distributed power sources. In these applications, PEFC may be operated at a wide range of load and may have frequent starts and stops. Therefore it is important to elucidate the transient characteristics of PEFC. In this study, we made a mathematical model to predict the transient behavior of PEFC, considering an equivalent electric circuit and a mass conservation equation. Important physical properties, such as proton conductivity and double-layer capacitance of polymer electrolyte membrane were measured to be incorporated into the model. By using the model, we calculated the response of cell potential to a rapid change of load current, and compared the numerical calculation with the experimental result. After the rapid change of load current, the cell potential varies in 10-1s accompanied by the charge and discharge of the electric double layer capacitance, and then it changes in 101s by the re-distribution of water in the polymer electrolyte membrane.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Chitosan biopolymer for fuel cell applications.

    PubMed

    Ma, Jia; Sahai, Yogeshwar

    2013-02-15

    Fuel cell is an electrochemical device which converts chemical energy stored in a fuel into electrical energy. Fuel cells have been receiving attention due to its potential applicability as a good alternative power source. Recently, cost-effective and eco-friendly biopolymer chitosan has been extensively studied as a material for membrane electrolytes and electrodes in low to intermediate temperature hydrogen polymer electrolyte fuel cell, direct methanol fuel cell, alkaline fuel cell, and biofuel cell. This paper reviews structure and property of chitosan with respect to its applications in fuel cells. Recent achievements and prospect of its applications have also been included.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Effect of pinhole location on degradation in polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bodner, Merit; Hochenauer, Christoph; Hacker, Viktor

    2015-11-01

    This work analyses the impact of the location of pinholes in polymer electrolyte fuel cells on the degradation of the electrodes. Defects with a diameter of 0.45 mm were created in a 25 cm2 membrane electrode assembly (MEA) of a fuel cell. The MEA was operated and characterised using a segmented single cell. The effects of the pinholes on degradation were measured and evaluated. Defects affected the fuel cell behaviour during periods of hydrogen starvation, thus accelerating the degradation process of the carbon support as well as the loss of active platinum catalyst surface area. Furthermore, the effects of the induced pinholes on membrane degradation and performance decay were determined. Pinholes close to the anode inlet in general have shown a more severe effect on the fuel cell operation parameters, such as open circuit voltage, performance, membrane resistance and hydrogen crossover, than pinholes at any other locations. Also, electrode degradation was accelerated. These effects were mainly due to locally increased temperatures.

  14. 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.

  15. Heat and fuel coupled operation of a high temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cell with a heat exchanger methanol steam reformer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schuller, G.; Vázquez, F. Vidal; Waiblinger, W.; Auvinen, S.; Ribeirinha, P.

    2017-04-01

    In this work a methanol steam reforming (MSR) reactor has been operated thermally coupled to a high temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cell stack (HT-PEMFC) utilizing its waste heat. The operating temperature of the coupled system was 180 °C which is significantly lower than the conventional operating temperature of the MSR process which is around 250 °C. A newly designed heat exchanger reformer has been developed by VTT (Technical Research Center of Finland LTD) and was equipped with commercially available CuO/ZnO/Al2O3 (BASF RP-60) catalyst. The liquid cooled, 165 cm2, 12-cell stack used for the measurements was supplied by Serenergy A/S. The off-heat from the electrochemical fuel cell reaction was transferred to the reforming reactor using triethylene glycol (TEG) as heat transfer fluid. The system was operated up to 0.4 A cm-2 generating an electrical power output of 427 Wel. A total stack waste heat utilization of 86.4% was achieved. It has been shown that it is possible to transfer sufficient heat from the fuel cell stack to the liquid circuit in order to provide the needed amount for vaporizing and reforming of the methanol-water-mixture. Furthermore a set of recommendations is given for future system design considerations.

  16. Polymer electrolyte fuel cell stack thermal model to evaluate sub-freezing startup

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sundaresan, M.; Moore, R. M.

    For passenger fuel cell vehicles (FCVs), customers will expect to start the vehicle and drive almost immediately, implying a very short system warmup to full power. While hybridization strategies may fulfill this expectation, the extent of hybridization will be dictated by the time required for the fuel cell system to reach normal operating temperatures. Quick-starting fuel cell systems are impeded by two problems: (1) the freezing of residual water or water generated by starting the stack at below freezing temperatures and (2) temperature-dependent fuel cell performance, improving as the temperature reaches the normal range. Cold start models exist in the literature; however, there does not appear to be a model that fully captures the thermal characteristics of the stack during sub-freezing startup conditions. Existing models lack the following features: (1) modeling of stack internal heating methods (other than stack reactions) and their impact on the stack temperature distribution and (2) modeling of endplate thermal mass effect on end cells and its impact on the stack temperature distribution. The focus of this research is the development and use of a sub-freezing thermal model for a polymer electrolyte fuel cell stack. Specifically, the work has focused on the generation of a model in which the fuel cell is separated into layers to determine an accurate temperature distribution within the stack. Unlike a lumped model, which may use a single temperature as an indicator of the stack's thermal condition, a layered model can reveal the effect of the endplate thermal mass on the end cells, and accommodate the evaluation of internal heating methods that may mitigate this effect.

  17. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Irshad, Muneeb; Siraj, Khurram E-mail: khurram.uet@gmail.com; Javed, Fayyaz; Ahsan, Muhammad; Rafique, Muhammad Shahid; Raza, Rizwan E-mail: khurram.uet@gmail.com; Shakir, Imran

    2016-02-15

    Nanocomposites Samarium doped Ceria (SDC), Gadolinium doped Ceria (GDC), core shell SDC amorphous Na{sub 2}CO{sub 3} (SDCC) and GDC amorphous Na{sub 2}CO{sub 3} (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 Na{sub 2}CO{sub 3} 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 Na{sub 2}CO{sub 3} and SDC/ amorphous Na{sub 2}CO{sub 3} 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. A review of accelerated conditioning for a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yuan, Xiao-Zi; Zhang, Shengsheng; Sun, Jian Colin; Wang, Haijiang

    A newly fabricated polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell usually needs a so-called break-in/conditioning/incubation period to activate it and reach its best performance. Typically, during this activation period the cell performance increases gradually, and then reaches a plateau without further increase. Depending on the membrane electrode assemblies, this process can take hours and even days to complete, which consumes a considerable amount of hydrogen fuel, leading to a higher operating cost. To provide for accelerated conditioning techniques that can complete the process in a short time period, this paper reviews established conditioning protocols and reported methods to condition PEM single cells and stacks, in an attempt to summarize available information on PEM fuel cell conditioning and the underlying mechanisms. Various techniques are arranged into two categories: on-line conditioning and off-line conditioning. For each technique, the experimental procedure and outcomes are outlined. Finally, weaknesses of the currently used conditioning techniques are indicated and further research efforts are proposed.

  3. A Rechargeable Li-Air Fuel Cell Battery Based on Garnet Solid Electrolytes.

    PubMed

    Sun, Jiyang; Zhao, Ning; Li, Yiqiu; Guo, Xiangxin; Feng, Xuefei; Liu, Xiaosong; Liu, Zhi; Cui, Guanglei; Zheng, Hao; Gu, Lin; Li, Hong

    2017-01-24

    Non-aqueous Li-air batteries have been intensively studied in the past few years for their theoretically super-high energy density. However, they cannot operate properly in real air because they contain highly unstable and volatile electrolytes. Here, we report the fabrication of solid-state Li-air batteries using garnet (i.e., Li6.4La3Zr1.4Ta0.6O12, LLZTO) ceramic disks with high density and ionic conductivity as the electrolytes and composite cathodes consisting of garnet powder, Li salts (LiTFSI) and active carbon. These batteries run in real air based on the formation and decomposition at least partially of Li2CO3. Batteries with LiTFSI mixed with polyimide (PI:LiTFSI) as a binder show rechargeability at 200 °C with a specific capacity of 2184 mAh g(-1)carbon at 20 μA cm(-2). Replacement of PI:LiTFSI with LiTFSI dissolved in polypropylene carbonate (PPC:LiTFSI) reduces interfacial resistance, and the resulting batteries show a greatly increased discharge capacity of approximately 20300 mAh g(-1)carbon and cycle 50 times while maintaining a cutoff capacity of 1000 mAh g(-1)carbon at 20 μA cm(-2) and 80 °C. These results demonstrate that the use of LLZTO ceramic electrolytes enables operation of the Li-air battery in real air at medium temperatures, leading to a novel type of Li-air fuel cell battery for energy storage.

  4. A Rechargeable Li-Air Fuel Cell Battery Based on Garnet Solid Electrolytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Jiyang; Zhao, Ning; Li, Yiqiu; Guo, Xiangxin; Feng, Xuefei; Liu, Xiaosong; Liu, Zhi; Cui, Guanglei; Zheng, Hao; Gu, Lin; Li, Hong

    2017-01-01

    Non-aqueous Li-air batteries have been intensively studied in the past few years for their theoretically super-high energy density. However, they cannot operate properly in real air because they contain highly unstable and volatile electrolytes. Here, we report the fabrication of solid-state Li-air batteries using garnet (i.e., Li6.4La3Zr1.4Ta0.6O12, LLZTO) ceramic disks with high density and ionic conductivity as the electrolytes and composite cathodes consisting of garnet powder, Li salts (LiTFSI) and active carbon. These batteries run in real air based on the formation and decomposition at least partially of Li2CO3. Batteries with LiTFSI mixed with polyimide (PI:LiTFSI) as a binder show rechargeability at 200 °C with a specific capacity of 2184 mAh g‑1carbon at 20 μA cm‑2. Replacement of PI:LiTFSI with LiTFSI dissolved in polypropylene carbonate (PPC:LiTFSI) reduces interfacial resistance, and the resulting batteries show a greatly increased discharge capacity of approximately 20300 mAh g‑1carbon and cycle 50 times while maintaining a cutoff capacity of 1000 mAh g‑1carbon at 20 μA cm‑2 and 80 °C. These results demonstrate that the use of LLZTO ceramic electrolytes enables operation of the Li-air battery in real air at medium temperatures, leading to a novel type of Li-air fuel cell battery for energy storage.

  5. A Rechargeable Li-Air Fuel Cell Battery Based on Garnet Solid Electrolytes

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Jiyang; Zhao, Ning; Li, Yiqiu; Guo, Xiangxin; Feng, Xuefei; Liu, Xiaosong; Liu, Zhi; Cui, Guanglei; Zheng, Hao; Gu, Lin; Li, Hong

    2017-01-01

    Non-aqueous Li-air batteries have been intensively studied in the past few years for their theoretically super-high energy density. However, they cannot operate properly in real air because they contain highly unstable and volatile electrolytes. Here, we report the fabrication of solid-state Li-air batteries using garnet (i.e., Li6.4La3Zr1.4Ta0.6O12, LLZTO) ceramic disks with high density and ionic conductivity as the electrolytes and composite cathodes consisting of garnet powder, Li salts (LiTFSI) and active carbon. These batteries run in real air based on the formation and decomposition at least partially of Li2CO3. Batteries with LiTFSI mixed with polyimide (PI:LiTFSI) as a binder show rechargeability at 200 °C with a specific capacity of 2184 mAh g−1carbon at 20 μA cm−2. Replacement of PI:LiTFSI with LiTFSI dissolved in polypropylene carbonate (PPC:LiTFSI) reduces interfacial resistance, and the resulting batteries show a greatly increased discharge capacity of approximately 20300 mAh g−1carbon and cycle 50 times while maintaining a cutoff capacity of 1000 mAh g−1carbon at 20 μA cm−2 and 80 °C. These results demonstrate that the use of LLZTO ceramic electrolytes enables operation of the Li-air battery in real air at medium temperatures, leading to a novel type of Li-air fuel cell battery for energy storage. PMID:28117359

  6. 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.

  7. 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}.

  8. 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.

  9. Dynamic water management of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells using intermittent RH control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hussaini, I. S.; Wang, C. Y.

    A novel method of water management of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells using intermittent humidification is presented in this study. The goal is to maintain the membrane close to full humidification, while eliminating channel flooding. The entire cycle is divided into four stages: saturation and de-saturation of the gas diffusion layer followed by de-hydration and hydration of membrane. By controlling the duration of dry and humid flows, it is shown that the cell voltage can be maintained within a narrow band. The technique is applied on experimental test cells using both plain and hydrophobic materials for the gas diffusion layer and an improvement in performance as compared to steady humidification is demonstrated. Duration of dry and humid flows is determined experimentally for several operating conditions.

  10. 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.

  11. Polymer electrolyte fuel cell performance degradation at different synchrotron beam intensities.

    PubMed

    Eller, Jens; Büchi, Felix N

    2014-01-01

    The degradation of cell performance of polymer electrolyte fuel cells under monochromatic X-ray irradiation at 13.5 keV was studied in galvanostatic and potentiostatic operation modes in a through-plane imaging direction over a range of two orders of magnitude beam intensity at the TOMCAT beamline of the Swiss Light Source. The performance degradation was found to be a function of X-ray dose and independent of beam intensity, whereas the degradation rate correlates with beam intensity. The cell performance was more sensitive to X-ray irradiation at higher temperature and gas feed humidity. High-frequency resistance measurements and the analysis of product water allow conclusions to be drawn on the dominating degradation processes, namely change of hydrophobicity of the electrode and sulfate contamination of the electrocatalyst.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Simulated start-stop as a rapid aging tool for polymer electrolyte fuel cell electrodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hartnig, Christoph; Schmidt, Thomas J.

    The corrosion stability of supported catalysts as employed in state of the art intermediate temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cells has been studied by means of simulated start-stop cycling (150 cycles). The carbon dioxide formation from the air electrode has been monitored during repeated cycling runs and the loss of catalyst support has been correlated with performance drops. Degradation effects have been studied at different current densities in order to differentiate between kinetic and mass transport effects. Finally, correlations of this accelerated aging tool with a more realistic durability test over 4000 h and 157 start-stop cycles have been made and the good agreement between simulated and realistic approaches has been confirmed, demonstrating the high value of the experimental approach and analysis.

  15. Local Entropy Production Rates in a Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siemer, Marc; Marquardt, Tobias; Valadez Huerta, Gerardo; Kabelac, Stephan

    2017-01-01

    A modeling study on a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell by means of non-equilibrium thermodynamics is presented. The developed model considers a one-dimensional cell in steady-state operation. The temperature, concentration and electric potential profiles are calculated for every domain of the cell. While the gas diffusion and the catalyst layers are calculated with established classical modeling approaches, the transport processes in the membrane are calculated with the phenomenological equations as dictated by the non-equilibrium thermodynamics. This approach is especially instructive for the membrane as the coupled transport mechanisms are dominant. The needed phenomenological coefficients are approximated on the base of conventional transport coefficients. Knowing the fluxes and their intrinsic corresponding forces, the local entropy production rate is calculated. Accordingly, the different loss mechanisms can be detected and quantified, which is important for cell and stack optimization.

  16. Structure of porous electrodes in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells: An optical reconstruction technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berejnov, Viatcheslav; Sinton, David; Djilali, Ned

    Computing flows and phase transport in porous media requires a physically representative geometric model. We present a simple method of digitizing the structure of fibrous porous media commonly used in polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells, the so-called gas diffusion layer (GDL). Employing an inverted microscope and image recognition software we process images of the GDL surface collected manually at different focal lengths with micrometer accuracy. Processing the series of images allows retrieval of local depths of the salient in-focus structural elements in each of the different images. These elements are then recombined into a depth-map representing the three-dimensional structure of the GDL surface. Superimposition of the in-focus portions of the structural elements distributed throughout the stack of images yields digitized data describing the geometry and structural attributes of the 3D surface of the GDL fibrous material.

  17. Impact of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell microporous layer nano-scale features on thermal conductance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Botelho, S. J.; Bazylak, A.

    2015-04-01

    In this study, the microporous layer (MPL) of the polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell was analysed at the nano-scale. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) was utilized to image the top layer of MPL particles, and a curve fitting algorithm was used to determine the particle size and filling radius distributions for SGL-10BB and SGL-10BC. The particles in SGL-10BC (approximately 60 nm in diameter) have been found to be larger than those in SGL-10BB (approximately 40 nm in diameter), highlighting structural variability between the two materials. The impact of the MPL particle interactions on the effective thermal conductivity of the bulk MPL was analysed using a discretization of the Fourier equation with the Gauss-Seidel iterative method. It was found that the particle spacing and filling radius dominates the effective thermal conductivity, a result which provides valuable insight for future MPL design.

  18. 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.

  19. Pore Network Modeling of Multiphase Transport in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell Gas Diffusion Layers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fazeli, Mohammadreza

    In this thesis, pore network modeling was used to study how the microstructure of the polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell gas diffusion layer (GDL) influences multiphase transport within the composite layer. An equivalent pore network of a GDL was used to study the effects of GDL/catalyst layer condensation points and contact quality on the spatial distribution of liquid water in the GDL. Next, pore networks extracted from synchrotron-based micro-computed tomography images of compressed GDLs were employed to simulate liquid water transport in GDL materials over a range of compression pressures, and favorable GDL compression values for preferred liquid water distributions were found for two commercially available GDL materials. Finally, a technique was developed for calculating the oxygen diffusivity in carbon paper substrates with a microporous layer (MPL) coating through pore network modeling. A hybrid network was incorporated into the pore network model, and effective diffusivity predictions of MPL coated GDL materials were obtained.

  20. A mathematical model of the solid-polymer-electrolyte fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernardi, Dawn M.; Verbrugge, Mark W.

    1992-09-01

    A mathematical model of the solid-polymer-electrolyte fuel cell is presented and applied to investigate factors that limit cell performance and elucidate the mechanism of species transport in the complex network of gas, liquid, and solid phases of the cell. Calculations of cell polarization behavior compare favorably with existing experimental data. For most practical electral thicknesses, model results indicate that the volume fraction of the cathode available for gas transport must exceed 20 percent in order to avoid unacceptably low cell-limiting current densities. It is shown that membrane dehydration can also pose limitations on operating current density. Circumvention of this problem by appropriate membrane and electrode design and efficient water-management schemes is discussed. It is found that for a broad range of practical current densities there are no external water requirements because the water produced at the cathode is sufficient to satisfy the water requirement of the membrane.

  1. Mathematical modelling of the catalyst layer of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shah, A. A.; Kim, Gwang-Soo; Promislow, K.

    2007-06-01

    In this paper, we derive a mathematical model for the cathode catalyst layer of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell. The model explicitly incorporates the restriction placed on oxygen in reaching the reaction sites, capturing the experimentally observed fall in the current density to a limiting value at low cell voltages. Temperature variations and interfacial transfer of O2 between the dissolved and gas phases are also included. Bounds on the solutions are derived from which we provide a rigourous proof that the model admits a solution. Of particular interest are the maximum and minimum attainable values. We perform an asymptotic analysis in several limits inherent in the problem by identifying important groupings of parameters. This analysis reveals a number of key relationships between the solutions, including the current density, and the composition of the layer. A comparison of numerically computed solutions and asymptotic solutions shows very good agreement. Implications of the results are discussed and future work is outlined.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Local electrical and dielectric properties of nanocrystalline solid oxide fuel cell electrolytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perry, Nicola Helen

    Reducing the operating temperature of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), to improve durability and lower cost, requires an increase in the low temperature oxygen-ion conductivity of the electrolyte. This work investigates whether the electrolyte conductivity could be increased by decreasing the grain size into the nanoscale. Bulk electrolytes - cubic yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ, with 8mol% Y2O3), tetragonal zirconia polycrystal (TZP, with 3mol% Y2O3), and Sr- and Mg- co-doped LaGaO3 (LSGM) - were fabricated with grain sizes ranging from 10nm to 3mum, using commercial or sol-gel-derived nanopowders and various sintering techniques. Local grain boundary and grain core conductivities and dielectric constants were analyzed over a range of temperatures and atmospheres using AC-impedance spectroscopy and our novel nano-Grain Composite Model, and interpreted in terms of grain-size dependent defect chemistry (e.g. space charge models, local thermodynamics, and impurity/ acceptor segregation). All three oxides exhibited qualitatively similar electrical/ dielectric behavior. Their single crystal/ grain core dielectric constants exhibited an upturn with temperature, which was attributed to the onset of dipolar relaxation. Grain boundary dielectric constants were consistently higher than grain core dielectric constants at the nanoscale. n-GCM-derived electrical grain boundary half-widths agreed well with measured acceptor dopant segregation widths at grain boundaries. The local grain boundary conductivity was consistently increased in nanocrystalline vs. microcrystalline samples, although the mechanisms responsible for this behavior differed in each material. Grain core conductivity did not change with grain size in each case. Despite the increase in local grain boundary conductivity at the nanoscale, the total conductivity decreased monotonically with decreasing grain size in all three electrolytes; the grain boundaries remain barriers to transport (relative to grain cores

  6. First Principles and Genetic Algorithm Studies of Lanthanide Metal Oxides for Optimal Fuel Cell Electrolyte Design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ismail, Arif

    As the demand for clean and renewable energy sources continues to grow, much attention has been given to solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) due to their efficiency and low operating temperature. However, the components of SOFCs must still be improved before commercialization can be reached. Of particular interest is the solid electrolyte, which conducts oxygen ions from the cathode to the anode. Samarium-doped ceria (SDC) is the electrolyte of choice in most SOFCs today, due mostly to its high ionic conductivity at low temperatures. However, the underlying principles that contribute to high ionic conductivity in doped ceria remain unknown, and so it is difficult to improve upon the design of SOFCs. This thesis focuses on identifying the atomistic interactions in SDC which contribute to its favourable performance in the fuel cell. Unfortunately, information as basic as the structure of SDC has not yet been found due to the difficulty in experimentally characterizing and computationally modelling the system. For instance, to evaluate 10.3% SDC, which is close to the 11.1% concentration used in fuel cells, one must investigate 194 trillion configurations, due to the numerous ways of arranging the Sm ions and oxygen vacancies in the simulation cell. As an exhaustive search method is clearly unfeasible, we develop a genetic algorithm (GA) to search the vast potential energy surface for the low-energy configurations, which will be most prevalent in the real material. With the GA, we investigate the structure of SDC for the first time at the DFT+U level of theory. Importantly, we find key differences in our results from prior calculations of this system which used less accurate methods, which demonstrate the importance of accurately modelling the system. Overall, our simulation results of the structure of SDC agree with experimental measurements. We identify the structural significance of defects in the doped ceria lattice which contribute to oxygen ion conductivity. Thus

  7. Novel polybenzimidazole derivatives for high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Lixiang

    Recent advances have made polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) a leading alternative to internal combustion engines for both stationary and transportation applications. In particular, high temperature polymer electrolyte membranes operational above 120°C without humidification offer many advantages including fast electrode kinetics, high tolerance to fuel impurities and simple thermal and water management systems. A series of polybenzimidazole (PBI) derivatives including pyridine-based PBI (PPBI) and sulfonated PBI (SPBI) homopolymers and copolymers have been synthesized using polyphosphoric acid (PPA) as both solvent and polycondensation agent. High molecular weight PBI derivative polymers were obtained with well controlled backbone structures in terms of pyridine ring content, polymer backbone rigidity and degree of sulfonation. A novel process, termed the PPA process, has been developed to prepare phosphoric acid (PA) doped PBI membranes by direct-casting of the PPA polymerization solution without isolation or re-dissolution of the polymers. The subsequent hydrolysis of PPA to PA by moisture absorbed from the atmosphere usually induced a transition from the solution-like state to a gel-like state and produced PA doped PBI membranes with a desirable suite of physiochemical properties characterized by the PA doping levels, mechanical properties and proton conductivities. The effects of the polymer backbone structure on the polymer characteristics and membrane properties, i.e., the structure-property relationships of the PBI derivative polymers have been studied. The incorporation of additional basic nitrogen containing pyridine rings and sulfonic acid groups enhanced the polymer solubility in acid and dipolar solvents while retaining the inherently high thermal stability of the PBI heteroaromatic backbone. In particular, the degradation of the SPBI polymers with reasonable high molecular weights commenced above 450°C, notably higher than other

  8. 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.

  9. 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)

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Sputtered cathodes for polymer electrolyte fuel cells: insights into potentials, challenges and limitations.

    PubMed

    Schwanitz, Bernhard; Rabis, Annett; Horisberger, Michael; Scherer, Günther G; Schmidt, Thomas J

    2012-01-01

    The level of Pt loadings in polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFC) is still one of the main hindrances for implementation of PEFCs into the market. Therefore, new catalyst and electrode preparation methods such as sputtering are of current interest, because they allow thin film production and have many cost saving advantages for electrode preparation. This paper summarises some of the most important studies done for sputtered PEFCs, including non carbon supported electrodes. Furthermore, it will be shown that an understanding of the main morphological differences between sputtered and ink-based electrodes is crucial for a better understanding of the resulting fuel cell performance. Especially, the electrochemical surface area (ECSA) plays a key role for a further increase in PEFC performance of sputtered electrodes. The higher surface specific activities i(k,spec) of sputtered compared to ink-based electrodes will be discussed as advantage of the thin film formation. The so- called particle size effect, known in literature for several years, will be discussed as reason for the higher i(k,spec) of sputtered electrodes. Therefore, a model system on a rotating disc electrode (RDE) was studied. For sputtered PEFC cathodes Pt loadings were lowered to 100 μg(Pt)/cm(2), yet with severe performance losses compared to ink-based electrodes. Still, for Pt sputtered electrodes on a carbon support structure remarkably high current densities of 0.46 A/cm(2) at 0.6 V could be achieved.

  13. 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).

  14. A multi-objective optimisation model for a general polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ang, Sheila Mae C.; Brett, Daniel J. L.; Fraga, Eric S.

    This paper presents an optimisation model for a general polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell system suitable for efficiency and size trade-offs investigation. Simulation of the model for a base case shows that for a given output power, a more efficient system is bigger and vice versa. Using the weighting method to perform a multi-objective optimisation, the Pareto sets were generated for different stack output powers. A Pareto set, presented as a plot of the optimal efficiency and area of the membrane electrode assembly (MEA), gives a quantitative description of the compromise between efficiency and size. Overall, our results indicate that, to make the most of the size-efficiency trade-off behaviour, the system must be operated at an efficiency of at least 40% but not more than 47%. Furthermore, the MEA area should be at least 3 cm 2 W -1 for the efficiency to be practically useful. Subject to the constraints imposed on the model, which are based on technical practicalities, a PEM fuel cell system such as the one presented in this work cannot operate at an efficiency above 54%. The results of this work, specifically the multi-objective model, will form a useful and practical basis for subsequent techno-economic studies for specific applications.

  15. 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.

  16. Mathematical modeling and simulation of thermal management in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell stacks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amirfazli, Amir; Asghari, Saeed; Koosha, Morteza

    2014-12-01

    The narrow range of operating temperature and small temperature differences between the stack and the ambient have made the fuel cell thermal management as one of the key factors that influence the performance and durability of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) stacks. In the present study, an analytical model is developed to investigate coolant flow and temperature distributions within a PEMFC stack. The model consists of a coolant flow distribution submodel and a thermal submodel for determination of coolant mass flow distribution between different cooling flow fields of the stack and the temperature distribution within the stack, respectively. The coolant mass flow rate and the temperature distributions in stacks with U and Z configurations are compared with each other using the developed model. The test results of two 65-cells stacks are presented to verify the simulation. The results indicate that the Z configuration results in more uniform temperature distribution than the U configuration in low values of the manifold cross sectional area. However, the Z configuration cannot be applied in the stacks with very small manifold sizes. A parametric analysis is also conducted to assess the effects of some parameters on the temperature distribution in a stack.

  17. Modelling of temperature distribution in a solid polymer electrolyte fuel cell stack

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maggio, G.; Recupero, V.; Mantegazza, C.

    The production of electricity in a fuel cell system is associated with the production of an equivalent amount of thermal energy, both for large size power plants and for transportation applications. The heat released by the cells must be removed by a cooling system, characterized by its small size and weight, which must be able to assure uniform work conditions and reduce performance losses. Based upon realistic assumptions, a mathematical model has been developed to determine the temperature and current density distribution in a solid polymer electrolyte fuel cell (SPEFC) stack as a function of operating conditions and stack geometry. The model represents a useful tool to identify operating conditions, such as to have an optimal longitudinal and axial temperature profile, so allowing the design of cooling system and bipolar plates. In this paper, the model has been applied to determine the temperature profile of an experimental SPEFC stack. The model is validated by comparing model results with experimental measurements; simulated and experimental results agree satisfactorily.

  18. 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

  19. 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

    2012-12-18

    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.

  20. A lightweight solid polymer electrolyte fuel cell with stack power density of 3 kW/lb (7 kW/kg)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Appleby, A. John

    The objectives of the solid polymer electrolyte fuel cell project are: (1) Investigations of physico-chemical properties of various solid polymer electrolyte electrode kinetics at Pt/solid polymer electrolyte interfaces; (2) Optimization of low and high Pt-loading gas diffusion electrode conditions, structures, membrane bonding to obtain most effective electrocatalyst membrane interface and hence attain maximum fuel cell performance; and (3) Mathematical modeling of electrochemical, mass transfer and heat generation characteristics associated with cell operation to optimize fuel cell thermal and water management.

  1. Scale-up of a high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell based on polybenzimidazole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinar, F. Javier; Cañizares, Pablo; Rodrigo, Manuel A.; Úbeda, Diego; Lobato, Justo

    A high temperature PEM fuel cell stack with a total active area 150 cm 2 has been studied. The PEM technology is based on a polybenzimidazole (PBI) membrane. Cast from a PBI polymer synthesised in our lab, the performance of a three-cell stack was analysed in static and dynamic modes. In static mode, operating at high constant oxygen flow rate (QO2 > 1105 ml O2 / min) produces a small decrease on the stack performance. High constant oxygen stoichiometry (λO2 > 3) does not produce a decrease on the performance of the stack. There are not differences between operating at constant flow rate of oxygen and constant stoichiometry of oxygen in the stack performance. The effect of operating at high temperature with a pressurization system and operating at higher temperatures are beneficial since the performance of the fuel cell is enhanced. A large shut-down stage produces important performance losses due to the loss of catalyst activity and the loss of membrane conductivity. After 150 h of operation at 0.2 A cm -2, it is observed a very high voltage drop. The phosphoric acid leached from the stack was also evaluated and did not exceed 2% (w/w). This fact suggests that the main degradation mechanism of a fuel cell stack based on polybenzimidazole is not the electrolyte loss. In dynamic test mode, it was observed a rapid response of power and current output even at the lower step-time (10 s). In the static mode at 125 °C and 1 atm, the stack reached a power density peak of 0.29 W cm -2 (43.5 W) at 1 V.

  2. 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}.

  3. Quantifying phosphoric acid in high-temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cell components by X-ray tomographic microscopy.

    PubMed

    Eberhardt, S H; Marone, F; Stampanoni, M; Büchi, F N; Schmidt, T J

    2014-11-01

    Synchrotron-based X-ray tomographic microscopy is investigated for imaging the local distribution and concentration of phosphoric acid in high-temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cells. Phosphoric acid fills the pores of the macro- and microporous fuel cell components. Its concentration in the fuel cell varies over a wide range (40-100 wt% H3PO4). This renders the quantification and concentration determination challenging. The problem is solved by using propagation-based phase contrast imaging and a referencing method. Fuel cell components with known acid concentrations were used to correlate greyscale values and acid concentrations. Thus calibration curves were established for the gas diffusion layer, catalyst layer and membrane in a non-operating fuel cell. The non-destructive imaging methodology was verified by comparing image-based values for acid content and concentration in the gas diffusion layer with those from chemical analysis.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Predicting Carbonate Ion Transport in Alkaline Anion Exchange Materials

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-01-01

    Schematic of the permeation cell experiment used to measure transient CO2 flux across the polymer electrolyte membrane. Experimental result vs. model trend...Microstructure on Charge Transfer, Mass Transfer, and Electrochemical Reactions in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells ; Part 2. Ion and Water Transport in Alkaline Anion...through the use of the Fuel Cell Technologies Test Station such as the relative humidity and flow rate of the feed gases, the cell temperature, and the

  7. 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-BaCe(0.5)Zr(0.35)Y(0.15)O(3-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.

  8. Development of an alkaline fuel cell subsystem. Final program summary report, 10 April 1986-31 March 1987

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1987-03-01

    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.

  9. 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

  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. A new semi-empirical approach to performance curves of polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pisani, L.; Murgia, G.; Valentini, M.; D'Aguanno, B.

    We derive a semi-empirical equation to describe the performance curves of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). The derivation is based on the observation that the main non-linear contributions to the cell voltage deterioration of H 2/air feed cells are deriving from the cathode reactive region. To evaluate such contributions we assumed that the diffusion region of the cathode is made by a network of pores able to transport gas and liquid mixtures, while the reactive region is made by a different network of pores for gas transport in a liquid permeable matrix. The mathematical model is largely mechanistic, with most terms deriving from phenomenological mass transport and conservation equations. The only full empirical term in the performance equation is the Ohmic overpotential, which is assumed to be linear with the cell current density. The resulting equation is similar to other published performance equations but with the advantage of having coefficients with a precise physical origin, and a precise physical meaning. Our semi-empirical equation is used to fit several set of published experimental data, and the fits showed always a good agreement between the model results and the experimental data. The values of the fitting coefficients, together with their associated physical meaning, allow us to asses and quantify the phenomenology which is set on in the cathode as the cell current density is increased. More precisely, we observe the development of the flooding and of the local decrease of the oxygen concentration. Further developments of such a model for the cathode compartment of the fuel cell are discussed.

  12. Interactions between liquid-water and gas-diffusion layers in polymer-electrolyte fuel cells

    DOE PAGES

    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

  13. A new flow field and its two-dimension model for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Xiaochun; Ouyang, Wenze; Liu, Changpeng; Lu, Tianhong; Xing, Wei; An, Lijia

    A new flow field was designed to search flow fields fitting polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) better due its extensible. There are many independent inlets and outlets in the new flow field. The new flow field we named NINO can extend to be more general when pressures at the inlet and outlet vary and some usual flow fields will be obtained. A new mathematical model whose view angle is obverse is used to describe the flow field.

  14. 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

  15. Determination of optimal parameters for dual-layer cathode of polymer electrolyte fuel cell using computational intelligence-aided design.

    PubMed

    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 η 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Fabrication of gas diffusion electrodes via electrophoretic deposition for high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Felix, Cecil; Jao, Ting-Chu; Pasupathi, Sivakumar; Linkov, Vladimir M.; Pollet, Bruno G.

    2014-07-01

    The Electrophoretic Deposition (EPD) method was adapted to fabricate Gas Diffusion Electrodes (GDEs) for Membrane Electrode Assemblies (MEA) for High Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (HT-PEMFC) operating at 160 °C. Suspensions containing the Pt/C catalyst, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and NaCl were studied. Stable catalyst suspensions were observed when the NaCl concentrations were ≤0.1 mM. Mercury intrusion porosity analysis showed that the GDEs obtained via the EPD method had higher porosity (30.5 m2 g-1) than the GDEs fabricated by the ultrasonic spray method (25.2 m2 g-1). Compared to the ultrasonically sprayed MEA, the EPD MEA showed ∼12% increase in peak power at a slightly lower (∼4 wt %) Pt loading. Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) analysis showed a lower charge transfer resistance for the EPD MEA compared to the ultrasonically sprayed MEA while Cyclic Voltammetry (CV) analysis showed ∼16% higher Electrochemical Surface Area (ECSA) for the EPD MEA compared to the ultrasonically sprayed MEA. These observations were attributed to the higher porosity and better catalyst particle size distribution of the EPD GDEs. A comparison between PTFE and Nafion® ionomer in the Catalyst Layers (CL) of two EPD MEAs revealed that PTFE yielded MEAs with better performance and is therefore more suitable in HT-PEMFCs.

  18. 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.

  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

    2016-03-09

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. Membrane degradation during combined chemical and mechanical accelerated stress testing of polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lim, C.; Ghassemzadeh, L.; Van Hove, F.; Lauritzen, M.; Kolodziej, J.; Wang, G. G.; Holdcroft, S.; Kjeang, E.

    2014-07-01

    A cyclic open circuit voltage (COCV) accelerated stress test (AST) is designed to screen the simultaneous effect of chemical and mechanical membrane degradation in polymer electrolyte fuel cells. The AST consists of a steady state OCV phase to accelerate chemical degradation and periodic wet/dry cycles to provide mechanical degradation. The membrane degradation process induced by COCV AST operation is analyzed using a standard MEA with PFSA ionomer membrane. The OCV shows an initially mild decay rate followed by a higher decay rate in the later stages of the experiment. Membrane failure, defined by a threshold convective hydrogen leak rate, is obtained after 160 h of operation. Uniform membrane thinning is observed with pinhole formation being the primary cause of failure. Mechanical tensile tests reveal that the membrane becomes stiffer and more brittle during AST operation, which contributes to mechanical failure upon cyclic humidity induced stress. Solid state 19F NMR spectroscopy and fluoride emission measurements demonstrate fluorine loss from both side chain and main chain upon membrane exposure to high temperature and low humidity OCV condition.

  3. Next-generation polymer-electrolyte-membrane fuel cells using titanium foam as gas diffusion layer.

    PubMed

    Choi, Hyelim; Kim, Ok-Hee; Kim, Minhyoung; Choe, Heeman; Cho, Yong-Hun; Sung, Yung-Eun

    2014-05-28

    In spite of their high conversion efficiency and no emission of greenhouse gases, polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) suffer from prohibitively high cost and insufficient life-span of their core component system, the membrane electrode assembly (MEA). In this paper, we are proposing Ti foam as a promising alternative electrode material in the MEA. Indeed, it showed a current density of 462 mA cm(-2), being ca. 166% higher than that with the baseline Toray 060 gas diffusion layer (GDL) (278 mA cm(-2)) with 200 ccm oxygen supply at 0.7 V, when used as the anode GDL, because of its unique three-dimensional strut structure promoting highly efficient catalytic reactions. Furthermore, it exhibits superior corrosion resistance with almost no thickness and weight changes in the accelerated corrosion test, as opposed to considerable reductions in the weight and thickness of the conventional GDL. We believe that this paper suggests profound implications in the commercialization of PEMFCs, because the metallic Ti foam provides a longer-term reliability and chemical stability, which can reduce the loss of Pt catalyst and, hence, the cost of PEMFCs.

  4. Transport phenomena in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells via voltage loss breakdown

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flick, Sarah; Dhanushkodi, Shankar R.; Mérida, Walter

    2015-04-01

    This study presents a voltage loss breakdown method based on in-situ experimental data to systematically analyze the different overpotentials of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell. This study includes a systematic breakdown of the anodic overpotentials via the use of a reference electrode system. This work demonstrates the de-convolution of the individual overpotentials for both anode and cathode side, including the distinction between mass-transport overpotentials in cathode porous transport layer (PTL) and electrode, based on in-situ polarization tests under different operating conditions. This method is used to study the relationship between mass-transport losses inside the cathode catalyst layer (CL) and the PTL for both a single layer and two-layer PTL configuration. We conclude that the micro-porous layer (MPL) significantly improves the water removal within the cell, especially inside the cathode electrode, and therefore the mass transport within the cathode CL. This study supports the theory that the MPL on the cathode leads to an increase in water permeation from cathode to anode due to its function as a capillary barrier. This is reflected in increased anodic mass-transport overpotential, decreased ohmic losses and decreased cathode mass-transport losses, especially in the cathode electrode.

  5. Creep properties of catalyst coated membranes for polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sadeghi Alavijeh, Alireza; Khorasany, Ramin M. H.; Habisch, Aronne; Wang, G. Gary; Kjeang, Erik

    2015-07-01

    Creep as a time-dependent mechanical damage acting either independently or in conjunction with other degradation mechanisms is known to reduce the membrane durability of polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs). Due to the important ionomer coupling of membrane and catalyst layers in PEFCs, the present work evaluates membrane creep when constrained within a catalyst coated membrane (CCM). Three key factors dominating creep life in commonly used perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) ionomer membranes, including creep stress, temperature, and relative humidity, were investigated by applying ex-situ creep loading and unloading experiments under controlled temperature and humidity conditions. The creep strain and recovery of the CCM were found to be highly dependent on the environmental conditions and applied stress levels, where the temperature effect on creep strain was the most significant. Repetitive creep - recovery cycles revealed that significant creep damage can accumulate in the material over time. This accumulated creep damage was found to be independent of the loading frequency while both peak strain and permanent deformation increased with the stress duration. Based on the present findings, it is recommended to reduce the operating temperature and ensure adequate membrane hydration in order to mitigate harmful creep effects in PEFCs.

  6. 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.

  7. Order-disorder transitions in gadolinium zirconate: A potential electrolyte material in solid oxide fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Meilicke, S.; Haile, S.

    1995-12-31

    Rare-earth, yttrium, and calcium doped zirconates are the materials of choice for electrolytes in solid oxide fuel cells. The dopant in these materials serves not only to stabilized the cubic phase of zirconia, but also to introduce anion defects that presumably increase the ionic conductivity. In order to understand the relationships between anion defect distribution, thermal history and ionic conductivity, the structural properties of gadolinium zirconate, Gd{sub 2}Zr{sub 2}O{sub 7}, have been examined via high-temperature x-ray powder diffraction. Gadolinium zirconate is an ideal material for such a structure-property-processing study: it shows ordering of defects at low temperatures, taking on a pyrochlore structure, and disordering at elevated temperature, taking on a defect fluorite structure. Diffraction experiments, performed as functions of time and temperature, confirmed the transition temperature to lie between 1,500 and 1,550 C. They also revealed that the transformation takes place most rapidly just below the transition temperature, indicating that the ordering process is kinetically constrained at low temperatures. Moreover, x-ray data collected at room temperature from quenched samples were found to be as useful, if not more so, than those collected in situ at high temperature. The latter are affected by thermal scattering, severely compromising data quality.

  8. Modeling the phenomena of dehydration and flooding of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerteisen, Dietmar; Heilmann, Timothy; Ziegler, Christoph

    A one-dimensional, two-phase, transient PEM fuel cell model including gas diffusion layer, cathode catalyst layer and membrane is developed. The electrode is assumed to consist of a network of dispersed Pt/C forming spherically shaped agglomerated zones that are filled with electrolyte. Water is modeled in all three phases: vapor, liquid and dissolved in the ionomer to capture the effect of dehydration of the ionomer as well as flooding of the porous media. The anode is modeled as a sophisticated spatially reduced interface. Motivated by environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM) images of contact angles for microscopic water droplets on fibers of the gas diffusion layer, we introduce the feature of immobile saturation. A step change of the saturation between the catalyst layer and the gas diffusion layer is modeled based on the assumption of a continuous capillary pressure at the interface. The model is validated against voltammetry experiments under various humidification conditions which all show hysteresis effects in the mass transport limited region. The transient saturation profiles clearly show that insufficient liquid water removal causes pore flooding, which is responsible for the oxygen mass transport limitation at high current density values. The simulated and measured current responses from chronoamperometry experiments are compared and analyzed.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Microbial fuel cells: the effects of configurations, electrolyte solutions, and electrode materials on power generation.

    PubMed

    Li, Fengxiang; Sharma, Yogesh; Lei, Yu; Li, Baikun; Zhou, Qixing

    2010-01-01

    This objective of this study is to conduct a systematic investigation of the effects of configurations, electrolyte solutions, and electrode materials on the performance of microbial fuel cells (MFC). A comparison of voltage generation, power density, and acclimation period of electrogenic bacteria was performed for a variety of MFCs. In terms of MFC configuration, membrane-less two-chamber MFCs (ML-2CMFC) had lower internal resistance, shorter acclimation period, and higher voltage generation than the conventional two-chamber MFCs (2CMFC). In terms of anode solutions (as electron donors), the two-chamber MFCs fed with anaerobic treated wastewater (AF-2CMFCs) had the power density 19 times as the two-chamber MFCs fed with acetate (NO(3)(-)2CMFCs). In terms of cathode solutions (as electron acceptors), AF-2CMFCs with ferricyanide had higher voltage generation than that of ML-2CMFCs with nitrate (NO(3)(-)ML-2CMFCs). In terms of electrode materials, ML-2CMFCs with granular-activated carbon as the electrode (GAC-ML-2CMFCs) had a power density 2.5 times as ML-2CMFCs with carbon cloth as the electrode. GAC-ML-2CMFCs had the highest columbic efficiency and power output among all the MFCs tested, indicating that the high surface area of GAC facilitate the biofilm formation, accelerate the degradation of organic substrates, and improve power generation.

  13. Experimental dissection of oxygen transport resistance in the components of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oh, Hwanyeong; Lee, Yoo il; Lee, Guesang; Min, Kyoungdoug; Yi, Jung S.

    2017-03-01

    Oxygen transport resistance is a major obstacle for obtaining high performance in a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). To distinguish the major components that inhibit oxygen transport, an experimental method is established to dissect the oxygen transport resistance of the components of the PEMFC, such as the substrate, micro-porous layer (MPL), catalyst layer, and ionomer film. The Knudsen numbers are calculated to determine the types of diffusion mechanisms at each layer by measuring the pore sizes with either mercury porosimetry or BET analysis. At the under-saturated condition where condensation is mostly absent, the molecular diffusion resistance is dissected by changing the type of inert gas, and ionomer film permeation is separated by varying the inlet gas humidity. Moreover, the presence of the MPL and the variability of the substrate thickness allow the oxygen transport resistance at each component of a PEMFC to be dissected. At a low relative humidity of 50% and lower, an ionomer film had the largest resistance, while the contribution of the MPL was largest for the other humidification conditions.

  14. Impacts of air bleeding on membrane degradation in polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inaba, Minoru; Sugishita, Masashi; Wada, Junpei; Matsuzawa, Koichi; Yamada, Hirohisa; Tasaka, Akimasa

    A long-term accelerated test (4600 h) of a 25 cm 2 single cell with excess air bleeding (5%) was carried out to investigate the effects of air bleeding on membrane degradation in polymer electrolyte fuel cells. The rate of membrane degradation was negligibly low (fluoride-ion release rate = 1.3 × 10 -10 mol cm -2 h -1 in average) up to 2000 h. However, membrane degradation rate was gradually increased after 2000 h. The CO tolerance of the anode gradually dropped, which indicated that the anode catalyst was deteriorated during the test. The results of the rotating ring-disk electrode measurements revealed that deterioration of Pt-Ru/C catalyst by potential cycling greatly enhances H 2O 2 formation in oxygen reduction reaction in the anode potential range (∼0 V). Furthermore, membrane degradation rate of the MEA increased after the anode catalyst was forced to be deteriorated by potential cycling. It was concluded that excess air bleeding deteriorated the anode catalyst, which greatly enhanced H 2O 2 formation upon air bleeding and resulted in the increased membrane degradation rate after 2000 h.

  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. Effect of CO and oxygen on anode degradation in polymer electrolyte fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamori, Yoji; Suzuki, Naotoshi; Tanaka, Kazuhisa; Aoki, Tsutomu; Nohira, Toshiyuki; Hagiwara, Rika

    2013-11-01

    CO tolerance of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell was measured before and after accelerated degradation cell operation in which hydrogen with 200, 500, 1000, and 1500 ppm of CO was supplied to the anode and air was supplied to the cathode in the open-circuit condition. The decrease in CO tolerance was more pronounced when the concentration of CO was increased. However, CO tolerance did not decrease when nitrogen, instead of air, was supplied to the cathode. The amount of fluoride ion in the drain water during the cell operation increased when hydrogen containing 500 ppm CO was supplied to the anode, which indicates the decomposition of perfluorocarbon ionomer. It was found that the combination of CO and oxygen deteriorated the ionomer because H2O2 that was produced as a by-product of the oxygen reduction reaction cannot be completely reduced to water. This is due to the decreased surface area of the Pt-Ru alloy catalyst because of CO adsorption, which results in the degradation of the CO tolerance.

  17. A new composite cathode for intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells with zirconia-based electrolytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Cuijuan; Huang, Kevin

    2017-02-01

    Improving the electrocatalytic activity of electrode materials is vitally important to achieve practically meaningful performance for intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells (IT-SOFCs). The present work develops a composite cathode consisting of an electronic conductor Sr-doped LaMnO3 (LSM) and an ionic conductor Y- and Ce- co-doped Bi2O3 (BYC7). BYC7 is an excellent oxide-ion conductor, exhibiting a high and stable ionic conductivity of 0.008 S cm-1 at 500 °C. The polarization resistance of LSM-BYC7 cathode in a symmetrical cell with doped ZrO2 as electrolyte varies from 5.76 at 500 °C to 0.25 Ω cm2 at 650 °C. The surface diffusion and charge transfer at the triple phase boundaries are the rate determining steps based on the dependence of polarization resistance on partial pressure of oxygen. The maximum power density of a ZrO2-based anode-supported cell with LSM-BYC7 composite cathode is 56.4, 154.6, 327.9, and 451.0 mW cm-2 at 500, 550, 600, and 650 °C respectively. AC impedance analysis reveals that the performance of IT-SOFC prepared in this study is actually limited by the anode, not by LSM-BYC7 cathode.

  18. Investigation of a chemically regenerative redox cathode polymer electrolyte fuel cell using a phosphomolybdovanadate polyoxoanion catholyte

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gunn, Natasha L. O.; Ward, David B.; Menelaou, Constantinos; Herbert, Matthew A.; Davies, Trevor J.

    2017-04-01

    Chemically regenerative redox cathode (CRRC) polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs), where the direct reduction of oxygen is replaced by an in-direct mechanism occurring outside of the cell, are attractive to study as they offer a solution to the cost and durability problems faced by conventional PEFCs. This study reports the first detailed characterization of a high performance complete CRRC PEFC system, where catholyte is circulated between the cathode side of the cell and an air-liquid oxidation reactor called the ;regenerator;. The catholyte is an aqueous solution of phosphomolybdovanadate polyoxoanion and is assessed in terms of its performance within both a small single cell and corresponding regenerator over a range of redox states. Two methods for determining regeneration rate are proposed and explored. Expressing the regeneration rate as a ;chemical; current is suggested as a useful means of measuring re-oxidation rate with respect to the cell. The analysis highlights the present limitations to the technology and provides an indication of the maximum power density achievable, which is highly competitive with conventional PEFC systems.

  19. Global Failure Criteria for Positive/Electrolyte/Negative Structure of Planar Solid Oxide Fuel Cell

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Wenning N.; Sun, Xin; Khaleel, Mohammad A.; Qu, Jianmin

    2009-07-15

    Due to mismatch of the coefficients of thermal expansion of various layers in the positive/electrolyte/negative (PEN) structures of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC), thermal stresses and warpage on the PEN are unavoidable due to the temperature changes from the stress-free sintering temperature to room temperature during the PEN manufacturing process. In the meantime, additional mechanical stresses will also be created by mechanical flattening during the stack assembly process. In order to ensure the structural integrity of the cell and stack of SOFC, it is necessary to develop failure criteria for SOFC PEN structures based on the initial flaws occurred during cell sintering and stack assembly. In this paper, the global relationship between the critical energy release rate and critical curvature and maximum displacement of the warped cells caused by the temperature changes as well as mechanical flattening process is established so that possible failure of SOFC PEN structures may be predicted deterministically by the measurement of the curvature and displacement of the warped cells.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Computational study of forced air-convection in open-cathode polymer electrolyte fuel cell stacks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sasmito, A. P.; Lum, K. W.; Birgersson, E.; Mujumdar, A. S.

    A mathematical model for a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) stack with an open-cathode manifold, where a fan provides the oxidant as well as cooling, is derived and studied. In short, the model considers two-phase flow and conservation of mass, momentum, species and energy in the ambient and PEFC stack, as well as conservation of charge and a phenomenological membrane and agglomerate model for the PEFC stack. The fan is resolved as an interfacial condition with a polynomial expression for the static pressure increase over the fan as a function of the fan velocity. The results suggest that there is strong correlation between fan power rating, the height of cathode flow-field and stack performance. Further, the placement of the fan - either in blowing or suction mode - does not give rise to a discernable difference in stack performance for the flow-field considered (metal mesh). Finally, it is noted that the model can be extended to incorporate other types of flow-fields and, most importantly, be employed for design and optimization of forced air-convection open-cathode PEFC stacks and adjacent fans.

  3. Performance/design formulation for a solid polymer based acid electrolyte hydrogen/air fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sandhu, S. S.; Fellner, J. P.

    Mathematical development of preliminary performance/design equations for a hydrogen/air, solid polymer acid electrolyte based fuel cell is presented. The development is based on the principles of transport phenomena, intrinsic electrochemical kinetics, and classical thermodynamics. The developed formulation is intended to quantitatively describe the mass fraction profiles of the chemical species, hydrogen and oxygen, in the cell anode and cathode diffusion and electrocatalytic reaction layers as a function of the distance in the proton transport direction at an axial distance parallel to the cell anode or cathode channel flow. Given the cell geometry, chemical species and charge transport, and intrinsic electrochemical kinetic parameters, the developed formulation can be employed to compute the species local mass fluxes and predict the cell anode and cathode cell overvoltages for a desired geometric current density. The presented single cell performance predictive formulation has also been linked to the formulation needed to predict the performance of a stack of a number of identical PEMFCs connected in series.

  4. 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

  5. Effect of proton-conduction in electrolyte on electric efficiency of multi-stage solid oxide fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Matsuzaki, Yoshio; Tachikawa, Yuya; Somekawa, Takaaki; Hatae, Toru; Matsumoto, Hiroshige; Taniguchi, Shunsuke; Sasaki, Kazunari

    2015-07-28

    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).

  6. Evaluation of a process for aqueous alkaline digestion of biomass to produce a liquid fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Alexander, B.F.

    1983-01-01

    The aqueous alkaline digestion of microcrystalline cellulose was studied over the temperature range of 480-540/sup 0/F (249-282/sup 0/C), residence times of 10-25 minutes and catalyst (Na/sub 2/CO/sub 3/) loadings of 11-76 g/kg. Addition of carbon monoxide and synthesis gas (50/50 mole ratio CO/H/sub 2/) and recycle of aqueous phase products were also investigated. The information gained from the experimental program plus that available in the literature was used to design a plant for conversion of wood to fuel oil. The cost of producing oil was then calculated based on this design. A maximum recoverable oil yield of about 28 wt%, based on dry cellulose was achieved without recycle. This was generally obtained at 510-540/sup 0/F (266-282/sup 0/C), residence times of 20 minutes or longer and catalyst loadings of 50-60 g/kg. Adding up to 300 psi of CO or 300 psi each of CO and H/sub 2/ before the run had no effect on oil yields. The maximum could be achieved at several combinations of conditions, and although the reaction rate was increased by higher temperatures or by adding CO, the final oil yield was the same. As much as half of the water soluble product was converted to oil by passing it back through the reactor with fresh cellulose and catalyst. This increased the overall yield to 36 wt% from 27 wt%, based on cellulose. The oil phase product contained about 20 wt% oxygen and the aqueous phase close to 50 wt%. The oil was also quite viscous, with a pour point of around 80/sup 0/F (27/sup 0/C). The plant design is different from those proposed by Bechtel, Stanford Research Institute and others in three ways: no CO is fed to the reactor, reaction conditions are relatively mild (520/sup 0/F, 271/sup 0/C) and a moderate hydrogenation (1440 SCF H/sub 2//bbl) step is used to stabilize the oil. The cost of producing the oil is estimated to be $88-146/bbl, depending on the wood price ($15-45/dry ton) and oil yield in a commercial plant (37-47 wt%, based on dry wood).

  7. 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.

  8. Hybrid regenerative fuel cell systems for space applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Saucier, David R.

    1988-01-01

    This paper describes a hybrid regenerative fuel cell (RFC) system for space application, which is made up of an alkaline fuel cell (Space Shuttle fuel cell) and an acid electrolysis unit (solid polymer electrolyte). In the RFC, gas produced from the acid electrolysis unit and water produced by the alkaline fuel cell are repeatedly reacted in the other unit. The results of RFC's tests indicate that the system is feasible in terms of fluid/unit compatibility. In addition, the fuel cell thermal-control system proved capable of controlling fuel cell temperatures throughout long open-circuit periods. Diagrams of the RFC and its subsystems are included.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khudhayer, Wisam J.

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

  10. Enhanced supercapacitive performance of delaminated two-dimensional titanium carbide/carbon nanotube composites in alkaline electrolyte

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Pengtao; Zhang, Ruijun; Jia, Jin; Wu, Chao; Zhou, Aiguo; Xu, Jiang; Zhang, Xuesha

    2015-06-01

    MXenes, a new family of two-dimensional materials, are terminated by O, OH and F groups. The existence of the oxygen-containing functional groups indicates a potential application in supercapacitor based on a redox mechanism. However, the irreversible stacking of MXenes will lead to an insufficient utilization of these functional groups and thus a decrease in the supercapacitive performance. To solve the problem, we synthesized a composite material comprised of carbon nanotube (CNT) and Ti3C2 sheets (d-Ti3C2) delaminated from MXenes by ultrasonic stirring. The FTIR result suggests that the ultrasonication has no significant effect on the oxygen-containing functional groups. The resultant composites exhibit significantly higher volumetric capacitance and better capacitance retention (during 5-100 mv s-1) than d-Ti3C2. A highest volumetric capacitance of 393 F cm-3 at 5 mv s-1 in KOH electrolyte can be obtained when the weight ratio of d-Ti3C2 to CNT is 2:1. In addition, the volumetric capacitance has no significant degradation even after 10000 cycles in cycling stability test, showing an excellent cycling stability compared with metal oxides. These enhanced electrochemical performances can be ascribed to the introduction of CNTs, which impede the stacking of Ti3C2, enlarge the distance between Ti3C2 sheets and improve the electrical conductivity.

  11. Carbon xerogels as Pt catalyst supports for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel-cell applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Bing; Creager, Stephen

    Carbon xerogels prepared by the resorcinol-formaldehyde (RF) sol-gel method with ambient-pressure drying were explored as Pt catalyst supports for polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells. Carbon xerogel samples without Pt catalyst (CX) were characterized by the N 2 sorption method (BET, BJH, others), and carbon xerogel samples with supported Pt catalyst (Pt/CX) were characterized by thermogravimetry (TGA), powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), electron microscopy (SEM, TEM) and ex situ cyclic voltammetry for thin-film electrode samples supported on glassy carbon and studied in a sulfuric acid electrolyte. Experiments on Pt/CX were made in comparison with commercially obtained samples of Pt catalyst supported on a Vulcan XC-72R carbon black support (Pt/XC-72R). CX samples had high BET surface area with a relatively narrow pore size distribution with a peak pore size near 14 nm. Pt contents for both Pt/CX and Pt/XC-72R were near 20 wt % as determined by TGA. Pt catalyst particles on Pt/CX had a mean diameter near 3.3 nm, slightly larger than for Pt/XC-72R which was near 2.8 nm. Electrochemically active surface areas (ESA) for Pt as determined by ex situ CV measurements of H adsorption/desorption were similar for Pt/XC-72R and Pt/CX but those from CO stripping were slightly higher for Pt/XC-72R than for Pt/CX. Membrane-electrode assemblies (MEAs) were fabricated from both Pt/CX and Pt/XC-72R on Nafion 117 membranes using the decal transfer method, and MEA characteristics and single-cell performance were evaluated via in situ cyclic voltammetry, polarization curve, and current-interrupt and high-frequency impedance methods. In situ CV yielded ESA values for Pt/XC-72R MEAs that were similar to those obtained by ex situ CV in sulfuric acid, but those for Pt/CX MEAs were smaller (by 13-17%), suggesting that access of Nafion electrolyte to Pt particles in Pt/CX electrodes is diminished relative to that for Pt/XC-72R electrodes. Polarization curve analysis at low current

  12. 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.

  13. Effect of short-term alkaline intervention on the performance of buffer-free single-chamber microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Yang, Na; Ren, Yueping; Li, Xiufen; Wang, Xinhua

    2017-06-01

    Anolyte acidification is a drawback restricting the electricity generation performance of the buffer-free microbial fuel cells (MFC). In this paper, a small amount of alkali-treated anion exchange resin (AER) was placed in front of the anode in the KCl mediated single-chamber MFC to slowly release hydroxyl ions (OH(-)) and neutralize the H(+) ions that are generated by the anodic reaction in two running cycles. This short-term alkaline intervention to the KCl anolyte has promoted the proliferation of electroactive Geobacter sp. and enhanced the self-buffering capacity of the KCl-AER-MFC. The pH of the KCl anolyte in the KCl-AER-MFC increased and became more stable in each running cycle compared with that of the KCl-MFC after the short-term alkaline intervention. The maximum power density (Pmax) of the KCl-AER-MFC increased from 307.5mW·m(-2) to 542.8mW·m(-2), slightly lower than that of the PBS-MFC (640.7mW·m(-2)). The coulombic efficiency (CE) of the KCl-AER-MFC increased from 54.1% to 61.2% which is already very close to that of the PBS-MFC (61.9%). The results in this paper indicate that short-term alkaline intervention to the anolyte is an effective strategy to further promote the performance of buffer-free MFCs.

  14. A facile synthesis of highly stable multiblock poly(arylene ether)s based alkaline membranes for fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jasti, Amaranadh; Shahi, Vinod K.

    2014-12-01

    Herein, we are disclosing simple route for the preparation of alkaline membranes (AMs) based on aminated multiblock poly(arylene ether)s (AMPEs) synthesized by nucleophilic substitution-poly condensation followed by quaternization and alkalization reactions. In this procedure, four quaternary ammonium groups are successfully introduced without use of carcinogenic reagents such as chloromethylmethyl ether (CMME). Hydrophilic/hydrophobic phase separation is responsible for their high hydroxide conductivity (∼150 mS cm-1 at 80 °C) due to development of interconnected ion transport pathway. AMs are exhibiting good alkaline stability due to the presence of two vicinal quaternary ammonium groups and avoid degradation such as Sommelet-Hauser rearrangement and Hofmann elimination. Vicinal quaternary ammonium groups also resist nucleophilic (OH-) attack and suppress the Stevens rearrangement as well as SN2 substitution reaction due to stearic hindrance. Optimized AM (AMPE-M20N15 (55% DCM)) exhibits about 0.95 V open circuit voltage (OCV) and 48.8 mW cm-2 power density at 65 °C in alkaline direct methanol fuel cell (ADMFC) operation. These results suggest promising begin for the preparation of stable and conductive AMs for ADMFC applications and useful for developing hydroxide conductive materials.

  15. 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.

  16. Decoration of Micro-/Nanoscale Noble Metal Particles on 3D Porous Nickel Using Electrodeposition Technique as Electrocatalyst for Hydrogen Evolution Reaction in Alkaline Electrolyte.

    PubMed

    Qian, Xin; Hang, Tao; Shanmugam, Sangaraju; Li, Ming

    2015-07-29

    Micro-/nanoscale noble metal (Ag, Au, and Pt) particle-decorated 3D porous nickel electrodes for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) in alkaline electrolyte are fabricated via galvanostatic electrodeposition technique. The developed electrodes are characterized by field emission scanning electron microscopy and electrochemical measurements including Tafel polarization curves, cyclic voltammetry, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. It is clearly shown that the enlarged real surface area caused by 3D highly porous dendritic structure has greatly reinforced the electrocatalytic activity toward HER. Comparative analysis of electrodeposited Ag, Au, and Pt particle-decorated porous nickel electrodes for HER indicates that both intrinsic property and size of the noble metal particles can lead to distinct catalytic activities. Both nanoscale Au and Pt particles have further reinforcement effect toward HER, whereas microscale Ag particles exhibit the reverse effect. As an effective 3D hydrogen evolution cathode, the nanoscale Pt-particle-decorated 3D porous nickel electrode demonstrates the highest catalytic activity with an extremely low overpotential of -0.045 V for hydrogen production, a considerable exchange current density of 9.47 mA cm(-2) at 25 °C, and high durability in long-term electrolysis, all of which are attributed to the intrinsic catalytic property and the extremely small size of Pt particles.

  17. Design of a non-precious metal electrocatalyst for alkaline electrolyte oxygen reduction by using soybean biomass as the nitrogen source of electrocatalytically active center structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Chao-Zhong; Liao, Wen-Li; Chen, Chang-Guo

    2014-12-01

    The development of less expensive, more active, and more stable catalyst substitute for Pt/C catalysts for oxygen reduction has recently become a hot topic. In this paper, we report a new strategy to design nitrogen-doped non-precious metal catalysts via the copyrolysis of metallic iron, soybean biomass, and carbon support at high temperatures. The results show that the nitrogen in electrocatalysts is mainly in the form of pyridinic and pyrrolic N species. The metallic Fe in the precursor can facilitate the transformation of quaternary N with a three-dimensional structure to planar pyridinic and pyrrolic N inside carbon matrix during pyrolysis, thereby improving the electrocatalytic activity of the prepared catalysts. We suggest that the planar N species may be the catalytically active center structures and may contribute to the enhancement of oxygen reduction reaction performance in an alkaline electrolyte. The prepared catalyst has superior tolerance against methanol crossover effect and outstanding stability compared with commercial Pt/C catalysts.

  18. Anhydrous proton-conducting electrolyte membranes based on hyperbranched polymer with phosphonic acid groups for high-temperature fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Itoh, Takahito; Hirai, Keita; Tamura, Masashi; Uno, Takahiro; Kubo, Masataka; Aihara, Yuichi

    The two different molecular weight hyperbranched polymers (HBP(L)-PA-Ac and HBP(H)-PA-Ac) with both phosphonic acid group as a functional group and acryloyl group as a cross-linker at the chain ends were successfully synthesized as a new thermally stable proton-conducting electrolyte. The cross-linked electrolyte membranes (CL-HBP-PA) were prepared by their thermal polymerizations using benzoyl peroxide and their ionic conductivities under dry condition and thermal properties were investigated. The ionic conductivities of the low molecular weight CL-HBP(L)-PA membrane and the high molecular weight CL-HBP(H)-PA membrane were found to be 1.2 × 10 -5 and 2.6 × 10 -6 S cm -1, respectively, at 150 °C under dry condition, and showed the Vogel-Tamman-Fulcher (VTF) type temperature dependence. Both membranes were thermally stable up to 300 °C, and they had suitable thermal stability as electrolyte membranes for the high-temperature fuel cells under dry condition. Fuel cell measurements using a single membrane electrode assembly cell with both cross-linked membranes were successfully performed.

  19. 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

  20. Influence of binder properties on kinetic and transport processes in polymer electrolyte fuel cell electrodes.

    PubMed

    Sambandam, Satheesh; Ramani, Vijay

    2010-06-21

    The objectives of this study are to estimate the contributions of kinetic, ohmic and mass transport overpotentials to the overall voltage loss in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) electrodes and to relate these overpotentials to electrode binder properties such as ionic conductivity, ion exchange capacity (IEC) and O(2) permeability. The model electrode binders studied were perfluorosulfonic acid ionomers (PFSA; of IECs 1.35 meq g(-1) and 0.95 meq g(-1)), sulfonated poly ether ether ketone (SPEEK; of IECs 1.35, 1.75 and 2.1 meq g(-1)) and sulfonated poly sulfone (SPSU; of IEC 1.5 meq g(-1)). The O(2) permeability of these binders varied from 0.15 x 10(-12) mol cm(-1) s(-1) for SPSU to 6 x 10(-12) mol cm(-1) s(-1) for PFSA IEC 0.95 meq g(-1) at 80 degrees C and 75%RH. The electrodes prepared were characterized by cyclic voltammetry to estimate electrochemically active surface area (ECA) of platinum. Steady state polarization (V-I) experiments were performed with hydrogen as fuel and oxidants including O(2), 21% O(2)/N(2) (air), 21% O(2)/He (Helox) and 4% O(2)/N(2). The V-I data obtained was analyzed to determine the relative contributions of the different sources of polarization in the electrode. Electrodes prepared with PFSA binders had similar ECAs of 28 m(2) g(-1)-Pt, while those prepared using hydrocarbon binders had an ECA of 10 to 14 m(2) g(-1)-Pt at 80 degrees C and 75%RH. The same trend was seen in mass activity. At optimized binder loadings, a semi-quantitative relationship was obtained relating binder O(2) permeability to the mass transport losses within the electrode. Furthermore, a novel semi-quantitative method of plotting helox-air voltage gain against O(2)-air gain was employed to probe the O(2) transport limitations in the electrodes. Based on this analysis, it is suggested that the SPEEK and SPSU bound electrodes suffered from binder phase diffusion limitations in addition to gas phase diffusion limitation, while the PFSA bound

  1. 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).

  2. Effect of capillary pressure on liquid water removal in the cathode gas diffusion layer of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Wanyuan; Kurihara, Eru; Oshima, Nobuyuki

    In order to investigate the effect of capillary pressure on the transport of liquid water in the cathode gas diffusion layer (GDL) of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell, a one-dimensional steady-state mathematical model was developed, including the effect of temperature on the capillary pressure. Numerical results indicate that the liquid water saturation significantly increases with increases in the operating temperature of the fuel cell. An elevated operating temperature has an undesirable influence on the removal of liquid water inside the GDL. A reported peculiar phenomenon in which the flooding of the fuel cell under a high operating temperature and an over-saturated environment is more serious in a GDL combined with a micro-porous layer (MPL) than in a GDL without an MPL [Lim and Wang, Electrochim. Acta 49 (2004), 4149-4156] is explained based on the present analysis.

  3. Methods for continuous direct carbon fuel cell operation with a circulating electrolyte slurry

    DOEpatents

    Harjes, Daniel I.; Dineen, Jr., D. Andrew; Guo, Liang; Calo, Joseph M.; Bloomfield, Valerie J.

    2017-02-07

    The present invention relates to methods and systems related to fuel cells, and in particular, to direct carbon fuel cells. The methods and systems relate to cleaning and removal of components utilized and produced during operation of the fuel cell, regeneration of components utilized during operation of the fuel cell, and generating power using the fuel cell.

  4. Al2O3 Disk Supported Si3N4 Hydrogen Purification Membrane for Low Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiaoteng; Christensen, Paul A; Kelly, Stephen M; Rocher, Vincent; Scott, Keith

    2013-12-05

    Reformate gas, a commonly employed fuel for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), contains carbon monoxide, which poisons Pt-containing anodes in such devices. A novel, low-cost mesoporous Si3N4 selective gas separation material was tested as a hydrogen clean-up membrane to remove CO from simulated feed gas to single-cell PEMFC, employing Nafion as the polymer electrolyte membrane. Polarization and power density measurements and gas chromatography showed a clear effect of separating the CO from the gas mixture; the performance and durability of the fuel cell was thereby significantly improved.

  5. 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

    2015-11-01

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

  8. TOPICAL REVIEW: Micromachined polymer electrolyte membrane and direct methanol fuel cells—a review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, Nam-Trung; Chan, Siew Hwa

    2006-04-01

    This review reports recent progress of the development of micromachined membrane-based fuel cells. The review first discusses the scaling law applied to this type of fuel cell. Impacts of miniaturization on the performance of membrane-based fuel cells are highlighted. This review includes only the two most common micro fuel cell types: proton exchange membrane micro fuel cells (PEMµFC) and direct methanol micro fuel cells (DMµFC). Furthermore, we only consider fuel cells with the active area of a single cell less than 1 square inch. Since the working principles of these fuel cell types are well known, the review only focuses on the choice of material and the design consideration of the components in the miniature fuel cell. Next, we compare and discuss the performance of different micro fuel cells published recently in the literature. Finally, this review gives an outlook on possible future development of micro fuel cell research.

  9. Alkaline falling-film fuel cell - a breakthrough in technology and cost

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tetzlaff, K. H.; Walz, R.; Gossen, C. A.

    1994-07-01

    The work described in this paper was oriented towards fuel cells for practical applications, but mainly presents data obtained using half-cells. The economic significance of these data is discussed, together with the technical concept of fuel cell power stations and for transportation applications. The proposed fuel cell will generate power at much lower costs than conventional power plants, and a zero-emission vehicle with fuel cells will operate at lower fuel cost than a car with an internal combustion engine. The simple falling-film process leads to high power densities (6 kW/l) and low cost. The details given are valid for the use of hydrogen produced from fossil energy sources. Concentrated CO2, a byproduct of this technology can be stored in discussed oil and gas fields at a very low cost to avoid global warming. Thus, this 'down-to-earth' hydrogen technology is as free from CO2 emissions as solar-hydrogen technology.

  10. 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.

  11. Dynamic behavior of water within a polymer electrolyte fuel cell membrane at low hydration levels.

    PubMed

    Pivovar, Adam M; Pivovar, Bryan S

    2005-01-20

    Protonic conduction across the membrane of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell is intimately related to the dynamic behavior of water present within the membrane. To further the understanding of water dynamics in these materials, quasielastic neutron scattering (QENS) has been used to investigate the picosecond dynamic behavior of water within a perfluorosulfonated ionomer (PFSI) membrane under increasing hydration levels from dry to saturation. Evaluation of the elastic incoherent structure factor (EISF) reveals an increase in the characteristic length-scale of confinement as the number of water molecules in the membrane increases, tending to an asymptotic value at saturation. The fraction of elastic incoherent scattering observed at high Q over all hydration levels is well fit by a simple model that assumes a single, nondiffusing hydronium ion per membrane sulfonic acid site. The quasielastic component of the fitted data indicates confined dynamic behavior for scattering vectors less than 0.7 A(-1). As such, the dynamic behavior was interpreted using continuous diffusion confined within a sphere at Q < 0.7 A(-1) and random unconstrained jump diffusion at Q > 0.7 A(-1). As the number of water molecules in the membrane increases, the characteristic residence times obtained from both models is reduced. The increased dynamical frequency is further reflected in the diffusion coefficients predicted by both models. Between low hydration (2 H2O/SO3H) and saturation (16 H2O/SO3H), the continuous spherical diffusion coefficient changes from 0.46 +/- 0.12 to 1.04 +/- 0.12 (10(-5) cm2/s) and jump diffusion indicates an increase from 1.21 +/- 0.03 to 2.14 +/- 0.08 (10(-5) cm2/s). Overall, the dynamic behavior of water has been quantified over different length scale regimes, the results of which may be rationalized on the basis of the formation of water clusters in the hydrophilic domain that expand toward an asymptotic upper limit with increased hydration.

  12. A model-based parametric analysis of a direct ethanol polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andreadis, G. M.; Podias, A. K. M.; Tsiakaras, P. E.

    In the present work, a model-based parametric analysis of the performance of a direct ethanol polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (DE-PEMFC) is conducted with the purpose to investigate the effect of several parameters on the cell's operation. The analysis is based on a previously validated one-dimensional mathematical model that describes the operation of a DE-PEMFC in steady state. More precisely, the effect of several operational and structural parameters on (i) the ethanol crossover rate from the anode to the cathode side of the cell, (ii) the parasitic current generation (mixed potential formation) and (iii) the total cell performance is investigated. According to the model predictions it was found that the increase of the ethanol feed concentration leads to higher ethanol crossover rates, higher parasitic currents and higher mixed potential values resulting in the decrease of the cell's power density. However there is an optimum ethanol feed concentration (approximately 1.0 mol L -1) for which the cell power density reaches its highest value. The platinum (Pt) loading of the anode and the cathode catalytic layers affects strongly the cell performance. Higher values of Pt loading of the catalytic layers increase the specific reaction surface area resulting in higher cell power densities. An increase of the anode catalyst loading compared to an equal one of the cathode catalyst loading has greater impact on the cell's power density. Another interesting finding is that increasing the diffusion layers' porosity up to a certain extent, improves the cell power density despite the fact that the parasitic current increases. This is explained by the fact that the reactants' concentrations over the catalysts are increased, leading to lower activation overpotential values, which are the main source of the total cell overpotentials. Moreover, the use of a thicker membrane leads to lower ethanol crossover rate, lower parasitic current and lower mixed potential values

  13. Fabrication of novel nanomaterials for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells and self-cleaning applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Lei

    Materials scientists have embraced nanoscale materials as allowing new degrees of freedom in materials design, as well as producing completely new and enhanced properties compared with conventional materials. However, most nanofabrication methods are tedious and expensive, or require extreme conditions. This thesis presents efficient methods for generating nanostructured materials under relatively mild chemistry and experimental conditions. The basis of most of this work is porous anodic aluminum oxide (p-AAO) membranes, which have hexagonally close-packed pores and were fabricated following a two-step aluminum anodization procedure. Partially removing the barrier layer of a p-AAO membrane enabled the preparation of silver nanorod arrays using a very simple electrodepostition procedure. One dimensional (1-D) alumina nanostructures were also electrochemically synthesized on the surface of a p-AAO membrane by carefully controlling the anodization parameters. Polyacrylonitrile nanofibers containing platinum salt were fabricated by polymerization of acrylonitrile in p-AAO templates. Subsequent pyrolysis resulted in carbon nanofibers wherein the platinum salt is reduced in-situ to elemental Pt. The Pt nanoparticles are dispersed throughout the carbon nanofibers, have a narrow size range, and are single crystals. Rotating disc electrode voltammetry suggests that the dispersion of Pt nanocrystals in the carbon nanofiber matrix should exhibit excellent electrocatalytic activity. The preparation of catalyst ink and the construction of membrane-electrode-assembly need to be optimized to get better performance in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. Platinum nanoparticles embedded in carbon fibers were also prepared using electrospinning. The prepared platinum nanoparticles are narrowly distributed in size and well dispersed in the carbon matrix. This method can provide a large yield of products with a simple setup and procedure. 2-D arrays of nanopillars made from

  14. Synthesis and performance of novel anion exchange membranes based on imidazolium ionic liquids for alkaline fuel cell applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fang, Jun; Lyu, Ming; Wang, Xin; Wu, Yongbin; Zhao, Jinbao

    2015-06-01

    Novel anion exchange membranes (AEMs) based on two types of imidazolium ionic liquids, 1-vinyl-3-methylimidazolium iodide [VMI]I and 1-vinyl-3-butylimidazolium bromide [VBI]Br, have been synthesized by copolymerization. The obtained membranes are characterized in terms of water uptake, ion exchange capacity (IEC), ionic conductivity as well as thermal and chemical stability. The conductivity reaches 0.0226 Scm-1 at 30 °C. All the membranes show excellent thermostability. The membranes are stable in 10 mol L-1 NaOH solution at 60 °C for 120 h without obvious changes in ion conductivity. Fuel cell performance using the resulting membrane has been investigated. The open circuit voltage (OCV) of the H2/O2 fuel cell is 1.07 V. A peek power density of 116 mW cm-2 is obtained at a current density of 230 mA cm-2 at 60 °C. The results demonstrate the brilliant prospect of the developed membranes for alkaline fuel cell applications.

  15. Study of flow channel geometry using current distribution measurement in a high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lobato, Justo; Cañizares, Pablo; Rodrigo, Manuel A.; Pinar, F. Javier; Úbeda, Diego

    To improve fuel cell design and performance, research studies supported by a wide variety of physical and electrochemical methods have to be carried out. Among the different techniques, current distribution measurement owns the desired feature that can be performed during operation, revealing information about internal phenomena when the fuel cell is working. Moreover, short durability is one of the main problems that is hindering fuel cell wide implementation and it is known to be related to current density heterogeneities over the electrode surface. A good flow channel geometry design can favor a uniform current density profile, hence hypothetically extending fuel cell life. With this, it was thought that a study on the influence of flow channel geometry on the performance of a high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell using current distribution measurement should be a very solid work to optimize flow field design. Results demonstrate that the 4 step serpentine and pin-type geometries distribute the reactants more effectively, obtaining a relatively flat current density map at higher current densities than parallel or interdigitated ones and yielding maximum powers up to 25% higher when using oxygen as comburent. If air is the oxidant chosen, interdigitated flow channels perform almost as well as serpentine or pin-type due to that the flow conditions are very important for this geometry.

  16. Structural rearrangement of mesostructured silica nanoparticles incorporated with ZnO catalyst and its photoactivity: Effect of alkaline aqueous electrolyte concentration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jusoh, N. W. C.; Jalil, A. A.; Triwahyono, S.; Karim, A. H.; Salleh, N. F.; Annuar, N. H. R.; Jaafar, N. F.; Firmansyah, M. L.; Mukti, R. R.; Ali, M. W.

    2015-03-01

    ZnO-incorporated mesostructured silica nanoparticles (MSN) catalysts (ZM) were prepared by the introduction of Zn ions into the framework of MSN via a simple electrochemical system in the presence of various concentrations of NH4OH aqueous solution. The physicochemical properties of the catalysts were studied by XRD, 29Si MAS NMR, nitrogen adsorption-desorption, FE-SEM, TEM, FTIR, and photoluminescence spectroscopy. Characterization results demonstrated that the alkaline aqueous electrolyte simply generated abundant silanol groups on the surface of the catalysts as a consequence of desilication to form the hierarchical-like structure of the MSN. Subsequent restructuring of the silica network by the creation of oxygen vacancies and formation of Si-O-Zn during the electrolysis, as well as formation of new Si-O-Si bonds during calcination seemed to be the main factors that enhanced the catalytic performance of photodecolorization of methyl orange. A ZM prepared in the presence of 1.0 M NH4OH (ZM-1.0) was determined to be the most effective catalyst. The catalyst displays a higher first-order kinetics rate of 3.87 × 10-1 h-1 than unsupported ZnO (1.13 × 10-1 h-1) that prepared under the same conditions in the absence of MSN. The experiment on effect of scavengers showed that hydroxyl radicals generated from the three main sources; reduced O2 at the conduction band, decomposed water at the valence band and irradiated H2O2 in the solution, are key factors that influenced the reaction. It is also noted that the recycled ZM-1.0 catalyst maintained its activity up to five runs without serious catalyst deactivation.

  17. 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.

  18. X-Ray-Based Imaging for Characterizing Heterogeneous Gas Diffusion Layers for Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    George, Michael G.

    Characterization of gas diffusion layers (GDLs) for polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells informs modeling studies and the manufacturers of next generation fuel cell materials. Identifying the physical properties related to the primary functions of the modern GDL (thermal, electrical, and mass transport) is necessary for understanding the impact of GDL design choices. X-ray micro-computed tomographic reconstructions of GDLs were studied to isolate GDL surface morphologies. Surface roughness was measured for a wide variety of samples and a sensitivity study highlighted the scale-dependence of surface roughness measurements. Furthermore, a spatially resolved distribution map of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) in the microporous layer (MPL), critical for water management and mass transport, was identified and the existence of PTFE agglomerations was highlighted. Finally, the impact of accelerated degradation on GDL wettability and water transport increases in liquid water accumulation and oxygen mass transport resistance were quantified as a result of accelerated GDL degradation.

  19. Highly durable Pt/graphene oxide and Pt/C hybrid catalyst for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jung, Ju Hae; Park, Hyang Jin; Kim, Junbom; Hur, Seung Hyun

    2014-02-01

    We report a highly durable hybrid catalyst composed of Pt/graphene oxide (GO) and Pt/C catalyst for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). The accelerated durability tests in half-cell and full cell systems shows that the addition of small amount of Pt/GO catalyst significantly enhances the durability of commercial Pt/C catalyst without sacrificing initial electrochemical active surface area (ECSA). The XRD and TEM analysis reveal that the GO not only exhibits the high resistance to Pt agglomeration but also prevents the Pt agglomeration in Pt/C catalyst by providing the anchoring sites of eluted metal ions. We believe that this simple and effective approach can open a new way to fabricate highly durable electrocatalyst for the commercialization of fuel cell vehicles.

  20. The potential of model studies for the understanding of catalyst poisoning and temperature effects in polymer electrolyte fuel cell reactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Behm, R. J.; Jusys, Z.

    In this contribution we demonstrate the potential of model studies for the understanding of electrocatalytic reactions in low-temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) operated by H 2-rich anode feed gas, in particular of the role of temperature effects and catalyst poisoning. Reviewing previous work from our laboratory and, for better comparison, focussing on carbon-supported Pt catalysts, the important role of using fuel cell relevant reaction and mass transport conditions will be outlined. The latter conditions include continuous reaction, elevated temperatures, realistic supported catalyst materials and controlled mass transport. The data show the importance of combining electrochemical techniques such as rotating disc electrode (RDE), wall-jet and flow cell measurements, and on-line differential electrochemical mass spectrometry (DEMS) under controlled mass transport conditions.

  1. Maximum equivalent power output and performance optimization analysis of an alkaline fuel cell/heat-driven cycle hybrid system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xiuqin; Chen, Jincan

    A generic model of the hybrid system consisting of an alkaline fuel cell (AFC) and a heat-driven cycle, which may work as either a refrigerator or a heat pump, is originally established. On the basis of the models of AFCs and three-heat-reservoir cycles, the equivalent power output and efficiency of the hybrid system are obtained. The performance characteristic curves of the hybrid system are represented through numerical calculation. The maximum equivalent power output and efficiency of the hybrid system are determined. Problems concerning the optimal operation of the hybrid system are discussed. The effects of the main irreversible losses on the performance of the hybrid system are investigated in detail. It is important to note that the waste heat produced in the AFC can be readily used in such a hybrid cycle.

  2. Biodiesel production using alkaline ionic liquid and adopted as lubricity additive for low-sulfur diesel fuel.

    PubMed

    Luo, Hui; Fan, Weiyu; Li, Yang; Nan, Guozhi

    2013-07-01

    Preparation of biodiesel from vegetable oils, such as rapeseed oil, soybean oil and sunflower oil, catalyzed by an alkaline ionic liquid 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium imidazolide ([Bmim]Im) was investigated in this work. The results demonstrated that [Bmim]Im exhibited high activity and the yield of biodiesel was up to 95% or more when molar ratio of methanol to vegetable oil was 6:1, ionic liquid dosage was 6 wt.%, reaction temperature was 60°C, and reaction time was 60 min. After [Bmim]Im was used for the sixth time, the yield of biodiesel still remained at about 95%. The effects of the biodiesels on the lubricity of low-sulfur diesel fuel were also investigated using the High Frequency Reciprocating Rig method, and the results showed that sunflower biodiesel and soybean biodiesel had higher lubrication performance than that of rapeseed biodiesel.

  3. Enhanced ceria solid electrolyte fuel cell development. Reduction of electronic conductivity permits use of a solid ceria electrolyte in high efficiency high power density fuel cells at temperatures compatible with metallic cell hardware

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maricle, D. L.

    1990-01-01

    The high operating temperature of zirconia based solid oxide fuel cells has been shown in many studies to have advantages for both space and terrestrial applications. The high heat rejection temperature minimizes radiator size and weight for high atmospheric and space applications. Mobile and stationary terrestrial applications take advantage of a cell temperature high enough to directly reform hydro-carbon fuels, achieving high efficiency and energy density. Government funded solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) efforts are concentrated on the monolithic and tubular cell designs employing zirconia as the oxide ion conduction membrane. Zirconia requires an operating temperature of 1000 C to achieve adequate electrolyte conductivity. All-ceramic cell structures are used in both cases, leading to fragile, failure prone cells, and manufacturing steps which are difficult to scale up and costly. IFC's molten carbonate fuel cell development demonstrates the reliability of ductile sheet metal parts used for gas flow fields, separator plates, and frames in the 650 C temperature range. Ceria doped with gadolinium has ionic conductivity at 700 C comparable to zirconia at 1000 C. At 700 C a variety of stainless steels offer acceptable strength and oxidation resistance for use as cell hardware.

  4. Functionally Graded Bismuth Oxide/Zirconia Bilayer Electrolytes for High-Performance Intermediate-Temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (IT-SOFCs).

    PubMed

    Joh, Dong Woo; Park, Jeong Hwa; Kim, Doyeub; Wachsman, Eric D; Lee, Kang Taek

    2017-03-15

    A functionally graded Bi1.6Er0.4O3 (ESB)/Y0.16Zr0.84O1.92 (YSZ) bilayer electrolyte is successfully developed via a cost-effective screen printing process using nanoscale ESB powders on the tape-cast NiO-YSZ anode support. Because of the highly enhanced oxygen incorporation process at the cathode/electrolyte interface, a novel bilayer solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) yields extremely high power density of ∼2.1 W cm(-2) at 700 °C, which is a 2.4 times increase compared to that of the YSZ single electrolyte SOFC.

  5. Measurement of the current distribution in a direct methanol fuel cell-Confirmation of parallel galvanic and electrolytic operation within one cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sauer, Dirk Uwe; Sanders, Tilman; Fricke, Birger; Baumhöfer, Thorsten; Wippermann, Klaus; Kulikovsky, Andrei A.; Schmitz, Heinz; Mergel, Jürgen

    Current production in fuel cells is typically unequally distributed along the cell surface due to inhomogeneous concentration of reactants and temperature. The inhomogeneities in fuel cells can result in reduced output power and accelerated ageing. To quantify the inhomogeneities a measurement system has been developed which allows measuring the local distribution of current and temperature in hydrogen and direct methanol fuel cells. With this system we are able to directly observe the coexistence of galvanic and electrolytic domains in a single channel direct methanol fuel cell (the electrolytic domain is the domain where electrolysis occurs in contrast to the galvanic domain where the fuel cell process takes place). The measurement device also allows for the measurement locally resolved impedance spectra.

  6. 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.

  7. Manganese oxide/poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) hybrid electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction in alkaline fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Lambert, Timothy N.; Vigil, Julian A.

    2016-08-22

    Manganese oxide/poly(3,4-ethylene-dioxythiophene) (MnOx/ PEDOT) nanostructured hybrid thin films were prepared using a simple anodic electrodeposition process from aqueous solution, and then tested for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity in alkaline electrolyte using rotating disk electrode and rotating ring disk electrode methods. MnOx/PEDOT provided improvements over MnOx-only and PEDOT-only control films, with > 0.2 V decrease in onset and half-wave overpotentials, and > 1.5 times increase in terminal current density. The MnOx/PEDOT film exhibited only a slightly lower n value (n = 3.86-3.92) than the 20% Pt/C benchmark electrocatalyst (n = 3.98) across all potentials. MnOx/PEDOT also displayed a more positive half-wave potential and superior electrocatalytic selectivity for the ORR upon methanol exposure than 20% Pt/C. Here, the high activity and synergism of MnOx/PEDOT towards the ORR is attributed to effective intermixing/dispersion of the two materials, intimate substrate contact with improved charge transfer processes attained by co-electrodepositing MnOx with PEDOT and due to the increase in Mn3+ content at the surface of the oxide.

  8. Manganese oxide/poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) hybrid electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction in alkaline fuel cells

    DOE PAGES

    Lambert, Timothy N.; Vigil, Julian A.

    2016-08-22

    Manganese oxide/poly(3,4-ethylene-dioxythiophene) (MnOx/ PEDOT) nanostructured hybrid thin films were prepared using a simple anodic electrodeposition process from aqueous solution, and then tested for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity in alkaline electrolyte using rotating disk electrode and rotating ring disk electrode methods. MnOx/PEDOT provided improvements over MnOx-only and PEDOT-only control films, with > 0.2 V decrease in onset and half-wave overpotentials, and > 1.5 times increase in terminal current density. The MnOx/PEDOT film exhibited only a slightly lower n value (n = 3.86-3.92) than the 20% Pt/C benchmark electrocatalyst (n = 3.98) across all potentials. MnOx/PEDOT also displayed a more positivemore » half-wave potential and superior electrocatalytic selectivity for the ORR upon methanol exposure than 20% Pt/C. Here, the high activity and synergism of MnOx/PEDOT towards the ORR is attributed to effective intermixing/dispersion of the two materials, intimate substrate contact with improved charge transfer processes attained by co-electrodepositing MnOx with PEDOT and due to the increase in Mn3+ content at the surface of the oxide.« less

  9. Using Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells in a Hybrid Surface Ship Propulsion Plant to Increase Fuel Efficiency

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-06-01

    designing more cleanly running propulsion plants . 15. SUBJECT TERMS 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: 17. LIMITATION OF ABSTRACT Same as Report (SAR) 18...can be confidently used in a naval engineering application. To provide reliable power for the ships service electric plant and propulsion, the fuel cell...acceptable for shipboard use. 3. Propulsion Plant Model Now that fuel cells as an alternate power source and PEM fuel cells in specific were selected as a

  10. Detonation nanodiamond introduced into samarium doped ceria electrolyte improving performance of solid oxide fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pei, Kai; Li, Hongdong; Zou, Guangtian; Yu, Richeng; Zhao, Haofei; Shen, Xi; Wang, Liying; Song, Yanpeng; Qiu, Dongchao

    2017-02-01

    A novel electrolyte materials of introducing detonation nanodiamond (DNDs) into samarium doped ceria (SDC) is reported here. 1%wt. DNDs doping SDC (named SDC/ND) can enlarge the electrotyle grain size and change the valence of partial ceria. DNDs provide the widen channel to accelerate the mobility of oxygen ions in electrolyte. Larger grain size means that oxygen ions move easier in electrolyte, it can also reduce the alternating current (AC) impedance spectra of internal grains. The lower valence of partial Ce provides more oxygen vacancies to enhance mobility rate of oxygen ions. Hence all of them enhance the transportation of oxygen ions in SDC/ND electrolyte and the OCV. Ultimately the power density of SOFC can reach 762 mw cm-2 at 800 °C (twice higher than pure SDC, which is 319 mw cm-2 at 800 °C), and it remains high power density in the intermediate temperature (600-800 °C). It is relatively high for the electrolyte supported (300 μm) cells.

  11. 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.

  12. 3-Dimensional Computational Fluid Dynamics Modeling of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Using Different Fuels

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-01-01

    Material Operating Temperature (oC) Efficiency (%) PEMFC H2, Methanol, Formic Acid Hydrated Organic Polymer < 90 40-50 AFC Pure H2 Aqueous...major types of fuel cells in practice are listed below: Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) Alkaline Fuel cell (AFC) Phosphoric Acid ...potassium hydroxide 60 – 250 50 PAFC Pure H2 Phosphoric Acid 180 - 210 40 MCFC H2, CH4, CH3OH Molten Alkali Carbonate 600 – 700 45-55

  13. Solvent activities of the fluorinated solid polymer electrolyte/water system in fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Tae Hwan; Bae, Young Chan

    We modified the lattice fluid equation-of-state by the introducing Debye-Hückel equation. A thermodynamic model taking into account the specific interaction and ionic strength between the polymer and the solvent is proposed. The proposed model successfully predicts the vapor/liquid equilibria (VLE) of solvents and the solid polymer electrolyte (SPE). A generalized lattice fluid model is modified to describe the change of water activity in solid polymer electrolyte (SPE)/water systems. The calculated activity curves using the proposed model agree remarkably well with the experimental data.

  14. Pyrolysis result of polyethylene waste as fuel for solid oxide fuel cell with samarium doped-ceria (SDC)-carbonate as electrolyte

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Syahputra, R. J. E.; Rahmawati, F.; Prameswari, A. P.; Saktian, R.

    2017-02-01

    In this research, the result of pyrolysis on polyethylene was used as fuel for a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC). The pyrolysis result is a liquid which consists of hydrocarbon chains. According to GC-MS analysis, the hydrocarbons mainly consist of C7 to C20 hydrocarbon chain. Then, the liquid was applied to a single cell of NSDC-L | NSDC | NSDC-L. NSDC is a composite SDC (samarium doped-ceria) with sodium carbonate. Meanwhile, NSDC-L is a composite of NSDC with LiNiCuO (LNC). NSDC and LNC were analyzed by X-ray diffraction to understand their crystal structure. The result shows that presence of carbonate did not change the crystal structure of SDC. SEM EDX analysis for fuel cell before and after being loaded with polyethylene oil to get information of element diffusion to the electrolyte. Meanwhile, the conductivity properties were investigated through impedance measurement. The presence of carbonate even increases the electrical conductivity. The single cell test with the pyrolysis result of polyethylene at 300 – 600 °C, found that the highest power density is at 600 °C with the maximum power density of 0.14 mW/cm2 and open circuit voltage of 0.4 Volt. Elemental analysis at three point spots of single cell NDSC-L |NSDC|NSDC-L found that a migration of ions was occurred during fuel operation at 300 – 600 °C.

  15. 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

  16. Novel carbon nanostructures as catalyst support for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Natarajan, Sadesh Kumar

    Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) technology has advanced rapidly in recent years, with one of active area focused on improving the long-term performance of carbon supported catalysts, which has been recognized as one of the most important issues to be addressed for the commercialization of PEMFCs. The central part of a PEMFC is the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) which consists of two electrodes (anode and cathode) and a cation exchange membrane. These electrodes are commonly made of carbon black (most often, Vulcan XC-72) supported on carbon paper or carbon cloth backings. It is the primary objective of this thesis to prepare and investigate carbon nanostructures (CNS, licensed to Hydrogen Research Institute -- IRH, Quebec, Canada), the carbon material with more graphite component like carbon nanotubes (CNTs) for use as catalyst support in PEMFCs. High energy ball-milling of activated carbon along with transition metal catalysts under hydrogen atmosphere, followed by heat-treatment leads to nanocrystalline structures of carbon called CNS. However, CNS formed in the quartz tube after heat-treatment is inevitably accompanied by many impurities such as metal particles, amorphous carbon and other carbon nanoparticules. Such impurities are a serious impediment to detailed characterization of the properties of nanostructures. In addition, since the surface of CNS is itself rather inert, it is difficult to control the homogeneity and size distribution of Pt nanoparticules. In this thesis work, we demonstrated a novel mean to purify and functionalize CNS via acid-oxidation under reflux conditions. To investigate and quantify these nanostructures X-ray diffraction, electrical conductivity measurements, specific surface area measurements, thermogravimetric analysis, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy studies were used. Cyclic voltammetry studies were performed on different samples to derive estimates for the relationship

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Selection of optimal sensors for predicting performance of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mao, Lei; Jackson, Lisa

    2016-10-01

    In this paper, sensor selection algorithms are investigated based on a sensitivity analysis, and the capability of optimal sensors in predicting PEM fuel cell performance is also studied using test data. The fuel cell model is developed for generating the sensitivity matrix relating sensor measurements and fuel cell health parameters. From the sensitivity matrix, two sensor selection approaches, including the largest gap method, and exhaustive brute force searching technique, are applied to find the optimal sensors providing reliable predictions. Based on the results, a sensor selection approach considering both sensor sensitivity and noise resistance is proposed to find the optimal sensor set with minimum size. Furthermore, the performance of the optimal sensor set is studied to predict fuel cell performance using test data from a PEM fuel cell system. Results demonstrate that with optimal sensors, the performance of PEM fuel cell can be predicted with good quality.

  20. 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.