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Sample records for cell cathode catalyst

  1. Cathode catalyst for primary phosphoric fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walsh, F.

    1980-01-01

    Alkylation of Vulcan XC-72 provided the most stable bond type for linking CoTAA to the surface of the carbon; this result is based on data obtained by cyclic voltammetry, pulse voltammetry and by release of 14C from bonded CoTAA. Half-cell tests at 100 C in 85% phosphoric acid showed that CoTAA bonded to the surface of carbon (Vulcan XC-72) via an alkylation procedure is a more active catalyst than is platinum based on a factor of two improvement in Tafel slope; dimeric CoTAA has catalytic activity equal to platinum. Half-cell tests also showed that bonded CoTAA catalysts do not suffer a loss in potential when air is used as a fuel rather than oxygen. Commercially available PTFE was shown to be stable for four months in 200 C 85% phosphoric acid based on lack of change in surface wetting properties, IR and physical characteristics. When stressed electrochemically in 150 C 85% phosphoric acid, PTFE also showed no changes after one month.

  2. Methanol-tolerant cathode catalyst composite for direct methanol fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Zhu, Yimin; Zelenay, Piotr

    2006-09-05

    A direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) having a methanol fuel supply, oxidant supply, and its membrane electrode assembly (MEA) formed of an anode electrode and a cathode electrode with a membrane therebetween, a methanol oxidation catalyst adjacent the anode electrode and the membrane, an oxidant reduction catalyst adjacent the cathode electrode and the membrane, comprises an oxidant reduction catalyst layer of Pt.sub.3Cr/C so that oxidation at the cathode of methanol that crosses from the anode through the membrane to the cathode is reduced with a concomitant increase of net electrical potential at the cathode electrode.

  3. Methanol-Tolerant Cathode Catalyst Composite For Direct Methanol Fuel Cells

    DOEpatents

    Zhu, Yimin; Zelenay, Piotr

    2006-03-21

    A direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) having a methanol fuel supply, oxidant supply, and its membrane electrode assembly (MEA) formed of an anode electrode and a cathode electrode with a membrane therebetween, a methanol oxidation catalyst adjacent the anode electrode and the membrane, an oxidant reduction catalyst adjacent the cathode electrode and the membrane, comprises an oxidant reduction catalyst layer of a platinum-chromium alloy so that oxidation at the cathode of methanol that crosses from the anode through the membrane to the cathode is reduced with a concomitant increase of net electrical potential at the cathode electrode.

  4. 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.

  5. Microbial fuel cell performance with non-Pt cathode catalysts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    HaoYu, Eileen; Cheng, Shaoan; Scott, Keith; Logan, Bruce

    Various cathode catalysts prepared from metal porphyrines and phthalocyanines were examined for their oxygen reduction activity in neutral pH media. Electrochemical studies were carried out with metal tetramethoxyphenylporphyrin (TMPP), CoTMPP and FeCoTMPP, and metal phthalocyanine (Pc), FePc, CoPc and FeCuPc, supported on Ketjenblack (KJB) carbon. Iron phthalocyanine supported on KJB (FePc-KJB) carbon demonstrated higher activity towards oxygen reduction than Pt in neutral media. The effect of carbon substrate was investigated by evaluating FePc on Vulcan XC carbon (FePcVC) versus Ketjenblack carbon. FePc-KJB showed higher activity than FePcVC suggesting the catalyst activity could be improved by using carbon substrate with a higher surface area. With FePc-KJB as the MFC cathode catalyst, a power density of 634 mW m -2 was achieved in 50 mM phosphate buffer medium at pH 7, which was higher than that obtained using the precious-metal Pt cathode (593 mW m -2). Under optimum operating conditions (i.e. using a high surface area carbon brush anode and 200 mM PBM as the supporting electrolyte with 1 g L -1 acetate as the substrate), the power density was increased to 2011 mW m -2. This high power output indicates that MFCs with low cost metal macrocycles catalysts is promising in further practical applications.

  6. Surface-reconstructed graphite nanofibers as a support for cathode catalysts of fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Gan, Lin; Du, Hongda; Li, Baohua; Kang, Feiyu

    2011-04-01

    Graphite nanofibers (GNFs), on which surface graphite edges were reconstructed into nano-loops, were explored as a cathode catalyst support for fuel cells. The high degree of graphitization, as well as the surface-reconstructed nano-loops that possess topological defects for uniform metal deposition, resulted in an improved performance of the GNF-supported Pt catalyst. PMID:21336405

  7. Electricity generation by microbial fuel cell using microorganisms as catalyst in cathode.

    PubMed

    Jang, Jae Kyung; Kan, Jinjun; Bretschger, Orianna; Gorby, Yuri A; Hsu, Lewis; Kim, Byung Hong; Nealson, Kenneth H

    2013-12-01

    The cathode reaction is one of the most seriously limiting factors in a microbial fuel cell (MFC). The critical dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration of a platinum-loaded graphite electrode was reported as 2.2 mg/l, about 10-fold higher than an aerobic bacterium. A series of MFCs were run with the cathode compartment inoculated with activated sludge (biotic) or not (abiotic) on platinum-loaded or bare graphite electrodes. At the beginning of the operation, the current values from MFCs with a biocathode and abiotic cathode were 2.3 ± 0.1 and 2.6 ± 0.2 mA, respectively, at the air-saturated water supply in the cathode. The current from MFCs with an abiotic cathode did not change, but that of MFCs with a biotic cathode increased to 3.0 mA after 8 weeks. The coulomb efficiency was 59.6% in the MFCs with a biotic cathode, much higher than the value of 15.6% of the abiotic cathode. When the DO supply was reduced, the current from MFCs with an abiotic cathode decreased more sharply than in those with a biotic cathode. When the respiratory inhibitor azide was added to the catholyte, the current decreased in MFCs with a biotic cathode but did not change in MFCs with an abiotic cathode. The power density was higher in MFCs with a biotic cathode (430 W/m(3) cathode compartment) than the abiotic cathode MFC (257 W/m(3) cathode compartment). Electron microscopic observation revealed nanowire structures in biofilms that developed on both the anode and on the biocathode. These results show that an electron consuming bacterial consortium can be used as a cathode catalyst to improve the cathode reaction. PMID:24225369

  8. Novel anti-flooding poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) catalyst binder for microbial fuel cell cathodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Fang; Chen, Guang; Hickner, Michael A.; Logan, Bruce E.

    2012-11-01

    Poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) was investigated as an alternative to Nafion as an air cathode catalyst binder in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Cathodes were constructed around either stainless steel (SS) mesh or copper mesh using PDMS as both catalyst binder and diffusion layer, and compared to cathodes of the same structure having a Nafion binder. With PDMS binder, copper mesh cathodes produced a maximum power of 1710 ± 1 mW m-2, while SS mesh had a slightly lower power of 1680 ± 12 mW m-2, with both values comparable to those obtained with Nafion binder. Cathodes with PDMS binder had stable power production of 1510 ± 22 mW m-2 (copper) and 1480 ± 56 mW m-2 (SS) over 15 days at cycle 15, compared to a 40% decrease in power with the Nafion binder. Cathodes with the PDMS binder had lower total cathode impedance than those with Nafion. This is due to a large decrease in diffusion resistance, because hydrophobic PDMS effectively prevented catalyst sites from filling up with water, improving oxygen mass transfer. The cost of PDMS is only 0.23% of that of Nafion. These results showed that PDMS is a very effective and low-cost alternative to Nafion binder that will be useful for large scale construction of these cathodes for MFC applications.

  9. Microbial fuel cell cathode with dendrimer encapsulated Pt nanoparticles as catalyst

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Xiaoling; Lu, Jindan; Zhu, Yihua; Shen, Jianhua; Zhang, Zhen; Zhang, Jianmei; Chen, Cheng; Li, Chunzhong

    In this paper, we investigated the use of polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimer-encapsulated platinum nanoparticles (Pt-DENs) as a promising type of cathode catalyst for air-cathode single chamber microbial fuel cells (SCMFCs). The Pt-DENs, prepared via template synthesis method, have uniform diameter distribution with size range of 3-5 nm. The Pt-DENs then loaded on to a carbon substrate. For comparison, we also electrodeposited Pt on carbon substrate. The calculation shows that the loading amount of Pt-DENs on carbon substrate is about 0.1 mg cm -2, which is three times lower than that of the electrodeposited Pt (0.3 mg cm -2). By measuring batch experiments, the results show that Pt-DENs in air-cathode SCMFCs have a power density of 630 ± 5 mW m -2 and a current density of 5200 ± 10 mA m -2 (based on the projected anodic surface area), which is significantly better than electrodeposited Pt cathodes (power density: 275 ± 5 mW m -2 and current density: 2050 ± 10 mA m -2). Additionally, Pt-DENs-based cathodes resulted in a higher power production with 129.1% as compared to cathode with electrodeposited Pt. This finding suggests that Pt-DENs in MFC cathodes is a better catalyst and has a lower loading amount than electrodeposited Pt, and may serve as a novel and alternative catalyst to previously used noble metals in MFC applications.

  10. Cathode catalysts for primary phosphoric acid fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1981-01-01

    Alkylation or carbon Vulcan XC-72, the support carbon, was shown to provide the most stable bond type for linking cobalt dehydrodibenzo tetraazannulene (CoTAA) to the surface of the carbon; this result is based on data obtained by cyclic voltammetry, pulse voltammetry and by release of 14C from bonded CoTAA. Half-cell tests at 100 C in 85% phosphoric acid showed that CoTAA bonded to the surface of carbon (Vulcan XC-72) via an alkylation procedure is a more active catalyst than is platinum based on a factor of two improvement in Tafel slope; dimeric CoTAA had catalytic activity equal to platinum. Half-cell tests also showed that bonded CoTAA catalysts do not suffer a loss in potential when air is used as a fuel rather than oxygen. Commercially available polytetrafluroethylene (PTFE) was shown to be unstable in the fuel cell environment with degradation occurring in 2000 hours or less. The PTFE was stressed at 200 C in concentrated phosphoric acid as well as electrochemically stressed in 150 C concentrated phosphoric acid; the surface chemistry of PTFE was observed to change significantly. Radiolabeled PTFE was prepared and used to verify that such chemical changes also occur in the primary fuel cell environment.

  11. 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.

  12. Evaluation of low-cost cathode catalysts for high yield biohydrogen production in microbial electrolysis cell.

    PubMed

    Wang, L; Chen, Y; Ye, Y; Lu, B; Zhu, S; Shen, S

    2011-01-01

    As an ideal fuel due to the advantages of no pollution, high combustion heat and abundant sources, hydrogen gas can be produced from organic matter through the electrohydrogenesis process in microbial electrolysis cells. But in many MECs, platinum is often used as catalyst, which limits the practical applications of MECs. To reduce the cost of the MECs, Ni-based alloy cathodes were developed by electrodepositing. In this paper hydrogen production using Ni-W-P cathode was studied for the first time in a single-chamber membrane-free MEC. At an applied voltage of 0.9 V, MECs with Ni-W-P cathodes obtained a hydrogen production rate of 1.09 m3/m3/day with an cathodic hydrogen recovery of 74%, a Coulombic efficiency of 56% and an electrical energy efficiency relative to electrical input of 139%, which was the best result of reports in this study. The Ni-W-P cathode demonstrated a better electrocatalytic activity than the Ni-Ce-P cathode and achieved a comparable performance to the Pt cathode in terms of hydrogen production rate, Coulombic efficiency, cathodic hydrogen recovery and electrical energy efficiency at 0.9 V. PMID:21278465

  13. Carbon-supported Pt nanowire as novel cathode catalysts for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Bing; Yan, Zeyu; Higgins, Drew C.; Yang, Daijun; Chen, Zhongwei; Ma, Jianxin

    2014-09-01

    Carbon-supported platinum nanowires (PtNW/C) are successfully synthesized by a simple and inexpensive template-free methodology and demonstrated as novel, suitable cathode electrode materials for proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) applications. The synthesis conditions, such as the amount of reducing agent and reaction time, were investigated to investigate the effect on the nanostructures and activities of the PtNW/C catalysts. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy (TEM) results show that the formic acid facilitated reduction is capable of producing uniformly distributed 1-dimensional PtNW with an average cross-sectional diameter of 4.0 ± 0.2 nm and length of 20-40 nm. Investigation of the electrocatalytic activity by half-cell electrochemical testing reveals that PtNW/C catalyst demonstrates significant oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity, superior to that of commercially available Pt/C. Using a loading of 0.4 mgPt cm-2 PtNW/C as the cathode catalyst, a maximum power density of 748.8 mW cm-2 in a 50 cm2 single cell of commercial Pt/C. In addition, accelerated degradation testing (ADT) showed that the PtNW/C catalyst exhibits better durability than commercial Pt/C, rendering PtNW/C as a promising replacement to conventional Pt/C as cathode electrocatalysts for PEMFCs applications.

  14. Solid oxide fuel cells having porous cathodes infiltrated with oxygen-reducing catalysts

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Meilin; Liu, Ze; Liu, Mingfei; Nie, Lifang; Mebane, David Spencer; Wilson, Lane Curtis; Surdoval, Wayne

    2014-08-12

    Solid-oxide fuel cells include an electrolyte and an anode electrically coupled to a first surface of the electrolyte. A cathode is provided, which is electrically coupled to a second surface of the electrolyte. The cathode includes a porous backbone having a porosity in a range from about 20% to about 70%. The porous backbone contains a mixed ionic-electronic conductor (MIEC) of a first material infiltrated with an oxygen-reducing catalyst of a second material different from the first material.

  15. 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.

  16. Nonactivated and Activated Biochar Derived from Bananas as Alternative Cathode Catalyst in Microbial Fuel Cells

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Haoran; Deng, Lifang; Qi, Yujie; Kobayashi, Noriyuki; Tang, Jiahuan

    2014-01-01

    Nonactivated and activated biochars have been successfully prepared by bananas at different thermotreatment temperatures. The activated biochar generated at 900°C (Biochar-act900) exhibited improved oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER) performances in alkaline media, in terms of the onset potential and generated current density. Rotating disk electron result shows that the average of 2.65 electrons per oxygen molecule was transferred during ORR of Biochar-act900. The highest power density of 528.2 mW/m2 and the maximum stable voltage of 0.47 V were obtained by employing Biochar-act900 as cathode catalyst, which is comparable to the Pt/C cathode. Owning to these advantages, it is expected that the banana-derived biochar cathode can find application in microbial fuel cell systems. PMID:25243229

  17. Nonactivated and activated biochar derived from bananas as alternative cathode catalyst in microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Haoran; Deng, Lifang; Qi, Yujie; Kobayashi, Noriyuki; Tang, Jiahuan

    2014-01-01

    Nonactivated and activated biochars have been successfully prepared by bananas at different thermotreatment temperatures. The activated biochar generated at 900°C (Biochar-act900) exhibited improved oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER) performances in alkaline media, in terms of the onset potential and generated current density. Rotating disk electron result shows that the average of 2.65 electrons per oxygen molecule was transferred during ORR of Biochar-act900. The highest power density of 528.2 mW/m(2) and the maximum stable voltage of 0.47 V were obtained by employing Biochar-act900 as cathode catalyst, which is comparable to the Pt/C cathode. Owning to these advantages, it is expected that the banana-derived biochar cathode can find application in microbial fuel cell systems.

  18. Manganese dioxide as an alternative cathodic catalyst to platinum in microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lixia; Liu, Chengshuai; Zhuang, Li; Li, Weishan; Zhou, Shungui; Zhang, Jintao

    2009-05-15

    In this paper, three manganese dioxide materials, alpha-MnO(2), beta-MnO(2), gamma-MnO(2) were tested as alternative cathodic catalysts to platinum (Pt) in air-cathode microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Prepared via hydrothermal method, the manganese dioxides were characterized by X-ray powder diffraction patterns (XRD), the Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) method and their average oxidation states (AOS) were determined by the potential voltammetric titration method. The electro-catalytic activity of MnO(2) in neutral pH solution was determined by linear sweep voltammetry (LSV) and the results showed that all manganese dioxides can catalyze oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in neutral medium with different catalytic activities. beta-MnO(2) appeared to hold the highest catalytic activity due to its highest BET surface area and AOS. Beta-MnO(2) was further used as cathode catalyst in both cube and tube air-cathode MFCs, in which using Klebsiella pneumoniae (K. pneumoniae) biofilm as biocatalyst and utilizing glucose as a substrate in the anode chamber. It was found that tube MFC produced higher output power, with the maximum volumetric power density of 3773+/-347 mW/m(3), than cube MFC. This study suggests that using beta-MnO(2) instead of Pt could potentially improve the feasibility of scaling up MFC designs for real applications by lowering production cost.

  19. Activity and stability of pyrolyzed iron ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid as cathode catalyst in microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Wang, Li; Liang, Peng; Zhang, Jian; Huang, Xia

    2011-04-01

    A low-cost and effective iron-chelated catalyst was developed as an electrocatalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). The catalyst was prepared by pyrolyzing carbon mixed iron-chelated ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (PFeEDTA/C) in an argon atmosphere. Cyclic voltammetry measurements showed that PFeEDTA/C had a high catalytic activity for ORR. The MFC with a PFeEDTA/C cathode produced a maximum power density of 1122 mW/m(2), which was close to that with a Pt/C cathode (1166 mW/m(2)). The PFeEDTA/C was stable during an operation period of 31 days. Based on X-ray diffraction and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy measurements, quaternary-N modified with iron might be the active site for the oxygen reduction reaction. The total cost of a PFeEDTA/C catalyst was much lower than that of a Pt catalyst. Thus, PFeEDTA/C can be a good alternative to Pt in MFC practical applications.

  20. High Temperature Membrane & Advanced Cathode Catalyst Development

    SciTech Connect

    Protsailo, Lesia

    2006-04-20

    Current project consisted of three main phases and eighteen milestones. Short description of each phase is given below. Table 1 lists program milestones. Phase 1--High Temperature Membrane and Advanced Catalyst Development. New polymers and advanced cathode catalysts were synthesized. The membranes and the catalysts were characterized and compared against specifications that are based on DOE program requirements. The best-in-class membranes and catalysts were downselected for phase 2. Phase 2--Catalyst Coated Membrane (CCM) Fabrication and Testing. Laboratory scale catalyst coated membranes (CCMs) were fabricated and tested using the down-selected membranes and catalysts. The catalysts and high temperature membrane CCMs were tested and optimized. Phase 3--Multi-cell stack fabrication. Full-size CCMs with the down-selected and optimized high temperature membrane and catalyst were fabricated. The catalyst membrane assemblies were tested in full size cells and multi-cell stack.

  1. Using bacterial catalyst in the cathode of microbial desalination cell to improve wastewater treatment and desalination.

    PubMed

    Wen, Qinxue; Zhang, Huichao; Chen, Zhiqiang; Li, Yufei; Nan, Jun; Feng, Yujie

    2012-12-01

    A microbial desalination cell (MDC) is able to desalinate salt water without energy consumption whilst generating bioenergy. Previously MDCs used abiotic cathodes, which are restricted in application by high operating costs and low levels of sustainability whereas, in the present study, an aerobic biocathode consisting of carbon felt and bacterial catalysts was tested. The biocathode MDC produced a maximum voltage of 609 mV, the value of which was 136 mV higher than that of an air cathode MDC operated under the same conditions. The salinity of 39 mL of salt water (35 g L(-1) NaCl) was reduced by 92% using 0.441 L of anode solution (11.3:1), with a coulombic efficiency of 96.2 ± 3.8% and a total desalination rate of 2.83 mg h(-1). The biocathode MDC proved to be a promising approach for efficient desalination of salt water. PMID:23026321

  2. Using bacterial catalyst in the cathode of microbial desalination cell to improve wastewater treatment and desalination.

    PubMed

    Wen, Qinxue; Zhang, Huichao; Chen, Zhiqiang; Li, Yufei; Nan, Jun; Feng, Yujie

    2012-12-01

    A microbial desalination cell (MDC) is able to desalinate salt water without energy consumption whilst generating bioenergy. Previously MDCs used abiotic cathodes, which are restricted in application by high operating costs and low levels of sustainability whereas, in the present study, an aerobic biocathode consisting of carbon felt and bacterial catalysts was tested. The biocathode MDC produced a maximum voltage of 609 mV, the value of which was 136 mV higher than that of an air cathode MDC operated under the same conditions. The salinity of 39 mL of salt water (35 g L(-1) NaCl) was reduced by 92% using 0.441 L of anode solution (11.3:1), with a coulombic efficiency of 96.2 ± 3.8% and a total desalination rate of 2.83 mg h(-1). The biocathode MDC proved to be a promising approach for efficient desalination of salt water.

  3. Core-shell Au-Pd nanoparticles as cathode catalysts for microbial fuel cell applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Gaixiu; Chen, Dong; Lv, Pengmei; Kong, Xiaoying; Sun, Yongming; Wang, Zhongming; Yuan, Zhenhong; Liu, Hui; Yang, Jun

    2016-10-01

    Bimetallic nanoparticles with core-shell structures usually display enhanced catalytic properties due to the lattice strain created between the core and shell regions. In this study, we demonstrate the application of bimetallic Au-Pd nanoparticles with an Au core and a thin Pd shell as cathode catalysts in microbial fuel cells, which represent a promising technology for wastewater treatment, while directly generating electrical energy. In specific, in comparison with the hollow structured Pt nanoparticles, a benchmark for the electrocatalysis, the bimetallic core-shell Au-Pd nanoparticles are found to have superior activity and stability for oxygen reduction reaction in a neutral condition due to the strong electronic interaction and lattice strain effect between the Au core and the Pd shell domains. The maximum power density generated in a membraneless single-chamber microbial fuel cell running on wastewater with core-shell Au-Pd as cathode catalysts is ca. 16.0 W m‑3 and remains stable over 150 days, clearly illustrating the potential of core-shell nanostructures in the applications of microbial fuel cells.

  4. Core-shell Au-Pd nanoparticles as cathode catalysts for microbial fuel cell applications

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Gaixiu; Chen, Dong; Lv, Pengmei; Kong, Xiaoying; Sun, Yongming; Wang, Zhongming; Yuan, Zhenhong; Liu, Hui; Yang, Jun

    2016-01-01

    Bimetallic nanoparticles with core-shell structures usually display enhanced catalytic properties due to the lattice strain created between the core and shell regions. In this study, we demonstrate the application of bimetallic Au-Pd nanoparticles with an Au core and a thin Pd shell as cathode catalysts in microbial fuel cells, which represent a promising technology for wastewater treatment, while directly generating electrical energy. In specific, in comparison with the hollow structured Pt nanoparticles, a benchmark for the electrocatalysis, the bimetallic core-shell Au-Pd nanoparticles are found to have superior activity and stability for oxygen reduction reaction in a neutral condition due to the strong electronic interaction and lattice strain effect between the Au core and the Pd shell domains. The maximum power density generated in a membraneless single-chamber microbial fuel cell running on wastewater with core-shell Au-Pd as cathode catalysts is ca. 16.0 W m−3 and remains stable over 150 days, clearly illustrating the potential of core-shell nanostructures in the applications of microbial fuel cells. PMID:27734945

  5. Immobilization of a Metal-Nitrogen-Carbon Catalyst on Activated Carbon with Enhanced Cathode Performance in Microbial Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

    Yang, Wulin; Logan, Bruce E

    2016-08-23

    Applications of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are limited in part by low power densities mainly due to cathode performance. Successful immobilization of an Fe-N-C co-catalyst on activated carbon (Fe-N-C/AC) improved the oxygen reduction reaction to nearly a four-electron transfer, compared to a twoelectron transfer achieved using AC. With acetate as the fuel, the maximum power density was 4.7±0.2 W m(-2) , which is higher than any previous report for an air-cathode MFC. With domestic wastewater as a fuel, MFCs with the Fe-N-C/AC cathode produced up to 0.8±0.03 W m(-2) , which was twice that obtained with a Pt-catalyzed cathode. The use of this Fe-N-C/AC catalyst can therefore substantially increase power production, and enable broader applications of MFCs for renewable electricity generation using waste materials.

  6. Application of graphene-based nanomaterials as novel cathode catalysts for improving power generation in single chamber microbial fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valipour, Alireza; Ayyaru, Sivasankaran; Ahn, Youngho

    2016-09-01

    The low catalytic activity, limited resources, complexity and costs, and non-environmentally friendly nature are key factors limiting the application of non-precious metals and their composites at the cathode in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). This study evaluated the feasibility of graphene-based nanomaterials (RGOHI-AcOH vs. RGO/Ni nanoparticle composite) as novel cathode catalysts in single chamber air-cathode MFCs. A series of MFCs with different catalyst loadings were produced. The electrochemical behavior of the MFCs were evaluated by cyclic voltammetry (CV) and impedance spectroscopy (EIS). As a result, the MFCs with the RGOHI-AcOH cathodes showed greater maximum power densities (>37%) than those with the RGO/Ni nanoparticle cathodes. In the MFCs, the highest maximum power density of 1683 ± 23 mW/m2 (CE = 72 ± 3%), which covers 77% of that estimated for Pt/C (2201 ± 45 mW/m2, CE = 81 ± 4%), was obtained from the double loading RGOHI-AcOH cathodes. Among the MFCs with the RGO/Ni nanoparticle composite cathodes, those loaded with a double catalyst (1015 ± 28 mW/m2, CE = 70 ± 2%) showed better power performance than the others. Both CV and EIS showed good agreement with the MFC results. This study suggests that the RGOHI-AcOH cathode, particularly with a double catalyst loading, is promising for sustainable low-cost green materials, stable power generation and the long-term operation of MFCs.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trimm, Bryan Dunning

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

  8. Power generation using spinel manganese-cobalt oxide as a cathode catalyst for microbial fuel cell applications.

    PubMed

    Mahmoud, Mohamed; Gad-Allah, Tarek A; El-Khatib, K M; El-Gohary, Fatma

    2011-11-01

    This study focused on the use of spinel manganese-cobalt (Mn-Co) oxide, prepared by a solid state reaction, as a cathode catalyst to replace platinum in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) applications. Spinel Mn-Co oxides, with an Mn/Co atomic ratios of 0.5, 1, and 2, were prepared and examined in an air cathode MFCs which was fed with a molasses-laden synthetic wastewater and operated in batch mode. Among the three Mn-Co oxide cathodes and after 300 h of operation, the Mn-Co oxide catalyst with Mn/Co atomic ratio of 2 (MnCo-2) exhibited the highest power generation 113 mW/m2 at cell potential of 279 mV, which were lower than those for the Pt catalyst (148 mW/m2 and 325 mV, respectively). This study indicated that using spinel Mn-Co oxide to replace platinum as a cathodic catalyst enhances power generation, increases contaminant removal, and substantially reduces the cost of MFCs.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-15

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

  11. 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.

  12. Chalcogen catalysts for polymer electrolyte fuel cell

    DOEpatents

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

    2009-09-15

    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.

  13. Application of Co-naphthalocyanine (CoNPc) as alternative cathode catalyst and support structure for microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jung Rae; Kim, Jy-Yeon; Han, Sang-Beom; Park, Kyung-Won; Saratale, G D; Oh, Sang-Eun

    2011-01-01

    Co-naphthalocyanine (CoNPc) was prepared by heat treatment for cathode catalysts to be used in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Four different catalysts (Carbon black, NPc/C, CoNPc/C, Pt/C) were compared and characterized using XPS, EDAX and TEM. The electrochemical characteristics of oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) were compared by cyclic voltammetry (CV) and linear sweep voltammetry (LSV). The Co-macrocyclic complex improves the catalyst dispersion and oxygen reduction reaction of CoNPc/C. The maximum power of CoNPc/C was 64.7 mW/m(2) at 0.25 mA as compared with 81.3 mW/m(2) of Pt/C, 29.7 mW/m(2) of NPc/C and 9.3 mW/m(2) of carbon black when the cathodes were implemented in H-type MFCs. The steady state cell, cathode and anode potential of MFC with using CoNPc/C were comparable to those of Pt/C.

  14. Immobilization of a Metal-Nitrogen-Carbon Catalyst on Activated Carbon with Enhanced Cathode Performance in Microbial Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

    Yang, Wulin; Logan, Bruce E

    2016-08-23

    Applications of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are limited in part by low power densities mainly due to cathode performance. Successful immobilization of an Fe-N-C co-catalyst on activated carbon (Fe-N-C/AC) improved the oxygen reduction reaction to nearly a four-electron transfer, compared to a twoelectron transfer achieved using AC. With acetate as the fuel, the maximum power density was 4.7±0.2 W m(-2) , which is higher than any previous report for an air-cathode MFC. With domestic wastewater as a fuel, MFCs with the Fe-N-C/AC cathode produced up to 0.8±0.03 W m(-2) , which was twice that obtained with a Pt-catalyzed cathode. The use of this Fe-N-C/AC catalyst can therefore substantially increase power production, and enable broader applications of MFCs for renewable electricity generation using waste materials. PMID:27416965

  15. Synthesis and application of polypyrrole/carrageenan nano-bio composite as a cathode catalyst in microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Esmaeili, Chakavak; Ghasemi, Mostafa; Heng, Lee Yook; Hassan, Sedky H A; Abdi, Mahnaz M; Daud, Wan Ramli Wan; Ilbeygi, Hamid; Ismail, Ahmad Fauzi

    2014-12-19

    A novel nano-bio composite polypyrrole (PPy)/kappa-carrageenan(KC) was fabricated and characterized for application as a cathode catalyst in a microbial fuel cell (MFC). High resolution SEM and TEM verified the bud-like shape and uniform distribution of the PPy in the KC matrix. X-ray diffraction (XRD) has approved the amorphous structure of the PPy/KC as well. The PPy/KC nano-bio composites were then studied as an electrode material, due to their oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) ability as the cathode catalyst in the MFC and the results were compared with platinum (Pt) as the most common cathode catalyst. The produced power density of the PPy/KC was 72.1 mW/m(2) while it was 46.8 mW/m(2) and 28.8 mW/m(2) for KC and PPy individually. The efficiency of the PPy/KC electrode system is slightly lower than a Pt electrode (79.9 mW/m(2)) but due to the high cost of Pt electrodes, the PPy/KC electrode system has potential to be an alternative electrode system for MFCs. PMID:25263889

  16. Synthesis and application of polypyrrole/carrageenan nano-bio composite as a cathode catalyst in microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Esmaeili, Chakavak; Ghasemi, Mostafa; Heng, Lee Yook; Hassan, Sedky H A; Abdi, Mahnaz M; Daud, Wan Ramli Wan; Ilbeygi, Hamid; Ismail, Ahmad Fauzi

    2014-12-19

    A novel nano-bio composite polypyrrole (PPy)/kappa-carrageenan(KC) was fabricated and characterized for application as a cathode catalyst in a microbial fuel cell (MFC). High resolution SEM and TEM verified the bud-like shape and uniform distribution of the PPy in the KC matrix. X-ray diffraction (XRD) has approved the amorphous structure of the PPy/KC as well. The PPy/KC nano-bio composites were then studied as an electrode material, due to their oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) ability as the cathode catalyst in the MFC and the results were compared with platinum (Pt) as the most common cathode catalyst. The produced power density of the PPy/KC was 72.1 mW/m(2) while it was 46.8 mW/m(2) and 28.8 mW/m(2) for KC and PPy individually. The efficiency of the PPy/KC electrode system is slightly lower than a Pt electrode (79.9 mW/m(2)) but due to the high cost of Pt electrodes, the PPy/KC electrode system has potential to be an alternative electrode system for MFCs.

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

    PubMed

    Wu, Haibin; Chen, Wei

    2011-10-01

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

  18. Potential of porous Co3O4 nanorods as cathode catalyst for oxygen reduction reaction in microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Ravinder; Singh, Lakhveer; Zularisam, A W; Hai, Faisal I

    2016-11-01

    This study aims to investigate the potential of porous Co3O4 nanorods as the cathode catalyst for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in aqueous air cathode microbial fuel cells (MFCs). The porous Co3O4 nanorods were synthesized by a facile and cost-effective hydrothermal method. Three different concentrations (0.5mg/cm(2), 1mg/cm(2), and 2mg/cm(2)) of Co3O4 nanorods coated on graphite electrodes were used to test its performance in MFCs. The results showed that the addition of porous Co3O4 nanorods enhanced the electrocatalytic activity and ORR kinetics significantly and the overall resistance of the system was greatly reduced. Moreover, the MFC with a higher concentration of the catalyst achieved a maximum power density of 503±16mW/m(2), which was approximately five times higher than the bare graphite electrode. The improved catalytic activity of the cathodes could be due to the porous properties of Co3O4 nanorods that provided the higher number of active sites for oxygen.

  19. Potential of porous Co3O4 nanorods as cathode catalyst for oxygen reduction reaction in microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Ravinder; Singh, Lakhveer; Zularisam, A W; Hai, Faisal I

    2016-11-01

    This study aims to investigate the potential of porous Co3O4 nanorods as the cathode catalyst for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in aqueous air cathode microbial fuel cells (MFCs). The porous Co3O4 nanorods were synthesized by a facile and cost-effective hydrothermal method. Three different concentrations (0.5mg/cm(2), 1mg/cm(2), and 2mg/cm(2)) of Co3O4 nanorods coated on graphite electrodes were used to test its performance in MFCs. The results showed that the addition of porous Co3O4 nanorods enhanced the electrocatalytic activity and ORR kinetics significantly and the overall resistance of the system was greatly reduced. Moreover, the MFC with a higher concentration of the catalyst achieved a maximum power density of 503±16mW/m(2), which was approximately five times higher than the bare graphite electrode. The improved catalytic activity of the cathodes could be due to the porous properties of Co3O4 nanorods that provided the higher number of active sites for oxygen. PMID:27614156

  20. Same-View Nano-XAFS/STEM-EDS Imagings of Pt Chemical Species in Pt/C Cathode Catalyst Layers of a Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell.

    PubMed

    Takao, Shinobu; Sekizawa, Oki; Samjeské, Gabor; Nagamatsu, Shin-ichi; Kaneko, Takuma; Yamamoto, Takashi; Higashi, Kotaro; Nagasawa, Kensaku; Uruga, Tomoya; Iwasawa, Yasuhiro

    2015-06-01

    We have made the first success in the same-view imagings of 2D nano-XAFS and TEM/STEM-EDS under a humid N2 atmosphere for Pt/C cathode catalyst layers in membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) of polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) with Nafion membrane to examine the degradation of Pt/C cathodes by anode gas exchange cycles (start-up/shut-down simulations of PEFC vehicles). The same-view imaging under the humid N2 atmosphere provided unprecedented spatial information on the distribution of Pt nanoparticles and oxidation states in the Pt/C cathode catalyst layer as well as Nafion ionomer-filled nanoholes of carbon support in the wet MEA, which evidence the origin of the formation of Pt oxidation species and isolated Pt nanoparticles in the nanohole areas of the cathode layer with different Pt/ionomer ratios, relevant to the degradation of PEFC catalysts.

  1. Advanced cathode materials for polymer electrolyte fuel cells based on pt/ metal oxides: from model electrodes to catalyst systems.

    PubMed

    Fabbri, Emiliana; Pătru, Alexandra; Rabis, Annett; Kötz, Rüdiger; Schmidt, Thomas J

    2014-01-01

    The development of stable catalyst systems for application at the cathode side of polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) requires the substitution of the state-of-the-art carbon supports with materials showing high corrosion resistance in a strongly oxidizing environment. Metal oxides in their highest oxidation state can represent viable support materials for the next generation PEFC cathodes. In the present work a multilevel approach has been adopted to investigate the kinetics and the activity of Pt nanoparticles supported on SnO2-based metal oxides. Particularly, model electrodes made of SnO2 thin films supporting Pt nanoparticles, and porous catalyst systems made of Pt nanoparticles supported on Sb-doped SnO2 high surface area powders have been investigated. The present results indicate that SnO2-based supports do not modify the oxygen reduction reaction mechanism on the Pt nanoparticle surface, but rather lead to catalysts with enhanced specific activity compared to Pt/carbon systems. Different reasons for the enhancement in the specific activity are considered and discussed.

  2. High catalytic activity and pollutants resistivity using Fe-AAPyr cathode catalyst for microbial fuel cell application

    PubMed Central

    Santoro, Carlo; Serov, Alexey; Villarrubia, Claudia W. Narvaez; Stariha, Sarah; Babanova, Sofia; Artyushkova, Kateryna; Schuler, Andrew J.; Atanassov, Plamen

    2015-01-01

    For the first time, a new generation of innovative non-platinum group metal catalysts based on iron and aminoantipyrine as precursor (Fe-AAPyr) has been utilized in a membraneless single-chamber microbial fuel cell (SCMFC) running on wastewater. Fe-AAPyr was used as an oxygen reduction catalyst in a passive gas-diffusion cathode and implemented in SCMFC design. This catalyst demonstrated better performance than platinum (Pt) during screening in “clean” conditions (PBS), and no degradation in performance during the operation in wastewater. The maximum power density generated by the SCMFC with Fe-AAPyr was 167 ± 6 μW cm−2 and remained stable over 16 days, while SCMFC with Pt decreased to 113 ± 4 μW cm−2 by day 13, achieving similar values of an activated carbon based cathode. The presence of S2− and showed insignificant decrease of ORR activity for the Fe-AAPyr. The reported results clearly demonstrate that Fe-AAPyr can be utilized in MFCs under the harsh conditions of wastewater. PMID:26563922

  3. To alloy or not to alloy? Cr modified Pt/C cathode catalysts for PEM fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Wells, Peter P; Qian, Yangdong; King, Colin R; Wiltshire, Richard J K; Crabb, Eleanor M; Smart, Lesley E; Thompsett, David; Russell, Andrea E

    2008-01-01

    The cathode electrocatalysts for proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells are commonly platinum and platinum based alloy nanoparticles dispersed on a carbon support. Control over the particle size and composition has, historically, been attained empirically, making systematic studies of the effects of various structural parameters difficult. The controlled surface modification methodology used in this work has enabled the controlled modification of carbon supported Pt nanoparticles by Cr so as to yield nanoalloy particles with defined compositions. Subsequent heat treatment in 5% H2 in N2 resulted in the formation of a distinct Pt3Cr alloy phase which was either restricted to the surface of the particles or present throughout the bulk of the particle structure. Measurement of the oxygen reduction activity of the catalysts was accomplished using the rotating thin film electrode method and the activities obtained were related to the structure of the nanoalloy catalyst particles, largely determined using Cr K edge and Pt L3 edge XAS.

  4. Highly stable precious metal-free cathode catalyst for fuel cell application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serov, Alexey; Workman, Michael J.; Artyushkova, Kateryna; Atanassov, Plamen; McCool, Geoffrey; McKinney, Sam; Romero, Henry; Halevi, Barr; Stephenson, Thomas

    2016-09-01

    A platinum group metal-free (PGM-free) oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalyst engineered for stability has been synthesized using the sacrificial support method (SSM). This catalyst was comprehensively characterized by physiochemical analyses and tested for performance and durability in fuel cell membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs). This catalyst, belonging to the family of Fe-N-C materials, is easily scalable and can be manufactured in batches up to 200 g. The fuel cell durability tests were performed in a single cell configuration at realistic operating conditions of 0.65 V, 1.25 atmgauge air, and 90% RH for 100 h. In-depth characterization of surface chemistry and morphology of the catalyst layer before and after durability tests were performed. The failure modes of the PGM-free electrodes were derived from structure-to-property correlations. It is suggested that under constant voltage operation, the performance loss results from degradation of the electrode pore structure, while under carbon corrosion accelerated test protocols the failure mode is catalyst corrosion.

  5. Co-Pt core-shell nanostructured catalyst prepared by selective chemical vapor pulse deposition of Pt on Co as a cathode in polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Seo, Sang-Joon; Chung, Ho-Kyoon; Yoo, Ji-Beom; Chae, Heeyeop; Seo, Seung-Woo; Min Cho, Sung

    2014-01-15

    A new type of PtCo/C catalyst for use as a cathode in polymer electrolyte fuel cells was prepared by selective chemical vapor pulse deposition (CVPD) of Pt on the surface of Co. The activity of the prepared catalyst for oxygen reduction was higher than that of a catalyst prepared by sequential impregnation (IMP) with the two metallic components. This catalytic activity difference occurs because the former catalyst has smaller Pt crystallites that produce stronger Pt-Co interactions and have a larger Pt surface area. Consequently, the CVPD catalyst has a great number of Co particles that are in close contact with the added Pt. The Pt surface was also electronically modified by interactions with Co, which were stronger in the CVPD catalyst than in the IMP catalyst, as indicated by X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoemission spectroscopy, and cyclic voltammetry measurements of the catalysts.

  6. Stabilizing and enhancing activity of Ag as a catalyst for oxygen redaction reaction on hydrogen fuel cell cathodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stolbov, Sergey; Alcantara Ortigoza, Marisol

    2013-03-01

    Progress in searching for cost-effective and highly active catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) on hydrogen fuel cell cathodes is hindered by the fact that only a few elements (expensive and scarce Pt, Ir, Au) do not dissolve in the reaction environment (acidic medium at the expected operating potential +0.8 to +1.0 V vs SHE). Yet, in this work, we explore silver as an active element for the ORR catalysts. Although the dissolution potential (DP) of elemental Ag is 0.8 V, we rely on our finding that binding of a metal monolayer (ML) to a reactive substrate can significantly increase its DP. Using our approach, we select Ag/Ru/W, Ag/Nb, and Ag/Ta as promising candidates for the ORR catalysts (where Ag and Ru are MLs). Our evaluation of DP within density functional theory (DFT) shows that, indeed, in the selected structures, DP of Ag significantly increases as compared to that of Ag(111) and, in the case of Ag/Nb, even exceeds that of Pt. The ORR free-energy diagrams calculated within DFT suggest that the above systems are more active toward ORR than Pt. We thus predict here three highly active and truly cost-effective ORR catalysts. This work was supported by NSF under Grant CBET-1249134

  7. Load cycle durability of a graphitized carbon black-supported platinum catalyst in polymer electrolyte fuel cell cathodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takei, Chikara; Kakinuma, Katsuyoshi; Kawashima, Kazuhito; Tashiro, Keisuke; Watanabe, Masahiro; Uchida, Makoto

    2016-08-01

    We focus on Pt degradation occurring during fuel cell vehicle (FCV) combined drive cycles involving load and open circuit voltage (OCV) just after startup and during idling. Load cycle durability is evaluated as a function of OCV/load holding time, load rate and relative humidity (RH) with a graphitized carbon black-supported platinum catalyst (Pt/GCB) in the cathode. The degradation of Pt/GCB is suppressed for shorter OCV holding times, lower load rates and lower RH. Scanning ion microscopy (SIM) images of membrane cross-sections indicate that the amount of Pt deposited in the membrane decreases during drive cycles involving load with short OCV holding times. Investigations of the Pt distribution in the cathode catalyst layer (CL) by using scanning TEM-EDX show that the dissolution of Pt is suppressed on the membrane side in the CL. The Pt dissolution is accelerated by the high Pt oxidation due to the long OCV holding time. A load cycle with both long OCV holding time and low load inhibits the Pt2+ migration into the membrane but accelerates the Pt particle growth due to electrochemical Ostwald ripening; meanwhile, a load cycle with long OCV holding time at lower RH prevents both the Pt dissolution and particle growth.

  8. Catalysts for ultrahigh current density oxygen cathodes for space fuel cell applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tryk, D.; Yeager, E.; Shingler, M.; Aldred, W.; Wang, C.

    1990-01-01

    The objective of this research was to identify promising electrocatalyst/support systems for the oxygen cathode in alkaline fuel cells operating at relatively high temperatures, O2 pressures and current densities. A number of materials were prepared, including Pb-Ru and Pb-Ir pyrochlores, RuO2 and Pt-doped RuO2, and lithiated NiO. Several of these were prepared using techniques that had not been previously used to prepare them. Particularly interesting is the use of the alkaline solution technique to prepare the Pt-doped Pb-Ru pyrochlore in high area form. Well-crystallized Pb(2)Ru(2)O(7-y) was used to fabricate high performance O2 cathodes with relatively good stability in room temperature KOH. This material was also found to be stable over a useful potential range at approximately 140 C in concentrated KOH. Other pyrochlores were found to be either unstable (amorphous samples) or the fabrication of the gas-fed electrodes could not be fully optimized during this project period. Future work may be directed at this problem. High area platinum supported on conductive metal oxide supports produced mixed results: small improvements in O2 reduction performance for Pb(2)Ru(2)O(7-y) but a large improvement for Li-doped NiO at room temperature. Nearly reversible behavior was observed for the O2/OH couple for Li-doped NiO at approximately 200 C.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

  11. PRELIMINARY IN-SITU X-RAY ABSORPTION FINE STRUCTURE EXAMINATION OF PT/C AND PTCO/C CATHODE CATALYSTS IN AN OPERATIONAL POLYMER ELECTROLYTE FUEL CELL

    SciTech Connect

    Phelan, B.T.; Myers, D.J.; Smith, M.C.

    2009-01-01

    State-of-the-art polymer electrolyte fuel cells require a conditioning period to reach optimized cell performance. There is insuffi cient understanding about the behavior of catalysts during this period, especially with regard to the changing environment of the cathode electrocatalyst, which is typically Pt nanoparticles supported on high surface area Vulcan XC-72 carbon (Pt/C). The purpose of this research was to record preliminary observations of the changing environment during the conditioning phase using X-Ray Absorption Fine Structure (XAFS) spectroscopy. XAFS was recorded for a Pt/C cathode at the Pt L3-edge and a PtCo/C cathode at both the Pt L3-edge and Co K-edge. Using precision machined graphite cell-blocks, both transmission and fl uorescence data were recorded at Sector 12-BM-B of Argonne National Laboratory’s Advanced Photon Source. The fl uorescence and transmission edge steps allow for a working description of the changing electrocatalyst environment, especially water concentration, at the anode and cathode as functions of operating parameters. These features are discussed in the context of how future analysis may correlate with potential, current and changing apparent thickness of the membrane electrode assembly through loss of catalyst materials (anode, cathode, carbon support). Such direct knowledge of the effect of the conditioning protocol on the electrocatalyst may lead to better catalyst design. In turn, this may lead to minimizing, or even eliminating, the conditioning period.

  12. Catalysts for ultrahigh current density oxygen cathodes for space fuel cell applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tryk, Donald A.; Yeager, E.

    1992-01-01

    The objective was to identify promising electrocatalyst/support systems for oxygen cathodes capable of operating at ultrahigh current densities in alkaline fuel cells. Such cells will require operation at relatively high temperatures and O2 pressures. A number of materials were prepared, including Pb-Ru and Pb-Ir pyrochlores, RuO2 and Pt-doped RuO2, lithiated NiO and La-Ni perovskites. Several of these materials were prepared using techniques that had not been previously used to prepare them. Particularly interesting was the use of the alkaline solution technique to prepare Pt-doped and Pb-Ru pyrochlores in high area form. Also interesting was the use of the fusion (melt) method for preparing the Pb-Ru pyrochlore. Several of the materials were also deposited with platinum. Well-crystallized Pb2Ru2O(7-y) was used to fabricate very high performance O2 cathodes with good stability in room temperature KOH. This material was also found to be stable over a useful potential range at approx. 140 C in concentrated KOH. For some of the samples, fabrication of the gas-fed electrodes could not be fully optimized during this project period. Future work may be directed at this problem. Pyrochlores that were not well-crystallized were found to be unstable in alkaline solution. Very good O2 reduction performance and stability were observed with Pb2RuO(7-y) in a carbon-based gas-fed electrode with an anion-conducting membrane placed on the electrolyte side of the electrode. The performance came within a factor of about two of that observed without carbon. High area platinum and gold supported on several conductive metal oxide supports were examined. Only small improvements in O2 reduction performance at room temperature were observed for Pb2Ru2O(7-y) as a support because of the high intrinsic activity of the pyrochlore. In contrast, a large improvement was observed for Li-doped NiO as a support for Pt. Very poor performance was observed for Au deposited on Li-NiO at approx. 150 C

  13. Calcined polyaniline-iron composite as a high efficient cathodic catalyst in microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Lai, Bin; Wang, Peng; Li, Haoran; Du, Zhuwei; Wang, Lijuan; Bi, Sichao

    2013-03-01

    A new type of carbon-nitrogen-metal catalyst, PANI-Fe-C, was synthesized by calcination process. According to the results of FT-IR and XPS analysis, polyaniline chain was broken by calcination. Small nitrogen-contained molecular fragments were gasified during calcination process, while the remaining nitrogen atoms were enchased in the new produced multiple carbon rings by C-N and CN bonds and performed as the catalytic active sites and the covalent centers for soluble iron components. Calculated from the polarization curves, a maximum power density of 10.17W/m(3) for the MFC with the synthetic catalyst was obtained, which was slightly higher than the MFC with Pt/C catalyst of 9.56W/m(3). All the results obtained in this paper proved that the newly synthetic nitrogen-carbon-metal catalyst would be a potential alternative to the expensive Pt/C catalyst in the field of MFC.

  14. Biofouling inhibition and enhancing performance of microbial fuel cell using silver nano-particles as fungicide and cathode catalyst.

    PubMed

    Noori, Md T; Jain, Sumat C; Ghangrekar, M M; Mukherjee, C K

    2016-11-01

    Morphological analysis of biofouling developed on cathode surface in an air-cathode microbial fuel cell (MFC) was performed. For sustaining power production and enhancing Coulombic efficiency (CE) of MFC, studies were conducted to inhibit cathode biofouling using different loadings of silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs) with 5% and 10% Ag in carbon black powder. In MFC without using Ag-NPs in cathode (MFC-C), cathode biofouling increased the charge transfer resistance (Rct) from 1710Ω.cm(2) to 2409Ω.cm(2), and reduced CE by 32%; whereas in MFC with 10% Ag in cathode Rct increased by only 5%. Power density of 7.9±0.5W/m(3) in MFC using 5% Ag and 9.8±0.3W/m(3) in MFC using 10% Ag in cathode was 4.6 and 5.7-folds higher than MFC-C. These results suggest that the Ag-NPs effectively inhibit the fungal biofouling on cathode surface of MFCs and enhanced the power recovery and CE by improving cathode kinetics.

  15. Biofouling inhibition and enhancing performance of microbial fuel cell using silver nano-particles as fungicide and cathode catalyst.

    PubMed

    Noori, Md T; Jain, Sumat C; Ghangrekar, M M; Mukherjee, C K

    2016-11-01

    Morphological analysis of biofouling developed on cathode surface in an air-cathode microbial fuel cell (MFC) was performed. For sustaining power production and enhancing Coulombic efficiency (CE) of MFC, studies were conducted to inhibit cathode biofouling using different loadings of silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs) with 5% and 10% Ag in carbon black powder. In MFC without using Ag-NPs in cathode (MFC-C), cathode biofouling increased the charge transfer resistance (Rct) from 1710Ω.cm(2) to 2409Ω.cm(2), and reduced CE by 32%; whereas in MFC with 10% Ag in cathode Rct increased by only 5%. Power density of 7.9±0.5W/m(3) in MFC using 5% Ag and 9.8±0.3W/m(3) in MFC using 10% Ag in cathode was 4.6 and 5.7-folds higher than MFC-C. These results suggest that the Ag-NPs effectively inhibit the fungal biofouling on cathode surface of MFCs and enhanced the power recovery and CE by improving cathode kinetics. PMID:27567479

  16. Nb doped TiO2 as a Cathode Catalyst Support Material for Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Toole, Alexander W.

    In order to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases and reduce dependence on the use of fossil fuels, it is necessary to pursue alternative sources of energy. Transportation is a major contributor to the emission of greenhouse gases due to the use of fossil fuels in the internal combustion engine. To reduce emission of these pollutants into the atmosphere, research is needed to produce alternative solutions for vehicle transportation. Low temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells are energy conversion devices that provide an alternative to the internal combustion engine, however, they still have obstacles to overcome to achieve large scale implementation. T he following work presents original research with regards to the development of Nb doped TiO2 as a cathode catalyst support material for low temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. The development of a new process to synthesize nanoparticles of Nb doped TiO2 with controlled compositions is presented as well as methods to scale up the process and optimize the synthesis for the aforementioned application. In addition to this, comparison of both electrochemical activity and durability with current state of the art Pt on high surface area carbon black (Vulcan XC-72) is investigated. Effects of the strong metal-support interaction on the electrochemical behavior of these materials is also observed and discussed.

  17. Carbon supported Ag nanoparticles as high performance cathode catalyst for H2/O2 anion exchange membrane fuel cell

    PubMed Central

    Xin, Le; Zhang, Zhiyong; Wang, Zhichao; Qi, Ji; Li, Wenzhen

    2013-01-01

    A solution phase-based nanocapsule method was successfully developed to synthesize non-platinum metal catalyst—carbon supported Ag nanoparticles (Ag/C). XRD patterns and TEM image show Ag nanoparticles with a small average size (5.4 nm) and narrow size distribution (2–9 nm) are uniformly dispersed on the carbon black Vulcan XC-72 support. The intrinsic activity and pathway of oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) on the Ag/C and commercial Pt/C were investigated using rotating ring disk electrode (RRDE) tests at room temperature. The results confirmed that the 4-electron pathway of ORR proceeds on small Ag nanoparticles, and showed comparable ORR activities on the self-prepared Ag/C and a commercial Pt/C. A single H2-O2 anion exchange membrane fuel cell (AEMFC) with the Ag/C cathode catalyst exhibited an open circuit potential of 0.98 V and a peak power density of 190 mW/cm2 at 80°C. PMID:24790944

  18. Manganese dioxide as a cathode catalyst for a direct alcohol or sodium borohydride fuel cell with a flowing alkaline electrolyte

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verma, A.; Jha, A. K.; Basu, S.

    The oxygen reduction reaction at a manganese dioxide cathode in alkaline medium is studied using cyclic voltammetry and by measuring volume of oxygen consumed at the cathode. The performance of the manganese dioxide cathode is also determined in the presence of fuel and an alkali mixture with a standard Pt/Ni anode in a flowing alkaline-electrolyte fuel cell. The fuels tested are methanol, ethanol and sodium borohydride (1 M), while 3 M KOH is used as the electrolyte. The performance of the fuel cell is measured in terms of open-circuit voltage and current-potential characteristics. A single peak in the cyclic voltammogram suggests that a four-electron pathway mechanism prevails during oxygen reduction. This is substantiated by calculating the number of electrons involved per molecule of oxygen that are reacted at the MnO 2 cathode from the oxygen consumption data for different fuels. The results show that the power density of the fuel cell increases with increase in MnO 2 loading to a certain limit but then decreases with further loading. The maximum power density is obtained at 3 mg cm -2 of MnO 2 for each of the three different fuels.

  19. Development of ternary alloy cathode catalysts for phosphoric acid fuel cells: Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Jalan, V.; Kosek, J.; Giner, J.; Taylor, E. J.; Anderson, E.; Bianchi, V.; Brooks, C.; Cahill, K.; Cropley, C.; Desai, M.; Frost, D.; Morriseau, B.; Paul, B.; Poirier, J.; Rousseau, M.; Swette, L.; Waterhouse, R.

    1988-11-01

    The overall objective of the program was the identification development and incorporation of high activity platinum ternary alloys on corrosion resistant supports, for use in advanced phosphoric acid fuel cells. Two high activity ternary alloys, Pr-Cr-Ce and Pt-Ni-Co, both supported on Vulcan XC-72, were identified during the course of the program. The Pr-Ni-Co system was selected for optimization, including preparation and evaluation on corrosion resistant supports such as 2700/degree/C heat-treated Vulcan XC-72 and 2700/degree/ heat-treated Black Pearls 2000. A series of tests identified optimum metal ratios, heat-treatment temperatures and heat-treatment atmospheres for the Pr-Ni-Co system. During characterization testing, it was discovered that approximately 50% of the nickel and cobalt present in the starting material could be removed, subsequent to alloy formation, without degrading performance. Extremely stable full cell performance was observed for the Pt-Ni-Co system during a 10,000 hour atmosphere pressure life test. Several theories are proposed to explain the enhancement in activity due to alloy formation. Recommendations are made for future research in this area. 62 refs., 23 figs., 27 tabs.

  20. Experimental results with fuel cell start-up and shut-down. Impact of type of carbon for cathode catalyst support

    SciTech Connect

    Lottin, Olivier; Dillet, Jerome; Maranzana, Gael; Abbou, Sofyane; Didierjean, Sophie; Lamibrac, Adrien; Borup, Rodney L.; Mukundan, Rangachary; Spernjak, Dusan

    2015-09-14

    Separate testing protocols for fuel cell startups and shutdowns were developed to distinguish between their effects on reverse currents and CO2 evolution. The internal currents and the local potentials were measured with different membrane-electrode assemblies (MEAs): we examined the influence of the type of carbon for cathode catalyst support as well as the mitigating effect of low anode Pt loading. In conclusion, significant differences were observed and the experiments also confirmed previous results that the evolved CO2 accounts for less than 25% of the total exchanged charge.

  1. Experimental results with fuel cell start-up and shut-down. Impact of type of carbon for cathode catalyst support

    DOE PAGES

    Lottin, Olivier; Dillet, Jerome; Maranzana, Gael; Abbou, Sofyane; Didierjean, Sophie; Lamibrac, Adrien; Borup, Rodney L.; Mukundan, Rangachary; Spernjak, Dusan

    2015-09-14

    Separate testing protocols for fuel cell startups and shutdowns were developed to distinguish between their effects on reverse currents and CO2 evolution. The internal currents and the local potentials were measured with different membrane-electrode assemblies (MEAs): we examined the influence of the type of carbon for cathode catalyst support as well as the mitigating effect of low anode Pt loading. In conclusion, significant differences were observed and the experiments also confirmed previous results that the evolved CO2 accounts for less than 25% of the total exchanged charge.

  2. Zinc/air cell cathode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McEvoy, J. J.

    1986-04-01

    This invention relates to a cathode for an air depolarized cell in which the hydrophobic catalytic cathode contains or in integrally drophobi catalytic cathode contains or is integrally coated with, on the surface adjacent the cell separator, an absorbent material such as the gelling material used in the anode. The absorbent material, integrated with the cathode surface, adheres the separator to the cathode thereby preventing delamination and provides an electrolyte reservoir for the hydrophobic cathode.

  3. Analyzing Structural Changes of Fe-N-C Cathode Catalysts in PEM Fuel Cell by Mößbauer Spectroscopy of Complete Membrane Electrode Assemblies.

    PubMed

    Kramm, Ulrike I; Lefèvre, Michel; Bogdanoff, Peter; Schmeißer, Dieter; Dodelet, Jean-Pol

    2014-11-01

    The applicability of analyzing by Mößbauer spectroscopy the structural changes of Fe-N-C catalysts that have been tested at the cathode of membrane electrode assemblies in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells is demonstrated. The Mößbauer characterization of powders of the same catalysts was recently described in our previous publication. A possible change of the iron species upon testing in fuel cell was investigated here by Mößbauer spectroscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray cross-sectional imaging, and neutron activation analysis. Our results show that the absorption probability of γ rays by the iron nuclei in Fe-N-C is strongly affected by the presence of Nafion and water content. A detailed investigation of the effect of an oxidizing treatment (1.2 V) of the non-noble cathode in PEM fuel cell indicates that the observed activity decay is mainly attributable to carbon oxidation causing a leaching of active iron sites hosted in the carbon matrix.

  4. Easy-to-operate and low-temperature synthesis of gram-scale nitrogen-doped graphene and its application as cathode catalyst in microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Feng, Leiyu; Chen, Yinguang; Chen, Lang

    2011-12-27

    Nitrogen-doped graphene (NG), with unique electronic properties, is showing great promise for a wide range of practical applications. However, the reported approaches for NG synthesis are usually complex, require high temperatures, produce lower atomic ratios of nitrogen to carbon (N/C), and do not deliver products in a reasonably large quantity. Here we report an easy-to-operate and low-temperature method to synthesize NG in gram-scale quantities with a denotation process. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction characterization suggested that the synthesized NG films were uniformly multilayered and had a high crystalline quality. In the graphene sheets the existence of nitrogen substitution with an atomic ratio of N/C 12.5%, which was greater than those reported in the literature, was confirmed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopic analysis. In the neutral phosphate buffer solution, the synthesized NG was demonstrated to act as a metal-free electrode with excellent electrocatalytic activity and long-term operation stability for oxygen reduction via a combination of two-electron and four-electron pathways. When the NG was applied as the cathode catalyst of microbial fuel cells (MFCs), the obtained maximum power density was comparable to that of conventional platinum catalyst. More importantly, MFCs with NG produced power more stably and less expensively than those with Pt catalyst, indicating that the synthesized NG might be used as a good alternative to Pt catalyst in MFCs with a long run.

  5. Iron phthalocyanine supported on amino-functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotube as an alternative cathodic oxygen catalyst in microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Yong; Zhao, Bo; Jeon, Yongwon; Zhong, Shengkui; Zhou, Shungui; Kim, Sunghyun

    2011-05-01

    Amino-functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotube (a-MWCNT)-supported iron phthalocyanine (FePc) (a-MWCNT/FePc) has been investigated as a catalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in an air-cathode single-chambered microbial fuel cell (MFC). Cyclic and linear sweep voltammogram are employed to investigate the electrocatalytic activity of the a-MWCNT/FePc for ORR. The maximum power density of 601 mWm(-2) is achieved from a MFC with the a-MWCNT/FePc cathode, which is the highest energy output compared to those MFCs with other materials supported FePc, such as carbon black, pristine MWCNT (p-MWCNT), carboxylic acid functionalized MWCNT (c-MWCNT), and even with a Pt/C cathode. Furthermore, cyclic voltammetry performed on the a-MWCNT/FePc electrode suggests that the a-MWCNT/FePc has an electrochemical activity for ORR via a four-electron pathway in a neutral pH solution. This work provides a potential alternative to Pt in MFCs for sustainable energy generation.

  6. Nitrogen-doped graphene/CoNi alloy encased within bamboo-like carbon nanotube hybrids as cathode catalysts in microbial fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hou, Yang; Yuan, Heyang; Wen, Zhenhai; Cui, Shumao; Guo, Xiaoru; He, Zhen; Chen, Junhong

    2016-03-01

    Cost-effective catalysts are of key importance to the successful deployment of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) for electricity generation from organic wastes. Herein, a novel catalyst prepared by one-step synthesis strategy is reported. The catalyst features N-doped bamboo-like carbon nanotube (BCNT) in which CoNi-alloy is encapsulated at the end and/or the middle section of the tube with many graphene layers inside inner cavities of BCNT (N-G@CoNi/BCNT). The prepared N-G@CoNi/BCNT exhibits a high oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity with an early onset potential of 0.06 V vs. Ag/AgCl and a comparable exchange current density to that of commercial Pt/C. The excellent catalytic activity is further evidenced by a high electron transfer number of 3.63. When being applied in MFCs, the N-G@CoNi/BCNT yields an average current density of 6.7 A m-2, slightly lower than that of Pt/C but with a less mass transfer potential loss. The cost of the N-G@CoNi/BCNT for constructing a 1-m2 cathode electrode is 200 times lower than that of Pt/C. With such a competitive price and excellent electrocatalytic-activity resulting from its unique morphology, CoNi-alloy/nitrogen dopants, considerable specific surface area, and carbon-coated alloy/graphene hybridization, the present catalyst is a promising candidate for ORR catalysts in MFCs for energy recovery from wastes.

  7. Cathode material for electrochemical cells

    SciTech Connect

    Ryan, D.M.

    1993-08-24

    A primary cell is described having an anode material, an electrolyte material and a cathode material, wherein said cathode material, in the predischarge condition thereof, is K[sub 3]V[sub 5]O[sub 14].

  8. Easy-to-operate and low-temperature synthesis of gram-scale nitrogen-doped graphene and its application as cathode catalyst in microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Feng, Leiyu; Chen, Yinguang; Chen, Lang

    2011-12-27

    Nitrogen-doped graphene (NG), with unique electronic properties, is showing great promise for a wide range of practical applications. However, the reported approaches for NG synthesis are usually complex, require high temperatures, produce lower atomic ratios of nitrogen to carbon (N/C), and do not deliver products in a reasonably large quantity. Here we report an easy-to-operate and low-temperature method to synthesize NG in gram-scale quantities with a denotation process. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction characterization suggested that the synthesized NG films were uniformly multilayered and had a high crystalline quality. In the graphene sheets the existence of nitrogen substitution with an atomic ratio of N/C 12.5%, which was greater than those reported in the literature, was confirmed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopic analysis. In the neutral phosphate buffer solution, the synthesized NG was demonstrated to act as a metal-free electrode with excellent electrocatalytic activity and long-term operation stability for oxygen reduction via a combination of two-electron and four-electron pathways. When the NG was applied as the cathode catalyst of microbial fuel cells (MFCs), the obtained maximum power density was comparable to that of conventional platinum catalyst. More importantly, MFCs with NG produced power more stably and less expensively than those with Pt catalyst, indicating that the synthesized NG might be used as a good alternative to Pt catalyst in MFCs with a long run. PMID:22029637

  9. Synthesis and electrochemical performances of LiNiCuZn oxides as anode and cathode catalyst for low temperature solid oxide fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Jing, Y; Qin, H; Liu, Q; Singh, M; Zhu, B

    2012-06-01

    Low temperature solid oxide fuel cell (LTSOFC, 300-600 degrees C) is developed with advantages compared to conventional SOFC (800-1000 degrees C). The electrodes with good catalytic activity, high electronic and ionic conductivity are required to achieve high power output. In this work, a LiNiCuZn oxides as anode and cathode catalyst is prepared by slurry method. The structure and morphology of the prepared LiNiCuZn oxides are characterized by X-ray diffraction and field emission scanning electron microscopy. The LiNiCuZn oxides prepared by slurry method are nano Li0.28Ni0.72O, ZnO and CuO compound. The nano-crystallites are congregated to form ball-shape particles with diameter of 800-1000 nm. The LiNiCuZn oxides electrodes exhibits high ion conductivity and low polarization resistance to hydrogen oxidation reaction and oxygen reduction reaction at low temperature. The LTSOFC using the LiNiCuZn oxides electrodes demonstrates good cell performance of 1000 mW cm(-2) when it operates at 470 degrees C. It is considered that nano-composite would be an effective way to develop catalyst for LTSOFC.

  10. Modeling the cathode in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell using density functional theory How the carbon support can affect durability and activity of a platinum catalyst

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Groves, Michael Nelson

    The current global energy and environmental challenges need to be addressed by developing a new portfolio of clean power producing devices. The proton exchange membrane fuel cell has the potential to be included and can fit into a variety of niches ranging from portable electronics to stationary residential applications. One of the many barriers to commercial viability is the cost of the cathode layer which requires too much platinum metal to achieve a comparable power output as well as would need to be replaced more frequently when compared to conventional sources for most applications. Using density functional theory, an ab initio modeling technique, these durability and activity issues are examined for platinum catalysts on graphene and carbon nanotube supports. The carbon supports were also doped by replacing individual carbon atoms with other second row elements (beryllium, boron, nitrogen, and oxygen) and the effect on the platinum-surface interaction along with the interaction between the platinum and the oxygen reduction reaction intermediates are discussed. Keywords: proton exchange membrane fuel cell, density functional theory, platinum catalyst, oxygen reduction reaction, doped carbon surfaces

  11. Synthesis of iron oxide/partly graphitized carbon composites as a high-efficiency and low-cost cathode catalyst for microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Ma, Ming; Dai, Ying; Zou, Jin-long; Wang, Lei; Pan, Kai; Fu, Hong-gang

    2014-08-27

    Waste cornstalks and pomelo skins are used as carbon resources for preparing nanocomposites of iron oxide and partly graphitized carbon (Fe3O4/PGC-CS and Fe3O4/PGC-PS). The results showed that Fe3O4 with a face-centered cubic structure is uniformly dispersed on the skeleton of Fe3O4/GC, and the highest SBET values of Fe3O4/PGC-CS (476.5 m(2) g(-1)) and Fe3O4/PGC-PS (547.7 m(2) g(-1)) are obtained at 1000 °C. The electrical conductivity and density of catalytic active sites are correspondingly improved by the introduction of Fe species. Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) with a mixed composite (Fe3O4/PGC-CS:Fe3O4/PGC-PS = 1:1) cathode (three-dimensional structures) generate the highest power density of 1502 ± 30 mW m(-2), which is 26.01% higher than that of Pt/C (1192 ± 33 mW m(-2)) and only declines by 7.12% after 18 cycles. The Fe3O4/PGC-CS cathode has the highest Coulombic efficiency (24.3 ± 0.7%). The Fe3O4/PGC composites exhibit high oxygen reduction reactivity, low charge transfer resistances, and long-term stability and can be used as a low-cost and high-efficiency catalyst for MFCs. PMID:25084054

  12. Nitrogen-doped carbonaceous catalysts for gas-diffusion cathodes for alkaline aluminum-air batteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davydova, E. S.; Atamanyuk, I. N.; Ilyukhin, A. S.; Shkolnikov, E. I.; Zhuk, A. Z.

    2016-02-01

    Cobalt tetramethoxyphenyl porphyrin and polyacrylonitrile - based catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction were synthesized and characterized by means of SEM, TEM, XPS, BET, limited evaporation method, rotating disc and rotating ring-disc electrode methods. Half-cell and Al-air cell tests were carried out to determine the characteristics of gas-diffusion cathodes. Effect of active layer thickness and its composition on the characteristics of the gas-diffusion cathodes was investigated. Power density of 300 mW cm-2 was achieved for alkaline Al-air cell with an air-breathing polyacrylonitrile-based cathode.

  13. Hydrothermal synthesis of highly crystalline RuS{sub 2} nanoparticles as cathodic catalysts in the methanol fuel cell and hydrochloric acid electrolysis

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Yanjuan; Li, Nan; Yanagisawa, Kazumichi; Li, Xiaotian; Yan, Xiao

    2015-05-15

    Highlights: • Highly crystalline RuS{sub 2} nanoparticles have been first synthesized by a “one-step” hydrothermal method. • The product presents a pure cubic phase of stoichiometric ratio RuS{sub 2} with average particle size of 14.8 nm. • RuS{sub 2} nanoparticles were used as cathodic catalysts in methanol fuel cell and hydrochloric acid electrolysis. • The catalyst outperforms commercial Pt/C in methanol tolerance and stability towards Cl{sup −}. - Abstract: Highly crystalline ruthenium sulfide (RuS{sub 2}) nanoparticles have been first synthesized by a “one-step” hydrothermal method at 400 °C, using ruthenium chloride and thiourea as reactants. The products were characterized by powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy/energy disperse spectroscopy (SEM/EDS), thermo gravimetric-differential thermal analyze (TG-DTA), transmission electron microscopy equipped with selected area electron diffraction (TEM/SAED). Fourier transform infrared spectra (IR), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). XRD result illustrates that the highly crystalline product presents a pure cubic phase of stoichiometric ratio RuS{sub 2} and the average particle size is 14.8 nm. SEM and TEM images display the products have irregular shape of 6–25 nm. XPS analyst indicates that the sulfur exists in the form of S{sub 2}{sup 2−}. Cyclic voltammetry (CV), rotating disk electrode (RDE), chronoamperometry (CA) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) measurements are conducted to evaluate the electrocatalytic activity and stability of the highly crystalline RuS{sub 2} nanoparticles in oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) for methanol fuel cell and hydrochloric acid electrolysis. The results illustrate that RuS{sub 2} is active towards oxygen reduction reaction. Although the activity of RuS{sub 2} is lower than that of Pt/C, the RuS{sub 2} catalyst outperforms commercial Pt/C in methanol tolerance and stability towards Cl{sup −}.

  14. Formic acid fuel cells and catalysts

    DOEpatents

    Masel, Richard I.; Larsen, Robert; Ha, Su Yun

    2010-06-22

    An exemplary fuel cell of the invention includes a formic acid fuel solution in communication with an anode (12, 134), an oxidizer in communication with a cathode (16, 135) electrically linked to the anode, and an anode catalyst that includes Pd. An exemplary formic acid fuel cell membrane electrode assembly (130) includes a proton-conducting membrane (131) having opposing first (132) and second surfaces (133), a cathode catalyst on the second membrane surface, and an anode catalyst including Pd on the first surface.

  15. Fuel cell development for transportation: Catalyst development

    SciTech Connect

    Doddapaneni, N.

    1996-04-01

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

  16. Highly durable and active non-precious air cathode catalyst for zinc air battery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Zhu; Choi, Ja-Yeon; Wang, Haijiang; Li, Hui; Chen, Zhongwei

    The electrochemical stability of non-precious FeCo-EDA and commercial Pt/C cathode catalysts for zinc air battery have been compared using accelerated degradation test (ADT) in alkaline condition. Outstanding oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) stability of the FeCo-EDA catalyst was observed compared with the commercial Pt/C catalyst. The FeCo-EDA catalyst retained 80% of the initial mass activity for ORR whereas the commercial Pt/C catalyst retained only 32% of the initial mass activity after ADT. Additionally, the FeCo-EDA catalyst exhibited a nearly three times higher mass activity compared to that of the commercial Pt/C catalyst after ADT. Furthermore, single cell test of the FeCo-EDA and Pt/C catalysts was performed where both catalysts exhibited pseudolinear behaviour in the 12-500 mA cm -2 range. In addition, 67% higher peak power density was observed from the FeCo-EDA catalyst compared with commercial Pt/C. Based on the half cell and single cell tests the non-precious FeCo-EDA catalyst is a very promising ORR electrocatalyst for zinc air battery.

  17. High performance, high durability non-precious metal fuel cell catalysts

    DOEpatents

    Wood, Thomas E.; Atanasoski, Radoslav; Schmoeckel, Alison K.

    2016-03-15

    This invention relates to non-precious metal fuel cell cathode catalysts, fuel cells that contain these catalysts, and methods of making the same. The fuel cell cathode catalysts are highly nitrogenated carbon materials that can contain a transition metal. The highly nitrogenated carbon materials can be supported on a nanoparticle substrate.

  18. Evaluation of bimetallic catalyst PtAg/C as a glucose-tolerant oxygen reduction cathode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guerra-Balcázar, M.; Cuevas-Muñiz, F. M.; Álvarez-Contreras, L.; Arriaga, L. G.; Ledesma-García, J.

    2012-01-01

    PtAg/C nanoparticles were synthesized by chemical reduction and evaluated for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in the absence and presence of glucose. PtAg/C catalyst formed onion-like layered structures, which are uniformly distributed on the support. PtAg/C showed activity comparable to that of Pt/C ETEK for ORR. Further, the catalyst exhibited high selectivity for ORR in the presence of glucose. PtAg/C was evaluated as cathode in a microfluidic fuel cell operated with high concentration of glucose (100 mM) as fuel. The results demonstrated that the use of PtAg/C as cathode electrode achieved higher selectivity and better performance compared with Pt/C catalyst.

  19. Synthesis-Structure-Performance Correlation for Polyaniline-Me-C Non-Precious Metal Cathode Catalysts for Oxygen Reduction in Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, Gang; Johnston, Christina; Mack, Nathan; Artyushkova, Kateryna; Ferrandon, Magali; Nelson, Mark; Lezama-pacheco, Juan; Conradson, Steven; More, Karren Leslie; Myers, Deborah; Zelenay, Piotr

    2011-01-01

    In this report, we present the systematic preparation of active and durable non-precious metal catalysts (NPMCs) for the oxygen reduction reaction in polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) based on the heat treatment of polyaniline/metal/carbon precursors. Variation of the synthesis steps, heat-treatment temperature, metal loading, and the metal type in the synthesis leads to markedly different catalyst activity, speciation, and morphology. Microscopy studies demonstrate notable differences in the carbon structure as a function of these variables. Balancing the need to increase the catalyst's degree of graphitization through heat treatment versus the excessive loss of surface area that occurs at higher temperatures is a key to preparing an active catalyst. XPS and XAFS spectra are consistent with the presence of Me-N{sub x} structures in both the Co and Fe versions of the catalyst, which are often proposed to be active sites. The average speciation and coordination environment of nitrogen and metal, however, depends greatly on the choice of Co or Fe. Taken together, the data indicate that better control of the metal-catalyzed transformations of the polymer into new graphitized carbon forms in the heat-treatment step will allow for even further improvement of this class of catalysts.

  20. Durability and performance optimization of cathode materials for fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colon-Mercado, Hector Rafael

    The primary objective of this dissertation is to develop an accelerated durability test (ADT) for the evaluation of cathode materials for fuel cells. The work has been divided in two main categories, namely high temperature fuel cells with emphasis on the Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell (MCFC) cathode current collector corrosion problems and low temperature fuel cells in particular Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell (PEMFC) cathode catalyst corrosion. The high operating temperature of MCFC has given it benefits over other fuel cells. These include higher efficiencies (>50%), faster electrode kinetics, etc. At 650°C, the theoretical open circuit voltage is established, providing low electrode overpotentials without requiring any noble metal catalysts and permitting high electrochemical efficiency. The waste heat is generated at sufficiently high temperatures to make it useful as a co-product. However, in order to commercialize the MCFC, a lifetime of 40,000 hours of operation must be achieved. The major limiting factor in the MCFC is the corrosion of cathode materials, which include cathode electrode and cathode current collector. In the first part of this dissertation the corrosion characteristics of bare, heat-treated and cobalt coated titanium alloys were studied using an ADT and compared with that of state of the art current collector material, SS 316. PEMFCs are the best choice for a wide range of portable, stationary and automotive applications because of their high power density and relatively low-temperature operation. However, a major impediment in the commercialization of the fuel cell technology is the cost involved due to the large amount of platinum electrocatalyst used in the cathode catalyst. In an effort to increase the power and decrease the cathode cost in polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEMFC) systems, Pt-alloy catalysts were developed to increase its activity and stability. Extensive research has been conducted in the area of new alloy development and

  1. Effect of Particle Size and Operating Conditions on Pt3Co PEMFC Cathode Catalyst Durability

    DOE PAGES

    Gummalla, Mallika; Ball, Sarah; Condit, David; Rasouli, Somaye; Yu, Kang; Ferreira, Paulo; Myers, Deborah; Yang, Zhiwei

    2015-05-29

    The initial performance and decay trends of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) cathodes with Pt3Co catalysts of three mean particle sizes (4.9 nm, 8.1 nm, and 14.8 nm) with identical Pt loadings are compared. Even though the cathode based on 4.9 nm catalyst exhibited the highest initial electrochemical surface area (ECA) and mass activity, the cathode based on 8.1 nm catalyst showed better initial performance at high currents. Owing to the low mass activity of the large particles, the initial performance of the 14.8 nm Pt3Co-based electrode was the lowest. The performance decay rate of the electrodes with themore » smallest Pt3Co particle size was the highest and that of the largest Pt3Co particle size was lowest. Interestingly, with increasing number of decay cycles (0.6 to 1.0 V, 50 mV/s), the relative improvement in performance of the cathode based on 8.1 nm Pt3Co over the 4.9 nm Pt3Co increased, owing to better stability of the 8.1 nm catalyst. The electron microprobe analysis (EMPA) of the decayed membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) showed that the amount of Co in the membrane was lower for the larger particles, and the platinum loss into the membrane also decreased with increasing particle size. This suggests that the higher initial performance at high currents with 8.1 nm Pt3Co could be due to lower contamination of the ionomer in the electrode. Furthermore, lower loss of Co from the catalyst with increased particle size could be one of the factors contributing to the stability of ECA and mass activity of electrodes with larger cathode catalyst particles. To delineate the impact of particle size and alloy effects, these results are compared with prior work from our research group on size effects of pure platinum catalysts. The impact of PEMFC operating conditions, including upper potential, relative humidity, and temperature on the alloy catalyst decay trends, along with the EMPA analysis of the decayed MEAs, are reported.« less

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Cathode for aluminum producing electrolytic cell

    DOEpatents

    Brown, Craig W.

    2004-04-13

    A method of producing aluminum in an electrolytic cell comprising the steps of providing an anode in a cell, preferably a non-reactive anode, and also providing a cathode in the cell, the cathode comprised of a base material having low electrical conductivity reactive with molten aluminum to provide a highly electrically conductive layer on the base material. Electric current is passed from the anode to the cathode and alumina is reduced and aluminum is deposited at the cathode. The cathode base material is selected from boron carbide, and zirconium oxide.

  4. Catalyst and electrode research for phosphoric acid fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Antoine, A. C.; King, R. B.

    1987-01-01

    An account is given of the development status of phosphoric acid fuel cells' high performance catalyst and electrode materials. Binary alloys have been identified which outperform the baseline platinum catalyst; it has also become apparent that pressurized operation is required to reach the desired efficiencies, calling in turn for the use of graphitized carbon blacks in the role of catalyst supports. Efforts to improve cell performance and reduce catalyst costs have led to the investigation of a class of organometallic cathode catalysts represented by the tetraazaannulenes, and a mixed catalyst which is a mixture of carbons catalyzed with an organometallic and a noble metal.

  5. Cathodic oxygen reduction catalyzed by bacteria in microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Rabaey, Korneel; Read, Suzanne T; Clauwaert, Peter; Freguia, Stefano; Bond, Philip L; Blackall, Linda L; Keller, Jurg

    2008-05-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) have the potential to combine wastewater treatment efficiency with energetic efficiency. One of the major impediments to MFC implementation is the operation of the cathode compartment, as it employs environmentally unfriendly catalysts such as platinum. As recently shown, bacteria can facilitate sustainable and cost-effective cathode catalysis for nitrate and also oxygen. Here we describe a carbon cathode open to the air, on which attached bacteria catalyzed oxygen reduction. The bacteria present were able to reduce oxygen as the ultimate electron acceptor using electrons provided by the solid-phase cathode. Current densities of up to 2.2 A m(-2) cathode projected surface were obtained (0.303+/-0.017 W m(-2), 15 W m(-3) total reactor volume). The cathodic microbial community was dominated by Sphingobacterium, Acinetobacter and Acidovorax sp., according to 16S rRNA gene clone library analysis. Isolates of Sphingobacterium sp. and Acinetobacter sp. were obtained using H(2)/O(2) mixtures. Some of the pure culture isolates obtained from the cathode showed an increase in the power output of up to three-fold compared to a non-inoculated control, that is, from 0.015+/-0.001 to 0.049+/-0.025 W m(-2) cathode projected surface. The strong decrease in activation losses indicates that bacteria function as true catalysts for oxygen reduction. Owing to the high overpotential for non-catalyzed reduction, oxygen is only to a limited extent competitive toward the electron donor, that is, the cathode. Further research to refine the operational parameters and increase the current density by modifying the electrode surface and elucidating the bacterial metabolism is warranted. PMID:18288216

  6. Ion exchange membrane cathodes for scalable microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Zuo, Yi; Cheng, Shaoan; Logan, Bruce E

    2008-09-15

    One of the main challenges for using microbial fuel cells (MFCs) is developing materials and architectures that are economical and generate high power densities. The performance of two cathodes constructed from two low-cost anion (AEM) and cation (CEM) exchange membranes was compared to that achieved using an ultrafiltration (UF) cathode, when the membranes were made electrically conductive using graphite paint and a nonprecious metal catalyst (CoTMPP). The best performance in single-chamber MFCs using graphite fiber brush anodes was achieved using an AEM cathode with the conductive coating facing the solution, at a catalyst loading of 0.5 mg/cm2 CoTMPP. The maximum power densitywas 449 mW/ m2 (normalized to the projected cathode surface area) or 13.1 W/m3 (total reactor volume), with a Coulombic efficiency up to 70% in a 50 mM phosphate buffer solution (PBS) using acetate. Decreasing the CoTMPP loading by 40-80% reduced power by 28-56%, with only 16% of the power (72 mW/m2) generated using an AEM cathode lacking a catalyst. Using a current collector (a stainless steel mesh) pressed against the inside surface of the AEM cathode and 200 mM PBS, the maximum power produced was further increased to 728 mW/m2 (21.2 W/m3). The use of AEM cathodes and brush anodes provides comparable performance to similar systems that use materials costing nearly an order of magnitude more (carbon paper electrodes) and thus represent more useful materials for reducing the costs of MFCs for wastewater treatment applications. PMID:18853817

  7. Ion exchange membrane cathodes for scalable microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Zuo, Yi; Cheng, Shaoan; Logan, Bruce E

    2008-09-15

    One of the main challenges for using microbial fuel cells (MFCs) is developing materials and architectures that are economical and generate high power densities. The performance of two cathodes constructed from two low-cost anion (AEM) and cation (CEM) exchange membranes was compared to that achieved using an ultrafiltration (UF) cathode, when the membranes were made electrically conductive using graphite paint and a nonprecious metal catalyst (CoTMPP). The best performance in single-chamber MFCs using graphite fiber brush anodes was achieved using an AEM cathode with the conductive coating facing the solution, at a catalyst loading of 0.5 mg/cm2 CoTMPP. The maximum power densitywas 449 mW/ m2 (normalized to the projected cathode surface area) or 13.1 W/m3 (total reactor volume), with a Coulombic efficiency up to 70% in a 50 mM phosphate buffer solution (PBS) using acetate. Decreasing the CoTMPP loading by 40-80% reduced power by 28-56%, with only 16% of the power (72 mW/m2) generated using an AEM cathode lacking a catalyst. Using a current collector (a stainless steel mesh) pressed against the inside surface of the AEM cathode and 200 mM PBS, the maximum power produced was further increased to 728 mW/m2 (21.2 W/m3). The use of AEM cathodes and brush anodes provides comparable performance to similar systems that use materials costing nearly an order of magnitude more (carbon paper electrodes) and thus represent more useful materials for reducing the costs of MFCs for wastewater treatment applications.

  8. Optimization of carbon-supported platinum cathode catalysts for DMFC operation.

    SciTech Connect

    Zhu, Y.; Brosha, E. L.; Zelenay, P.

    2002-01-01

    In this paper, we describe performance and optimization of carbon-supported cathode catalysts at low platinum loading. We find that at a loading below 0.6 mg cm-2 carbon-supported platinum outperforms platinum black as a DMFC cathode catalyst. A catalyst with a 1:1 volume ratio of the dry NafionTM to the electronically conducting phase (platinum plus carbon support) provides the best performance in oxygen reduction reaction. Thanks to improved catalyst utilization, carbon-supported catalysts with a platinum content varying from 40 wt% to 80 wt% deliver very good DMFC performance, even at relatively modest precious metal loadings investigated in this work.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Singer, Joseph; Fielder, William L.

    1990-01-01

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

  10. Ruthenium nanocrystals as cathode catalysts for lithium-oxygen batteries with a superior performance

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Bing; Munroe, Paul; Wang, Guoxiu

    2013-01-01

    The key factor to improve the electrochemical performance of Li-O2 batteries is to find effective cathode catalysts to promote the oxygen reduction and oxygen evolution reactions. Herein, we report the synthesis of an effective cathode catalyst of ruthenium nanocrystals supported on carbon black substrate by a surfactant assisting method. The as-prepared ruthenium nanocrystals exhibited an excellent catalytic activity as cathodes in Li-O2 batteries with a high reversible capacity of about 9,800 mAh g−1, a low charge-discharge over-potential (about 0.37 V), and an outstanding cycle performance up to 150 cycles (with a curtaining capacity of 1,000 mAh g−1). The electrochemical testing shows that ruthenium nanocrystals can significantly reduce the charge potential comparing to carbon black catalysts, which demonstrated that ruthenium based nanomaterials could be effective cathode catalysts for high performance lithium- O2 batteries. PMID:23873349

  11. Enhanced Oxygen and Hydroxide Transport in a Cathode Interface by Efficient Antibacterial Property of a Silver Nanoparticle-Modified, Activated Carbon Cathode in Microbial Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

    Li, Da; Qu, Youpeng; Liu, Jia; Liu, Guohong; Zhang, Jie; Feng, Yujie

    2016-08-17

    A biofilm growing on an air cathode is responsible for the decreased performance of microbial fuel cells (MFCs). For the undesired biofilm to be minimized, silver nanoparticles were synthesized on activated carbon as the cathodic catalyst (Ag/AC) in MFCs. Ag/AC enhanced maximum power density by 14.6% compared to that of a bare activated carbon cathode (AC) due to the additional silver catalysis. After operating MFCs over five months, protein content on the Ag/AC cathode was only 38.3% of that on the AC cathode, which resulted in a higher oxygen concentration diffusing through the Ag/AC cathode. In addition, a lower pH increment (0.2 units) was obtained near the Ag/AC catalyst surface after biofouling compared to 0.8 units of the AC cathode, indicating that less biofilm on the Ag/AC cathode had a minor resistance on hydroxide transported from the catalyst layer interfaces to the bulk solution. Therefore, less decrements of the Ag/AC activity and MFC performance were obtained. This result indicated that accelerated transport of oxygen and hydroxide, benefitting from the antibacterial property of the cathode, could efficiently maintain higher cathode stability during long-term operation. PMID:27441786

  12. Cathode for molten carbonate fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Kaun, Thomas D.; Mrazek, Franklin C.

    1990-01-01

    A porous sintered cathode for a molten carbonate fuel cell and method of making same, the cathode including a skeletal structure of a first electronically conductive material slightly soluble in the electrolyte present in the molten carbonate fuel cell covered by fine particles of a second material of possibly lesser electronic conductivity insoluble in the electrolyte present in the molten carbonate fuel cell, the cathode having a porosity in the range of from about 60% to about 70% at steady-state cell operating conditions consisting of both macro-pores and micro-pores.

  13. Impact of liquid water on oxygen reaction in cathode catalyst layer of proton exchange membrane fuel cell: A simple and physically sound model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xiaoxian; Gao, Yuan

    2016-06-01

    When cells work at high current density, liquid water accumulates in their catalyst layer (CL) and the gaseous oxygen could dissolve into the water and the ionomer film simultaneously; their associated dissolved concentrations in equilibrium with the gaseous oxygen are also different. Based on a CL acquired using tomography, we present new methods in this paper to derive agglomerate models for partly saturated CL by viewing the movement and reaction of the dissolved oxygen in the two liquids (water and ionomer) and the agglomerate as two independent random processes. Oxygen dissolved in the water moves differently from oxygen dissolved in the ionomer, and to make the analysis tractable, we use an average distribution function to describe the average movement of all dissolved oxygen. A formula is proposed to describe this average distribution function, which, in combination with the exponential distribution assumed in the literature for oxygen reaction, leads to a simple yet physically sound agglomerate model. The model has three parameters which can be directly calculated from CL structure rather than by calibration. We explain how to calculate these parameters under different water contents for a given CL structure, and analyse the impact of liquid water on cell performance.

  14. Organometallic catalysts for primary phosphoric acid fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walsh, Fraser

    1987-01-01

    A continuing effort by the U.S. Department of Energy to improve the competitiveness of the phosphoric acid fuel cell by improving cell performance and/or reducing cell cost is discussed. Cathode improvement, both in performance and cost, available through the use of a class of organometallic cathode catalysts, the tetraazaannulenes (TAAs), was investigated. A new mixed catalyst was identified which provides improved cathode performance without the need for the use of a noble metal. This mixed catalyst was tested under load for 1000 hr. in full cell at 160 to 200 C in phosphoric acid H3PO4, and was shown to provide stable performance. The mixed catalyst contains an organometallic to catalyze electroreduction of oxygen to hydrogen peroxide and a metal to catalyze further electroreduction of the hydrogen peroxide to water. Cathodes containing an exemplar mixed catalyst (e.g., Co bisphenyl TAA/Mn) operate at approximately 650 mV vs DHE in 160 C, 85% H3PO4 with oxygen as reactant. In developing this mixed catalyst, a broad spectrum of TAAs were prepared, tested in half-cell and in a rotating ring-disk electrode system. TAAs found to facilitate the production of hydrogen peroxide in electroreduction were shown to be preferred TAAs for use in the mixed catalyst. Manganese (Mn) was identified as a preferred metal because it is capable of catalyzing hydrogen peroxide electroreduction, is lower in cost and is of less strategic importance than platinum, the cathode catalyst normally used in the fuel cell.

  15. Iron- and nitrogen-functionalized graphene as a non-precious metal catalyst for enhanced oxygen reduction in an air-cathode microbial fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Sizhe; Hu, Yongyou; Xu, Qian; Sun, Jian; Hou, Bin; Zhang, Yaping

    2012-09-01

    In this work, iron- and nitrogen-functionalized graphene (Fe-N-G) as a non-precious metal catalyst is synthesized via a facile method of thermal treatment of a mixture of Fe salt, graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) and chemically reduced graphene. The electrocatalytic activity of the prepared catalysts toward oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) evaluated by using linear sweep voltammetry tests shows that the Fe-N-G catalyst has more positive onset potential and increased reduction current densities as compared to the pristine graphene (P-G) catalyst, indicating an enhanced ORR activity of the Fe-N-G catalyst. More importantly, the Fe-N-G-MFC achieves the highest power density of 1149.8 mW m-2, which is ∼2.1 times of that generated with the Pt/C-MFC (561.1 mW m-2) and much higher than that of the P-G-MFC (109 mW m-2). These results demonstrate that the Fe-N-G catalyst can hold the promise of being an excellent alternative to the costly Pt catalyst for practical MFC applications.

  16. ETEM observation of Pt/C electrode catalysts in a moisturized cathode atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshida, K.; Zhang, X.; Tanaka, N.; Boyes, E. D.; Gai, P. L.

    2014-06-01

    There have been reports of challenges in designing platinum carbon (Pt/C) electrode catalysts for PEMFC. Pt/C electrode catalysts deactivate much faster on the cathode (in moisturized O2) than on the anode (in H2). To understand influences of moisture and oxygen on the deactivation of the Pt/C catalysts in proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), spherical-aberration-corrected environmental transmission electron microscopy (AC-ETEM) was applied with a high-speed CCD camera. Structural changes of the Pt/C electrode catalysts were dynamically recorded in moisturized nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen. The mass spectrometry confirmed the moisture content (between 5 to 30 %) of nitrogen driving gas through a humidifier. Coalescence of platinum nanoparticles (D = 3.24 nm) was carefully evaluated in pure N2 and moisturized N2 atmosphere. The Pt/C showed considerable structural weakness in a moisturized N2 atmosphere. Comparable results obtained by AC-ETEM in different gas atmospheres also suggested ways to improve the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). In this paper, the deactivation process due to moisture (hydroxylation) of carbon supports is discussed using for comparison the movement of platinum nanoparticles measured in moisturized nitrogen and pure nitrogen atmospheres.

  17. Functionally Graded Cathodes for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Lei Yang; Ze Liu; Shizhone Wang; Jaewung Lee; Meilin Liu

    2008-04-30

    The main objective of this DOE project is to demonstrate that the performance and long-term stability of the state-of-the-art LSCF cathode can be enhanced by a catalytically active coating (e.g., LSM or SSC). We have successfully developed a methodology for reliably evaluating the intrinsic surface catalytic properties of cathode materials. One of the key components of the test cell is a dense LSCF film, which will function as the current collector for the electrode material under evaluation to eliminate the effect of ionic and electronic transport. Since it is dense, the effect of geometry would be eliminated as well. From the dependence of the electrode polarization resistance on the thickness of a dense LSCF electrode and on partial pressure of oxygen, we have confirmed that the surface catalytic activity of LSCF limits the performances of LSCF-based cathodes. Further, we have demonstrated, using test cells of different configurations, that the performance of LSCF-based electrodes can be significantly enhanced by infiltration of a thin film of LSM or SSC. In addition, the stability of LSCF-based cathodes was also improved by infiltration of LSM or SSC. While the concept feasibility of the electrode architecture is demonstrated, many details are yet to be determined. For example, it is not clear how the surface morphology, composition, and thickness of the coatings change under operating conditions over time, how these changes influence the electrochemical behavior of the cathodes, and how to control the microscopic details of the coatings in order to optimize the performance. The selection of the catalytic materials as well as the detailed microstructures of the porous LSCF and the catalyst layer may critically impact the performance of the proposed cathodes. Further, other fundamental questions still remain; it is not clear why the degradation rates of LSCF cathodes are relatively high, why a LSM coating improves the stability of LSCF cathodes, which catalysts

  18. Fuel cell development for transportation: Catalyst development

    SciTech Connect

    Doddapaneni, N.; Ingersoll, D.

    1996-12-31

    Fuel cells are being considered as alternative power sources for transportation and stationary applications. The degradation of commonly used electrode catalysts (e.g. Pt, Ag, and others) and corrosion of carbon substrates are making commercialization of fuel cells incorporating present day technologies economically problematic. Furthermore, due to the instability of the Pt catalyst, the performance of fuel cells declines on long-term operation. When methanol is used as the fuel, a voltage drop, as well as significant thermal management problems can be encountered, the later being due to chemical oxidation of methanol at the platinized carbon at the cathode. Though extensive work was conducted on platinized electrodes for both the oxidation and reduction reactions, due to the problems mentioned above, fuel cells have not been fully developed for widespread commercial use. Several investigators have previously evaluated metal macrocyclic complexes as alternative catalysts to Pt and Pt/Ru in fuel cells. Unfortunately, though they have demonstrated catalytic activity, these materials were found to be unstable on long term use in the fuel cell environment. In order to improve the long-term stability of metal macrocyclic complexes, we have chemically bonded these complexes to the carbon substrate, thereby enhancing their catalytic activity as well as their chemical stability in the fuel cell environment. We have designed, synthesized, and evaluated these catalysts for O{sub 2} reduction, H{sub 2} oxidation, and direct methanol oxidation in Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) and aqueous carbonate fuel cells. These catalysts exhibited good catalytic activity and long-term stability. In this paper we confine our discussion to the initial performance results of some of these catalysts in H{sub 2}/O{sub 2} PEM fuel cells, including their long-term performance characteristics as well as CO poisoning effects on these catalysts.

  19. Cells having cathodes containing polycarbon disulfide materials

    DOEpatents

    Okamoto, Yoshi; Skotheim, Terje A.; Lee, Hung S.

    1995-08-15

    The present invention relates to an electric current producing cell which contains an anode, a cathode having as a cathode-active material one or more carbon-sulfur compounds of the formula (CS.sub.x).sub.n, in which x takes values from 1.2 to 2.3 and n is greater or equal to 2, and where the redox process does not involve polymerization and de-polymerization by forming and breaking S--S bonds in the polymer backbone. The cell also contains an electrolyte which is chemically inert with respect to the anode and the cathode.

  20. Cells having cathodes containing polycarbon disulfide materials

    DOEpatents

    Okamoto, Y.; Skotheim, T.A.; Lee, H.S.

    1995-08-15

    The present invention relates to an electric current producing cell which contains an anode, a cathode having as a cathode-active material one or more carbon-sulfur compounds of the formula (CS{sub x}){sub n}, in which x takes values from 1.2 to 2.3 and n is greater or equal to 2, and where the redox process does not involve polymerization and de-polymerization by forming and breaking S--S bonds in the polymer backbone. The cell also contains an electrolyte which is chemically inert with respect to the anode and the cathode. 5 figs.

  1. Cathodes for lithium-air battery cells with acid electrolytes

    DOEpatents

    Xing, Yangchuan; Huang, Kan; Li, Yunfeng

    2016-07-19

    In various embodiments, the present disclosure provides a layered metal-air cathode for a metal-air battery. Generally, the layered metal-air cathode comprises an active catalyst layer, a transition layer bonded to the active catalyst layer, and a backing layer bonded to the transition layer such that the transition layer is disposed between the active catalyst layer and the backing layer.

  2. Catalyst inks and method of application for direct methanol fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Zelenay, Piotr; Davey, John; Ren, Xiaoming; Gottesfeld, Shimshon; Thomas, Sharon C.

    2004-02-24

    Inks are formulated for forming anode and cathode catalyst layers and applied to anode and cathode sides of a membrane for a direct methanol fuel cell. The inks comprise a Pt catalyst for the cathode and a Pt--Ru catalyst for the anode, purified water in an amount 4 to 20 times that of the catalyst by weight, and a perfluorosulfonic acid ionomer in an amount effective to provide an ionomer content in the anode and cathode surfaces of 20% to 80% by volume. The inks are prepared in a two-step process while cooling and agitating the solutions. The final solution is placed in a cooler and continuously agitated while spraying the solution over the anode or cathode surface of the membrane as determined by the catalyst content.

  3. Effect of Particle Size and Operating Conditions on Pt3Co PEMFC Cathode Catalyst Durability

    SciTech Connect

    Gummalla, Mallika; Ball, Sarah; Condit, David; Rasouli, Somaye; Yu, Kang; Ferreira, Paulo; Myers, Deborah; Yang, Zhiwei

    2015-05-29

    The initial performance and decay trends of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) cathodes with Pt3Co catalysts of three mean particle sizes (4.9 nm, 8.1 nm, and 14.8 nm) with identical Pt loadings are compared. Even though the cathode based on 4.9 nm catalyst exhibited the highest initial electrochemical surface area (ECA) and mass activity, the cathode based on 8.1 nm catalyst showed better initial performance at high currents. Owing to the low mass activity of the large particles, the initial performance of the 14.8 nm Pt3Co-based electrode was the lowest. The performance decay rate of the electrodes with the smallest Pt3Co particle size was the highest and that of the largest Pt3Co particle size was lowest. Interestingly, with increasing number of decay cycles (0.6 to 1.0 V, 50 mV/s), the relative improvement in performance of the cathode based on 8.1 nm Pt3Co over the 4.9 nm Pt3Co increased, owing to better stability of the 8.1 nm catalyst. The electron microprobe analysis (EMPA) of the decayed membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) showed that the amount of Co in the membrane was lower for the larger particles, and the platinum loss into the membrane also decreased with increasing particle size. This suggests that the higher initial performance at high currents with 8.1 nm Pt3Co could be due to lower contamination of the ionomer in the electrode. Furthermore, lower loss of Co from the catalyst with increased particle size could be one of the factors contributing to the stability of ECA and mass activity of electrodes with larger cathode catalyst particles. To delineate the impact of particle size and alloy effects, these results are compared with prior work from our research group on size effects of pure platinum catalysts. The impact of PEMFC operating conditions, including upper potential, relative humidity, and temperature on the alloy catalyst decay trends, along with the EMPA analysis

  4. Electrical performance of low cost cathodes prepared by plasma sputtering deposition in microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Lefebvre, Olivier; Tang, Zhe; Fung, Martin P H; Chua, Daniel H C; Chang, In Seop; Ng, How Y

    2012-01-15

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) could potentially be utilized for a variety of applications in the future from biosensors to wastewater treatment. However, the amount of costly platinum (Pt) used as a catalyst should be minimized via innovative deposition methods such as sputtering. In addition, alternative and low-cost catalysts, such as cobalt (Co), should be sought. In this study, ultra low Pt or Co cathodes (0.1 mg cm(-2)) were manufactured by plasma sputtering deposition and scanning electron micrographs revealed nano-clusters of metal catalyst in a porous structure favorable to the three-phase heterogeneous catalytic reaction. When operated in single-chamber air-cathode MFCs, sputtered-Co cathodes generated on average the same power as sputtered-Pt cathodes (0.27 mW cell(-1)) and only 27% less than conventional Pt-ink cathodes with a catalyst load 5 times higher (0.5 mg cm(-2)). Finally, microscopy and molecular analyses showed evidence of biocatalysis activity on metal-free cathodes.

  5. Improved Cathode Structure for a Direct Methanol Fuel Cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Valdez, Thomas; Narayanan, Sekharipuram

    2005-01-01

    An improved cathode structure on a membrane/electrode assembly has been developed for a direct methanol fuel cell, in a continuing effort to realize practical power systems containing such fuel cells. This cathode structure is intended particularly to afford better cell performance at a low airflow rate. A membrane/electrode assembly of the type for which the improved cathode structure was developed (see Figure 1) is fabricated in a process that includes brush painting and spray coating of catalyst layers onto a polymer-electrolyte membrane and onto gas-diffusion backings that also act as current collectors. The aforementioned layers are then dried and hot-pressed together. When completed, the membrane/electrode assembly contains (1) an anode containing a fine metal black of Pt/Ru alloy, (2) a membrane made of Nafion 117 or equivalent (a perfluorosulfonic acid-based hydrophilic, proton-conducting ion-exchange polymer), (3) a cathode structure (in the present case, the improved cathode structure described below), and (4) the electrically conductive gas-diffusion backing layers, which are made of Toray 060(TradeMark)(or equivalent) carbon paper containing between 5 and 6 weight percent of poly(tetrafluoroethylene). The need for an improved cathode structure arises for the following reasons: In the design and operation of a fuel-cell power system, the airflow rate is a critical parameter that determines the overall efficiency, cell voltage, and power density. It is desirable to operate at a low airflow rate in order to obtain thermal and water balance and to minimize the size and mass of the system. The performances of membrane/electrode assemblies of prior design are limited at low airflow rates. Methanol crossover increases the required airflow rate. Hence, one way to reduce the required airflow rate is to reduce the effect of methanol crossover. Improvement of the cathode structure - in particular, addition of hydrophobic particles to the cathode - has been

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    DOE PAGES

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

    2016-03-10

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

  8. Alternative cathodes for molten carbonate fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Bloom, I.; Lanagan, M.; Roche, M.F.; Krumpelt, M.

    1996-02-01

    Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) is developing advanced cathodes for pressurized operation of the molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC). The present cathode, lithiated nickel oxide, tends to transport to the anode of the MCFC, where it is deposited as metallic nickel. The rate of transport increases with increasing CO{sub 2} pressure. This increase is due to an increased solubility of nickel oxide (NiO) in the molten carbonate electrolyte. An alternative cathode is lithium cobaltate (LiCoO{sub 2})-Solid solutions of LiCoO{sub 2} in LiFeO{sub 2} show promise for long-lived cathode materials. We have found that small additions of LiCoO{sub 2} to LiFeO{sub 2} markedly decrease the resistivity of the cathode material. Cells containing the LiCoO{sub 2}-LiFeO{sub 2} cathodes have stable performance for more than 2100 h of operation and display lower cobalt migration.

  9. Tandem cathode for proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-21

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

  10. Polyaniline-derived non-precious catalyst for the polymer electrolyte fuel cathode

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, Gang; Chen, Zhongwei; Garzon, Fernando; Zelenay, Piotr

    2008-01-01

    A novel polyaniline (PANI)-derived non-precious cathode catalyst was developed in this work, exhibiting remarkable activity (onset potential: 0.9 V, half-wave potential: 0.77 V) and selectivity (0.4 % H20 2 at 0.4 V). As a result, the generated current densities at high voltages associated with electrochemically kinetic activity can be achieved to 0.04 Acm-2 for 0.80V and 0.21 Acm-2 for 0.6 V, when air was used in fuel cell tests. MEA life test at a constant voltage of 0.4 V demonstrated a promising stability up to 450 hours, without obvious degradation. The current density during the test was measured around 0.32 A cm-2, a respectable performance for a cell with non-precious cathode, operated on air rather than oxygen. The possible active sites, related to pyridine- and pyrrole-like metal species were discussed according to presented XPS and XRD analysis.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  12. Following ORR intermediates adsorbed on a Pt cathode catalyst during break-in of a PEM fuel cell by in operando X-ray absorption spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Ramaker, D E; Korovina, A; Croze, V; Melke, J; Roth, C

    2014-07-21

    In operando X-ray absorption spectroscopy data using the Δμ X-ray Absorption Near Edge Spectroscopy (XANES) analysis procedure is used to follow the ORR intermediate adsorbate coverage on a working catalyst in a PEMFC during initial activation and break-in. The adsorbate coverage and log i (Tafel) curves reveal a strong correlation, i.e., an increase in adsorbate intermediate coverage poisons Pt sites thereby decreasing the current. A decrease in Pt-O bond strength commensurate with decrease in potential causes a sequence of different dominant adsorbate volcano curves to exist, namely first O, then OH, and then OOH exactly as predicted by the different ORR kinetics mechanisms. During break-in, the incipient O coverage coming from exposure to air during storage and MEA preparation is rather quickly removed, compared to the slower and more subtle nanoparticle morphological changes, such as the rounding of the Pt nanoparticle edges/corners and smoothing of the planar surfaces, driven by the nanoparticle's tendency to lower its surface energy. These morphological changes increase the Pt-Pt average coordination number, decrease the average Pt-O bond strength, and thereby decrease the coverage of ORR intermediates, allowing increase in the current.

  13. On the actual cathode mixed potential in direct methanol fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zago, M.; Bisello, A.; Baricci, A.; Rabissi, C.; Brightman, E.; Hinds, G.; Casalegno, A.

    2016-09-01

    Methanol crossover is one of the most critical issues hindering commercialization of direct methanol fuel cells since it leads to waste of fuel and significantly affects cathode potential, forming a so-called mixed potential. Unfortunately, due to the sluggish anode kinetics, it is not possible to obtain a reliable estimation of cathode potential by simply measuring the cell voltage. In this work we address this limitation, quantifying the mixed potential by means of innovative open circuit voltage (OCV) tests with a methanol-hydrogen mixture fed to the anode. Over a wide range of operating conditions, the resulting cathode overpotential is between 250 and 430 mV and is strongly influenced by methanol crossover. We show using combined experimental and modelling analysis of cathode impedance that the methanol oxidation at the cathode mainly follows an electrochemical pathway. Finally, reference electrode measurements at both cathode inlet and outlet provide a local measurement of cathode potential, confirming the reliability of the innovative OCV tests and permitting the evaluation of cathode potential up to typical operating current. At 0.25 A cm-2 the operating cathode potential is around 0.85 V and the Ohmic drop through the catalyst layer is almost 50 mV, which is comparable to that in the membrane.

  14. Low temperature aluminum reduction cell using hollow cathode

    DOEpatents

    Brown, Craig W.; Frizzle, Patrick B.

    2002-08-20

    A method of producing aluminum in an electrolytic cell containing alumina dissolved in an electrolyte. A plurality of non-consumable anodes are disposed substantially vertically in the electrolyte along with a plurality of monolithic hollow cathodes. Each cathode has a top and bottom and the cathodes are disposed vertically in the electrolyte and the anodes and the cathodes are arranged in alternating relationship. Each of the cathodes is comprised of a first side facing a first opposing anode and a second side facing a second opposing anode. The first and second sides are joined by ends to form a reservoir in the hollow cathode for collecting aluminum therein deposited at the cathode.

  15. Cathode for an electrochemical cell

    DOEpatents

    Bates, John B.; Dudney, Nancy J.; Gruzalski, Greg R.; Luck, Christopher F.

    2001-01-01

    Described is a thin-film battery, especially a thin-film microbattery, and a method for making same having application as a backup or primary integrated power source for electronic devices. The battery includes a novel electrolyte which is electrochemically stable and does not react with the lithium anode and a novel vanadium oxide cathode. Configured as a microbattery, the battery can be fabricated directly onto a semiconductor chip, onto the semiconductor die or onto any portion of the chip carrier. The battery can be fabricated to any specified size or shape to meet the requirements of a particular application. The battery is fabricated of solid state materials and is capable of operation between -15.degree. C. and 150.degree. C.

  16. One-dimensional manganese-cobalt oxide nanofibres as bi-functional cathode catalysts for rechargeable metal-air batteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jung, Kyu-Nam; Hwang, Soo Min; Park, Min-Sik; Kim, Ki Jae; Kim, Jae-Geun; Dou, Shi Xue; Kim, Jung Ho; Lee, Jong-Won

    2015-01-01

    Rechargeable metal-air batteries are considered a promising energy storage solution owing to their high theoretical energy density. The major obstacles to realising this technology include the slow kinetics of oxygen reduction and evolution on the cathode (air electrode) upon battery discharging and charging, respectively. Here, we report non-precious metal oxide catalysts based on spinel-type manganese-cobalt oxide nanofibres fabricated by an electrospinning technique. The spinel oxide nanofibres exhibit high catalytic activity towards both oxygen reduction and evolution in an alkaline electrolyte. When incorporated as cathode catalysts in Zn-air batteries, the fibrous spinel oxides considerably reduce the discharge-charge voltage gaps (improve the round-trip efficiency) in comparison to the catalyst-free cathode. Moreover, the nanofibre catalysts remain stable over the course of repeated discharge-charge cycling; however, carbon corrosion in the catalyst/carbon composite cathode degrades the cycling performance of the batteries.

  17. One-dimensional manganese-cobalt oxide nanofibres as bi-functional cathode catalysts for rechargeable metal-air batteries.

    PubMed

    Jung, Kyu-Nam; Hwang, Soo Min; Park, Min-Sik; Kim, Ki Jae; Kim, Jae-Geun; Dou, Shi Xue; Kim, Jung Ho; Lee, Jong-Won

    2015-01-07

    Rechargeable metal-air batteries are considered a promising energy storage solution owing to their high theoretical energy density. The major obstacles to realising this technology include the slow kinetics of oxygen reduction and evolution on the cathode (air electrode) upon battery discharging and charging, respectively. Here, we report non-precious metal oxide catalysts based on spinel-type manganese-cobalt oxide nanofibres fabricated by an electrospinning technique. The spinel oxide nanofibres exhibit high catalytic activity towards both oxygen reduction and evolution in an alkaline electrolyte. When incorporated as cathode catalysts in Zn-air batteries, the fibrous spinel oxides considerably reduce the discharge-charge voltage gaps (improve the round-trip efficiency) in comparison to the catalyst-free cathode. Moreover, the nanofibre catalysts remain stable over the course of repeated discharge-charge cycling; however, carbon corrosion in the catalyst/carbon composite cathode degrades the cycling performance of the batteries.

  18. One-dimensional manganese-cobalt oxide nanofibres as bi-functional cathode catalysts for rechargeable metal-air batteries.

    PubMed

    Jung, Kyu-Nam; Hwang, Soo Min; Park, Min-Sik; Kim, Ki Jae; Kim, Jae-Geun; Dou, Shi Xue; Kim, Jung Ho; Lee, Jong-Won

    2015-01-01

    Rechargeable metal-air batteries are considered a promising energy storage solution owing to their high theoretical energy density. The major obstacles to realising this technology include the slow kinetics of oxygen reduction and evolution on the cathode (air electrode) upon battery discharging and charging, respectively. Here, we report non-precious metal oxide catalysts based on spinel-type manganese-cobalt oxide nanofibres fabricated by an electrospinning technique. The spinel oxide nanofibres exhibit high catalytic activity towards both oxygen reduction and evolution in an alkaline electrolyte. When incorporated as cathode catalysts in Zn-air batteries, the fibrous spinel oxides considerably reduce the discharge-charge voltage gaps (improve the round-trip efficiency) in comparison to the catalyst-free cathode. Moreover, the nanofibre catalysts remain stable over the course of repeated discharge-charge cycling; however, carbon corrosion in the catalyst/carbon composite cathode degrades the cycling performance of the batteries. PMID:25563733

  19. One-dimensional manganese-cobalt oxide nanofibres as bi-functional cathode catalysts for rechargeable metal-air batteries

    PubMed Central

    Jung, Kyu-Nam; Hwang, Soo Min; Park, Min-Sik; Kim, Ki Jae; Kim, Jae-Geun; Dou, Shi Xue; Kim, Jung Ho; Lee, Jong-Won

    2015-01-01

    Rechargeable metal-air batteries are considered a promising energy storage solution owing to their high theoretical energy density. The major obstacles to realising this technology include the slow kinetics of oxygen reduction and evolution on the cathode (air electrode) upon battery discharging and charging, respectively. Here, we report non-precious metal oxide catalysts based on spinel-type manganese-cobalt oxide nanofibres fabricated by an electrospinning technique. The spinel oxide nanofibres exhibit high catalytic activity towards both oxygen reduction and evolution in an alkaline electrolyte. When incorporated as cathode catalysts in Zn-air batteries, the fibrous spinel oxides considerably reduce the discharge-charge voltage gaps (improve the round-trip efficiency) in comparison to the catalyst-free cathode. Moreover, the nanofibre catalysts remain stable over the course of repeated discharge-charge cycling; however, carbon corrosion in the catalyst/carbon composite cathode degrades the cycling performance of the batteries. PMID:25563733

  20. 15N solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance study of pyrolyzed metal-polyaniline cathode catalysts for oxygen reduction in fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuroki, Shigeki; Hosaka, Yo; Yamauchi, Chiharu; Nagata, Shinsuke; Sonoda, Mayu

    2015-09-01

    The oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity of pyrolyzed metal-free and metal (Mn, Fe, Co, Ni and Cu)-containing polyaniline (PANI) in polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) was studied. The metal-free PANI800 shows quite poor ORR catalytic activity, whilst the metal-containing PANIMe800 display a better ORR activity. The 15N CP/MAS NMR spectra of PANINi800 and PANICu800 show one weak peak at 118 ppm and there is no peak observed in PANIFe800, against that of PANI800, PANIMn800, PANICo800 and PANINi800 show two peaks at 273 and 118 ppm assigned to the pyridinic and pyridinium nitrogens. It is because of the paramagnetic effect of metal ions. The 15N spin-echo NMR spectra of PANIMe800 with fast recycle delay show the peaks at 140 and 270 ppm assigned to the graphitic and pyridinic nitrogens, against that of PANI800 shows no peak. The spectra of PANIMn800, PANICo800, PANINi800 and PANICu600 also contain a very broaden peak at 430 ppm assigned to the nitrogen with Fermi-contact effect from metal ions. The spectra of PANIFe800 show some spinning side bands and the average Fe3+-15N distance can be calculated. The some amount of iron ion are relieved and average Fe3+-15N distance increase after acid washing and the ORR activity decreases.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

  2. Proton exchange membrane fuel cell cathode contamination - Acetylene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhai, Y.; St-Pierre, Jean

    2015-04-01

    Acetylene adsorption on PEMFC electrodes and contamination in single cells are investigated with 300 ppm acetylene at a cathode held at 80 °C. The results of adsorption experiments suggest that acetylene adsorbs readily on electrodes and is reduced to ethylene and ethane under an open circuit potential of H2/N2, as the adsorbates can be electro-oxidized at high potentials. The cell voltage response shows that 300 ppm acetylene results in a cell performance loss of approximately 88%. The voltage degradation curve is divided into two stages by an inflection point, which suggests that potential-dependent processes are involved in acetylene poisoning. These potential-dependent processes may include acetylene oxidation and reduction as well as accumulation of intermediates on the electrode surface. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy analysis suggests that acetylene affects the oxygen reduction reaction and may also affect mass transport processes. Acetylene also may be reduced in the steady poisoning state of the operating cell. After neat air operation, the cyclic voltammetry results imply that the cathode catalyst surface is almost completely restored, with no contaminant residues remaining in the MEA. Linear scanning voltammetry measurements show no change in hydrogen crossover caused by contamination, and polarization curves confirm complete recovery of cell performance.

  3. Design of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell with variable catalyst loading

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Y.; Smirnova, A.; Verma, A.; Pitchumani, R.

    2015-09-01

    The performance and durability of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells is greatly affected by sharp temperature and stress gradients owing to the significant variation in local current density distribution. To improve the uniformity in local current density distribution and enhance the catalyst utilization, this paper proposes use of functionally graded catalyst loading in the cathode catalyst layer along the gas channel. A two-dimensional isothermal numerical model for PEM fuel cells combined with an optimization model was developed to determine the optimum cathode catalyst loadings and the associated local current density distributions for different operating conditions. Experiments were conducted to measure the local current density distribution for graded catalyst loading, using a segmented current collector. The results show that an optimized graded catalyst loading significantly reduces the current density variation along the length of the channel and enhances the catalyst utilization.

  4. Corrosion-resistant catalyst supports for phosphoric acid fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Kosek, J.A.; Cropley, C.C.; LaConti, A.B.

    1990-01-01

    High-surface-area carbon blacks such as Vulcan XC-72 (Cabot Corp.) and graphitized carbon blacks such as 2700{degree}C heat-treated Black Pearls 2000 (HTBP) (Cabot Corp.) have found widespread applications as catalyst supports in phosphoric acid fuel cells (PAFCs). However, due to the operating temperatures and pressures being utilized in PAFCs currently under development, the carbon-based cathode catalyst supports suffer from corrosion, which decreases the performance and life span of a PAFC stack. The feasibility of using alternative, low-cost, corrosion-resistant catalyst support (CRCS) materials as replacements for the cathode carbon support materials was investigated. The objectives of the program were to prepare high-surface-area alternative supports and to evaluate the physical characteristics and the electrochemical stability of these materials. The O{sub 2} reduction activity of the platinized CRCS materials was also evaluated. 2 refs., 3 figs.

  5. A SnO2-Based Cathode Catalyst for Lithium-Air Batteries.

    PubMed

    Mei, Delong; Yuan, Xianxia; Ma, Zhong; Wei, Ping; Yu, Xuebin; Yang, Jun; Ma, Zi-Feng

    2016-05-25

    SnO2 and SnO2@C have been successfully synthesized with a simple hydrothermal procedure combined with heat treatment, and their performance as cathode catalysts of Li-air batteries has been comparatively evaluated and discussed. The results show that both SnO2 and SnO2@C are capable of catalyzing oxygen reduction reactions (ORR) and oxygen evolution reactions (OER) at the cathode of Li-air batteries, but the battery with SnO2@C displays better performance due to its unique higher conductivity, larger surface area, complex pore distribution, and huge internal space. PMID:27152996

  6. High surface area stainless steel brushes as cathodes in microbial electrolysis cells.

    PubMed

    Call, Douglas F; Merrill, Matthew D; Logan, Bruce E

    2009-03-15

    Microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) are an efficient technology for generating hydrogen gas from organic matter, but alternatives to precious metals are needed for cathode catalysts. We show here that high surface area stainless steel brush cathodes produce hydrogen at rates and efficiencies similar to those achieved with platinum-catalyzed carbon cloth cathodes in single-chamber MECs. Using a stainless steel brush cathode with a specific surface area of 810 m2/m3, hydrogen was produced at a rate of 1.7 +/- 0.1 m3-H2/m3-d (current density of 188 +/- 10 A/m3) at an applied voltage of 0.6 V. The energy efficiency relative to the electrical energy input was 221 +/- 8%, and the overall energy efficiency was 78 +/- 5% based on both electrical energy and substrate utilization. These values compare well to previous results obtained using platinum on flat carbon cathodes in a similar system. Reducing the cathode surface area by 75% decreased performance from 91 +/- 3 A/m3 to 78 +/- 4 A/m3. A brush cathode with graphite instead of stainless steel and a specific surface area of 4600 m2/m3 generated substantially less current (1.7 +/- 0.0 A/m3), and a flat stainless steel cathode (25 m2/m3) produced 64 +/- 1 A/m3, demonstrating that both the stainless steel and the large surface area contributed to high current densities. Linear sweep voltammetry showed that the stainless steel brush cathodes both reduced the overpotential needed for hydrogen evolution and exhibited a decrease in overpotential over time as a result of activation. These results demonstrate for the first time that hydrogen production can be achieved at rates comparable to those with precious metal catalysts in MECs without the need for expensive cathodes. PMID:19368232

  7. Bifunctional silver nanoparticle cathode in microbial fuel cells for microbial growth inhibition with comparable oxygen reduction reaction activity.

    PubMed

    An, Junyeong; Jeon, Hongrae; Lee, Jaeyoung; Chang, In Seop

    2011-06-15

    Organic contamination of water bodies in which benthic microbial fuel cells (benthic MFCs) are installed, and organic crossover from the anode to the cathode of membraneless MFCs, is a factor causing oxygen depletion and substrate loss in the cathode due to the growth of heterotrophic aerobic bacteria. This study examines the possible use of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) as a cathodic catalyst for MFCs suffering from organic contamination and oxygen depletion. Four treated cathodes (AgNPs-coated, Pt/C-coated, Pt/C+AgNPs-coated, and plain graphite cathodes) were prepared and tested under high levels of organics loading. During operation (fed with 50 mM acetate), the AgNPs-coated system showed the highest DO concentration (0.8 mg/L) in the cathode area as well as the highest current (ranging from 0.04 to 0.12 mA). Based on these results, we concluded that (1) the growth of oxygen-consuming heterotrophic microbes could be inhibited by AgNPs, (2) the function of AgNPs as a bacterial growth inhibitor resulted in a greater increase of DO concentration in the cathode than the other tested cathode systems, (3) AgNPs could be applied as a cathode catalyst for oxygen reduction, and as a result (4) the MFC with the AgNPs-coated cathode led to the highest current generation among the tested MFCs. PMID:21585217

  8. Cathode composition for electrochemical cell

    DOEpatents

    Steunenberg, Robert K.; Martin, Allan E.; Tomczuk, Zygmunt

    1976-01-01

    A high-temperature, secondary electrochemical cell includes a negative electrode containing an alkali metal such as lithium, an electrolyte of molten salt containing ions of that alkali metal and a positive electrode containing a mixture of metallic sulfides. The positive electrode composition is contained within a porous structure that permits permeation of molten electrolyte and includes a mixture of about 5% to 30% by weight Cu.sub.2 S in FeS.

  9. MnCo2O4 nanowires anchored on reduced graphene oxide sheets as effective bifunctional catalysts for Li-O2 battery cathodes.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jong Guk; Kim, Youngmin; Noh, Yuseong; Kim, Won Bae

    2015-05-22

    A hybrid composite system of MnCo2 O4 nanowires (MCO NWs) anchored on reduced graphene oxide (RGO) nanosheets was prepared as the bifunctional catalyst of a Li-O2 battery cathode. The catalysts can be obtained from the hybridization of one-dimensional MCO NWs and two-dimensional RGO nanosheets. As O2 -cathode catalysts for Li-O2 cells, the MCO@RGO composites showed a high initial discharge capacity (ca. 11092.1 mAh gcarbon (-1) ) with a high rate performance. The Li-O2 cells could run for more than 35 cycles with high reversibility under a limited specific capacity of 1000 mAh gcarbon (-1) with a low potential polarization of 1.36 V, as compared with those of pure Ketjenblack and MCO NWs. The high cycling stability, low potential polarization, and rate capability suggest that the MCO@RGO composites prepared here are promising catalyst candidates for highly reversible Li-O2 battery cathodes. PMID:25908219

  10. MnCo2O4 nanowires anchored on reduced graphene oxide sheets as effective bifunctional catalysts for Li-O2 battery cathodes.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jong Guk; Kim, Youngmin; Noh, Yuseong; Kim, Won Bae

    2015-05-22

    A hybrid composite system of MnCo2 O4 nanowires (MCO NWs) anchored on reduced graphene oxide (RGO) nanosheets was prepared as the bifunctional catalyst of a Li-O2 battery cathode. The catalysts can be obtained from the hybridization of one-dimensional MCO NWs and two-dimensional RGO nanosheets. As O2 -cathode catalysts for Li-O2 cells, the MCO@RGO composites showed a high initial discharge capacity (ca. 11092.1 mAh gcarbon (-1) ) with a high rate performance. The Li-O2 cells could run for more than 35 cycles with high reversibility under a limited specific capacity of 1000 mAh gcarbon (-1) with a low potential polarization of 1.36 V, as compared with those of pure Ketjenblack and MCO NWs. The high cycling stability, low potential polarization, and rate capability suggest that the MCO@RGO composites prepared here are promising catalyst candidates for highly reversible Li-O2 battery cathodes.

  11. Electronic modification of Pt via Ti and Se as tolerant cathodes in air-breathing methanol microfluidic fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Ma, Jiwei; Habrioux, Aurélien; Morais, Cláudia; Alonso-Vante, Nicolas

    2014-07-21

    We reported herein on the use of tolerant cathode catalysts such as carbon supported Pt(x)Ti(y) and/or Pt(x)Se(y) nanomaterials in an air-breathing methanol microfluidic fuel cell. In order to show the improvement of mixed-reactant fuel cell (MRFC) performances obtained with the developed tolerant catalysts, a classical Pt/C nanomaterial was used for comparison. Using 5 M methanol concentration in a situation where the fuel crossover is 100% (MRFC-mixed reactant fuel cell application), the maximum power density of the fuel cell with a Pt/C cathodic catalyst decreased by 80% in comparison with what is observed in the laminar flow fuel cell (LFFC) configuration. With Pt(x)Ti(y)/C and Pt(x)Se(y)/C cathode nanomaterials, the performance loss was only 55% and 20%, respectively. The evaluation of the tolerant cathode catalysts in an air-breathing microfluidic fuel cell suggests the development of a novel nanometric system that will not be size restricted. These interesting results are the consequence of the high methanol tolerance of these advanced electrocatalysts via surface electronic modification of Pt. Herein we used X-ray photoelectron and in situ FTIR spectroscopies to investigate the origin of the high methanol tolerance on modified Pt catalysts.

  12. Structural and Electronic Transformations of Pt/C, Pd@Pt(1 ML)/C and Pd@Pt(2 ML)/C Cathode Catalysts in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells during Potential-step Operating Processes Characterized by In-situ Time-resolved XAFS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagamatsu, Shin-ichi; Takao, Shinobu; Samjeské, Gabor; Nagasawa, Kensaku; Sekizawa, Oki; Kaneko, Takuma; Higashi, Kotaro; Uruga, Tomoya; Gayen, Sirshendu; Velaga, Srihari; Saniyal, Milan K.; Iwasawa, Yasuhiro

    2016-06-01

    The dynamic structural and electronic transformations of Pt/C, Pd@Pt(1 ML)/C, Pd@Pt(2 ML)/C cathode catalysts in polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) during the potential-step operating processes between 0.4 and 1.4 VRHE (potential vs RHE) were characterized by in-situ (operando) time-resolved Pt LIII-edge quick-XAFS at 100 ms time-resolution. Potential-dependent surface structures and oxidation states of Pt, Pd@Pt(1 ML) and Pd@Pt(2 ML) nanoparticles on carbon at 0.4 and 1.4 VRHE were also analyzed by in-situ Pt LIII-edge and Pd K-edge quick-XAFS. The Pt, Pd@Pt(1 ML) and Pd@Pt(2 ML) nanoparticle surfaces were restructured and disordered at 1.4 VRHE, which were induced by strong Pt-O bonds as well as alloying effects. The rate constants for the changes of Pt valence, CN(Pt-Pt), CN(Pt-Pd) and CN(Pt-O) (CN: coordination number) in the potential-step operating processes were also determined and discussed in relation to the origin of oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activities of the Pt/C, Pd@Pt(1 ML)/C and Pd@Pt(2 ML)/C cathode catalysts.

  13. Segmented cell testing for cathode parameter investigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanasini, Pietro; Schuler, J. Andreas; Wuillemin, Zacharie; Ameur, Myriam L. Ben; Comninellis, Christos; Van herle, Jan

    The increasing quality and durability of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) state-of-the-art materials renders the long-term testing of fuel cells difficult since considerably long equipment times are needed to obtain valuable results. Moreover, reproducibility issues are common due to the high sensitivity of the performance and degradation on the testing conditions. An original segmented cell configuration has been adopted in order to carry out four tests in parallel, thus decreasing the total experimental time and ensuring the same operating conditions for the four segments. The investigation has been performed on both anode-supported cells and symmetrical Lanthanum-Strontium Manganite-Yttria-stabilized Zirconia (LSM-YSZ) electrolyte-supported cells. In separate tests, the influence of variables like cathode thickness, current density and cathode composition on performance and degradation have been explored on anode-supported cells. Furthermore, the effect of chromium poisoning has been studied on electrolyte-supported symmetric cells by contacting one segment with a chromium-iron interconnect material. Long-term polarization of the segments is controlled with a multi-channel galvanostatic device designed in-house. Electrochemical characterization has been performed through electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) at different H 2 partial pressures, temperatures and bias current, effectively demonstrating the direct impact of each studied variable on the cell performance and degradation behavior. Segmented cell testing has been proven to be an effective strategy to achieve better reproducibility for SOFC measurements since it avoids the inevitable fluctuations found in a series of successively run tests. Moreover, simultaneous testing increased n-fold the data output per experiment, implying a considerable economy of time.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-03-01

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

  15. Power generation using carbon mesh cathodes with different diffusion layers in microbial fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Yong; Zhang, Fang; Wei, Bin; Liu, Guangli; Zhang, Renduo; Logan, Bruce E.

    An inexpensive carbon material, carbon mesh, was examined to replace the more expensive carbon cloth usually used to make cathodes in air-cathode microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Three different diffusion layers were tested using carbon mesh: poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS), polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), and Goretex cloth. Carbon mesh with a mixture of PDMS and carbon black as a diffusion layer produced a maximum power density of 1355 ± 62 mW m -2 (normalized to the projected cathode area), which was similar to that obtained with a carbon cloth cathode (1390 ± 72 mW m -2). Carbon mesh with a PTFE diffusion layer produced only a slightly lower (6.6%) maximum power density (1303 ± 48 mW m -2). The Coulombic efficiencies were a function of current density, with the highest value for the carbon mesh and PDMS (79%) larger than that for carbon cloth (63%). The cost of the carbon mesh cathode with PDMS/Carbon or PTFE (excluding catalyst and binder costs) is only 2.5% of the cost of the carbon cloth cathode. These results show that low cost carbon materials such as carbon mesh can be used as the cathode in an MFC without reducing the performance compared to more expensive carbon cloth.

  16. Organic dyestuffs as catalysts for fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Jahnke, H; Schönborn, M; Zimmermann, G

    1976-01-01

    Electrocatalysis in fuel cells requires as well substances capable of catalyzing the anodic oxidation of fuels as catalysts for the cathodic reduction of oxygen. Several dyestuffs that catalyze oxygen reduction are known, but up to now only one has been described as active in anodic reactions. All these dyestuffs are N4-chelates. Comparative studies have shown that chelates with other types of coordination, in particular N202-, 04-, N2S2- and S4-chelates, are able to catalyze the reduction of oxygen, though they are considerably less active than the N4-compounds. With a given type of coordination, the nature of the central atom has a decisive influence on the catalytic activity of the dyestuff, whereas substitution on the organic skeleton has only a slight effect. Thermal pretreatment of the N4-chelates can considerably increase their stability in electrolytes containing sulfuric acid. All the experimental results point to the conclusion that, with electrocatalysts, as with natural oxygen carriers, the interaction essential for catalysis takes place between the oxygen and the central metal ion. Various assumptions may be made as to the nature of the rate-determining step. The cathodic reduction of oxygen can be regarded as redox catalysis, or it can be considered from the standpoint of molecular orbital theory. The models hitherto suggested for the mechanism of oxygen reduction are tested against the experimental results and a modified model based on MO theory is put forward. PMID:7032

  17. High Performance and Durable Low PGM Cathode Catalysts

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Yong; Liu, Jun; Shao, Yuyan; Cheng, Yingwen; Borup, Rodney L.; Rockward, Tommy; Brosha, Eric Lanich

    2015-08-17

    There is a strong need to decrease the amount of Pt electrocatalyst used in fuel cells and increase its durability for transportation application. Conventional strategies include Pt nanocrystals and Pt alloy with well-controlled structures, durable carbon support, non-carbon support, etc. We have developed the so-called “metal-metal oxide-carbon” triple junction concept to stabilize Pt and protect carbon from corrosion. It also improved the activity of Pt. The good performance was not achieved in fuel cell test mainly because of the transport issue due to the use of 2D graphene. In this project, our main goal is to demonstrate the concept in fuel cell device test using 3D porous graphene as support so that the transport issue could be addressed.

  18. Multiple cathodic reaction mechanisms in seawater cathodic biofilms operating in sediment microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Babauta, Jerome T; Hsu, Lewis; Atci, Erhan; Kagan, Jeff; Chadwick, Bart; Beyenal, Haluk

    2014-10-01

    In this study, multiple reaction mechanisms in cathodes of sediment microbial fuel cells (SMFCs) were characterized by using cyclic voltammetry and microelectrode measurements of dissolved oxygen and pH. The cathodes were acclimated in SMFCs with sediment and seawater from San Diego Bay. Two limiting current regions were observed with onset potentials of approximately +400 mVAg/AgCl for limiting current I and -120 mVAg/AgCl for limiting current II. The appearance of two catalytic waves suggests that multiple cathodic reaction mechanisms influence cathodic performance. Microscale oxygen concentration measurements showed a zero surface concentration at the electrode surface for limiting current II but not for limiting current I, which allowed us to distinguish limiting current II as the conventional oxygen reduction reaction and limiting current I as a currently unidentified cathodic reaction mechanism. Microscale pH measurements further confirmed these results.

  19. Polymer coatings as separator layers for microbial fuel cell cathodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watson, Valerie J.; Saito, Tomonori; Hickner, Michael A.; Logan, Bruce E.

    2011-03-01

    Membrane separators reduce oxygen flux from the cathode into the anolyte in microbial fuel cells (MFCs), but water accumulation and pH gradients between the separator and cathode reduces performance. Air cathodes were spray-coated (water-facing side) with anion exchange, cation exchange, and neutral polymer coatings of different thicknesses to incorporate the separator into the cathode. The anion exchange polymer coating resulted in greater power density (1167 ± 135 mW m-2) than a cation exchange coating (439 ± 2 mW m-2). This power output was similar to that produced by a Nafion-coated cathode (1114 ± 174 mW m-2), and slightly lower than the uncoated cathode (1384 ± 82 mW m-2). Thicker coatings reduced oxygen diffusion into the electrolyte and increased coulombic efficiency (CE = 56-64%) relative to an uncoated cathode (29 ± 8%), but decreased power production (255-574 mW m-2). Electrochemical characterization of the cathodes ex situ to the MFC showed that the cathodes with the lowest charge transfer resistance and the highest oxygen reduction activity produced the most power in MFC tests. The results on hydrophilic cathode separator layers revealed a trade off between power and CE. Cathodes coated with a thin coating of anion exchange polymer show promise for controlling oxygen transfer while minimally affecting power production.

  20. Porous Perovskite LaNiO3 Nanocubes as Cathode Catalysts for Li-O2 Batteries with Low Charge Potential

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jian; Zhao, Yubao; Zhao, Xiao; Liu, Zhaolin; Chen, Wei

    2014-01-01

    Developing efficient catalyst for oxygen evolution reaction (OER) is essential for rechargeable Li-O2 battery. In our present work, porous LaNiO3 nanocubes were employed as electrocatalyst in Li-O2 battery cell. The as-prepared battery showed excellent charging performance with significantly reduced overpotential (3.40 V). The synergistic effect of porous structure, large specific surface area and high electrocatalytic activity of porous LaNiO3 nanocubes ensured the Li-O2 battery with enchanced capacity and good cycle stability. Furthermore, it was found that the lithium anode corrosion and cathode passivation were responsible for the capacity fading of Li-O2 battery. Our results indicated that porous LaNiO3 nanocubes represent a promising cathode catalyst for Li-O2 battery. PMID:25103186

  1. Molten carbonate fuel cell cathode with mixed oxide coating

    DOEpatents

    Hilmi, Abdelkader; Yuh, Chao-Yi

    2013-05-07

    A molten carbonate fuel cell cathode having a cathode body and a coating of a mixed oxygen ion conductor materials. The mixed oxygen ion conductor materials are formed from ceria or doped ceria, such as gadolinium doped ceria or yttrium doped ceria. The coating is deposited on the cathode body using a sol-gel process, which utilizes as precursors organometallic compounds, organic and inorganic salts, hydroxides or alkoxides and which uses as the solvent water, organic solvent or a mixture of same.

  2. Tailored porosities of the cathode layer for improved polymer electrolyte fuel cell performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zlotorowicz, A.; Jayasayee, K.; Dahl, P. I.; Thomassen, M. S.; Kjelstrup, S.

    2015-08-01

    We show experimentally for the first time that the introduction of macro-pores in the nanoporous catalyst layer of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell can improve its performance. We have achieved a Pt utilization of about 0.23 mg W-1 at 0.6 V which is twice the value of the DOE target for 2020, and three times (0.60 mg W-1) smaller than the value of a fully nanoporous reference layer at a catalyst loading of 0.11 mg cm-2. In this work, monodispersed polystyrene particles with diameters of 0.5 and 1 μm were used as pore formers. Cathode catalyst layers with macroporous volume fractions between 0 and 0.58 were investigated. Maximum performance was observed for fuel cells with a macroporous volume fraction of about 0.52 for a 1 μm thick catalyst layer. The results, which were obtained for the cathode layer, support earlier theoretical predictions that gas access to and water escape from the catalyst can be facilitated by introduction of macropores in the nanoporous layer.

  3. Mesh optimization for microbial fuel cell cathodes constructed around stainless steel mesh current collectors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Fang; Merrill, Matthew D.; Tokash, Justin C.; Saito, Tomonori; Cheng, Shaoan; Hickner, Michael A.; Logan, Bruce E.

    Mesh current collectors made of stainless steel (SS) can be integrated into microbial fuel cell (MFC) cathodes constructed of a reactive carbon black and Pt catalyst mixture and a poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) diffusion layer. It is shown here that the mesh properties of these cathodes can significantly affect performance. Cathodes made from the coarsest mesh (30-mesh) achieved the highest maximum power of 1616 ± 25 mW m -2 (normalized to cathode projected surface area; 47.1 ± 0.7 W m -3 based on liquid volume), while the finest mesh (120-mesh) had the lowest power density (599 ± 57 mW m -2). Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy showed that charge transfer and diffusion resistances decreased with increasing mesh opening size. In MFC tests, the cathode performance was primarily limited by reaction kinetics, and not mass transfer. Oxygen permeability increased with mesh opening size, accounting for the decreased diffusion resistance. At higher current densities, diffusion became a limiting factor, especially for fine mesh with low oxygen transfer coefficients. These results demonstrate the critical nature of the mesh size used for constructing MFC cathodes.

  4. Parameters characterization and optimization of activated carbon (AC) cathodes for microbial fuel cell application.

    PubMed

    Santoro, Carlo; Artyushkova, Kateryna; Babanova, Sofia; Atanassov, Plamen; Ieropoulos, Ioannis; Grattieri, Matteo; Cristiani, Pierangela; Trasatti, Stefano; Li, Baikun; Schuler, Andrew J

    2014-07-01

    Activated carbon (AC) is employed as a cost-effective catalyst for cathodic oxygen reduction in microbial fuel cells (MFC). The fabrication protocols of AC-based cathodes are conducted at different applied pressures (175-3500 psi) and treatment temperatures (25-343°C). The effects of those parameters along with changes in the surface morphology and chemistry on the cathode performances are comprehensively examined. The cathodes are tested in a three-electrode setup and explored in single chamber membraneless MFCs (SCMFCs). The results show that the best performance of the AC-based cathode is achieved when a pressure of 1400 psi is applied followed by heat treatment of 150-200°C for 1h. The influence of the applied pressure and the temperature of the heat treatment on the electrodes and SCMFCs is demonstrated as the result of the variation in the transfer resistance, the surface morphology and surface chemistry of the AC-based cathodes tested.

  5. Continuous flow membrane-less air cathode microbial fuel cell with spunbonded olefin diffusion layer.

    PubMed

    Tugtas, Adile Evren; Cavdar, Pelin; Calli, Baris

    2011-11-01

    The power production performance of a membrane-less air-cathode microbial fuel cell was evaluated for 53 days. Anode and cathode electrodes and the micro-fiber cloth separator were configured by sandwiching the separator between two electrodes. In addition, the air-facing side of the cathode was covered with a spunbonded olefin sheet instead of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) coating to control oxygen diffusion and water loss. The configuration resulted in a low resistance of about 4Ω and a maximum power density of 750 mW/m2. However, as a result of a gradual decrease in the cathode potential, maximum power density decreased to 280 mW/m2. The declining power output was attributed to loss of platinum catalyst (8.26%) and biomass growth (38.44%) on the cathode. Coulombic efficiencies over 55% and no water leakage showed that the spunbonded olefin sheet covering the air-facing side of the cathode can be a cost-effective alternative to PTFE coating.

  6. Parameters characterization and optimization of activated carbon (AC) cathodes for microbial fuel cell application.

    PubMed

    Santoro, Carlo; Artyushkova, Kateryna; Babanova, Sofia; Atanassov, Plamen; Ieropoulos, Ioannis; Grattieri, Matteo; Cristiani, Pierangela; Trasatti, Stefano; Li, Baikun; Schuler, Andrew J

    2014-07-01

    Activated carbon (AC) is employed as a cost-effective catalyst for cathodic oxygen reduction in microbial fuel cells (MFC). The fabrication protocols of AC-based cathodes are conducted at different applied pressures (175-3500 psi) and treatment temperatures (25-343°C). The effects of those parameters along with changes in the surface morphology and chemistry on the cathode performances are comprehensively examined. The cathodes are tested in a three-electrode setup and explored in single chamber membraneless MFCs (SCMFCs). The results show that the best performance of the AC-based cathode is achieved when a pressure of 1400 psi is applied followed by heat treatment of 150-200°C for 1h. The influence of the applied pressure and the temperature of the heat treatment on the electrodes and SCMFCs is demonstrated as the result of the variation in the transfer resistance, the surface morphology and surface chemistry of the AC-based cathodes tested. PMID:24787317

  7. Electro-catalysts for the cathode(s) to enhance its activity to reduce socl2 in li/socl2 battery

    SciTech Connect

    Venkatasetty, H. V.

    1981-02-24

    In a lithium-thionyl chloride cell having a lithium anode, an electrolyte including thionyl chloride and a cathode with current collector, the improvement comprising a coating of a metal phthalocyanine complex on a said cathode. Particularly preferred are transition metal phthalocyanine complexes, such as copper and cobalt phthalocyanine.

  8. Phthalocyanine cathode materials for secondary lithium cells

    SciTech Connect

    Tamaki, J.; Yamaji, A.

    1982-01-01

    Discharge and charge characteristics of various phthalocyanine cathodes coupled with lithium metal are studied. The best capacity based only on cathode active material weight is 1440 A-hr/kg in the lithium/iron phthalocyanine system, and the cycle life of the lithium/Cu phthalocyanine system is more than 100 times at the discharge depth of 157 A-hr/kg. The cathode reaction mechanism is supposed to be lithium intercalation between phthalocyanine molecules. The results indicate that these phthalocyanines are promising cathode active materials for lithium secondary batteries.

  9. Effects of Humidity on Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Cathodes

    SciTech Connect

    Hardy, John S.; Stevenson, Jeffry W.; Singh, Prabhakar; Mahapatra, Manoj K.; Wachsman, E. D.; Liu, Meilin; Gerdes, Kirk R.

    2015-03-17

    This report summarizes results from experimental studies performed by a team of researchers assembled on behalf of the Solid-state Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA) Core Technology Program. Team participants employed a variety of techniques to evaluate and mitigate the effects of humidity in solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) cathode air streams on cathode chemistry, microstructure, and electrochemical performance.

  10. Nanofiber Scaffold for Cathode of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell

    SciTech Connect

    Zhi, Mingjia; Mariani, Nicholas; Gemmen, Randall; Gerdes, Kirk; Wu, Nianqiang

    2010-10-01

    A high performance solid oxide fuel cell cathode using the yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) nanofibers scaffold with the infiltrated La1-xSrxMnO3 (LSM) shows an enhanced catalytic activity toward oxygen reduction. Such a cathode offers a continuous path for charge transport and an increased number of triple-phase boundary sites.

  11. Microbial Fuel Cell Performance with a Pressurized Cathode Chamber

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Microbial fuel cell (MFC) power densities are often constrained by the oxygen reduction reaction rate on the cathode electrode. One important factor for this is the normally low solubility of oxygen in the aqueous cathode solution creating mass transport limitations, which hinder oxygen reduction a...

  12. EFFECT OF PRETREATMENT ON PT-CO/C CATHODE CATALYSTS FOR THE OXYGEN-REDUCTION REACTION

    SciTech Connect

    Fox, E.; Colon-Mercado, H.

    2010-01-19

    Carbon supported Pt and Pt-Co electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction in low temperature fuel cells were prepared by the reduction of the metal salts with sodium borohydride and sodium formate. The effect of surface treatment with nitric acid on the carbon surface and Co on the surface of carbon prior to the deposition of Pt was studied. The catalysts where Pt was deposited on treated carbon the ORR reaction preceded more through the two electron pathway and favored peroxide production, while the fresh carbon catalysts proceeded more through the four electron pathway to complete the oxygen reduction reaction. NaCOOH reduced Pt/C catalysts showed higher activity that NaBH{sub 4} reduced Pt/C catalysts. It was determined that the Co addition has a higher impact on catalyst activity and active surface area when used with NaBH{sub 4} as reducing agent as compared to NaCOOH.

  13. Electrochemical machining analysis on grid cathode composed of square cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Yonghua; Liu, Kai; Zhao, Dongbiao

    2013-07-01

    During the electrochemical machining (ECM), the cathodes designed by the existing methods are mainly unitary cathodes, which can be only used to produce the workpieces with the same shapes. However, there are few researches on designing cathodes for machining the different workpieces with the different surfaces. This paper presents the grid cathode composed of the square cells to produce the workpieces with different shapes. Three types of the square cells, 2.5 mm×2.5 mm, 3 mm×3 mm, and 4 mm×4 mm, are utilized to construct the plane, the slant, and the blade cathode. The material of the cathode and the anode is CrNi18Ti9, and the ingredient of electrolyte is 15% NaCl and 15% NaNO3. The machining equilibrium machining current and time are acquired and analyzed, the machining process and the workpiece quality are compared between using the grid cathode and the unitary cathode. Moreover, the machining errors on the workpiece surface are measured and analyzed, and the error reasons are traced and discussed to obtain the better surface quality of the workpiece. The experiment and analysis results show that the grid cathode can be used to manufacture the workpieces with complex shapes in certain range of the error. The workpiece quality improves with the size of the square cell being reduced, and if the square element is small enough, the workpiece quality is almost equal to the one machined by the unitary cathode. The proposed research realizes a single cathode machining the different workpieces with the different surfaces.

  14. Cathodic hydrogenation of unsaturated hydrocarbons in a polymer electrolyte fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salazar-Villalpando, Maria Dolores

    2000-10-01

    With the cathodic hydrogenation and isomerization of unsaturated hydrocarbons in a Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell, we wanted to investigate an alternative heterogeneous cathodic process to perform acid catalyzed reactions. In this process, the catalytic activity and selectivity of the catalyst/solid electrolyte interface could be tuned by controlling the proton spillover via an electrical potential. Acidic metal supports, such as zeolites or clays, function through their ability to release and accept protons. Similarly, the use of proton solid electrolyte membranes, such as Nafion allows the electromigration of protons from the fuel cell anode to the corresponding cathode. Of various fuel cell systems considered, the polymer electrolyte fuel cells using Nafion as the solid electrolyte seemed to be the most suitable system because the acidic properties of the Nafion. The products from the hydrogenation and isomerization reactions of 2,3Dimethyl-1-butene (2,3DM1BE) were 2,3Dimethylbutane (2,3DMBA) and 2,3Dimethyl-2-Butene (2,3DM2BE) respectively. The Non-Faradaic Modification of Catalytic activity (NEMCA) or the electrochemical activation of the catalyst/Nafion interface enhanced the catalytic rate of the isomerization reaction. The isomerization of 3,3Dimethyl-1-butene formed 2,3Dimethylbutane as the product from the skeleton rearrangement reaction. These reactions represent examples of the use of fuel cells in the Cogeneration of chemical compounds and electrical power.

  15. Advanced Catalysts for Fuel Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Narayanan, Sekharipuram R.; Whitacre, Jay; Valdez, T. I.

    2006-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews the development of catalyst for Fuel Cells. The objectives of the project are to reduce the cost of stack components and reduce the amount of precious metal used in fuel cell construction. A rapid combinatorial screening technique based on multi-electrode thin film array has been developed and validated for identifying catalysts for oxygen reduction; focus shifted from methanol oxidation in FY05 to oxygen reduction in FY06. Multi-electrode arrays of thin film catalysts of Pt-Ni and Pt-Ni-Zr have been deposited. Pt-Ni and have been characterized electrochemically and structurally. Pt-Ni-Zr and Pt-Ni films show higher current density and onset potential compared to Pt. Electrocatalytic activity and onset potential are found to be strong function of the lattice constant. Thin film Pt(59)Ni(39)Zr(2) can provide 10 times the current density of thin film Pt. Thin film Pt(59)Ni(39)Zr(2) also shows 65mV higher onset potential than Pt.

  16. Testing Metal Chlorides For Use In Sodium-Cell Cathodes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bugga, Ratnakumar V.; Attia, Alan I.; Halpert, Gerald

    1992-01-01

    Cyclic voltammetric curves of transition-metal wires in molten NaAlCl4 electrolyte used to eliminate suitability of transition metals as cathodes in sodium cells. Cyclic voltammetry used in conjunction with measurement of galvanostatic polarization curves determines whether given metal chloride suitable as cathode material in such cell. Cells useful in such high-energy-density and high-power-density applications as leveling loads on electric-power plants, supplying power to electric ground vehicles, and aerospace applications.

  17. 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.

  18. Performance of practical-sized membrane-electrode assemblies using titanium nitride-supported platinum catalysts mixed with acetylene black as the cathode catalyst layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shintani, Haruhiko; Kakinuma, Katsuyoshi; Uchida, Hiroyuki; Watanabe, Masahiro; Uchida, Makoto

    2015-04-01

    The performance of practical-sized membrane-electrode assemblies (MEAs) using titanium nitride-supported platinum (Pt/TiN) as the cathode catalysts was evaluated with the use of a practical single cell designed for microscale combined heat and power (CHP) applications. The performance can be controlled by adding acetylene black (AB), with the behavior being dominated by the percolation law. The electrical resistance of the MEAs drastically decreased for AB contents greater than 37 vol%. The Pt utilization percentage was close to 100% for Pt/TiN with percolated AB networks. It was also found that the percolated AB networks supplied effective gas transport pathways, which were not flooded by generated water, thus enhancing the oxygen mass transport. The practical-sized MEA using Pt/TiN + 47 vol% AB showed 1.5 times greater mass activity and a comparable performance under a practical operating condition for micro-CHP applications, compared with the MEA using a commercial graphitized carbon black-supported platinum catalyst.

  19. Performance of (CoPC)n catalyst in active lithium-thionyl chloride cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shah, Pinakin M.

    1990-01-01

    An experimental study was conducted with anode limited D size cells to characterize the performance of an active lithium-thionyl chloride (Li/SOCl2) system using the polymeric cobalt phthalocyanine, (CoPC)n, catalyst in carbon cathodes. The author describes the results of this experiment with respect to initial voltage delays, operating voltages, and capacities. The effectiveness of the preconditioning methods evolved to alleviate passivation effects on storage are also discussed. The results clearly demonstrated the superior high rate capability of cells with the catalyst. The catalyst did not adversely impact the performance of cells after active storage for up to 6 months, while retaining its beneficial influences.

  20. Methanol-Resistant Oxygen-Reduction Catalysts for Direct Methanol Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shukla, A. K.; Raman, R. K.

    2003-08-01

    Methanol oxidation in the cathode compartment of the fuel cell, which occurs during the oxygen-reduction reaction on Pt-based cathodes, constitutes a significant performance loss in the direct methanol fuel cells. Over the past decade, four types of methanol-resistant oxygen-reduction catalysts have been developed to circumvent this problem. Among these, transition-metal chalcogenides, and in particular RuSe, have shown effective selectivity to oxygen-reduction reaction in the presence of methanol. These catalysts not only can enhance the performance of the conventional direct methanol fuel cells but also could provide a route to develop mixed-reactants direct methanol fuel cells, which could be highly cost-effective in comparison with the conventional direct methanol fuel cells. This article is a brief update on the preparation, characterization, and implications of methanol-resistant oxygen-reduction catalysts.

  1. Fuel cells and fuel cell catalysts

    DOEpatents

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

    2006-11-07

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

  2. Copper Chloride Cathode For Liquid-Sodium Cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bugga, Ratnakumar V.; Distefano, Salvador; Nagasubramanian, Ganesan; Bankston, Clyde P.

    1990-01-01

    Rechargeable liquid-sodium cell with copper chloride cathode offers substantial increase in energy density over cells made with other cathode materials. Unit has theoretical maximum energy density of 1135 W.h/kg. Generates electricity by electrochemical reaction of molten sodium and solid copper chloride immersed in molten electrolyte, sodium tetrachloroaluminate at temperature of equal to or greater than 200 degrees C. Wall of alumina tube separates molten electrolyte from molten sodium anode. Copper chloride cathode embedded in pores of sintered nickel cylinder or directly sintered.

  3. The investigation of resin degradation in catalyst layer of proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Shaohua; Zhang, Huamin

    2014-01-01

    In order to separate resin degradation in catalyst layer (CL) from membrane degradation of proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC), Fluorine emission rate (FER) was specially selected to highlight the degradation of Nafion® resin in CL by employing hydrocarbon membrane as membrane. The drain water from the cathode and anode was collected and analyzed separately. It is found that FERs of drain water are 0.065 μmol cm-2 h-1 (cathode) and 0.049 μmol cm-2 h-1 (anode), suggesting resin degradation happened in CLs and the predominant degradation occurred in the cathode in open circuit operation.

  4. Micro-nano structured Ni-MOFs as high-performance cathode catalyst for rechargeable Li-O2 batteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Xiaofei; Zhu, Zhiqiang; Cheng, Fangyi; Tao, Zhanliang; Chen, Jun

    2015-07-01

    Rechargeable Li-O2 batteries with high theoretical energy density urgently require efficient cathode catalysts to improve their electrochemical performance. Here we first demonstrated the application of Ni-based organic frameworks of Ni(4,4'-bipy)(H3BTC) (4,4'-bipy = 4,4'-bipyridine H3BTC = 1,3,5-benzenetricarboxylic acid) (Ni-MOFs) as high-performance cathode catalysts for rechargeable Li-O2 batteries. It is found that Ni-MOFs with a three-dimensional (3D) micro-nano structure, open catalytic sites and large specific surface area can guarantee the free transfer of O2 and effective contact between the electrolyte and the catalytic sites. Preliminary testing of Ni-MOFs showed that they possess an extremely high capacity of 9000 mA h g-1, a high round-trip efficiency of 80%, and a respectable cycling of 170 cycles without obvious voltage drop. Furthermore, plastic rechargeable Li-O2 batteries with Ni-MOFs as the cathode catalyst have been assembled, displaying an energy density of 478 Wh kg-1. This study leads to both fundamental and technological advances of Ni-MOFs as the cathode for rechargeable Li-O2 batteries.Rechargeable Li-O2 batteries with high theoretical energy density urgently require efficient cathode catalysts to improve their electrochemical performance. Here we first demonstrated the application of Ni-based organic frameworks of Ni(4,4'-bipy)(H3BTC) (4,4'-bipy = 4,4'-bipyridine H3BTC = 1,3,5-benzenetricarboxylic acid) (Ni-MOFs) as high-performance cathode catalysts for rechargeable Li-O2 batteries. It is found that Ni-MOFs with a three-dimensional (3D) micro-nano structure, open catalytic sites and large specific surface area can guarantee the free transfer of O2 and effective contact between the electrolyte and the catalytic sites. Preliminary testing of Ni-MOFs showed that they possess an extremely high capacity of 9000 mA h g-1, a high round-trip efficiency of 80%, and a respectable cycling of 170 cycles without obvious voltage drop. Furthermore

  5. Cathodic and anodic biofilms in Single Chamber Microbial Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

    Cristiani, P; Carvalho, M L; Guerrini, E; Daghio, M; Santoro, C; Li, B

    2013-08-01

    The oxygen reduction due to microaerophilic biofilms grown on graphite cathodes (biocathodes) in Single Chamber Microbial Fuel Cells (SCMFCs) is proved and analysed in this paper. Pt-free cathode performances are compared with those of different platinum-loaded cathodes, before and after the biofilm growth. Membraneless SCMFCs were operating in batch-mode, filled with wastewater. A substrate (fuel) of sodium acetate (0.03 M) was periodically added and the experiment lasted more than six months. A maximum of power densities, up to 0.5 W m(-2), were reached when biofilms developed on the electrodes and the cathodic potential decreased (open circuit potential of 50-200 mV vs. SHE). The power output was almost constant with an acetate concentration of 0.01-0.05 M and it fell down when the pH of the media exceeded 9.5, independently of the Pt-free/Pt-loading at the cathodes. Current densities varied in the range of 1-5 Am(-2) (cathode area of 5 cm(2)). Quasi-stationary polarization curves performed with a three-electrode configuration on cathodic and anodic electrodes showed that the anodic overpotential, more than the cathodic one, may limit the current density in the SCMFCs for a long-term operation. PMID:23474690

  6. Electrorefining cell with parallel electrode/concentric cylinder cathode

    DOEpatents

    Gay, E.C.; Miller, W.E.; Laidler, J.J.

    1997-07-22

    A cathode-anode arrangement for use in an electrolytic cell is adapted for electrochemically refining spent nuclear fuel from a nuclear reactor and recovering purified uranium for further treatment and possible recycling as a fresh blanket or core fuel in a nuclear reactor. The arrangement includes a plurality of inner anodic dissolution baskets that are each attached to a respective support rod, are submerged in a molten lithium halide salt, and are rotationally displaced. An inner hollow cylindrical-shaped cathode is concentrically disposed about the inner anodic dissolution baskets. Concentrically disposed about the inner cathode in a spaced manner are a plurality of outer anodic dissolution baskets, while an outer hollow cylindrical-shaped is disposed about the outer anodic dissolution baskets. Uranium is transported from the anode baskets and deposited in a uniform cylindrical shape on the inner and outer cathode cylinders by rotating the anode baskets within the molten lithium halide salt. Scrapers located on each anode basket abrade and remove the spent fuel deposits on the surfaces of the inner and outer cathode cylinders, with the spent fuel falling to the bottom of the cell for removal. Cell resistance is reduced and uranium deposition rate enhanced by increasing the electrode area and reducing the anode-cathode spacing. Collection efficiency is enhanced by trapping and recovery of uranium dendrites scrapped off of the cylindrical cathodes which may be greater in number than two. 12 figs.

  7. Electrorefining cell with parallel electrode/concentric cylinder cathode

    DOEpatents

    Gay, Eddie C.; Miller, William E.; Laidler, James J.

    1997-01-01

    A cathode-anode arrangement for use in an electrolytic cell is adapted for electrochemically refining spent nuclear fuel from a nuclear reactor and recovering purified uranium for further treatment and possible recycling as a fresh blanket or core fuel in a nuclear reactor. The arrangement includes a plurality of inner anodic dissolution baskets that are each attached to a respective support rod, are submerged in a molten lithium halide salt, and are rotationally displaced. An inner hollow cylindrical-shaped cathode is concentrically disposed about the inner anodic dissolution baskets. Concentrically disposed about the inner cathode in a spaced manner are a plurality of outer anodic dissolution baskets, while an outer hollow cylindrical-shaped is disposed about the outer anodic dissolution baskets. Uranium is transported from the anode baskets and deposited in a uniform cylindrical shape on the inner and outer cathode cylinders by rotating the anode baskets within the molten lithium halide salt. Scrapers located on each anode basket abrade and remove the spent fuel deposits on the surfaces of the inner and outer cathode cylinders, with the spent fuel falling to the bottom of the cell for removal. Cell resistance is reduced and uranium deposition rate enhanced by increasing the electrode area and reducing the anode-cathode spacing. Collection efficiency is enhanced by trapping and recovery of uranium dendrites scrapped off of the cylindrical cathodes which may be greater in number than two.

  8. 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.

  9. Conducting polymer-doped polyprrrole as an effective cathode catalyst for Li-O{sub 2} batteries

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Jinqiang; Sun, Bing; Ahn, Hyo-Jun; Wang, Chengyin; Wang, Guoxiu

    2013-12-15

    Graphical abstract: - Highlights: • Doped polypyrrole as cathode catalysts for Li-O{sub 2} batteries. • Polypyrrole has an excellent redox capability to activate oxygen reduction. • Chloride doped polypyrrole demonstrated an improved catalytic performance in Li-O{sub 2} batteries. - Abstract: Polypyrrole conducting polymers with different dopants have been synthesized and applied as the cathode catalyst in Li-O{sub 2} batteries. Polypyrrole polymers exhibited an effective catalytic activity towards oxygen reduction in lithium oxygen batteries. It was discovered that dopant significantly influenced the electrochemical performance of polypyrrole. The polypyrrole doped with Cl{sup −} demonstrated higher capacity and more stable cyclability than that doped with ClO{sub 4}{sup −}. Polypyrrole conducting polymers also exhibited higher capacity and better cycling performance than that of carbon black catalysts.

  10. Tolerant chalcogenide cathodes of membraneless micro fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Gago, Aldo Saul; Gochi-Ponce, Yadira; Feng, Yong-Jun; Esquivel, Juan Pablo; Sabaté, Neus; Santander, Joaquin; Alonso-Vante, Nicolas

    2012-08-01

    The most critical issues to overcome in micro direct methanol fuel cells (μDMFCs) are the lack of tolerance of the platinum cathode and fuel crossover through the polymer membrane. Thus, two novel tolerant cathodes of a membraneless microlaminar-flow fuel cell (μLFFC), Pt(x)S(y) and CoSe(2), were developed. The multichannel structure of the system was microfabricated in SU-8 polymer. A commercial platinum cathode served for comparison. When using 5 M CH(3)OH as the fuel, maximum power densities of 6.5, 4, and 0.23 mW cm(-2) were achieved for the μLFFC with Pt, Pt(x)S(y), and CoSe(2) cathodes, respectively. The Pt(x)S(y) cathode outperformed Pt in the same fuel cell when using CH(3)OH at concentrations above 10 M. In a situation where fuel crossover is 100 %, that is, mixing the fuel with the reactant, the maximum power density of the micro fuel cell with Pt decreased by 80 %. However, for Pt(x)S(y) this decrease corresponded to 35 % and for CoSe(2) there was no change in performance. This result is the consequence of the high tolerance of the chalcogenide-based cathodes. When using 10 M HCOOH and a palladium-based anode, the μLFFC with a CoSe(2) cathode achieved a maxiumum power density of 1.04 mW cm(-2). This micro fuel cell does not contain either Nafion membrane or platinum. We report, for the first time, the evaluation of Pt(x)S(y)- and CoSe(2)-based cathodes in membraneless micro fuel cells. The results suggest the development of a novel system that is not size restricted and its operation is mainly based on the selectivity of its electrodes.

  11. Nitrogen-Doped Carbon Nanoparticle-Carbon Nanofiber Composite as an Efficient Metal-Free Cathode Catalyst for Oxygen Reduction Reaction.

    PubMed

    Panomsuwan, Gasidit; Saito, Nagahiro; Ishizaki, Takahiro

    2016-03-23

    Metal-free nitrogen-doped carbon materials are currently considered at the forefront of potential alternative cathode catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in fuel cell technology. Despite numerous efforts in this area over the past decade, rational design and development of a new catalyst system based on nitrogen-doped carbon materials via an innovative approach still present intriguing challenges in ORR catalysis research. Herein, a new kind of nitrogen-doped carbon nanoparticle-carbon nanofiber (NCNP-CNF) composite with highly efficient and stable ORR catalytic activity has been developed via a new approach assisted by a solution plasma process. The integration of NCNPs and CNFs by the solution plasma process can lead to a unique morphological feature and modify physicochemical properties. The NCNP-CNF composite exhibits a significantly enhanced ORR activity through a dominant four-electron pathway in an alkaline solution. The enhancement in ORR activity of NCNP-CNF composite can be attributed to the synergistic effects of good electron transport from highly graphitized CNFs as well as abundance of exposed catalytic sites and meso/macroporosity from NCNPs. More importantly, NCNP-CNF composite reveals excellent long-term durability and high tolerance to methanol crossover compared with those of a commercial 20 wt % supported on Vulcan XC-72. We expect that NCNP-CNF composite prepared by this synthetic approach can be a promising metal-free cathode catalyst candidate for ORR in fuel cells and metal-air batteries. PMID:26908214

  12. Facile and Gram-scale Synthesis of Metal-free Catalysts: Toward Realistic Applications for Fuel Cells

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Ok-Hee; Cho, Yong-Hun; Chung, Dong Young; Kim, Min Jeong; Yoo, Ji Mun; Park, Ji Eun; Choe, Heeman; Sung, Yung-Eun

    2015-01-01

    Although numerous reports on nonprecious metal catalysts for replacing expensive Pt-based catalysts have been published, few of these studies have demonstrated their practical application in fuel cells. In this work, we report graphitic carbon nitride and carbon nanofiber hybrid materials synthesized by a facile and gram-scale method via liquid-based reactions, without the use of toxic materials or a high pressure-high temperature reactor, for use as fuel cell cathodes. The resulting materials exhibited remarkable methanol tolerance, selectivity, and stability even without a metal dopant. Furthermore, these completely metal-free catalysts exhibited outstanding performance as cathode materials in an actual fuel cell device: a membrane electrode assembly with both acidic and alkaline polymer electrolytes. The fabrication method and remarkable performance of the single cell produced in this study represent progressive steps toward the realistic application of metal-free cathode electrocatalysts in fuel cells. PMID:25728910

  13. Facile and Gram-scale Synthesis of Metal-free Catalysts: Toward Realistic Applications for Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Ok-Hee; Cho, Yong-Hun; Chung, Dong Young; Kim, Min Jeong; Yoo, Ji Mun; Park, Ji Eun; Choe, Heeman; Sung, Yung-Eun

    2015-03-01

    Although numerous reports on nonprecious metal catalysts for replacing expensive Pt-based catalysts have been published, few of these studies have demonstrated their practical application in fuel cells. In this work, we report graphitic carbon nitride and carbon nanofiber hybrid materials synthesized by a facile and gram-scale method via liquid-based reactions, without the use of toxic materials or a high pressure-high temperature reactor, for use as fuel cell cathodes. The resulting materials exhibited remarkable methanol tolerance, selectivity, and stability even without a metal dopant. Furthermore, these completely metal-free catalysts exhibited outstanding performance as cathode materials in an actual fuel cell device: a membrane electrode assembly with both acidic and alkaline polymer electrolytes. The fabrication method and remarkable performance of the single cell produced in this study represent progressive steps toward the realistic application of metal-free cathode electrocatalysts in fuel cells.

  14. Facile and gram-scale synthesis of metal-free catalysts: toward realistic applications for fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Kim, Ok-Hee; Cho, Yong-Hun; Chung, Dong Young; Kim, Min Jeong; Yoo, Ji Mun; Park, Ji Eun; Choe, Heeman; Sung, Yung-Eun

    2015-03-02

    Although numerous reports on nonprecious metal catalysts for replacing expensive Pt-based catalysts have been published, few of these studies have demonstrated their practical application in fuel cells. In this work, we report graphitic carbon nitride and carbon nanofiber hybrid materials synthesized by a facile and gram-scale method via liquid-based reactions, without the use of toxic materials or a high pressure-high temperature reactor, for use as fuel cell cathodes. The resulting materials exhibited remarkable methanol tolerance, selectivity, and stability even without a metal dopant. Furthermore, these completely metal-free catalysts exhibited outstanding performance as cathode materials in an actual fuel cell device: a membrane electrode assembly with both acidic and alkaline polymer electrolytes. The fabrication method and remarkable performance of the single cell produced in this study represent progressive steps toward the realistic application of metal-free cathode electrocatalysts in fuel cells.

  15. Functionally Graded Cathodes for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    YongMan Choi; Meilin Liu

    2006-09-30

    This DOE SECA project focused on both experimental and theoretical understanding of oxygen reduction processes in a porous mixed-conducting cathode in a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC). Elucidation of the detailed oxygen reduction mechanism, especially the rate-limiting step(s), is critical to the development of low-temperature SOFCs (400 C to 700 C) and to cost reduction since much less expensive materials may be used for cell components. However, cell performance at low temperatures is limited primarily by the interfacial polarization resistances, specifically by those associated with oxygen reduction at the cathode, including transport of oxygen gas through the porous cathode, the adsorption of oxygen onto the cathode surface, the reduction and dissociation of the oxygen molecule (O{sub 2}) into the oxygen ion (O{sup 2-}), and the incorporation of the oxygen ion into the electrolyte. In order to most effectively enhance the performance of the cathode at low temperatures, we must understand the mechanism and kinetics of the elementary processes at the interfaces. Under the support of this DOE SECA project, our accomplishments included: (1) Experimental determination of the rate-limiting step in the oxygen reduction mechanism at the cathode using in situ FTIR and Raman spectroscopy, including surface- and tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS and TERS). (2) Fabrication and testing of micro-patterned cathodes to compare the relative activity of the TPB to the rest of the cathode surface. (3) Construction of a mathematical model to predict cathode performance based on different geometries and microstructures and analyze the kinetics of oxygen-reduction reactions occurring at charged mixed ionic-electronic conductors (MIECs) using two-dimensional finite volume models with ab initio calculations. (4) Fabrication of cathodes that are graded in composition and microstructure to generate large amounts of active surface area near the cathode/electrolyte interface using a

  16. Performance and durability of anode-supported flat-tubular solid oxide fuel cells with Ag-infiltrated cathodes.

    PubMed

    Pi, Seuk-Hoon; Lee, Jong-Won; Lee, Seung-Bok; Lim, Tak-Hyoung; Park, Seok-Joo; Park, Chong-Ook; Song, Rak-Hyun

    2014-10-01

    An anode-supported flat-tubular solid oxide fuel cell is an advanced cell design, which offers many advantages including a high volumetric power density, a minimized sealing area and a high resistance to thermal cycling. Infiltration of nano-sized noble metal catalysts into a porous cathode is known to be an effective method to improve cathode performances at reduced temperatures, but the cathode stability is of potential concern. This study addresses the performance and durability of anode-supported flat-tubular solid oxide fuel cells with Ag-infiltrated cathodes. Uniformly dispersed Ag nanoparticles on the cathode are formed via a wet infiltration technique combined with subsequent heat-treatment. Although the Ag infiltration results in improved cell performance, the durability tests indicate that the cell performance degrades over time and that the degradation rate increases with increasing Ag loading in the cathode. The observed performance degradation is mainly attributed to formation of large-scale Ag agglomerates. A strategy based on an inter-dispersed composite of Ag and CeO2 nanoparticles is proposed to mitigate the performance degradation.

  17. Oxide Fiber Cathode Materials for Rechargeable Lithium Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rice, Catherine E.; Welker, Mark F.

    2008-01-01

    LiCoO2 and LiNiO2 fibers have been investigated as alternatives to LiCoO2 and LiNiO2 powders used as lithium-intercalation compounds in cathodes of rechargeable lithium-ion electrochemical cells. In making such a cathode, LiCoO2 or LiNiO2 powder is mixed with a binder [e.g., poly(vinylidene fluoride)] and an electrically conductive additive (usually carbon) and the mixture is pressed to form a disk. The binder and conductive additive contribute weight and volume, reducing the specific energy and energy density, respectively. In contrast, LiCoO2 or LiNiO2 fibers can be pressed and sintered to form a cathode, without need for a binder or a conductive additive. The inter-grain contacts of the fibers are stronger and have fewer defects than do those of powder particles. These characteristics translate to increased flexibility and greater resilience on cycling and, consequently, to reduced loss of capacity from cycle to cycle. Moreover, in comparison with a powder-based cathode, a fiber-based cathode is expected to exhibit significantly greater ionic and electronic conduction along the axes of the fibers. Results of preliminary charge/discharge-cycling tests suggest that energy densities of LiCoO2- and LiNiO2-fiber cathodes are approximately double those of the corresponding powder-based cathodes.

  18. Cathode preparation method for molten carbonate fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Smith, James L.; Sim, James W.; Kucera, Eugenia H.

    1988-01-01

    A method of preparing a porous cathode structure for use in a molten carbonate fuel cell begins by providing a porous integral plaque of sintered nickel oxide particles. The nickel oxide plaque can be obtained by oxidizing a sintered plaque of nickel metal or by compacting and sintering finely divided nickel oxide particles to the desired pore structure. The porous sintered nickel oxide plaque is contacted with a lithium salt for a sufficient time to lithiate the nickel oxide structure and thus enhance its electronic conductivity. The lithiation can be carried out either within an operating fuel cell or prior to assembling the plaque as a cathode within the fuel cell.

  19. Cathode-preparation method for molten-carbonate fuel cell

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, J.L.; Sim, J.W.; Kucera, E.H.

    1982-01-28

    A method of preparing a porous cathode structure for use in a molten carbonate fuel cell begins by providing a porous integral plaque of sintered nickel oxide particles. The nickel oxide plaque can be obtained by oxidizing a sintered plaque of nickel metal or by compacting and sintering finely divided nickel oxide particles to the desired pore structure. The porous sintered nickel oxide plaque is contacted with a lithium salt for a sufficient time to lithiate the nickel oxide structure and thus enhance its electronic conductivity. The lithiation can be carried out either within an operating fuel cell or prior to assembling the plaque as a cathode within the fuel cell.

  20. Hybrid binuclear-cobalt-phthalocyanine as oxygen reduction reaction catalyst in single chamber microbial fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Baitao; Zhou, Xiuxiu; Wang, Xiujun; Liu, Bingchuan; Li, Baikun

    2014-12-01

    A novel hybrid binuclear-cobalt-phthalocyanine (Bi-CoPc) is developed as the cathode catalyst to replace the costly platinum (Pt) in single chamber microbial fuel cells (SCMFCs). Bi-CoPc/C is integrated with metal oxides (NiO and CoO) to form macrocyclic complex for enhanced oxygen reduction rate (ORR). The characteristics of hybrid catalysts (Bi-CoPc/C-CoO and Bi-CoPc/C-NiO) are compared with Co-contained catalysts (CoPc/C and Bi-CoPc/C) and metal oxide catalysts (NiO and CoO). The increase in O and N functional groups indicates the benefits of NiO and CoO to the cathode catalysts. The cyclic voltammetry (CV) shows the reduction peak for Bi-CoPc/C-NiO and Bi-CoPc/C-CoO at -0.12 V and -0.22 V, respectively. The power densities (368 mW m-2 and 400 mW m-2) of SCMFCs with Bi-CoPc/C-CoO and Bi-CoPc-NiO/C are the highest among the cathodes tested, and close to that of Pt (450 mW m-2). This study demonstrates that hybrid Bi-CoPc/C with metal oxides has a great potential as a cost-effective catalyst in MFCs.

  1. Magnetron cathodes in plasma electrode pockels cells

    DOEpatents

    Rhodes, Mark A.

    1995-01-01

    Magnetron cathodes, which produce high current discharges, form greatly improved plasma electrodes on each side of an electro-optic crystal. The plasma electrode has a low pressure gas region on both sides of the crystal. When the gas is ionized, e.g., by a glow discharge in the low pressure gas, the plasma formed is a good conductor. The gas electrode acts as a highly uniform conducting electrode. Since the plasma is transparent to a high energy laser beam passing through the crystal, the plasma is transparent. A crystal exposed from two sides to such a plasma can be charged up uniformly to any desired voltage. A typical configuration utilizes helium at 50 millitorr operating. pressure and 2 kA discharge current. The magnetron cathode produces a more uniform plasma and allows a reduced operating pressure which leads to lower plasma resistivity and a more uniform charge on the crystal.

  2. Magnetron cathodes in plasma electrode Pockels cells

    DOEpatents

    Rhodes, M.A.

    1995-04-25

    Magnetron cathodes, which produce high current discharges, form greatly improved plasma electrodes on each side of an electro-optic crystal. The plasma electrode has a low pressure gas region on both sides of the crystal. When the gas is ionized, e.g., by a glow discharge in the low pressure gas, the plasma formed is a good conductor. The gas electrode acts as a highly uniform conducting electrode. Since the plasma is transparent to a high energy laser beam passing through the crystal, the plasma is transparent. A crystal exposed from two sides to such a plasma can be charged up uniformly to any desired voltage. A typical configuration utilizes helium at 50 millitorr operating pressure and 2 kA discharge current. The magnetron cathode produces a more uniform plasma and allows a reduced operating pressure which leads to lower plasma resistivity and a more uniform charge on the crystal. 5 figs.

  3. Metal-catalyst-free carbohydrazide fuel cells with three-dimensional graphene anodes.

    PubMed

    Qi, Ji; Benipal, Neeva; Wang, Hui; Chadderdon, David J; Jiang, Yibo; Wei, Wei; Hu, Yun Hang; Li, Wenzhen

    2015-04-13

    As a potential solution to concerns on sustainable energy, the wide spread commercialization of fuel cell has long been hindered by limited reserves and relatively high costs of metal catalysts. 3D graphene, a carbon-only catalyst prepared by reduction of carbon monoxide with lithium oxide, is found to electrochemically catalyze carbohydrazide oxidation reaction efficiently. A prototype of a completely metal-catalyst-free anion exchange membrane fuel cell (AEMFC) with a 3D graphene anode catalyst and an N-doped CNT (N-CNT) cathode catalyst generate a peak power density of 24.9 mW cm(-2) . The average number of electrons electrochemically extracted from one carbohydrazide molecule is 4.9, indicating the existence of CN bond activation, which is a key factor contributing to high fuel utilization efficiency.

  4. Metal-catalyst-free carbohydrazide fuel cells with three-dimensional graphene anodes.

    PubMed

    Qi, Ji; Benipal, Neeva; Wang, Hui; Chadderdon, David J; Jiang, Yibo; Wei, Wei; Hu, Yun Hang; Li, Wenzhen

    2015-04-13

    As a potential solution to concerns on sustainable energy, the wide spread commercialization of fuel cell has long been hindered by limited reserves and relatively high costs of metal catalysts. 3D graphene, a carbon-only catalyst prepared by reduction of carbon monoxide with lithium oxide, is found to electrochemically catalyze carbohydrazide oxidation reaction efficiently. A prototype of a completely metal-catalyst-free anion exchange membrane fuel cell (AEMFC) with a 3D graphene anode catalyst and an N-doped CNT (N-CNT) cathode catalyst generate a peak power density of 24.9 mW cm(-2) . The average number of electrons electrochemically extracted from one carbohydrazide molecule is 4.9, indicating the existence of CN bond activation, which is a key factor contributing to high fuel utilization efficiency. PMID:25469500

  5. Membrane catalyst layer for fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Wilson, Mahlon S.

    1993-01-01

    A gas reaction fuel cell incorporates a thin catalyst layer between a solid polymer electrolyte (SPE) membrane and a porous electrode backing. The catalyst layer is preferably less than about 10 .mu.m in thickness with a carbon supported platinum catalyst loading less than about 0.35 mgPt/cm.sup.2. The film is formed as an ink that is spread and cured on a film release blank. The cured film is then transferred to the SPE membrane and hot pressed into the surface to form a catalyst layer having a controlled thickness and catalyst distribution. Alternatively, the catalyst layer is formed by applying a Na.sup.+ form of a perfluorosulfonate ionomer directly to the membrane, drying the film at a high temperature, and then converting the film back to the protonated form of the ionomer. The layer has adequate gas permeability so that cell performance is not affected and has a density and particle distribution effective to optimize proton access to the catalyst and electronic continuity for electron flow from the half-cell reaction occurring at the catalyst.

  6. Cathode side hardware for carbonate fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Xu, Gengfu; Yuh, Chao-Yi

    2011-04-05

    Carbonate fuel cathode side hardware having a thin coating of a conductive ceramic formed from one of Perovskite AMeO.sub.3, wherein A is at least one of lanthanum and a combination of lanthanum and strontium and Me is one or more of transition metals, lithiated NiO (Li.sub.xNiO, where x is 0.1 to 1) and X-doped LiMeO.sub.2, wherein X is one of Mg, Ca, and Co.

  7. Co3O4 nanoparticle-modified MnO2 nanotube bifunctional oxygen cathode catalysts for rechargeable zinc-air batteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Du, Guojun; Liu, Xiaogang; Zong, Yun; Hor, T. S. Andy; Yu, Aishui; Liu, Zhaolin

    2013-05-01

    We report the preparation of MnO2 nanotubes functionalized with Co3O4 nanoparticles and their use as bifunctional air cathode catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction and oxygen evolution reaction in rechargeable zinc-air batteries. These hybrid MnO2/Co3O4 nanomaterials exhibit enhanced catalytic reactivity toward oxygen evolution reaction under alkaline conditions compared with that in the presence of MnO2 nanotubes or Co3O4 nanoparticles alone.We report the preparation of MnO2 nanotubes functionalized with Co3O4 nanoparticles and their use as bifunctional air cathode catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction and oxygen evolution reaction in rechargeable zinc-air batteries. These hybrid MnO2/Co3O4 nanomaterials exhibit enhanced catalytic reactivity toward oxygen evolution reaction under alkaline conditions compared with that in the presence of MnO2 nanotubes or Co3O4 nanoparticles alone. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: Zinc-air cell device, XPS survey scan and power density of the cell. See DOI: 10.1039/c3nr00300k

  8. Functionally graded composite cathodes for solid oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hart, N. T.; Brandon, N. P.; Day, M. J.; Lapeña-Rey, N.

    Functionally graded solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) cathodes have been prepared from mixtures of strontium-doped lanthanum manganite (LSM) and gadolinia-doped ceria (CGO) using slurry spraying techniques. Similar samples were also prepared from mixtures of LSM and ytrria-stabilised zirconia (YSZ). A current collector comprising a mixture of LSM and strontium-doped lanthanum cobaltite (LSCO) was then applied to both cathode types. Samples were characterised using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). Characterisation using EIS techniques showed that cathodes incorporating CGO into the structure gave improved performance over those fabricated using YSZ. These performance gains were most noticeable as the temperature was decreased towards 700 °C, and were maintained during the testing of three cell membrane electrode assemblies fabricated to the Rolls-Royce design.

  9. Membrane-electrode structures for molecular catalysts for use in fuel cells and other electrochemical devices

    DOEpatents

    Kerr, John B.; Zhu, Xiaobing; Hwang, Gi Suk; Martin, Zulima; He, Qinggang; Driscoll, Peter; Weber, Adam; Clark, Kyle

    2016-09-27

    Water soluble catalysts, (M)meso-tetra(N-Methyl-4-Pyridyl)Porphinepentachloride (M=Fe, Co, Mn & Cu), have been incorporated into the polymer binder of oxygen reduction cathodes in membrane electrode assemblies used in PEM fuel cells and found to support encouragingly high current densities. The voltages achieved are low compared to commercial platinum catalysts but entirely consistent with the behavior observed in electroanalytical measurements of the homogeneous catalysts. A model of the dynamics of the electrode action has been developed and validated and this allows the MEA electrodes to be optimized for any chemistry that has been demonstrated in solution. It has been shown that improvements to the performance will come from modifications to the structure of the catalyst combined with optimization of the electrode structure and a well-founded pathway to practical non-platinum group metal catalysts exists.

  10. Modeling the cathode compartment of polymer electrolyte fuel cells: Dead and active reaction zones

    SciTech Connect

    Kulikovsky, A.A.; Divisek, J.; Kornyshev, A.A.

    1999-11-01

    A two-dimensional model of the cathode compartment of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell has been developed. The existence of gas channels in the current collector is taken into account. The model is based on continuity equations for concentrations of the gases and Poisson's equations for potentials of membrane and carbon phase, coupled by Tafel relation for reaction kinetics. Stefan-Maxwell and Knudsen diffusion of gases are taken into account. The simulations were performed for high and low values of carbon phase conductivity. The results revealed (i) for a low value of carbon phase conductivity, a dead zone in the active layer in front of the gas channel is formed, where the reaction rate is small. The catalyst may be removed from this zone without significant loss in cell performance; (ii) For a high carbon phase conductivity value, such a zone is absent, but removal of the catalyst from the same part of the active layer forces the reaction to proceed more rapidly in the remaining parts, with only marginal losses in performance. This conclusion is valid for high diffusivity of oxygen. For low diffusivity, dead zones are formed in front of the current collector, so that catalyst can be removed from these zones. The results, thus, show the possibilities for a considerable reduction of the amount of catalyst.

  11. Evaluation of microbial fuel cell operation using algae as an oxygen supplier: carbon paper cathode vs. carbon brush cathode.

    PubMed

    Kakarla, Ramesh; Min, Booki

    2014-12-01

    Microbial fuel cell (MFC) and its cathode performances were compared with use of carbon fiber brush and plain carbon paper cathode electrodes in algae aeration. The MFC having carbon fiber brush cathode exhibited a voltage of 0.21 ± 0.01 V (1,000 Ω) with a cathode potential of around -0.14 ± 0.01 V in algal aeration, whereas MFC with plain carbon paper cathode resulted in a voltage of 0.06 ± 0.005 V with a cathode potential of -0.39 ± 0.01 V. During polarizations, MFC equipped with carbon fiber brush cathode showed a maximum power density of 30 mW/m(2), whereas the MFC equipped with plain carbon paper showed a power density of 4.6 mW/m(2). In algae aeration, the internal resistance with carbon fiber brush cathode was 804 Ω and with plain carbon paper it was 1,210 Ω. The peak currents of MFC operation with carbon fiber brush and plain carbon paper cathodes were -31 mA and -850 µA, respectively. PMID:24890136

  12. Evaluation of microbial fuel cell operation using algae as an oxygen supplier: carbon paper cathode vs. carbon brush cathode.

    PubMed

    Kakarla, Ramesh; Min, Booki

    2014-12-01

    Microbial fuel cell (MFC) and its cathode performances were compared with use of carbon fiber brush and plain carbon paper cathode electrodes in algae aeration. The MFC having carbon fiber brush cathode exhibited a voltage of 0.21 ± 0.01 V (1,000 Ω) with a cathode potential of around -0.14 ± 0.01 V in algal aeration, whereas MFC with plain carbon paper cathode resulted in a voltage of 0.06 ± 0.005 V with a cathode potential of -0.39 ± 0.01 V. During polarizations, MFC equipped with carbon fiber brush cathode showed a maximum power density of 30 mW/m(2), whereas the MFC equipped with plain carbon paper showed a power density of 4.6 mW/m(2). In algae aeration, the internal resistance with carbon fiber brush cathode was 804 Ω and with plain carbon paper it was 1,210 Ω. The peak currents of MFC operation with carbon fiber brush and plain carbon paper cathodes were -31 mA and -850 µA, respectively.

  13. Microwave decoration of Pt nanoparticles on entangled 3D carbon nanotube architectures as PEM fuel cell cathode.

    PubMed

    Sherrell, Peter C; Zhang, Weimin; Zhao, Jie; Wallace, Gordon G; Chen, Jun; Minett, Andrew I

    2012-07-01

    Proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are expected to provide a complementary power supply to fossil fuels in the near future. The current reliance of fuel cells on platinum catalysts is undesirable. However, even the best-performing non-noble metal catalysts are not as efficient. To drive commercial viability of fuel cells forward in the short term, increased utilization of Pt catalysts is paramount. We have demonstrated improved power and energy densities in a single PEMFC using a designed cathode with a Pt loading of 0.1 mg cm(-2) on a mesoporous conductive entangled carbon nanotube (CNT)-based architecture. This electrode allows for rapid transfer of both fuel and waste to and from the electrode, respectively. Pt particles are bound tightly, directly to CNT sidewalls by a microwave-reduction technique, which provided increased charge transport at this interface. The Pt entangled CNT cathode, in combination with an E-TEK 0.2 mg cm(-2) anode, has a maximum power and energy density of 940 mW cm(-2) and 2700 mA cm(-2), respectively, and a power and energy density of 4.01 W mg(Pt)(-1) and 6.35 A mg(Pt)(-1) at 0.65 V. These power densities correspond to a specific mass activity of 0.81 g Pt per kW for the combined mass of both anode and cathode electrodes, approaching the current US Department of Energy efficiency target.

  14. Fuel cell having dual electrode anode or cathode

    DOEpatents

    Findl, Eugene

    1985-01-01

    A fuel cell that is characterized by including a dual electrode anode that is operable to simultaneously electro-oxidize a gaseous fuel and a liquid fuel. In alternative embodiments, a fuel cell having a single electrode anode is provided with a dual electrode cathode that is operable to simultaneously reduce a gaseous oxidant and a liquid oxidant to electro-oxidize a fuel supplied to the cell.

  15. Fuel cell having dual electrode anode or cathode

    DOEpatents

    Findl, E.

    1984-04-10

    A fuel cell that is characterized by including a dual electrode anode that is operable to simultaneously electro-oxidize a gaseous fuel and a liquid fuel. In alternative embodiments, a fuel cell having a single electrode anode is provided with a dual electrode cathode that is operable to simultaneously reduce a gaseous oxidant and a liquid oxidant to electro-oxidize a fuel supplied to the cell.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  17. Molybdenum In Cathodes Of Sodium/Metal Chloride Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bugga, Ratnakumar V.; Attia, Alan I.; Halpert, Gerald

    1992-01-01

    Cyclic voltammetric curves of molybdenum wire in NaAlCl4 melt indicate molybdenum chloride useful as cathode material in rechargeable sodium/metal chloride electrochemical cells. Batteries used in electric vehicles, for electric-power load leveling, and other applications involving high energy and power densities.

  18. Perchlorate reduction in microbial electrolysis cell with polyaniline modified cathode.

    PubMed

    Li, Jia-Jia; Gao, Ming-Ming; Zhang, Gang; Wang, Xin-Hua; Wang, Shu-Guang; Song, Chao; Xu, Yan-Yan

    2015-02-01

    Excellent perchlorate reduction was obtained under various initial concentrations in a non-membrane microbial electrolysis cell with polyaniline (PANI) modified graphite cathode as sole electron donor. PANI modification is conducive to the formation of biofilm due to its porous structure and good electrocatalytic performance. Compared with cathode without biofilm, over 12% higher reduction rates were acquired in the presence of biocathode. The study demonstrates that, instead of perchlorate reduction, the main contribution of biofilm is involved in facilitate electron transfer from cathode to electrolyte. Interestingly, hairlike structure, referred as to pili-like, was observed in the biofilm as well as in the electrolyte. Additionally, the results show that pili were prone to formation under the condition of external electron field as sole electron donor. Analysis of microbial community suggests that perchlorate reduction bacteria community was most consistent with Azospiraoryzae strain DSM 13638 in the subdivision of the class Proteobacteria. PMID:25479396

  19. A direct borohydride fuel cell with a polymer fiber membrane and non-noble metal catalysts.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xiaodong; Liu, Yongning; Li, Sai; Wei, Xiaozhu; Wang, Li; Chen, Yuanzhen

    2012-01-01

    Polymer electrolyte membranes (PEM) and Pt-based catalysts are two crucial components which determine the properties and price of fuel cells. Even though, PEM faces problem of fuel crossover in liquid fuel cells such as direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) and direct borohydride fuel cell (DBFC), which lowers power output greatly. Here, we report a DBFC in which a polymer fiber membrane (PFM) was used, and metal oxides, such as LaNiO₃ and MnO₂, were used as cathode catalysts, meanwhile CoO was used as anode catalyst. Peak power density of 663 mW·cm⁻² has been achieved at 65°C, which increases by a factor of 1.7-3.7 compared with classic DBFCs. This fuel cell structure can also be extended to other liquid fuel cells, such as DMFC.

  20. A direct borohydride fuel cell with a polymer fiber membrane and non-noble metal catalysts

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Xiaodong; Liu, Yongning; Li, Sai; Wei, Xiaozhu; Wang, Li; Chen, Yuanzhen

    2012-01-01

    Polymer electrolyte membranes (PEM) and Pt-based catalysts are two crucial components which determine the properties and price of fuel cells. Even though, PEM faces problem of fuel crossover in liquid fuel cells such as direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) and direct borohydride fuel cell (DBFC), which lowers power output greatly. Here, we report a DBFC in which a polymer fiber membrane (PFM) was used, and metal oxides, such as LaNiO3 and MnO2, were used as cathode catalysts, meanwhile CoO was used as anode catalyst. Peak power density of 663 mW·cm−2 has been achieved at 65°C, which increases by a factor of 1.7–3.7 compared with classic DBFCs. This fuel cell structure can also be extended to other liquid fuel cells, such as DMFC. PMID:22880160

  1. Inert Anode/Cathode Program: Fiscal Year 1986 annual report. [For Hall-Heroult cells

    SciTech Connect

    Brenden, B.B.; Davis, N.C.; Koski, O.H.; Marschman, S.C.; Pool, K.H.; Schilling, C.H.; Windisch, C.F.; Wrona, B.J.

    1987-06-01

    Purpose of the program is to develop long-lasting, energy-efficient anodes, cathodes, and ancillary equipment for Hall-Heroult cells used by the aluminum industry. The program is divided into four tasks: Inert Anode Development, Cathode Materials Evaluation, Cathode Bonding Development, and Sensor Development. To devise sensors to control the chemistry of Hall-Heroult cells using stable anodes and cathodes. This report highlights the major FY86 technical accomplishments, which are presented in the following sections: Management, Materials Development, Materials Evaluation, Thermodynamic Evaluation, Laboratory Cell Tests, Large-Scale Tests, Cathode Materials Evaluation, Cathode Bonding Development, and Sensor Development.

  2. Membrane-less cloth cathode assembly (CCA) for scalable microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Zhuang, Li; Zhou, Shungui; Wang, Yueqiang; Liu, Chengshuai; Geng, Shu

    2009-08-15

    One of the main challenges for scaling up microbial fuel cell (MFC) technologies is developing low-cost cathode architectures that can generate high power output. This study developed a simple method to convert non-conductive material (canvas cloth) into an electrically conductive and catalytically active cloth cathode assembly (CCA) in one step. The membrane-less CCA was simply constructed by coating the cloth with conductive paint (nickel-based or graphite-based) and non-precious metal catalyst (MnO(2)). Under the fed-batch mode, the tubular air-chamber MFCs equipped with Ni-CCA and graphite-CCA generated the maximum power densities of 86.03 and 24.67 mW m(-2) (normalized to the projected cathode surface area), or 9.87 and 2.83 W m(-3) (normalized to the reactor liquid volume), respectively. The higher power output of Ni-CCA-MFC was associated with the lower volume resistivity of Ni-CCA (1.35 x 10(-2)Omega cm) than that of graphite-CCA (225 x 10(-2)Omega cm). At an external resistance of 100 Omega, Ni-CCA-MFC and graphite-CCA-MFC removed approximately 95% COD in brewery wastewater within 13 and 18d, and achieved coulombic efficiencies of 30.2% and 19.5%, respectively. The accumulated net water loss through the cloth by electro-osmotic drag exhibited a linear correlation (R(2)=0.999) with produced coulombs. With a comparable power production, such CCAs only cost less than 5% of the previously reported membrane cathode assembly. The new cathode configuration here is a mechanically durable, economical system for MFC scalability. PMID:19556120

  3. Extended Platinum Nanotubes as Fuel Cell Catalysts

    SciTech Connect

    Alia, S.; Pivovar, B. S.; Yan, Y.

    2012-01-01

    Energy consumption has relied principally on fossil fuels as an energy source; fuel cells, however, can provide a clean and sustainable alternative, an answer to the depletion and climate change concerns of fossil fuels. Within proton exchange membrane fuel cells, high catalyst cost and poor durability limit the commercial viability of the device. Recently, platinum nanotubes (PtNTs) were studied as durable, active catalysts, providing a platform to meet US Department of Energy vehicular activity targets.[1] Porous PtNTs were developed to increase nanotube surface area, improving mass activity for oxygen reduction without sacrificing durability.[2] Subsurface platinum was then replaced with palladium, forming platinum-coated palladium nanotubes.[3] By forming a core shell structure, platinum utilization was increased, reducing catalyst cost. Alternative substrates have also been examined, modifying platinum surface facets and increasing oxygen reduction specific activity. Through modification of the PtNT platform, catalyst limitations can be reduced, ensuring a commercially viable device.

  4. Electrocatalysis for dioxygen reduction by a μ-oxo decavanadium complex in alkaline medium and its application to a cathode catalyst in air batteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dewi, Eniya Listiani; Oyaizu, Kenichi; Nishide, Hiroyuki; Tsuchida, Eishun

    The redox behavior of a decavanadium complex [(VO) 10(μ 2-O) 9(μ 3-O) 3(C 5H 7O 2) 6] ( 1) was studied using cyclic voltammetry under acidic and basic conditions. The reduction potential of V(V) was found at less positive potentials for higher pH electrolyte solutions. The oxygen reduction at complex 1 immobilized on a modified electrode was examined using cyclic voltammetry and rotating ring-disk electrode techniques in the 1 M KOH solutions. On the basis of measurements using a rotating disk electrode (RDE), the complex 1 was found to be highly active for the direct four-electron reduction of dioxygen at -0.2 V versus saturated calomel electrode (SCE). The complex 1 as a reduction catalyst of O 2 with a high selectivity was demonstrated using rotating ring-disk voltammograms in alkaline solutions. The application of complex 1 as an oxygen reduction catalyst at the cathode of zinc-air cell was also examined. The zinc-air cell with the modified electrode showed a stable discharge potential at approximately 1 V with discharge capacity of 80 mAh g -1 which was about five times larger than that obtained with the commonly used manganese dioxide catalyst.

  5. Lithium-ferrate-based cathodes for molten carbonate fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

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

    1996-12-31

    Argonne National Laboratory is developing advanced cathodes for pressurized operation of the molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC) at {approximately}650{degrees}C. To be economically viable for stationary power generation, molten carbonate fuel cells must have lifetimes of more than 25,000 h while exhibiting superior cell performance. In the present technology, lithiated NiO is used as the cathode. Over the lifetime of the cell, however, N{sup 2+} ions tend to transport to the anode, where they are reduced to metallic Ni. With increased CO{sub 2} partial pressure, the transport of Ni increases because of the increased solubility of NiO in the carbonate electrolyte. Although this process is slow in MCFCs operated at 1 atm and a low CO{sub 2} partial pressure (about 0.1 atm), transport of nickel to the anode may be excessive at a higher pressure (e.g., 3 atm) and a high CO{sub 2} partial pressure (e.g., about 0.3 arm). This transport is expected to lead eventually to poor MCFC performance and/or short circuiting. Several alternative cathode compositions have been explored to reduce cathode solubility in the molten salt electrolyte. For example, LiCoO{sub 2} has been studied extensively as a potential cathode material. The LiCoO{sub 2} cathode has a low resistivity, about 10-cm, and can be used as a direct substitute for NiO. Argonne is developing advanced cathodes based on lithium ferrate (LiFeO{sub 2}), which is attractive because of its very low solubility in the molten (Li,K){sub 2}CO{sub 3} electrolyte. Because of its high resistivity (about 3000-cm), however, LiFeO{sub 2} cannot be used as a direct substitute for NiO. Cation substitution is, therefore, necessary to decrease resistivity. We determined the effect of cation substitution on the resistivity and deformation of LiFeO{sub 2}. The substituents were chosen because their respective oxides as well as LiFeO{sub 2} crystallize with the rock-salt structure.

  6. Characterization and optimization of cathodic conditions for H2O2 synthesis in microbial electrochemical cells

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cathode potential and O2 supply methods were investigated to improve H2O2 synthesis in an electrochemical cell, and optimal cathode conditions were applied for microbial electrochemical cells (MECs). Using aqueous O2 for the cathode significantly improved current density, but H2...

  7. New Cathode Materials for Intermediate Temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Allan J. Jacobson

    2006-06-30

    Operation of SOFCs at intermediate temperatures (500-800 C) requires new combinations of electrolyte and electrode materials that will provide both rapid ion transport across the electrolyte and electrode-electrolyte interfaces and efficient electrocatalysis of the oxygen reduction and fuel oxidation reactions. This project concentrates on materials and issues associated with cathode performance that are known to become limiting factors as the operating temperature is reduced. The specific objectives of the proposed research are to develop cathode materials that meet the electrode performance targets of 1.0 W/cm{sup 2} at 0.7 V in combination with YSZ at 700 C and with GDC, LSGM or bismuth oxide based electrolytes at 600 C. The performance targets imply an area specific resistance of {approx}0.5 {Omega}cm{sup 2} for the total cell. The research strategy is to investigate both established classes of materials and new candidates as cathodes, to determine fundamental performance parameters such as bulk diffusion, surface reactivity and interfacial transfer, and to couple these parameters to performance in single cell tests. In this report, further measurements of the oxygen deficient double perovskite PrBaCo{sub 2}O{sub 5.5+{delta}} are reported. The high electronic conductivity and rapid diffusion and surface exchange kinetics of PBCO suggest its application as cathode material in intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells. Preliminary measurements in symmetric cells have shown low ASR values at 600 C. Here we describe the first complete cell measurements on Ni/CGO/CGO/PBCO/CGO cells.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Functionally Graded Cathodes for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Harry Abernathy; Meilin Liu

    2006-12-31

    One primary suspected cause of long-term performance degradation of solid oxide fuels (SOFCs) is the accumulation of chromium (Cr) species at or near the cathode/electrolyte interface due to reactive Cr molecules originating from Cr-containing components (such as the interconnect) in fuel cell stacks. To date, considerable efforts have been devoted to the characterization of cathodes exposed to Cr sources; however, little progress has been made because a detailed understanding of the chemistry and electrochemistry relevant to the Cr-poisoning processes is still lacking. This project applied multiple characterization methods - including various Raman spectroscopic techniques and various electrochemical performance measurement techniques - to elucidate and quantify the effect of Cr-related electrochemical degradation at the cathode/electrolyte interface. Using Raman microspectroscopy the identity and location of Cr contaminants (SrCrO{sub 4}, (Mn/Cr){sub 3}O{sub 4} spinel) have been observed in situ on an LSM cathode. These Cr contaminants were shown to form chemically (in the absence of current flowing through the cell) at temperatures as low as 625 C. While SrCrO{sub 4} and (Mn/Cr){sub 3}O{sub 4} spinel must preferentially form on LSM, since the LSM supplies the Sr and Mn cations necessary for these compounds, LSM was also shown to be an active site for the deposition of Ag{sub 2}CrO{sub 4} for samples that also contained silver. In contrast, Pt and YSZ do not appear to be active for formation of Cr-containing phases. The work presented here supports the theory that Cr contamination is predominantly chemically-driven and that in order to minimize the effect, cathode materials should be chosen that are free of cations/elements that could preferentially react with chromium, including silver, strontium, and manganese.

  12. Catalysts compositions for use in fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Chuang, Steven S.C.

    2015-12-01

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

  13. Nanoscale alloying effect of gold-platinum nanoparticles as cathode catalysts on the performance of a rechargeable lithium-oxygen battery.

    PubMed

    Yin, Jun; Fang, Bin; Luo, Jin; Wanjala, Bridgid; Mott, Derrick; Loukrakpam, Rameshowri; Ng, Mei Shan; Li, Zheng; Hong, Jian; Whittingham, M Stanley; Zhong, Chuan-Jian

    2012-08-01

    The understanding of nanoscale alloying or the phase segregation effect of alloy nanoparticles on the catalytic properties is important for a rational design of the desired catalysts for a specific reaction. This paper describes findings of an investigation into this type of structural effect for carbon-supported bimetallic gold-platinum nanoparticles as cathode catalysts in a rechargeable lithium-oxygen battery. The nanoscale structural characteristics in terms of size, alloying and phase segregation were shown to affect the catalytic properties of the catalysts in the Li-O(2) battery. In addition to the composition effect, the catalysts with a fully alloyed phase structure were found to exhibit a smaller discharge-charge voltage difference and a higher discharge capacity than those with a partial phase segregation structure. This finding is significant for the design of alloy nanoparticles as air cathode catalysts in rechargeable lithium-air batteries, demonstrating the importance of the control of the nanoscale composition and phase properties.

  14. Nanostructured Catalyst Systems for Fuel Cells: Synthesis and Characterization of Low Platinum Content Electrocatalysts for O{sub 2} Reduction

    SciTech Connect

    Adzic, Radoslav

    2007-02-01

    The objective of this project is to synthesize and characterize new O{sub 2} reduction catalysts with enhanced activity and ultra low Pt loading, and to test them in membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) to determine their performance under fuel cell cathode operating conditions.

  15. Effects of Membrane- and Catalyst-layer-thickness Nonuniformitiesin Polymer-electrolyte Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Weber, Adam Z.; Newman, John

    2006-09-01

    In this paper, results from mathematical, pseudo 2-D simulations are shown for four different along-the-channel thickness distributions of both the membrane and cathode catalyst layer. The results and subsequent analysis clearly demonstrate that for the membrane thickness distributions, cell performance is affected a few percent under low relative-humidity conditions and that the position along the gas channel is more important than the local thickness variations. However, for the catalyst-layer thickness distributions, global performance is not impacted, although for saturated conditions there is a large variability in the local temperature and performance depending on the thickness.

  16. Galvanic Cells: Anodes, Cathodes, Signs and Charges

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goodwin, Alan

    2011-01-01

    Electrochemistry is a difficult subject for students at school and beyond and even for their teachers. This article explores the difficult "truth" that, when a current flows from a galvanic cell, positive ions within the cell electrolyte move towards the electrode labelled positive. This seems to contravene the basic rule that like charges repel…

  17. Electricity generation of microbial fuel cell with waterproof breathable membrane cathode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xing, Defeng; Tang, Yu; Mei, Xiaoxue; Liu, Bingfeng

    2015-12-01

    Simplification of fabrication and reduction of capital cost are important for scale-up and application of microbial electrochemical systems (MES). A fast and inexpensive method of making cathode was developed via assembling stainless steel mesh (SSM) with waterproof breathable membrane (WBM). Three assemble types of cathodes were fabricated; Pt@SSM/WBM (SSM as cathode skeleton, WBM as diffusion layer, platinum (Pt) catalyst applied on SSM), SSM/Pt@WBM and Pt@WBM. SSM/Pt@WBM cathode showed relatively preferable with long-term stability and favorable power output (24.7 W/m3). Compared to conventional cathode fabrication, air-cathode was made for 0.5 h. The results indicated that the novel fabrication method could remarkably reduce capital cost and simplify fabrication procedures with a comparable power output, making MFC more prospective for future application.

  18. Integrating NiCo Alloys with Their Oxides as Efficient Bifunctional Cathode Catalysts for Rechargeable Zinc-Air Batteries.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xien; Park, Minjoon; Kim, Min Gyu; Gupta, Shiva; Wu, Gang; Cho, Jaephil

    2015-08-10

    The lack of high-efficient, low-cost, and durable bifunctional electrocatalysts that act simultaneously for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) is currently one of the major obstacles to commercializing the electrical rechargeability of zinc-air batteries. A nanocomposite CoO-NiO-NiCo bifunctional electrocatalyst supported by nitrogen-doped multiwall carbon nanotubes (NCNT/CoO-NiO-NiCo) exhibits excellent activity and stability for the ORR/OER in alkaline media. More importantly, real air cathodes made from the bifunctional NCNT/CoO-NiO-NiCo catalysts further demonstrated superior performance to state-of-the-art Pt/C or Pt/C+IrO2 catalysts in primary and rechargeable zinc-air batteries. PMID:26118973

  19. TOPICAL REVIEW: Nanostructured catalysts in fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhong, Chuan-Jian; Luo, Jin; Fang, Bin; Wanjala, Bridgid N.; Njoki, Peter N.; Loukrakpam, Rameshwori; Yin, Jun

    2010-02-01

    One of the most important challenges for the ultimate commercialization of fuel cells is the preparation of active, robust, and low-cost catalysts. This review highlights some findings of our investigations in the last few years in developing advanced approaches to nanostructured catalysts that address this challenge. Emphasis is placed on nanoengineering-based fabrication, processing, and characterization of multimetallic nanoparticles with controllable size (1-10 nm), shape, composition (e.g. MlnM2100-n, M1nM2mM3100-n-m, M1@M2, where M (1 or 2) = Pt, Co, Ni, V, Fe, Cu, Pd, W, Ag, Au etc) and morphology (e.g. alloy, core@shell etc). In addition to an overview of the fundamental issues and the recent progress in fuel cell catalysts, results from evaluations of the electrocatalytic performance of nanoengineered catalysts in fuel cell reactions are discussed. This approach differs from other traditional approaches to the preparation of supported catalysts in the ability to control the particle size, composition, phase, and surface properties. An understanding of how the nanoscale properties of the multimetallic nanoparticles differ from their bulk-scale counterparts, and how the interaction between the nanoparticles and the support materials relates to the size sintering or evolution in the thermal activation process, is also discussed. The fact that the bimetallic gold-platinum nanoparticle system displays a single-phase character different from the miscibility gap known for its bulk-scale counterpart serves as an important indication of the nanoscale manipulation of the structural properties, which is useful for refining the design and preparation of the bimetallic catalysts. The insight gained from probing how nanoparticle-nanoparticle and nanoparticle-substrate interactions relate to the size evolution in the activation process of nanoparticles on planar substrates serves as an important guiding principle in the control of nanoparticle sintering on different

  20. Pt-Ni and Pt-Co Catalyst Synthesis Route for Fuel Cell Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Firdosy, Samad A.; Ravi, Vilupanur A.; Valdez, Thomas I.; Kisor, Adam; Narayan, Sri R.

    2013-01-01

    Oxygen reduction reactions (ORRs) at the cathode are the rate-limiting step in fuel cell performance. The ORR is 100 times slower than the corresponding hydrogen oxidation at the anode. Speeding up the reaction at the cathode will improve fuel cell efficiency. The cathode material is generally Pt powder painted onto a substrate (e.g., graphite paper). Recent efforts in the fuel cell area have focused on replacing Pt with Pt-X alloys (where X = Co, Ni, Zr, etc.) in order to (a) reduce cost, and (b) increase ORR rates. One of these strategies is to increase ORR rates by reducing the powder size, which would result in an increase in the surface area, thereby facilitating faster reaction rates. In this work, a process has been developed that creates Pt-Ni or Pt-Co alloys that are finely divided (on the nano scale) and provide equivalent performance at lower Pt loadings. Lower Pt loadings will translate to lower cost. Precursor salts of the metals are dissolved in water and mixed. Next, the salt mixtures are dried on a hot plate. Finally, the dried salt mixture is heattreated in a furnace under flowing reducing gas. The catalyst powder is then used to fabricate a membrane electrode assembly (MEA) for electrochemical performance testing. The Pt- Co catalyst-based MEA showed comparable performance to an MEA fabri cated using a standard Pt black fuel cell catalyst. The main objective of this program has been to increase the overall efficiencies of fuel cell systems to support power for manned lunar bases. This work may also have an impact on terrestrial programs, possibly to support the effort to develop a carbon-free energy source. This catalyst can be used to fabricate high-efficiency fuel cell units that can be used in space as regenerative fuel cell systems, and terrestrially as primary fuel cells. Terrestrially, this technology will become increasingly important when transition to a hydrogen economy occurs.

  1. New Cathode Materials for Intermediate Temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Allan J. Jacobson

    2005-11-17

    Operation of SOFCs at intermediate temperatures (500-800 C) requires new combinations of electrolyte and electrode materials that will provide both rapid ion transport across the electrolyte and electrode--electrolyte interfaces and efficient electrocatalysis of the oxygen reduction and fuel oxidation reactions. This project concentrates on materials and issues associated with cathode performance that are known to become limiting factors as the operating temperature is reduced. The specific objectives of the proposed research are to develop cathode materials that meet the electrode performance targets of 1.0 W/cm{sup 2} at 0.7 V in combination with YSZ at 700 C and with GDC, LSGM or bismuth oxide based electrolytes at 600 C. The performance targets imply an area specific resistance of {approx}0.5 {Omega}cm{sup 2} for the total cell. The research strategy is to investigate both established classes of materials and new candidates as cathodes, to determine fundamental performance parameters such as bulk diffusion, surface reactivity and interfacial transfer, and to couple these parameters to performance in single cell tests. In this report, the oxygen exchange kinetics of a P2 composition are described in detail. The oxygen exchange kinetics of the oxygen deficient double perovskite LnBaCo{sub 2}O{sub 5.5+{delta}} (Ln=Pr and Nd) have been determined by electrical conductivity relaxation. The high electronic conductivity and rapid diffusion and surface exchange kinetics of PBCO suggest its application as cathode material in intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells.

  2. A Materials-Based Mitigation Strategy for SU/SD in PEM Fuel Cells: Properties and Performance-Specific Testing of IrRu OER Catalysts.

    SciTech Connect

    Atanasoski, Radoslav; Cullen, David A; Vernstrom, George; Haugen, Gregory; Atanasoska, Liliana

    2013-01-01

    Catalysts that enable proton exchange membrane fuel cells to weather the damaging conditions experienced during transient periods of fuel starvation have been developed. The addition of minute amounts of iridium and ruthenium to the cathode enhances the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) during start-up/shutdown events, thus lowering the peak cell voltage closer to the onset of water oxidation. The catalyst loadings ranged from 1 to 10 g/cm2, but showed surprisingly high activity and durability. At such low loadings, it is possible to fully integrate the OER catalysts with negligible interference on fuel cell performance and a marginal increase in catalyst cost.

  3. Method of depositing a catalyst on a fuel cell electrode

    DOEpatents

    Dearnaley, Geoffrey; Arps, James H.

    2000-01-01

    Fuel cell electrodes comprising a minimal load of catalyst having maximum catalytic activity and a method of forming such fuel cell electrodes. The method comprises vaporizing a catalyst, preferably platinum, in a vacuum to form a catalyst vapor. A catalytically effective amount of the catalyst vapor is deposited onto a carbon catalyst support on the fuel cell electrode. The electrode preferably is carbon cloth. The method reduces the amount of catalyst needed for a high performance fuel cell electrode to about 0.3 mg/cm.sup.2 or less.

  4. Lithium-ferrate-based cathodes for molten carbonate fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Lanagan, M.T.; Wolfenstine, J.; Bloom, I.; Kaun, T.D.; Krumpelt, M.

    1996-12-31

    Argonne National Laboratory is developing advanced cathodes for pressurized operation of the molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC) at approximately 650 degrees Centigrade. These cathodes are based on lithium ferrate (LiFeO[sub 2]) which is attractive because of its very low solubility in the molten (Li,K)[sub 2]CO[sub 3] electrolyte. Because of its high resistivity, LiFeO[sub 2] cannot be used as a direct substitute for NiO. Cation substitution is, therefore, necessary to decrease resistivity. The effect of cation substitution on the resistivity and deformation of LiFeO[sub 2] was determined. The substitutes were chosen because their respective oxides as well as LiFeO[sub 2] crystallize with the rock-salt structure.

  5. Carbon Nanohorn-Derived Graphene Nanotubes as a Platinum-Free Fuel Cell Cathode.

    PubMed

    Unni, Sreekuttan M; Illathvalappil, Rajith; Bhange, Siddheshwar N; Puthenpediakkal, Hasna; Kurungot, Sreekumar

    2015-11-01

    Current low-temperature fuel cell research mainly focuses on the development of efficient nonprecious electrocatalysts for the reduction of dioxygen molecule due to the reasons like exorbitant cost and scarcity of the current state-of-the-art Pt-based catalysts. As a potential alternative to such costly electrocatalysts, we report here the preparation of an efficient graphene nanotube based oxygen reduction electrocatalyst which has been derived from single walled nanohorns, comprising a thin layer of graphene nanotubes and encapsulated iron oxide nanoparticles (FeGNT). FeGNT shows a surface area of 750 m(2)/g, which is the highest ever reported among the metal encapsulated nanotubes. Moreover, the graphene protected iron oxide nanoparticles assist the system to attain efficient distribution of Fe-Nx and quaternary nitrogen based active reaction centers, which provides better activity and stability toward the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in acidic as well as alkaline conditions. Single cell performance of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell by using FeGNT as the cathode catalyst delivered a maximum power density of 200 mW cm(-2) with Nafion as the proton exchange membrane at 60 °C. The facile synthesis strategy with iron oxide encapsulated graphitic carbon morphology opens up a new horizon of hope toward developing Pt-free fuel cells and metal-air batteries along with its applicability in other energy conversion and storage devices. PMID:26458554

  6. Carbon Nanohorn-Derived Graphene Nanotubes as a Platinum-Free Fuel Cell Cathode.

    PubMed

    Unni, Sreekuttan M; Illathvalappil, Rajith; Bhange, Siddheshwar N; Puthenpediakkal, Hasna; Kurungot, Sreekumar

    2015-11-01

    Current low-temperature fuel cell research mainly focuses on the development of efficient nonprecious electrocatalysts for the reduction of dioxygen molecule due to the reasons like exorbitant cost and scarcity of the current state-of-the-art Pt-based catalysts. As a potential alternative to such costly electrocatalysts, we report here the preparation of an efficient graphene nanotube based oxygen reduction electrocatalyst which has been derived from single walled nanohorns, comprising a thin layer of graphene nanotubes and encapsulated iron oxide nanoparticles (FeGNT). FeGNT shows a surface area of 750 m(2)/g, which is the highest ever reported among the metal encapsulated nanotubes. Moreover, the graphene protected iron oxide nanoparticles assist the system to attain efficient distribution of Fe-Nx and quaternary nitrogen based active reaction centers, which provides better activity and stability toward the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in acidic as well as alkaline conditions. Single cell performance of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell by using FeGNT as the cathode catalyst delivered a maximum power density of 200 mW cm(-2) with Nafion as the proton exchange membrane at 60 °C. The facile synthesis strategy with iron oxide encapsulated graphitic carbon morphology opens up a new horizon of hope toward developing Pt-free fuel cells and metal-air batteries along with its applicability in other energy conversion and storage devices.

  7. 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.

  8. Poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene) phase inversion coating as a diffusion layer to enhance the cathode performance in microbial fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Wulin; Zhang, Fang; He, Weihua; Liu, Jia; Hickner, Michael A.; Logan, Bruce E.

    2014-12-01

    A low cost poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene) (PVDF-HFP) phase inversion coating was developed as a cathode diffusion layer to enhance the performance of microbial fuel cells (MFCs). A maximum power density of 1430 ± 90 mW m-2 was achieved at a PVDF-HFP loading of 4.4 mg cm-2 (4:1 polymer:carbon black), with activated carbon as the oxygen reduction cathode catalyst. This power density was 31% higher than that obtained with a more conventional platinum (Pt) catalyst on carbon cloth (Pt/C) cathode with a poly(tetrafluoroethylene) (PTFE) diffusion layer (1090 ± 30 mW m-2). The improved performance was due in part to a larger oxygen mass transfer coefficient of 3 × 10-3 cm s-1 for the PVDF-HFP coated cathode, compared to 1.7 × 10-3 cm s-1 for the carbon cloth/PTFE-based cathode. The diffusion layer was resistant to electrolyte leakage up to water column heights of 41 ± 0.5 cm (4.4 mg cm-2 loading of 4:1 polymer:carbon black) to 70 ± 5 cm (8.8 mg cm-2 loading of 4:1 polymer:carbon black). This new type of PVDF-HFP/carbon black diffusion layer could reduce the cost of manufacturing cathodes for MFCs.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-15

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

  10. New Cathode Materials for Intermediate Temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Allan J. Jacobson

    2004-07-23

    Operation of SOFCs at intermediate temperatures (500-800 C) requires new combinations of electrolyte and electrode materials that will provide both rapid ion transport across the electrolyte and electrode - electrolyte interfaces and efficient electrocatalysis of the oxygen reduction and fuel oxidation reactions. This project concentrates on materials and issues associated with cathode performance that are known to become limiting factors as the operating temperature is reduced. The specific objectives of the proposed research are to develop cathode materials that meet the electrode performance targets of 1.0 W/cm{sup 2} at 0.7 V in combination with YSZ at 700 C and with GDC, LSGM or bismuth oxide based electrolytes at 600 C. The performance targets imply an area specific resistance of {approx}0.5 {Omega}cm{sup 2} for the total cell. The research strategy is to investigate both established classes of materials and new candidates as cathodes, to determine fundamental performance parameters such as bulk diffusion, surface reactivity and interfacial transfer, and to couple these parameters to performance in single cell tests. The initial choices for study are perovskite oxides based on Sr substituted LaFeO{sub 3}, where significant data in single cell tests exists at PNNL for cathodes on both YSZ and CSO/YSZ, and Ln{sub 2}NiO{sub 4} compositions. A key component of the research strategy is to evaluate for each cathode material composition, the key performance parameters, including ionic and electronic conductivity, surface exchange rates, stability with respect to the specific electrolyte choice, and thermal expansion coefficients. Results on electrical conductivity relaxation measurements on additional compositions in the La{sub 2}NiO{sub 4+x} and Pr{sub 2}NiO{sub 4+x} series are presented in this report. Studies of the inter-diffusion of amorphous SrFeO{sub 3-x} and LaFeO{sub 3-x} bilayer films prepared by pulsed laser deposition are described. Such studies are a

  11. Development of improved cathodes for solid oxide fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, H.U.

    1991-03-01

    The University of Missouri-Rolla conducted a 17 month research program focused on the development and evaluation of improved cathode materials for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC). The objectives of this program were: (1) the development of cathode materials of improved stability in reducing environments; and (2) the development of cathode materials with improved electrical conductivity. The program was successful in identifying some potential candidate materials: Air sinterable (La,Ca)(Cr,Co)O{sub 3} compositions were developed and found to be more stable than La{sub .8}Sr{sub .2}MnO{sub 3} towards reduction. Their conductivity at 1000{degrees}C ranged between 30 to 60 S/cm. Compositions within the (Y,Ca)(Cr,Co,Mn)O{sub 3} system were developed and found to have higher electrical conductivity than La{sub .8}Sr{sub .2}MnO{sub 3} and preliminary results suggest that their stability towards reduction is superior.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Devrim, Yilser; Albostan, Ayhan

    2016-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  15. Metal containing polymers as fuel cell catalysts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reed, James L.

    1987-06-01

    Several aspects of the fuel cell problem were addressed in this investigation. The objective of this work was the development of a fuel cell electrode-catalyst for use in a carbon monoxide fuel cell, which would utilize polymer bound metal complexes as the catalytic species. Several commercially available polymers were examined to be used as backbones in the development of an electrode-catalyst. Polystyrene was chosen for more extensive study. The polymer was activated by complete or partial monochloromethylation of the pendant phenyls. Several schemes for binding cyclic tetradentate and bidentate ligands to the activated polymers were not obtained. The transition metals cobalt and nickel were incorporated into the polymers, and these new materials were examined. In addition, the electrochemical behavior of several metal complexes which hold potential as catalytic species was examined.

  16. Fuel Cell Stations Automate Processes, Catalyst Testing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2010-01-01

    Glenn Research Center looks for ways to improve fuel cells, which are an important source of power for space missions, as well as the equipment used to test fuel cells. With Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards from Glenn, Lynntech Inc., of College Station, Texas, addressed a major limitation of fuel cell testing equipment. Five years later, the company obtained a patent and provided the equipment to the commercial world. Now offered through TesSol Inc., of Battle Ground, Washington, the technology is used for fuel cell work, catalyst testing, sensor testing, gas blending, and other applications. It can be found at universities, national laboratories, and businesses around the world.

  17. Performance Enhancement of Small Molecular Solar Cells by Bilayer Cathode Buffer.

    PubMed

    Sun, Qinjun; Zhao, Huanbin; Zhou, Miao; Gao, Liyan; Hao, Yuying

    2016-04-01

    An effective composite bilayer cathode buffer structure is proposed for use in small molecular solar cells. CsF was doped in Alq3 to form the first cathode buffer, leading to small serial resistances. BCP was used as the second cathode buffer to block the holes to the electrode. The optimized bilayer cathode buffer significantly increased the short circuit and fill factor of devices. By integrating this bilayer cathode buffer, the CuPc/C60 small molecular heterojunction cell exhibited a power conversion efficiency of up to 0.8%, which was an improvement of 56% compared to a device with only the Alq3 cathode buffer. Meanwhile, the bilayer cathode buffer still has a good protective effect on the performance of the device. PMID:27451719

  18. Development of LSM-based cathodes for solid oxide fuel cells based on YSZ films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Kongfa; Lü, Zhe; Chen, Xiangjun; Ai, Na; Huang, Xiqiang; Du, Xiaobo; Su, Wenhui

    In an attempt to achieve desirable cell performance, the effects of La 0.7Sr 0.3MnO 3 (LSM)-based cathodes on the anode-supported solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) were investigated in the present study. Three types of cathodes were fabricated on the anode-supported yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) thin films to constitute several single cells, i.e., pure LSM cathode, LSM/YSZ composite by solid mixing, LSM/Sm 0.2Ce 0.8O 1.9 (SDC) composite by the ion-impregnation process. Among the three single cells, the highest cell output performance 1.25 W cm -2 at 800 °C, was achieved by the cell using LSM/SDC cathode when the cathode was exposed to the stationary air. Whereas, the most considerable cell performance of 2.32 W cm -2 was derived from the cell with LSM/YSZ cathode, using 100 ml min -1 oxygen flow as the oxidant. At reduced temperatures down to 700 °C, the LSM/SDC cathode was the most suitable cathode for zirconia-based electrolyte SOFC in the present study. The variation in the cell performances was attributed to the mutual effects between the gas diffusing rate and three-phase boundary length of the cathode.

  19. Pt-free carbon-based fuel cell catalyst prepared from spherical polyimide for enhanced oxygen diffusion.

    PubMed

    Nabae, Yuta; Nagata, Shinsuke; Hayakawa, Teruaki; Niwa, Hideharu; Harada, Yoshihisa; Oshima, Masaharu; Isoda, Ayano; Matsunaga, Atsushi; Tanaka, Kazuhisa; Aoki, Tsutomu

    2016-03-18

    The development of a non-precious metal (NPM) fuel cell catalyst is extremely important to achieve globalization of polymer electrolyte fuel cells due to the cost and scarcity of platinum. Here, we report on a NPM cathode catalyst prepared by the pyrolysis of spherical polyimide nanoparticles that contain small amounts of Fe additive. 60 nm diameter Fe-containing polyimide nanoparticles were successfully synthesized by the precipitation polymerization of pyromellitic acid dianhydride and 1,3,5-tris(4-aminophenyl)benzene with Fe(acac)3 (acac = acetylacetonate) as an additive. The particles were subsequently carbonized by multistep pyrolysis to obtain the NPM catalyst while retaining the small particle size. The catalyst has good performance and promising durability for fuel cell applications. The fuel cell performance under a 0.2 MPa air atmosphere at 80 °C of 1.0 A cm(-2) at 0.46 V is especially remarkable and better than that previously reported.

  20. Hollow-spherical Co/N-C nanoparticle as an efficient electrocatalyst used in air cathode microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Yang, Tingting; Li, Kexun; Pu, Liangtao; Liu, Ziqi; Ge, Baochao; Pan, Yajun; Liu, Ying

    2016-12-15

    The hollow-spherical Co/N-C nanoparticle, which is synthesized via a simple hydrothermal reaction followed by heat treatment, is firstly used as electrocatalyst for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in air-cathode microbial fuel cell (MFC). The maximum power density of MFC with 10% Co/N-C air-cathode is as high as 2514±59mWm(-2), which is almost 174% higher than the control. The exchange current density (i0) of cathode equipped with 10% Co/N-C is 238% higher than that of untreated AC. While the total resistance of treated samples decreases from 13.017 to 10.255Ω. The intensity ratio of Raman D to G band (ID/IG) decreases from 0.93 (N-C) to 0.73 (Co/N-C), indicating the catalyst forms graphite structure. Both XRD and XPS testify that Co is bonded to N within graphitic sheets and serves as the active sites in ORR. The four-electron pathway of the Co/N-C also plays a crucial role in electrochemical catalytic activity. As a result, it can be expected that the as-synthesized Co/N-C, with extraordinary electro-catalytic performance towards ORR, will be a promising alternative to the state-of-the-art non-precious metal ORR electro-catalysts for electrochemical energy applications.

  1. Highly Dispersed Metal Catalyst for Fuel Cell Electrodes

    SciTech Connect

    2009-03-01

    This factsheet describes a study that will bring industrial catalyst experience to fuel cell research. Specifically, industrial catalysts, such as those used in platforming, utilize precious metal platinum as an active component in a finely dispersed form.

  2. Sulfur-doped graphene as an efficient metal-free cathode catalyst for oxygen reduction.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zhi; Yao, Zhen; Li, Guifa; Fang, Guoyong; Nie, Huagui; Liu, Zheng; Zhou, Xuemei; Chen, Xi'an; Huang, Shaoming

    2012-01-24

    Tailoring the electronic arrangement of graphene by doping is a practical strategy for producing significantly improved materials for the oxygen-reduction reaction (ORR) in fuel cells (FCs). Recent studies have proven that the carbon materials doped with the elements, which have the larger (N) or smaller (P, B) electronegative atoms than carbon such as N-doped carbon nanotubes (CNTs), P-doped graphite layers and B-doped CNTs, have also shown pronounced catalytic activity. Herein, we find that the graphenes doped with the elements, which have the similar electronegativity with carbon such as sulfur and selenium, can also exhibit better catalytic activity than the commercial Pt/C in alkaline media, indicating that these doped graphenes hold great potential for a substitute for Pt-based catalysts in FCs. The experimental results are believed to be significant because they not only give further insight into the ORR mechanism of these metal-free doped carbon materials, but also open a way to fabricate other new low-cost NPMCs with high electrocatalytic activity by a simple, economical, and scalable approach for real FC applications. PMID:22201338

  3. A single-chamber microbial fuel cell without an air cathode.

    PubMed

    Nimje, Vanita Roshan; Chen, Chien-Cheng; Chen, Hau-Ren; Chen, Chien-Yen; Tseng, Min-Jen; Cheng, Kai-Chien; Shih, Ruey-Chyuan; Chang, Young-Fo

    2012-01-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) represent a novel technology for wastewater treatment with electricity production. Electricity generation with simultaneous nitrate reduction in a single-chamber MFC without air cathode was studied, using glucose (1 mM) as the carbon source and nitrate (1 mM) as the final electron acceptor employed by Bacillus subtilis under anaerobic conditions. Increasing current as a function of decreased nitrate concentration and an increase in biomass were observed with a maximum current of 0.4 mA obtained at an external resistance (R(ext)) of 1 KΩ without a platinum catalyst of air cathode. A decreased current with complete nitrate reduction, with further recovery of the current immediately after nitrate addition, indicated the dependence of B. subtilis on nitrate as an electron acceptor to efficiently produce electricity. A power density of 0.0019 mW/cm(2) was achieved at an R(ext) of 220 Ω. Cyclic voltammograms (CV) showed direct electron transfer with the involvement of mediators in the MFC. The low coulombic efficiency (CE) of 11% was mainly attributed to glucose fermentation. These results demonstrated that electricity generation is possible from wastewater containing nitrate, and this represents an alternative technology for the cost-effective and environmentally benign treatment of wastewater.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  5. Advanced electro-Fenton degradation of biologically-treated coking wastewater using anthraquinone cathode and Fe-Y catalyst.

    PubMed

    Li, Haitao; Li, Yuping; Cao, Hongbin; Li, Xingang; Zhang, Yi

    2011-01-01

    The electrocatalytic activity of bare and 2-ethyl anthraquinone-modified graphite felt (2-EAQ/GF) toward oxygen reduction was investigated using a cyclic voltammetry technique in a neutral solution. The prepared cathodes were tested for electrogeneration of H2O2 and electro-Fenton oxidation (EFO) treatment of neutral coking wastewater (CW) after biological process, using a graphite anode and Fezeolite Y catalyst. The results showed that (i) H2O2 yield and current efficiency greatly depended on cathodic potential and materials; (ii) hydroxyl radicals, generated from Fe-zeolite Y-catalyzed H2O2 decomposition, played a great role in EFO treatment, while anodic direct and indirect oxidation was insignificant; (iii) chemical oxygen demand, total organic carbon (TOC) and acute toxicity of wastewater decreased by 40-50, 30-40 and 50-60%, respectively, and biodegradability increased after 1 h of EFO treatment. Due to the free-pH adjustment, EFO presents a potential engineering application for advanced treatment of CW. PMID:22053459

  6. Discharge characteristics of lithium/molten nitrate thermal battery cells using silver salts as solid cathode materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McManis, G. E.; Miles, M. H.; Fletcher, A. N.

    1985-12-01

    Thermal battery cells using molten nitrate electrolytes and liquid lithium anodes have been evaluated using several silver salts with low solubility in molten nitrates as solid cathode materials. These cathode materials do not readily diffuse into the anolyte and, thus, do not have parasitic reactions with the lithium anode. Furthermore, the solid cathode materials have voltammetric characteristics as favorable as many soluble silver salt cathodes. This paper presents the effects of temperature, current density, and cathode material on cell discharge characteristics.

  7. Effects of carbon supports on Pt distribution, ionomer coverage and cathode performance for polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Young-Chul; Tokiwa, Haruki; Kakinuma, Katsuyoshi; Watanabe, Masahiro; Uchida, Makoto

    2016-05-01

    We investigate the effects of the carbon supports on the Pt distribution, ionomer coverage and cathode performance of carbon-supported Pt catalysts, by using STEM observation, N2 adsorption analysis and electrochemical characterization. According to the STEM observation, the effective Pt surface area (S(e)Pt), which is determined by the location and size of the Pt particles on the supports, increases in the following order: c-Pt/CB < c-Pt/GCB < n-Pt/AB800 < n-Pt/AB250. The N2 adsorption analyses show that the Pt particles observed in the interior of the CB and AB800-supported Pt catalysts during the STEM observation could be ascribed to the hollow structures inside the carbon supports, which decrease their effective Pt surface areas. The S(e)Pt values are in good agreement with the cell performance in the high current density region. In spite of the highest Pt utilization (UPt) value (>90%) and uniform ionomer coverage, the c-Pt/CB catalyst shows the lowest cell performance due to the lower S(e)Pt value. On the other hand, the n-Pt/AB250 catalyst, for which all of the Pt particles exist only on the exterior surface, is found to be the most attractive in order to generate the large current densities required by actual fuel cell operation.

  8. Ex-situ and In-situ Stability Studies of PEM Fuel Cell Catalysts: the effect of carbon type and humidification on the thermal degradation of carbon supported catalysts

    SciTech Connect

    Haugen, G. M.; Stevens, D. A.; Hicks, M. T.; Dahn, J. R.

    2005-11-01

    One of the most significant challenges for proton exchange membrane fuel cells in stationary power generation systems is lifetime, where 40,000 hours of operation with less than 10% decay in performance is desired. There are several different membrane electrode assembly (MEA) associated degradation mechanisms inhibiting MEAs from obtaining their desired lifetime targets. The focus of this research is on the loss of cathode surface area over time, which results in MEA performance losses, since MEA performance is proportional to cathode catalyst surface area. Two proposed mechanisms, support oxidation and platinum dissolution, are studied using different accelerated tests. These results are compared to cathode catalyst surface area loss data from real-time fuel cell tests in order to decouple the two degradation mechanisms.

  9. Lithium rechargeable cell with a poly 3-methylthiophene cathode. Technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Walker, C.W.; Slane, S.M.

    1992-08-01

    A poly 3-methylthiophene (PMT) cathode showed excellent coulombic efficiency during cycling in a lithium rechargeable cell. An electrolyte containing dimethyl carbonate was used since it is stable at the high anodic potentials reached during cell charging. The polymer cathode tolerated modest overcharge and was able to continue cycling after a severe short-circuit with minimal loss of capacity.

  10. EFFECT OF PRETREATMENT ON PT-CO/C CATHODE CATALYSTS FOR THE OXYGEN-REDUCTION REACTION

    SciTech Connect

    Fox, E.

    2009-05-13

    In order to reduce the precious metal loading without sacrificing activity and stability, a new method for the preparation of bimetallic catalysts is proposed. Currently, Pt-alloy particles, with 2 to 3 nm in diameter, are loaded on high surface area carbon supports. Of the Pt loaded, only the surface atoms interact with the reactants. In order to increase the Pt utilization per metal particle the new process for catalyst preparation will incorporate a non-noble transition metal core coated with a skin layer of Pt deposited on high surface area carbon. The effect of reducing agent strength during synthesis was also explored. It was determined that the Co addition has a higher impact on catalyst when used with NaBH4 as reducing agent as compared to NaCOOH.

  11. Manganese cobaltite/polypyrrole nanocomposite-based air-cathode for sustainable power generation in the single-chambered microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Khilari, Santimoy; Pandit, Soumya; Das, Debabrata; Pradhan, Debabrata

    2014-04-15

    Manganese cobaltite nanorods (MnCo2O4 NRs) were prepared and tested as potential air-cathode catalyst for the single-chambered microbial fuel cells (sMFC). The power generation of sMFC increases with MnCo2O4 NRs loading to the cathode. The Polypyrrole (PPy) and Vulcan XC were used as conducting support to the MnCo2O4 NRs to form composites either by in situ or by mechanical mixing in the cathode fabrication. The cyclic voltammetry, linear sweep voltammetry and electrochemical impedance studies reveal that the in situ-MnCo2O4 NRs/PPy composite has higher catalytic activity than that of mechanically mixed-MnCo2O4NRs/PPy composite because of higher interfacial contact between MnCo2O4 NRs and PPy. The maximum volumetric power density with in situ-MnCo2O4 NRs/PPy, mechanically mixed-MnCo2O4 NRs/PPy, MnCo2O4 NRs/Vulcan XC and catalyst-free (only Vulcan XC) cathode was measured to be 6.11, 5.05, 4.22, and 1.77 W/m(3), respectively, in the sMFC. This suggests that PPy is not only a better conducting support than that of conventionally used Vulcan XC but also the cathode composite fabrication process is important for enhanced performance. The synergetic effect of MnCo2O4 NRs and PPy was found to play an important role for the improved energy recovery and it could be applied as an efficient and inexpensive cathode catalyst for the sMFC.

  12. New Cathode Materials for Intermediate Temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Allan J. Jacobson

    2006-09-30

    Operation of SOFCs at intermediate temperatures (500-800 C) requires new combinations of electrolyte and electrode materials that will provide both rapid ion transport across the electrolyte and electrode-electrolyte interfaces and efficient electrocatalysis of the oxygen reduction and fuel oxidation reactions. This project concentrates on materials and issues associated with cathode performance that are known to become limiting factors as the operating temperature is reduced. The specific objectives of the proposed research are to develop cathode materials that meet the electrode performance targets of 1.0 W/cm{sup 2} at 0.7 V in combination with YSZ at 700 C and with GDC, LSGM or bismuth oxide based electrolytes at 600 C. The performance targets imply an area specific resistance of {approx}0.5 {Omega}cm{sup 2} for the total cell. The research strategy is to investigate both established classes of materials and new candidates as cathodes, to determine fundamental performance parameters such as bulk diffusion, surface reactivity and interfacial transfer, and to couple these parameters to performance in single cell tests. The initial choices for study were perovskite oxides based on substituted LaFeO{sub 3} (P1 compositions), where significant data in single cell tests exist at PNNL for example, for La{sub 0.8}Sr{sub 0.2}FeO{sub 3} cathodes on both YSZ and CSO/YSZ. The materials selection was then extended to La{sub 2}NiO{sub 4} compositions (K1 compositions), and then in a longer range task we evaluated the possibility of completely unexplored group of materials that are also perovskite related, the ABM{sub 2}O{sub 5+{delta}}. A key component of the research strategy was to evaluate for each cathode material composition, the key performance parameters, including ionic and electronic conductivity, surface exchange rates, stability with respect to the specific electrolyte choice, and thermal expansion coefficients. In the initial phase, we did this in parallel with

  13. Metal-free selenium doped carbon nanotube/graphene networks as a synergistically improved cathode catalyst for oxygen reduction reaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, Zhiping; Nie, Huagui; Yang, Zhi; Zhang, Jing; Liu, Zheng; Xu, Xiangju; Huang, Shaoming

    2012-09-01

    The ongoing search for new non-precious-metal catalysts (NPMCs) with excellent electrocatalytic performance to replace Pt-based catalysts has been viewed as an important strategy to promote the development of fuel cells. Recent studies have proven that carbon materials doped with atoms which have a relatively small atomic size (e.g. N, B, P or S), have also shown pronounced catalytic activity. Herein, we demonstrate the successful fabrication of CNT/graphene doped with Se atoms, which has a relatively large atomic size, by a simple, economical, and scalable approach. The electrocatalytic performance of the resulting Se-doped CNT-graphene catalyst exhibits excellent catalytic activity, long-term stability, and a high methanol tolerance compared to commercial Pt/C catalysts. Our results confirmed that combining CNTs with graphene is an effective strategy to synergistically improve ORR activity. More importantly, it is also suggested that the development of graphite materials doped with Se or other heteroatoms of large size will open up a new route to obtain ideal NPMCs with realistic value for fuel cell applications.The ongoing search for new non-precious-metal catalysts (NPMCs) with excellent electrocatalytic performance to replace Pt-based catalysts has been viewed as an important strategy to promote the development of fuel cells. Recent studies have proven that carbon materials doped with atoms which have a relatively small atomic size (e.g. N, B, P or S), have also shown pronounced catalytic activity. Herein, we demonstrate the successful fabrication of CNT/graphene doped with Se atoms, which has a relatively large atomic size, by a simple, economical, and scalable approach. The electrocatalytic performance of the resulting Se-doped CNT-graphene catalyst exhibits excellent catalytic activity, long-term stability, and a high methanol tolerance compared to commercial Pt/C catalysts. Our results confirmed that combining CNTs with graphene is an effective strategy to

  14. Polypyrrole Electrodes as Cathodes in a Rechargeable Cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vidanapathirana, K. P.; Careem, M. A.; Skaarup, S.; West, K.

    2002-12-01

    A study on Li ion rechargeable cells fabricated with polypyrrole (PPy) conducting polymer cathodes is reported in this paper. The PPy was prepared by electropolymerization of pyrrole in the presence of large surfactant anion dodecylbenzene sulphonate. Polyacrylonitrile based solid polymer electrolytes containing lithium triflate and ethylene carbonate (EC) and propylene carbonate (PC) as plasticisers were used as the separators. Cycling capacities of the cells were studied using cyclic voltammetry. Continuous charge/discharge experiments were performed using a custom-made charge/discharge setup. Impedance measurements were carried out in the frequency range 1 mHz to 10 kHz to investigate the charge transfer across the electrolyte-electrode interfaces. Cyclic voltammetry studies showed that the cells have a cycling capacity close to the theoretical value at slow scan rates and the capacity was considerable even at high scan rates. According to the continuous charge/discharge results, the cells could be cycled more than 1000 times without a significant decay in cycling charge. The charge/discharge factor of the cells was close to unity.

  15. PEMFC catalyst layers: the role of micropores and mesopores on water sorption and fuel cell activity.

    PubMed

    Soboleva, Tatyana; Malek, Kourosh; Xie, Zhong; Navessin, Titichai; Holdcroft, Steven

    2011-06-01

    The effects of carbon microstructure and ionomer loading on water vapor sorption and retention in catalyst layers (CLs) of PEM fuel cells are investigated using dynamic vapor sorption. Catalyst layers based on Ketjen Black and Vulcan XC-72 carbon blacks, which possess distinctly different surface areas, pore volumes, and microporosities, are studied. It is found that pores <20 nm diameter facilitate water uptake by capillary condensation in the intermediate range of relative humidities. A broad pore size distribution (PSD) is found to enhance water retention in Ketjen Black-based CLs whereas the narrower mesoporous PSD of Vulcan CLs is shown to have an enhanced water repelling action. Water vapor sorption and retention properties of CLs are correlated to electrochemical properties and fuel cell performance. Water sorption enhances electrochemical properties such as the electrochemically active surface area (ESA), double layer capacitance and proton conductivity, particularly when the ionomer content is very low. The hydrophilic properties of a CL on the anode and the cathode are adjusted by choosing the PSD of carbon and the ionomer content. It is shown that a reduction of ionomer content on either cathode or anode of an MEA does not necessarily have a significant detrimental effect on the MEA performance compared to the standard 30 wt % ionomer MEA. Under operation in air and high relative humidity, a cathode with a narrow pore size distribution and low ionomer content is shown to be beneficial due to its low water retention properties. In dry operating conditions, adequate ionomer content on the cathode is crucial, whereas it can be reduced on the anode without a significant impact on fuel cell performance.

  16. Modeling Low-Platinum-Loading Effects in Fuel-Cell Catalyst Layers

    SciTech Connect

    Yoon, Wonseok; Weber, Adam Z.

    2011-01-20

    The cathode catalyst layer within a proton-exchange-membrane fuel cell is the most complex and critical, yet least understood, layer within the cell. The exact method and equations for modeling this layer are still being revised and will be discussed in this paper, including a 0.8 reaction order, existence of Pt oxides, possible non-isopotential agglomerates, and the impact of a film resistance towards oxygen transport. While the former assumptions are relatively straightforward to understand and implement, the latter film resistance is shown to be critically important in explaining increased mass-transport limitations with low Pt-loading catalyst layers. Model results demonstrate agreement with experimental data that the increased oxygen flux and/or diffusion pathway through the film can substantially decrease performance. Also, some scale-up concepts from the agglomerate scale to the more macroscopic porous-electrode scale are discussed and the resulting optimization scenarios investigated.

  17. Post-mortem analysis of a long-term tested proton exchange membrane fuel cell stack under low cathode humidification conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Nam-In; Seo, Yongho; Kim, Ki Buem; Lee, Naesung; Lee, Jin-Hwa; Song, Inseob; Choi, Hanshin; Park, Jun-Young

    2014-05-01

    During continuous power operation for 2740 h, the major mechanisms and patterns of performance degradation in a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) stack are investigated under low cathode humidification with simulated reformate fuel gases through the use of various physicochemical and electrochemical analysis tools. As operating time increases, the operating voltages and open-circuit voltages (OCVs) of the stack decrease with the large voltage distributions. In the post-mortem analysis of the stack, the delamination of the catalyst layer (CL) of unstable operating membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) is significant near the cathode gas inlets. This observation is in agreement with the results of OCV, hydrogen crossover current, and anode off-gas measurements. This phenomenon may be due to the acceleration of carbon corrosion in the cathode during the frequent start-up and shut-down process, because the local cathode potential can reach more than 1.5 V in the air/fuel boundary. Additionally, the frequent membrane hydration and dehydration by the accumulation of excess water (through electrochemical reaction) and faster water evaporation (under dry-air cathode conditions and high operating temperatures) may accelerate the interface delamination between the membrane and cathode CL with a substantially uneven distribution of water.

  18. Metal-free selenium doped carbon nanotube/graphene networks as a synergistically improved cathode catalyst for oxygen reduction reaction.

    PubMed

    Jin, Zhiping; Nie, Huagui; Yang, Zhi; Zhang, Jing; Liu, Zheng; Xu, Xiangju; Huang, Shaoming

    2012-10-21

    The ongoing search for new non-precious-metal catalysts (NPMCs) with excellent electrocatalytic performance to replace Pt-based catalysts has been viewed as an important strategy to promote the development of fuel cells. Recent studies have proven that carbon materials doped with atoms which have a relatively small atomic size (e.g. N, B, P or S), have also shown pronounced catalytic activity. Herein, we demonstrate the successful fabrication of CNT/graphene doped with Se atoms, which has a relatively large atomic size, by a simple, economical, and scalable approach. The electrocatalytic performance of the resulting Se-doped CNT-graphene catalyst exhibits excellent catalytic activity, long-term stability, and a high methanol tolerance compared to commercial Pt/C catalysts. Our results confirmed that combining CNTs with graphene is an effective strategy to synergistically improve ORR activity. More importantly, it is also suggested that the development of graphite materials doped with Se or other heteroatoms of large size will open up a new route to obtain ideal NPMCs with realistic value for fuel cell applications. PMID:22955444

  19. Bipolar Electrochemistry for Concurrently Evaluating the Stability of Anode and Cathode Electrocatalysts and the Overall Cell Performance during Long-Term Water Electrolysis.

    PubMed

    Eßmann, Vera; Barwe, Stefan; Masa, Justus; Schuhmann, Wolfgang

    2016-09-01

    Electrochemical efficiency and stability are among the most important characteristics of electrocatalysts. These parameters are usually evaluated separately for the anodic and cathodic half-cell reactions in a three-electrode system or by measuring the overall cell voltage between the anode and cathode as a function of current or time. Here, we demonstrate how bipolar electrochemistry can be exploited to evaluate the efficiency of electrocatalysts for full electrochemical water splitting while simultaneously and independently monitoring the individual performance and stability of the half-cell electrocatalysts. Using a closed bipolar electrochemistry setup, all important parameters such as overvoltage, half-cell potential, and catalyst stability can be derived from a single galvanostatic experiment. In the proposed experiment, none of the half-reactions is limiting on the other, making it possible to precisely monitor the contribution of the individual half-cell reactions on the durability of the cell performance. The proposed approach was successfully employed to investigate the long-term performance of a bifunctional water splitting catalyst, specifically amorphous cobalt boride (Co2B), and the durability of the electrocatalyst at the anode and cathode during water electrolysis. Additionally, by periodically alternating the polarization applied to the bipolar electrode (BE) modified with a bifunctional oxygen electrocatalyst, it was possible to explicitly follow the contributions of the oxygen reduction (ORR) and the oxygen evolution (OER) half-reactions on the overall long-term durability of the bifunctional OER/ORR electrocatalyst. PMID:27469162

  20. Bipolar Electrochemistry for Concurrently Evaluating the Stability of Anode and Cathode Electrocatalysts and the Overall Cell Performance during Long-Term Water Electrolysis.

    PubMed

    Eßmann, Vera; Barwe, Stefan; Masa, Justus; Schuhmann, Wolfgang

    2016-09-01

    Electrochemical efficiency and stability are among the most important characteristics of electrocatalysts. These parameters are usually evaluated separately for the anodic and cathodic half-cell reactions in a three-electrode system or by measuring the overall cell voltage between the anode and cathode as a function of current or time. Here, we demonstrate how bipolar electrochemistry can be exploited to evaluate the efficiency of electrocatalysts for full electrochemical water splitting while simultaneously and independently monitoring the individual performance and stability of the half-cell electrocatalysts. Using a closed bipolar electrochemistry setup, all important parameters such as overvoltage, half-cell potential, and catalyst stability can be derived from a single galvanostatic experiment. In the proposed experiment, none of the half-reactions is limiting on the other, making it possible to precisely monitor the contribution of the individual half-cell reactions on the durability of the cell performance. The proposed approach was successfully employed to investigate the long-term performance of a bifunctional water splitting catalyst, specifically amorphous cobalt boride (Co2B), and the durability of the electrocatalyst at the anode and cathode during water electrolysis. Additionally, by periodically alternating the polarization applied to the bipolar electrode (BE) modified with a bifunctional oxygen electrocatalyst, it was possible to explicitly follow the contributions of the oxygen reduction (ORR) and the oxygen evolution (OER) half-reactions on the overall long-term durability of the bifunctional OER/ORR electrocatalyst.

  1. Oxygen-hydrogen fuel cell with an iodine-iodide cathode - A concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Javet, P.

    1970-01-01

    Fuel cell uses a porous cathode through which is fed a solution of iodine in aqueous iodide solution, the anode is a hydrogen electrode. No activation polarization appears on the cathode because of the high exchange-current density of the iodine-iodide electrode.

  2. Cathode for a hall-heroult type electrolytic cell for producing aluminum

    DOEpatents

    Brown, Craig W.

    2004-04-13

    A method of producing aluminum from alumina in an electrolytic cell including using a cathode comprised of a base material having low electrical conductivity and wettable with molten aluminum to form a reaction layer having a high electrical conductivity on said base layer and a cathode bar extending from said reaction layer through said base material to conduct electrical current from said reaction layer.

  3. The swelling mechanism of cathodes in Li/(CFx)(sub n) cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Margalit, Nehemiah; Baxam, Carl C.

    1992-01-01

    Active material particles spatial arrangement in combination with the nature of the electrochemical reduction mechanism were found to be the major cause of excessive swelling in cathodes in Li/(CF(x))n cells. A better understanding of the chemical reaction mechanism, a possible new role for the carbon, and a model for cathode growth are discussed.

  4. 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.

  5. A catalyst layer optimisation approach using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy for PEM fuel cells operated with pyrolysed transition metal-N-C catalysts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malko, Daniel; Lopes, Thiago; Ticianelli, Edson A.; Kucernak, Anthony

    2016-08-01

    The effect of the ionomer to carbon (I/C) ratio on the performance of single cell polymer electrolyte fuel cells is investigated for three different types of non-precious metal cathodic catalysts. Polarisation curves as well as impedance spectra are recorded at different potentials in the presence of argon or oxygen at the cathode and hydrogen at the anode. It is found that a optimised ionomer content is a key factor for improving the performance of the catalyst. Non-optimal ionomer loading can be assessed by two different factors from the impedance spectra. Hence this observation could be used as a diagnostic element to determine the ideal ionomer content and distribution in newly developed catalyst-electrodes. An electrode morphology based on the presence of inhomogeneous resistance distribution within the porous structure is suggested to explain the observed phenomena. The back-pressure and relative humidity effect on this feature is also investigated and supports the above hypothesis. We give a simple flowchart to aid optimisation of electrodes with the minimum number of trials.

  6. On the mechanism of operation of a cathode spot cell in a vacuum arc

    SciTech Connect

    Mesyats, G. A.; Petrov, A. A.; Bochkarev, M. B.; Barengolts, S. A.

    2014-05-05

    The erosive structures formed on a tungsten cathode as a result of the motion of the cathode spot of a vacuum arc over the cathode surface have been examined. It has been found that the average mass of a cathode microprotrusion having the shape of a solidified jet is approximately equal to the mass of ions removed from the cathode within the lifetime of a cathode spot cell carrying a current of several amperes. The time of formation of a new liquid-metal jet under the action of the reactive force of the plasma ejected by the cathode spot is about 10 ns, which is comparable to the lifetime of a cell. The growth rate of a liquid-metal jet is ∼10{sup 4} cm/s. The geometric shape and size of a solidified jet are such that a new explosive emission center (spot cell) can be initiated within several nanoseconds during the interaction of the jet with the dense cathode plasma. This is the underlying mechanism of the self-sustained operation of a vacuum arc.

  7. Elucidating the degradation mechanism of the cathode catalyst of PEFCs by a combination of electrochemical methods and X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Monzó, J; van der Vliet, D F; Yanson, A; Rodriguez, P

    2016-08-10

    In this study, we report a methodology which enables the determination of the degradation mechanisms responsible for catalyst deterioration under different accelerated stress protocols (ASPs) by combining measurements of the electrochemical surface area (ECSA) and Pt content (by X-ray fluorescence). The validation of this method was assessed on high surface area unsupported Pt nanoparticles (Pt-NPs), Pt nanoparticles supported on TaC (Pt/TaC) and Pt nanoparticles supported on Vulcan carbon (Pt/Vulcan). In the load cycle protocol, the degradation of Pt-NPs and Pt/Vulcan follows associative processes (e.g. agglomeration) in the first 2000 cycles, however, in successive cycles the degradation goes through dissociative processes such as Pt dissolution, as is evident from a similar decay of ECSA and Pt content. In contrast, the degradation mechanism for Pt nanoparticles dispersed on TaC occurs continuously through the dissociative processes (e.g. Pt dissolution or particle detachment), with similar decay rates of both Pt content and ECSA. In the start-up/shut-down protocol, high surface area Pt-NPs follow associative processes (e.g. Ostwald ripening) in the first 4000 cycles, after which the degradation continues through dissociative processes. On the other hand, dissociative mechanisms always govern the degradation of Pt/TaC under start-up/shut-down protocol conditions. Finally, we report that Pt nanoparticles supported on TaC exhibit the highest catalytic activity and long term durability of the three nanoparticle systems tested. This makes Pt/TaC a potentially valuable catalyst system for application in polymer electrolyte fuel cell cathodes. PMID:27464340

  8. Sustainable energy recovery in wastewater treatment by microbial fuel cells: stable power generation with nitrogen-doped graphene cathode.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yuan; Liu, Hong; Wang, Chuan; Hou, Shuang-Xia; Yang, Nuan

    2013-12-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) recover energy sustainably in wastewater treatment. Performance of non-noble cathode catalysts with low cost in neutral medium is vital for stable power generation. Nitrogen-doped graphene (NG) as cathode catalyst was observed to exhibit high and durable activity at buffered pH 7.0 during electrochemical measurements and in MFCs with respect to Pt/C counterpart. Electrochemical measurements showed that the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) on NG possessed sustained activity close to the state-of-art Pt/C in terms of onset potential and electron transfer number. NG-MFCs displayed maximum voltage output of 650 mV and maximum power density of 776 ± 12 mW m(-2), larger than 610 mV and 750 ± 19 mW m(-2) of Pt/C-MFCs, respectively. Furthermore, long-time test lasted over 90 days, during which the maximum power density of NG-MFCs declined by 7.6%, with stability comparable to Pt/C-MFCs. Structure characterization of NG implied that the relatively concentrated acidic oxygen-containing groups improved such long-time stability by repelling the protons due to the same electrostatic force, and thus the C-N active centers for ORR were left undestroyed. These findings demonstrated the competitive advantage of NG to advance the application of MFCs for recovering biomass energy in treatment of wastewater with neutral pH.

  9. Sustainable energy recovery in wastewater treatment by microbial fuel cells: stable power generation with nitrogen-doped graphene cathode.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yuan; Liu, Hong; Wang, Chuan; Hou, Shuang-Xia; Yang, Nuan

    2013-12-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) recover energy sustainably in wastewater treatment. Performance of non-noble cathode catalysts with low cost in neutral medium is vital for stable power generation. Nitrogen-doped graphene (NG) as cathode catalyst was observed to exhibit high and durable activity at buffered pH 7.0 during electrochemical measurements and in MFCs with respect to Pt/C counterpart. Electrochemical measurements showed that the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) on NG possessed sustained activity close to the state-of-art Pt/C in terms of onset potential and electron transfer number. NG-MFCs displayed maximum voltage output of 650 mV and maximum power density of 776 ± 12 mW m(-2), larger than 610 mV and 750 ± 19 mW m(-2) of Pt/C-MFCs, respectively. Furthermore, long-time test lasted over 90 days, during which the maximum power density of NG-MFCs declined by 7.6%, with stability comparable to Pt/C-MFCs. Structure characterization of NG implied that the relatively concentrated acidic oxygen-containing groups improved such long-time stability by repelling the protons due to the same electrostatic force, and thus the C-N active centers for ORR were left undestroyed. These findings demonstrated the competitive advantage of NG to advance the application of MFCs for recovering biomass energy in treatment of wastewater with neutral pH. PMID:24219223

  10. A comparative study of Pt/C cathodes in Sn 0.9In 0.1P 2O 7 and H 3PO 4 ionomers for high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, Y. C.; Okada, M.; Hibino, T.

    New Pt/C cathodes with many reaction sites for the oxygen reduction reaction as well as high tolerance to Pt corrosion have been designed for high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), wherein a composite mixture of Sn 0.9In 0.1P 2O 7 (SIPO) and sulfonated polystyrene-b-poly(ethylene/butylene)-b-polystyrene (sSEBS) functioned as an ionomer. The microstructure of the Pt-SIPO-sSEBS/C cathode was characterized by homogeneous distribution of the ionomer over the catalyst layer and close contact between the ionomer and the Pt/C powder. As a result, the activation and concentration overpotentials of the Pt-SIPO-sSEBS/C cathode between 100 and 200 °C were lower than those of an H 3PO 4-impregnated Pt/C cathode, which suggests that the present ionomer can avoid poisoning of Pt by phosphate anions and the limitation of gas diffusion through the catalyst layer. Moreover, agglomeration of Pt in the Pt-SIPO-sSEBS/C cathode was not observed during a durability test at 150 °C for 6 days, although it was significant in the Pt-H 3PO 4/C cathode. Therefore, it is concluded that the Pt-SIPO-sSEBS/C electrode is a very promising cathode candidate for high-temperature PEMFCs.

  11. Design of an Advanced Membrane Electrode Assembly Employing a Double-Layered Cathode for a PEM Fuel Cell.

    PubMed

    Kim, GyeongHee; Eom, KwangSup; Kim, MinJoong; Yoo, Sung Jong; Jang, Jong Hyun; Kim, Hyoung-Juhn; Cho, EunAe

    2015-12-23

    The membrane electrolyte assembly (MEA) designed in this study utilizes a double-layered cathode: an inner catalyst layer prepared by a conventional decal transfer method and an outer catalyst layer directly coated on a gas diffusion layer. The double-layered structure was used to improve the interfacial contact between the catalyst layer and membrane, to increase catalyst utilization and to modify the removal of product water from the cathode. Based on a series of MEAs with double-layered cathodes with an overall Pt loading fixed at 0.4 mg cm(-2) and different ratios of inner-to-outer Pt loading, the MEA with an inner layer of 0.3 mg Pt cm(-2) and an outer layer of 0.1 mg Pt cm(-2) exhibited the best performance. This performance was better than that of the conventional single-layered electrode by 13.5% at a current density of 1.4 A cm(-2).

  12. Gold nanoparticles: novel catalyst for the preparation of direct methanol fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Kuralkar, Mayuri; Ingle, Avinash; Gaikwad, Swapnil; Gade, Aniket; Rai, Mahendra

    2015-04-01

    The authors report the biosynthesis of gold nanoparticles (Au-NPs) using plant pathogenic Phoma glomerata (MTCC 2210). The synthesis of nanoparticles was characterised by visual observation followed UV-visible spectrophotometric analysis, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and nanoparticle tracking analysis. Later, direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) was constructed using two chambers (anodic chamber and cathodic chamber). These Au-NPs as catalysts have various advantages over the other catalysts that are used in the DMFC. Most importantly, it is cheaper as compared with other catalysts like platinum, and showed higher catalytic activity because of its effective surface structure. Being nano in size, it provides more surface area for the attachment of reactant molecules (methanol molecules). The DMFC catalysed by Au-NPs are found to be suitable to replace lithium ion battery technology in consumer electronics like cell phones, laptops and so on due to the fact that they can produce a high amount of energy in a small space. As long as fuel and air are supplied to the DMFC, it will continue to produce power, so it does not need to be recharged. The use of Au-NPs as catalyst in DMFC has not been reported in the past; it is reported here the first time.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-28

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

  14. Lanthanides: new metallic cathode materials for organic photovoltaic cells.

    PubMed

    Nikiforov, Maxim P; Strzalka, Joseph; Jiang, Zhang; Darling, Seth B

    2013-08-21

    Organic photovoltaics (OPVs) are compliant with inexpensive, scalable, and environmentally benign manufacturing technologies. While substantial attention has been focused on optimization of active layer chemistry, morphology, and processing, far less research has been directed to understanding charge transport at the interfaces between the electrodes and the active layer. Electrical properties of these interfaces not only impact efficiency, but also play a central role in stability of organic solar cells. Low work function metals are the most widely used materials for the electron transport layer with Ca being the most common material. In bulk heterojunction OPV devices, low work function metals are believed to mirror the role they play in OLEDs, where such metals are used to control carrier selectivity, transport, extraction, and blocking, as well as interface band bending. Despite their advantages, low work function materials are generally prone to reactions with water, oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide from air leading to rapid device degradation. Here we discuss the search for a new metallic cathode interlayer material that increases device stability and still provides device efficiency similar to that achieved with a Ca interlayer.

  15. Iron-based perovskite cathodes for solid oxide fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Ralph, James M.; Rossignol, Cecile C.R.; Vaughey, John T.

    2007-01-02

    An A and/or A' site deficient perovskite of general formula of (A.sub.1-xA'.sub.x).sub.1-yFeO.sub.3-.delta. or of general formula A.sub.1-x-yA'.sub.xFeO.sub.3-67, wherein A is La alone or with one or more of the rare earth metals or a rare earth metal other than Ce alone or a combination of rare earth metals and X is in the range of from 0 to about 1; A' is Sr or Ca or mixtures thereof and Y is in the range of from about 0.01 to about 0.3; .delta. represents the amount of compensating oxygen loss. If either A or A' is zero the remaining A or A' is deficient. A fuel cell incorporating the inventive perovskite as a cathode is disclosed as well as an oxygen separation membrane. The inventive perovskite is preferably single phase.

  16. Improving the flexibility of microbial desalination cells through spatially decoupling anode and cathode.

    PubMed

    Ping, Qingyun; He, Zhen

    2013-09-01

    To improve the flexibility of microbial desalination cell (MDC) construction and operation, a new configuration with decoupled anode and cathode was developed and examined in this study. A higher salt concentration resulted in higher current generation, as well as a higher salt removal rate. The effect of the distance between the anode and the cathode on the MDC performance was not obvious, likely due to a sufficient conductivity in the salt solution. Because the cathode was identified as a limiting factor, adding one more cathode unit increased the current generation from 72.3 to 116.0 A/m(3), while installing additional anode units did not obviously alter the MDC current production. Changing the position of the anode/cathode units exhibited a weak influence on the MDC performance. Parallel connection of electrical circuits generally produced more current than the individual connections, and a strong competition was observed between multiple units sharing the same opposite unit.

  17. The Corrosion of PEM Fuel Cell Catalyst Supports and Its Implications for Developing Durable Catalysts

    SciTech Connect

    Shao, Yuyan; Wang, Jun; Kou, Rong; Engelhard, Mark H.; Liu, Jun; Wang, Yong; Lin, Yuehe

    2009-01-03

    Studying the corrosion behavior of catalyst support materials is of great significance for understanding the degradation of PEM fuel cell performance and developing durable catalysts. The oxidation of Vulcan carbon black (the most widely-used catalyst support for PEM fuel cells) was investigated using various electrochemical stressing methods (fixed-potential holding vs. potential step cycling), among which the potential step cycling was considered to mimic more closely the real drive cycle operation of vehicle PEM fuel cells. The oxidation of carbon was accelerated under potential step conditions as compared with the fixed-potential holding condition. Increasing potential step frequency or decreasing the lower potential limit in the potential step can further accelerate the corrosion of carbon. The accelerated corrosion of carbon black was attributed to the cycle of consumption/regeneration of some easily oxidized species. These findings are being employed to develop a test protocol for fast screening durable catalyst support.

  18. Anode and cathode materials characterization for a microbial fuel cell in half cell configuration.

    PubMed

    Pant, Deepak; Van Bogaert, Gilbert; Porto-Carrero, Christof; Diels, Ludo; Vanbroekhoven, Karolien

    2011-01-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are novel bioelectrochemical devices for spontaneous conversion of biomass into electricity through the metabolic activity of the bacteria. Microbial production of electricity may become an important source of bioenergy in future because MFCs offer the possibility of extracting electric current from a wide range of soluble or dissolved complex organic wastes and renewable biomass. However, the materials used in these devices are still not economic and researchers use different materials as cathode and anode in MFCs. This results in variable performance which is difficult to compare. We tested several commercially available materials for their suitability as anode in an acetate fed MFC. Besides, a novel non-platinized activated carbon (AC) based, gas porous air cathode was also tested. Both the anode and cathode were tested in a half cell configuration. Carbon cloth, graphite cloth and dynamically stable anode (DSA) served as ideal anode material with carbon cloth and graphite mesh reaching the open circuit voltage (OCV) of acetate oxidation (-500 mV vs. Ag/AgCl). The effect of increasing concentration of acetate on anode OCV was also investigated and results showed that on increasing the acetate concentration from 10 mM to 40 mM has no adverse impact on the anodic activity towards electrochemical oxidation of acetate. The AC cathode showed stable current (-1.2 mA/cm2) over a period of 100 days. PMID:21977673

  19. Quantifying the Water Content in the Cathode of Enzyme Fuel Cells via Neutron Imaging

    SciTech Connect

    Aaron, D; Borole, Abhijeet P; Hussey , Daniel; Jacobson, David; Yiacoumi, Sotira; Tsouris, Costas

    2011-01-01

    Neutron imaging was used to study cathode water content over time in a three-dimensional-cathode enzyme fuel cell (EFC). A porous carbon felt cathode allowed air to flow through the electrode. A solution with laccase and a mediator formed an aqueous layer on the electrode surface. Water loss was observed in situ via neutron imaging for varying experimental conditions, including flow rates of hydrogen and air, cathode inlet humidity, volume of enzyme solution, and its composition. Cathode water loss occurred for all experimental conditions, but the loss rate was noticeably reduced when a high-salt-concentration enzyme solution was used in the cathode in conjunction with increased humidity in the air feed stream. Results from neutron imaging and power density analysis were used in analyzing the causes that could contribute to EFC water loss. An increase in temperature due to the exothermic cathode reaction is considered a plausible cause of cathode water loss via evaporation. This is the first reported application of neutron imaging as a technique to study EFC water management. The results suggest that neutron imaging can be employed to provide a better understanding of EFC phenomena and thereby contribute to design and operational improvements of EFCs.

  20. Nitrogen-doped fullerene as a potential catalyst for hydrogen fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Gao, Feng; Zhao, Guang-Lin; Yang, Shizhong; Spivey, James J

    2013-03-01

    We examine the possibility of nitrogen-doped C60 fullerene (N-C60) as a cathode catalyst for hydrogen fuel cells. We use first-principles spin-polarized density functional theory calculations to simulate the electrocatalytic reactions on N-C60. The first-principles results show that an O2 molecule can be adsorbed and partially reduced on the N-C complex sites (Pauling sites) of N-C60 without any activation barrier. Through a direct pathway, the partially reduced O2 can further react with H(+) and additional electrons and complete the water formation reaction (WFR) with no activation energy barrier. In the indirect pathway, reduced O2 reacts with H(+) and additional electrons to form H2O molecules through a transition state (TS) with a small activation barrier (0.22-0.37 eV). From an intermediate state to a TS, H(+) can obtain a kinetic energy of ∼0.95-3.68 eV, due to the Coulomb electric interaction, and easily overcome the activation energy barrier during the WFR. The full catalytic reaction cycles can be completed energetically, and N-C60 fullerene recovers to its original structure for the next catalytic reaction cycle. N-C60 fullerene is a potential cathode catalyst for hydrogen fuel cells.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Graphitic biochar as a cathode electrocatalyst support for microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Huggins, Tyler M; Pietron, Jeremy J; Wang, Heming; Ren, Zhiyong Jason; Biffinger, Justin C

    2015-11-01

    Graphitic biochar (BC) was generated using high temperature gasification and alkaline post-treatment (BCw) of wood-based biomass. The BCw was evaluated as a manganese oxide electrocatalytic support (MnO/BCw) and microbial fuel cell (MFC) air cathode. Nano-structured MnO2 crystals were successfully immobilized on biomass-based graphitic sheets and characterized using physical, chemical, and electrochemical analyses. Cyclic voltammetry of MnO/BCw/Nafion inks showed electrochemical features typical of β-MnO2 with a current density of 0.9 mA cm(-2). BC showed satisfactory maximum power densities of 146.7 mW m(-2) (BCw) and 187.8 W m(-2) (MnO/BCw), compared with Vulcan Carbon (VC) (156.8 mW m(-2)) and manganese oxide VC composites (MnO/VC) (606.1 mW m(-2)). These materials were also tested as oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalysts for single chamber MFCs inoculated with anaerobic sludge. Our results demonstrate that BC can serve as an effective, low cost, and scalable material for MFC application.

  4. Graphitic biochar as a cathode electrocatalyst support for microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Huggins, Tyler M; Pietron, Jeremy J; Wang, Heming; Ren, Zhiyong Jason; Biffinger, Justin C

    2015-11-01

    Graphitic biochar (BC) was generated using high temperature gasification and alkaline post-treatment (BCw) of wood-based biomass. The BCw was evaluated as a manganese oxide electrocatalytic support (MnO/BCw) and microbial fuel cell (MFC) air cathode. Nano-structured MnO2 crystals were successfully immobilized on biomass-based graphitic sheets and characterized using physical, chemical, and electrochemical analyses. Cyclic voltammetry of MnO/BCw/Nafion inks showed electrochemical features typical of β-MnO2 with a current density of 0.9 mA cm(-2). BC showed satisfactory maximum power densities of 146.7 mW m(-2) (BCw) and 187.8 W m(-2) (MnO/BCw), compared with Vulcan Carbon (VC) (156.8 mW m(-2)) and manganese oxide VC composites (MnO/VC) (606.1 mW m(-2)). These materials were also tested as oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalysts for single chamber MFCs inoculated with anaerobic sludge. Our results demonstrate that BC can serve as an effective, low cost, and scalable material for MFC application. PMID:26141670

  5. Ceria catalyst for inert-substrate-supported tubular solid oxide fuel cells running on methane fuel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Kai; Kim, Bok-Hee; Du, Yanhai; Xu, Qing; Ahn, Byung-Guk

    2016-05-01

    A ceria catalyst is applied to an inert-substrate supported tubular single cell for direct operation on methane fuel. The tubular single cell comprises a porous yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) supporter, a Ni-Ce0.8Sm0.2O1.9 anode, a YSZ/Ce0.8Sm0.2O1.9 bi-layer electrolyte, and a La0.6Sr0.4Co0.2Fe0.8O3-δ cathode. The ceria catalyst is incorporated into the porous YSZ supporter layer by a cerium nitrate impregnation. The effects of ceria on the microstructure and electrochemical performance of the tubular single cell are investigated with respect to the number of impregnations. The optimum number of impregnations is determined to be four based on the maximum power density and polarization property of the tubular single cell in hydrogen and methane fuels. At 700 °C, the tubular single cell shows similar maximum power densities of ∼260 mW cm-2 in hydrogen and methane fuels, respectively. Moreover, the ceria catalyst significantly improves the performance stability of the cell running on methane fuel. At a current density of 350 mA cm-2, the single cell shows a low degradation rate of 2.5 mV h-1 during the 13 h test in methane fuel. These results suggest the feasibility of applying the ceria catalyst to the inert-substrate supported tubular single cell for direct operation on methane fuel.

  6. Ceria catalyst for inert-substrate-supported tubular solid oxide fuel cells running on methane fuel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Kai; Kim, Bok-Hee; Du, Yanhai; Xu, Qing; Ahn, Byung-Guk

    2016-05-01

    A ceria catalyst is applied to an inert-substrate supported tubular single cell for direct operation on methane fuel. The tubular single cell comprises a porous yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) supporter, a Ni-Ce0.8Sm0.2O1.9 anode, a YSZ/Ce0.8Sm0.2O1.9 bi-layer electrolyte, and a La0.6Sr0.4Co0.2Fe0.8O3-δ cathode. The ceria catalyst is incorporated into the porous YSZ supporter layer by a cerium nitrate impregnation. The effects of ceria on the microstructure and electrochemical performance of the tubular single cell are investigated with respect to the number of impregnations. The optimum number of impregnations is determined to be four based on the maximum power density and polarization property of the tubular single cell in hydrogen and methane fuels. At 700 °C, the tubular single cell shows similar maximum power densities of ˜260 mW cm-2 in hydrogen and methane fuels, respectively. Moreover, the ceria catalyst significantly improves the performance stability of the cell running on methane fuel. At a current density of 350 mA cm-2, the single cell shows a low degradation rate of 2.5 mV h-1 during the 13 h test in methane fuel. These results suggest the feasibility of applying the ceria catalyst to the inert-substrate supported tubular single cell for direct operation on methane fuel.

  7. The development of catalytic performance by coating Pt-Ni on CMI7000 membrane as a cathode of a microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Cetinkaya, Afsin Y; Ozdemir, Oguz Kaan; Koroglu, Emre Oguz; Hasimoglu, Aydin; Ozkaya, Bestami

    2015-11-01

    Performance of cathode materials in microbial fuel cell (MFC) from dairy wastewater has been investigated in laboratory tests. Both cyclic voltammogram experiments and MFC tests showed that Pt-Ni cathode much better than pure Pt cathode. MFC with platinum cathode had the maximum power density of 0.180 W m(-2) while MFC with Pt:Ni (1:1) cathode produced the maximum power density of 0.637 W m(-2), even if the mass mixing ratio of Pt is lower in the alloy were used. The highest chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal efficiency was around 82-86% in both systems. The cyclic voltammogram (CV) analyses show that Pt:Ni (1:1) offers higher specific surface area than Pt alone does. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) results showed that entire Pt:Ni (1:1) alloys can reduce the oxygen easily than pure platinum, even though less precious metal amount. The main outcome of this study is that Pt-Ni, may serve as a alternative catalyst in MFC applications.

  8. Layered Nickel Oxide-Based Cathodes for Lithium Cells: Analysis ofPerformance Loss Mechanisms

    SciTech Connect

    Kerlau, Marie; Reimer, Jeffrey A.; Cairns, Elton J.

    2004-10-01

    Spectroscopic and electrochemical diagnostic measurements are reported for the cell components of a Generation 2 (Gen 2) Li-Ion cell from the US Department of Energy's Advanced Technology Development (ATD) project. The cells are composed of LiNi{sub 0.8}Co{sub 0.15}Al{sub 0.05}O{sub 2} positive electrodes (cathode), carbon graphite anodes and electrolyte consisting of 1.2 M LiPF{sub 6} in EC:EMC 3:7. Fluorophosphates were observed by {sup 19}F and {sup 31}P NMR in the electrolyte obtained from a Gen 2 cell aged 72 weeks at 45 C and presenting 50% power fade. These electrolyte decomposition products were also observed by {sup 31}P solid-state NMR on the surface of the cathode of the same cell. Samples were cut from the aged cathode from the original cell, subjected to different treatments (ultrasonic washing in anhydrous DMC, pressing, ultrasonic washing and pressing), and subsequently reassembled into small lab cells for electrochemical characterization. These treatments recovered the capacity of the electrodes to within a few percent of the original value, with the most improvement being obtained with the washed and pressed cathode. The impedance of the cathodes was also lowered after the ultrasonic washing and pressing treatments. Electron microscopy revealed that the ultrasonic washing of the aged Gen 2 cathode material resulted in the removal of small particles covering the surface of the active cathode. These findings are interpreted in terms of a model whereby capacity loss, and thus power capability, is restored by removing the fluorophosphate deposit and restoring electronic contact to the active cathode material.

  9. Method of making chalcogen catalysts for polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    DOEpatents

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

    2010-12-14

    A method of making an electrode catalyst material using aqueous solutions. The electrode catalyst material includes a support comprising at least one transition metal and at least one chalcogen disposed on a surface of the transition metal. The method includes reducing a metal powder, mixing the metal powder with an aqueous solution containing at least one inorganic compound of the chalcogen to form a mixture, and providing a reducing agent to the mixture to form nanoparticles of the electrode catalyst. The electrode catalyst may be used in a membrane electrode assembly for a fuel cell.

  10. Thin Film Catalyst Layers for Direct Methanol Fuel Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Witham, C. K.; Chun, W.; Ruiz, R.; Valdez, T. I.; Narayanan, S. R.

    2000-01-01

    One of the primary obstacles to the widespread use of the direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) is the high cost of the catalyst. Therefore, reducing the catalyst loading well below the current level of 8-12 mg/cm 2 would be important to commercialization. The current methods for preparation of catalyst layers consisting of catalyst, ionomer and sometimes a hydrophobic additive are applied by either painting, spraying, decal transfer or screen printing processes. Sputter deposition is a coating technique widely used in manufacturing and therefore particularly attractive. In this study we have begun to explore sputtering as a method for catalyst deposition. Present experiments focus on Pt-Ru catalyst layers for the anode.

  11. Catalysis kinetics and porous analysis of rolling activated carbon-PTFE air-cathode in microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Dong, Heng; Yu, Hongbing; Wang, Xin

    2012-12-01

    The microbial fuel cell (MFC), being an environment-friendly technology for wastewater treatment, is limited by low efficiency and high cost. Power output based on capital cost had been greatly increased in our previous work by introducing a novel activated carbon (AC) air-cathode (ACAC). The catalysis behavior of this ACAC was studied here based on catalysis kinetics and pore analysis of both carbon powders and catalyst layers (CLs). Plain AC (AC1#), ultracapacitor AC (AC2#), and non-AC (XC-72) powders were used as catalysts. The electron transfer number (n) of oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) with CLs increased by 5-23% compared to those n values of corresponding carbon powders before being rolled to CLs with PTFE, while the n value of Pt/C decreased by 38% when it was brushed with Nafion as the CL, indicating that rolling procedure with PTFE binder substantially increased the catalytic activity of carbon catalysts. Two-four times larger in micropore area of AC powders than non-AC powder resulted in 1.3-1.9 times increase in power density of MFCs. In addition, more uniform distribution of microporosity was found in AC1# than in AC2#, which could be the reason for the 25% increase in power density of ACAC1# (1355 ± 26 mW·m(-2)) compared to 1086 ± 8 mW·m(-2) of ACAC2#. PMID:23151092

  12. Simple template fabrication of porous MnCo2O4 hollow nanocages as high-performance cathode catalysts for rechargeable Li-O2 batteries.

    PubMed

    Cao, Y L; Lv, F C; Yu, S C; Xu, J; Yang, X; Lu, Z G

    2016-04-01

    Porous MnCo2O4 hollow nanocages have been fabricated via a simple template method using carbon spheres as a template. The hydrophilic surface of carbon spheres can adsorb Mn(2+) and Co(2+) ions simultaneously to form Mn,Co-adsorbed carbon spheres. The calcination of Mn,Co-adsorbed carbon spheres can result in porous hollow nanocages of MnCo2O4. The MnCo2O4 hollow nanocages are built by nanoscale MnCo2O4 crystals. Because of the unique porous hollow nanostructures, the resulting MnCo2O4/KB cathode shows an efficient electrocatalytic performance in LiTFSI/TEGDME electrolyte-based Li-O2 batteries. The MnCo2O4 hollow nanocages as the cathode catalysts can deliver better performance during the discharge/charge processes and good cycle stability compared with that of the pure KB carbon. The preliminary results manifest that porous MnCo2O4 hollow nanocages are promising high-performance cathode catalysts for Li-O2 batteries. This template technique is a simple, general, low-cost and controllable method and can be extended to prepare other transition metal oxide hollow nanostructures.

  13. Simple template fabrication of porous MnCo2O4 hollow nanocages as high-performance cathode catalysts for rechargeable Li-O2 batteries.

    PubMed

    Cao, Y L; Lv, F C; Yu, S C; Xu, J; Yang, X; Lu, Z G

    2016-04-01

    Porous MnCo2O4 hollow nanocages have been fabricated via a simple template method using carbon spheres as a template. The hydrophilic surface of carbon spheres can adsorb Mn(2+) and Co(2+) ions simultaneously to form Mn,Co-adsorbed carbon spheres. The calcination of Mn,Co-adsorbed carbon spheres can result in porous hollow nanocages of MnCo2O4. The MnCo2O4 hollow nanocages are built by nanoscale MnCo2O4 crystals. Because of the unique porous hollow nanostructures, the resulting MnCo2O4/KB cathode shows an efficient electrocatalytic performance in LiTFSI/TEGDME electrolyte-based Li-O2 batteries. The MnCo2O4 hollow nanocages as the cathode catalysts can deliver better performance during the discharge/charge processes and good cycle stability compared with that of the pure KB carbon. The preliminary results manifest that porous MnCo2O4 hollow nanocages are promising high-performance cathode catalysts for Li-O2 batteries. This template technique is a simple, general, low-cost and controllable method and can be extended to prepare other transition metal oxide hollow nanostructures. PMID:26894375

  14. Simple template fabrication of porous MnCo2O4 hollow nanocages as high-performance cathode catalysts for rechargeable Li-O2 batteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Y. L.; Lv, F. C.; Yu, S. C.; Xu, J.; Yang, X.; Lu, Z. G.

    2016-04-01

    Porous MnCo2O4 hollow nanocages have been fabricated via a simple template method using carbon spheres as a template. The hydrophilic surface of carbon spheres can adsorb Mn2+ and Co2+ ions simultaneously to form Mn,Co-adsorbed carbon spheres. The calcination of Mn,Co-adsorbed carbon spheres can result in porous hollow nanocages of MnCo2O4. The MnCo2O4 hollow nanocages are built by nanoscale MnCo2O4 crystals. Because of the unique porous hollow nanostructures, the resulting MnCo2O4/KB cathode shows an efficient electrocatalytic performance in LiTFSI/TEGDME electrolyte-based Li-O2 batteries. The MnCo2O4 hollow nanocages as the cathode catalysts can deliver better performance during the discharge/charge processes and good cycle stability compared with that of the pure KB carbon. The preliminary results manifest that porous MnCo2O4 hollow nanocages are promising high-performance cathode catalysts for Li-O2 batteries. This template technique is a simple, general, low-cost and controllable method and can be extended to prepare other transition metal oxide hollow nanostructures.

  15. 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. PMID:20566509

  16. ACTIVE CATHODES FOR SUPER-HIGH POWER DENSITY SOLID OXIDE FUEL CELLS THROUGH SPACE CHARGE EFFECTS

    SciTech Connect

    Anil V. Virkar

    2003-11-03

    This report summarizes the work done during the third quarter of the project. Effort was directed in two areas: (1) Further development of the model on the role of connectivity on ionic conductivity of porous bodies, including the role of grain boundaries, and its relationship to cathode polarization. Included indirectly through the grain boundary effect is the effect of space charge. (2) Synthesis of LSC + SDC composite cathode powders by combustion synthesis. (3) Fabrication and testing of anode-supported single cells made using synthesized LSC + ScDC composite cathodes.

  17. Organic photovoltaic solar cells with cathode modified by ZnO.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hyeong Pil; Yusoff, Abd Rashid Bin Mohd; Jang, Jin

    2013-07-01

    Solution processed cathode organic photovoltaic cells (OPVs) utilizing thin layer of ZnO with 27% increase in power conversion efficiency (PCE) to control devices have been demonstrated. Devices without the presence of ZnO layer have much lower PCE than the ones with ZnO layer. Cathode modification layer can be used to reduce photogenerated excitions and finally improve the performance of the OPVs. The successful demonstrations of OPVs with an introduction of ZnO cathode layer give promise of further device progresses.

  18. Experimental study of hydrogen purge effects on performance and efficiency of an open-cathode Proton Exchange Membrane fuel cell system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strahl, Stephan; Husar, Attila; Riera, Jordi

    2014-02-01

    The performance and efficiency of an open-cathode PEM fuel cell system in dead-ended anode (DEA) configuration and hydrogen purges is analyzed in this work. Excess water and crossed-over nitrogen in the anode decrease the hydrogen concentration at the catalyst surface, which in turn causes performance losses. Purging the anode with hydrogen removes water and nitrogen and thus recovers the performance. However, this means wasting hydrogen and decreasing overall system efficiency. Gas chromatography was used to detect and quantify the accumulated nitrogen in the anode during DEA operation. The experiments show that the major performance limitation in the studied system is related to water instead of nitrogen. Moreover, oxygen was detected in the anode exhaust gas after long purge intervals, which is an indicator for corrosion of the cathode carbon support structure. Experimental observations revealed that the need for a hydrogen purge strongly depends on the operating conditions and the state-of-health of the fuel cell. It is shown that flooding on the anode and drying of the cathode catalyst layer may occur simultaneously during purged operation. Therefore, purge decisions must be evaluated online, depending on the operating conditions.

  19. Collaboration between primitive cell membranes and soluble catalysts

    PubMed Central

    Adamala, Katarzyna P.; Engelhart, Aaron E.; Szostak, Jack W.

    2016-01-01

    One widely held model of early life suggests primitive cells consisted of simple RNA-based catalysts within lipid compartments. One possible selective advantage conferred by an encapsulated catalyst is stabilization of the compartment, resulting from catalyst-promoted synthesis of key membrane components. Here we show model protocell vesicles containing an encapsulated enzyme that promotes the synthesis of simple fatty acid derivatives become stabilized to Mg2+, which is required for ribozyme activity and RNA synthesis. Thus, protocells capable of such catalytic transformations would have enjoyed a selective advantage over other protocells in high Mg2+ environments. The synthetic transformation requires both the catalyst and vesicles that solubilize the water-insoluble precursor lipid. We suggest that similar modified lipids could have played a key role in early life, and that primitive lipid membranes and encapsulated catalysts, such as ribozymes, may have acted in conjunction with each other, enabling otherwise-impossible chemical transformations within primordial cells. PMID:26996603

  20. Collaboration between primitive cell membranes and soluble catalysts.

    PubMed

    Adamala, Katarzyna P; Engelhart, Aaron E; Szostak, Jack W

    2016-01-01

    One widely held model of early life suggests primitive cells consisted of simple RNA-based catalysts within lipid compartments. One possible selective advantage conferred by an encapsulated catalyst is stabilization of the compartment, resulting from catalyst-promoted synthesis of key membrane components. Here we show model protocell vesicles containing an encapsulated enzyme that promotes the synthesis of simple fatty acid derivatives become stabilized to Mg(2+), which is required for ribozyme activity and RNA synthesis. Thus, protocells capable of such catalytic transformations would have enjoyed a selective advantage over other protocells in high Mg(2+) environments. The synthetic transformation requires both the catalyst and vesicles that solubilize the water-insoluble precursor lipid. We suggest that similar modified lipids could have played a key role in early life, and that primitive lipid membranes and encapsulated catalysts, such as ribozymes, may have acted in conjunction with each other, enabling otherwise-impossible chemical transformations within primordial cells. PMID:26996603

  1. Preparation of nano-sized nickel as anode catalyst for direct urea and urine fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lan, Rong; Tao, Shanwen

    Nano-sized nickel with primary particle size of 2-3 nm has been successfully prepared for use as efficient anode catalysts in urea and urine fuel cells. XRD, SEM and TEM were used for characterisation of nano-sized nickel. Based on the previous communication, the performance of urea and urine fuel cells has been further improved when the relative humidity at the cathode was 100%. A maximum power density of 14.2 mW cm -2 was achieved when 1 M urea was used as fuel, humidified air as oxidant. The performance of urine fuel cells operating above room temperature was also reported for the first time and a power density of 4.23 mW cm -2 was achieved at 60 °C indicating potential application in urea-rich waste water treatment.

  2. Iron-rich nanoparticle encapsulated, nitrogen doped porous carbon materials as efficient cathode electrocatalyst for microbial fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Guolong; Zhu, Youlong; Lu, Lu; Xu, Kongliang; Wang, Heming; Jin, Yinghua; Jason Ren, Zhiyong; Liu, Zhenning; Zhang, Wei

    2016-05-01

    Developing efficient, readily available, and sustainable electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in neutral medium is of great importance to practical applications of microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Herein, a porous nitrogen-doped carbon material with encapsulated Fe-based nanoparticles (Fe-Nx/C) has been developed and utilized as an efficient ORR catalyst in MFCs. The material was obtained through pyrolysis of a highly porous organic polymer containing iron(II) porphyrins. The characterizations of morphology, crystalline structure and elemental composition reveal that Fe-Nx/C consists of well-dispersed Fe-based nanoparticles coated by N-doped graphitic carbon layer. ORR catalytic performance of Fe-Nx/C has been evaluated through cyclic voltammetry and rotating ring-disk electrode measurements, and its application as a cathode electrocatalyst in an air-cathode single-chamber MFC has been investigated. Fe-Nx/C exhibits comparable or better performance in MFCs than 20% Pt/C, displaying higher cell voltage (601 mV vs. 591 mV), maximum power density (1227 mW m-2 vs. 1031 mW m-2) and Coulombic efficiency (50% vs. 31%). These findings indicate that Fe-Nx/C is more tolerant and durable than Pt/C in a system with bacteria metabolism and thus holds great potential for practical MFC applications.

  3. Study of superhydrophobic electrosprayed catalyst layers using a localized reference electrode technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaparro, A. M.; Ferreira-Aparicio, P.; Folgado, M. A.; Brightman, E.; Hinds, G.

    2016-09-01

    The performance of electrosprayed cathode catalyst layers in a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is studied using a localized reference electrode technique. Single cells with an electrosprayed cathode catalyst layer show an increase of >20% in maximum power density under standard testing conditions, compared with identical cells assembled with a conventional, state-of-the-art, gas diffusion cathode. When operated at high current density (1.2 A cm-2) the electrosprayed catalyst layers show more homogeneous distribution of the localized cathode potential, with a standard deviation from inlet to outlet of <50 mV, compared with 79 mV for the conventional gas diffusion cathode. Higher performance and homogeneity of cell response is attributed to the superhydrophobic nature of the macroporous electrosprayed catalyst layer structure, which enhances the rate of expulsion of liquid water from the cathode. On the other hand, at low current densities (<0.5 A cm-2), the electrosprayed layers exhibit more heterogeneous distribution of cathode potential than the conventional cathodes; this behavior is attributed to less favorable kinetics for oxygen reduction in very hydrophobic catalyst layers. The optimum performance may be obtained with electrosprayed catalyst layers employing a high Pt/C catalyst ratio.

  4. Development of a tubular microbial fuel cell (MFC) employing a membrane electrode assembly cathode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Jung Rae; Premier, Giuliano C.; Hawkes, Freda R.; Dinsdale, Richard M.; Guwy, Alan J.

    Tubular microbial fuel cells (MFC) with air cathode might be amenable to scale-up but with increasing volume a mechanically robust, cost-effective cathode structure is required. Membrane electrode assemblies (MEA) are investigated in a tubular MFC using cost-effective cation (CEM) or anion (AEM) exchange membrane. The MEA fabrication mechanically combines a cathode electrode with the membrane between a perforated cylindrical polypropylene shell and tube. Hydrogel application between membrane and cathode increases cathode potential by ∼100 mV over a 0-5.5 mA range in a CEM-MEA. Consequently, 6.1 W m -3 based on reactor liquid volume (200 cm 3) are generated compared with 5 W m -3 without hydrogel. Cathode potential is also improved in AEM-MEA using hydrogel. Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) to compare MEA's performance suggests reduced impedance and enhanced membrane-cathode contact area when using hydrogel. The maximum coulombic efficiency observed with CEM-MEA is 71% and 63% with AEM-MEA. Water loss through the membrane varies with external load resistance, indicating that total charge transfer in the MFC is related to electro-osmotic drag of water through the membrane. The MEA developed here has been shown to be mechanically robust, operating for more than six month at this scale without problem.

  5. High performance polymer solar cells with as-prepared zirconium acetylacetonate film as cathode buffer layer.

    PubMed

    Tan, Zhan'ao; Li, Shusheng; Wang, Fuzhi; Qian, Deping; Lin, Jun; Hou, Jianhui; Li, Yongfang

    2014-01-01

    Low-work-function active metals are commonly used as cathode in polymer solar cells (PSCs), but sensitivity of the active metals towards moisture and oxygen results in poor stability of the devices. Therefore, solution-proceessable and stable cathode buffer layer is of great importance for the application of PSCs. Here we demonstrate high performance PSCs by employing as-prepared zirconium acetylacetonate (a-ZrAcac) film spin-cast from its ethanol solution as cathode buffer layer. The PSCs based on a low bandgap polymer PBDTBDD as donor and PC60BM as acceptor with a-ZrAcac/Al cathode demonstrated an average power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 8.75% which is significantly improved than that of the devices with traditional Ca/Al cathode. The improved photovoltaic performance is benefitted from the decreased series resistance and enhanced light harvest of the PSCs with the a-ZrAcac/Al cathode. The results indicate that a-ZrAcac is a promising high performance cathode buffer layer for fabricating large area flexible PSCs. PMID:24732976

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

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

  9. Platinum-cobalt catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction in high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells - Long term behavior under ex-situ and in-situ conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schenk, Alexander; Grimmer, Christoph; Perchthaler, Markus; Weinberger, Stephan; Pichler, Birgit; Heinzl, Christoph; Scheu, Christina; Mautner, Franz-Andreas; Bitschnau, Brigitte; Hacker, Viktor

    2014-11-01

    Platinum cobalt catalysts (Pt-Co) have attracted much interest as cathode catalysts for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) due to their high activity toward oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). Many of the reported catalysts show outstanding performance in ex-situ experiments. However, the laborious synthesis protocols of these Pt-Co catalysts disable an efficient and economic production of membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs). We present an economic, flexible and continuous Pt-M/C catalyst preparation method as part of a large scale membrane electrode assembly manufacturing. In comparison, the as-prepared Pt-Co/C based high temperature (HT)-PEM MEA showed an equal performance to a commercially available HT-PEM MEA during 600 h of operation under constant load, although the commercial one had a significantly higher Pt loading at the cathode.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nallathambi, Vijayadurga

    2011-12-01

    Worldwide energy demand has driven long-term efforts towards developing a clean, hydrogen-based energy economy. Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) are low emissions and high efficiency devices that utilize the power of hydrogen and are a key enabling technology for the hydrogen economy. Carbon supported platinum-black is the state-of the art catalyst for oxygen reduction in a PEMFC because it can withstand the acidic environment. However, the high cost and low abundance of this precious metal has limited large-scale commercialization of PEMFCs. Current efforts focus on developing alternative inexpensive, non-noble metal-based catalysts for oxygen reduction with performance comparable to conventional platinum based electrocatalysts. In this work, inexpensive metal-nitrogen-carbon (MNC) catalysts have been synthesized by pyrolyzing transition metal and nitrogen precursors together with high surface area carbon materials in a closed, constant-volume quartz tube. High pressure generated due to nitrogen precursor evaporation lead to increased surface nitrogen content in the catalysts post-pyrolysis. Electrochemical oxygen reduction activity of MNC catalysts was analyzed using half-cell Rotating Ring Disc Electrode (RRDE) studies. The effect of nitrogen precursor morphology on the generation of active sites has been explored in detail. By increasing the Nitrogen/Carbon ratio of the nitrogen precursor, the accessible active site density increased by reducing carbon deposition in the pores of the carbon support during pyrolysis. The most active catalysts were obtained using melamine, having a N/C ratio of 2. Single PEMFC measurements employing MNC catalysts as cathodes indicated kinetic current density as high as 15 A cm-3 at 0.8 ViR-free and over 100 h of stable current at 0.5 V were observed. Effects of carbon free ammonia generating solid nitrogen precursors such as urea and ammonium carbamate were also studied. These precursors etched the carbon support

  11. SOLID OXIDE FUEL CELL CATHODES: Polarization Mechanisms and Modeling of the Electrochemical Performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fleig, Jurgen

    2003-08-01

    Several recent experimental and numerical investigations have contributed to the improved understanding of the electrochemical mechanisms taking place at solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) cathodes and yielded valuable information on the relationships between alterable parameters (geometry/material) and the cathodic polarization resistance. Efforts to reduce the polarization resistance in SOFCs can benefit from these results, and some important aspects of the corresponding studies are reviewed. Experimental results, particularly measurements using geometrically well-defined Sr-doped LaMnO3 (LSM) cathodes, are discussed. In regard to simulations, the different levels of sophistication used in SOFC electrode modeling studies are summarized and compared. Exemplary simulations of mixed conducting cathodes that show the capabilities and limits of different modeling levels are described.

  12. PB/PANI-modified electrode used as a novel oxygen reduction cathode in microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Fu, Lei; You, Shi-Jie; Zhang, Guo-Quan; Yang, Feng-Lin; Fang, Xiao-Hong; Gong, Zheng

    2011-01-15

    This study focuses on the preparation of a new type of Prussian Blue/polyaniline (PB/PANI)-modified electrode as oxygen reduction cathode, and its availability in microbial fuel cell (MFC) for biological power generation. The PB/PANI-modified electrode was prepared by electrochemical and chemical methods, both of which exhibited good electrocatalytical reactivity for oxygen reduction in acidic electrolyte. The MFC with PB/PANI-modified cathode aerated by either oxygen or air was shown to yield a maximum power density being the same with that of the MFC with liquid-state ferricyanide cathode, and have an excellent duration as indicated by stable cathode potential for more than eight operating circles. This study suggests a promising potential to utilize this novel electrode as an effective alternative to platinum for oxygen reduction in MFC system without losing sustainability.

  13. Removal of ammonia nitrogen from wastewater using an aerobic cathode microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiaoyan; Zhu, Feng; Chen, Li; Zhao, Qin; Tao, Guanhong

    2013-10-01

    A new system for removing ammonia nitrogen was developed, which integrated a microbial fuel cell (MFC) with an aerobic bioreactor. A three-chamber reactor consisted of an anode chamber, a middle chamber and a cathode chamber. The chambers were separated by an anion exchange membrane and a cation exchange membrane (CEM), respectively. Driven by the power generated by the MFC, NH4(+) in the middle chamber could migrate through CEM into the cathode chamber. The migrated NH4(+) further removed via biological denitrification in the cathode chamber. Up to 90.2% of total NH4(+)-N could be removed with an initial concentration of 100 mg/L in 98 h. Affecting factors were investigated on the removal efficiency including cathode surface area, electrode spacing, chemical oxygen demand concentration, dissolved oxygen concentration, and NH4(+)-N concentration. The system was characterized by simple configuration and high efficiency, and was successfully applied to the treatment of brewery wastewater.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  15. 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

  16. Characterization and optimization of cathodic conditions for H2O2 synthesis in microbial electrochemical cells.

    PubMed

    Sim, Junyoung; An, Junyeong; Elbeshbishy, Elsayed; Ryu, Hodon; Lee, Hyung-Sool

    2015-11-01

    Cathode potential and O2 supply methods were investigated to improve H2O2 synthesis in an electrochemical cell, and optimal cathode conditions were applied for microbial electrochemical cells (MECs). Using aqueous O2 for the cathode significantly improved current density, but H2O2 conversion efficiency was negligible at 0.3-12%. Current density decreased for passive O2 diffusion to the cathode, but H2O2 conversion efficiency increased by 65%. An MEC equipped with a gas diffusion cathode was operated with acetate medium and domestic wastewater, which presented relatively high H2O2 conversion efficiency from 36% to 47%, although cathode overpotential was fluctuated. Due to different current densities, the maximum H2O2 production rate was 141 mg H2O2/L-h in the MEC fed with acetate medium, but it became low at 6 mg H2O2/L-h in the MEC fed with the wastewater. Our study clearly indicates that improving anodic current density and mitigating membrane fouling would be key parameters for large-scale H2O2-MECs.

  17. Fabrication and Characterization of Functionally Graded Cathodes for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simonet, J.; Kapelski, G.; Bouvard, D.

    2008-02-01

    Solid oxide fuel cells are multi-layered designed. The most prevalent structure is an anode supported cell with a thick porous layer of nickel oxide NiO and yttrium stabilized zirconia (YSZ) composite acting as an anode, a thin dense layer of YSZ as an electrolyte, a composite thin porous layer of lanthanum strontium manganate LSM and YSZ and a current collector layer of porous LSM. Regular operating temperature is 1000 °C. The industrial development requires designing cathodes with acceptable electrochemical and mechanical properties at a lower temperature, typically between 700 and 800 °C. A solution consists in designing composite bulk cathodes with more numerous electro-chemical reaction sites. This requirement could be met by grading the composition of the cathode in increasing the YSZ volume fraction near the electrolyte and the LSM volume fraction near the current collector layer so that the repartition of reaction sites and the interfacial adhesion between the cathode and electrolyte layers are optimal. The fabrication of graded composite cathode has been investigated using a sedimentation process that consists of preparing a suspension containing the powder mixture and allowing the particles to fall by gravity upon a substrate. Different composite cathodes with continuous composition gradient have been obtained by sedimentation of LSM and YSZ powder mixture upon a dense YSZ substrate and subsequent firing. Their compositions and microstructures have been analysed with Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and Electron Dispersive Spectrometry (EDS).

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Cell performance of ultra-thin polymer-cathode cell systems. Part 2. Cation intercalating composite polymer cathode. Technical report, 1 January 1989-1 March 1990

    SciTech Connect

    Naoi, K.; Smyrl, W.H.; Owens, B.B.

    1990-03-15

    Theoretical specific energy and power densities for thin film Li/LE or SPE/CP cell systems were calculated by modeling a bipolar-design polymer cathode rechargeable cell with hardware where LE, SPE and CP represent the liquid electrolyte (2M LiClO4(PC)), solid polymer electrolyte (PEO(8)LiX) and the conductive polymer(polypyrrole). The cell performance is obtained for a cation-intercalating PPy-PVS composite film which is composed of polypyrrole(PPy) into which has been incorporated the polymer anion, polyvinylsolfonate(PVS) during deposition. The energy and power densities are estimated as a function of cathode thickness (1 to 100,000 micron), active cell area (1 to 10,000 sq cm) and the number of bipolar units(1 to 100). Compared to the anion-consuming polymer cathode system, significant enhancement of specific energy was achieved. The theoretical specific energy amounts to ca. 290 Wh/kg (bare cell) and ca. 209 Wh/kg for a bipolar Li/LE or SPE/PPy-PVS cell system (with hardware).

  1. Platinum-free cathode for dye-sensitized solar cells using poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) formed via oxidative molecular layer deposition.

    PubMed

    Kim, Do Han; Atanasov, Sarah E; Lemaire, Paul; Lee, Kyoungmi; Parsons, Gregory N

    2015-02-25

    Thin ∼ 20 nm conformal poly(3,4-ehylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) films are incorporated in highly conductive mesoporous indium tin oxide (m-ITO) by oxidative molecular layer deposition (oMLD). These three-dimensional catalytic/conductive networks are successfully employed as Pt-free cathodes for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) with open circuit voltage equivalent to Pt cathode devices. Thin and conformal PEDOT films on m-ITO by oMLD create high surface area and efficient electron transport paths to promote productive reduction reaction on the PEDOT film. Because of these two synergetic effects, PEDOT-coated m-ITO by oMLD shows power conversion efficiency, 7.18%, comparable to 7.26% of Pt, and higher than that of planar PEDOT coatings, which is 4.85%. Thus, PEDOT-coated m-ITO is an exceptional opportunity to compete with Pt catalysts for low-cost energy conversion devices. PMID:25668707

  2. Simulated coal-gas-fueled molten carbonate fuel cell development program. Topical report: Cathode compatibility tests

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, W.H.

    1992-07-01

    In previous work, International Fuel Cells Corporation (EFC) found interactions between molten carbonate fuel cell cathode materials being considered as replacements for the presently used nickel oxide and matrix materials. Consequently, this work was conducted to screen additional new materials for mutual compatibility. As part of this program, experiments were performed to examine the compatibility of several candidate, alternative cathode materials with the standard lithium aluminate matrix material in the presence of electrolyte at cell potentials. Initial cathode candidates were materials lithium ferrite, yttrium iron garnet, lithium manganite and doped ceria which were developed by universities, national laboratories, or contractors to DOE, EPRI, or GRI. These investigations were conducted in laboratory scale experiments. None of the materials tested can directly replace nickel oxide or indicate greater stability of cell performance than afforded by nickel oxide. Specifically: (1) no further work on niobium doped ceria is warranted; (2) cobalt migration was found in the lithium ferrite cathode tested. This could possibly lead to shorting problems similiar to those encountered with nickel oxide; (3) Possible shorting problems may also exist with the proprietary dopant in YIG; (4) lithium ferrite and YIG cathode were not single phase materials. Assessment of the chemical stability, i.e., dopant loss, was severely impeded by dissolution of these second phases in the electrolyte; and (5) Magnesium doped lithium manganite warrants further work. Electrolytes should contain Mg ions to suppress dopant loss.

  3. An intermediate-temperature solid oxide fuel cell with electrospun nanofiber cathode

    SciTech Connect

    Zhi, Mingjia; Lee, Shiwoo; Miller, Nicholas; Menzler, Norbert H.; Wu, Nianqiang

    2012-05-01

    Lanthanum strontium cobalt ferrite (LSCF) nanofibers have been fabricated by the electrospinning method and used as the cathode of an intermediate-temperature solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) with yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) electrolyte. The three-dimensional nanofiber network cathode has several advantages: (i) high porosity; (ii) high percolation; (iii) continuous pathway for charge transport; (iv) good thermal stability at the operating temperature; and (v) excellent scaffold for infiltration. The fuel cell with the monolithic LSCF nanofiber cathode exhibits a power density of 0.90 W cm{sup −2} at 1.9 A cm{sup −2} at 750 °C. The electrochemical performance of the fuel cell has been further improved by infiltration of 20 wt% of gadolinia-doped ceria (GDC) into the LSCF nanofiber cathode. The fuel cell with the LSCF–20% GDC composite cathode shows a power density of 1.07 W cm{sup −2} at 1.9 A cm{sup −2} at 750 °C. The results obtained show that one-dimensional nanostructures such as nanofibers hold great promise as electrode materials for intermediate-temperature SOFCs.

  4. Design criteria for stable Pt/C fuel cell catalysts

    PubMed Central

    Katsounaros, Ioannis; Witte, Jonathon; Bongard, Hans J; Topalov, Angel A; Baldizzone, Claudio; Mezzavilla, Stefano; Schüth, Ferdi

    2014-01-01

    Summary Platinum and Pt alloy nanoparticles supported on carbon are the state of the art electrocatalysts in proton exchange membrane fuel cells. To develop a better understanding on how material design can influence the degradation processes on the nanoscale, three specific Pt/C catalysts with different structural characteristics were investigated in depth: a conventional Pt/Vulcan catalyst with a particle size of 3–4 nm and two Pt@HGS catalysts with different particle size, 1–2 nm and 3–4 nm. Specifically, Pt@HGS corresponds to platinum nanoparticles incorporated and confined within the pore structure of the nanostructured carbon support, i.e., hollow graphitic spheres (HGS). All three materials are characterized by the same platinum loading, so that the differences in their performance can be correlated to the structural characteristics of each material. The comparison of the activity and stability behavior of the three catalysts, as obtained from thin film rotating disk electrode measurements and identical location electron microscopy, is also extended to commercial materials and used as a basis for a discussion of general fuel cell catalyst design principles. Namely, the effects of particle size, inter-particle distance, certain support characteristics and thermal treatment on the catalyst performance and in particular the catalyst stability are evaluated. Based on our results, a set of design criteria for more stable and active Pt/C and Pt-alloy/C materials is suggested. PMID:24605273

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  6. Nitrogen-doped graphene-rich catalysts derived from heteroatom polymers for oxygen reduction in nonaqueous lithium-O2 battery cathodes.

    PubMed

    Wu, Gang; Mack, Nathan H; Gao, Wei; Ma, Shuguo; Zhong, Ruiqin; Han, Jiantao; Baldwin, Jon K; Zelenay, Piotr

    2012-11-27

    In this work, we present a synthesis approach for nitrogen-doped graphene-sheet-like nanostructures via the graphitization of a heteroatom polymer, in particular, polyaniline, under the catalysis of a cobalt species using multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) as a supporting template. The graphene-rich composite catalysts (Co-N-MWNTs) exhibit substantially improved activity for oxygen reduction in nonaqueous lithium-ion electrolyte as compared to those of currently used carbon blacks and Pt/carbon catalysts, evidenced by both rotating disk electrode and Li-O(2) battery experiments. The synthesis-structure-activity correlations for the graphene nanostructures were explored by tuning their synthetic chemistry (support, nitrogen precursor, heating temperature, and transition metal type and content) to investigate how the resulting morphology and nitrogen-doping functionalities (e.g., pyridinic, pyrrolic, and quaternary) influence the catalyst activity. In particular, an optimal temperature for heat treatment during synthesis is critical to creating a high-surface-area catalyst with favorable nitrogen doping. The sole Co phase, Co(9)S(8), was present in the catalyst but plays a negligible role in ORR. Nevertheless, the addition of Co species in the synthesis is indispensable for achieving high activity, due to its effects on the final catalyst morphology and structure, including surface area, nitrogen doping, and graphene formation. This new route for the preparation of a nitrogen-doped graphene nanocomposite with carbon nanotube offers synthetic control of morphology and nitrogen functionality and shows promise for applications in nonaqueous oxygen reduction electrocatalysis for Li-O(2) battery cathodes. PMID:23036092

  7. Nitrogen-doped graphene-rich catalysts derived from heteroatom polymers for oxygen reduction in nonaqueous lithium-O2 battery cathodes.

    PubMed

    Wu, Gang; Mack, Nathan H; Gao, Wei; Ma, Shuguo; Zhong, Ruiqin; Han, Jiantao; Baldwin, Jon K; Zelenay, Piotr

    2012-11-27

    In this work, we present a synthesis approach for nitrogen-doped graphene-sheet-like nanostructures via the graphitization of a heteroatom polymer, in particular, polyaniline, under the catalysis of a cobalt species using multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) as a supporting template. The graphene-rich composite catalysts (Co-N-MWNTs) exhibit substantially improved activity for oxygen reduction in nonaqueous lithium-ion electrolyte as compared to those of currently used carbon blacks and Pt/carbon catalysts, evidenced by both rotating disk electrode and Li-O(2) battery experiments. The synthesis-structure-activity correlations for the graphene nanostructures were explored by tuning their synthetic chemistry (support, nitrogen precursor, heating temperature, and transition metal type and content) to investigate how the resulting morphology and nitrogen-doping functionalities (e.g., pyridinic, pyrrolic, and quaternary) influence the catalyst activity. In particular, an optimal temperature for heat treatment during synthesis is critical to creating a high-surface-area catalyst with favorable nitrogen doping. The sole Co phase, Co(9)S(8), was present in the catalyst but plays a negligible role in ORR. Nevertheless, the addition of Co species in the synthesis is indispensable for achieving high activity, due to its effects on the final catalyst morphology and structure, including surface area, nitrogen doping, and graphene formation. This new route for the preparation of a nitrogen-doped graphene nanocomposite with carbon nanotube offers synthetic control of morphology and nitrogen functionality and shows promise for applications in nonaqueous oxygen reduction electrocatalysis for Li-O(2) battery cathodes.

  8. Carbon nanotube supported MnO₂ catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction and their applications in microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Lu, Min; Kharkwal, Shailesh; Ng, How Yong; Li, Sam Fong Yau

    2011-08-15

    Three types of manganese dioxide, α-MnO(2), β-MnO(2), γ-MnO(2) were tested as alternative cathode catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in air-cathode microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Prepared by solution-based methods, the MnO(2) nanomaterials were comprehensively characterized, and their electrocatalytic activities in neutral electrolyte were investigated with the supporting material of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) by cyclic voltammetry (CV). The CV results showed that all MnO(2) species could catalyze ORR in neutral NaCl solution with different catalytic activities. β-MnO(2) had the highest catalytic activity due to its intrinsic structure and better interaction with CNTs. Three MnO(2) species were further used as cathode catalysts under optimized conditions in air-cathode cubic MFCs, in which mixed culture was inoculated as biocatalysts and domestic wastewater was used as the substrate in the anode chamber. It was also found that β-MnO(2) based MFC yielded the best performance with a power density of 97.8 mWm(-2) which was 64.1% that of the Pt-based MFC, and a lower internal resistance of 165 Ω. Furthermore, the COD removal efficiency of β-MnO(2) based MFC was estimated as 84.8%, higher than that of the Pt-based MFC. This study demonstrated that using β-MnO(2) on CNT support instead of Pt could potentially improve the feasibility of scaling up air-cathode MFCs for practical applications by lowering the material cost.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  11. Hafnium metallocene compounds used as cathode interfacial layers for enhanced electron transfer in organic solar cells.

    PubMed

    Park, Keunhee; Oh, Seungsik; Jung, Donggeun; Chae, Heeyeop; Kim, Hyoungsub; Boo, Jin-Hyo

    2012-01-09

    We have used hafnium metallocene compounds as cathode interfacial layers for organic solar cells [OSCs]. A metallocene compound consists of a transition metal and two cyclopentadienyl ligands coordinated in a sandwich structure. For the fabrication of the OSCs, poly[3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene]:poly(styrene sulfonate), poly(3-hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl) + 66-phenyl C61 butyric acid methyl ester, bis-(ethylcyclopentadienyl)hafnium(IV) dichloride, and aluminum were deposited as a hole transport layer, an active layer, a cathode interfacial layer, and a cathode, respectively. The hafnium metallocene compound cathode interfacial layer improved the performance of OSCs compared to that of OSCs without the interfacial layer. The current density-voltage characteristics of OSCs with an interfacial layer thickness of 0.7 nm and of those without an interfacial layer showed power conversion efficiency [PCE] values of 2.96% and 2.34%, respectively, under an illumination condition of 100 mW/cm2 (AM 1.5). It is thought that a cathode interfacial layer of an appropriate thickness enhances the electron transfer between the active layer and the cathode, and thus increases the PCE of the OSCs.

  12. Comparative study on power generation of dual-cathode microbial fuel cell according to polarization methods.

    PubMed

    Lee, Kang-yu; Ryu, Wyan-seuk; Cho, Sung-il; Lim, Kyeong-ho

    2015-11-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) exist in various forms depending on the type of pollutant to be removed and the expected performance. Dual-cathode MFCs, with their simple structure, are capable of removing both organic matter and nitrogen. Moreover, various methods are available for the collection of polarization data, which can be used to calculate the maximum power density, an important factor of MFCs. Many researchers prefer the method of varying the external resistance in a single-cycle due to the short measurement time and high accuracy. This study compared power densities of dual-cathode MFCs in a single-cycle with values calculated over multi-cycles to determine the optimal polarization method. External resistance was varied from high to low and vice versa in the single-cycle, to calculate power density. External resistance was organized in descending order with initial start-up at open circuit voltage (OCV), and then it was organized in descending order again after the initial start-up at 1000 Ω. As a result, power density was underestimated at the anoxic cathode when the external resistance was varied from low to high, and overestimated at the aerobic cathode and anoxic cathode when external resistance at OCV was reduced following initial start-up. In calculating the power densities of dual-cathode MFCs, this paper recommends the method of gradually reducing the external resistance after initial start-up with high external resistance. PMID:26210028

  13. Comparative study on power generation of dual-cathode microbial fuel cell according to polarization methods.

    PubMed

    Lee, Kang-yu; Ryu, Wyan-seuk; Cho, Sung-il; Lim, Kyeong-ho

    2015-11-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) exist in various forms depending on the type of pollutant to be removed and the expected performance. Dual-cathode MFCs, with their simple structure, are capable of removing both organic matter and nitrogen. Moreover, various methods are available for the collection of polarization data, which can be used to calculate the maximum power density, an important factor of MFCs. Many researchers prefer the method of varying the external resistance in a single-cycle due to the short measurement time and high accuracy. This study compared power densities of dual-cathode MFCs in a single-cycle with values calculated over multi-cycles to determine the optimal polarization method. External resistance was varied from high to low and vice versa in the single-cycle, to calculate power density. External resistance was organized in descending order with initial start-up at open circuit voltage (OCV), and then it was organized in descending order again after the initial start-up at 1000 Ω. As a result, power density was underestimated at the anoxic cathode when the external resistance was varied from low to high, and overestimated at the aerobic cathode and anoxic cathode when external resistance at OCV was reduced following initial start-up. In calculating the power densities of dual-cathode MFCs, this paper recommends the method of gradually reducing the external resistance after initial start-up with high external resistance.

  14. Direct methanol feed fuel cell with reduced catalyst loading

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kindler, Andrew (Inventor)

    1999-01-01

    Improvements to direct feed methanol fuel cells include new protocols for component formation. Catalyst-water repellent material is applied in formation of electrodes and sintered before application of ionomer. A membrane used in formation of an electrode assembly is specially pre-treated to improve bonding between catalyst and membrane. The improved electrode and the pre-treated membrane are assembled into a membrane electrode assembly.

  15. Controllable deposition of platinum layers on oxide surfaces for the synthesis of fuel cell catalysts

    DOE PAGES

    Vukmirovic, Miomir B.; Kuttiyiel, Kurian A.; Meng, Hui; Adzic, Radoslav R.

    2016-09-13

    Reducing the amount of Pt, the most costly component of both anode and cathode fuel cell catalysts, has attracted considerable attention from the research community. An approach is reported herein to deposit sub-monolayer to multilayer amounts of Pt and other noble metals on metal oxides and oxidized carbon materials. The process is exemplified by Pt deposition on RuO2(110). The Pt deposit consists of Pt atoms arranged in a c(2×2) array, that is, a 0.25 monolayer (ML). The deposit has lower catalytic activity for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and similar activity for the hydrogen oxidation reaction compared to Pt(111). Thesemore » activities are explained by a large calculated upshift of the d-band center of Pt atoms and larger Pt–Pt interatomic distances than those of Pt(111). A catalyst with Pt coverage larger than 0.25 ML on oxide surfaces and oxidized carbon materials is shown to be active for the ORR as well as for other electrocatalytic reactions. A PtRhSnO2/C catalyst shows high activity for ethanol oxidation as a result of its ability to effectively cleave the C–C bond in ethanol. Furthermore, Pt deposited on reduced graphene oxide shows high Pt mass ORR activity and good stability.« less

  16. Testing of a cathode fabricated by painting with a brush pen for anode-supported tubular solid oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Renzhu; Zhao, Chunhua; Li, Junliang; Wang, Shaorong; Wen, Zhaoyin; Wen, Tinglian

    We have studied the properties of a cathode fabricated by painting with a brush pen for use with anode-supported tubular solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). The porous cathode connects well with the electrolyte. A preliminary examination of a single tubular cell, consisting of a Ni-YSZ anode support tube, a Ni-ScSZ anode functional layer, a ScSZ electrolyte film, and a LSM-ScSZ cathode fabricated by painting with a brush pen, has been carried out, and an improved performance is obtained. The ohmic resistance of the cathode side clearly decreases, falling to a value only 37% of that of the comparable cathode made by dip-coating at 850 °C. The single cell with the painted cathode generates a maximum power density of 405 mW cm -2 at 850 °C, when operating with humidified hydrogen.

  17. Nanostructured Double Perovskite Cathode With Low Sintering Temperature For Intermediate Temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

    Kim, Seona; Jun, Areum; Kwon, Ohhun; Kim, Junyoung; Yoo, Seonyoung; Jeong, Hu Young; Shin, Jeeyoung; Kim, Guntae

    2015-09-21

    This study focuses on reducing the cathode polarization resistance through the use of mixed ionic electronic conductors and the optimization of cathode microstructure to increase the number of electrochemically active sites. Among the available mixed ionic electronic conductors (MIECs), the layered perovskite GdBa0.5 Sr0.5 CoFeO5+δ (GBSCF) was chosen as a cathode material for intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells owing to its excellent electrochemical performance and structural stability. The optimized microstructure of a GBSCF-yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) composite cathode was prepared through an infiltration method with careful control of the sintering temperature to achieve high surface area, adequate porosity, and well-organized connection between nanosized particles to transfer electrons. A symmetric cell shows outstanding results, with the cathode exhibiting an area-specific resistance of 0.006 Ω cm(2) at 700 °C. The maximum power density of a single cell using Ce-Pd anode with a thickness of ∼80 μm electrolyte was ∼0.6 W cm(-2) at 700 °C.

  18. Microbial fuel cell with an algae-assisted cathode: A preliminary assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González del Campo, Araceli; Cañizares, Pablo; Rodrigo, Manuel A.; Fernández, Francisco J.; Lobato, Justo

    2013-11-01

    A microbial fuel cell (MFC) with an algae-assisted cathode, i.e., a system where the oxygen required by the cathode is not provided by aeration but by the photosynthetic process of the algae (Chlorella vulgaris), has been studied. The cathode was illuminated for 12 h each day (from 8:00 h to 20:00 h). 25 days was necessary to achieve steady state conditions. The time evolution of dissolved oxygen and cell voltage were assessed over the course of each day. As expected, the dissolved oxygen values were not constant throughout the day, reaching maximum values between 14:00 h and 20:00 h when dark phase reactions began and the algae started to consume oxygen. Cell voltage (Rext 120 Ω) followed the same trend as the oxygen profile. The supply of CO2 in the cathode was also studied, and half an hour was enough time to get the system working properly. During the acclimation stage, power density increased up to 13.5 mW m-2 at steady state conditions. However, impedance analysis showed that polarization resistance was higher at the cathode than at the anode. Nevertheless, it can be concluded that the studied system is a feasible method to treat wastewater in a self-sustainable way.

  19. Pore Scale Modeling of the Reactive Transport of Chromium in the Cathode of a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell

    SciTech Connect

    Ryan, Emily M.; Tartakovsky, Alexandre M.; Recknagle, Kurtis P.; Khaleel, Mohammad A.; Amon, Cristina

    2011-01-01

    We present a pore scale model of a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) cathode. Volatile chromium species are known to migrate from the current collector of the SOFC into the cathode where over time they decrease the voltage output of the fuel cell. A pore scale model is used to investigate the reactive transport of chromium species in the cathode and to study the driving forces of chromium poisoning. A multi-scale modeling approach is proposed which uses a cell level model of the cathode, air channel and current collector to determine the boundary conditions for a pore scale model of a section of the cathode. The pore scale model uses a discrete representation of the cathode to explicitly model the surface reactions of oxygen and chromium with a cathode material. The pore scale model is used to study the reaction mechanisms of chromium by considering the effects of reaction rates, diffusion coefficients, chromium vaporization, and oxygen consumption on chromium’s deposition in the cathode. The study shows that chromium poisoning is most significantly affected by the chromium reaction rates in the cathode and that the reaction rates are a function of the local current density in the cathode.

  20. DEVELOPMENT OF HIGH TEMPERATURE MEMBRANES AND IMPROVED CATHODE CATALYSTS; PROJECT PERIOD JANUARY 1, 2002 - DECEMBER 31, 2005

    SciTech Connect

    Lesia Protsailo

    2006-04-20

    Polymer Electrolyte Membranes (PEMs) currently available for fuel cell development work are limited to the temperature range of 60-80°C. For mass commercialization in the transportation arena, three important disadvantages that are linked with the relatively low operating temperature range need to be addressed. These three disadvantages are: (a) sluggish cathode kinetics, (b) CO poisoning at the anode and (c) inefficient thermal characteristics. All three of the above mentioned disadvantages could be solved by increasing the operating temperature range to 100-120°C. To understand the issues associated with high temperature PEMFCs operation, UTCFC has teamed with leading research groups that possess competencies in the field of polymer chemistry. The subcontractors on the program were investigating modified Nafion® and new non-Nafion® based, reinforced and non-reinforced membrane systems. Nafion® based PEMs rely on using high temperature inorganic solid conductor fillers like phosphotungstic acid. Hydrocarbon membrane systems are based on poly (arylene ether sulfone) polymers, PEEK, PAN, etc.

  1. Modeling and validation of single-chamber microbial fuel cell cathode biofilm growth and response to oxidant gas composition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ou, Shiqi; Zhao, Yi; Aaron, Douglas S.; Regan, John M.; Mench, Matthew M.

    2016-10-01

    This work describes experiments and computational simulations to analyze single-chamber, air-cathode microbial fuel cell (MFC) performance and cathodic limitations in terms of current generation, power output, mass transport, biomass competition, and biofilm growth. Steady-state and transient cathode models were developed and experimentally validated. Two cathode gas mixtures were used to explore oxygen transport in the cathode: the MFCs exposed to a helium-oxygen mixture (heliox) produced higher current and power output than the group of MFCs exposed to air or a nitrogen-oxygen mixture (nitrox), indicating a dependence on gas-phase transport in the cathode. Multi-substance transport, biological reactions, and electrochemical reactions in a multi-layer and multi-biomass cathode biofilm were also simulated in a transient model. The transient model described biofilm growth over 15 days while providing insight into mass transport and cathodic dissolved species concentration profiles during biofilm growth. Simulation results predict that the dissolved oxygen content and diffusion in the cathode are key parameters affecting the power output of the air-cathode MFC system, with greater oxygen content in the cathode resulting in increased power output and fully-matured biomass.

  2. External CO2 and water supplies for enhancing electrical power generation of air-cathode microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Ishizaki, So; Fujiki, Itto; Sano, Daisuke; Okabe, Satoshi

    2014-10-01

    Alkalization on the cathode electrode limits the electrical power generation of air-cathode microbial fuel cells (MFCs), and thus external proton supply to the cathode electrode is essential to enhance the electrical power generation. In this study, the effects of external CO2 and water supplies to the cathode electrode on the electrical power generation were investigated, and then the relative contributions of CO2 and water supplies to the total proton consumption were experimentally evaluated. The CO2 supply decreased the cathode pH and consequently increased the power generation. Carbonate dissolution was the main proton source under ambient air conditions, which provides about 67% of total protons consumed for the cathode reaction. It is also critical to adequately control the water content on the cathode electrode of air-cathode MFCs because the carbonate dissolution was highly dependent on water content. On the basis of these experimental results, the power density was increased by 400% (143.0 ± 3.5 mW/m(2) to 575.0 ± 36.0 mW/m(2)) by supplying a humid gas containing 50% CO2 to the cathode chamber. This study demonstrates that the simultaneous CO2 and water supplies to the cathode electrode were effective to increase the electrical power generation of air-cathode MFCs for the first time.

  3. Modeling and validation of single-chamber microbial fuel cell cathode biofilm growth and response to oxidant gas composition

    DOE PAGES

    Ou, Shiqi; Zhao, Yi; Aaron, Douglas S.; Regan, John M.; Mench, Matthew M.

    2016-08-15

    This work describes experiments and computational simulations to analyze single-chamber, air-cathode microbial fuel cell (MFC) performance and cathodic limitations in terms of current generation, power output, mass transport, biomass competition, and biofilm growth. Steady-state and transient cathode models were developed and experimentally validated. Two cathode gas mixtures were used to explore oxygen transport in the cathode: the MFCs exposed to a helium-oxygen mixture (heliox) produced higher current and power output than the group of MFCs exposed to air or a nitrogen-oxygen mixture (nitrox), indicating a dependence on gas-phase transport in the cathode. Multi-substance transport, biological reactions, and electrochemical reactions inmore » a multi-layer and multi-biomass cathode biofilm were also simulated in a transient model. The transient model described biofilm growth over 15 days while providing insight into mass transport and cathodic dissolved species concentration profiles during biofilm growth. Lastly, simulation results predict that the dissolved oxygen content and diffusion in the cathode are key parameters affecting the power output of the air-cathode MFC system, with greater oxygen content in the cathode resulting in increased power output and fully-matured biomass.« less

  4. Proton conducting intermediate-temperature solid oxide fuel cells using new perovskite type cathodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Meiling; Ni, Meng; Su, Feng; Xia, Changrong

    2014-08-01

    Sr2Fe1.5Mo0.5O6-δ (SFM) is proposed as the electrodes for symmetric solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) based on oxygen-ion conducting electrolytes. In this work SFM is investigated as the cathodes for SOFCs with proton conducting BaZr0.1Ce0.7Y0.2O3-δ (BZCY) electrolyte. SFM is synthesized with a combined glycine and citric acid method and shows very good chemical compatibility with BZCY under 1100 °C. Anode-supported single cell (Ni-BZCY anode, BZCY electrolyte, and SFM-BZCY cathode) and symmetrical fuel cell (SFM-BZCY electrodes and BZCY electrolyte) are fabricated and their performances are measured. Impedance spectroscopy on symmetrical cell consisting of BZCY electrolyte and SFM-BZCY electrodes demonstrates low area-specific interfacial polarization resistance Rp, and the lowest Rp, 0.088 Ω cm2 is achieved at 800 °C when cathode is sintered at 900 °C for 2 h. The single fuel cell achieves 396 mW cm-2 at 800 °C in wet H2 (3 vol% H2O) at a co-sintering temperature of 1000 °C. This study demonstrates the potential of SFM-BZCY as a cathode material in proton-conducting intermediate-temperature solid oxide fuel cells.

  5. Studies on niobium triselenide cathode material for lithium rechargeable cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ratnakumar, B. V.; Ni, C. L.; Distefano, S.; Somoano, R. B.; Bankston, C. P.

    1988-01-01

    NbSe3 exhibits superior characteristics such as high capacity, high volumetric and gravimetric energy densities, and high discharge rate capability, as compared to other intercalating cathodes. This paper reports the preparation, characterization, and performance of NbSe3. Several electrochemical techniques, such as cyclic voltammetry, constant-current/constant-potential discharges, dc potentiodynamic scans, ac impedance, and ac voltammetry, have been used to give insight to the mechanisms of intercalation of three lithiums with NbSe3 and also into the rate determining process in the reduction of NbSe3.

  6. Electrochemical behavior of niobium triselenide cathode in lithium secondary cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ratnakumar, B. V.; Di Stefano, S.; Bankston, C. P.

    1988-01-01

    Niobium triselenide cathodes in Li ambient-temperature rechargeable batteries for space applications undergo a topotactic reaction, with three equivalents of Li at high positive potential furnishing high energy density. It also yields good electronic conductivity, a long life cycle, and high diffusivity for Li. An attempt is presently made to characterize the intercalation mechanism between Li and NbSe3 by means of an ac impedance study conducted at various charge stages in the process of SbSe3 reduction. An effort is also made to predict the charge state of NbSe3 nondestructively, on the basis of the impedance parameters.

  7. An efficient approach to cathode operational parameters optimization for microbial fuel cell using response surface methodology

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background In the recent study, optimum operational conditions of cathode compartment of microbial fuel cell were determined by using Response Surface Methodology (RSM) with a central composite design to maximize power density and COD removal. Methods The interactive effects of parameters such as, pH, buffer concentration and ionic strength on power density and COD removal were evaluated in two-chamber microbial batch-mode fuel cell. Results Power density and COD removal for optimal conditions (pH of 6.75, buffer concentration of 0.177 M and ionic strength of cathode chamber of 4.69 mM) improve by 17 and 5%, respectively, in comparison with normal conditions (pH of 7, buffer concentration of 0.1 M and ionic strength of 2.5 mM). Conclusions In conclusion, results verify that response surface methodology could successfully determine cathode chamber optimum operational conditions. PMID:24423039

  8. Lithium rechargeable cell with a poly 3-methylthiophene cathode and LiAsF6-dimethyl carbonate electrolyte

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, Charles W., Jr.; Slane, Steven M.

    1991-12-01

    A poly 3-methylthiophene cathode showed excellent coulombic efficiency during cycling in a lithium rechargeable cell. A dimethyl carbonate electrolyte was used since it is stable at the high anodic potentials reached during cell charging. The polymer cathode tolerated modest overcharge and was able to continue cycling after a severe short circuit with minimal loss in capacity.

  9. Pt-free carbon-based fuel cell catalyst prepared from spherical polyimide for enhanced oxygen diffusion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nabae, Yuta; Nagata, Shinsuke; Hayakawa, Teruaki; Niwa, Hideharu; Harada, Yoshihisa; Oshima, Masaharu; Isoda, Ayano; Matsunaga, Atsushi; Tanaka, Kazuhisa; Aoki, Tsutomu

    2016-03-01

    The development of a non-precious metal (NPM) fuel cell catalyst is extremely important to achieve globalization of polymer electrolyte fuel cells due to the cost and scarcity of platinum. Here, we report on a NPM cathode catalyst prepared by the pyrolysis of spherical polyimide nanoparticles that contain small amounts of Fe additive. 60 nm diameter Fe-containing polyimide nanoparticles were successfully synthesized by the precipitation polymerization of pyromellitic acid dianhydride and 1,3,5-tris(4-aminophenyl)benzene with Fe(acac)3 (acac = acetylacetonate) as an additive. The particles were subsequently carbonized by multistep pyrolysis to obtain the NPM catalyst while retaining the small particle size. The catalyst has good performance and promising durability for fuel cell applications. The fuel cell performance under a 0.2 MPa air atmosphere at 80 °C of 1.0 A cm‑2 at 0.46 V is especially remarkable and better than that previously reported.

  10. Pt-free carbon-based fuel cell catalyst prepared from spherical polyimide for enhanced oxygen diffusion

    PubMed Central

    Nabae, Yuta; Nagata, Shinsuke; Hayakawa, Teruaki; Niwa, Hideharu; Harada, Yoshihisa; Oshima, Masaharu; Isoda, Ayano; Matsunaga, Atsushi; Tanaka, Kazuhisa; Aoki, Tsutomu

    2016-01-01

    The development of a non-precious metal (NPM) fuel cell catalyst is extremely important to achieve globalization of polymer electrolyte fuel cells due to the cost and scarcity of platinum. Here, we report on a NPM cathode catalyst prepared by the pyrolysis of spherical polyimide nanoparticles that contain small amounts of Fe additive. 60 nm diameter Fe-containing polyimide nanoparticles were successfully synthesized by the precipitation polymerization of pyromellitic acid dianhydride and 1,3,5-tris(4-aminophenyl)benzene with Fe(acac)3 (acac = acetylacetonate) as an additive. The particles were subsequently carbonized by multistep pyrolysis to obtain the NPM catalyst while retaining the small particle size. The catalyst has good performance and promising durability for fuel cell applications. The fuel cell performance under a 0.2 MPa air atmosphere at 80 °C of 1.0 A cm−2 at 0.46 V is especially remarkable and better than that previously reported. PMID:26987682

  11. Effects of pore formers on microstructure and performance of cathode membranes for solid oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nie, Lifang; Liu, Juncheng; Zhang, Yujun; Liu, Meilin

    La 0.6Sr 0.4Co 0.2Fe 0.8O 3- δ (LSCF) is the most widely used cathode material for intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells. In the present communication, porous LSCF cathodes are fabricated by tape casting, a low-cost and reproducible fabrication process. The effects of four different pore formers, namely, graphite, carbon black, rice starch, and corn starch, on the microstructure and electrochemical performance of the LSCF cathode are investigated. Examination of the microstructures reveals that the shape of the pores, the pore size, and the pore distribution in the final ceramic are related to the type of pore formers. Impedance analysis and cell testing show that the best performance is obtained from the cathode using graphite as the pore former. The microstructure indicates that graphite results in a porous LSCF cathode with a large surface area and high porosity, which can offer a considerably long triple phase boundary for catalytic reactions as well as channels for gas phase transport.

  12. Effects of short-side-chain perfluorosulfonic acid ionomers as binders on the performance of low Pt loading fuel cell cathodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Young-Chul; Kakinuma, Katsuyoshi; Uchida, Hiroyuki; Watanabe, Masahiro; Uchida, Makoto

    2015-02-01

    We investigated the effects of short-side-chain (SSC) perfluorosulfonic acid ionomers on the electrochemical properties, fuel cell performance and ionomer distribution of a highly dispersed Pt/GCB catalyst with a low Pt loading, 0.05 mg cm-2. The SSC ionomers in the cathode catalyst layers (CLs) resulted in an improvement of the Pt utilization (UPt) and Pt effectiveness (EfPt) values compared with those for the conventional long-side-chain (LSC) ionomer. Furthermore, the SSC ionomers with high ion exchange capacity (IEC), e.g., SSC-1.43 and SSC-1.80 ionomers, exhibited significantly enhanced cell performance under low to medium relative humidity (RH) conditions. This result is ascribed to the higher proton conductivity of the SSC ionomers and more effective trapping of water that is produced during the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) than those of the LSC ionomer. It was also found that the SSC ionomers showed better continuity and uniformity on the Pt and carbon particles than the LSC ionomer, which might have led to improvement of both the mass transport and the proton-conducting network in the CLs. The application of the SSC ionomers as binders demonstrated an increase of the performance at the low Pt loading fuel cell cathode over a wide range of humidity.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Stacy, Stephen; Allen, Jeffrey

    2012-07-01

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

  14. Composite Cathode for High-Power Density Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Ilwon Kim; Scott Barnett; Yi Jiang; Manoj Pillai; Nikkia McDonald; Dan Gostovic; Zhongryang Zhan; Jiang Liu

    2004-01-31

    Reduction of solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) operating temperature will play a key role in reducing the stack cost by allowing the use of low-cost metallic interconnects and new approaches to sealing, while making applications such as transportation more feasible. Reported results for anode-supported SOFCs show that cathode polarization resistance is the primary barrier to achieving high power densities at operating temperatures of 700 C and lower. This project aims to identify and develop composite cathodes that could reduce SOFC operating temperatures below 700 C. This effort focuses on study and use of (La,Sr)(Co,Fe)O{sub 3} (LSCF) based composite cathodes, which have arguably the best potential to substantially improve on the currently-used, (La,Sr)MnO{sub 3}-Yttria-stabilized Zirconia. During this Phase I, it was successfully demonstrated that high performances can be achieved with LSCF/Gadolinium-Doped Ceria composite cathodes on Ni-based anode supported cells operating at 700 C or lower. We studied electrochemical reactions at LSCF/Yttria-stabilized Zirconia (YSZ) interfaces, and observed chemical reactions between LSCF and YSZ. By using ceria electrolytes or YSZ electrolytes with ceria diffusion barrier layers, the chemical reactions between LSCF and electrolytes were prevented under cathode firing conditions necessary for the optimal adhesion of the cathodes. The protection provided by ceria layer is expected to be adequate for stable long-term cathode performances, but more testing is needed to verify this. Using ceria-based barrier layers, high performance Ni-YSZ anode supported cells have been demonstrated with maximum power densities of 0.8W/cm2 at 700 C and 1.6W/cm{sup 2} at 800 C. Ni-SDC anode supported cells with SDC electrolytes yielded >1W/cm{sup 2} at 600 C. We speculate that the power output of Ni-YSZ anode supported cell at 700 C and lower, was limited by the quality of the Ceria and Ceria YSZ interface. Improvements in the low

  15. Chromium poisoning in (La,Sr)MnO3 cathode: Three-dimensional simulation of a solid oxide fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miyoshi, Kota; Iwai, Hiroshi; Kishimoto, Masashi; Saito, Motohiro; Yoshida, Hideo

    2016-09-01

    A three-dimensional numerical model of a single solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) considering chromium poisoning on the cathode side has been developed to investigate the evolution of the SOFC performance over long-term operation. The degradation model applied in the simulation describes the loss of the cathode electrochemical activity as a decrease in the active triple-phase boundary (TPB) length. The calculations are conducted for two types of cell: lanthanum strontium manganite (LSM)/yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ)/Ni-YSZ and LSM-YSZ/YSZ/Ni-YSZ. Their electrode microstructures are acquired by imaging with a focused ion beam scanning-electron microscope (FIB-SEM). The simulation results qualitatively reproduce the trends of chromium poisoning reported in the literature. It has been revealed that the performance degradation by chromium is primarily due to an increase in the cathode activation overpotential. In addition, in the LSM-YSZ composite cathode, TPBs in the vicinity of the cathode-electrolyte interface preferentially deteriorate, shifting the active reaction site towards the cathode surface. This also results in an increase in the cathode ohmic loss associated with oxide ion conduction through the YSZ phase. The effects of the cell temperature, the partial pressure of steam at the chromium source, the cathode microstructure, and the cathode thickness on chromium poisoning are also discussed.

  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. Copper cobalt spinel as a high performance cathode for intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Shao, Lin; Wang, Qi; Fan, Lishuang; Wang, Pengxiang; Zhang, Naiqing; Sun, Kening

    2016-06-30

    CuCo2O4 spinel prepared via an EDTA-citric acid process was studied as a candidate solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) cathode material at intermediate temperatures (IT). CuCo2O4 cathodes were measured using thermal gravimetric analysis, X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy. AC impedance spectroscopy and DC polarization measurements were used to study the electrode performance. The obtained value of the polarization resistances at 800 °C was 0.12 Ω cm(2) with a maximum power density of 972 mW cm(-2). PMID:27326915

  18. Copper cobalt spinel as a high performance cathode for intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Shao, Lin; Wang, Qi; Fan, Lishuang; Wang, Pengxiang; Zhang, Naiqing; Sun, Kening

    2016-06-30

    CuCo2O4 spinel prepared via an EDTA-citric acid process was studied as a candidate solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) cathode material at intermediate temperatures (IT). CuCo2O4 cathodes were measured using thermal gravimetric analysis, X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy. AC impedance spectroscopy and DC polarization measurements were used to study the electrode performance. The obtained value of the polarization resistances at 800 °C was 0.12 Ω cm(2) with a maximum power density of 972 mW cm(-2).

  19. Uncovering the role of cathode buffer layer in organic solar cells

    PubMed Central

    Qi, Boyuan; Zhang, Zhi-Guo; Wang, Jizheng

    2015-01-01

    Organic solar cells (OSCs) as the third generation photovoltaic devices have drawn intense research, for their ability to be easily deposited by low-cost solution coating technologies. However the cathode in conventional OSCs, Ca, can be only deposited by thermal evaporation and is highly unstable in ambient. Therefore various solution processible cathode buffer layers (CBLs) are synthesized as substitute of Ca and show excellent effect in optimizing performance of OSCs. Yet, there is still no universal consensus on the mechanism that how CBL works, which is evidently a critical scientific issue that should be addressed. In this article detailed studies are targeted on the interfacial physics at the interface between active layer and cathode (with and without treatment of a polar CBL) by using ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy, capacitance-voltage measurement, and impedance spectroscopy. The experimental data demonstrate that CBL mainly takes effect in three ways: suppressing surface states at the surface of active layer, protecting the active layer from being damaged by thermally evaporated cathode, and changing the energy level alignment by forming dipole moments with active layer and/or cathode. Our findings here provide a comprehensive picture of interfacial physics in devices with and without CBL. PMID:25588623

  20. Effects of hydraulic pressure on the performance of single chamber air-cathode microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Shaoan; Liu, Weifeng; Guo, Jian; Sun, Dan; Pan, Bin; Ye, Yaoli; Ding, Weijun; Huang, Haobin; Li, Fujian

    2014-06-15

    Scaling up of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) without losing power density requires a thorough understanding of the effect of hydraulic pressure on MFC performance. In this work, the performance of an activated carbon air-cathode MFC was evaluated under different hydraulic pressures. The MFC under 100 mmH2O hydraulic pressure produced a maximum power density of 1260 ± 24 mW m(-2), while the power density decreased by 24.4% and 44.7% as the hydraulic pressure increased to 500 mmH2O and 2000 mmH2O, respectively. Notably, the performance of both the anode and the cathode had decreased under high hydraulic pressures. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy tests of the cathode indicated that both charge transfer resistance and diffusion transfer resistance increased with the increase in hydraulic pressure. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of PCR-amplified partial 16S rRNA genes demonstrated that the similarity among anodic biofilm communities under different hydraulic pressures was ≥ 90%, and the communities of all MFCs were dominated by Geobacter sp. These results suggested that the reduction in power output of the single chamber air-cathode MFC under high hydraulic pressures can be attributed to water flooding of the cathode and suppression the metabolism of anodic exoelectrogenic bacteria.

  1. Uncovering the role of cathode buffer layer in organic solar cells.

    PubMed

    Qi, Boyuan; Zhang, Zhi-Guo; Wang, Jizheng

    2015-01-01

    Organic solar cells (OSCs) as the third generation photovoltaic devices have drawn intense research, for their ability to be easily deposited by low-cost solution coating technologies. However the cathode in conventional OSCs, Ca, can be only deposited by thermal evaporation and is highly unstable in ambient. Therefore various solution processible cathode buffer layers (CBLs) are synthesized as substitute of Ca and show excellent effect in optimizing performance of OSCs. Yet, there is still no universal consensus on the mechanism that how CBL works, which is evidently a critical scientific issue that should be addressed. In this article detailed studies are targeted on the interfacial physics at the interface between active layer and cathode (with and without treatment of a polar CBL) by using ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy, capacitance-voltage measurement, and impedance spectroscopy. The experimental data demonstrate that CBL mainly takes effect in three ways: suppressing surface states at the surface of active layer, protecting the active layer from being damaged by thermally evaporated cathode, and changing the energy level alignment by forming dipole moments with active layer and/or cathode. Our findings here provide a comprehensive picture of interfacial physics in devices with and without CBL. PMID:25588623

  2. Uncovering the role of cathode buffer layer in organic solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qi, Boyuan; Zhang, Zhi-Guo; Wang, Jizheng

    2015-01-01

    Organic solar cells (OSCs) as the third generation photovoltaic devices have drawn intense research, for their ability to be easily deposited by low-cost solution coating technologies. However the cathode in conventional OSCs, Ca, can be only deposited by thermal evaporation and is highly unstable in ambient. Therefore various solution processible cathode buffer layers (CBLs) are synthesized as substitute of Ca and show excellent effect in optimizing performance of OSCs. Yet, there is still no universal consensus on the mechanism that how CBL works, which is evidently a critical scientific issue that should be addressed. In this article detailed studies are targeted on the interfacial physics at the interface between active layer and cathode (with and without treatment of a polar CBL) by using ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy, capacitance-voltage measurement, and impedance spectroscopy. The experimental data demonstrate that CBL mainly takes effect in three ways: suppressing surface states at the surface of active layer, protecting the active layer from being damaged by thermally evaporated cathode, and changing the energy level alignment by forming dipole moments with active layer and/or cathode. Our findings here provide a comprehensive picture of interfacial physics in devices with and without CBL.

  3. Electricity generation and brewery wastewater treatment from sequential anode-cathode microbial fuel cell*

    PubMed Central

    Wen, Qing; Wu, Ying; Zhao, Li-xin; Sun, Qian; Kong, Fan-ying

    2010-01-01

    A sequential anode-cathode double-chamber microbial fuel cell (MFC), in which the effluent of anode chamber was used as a continuous feed for an aerated cathode chamber, was constructed in this experiment to investigate the performance of brewery wastewater treatment in conjugation with electricity generation. Carbon fiber was used as anode and plain carbon felt with biofilm as cathode. When hydraulic retention time (HRT) was 14.7 h, a relatively high chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal efficiency of 91.7%–95.7% was achieved under long-term stable operation. The MFC displayed an open circuit voltage of 0.434 V and a maximum power density of 830 mW/m3 at an external resistance of 300 Ω. To estimate the electrochemical performance of the MFC, electrochemical measurements were carried out and showed that polarization resistance of anode was the major limiting factor in the MFC. Since a high COD removal efficiency was achieved, we conclude that the sequential anode-cathode MFC constructed with bio-cathode in this experiment could provide a new approach for brewery wastewater treatment. PMID:20104642

  4. A mediated glucose/oxygen enzymatic fuel cell based on printed carbon inks containing aldose dehydrogenase and laccase as anode and cathode.

    PubMed

    Jenkins, Peter; Tuurala, Saara; Vaari, Anu; Valkiainen, Matti; Smolander, Maria; Leech, Dónal

    2012-03-10

    Enzyme electrodes show great potential for many applications, as biosensors and more recently as anodes and cathodes in biocatalytic fuel cells for power generation. Enzymes have advantages over metal catalysts, as they provide high specificity and reaction rates, while operating under mild conditions. Here we report on studies related to development of mass-producible, completely enzymatic printed glucose/oxygen biofuel cells. The cells are based on filter paper coated with conducting carbon inks containing mediators and laccase, for reduction of oxygen, or aldose dehydrogenase, for oxidation of glucose. Mediator performance in these printed formats is compared to relative rate constants for the enzyme-mediator reaction in solution, for a range of anode and cathode mediators. The power output and stability of fuels cells using an acidophilic laccase isolated from Trametes hirsuta is greater, at pH 5, than that for cells based on Melanocarpus albomyces laccase, that shows optimal activity closer to neutral pH, at pH 6. Highest power output, although of limited stability, was observed for ThL/ABTS cathodes, providing a maximum power density of 3.5 μWcm(-2) at 0.34 V, when coupled to an ALDH glucose anode mediated by an osmium complex. The stability of cell voltage above a threshold of 200 mV under a moderate 75 kΩ load is used to benchmark printed fuel cell performance. Highest stability was obtained for a printed fuel cell using osmium complexes as mediators of glucose oxidation by aldose dehydrogenase, and oxygen reduction by T. hirsuta laccase, maintaining cell voltage above 200 mV for 137 h at pH 5. These results provide promising directions for further development of mass-producible, completely enzymatic, printed biofuel cells. PMID:22305173

  5. Hollow nanoparticle cathode materials for sodium electrochemical cells and batteries

    DOEpatents

    Shevchenko, Elena; Rajh, Tijana; Johnson, Christopher S.; Koo, Bonil

    2016-07-12

    A cathode comprises, in its discharged state, a layer of hollow .gamma.-Fe.sub.2O.sub.3 nanoparticles disposed between two layers of carbon nanotubes, and preferably including a metallic current collector in contact with one of the layers of carbon nanotubes. Individual particles of the hollow .gamma.-Fe.sub.2O.sub.3 nanoparticles comprise a crystalline shell of .gamma.-Fe.sub.2O.sub.3 including cation vacancies within the crystal structure of the shell (i.e., iron vacancies of anywhere between 3% to 90%, and preferably 44 to 77% of available octahedral iron sites). Sodium ions are intercalated within at least some of the cation vacancies within the crystalline shell of the hollow .gamma.-Fe.sub.2O.sub.3 nanoparticles.

  6. Low-Work-Function, ITO-Free Transparent Cathodes for Inverted Polymer Solar Cells.

    PubMed

    Xue, Zhichao; Liu, Xingyuan; Lv, Ying; Zhang, Nan; Guo, Xiaoyang

    2015-09-16

    A low-work-function, indium tin oxide (ITO)-free transparent cathode having a tin oxide (SnOX)/Ag/SnOX/bismuth oxide (Bi2O3) (SASB) structure is developed without using annealing treatment. This represents the first time that Bi2O3 has been introduced to lower the work function of transparent electrodes. The SASB transparent cathode exhibits excellent photoelectric properties with a maximum transmittance of ∼88%, a low sheet resistance of ∼9.0 Ω·sq(-1), and a suitable work function of 4.22 eV that matches the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital level of the acceptor for exacting electrons efficiently. The power conversion efficiency of the polymer solar cell with the SASB electrode is 6.21%, which is comparable to that of ITO-based devices. The results indicate that SASB is a good alternative to ITO as transparent cathodes in optoelectronic devices.

  7. Nanostructured MnO2-Based Cathodes for Li-Ion/Polymer Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Skandan, Ganesh; Singhal, Amit

    2005-01-01

    Nanostructured MnO2-based cathodes for Li-ion/polymer electrochemical cells have been investigated in a continuing effort to develop safe, high-energy-density, reliable, low-toxicity, rechargeable batteries for a variety of applications in NASA programs and in mass-produced commercial electronic equipment. Whereas the energy densities of state-of-the-art lithium-ion/polymer batteries range from 150 to 175 W h/kg, the goal of this effort is to increase the typical energy density to about 250 W h/kg. It is also expected that an incidental benefit of this effort will be increases in power densities because the distances over which Li ions must diffuse through nanostructured cathode materials are smaller than those through solid bulk cathode materials.

  8. Effect of cathode electron acceptors on simultaneous anaerobic sulfide and nitrate removal in microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Cai, Jing; Zheng, Ping; Mahmood, Qaisar

    2016-01-01

    The current investigation reports the effect of cathode electron acceptors on simultaneous sulfide and nitrate removal in two-chamber microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Potassium permanganate and potassium ferricyanide were common cathode electron acceptors and evaluated for substrate removal and electricity generation. The abiotic MFCs produced electricity through spontaneous electrochemical oxidation of sulfide. In comparison with abiotic MFC, the biotic MFC showed better ability for simultaneous nitrate and sulfide removal along with electricity generation. Keeping external resistance of 1,000 Ω, both MFCs showed good capacities for substrate removal where nitrogen and sulfate were the main end products. The steady voltage with potassium permanganate electrodes was nearly twice that of with potassium ferricyanide. Cyclic voltammetry curves confirmed that the potassium permanganate had higher catalytic activity than potassium ferricyanide. The potassium permanganate may be a suitable choice as cathode electron acceptor for enhanced electricity generation during simultaneous treatment of sulfide and nitrate in MFCs. PMID:26901739

  9. Low-Work-Function, ITO-Free Transparent Cathodes for Inverted Polymer Solar Cells.

    PubMed

    Xue, Zhichao; Liu, Xingyuan; Lv, Ying; Zhang, Nan; Guo, Xiaoyang

    2015-09-16

    A low-work-function, indium tin oxide (ITO)-free transparent cathode having a tin oxide (SnOX)/Ag/SnOX/bismuth oxide (Bi2O3) (SASB) structure is developed without using annealing treatment. This represents the first time that Bi2O3 has been introduced to lower the work function of transparent electrodes. The SASB transparent cathode exhibits excellent photoelectric properties with a maximum transmittance of ∼88%, a low sheet resistance of ∼9.0 Ω·sq(-1), and a suitable work function of 4.22 eV that matches the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital level of the acceptor for exacting electrons efficiently. The power conversion efficiency of the polymer solar cell with the SASB electrode is 6.21%, which is comparable to that of ITO-based devices. The results indicate that SASB is a good alternative to ITO as transparent cathodes in optoelectronic devices. PMID:26323711

  10. Performance of thermal cells and batteries made with plasma-sprayed cathodes and anodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guidotti, R. A.; Reinhardt, F. W.; Dai, J.; Reisner, D. E.

    Cathodes for thermally activated ("thermal") batteries based on CoS 2 and LiCl-LiBr-LiF electrolyte and FeS 2 (pyrite) and LiCl-KCl eutectic were prepared by thermal spraying catholyte mixtures onto graphite-paper substrates. Composite separator-cathode deposits were also prepared in the same manner by sequential thermal spraying of LiCl-KCl-based separator material onto a pyrite-cathode substrate. These materials were then tested in single cells over a temperature range of 400-600 °C and in 5-cell and 15-cell batteries. A limited number of battery tests were conducted with the separator-cathode composites and plasma-sprayed Li(Si) anodes-the first report of an all-plasma-sprayed thermal battery. Thermal-spraying offers distinct advantages over conventional pressed-powder parts for fabrication of thin electrodes for short-life thermal batteries. The plasma-sprayed electrodes have lower impedances than the corresponding pressed-powder parts due to improved particle-particle contact.

  11. Current status, key challenges and its solutions in the design and development of graphene based ORR catalysts for the microbial fuel cell applications.

    PubMed

    Kannan, M V; Gnana Kumar, G

    2016-03-15

    Microbial fuel cells (MFC) are considered as the futuristic energy device that generates electricity from the catalytic degradation of biodegradable organic wastes using microbes, which exist in waste water. In MFCs, oxygen serves as a cathodic electron acceptor and oxygen reduction kinetics played a significant role in the determination of overall efficiency. A wide range of strategies have been developed for the preparation and substantial modification of oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalysts to improve the maximum volumetric power density of MFCs, in which the efforts on graphene based ORR catalysts are highly imperative. Although numerous research endeavors have been achieved in relation with the graphene based ORR catalysts applicable for MFCs, still their collective summary has not been developed, which hinders the acquirement of adequate knowledge on tuning the specific properties of said catalysts. The intension of this review is to outline the significant role of ORR catalysts, factors influencing the ORR activity, strategies behind the modifications of ORR catalysts and update the research efforts devoted on graphene based ORR catalysts. This review can be considered as a pertinent guide to understand the design and developmental strategies of competent graphene based ORR catalysts, which are not only applicable for MFCs but also for number of electrochemical applications.

  12. Current status, key challenges and its solutions in the design and development of graphene based ORR catalysts for the microbial fuel cell applications.

    PubMed

    Kannan, M V; Gnana Kumar, G

    2016-03-15

    Microbial fuel cells (MFC) are considered as the futuristic energy device that generates electricity from the catalytic degradation of biodegradable organic wastes using microbes, which exist in waste water. In MFCs, oxygen serves as a cathodic electron acceptor and oxygen reduction kinetics played a significant role in the determination of overall efficiency. A wide range of strategies have been developed for the preparation and substantial modification of oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalysts to improve the maximum volumetric power density of MFCs, in which the efforts on graphene based ORR catalysts are highly imperative. Although numerous research endeavors have been achieved in relation with the graphene based ORR catalysts applicable for MFCs, still their collective summary has not been developed, which hinders the acquirement of adequate knowledge on tuning the specific properties of said catalysts. The intension of this review is to outline the significant role of ORR catalysts, factors influencing the ORR activity, strategies behind the modifications of ORR catalysts and update the research efforts devoted on graphene based ORR catalysts. This review can be considered as a pertinent guide to understand the design and developmental strategies of competent graphene based ORR catalysts, which are not only applicable for MFCs but also for number of electrochemical applications. PMID:26606182

  13. Analysis of the electrochemical characteristics of a direct methanol fuel cell based on a Pt-Ru/C anode catalyst

    SciTech Connect

    Arico, A.S.; Creti, P.; Mantegna, R.

    1996-12-31

    This paper deals with a vapour-feed direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) based on a Nafion 117{reg_sign} solid polymer electrolyte. Pt-Ru/C and Pt/C catalysts were employed for methanol oxidation and oxygen reduction, respectively. Structure and surface chemistry of catalysts were investigated by X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Membrane/electrode assembly (M&E) was prepared by using a {open_quotes}paste process{close_quotes} method. Electrical power densities of about 150 mW cm{sup -2} were obtained at 95{degrees} C with Pt loadings of 0.8 and 0.5 mg cm{sup -2} at anode and cathode respectively.

  14. Different materials as a cathode modification layer on the impact of organic solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhong, Jian; Huang, Qiuyan; Yu, Junsheng; Jiang, Yadong

    2010-10-01

    Organic thin film solar cells based on conjugated polymer or small molecules have showed an interesting approach to energy conversion since Tang reported a single donor-accepter hetero-junction solar cell. The power conversion efficiency of organic solar cells has increased steadily over last decade. Small-molecular weight organic double heterojunction donor-acceptor layer organic solar cells (OSC) with a structure of indium-tin-oxide (ITO)/CuPc(200Å)/C60(400Å)/x/Ag(1000Å), using CuPc(copper Phthalocyanine)as donor layer, and Alq3(8-Hydroxyquinoline aluminum salt), BCP(Bromocresol purple sodium salt) and Bphen(4'7-diphyenyl-1,10-phenanthroline) as cathode modification layer, respectively were fabricated. The performance of OSC was studied as a function of the different materials as an cathode modification layer to optimize the structure. The current-voltage characteristic of the solar cell under AM1.5 solar illumination at an intensity of 100 mw/cm2 showed that the power conversion efficiency (PCE) was dependent of the different materials of the cathode modification layer. the efficiency along with the different materials as an cathode modification layer will diminish under that standard solar illumination(AM1.5)was obtained. Using a double heterostructure of ITO/CuPc(200Å)/C60(400Å)/Alq3(60Å)/Ag(1000Å) with high-vacuum evaporation technology, the efficiency was 0.587%.the efficiency was 0.967% when the material of the cathode modification layer was BCP, with the structure of ITO/CuPc(200Å)/C60(400Å)/BCP(35Å)/Ag(1000Å), and the efficiency was 0.742% when the material of the cathode modification layer was Bphen, with the structure of ITO/CuPc(200Å)/C60(400Å)/ Bphen(50Å)/Ag(1000Å).Using different materials as a cathode modification layer, it can be seen that the material which matches the energy level could even eventually be able to improve the energy conversion efficiency more.

  15. Cathodes for secondary electrochemical power-producing cells. [layers of porous substrates impregnated with S alternate with layers containing electrolyte

    DOEpatents

    Cairns, E.J.; Kyle, M.; Shimotake, H.

    1973-02-13

    A secondary electrochemical power-producing cell includes an anode containing lithium, an electrolyte containing lithium ions, and a cathode containing sulfur. The cathode comprises plates of a porous substrate material impregnated with sulfur alternating with layers (which may also comprise porous substrate plates) containing electrolyte.

  16. Silver/iron oxide/graphitic carbon composites as bacteriostatic catalysts for enhancing oxygen reduction in microbial fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Ming; You, Shijie; Gong, Xiaobo; Dai, Ying; Zou, Jinlong; Fu, Honggang

    2015-06-01

    Biofilms from anode heterotrophic bacteria are inevitably formed over cathodic catalytic sites, limiting the performances of single-chamber microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Graphitic carbon (GC) - based nano silver/iron oxide (AgNPs/Fe3O4/GC) composites are prepared from waste pomelo skin and used as antibacterial oxygen reduction catalysts for MFCs. AgNPs and Fe3O4 are introduced in situ into the composites by one-step carbothermal reduction, enhancing their conductivity and catalytic activity. To investigate the effects of Fe species on the antibacterial and catalytic properties, AgNPs/Fe3O4/GC is washed with sulfuric acid (1 mol L-1) for 0.5 h, 1 h, and 5 h and marked as AgNPs/Fe3O4/GC-x (x = 0.5 h, 1 h and 5 h, respectively). A maximum power density of 1712 ± 35 mW m-2 is obtained by AgNPs/Fe3O4/GC-1 h, which declines by 4.12% after 17 cycles. Under catalysis of all AgNP-containing catalysts, oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) proceeds via the 4e- pathway, and no toxic effects to anode microorganisms result from inhibiting the cathodic biofilm overgrowth. With the exception of AgNPs/Fe3O4/GC-5 h, the AgNPs-containing composites exhibit remarkable power output and coulombic efficiency through lowering proton transfer resistance and air-cathode biofouling. This study provides a perspective for the practical application of MFCs using these efficient antibacterial ORR catalysts.

  17. Electrochemical struvite precipitation from digestate with a fluidized bed cathode microbial electrolysis cell.

    PubMed

    Cusick, Roland D; Ullery, Mark L; Dempsey, Brian A; Logan, Bruce E

    2014-05-01

    Microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) can be used to simultaneously convert wastewater organics to hydrogen and precipitate struvite, but scale formation at the cathode surface can block catalytic active sites and limit extended operation. To promote bulk phase struvite precipitation and minimize cathode scaling, a two-chamber MEC was designed with a fluidized bed to produce suspended particles and inhibit scale formation on the cathode surface. MEC operation elevated the cathode pH to between 8.3 and 8.7 under continuous flow conditions. Soluble phosphorus removal using digester effluent ranged from 70 to 85% with current generation, compared to 10-20% for the control (open circuit conditions). At low current densities (≤2 mA/m(2)), scouring of the cathode by fluidized particles prevented scale accumulation over a period of 8 days. There was nearly identical removal of soluble phosphorus and magnesium from solution, and an equimolar composition in the collected solids, supporting phosphorus removal by struvite formation. At an applied voltage of 1.0 V, energy consumption from the power supply and pumping (0.2 Wh/L, 7.5 Wh/g-P) was significantly less than that needed by other struvite formation methods based on pH adjustment such as aeration and NaOH addition. In the anode chamber, current generation led to COD oxidation (1.1-2.1 g-COD/L-d) and ammonium removal (7-12 mM) from digestate amended with 1 g/L of sodium acetate. These results indicate that a fluidized bed cathode MEC is a promising method of sustainable electrochemical nutrient and energy recovery method for nutrient rich wastewaters. PMID:24583521

  18. Phase III Advanced Anodes and Cathodes Utilized in Energy Efficient Aluminum Production Cells

    SciTech Connect

    R.A. Christini; R.K. Dawless; S.P. Ray; D.A. Weirauch, Jr.

    2001-11-05

    During Phase I of the present program, Alcoa developed a commercial cell concept that has been estimated to save 30% of the energy required for aluminum smelting. Phase ii involved the construction of a pilot facility and operation of two pilots. Phase iii of the Advanced Anodes and Cathodes Program was aimed at bench experiments to permit the resolution of certain questions to be followed by three pilot cells. All of the milestones related to materials, in particular metal purity, were attained with distinct improvements over work in previous phases of the program. NiO additions to the ceramic phase and Ag additions to the Cu metal phase of the cermet improved corrosion resistance sufficiently that the bench scale pencil anodes met the purity milestones. Some excellent metal purity results have been obtained with anodes of the following composition: Further improvements in anode material composition appear to be dependent on a better understanding of oxide solubilities in molten cryolite. For that reason, work was commissioned with an outside consultant to model the MeO - cryolite systems. That work has led to a better understanding of which oxides can be used to substitute into the NiO-Fe2O3 ceramic phase to stabilize the ferrites and reduce their solubility in molten cryolite. An extensive number of vertical plate bench electrolysis cells were run to try to find conditions where high current efficiencies could be attained. TiB2-G plates were very inconsistent and led to poor wetting and drainage. Pure TiB2 did produce good current efficiencies at small overlaps (shadowing) between the anodes and cathodes. This bench work with vertical plate anodes and cathodes reinforced the importance of good cathode wetting to attain high current efficiencies. Because of those conclusions, new wetting work was commissioned and became a major component of the research during the third year of Phase III. While significant progress was made in several areas, much work needs to be

  19. An investigation of anode and cathode materials in photomicrobial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Kenneth; Thorne, Rebecca J; Cameron, Petra J

    2016-02-28

    Photomicrobial fuel cells (p-MFCs) are devices that use photosynthetic organisms (such as cyanobacteria or algae) to turn light energy into electrical energy. In a p-MFC, the anode accepts electrons from microorganisms that are either growing directly on the anode surface (biofilm) or are free floating in solution (planktonic). The nature of both the anode and cathode material is critical for device efficiency. An ideal anode is biocompatible and facilitates direct electron transfer from the microorganisms, with no need for an electron mediator. For a p-MFC, there is the additional requirement that the anode should not prevent light from perfusing through the photosynthetic cells. The cathode should facilitate the rapid reaction of protons and oxygen to form water so as not to rate limit the device. In this paper, we first review the range of anode and cathode materials currently used in p-MFCs. We then present our own data comparing cathode materials in a p-MFC and our first results using porous ceramic anodes in a mediator-free p-MFC. PMID:26755764

  20. Improving performance of inverted organic solar cells using ZTO nanoparticles as cathode buffer layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsai, Meng-Yen; Cheng, Wen-Hui; Jeng, Jiann-Shing; Chen, Jen-Sue

    2016-06-01

    In this study, a low-temperature solution-processed zinc tin oxide (ZTO) films are successfully utilized as the cathode buffer layer in the inverted organic P3HT:PCBM bulk heterojunction solar cells. ZTO film cathode buffer layer with an appropriate Sn-doping concentration outperforms the zinc oxide (ZnO) film with an improved power conversion efficiency (1.96% (ZTO film) vs. 1.56% (ZnO film)). Furthermore, ZTO nanoparticles (NPs) are also synthesized via low-temperature solution route and the device with ZTO NPs buffer layer exhibits a significant improvement in device performance to reach a PCE of 2.60%. The crystallinity of the cathode buffer layer plays an influential factor in the performance. From impedance spectroscopy analysis, a correlation between short circuit current (Jsc), carrier life time (τavg) and, thus, PCE is observed. The interplay between composition and crystallinity of the cathode buffer layers is discussed to find their influences on the solar cell performance.

  1. An investigation of anode and cathode materials in photomicrobial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Kenneth; Thorne, Rebecca J; Cameron, Petra J

    2016-02-28

    Photomicrobial fuel cells (p-MFCs) are devices that use photosynthetic organisms (such as cyanobacteria or algae) to turn light energy into electrical energy. In a p-MFC, the anode accepts electrons from microorganisms that are either growing directly on the anode surface (biofilm) or are free floating in solution (planktonic). The nature of both the anode and cathode material is critical for device efficiency. An ideal anode is biocompatible and facilitates direct electron transfer from the microorganisms, with no need for an electron mediator. For a p-MFC, there is the additional requirement that the anode should not prevent light from perfusing through the photosynthetic cells. The cathode should facilitate the rapid reaction of protons and oxygen to form water so as not to rate limit the device. In this paper, we first review the range of anode and cathode materials currently used in p-MFCs. We then present our own data comparing cathode materials in a p-MFC and our first results using porous ceramic anodes in a mediator-free p-MFC.

  2. Carbon-supported Pd-Pt cathode electrocatalysts for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Yongfu; Zhang, Huamin; Zhong, Hexiang; Xu, Ting; Jin, Hong

    A series of carbon-supported Pd-Pt alloy (Pd-Pt/C) catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) with low-platinum content are synthesized via a modified sodium borohydride reduction method. The structure of as-prepared catalysts is characterized by powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electron microscope (TEM) measurements. The prepared Pd-Pt/C catalysts with alloy form show face-centered-cubic (FCC) structure. The metal particles of Pd-Pt/C catalysts with mean size of around 4-5 nm are uniformly dispersed on the carbon support. The electrocatalytic activities for ORR of these catalysts are investigated by rotating disk electrode (RDE), cyclic voltammetry (CV), single cell measurements and electrochemical impedance spectra (EIS) measurements. The results suggest that the electrocatalytic activities of Pd-Pt/C catalysts with low platinum are comparable to that of the commercial Pt/C with the same metal loading. The maximum power density of MEA with a Pd-Pt/C catalyst, the Pd/Pt mass ratio of which is 7:3, is about 1040 mW cm -2.

  3. Low platinum loading cathode modified with Cs3H2PMo10V2O40 for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Renzi, M.; D'Angelo, G.; Marassi, R.; Nobili, F.

    2016-09-01

    The catalytic activity of commercial Pt nanoparticles mixed with mesoporous polyoxometalate Cs3H2PMo10V2O40 towards oxygen reduction reaction is evaluated. The polyoxometalate co-catalyst is prepared by titration of an aqueous solution of phosphovanadomolibdic acid. SEM micrography shows reduction particle size to less than 300 nm, while XRD confirms that the resulting salt maintains the Kegging structure. The composite catalyst is prepared by mixing the POM salt with Pt/C by sonication. RRDE studies show better kinetics for ORR with low Pt loading at the electrode surface. A MEA is assembled by using a Pt/POM-based cathode, in order to assess performance in a working fuel cell. Current vs. potential curves reveals comparable or better performances at 100%, 62% and 17% relative humidity for the POM-modified MEA with respect to a commercial MEA with higher Pt loading at the cathode. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) confirms better kinetics at low relative humidity. Finally, an accelerated stress test (AST) with square wave (SW) between 0.4 V and 0.8 V is performed to evaluate MEA stability for at least 100 h and make predictions about lifetime, showing that after initial losses the catalytic system can retain stable performance and good morphological stability.

  4. Performance and durability of electrodes with platinum catalysts in polymer electrolyte cells prepared by ultrasonic spray deposition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rigdon, William A.

    The development of stable platinum electrocatalysts for durable electrode performance has been a goal of this research. Cost of these materials is a major barrier to commercialization of technology such as polymer electrolyte fuel cells. Catalysts need to be supported on inexpensive materials that use a minimal amount of platinum while maintaining a high activity over the life of the device. Carbon support corrosion is the origin of many problems plaguing electrocatalyst longevity. Instead of replacing carbon with a ceramic or another single phase material, this dissertation has explored a composite consisting of both carbon nanotubes and titania to support platinum catalysts. Graphitized carbons and stable metal oxides have become a popular material selection for catalyst supports in many recent publications, but their design lacks a fundamental understanding. High performance and durability have been reported, although successful application in working electrodes is necessary to validate these advantages. Titania and carbon nanotube supports for platinum were able to better preserve catalyst performance than a control without titania in the cathode. Choice of a niobium donor dopant in titania was used in an approach to modify the structure and electronic properties of the metal oxide phase when integrated into the anode. When included into electrocatalysts, semiconductor oxides promote bifunctional mechanisms through junctions formed with the catalyst. Strong metal-support interactions enhanced catalyst bonding characteristics extended from the support. An ultrasonic spray deposition process was used to prepare membrane electrode assemblies from the synthesized electrocatalysts. A synergy between both performance and durability of electrodes can be realized by design of better composite supports used in fuel cells and potentially other related electrochemical devices.

  5. Solution-Processed 8-Hydroquinolatolithium as Effective Cathode Interlayer for High-Performance Polymer Solar Cells.

    PubMed

    Liu, Wenqing; Liang, Tao; Chen, Qi; Yu, Zhikai; Zhang, Yingying; Liu, Yujing; Fu, Weifei; Tang, Feng; Chen, Liwei; Chen, Hongzheng

    2016-04-13

    Solution-processed 8-hydroxyquinolinatolithium (s-Liq) was successfully applied as an efficient cathode interlayer in bulk heterojunction polymer solar cells (PSCs), giving rise to enhancement in device performance. The ultraviolet photoelectron spectra results revealed that the presence of s-Liq could lower work function of Al cathode, allowing for the ohmic contacts with the fullerene acceptor for better electron extraction and also a larger work function difference between the two electrodes, which leads to an increase in open-circuit voltage (V(oc)). Scanning Kelvin probe microscopy study on the surface potential of active layers suggested that an interfacial dipole was formed in the s-Liq interlayer between the active layer and the Al cathode, which enhanced the intrinsic built-in potential in the device for better charge transportation and extraction. Consequently, the V(oc), fill factor, and current density of the device can be improved by the introduction of s-Liq interlayer, leading to a power conversion efficiency (PCE) improvement. With PTB7 (or PTB7-Th) as the donor and PC71BM as the acceptor, the s-Liq-based PSC devices exhibited a PCE of 8.37% (or 9.04%), much higher than those of devices with the evaporated Liq (7.62%) or commonly used PFN (8.14%) as the cathode interlayer. Moreover, the s-Liq-based devices showed good stability, maintaining 75% (in N2) and 45% (in air) of the initial PCE after 7 days, respectively. These results suggest the great potential of s-Liq as cathode interlayer material for high-performance solar cells application.

  6. Solution-Processed 8-Hydroquinolatolithium as Effective Cathode Interlayer for High-Performance Polymer Solar Cells.

    PubMed

    Liu, Wenqing; Liang, Tao; Chen, Qi; Yu, Zhikai; Zhang, Yingying; Liu, Yujing; Fu, Weifei; Tang, Feng; Chen, Liwei; Chen, Hongzheng

    2016-04-13

    Solution-processed 8-hydroxyquinolinatolithium (s-Liq) was successfully applied as an efficient cathode interlayer in bulk heterojunction polymer solar cells (PSCs), giving rise to enhancement in device performance. The ultraviolet photoelectron spectra results revealed that the presence of s-Liq could lower work function of Al cathode, allowing for the ohmic contacts with the fullerene acceptor for better electron extraction and also a larger work function difference between the two electrodes, which leads to an increase in open-circuit voltage (V(oc)). Scanning Kelvin probe microscopy study on the surface potential of active layers suggested that an interfacial dipole was formed in the s-Liq interlayer between the active layer and the Al cathode, which enhanced the intrinsic built-in potential in the device for better charge transportation and extraction. Consequently, the V(oc), fill factor, and current density of the device can be improved by the introduction of s-Liq interlayer, leading to a power conversion efficiency (PCE) improvement. With PTB7 (or PTB7-Th) as the donor and PC71BM as the acceptor, the s-Liq-based PSC devices exhibited a PCE of 8.37% (or 9.04%), much higher than those of devices with the evaporated Liq (7.62%) or commonly used PFN (8.14%) as the cathode interlayer. Moreover, the s-Liq-based devices showed good stability, maintaining 75% (in N2) and 45% (in air) of the initial PCE after 7 days, respectively. These results suggest the great potential of s-Liq as cathode interlayer material for high-performance solar cells application. PMID:27015527

  7. Cathode catalyst layers with ionomer to carbon mass ratios in the range 0-2 studied by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, cyclic voltammetry, and performance measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Modestov, Alexander D.; Kapustin, Alexander V.; Avakov, Veniamin B.; Landgraf, Igor K.; Tarasevich, Mikhail R.

    2014-12-01

    Characteristics of the cathode catalyst layers (CCL) containing HiSPEC 9100 Pt/C catalyst and ionomer (I) in ionomer to carbon mass ratio (I/C) range 0-2 were studied. Pt electrochemically active surface area (ECSA) and electrode low frequency capacitance were found to be independent of I/C value. Ionic resistance of CCL was found strongly dependent of I/C value. It reaches maximum value at I/C∼0.3. Ionic resistance of CCL with I/C = 0.05 increased 7 fold with the shift of electrode potential (E) from 0.4 V to 1.05 vs. RHE. Ionic resistance of an imitating layer, which contained ionomer-free Ketjenblack EC-300J carbon, increased by a factor of 20 with the potential shift from 0.1 V to 1.05 V vs. RHE. Ionic conductivity in ionomer-free CCLs is ascribed to the presence of protons which originate from ionization of oxygen containing acidic surface groups of carbon support. Application to the CCL of potential positive relative to potential of zero charge of carbon support (pzc) draws protons to the counter electrode, decreasing the ionic conductivity of the CCL. Pt mass specific activity (Im) dependence on I/C mass ratio reaches maximum at I/C ∼ 1.

  8. Transparent ITO/Ag-Pd-Cu/ITO multilayer cathode use in inverted organic solar cells

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Hyo-Joong; Kim, Han-Ki; Lee, Hyun Hwi; Kal, Jinha; Hahn, Jungseok

    2015-10-15

    The characteristics of transparent ITO/Ag-Pd-Cu (APC)/ITO multilayer cathodes were investigated for use in inverted organic solar cells (IOSCs). The insertion of an APC interlayer into the ITO film effectively led to crystallization of the top ITO layer, unlike that in the Ag interlayer, and resulted in a low sheet resistance of 6.55 Ohm/square and a high optical transmittance of 84.14% without post annealing. In addition, the alloying of the Pd and Cu elements into Ag prevented agglomeration and oxidization of the metal interlayer and led to more stable ITO/APC/ITO films under ambient conditions. The microstructure and interfacial structure of the transparent ITO/APC/ITO cathode in the IOSCs were examined in detail by synchrotron X-ray scattering and high resolution transmission electron microscopy. Furthermore, we suggested a possible mechanism to explain the lower PCE of the IOSCs with an ITO/APC/ITO cathode than that of a reference IOSC with a crystalline ITO cathode using the external quantum efficiency of the IOSCs.

  9. Solid oxide fuel cell composite cathodes based on perovskite and fluorite structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sadykov, Vladislav; Mezentseva, Natalia; Usoltsev, Vladimir; Sadovskaya, Ekaterina; Ishchenko, Arkady; Pavlova, Svetlana; Bespalko, Yulia; Kharlamova, Tamara; Zevak, Ekaterina; Salanov, Aleksei; Krieger, Tamara; Belyaev, Vladimir; Bobrenok, Oleg; Uvarov, Nikolai; Okhlupin, Yury; Smorygo, Oleg; Smirnova, Alevtina; Singh, Prabhakar; Vlasov, Aleksandr; Korobeynikov, Mikhail; Bryazgin, Aleksandr; Kalinin, Peter; Arzhannikov, Andrei

    This work presents the results related to the functionally graded fluorite (F)-perovskite (P) nanocomposite cathodes for IT SOFC. Nanocrystalline fluorites (GDC, ScCeSZ) and perovskites (LSrMn, LSrFNi) were synthesized by Pechini method. Nanocomposites were prepared by the ultrasonic dispersion of F and P powders in isopropanol with addition of polyvinyl butyral. Different techniques for deposition and sintering of functionally graded cathode materials were applied including traditional approaches as well as original methods, such as radiation-thermal sintering under electron beam or microwave radiation. Morphology, microstructure and elemental composition of nanocomposites was characterized by XRD and HRTEM/SEM with EDX. Even for dense composites, the sizes of perovskite and fluorite domains remain in the nanorange providing developed P-F interfaces. Oxygen isotope heteroexchange and conductivity/weight relaxation studies demonstrated that these interfaces provide a path for fast oxygen diffusion. The redistribution of the elements between P and F phases in nanocomposites occurs without formation of insulating zirconate phases. Button-size fuel cells with nanocomposite functionally graded cathodes, thin YSZ layers and anode Ni/YSZ cermet (either bulk or supported on Ni-Al foam substrates) were manufactured. For optimized composition and functionally graded design of P-F nanocomposite cathodes, a stable performance in the intermediate temperature range with maximum power density up to 0.5 W cm -2 at 700 °C in wet H 2/air feeds was demonstrated.

  10. Real-time thermal imaging of solid oxide fuel cell cathode activity in working condition.

    PubMed

    Montanini, Roberto; Quattrocchi, Antonino; Piccolo, Sebastiano A; Amato, Alessandra; Trocino, Stefano; Zignani, Sabrina C; Faro, Massimiliano Lo; Squadrito, Gaetano

    2016-09-01

    Electrochemical methods such as voltammetry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy are effective for quantifying solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) operational performance, but not for identifying and monitoring the chemical processes that occur on the electrodes' surface, which are thought to be strictly related to the SOFCs' efficiency. Because of their high operating temperature, mechanical failure or cathode delamination is a common shortcoming of SOFCs that severely affects their reliability. Infrared thermography may provide a powerful tool for probing in situ SOFC electrode processes and the materials' structural integrity, but, due to the typical design of pellet-type cells, a complete optical access to the electrode surface is usually prevented. In this paper, a specially designed SOFC is introduced, which allows temperature distribution to be measured over all the cathode area while still preserving the electrochemical performance of the device. Infrared images recorded under different working conditions are then processed by means of a dedicated image processing algorithm for quantitative data analysis. Results reported in the paper highlight the effectiveness of infrared thermal imaging in detecting the onset of cell failure during normal operation and in monitoring cathode activity when the cell is fed with different types of fuels.

  11. Secondary cell with orthorhombic alkali metal/manganese oxide phase active cathode material

    DOEpatents

    Doeff, M.M.; Peng, M.Y.; Ma, Y.; Visco, S.J.; DeJonghe, L.C.

    1996-09-24

    An alkali metal manganese oxide secondary cell is disclosed which can provide a high rate of discharge, good cycling capabilities, good stability of the cathode material, high specific energy (energy per unit of weight) and high energy density (energy per unit volume). The active material in the anode is an alkali metal and the active material in the cathode comprises an orthorhombic alkali metal manganese oxide which undergoes intercalation and deintercalation without a change in phase, resulting in a substantially linear change in voltage with change in the state of charge of the cell. The active material in the cathode is an orthorhombic structure having the formula M{sub x}Z{sub y}Mn{sub (1{minus}y)}O{sub 2}, where M is an alkali metal; Z is a metal capable of substituting for manganese in the orthorhombic structure such as iron, cobalt or titanium; x ranges from about 0.2 in the fully charged state to about 0.75 in the fully discharged state, and y ranges from 0 to 60 atomic %. Preferably, the cell is constructed with a solid electrolyte, but a liquid or gelatinous electrolyte may also be used in the cell. 11 figs.

  12. Real-time thermal imaging of solid oxide fuel cell cathode activity in working condition.

    PubMed

    Montanini, Roberto; Quattrocchi, Antonino; Piccolo, Sebastiano A; Amato, Alessandra; Trocino, Stefano; Zignani, Sabrina C; Faro, Massimiliano Lo; Squadrito, Gaetano

    2016-09-01

    Electrochemical methods such as voltammetry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy are effective for quantifying solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) operational performance, but not for identifying and monitoring the chemical processes that occur on the electrodes' surface, which are thought to be strictly related to the SOFCs' efficiency. Because of their high operating temperature, mechanical failure or cathode delamination is a common shortcoming of SOFCs that severely affects their reliability. Infrared thermography may provide a powerful tool for probing in situ SOFC electrode processes and the materials' structural integrity, but, due to the typical design of pellet-type cells, a complete optical access to the electrode surface is usually prevented. In this paper, a specially designed SOFC is introduced, which allows temperature distribution to be measured over all the cathode area while still preserving the electrochemical performance of the device. Infrared images recorded under different working conditions are then processed by means of a dedicated image processing algorithm for quantitative data analysis. Results reported in the paper highlight the effectiveness of infrared thermal imaging in detecting the onset of cell failure during normal operation and in monitoring cathode activity when the cell is fed with different types of fuels. PMID:27607294

  13. Secondary cell with orthorhombic alkali metal/manganese oxide phase active cathode material

    DOEpatents

    Doeff, Marca M.; Peng, Marcus Y.; Ma, Yanping; Visco, Steven J.; DeJonghe, Lutgard C.

    1996-01-01

    An alkali metal manganese oxide secondary cell is disclosed which can provide a high rate of discharge, good cycling capabilities, good stability of the cathode material, high specific energy (energy per unit of weight) and high energy density (energy per unit volume). The active material in the anode is an alkali metal and the active material in the cathode comprises an orthorhombic alkali metal manganese oxide which undergoes intercalation and deintercalation without a change in phase, resulting in a substantially linear change in voltage with change in the state of charge of the cell. The active material in the cathode is an orthorhombic structure having the formula M.sub.x Z.sub.y Mn.sub.(1-y) O.sub.2, where M is an alkali metal; Z is a metal capable of substituting for manganese in the orthorhombic structure such as iron, cobalt or titanium; x ranges from about 0.2 in the fully charged state to about 0.75 in the fully discharged state, and y ranges from 0 to 60 atomic %. Preferably, the cell is constructed with a solid electrolyte, but a liquid or gelatinous electrolyte may also be used in the cell.

  14. High-performance, low Pt content catalysts for the electroreduction of oxygen in polymer-electrolyte fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Fournier, J.; Faubert, G.; Tilquin, J.Y.; Cote, R.; Guay, D.; Dodelet, J.P.

    1997-01-01

    Pt-included and Pt-supported catalysts have been synthesized using graphite and carbon black supports of various specific areas. The graphites are KS6 (20 m{sup 2}/g), HS100 (110 m{sup 2}/g), and HS300 (305 m{sup 2}/g) from Lonza, and the carbon blacks are Vulcan (254 m{sup 2}/g) and Black Pearls (1475 m{sup 2}/g) from Cabot. The Pt-included and Pt-supported catalysts were used at the cathode of a H{sub 2}/O{sub 2} fuel cell, and their polarization curves were compared to each other and to those of various Pt-supported catalysts from E-TEK. In the high current region of interest to fuel cell developers, it is shown that Pt-supported catalysts perform better than Pt-included ones when the specific area of the support is small. The contrary is true when the specific area of the support is large. The best catalysts are HS300-Pti [8.3 weight percent (w/o) Pt included in HS300 graphite] and Vu-Pti (6.1 w/o Pt included in Vulcan XC-72R). These catalysts display very high mass and specific activities for O{sub 2} reduction. Furthermore, the iR-corrected polarization curves of both HS300-Pti (with a Pt loading of 0.110 mg/cm{sup 2}) and Vu-Pti (with a Pt loading of 0.070 mg/cm{sup 2}) cross at high current the polarization curve of the electrode prepared with E-TEK20 (20 w/o of supported Pt, with a Pt loading of 0.287 mg/cm{sup 2}). Pt inclusion in graphite or carbon black is therefore an interesting way of reducing the Pt loading of fuel cell cathodes without lowering electrochemical performance. HS300-Pti have been characterized by X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. These analyses indicate that they both contain metallic Pt and Pt(II and IV) oxides and/or hydroxides.

  15. Inkjet-Printed Porous Silver Thin Film as a Cathode for a Low-Temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cell.

    PubMed

    Yu, Chen-Chiang; Baek, Jong Dae; Su, Chun-Hao; Fan, Liangdong; Wei, Jun; Liao, Ying-Chih; Su, Pei-Chen

    2016-04-27

    In this work we report a porous silver thin film cathode that was fabricated by a simple inkjet printing process for low-temperature solid oxide fuel cell applications. The electrochemical performance of the inkjet-printed silver cathode was studied at 300-450 °C and was compared with that of silver cathodes that were fabricated by the typical sputtering method. Inkjet-printed silver cathodes showed lower electrochemical impedance due to their porous structure, which facilitated oxygen gaseous diffusion and oxygen surface adsorption-dissociation reactions. A typical sputtered nanoporous silver cathode became essentially dense after the operation and showed high impedance due to a lack of oxygen supply. The results of long-term fuel cell operation show that the cell with an inkjet-printed cathode had a more stable current output for more than 45 h at 400 °C. A porous silver cathode is required for high fuel cell performance, and the simple inkjet printing technique offers an alternative method of fabrication for such a desirable porous structure with the required thermal-morphological stability.

  16. Inkjet-Printed Porous Silver Thin Film as a Cathode for a Low-Temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cell.

    PubMed

    Yu, Chen-Chiang; Baek, Jong Dae; Su, Chun-Hao; Fan, Liangdong; Wei, Jun; Liao, Ying-Chih; Su, Pei-Chen

    2016-04-27

    In this work we report a porous silver thin film cathode that was fabricated by a simple inkjet printing process for low-temperature solid oxide fuel cell applications. The electrochemical performance of the inkjet-printed silver cathode was studied at 300-450 °C and was compared with that of silver cathodes that were fabricated by the typical sputtering method. Inkjet-printed silver cathodes showed lower electrochemical impedance due to their porous structure, which facilitated oxygen gaseous diffusion and oxygen surface adsorption-dissociation reactions. A typical sputtered nanoporous silver cathode became essentially dense after the operation and showed high impedance due to a lack of oxygen supply. The results of long-term fuel cell operation show that the cell with an inkjet-printed cathode had a more stable current output for more than 45 h at 400 °C. A porous silver cathode is required for high fuel cell performance, and the simple inkjet printing technique offers an alternative method of fabrication for such a desirable porous structure with the required thermal-morphological stability. PMID:27045453

  17. Catalysts of plant cell wall loosening

    PubMed Central

    Cosgrove, Daniel J.

    2016-01-01

    The growing cell wall in plants has conflicting requirements to be strong enough to withstand the high tensile forces generated by cell turgor pressure while selectively yielding to those forces to induce wall stress relaxation, leading to water uptake and polymer movements underlying cell wall expansion. In this article, I review emerging concepts of plant primary cell wall structure, the nature of wall extensibility and the action of expansins, family-9 and -12 endoglucanases, family-16 xyloglucan endotransglycosylase/hydrolase (XTH), and pectin methylesterases, and offer a critical assessment of their wall-loosening activity PMID:26918182

  18. Anodic and cathodic microbial communities in single chamber microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Daghio, Matteo; Gandolfi, Isabella; Bestetti, Giuseppina; Franzetti, Andrea; Guerrini, Edoardo; Cristiani, Pierangela

    2015-01-25

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are a rapidly growing technology for energy production from wastewater and biomasses. In a MFC, a microbial biofilm oxidizes organic matter and transfers electrons from reduced compounds to an anode as the electron acceptor by extracellular electron transfer (EET). The aim of this work was to characterize the microbial communities operating in a Single Chamber Microbial Fuel Cell (SCMFC) fed with acetate and inoculated with a biogas digestate in order to gain more insight into anodic and cathodic EET. Taxonomic characterization of the communities was carried out by Illumina sequencing of a fragment of the 16S rRNA gene. Microorganisms belonging to Geovibrio genus and purple non-sulfur (PNS) bacteria were found to be dominant in the anodic biofilm. The alkaliphilic genus Nitrincola and anaerobic microorganisms belonging to Porphyromonadaceae family were the most abundant bacteria in the cathodic biofilm.

  19. A Bifunctional Interlayer Material for Modifying Both the Anode and Cathode in Highly Efficient Polymer Solar Cells.

    PubMed

    Xu, Bowei; Zheng, Zhong; Zhao, Kang; Hou, Jianhui

    2016-01-20

    A novel polymer-solar-cell architecture using the conjugated polymer PFS as both the anode and cathode interlayers is constructed, and a high power conversion efficiency of 9.48% is achieved using the corresponding photovoltaic device.

  20. Graphite fiber brush anodes for increased power production in air-cathode microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Logan, Bruce; Cheng, Shaoan; Watson, Valerie; Estadt, Garett

    2007-05-01

    To efficiently generate electricity using bacteria in microbial fuel cells (MFCs), highly conductive noncorrosive materials are needed that have a high specific surface area (surface area per volume) and an open structure to avoid biofouling. Graphite brush anodes, consisting of graphite fibers wound around a conductive, but noncorrosive metal core, were examined for power production in cube (C-MFC) and bottle (B-MFC) air-cathode MFCs. Power production in C-MFCs containing brush electrodes at 9600 m2/m3 reactor volume reached a maximum power density of 2400 mW/m2 (normalized to the cathode projected surface area), or 73 W/m3 based on liquid volume, with a maximum Coulombic efficiency (CE) of 60%. This power density, normalized by cathode projected area, is the highest value yet achieved by an air-cathode system. The increased power resulted from a reduction in internal resistance from 31 to 8 Q. Brush electrodes (4200 m2/m3) were also tested in B-MFCs, consisting of a laboratory media bottle modified to have a single side arm with a cathode clamped to its end. B-MFCs inoculated with wastewater produced up to 1430 mW/m2 (2.3 W/m3, CE = 23%) with brush electrodes, versus 600 mW/m2 with a plain carbon paper electrode. These findings show that brush anodes that have high surface areas and a porous structure can produce high power densities, and therefore have qualities that make them ideal for scaling up MFC systems.

  1. NREL Team Creates High-Activity, Durable Platinum Extended Surface Catalyst for Fuel Cells (Fact Sheet)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2011-02-01

    Researchers with NREL's Fuel Cell team showed that platinum can replace copper nanowires in such a way that high-surface-area and high-specific-activity catalysts are produced, potentially allowing for lower-cost catalysts.

  2. Platinum-ruthenium-palladium alloys for use as a fuel cell catalyst

    DOEpatents

    Gorer, Alexander

    2002-01-01

    A noble metal alloy composition for a fuel cell catalyst, a ternary alloy composition containing platinum, ruthenium and palladium. The alloy shows increased activity as compared to well-known catalysts.

  3. Non-noble catalysts and catalyst supports for phosphoric acid fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcalister, A. J.

    1981-01-01

    Tungsten carbide, which is active for hydrogen oxidation, is CO tolerant and has a hexagonal structure is discussed. Titanium carbide is inactive and has a cubic structure. Four different samples of the cubic alloys W sub x-1Ti sub XC sub 1-y were found to be active and CO tolerant. When the activities of these cubic alloys are weighted by the reciprocal of the square to those of highly forms of WC. They offer important insight into the nature of the active sites on W-C anode catalysts for use in phosphoric acid fuel cells.

  4. Non-noble catalysts and catalyst supports for phosphoric acid fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcalister, A. J.

    1981-01-01

    Four different samples of the cubic alloys W sub x-1 Ti sub x C sub 1-y were prepared and found to be active and CO tolerant. When the activities of these cubic alloys were weighted by the reciprocal of the square of the W exchange, they displayed magnitudes and dependence on bulk C deficiency comparable to those of highly active forms of WC. It is concluded that they may offer important insight into the nature of the active sites on, and means for improving the performance of, W-C anode catalysts for use in phosphoric acid fuel cells.

  5. Non-noble catalysts and catalyst supports for phosphoric acid fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcalister, A. J.

    1980-01-01

    Tungsten carbide, which is known to be active for hydrogen oxidation and CO tolerant has a hexagonal structure. Titanium carbide is inactive and has a cubic structure. Four different samples of the cubic alloys Wx-1TixC were prepared and found to be active and CO tolerant. These alloys are of interest as possible phosphoric acid fuel cell catalysts. They also are of interest as opportunities to study the activity of W in a different crystalline environment and to correlate the activities of the surface sites with surface composition.

  6. Nano-Engineered Catalysts for Direct Methanol Fuel Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Myung, Nosang; Narayanan, Sekharipuram; Wiberg, Dean

    2008-01-01

    Nano-engineered catalysts, and a method of fabricating them, have been developed in a continuing effort to improve the performances of direct methanol fuel cells as candidate power sources to supplant primary and secondary batteries in a variety of portable electronic products. In order to realize the potential for high energy densities (as much as 1.5 W h/g) of direct methanol fuel cells, it will be necessary to optimize the chemical compositions and geometric configurations of catalyst layers and electrode structures. High performance can be achieved when catalyst particles and electrode structures have the necessary small feature sizes (typically of the order of nanometers), large surface areas, optimal metal compositions, high porosity, and hydrophobicity. The present method involves electrodeposition of one or more catalytic metal(s) or a catalytic-metal/polytetrafluoroethylene nanocomposite on an alumina nanotemplate. The alumina nanotemplate is then dissolved, leaving the desired metal or metal/polytetrafluoroethylene-composite catalyst layer. Unlike some prior methods of making fine metal catalysts, this method does not involve processing at elevated temperature; all processing can be done at room temperature. In addition, this method involves fewer steps and is more amenable to scaling up for mass production. Alumina nanotemplates are porous alumina membranes that have been fabricated, variously, by anodizing either pure aluminum or aluminum that has been deposited on silicon by electronbeam evaporation. The diameters of the pores (7 to 300 nm), areal densities of pores (as much as 7 x 10(exp 10)sq cm), and lengths of pores (up to about 100 nm) can be tailored by selection of fabrication conditions. In a given case, the catalytic metal, catalytic metal alloy, or catalytic metal/ polytetrafluoroethylene composite is electrodeposited in the pores of the alumina nanotemplate. The dimensions of the pores, together with the electrodeposition conditions

  7. Co-flow anode/cathode supply heat exchanger for a solid-oxide fuel cell assembly

    DOEpatents

    Haltiner, Jr., Karl J.; Kelly, Sean M.

    2005-11-22

    In a solid-oxide fuel cell assembly, a co-flow heat exchanger is provided in the flow paths of the reformate gas and the cathode air ahead of the fuel cell stack, the reformate gas being on one side of the exchanger and the cathode air being on the other. The reformate gas is at a substantially higher temperature than is desired in the stack, and the cathode gas is substantially cooler than desired. In the co-flow heat exchanger, the temperatures of the reformate and cathode streams converge to nearly the same temperature at the outlet of the exchanger. Preferably, the heat exchanger is formed within an integrated component manifold (ICM) for a solid-oxide fuel cell assembly.

  8. The Effect of Cathode Composition on the Thermal Characteristics of Lithium-Ion Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vaidyanathan, Hari; Rao, Gopalakrishna M.

    1999-01-01

    The specific thermal capacity and heat dissipation rate for lithium ion cells containing LiNiO2 and mixed oxide (75%LiCoO2+ 25%LiNiO2) as cathode materials are compared. The experimental measurements were made using a radiative calorimeter consisting of a copper chamber maintained at -168 C by circulating liquid nitrogen and enclosed in a vacuum bell jar. The specific thermal capacity was determined based on warm-up and cool-down transients. The heat dissipation rate was calculated from the values measured for heat radiated and stored, and the resulting values were corrected for conductive heat dissipation through the leads. The specific heat was 1.117 J/ C-g for the LiNiO2 cell and 0.946 J/ C-g for the 75%LiCoO2,25%LiNiO2 cell. Endothermic cooling at the beginning of charge was very apparent for the cell containing 75%LiCoO2,25%LiNiO2 as the cathode. Exothermic heating began at a higher state of charge for the cell with the 75%LiCoO2,25%LiNiO2 cathode compared to the LiNiO2 cathode cell. During discharge, the rate of heat dissipation increased with increase in the discharge current for both types of cells. The maximum heat dissipated at C/5 discharge was 0.065 W and 0.04 W for the LiNiO2 and 75%LiCoO2,25%LiNiO2 cells, respectively, The thermoneutral potential showed variability toward the end of discharge. The plateau region of the curves was used to calculate average thermoneutral potentials of 3.698 V and 3.837 V for the LiNiO2 cell and the 75%LiCoO2,25%LiNiO2 cell, respectively.

  9. Interplay between fullerene surface coverage and contact selectivity of cathode interfaces in organic solar cells.

    PubMed

    Guerrero, Antonio; Dörling, Bernhard; Ripolles-Sanchis, Teresa; Aghamohammadi, Mahdieh; Barrena, Esther; Campoy-Quiles, Mariano; Garcia-Belmonte, Germà

    2013-05-28

    Interfaces play a determining role in establishing the degree of carrier selectivity at outer contacts in organic solar cells. Considering that the bulk heterojunction consists of a blend of electron donor and acceptor materials, the specific relative surface coverage at the electrode interfaces has an impact on the carrier selectivity. This work unravels how fullerene surface coverage at cathode contacts lies behind the carrier selectivity of the electrodes. A variety of techniques such as variable-angle spectroscopic ellipsometry and capacitance-voltage measurements have been used to determine the degree of fullerene surface coverage in a set of PCPDTBT-based solar cells processed with different additives. A full screening from highly fullerene-rich to polymer-rich phases attaching the cathode interface has enabled the overall correlation between surface morphology (relative coverage) and device performance (operating parameters). The general validity of the measurements is further discussed in three additional donor/acceptor systems: PCPDTBT, P3HT, PCDTBT, and PTB7 blended with fullerene derivatives. It is demonstrated that a fullerene-rich interface at the cathode is a prerequisite to enhance contact selectivity and consequently power conversion efficiency.

  10. High-performance cathode-supported solid oxide fuel cells with copper cermet anodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Lin; Ye, Xiaofeng; Zhan, Zhongliang

    2011-08-01

    Thin film solid oxide fuel cells, composed of thin coatings of 8 mol% Y2O3-stabilized ZrO2 (YSZ), thick substrates of infiltrated La0.8S0.2FeO3 (LSF)-YSZ cathodes and CuO-SDC (Ce0.85Sm0.15O1.925)-ceria anodes, are fabricated using the conventional tape casting and infiltration methods. Infiltrated LSF-YSZ cathodes exhibit a much lower interfacial polarization resistance than (La0.8Sr0.2)0.98MnO3 (LSM)-YSZ cathodes due to the mixed ionic and electronic conducting behavior of LSF, especially at low operation temperatures. The single cell has shown good and stable performance in hydrogen and hydrocarbon fuels. Maximum power densities for hydrogen, propane, dodecane and low sulfur diesel at 800 °C are 0.62 W cm-2, 0.40 W cm-2, 0.37 W cm-2 and 0.36 W cm-2, respectively.

  11. Rechargeable cells with modified MnO2 cathodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dzieciuch, M. A.; Gupta, N.; Wroblowa, H. S.

    1988-10-01

    The recent invention of rechargeable 'modified' manganese oxide materials paves the way to the development of secondary batteries suitable for numerous applications. This includes alternatives to primary dry cells, and secondary lead/acid and nickel-cadmium batteries. Present results describe the performance of cells in which the modified materials are coupled with zinc and iron. As opposed to iron which does not affect the longevity and capacity retention of the modified electrodes, zinc has a pejorative effect on modified MnO2 materials, owing to the formation of heterolite at the positive electrode. Methods to alleviate this effect and produce viable modified MnO2/Zn systems are described. At present, these systems retain about 50 percent of their theoretical one-electron capacity even after two hundred fast charge-discharge cycles.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  13. Prediction of the effective conductivity of Nafion in the catalyst layer of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hongsirikarn, Kitiya; Mo, Xunhua; Liu, Zhiming; Goodwin, James G.

    In a previous study, a simple acid catalyzed reaction (esterification) was found to predict excellently conductivity of a membrane contaminated with NH 4 + or Na +. Since measurement of the conductivity of Nafion in a catalyst layer is problematic, being able to predict this conductivity for various formulations and fuel cell conditions would be advantageous. In this study, the same methodology as before was used to examine the proton availabilities of supported Nafion (Nafion on carbon and on Pt/C), as exists in the catalyst layer used in a PEMFC, during impurity exposure (e.g., NH 3) as a means for prediction of its conductivity. It was found that the effect of NH 3 exposure on the proton composition (yH+) of supported Nafion was similar to that of N-211 under the same conditions. Determined values of yH+ were then used to estimate the effective conductivity of an ammonium-poisoned cathode layer using the correlation developed and the agglomerate model. The predicted conductivities were matched with the results available in the literature. This technique would be useful for the optimization of catalyst design and for fuel cell simulation, since it provides many benefits over conventional performance test procedures.

  14. In-situ electrochemically active surface area evaluation of an open-cathode polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell stack

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torija, Sergio; Prieto-Sanchez, Laura; Ashton, Sean J.

    2016-09-01

    The ability to evaluate the electrochemically active surface area (ECSA) of fuel cell electrodes is crucial toward characterising designs and component suites in-situ, particularly when evaluating component durability in endurance testing, since it is a measure of the electrode area available to take part in the fuel cell reactions. Conventional methods to obtain the ECSA using cyclic voltammetry, however, rely on potentiostats that cannot be easily scaled to simultaneously evaluate all cells in a fuel cell stack of practical size, which is desirable in fuel cell development. In-situ diagnostics of an open-cathode fuel cell stack are furthermore challenging because the cells do not each possess an enclosed cathode compartment; instead, the cathodes are rather open to the environment. Here we report on a diagnostic setup that allows the electrochemically active surface area of each cell anode or cathode in an open-cathode fuel cell stack to be evaluated in-situ and simultaneously, with high resolution and reproducibility, using an easily scalable chronopotentiometry methodology and a gas-tight stack enclosure.

  15. Theory and simulation of backbombardment in single-cell thermionic-cathode electron guns

    DOE PAGES

    Edelen, J.  P.; Biedron, S.  G.; Harris, J.  R.; Milton, S.  V.; Lewellen, J.  W.

    2015-04-01

    This paper presents a comparison between simulation results and a first principles analytical model of electron back-bombardment developed at Colorado State University for single-cell, thermionic-cathode rf guns. While most previous work on back-bombardment has been specific to particular accelerator systems, this work is generalized to a wide variety of guns within the applicable parameter space. The merits and limits of the analytic model will be discussed. This paper identifies the three fundamental parameters that drive the back-bombardment process, and demonstrates relative accuracy in calculating the predicted back-bombardment power of a single-cell thermionic gun.

  16. Oxidation catalyst

    DOEpatents

    Ceyer, Sylvia T.; Lahr, David L.

    2010-11-09

    The present invention generally relates to catalyst systems and methods for oxidation of carbon monoxide. The invention involves catalyst compositions which may be advantageously altered by, for example, modification of the catalyst surface to enhance catalyst performance. Catalyst systems of the present invention may be capable of performing the oxidation of carbon monoxide at relatively lower temperatures (e.g., 200 K and below) and at relatively higher reaction rates than known catalysts. Additionally, catalyst systems disclosed herein may be substantially lower in cost than current commercial catalysts. Such catalyst systems may be useful in, for example, catalytic converters, fuel cells, sensors, and the like.

  17. COD removal characteristics in air-cathode microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiaoyuan; He, Weihua; Ren, Lijiao; Stager, Jennifer; Evans, Patrick J; Logan, Bruce E

    2015-01-01

    Exoelectrogenic microorganisms in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) compete with other microorganisms for substrate. In order to understand how this affects removal rates, current generation, and coulombic efficiencies (CEs), substrate removal rates were compared in MFCs fed a single, readily biodegradable compound (acetate) or domestic wastewater (WW). Removal rates based on initial test conditions fit first-order kinetics, but rate constants varied with circuit resistance. With filtered WW (100Ω), the rate constant was 0.18h(-)(1), which was higher than acetate or filtered WW with an open circuit (0.10h(-)(1)), but CEs were much lower (15-24%) than acetate. With raw WW (100Ω), COD removal proceeded in two stages: a fast removal stage with high current production, followed by a slower removal with little current. While using MFCs increased COD removal rate due to current generation, secondary processes will be needed to reduce COD to levels suitable for discharge.

  18. Stability of cobalt oxide infiltrated LSM/TZ8Y cathode for solid oxide fuel cells at intermediate temperatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Xuan

    The performance of a La0.4Sr0.6MnO3/8wt% Y2O3-stabilized ZrO2 (LSM/YZ8Y) composite cathode was observed to increase by post-firing doping (infiltration) of cobalt nitrate into the pores of an LSM/TZ8Y cathode in solid oxide fuel cells. Results demonstrated that cobalt nitrate decomposed into nano-sized spinel structures of Co3O4 of sizes ranging from 40 to 60 nm. The stability of a Co3O4 infiltrated LSM/TZ8Y cathode was studied under both oxidizing and reducing environments at 700°C. This dissertation studied the coarsening effects of Co3O 4 nano-particles in the pores of LSM/TZ8Y cathodes and its chemical interaction between LSM and TZ8Y during 1000 hours of exposure to air. A scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to observe the microstructure. Polarization curves and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy were used to electrochemically characterize LSM/TZ8Y half cells (oxygen pump) with applied cathodic currents before and after Co3O4 infiltration. The chemical interactions of Co3O4 and an LSM/TZ8Y cathode were studied under the effects of a reducing atmosphere at various currents applied to the cathode, e.g., 500mA/cm2, 1500mA/cm2 and 3A/cm 2. The corresponding partial pressure of oxygen (P O2) at the cathode was observed and calculated from a built-in oxygen sensor which monitored applied cathodic currents. Chemical reactions were characterized through the use scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), energy dispersive spectrometry (EDS), and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  20. Development of improved cathodes for solid oxide fuel cells. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, H.U.

    1991-03-01

    The University of Missouri-Rolla conducted a 17 month research program focused on the development and evaluation of improved cathode materials for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC). The objectives of this program were: (1) the development of cathode materials of improved stability in reducing environments; and (2) the development of cathode materials with improved electrical conductivity. The program was successful in identifying some potential candidate materials: Air sinterable (La,Ca)(Cr,Co)O{sub 3} compositions were developed and found to be more stable than La{sub .8}Sr{sub .2}MnO{sub 3} towards reduction. Their conductivity at 1000{degrees}C ranged between 30 to 60 S/cm. Compositions within the (Y,Ca)(Cr,Co,Mn)O{sub 3} system were developed and found to have higher electrical conductivity than La{sub .8}Sr{sub .2}MnO{sub 3} and preliminary results suggest that their stability towards reduction is superior.

  1. Enhanced Salt Removal in an Inverted Capacitive Deionization Cell Using Amine Modified Microporous Carbon Cathodes.

    PubMed

    Gao, Xin; Omosebi, Ayokunle; Landon, James; Liu, Kunlei

    2015-09-15

    Microporous SpectraCarb carbon cloth was treated using nitric acid to enhance negative surface charges of COO(-) in a neutral solution. This acid-treated carbon was further modified by ethylenediamine to attach -NH2 surface functional groups, resulting in positive surface charges of -NH3(+) via pronation in a neutral solution. Through multiple characterizations, in comparison to pristine SpectraCarb carbon, amine-treated SpectraCarb carbon displays a decreased potential of zero charge but an increased point of zero charge, which is opposed to the effect obtained for acid-treated SpectraCarb carbon. An inverted capacitive deionization cell was constructed using amine-treated cathodes and acid-treated anodes, where the cathode is the negatively polarized electrode and the anode is the positively polarized electrode. Constant-voltage switching operation using NaCl solution showed that the salt removal capacity was approximately 5.3 mg g(-1) at a maximum working voltage of 1.1/0 V, which is an expansion in both the salt capacity and potential window from previous i-CDI results demonstrated for carbon xerogel materials. This improved performance is accounted for by the enlarged cathodic working voltage window through ethylenediamine-derived functional groups, and the enhanced microporosity of the SpectraCarb electrodes for salt adsorption. These results expand the use of i-CDI for efficient desalination applications.

  2. Direct deposit of catalyst on the membrane of direct feed fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chun, William (Inventor); Narayanan, Sekharipuram R. (Inventor); Jeffries-Nakamura, Barbara (Inventor); Valdez, Thomas I. (Inventor); Linke, Juergen (Inventor)

    2001-01-01

    An improved direct liquid-feed fuel cell having a solid membrane electrolyte for electrochemical reactions of an organic fuel. Catalyst utilization and catalyst/membrane interface improvements are disclosed. Specifically, the catalyst layer is applied directly onto the membrane electrolyte.

  3. Barium: An Efficient Cathode Layer for Bulk-heterojunction Solar Cells

    PubMed Central

    Gupta, Vinay; Kyaw, Aung Ko Ko; Wang, Dong Hwan; Chand, Suresh; Bazan, Guillermo C.; Heeger, Alan J.

    2013-01-01

    We report Barium (Ba) cathode layer for bulk-heterojunction solar cells which enhanced the fill factor (FF) of p-DTS(FBTTh2)2/PC71BM BHJ solar cell up to 75.1%, one of the highest value reported for an organic solar cell. The external quantum efficiency exceeds 80%. Analysis of recombination mechanisms using the current-voltage (J–V) characteristics at various light intensities in the BHJ solar cell layer reveals that Ba prevents trap assisted Shockley-Read-Hall (SRH) recombination at the interface and with different thicknesses of the Ba, the recombination shifts towards bimolecular from monomolecular. Moreover, Ba increases shunt resistance and decreases the series resistance significantly. This results in an increase in the charge collection probability leading to high FF. This work identifies a new cathode interlayer which outclasses the all the reported interlayers in increasing FF leading to high power conversion efficiency and have significant implications in improving the performance of BHJ solar cells. PMID:23752562

  4. Fuel Cell Animation

    NASA Video Gallery

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

  5. Electricity generation and bivalent copper reduction as a function of operation time and cathode electrode material in microbial fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Dan; Huang, Liping; Quan, Xie; Li Puma, Gianluca

    2016-03-01

    The performance of carbon rod (CR), titanium sheet (TS), stainless steel woven mesh (SSM) and copper sheet (CS) cathode materials are investigated in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) for simultaneous electricity generation and Cu(II) reduction, in multiple batch cycle operations. After 12 cycles, the MFC with CR exhibits 55% reduction in the maximum power density and 76% increase in Cu(II) removal. In contrast, the TS and SSM cathodes at cycle 12 show maximum power densities of 1.7 (TS) and 3.4 (SSM) times, and Cu(II) removal of 1.2 (TS) and 1.3 (SSM) times higher than those observed during the first cycle. Diffusional resistance in the TS and SSM cathodes is found to appreciably decrease over time due to the copper deposition. In contrast to CR, TS and SSM, the cathode made with CS is heavily corroded in the first cycle, exhibiting significant reduction in both the maximum power density and Cu(II) removal at cycle 2, after which the performance stabilizes. These results demonstrate that the initial deposition of copper on the cathodes of MFCs is crucial for efficient and continuous Cu(II) reduction and electricity generation over prolonged time. This effect is closely associated with the nature of the cathode material. Among the materials examined, the SSM is the most effective and inexpensive cathode for practical use in MFCs.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

  9. The water catalysis at oxygen cathodes of lithium–oxygen cells

    PubMed Central

    Li, Fujun; Wu, Shichao; Li, De; Zhang, Tao; He, Ping; Yamada, Atsuo; Zhou, Haoshen

    2015-01-01

    Lithium–oxygen cells have attracted extensive interests due to their high theoretical energy densities. The main challenges are the low round-trip efficiency and cycling instability over long time. However, even in the state-of-the-art lithium–oxygen cells the charge potentials are as high as 3.5 V that are higher by 0.70 V than the discharge potentials. Here we report a reaction mechanism at an oxygen cathode, ruthenium and manganese dioxide nanoparticles supported on carbon black Super P by applying a trace amount of water in electrolytes to catalyse the cathode reactions of lithium–oxygen cells during discharge and charge. This can significantly reduce the charge overpotential to 0.21 V, and results in a small discharge/charge potential gap of 0.32 V and superior cycling stability of 200 cycles. The overall reaction scheme will alleviate side reactions involving carbon and electrolytes, and shed light on the construction of practical, rechargeable lithium–oxygen cells. PMID:26206379

  10. Ag/C nanoparticles as an cathode catalyst for a zinc-air battery with a flowing alkaline electrolyte

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Jia-Jun; Li, Ning; Zhang, Tian-Yun

    The cyclic voltammetry indicated that the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) proceeded by the four-electron pathway mechanism on larger Ag particles (174 nm), and that the ORR proceeded by the four-electron pathway and the two-electron pathway mechanisms on finer Ag particles (4.1 nm), simultaneously. The kinetics towards ORR was measured at a rotating disk electrode (RDE) with Ag/C electrode. The number of exchanged electrons for the ORR was found to be close to four on larger Ag particles (174 nm) and close to three on finer Ag particles (4.1 nm). The zinc-air battery with Ag/C catalysts (25.9 nm) was fabricated and examined.

  11. Theory, Investigation and Stability of Cathode Electrocatalytic Activity

    SciTech Connect

    Ding, Dong; Liu, Mingfei; Lai, Samson; Blinn, Kevin; Liu, Meilin

    2012-09-30

    The main objective of this project is to systematically characterize the surface composition, morphology, and electro-catalytic properties of catalysts coated on LSCF, aiming to establish the scientific basis for rational design of high-performance cathodes by combining a porous backbone (such as LSCF) with a thin catalyst coating. The understanding gained will help us to optimize the composition and morphology of the catalyst layer and microstructure of the LSCF backbone for better performance. More specifically, the technical objectives include: (1) to characterize the surface composition, morphology, and electro-catalytic properties of catalysts coated on LSCF; (2) to characterize the microscopic details and stability of the LSCF-catalyst (e.g., LSM) interfaces; (3) to establish the scientific basis for rational design of high-performance cathodes by combining a porous backbone (such as LSCF) with a thin catalyst coating; and (4) to demonstrate that the performance and stability of porous LSCF cathodes can be enhanced by the application of a thin-film coating of LSM through a solution infiltration process in small homemade button cells and in commercially available cells of larger dimension. We have successfully developed dense, conformal LSM films with desired structure, composition, morphology, and thickness on the LSCF surfaces by two different infiltration processes: a non-aqueous and a water-based sol-gel process. It is demonstrated that the activity and stability of LSCF cathodes can be improved by the introduction of a thin-film LSM coating through an infiltration process. Surface and interface of the LSM-coated LSCF cathode were systematically characterized using advanced microscopy and spectroscopy techniques. TEM observation suggests that a layer of La and Sr oxide was formed on LSCF surfaces after annealing. With LSM infiltration, in contrast, we no longer observe such La/Sr oxide layer on the LSM-coated LSCF samples after annealing under similar

  12. Scalable air cathode microbial fuel cells using glass fiber separators, plastic mesh supporters, and graphite fiber brush anodes.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiaoyuan; Cheng, Shaoan; Liang, Peng; Huang, Xia; Logan, Bruce E

    2011-01-01

    The combined use of brush anodes and glass fiber (GF1) separators, and plastic mesh supporters were used here for the first time to create a scalable microbial fuel cell architecture. Separators prevented short circuiting of closely-spaced electrodes, and cathode supporters were used to avoid water gaps between the separator and cathode that can reduce power production. The maximum power density with a separator and supporter and a single cathode was 75 ± 1 W/m(3). Removing the separator decreased power by 8%. Adding a second cathode increased power to 154 ± 1 W/m(3). Current was increased by connecting two MFCs connected in parallel. These results show that brush anodes, combined with a glass fiber separator and a plastic mesh supporter, produce a useful MFC architecture that is inherently scalable due to good insulation between the electrodes and a compact architecture. PMID:20566288

  13. Scalable air cathode microbial fuel cells using glass fiber separators, plastic mesh supporters, and graphite fiber brush anodes.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiaoyuan; Cheng, Shaoan; Liang, Peng; Huang, Xia; Logan, Bruce E

    2011-01-01

    The combined use of brush anodes and glass fiber (GF1) separators, and plastic mesh supporters were used here for the first time to create a scalable microbial fuel cell architecture. Separators prevented short circuiting of closely-spaced electrodes, and cathode supporters were used to avoid water gaps between the separator and cathode that can reduce power production. The maximum power density with a separator and supporter and a single cathode was 75 ± 1 W/m(3). Removing the separator decreased power by 8%. Adding a second cathode increased power to 154 ± 1 W/m(3). Current was increased by connecting two MFCs connected in parallel. These results show that brush anodes, combined with a glass fiber separator and a plastic mesh supporter, produce a useful MFC architecture that is inherently scalable due to good insulation between the electrodes and a compact architecture.

  14. Particle-in-cell based parameter study of 12-cavity, 12-cathode rising-sun relativistic magnetrons for improved performance

    SciTech Connect

    Majzoobi, A.; Joshi, R. P. Neuber, A. A.; Dickens, J. C.

    2015-10-15

    Particle-in-cell simulations are performed to analyze the efficiency, output power and leakage currents in a 12-Cavity, 12-Cathode rising-sun magnetron with diffraction output (MDO). The central goal is to conduct a parameter study of a rising-sun magnetron that comprehensively incorporates performance enhancing features such as transparent cathodes, axial extraction, the use of endcaps, and cathode extensions. Our optimum results demonstrate peak output power of about 2.1 GW, with efficiencies of ∼70% and low leakage currents at a magnetic field of 0.45 Tesla, a 400 kV bias with a single endcap, for a range of cathode extensions between 3 and 6 centimeters.

  15. Particle-in-cell based parameter study of 12-cavity, 12-cathode rising-sun relativistic magnetrons for improved performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Majzoobi, A.; Joshi, R. P.; Neuber, A. A.; Dickens, J. C.

    2015-10-01

    Particle-in-cell simulations are performed to analyze the efficiency, output power and leakage currents in a 12-Cavity, 12-Cathode rising-sun magnetron with diffraction output (MDO). The central goal is to conduct a parameter study of a rising-sun magnetron that comprehensively incorporates performance enhancing features such as transparent cathodes, axial extraction, the use of endcaps, and cathode extensions. Our optimum results demonstrate peak output power of about 2.1 GW, with efficiencies of ˜70% and low leakage currents at a magnetic field of 0.45 Tesla, a 400 kV bias with a single endcap, for a range of cathode extensions between 3 and 6 centimeters.

  16. One-step fabrication of membraneless microbial fuel cell cathode by electropolymerization of polypyrrole onto stainless steel mesh.

    PubMed

    Feng, Chunhua; Wan, Qunyi; Lv, Zhisheng; Yue, Xianjun; Chen, Yanfeng; Wei, Chaohai

    2011-05-15

    A unique one-step method for fabrication of a membraneless microbial fuel cell (MFC) cathode was developed by coating a conductive polymer onto stainless steel mesh. The resulting polypyrrole/anthraquinone-2-sulfonate (PPy/AQS) film was synthesized via electropolymerization using AQS as the dopants. The scanning electron microscopy results indicated that the PPy/AQS film was uniformly formed on the metal mesh electrode without cracks on its surface and featuring a globular structure. Being equipped with such a cathode that was able to catalyze oxygen reduction and prevent water leakage, the membraneless MFC allowed power generation over 250 h and exhibited a maximum power density of 575 mW m(-2). Increasing film thickness seemed to result in a reduction in power performance due to the increased ohmic resistance of the cathode material and the enhanced difficulty for oxygen diffusion inside the cathode.

  17. OPTIMIZATION OF THE CATHODE LONG-TERM STABILITY IN MOLTEN CARBONATE FUEL CELLS: EXPERIMENTAL STUDY AND MATHEMATICAL MODELING

    SciTech Connect

    Dr. Ralph E. White

    2000-09-30

    The dissolution of NiO cathodes during cell operation is a limiting factor to the successful commercialization of molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFCs). Microencapsulation of the NiO cathode has been adopted as a surface modification technique to increase the stability of NiO cathodes in the carbonate melt. The material used for surface modification should possess thermodynamic stability in the molten carbonate and also should be electro catalytically active for MCFC reactions. A simple first principles model was developed to understand the influence of exchange current density and conductivity of the electrode material on the polarization of MCFC cathodes. The model predictions suggest that cobalt can be used to improve the corrosion resistance of NiO cathode without affecting its performance. Cobalt was deposited on NiO cathode by electroless deposition. The morphology and thermal oxidation behavior of Co coated NiO was studied using scanning electron microscopy and thermal gravimetric analysis respectively. The electrochemical performance of cobalt encapsulated NiO cathodes were investigated with open circuit potential measurement and current-potential polarization studies. These results were compared to that of bare NiO. The electrochemical oxidation behavior of cobalt-coated electrodes is similar to that of the bare NiO cathode. Dissolution of nickel into the molten carbonate melt was less in case of cobalt encapsulated nickel cathodes. Co coated on the surface prevents the dissolution of Ni in the melt and thereby stabilizes the cathode. Finally, cobalt coated nickel shows similar polarization characteristics as nickel oxide. A similar surface modification technique has been used to improve the performance of the SS 304 current collectors used in MCFC cells. SS 304 was encapsulated with nanostructured layers of NiCo and NiMo by electroless deposition. The corrosion behavior of bare and surface modified SS 304 in molten carbonate under cathode gas atmosphere was

  18. Compatibility between strontium-doped ferrite cathode and metallic interconnects in solid oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miguel-Pérez, Verónica; Martínez-Amesti, Ana; Arriortua, María Isabel

    2015-04-01

    One of the most important issues related to the performance of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) is the chromium poisoning of the perovskite-type materials used as cathodes by the gaseous chromium species from metallic interconnects. In this study, powder mixtures of LSF40-Cr2O3 were heated at 800 °C and 1000 °C in air and were subsequently analysed by X-ray powder diffraction. For all the mixtures, the crystallisation of SrCrO4 was observed. In addition, the degradation occurring between three alloys with different compositions, Crofer 22 APU, SS430 and Conicro 4023 W 188, as metallic interconnects and La0.6Sr0.4FeO3 (LSF40) ceramic material as a cathode was studied. The results show significant chromium deposition and the formation of SrCrO4, LaCrO3 and La2O3 that block the active LSF40 electrode surface and degrade the stack (YSZ/SDC/LSF40/Interconnect) performance. LSF40 assembled with SS430 exhibited substantial Cr deposition. The deposition of the Cr species and the reaction with the LSF40 cathode is related to the composition of the oxide scales formed at each metallic interconnect and at the same time is related to the composition of the alloys. The best results obtained were for the half-cell (YSZ/SDC/LSF40) in contact with Conicro 4023 W 188 and Crofer 22 APU after heat treatment in air at 800 °C for 100 h.

  19. Spray-on polyvinyl alcohol separators and impact on power production in air-cathode microbial fuel cells with different solution conductivities.

    PubMed

    Hoskins, Daniel L; Zhang, Xiaoyuan; Hickner, Michael A; Logan, Bruce E

    2014-11-01

    Separators are used to protect cathodes from biofouling and to avoid electrode short-circuiting, but they can adversely affect microbial fuel cell (MFC) performance. A spray method was used to apply a polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) separator to the cathode. Power densities were unaffected by the PVA separator (339±29mW/m(2)), compared to a control lacking a separator in a low conductivity solution (1mS/cm) similar to wastewater. Power was reduced with separators in solutions typical of laboratory tests (7-13mS/cm), compared to separatorless controls. The PVA separator produced more power in a separator assembly (SEA) configuration (444±8mW/m(2)) in the 1mS/cm solution, but power was reduced if a PVA or wipe separator was used in higher conductivity solutions with either Pt or activated carbon catalysts. Spray and cast PVA separators performed similarly, but the spray method is preferred as it was easier to apply and use.

  20. Stabilizing platinum in phosphoric acid fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Remick, R. J.

    1982-01-01

    Platinum sintering on phosphoric acid fuel cell cathodes is discussed. The cathode of the phosphoric acid fuel cell uses a high surface area platinum catalyst dispersed on a conductive carbon support to minimize both cathode polarization and fabrication costs. During operation, however, the active surface area of these electrodes decreases, which in turn leads to decreased cell performance. This loss of active surface area is a major factor in the degradation of fuel cell performance over time.

  1. Degradation mechanisms of Platinum Nanoparticle Catalysts in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells: The Role of Particle Size

    SciTech Connect

    Yu, Kang; Groom, Daniel J.; Wang, Xiaoping; Yang, Zhiwei; Gummalla, Mallika; Ball, Sarah C.; Myers, Deborah J.; Ferreira, Paulo J.

    2014-10-14

    Five membrane-electrode assemblies (MEAs) with different average sizes of platinum (Pt) nanoparticles (2.2, 3.5, 5.0, 6.7, and 11.3 nm) in the cathode were analyzed before and after potential cycling (0.6 to 1.0 V, 50 mV/s) by transmission electron microscopy. Cathodes loaded with 2.2 nm and 3.5 nm catalyst nanoparticles exhibit the following changes during electrochemical cycling: (i) substantial broadening of the size distribution relative to the initial size distribution, (ii) presence of coalesced particles within the electrode, and (iii) precipitation of sub-micron-sized particles with complex shapes within the membrane. In contrast, cathodes loaded with 5.0 nm, 6.7 nm and 11.3 nm size catalyst nanoparticles are significantly less prone to the aforementioned effects. As a result, the electrochemically-active surface area (ECA) of MEA cathodes loaded with 2.2 nm and 3.5 nm nanoparticle catalysts degrades dramatically within 1,000 cycles of operation, while the electrochemically-active surface area of MEA cathodes loaded with 5.0 nm, 6.7 nm and 11.3 nm nanoparticle catalysts appears to be stable even after 10,000 cycles. The loss in MEA performance for cathodes loaded with 2.2 nm and 3.5 nm nanoparticle catalysts appears to be due to the loss in electrochemically-active surface area concomitant with the observed morphological changes in these nanoparticle catalysts

  2. Microbial fuel cell using anaerobic respiration as an anodic reaction and biomineralized manganese as a cathodic reactant.

    PubMed

    Rhoads, Allison; Beyenal, Haluk; Lewandowski, Zbigniew

    2005-06-15

    We have operated a microbial fuel cell in which glucose was oxidized by Klebsiella pneumoniae in the anodic compartment, and biomineralized manganese oxides, deposited by Leptothrix discophora, were electrochemically reduced in the cathodic compartment. In the anodic compartment, to facilitate the electron transfer from glucose to the graphite electrode, we added a redox mediator, 2-hydroxy-1,4-naphthoquinone. We did not add any redox mediator to the cathodic compartment because the biomineralized manganese oxides were deposited on the surface of a graphite electrode and were reduced directly by electrons from the electrode. We have demonstrated that biomineralized manganese oxides are superiorto oxygen when used as cathodic reactants in microbial fuel cells. The current density delivered by using biomineralized manganese oxides as the cathodic reactant was almost 2 orders of magnitude higher than that delivered using oxygen. Several fuel cells were operated for 500 h, reaching anodic potentials of -441.5 +/- 31 mVscE and cathodic potentials of +384.5 +/- 64 mVscE. When the electrodes were connected by a 50 Ohms resistor, the fuel cell delivered the peak power density of 126.7 +/- 31.5 mW/m2.

  3. Microbial fuel cell using anaerobic respiration as an anodic reaction and biomineralized manganese as a cathodic reactant.

    PubMed

    Rhoads, Allison; Beyenal, Haluk; Lewandowski, Zbigniew

    2005-06-15

    We have operated a microbial fuel cell in which glucose was oxidized by Klebsiella pneumoniae in the anodic compartment, and biomineralized manganese oxides, deposited by Leptothrix discophora, were electrochemically reduced in the cathodic compartment. In the anodic compartment, to facilitate the electron transfer from glucose to the graphite electrode, we added a redox mediator, 2-hydroxy-1,4-naphthoquinone. We did not add any redox mediator to the cathodic compartment because the biomineralized manganese oxides were deposited on the surface of a graphite electrode and were reduced directly by electrons from the electrode. We have demonstrated that biomineralized manganese oxides are superiorto oxygen when used as cathodic reactants in microbial fuel cells. The current density delivered by using biomineralized manganese oxides as the cathodic reactant was almost 2 orders of magnitude higher than that delivered using oxygen. Several fuel cells were operated for 500 h, reaching anodic potentials of -441.5 +/- 31 mVscE and cathodic potentials of +384.5 +/- 64 mVscE. When the electrodes were connected by a 50 Ohms resistor, the fuel cell delivered the peak power density of 126.7 +/- 31.5 mW/m2. PMID:16047807

  4. Mesoporous CuCo2O4 nanoparticles as an efficient cathode catalyst for Li-O2 batteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Peng-Xiang; Shao, Lin; Zhang, Nai-Qing; Sun, Ke-Ning

    2016-09-01

    Extremely high energy density and environment friendly reaction make Li-O2 batteries a promising energy storage system. In order to improve the energy efficiency and cycle life of Li-O2 battery, spinel mesoporous CuCo2O4 was successfully synthesized by a facile hydrothermal method and investigated in Li-O2 batteries. The electrochemical measurements show that mesoporous CuCo2O4 possess higher oxygen reduction and oxygen evolution activity than bulk CuCo2O4 both in alkaline and non-aqueous solution. Owing to the inherent catalytic activity, high conductivity and facile mass transfer of mesoporous CuCo2O4, Li-O2 battery shows enhanced electrochemical performances, including much lower charge overpotential and a high capacity up to 5288 mAh g-1. When restricting the discharge capacity at 500 mAh g-1, it could operate over 80 cycles and exhibit superior cycle stability. These results indicate that mesoporous CuCo2O4 nanoparticles are appropriate bifunctional catalysts for Li-O2 batteries.

  5. Enhanced oxygen reduction activity and solid oxide fuel cell performance with a nanoparticles-loaded cathode.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiaomin; Liu, Li; Zhao, Zhe; Tu, Baofeng; Ou, Dingrong; Cui, Daan; Wei, Xuming; Chen, Xiaobo; Cheng, Mojie

    2015-03-11

    Reluctant oxygen-reduction-reaction (ORR) activity has been a long-standing challenge limiting cell performance for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) in both centralized and distributed power applications. We report here that this challenge has been tackled with coloading of (La,Sr)MnO3 (LSM) and Y2O3 stabilized zirconia (YSZ) nanoparticles within a porous YSZ framework. This design dramatically improves ORR activity, enhances fuel cell output (200-300% power improvement), and enables superior stability (no observed degradation within 500 h of operation) from 600 to 800 °C. The improved performance is attributed to the intimate contacts between nanoparticulate YSZ and LSM particles in the three-phase boundaries in the cathode.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  7. Bismuth doped lanthanum ferrite perovskites as novel cathodes for intermediate-temperature solid oxide fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Li, Mei; Wang, Yao; Wang, Yunlong; Chen, Fanglin; Xia, Changrong

    2014-07-23

    Bismuth is doped to lanthanum strontium ferrite to produce ferrite-based perovskites with a composition of La(0.8-x)Bi(x)Sr0.2FeO(3-δ) (0 ≤ x ≤ 0.8) as novel cathode material for intermediate-temperature solid oxide fuel cells. The perovskite properties including oxygen nonstoichiometry coefficient (δ), average valence of Fe, sinterability, thermal expansion coefficient, electrical conductivity (σ), oxygen chemical surface exchange coefficient (K(chem)), and chemical diffusion coefficient (D(chem)) are explored as a function of bismuth content. While σ decreases with x due to the reduced Fe(4+) content, D(chem) and K(chem) increase since the oxygen vacancy concentration is increased by Bi doping. Consequently, the electrochemical performance is substantially improved and the interfacial polarization resistance is reduced from 1.0 to 0.10 Ω cm(2) at 700 °C with Bi doping. The perovskite with x = 0.4 is suggested as the most promising composition as solid oxide fuel cell cathode material since it has demonstrated high electrical conductivity and low interfacial polarization resistance.

  8. Modeling of thermal expansion coefficient of perovskite oxide for solid oxide fuel cell cathode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heydari, F.; Maghsoudipour, A.; Alizadeh, M.; Khakpour, Z.; Javaheri, M.

    2015-09-01

    Artificial intelligence models have the capacity to eliminate the need for expensive experimental investigation in various areas of manufacturing processes, including the material science. This study investigates the applicability of adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS) approach for modeling the performance parameters of thermal expansion coefficient (TEC) of perovskite oxide for solid oxide fuel cell cathode. Oxides (Ln = La, Nd, Sm and M = Fe, Ni, Mn) have been prepared and characterized to study the influence of the different cations on TEC. Experimental results have shown TEC decreases favorably with substitution of Nd3+ and Mn3+ ions in the lattice. Structural parameters of compounds have been determined by X-ray diffraction, and field emission scanning electron microscopy has been used for the morphological study. Comparison results indicated that the ANFIS technique could be employed successfully in modeling thermal expansion coefficient of perovskite oxide for solid oxide fuel cell cathode, and considerable savings in terms of cost and time could be obtained by using ANFIS technique.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Kinetic modelling of molten carbonate fuel cells: Effects of cathode water and electrode materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arato, E.; Audasso, E.; Barelli, L.; Bosio, B.; Discepoli, G.

    2016-10-01

    Through previous campaigns the authors developed a semi-empirical kinetic model to describe MCFC performance for industrial and laboratory simulation. Although effective in a wide range of operating conditions, the model was validated for specific electrode materials and dry feeding cathode compositions. The new aim is to prove that with appropriate improvements it is possible to apply the model to MCFC provided by different suppliers and to new sets of reactant gases. Specifically, this paper describes the procedures to modify the model to switch among different materials and identify a new parameter taking into account the effects of cathode water vapour. The new equation is integrated as the kinetic core within the SIMFC (SIMulation of Fuel Cells) code, an MCFC 3D model set up by the PERT group of the University of Genova, for reliability test. Validation is performed using data collected through tests carried out at the University of Perugia using single cells. The results are discussed giving examples of the simulated performance with varying operating conditions. The final formulation average percentage error obtained for all the simulated cases with respect to experimental results is maintained around 1%, despite the difference between the basic and the new conditions and facilities.

  11. Cubic PdNP-based air-breathing cathodes integrated in glucose hybrid biofuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faggion Junior, D.; Haddad, R.; Giroud, F.; Holzinger, M.; Maduro de Campos, C. E.; Acuña, J. J. S.; Domingos, J. B.; Cosnier, S.

    2016-05-01

    Cubic Pd nanoparticles (PdNPs) were synthesized using ascorbic acid as a reducing agent and were evaluated for the catalytic oxygen reduction reaction. PdNPs were confined with multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) dispersions to form black suspensions and these inks were dropcast onto glassy carbon electrodes. Different nanoparticle sizes were synthesized and investigated upon oxygen reduction capacities (onset potential and electrocatalytic current densities) under O2 saturated conditions at varying pH values. Strong evidence of O2 diffusion limitation was demonstrated. In order to overcome oxygen concentration and diffusion limitations in solution, we used a gas diffusion layer to create a PdNP-based air-breathing cathode, which delivered -1.5 mA cm-2 at 0.0 V with an onset potential of 0.4 V. This air-breathing cathode was combined with a specially designed phenanthrolinequinone/glucose dehydrogenase-based anode to form a complete glucose/O2 hybrid bio-fuel cell providing an open circuit voltage of 0.554 V and delivering a maximal power output of 184 +/- 21 μW cm-2 at 0.19 V and pH 7.0.Cubic Pd nanoparticles (PdNPs) were synthesized using ascorbic acid as a reducing agent and were evaluated for the catalytic oxygen reduction reaction. PdNPs were confined with multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) dispersions to form black suspensions and these inks were dropcast onto glassy carbon electrodes. Different nanoparticle sizes were synthesized and investigated upon oxygen reduction capacities (onset potential and electrocatalytic current densities) under O2 saturated conditions at varying pH values. Strong evidence of O2 diffusion limitation was demonstrated. In order to overcome oxygen concentration and diffusion limitations in solution, we used a gas diffusion layer to create a PdNP-based air-breathing cathode, which delivered -1.5 mA cm-2 at 0.0 V with an onset potential of 0.4 V. This air-breathing cathode was combined with a specially designed phenanthrolinequinone

  12. OPTIMIZATION OF THE CATHODE LONG-TERM STABILITY IN MOLTEN CARBONATE FUEL CELLS: EXPERIMENTAL STUDY AND MATHEMATICAL MODELING

    SciTech Connect

    Dr. Ralph E. White; Dr. Branko N. Popov

    2002-04-01

    The dissolution of NiO cathodes during cell operation is a limiting factor to the successful commercialization of molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFCs). Lithium cobalt oxide coating onto the porous nickel electrode has been adopted to modify the conventional MCFC cathode which is believed to increase the stability of the cathodes in the carbonate melt. The material used for surface modification should possess thermodynamic stability in the molten carbonate and also should be electro catalytically active for MCFC reactions. Two approaches have been adopted to get a stable cathode material. First approach is the use of LiNi{sub 0.8}Co{sub 0.2}O{sub 2}, a commercially available lithium battery cathode material and the second is the use of tape cast electrodes prepared from cobalt coated nickel powders. The morphology and the structure of LiNi{sub 0.8}Co{sub 0.2}O{sub 2} and tape cast Co coated nickel powder electrodes were studied using scanning electron microscopy and X-Ray diffraction studies respectively. The electrochemical performance of the two materials was investigated by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and polarization studies. A three phase homogeneous model was developed to simulate the performance of the molten carbonate fuel cell cathode. The homogeneous model is based on volume averaging of different variables in the three phases over a small volume element. The model gives a good fit to the experimental data. The model has been used to analyze MCFC cathode performance under a wide range of operating conditions.

  13. High Performance and Cost-Effective Direct Methanol Fuel Cells: Fe-N-C Methanol-Tolerant Oxygen Reduction Reaction Catalysts.

    PubMed

    Sebastián, David; Serov, Alexey; Artyushkova, Kateryna; Gordon, Jonathan; Atanassov, Plamen; Aricò, Antonino S; Baglio, Vincenzo

    2016-08-01

    Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) offer great advantages for the supply of power with high efficiency and large energy density. The search for a cost-effective, active, stable and methanol-tolerant catalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) is still a great challenge. In this work, platinum group metal-free (PGM-free) catalysts based on Fe-N-C are investigated in acidic medium. Post-treatment of the catalyst improves the ORR activity compared with previously published PGM-free formulations and shows an excellent tolerance to the presence of methanol. The feasibility for application in DMFC under a wide range of operating conditions is demonstrated, with a maximum power density of approximately 50 mW cm(-2) and a negligible methanol crossover effect on the performance. A review of the most recent PGM-free cathode formulations for DMFC indicates that this formulation leads to the highest performance at a low membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) cost. Moreover, a 100 h durability test in DMFC shows suitable applicability, with a similar performance-time behavior compared to common MEAs based on Pt cathodes. PMID:27376964

  14. Interface investigation of the alcohol-/water-soluble conjugated polymer PFN as cathode interfacial layer in organic solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhong, Shu; Wang, Rui; Ying Mao, Hong; He, Zhicai; Wu, Hongbin; Chen, Wei; Cao, Yong

    2013-09-01

    In this work, in situ ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy measurements were used to investigate the working mechanism of an alcohol-/water-soluble conjugated polymer poly [(9,9-bis(3'-(N,N-dimethylamino)propyl)-2,7-fluorene)-alt-2,7-(9,9-dioctylfluorene)] (PFN) as the cathode interfacial layer in organic solar cells from the view of interfacial energy level alignment. Fullerene (C60) was chosen as the model acceptor material in contact with PFN as well as two other cathode interfacial layers ZnO and TiO2 in the configuration of an inverted solar cell structure. Significant charge transfer between PFN modified ITO (indium tin oxide) electrode and C60 is observed due to the low work function of PFN. This results in the Fermi level of the substrate pinned very close to the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital of C60 as well as an additional electric field at the cathode/acceptor interface. Both of them facilitate the electron extraction from the acceptor C60 to the ITO cathode, as confirmed by the electrical measurements of the electron-only devices with PFN modification. The better electron extraction originated from the Fermi level pinning and the additional interface electric field are believed to contribute to the efficiency enhancement of the inverted organic solar cells employing PFN as cathode interfacial layer.

  15. Effect of flow pulsation on mass transport in a cathode channel of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Hun Sik; Kim, Yun Ho; Kim, Seo Young; Hyun, Jae Min

    2012-09-01

    An experimental and theoretical study on the cathode flow pulsation in a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell is performed. A 10-cell PEM fuel cell stack with open-air cathode channels is employed to investigate the effects of the cathode flow pulsation on the overall performance. The polarization and corresponding power curves obtained show that both the limiting current density and the maximum power density are substantially enhanced when the pulsating component is added to the cathode mainstream flow. The flow pulsation at Re = 77 provides the maximum increment of 40% and 35.5% in the limiting current density and in the maximum power density, respectively. The enhancement of the overall performance is more pronounced at low Reynolds numbers. Also, the theoretical mass transport analysis in the pulsating cathode flow channel is carried out to verify the present experimental results. The momentum and species conservation equations are analytically solved, and the effective time-averaged dispersion coefficient is defined to account for the enhanced mass transport by the flow pulsation. Comprehensive analytical solutions show that the effect of the relevant parameters is in well accordance with the experimental results.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maleki, Erfan; Maleki, Nasim

    2016-08-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Device lifetime improvement of polymer-based bulk heterojunction solar cells by incorporating copper oxide layer at Al cathode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Mingdong; Xie, Fangyan; Xie, Weiguang; Zheng, Shizhao; Ke, Ning; Chen, Jian; Zhao, Ni; Xu, J. B.

    2011-05-01

    Organic solar cells are commonly susceptible to degradation in air. We present that insertion of a thin layer of thermally evaporated copper oxide (CuOx) between the organic active layer and the Al cathode can greatly extend the lifetime of P3HT:PCBM based bulk heterojunction solar cells. The performance can be further improved by applying an interfacial bilayer of CuOx/LiF. Our results suggest that the CuOx functions not only as a charge transport layer but also as a protection layer, which prevents formation of thick organic-Al interdiffusion area. This leads to a more air-resistive cathode/organic interface.

  19. Oxygen reduction reaction on Cu-doped Ag cluster for fuel-cell cathode.

    PubMed

    Ma, Wenqiang; Chen, Fuyi; Zhang, Nan; Wu, Xiaoqiang

    2014-10-01

    The development of fuel cells as clean-energy technologies is largely limited by the prohibitive cost of the noble-metal catalysts needed for catalyzing the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in fuel cells. A fundamental understanding of catalyst design principle that links material structures to the catalytic activity can accelerate the search for highly active and abundant bimetallic catalysts to replace platinum. Here, we present a first-principles study of ORR on Ag12Cu cluster in alkaline environment. The adsorptions of O2, OOH, and OH on Cu-doped Ag13 are stronger than on Ag13. The d-band centers of adsorption sites show the Cu-doping makes d-electrons transferred to higher energy state, and improves O2 dissociation. ORR processes on Ag12Cu and Ag13 indicate Cu-doping can strongly promote ORR, and ORR process can be better preformed on Ag12Cu than on Ag13. For four-electron transfer, the effective reversible potential is 0.401 V/RHE on Ag12Cu in alkaline medium. PMID:25227449

  20. OPTIMIZATION OF THE CATHODE LONG TERM STABILITY IN MOLTEN CARBONATE FUEL CELLS: EXPERIMENTAL STUDY AND MATHEMATICAL MODELING

    SciTech Connect

    Anand Durairajan; Bala Haran; Branko N. Popov; Ralph E. White

    2000-05-01

    The cathode materials for molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFCs) must have low dissolution rate, high structural strength and good electrical conductivity. Currently available cathodes are made of lithiated NiO which have acceptable structural strength and conductivity. However a study carried out by Orfeld et al. and Shores et al. indicated that the nickel cathodes dissolved, then precipitated and reformed as dendrites across the electrolyte matrix. This results in a decrease in cell utilization and eventually leads to shorting of the cell. The solubility of NiO was found to depend upon the acidity/basicity of the melt (basicity is directly proportional to log P{sub CO2}), carbonate composition, H{sub 2}O partial pressure and temperature. Urushibata et al. found that the dissolution of the cathode is a primary life limiting constraint of MCFCs, particularly in pressurized operation. With currently available NiO cathodes, the goal of 40,000 hours for the lifetime of MCFC appears achievable with cell operation at atmospheric pressure. However, the cell life at 10 atm and higher cell pressures is in the range between 5,000 to 10,000 hours. The overall objective of this research is to develop a superior cathode for MCFC's with improved catalytic ability, enhanced corrosion resistance with low ohmic losses, improved electronic conductivity. We also plan to understand the corrosion processes occurring at the cathode/molten carbonate interface. The following cathode materials will be subjected to detailed electrochemical, performance, structural and corrosion studies. (i) Passivated NiO alloys using chemical treatment with yttrium ion implantation and anodic yttrium molybdate treatment; (ii) Novel composite materials based on NiO and nanosized Ce, Yt, Mo; (iii) Co doped LiNiO{sub 2} LiNiO{sub 2} doped with 10 to 20% Co (LiCo{sub 0.2}NiO{sub 2}) and NiO cathodes; and (iv) CoO as a replacement for NiO. Passivation treatments will inhibit corrosion and increase the stability

  1. Miniature fuel cell with monolithically fabricated Si electrodes - Alloy catalyst formation -

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ogura, Daiki; Suzuki, Takahiro; Katayama, Noboru; Dowaki, Kiyoshi; Hayase, Masanori

    2013-12-01

    A novel Pd-Pt catalyst formation process was proposed for reduction of Pt usage. In our miniature fuel cells, porous Pt was used as the catalyst, and the Pt usage was quite high. To reduce the Pt usage, we have attempted to deposit Pt on porous Pd by galvanic replacement, and relatively large output was demonstrated. In this study, in order to reduce more Pt usage and explore the alloy catalyst formation process, atomic layer deposition by UPD-SLRR (Under Potential Deposition - Surface Limited Redox Replacement) was applied to the Pd-Pt catalyst formation. The new process was verified at each process steps by EDS elemental analysis, and the expected spectra were obtained. Prototype cells were constructed by the new process, and cell output was raised to 420mW/cm2 by the Pd-Pt catalyst from 125mW/cm2 with Pd catalyst.

  2. Nanoporous silver cathode surface treated by atomic layer deposition of CeO(x) for low-temperature solid oxide fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Neoh, Ke Chean; Han, Gwon Deok; Kim, Manjin; Kim, Jun Woo; Choi, Hyung Jong; Park, Suk Won; Shim, Joon Hyung

    2016-05-01

    We evaluated the performance of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) with a 50 nm thin silver (Ag) cathode surface treated with cerium oxide (CeO(x)) by atomic layer deposition (ALD). The performances of bare and ALD-treated Ag cathodes were evaluated on gadolinia-doped ceria (GDC) electrolyte supporting cells with a platinum (Pt) anode over 300 °C-450 °C. Our work confirms that ALD CeO(x) treatment enhances cathodic performance and thermal stability of the Ag cathode. The performance difference between cells using a Ag cathode optimally treated with an ALD CeO(x) surface and a reference Pt cathode is about 50% at 450 °C in terms of fuel cell power output in our experiment. The bare Ag cathode completely agglomerated into islands during fuel cell operation at 450 °C, while the ALD CeO(x) treatment effectively protects the porosity of the cathode. We also discuss the long-term stability of ALD CeO(x)-treated Ag cathodes related to the microstructure of the layers.

  3. Nanoporous silver cathode surface treated by atomic layer deposition of CeO x for low-temperature solid oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chean Neoh, Ke; Han, Gwon Deok; Kim, Manjin; Kim, Jun Woo; Jong Choi, Hyung; Park, Suk Won; Shim, Joon Hyung

    2016-05-01

    We evaluated the performance of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) with a 50 nm thin silver (Ag) cathode surface treated with cerium oxide (CeO x ) by atomic layer deposition (ALD). The performances of bare and ALD-treated Ag cathodes were evaluated on gadolinia-doped ceria (GDC) electrolyte supporting cells with a platinum (Pt) anode over 300 °C-450 °C. Our work confirms that ALD CeO x treatment enhances cathodic performance and thermal stability of the Ag cathode. The performance difference between cells using a Ag cathode optimally treated with an ALD CeO x surface and a reference Pt cathode is about 50% at 450 °C in terms of fuel cell power output in our experiment. The bare Ag cathode completely agglomerated into islands during fuel cell operation at 450 °C, while the ALD CeO x treatment effectively protects the porosity of the cathode. We also discuss the long-term stability of ALD CeO x -treated Ag cathodes related to the microstructure of the layers.

  4. Copper-substituted perovskite compositions for solid oxide fuel cell cathodes and oxygen reduction electrodes in other electrochemical devices

    DOEpatents

    Rieke, Peter C.; Coffey, Gregory W.; Pederson, Larry R.; Marina, Olga A.; Hardy, John S.; Singh, Prabhaker; Thomsen, Edwin C.

    2010-07-20

    The present invention provides novel compositions that find advantageous use in making electrodes for electrochemical cells. Also provided are electrochemical devices that include active oxygen reduction electrodes, such as solid oxide fuel cells, sensors, pumps and the like. The compositions comprises a copper-substituted ferrite perovskite material. The invention also provides novel methods for making and using the electrode compositions and solid oxide fuel cells and solid oxide fuel cell assemblies having cathodes comprising the compositions.

  5. Method for producing electricity using a platinum-ruthenium-palladium catalyst in a fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Gorer, Alexander

    2004-01-27

    A method for producing electricity using a fuel cell that utilizes a ternary alloy composition as a fuel cell catalyst, the ternary alloy composition containing platinum, ruthenium and palladium. The alloy shows increased activity as compared to well-known catalysts.

  6. Development and characterization of novel cathode materials for molten carbonate fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giorgi, L.; Carewska, M.; Patriarca, M.; Scaccia, S.; Simonetti, E.; Dibartolomeo, A.

    1994-04-01

    In the development of molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC) technology, the corrosion of materials is a serious problem for long-term operation. Indeed, slow dissolution of lithiated-NiO cathode in molten carbonates is the main obstacle for the commercialization of MCFCs. In the search of new, more stable, cathode materials, alternative compounds such as LiFeO2, Li2MnO3, and La(1-x)Sr(x)CoO3 are presently under investigation to replace the currently used lithiated-NiO. The aim of the present work was to investigate the possibility to produce electrode based on LiCoO2, a promising cathode material. At first, Li(x)CoO2 powder samples (0.8 less than x less than 1.1) were made by thermal decomposition of carbonate precursors in air. The synthesis processes were monitored by thermal analysis (TGA, DTA). The calcined and sintered powder samples were characterized by x ray diffraction (XRD) andatomic absorption spectrophotometry (F-AAS). A single phase was detected in all the samples, without any change in crystal structure as a function of lithium content. Porous sintered electrodes were prepared starting from lithium cobaltite powders mixed with different pore-formers by cold pressing and sintering. A bimodal pore-size distribution with a mean pore diameter in the range of 0.15 to 8 micron, a surface area of 2 to 12 sq m/g and a porosity of 10 to 65%, determined by the Hg-intrusion technique, were observed in all the materials. Conductivity measurements were carried out in the temperature range of 500-700 C, in air. The influence of the deviations from stoichiometry on the electronic properties was determined, the conductivity value of the stoichiometric compound being the lowest. A linear relationship between the electronic conductivity and the sample porosity was found. Solubility testing of the materials was carried out to evaluate their chemical stability in the electrolyte. The sampling method (F-AAS) and square wave voltammetry (SWV) were used to determine the

  7. Stabilizing nanostructured solid oxide fuel cell cathode with atomic layer deposition.

    PubMed

    Gong, Yunhui; Palacio, Diego; Song, Xueyan; Patel, Rajankumar L; Liang, Xinhua; Zhao, Xuan; Goodenough, John B; Huang, Kevin

    2013-09-11

    We demonstrate that the highly active but unstable nanostructured intermediate-temperature solid oxide fuel cell cathode, La0.6Sr0.4CoO3-δ (LSCo), can retain its high oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity with exceptional stability for 4000 h at 700 °C by overcoating its surfaces with a conformal layer of nanoscale ZrO2 films through atomic layer deposition (ALD). The benefits from the presence of the nanoscale ALD-ZrO2 overcoats are remarkable: a factor of 19 and 18 reduction in polarization area-specific resistance and degradation rate over the pristine sample, respectively. The unique multifunctionality of the ALD-derived nanoscaled ZrO2 overcoats, that is, possessing porosity for O2 access to LSCo, conducting both electrons and oxide-ions, confining thermal growth of LSCo nanoparticles, and suppressing surface Sr-segregation is deemed the key enabler for the observed stable and active nanostructured cathode.

  8. Rational design of novel cathode materials in solid oxide fuel cells using first-principles simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, YongMan; Lin, M. C.; Liu, Meilin

    The search for clean and renewable sources of energy represents one of the most vital challenges facing us today. Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are among the most promising technologies for a clean and secure energy future due to their high energy efficiency and excellent fuel flexibility (e.g., direct utilization of hydrocarbons or renewable fuels). To make SOFCs economically competitive, however, development of new materials for low-temperature operation is essential. Here we report our results on a computational study to achieve rational design of SOFC cathodes with fast oxygen reduction kinetics and rapid ionic transport. Results suggest that surface catalytic properties are strongly correlated with the bulk transport properties in several material systems with the formula of La 0.5Sr 0.5BO 2.75 (where B = Cr, Mn, Fe, or Co). The predictions seem to agree qualitatively with available experimental results on these materials. This computational screening technique may guide us to search for high-efficiency cathode materials for a new generation of SOFCs.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  10. Cubic PdNP-based air-breathing cathodes integrated in glucose hybrid biofuel cells.

    PubMed

    Faggion Junior, D; Haddad, R; Giroud, F; Holzinger, M; Maduro de Campos, C E; Acuña, J J S; Domingos, J B; Cosnier, S

    2016-05-21

    Cubic Pd nanoparticles (PdNPs) were synthesized using ascorbic acid as a reducing agent and were evaluated for the catalytic oxygen reduction reaction. PdNPs were confined with multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) dispersions to form black suspensions and these inks were dropcast onto glassy carbon electrodes. Different nanoparticle sizes were synthesized and investigated upon oxygen reduction capacities (onset potential and electrocatalytic current densities) under O2 saturated conditions at varying pH values. Strong evidence of O2 diffusion limitation was demonstrated. In order to overcome oxygen concentration and diffusion limitations in solution, we used a gas diffusion layer to create a PdNP-based air-breathing cathode, which delivered -1.5 mA cm(-2) at 0.0 V with an onset potential of 0.4 V. This air-breathing cathode was combined with a specially designed phenanthrolinequinone/glucose dehydrogenase-based anode to form a complete glucose/O2 hybrid bio-fuel cell providing an open circuit voltage of 0.554 V and delivering a maximal power output of 184 ± 21 μW cm(-2) at 0.19 V and pH 7.0. PMID:27142300

  11. [Electrode configuration as a factor affecting electricity generation in air-cathode microbial fuel cell].

    PubMed

    You, Shi-Jie; Zhao, Qing-Liang; Jiang, Jun-Qiu

    2006-11-01

    In air-cathode microbial fuel cell (ACMFC), oxygen diffused into the reactor from cathode without PEM can be reduced as electron acceptor via aerobic respiration by facultative microorganisms, resulting in either a decreasing of power generation or electron loss. In this study, ACMFC1 and ACMFC2 with different electrode configuration were compared to examine power density and electron recovery from glucose. The results showed that ACMFC1 generated a maximum power density of 3 070mW/m3 with internal resistance of 302.141 and anode potential of -323mV; while maximum power density of 9 800mW/m3 for ACMFC2 was obtained with internal resistance of 107.79omega and anode potential of -442mV. ACMFC2 could sustain generating electricity for nearly 220 h (ERE of 30.1%), comparing with ACMFC1 of less than 50 h (ERE of 9.78%) under batch operation. Therefore, an improved design for electrode configuration of ACMFC can be performed to generate higher power with low internal resistance, meanwhile, achieve increasing electron recovery simultaneously.

  12. Simultaneous selection of soil electroactive bacterial communities associated to anode and cathode in a two-chamber Microbial Fuel Cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiellini, Carolina; Bacci, Giovanni; Fani, Renato; Mocali, Stefano

    2016-04-01

    Different bacteria have evolved strategies to transfer electrons over their cell surface to (or from) their extracellular environment. This electron transfer enables the use of these bacteria in bioelectrochemical systems (BES) such as Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs). In MFC research the biological reactions at the cathode have long been a secondary point of interest. However, bacterial biocathodes in MFCs represent a potential advantage compared to traditional cathodes, for both their low costs and their low impact on the environment. The main challenge in biocathode set-up is represented by the selection of a bacterial community able to efficiently accept electrons from the electrode, starting from an environmental matrix. In this work, a constant voltage was supplied on a two-chamber MFC filled up with soil over three weeks in order to simultaneously select an electron donor bacterial biomass on the anode and an electron acceptor biomass on the cathode, starting from the same soil. Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) analysis was performed to characterize the bacterial community of the initial soil, in the anode, in the cathode and in the control chamber not supplied with any voltage. Results highlighted that both the MFC conditions and the voltage supply affected the soil bacterial communities, providing a selection of different bacterial groups preferentially associated to the anode (Betaproteobacteria, Bacilli and Clostridia) and to the cathode (Actinobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria). These results confirmed that several electroactive bacteria are naturally present within a top soil and, moreover, different soil bacterial genera could provide different electrical properties.

  13. Analysis of long-term performance and microbial community structure in bio-cathode microbial desalination cells.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Huichao; Wen, Qinxue; An, Zhongyi; Chen, Zhiqiang; Nan, Jun

    2016-03-01

    A microbial desalination cell (MDC) could desalinate salt water without energy consumption and simultaneously generate bioenergy. Compared with an abiotic cathode MDC, an aerobic bio-cathode MDC is more sustainable and is less expensive to operate. In this study, the long-term operation (5500 h) performance of a bio-cathode MDC was investigated in which the power density, Coulombic efficiency, and salt removal rate were decreased by 71, 44, and 27 %, respectively. The primary reason for the system performance decrease was biofouling on the membranes, which increased internal resistance and reduced the ionic transfer and energy conversion efficiency. Changing membranes was an effective method to recover the MDC performance. The microbial community diversity in the MDC anode was low compared with that of the reported microbial fuel cell (MFC), while the abundance of Proteobacteria was 30 % higher. The content of Planctomycetes in the cathode biofilm sample was much higher than that in biofouling on the cation exchange membrane (CEM), indicating that Planctomycetes were relevant to cathode oxygen reduction.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  15. Long-term assessment of best cathode position to maximise microbial fuel cell performance in horizontal subsurface flow constructed wetlands.

    PubMed

    Corbella, Clara; Garfí, Marianna; Puigagut, Jaume

    2016-09-01

    The cathode of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) implemented in constructed wetlands (CWs) is generally set in close contact with water surface to provide a rich oxygen environment. However, water level variations caused by plants evapotranspiration in CWs might decrease MFC performance by limiting oxygen transfer to the cathode. Main objective of this work was to quantify the effect of water level variation on MFC performance implemented in HSSF CW. For the purpose of this work two MFCs were implemented within a HSSF CW pilot plant fed with primary treated domestic wastewater. Cell voltage (Ecell) and the relative distance between the cathode and the water level were recorded for one year. Results showed that Ecell was greatly influenced by the relative distance between the cathode and the water level, giving an optimal cathode position of about 1 to 2cm above water level. Both water level variation and Ecell were daily and seasonal dependent, showing a pronounced day/night variation during warm periods and showing almost no daily variation during cold periods. Energy production under pronounced daily water level variation was 40% lower (80±56mWh/m(2)·day) than under low water level variation (131±61mWh/m(2)·day). Main conclusion of the present work is that of the performance of MFC implemented in HSSF CW is highly dependent on plants evapotranspiration. Therefore, MFC that are to be implemented in CWs shall be designed to be able to cope with pronounced water level variations.

  16. Triple-conducting layered perovskites as cathode materials for proton-conducting solid oxide fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Kim, Junyoung; Sengodan, Sivaprakash; Kwon, Goeun; Ding, Dong; Shin, Jeeyoung; Liu, Meilin; Kim, Guntae

    2014-10-01

    We report on an excellent anode-supported H(+) -SOFC material system using a triple conducting (H(+) /O(2-) /e(-) ) oxide (TCO) as a cathode material for H(+) -SOFCs. Generally, mixed ionic (O(2-) ) and electronic conductors (MIECs) have been selected as the cathode material of H(+) -SOFCs. In an H(+) -SOFC system, however, MIEC cathodes limit the electrochemically active sites to the interface between the proton conducting electrolyte and the cathode. New approaches to the tailoring of cathode materials for H(+) -SOFCs should therefore be considered. TCOs can effectively extend the electrochemically active sites from the interface between the cathode and the electrolyte to the entire surface of the cathode. The electrochemical performance of NBSCF/BZCYYb/BZCYYb-NiO shows excellent long term stability for 500 h at 1023 K with high power density of 1.61 W cm(-2) .

  17. OPTIMIZATION OF THE CATHODE LONG-TERM STABILITY IN MOLTEN CARBONATE FUEL CELLS: EXPERIMENTAL STUDY AND MATHEMATICAL MODELING

    SciTech Connect

    Hector Colonmer; Prabhu Ganesan; Nalini Subramanian; Dr. Bala Haran; Dr. Ralph E. White; Dr. Branko N. Popov

    2002-09-01

    This project focused on addressing the two main problems associated with state of art Molten Carbonate Fuel Cells, namely loss of cathode active material and stainless steel current collector deterioration due to corrosion. We followed a dual approach where in the first case we developed novel materials to replace the cathode and current collector currently used in molten carbonate fuel cells. In the second case we improved the performance of conventional cathode and current collectors through surface modification. States of art NiO cathode in MCFC undergo dissolution in the cathode melt thereby limiting the lifetime of the cell. To prevent this we deposited cobalt using an electroless deposition process. We also coated perovskite (La{sub 0.8}Sr{sub 0.2}CoO{sub 3}) in NiO thorough a sol-gel process. The electrochemical oxidation behavior of Co and perovskites coated electrodes is similar to that of the bare NiO cathode. Co and perovskite coatings on the surface decrease the dissolution of Ni into the melt and thereby stabilize the cathode. Both, cobalt and provskites coated nickel oxide, show a higher polarization compared to that of nickel oxide, which could be due to the reduced surface area. Cobalt substituted lithium nickel oxide (LiNi{sub 0.8}Co{sub 0.2}O{sub 2}) and lithium cobalt oxide were also studied. LiNi{sub x}Co{sub 1-x}O{sub 2} was synthesized by solid-state reaction procedure using lithium nitrate, nickel hydroxide and cobalt oxalate precursor. LiNi{sub x}Co{sub 1-x}O{sub 2} showed smaller dissolution of nickel than state of art nickel oxide cathode. The performance was comparable to that of nickel oxide. The corrosion of the current collector in the cathode side was also studied. The corrosion characteristics of both SS304 and SS304 coated with Co-Ni alloy were studied. This study confirms that surface modification of SS304 leads to the formation of complex scales with better barrier properties and better electronic conductivity at 650 C. A three

  18. OPTIMIZATION OF THE CATHODE LONG-TERM STABILITY IN MOLTEN CARBONATE FUEL CELLS: EXPERIMENTAL STUDY AND MATHEMATICAL MODELING

    SciTech Connect

    Dr. Ralph E. White; Dr. Branko N. Popov

    2001-10-01

    The dissolution of NiO cathodes during cell operation is a limiting factor to the successful commercialization of molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFCs). Lithium cobalt oxide coating onto the porous nickel electrode has been adopted to modify the conventional MCFC cathode which is believed to increase the stability of the cathodes in the carbonate melt. The material used for surface modification should possess thermodynamic stability in the molten carbonate and also should be electro catalytically active for MCFC reactions. Lithium Cobalt oxide was coated on Ni cathode by a sol-gel coating. The morphology and the LiCoO{sub 2} formation of LiCoO{sub 2} coated NiO was studied using scanning electron microscopy and X-Ray diffraction studies respectively. The electrochemical performance lithium cobalt oxide coated NiO cathodes were investigated with open circuit potential measurement and current-potential polarization studies. These results were compared to that of bare NiO. Dissolution of nickel into the molten carbonate melt was less in case of lithium cobalt oxide coated nickel cathodes. LiCoO{sub 2} coated on the surface prevents the dissolution of Ni in the melt and thereby stabilizes the cathode. Finally, lithium cobalt oxide coated nickel shows similar polarization characteristics as nickel oxide. Conventional theoretical models for the molten carbonate fuel cell cathode are based on the thin film agglomerate model. The principal deficiency of the agglomerate model, apart from the simplified pore structure assumed, is the lack of measured values for film thickness and agglomerate radius. Both these parameters cannot be estimated appropriately. Attempts to estimate the thickness of the film vary by two orders of magnitude. To avoid these problems a new three phase homogeneous model has been developed using the volume averaging technique. The model considers the potential and current variation in both liquid and solid phases. Using this approach, volume averaged

  19. Influence of different morphology of three-dimensional Cu(x)O with mixed facets modified air-cathodes on microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ziqi; Li, Kexun; Zhang, Xi; Ge, Baochao; Pu, Liangtao

    2015-11-01

    Three kinds of three-dimensional (3D) CuxO catalysts were prepared to modify activated carbon air-cathode using a facile electrochemical method with addition of surfactants. The maximum power density of MFC using SC-Cu air cathode (added sodium citrate into the electrolyte solution in electrodeposition process) was 1550±47 mW m(-2), almost 77% higher than AC cathode. Specifically, the charge transfer resistance significantly decreased by 89% from 9.3980 Ω to 1.0640 Ω compared to the control. Lumphy and mutually embedded filmy sheet structure were observed in SEM, which provided sufficient active sites for oxygen adsorption and diffusion. In XRD and TEM result, CuxO with mixed facets showed special structure which had a better performance. Crystallization condition of electrodeposited materials played a significant role in their nature electrochemical properties, morphology controlled by surfactant of CuxO exhibited high properties on the air-cathode MFC.

  20. Influence of different morphology of three-dimensional Cu(x)O with mixed facets modified air-cathodes on microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ziqi; Li, Kexun; Zhang, Xi; Ge, Baochao; Pu, Liangtao

    2015-11-01

    Three kinds of three-dimensional (3D) CuxO catalysts were prepared to modify activated carbon air-cathode using a facile electrochemical method with addition of surfactants. The maximum power density of MFC using SC-Cu air cathode (added sodium citrate into the electrolyte solution in electrodeposition process) was 1550±47 mW m(-2), almost 77% higher than AC cathode. Specifically, the charge transfer resistance significantly decreased by 89% from 9.3980 Ω to 1.0640 Ω compared to the control. Lumphy and mutually embedded filmy sheet structure were observed in SEM, which provided sufficient active sites for oxygen adsorption and diffusion. In XRD and TEM result, CuxO with mixed facets showed special structure which had a better performance. Crystallization condition of electrodeposited materials played a significant role in their nature electrochemical properties, morphology controlled by surfactant of CuxO exhibited high properties on the air-cathode MFC. PMID:26122090

  1. Outward electron transfer by Saccharomyces cerevisiae monitored with a bi-cathodic microbial fuel cell-type activity sensor.

    PubMed

    Ducommun, Raphaël; Favre, Marie-France; Carrard, Delphine; Fischer, Fabian

    2010-03-01

    A Janus head-like bi-cathodic microbial fuel cell was constructed to monitor the electron transfer from Saccharomyces cerevisiae to a woven carbon anode. The experiments were conducted during an ethanol cultivation of 170 g/l glucose in the presence and absence of yeast-peptone medium. First, using a basic fuel-cell type activity sensor, it was shown that yeast-peptone medium contains electroactive compounds. For this purpose, 1% solutions of soy peptone and yeast extract were subjected to oxidative conditions, using a microbial fuel cell set-up corresponding to a typical galvanic cell, consisting of culture medium in the anodic half-cell and 0.5 M K(3)Fe(CN)(6) in the cathodic half-cell. Second, using a bi-cathodic microbial fuel cell, it was shown that electrons were transferred from yeast cells to the carbon anode. The participation of electroactive compounds in the electron transport was separated as background current. This result was verified by applying medium-free conditions, where only glucose was fed, confirming that electrons are transferred from yeast cells to the woven carbon anode. Knowledge about the electron transfer through the cell membrane is of importance in amperometric online monitoring of yeast fermentations and for electricity production with microbial fuel cells.

  2. The effect of cathode felt geometries on electrochemical characteristics of sodium sulfur (NaS) cells: Planar vs. tubular

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Goun; Park, Yoon-Cheol; Lee, Younki; Cho, Namung; Kim, Chang-Soo; Jung, Keeyoung

    2016-09-01

    Two sodium sulfur (NaS) cells, one with a planar design and the other with a tubular design, were subject to discharge-charge cycles in order to investigate the effect of cathode felt geometries on electrochemical characteristics of NaS cells. Their discharge-charge behaviors over 200 cycles were evaluated at the operation temperature of 350 °C with the current densities of 100 mA cm-2 for discharge and 80 mA cm-2 for charge. The results showed that the deviation from theoretical open circuit voltage changes of a planar cell was smaller than those of a tubular cell resulting in potential specific power loss reduction during operation. In order to understand the effect, a three dimensional statistically representative matrix for a cathode felt has been generated using experimentally measured data. It turns out that the area specific fiber number density in the outer side area of a tubular cathode felt is smaller than that of a planar felt resulting in occurrence of larger voltage drops via retarded convection of cathode melts during cell operation.

  3. Thermal-sprayed, thin-film pyrite cathodes for thermal batteries -- Discharge-rate and temperature studies in single cells

    SciTech Connect

    GUIDOTTI,RONALD A.; REINHARDT,FREDERICK W.; DAI,JINXIANG; XIAO,T. DANNY; REISNER,DAVID

    2000-05-25

    Using an optimized thermal-spray process, coherent, dense deposits of pyrite (FeS{sub 2}) with good adhesion were formed on 304 stainless steel substrates (current collectors). After leaching with CS{sub 2} to remove residual free sulfur, these served as cathodes in Li(Si)/FeS{sub 2} thermal cells. The cells were tested over a temperature range of 450 C to 550 C under baseline loads of 125 and 250 mA/cm{sup 2}, to simulate conditions found in a thermal battery. Cells built with such cathodes outperformed standard cells made with pressed-powder parts. They showed lower interracial resistance and polarization throughout discharge, with higher capacities per mass of pyrite. Post-treatment of the cathodes with Li{sub 2}O coatings at levels of >7% by weight of the pyrite was found to eliminate the voltage transient normally observed for these materials. Results equivalent to those of standard lithiated catholytes were obtained in this manner. The use of plasma-sprayed cathodes allows the use of much thinner cells for thermal batteries since only enough material needs to be deposited as the capacity requirements of a given application demand.

  4. Fuel cell system combustor

    DOEpatents

    Pettit, William Henry

    2001-01-01

    A fuel cell system including a fuel reformer heated by a catalytic combustor fired by anode and cathode effluents. The combustor includes a turbulator section at its input end for intimately mixing the anode and cathode effluents before they contact the combustors primary catalyst bed. The turbulator comprises at least one porous bed of mixing media that provides a tortuous path therethrough for creating turbulent flow and intimate mixing of the anode and cathode effluents therein.

  5. Metal catalyst technique for texturing silicon solar cells

    DOEpatents

    Ruby, Douglas S.; Zaidi, Saleem H.

    2001-01-01

    Textured silicon solar cells and techniques for their manufacture utilizing metal sources to catalyze formation of randomly distributed surface features such as nanoscale pyramidal and columnar structures. These structures include dimensions smaller than the wavelength of incident light, thereby resulting in a highly effective anti-reflective surface. According to the invention, metal sources present in a reactive ion etching chamber permit impurities (e.g. metal particles) to be introduced into a reactive ion etch plasma resulting in deposition of micro-masks on the surface of a substrate to be etched. Separate embodiments are disclosed including one in which the metal source includes one or more metal-coated substrates strategically positioned relative to the surface to be textured, and another in which the walls of the reaction chamber are pre-conditioned with a thin coating of metal catalyst material.

  6. Highly redox-resistant solid oxide fuel cell anode materials based on La-doped SrTiO3 by catalyst impregnation strategy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, X.; Sasaki, K.

    2016-07-01

    An anode backbone using 40 wt% (ZrO2)0.89(Sc2O3)0.1(CeO2)0.01 (SSZ)-Sr0.9La0.1TiO3 (SLT) cermet was prepared for SSZ electrolyte-supported SOFC single cells. 15 mgcm-2 Ce0.9Gd0.1O2 (GDC) was impregnated to totally cover the SSZ-SLT anode backbone surface acting as a catalyst, and the cell voltage achieved 0.865 V at 200 mAcm-2 using (La0.75Sr0.25)0.98MnO3 (LSM)-SSZ cathode in 3%-humidified hydrogen fuel at 800 °C. Cell performance was substantially improved from 0.865 V to >0.97 V when 0.03 mgcm-2 Pd or Ni was further incorporated as a secondary catalyst into the anode layer. 50 redox cycles were performed to investigate redox stability of this high performance anode. It was found that even after the 50 redox cycle long-term degradation test, cell voltage at 200 mAcm-2 was retained around 0.94 V, higher than the cell performance using the conventional Ni-SSZ cermet anode. The catalytically-active reaction sites at ceria-Pd or ceria-Ni may account for the excellent performance, and the extremely low metal catalyst concentration prevent serious metal aggregation in achieving excellent redox stability.

  7. Impact of micro-porous layer on liquid water distribution at the catalyst layer interface and cell performance in a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tabe, Yutaka; Aoyama, Yusuke; Kadowaki, Kazumasa; Suzuki, Kengo; Chikahisa, Takemi

    2015-08-01

    In polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells, a gas diffusion layer (GDL) with a micro-porous layer (MPL) gives better anti-flooding performance than GDLs without an MPL. To investigate the function and mechanism of the MPL to suppress water flooding, the liquid water distribution at the cathode catalyst layer (CL) surface are observed by a freezing method; in the method liquid water is immobilized in ice form by rapid freezing, followed by disassembling the cell for observations. The ice covered area is quantified by image processing and cells with and without an MPL are compared. The results show that the MPL suppresses water accumulation at the interface due to smaller pore size and finer contact with the CL, and this results in less water flooding. Investigation of ice formed after -10 °C cold start shutdowns and the temporary performance deterioration at ordinary temperatures also indicates a significant influence of the liquid water accumulating at the interface. The importance of the fine contact between CL and MPL, the relative absence of gaps, is demonstrated by a gas diffusion electrode (GDE) which is directly coated with catalyst ink on the surface of the MPL achieving finer contact of the layers.

  8. EXPERIMENTAL STUDY ON EFFECTS OF CATHODIC PROTECTION TO PREVENT MACRO-CELL CORROSION OF STEEL IN CONCRETE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamamoto, Satoru; Ueno, Moe; Ishii, Kouji; Seki, Hiroshi

    Reinforcing bars embedded in concrete tend to corrode due to salt attack under marine environments. Corrosion of bars might be often caused with phenomenon of macro-cell. Cathodic protection has been, so far, applied to control the corrosion of reinforcing bars in RC members. In order to make clear the mechanisms of macro-cell corr osion and the effect of cathodic protecti on, laboratory tests were carried out. Testing concrete specimens contained two reinforcing bars which were buried at upper area of specimens and at lower area of ones, respectively. Lower zone of the concrete specimens were immersed in water. Testing results indicated as follows: (1) reinforci ng bars under wetting condition were anode and reinforcing bars under drying one cathode, (2) current density of macro-cell between two bars increased according as the potential difference increased and electric resistance of the concrete between two bars decreased, and (3) cathodic protection was effective to prevented macro-cell corrosion of reinforcing bars in concrete. Furthermore, it was presumed that corroded iron might be reduced to metal iron due to the protection current.

  9. 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.

  10. Performance Characteristics of a PEM Fuel Cell with Parallel Flow Channels at Different Cathode Relative Humidity Levels.

    PubMed

    Lee, Pil Hyong; Hwang, Sang Soon

    2009-01-01

    In fuel cells flow configuration and operating conditions such as cell temperature, humidity at each electrode and stoichiometric number are very crucial for improving performance. Too many flow channels could enhance the performance but result in high parasite loss. Therefore a trade-off between pressure drop and efficiency of a fuel cell should be considered for optimum design. This work focused on numerical simulation of the effects of operating conditions, especially cathode humidity, with simple micro parallel flow channels. It is known that the humidity at the cathode flow channel becomes very important for enhancing the ion conductivity of polymer membrane because fully humidified condition was normally set at anode. To investigate the effect of humidity on the performance of a fuel cell, in this study humidification was set to 100% at the anode flow channel and was changed by 0-100% at the cathode flow channel. Results showed that the maximum power density could be obtained under 60% humidified condition at the cathode where oxygen concentration was moderately high while maintaining high ion conductivity at a membrane.

  11. Synthesis and characterization of cobaltite nanotubes for solid-oxide fuel cell cathodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Napolitano, F.; Baqué, L.; Troiani, H.; Granada, M.; Serquis, A.

    2009-05-01

    La1-xSrxCo1-yFeyO3-δ oxides are good candidates for solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) cathodes because these materials present high ionic and electronic conductivity, and compatibility with Cerium Gadolinium Oxide (CGO) electrolytes allowing a lower operation temperature. In this work, we report the synthesis of La0.4Sr0.6Co0.8Fe0.2O3-δ (LSCF) nanotubes prepared by a porous polycarbonate membrane approach, obtaining different microstructures depending on sintering conditions. The structure and morphology of the nanotubes and deposited films were characterized by X-ray diffraction, transmission and scanning microscopy. Finally, we obtained nanostructured films of vertically aligned LSCF tubes deposited over the whole surface of CGO pellets with diameter up to 2.5cm in a direct and single step process.

  12. Overcoming bottlenecks of enzymatic biofuel cell cathodes: crude fungal culture supernatant can help to extend lifetime and reduce cost.

    PubMed

    Sané, Sabine; Jolivalt, Claude; Mittler, Gerhard; Nielsen, Peter J; Rubenwolf, Stefanie; Zengerle, Roland; Kerzenmacher, Sven

    2013-07-01

    Enzymatic biofuel cells (BFCs) show great potential for the direct conversion of biochemically stored energy from renewable biomass resources into electricity. However, enzyme purification is time-consuming and expensive. Furthermore, the long-term use of enzymatic BFCs is hindered by enzyme degradation, which limits their lifetime to only a few weeks. We show, for the first time, that crude culture supernatant from enzyme-secreting microorganisms (Trametes versicolor) can be used without further treatment to supply the enzyme laccase to the cathode of a mediatorless BFC. Polarization curves show that there is no significant difference in the cathode performance when using crude supernatant that contains laccase compared to purified laccase in culture medium or buffer solution. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the oxygen reduction activity of this enzymatic cathode can be sustained over a period of at least 120 days by periodic resupply of crude culture supernatant. This is more than five times longer than control cathodes without the resupply of culture supernatant. During the operation period of 120 days, no progressive loss of potential is observed, which suggests that significantly longer lifetimes than shown in this work may be possible. Our results demonstrate the possibility to establish simple, cost efficient, and mediatorless enzymatic BFC cathodes that do not require expensive enzyme purification procedures. Furthermore, they show the feasibility of an enzymatic BFC with an extended lifetime, in which self-replicating microorganisms provide the electrode with catalytically active enzymes in a continuous or periodic manner.

  13. An Aurivillius Oxide Based Cathode with Excellent CO2 Tolerance for Intermediate-Temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Yinlong; Zhou, Wei; Chen, Yubo; Shao, Zongping

    2016-07-25

    The Aurivillius oxide Bi2 Sr2 Nb2 MnO12-δ (BSNM) was used as a cobalt-free cathode for intermediate-temperature solid oxide fuel cells (IT-SOFCs). To the best of our knowledge, the BSNM oxide is the only alkaline-earth-containing cathode material with complete CO2 tolerance that has been reported thus far. BSNM not only shows favorable activity in the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) at intermediate temperatures but also exhibits a low thermal expansion coefficient, excellent structural stability, and good chemical compatibility with the electrolyte. These features highlight the potential of the new BSNM material as a highly promising cathode material for IT-SOFCs.

  14. An Aurivillius Oxide Based Cathode with Excellent CO2 Tolerance for Intermediate-Temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Yinlong; Zhou, Wei; Chen, Yubo; Shao, Zongping

    2016-07-25

    The Aurivillius oxide Bi2 Sr2 Nb2 MnO12-δ (BSNM) was used as a cobalt-free cathode for intermediate-temperature solid oxide fuel cells (IT-SOFCs). To the best of our knowledge, the BSNM oxide is the only alkaline-earth-containing cathode material with complete CO2 tolerance that has been reported thus far. BSNM not only shows favorable activity in the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) at intermediate temperatures but also exhibits a low thermal expansion coefficient, excellent structural stability, and good chemical compatibility with the electrolyte. These features highlight the potential of the new BSNM material as a highly promising cathode material for IT-SOFCs. PMID:27294808

  15. Microstructure, property and processing relation in gradient porous cathode of solid oxide fuel cells using statistical continuum mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamedani, Hoda Amani; Baniassadi, Majid; Khaleel, M.; Sun, Xin; Ahzi, S.; Ruch, D.; Garmestani, H.

    2011-08-01

    This paper investigates the relation between microstructure, macroscopic transport properties, and fabrication processing for a gradient porous cathode of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). Functionally graded porous cathode with smooth variations in pore size is composed of lanthanum strontium manganite (LSM) fabricated on yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) electrolyte substrate using a multi-step spray pyrolysis (SP) technique at various deposition conditions. Two-dimensional (2D) serial-sections of the gradient porous microstructure obtained by FIB-SEM are fully characterized using statistical correlation functions. Results of statistical analysis of the microstructures revealed that the SP processing technique is capable of generating statistically identical and homogeneous microstructures with smooth gradient in pore size resulting from changing the processing parameters. Strong contrast statistical approach is also used to predict the in-plane temperature dependent effective electrical conductivity of the gradient porous cathode and the results are compared to the experimental data.

  16. Development of a standard bench-scale cell for electrochemical studies on inert anodes. Inert Anode/Cathode Program

    SciTech Connect

    Windisch, C.F. Jr.; Boget, D.I.

    1986-07-01

    Objective of this work was to develop a standard bench-scale cell for performing short-term ac and dc polarization studies on inert anode candidate materials in molten cryolite. Two designs for electrochemical cells were developed and successfully evaluated in short-term experiments. Both cells consisted on the inert anode as a small cylindrical specimen partially sheathed in alumina, an Al/Al/sub 2/O/sub 3/ reference electrode, and a cryolite bath saturated in alumina. The difference between the two cells was in the design of the cathode. One cell used a bare solid metal cathode; the other used an aluminum pad similar to the Hall-Heroult configuration.

  17. Boron monoxide-hydrogen peroxide fuel cell

    SciTech Connect

    Struthers, R.C.

    1985-01-08

    A primary fuel cell including an elongate case defining a central ion exchange compartment with opposite ends and containing a liquid ionolyte. The case next defines an anode section at one end of the case and including a gas compartment containing boron monoxide gas fuel, a liquid compartment between the gas compartment and the ion exchange compartment and containing a liquid anolyte. The ionolyte and anolyte are separated by a cationic membrane. The gas and liquid compartments are separated by an anode plate including an electron collector part, a catalyst material carried by said part and a gas permeable hydrophobic membrane between the boron monoxide gas and the catalyst material. The cell further includes a cathode section at the other end of the case defining a cathode fuel compartment containing a fluid cathode fuel and a cathode plate between and separating the cathode fuel and the ionolyte in the ion exchange compartment. The cathode plate includes an electron distributor part and a catalyst material carried by the distributor part. If the cathode fuel is a gas fuel, the cathode plate also includes a gas permeable hydrophobic membrane between the catalyst material carried by the distributor part and the cathode fuel. The cathode and anode plates have terminals connected with a related external electric circuit.

  18. Catalyzed electrochemical gasification of carbonaceous materials at anode and electrowinning of metals at cathode

    SciTech Connect

    Vaughan, R.J.

    1983-09-20

    The electrochemical gasification reaction of carbonaceous materials by anodic oxidation in an aqueous acidic electrolyte to produce oxides of carbon at the anode and metallic elements at the cathode of an electrolysis cell is catalyzed by the use of an iron catalyst.

  19. Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Cathodes. Unraveling the Relationship Between Structure, Surface Chemistry and Oxygen Reduction

    SciTech Connect

    Gopalan, Srikanth

    2013-03-31

    In this work we have considered oxygen reduction reaction on LSM and LSCF cathode materials. In particular we have used various spectroscopic techniques to explore the surface composition, transition metal oxidation state, and the bonding environment of oxygen to understand the changes that occur to the surface during the oxygen reduction process. In a parallel study we have employed patterned cathodes of both LSM and LSCF cathodes to extract transport and kinetic parameters associated with the oxygen reduction process.

  20. Improving the performance of a biofuel cell cathode with laccase-containing culture supernatant from Pycnoporus sanguineus.

    PubMed

    Fokina, Oleksandra; Eipper, Jens; Winandy, Lex; Kerzenmacher, Sven; Fischer, Reinhard

    2015-01-01

    Laccases are multicopper oxidoreductases that can be used in biofuel cells to improve cathode performance by cathodic oxygen reduction. Here we present a laccase from the ligninolytic white-rot fungus Pycnoporus sanguineus that, in contrast to the Trametes versicolor laccase, can be produced in the absence of inducers in a standard culture medium. After 7days of cultivation the activity of this laccase in culture supernatant reached 2.5U/ml, which is high enough for direct application of the supernatant in biofuel cells. The highest current density of 115.0±3.5μA/cm(2) at 400mV vs. SCE was obtained at pH 5 with a buckypaper cathode with a laccase-containing culture supernatant. The enzyme also showed electrocatalytic activity at pH 6 and 7. These results not only present a new cost-efficient laccase for improving cathode performance, but also show that new laccases with different catalytic properties can be suitable for biofuel cells.