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Sample records for fuel cell cathode

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Review on MIEC Cathode Materials for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burnwal, Suman Kumar; Bharadwaj, S.; Kistaiah, P.

    2016-11-01

    The cathode is one of the most important components of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). The reduction of oxygen at the cathode (traditional cathodes like LSM, LSGM, etc.) is the slow step in the cell reaction at intermediate temperature (600-800∘C) which is one of the key obstacles to the development of SOFCs. The mixed ionic and electronic conducting cathode (MIEC) like LSCF, BSCF, etc., has recently been proposed as a promising cathode material for SOFC due to the improvement of the kinetic of the cathode reaction. The MIEC materials provide not only the electrons for the reduction of oxygen, but also the ionic conduction required to ensure the transport of the formed oxygen ions and thereby improves the overall electrochemical performance of SOFC system. The characteristics of MIEC cathode materials and its comparison with other traditional cathode materials is studied and presented in the paper.

  6. Progress of air-breathing cathode in microbial fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Zejie; Mahadevan, Gurumurthy Dummi; Wu, Yicheng; Zhao, Feng

    2017-07-01

    Microbial fuel cell (MFC) is an emerging technology to produce green energy and vanquish the effects of environmental contaminants. Cathodic reactions are vital for high electrical power density generated from MFCs. Recently tremendous attentions were paid towards developing high performance air-breathing cathodes. A typical air-breathing cathode comprises of electrode substrate, catalyst layer, and air-diffusion layer. Prior researches demonstrated that each component influenced the performance of air-breathing cathode MFCs. This review summarized the progress in development of the individual component and elaborated main factors to the performance of air-breathing cathode.

  7. 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.

  8. Microbial Fuel Cell Performance with a Pressurized Cathode Chamber

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  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. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Importance of OH(-) transport from cathodes in microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Popat, Sudeep C; Ki, Dongwon; Rittmann, Bruce E; Torres, César I

    2012-06-01

    Cathodic limitation in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) is considered an important hurdle towards practical application as a bioenergy technology. The oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) needs to occur in MFCs under significantly different conditions compared to chemical fuel cells, including a neutral pH. The common reason cited for cathodic limitation is the difficulty in providing protons to the catalyst sites. Here, we show that it is not the availability of protons, but the transport of OH(-) from the catalyst layer to the bulk liquid that largely governs cathodic potential losses. OH(-) is a product of an ORR mechanism that has not been considered dominant before. The accumulation of OH(-) at the catalyst sites results in an increase in the local cathode pH, resulting in Nernstian concentration losses. For Pt-based gas-diffusion cathodes, using polarization curves developed in unbuffered and buffered solutions, we quantified this loss to be >0.3 V at a current density of 10 Am(-2) . We show that this loss can be partially overcome by replacing the Nafion binder used in the cathode catalyst layer with an anion-conducting binder and by providing additional buffer to the cathode catalyst directly in the form of CO(2) , which results in enhanced OH(-) transport. Our results provide a comprehensive analysis of cathodic limitations in MFCs and should allow researchers to develop and select materials for the construction of MFC cathodes and identify operational conditions that will help minimize Nernstian concentration losses due to pH gradients.

  13. 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.

  14. 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. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  15. 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.

  16. Carbon support oxidation in PEM fuel cell cathodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maass, S.; Finsterwalder, F.; Frank, G.; Hartmann, R.; Merten, C.

    Oxidation of the cathode carbon catalyst support in polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEMFC) has been examined. For this purpose platinum supported electrodes and pure carbon electrodes were fabricated and tested in membrane-electrode-assemblies (MEAs) in air and nitrogen atmosphere. The in situ experiments account for the fuel cell environment characterized by the presence of a solid electrolyte and water in the gas and liquid phases. Cell potential transients occurring during automotive fuel cell operation were simulated by dynamic measurements. Corrosion rates were calculated from CO 2 and CO concentrations in the cathode exhaust measured by non-dispersive infrared spectroscopy (NDIR). Results from these potentiodynamic measurements indicate that different potential regimes relevant for carbon oxidation can be distinguished. Carbon corrosion rates were found to be higher under dynamic operation and to strongly depend on electrode history. These characteristics make it difficult to predict corrosion rates accurately in an automotive drive cycle.

  17. An insight into cathode options for microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Lefebvre, O; Al-Mamun, A; Ooi, W K; Tang, Z; Chua, D H C; Ng, H Y

    2008-01-01

    Microbial fuel cell (MFC) is an emerging and promising technology, particularly in the field of wastewater treatment. The MFC capability of achieving organic removal and generating in situ electricity could make it an attractive alternative wastewater treatment technology over conventional treatment technologies. However, MFC is still far from being economically viable, especially because of the cost of the platinum (Pt) catalyst that makes possible the reaction at the cathode. In this study, we tested alternative cathode catalysts, namely sputter-deposited Cobalt (Co) and denitrifying bacteria (biocathode). The performance of these innovative cathodes was compared with that of classic Pt-cathodes. Co competed well with Pt, but further research is still required for biocathodes. However, biocathodes MFC have showed promise.

  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. Fuel cell cathode air filters: Methodologies for design and optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kennedy, Daniel M.; Cahela, Donald R.; Zhu, Wenhua H.; Westrom, Kenneth C.; Nelms, R. Mark; Tatarchuk, Bruce J.

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells experience performance degradation, such as reduction in efficiency and life, as a result of poisoning of platinum catalysts by airborne contaminants. Research on these contaminant effects suggests that the best possible solution to allowing fuel cells to operate in contaminated environments is by filtration of the harmful contaminants from the cathode air. A cathode air filter design methodology was created that connects properties of cathode air stream, filter design options, and filter footprint, to a set of adsorptive filter parameters that must be optimized to efficiently operate the fuel cell. Filter optimization requires a study of the trade off between two causal factors of power loss: first, a reduction in power production due to poisoning of the platinum catalyst by chemical contaminants and second, an increase in power requirements to operate the air compressor with a larger pressure drop from additional contaminant filtration. The design methodology was successfully applied to a 1.2 kW fuel cell using a programmable algorithm and predictions were made about the relationships between inlet concentration, breakthrough time, filter design, pressure drop, and compressor power requirements.

  20. 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

  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. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Tailored Core Shell Cathode Powders for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Swartz, Scott

    2015-03-23

    In this Phase I SBIR project, a “core-shell” composite cathode approach was evaluated for improving SOFC performance and reducing degradation of lanthanum strontium cobalt ferrite (LSCF) cathode materials, following previous successful demonstrations of infiltration approaches for achieving the same goals. The intent was to establish core-shell cathode powders that enabled high performance to be obtained with “drop-in” process capability for SOFC manufacturing (i.e., rather than adding an infiltration step to the SOFC manufacturing process). Milling, precipitation and hetero-coagulation methods were evaluated for making core-shell composite cathode powders comprised of coarse LSCF “core” particles and nanoscale “shell” particles of lanthanum strontium manganite (LSM) or praseodymium strontium manganite (PSM). Precipitation and hetero-coagulation methods were successful for obtaining the targeted core-shell morphology, although perfect coverage of the LSCF core particles by the LSM and PSM particles was not obtained. Electrochemical characterization of core-shell cathode powders and conventional (baseline) cathode powders was performed via electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) half-cell measurements and single-cell SOFC testing. Reliable EIS testing methods were established, which enabled comparative area-specific resistance measurements to be obtained. A single-cell SOFC testing approach also was established that enabled cathode resistance to be separated from overall cell resistance, and for cathode degradation to be separated from overall cell degradation. The results of these EIS and SOFC tests conclusively determined that the core-shell cathode powders resulted in significant lowering of performance, compared to the baseline cathodes. Based on the results of this project, it was concluded that the core-shell cathode approach did not warrant further investigation.

  11. 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.

  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. Enhancement of cell performance using a gadolinium strontium cobaltite coated cathode in molten carbonate fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Shin Ae; Jang, Seong-Cheol; Han, Jonghee; Yoon, Sung Pil; Nam, Suk Woo; Oh, In-Hwan; Lim, Tae-Hoon

    To enhance cathode performance, gadolinium strontium cobaltite (Gd 0.6Sr 0.4CoO 3, GSC) is coated onto a porous Ni plate by a vacuum suction method, for use as the cathode in molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFCs). GSC is a mixed ionic and electronic conductor (MIEC) material, and thus has high electronic conductivity and catalytic activity at low temperatures. The electrode performance of the GSC-coated cathode is examined by various methods, such as single cell operation and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). At 600 °C, the performance of a single cell using a GSC-coated cathode is 0.813 V. This result is very surprising given that the performance of an uncoated conventional cathode is 0.69 V. Impedance analysis confirms that a dramatic decrease in the charge transfer resistance after GSC coating is primarily responsible for the cell enhancement at low temperature. The reaction orders for O 2 and CO 2 at uncoated and GSC-coated cathodes are also examined via a symmetric cell test, to identify the reaction mechanism of oxygen reduction. The peroxide mechanism, which is known to be a fast reaction, is predominant for the GSC-coated cathode at low temperatures, whereas the superoxide mechanism is predominant for the uncoated cathode.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Oxygen reduction and transportation mechanisms in solid oxide fuel cell cathodes

    SciTech Connect

    Li YH, Gemmen R, Liu XB

    2010-06-01

    In recent years, various models have been developed for describing the reaction mechanisms in solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) especially for the cathode electrode. However, many fundamental issues regarding the transport of oxygen and electrode kinetics have not been fully understood. This review tried to summarize the present status of the SOFC cathode modeling efforts, and associated experimental approaches on this topic. In addition, unsolved problems and possible future research directions for SOFC cathode kinetics had been discussed

  18. Oxygen reduction and transportation mechanisms in solid oxide fuel cell cathodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yihong; Gemmen, Randall; Liu, Xingbo

    In recent years, various models have been developed for describing the reaction mechanisms in solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) especially for the cathode electrode. However, many fundamental issues regarding the transport of oxygen and electrode kinetics have not been fully understood. This review tried to summarize the present status of the SOFC cathode modeling efforts, and associated experimental approaches on this topic. In addition, unsolved problems and possible future research directions for SOFC cathode kinetics had been discussed.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Air humidity and water pressure effects on the performance of air-cathode microbial fuel cell cathodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahn, Yongtae; Zhang, Fang; Logan, Bruce E.

    2014-02-01

    To better understand how air cathode performance is affected by air humidification, microbial fuel cells were operated under different humidity conditions or water pressure conditions. Maximum power density decreased from 1130 ± 30 mW m-2 with dry air to 980 ± 80 mW m-2 with water-saturated air. When the cathode was exposed to higher water pressures by placing the cathode in a horizontal position, with the cathode oriented so it was on the reactor bottom, power was reduced for both with dry (1030 ± 130 mW m-2) and water-saturated (390 ± 190 mW m-2) air. Decreased performance was partly due to water flooding of the catalyst, which would hinder oxygen diffusion to the catalyst. However, drying used cathodes did not improve performance in electrochemical tests. Soaking the cathode in a weak acid solution, but not deionized water, mostly restored performance (960 ± 60 mW m-2), suggesting that there was salt precipitation in the cathode that was enhanced by higher relative humidity or water pressure. These results showed that cathode performance could be adversely affected by both flooding and the subsequent salt precipitation, and therefore control of air humidity and water pressure may need to be considered for long-term MFC operation.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  4. Electricity generation in a microbial fuel cell with a microbially catalyzed cathode.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jin-Na; Zhao, Qing-Liang; Aelterman, Peter; You, Shi-Jie; Jiang, Jun-Qiu

    2008-10-01

    A microbial fuel cell using aerobic microorganisms as the cathodic catalysts is described. By using anaerobic sludge in the anode and aerobic sludge in the cathode as inocula, the microbial fuel cell could be started up after a short lag time of 9 days, generating a stable voltage of 0.324 V (R (ex) = 500 Omega). At an aeration rate of 300 ml min(-1) in the cathode, a maximum volumetric power density of up to 24.7 W m(-3) (117.2 A m(-3)) was reached. This research demonstrates an economic system for recovering electrical energy from organic compounds.

  5. Activated carbon nanofibers (ACNF) as cathode for single chamber microbial fuel cells (SCMFCs)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santoro, Carlo; Stadlhofer, Astrid; Hacker, Viktor; Squadrito, Gaetano; Schröder, Uwe; Li, Baikun

    2013-12-01

    The suitability of carbon nanofibers (CNF) based cathodes as alternative to the platinum (Pt)-based cathode in single chamber microbial fuel cells (SCMFCs) were extensively studied over 3-month operational period. MFCs were fed with two solutions: synthetic wastewater (phosphate buffer (PBS) plus sodium acetate) and real wastewater (mixed liquor suspendedsolid (MLSS) solution). CNFs were chemically activated using HNO3 and then hot pressed on a carbon cloth support to increase surface area. The cathode polarization showed a better behavior of the clean Pt-based cathode in abiotic conditions. The activation of the nanofibers (ACNFs) gave an advantage to the cathode performances compared to the raw CNFs. The SCMFCs fed with PBS showed four times higher power generation compared to MLSS solution. All the cathodes showed a decrease in performances over time, and the advantage of the Pt over CNF/ACNF disappeared. CNF/ACNF cathodes showed more stability in performances in long time operations. Biofilm formation, salt precipitations on the cathode, and the presence of hydrogen sulfide decreased the activity of Pt cathodes. A degradation and Pt detachment were noticed on Pt cathodes over time. In contrast, CNF/ACNF cathodes exhibited less deterioration throughout the operational period, which demonstrated a great potential as cost-effective cathodes for long-term operation.

  6. 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.

  7. Pressurized air cathodes for enhanced stability and power generation by microbial fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Weihua; Yang, Wulin; Tian, Yushi; Zhu, Xiuping; Liu, Jia; Feng, Yujie; Logan, Bruce E.

    2016-11-01

    Large differences between the water and air pressure in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) can deform and damage cathodes. To avoid deformation, the cathode air pressure was controlled to balance pressure differences between the air and water. Raising the air pressures from 0 to 10 kPa at a set cathode potential of -0.3 V (versus Ag/AgCl) enhanced cathode performance by 17%, but pressures ≥25 kPa decreased current and resulted in air leakage into the solution. Matching the air pressure with the water pressure avoided cathode deformation and improved performance. The maximum power density increased by 15%, from 1070 ± 20 to 1230 ± 70 mW m-2, with balanced air and water pressures of 10-25 kPa. Oxygen partial pressures ≥12.5 kPa in the cathode compartment maintained the oxygen reduction rate to be within 92 ± 1% of that in ambient air. The use of pressurized air flow through the cathode compartments can enable closer spacing of the cathodes compared to passive gas transfer systems, which could make the reactor design more compact. The energy cost of pressurizing the cathodes was estimated to be smaller than the increase in power that resulted from the use of pressurized cathodes.

  8. Performance and microbial ecology of air-cathode microbial fuel cells with layered electrode assemblies.

    PubMed

    Butler, Caitlyn S; Nerenberg, Robert

    2010-05-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) can be built with layered electrode assemblies, where the anode, proton exchange membrane (PEM), and cathode are pressed into a single unit. We studied the performance and microbial community structure of MFCs with layered assemblies, addressing the effect of materials and oxygen crossover on the community structure. Four MFCs with layered assemblies were constructed using Nafion or Ultrex PEMs and a plain carbon cloth electrode or a cathode with an oxygen-resistant polytetrafluoroethylene diffusion layer. The MFC with Nafion PEM and cathode diffusion layer achieved the highest power density, 381 mW/m(2) (20 W/m(3)). The rates of oxygen diffusion from cathode to anode were three times higher in the MFCs with plain cathodes compared to those with diffusion-layer cathodes. Microsensor studies revealed little accumulation of oxygen within the anode cloth. However, the abundance of bacteria known to use oxygen as an electron acceptor, but not known to have exoelectrogenic activity, was greater in MFCs with plain cathodes. The MFCs with diffusion-layer cathodes had high abundance of exoelectrogenic bacteria within the genus Geobacter. This work suggests that cathode materials can significantly influence oxygen crossover and the relative abundance of exoelectrogenic bacteria on the anode, while PEM materials have little influence on anode community structure. Our results show that oxygen crossover can significantly decrease the performance of air-cathode MFCs with layered assemblies, and therefore limiting crossover may be of particular importance for these types of MFCs.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. The use of air fuel cell cathodes to remove contaminants from spent chromium plating solutions.

    PubMed

    Huang, K L; Holsen, T M; Chou, T C; Yang, M C

    2004-01-01

    Results from experiments using an impregnation-reduction (I-R) Pt / Nafion membrane electrode assembly (MEA) in an air fuel cell cathode to remove contaminants (Cu(II), Ni(II), and Fe(III)) from spent chromium electroplating baths are presented in this study. A platinum-carbon (Pt-C) / Nafion MEA and a Pb planar cathode were also used for comparison. The average removal rates of Cu(II) and Ni(II) were almost the same (0.39 and 0.40 mM hr(-1) (or 0.117 and 0.12 mmol hr(-1)), respectively) but higher than that of Fe(III) (0.16 mM hr(-1), or 0.048 mmol hr(-1)) in accordance with the Nernst-Planck flux equation. The removal rates for the same cation were independent of the cathode used. The average removal rate of each impurity was approximately proportional to the product of its initial concentration and separator area/anolyte volume ratio using Pb cathodes. Under constant current conditions the system using the Pt-C / Nafion cathode needed the highest cell voltage, about 3 V more than needed for the system with the Pt / Nafion cathode. The cell voltage required using the Pt / Nafion cathode was similar to that using the conventional planar Pb cathode. Analyses of cathode deposits by SEM/EDS and XPS techniques indicated they were minimal on the Pb and Pt / Nafion cathode and more apparent on the Pt-C / Nafion cathode. The primary deposits on the Pb cathode were chromium oxides (e.g., Cr2O3) with minor amount of lead chromate (lead dichromate or lead trichromate) and other chromium solids (Cr black). As expected, the dominant deposit on the lead anode surface was PbO2.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-03-22

    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-2 at 1.9 A cm-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-2 at 1.9 A cm-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.

  15. Electrochemical Performance and Stability of the Cathode for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells IV. On the Ohmic loss in anode supported button cells with LSM or LSCF cathodes

    SciTech Connect

    Lu, Zigui; Zhou, Xiao Dong; Templeton, Jared W.; Stevenson, Jeffry W.

    2010-05-08

    Anode-supported solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) with a variety of YSZ electrolyte thicknesses were fabricated by tape casting and lamination. The preparation of the YSZ electrolyte tapes with various thicknesses was accomplished by using doctor blades with different gaps between the precision machined, polished blade and the casting surface. The green tape was cut into discs, sintered at 1385°C for 2 h, and subsequently creep-flattened at 1350°C for 2 h. Either LSCF with an SDC interlayer or LSM+YSZ composite was used as the cathode material for the fuel cells. The ohmic resistances of these anode-supported fuel cells were characterized by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy at temperatures from 500°C to 750°C. A linear relationship was found between the ohmic resistance of the fuel cell and the YSZ electrolyte thickness at all the measuring temperatures for both LSCF and LSM+YSZ cathode fuel cells. The ionic conductivities of the YSZ electrolyte, derived for the fuel cells with LSM+YSZ or LSCF cathodes, were independent of the cathode material and cell configuration. The ionic conductivities of the YSZ electrolyte was slightly lower than that of the bulk material, possibly due to Ni-doping into the electrolyte. The fuel cell with a SDC interlayer and LSCF cathode showed larger intercept resistance than the fuel cell with LSM+YSZ cathode, which was possibly due to the imperfect contact between the SDC interlayer and the YSZ electrolyte and the migration of Zr into the SDC interlayer to form an insulating solid solution during cell fabrication. Calculations of the contribution of the YSZ electrolyte to the total ohmic resistance showed that YSZ was still a satisfactory electrolyte at temperatures above 650°C. Explorations should be directed to reduce the intercept resistance to achieve significant improvement in cell performance.

  16. Advanced catalyst supports for PEM fuel cell cathodes

    SciTech Connect

    Du, Lei; Shao, Yuyan; Sun, Junming; Yin, Geping; Liu, Jun; Wang, Yong

    2016-11-01

    Electrocatalyst support materials are key components for polymer exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells, which play a critical role in determining electrocatalyst durability and activity, mass transfer and water management. The commonly-used supports, e.g. porous carbon black, cannot meet all the requirements under the harsh operation condition of PEM fuel cells. Great efforts have been made in the last few years in developing alternative support materials. In this paper, we selectively review recent progress on three types of important support materials: carbon, non-carbon and hybrid carbon-oxides nanocomposites. A perspective on future R&D of electrocatalyst support materials is also provided.

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

    DOE PAGES

    Ou, Shiqi; Kashima, Hiroyuki; Aaron, Douglas S.; ...

    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

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

    SciTech Connect

    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 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 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.

  19. Oxygen reduction kinetics on graphite cathodes in sediment microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Renslow, Ryan; Donovan, Conrad; Shim, Matthew; Babauta, Jerome; Nannapaneni, Srilekha; Schenk, James; Beyenal, Haluk

    2011-12-28

    Sediment microbial fuel cells (SMFCs) have been used as renewable power sources for sensors in fresh and ocean waters. Organic compounds at the anode drive anodic reactions, while oxygen drives cathodic reactions. An understanding of oxygen reduction kinetics and the factors that determine graphite cathode performance is needed to predict cathodic current and potential losses, and eventually to estimate the power production of SMFCs. Our goals were to (1) experimentally quantify the dependence of oxygen reduction kinetics on temperature, electrode potential, and dissolved oxygen concentration for the graphite cathodes of SMFCs and (2) develop a mechanistic model. To accomplish this, we monitored current on polarized cathodes in river and ocean SMFCs. We found that (1) after oxygen reduction is initiated, the current density is linearly dependent on polarization potential for both SMFC types; (2) current density magnitude increases linearly with temperature in river SMFCs but remains constant with temperature in ocean SMFCs; (3) the standard heterogeneous rate constant controls the current density temperature dependence; (4) river and ocean SMFC graphite cathodes have large potential losses, estimated by the model to be 470 mV and 614 mV, respectively; and (5) the electrochemical potential available at the cathode is the primary factor controlling reduction kinetic rates. The mechanistic model based on thermodynamic and electrochemical principles successfully fit and predicted the data. The data, experimental system, and model can be used in future studies to guide SMFC design and deployment, assess SMFC current production, test cathode material performance, and predict cathode contamination.

  20. 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.

  1. Performance and stability of different cathode base materials for use in microbial fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janicek, Anthony; Fan, Yanzhen; Liu, Hong

    2015-04-01

    Metal supporting materials are increasingly being used as base materials for microbial fuel cell (MFC) cathodes. However, the potential for corrosion may limit their use as base materials of MFCs during scale-up and long-term operation. In this study, the electrochemical performance, power generation in MFCs, hydrostatic pressure tolerance, and stability of activated carbon (catalyst) cathodes with carbon cloth or different size metal mesh as base materials are investigated. Electrochemical testing results show that the finest stainless steel mesh (250 × 250 openings per inch) outperforms carbon cloth cathodes by 10-40% at current densities ranging from 6 to 11.2 A m-2 over the typical cathode operating range of 0.1 V-0 V. When tested in MFCs, however, carbon cloth based cathodes out perform all stainless steel mesh cathodes by as much as 34%, reaching 1.72 W m-2; probably due to the corrosion and salt build-up on the surface of the stainless steel mesh cathodes. Carbon cloth cathodes also maintained high static pressure heads of 1.9 m. The high electrochemical performance, hydrostatic pressure tolerance, and corrosion resistance of carbon cloth suggest that carbon fiber based materials may be more suitable than metal based materials for use as MFC cathodes base material for some applications.

  2. Comparison of electrogenic capabilities of microbial fuel cell with different light power on algae grown cathode.

    PubMed

    Juang, D F; Lee, C H; Hsueh, S C

    2012-11-01

    Electricity generation capabilities of microbial fuel cell with different light power on algae grown cathode were compared. Results showed that microbial fuel cell with 6 and 12W power of light always produced higher voltage and power density than with 18 and 26W. Similarly, microbial fuel cell with 6 and 12W of light power always displayed higher Coulombic efficiency and specific power than the one with 18 and 26W. The results also showed that microbial fuel cell with covered anodic chamber always displayed higher voltage, power density, Coulombic efficiency and specific power than the one without covered anodic chamber. Binary quadratic equations can be used to express the relationships between the light power and the voltage, power density, Coulombic efficiency and specific power. Although lower power of light on algae grown cathode and covering anodic chamber will increase system's electricity production, they will not significantly reduce its internal resistance.

  3. Stainless steel mesh supported nitrogen-doped carbon nanofibers for binder-free cathode in microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Chen, Shuiliang; Chen, Yu; He, Guanghua; He, Shuijian; Schröder, Uwe; Hou, Haoqing

    2012-04-15

    In this communication, we report a binder-free oxygen reduction cathode for microbial fuel cells. The binder-free cathode is prepared by growth of nitrogen-doped carbon nanofibers (NCNFs) on stainless steel mesh (SSM) via simple pyrolysis of pyridine. The interaction force between NCNFs and SSM surface is very strong which is able to tolerate water flush. The NCNFs/SSM cathode shows high and stable electrocatalytic activity for oxygen reduction reaction, which is comparable to that of Pt/SSM and ferricyanide cathode. This study proposes a promising low-cost binder-free cathode for microbial fuel cells.

  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. 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.

  6. Durability and regeneration of activated carbon air-cathodes in long-term operated microbial fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Enren; Wang, Feng; Yu, Qingling; Scott, Keith; Wang, Xu; Diao, Guowang

    2017-08-01

    The performance of activated carbon catalyst in air-cathodes in microbial fuel cells was investigated over one year. A maximum power of 1722 mW m-2 was produced within the initial one-month microbial fuel cell operation. The air-cathodes produced a maximum power >1200 mW m-2 within six months, but gradually became a limiting factor for the power output in prolonged microbial fuel cell operation. The maximum power decreased by 55% when microbial fuel cells were operated over one year due to deterioration in activated carbon air-cathodes. While salt/biofilm removal from cathodes experiencing one-year operation increased a limiting performance enhancement in cathodes, a washing-drying-pressing procedure could restore the cathode performance to its original levels, although the performance restoration was temporary. Durable cathodes could be regenerated by re-pressing activated carbon catalyst, recovered from one year deteriorated air-cathodes, with new gas diffusion layer, resulting in ∼1800 mW m-2 of maximum power production. The present study indicated that activated carbon was an effective catalyst in microbial fuel cell cathodes, and could be recovered for reuse in long-term operated microbial fuel cells by simple methods.

  7. 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.

  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. Highly active carbon supported Pd cathode catalysts for direct formic acid fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mikolajczuk-Zychora, A.; Borodzinski, A.; Kedzierzawski, P.; Mierzwa, B.; Mazurkiewicz-Pawlicka, M.; Stobinski, L.; Ciecierska, E.; Zimoch, A.; Opałło, M.

    2016-12-01

    One of the drawbacks of low-temperature fuel cells is high price of platinum-based catalysts used for the electroreduction of oxygen at the cathode of the fuel cell. The aim of this work is to develop the palladium catalyst that will replace commonly used platinum cathode catalysts. A series of palladium catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) were prepared and tested on the cathode of Direct Formic Acid Fuel Cell (DFAFC). Palladium nanoparticles were deposited on the carbon black (Vulcan) and on multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) surface by reduction of palladium(II) acetate dissolved in ethanol. Hydrazine was used as a reducing agent. The effect of functionalization of the carbon supports on the catalysts physicochemical properties and the ORR catalytic activity on the cathode of DFAFC was studied. The supports were functionalized by treatment in nitric acid for 4 h at 80 °C. The structure of the prepared catalysts has been characterized by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscope (TEM) and cyclic voltammetry (CV). Hydrophilicity of the catalytic layers was determined by measuring contact angles of water droplets. The performance of the prepared catalysts has been compared with that of the commercial 20 wt.% Pt/C (Premetek) catalyst. The maximum power density obtained for the best palladium catalyst, deposited on the surface of functionalized carbon black, is the same as that for the commercial Pt/C (Premetek). Palladium is cheaper than platinum, therefore the developed cathode catalyst is promising for future applications.

  10. Fuel Cell Cathode Contamination: Comparison of Prevention Strategies and their Viability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tejaswi, Arjun

    Fuel cells are a major area of research in ongoing efforts to find alternate sources of energy. Today these efforts have become ever the more necessary in the face of spiraling costs of conventional sources of energy and concerns about global warming. Most fuel cells consume hydrogen to produce, for the most part, only water in their exhaust. They are also capable of achieving significantly higher efficiencies than conventional automobile internal combustion engines. Since cost still remains one of the most intractable challenges to the advent of fuel cells, it is imperative that every effort be made to lower the costs of fuel cell production, operation and maintenance as well as improving overall efficiency. The air circulation system of a fuel cell is designed to provide oxygen to the cathode of the fuel cell. Air taken from the surroundings, however, often contains pollutants including dust, SO2, NO 2 and various other gases. These gases may severely degrade various components of system, especially for polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) type fuel cells, including the catalyst, membrane electrode assembly and other components. Moreover, these pollutants may lead to specific behavior based on ambient air composition at the test site thereby confusing researchers. In order to address these issues, this study seeks to identify these pollutants and examine the mitigation strategies to mitigate them. Also discussed is whether these pollutants have an effect debilitating enough to justify the extra cost and potential parasitic losses associated with these mitigation strategies. Adsorptive filtration is identified as the most appropriate cathode side air quality system for fuel cells. Performance of cathode side fuel cell filters are examined under varying relative humidity, temperature, air flow rate and pollutant concentration conditions. An estimated filter survival time under realistic conditions is also suggested.

  11. Effects of sulfide on microbial fuel cells with platinum and nitrogen-doped carbon powder cathodes.

    PubMed

    Feng, Yujie; Shi, Xinxin; Wang, Xin; Lee, He; Liu, Jia; Qu, Youpeng; He, Weihua; Kumar, S M Senthil; Kim, Byung Hong; Ren, Nanqi

    2012-05-15

    Because of the advantages of low cost, good electrical conductivity and high oxidation resistance, nitrogen-doped carbon (NDC) materials have a potential to replace noble metals in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) for wastewater treatment. In spite of a large volume of studies on NDC materials as catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction, the influence of sulfide on NDC materials has not yet been explicitly reported so far. In this communication, nitrogen-doped carbon powders (NDCP) were prepared by treating carbon powders in nitric acid under reflux condition. Sodium sulfide (Na(2)S) was added to the cathodic electrolyte to compare its effects on platinum (Pt) and NDCP cathodes. Cell voltages, power density and cathodic potentials were monitored without and with Na(2)S and after Na(2)S was removed. The maximum cell voltage of the MFCs with Pt cathode decreased by 10% in the presence of Na(2)S that did not change the performance of the MFC with NDCP cathode, and the maximum power density of the MFC with NDCP cathode was even 11.3% higher than that with Pt cathode (222.5 ± 8 mW m(-2) vs. 199.7 ± 4 mW m(-2)). Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Contribution of properties of composite cathode and cathode/electrolyte interface to cell performance in a planar solid oxide fuel cell stack

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Wei; Guan, Wanbing; Wang, Weiguo

    2015-04-01

    Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) with distinct cathode materials usually differ in output performance. In this study, 2 μm-thick Pt voltage probes are embedded into the cathode/electrolyte interface. The effects of the electrical properties and cathode/electrolyte interfaces of LSCF-GDC and LSM-YSZ composite cathodes on cell performance are investigated in situ for anode-supported planar SOFCs. Results show that the voltage and maximum output power density measured by the probes on both sides of the LSCF-GDC and LSM-YSZ composite cathodes are 7% and 4%, respectively, of those of the corresponding cell during instantaneous current-voltage testing. The enhanced LSCF cell performance is mainly attributed to the rough GDC/LSCF-GDC interface that is responsible for the three-dimensional contact between the GDC layer and LSCF-GDC cathode particles and increases the triple-phase boundary (TPB) length. The LSM-YSZ cathode performance degradation is attributed to the variation in polarization resistance caused by cathode particle growth. However, the primary factor for the degradation of LSCF-GDC cathode performance is structural instability, such as inner cracks.

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

    PubMed

    Wu, Haibin; Chen, Wei

    2011-10-05

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Z. H.; Wang, C. Y.; Chen, K. S.

    Two-phase flow and transport of reactants and products in the air cathode of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells is studied analytically and numerically. Single- and two-phase regimes of water distribution and transport are classified by a threshold current density corresponding to first appearance of liquid water at the membrane/cathode interface. When the cell operates above the threshold current density, liquid water appears and a two-phase zone forms within the porous cathode. A two-phase, multicomponent mixture model in conjunction with a finite-volume-based computational fluid dynamics (CFD) technique is applied to simulate the cathode operation in this regime. The model is able to handle the situation where a single-phase region co-exists with a two-phase zone in the air cathode. For the first time, the polarization curve as well as water and oxygen concentration distributions encompassing both single- and two-phase regimes of the air cathode are presented. Capillary action is found to be the dominant mechanism for water transport inside the two-phase zone of the hydrophilic structure. The liquid water saturation within the cathode is predicted to reach 6.3% at 1.4 A cm -2 for dry inlet air.

  19. Performance analysis of new cathode materials for molten carbonate fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paoletti, C.; Carewska, M.; Presti, R. Lo; Phail, S. Mc; Simonetti, E.; Zaza, F.

    The slow dissolution of the lithiated nickel oxide cathode represents one of the main causes of performance degradation in molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFC). Two main approaches were studied in ENEA laboratories to overcome this problem: protecting the nickel cathode covering it by a thin layer of a material with a low solubility in molten carbonate and stabilizing the nickel cathode doping it with iron and magnesium. Among several materials, due to its low solubility and good conductivity, lithium cobaltite was chosen to cover the nickel cathode and slow down its dissolution. A nickel electrode covered with a thin layer of lithium cobaltite doped with magnesium, was fabricated by complex sol-gel process. To simplify electrode preparation, no thermal treatments were made after covering to produce lithium cobaltite, and during the cell start-up LiMg 0.05Co 0.95O 2 was obtained in situ. To stabilize the nickel cathode, metal oxides Fe 2O 3 and MgO were chosen as dopant additives to be mixed with NiO powder in a tape-casting process (Mg 0.05Fe 0.01Ni 0.94O). On the prepared materials TGA analysis, morphological analysis by scanning electron microscopy (SEM-EDS) and electrical conductivity measurements were carried out. A conventional nickel cathode, the nickel cathode covered by lithium cobaltite precursors and the nickel cathode stabilized by iron and magnesium oxides were each tested in a 100 cm 2 fuel cell. Polarization curves and internal resistance (iR) measurements were acquired during the cell lifetime (1000 h) and the effect of gas composition variation on the cell performance was studied. From a comparison with the conventional nickel cathode it can be observed that the new materials have similar performance and show a good potential stability during the cell operating time. From the post-test analysis both the nickel cathode covered by lithium cobaltite and the nickel cathode doped with iron and magnesium seem to succeed in reducing nickel dissolution.

  20. 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.

  1. Heat and Mass Transfer Modeling of Dry Gases in the Cathode of PEM Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kermani, M. J.; Stockie, J. M.

    2004-02-01

    The transport of three gas species, O2, H2O and N2, through the cathode of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell is studied numerically. The diffusion of the individual species is modeled via the Maxwell-Stefan equations, coupled with appropriate conservation equations. Two mechanisms are assumed for the internal energy sources in the system: a volumetric heat source due to the electrical current flowing through the cathode; and heat flow towards the cathode at the cathode-membrane interface due to the exothermic chemical reaction at this interface, in which water is generated. The governing equations of the unsteady fluid motion are written in fully conservative form, and consist of the following: (i) three equations for the mass conservation of the species; (ii) the momentum equation for the mixture, which is approximated using Darcy's Law for flow in porous media; and (iii) an energy equation, written in a form that has enthalpy as the dependent variable.

  2. Bioelectricity generation enhancement in a dual chamber microbial fuel cell under cathodic enzyme catalyzed dye decolorization.

    PubMed

    Bakhshian, Sahar; Kariminia, Hamid-Reza; Roshandel, Ramin

    2011-06-01

    Enzymatic decolorization of reactive blue 221 (RB221) using laccase was investigated in a dual-chamber microbial fuel cell (MFC). Suspended laccase was used in the cathode chamber in the absence of any mediators in order to decolorize RB221 and also improve oxygen reduction reaction in the cathode. Molasses was utilized as low cost and high strength energy source in the anode chamber. The capability of MFC for simultaneous molasses and dye removal was investigated. A decolorization efficiency of 87% was achieved in the cathode chamber and 84% COD removal for molasses was observed in the anode chamber. Laccase could catalyze the removal of RB221 and had positive effect on MFC performance as well. Maximum power density increased about 30% when enzymatic decolorization was performed in the cathode chamber. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

  4. Improving phosphate buffer-free cathode performance of microbial fuel cell based on biological nitrification.

    PubMed

    You, Shi-Jie; Ren, Nan-Qi; Zhao, Qing-Liang; Kiely, Patrick D; Wang, Jing-Yuan; Yang, Feng-Lin; Fu, Lei; Peng, Luo

    2009-08-15

    To reduce the amount of phosphate buffer currently used in Microbial Fuel Cell's (MFC's), we investigated the role of biological nitrification at the cathode in the absence of phosphate buffer. The addition of a nitrifying mixed consortia (NMC) to the cathode compartment and increasing ammonium concentration in the catholyte resulted in an increase of cell voltage from 0.3 V to 0.567 V (external resistance of 100 Omega) and a decrease of catholyte pH from 8.8 to 7.05. A large fraction of ammonium was oxidized to nitrite, as indicated by an increase of nitrate-nitrogen (NO(3)(-)-N). An MFC inoculated with an NMC and supplied with 94.2 mgN/l ammonium to the catholyte could generate a maximum power of 2.1+/-0.14 mW (10.94+/-0.73 W/m(3)). This compared favorably to an MFC supplied with either buffered or non-buffered solution. The buffer-free NMC inoculated cathodic chamber showed the smallest polarization resistance, suggesting that nitrification resulted in improved cathode performance. The improved performances of the phosphate buffer-free cathode and cell are positively related to biological nitrification, in which we suggest additional protons produced from ammonium oxidation facilitated electrochemical reduction of oxygen at cathode.

  5. Manufacturing of intermediate-temperature solid oxide fuel cells using novel cathode compositions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torres Garibay, Claudia Isela

    The development of intermediate temperatures solid oxide fuel cells (IT-SOFC) with YSZ electrolytes imposes a double requirement in their manufacturing. First, the electrolyte has to be kept as thin as possible to minimize ohmic polarization losses. Second, the cathode compositions used must exhibit an adequate catalytic activity at the operating temperature (600--800°C). Current methods to manufacture thin YSZ electrolytes require complex processes, and sometimes costly equipment. Cathode compositions traditionally used for high temperature solid oxide fuel cells, such as (La,Sr)MnO3 do not exhibit good catalytic properties at intermediate temperatures. These challenges present areas of opportunity in the development of original manufacturing techniques and new cathode compositions. This study presents a low-cost fabrication procedure for IT-SOFC using tape casting, co-firing and screen printing. The electrochemical performance of the cells is evaluated using a known cathode composition for IT-SOFC, such as La0.6Sr0.4CoO 3-delta (LSC), novel perovskite oxides, such as Nd0.6Sr 0.4CoO3-delta (NSC), and perovskite-related intergrowth oxides compositions, like Sr0.7La0.3Fe1.4Co 0.6O7-delta (SLFCO7) and LaSr3Fe1.5Co 1.5O10-delta (LSFCO10). The impact of conductivity is studied by substituting Fe for Co in the case of the perovskite oxides, with compositions such as La0.6Sr0.4Co0.5Fe0.5O 3-delta (LSCF), and Nd0.6Sr0.4Co0.5Fe 0.5O3-delta (NSCF) and by infiltration of NSCF with silver. The effect of the cathode sintering temperature is studied using LSC and LSCF cathodes. It is found that there is generally a correlation between cell performance and conductivity. However, the microstructure of the cathode is also important in determining cell performance by tailoring the cathode sintering temperature. IT-SOFC with SLFCO7 cathodes show a performance comparable to cells with LSFC cathode. In the case of LSFCO10, the performance loss associated with its lower conductivity

  6. 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.

  7. Application of electrospun CNx nanofibers as cathode in microfluidic fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jindal, Amandeep; Basu, Suddhasatwa; Chauhan, Neha; Ukai, Tomofumi; Kumar, D. Sakthi; Samudhyatha, K. T.

    2017-02-01

    Carbon nitride (CNx) nanofibers is successfully utilised as cathode catalyst in microfluidic fuel cell (MFC) using electrospinning technique. The electrochemical measurement for CNx nanofibers as cathode catalyst in MFC is studied and compared with that of Pt and Au cathodes. Formic acid is employed as fuel, KMnO4 as oxidant and H2SO4 as supporting electrolyte. CNx nanofibers is shown to be not active towards formic acid oxidation and as a result, is tolerant to fuel crossover effect as compared to Pt and Au cathode. CNx nanofibers enable MFC to operate at a wider range of flow rates of fuel and oxidant as compared to Pt and Au conventionally used. MFC utilising CNx nanofibers gives higher power density of 3.43 mW cm-2 and the current density of 9.79 mAcm-2, as compared to that utilizes pure Au (2.72 mW cm-2, 6.04 mA cm-2) and Pt (3.09 mW cm-2, 6.18 mA cm-2) as anode.

  8. 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.

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

    DOEpatents

    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.

  10. Challenges and constraints of using oxygen cathodes in microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Feng; Harnisch, Falk; Schröder, Uwe; Scholz, Fritz; Bogdanoff, Peter; Herrmann, Iris

    2006-09-01

    The performance of oxygen reduction catalysts (platinum, pyrolyzed iron(ll) phthalocyanine (pyr-FePc) and cobalt tetramethoxyphenylporphyrin (pyr-CoTMPP)) is discussed in light of their application in microbial fuel cells. It is demonstrated that the physical and chemical environment in microbial fuel cells severely affects the thermodynamics and the kinetics of the electrocatalytic oxygen reduction. The neutral pH in combination with low buffer capacities and low ionic concentrations strongly affect the cathode performance and limit the fuel cell power output. Thus, the limiting current density in galvanodyanamic polarization experiments decreases from 1.5 mA cm(-2) to 0.6 mA cm(-2) (pH 3.3, E(cathode) = 0 V) when the buffer concentration is decreased from 500 to 50 mM. The cathode limitations are superposed by the increasing internal resistance of the MFC that substantially contributes to the decrease of power output. For example, the maximum power output of a model MFC decreased by 35%, from 2.3 to 1.5 mW, whereas the difference between the electrode potentials (deltaE = E(anode) - E(cathode)) decreased only by 10%. The increase of the catalyst load of pyr-FePc from 0.25 to 2 mg cm(-2) increased the cathodic current density from 0.4 to 0.97 mA cm(-2) (pH 7, 50 mM phosphate buffer). The increase of the load of such inexpensive catalyst thus represents a suitable means to improve the cathode performance in microbial fuel cells. Due to the low concentration of protons in MFCs in comparison to relatively high alkali cation levels (ratio C(Na+,K+)/C(H+) = 5 x E5 in pH 7, 50 mM phosphate buffer) the transfer of alkali ions through the proton exchange membrane plays a major role in the charge-balancing ion flux from the anodic into the cathodic compartment. This leads to the formation of pH gradients between the anode and the cathode compartment.

  11. Roles of humidity and cathodic current in chromium poisoning of Sr-doped LaMnO3-based cathodes in solid oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Ruofan; Würth, Manuel; Pal, Uday B.; Gopalan, Srikanth; Basu, Soumendra N.

    2017-08-01

    Performance degradation of cathodes caused by chromium deposition and poisoning is one of the major challenges to overcome for long-term operation of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). To fundamentally understand the mechanisms of the degradation phenomenon, it is necessary to investigate the roles of humidity and cathodic current in chromium poisoning. In this study, anode-supported SOFCs, with Sr-doped LaMnO3 (LSM) based cathode are employed. These cells are electrochemically tested at 800 °C with and without chromia-forming interconnect. On identical cells, different cathode atmospheres (dry air or 10% humidified air) and current conditions (no current or 0.75 A/cm2 cathodic current) are imposed. It is found that both humidity and cathodic current promote chromium poisoning. Microstructural characterizations also confirmed that larger amounts of chromium-containing deposits are present at the cathode/electrolyte interfaces of the cell tested with cathodic current and/or humidity. Free energy minimization calculations and thermogravimetric experiments are performed to determine the chromium vapor species that form over chromia-forming alloy interconnect and result in chromium deposition. Based on the experimental and computational results, the roles of humidity and cathodic current in chromium poisoning are evaluated, and a mechanism associated to chromium vapor species deposition at the cathode/electrolyte interface is proposed.

  12. 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.

  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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Performance of microbial fuel cells with and without Nafion solution as cathode binding agent.

    PubMed

    Huang, Yuelong; He, Zhen; Mansfeld, Florian

    2010-10-01

    The performance of tubular microbial fuel cells (MFC) with and without Nafion solution as binding agent for the cathode catalyst preparation was investigated using different electrochemical techniques. The current output of both types of MFCs was monitored as a function of time using an external resistor. The current did not change much with time and was higher for the water cell (WC) than for the Nafion cell (NC). Cell voltage (U(c))-current (I) curves were recorded using a potentiodynamic technique. From the U(c)-I curves power concentration (P)-I and P-U(c) curves were constructed. The water cell (without Nafion) also achieved a higher maximum power output. The internal resistance that was determined from the cell voltage at which the power concentration reached its maximum value was higher for the NC than that for the WC, possibly due to the higher cathodic polarization resistance of the NC cell. The impedance for the cathodes decreased with exposure time for both cells due to increased porosity of the surface layers covering the cathode materials. No changes of the impedance were observed for the WC anode. For the NC anode the impedance spectra changed from a one-time constant system to a two-time constant system at the longer exposure time. 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  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. 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.

  20. Novel niobium carbide/carbon porous nanotube electrocatalyst supports for proton exchange membrane fuel cell cathodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nabil, Y.; Cavaliere, S.; Harkness, I. A.; Sharman, J. D. B.; Jones, D. J.; Rozière, J.

    2017-09-01

    Niobium carbide/carbon nanotubular porous structures have been prepared using electrospinning and used as electrocatalyst supports for proton exchange membrane fuel cells. They were functionalised with 3.1 nm Pt particles synthesised by a microwave-assisted polyol method and characterised for their electrochemical properties. The novel NbC-based electrocatalyst demonstrated electroactivity towards the oxygen reduction reaction as well as greater stability over high potential cycling than a commercial carbon-based electrocatalyst. Pt/NbC/C was integrated at the cathode of a membrane electrode assembly and characterised in a single fuel cell showing promising activity and power density.

  1. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. 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.

  3. Performance of a scaled-up Microbial Fuel Cell with iron reduction as the cathode reaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ter Heijne, Annemiek; Liu, Fei; van Rijnsoever, Lucas S.; Saakes, Michel; Hamelers, Hubertus V. M.; Buisman, Cees J. N.

    Scale-up studies of Microbial Fuel Cells are required before practical application comes into sight. We studied an MFC with a surface area of 0.5 m 2 and a volume of 5 L. Ferric iron (Fe 3+) was used as the electron acceptor to improve cathode performance. MFC performance increased in time as a combined result of microbial growth at the bio-anode, increase in iron concentration from 1 g L -1 to 6 g L -1, and increased activity of the iron oxidizers to regenerate ferric iron. Finally, a power density of 2.0 W m -2 (200 W m -3) was obtained. Analysis of internal resistances showed that anode resistance decreased from 109 to 7 mΩ m 2, while cathode resistance decreased from 939 to 85 mΩ m 2. The cathode was the main limiting factor, contributing to 58% of the total internal resistance. Maximum energy efficiency of the MFC was 41%.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Development and Implementation of Carbon Nanofoam Cathode Structures for Magnesium-Hydrogen Peroxide Semi-Fuel Cells

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-05-05

    U.S.N.A––Trident Scholar project report; no. 374 (2008) Development and Implementation of Carbon Nanofoam Cathode Structures for...SUBTITLE Development and Implementation of Carbon Nanofoam Cathode Structures for Magnesium-Hydrogen Peroxide Semi- Fuel Cells 6. AUTHOR(S...anode (e.g., aluminum coated with a platinum catalyst) and a cathode (e.g., nickel with a palladium catalyst) that are separated by an electrolyte (an

  8. Theoretical Studies in Enhancing the Efficiency of Cathode and Anode Materials in PEMFC (Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-03-04

    efficiency of cathode and anode materials in PEMFC (Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells) 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER FA23861014012 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM...Rev. 8-98) Prescribed by ANSI Std Z39-18 Theoretical studies in enhancing the efficiency of cathode and anode materials in PEMFC (Proton Exchange

  9. Electricity generation and brewery wastewater treatment from sequential anode-cathode microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Wen, Qing; Wu, Ying; Zhao, Li-xin; Sun, Qian; Kong, Fan-ying

    2010-02-01

    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/m(3) at an external resistance of 300 Omega. 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.

  10. Air-cathode microbial fuel cell array: a device for identifying and characterizing electrochemically active microbes.

    PubMed

    Hou, Huijie; Li, Lei; de Figueiredo, Paul; Han, Arum

    2011-01-15

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) have generated excitement in environmental and bioenergy communities due to their potential for coupling wastewater treatment with energy generation and powering diverse devices. The pursuit of strategies such as improving microbial cultivation practices and optimizing MFC devices has increased power generating capacities of MFCs. However, surprisingly few microbial species with electrochemical activity in MFCs have been identified because current devices do not support parallel analyses or high throughput screening. We have recently demonstrated the feasibility of using advanced microfabrication methods to fabricate an MFC microarray. Here, we extend these studies by demonstrating a microfabricated air-cathode MFC array system. The system contains 24 individual air-cathode MFCs integrated onto a single chip. The device enables the direct and parallel comparison of different microbes loaded onto the array. Environmental samples were used to validate the utility of the air-cathode MFC array system and two previously identified isolates, 7Ca (Shewanella sp.) and 3C (Arthrobacter sp.), were shown to display enhanced electrochemical activities of 2.69 mW/m(2) and 1.86 mW/m(2), respectively. Experiments using a large scale conventional air-cathode MFC validated these findings. The parallel air-cathode MFC array system demonstrated here is expected to promote and accelerate the discovery and characterization of electrochemically active microbes.

  11. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Cuijuan; Huang, Kevin

    2017-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Copper-substituted perovskite compositions for solid oxide fuel cell cathodes and oxygen reduction electrodes in other electrochemical devices

    DOEpatents

    Rieke, Peter C [Pasco, WA; Coffey, Gregory W [Richland, WA; Pederson, Larry R [Kennewick, WA; Marina, Olga A [Richland, WA; Hardy, John S [Richland, WA; Singh, Prabhaker [Richland, WA; Thomsen, Edwin C [Richland, WA

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Performance of Stainless Steel Mesh Cathode and PVDF-graphite Cathode in Microbial Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Liping; Tian, Ying; Li, Mingliang; He, Gaohong; Li, Zhikao

    2010-11-01

    Inexpensive and conductive materials termed as stainless steel mesh and polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF)-graphite were currently used as the air cathode electrodes in MFCs for the investigation of power production. By loading PTFE (poly(tetrafluoroethylene)) on the surface of stainless steel mesh, electricity production reached 3 times as high as that of the naked stainless steel. A much high catalytic activity for oxygen reduction was exhibited by Pt based and PTFE loading stainless steel mesh cathode, with an electricity generation of 1144±44 mW/m2 (31±1 W/m3) and a Coulombic efficiency (CE) of 77±2%. When Pt was replaced by an inexpensive transition metal based catalyst (cobalt tetramethylphenylporphyrin, CoTMPP), power production and CE were 845±21 mW/m2 (23±1 W/m3) and 68±1%, respectively. Accordingly, power production from PVDF-graphite (hydrophobic) MFC and PVDF-graphite (hydrophile) MFC were 286±20 mW/m2(8±1 W/m3) and 158±13 mW/m2(4±0.4 W/m3), respectively using CoTMPP as catalyst. These results give us new insight into materials like stainless steel mesh and PVDF-graphite as low cost cathode for reducing the costs of MFCs for wastewater treatment applications.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsuen, Hsiao-Kuo; Yin, Ken-Ming

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

  5. Numerical study of the cathode electrode in the Microfluidic Fuel Cell using agglomerate model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moein-Jahromi, M.; Movahed, S.; Kermani, M. J.

    2015-03-01

    Simulation of the cathode electrode of a Microfluidic Fuel Cell (hereafter MFC) is performed with focus on the electrochemical reaction. Oxygen transport phenomena are modeled from the microchannel inlet to the reaction sites surface (on the platinum particles) in the catalyst layer. The dissolved oxygen in sulfuric acid and the formic acid are considered as the oxidant and the fuel, respectively. The cathode catalyst layer is modeled using the agglomerate model versus the homogenous model which is incapable of predicting concentration loss at high current densities. The results are validated versus the experiments of Choban et al. published in 2004. A set of parametric study is performed to investigate the influence of operating and structural parameters on the cell performance; at the end, a sensitivity analysis is implemented to rank the studied parameters with rank 1 for the most influential parameters. The results indicate that oxygen concentration at the inlet of microchannel within the range 0.1 M-0.7 M is the most influential parameter, and the cell performance can enhance by 2.615 W m-2 at the studied range. The results could be used by the microfluidic fuel cell manufacturers to overcome the current drawbacks of the MFCs.

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

    PubMed

    Wang, Zejie; Lee, Taekwon; Lim, Bongsu; Choi, Chansoo; Park, Joonhong

    2014-01-17

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-13

    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.

  10. Comparative analysis of microbial community between different cathode systems of microbial fuel cells for denitrification.

    PubMed

    Li, Chao; Xu, Ming; Lu, Yi; Fang, Fang; Cao, Jiashun

    2016-01-01

    Two types of cathodic biofilm in microbial fuel cells (MFC) were established for comparison on their performance and microbial communities. Complete autotrophic simultaneous nitrification and denitrification (SND) without organics addition was achieved in nitrifying-MFC (N-MFC) with a total nitrogen (TN) removal rate of 0.35 mg/(L·h), which was even higher than that in denitrifying-MFC (D-MFC) at same TN level. Integrated denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis based on both 16S rRNA and nirK genes showed that Alpha-, Gammaproteobacteria were the main denitrifier communities. Some potential autotrophic denitrifying bacteria which can use electrons and reducing power from cathodes, such as Shewanella oneidensis, Shewanella loihica, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Starkeya novella and Rhodopseudomonas palustris were identified and selectively enriched on cathode biofilms. Further, relative abundance of denitrifying bacteria characterized by nirK/16S ratios was much higher in biofilm than suspended sludge according to real-time polymerase chain reaction. The highest enrichment efficiency for denitrifiers was obtained in N-MFC cathode biofilms, which confirmed autotrophic denitrifying bacteria enrichment is the key factor for a D-MFC system.

  11. Manganese dioxide as a new cathode catalyst in microbial fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Xiang; Hu, Boxun; Suib, Steven; Lei, Yu; Li, Baikun

    This study focused on manganese oxides with a cryptomelane-type octahedral molecular sieve (OMS-2) structure to replace platinum as a cathode catalyst in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Undoped (ud-OSM-2) and three catalysts doped with cobalt (Co-OMS-2), copper (Cu-OMS-2), and cerium (Ce-OMS-2) to enhance their catalytic performances were investigated. The novel OMS-2 cathodes were examined in granular activated carbon MFC (GACMFC) with sodium acetate as the anode reagent and oxygen in air as the cathode reagent. The results showed that after 400 h of operation, the Co-OMS-2 and Cu-OMS-2 exhibited good catalytic performance in an oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). The voltage of the Co-OMS-2 GACMFC was 217 mV, and the power density was 180 mW m -2. The voltage of the Cu-OMS-2 GACMFC was 214 mV and the power density was 165 mW m -2. The internal resistance (R in) of the OMS-2 GACMFCs (18 ± 1 Ω) was similar to that of the platinum GACMFCs (17 Ω). Furthermore, the degradation rates of organic substrates in the OMS-2 GACMFCs were twice those in the platinum GACMFCs, which enhance their wastewater treatment efficiencies. This study indicated that using OMS-2 manganese oxides to replace platinum as a cathodic catalyst enhances power generation, increases contaminant removal, and substantially reduces the cost of MFCs.

  12. 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.

  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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Comparison of oxygen and hypochlorite as cathodic electron acceptor in microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Jadhav, D A; Ghadge, A N; Mondal, Debika; Ghangrekar, M M

    2014-02-01

    Effect of oxygen and sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) as cathodic electron acceptors on performance of a clayware microbial fuel cell (MFC) was evaluated in this study. Maximum power density of 6.57 W/m(3) was obtained with NaOCl as catholyte, which is about 9 times higher than oxygen being used as an electron acceptor. Voltammetry and Tafel analysis further supported the faster reduction kinetics lead to increase in power output and reduction in internal resistance of MFC operated with NaOCl as an electron acceptor. Using NaOCl as catholyte, higher exchange current density of 10.91 and 11.52 mA/m(2) and lower charge transfer resistance of 0.58 and 0.56 kΩ m(2) was observed for anode and cathode, respectively. Higher organic matter removal of about 90% with 25% Coulombic efficiency was achieved using NaOCl as catholyte. Higher internal resistance, lower cathode potential and slow reduction kinetics deteriorated performance of MFC using oxygen as cathodic electron acceptor.

  15. 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.; ...

    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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

    2014-10-07

    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.

  18. Modeling and validation of single-chamber microbial fuel cell cathode biofilm growth and response to oxidant gas composition

    SciTech Connect

    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 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. 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.

  19. Modeling and validation of single-chamber microbial fuel cell cathode biofilm growth and response to oxidant gas composition

    SciTech Connect

    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 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. 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.

  20. Nanofiber-based composite cathodes for intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahn, Minwoo; Lee, Jongseo; Lee, Wonyoung

    2017-06-01

    We demonstrate the Sm0.5Sr0.5CoO3-δ (SSC) nanofiber-based composite cathodes for intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells (IT-SOFCs), showing a cathode area-specific resistance (ASR) value of 0.024 Ωcm2 at 650 °C. The hollow and porous SSC nanofiber layer, fabricated by electrospinning, is sintered at low temperatures to preserve the high specific surface area for facile oxygen surface exchange reactions. The low sintering temperature is enabled by additional SSC powder layer, providing sufficient adhesion between the electrolyte and the nanofiber layer. Our results can provide a design guideline to fully utilize the nanostructured electrodes by engineering the structural properties of the surface and the interface, and hence high-performance IT-SOFCs can be achieved by structural modification with conventional materials.

  1. Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell performance analysis varying cathode operating conditions for carbon capture applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Audasso, Emilio; Barelli, Linda; Bidini, Gianni; Bosio, Barbara; Discepoli, Gabriele

    2017-04-01

    The results of a systematic experimental campaign to verify the impact of real operating conditions on the performance of a complete Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell (MCFC) are presented. In particular, the effects of ageing and composition of water, oxygen and carbon dioxide in the cathodic feeding stream are studied through the analysis of current-voltage curves and Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS). Based on a proposed equivalent electrical circuit model and a fitting procedure, a correlation is found among specific operating parameters and single EIS coefficients. The obtained results suggest a new performance monitoring approach to be applied to MCFC for diagnostic purpose. Particular attention is devoted to operating conditions characteristic of MCFC application as CO2 concentrators, which, by feeding the cathode with exhaust gases, is a promising route for efficient and cheap carbon capture.

  2. Power generation capabilities of microbial fuel cells with different oxygen supplies in the cathodic chamber.

    PubMed

    Juang, Der-Fong; Lee, Chao-Hsien; Hsueh, Shu-Chun; Chou, Huei-Yin

    2012-06-01

    Two microbial fuel cells (MFCs) inoculated with activated sludge of a wastewater treatment plant were constructed. Oxygen was provided by mechanical aeration in the cathodic chamber of one MFC, whereas it was obtained by the photosynthesis of algae in the other. Electrogenic capabilities of both MFCs were compared under the same operational conditions. Results showed that the MFC with mechanical aeration in the cathodic chamber displayed higher power output than the one with photosynthesis of algae. Good linear relationship between power density and chemical oxygen demand (COD) loading rate was obtained only on the MFC with mechanical aeration. Furthermore, the relationships between power density and effluent COD and between Coulombic efficiency and COD loading rate can only be expressed as binary quadratic equations for the MFC with mechanical aeration and not for the one with photosynthesis of algae.

  3. Scaled-up dual anode/cathode microbial fuel cell stack for actual ethanolamine wastewater treatment.

    PubMed

    An, Byung-Min; Heo, Yoon; Maitlo, Hubdar-Ali; Park, Joo-Yang

    2016-06-01

    The aim of this work was to develop the scale-up microbial fuel cell technology for actual ethanolamine wastewater treatment, dual anode/cathode MFC stacks connected in series to achieve any desired current, treatment capacity, and volume capacity. However, after feeding actual wastewater into the MFC, maximum power density decreased while the corresponding internal resistance increased. With continuous electricity production, a stack of eight MFCs in series achieved 96.05% of COD removal and 97.30% of ammonia removal at a flow rate of 15.98L/d (HRT 12h). The scaled-up dual anode/cathode MFC stack system in this research was demonstrated to treat actual ETA wastewater with the added benefit of harvesting electricity energy. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. A cobalt polypyrrole composite catalyzed cathode for the direct borohydride fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qin, H. Y.; Liu, Z. X.; Yin, W. X.; Zhu, J. K.; Li, Z. P.

    A cobalt polypyrrole carbon (Co-PPY-C) composite has been attempted for use as a cathode catalyst in a direct borohydride fuel cell (DBFC). A Co-PPY-C composite has been fabricated in laboratory and characterized by the field emission scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, as well as X-ray photoemission spectroscopy. Fabricated Co-PPY-C catalyst demonstrates good short-term durability and activity which are comparable to those obtained from the Pt/C catalyst. A maximum power density of 65 mW cm -2 has been achieved at ambient conditions. This research concludes that metallo-organic coordination compounds would be potential candidates for use as cathode catalysts in the DBFC.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Silver-praseodymium oxy-sulfate cermet: A new composite cathode for intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Tao; Shaula, Aliaksandr L.; Mikhalev, Sergey M.; Ramasamy, Devaraj; Fagg, Duncan P.

    2016-02-01

    Ag-Pr2O2SO4 is identified as a promising new composite material to enhance the cathodic oxygen reduction reaction in solid oxide fuel cells. Ag-Pr2O2SO4 was studied in terms of synthesis, stability of Pr2O2SO4 in CO2, and electrochemical behavior as a cathode. The performance of the composite cathode was assessed as a function of temperature by A.C. impedance using a symmetrical cell arrangement in oxygen. The global performance of an anode-supported fuel cell Ag-Pr2O2SO4/CGO/NiO-CGO was also assessed, the highest power density being 1.5 W cm-2 at 800 °C. A longevity test of this cell performed at 800 °C under load for 24 days demonstrated high stability with Ag-Pr2O2SO4 cathode.

  8. 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.

  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. Platinum/tin oxide/carbon cathode catalyst for high temperature PEM fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parrondo, Javier; Mijangos, Federico; Rambabu, B.

    The performance of high temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cell (HT-PEMFC) using platinum supported over tin oxide and Vulcan carbon (Pt/SnOx/C) as cathode catalyst was evaluated at 160-200 °C and compared with Pt/C. This paper reports first time the Pt/SnOx/C preparation, fuel cell performance, and durability test up to 200 h. Pt/SnOx/C of varying SnO compositions were characterized using XRD, SEM, TEM, EDX and EIS. The face-centered cubic structure of nanosized Pt becomes evident from XRD data. TEM and EDX measurements established that the average size of the Pt nanoparticles were ∼6 nm. Low ionic resistances were derived from EIS, which ranged from 0.5 to 5 Ω-cm 2 for cathode and 0.05 to 0.1 Ω-cm 2 for phosphoric acid, doped PBI membrane. The addition of the SnOx to Pt/C significantly promoted the catalytic activity for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). The 7 wt.% SnO in Pt/SnO 2/C catalyst showed the highest electro-oxidation activity for ORR. High temperature PEMFC measurements performed at 180 °C under dry gases (H 2 and O 2) showed 0.58 V at a current density of 200 mA cm -2, while only 0.40 V was obtained in the case of Pt/C catalyst. When the catalyst contained higher concentrations of tin oxide, the performance decreased as a result of mass transport limitations within the electrode. Durability tests showed that Pt/SnOx/C catalysts prepared in this work were stable under fuel cell working conditions, during 200 h at 180 °C demonstrate as potential cathode catalyst for HT-PEMFCs.

  11. 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.

  12. Final Report - Advanced Cathode Catalysts and Supports for PEM Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Debe, Mark

    2012-09-28

    The principal objectives of the program were development of a durable, low cost, high performance cathode electrode (catalyst and support), that is fully integrated into a fuel cell membrane electrode assembly with gas diffusion media, fabricated by high volume capable processes, and is able to meet or exceed the 2015 DOE targets. Work completed in this contract was an extension of the developments under three preceding cooperative agreements/grants Nos. DE-FC-02-97EE50473, DE-FC-99EE50582 and DE-FC36- 02AL67621 which investigated catalyzed membrane electrode assemblies for PEM fuel cells based on a fundamentally new, nanostructured thin film catalyst and support system, and demonstrated the feasibility for high volume manufacturability.

  13. Platinum-rare earth cathodes for direct borohydride-peroxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardoso, D. S. P.; Santos, D. M. F.; Šljukić, B.; Sequeira, C. A. C.; Macciò, D.; Saccone, A.

    2016-03-01

    Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is being actively investigated as an oxidant for direct borohydride fuel cells. Herein, platinum-rare earth (RE = Sm, Dy, Ho) alloys are prepared by arc melting and their activity for hydrogen peroxide reduction reaction (HPRR) is studied in alkaline media. Cyclic voltammetry and chronoamperometry measurements show that Pt-Sm electrode displays the highest catalytic activity for HPRR with the lowest activation energy, followed by Pt-Ho, while Pt-Dy alloys show practically no activity. Laboratory direct borohydride-peroxide fuel cells (DBPFCs) are assembled using these alloys. The DBPFC with Pt-Sm cathode gives the highest peak power density of 85 mW cm-2, which is more than double of that obtained in a DBPFC with Pt electrodes.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. A dual-chambered microbial fuel cell with Ti/nano-TiO2/Pd nano-structure cathode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hosseini, Mir Ghasem; Ahadzadeh, Iraj

    2012-12-01

    In this research, Ti/nano-TiO2/Pd nano-structure electrode is prepared, characterized and applied as cathode electrode in a dual-chambered microbial fuel cell with graphite anode and Flemion cation exchange membrane. Prepared nano-structured electrode morphology and mixed-culture biofilm formed on the anode are studied by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Cell performance is investigated by polarization, cyclic voltammetery (CV) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) methods. Results show that Ti/nano-TiO2/Pd electrode exhibits satisfactory long term performance as a cathode to reduce water dissolved oxygen. The maximum output power of the cell is about 200 mW m-2 normalized to the cathode surface area. Open circuit potential (OCP) of the cell is about 480 mV and value of the short circuit current is 0.21 mA cm-2 of the cathode geometric surface area. Thus this nano-structure cathode can produce comparable output power to that of platinum-based cathodes such as Pt-doped carbon paper; therefore due to the ease of preparation and low cost, this electrode can be applied as alternative to platinum-based cathodes in microbial fuel cells.

  17. 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.

  18. Carbon-Supported Pd and PdFe Alloy Catalysts for Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Cathodes

    PubMed Central

    Rivera Gavidia, Luis M.; Sebastián, David; Pastor, Elena; Aricò, Antonino S.; Baglio, Vincenzo

    2017-01-01

    Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) are electrochemical devices that efficiently produce electricity and are characterized by a large flexibility for portable applications and high energy density. Methanol crossover is one of the main obstacles for DMFC commercialization, forcing the search for highly electro-active and methanol tolerant cathodes. In the present work, carbon-supported Pd and PdFe catalysts were synthesized using a sodium borohydride reduction method and physico-chemically characterized using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-ray techniques such as photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), diffraction (XRD) and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDX). The catalysts were investigated as DMFC cathodes operating at different methanol concentrations (up to 10 M) and temperatures (60 °C and 90 °C). The cell based on PdFe/C cathode presented the best performance, achieving a maximum power density of 37.5 mW·cm−2 at 90 °C with 10 M methanol, higher than supported Pd and Pt commercial catalysts, demonstrating that Fe addition yields structural changes to Pd crystal lattice that reduce the crossover effects in DMFC operation. PMID:28772937

  19. Carbon-Supported Pd and PdFe Alloy Catalysts for Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Cathodes.

    PubMed

    Rivera Gavidia, Luis M; Sebastián, David; Pastor, Elena; Aricò, Antonino S; Baglio, Vincenzo

    2017-05-25

    Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) are electrochemical devices that efficiently produce electricity and are characterized by a large flexibility for portable applications and high energy density. Methanol crossover is one of the main obstacles for DMFC commercialization, forcing the search for highly electro-active and methanol tolerant cathodes. In the present work, carbon-supported Pd and PdFe catalysts were synthesized using a sodium borohydride reduction method and physico-chemically characterized using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-ray techniques such as photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), diffraction (XRD) and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDX). The catalysts were investigated as DMFC cathodes operating at different methanol concentrations (up to 10 M) and temperatures (60 °C and 90 °C). The cell based on PdFe/C cathode presented the best performance, achieving a maximum power density of 37.5 mW·cm(-2) at 90 °C with 10 M methanol, higher than supported Pd and Pt commercial catalysts, demonstrating that Fe addition yields structural changes to Pd crystal lattice that reduce the crossover effects in DMFC operation.

  20. Self-assembled dynamic perovskite composite cathodes for intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shin, J. Felix; Xu, Wen; Zanella, Marco; Dawson, Karl; Savvin, Stanislav N.; Claridge, John B.; Rosseinsky, Matthew J.

    2017-01-01

    Electrode materials for intermediate temperature (500-700 ∘C) solid oxide fuel cells require electrical and mechanical stability to maintain performance during the cell lifetime. This has proven difficult to achieve for many candidate cathode materials and their derivatives with good transport and electrocatalytic properties because of reactivity towards cell components, and the fuels and oxidants. Here we present Ba0.5Sr0.5(Co0.7Fe0.3)0.6875W0.3125O3-δ (BSCFW), a self-assembled composite prepared through simple solid state synthesis, consisting of B-site cation ordered double perovskite and disordered single perovskite oxide phases, as a candidate cathode material. These phases interact by dynamic compositional change at the operating temperature, promoting both chemical stability through the increased amount of W in the catalytically active single perovskite provided from the W-reservoir double perovskite, and microstructural stability through reduced sintering of the supported catalytically active phase. This interactive catalyst-support system enabled stable high electrochemical activity through the synergic integration of the distinct properties of the two phases.

  1. Microstructural engineering of composite cathode systems for intermediate and low-temperature solid oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Camaratta, Matthew

    Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are electrochemical devices with the potential to generate power at high efficiency with little environmental impact. However, in order to improve their commercial appeal, operating temperatures must be lowered from the 800-1000°C temperature range to 500-700°C and below. Due to the high bond strength of oxygen molecules, the kinetics of oxygen reduction are orders of magnitude slower than those of fuel oxidation. Consequently, much research in the reduced-temperature SOFC field is aimed at enhancing cathode performance. A composite cathode makes use of an electronic conducting phase as well as an ion conducting phase in order to spread the 3PB reaction zone beyond the cathode/electrolyte interface. Silver-stabilized bismuth oxide composite cathodes exhibit low resistance to oxygen reduction due to a combination of high catalytic activity for oxygen reduction of both phases, as well as high ionic conductivity of the bismuth oxide phase. Isothermal comparisons were made between pure silver cathodes, silver-yttrium stabilized bismuth oxide (YSB) cathodes, and silver-erbium stabilized bismuth oxides (ESB) at 650°C. The performance of all cathodes was shown to degrade with time. Cathode area specific resistance (ASR) of both the Ag-YSB and Ag-ESB electrodes increased by around 70%, while the pure Ag system experienced a near fourfold increase during the same length of time under open circuit conditions. In light of the electrochemical, microstructural, and chemical evidence presented, it was concluded that electrode microstructural evolution due to growth, agglomeration, and coalescence of the silver phase, rather than chemical reactivity of the bismuth oxide phase, was responsible for the observed degradation in electrochemical performance. Attempts were made to reduce the microstructural evolution of the silver phase in Ag-ESB20 composites by introduction of small particles (nano-size 8YSZ or vibratory-milled ESB20 particles) into

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Vertically aligned carbon nanotubes as anode and air-cathode in single chamber microbial fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amade, R.; Moreno, H. A.; Hussain, S.; Vila-Costa, M.; Bertran, E.

    2016-10-01

    Electrode optimization in microbial fuel cells is a key issue to improve the power output and cell performance. Vertically aligned carbon nanotubes (VACNTs) grown on low cost stainless-steel mesh present an attractive approach to increase the cell performance while avoiding the use of expensive Pt-based materials. In comparison with non-aligned carbon nanotubes (NACNTs), VACNTs increase the oxygen reduction reaction taking place at the cathode by a factor of two. In addition, vertical alignment also increases the power density up to 2.5 times with respect to NACNTs. VACNTs grown at the anode can further improve the cell performance by increasing the electrode surface area and thus the electron transfer between bacteria and the electrode. The maximum power density obtained using VACNTs was 14 mW/m2 and 160 mV output voltage.

  6. Performance and Structural Evolution of Nano-Scale Infiltrated Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Cathodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Call, Ann Virginia

    Nano-structured mixed ionic and electronic conducting (MIEC) materials have garnered intense interest in electrode development for solid oxide fuel cells due to their high surface areas which allow for effective catalytic activity and low polarization resistances. In particular, composite solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) cathodes consisting of ionic conducting scaffolds infiltrated with MIEC nanoparticles have exhibited some of the lowest reported polarization resistances. In order for cells utilizing nanostructured moRPhologies to be viable for commercial implementation, more information on their initial performance and long term stability is necessary. In this study, symmetric cell cathodes were prepared via wet infiltration of Sr0.5Sm 0.5CoO3 (SSC) nano-particles via a nitrate process into porous Ce0.9Gd0.1O1.95 (GDC) scaffolds to be used as a model system to investigate performance and structural evolution. Detailed analysis of the cells and cathodes was carried out using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). Initial polarization resistances (RP) as low as 0.11 O cm2 at 600ºC were obtained for these SSC-GDC cathodes, making them an ideal candidate for studying high performance nano-structured electrodes. The present results show that the infiltrated cathode microstructure has a direct impact on the initial performance of the cell. Small initial particle sizes and high infiltration loadings (up to 30 vol% SSC) improved initial RP. A simple microstructure-based electrochemical model successfully explained these trends in RP. Further understanding of electrode performance was gleaned from fitting EIS data gathered under varying temperatures and oxygen partial pressures to equivalent circuit models. Both RQ and Gerischer impedance elements provided good fits to the main response in the EIS data, which was associated with the combination of oxygen surface exchange and oxygen diffusion in the electrode. A gas diffusion response was also observed at relatively

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  8. Preparation of a fouling-resistant sustainable cathode for a single-chambered microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Chatterjee, Pritha; Ghangrekar, M M

    2014-01-01

    Two different binder materials of varying water affinity, viz. poly vinyl alcohol (PVA) and poly-tetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), and biocide vanillin were tested for cathode fouling in a single chamber air-cathode microbial fuel cell (MFC) constructed with a low-cost baked clayware cylinder and operated under fed-batch mode. PVA and PTFE loadings of 0.5 mg/cm(2) were used for MFC-1 and MFC-2, respectively as a binder; and a 1:1 mixture of PVA + PTFE was used as binder in MFC-3 with same binder loading. Vanillin was mixed with PVA and also applied at a loading of 0.5 mg/cm(2) for MFC-4. Results showed organic matter removal efficiencies around 90% for all MFCs both before and after fouling. Coulombic efficiency was, however, found to decrease 50% after fouling in the MFC-3 coated with both PVA and PTFE. After 5 weeks of operation, due to fouling 56, 40 and 69% reduction in power densities were observed in MFC-1, MFC-2 and MFC-3, respectively. In the MFC-4 having PVA and vanillin, the least fouling was observed. A consistent volumetric power of 233 mW/m(3) was observed for MFC-4, thus potentially offering a suitable solution to alleviate the problem of fouling in the making of single-chamber air-cathode MFCs.

  9. Performance of air-cathode stacked microbial fuel cells systems for wastewater treatment and electricity production.

    PubMed

    Estrada-Arriaga, Edson Baltazar; Guillen-Alonso, Yvonne; Morales-Morales, Cornelio; García-Sánchez, Liliana; Bahena-Bahena, Erick Obed; Guadarrama-Pérez, Oscar; Loyola-Morales, Félix

    2017-07-01

    Two different air-cathode stacked microbial fuel cell (MFC) configurations were evaluated under continuous flow during the treatment of municipal wastewater and electricity production at a hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 3, 1, and 0.5 d. Stacked MFC 1 was formed by 20 individual air-cathode MFC units. The second stacked MFC (stacked MFC 2) consisted of 40 air-cathode MFC units placed in a shared reactor. The maximum voltages produced at closed circuit (1,000 Ω) were 170 mV for stacked MFC 1 and 94 mV for stacked MFC 2. Different power densities in each MFC unit were obtained due to a potential drop phenomenon and to a change in chemical oxygen demand (COD) concentrations inside reactors. The maximum power densities from individual MFC units were up to 1,107 mW/m(2) for stacked MFC 1 and up to 472 mW/m(2) for stacked MFC 2. The maximum power densities in stacked MFC 1 and MFC 2 connected in series were 79 mW/m(2) and 4 mW/m(2), respectively. Electricity generation and COD removal efficiencies were reduced when the HRT was decreased. High removal efficiencies of 84% of COD, 47% of total nitrogen, and 30% of total phosphorus were obtained during municipal wastewater treatment.

  10. 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.

  11. Modeling the cathode pressure dynamics in the Buckeye Bullet II 540 kW hydrogen PEM fuel cell system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hillstrom, Edward T.; Canova, Marcello; Guezennec, Yann; Rizzoni, Giorgio

    2013-11-01

    The Buckeye Bullet 2 (BB2) is the world's fastest hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, with an international speed record of 302.9 mph. In order to achieve the power levels necessary for reaching the top speed, a unique gas supply system was designed to feed the PEM fuel cell modules. Stored Heliox with 40% oxygen content was used as the oxidizer and supplied to the cathode at high pressure. The high oxygen concentration at the cathode leads to a high rate of water formation in the GDL, with considerable influence on the pressure dynamics. For this reason, a precise monitoring of the pressure and water formation is required so that the cathode can operate at the maximum allowable pressure. This paper presents a novel control-oriented modeling approach to predict the cathode pressure dynamics of the BB2 PEM fuel cell system, developed for system optimization, monitoring and control. A distributed-parameter model was designed to characterize the liquid water formation and transport in the cathode channels, starting from the conservation laws for viscous fluid flow. The model was validated against a set of laboratory tests and actual race data. In this context, the proposed model is compared to a well known control-oriented PEM fuel cell model, to illustrate how the ability to predict the water transport at high reaction rates allows for an improved prediction of the pressure dynamics.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

    Chen, Yi; Huang, Weina; Peng, Bei

    2014-01-01

    Because of the demands for sustainable and renewable energy, fuel cells have become increasingly popular, particularly the polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC). Among the various components, the cathode plays a key role in the operation of a PEFC. In this study, a quantitative dual-layer cathode model was proposed for determining the optimal parameters that minimize the over-potential difference η and improve the efficiency using a newly developed bat swarm algorithm with a variable population embedded in the computational intelligence-aided design. The simulation results were in agreement with previously reported results, suggesting that the proposed technique has potential applications for automating and optimizing the design of PEFCs.

  15. A liquid-gas phase mixed-reactant fuel cell with a RuSeW cathode electrocatalyst

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, H.; Yuan, W.; Scott, K.

    Some data in mixed-reactant fuel cells (MRFC) at Newcastle using formic acid, methanol and ethanol are reported. The importance of using a fuel-tolerant selective cathode catalyst has been identified. The influence of fuel and oxidant conditions and feeding patterns has been evaluated. The cell performance using air, oxygen and hydrogen peroxide is reported. The highest peak power density of 16 mW cm -2 was obtained with formic acid. The MRFC gave power densities approximately half those of a conventional, un-mixed-reactant fuel cell.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-28

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

  17. 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.

  18. Novel pore-filled polyelectrolyte composite membranes for cathodic microbial fuel cell application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gohil, J. M.; Karamanev, D. G.

    2013-12-01

    Novel pore-filled polyelectrolyte membrane (PEM) was produced using track etched polycarbonate (PC) as porous substrate and poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) as pore filling material. PVA in PC pores was stabilized through cross-linking of PVA matrix with glutaraldehyde (GA). Cross-link time was varied from 24 h to 96 h while keeping the membranes in GA solution. Pore sizes of substrate PC membrane tested were 0.01, 0.1 and 0.2 μm. The membranes were characterized by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Ionic conductivity, water uptake, contact angle and gel content have been measured to determine membranes performance. The ionic crossover (iron ions and protons) through membranes was studied in a complete fuel cell. The single-cell performance of membrane was tested in a cathodic microbial fuel cell (MFC, Biogenerator). The physiochemical properties and membranes fuel cell performance were highly depended on the cross-link density of PVA matrices. Membranes cross-liked with GA for 72 h showed maximum gel content and their peak power density has reached 110 mW cm-2 at current density of 378 mA cm-2. Among all, membrane cross-linked for 72 h was studied for continuous long-term stability, which showed consistency for application in MFC.

  19. 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

    2015-11-04

    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.

  20. Thermodynamic stability of perovskite and lanthanum nickelate-type cathode materials for solid oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cetin, Deniz

    The need for cleaner and more efficient alternative energy sources is becoming urgent as concerns mount about climate change wrought by greenhouse gas emissions. Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are one of the most efficient options if the goal is to reduce emissions while still operating on fossil energy resources. One of the foremost problems in SOFCs that causes efficiency loss is the polarization resistance associated with the oxygen reduction reaction(ORR) at the cathodes. Hence, improving the cathode design will greatly enhance the overall performance of SOFCs. Lanthanum nickelate, La2NiO4+delta (LNO), is a mixed ionic and electronic conductor that has competitive surface oxygen exchange and transport properties and excellent electrical conductivity compared to perovskite-type oxides. This makes it an excellent candidate for solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) applications. It has been previously shown that composites of LNO with Sm0.2Ce0.8O2-delta (SDC20) as cathode materials lead to higher performance than standalone LNO. However, in contact with lanthanide-doped ceria, LNO decomposes resulting in free NiO and ceria with higher lanthanide dopant concentration. In this study, the aforementioned instability of LNO has been addressed by compositional tailoring of LNO: lanthanide doped ceria (LnxCe 1-xO2,LnDC)composite. By increasing the lanthanide dopant concentration in the ceria phase close to its solubility limit, the LNO phase has been stabilized in the LNO:LnDC composites. Electrical conductivity of the composites as a function of LNO volume fraction and temperature has been measured, and analyzed using a resistive network model which allows the identification of a percolation threshold for the LNO phase. The thermomechanical compatibility of these composites has been investigated with SOFC systems through measurement of the coefficients of thermal expansion. LNO:LDC40 composites containing LNO lower than 50 vol%and higher than 40 vol% were identified as being

  1. Biological chromium(VI) reduction in the cathode of a microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Tandukar, Madan; Huber, Samuel J; Onodera, Takashi; Pavlostathis, Spyros G

    2009-11-01

    The biocathode of a microbial fuel cell (MFC) offers a promising potential for the reductive treatment of oxidized pollutants. In this study, we demonstrated biological Cr(VI) reduction in the cathode of a MFC and identified putative Cr(VI) reducing microorganisms. The MFC was continuously monitored for Cr(VI) reduction and power generation. Acetate was provided to the anode compartment as substrate and bicarbonate was added to the cathode compartment as the sole external carbon source. The contribution of biomass decay and abiotic processes on Cr(VI) reduction was minimal, confirming that most of the Cr(VI) reduction was assisted by microbial activity in the cathode, which utilizes electrons and protons generated from the oxidation of acetate in the anode compartment. Relatively fast Cr(VI) reduction was observed at initial Cr(VI) concentrations below 80 mg/L. However, at 80 mg Cr(VI)/L, Cr(VI) reduction was extremely slow. A maximum Cr(VI) reduction rate of 0.46 mg Cr(VI)/g VSS.h was achieved, which resulted in a current and power density of 123.4 mA/m(2) and 55.5 mW/m(2), respectively. The reduced chromium was nondetectable in the supernatant of the catholyte which indicated complete removal of chromium as Cr(OH)(3) precipitate. Analysis of the 16S rRNA gene based clone library revealed that the cathode biomass was largely dominated by phylotypes closely related to Trichococcus pasteurii and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the putative Cr(VI) reducers.

  2. Gas Diffusion Electrodes Manufactured by Casting Evaluation as Air Cathodes for Microbial Fuel Cells (MFC)

    PubMed Central

    Srikanth, Sandipam; Pant, Deepak; Dominguez-Benetton, Xochitl; Genné, Inge; Vanbroekhoven, Karolien; Vermeiren, Philippe; Alvarez-Gallego, Yolanda

    2016-01-01

    One of the most intriguing renewable energy production methods being explored currently is electrical power generation by microbial fuel cells (MFCs). However, to make MFC technology economically feasible, cost efficient electrode manufacturing processes need to be proposed and demonstrated. In this context, VITO has developed an innovative electrode manufacturing process based on film casting and phase inversion. The screening and selection process of electrode compositions was done based on physicochemical properties of the active layer, which in turn maintained a close relation with their composition A dual hydrophilic-hydrophobic character in the active layer was achieved with values of εhydrophilic up to 10% while εTOTAL remained in the range 65 wt % to 75 wt %. Eventually, selected electrodes were tested as air cathodes for MFC in half cell and full cell modes. Reduction currents, up to −0.14 mA·cm2− at −100 mV (vs. Ag/AgCl) were reached in long term experiments in the cathode half-cell. In full MFC, a maximum power density of 380 mW·m−2 was observed at 100 Ω external load. PMID:28773723

  3. Gas Diffusion Electrodes Manufactured by Casting Evaluation as Air Cathodes for Microbial Fuel Cells (MFC).

    PubMed

    Srikanth, Sandipam; Pant, Deepak; Dominguez-Benetton, Xochitl; Genné, Inge; Vanbroekhoven, Karolien; Vermeiren, Philippe; Alvarez-Gallego, Yolanda

    2016-07-21

    One of the most intriguing renewable energy production methods being explored currently is electrical power generation by microbial fuel cells (MFCs). However, to make MFC technology economically feasible, cost efficient electrode manufacturing processes need to be proposed and demonstrated. In this context, VITO has developed an innovative electrode manufacturing process based on film casting and phase inversion. The screening and selection process of electrode compositions was done based on physicochemical properties of the active layer, which in turn maintained a close relation with their composition A dual hydrophilic-hydrophobic character in the active layer was achieved with values of εhydrophilic up to 10% while εTOTAL remained in the range 65 wt % to 75 wt %. Eventually, selected electrodes were tested as air cathodes for MFC in half cell and full cell modes. Reduction currents, up to -0.14 mA·cm(2-) at -100 mV (vs. Ag/AgCl) were reached in long term experiments in the cathode half-cell. In full MFC, a maximum power density of 380 mW·m(-2) was observed at 100 Ω external load.

  4. 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. Copyright (c) 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  5. Cathode electrocatalyst selection and deposition for a direct borohydride/hydrogen peroxide fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gu, Lifeng; Luo, Nie; Miley, George H.

    Catalyst selection, deposition method and substrate material selection are essential aspects for the design of efficient electrodes for fuel cells. Research is described to identify a potential catalyst for hydrogen peroxide reduction, an effective catalyst deposition method, and supporting material for a direct borohydride/hydrogen peroxide fuel cell. Several conclusions are reached. Using Pourbaix diagrams to guide experimental testing, gold is identified as an effective catalyst which minimizes gas evolution of hydrogen peroxide while providing high power density. Activated carbon cloth which features high surface area and high microporosity is found to be well suited for the supporting material for catalyst deposition. Electrodeposition and plasma sputtering deposition methods are compared to conventional techniques for depositing gold on diffusion layers. Both methods provide much higher power densities than the conventional method. The sputtering method however allows a much lower catalyst loading and well-dispersed deposits of nanoscale particles. Using these techniques, a peak power density of 680 mW cm -2 is achieved at 60 °C with a direct borohydride/hydrogen peroxide fuel cell which employs palladium as the anode catalyst and gold as the cathode catalyst.

  6. Modeling Electrochemical Performance of the Hierarchical Morphology of Precious Group Metal-free Cathode for Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell

    DOE PAGES

    Komini Babu, Siddharth; Chung, Hoon Taek; Zelenay, Piotr; ...

    2017-08-04

    Here, this paper presents a two-dimensional (2D) computational model of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) with a platinum group metal-free (PGM-free) catalyst cathode that can significantly reduce PEFC costs by eliminating the need for expensive platinum catalysts. Due to their comparatively low volumetric activity, PGM-free cathodes are an order of magnitude thicker than their Pt-based counterpart. The resulting need for greater electrode thickness to achieve sufficient power density requires careful attention to the transport losses across the thicker cathodes. The presented model is used to correlate the composition and morphology of the cathode to PEFC performance. The model ismore » a complete cell, continuum model that includes an advanced agglomerate model for a microstructurally consistent representation of the cathode. A unique feature of the approach is the integration of morphology and transport parameter statistics extracted from nano-scale resolution X-ray computed tomography (nano-CT) imaging of PGM-free cathodes. The model was validated with experimental results of PGM-free cathodes with varying Nafion loading. Lastly, our key findings are a need for increased cathode hydrophobicity and increased ionomer conductivity through either reduced tortuosity or increased bulk conductivity. We further use the model to evaluate targets for the volumetric activity and active site density for future catalysts.« less

  7. Fundamental understanding of surface charactersitic and chromium contamination on solid oxide fuel cell cathodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oh, Dongjo

    A solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) is a highly efficient and environmental-friendly energy conversion device. But the progress toward commercialization continues to be a slow struggle mostly due to high operation temperatures (800˜1000°C). Lowering operation temperatures can bring manufacturing costs down and provide high conversion efficiency, and less difficulty in sealing and heat management. However, substantial increase in internal losses, especially activation overpotential, lowers SOFC performance with reduced operation temperatures. Because the activation overpotential is mostly attributed to the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) on the cathode, tremendous works have been done in order to improve the cathode performance and understand the ORR mechanisms and degradation mechanisms. A heterogeneous reaction is primarily affected by the interaction between surface and adsorbed species. Therefore, the surface composition and structure are one of the most important factors affecting the cathode performance. Nevertheless, compositional and structural variations of cathode surfaces at high temperatures have not gained much attention. The objective of this study is, firstly, to better understand the surface structure of cathode materials at high temperatures, and, secondly, to improve the SOFC cathode performance based on this knowledge. La0.6Sr0.4Co0.2Fe0.8O 3 has been widely used for SOFC cathodes. Chemical and structural variations of La0.6Sr0.4Co0.2Fe0.8O 3 (LSCF) surfaces under oxidizing environment were investigated. Cr contamination free LSCF showed the formation of submicron-sized SrOx precipitates on the grain surface. This caused the reduced concentration of transition metals in B sites. The addition of cobalt oxide on the surface of LSCF was found to improve the cathode performance. In contrast, Cr vapor deposition caused the formation of larger SrCrO 4 particles on the LSCF surface along grain boundaries, and Sr-deficient matrix. The structural analysis

  8. Effect of ammonium and nitrate on current generation using dual-cathode microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Jang, Jae Kyung; Choi, Jung Eun; Ryou, Young Sun; Lee, Sung Hyoun; Lee, Eun Young

    2012-02-01

    These studies were conducted to determine the effects of various concentrations of ammonium and nitrate on current generation using dual-cathode microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Current generation was not affected by ammonium up to 51.8+/-0.0 mg/l, whereas 103.5+/-0.0 mg/l ammonium chloride reduced the current slightly. On the other hand, when 60.0+/-0.0 and 123.3+/-0.1 mg/l nitrate were supplied, the current was decreased from 10.23+/-0.07 mA to 3.20+/-0.24 and 0.20+/-0.01 mA, respectively. Nitrate did not seem to serve as a fuel for current generation in these studies. At this time, COD and nitrate removal were increased except at 123+/-0.1 mg NO(3)(-)/l. These results show that proper management of ammonium and nitrate is very important for increasing the current in a microbial fuel cell.

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-03

    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.

  11. 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

  12. Phase change in the cathode side of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khajeh-Hosseini-Dalasm, N.; Fushinobu, Kazuyoshi; Okazaki, Ken

    A three-dimensional steady state two-phase non-isothermal model which highly couples the water and thermal management has been developed to numerically investigate the spatial distribution of the interfacial mass transfer phase-change rate in the cathode side of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). A non-equilibrium evaporation-condensation phase change rate was incorporated in the model which allowed supersaturation and undersaturation take place. The most significant effects of phase-change rate on liquid saturation and temperature distributions are highlighted. A parametric study was also carried out to investigate the effects of operating conditions; namely as the channel inlet humidity, cell operating temperature, and inlet mass flow rate on the phase-change rate. It was also found that liquid phase assumption for produced water in the cathode catalyst layer (CL) changed the local distribution of phase-change rate. The maximum evaporation rate zone (above the channel near the CL) coincided with the maximum temperature zone and resulted in lowering the liquid saturation level. Furthermore, reduction of the channel inlet humidity and an increase of the operation temperature and inlet mass flow rate increased the evaporation rate and allowed for dehydration process of the gas diffusion layer (GDL) to take place faster.

  13. Effects of operating conditions on durability of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell Pt cathode catalyst layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohyagi, Shinsuke; Matsuda, Toshihiko; Iseki, Yohei; Sasaki, Tatsuyoshi; Kaito, Chihiro

    In this study, we investigated the effects of humidity and oxygen reduction on the degradation of the catalyst of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) in a voltage cycling test. To elucidate the effect of humidity on the voltage cycling corrosion of a carbon-supported Pt catalyst with 3 nm Pt particles, voltage cycling tests based on 10,000 cycles were conducted using 100% relative humidity (RH) hydrogen as anode gas and nitrogen of varying humidities as cathode gas. The degradation rate of an electrochemical surface area (ECSA) was almost 50% under 189% RH nitrogen atmosphere and the Pt average particle diameter after 10,000 cycles under these conditions was about 2.3 times that of a particle of fresh catalyst because of the agglomeration of Pt particles. The oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) that facilitated Pt catalyst agglomeration when oxygen was employed as the cathode gas also demonstrated that Pt agglomeration was prominent in higher concentrations of oxygen. The ECSA degradation figure in 100% RH oxygen was similar to that in 189% RH nitrogen. It was concluded that liquid water, which was dropped under a supersaturated condition or generated by ORR, accelerated Pt agglomeration. In this paper, we suggest that the Pt agglomeration degradation occurs in a flooding area in a cell plane.

  14. 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.

  15. Carnation-like MnO2 modified activated carbon air cathode improve power generation in microbial fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Peng; Li, Kexun; Liu, Xianhua

    2014-10-01

    Highly active and low-cost electrocatalysts are of great importance for large-scale commercial applications of microbial fuel cells (MFCs). In this work, we prepared an activated carbon (AC) air cathode containing electrodeposited γ-MnO2 using a potentiostatic method. The results indicated that carnation-like MnO2 crystals were bound to the surface of the AC air cathode after a deposition time of 10 min, which greatly improved the performance of the cathode. BET analysis results demonstrated that the electrodeposition of MnO2 decreased the micropore surface area of the cathode but increased the mesopore surface area. When compared with a bare AC air cathode, the electrodeposited MnO2 cathode exhibited higher catalytic activity for oxygen reduction reaction. The maximum power density of the MFC equipped with the electrodeposited MnO2 AC air cathode was 1554 mW m-2, which is 1.5 times higher than the control cathode.

  16. Final Scientific Report : Development of Transition Metal/ Chalcogen Based Cathode Catalysts for PEM Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Campbell, Stephen, A.

    2008-02-29

    The aim of this project was to investigate the potential for using base metal sulfides and selenides as low cost replacements for precious metal catalysts, such as platinum, currently being used in PEM fuel cells. The approach was to deposit thin films of the materials to be evaluated onto inert electrodes and evaluate their activity for the cathode reaction (oxygen reduction) as well as ex-situ structural and compositional characterization. The most active materials identified are CoS2 and the 50:50 solid solution (Co,Ni)S2. However, the OCP of these materials is still considered too low, at 0.83V and 0.89V vs. RHE respectively, for testing in fuel cells. The methods employed here were necessary to compare with the activity of platinum as, when nano-dispersed on carbon supports, the active surface area of these materials is difficult to measure, making comparisons inaccurate. This research adds to the knowledge of potential candidates for platinum replacement in order to reduce the cost of PEM fuel cell technology and promote commercialization. Although the fabrication methods employed here are strictly experimental, methods were also developed to produce nano-dispersed catalysts with similar compositions, structure and activity. Cycling of these catalysts to highly oxidizing potentials resulted in an increase of the open circuit voltage to approach that of platinum, however, it proved difficult to determine why using these dispersed materials. The potential for non-precious, non-metallic, low cost, compound catalysts for PEM fuel cells has been investigated and demonstrated.

  17. 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.

  18. Cathodic reduction of hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] coupled with electricity generation in microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Wang, Gang; Huang, Liping; Zhang, Yifeng

    2008-11-01

    A novel approach to Cr(VI)-contaminated wastewater treatment was investigated using microbial fuel cell technologies in fed-batch mode. By using synthetic Cr(VI)-containing wastewater as catholyte and anaerobic microorganisms as anodic biocatalyst, Cr(VI) at 100 mg/l was completely removed during 150 h (initial pH 2). The maximum power density of 150 mW/m(2) (0.04 mA/cm(2)) and the maximum open circuit voltage of 0.91 V were generated with Cr(VI) at 200 mg/l as electron acceptor. This work verifies the possibility of simultaneous electricity production and cathodic Cr(VI) reduction.

  19. Performance of sodium bromate as cathodic electron acceptor in microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Dai, Hongyan; Yang, Huimin; Liu, Xian; Zhao, Yu; Liang, Zhenhai

    2016-02-01

    The potential of using sodium bromate as a cathodic electron acceptor in a microbial fuel cell (MFC) was determined in this study. The effects of sodium bromate concentration and initial catholyte pH on the electricity production of the MFC were investigated. The MFC performance improved with increasing sodium bromate concentration and decreasing catholyte pH. The maximum voltage output (0.538 V), power density (1.4908 W m(-3)), optimal open circuit potential (1.635 V), coulombic efficiency (11.1%), exchange current density (0.538 A m(-3)) and charge transfer resistance (4274.1 Ω) were obtained at pH 3.0 and 100 mM sodium bromate. This work is the first to confirm that sodium bromate could be used as an electron acceptor in MFCs.

  20. Operando 3D Visualization of Migration and Degradation of a Platinum Cathode Catalyst in a Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell.

    PubMed

    Matsui, Hirosuke; Ishiguro, Nozomu; Uruga, Tomoya; Sekizawa, Oki; Higashi, Kotaro; Maejima, Naoyuki; Tada, Mizuki

    2017-08-01

    The three-dimensional (3D) distribution and oxidation state of a Pt cathode catalyst in a practical membrane electrode assembly (MEA) were visualized in a practical polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) under fuel-cell operating conditions. Operando 3D computed-tomography imaging with X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy (CT-XANES) clearly revealed the heterogeneous migration and degradation of Pt cathode catalyst in an MEA during accelerated degradation test (ADT) of PEFC. The degradative Pt migration proceeded over the entire cathode catalyst layer and spread to MEA depth direction into the Nafion membrane. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  1. Three-dimensional graphene nanosheets as cathode catalysts in standard and supercapacitive microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Santoro, Carlo; Kodali, Mounika; Kabir, Sadia; Soavi, Francesca; Serov, Alexey; Atanassov, Plamen

    2017-07-15

    Three-dimensional graphene nanosheets (3D-GNS) were used as cathode catalysts for microbial fuel cells (MFCs) operating in neutral conditions. 3D-GNS catalysts showed high performance towards oxygen electroreduction in neutral media with high current densities and low hydrogen peroxide generation compared to activated carbon (AC). 3D-GNS was incorporated into air-breathing cathodes based on AC with three different loadings (2, 6 and 10 mgcm(-2)). Performances in MFCs showed that 3D-GNS had the highest performances with power densities of 2.059 ± 0.003 Wm(-2), 1.855 ± 0.007 Wm(-2) and 1.503 ± 0.005 Wm(-2) for loading of 10, 6 and 2 mgcm(-2) respectively. Plain AC had the lowest performances (1.017 ± 0.009 Wm(-2)). The different cathodes were also investigated in supercapacitive MFCs (SC-MFCs). The addition of 3D-GNS decreased the ohmic losses by 14-25%. The decrease in ohmic losses allowed the SC-MFC with 3D-GNS (loading 10 mgcm(-2)) to have the maximum power (Pmax) of 5.746 ± 0.186 Wm(-2). At 5 mA, the SC-MFC featured an "apparent" capacitive response that increased from 0.027 ± 0.007 F with AC to 0.213 ± 0.026 F with 3D-GNS (loading 2 mgcm(-2)) and further to 1.817 ± 0.040 F with 3D-GNS (loading 10 mgcm(-2)).

  2. 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.

  3. Transport phenomena within the porous cathode for a proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Juanfang; Oshima, Nobuyuki; Kurihara, Eru; Saha, Litan Kumar

    A two-phase, one-dimensional steady model is developed to analyze the coupled phenomena of cathode flooding and mass-transport limiting for the porous cathode electrode of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell. In the model, the catalyst layer is treated not as an interface between the membrane and gas diffusion layer, but as a separate computational domain with finite thickness and pseudo-homogenous structure. Furthermore, the liquid water transport across the porous electrode is driven by the capillary force based on Darcy's law. And the gas transport is driven by the concentration gradient based on Fick's law. Additionally, through Tafel kinetics, the transport processes of gas and liquid water are coupled. From the numerical results, it is found that although the catalyst layer is thin, it is very crucial to better understand and more correctly predict the concurrent phenomena inside the electrode, particularly, the flooding phenomena. More importantly, the saturation jump at the interface of the gas diffusion layer and catalyst layers is captured, when the continuity of the capillary pressure is imposed on the interface. Elsewise, the results show further that the flooding phenomenon in the CL is much more serious than that in the GDL, which has a significant influence on the mass transport of the reactants. Moreover, the saturation level inside the cathode is determined, to a great extent, by the surface overpotential, the absolute permeability of the porous electrode, and the boundary value of saturation at the gas diffusion layer-gas channel interface. In order to prevent effectively flooding, it should remove firstly the liquid water accumulating inside the CL and keep the boundary value of liquid saturation as low as possible.

  4. Three-dimensional graphene nanosheets as cathode catalysts in standard and supercapacitive microbial fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santoro, Carlo; Kodali, Mounika; Kabir, Sadia; Soavi, Francesca; Serov, Alexey; Atanassov, Plamen

    2017-07-01

    Three-dimensional graphene nanosheets (3D-GNS) were used as cathode catalysts for microbial fuel cells (MFCs) operating in neutral conditions. 3D-GNS catalysts showed high performance towards oxygen electroreduction in neutral media with high current densities and low hydrogen peroxide generation compared to activated carbon (AC). 3D-GNS was incorporated into air-breathing cathodes based on AC with three different loadings (2, 6 and 10 mgcm-2). Performances in MFCs showed that 3D-GNS had the highest performances with power densities of 2.059 ± 0.003 Wm-2, 1.855 ± 0.007 Wm-2 and 1.503 ± 0.005 Wm-2 for loading of 10, 6 and 2 mgcm-2 respectively. Plain AC had the lowest performances (1.017 ± 0.009 Wm-2). The different cathodes were also investigated in supercapacitive MFCs (SC-MFCs). The addition of 3D-GNS decreased the ohmic losses by 14-25%. The decrease in ohmic losses allowed the SC-MFC with 3D-GNS (loading 10 mgcm-2) to have the maximum power (Pmax) of 5.746 ± 0.186 Wm-2. At 5 mA, the SC-MFC featured an ;apparent; capacitive response that increased from 0.027 ± 0.007 F with AC to 0.213 ± 0.026 F with 3D-GNS (loading 2 mgcm-2) and further to 1.817 ± 0.040 F with 3D-GNS (loading 10 mgcm-2).

  5. Mixed cellulose ester filter as a separator for air-diffusion cathode microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zejie; Lim, Bongsu

    2017-04-01

    Separator is important to prevent bio-contamination of the catalyst layer of air-diffusion cathode microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Mixed cellulose ester filter (MCEF) was examined as a separator for an air-cathode MFC in the present study. The MCEF-MFC produced a maximum power density of 780.7 ± 18.7 mW/m(2), which was comparable to 770.9 ± 35.9 mW/m(2) of MFC with Nafion membrane (NFM) as a separator. Long-term examination demonstrated a more stable performance of the MCEF-MFC than NFM-MFC. After 25 cycles, the maximum voltage of the MCEF-MFC decreased by only 1.3% from 425.1 ± 4.3 mV (initial 5 cycles) to 419.5 ± 2.3 mV (last 5 cycles). However, it was decreased by 9.1% from 424.8 ± 5.7 to 386 ± 2.5 mV for the NFM-MFC. The coulombic efficiency (CE) of the MCEF-MFC did not change (from 3.11 ± 0.09% to 3.13 ± 0.02%), while it decreased by 9.12% from 3.18 ± 0.04% to 2.89 ± 0.02% for the NFM-MFC. The MCEF separator was with less biofouling than the NFM separator over 60 days' operation, which might be the reason for the more table long-term performance of the MCEF-MFC. The results demonstrated that MCEF was feasible as a separator to set up good-performing and cost-effective air-diffusion cathode MFC.

  6. Removal of copper from aqueous solution by electrodeposition in cathode chamber of microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Tao, Hu-Chun; Liang, Min; Li, Wei; Zhang, Li-Juan; Ni, Jin-Ren; Wu, Wei-Min

    2011-05-15

    Based on energetic analysis, a novel approach for copper electrodeposition via cathodic reduction in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) was proposed for the removal of copper and recovery of copper solids as metal copper and/or Cu(2)O in a cathode with simultaneous electricity generation with organic matter. This was examined by using dual-chamber MFCs (chamber volume, 1L) with different concentrations of CuSO(4) solution (50.3 ± 5.8, 183.3 ± 0.4, 482.4 ± 9.6, 1007.9 ± 52.0 and 6412.5 ± 26.7 mg Cu(2+)/L) as catholyte at pH 4.7, and different resistors (0, 15, 390 and 1000 Ω) as external load. With glucose as a substrate and anaerobic sludge as an inoculum, the maximum power density generated was 339 mW/m(3) at an initial 6412.5 ± 26.7 mg Cu(2+)/L concentration. High Cu(2+) removal efficiency (>99%) and final Cu(2+) concentration below the USA EPA maximum contaminant level (MCL) for drinking water (1.3mg/L) was observed at an initial 196.2 ± 0.4 mg Cu(2+)/L concentration with an external resistor of 15 Ω, or without an external resistor. X-ray diffraction analysis confirmed that Cu(2+) was reduced to cuprous oxide (Cu(2)O) and metal copper (Cu) on the cathodes. Non-reduced brochantite precipitates were observed as major copper precipitates in the MFC with a high initial Cu(2+) concentration (0.1M) but not in the others. The sustainability of high Cu(2+) removal (>96%) by MFC was further examined by fed-batch mode for eight cycles.

  7. A Single-Chamber Microbial Fuel Cell without an Air Cathode

    PubMed Central

    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 (Rext) 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/cm2 was achieved at an Rext 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. PMID:22489190

  8. 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. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Combined Theoretical and Experimental Analysis of Processes Determining Cathode Performance in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Kukla, Maija M.; Kotomin, Eugene Alexej; Merkle, R.; Mastrikov, Yuri; Maier, J.

    2013-02-11

    Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) are under intensive investigation since the 1980’s as these devices open the way for ecologically clean direct conversion of the chemical energy into electricity, avoiding the efficiency limitation by Carnot’s cycle for thermochemical conversion. However, the practical development of SOFC faces a number of unresolved fundamental problems, in particular concerning the kinetics of the electrode reactions, especially oxygen reduction reaction. We review recent experimental and theoretical achievements in the current understanding of the cathode performance by exploring and comparing mostly three materials: (La,Sr)MnO3 (LSM), (La,Sr)(Co,Fe)O3 (LSCF) and (Ba,Sr)(Co,Fe)O3 (BSCF). Special attention is paid to a critical evaluation of advantages and disadvantages of BSCF, which shows the best cathode kinetics known so far for oxides. We demonstrate that it is the combined experimental and theoretical analysis of all major elementary steps of the oxygen reduction reaction which allows us to predict the rate determining steps for a given material under specific operational conditions and thus control and improve SOFC performance.

  10. Combined theoretical and experimental analysis of processes determining cathode performance in solid oxide fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Kuklja, M M; Kotomin, E A; Merkle, R; Mastrikov, Yu A; Maier, J

    2013-04-21

    Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) are under intensive investigation since the 1980's as these devices open the way for ecologically clean direct conversion of the chemical energy into electricity, avoiding the efficiency limitation by Carnot's cycle for thermochemical conversion. However, the practical development of SOFC faces a number of unresolved fundamental problems, in particular concerning the kinetics of the electrode reactions, especially oxygen reduction reaction. We review recent experimental and theoretical achievements in the current understanding of the cathode performance by exploring and comparing mostly three materials: (La,Sr)MnO3 (LSM), (La,Sr)(Co,Fe)O3 (LSCF) and (Ba,Sr)(Co,Fe)O3 (BSCF). Special attention is paid to a critical evaluation of advantages and disadvantages of BSCF, which shows the best cathode kinetics known so far for oxides. We demonstrate that it is the combined experimental and theoretical analysis of all major elementary steps of the oxygen reduction reaction which allows us to predict the rate determining steps for a given material under specific operational conditions and thus control and improve SOFC performance.

  11. Carbon filtration cathode in microbial fuel cell to enhance wastewater treatment.

    PubMed

    Zuo, Kuichang; Liang, Shuai; Liang, Peng; Zhou, Xuechen; Sun, Dongya; Zhang, Xiaoyuan; Huang, Xia

    2015-06-01

    A homogeneous carbon membrane with multi-functions of microfiltration, electron conduction, and oxygen reduction catalysis was fabricated without using noble metals. The produced carbon membrane has a pore size of 553nm, a resistance of 6.0±0.4Ωcm(2)/cm, and a specific surface area of 32.2m(2)/g. After it was assembled in microbial fuel cell (MFC) as filtration air cathode, a power density of 581.5mW/m(2) and a current density of 1671.4mA/m(2) were achieved, comparable with previous Pt air cathode MFCs. The filtration MFC was continuously operated for 20days and excellent wastewater treatment performance was also achieved with removal efficiencies of TOC (93.6%), NH4(+)-N (97.2%), and total nitrogen (91.6%). In addition, the carbon membrane was much cheaper than traditional microfiltration membrane, suggesting a promising multi-functional material in wastewater treatment field.

  12. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1990-06-01

    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.

  14. Continuous treatment of high strength wastewaters using air-cathode microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Kim, Kyoung-Yeol; Yang, Wulin; Evans, Patrick J; Logan, Bruce E

    2016-12-01

    Treatment of low strength wastewaters using microbial fuel cells (MFCs) has been effective at hydraulic retention times (HRTs) similar to aerobic processes, but treatment of high strength wastewaters can require longer HRTs. The use of two air-cathode MFCs hydraulically connected in series was examined to continuously treat high strength swine wastewater (7-8g/L of chemical oxygen demand) at an HRT of 16.7h. The maximum power density of 750±70mW/m(2) was produced after 12daysof operation. However, power decreased by 85% after 185d of operation due to serious cathode fouling. COD removal was improved by using a lower external resistance, and COD removal rates were substantially higher than those previously reported for a low strength wastewater. However, removal rates were inconsistent with first order kinetics as the calculated rate constant was an order of magnitude lower than rate constant for the low strength wastewater. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. 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.

  16. Carbonate species as OH- carriers for decreasing the pH gradient between cathode and anode in biological fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Torres, César I; Lee, Hyung-Sool; Rittmann, Bruce E

    2008-12-01

    Anodes of biological fuel cells (BFCs) normally must operate at a near-neutral pH in the presence of various ionic species required for the function of the biological catalyst (e.g., substrate, nutrients, and buffers). These ionic species are in higher concentration than protons (H+) and hydroxides (OH-); slow transport of H+ and OH- equivalents between anode and cathode compartments can lead to a large pH gradient that can inhibit the function of biological components, decrease voltage efficiency in BFCs, or both. We evaluate the use of carbonate species as OH- carriers from the cathode to the anode compartment. This is achieved by adding CO2 to the influent air in the cathode. CO2 is an acid that combines with OH- in the cathode to produce bicarbonate and carbonate. These species can migrate to the anode compartment as OH- carriers at a rate much greater than can OH- itself when the pH is not extremely high in the cathode compartment We demonstrate this concept by feeding different air/CO2 mixtures to the cathode of a dual-chamber microbial fuel cell (MFC) fed with acetate as substrate. Our results show a 45% increase in power density (from 1.9 to 2.8 W/m2) by feeding air augmented with 2-10% CO2. The cell voltage increased by as much as 120 mV, indicating that the pH gradient decreased by as much as 2 pH units. Analysis of the anode effluent showed an average increase of 4.9 mM in total carbonate, indicating that mostly carbonate was transferred from the cathode compartment This process provides a simple way to minimize potential losses in BFCs due to pH gradients between anode and cathode compartments.

  17. N- and S-doped mesoporous carbon as metal-free cathode catalysts for direct biorenewable alcohol fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Qiu, Yang; Huo, Jiajie; Jia, Fan; Shanks, Brent. H.; Li, Wenzhen

    2015-11-06

    Nitrogen and sulfur were simultaneously doped into the framework of mesoporous CMK-3 as metal-free catalysts for direct biorenewable alcohol fuel cells. Glucose, NH3, and thiophene were used as carbon, nitrogen and sulfur precursors, respectively, to prepare mesoporous N-S-CMK-3 with uniform mesopores and extra macropores, resulting in good O2 diffusion both in half cell and alcohol fuel cell investigations. Among all investigated CMK-3 based catalysts, N-S-CMK-3 prepared at 800 °C exhibited the highest ORR activity with the onset potential of 0.92 V vs. RHE, Tafel slope of 68 mV dec-1, and 3.96 electron transfer number per oxygen molecule in 0.1 M KOH. In addition, the alkaline membrane-based direct alcohol fuel cell (DAFC) with N-S-CMK-3 cathode displayed 88.2 mW cm-2 peak power density without obvious O2 diffusion issue, reaching 84% initial performance of that with a Pt/C cathode. The high catalyst durability and fuel-crossover tolerance led to stable performance of the N-S-CMK-3 cathode DAFC with 90.6 mW cm-2 peak power density after 2 h operation, while the Pt/C cathode-based DAFC lost 36.9% of its peak power density. In conclusion, the high ORR activity of N-S-CMK-3 can be attributed to the synergistic effect between graphitic-N and S (C–S–C structure), suggesting great potential to use N-S-CMK-3 as an alternative to noble metal catalysts in the fuel cell cathode.

  18. N- and S-doped mesoporous carbon as metal-free cathode catalysts for direct biorenewable alcohol fuel cells

    DOE PAGES

    Qiu, Yang; Huo, Jiajie; Jia, Fan; ...

    2015-11-06

    Nitrogen and sulfur were simultaneously doped into the framework of mesoporous CMK-3 as metal-free catalysts for direct biorenewable alcohol fuel cells. Glucose, NH3, and thiophene were used as carbon, nitrogen and sulfur precursors, respectively, to prepare mesoporous N-S-CMK-3 with uniform mesopores and extra macropores, resulting in good O2 diffusion both in half cell and alcohol fuel cell investigations. Among all investigated CMK-3 based catalysts, N-S-CMK-3 prepared at 800 °C exhibited the highest ORR activity with the onset potential of 0.92 V vs. RHE, Tafel slope of 68 mV dec-1, and 3.96 electron transfer number per oxygen molecule in 0.1 Mmore » KOH. In addition, the alkaline membrane-based direct alcohol fuel cell (DAFC) with N-S-CMK-3 cathode displayed 88.2 mW cm-2 peak power density without obvious O2 diffusion issue, reaching 84% initial performance of that with a Pt/C cathode. The high catalyst durability and fuel-crossover tolerance led to stable performance of the N-S-CMK-3 cathode DAFC with 90.6 mW cm-2 peak power density after 2 h operation, while the Pt/C cathode-based DAFC lost 36.9% of its peak power density. In conclusion, the high ORR activity of N-S-CMK-3 can be attributed to the synergistic effect between graphitic-N and S (C–S–C structure), suggesting great potential to use N-S-CMK-3 as an alternative to noble metal catalysts in the fuel cell cathode.« less

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Electricity generation by two types of microbial fuel cells using nitrobenzene as the anodic or cathodic reactants.

    PubMed

    Li, Jie; Liu, Guangli; Zhang, Renduo; Luo, Yong; Zhang, Cuiping; Li, Mingchen

    2010-06-01

    The effect of nitrobenzene (NB) on electricity generation and simultaneous biodegradation of NB were studied with two types of microbial fuel cells (MFCs): a ferricyanide-cathode MFC with NB as the anodic reactant and a NB-cathode MFC. Compared to controls without NB, the presence of NB in the anode of the first MFC decreased maximum voltage outputs, maximum power densities and Coulombic efficiencies. No electricity was generated from the first MFC using NB as the sole fuel; however, the second MFC using NB as the electron acceptor generated electricity successfully with a maximum voltage of 400mV. NB was degraded completely within 24h in both anode and cathode chambers. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) profiles demonstrated that the presence of NB caused changes in relative abundance of the dominant bacterial species and emergence of new bacteria on the anodes.

  4. Performance Characteristics of a PEM Fuel Cell with Parallel Flow Channels at Different Cathode Relative Humidity Levels

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:22291556

  5. A niobium and tantalum co-doped perovskite cathode for solid oxide fuel cells operating below 500 °C

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Mengran; Zhao, Mingwen; Li, Feng; Zhou, Wei; Peterson, Vanessa K.; Xu, Xiaoyong; Shao, Zongping; Gentle, Ian; Zhu, Zhonghua

    2017-01-01

    The slow activity of cathode materials is one of the most significant barriers to realizing the operation of solid oxide fuel cells below 500 °C. Here we report a niobium and tantalum co-substituted perovskite SrCo0.8Nb0.1Ta0.1O3-δ as a cathode, which exhibits high electroactivity. This cathode has an area-specific polarization resistance as low as ~0.16 and ~0.68 Ω cm2 in a symmetrical cell and peak power densities of 1.2 and 0.7 W cm-2 in a Gd0.1Ce0.9O1.95-based anode-supported fuel cell at 500 and 450 °C, respectively. The high performance is attributed to an optimal balance of oxygen vacancies, ionic mobility and surface electron transfer as promoted by the synergistic effects of the niobium and tantalum. This work also points to an effective strategy in the design of cathodes for low-temperature solid oxide fuel cells.

  6. 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.

  7. Methodology for the design of accelerated stress tests for non-precious metal catalysts in fuel cell cathodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharabi, Ronit; Wijsboom, Yair Haim; Borchtchoukova, Nino; Finkelshtain, Gennadi; Elbaz, Lior

    2016-12-01

    In this work we propose systematic methods for testing non-precious group metal catalysts and support degradation alkaline fuel cell cathodes. In this case study, we used a cathode composed of a pyrolyzed non-precious metal catalyst (NPMC) on activated carbon. The vulnerabilities of the cathode components were studied in order to develop the methodology and design an accelerated stress test (AST) for NPMC-based cathode in alkaline environment. Cyclic voltammetry (CV), chronoamperometry (CA) and impedance spectroscopy (EIS) were used to characterize the electrochemical behavior of the cathode and to follow the changes that occur as a result of exposing the cathodes to extreme operating conditions. Rotating ring disk electrode (RRDE) was used to study the cathodes kinetics; Raman spectroscopy and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) were used to study the structural changes in the electrode surface as well as depletion of the catalysts' active sites from the electrode. The changes in the composition of the electrode and catalyst were detected using X-ray diffraction (XRD). For the first time, we show that NPMC degrade rapidly at low operating potentials whereas the support degrades at high operating potentials and developed a tailor-made AST to take these into account.

  8. 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.

  9. Morphologically architectured spray pyrolyzed lanthanum ferrite-based cathodes-A phenomenal enhancement in solid oxide fuel cell performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mukhopadhyay, Jayanta; Basu, Rajendra Nath

    2014-04-01

    Nanocrystalline single phase La1-xSrxCo1-yFeyO3-δ [LSCF] (0 < x ≤ 0.5, y = 0.2, 0.8) based cathodes (crystallite size 30-50 nm) are synthesized by two fluid spray-pyrolysis (SP) for solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) application. The particulate sizes of the synthesized cathodes are found to be in the range of 100-200 nm. Particulate morphology of highest conducting cathode (∼1500 S cm-1) is tailored using homomolecular seeding agent of precalcined pyrolyzed ashes. Interfacial polarizations of the such SP synthesized screen printed cathodes onto gadolinium doped ceria (CGO) based electrolyte are found to be much lower (0.032-0.16 Ω cm2 at 800 °C-500 °C) with highest exchange current density (∼722 mA cm-2 at 800 °C) for oxygen reduction reaction. Enhanced current density of 4.0 A cm-2 (0.7 V, 800 °C) is obtained for SOFC button cells using optimized LSCF cathode with hydrogen as fuel and air as oxidant. LSCF cathodes synthesized by spray pyrolysis using homomolecular seeding exhibit interconnected mesoporosity having primary nano-particulates embedded within. Endurance test of button cells till 500 h results low degradation viz. 3.8% and 8.9% 1000 h-1 with electronic loads of 0.5 A cm-2 and 1.0 A cm-2 respectively. High performances of such cells are clinically correlated with SP processing conditions and particulate morphology of cathode powders.

  10. Air-cathode preparation with activated carbon as catalyst, PTFE as binder and nickel foam as current collector for microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Shaoan; Wu, Jiancheng

    2013-08-01

    A cathode is a critical factor that limits the practical application of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) in terms of cost and power generation. To develop a cost-effective cathode, we investigate a cathode preparation technique using nickel foam as a current collector, activated carbon as a catalyst and PTFE as a binder. The effects of the type and loading of conductive carbon, the type and loading of activated carbon, and PTFE loading on cathode performance are systematically studied by linear sweep voltammetry (LSV). The nickel foam cathode MFC produces a power density of 1190±50 mW m(-2), comparable with 1320 mW m(-2) from a typical carbon cloth Pt cathode MFC. However, the cost of a nickel foam activated carbon cathode is 1/30 of that of carbon cloth Pt cathode. The results indicate that a nickel foam cathode could be used in scaling up the MFC system.

  11. [Electricity generation using the short-arm air-cathode microbial fuel cell].

    PubMed

    Guo, Kun; Li, Ding-jie; Li, Hao-ran; Du, Zhu-wei

    2009-10-15

    The short-arm air-cathode microbial fuel cell (ACMFC) was constructed using a cramp to fix the proton exchange membrane (PEM) and carbon paper with 0.5 mg/cm2 onto the short-arm side of the anode chamber. Exoelectrogens on the surface of graphite rod were enriched by a sludge microbial fuel cell from the anaerobic digestion sludge. And the cyclic voltammetry result showed these microbes had electrochemical activities. Using the graphite rod covered by exoelectrogens as the anode and sodium acetate as the substrate, the short-arm ACMFC showed a maximal power density (Pm) of 738 mW/m2, internal resistance (Ri) of 280 omega and open circuit voltage (OCV) of 741 mV. Continuous sparging the anode chamber with nitrogen or removal of the proton exchange membrane enhance the Pm of the cell to 745 mW/m2 and 759 mW/m2 respectively. When both of the two measures were used together, the Pm reached up to 922 mW/m2. Under these three conditions the Ri of the cell was kept around 280 omega. When the substrate concentration was 12.62-100.96 mg/L and external resistance was 510 omega, the maximal voltage of the cell and the substrate concentration showed an obvious linear relation (R2 = 0.99). But when the concentration was above 100.96 mg/L, the maximal voltage stably kept around 302mV(the external resistance was 510 omega). However, the Coulombic efficiency of the short-arm ACMFC gradually increased with the increase of the substrate concentration, from 31.83% to 45.03%.

  12. Improved performance of air-cathode microbial fuel cell through additional Tween 80

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wen, Qing; Kong, Fanying; Ma, Fang; Ren, Yueming; Pan, Zhongcheng

    The ability of electron transfer from microbe cell to anode electrode plays a key role in microbial fuel cell (MFC). This study explores a new approach to improve the MFC performance and electron transfer rate through addition of Tween 80. Results demonstrate that, for an air-cathode MFC operating on 1 g L -1 glucose, when the addition of Tween 80 increases from 0 to 80 mg L -1, the maximum power density increases from 21.5 to 187 W m -3 (0.6-5.2 W m -2), the corresponding current density increases from 1.8 to 17 A m -2, and the resistance of MFC decreases from 27.0 to 5.7 Ω. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) analysis suggests that the improvement of overall performance of the MFC can be attributed to the addition of Tween 80. The high power density achieved here may be due to the increase of permeability of cell membranes by addition of Tween 80, which reduces the electron transfer resistance through the cell membrane and increases the electron transfer rate and number, consequently enhances the current and power output. A promising way of utilizing surfactant to improve energy generation of MFC is demonstrated.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Microbial fuel cell cathodes with poly(dimethylsiloxane) diffusion layers constructed around stainless steel mesh current collectors.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Fang; Saito, Tomonori; Cheng, Shaoan; Hickner, Michael A; Logan, Bruce E

    2010-02-15

    A new and simplified approach for making cathodes for microbial fuel cells (MFCs) was developed by using metal mesh current collectors and inexpensive polymer/carbon diffusion layers (DLs). Rather than adding a current collector to a cathode material such as carbon cloth, we constructed the cathode around the metal mesh itself, thereby avoiding the need for the carbon cloth or other supporting material. A base layer of poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) and carbon black was applied to the air-side of a stainless steel mesh, and Pt on carbon black with Nafion binder was applied to the solution-side as catalyst for oxygen reduction. The PDMS prevented water leakage and functioned as a DL by limiting oxygen transfer through the cathode and improving coulombic efficiency. PDMS is hydrophobic, stable, and less expensive than other DL materials, such as PTFE, that are commonly applied to air cathodes. Multiple PDMS/carbon layers were applied in order to optimize the performance of the cathode. Two PDMS/carbon layers achieved the highest maximum power density of 1610 +/- 56 mW/m(2) (normalized to cathode projected surface area; 47.0 +/- 1.6 W/m(3) based on liquid volume). This power output was comparable to the best result of 1635 +/- 62 mW/m(2) obtained using carbon cloth with three PDMS/carbon layers and a Pt catalyst. The coulombic efficiency of the mesh cathodes reached more than 80%, and was much higher than the maximum of 57% obtained with carbon cloth. These findings demonstrate that cathodes can be constructed around metal mesh materials such as stainless steel, and that an inexpensive coating of PDMS can prevent water leakage and lead to improved coulombic efficiencies.

  16. Metal foams application to enhance cooling of open cathode polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sajid Hossain, Mohammad; Shabani, Bahman

    2015-11-01

    Conventional channel flow fields of open cathode Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs) introduce some challenges linked to humidity, temperature, pressure and oxygen concentration gradients along the conventional flow fields that reduce the cell performance. According to previous experimental reports, with conventional air flow fields, hotspot formation due to water accumulation in Gas Diffusion Layer (GDL) is common. Unlike continuous long flow passages in conventional channels, metal foams provide randomly interrupted flow passages. Re-circulation of fluid, due to randomly distributed tortuous ligaments, enhances temperature and humidity uniformity in the fluid. Moreover, the higher electrical conductivity of metal foams compared to non-metal current collectors and their very low mass density compared to solid metal materials are expected to increase the electrical performance of the cell while significantly reducing its weight. This article reviews the existing cooling systems and identifies the important parameters on the basis of reported literature in the air cooling systems of PEMFCs. This is followed by investigating metal foams as a possible option to be used within the structure of such PEMFCs as an option that can potentially address cooling and flow distribution challenges associated with using conventional flow channels, especially in air-cooled PEMFCs.

  17. Two-phase flow modeling for the cathode side of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qin, Chaozhong; Rensink, Dirk; Fell, Stephan; Majid Hassanizadeh, S.

    2012-01-01

    Liquid water flooding in micro gas channels is an important issue in the water management of polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs). However, in most previous numerical studies liquid water transport in the gas channels (GC) has been simplified by the mist flow assumption. In this work, we present a two-phase flow model for the cathode side of a PEFC. The GC is assumed to be a structured porous medium with the porosity of 1.0. The two-phase Darcy's law is applied to both diffusion layers and GC. Based on the developed model, the liquid water flooding in the GC and its impact on the liquid water distribution in the diffusion layers are explored in detail. Furthermore, we study the effect of the immobile saturation on the predicted liquid water distribution in the diffusion layers. The results show that neglecting the GC flooding leads to an incorrect prediction of liquid water distribution in the diffusion layers and an overestimation of the cell performance. The gas flow rate in the GC can be optimized to achieve the best cell performance. Finally, when considering the immobile saturation in the model, more liquid water is predicted in the diffusion layers.

  18. Non-platinum cathode catalyst layer composition for single Membrane Electrode Assembly Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olson, Tim S.; Chapman, Kate; Atanassov, Plamen

    The performance of nano-structured templated non-platinum-based cathode electrocatalysts for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) was evaluated for different catalyst layer compositions. The effect of non-platinum catalyst, Nafion, and 35 wt% Teflon modified Vulcan XC-72 Carbon Blacks (XC-35) loadings were measured under H 2/air and H 2/O 2 conditions. Transport hindrances that occur in the catalyst layers are evaluated with Δ E vs. i analysis. It is shown that transport limitations in the cathode catalyst layer can limit the performance of the cell at relatively low current densities if the catalyst layer composition is not optimized. Further, a procedure is outlined here to aid in the implementation of non-traditional catalyst materials into fuel cell systems (i.e. templated electrocatalyst as compared to the standard supported material).

  19. 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.

  20. Enhancing substrate utilization and power production of a microbial fuel cell with nitrogen-doped carbon aerogel as cathode catalyst.

    PubMed

    Tardy, Gábor Márk; Lóránt, Bálint; Lóka, Máté; Nagy, Balázs; László, Krisztina

    2017-07-01

    Catalytic efficiency of a nitrogen-doped, mesoporous carbon aerogel cathode catalyst was investigated in a two-chambered microbial fuel cell (MFC) applying graphite felt as base material for cathode and anode, utilizing peptone as carbon source. This mesoporous carbon aerogel containing catalyst layer on the cathode increased the maximum power density normalized to the anode volume to 2.7 times higher compared to the maximum power density obtained applying graphite felt cathode without the catalyst layer. At high (2 and 3) cathode/anode volume ratios, maximum power density exceeded 40 W m(-3). At the same time, current density and specific substrate utilization rate increased by 58% resulting in 31.9 A m(-3) and 18.8 g COD m(-3) h(-1), respectively (normalized to anode volume). Besides the increase of the power and the rate of biodegradation, the investigated catalyst decreased the internal resistance from the range of 450-600 to 350-370 Ω. Although Pt/C catalyst proved to be more efficient, a considerable decrease in the material costs might be achieved by substituting it with nitrogen-doped carbon aerogel in MFCs. Such cathode still displays enhanced catalytic effect.

  1. On the nanostructuring and catalytic promotion of intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cell (IT-SOFC) cathodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serra, José M.; Buchkremer, Hans-Peter

    Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are highly efficient energy converters for both stationary and mobile purposes. However, their market introduction still demands the reduction of manufacture costs and one possible way to reach this goal is the decrease of the operating temperatures, which entails the improvement of the cathode electrocatalytic properties. An ideal cathode material may have mixed ionic and electronic conductivity as well as proper catalytic properties. Nanostructuring and catalytic promotion of mixed conducting perovskites (e.g. La 0.58Sr 0.4Fe 0.8Co 0.2O 3- δ) seem to be promising approaches to overcoming cathode polarization problems and are briefly illustrated here. The preparation of nanostructured cathodes with relatively high surface area and enough thermal stability enables to improve the oxygen exchange rate and therefore the overall SOFC performance. A similar effect was obtained by catalytic promoting the perovskite surface, allowing decoupling the catalytic and ionic-transport properties in the cathode design. Noble metal incorporation may improve the reversibility of the reduction cycles involved in the oxygen reduction. Under the cathode oxidizing conditions, Pd seems to be partially dissolved in the perovskite structure and as a result very well dispersed.

  2. Development of Ni1-xCoxO as the cathode/interconnect contact for solid oxide fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Lu, Zigui; Xia, Guanguang; Templeton, Joshua D.; Li, Xiaohong S.; Nie, Zimin; Yang, Zhenguo; Stevenson, Jeffry W.

    2011-06-01

    A new type of material, Ni1-xCoxO, was developed for solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) cathode/interconnect contact applications. The phase structure, coefficient of thermal expansion, sintering behavior, electrical property, and mechanical bonding strength of these materials were evaluated against the requirements of the SOFC cathode/interconnect contact. A dense cathode/interconnect contact layer was developed through reaction sintering from Ni and Co metal powders. An area specific resistance (ASR) as low as 5.5 mohm.cm2 was observed after 1000 h exposure in air at 800 °C for the LSM/Ni0.33Co0.67O/AISI441 assembly. Average mechanical strengths of 6.8 and 5.0 MPa were obtained for the cathode/contact/cathode and interconnect/contact/interconnect structures, respectively. The significantly low ASR was probably due to the dense structure and therefore improved electrical conductivity of the Ni0.33Co0.67O contact and the good bonding of the interfaces between the contact and the cathode, and between the contact and the interconnect.

  3. Hydrothermal synthesis of nanostructured manganese oxide as cathodic catalyst in a microbial fuel cell fed with leachate.

    PubMed

    Haoran, Yuan; Lifang, Deng; Tao, Lu; Yong, Chen

    2014-01-01

    Much effort has been devoted to the synthesis of novel nanostructured MnO2 materials because of their unique properties and potential applications as cathode catalyst in Microbial fuel cell. Hybrid MnO2 nanostructures were fabricated by a simple hydrothermal method in this study. Their crystal structures, morphology, and electrochemical characters were carried out by FESEM, N2-adsorption-desorption, and CV, indicating that the hydrothermally synthesized MnO2 (HSM) was structured by nanorods of high aspect ratio and multivalve nanoflowers and more positive than the naturally synthesized MnO2 (NSM), accompanied by a noticeable increase in oxygen reduction peak current. When the HSM was employed as the cathode catalyst in air-cathode MFC which fed with leachate, a maximum power density of 119.07 mW/m(2) was delivered, 64.68% higher than that with the NSM as cathode catalyst. Furthermore, the HSM via a 4-e pathway, but the NSM via a 2-e pathway in alkaline solution, and as 4-e pathway is a more efficient oxygen reduction reaction, the HSM was more positive than NSM. Our study provides useful information on facile preparation of cost-effective cathodic catalyst in air-cathode MFC for wastewater treatment.

  4. Hydrothermal Synthesis of Nanostructured Manganese Oxide as Cathodic Catalyst in a Microbial Fuel Cell Fed with Leachate

    PubMed Central

    Haoran, Yuan; Lifang, Deng; Tao, Lu; Yong, Chen

    2014-01-01

    Much effort has been devoted to the synthesis of novel nanostructured MnO2 materials because of their unique properties and potential applications as cathode catalyst in Microbial fuel cell. Hybrid MnO2 nanostructures were fabricated by a simple hydrothermal method in this study. Their crystal structures, morphology, and electrochemical characters were carried out by FESEM, N2-adsorption-desorption, and CV, indicating that the hydrothermally synthesized MnO2 (HSM) was structured by nanorods of high aspect ratio and multivalve nanoflowers and more positive than the naturally synthesized MnO2 (NSM), accompanied by a noticeable increase in oxygen reduction peak current. When the HSM was employed as the cathode catalyst in air-cathode MFC which fed with leachate, a maximum power density of 119.07 mW/m2 was delivered, 64.68% higher than that with the NSM as cathode catalyst. Furthermore, the HSM via a 4-e pathway, but the NSM via a 2-e pathway in alkaline solution, and as 4-e pathway is a more efficient oxygen reduction reaction, the HSM was more positive than NSM. Our study provides useful information on facile preparation of cost-effective cathodic catalyst in air-cathode MFC for wastewater treatment. PMID:24723824

  5. Nanoionics and Nanocatalysts: Conformal Mesoporous Surface Scaffold for Cathode of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Yun; Gerdes, Kirk; Song, Xueyan

    2016-09-01

    Nanoionics has become increasingly important in devices and systems related to energy conversion and storage. Nevertheless, nanoionics and nanostructured electrodes development has been challenging for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) owing to many reasons including poor stability of the nanocrystals during fabrication of SOFCs at elevated temperatures. In this study, a conformal mesoporous ZrO2 nanoionic network was formed on the surface of La1‑xSrxMnO3/yttria-stabilized zirconia (LSM/YSZ) cathode backbone using Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) and thermal treatment. The surface layer nanoionic network possesses open mesopores for gas penetration, and features a high density of grain boundaries for enhanced ion-transport. The mesoporous nanoionic network is remarkably stable and retains the same morphology after electrochemical operation at high temperatures of 650–800 °C for 400 hours. The stable mesoporous ZrO2 nanoionic network is further utilized to anchor catalytic Pt nanocrystals and create a nanocomposite that is stable at elevated temperatures. The power density of the ALD modified and inherently functional commercial cells exhibited enhancement by a factor of 1.5–1.7 operated at 0.8 V at 750 °C.

  6. Nanoionics and Nanocatalysts: Conformal Mesoporous Surface Scaffold for Cathode of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yun; Gerdes, Kirk; Song, Xueyan

    2016-01-01

    Nanoionics has become increasingly important in devices and systems related to energy conversion and storage. Nevertheless, nanoionics and nanostructured electrodes development has been challenging for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) owing to many reasons including poor stability of the nanocrystals during fabrication of SOFCs at elevated temperatures. In this study, a conformal mesoporous ZrO2 nanoionic network was formed on the surface of La1−xSrxMnO3/yttria-stabilized zirconia (LSM/YSZ) cathode backbone using Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) and thermal treatment. The surface layer nanoionic network possesses open mesopores for gas penetration, and features a high density of grain boundaries for enhanced ion-transport. The mesoporous nanoionic network is remarkably stable and retains the same morphology after electrochemical operation at high temperatures of 650–800 °C for 400 hours. The stable mesoporous ZrO2 nanoionic network is further utilized to anchor catalytic Pt nanocrystals and create a nanocomposite that is stable at elevated temperatures. The power density of the ALD modified and inherently functional commercial cells exhibited enhancement by a factor of 1.5–1.7 operated at 0.8 V at 750 °C. PMID:27605121

  7. Nanoionics and Nanocatalysts: Conformal Mesoporous Surface Scaffold for Cathode of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yun; Gerdes, Kirk; Song, Xueyan

    2016-09-08

    Nanoionics has become increasingly important in devices and systems related to energy conversion and storage. Nevertheless, nanoionics and nanostructured electrodes development has been challenging for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) owing to many reasons including poor stability of the nanocrystals during fabrication of SOFCs at elevated temperatures. In this study, a conformal mesoporous ZrO2 nanoionic network was formed on the surface of La1-xSrxMnO3/yttria-stabilized zirconia (LSM/YSZ) cathode backbone using Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) and thermal treatment. The surface layer nanoionic network possesses open mesopores for gas penetration, and features a high density of grain boundaries for enhanced ion-transport. The mesoporous nanoionic network is remarkably stable and retains the same morphology after electrochemical operation at high temperatures of 650-800 °C for 400 hours. The stable mesoporous ZrO2 nanoionic network is further utilized to anchor catalytic Pt nanocrystals and create a nanocomposite that is stable at elevated temperatures. The power density of the ALD modified and inherently functional commercial cells exhibited enhancement by a factor of 1.5-1.7 operated at 0.8 V at 750 °C.

  8. 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.

  9. 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. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  10. 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

  11. Oxygen vacancy diffusion across cathode/electrolyte interface in solid oxide fuel cells: An electrochemical phase-field model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hong, Liang; Hu, Jia-Mian; Gerdes, Kirk; Chen, Long-Qing

    2015-08-01

    An electrochemical phase-field model is developed to study electronic and ionic transport across the cathode/electrolyte interface in solid oxide fuel cells. The influences of local current density and interfacial electrochemical reactions on the transport behaviors are incorporated. This model reproduces two electrochemical features. Nernst equation is satisfied through the thermodynamic equilibriums of the electron and oxygen vacancy. The distributions of charged species around the interface induce charge double layer. Moreover, we verify the nonlinear current/overpotential relationship. This model facilitates the exploration of problems in solid oxide fuel cells, which are associated with transport of species and electrochemical reactions at high operating temperature.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

    2016-05-06

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. Controlling the morphology and uniformity of a catalyst-infiltrated cathode for solid oxide fuel cells by tuning wetting property

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lou, Xiaoyuan; Liu, Ze; Wang, Shizhong; Xiu, Yonghao; Wong, C. P.; Liu, Meilin

    Infiltration has been widely used in surface modification of porous electrodes in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). The stability and performance of a porous electrode infiltrated with a catalyst depend sensitively on the composition, morphology, and nanostructure of the catalyst. In this contribution, we report our findings on investigation into the effect of wetting property on the formation of catalyst coatings through an infiltration process. It is observed that aqueous solutions containing catalyst precursors wet SOFC electrolyte materials (e.g., yttria-stabilized zirconia or YSZ) better than cathode materials (e.g., La 0.6Sr 0.4Co 0.2Fe 0.8O 3- δ or LSCF). Controlling the wetting of catalyst precursor solutions on porous electrode backbones can dramatically improve the uniformity of the infiltrated catalyst layer on porous cathode backbone, thus enhancing the electrochemical performance of infiltrated cathodes, especially at low operating temperatures.

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

    Two identical microbial fuel cells (MFCs) with a floating air-cathode were operated under either buffered (MFC-B) or bufferless (MFC-BL) conditions to investigate anolyte recirculation effects on enhancing proton transfer. With an external resistance of 50 Ω and recirculation rate of 1.0 ml/min, MFC-BL had a 27% lower voltage (9.7% lower maximal power density) but a 64% higher Coulombic efficiency (CE) than MFC-B. MFC-B had a decreased voltage output, batch time, and CE with increasing recirculation rate resulting from more oxygen transfer into the anode. However, increasing the recirculation rate within a low range significantly enhanced proton transfer in MFC-BL, resulting in a higher voltage output, a longer batch time, and a higher CE. A further increase in recirculation rate decreased the batch time and CE of MFC-BL due to excess oxygen transfer into anode outweighing the proton-transfer benefits. The unbuffered MFC had an optimal recirculation rate of 0.35 ml/min. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Membrane fuel cell cathode catalysts based on titanium oxide supported platinum nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Gebauer, Christian; Jusys, Zenonas; Wassner, Maximilian; Hüsing, Nicola; Behm, R Jürgen

    2014-07-21

    The potential of platinum catalysts supported on pure, nitrogen-, or carbon-doped titania for application in the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), as a cathode catalyst in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells, is investigated. The oxide supports are synthesized by using a sol-gel route. Modification with nitrogen and carbon doping is achieved by thermal decomposition of urea and the structure-directing agent P123. Platinum nanoparticles are prepared by reduction of a Pt(IV) salt in ethylene glycol and subsequently immobilized on different support materials. Structural and electronic properties of the support materials and the resulting catalysts are characterized by various methods, including X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. These results and electrochemical characterization of the support materials and platinum nanoparticle catalysts indicate distinct support effects in the catalysts. The electrocatalytic performance of these catalysts in the ORR, as determined in rotating ring disc electrode measurements, is promising. Also here, distinct support effects can be identified. Correlations with the structural/electronic and the electrochemical properties are discussed, as well as the role of metal-support interactions.

  19. 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.

  20. Double-chamber microbial fuel cell with a non-platinum-group metal Fe-N-C cathode catalyst.

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

    Non-Pt-group metal (non-PGM) materials based on transition metal-nitrogen-carbon (M-N-C) and derived from iron salt and aminoantipyrine (Fe-AAPyr) of mebendazole (Fe-MBZ) were studied for the first time as cathode catalysts in double-chamber microbial fuel cells (DCMFCs). The pH value of the cathode chamber was varied from 6 to 11 to elucidate the activity of those catalysts in acidic to basic conditions. The Fe-AAPyr- and Fe-MBZ-based cathodes were compared to a Pt-based cathode used as a baseline. Pt cathodes performed better at pH 6-7.5 and had similar performances at pH 9 and a substantially lower performance at pH 11 at which Fe-AAPyr and Fe-MBZ demonstrated their best electrocatalytic activity. The power density achieved with Pt constantly decreased from 94-99 μW cm(-2) at pH 6 to 55-57 μW cm(-2) at pH 11. In contrast, the power densities of DCMFs using Fe-AAPyr and Fe-MBZ were 61-68 μW cm(-2) at pH 6, decreased to 51-58 μW cm(-2) at pH 7.5, increased to 65-75 μW cm(-2) at pH 9, and the highest power density was achieved at pH 11 (68-80 μW cm(-2) ). Non-PGM cathode catalysts can be manufactured at the fraction of the cost of the Pt-based ones. The higher performance and lower cost indicates that non-PGM catalysts may be a viable materials choice in large-scale microbial fuel cells.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Deactivation of Pt/VC proton exchange membrane fuel cell cathodes by SO2, H2S and COS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gould, Benjamin D.; Baturina, Olga A.; Swider-Lyons, Karen E.

    Sulfur contaminants in air pose a threat to the successful operation of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) via poisoning of the Pt-based cathodes. The deactivation behavior of commercial Pt on Vulcan carbon (Pt/VC) membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) is determined when exposed to 1 ppm (dry) of SO 2, H 2S, or COS in air for 3, 12, and 24 h while held at a constant potential of 0.6 V. All the three sulfur compounds cause the same deactivation behavior in the fuel cell cathodes, and the polarization curves of the poisoned MEAs have the same decrease in performance. Sulfur coverages after multiple exposure times (3, 12, and 24 h) are determined by cyclic voltammetry (CV). As the exposure time to sulfur contaminants increases from 12 to 24 h, the sulfur coverage of the platinum saturates at 0.45. The sulfur is removed from the cathodes and their activity is partially restored both by cyclic voltammetry, as shown by others, and by successive polarization curves. Complete recovery of fuel cell performance is not achieved with either technique, suggesting that sulfur species permanently affect the surface of the catalyst.

  4. 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

  5. Characterization of bacterial and archaeal communities in air-cathode microbial fuel cells, open circuit and sealed-off reactors.

    PubMed

    Shehab, Noura; Li, Dong; Amy, Gary L; Logan, Bruce E; Saikaly, Pascal E

    2013-11-01

    A large percentage of organic fuel consumed in a microbial fuel cell (MFC) is lost as a result of oxygen transfer through the cathode. In order to understand how this oxygen transfer affects the microbial community structure, reactors were operated in duplicate using three configurations: closed circuit (CC; with current generation), open circuit (OC; no current generation), and sealed off cathodes (SO; no current, with a solid plate placed across the cathode). Most (98 %) of the chemical oxygen demand (COD) was removed during power production in the CC reactor (maximum of 640 ± 10 mW/m(2)), with a low percent of substrate converted to current (coulombic efficiency of 26.5 ± 2.1 %). Sealing the cathode reduced COD removal to 7 %, but with an open cathode, there was nearly as much COD removal by the OC reactor (94.5 %) as the CC reactor. Oxygen transfer into the reactor substantially affected the composition of the microbial communities. Based on analysis of the biofilms using 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing, microbes most similar to Geobacter were predominant on the anodes in the CC MFC (72 % of sequences), but the most abundant bacteria were Azoarcus (42 to 47 %) in the OC reactor, and Dechloromonas (17 %) in the SO reactor. Hydrogenotrophic methanogens were most predominant, with sequences most similar to Methanobacterium in the CC and SO reactor, and Methanocorpusculum in the OC reactors. These results show that oxygen leakage through the cathode substantially alters the bacterial anode communities, and that hydrogenotrophic methanogens predominate despite high concentrations of acetate. The predominant methanogens in the CC reactor most closely resembled those in the SO reactor, demonstrating that oxygen leakage alters methanogenic as well as general bacterial communities.

  6. A bipolar membrane combined with ferric iron reduction as an efficient cathode system in microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Ter Heijne, Annemiek; Hamelers, Hubertus V M; De Wilde, Vinnie; Rozendal, René A; Buisman, Cees J N

    2006-09-01

    There is a need for alternative catalysts for oxygen reduction in the cathodic compartment of a microbial fuel cell (MFC). In this study, we show that a bipolar membrane combined with ferric iron reduction on a graphite electrode is an efficient cathode system in MFCs. A flat plate MFC with graphite felt electrodes, a volume of 1.2 L and a projected surface area of 290 cm2 was operated in continuous mode. Ferric iron was reduced to ferrous iron in the cathodic compartment according to Fe(3+) + e(-) --> Fe2+ (E0 = +0.77 V vs NHE, normal hydrogen electrode). This reversible electron transfer reaction considerably reduced the cathode overpotential. The low catholyte pH required to keep ferric iron soluble was maintained by using a bipolar membrane instead of the commonly used cation exchange membrane. For the MFC with cathodic ferric iron reduction, the maximum power density was 0.86 W/m2 at a current density of 4.5 A/m2. The Coulombic efficiency and energy recovery were 80-95% and 18-29% respectively.

  7. Praseodymium and gadolinium doped ceria as a cathode material for low temperature solid oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chockalingam, Rajalekshmi; Ganguli, Ashok Kumar; Basu, Suddhasatwa

    2014-03-01

    Mixed ionic electronic conducting praseodymium and gadolinium doped ceria (PrxCe0.95-xGd0.05O2-δ (0.15 ≤ x ≤ 0.40)) compositions have been studied as a cathode material for low temperature solid oxide fuel cells. Four compositions of PrxCe0.95-xGd0.05O2-δ (PCGO) have been prepared by varying the praseodymium content. Phase formation, thermal expansion, ionic conductivity, electronic conductivity, ionic transference number and electrochemical performance have been investigated. X-ray diffraction results indicate that PCGO samples crystallize in the fluorite structure, and the lattice volume decreases with increasing praseodymium content, x. The coefficient of thermal expansion increases with increasing x, and at x = 0.2 shows an optimum value of 12 × 10-6 K-1. Ionic transference number decrease while electronic conductivity increase with increasing x. It has been found that electronic contribution to the total conductivity is higher than ionic contribution for all compositions. The praseodymium doping with cerium dioxide introduces impurity bands within the ceria band gap and facilitates the electronic transition from valance band to conduction band through praseodymium impurity levels. The single cell with configuration, Pr0.2Ce0.75-xGd0.05O2-δ-Ce0.80Gd0.20O2-δ∥Ce0.80Gd0.20O2-δ∥NiO-Ce0.80Gd0.20O2-δ delivers a maximum power density of 98 mW cm-2 at 650 °C.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Wanyuan; Kurihara, Eru; Oshima, Nobuyuki

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

  9. 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. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  10. Doped lanthanum ferrite cathode development for use in single-step co-fired solid oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zink, Peter Andrew

    A major obstacle to the commercialization of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) is the high operating temperature range (800 to 1000°C). Lowering the operating temperature to approximately 600°C allows for cost reduction through the use of inexpensive stack housing and sealing materials, but conventional SOFC cathode materials have high charge transfer resistance at those temperatures which results in poor performance. This research focused on developing an SOFC cathode material with low charge transfer resistance at low operating temperatures and a porous microstructure that would not impede mass transfer when synthesized using the single-step co-firing process. Towards this goal, mixed ionic and electronic conducting lanthanum ferrite perovskite cathode materials were synthesized using calcium and cerium as dopants. A specific stoichiometry of calcium doped lanthanum ferrite, La0.78Ca0.16FeO3+/-delta (LCF), proved to be a superior cathode compared to state-of-the-art conventional cathode materials across a range of measures. In order to understand the LCF cathode performance, the defect model structure was determined using thermogravimetric (TGA) measurements, oxygen-ion permeability and four-probe conductivity measurements as a function of temperature and oxygen partial pressure (pO2). The results were analyzed to determine defect concentrations and mobility. The electrochemical performance of LCF was characterized using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy measurements on symmetrical cells which compared favorably to conventional lanthanum manganite cathode materials. Reactivity of LCF with yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) electrolyte was confirmed and prevented using a gadolinium doped ceria (GDC) barrier layer. Microstructural analysis showed evidence of a small amount (2--5 wt%) of secondary phase that precipitated from LCF as a liquid during sintering at approximately 1220°C. The secondary phase was a poor n-type oxide (Ca-Fe-O), present within both the

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  13. Enhanced performance of air-cathode two-chamber microbial fuel cells with high-pH anode and low-pH cathode.

    PubMed

    Zhuang, Li; Zhou, Shungui; Li, Yongtao; Yuan, Yong

    2010-05-01

    In the course of microbial fuel cell (MFC) operation, the acidification of the anode and the alkalization of the cathode inevitably occur, resulting in reduction of the overall performance. In an attempt to reverse the membrane pH gradient, a tubular air-cathode two-chamber MFC was developed that allowed pH adjustment in both compartments. With an anodic pH of 10.0 and a cathodic pH of 2.0, the tubular MFC provided an open circuit voltage of 1.04V and a maximum power density of 29.9W/m(3), which were respectively 1.5 and 3.8 times higher than those obtained in the same MFC working at neutral pH. Particularly, the suppression of methanogenesis at high alkaline anode (pH 10.0) contributed to a significant enhancement in coulombic efficiency. The MFC maintained 74% of its performance after 15 days of operation in continuous-flow mode. The appropriate pH adjustment strategy in both compartments ensures a promising improvement in MFC performance.

  14. Development of Ultra-Low Platinum Alloy Cathode Catalysts for PEM Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Popov, Branko N.; Weidner, John

    2016-01-07

    The goal of this project is to synthesize a low cost PEM fuel cell cathode catalyst and support with optimized average mass activity, stability of mass activity, initial high current density performance under H2/air (power density), and catalyst and support stability able to meet 2017 DOE targets for electrocatalysts for transportation applications. Pt*/ACCS-2 catalyst was synthesized according to a novel methodology developed at USC through: (i) surface modification, (ii) metal catalyzed pyrolysis and (iii) chemical leaching to remove excess meal used to dope the support. Pt* stands for suppressed platinum catalyst synthesized with Co doped platinum. The procedure results in increasing carbon graphitization, inclusion of cobalt in the bulk and formation of non-metallic active sites on the carbon surface. Catalytic activity of the support shows an onset potential of 0.86 V for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) with well-defined kinetic and mass transfer regions and 2.5% H2O2 production. Pt*/ACCS-2 catalyst durability under 0.6-1.0 V potential cycling and support stability under 1.0-1.5 V potential cycling was evaluated. The results indicated excellent catalyst and support performance under simulated start-up/shut down operating conditions (1.0 – 1.5 V, 5000 cycles) which satisfy DOE 2017 catalyst and support durability and activity. The 30% Pt*/ACCS-2 catalyst showed high initial mass activity of 0.34 A/mgPGM at 0.9 ViR-free and loss of mass activity of 45% after 30,000 cycles (0.6-1.0 V). The catalyst performance under H2-air fuel cell operating conditions showed only 24 mV (iR-free) loss at 0.8 A/cm2 with an ECSA loss of 42% after 30,000 cycles (0.6-1.0 V). The support stability under 1.0-1.5 V potential cycling showed mass activity loss of 50% and potential loss of 8 mV (iR-free) at 1.5 A/cm2. The ECSA loss was 22% after 5,000 cycles. Furthermore, the Pt*/ACCS-2 catalyst showed an

  15. Fuel cell

    SciTech Connect

    Struthers, R.C.

    1983-06-28

    An improved fuel cell comprising an anode section including an anode terminal, an anode fuel, and an anolyte electrolyte, a cathode section including a cathode terminal, an electron distributor and a catholyte electrolyte, an ion exchange section between the anode and cathode sections and including an ionolyte electrolyte, ion transfer membranes separating the ionolyte from the anolyte and the catholyte and an electric circuit connected with and between the terminals conducting free electrons from the anode section and delivering free electrons to the cathode section, said ionolyte receives ions of one polarity moving from the anolyte through the membrane related thereto preventing chemical equilibrium in the anode section and sustaining chemical reaction and the generating of free electrons therein, said ions received by the ionolyte from the anolyte release different ions from the ionolyte which move through the membrane between the ionolyte and catholyte and which add to the catholyte.

  16. Influence of nano-sized LSCF cathode and its firing temperature on electrochemical performance in oxygen-excess-type solid electrolyte (OESE)-based fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mieda, Hiroyuki; Mineshige, Atsushi; Saito, Atsushi; Yazawa, Tetsuo; Yoshioka, Hideki; Mori, Ryohei

    2014-12-01

    Dense films of an oxygen-excess-type solid electrolyte (OESE) based on Mg-doped lanthanum silicate (MDLS) were fabricated and applied to electrolyte materials for intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells (IT-SOFCs). To obtain dense MDLS films on NiO-MDLS porous substrates, a conventional spin-coating technique using the MDLS printable paste, obtained by mixing nano-sized MDLS particles and a dispersant, was employed. The Ni-MDLS anode supported single cells were then fabricated by printing porous cathode layer onto the electrolyte film surface. By optimizing fabrication conditions of an MDLS film and cathode, the highly active cathode/OESE interface (ASR = 0.23 Ω cm2 at 873 K) were successfully obtained, which resulted in high power density of 0.166 W cm-2 at 873 K in the fuel cell test when operated with argon-diluted hydrogen and pure oxygen as the fuel and the cathode gas, respectively.

  17. 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.

  18. Experimental research on short-term feeding of dust contaminated gas to a molten carbonate fuel cell cathode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernat, Rafał; Milewski, Jarosław; Wejrzanowski, Tomasz

    2017-07-01

    The paper presents initial research on processes present on the cathode side of Molten Carbonate Fuel Cells (MCFC), when the supplied gas is an aerosol containing solid particulate matter. The research is based on experiments conducted at the Institute of Heat Engineering of Warsaw University of Technology. The main task is to determine whether and to what extent solid particles disable or hinder the operation of a molten carbonate fuel cell. It is thought that they might change the penetrability of porous layers by clogging their void volumes. Under investigation are the sizes and amount of solid particles required to significantly affect the processes occurring on the triple phase. Experimental investigation was conducted that determined the change in operational parameters due to dust contamination. Surprisingly, there is no sudden drop in the electric parameters of the fuel cell subject to dust poisoning. Supposedly, the dust creates a porous, permeable to gases, structure on the electrode. The only varying parameter was the pressure difference between the inlet and the outlet to the cathode.

  19. High-Performanced Cathode with a Two-Layered R-P Structure for Intermediate Temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

    Huan, Daoming; Wang, Zhiquan; Wang, Zhenbin; Peng, Ranran; Xia, Changrong; Lu, Yalin

    2016-02-01

    Driven by the mounting concerns on global warming and energy crisis, intermediate temperature solid-oxide fuel cells (IT-SOFCs) have attracted special attention for their high fuel efficiency, low toxic gas emission, and great fuel flexibility. A key obstacle to the practical operation of IT-SOFCs is their sluggish oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) kinetics. In this work, we applied a new two-layered Ruddlesden-Popper (R-P) oxide, Sr3Fe2O7-δ (SFO), as the material for oxygen ion conducting IT-SOFCs. Density functional theory calculation suggested that SFO has extremely low oxygen ion formation energy and considerable energy barrier for O(2-) diffusion. Unfortunately, the stable SrO surface of SFO was demonstrated to be inert to O2 adsorption and dissociation reaction, and thus restricts its catalytic activity toward ORR. Based on this observation, Co partially substituted SFO (SFCO) was then synthesized and applied to improve its surface vacancy concentration to accelerate the oxygen adsorptive reduction reaction rate. Electrochemical performance results suggested that the cell using the SFCO single phase cathode has a peak power density of 685 mW cm(-2) at 650 °C, about 15% higher than those when using LSCF cathode. Operating at 200 mA cm(-2), the new cell using SFCO is quite stable within the 100-h' test.

  20. Performance equations for cathodes in polymer electrolyte fuel cells with non-uniform water flooding in gas diffusers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsuen, Hsiao-Kuo

    The performance equations for cathodes of polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) that describe the dependence of cathode potential on current density are developed. Formulation of the performance equations starts from the reduction of a one-dimensional model that considers, in detail, the potential losses pertinent to the limitations of electron conduction, oxygen diffusion, proton migration, and the oxygen reduction reaction. In particular, non-uniform accumulation of liquid water in the gas diffuser, which partially blocks the gas channels and imposes a greater resistance for oxygen transport, is taken into account. Reduction of the one-dimensional model is implemented by approximating the oxygen concentration profile in the catalyst layer with a parabolic polynomial or a piecewise parabolic one determined by the occurrence of oxygen depletion. The final forms of the equations are obtained by applying the method of weighted residuals over the catalyst layer. The weighting function is selected in such a way that the weighted residuals can be analytically integrated. Potential losses caused by the various limiting processes can be quantitatively estimated by the performance equations. Thus, they provide a convenient diagnostic tool for the cathode performance. Computational results reveal that the performance equations agree well with the original one-dimensional model over an extensive range of parameter values. This indicates that the present performance equations can be used as a substitute for the one-dimensional model to provide quantitatively correct predictions for the cathode performance of PEFCs.

  1. Characterization of Cr poisoning in a solid oxide fuel cell cathode using a high-energy x-ray microbeam.

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, D. J.; Almer, J.; Cruse, T.

    2010-01-01

    A key feature of planar solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) is the feasibility of using metallic interconnects made of high temperature ferritic stainless steels, which reduce system cost while providing excellent electric conductivity. Such interconnects, however, contain high levels of chromium, which has been found to be associated with SOFC cathode performance degradation at SOFC operating temperatures; a phenomenon known as Cr poisoning. Here, we demonstrate an accurate measurement of the phase and concentration distributions of Cr species in a degraded SOFC, as well as related properties including deviatoric strain, integrated porosity, and lattice parameter variation, using high energy microbeam X-ray diffraction and radiography. We unambiguously identify (MnCr){sub 3}O{sub 4} and Cr{sub 2}O{sub 3} as the two main contaminant phases and find that their concentrations correlate strongly with the cathode layer composition. Cr{sub 2}O{sub 3} deposition within the active cathode region reduces porosity and produces compressive residual strains, which hinders the reactant gas percolation and can cause structural breakdown of the SOFC cathode. The information obtained through this study can be used to better understand the Cr-poisoning mechanism and improve SOFC design.

  2. Electric field induced salt precipitation into activated carbon air-cathode causes power decay in microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    An, Jingkun; Li, Nan; Wan, Lili; Zhou, Lean; Du, Qing; Li, Tian; Wang, Xin

    2017-10-15

    As a promising design for the real application of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) in wastewater treatment, activated carbon (AC) air-cathode is suffering from a serious power decay after long-term operation. However, the decay mechanism is still not clear because of the complex nature of contaminations. Different from previous reports, we found that local alkalinization and natural evaporation had an ignorable effect on cathode performance (∼2% decay on current densities), while electric field induced salt precipitation (∼53%) and biofouling (∼37%) were dominant according to the charge transfer resistance, which decreased power desities by 36% from 1286 ± 30 to 822 ± 23 mW m(-2) in 6 months. Biofouling can be removed by scrapping, however, electric field induced salt precipitation under biofilm still clogged 37% of specific area in catalyst layer, which was even seen to penetrate through the gas diffusion layer. Our findings provided a new insight of AC air-cathode performance decay, providing important information for the improvement of cathodic longevity in the future. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. X-ray photoemission spectroscopy analysis of N-containing carbon-based cathode catalysts for polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niwa, Hideharu; Kobayashi, Masaki; Horiba, Koji; Harada, Yoshihisa; Oshima, Masaharu; Terakura, Kiyoyuki; Ikeda, Takashi; Koshigoe, Yuka; Ozaki, Jun-ichi; Miyata, Seizo; Ueda, Shigenori; Yamashita, Yoshiyuki; Yoshikawa, Hideki; Kobayashi, Keisuke

    We report on the electronic structure of three different types of N-containing carbon-based cathode catalysts for polymer electrolyte fuel cells observed by hard X-ray photoemission spectroscopy. Prepared samples are derived from: (1) melamine and poly(furfuryl alcohol), (2) nitrogen-doped carbon black and (3) cobalt phthalocyanine and phenolic resin. C 1 s spectra show the importance of sp 2 carbon network formation for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity. N 1 s spectra of the carbon-based cathode catalysts are decomposed into four components identified as pyridine-like, pyrrole- or cyanide-like, graphite-like, and oxide nitrogen. Samples having high oxygen reduction reaction activity in terms of oxygen reduction potential contain high concentration of graphite-like nitrogen. O 1 s spectra are similar among carbon-based cathode catalysts of different oxygen reduction reaction activity. There is no correlation between the ORR activity and oxygen content. Based on a quantitative analysis of our results, the oxygen reduction reaction activity of the carbon-based cathode catalysts will be improved by increasing concentration of graphite-like nitrogen in a developed sp 2 carbon network.

  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. Durability of PEM fuel cell cathode in the presence of Fe 3+ and Al 3+

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Hui; Tsay, Ken; Wang, Haijiang; Shen, Jun; Wu, Shaohong; Zhang, Jiujun; Jia, Nengyou; Wessel, Silvia; Abouatallah, Rami; Joos, Nathan; Schrooten, Jeremy

    The contamination effects of Fe 3+ and Al 3+ on the performance of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells were investigated by continuously injecting Fe 3+ or Al 3+ salt solution into the air stream of an operating fuel cell. Both metal ions individually caused significant cell performance degradation at a level of only 5 ppm mol in air. In addition, elevated temperature accelerated fuel cell performance degradation in the presence of Fe 3+. Moreover, the presence of Fe 3+ in an operating fuel cell resulted in the cell's sudden death, due to the formation of membrane pinholes that may have been promoted by the enhanced production of peroxy radicals catalyzed by Fe species. Half-cell tests in liquid electrolyte revealed that the presence of Al 3+ in the electrolyte changed the kinetics and mechanisms of the oxygen reduction reaction by reducing the kinetic current densities and the electron transfer number.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-03-01

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

  7. Optimization of a microbial fuel cell for wastewater treatment using recycled scrap metals as a cost-effective cathode material.

    PubMed

    Lefebvre, Olivier; Tan, Zi; Shen, Yujia; Ng, How Y

    2013-01-01

    Microbial fuel cell (MFC) for wastewater treatment is still hindered by the prohibitive cost of cathode material, especially when platinum is used to catalyze oxygen reduction. In this study, recycled scrap metals could be used efficiently as cathode material in a specially-designed MFC. In terms of raw power, the scrap metals ranked as follows: W/Co > Cu/Ni > Inconel 718 > carpenter alloy; however, in terms of cost and long term stability, Inconel 718 was the preferred choice. Treatment performance--assessed on real and synthetic wastewater--was considerably improved either by filling the anode compartment with carbon granules or by operating the MFC in full-loop mode. The latter option allowed reaching 99.7% acetate removal while generating a maximum power of 36 W m(-3) at an acetate concentration of 2535 mg L(-1). Under these conditions, the energy produced by the system averaged 0.1 kWh m(-3) of wastewater treated.

  8. Nitrogen removal and electricity production at a double-chamber microbial fuel cell with cathode nitrite denitrification.

    PubMed

    Yu, Yangyang; Zhao, Jianqiang; Wang, Sha; Zhao, Huimin; Ding, Xiaoqian; Gao, Kun

    2017-02-17

    Double-chamber microbial fuel cell was applied to investigate the performance of the electricity production and nitrite denitrification through feeding nitrite into the cathode. Factors influencing denitrification performance and power production, such as external resistance, influent nitrite concentration and Nitrite Oxygen Bacteria inhibitors, were studied. The results show that when the concentration of nitrite nitrogen and external resistance were 100 mg L(-1) and 10 Ω, respectively, the nitrite denitrification reached the best state. The NaN3 can inhibit nitrite oxidation effectively; meanwhile, the nitrite denitrification with N2O as the final products was largely improved. The [Formula: see text] was reduced to [Formula: see text], causing the cathode denitrification coulombic efficiency to exceed 100%. In chemoautotrophic bio-nitrification, microorganisms may utilize H2O to oxidize nitrite under anaerobic conditions. Proteobacteria might play a major role in the process of denitrification in MFC.

  9. Simultaneous degradation of refractory contaminants in both the anode and cathode chambers of the microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Luo, Yong; Zhang, Renduo; Liu, Guangli; Li, Jie; Qin, Bangyu; Li, Mingchen; Chen, Shanshan

    2011-02-01

    In this study, the microbial fuel cell (MFC) was combined with the Fenton-like technology to simultaneously generate electricity and degrade refractory contaminants in both anode and cathode chambers. The maximum power density achieved was 15.9 W/m(3) at an initial pH of 3.0 in the MFC. In the anode chamber, approximately 100% of furfural and 96% COD were removed at the end of a cycle. In the cathode chamber, the Fenton-like reaction with FeVO(4) as a catalyst enhanced the removal of AO7 and COD. The removal rates of AO7 and COD reached 89% and 81%, respectively. The optimal pH value and FeVO(4) dosage toward degrading AO7 were about 3.0 and 0.8 g, respectively. Furthermore, a two-way catalyst mechanism of FeVO(4) and the contaminant degradation pathway in the MFC were explored.

  10. Mesostructured platinum-free anode and carbon-free cathode catalysts for durable proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Cui, Xiangzhi; Shi, Jianlin; Wang, Yongxia; Chen, Yu; Zhang, Lingxia; Hua, Zile

    2014-01-01

    As one of the most important clean energy sources, proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) have been a topic of extensive research focus for decades. Unfortunately, several critical technique obstacles, such as the high cost of platinum electrode catalysts, performance degradation due to the CO poisoning of the platinum anode, and carbon corrosion by oxygen in the cathode, have greatly impeded its commercial development. A prototype of a single PEMFC catalyzed by a mesostructured platinum-free WO3/C anode and a mesostructured carbon-free Pt/WC cathode catalysts is reported herein. The prototype cell exhibited 93% power output of a standard PEMFC using commercial Pt/C catalysts at 50 and 70 °C, and more importantly, CO poisoning-free and carbon corrosion-resistant characters of the anode and cathode, respectively. Consequently, the prototype cell demonstrated considerably enhanced cell operation durability. The mesostructured electrode catalysts are therefore highly promising in the future development and application of PEMFCs. Copyright © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  11. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Performance and microbial diversity of microbial fuel cells coupled with different cathode types during simultaneous azo dye decolorization and electricity generation.

    PubMed

    Hou, Bin; Hu, Yongyou; Sun, Jian

    2012-05-01

    To study the effect of cathode type on performance and microbial diversity of the MFC, aerobic biocathode and air-cathode were incorporated into microbial fuel cells (MFCs) which were explored for simultaneous azo dye decolorization and electricity generation. The electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) results demonstrated that the catalytic activity of the microorganisms on the biocathode surface was comparable with that of the platinum coated on the air-cathode. The power density achieved by using biocathode was lower than air-cathode, but the biocathode could greatly improve the Congo red decolorization rate. By using the biocathode, 96.4% decolorization of Congo red was obtained within 29 h, whereas, about 107 h was required to achieve the same decolorization efficiency with the air-cathode. 16S rRNA sequencing analysis demonstrated a phylogenetic diversity in the communities of the anode biofilm and showed clear differences between the anode-attached populations in the MFCs with a different cathode type.

  13. Fuel cell with internal flow control

    DOEpatents

    Haltiner, Jr., Karl J.; Venkiteswaran, Arun [Karnataka, IN

    2012-06-12

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

  14. Prediction and inhibition of molten carbonate fuel cell shorting by NiO cathode dissolution

    SciTech Connect

    Ogawa, Takashi; Nirasawa, Hitoshi; Murata, Kenji

    1995-12-31

    A model of time until shorting begins due to NiO dissolution/precipitation in MCFC was developed on the assumption that electronic conduction in the cell would happen when the concentration of dispersed nickel particles exceeded a critical value at the anode/electrolyte interface. The equation for the estimation of time-to-short-beginning (TTS) was derived as: TTS{sup 0.5}/t = A + B/K{sub Ni} pCO{sub 2} (t: matrix thickness, K{sub Ni}: NiO solubility at pCO{sub 2} = 1 atm., and A, B: constant). Life tests under different conditions on several single cells proved the usability of this equation. For the purpose of retarding MCFC shorting, a cell with a low rate of NiO dissolution, with a LiFeO{sub 2} layer, an out-of-cell oxidized NiO cathode, and a Li{sub 2}CO{sub 3}-Na{sub 2}CO{sub 3} eutectic electrolyte was made. The life test results showed that the nickel dissolution rate in the cell was less than 1/5 slower than that in the ordinary cells with an in situ oxidized NiO cathode and high Li{sub 2}CO{sub 3}-K{sub 2}CO{sub 3} eutectic electrolyte.

  15. 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.

  16. Praseodymium Cuprate Thin Film Cathodes for Intermediate Temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cells: Roles of Doping, Orientation, and Crystal Structure.

    PubMed

    Mukherjee, Kunal; Hayamizu, Yoshiaki; Kim, Chang Sub; Kolchina, Liudmila M; Mazo, Galina N; Istomin, Sergey Ya; Bishop, Sean R; Tuller, Harry L

    2016-12-21

    Highly textured thin films of undoped, Ce-doped, and Sr-doped Pr2CuO4 were synthesized on single crystal YSZ substrates using pulsed laser deposition to investigate their area-specific resistance (ASR) as cathodes in solid-oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). The effects of T' and T* crystal structures, donor and acceptor doping, and a-axis and c-axis orientation on ASR were systematically studied using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy on half cells. The addition of both Ce and Sr dopants resulted in improvements in ASR in c-axis oriented films, as did the T* crystal structure with the a-axis orientation. Pr1.6Sr0.4CuO4 is identified as a potential cathode material with nearly an order of magnitude faster oxygen reduction reaction kinetics at 600 °C compared to thin films of the commonly studied cathode material La0.6Sr0.4Co0.8Fe0.2O3-δ. Orientation control of the cuprate films on YSZ was achieved using seed layers, and the anisotropy in the ASR was found to be less than an order of magnitude. The rare-earth doped cuprate was found to be a versatile system for study of relationships between bulk properties and the oxygen reduction reaction, critical for improving SOFC performance.

  17. Application of nitrogen-doped carbon powders as low-cost and durable cathodic catalyst to air-cathode microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Shi, Xinxin; Feng, Yujie; Wang, Xin; Lee, He; Liu, Jia; Qu, Youpeng; He, Weihua; Kumar, S M Senthil; Ren, Nanqi

    2012-03-01

    Given few in-depth studies available on the application of nitrogen-doped carbon powders (NDCP) to air-cathode microbial fuel cells (ACMFCs), a low-cost and durable catalyst of NDCP was prepared and used as cathodic catalyst of ACMFCs. Compared to the untreated carbon powders, the N-doped treatment significantly increased the maximum power density (MPD) of ACMFC. A two-step pretreatment of heat treatment and hydrochloric acid immersion can further obviously increase the MPD. With a reasonably large loading of catalyst, the MPD of NDCP based ACMFC was comparable to that of carbon-supported platinum (Pt/C) based ACMFC, while the cost was dramatically reduced. The pretreatment increased the key nitrogen functional groups, pyridinic-like and pyrrolic-like nitrogen. A third new key nitrogen functional group, nitrogen oxide, was discovered and the mechanism of its contribution was explained. Compared to the inherent deterioration problem of Pt/C, NDCP exhibited high stability and was superior for long-term operation of ACMFCs.

  18. Exploratory fuel-cell research: I. Direct-hydrocarbon polymer-electrolyte fuel cell. II. Mathematical modeling of fuel-cell cathodes

    SciTech Connect

    Perry, Michael L.

    1996-12-01

    A strong need exists today for more efficient energy-conversion systems. Our reliance on limited fuel resources, such as petroleum for the majority of our energy needs makes it imperative that we utilize these resources as efficiently as possible. Higher-efficiency energy conversion also means less pollution, since less fuel is consumed and less exhaust created for the same energy output. Additionally, for many industrialized nations, such as the United States which must rely on petroleum imports, it is also imperative from a national-security standpoint to reduce the consumption of these precious resources. A substantial reduction of U.S. oil imports would result in a significant reduction of our trade deficit, as well as costly military spending to protect overseas petroleum resources. Therefore, energy-conversion devices which may utilize alternative fuels are also in strong demand. This paper describes research on fuel cells for transportation.

  19. H2O2 detection analysis of oxygen reduction reaction on cathode and anode catalysts for polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kishi, Akira; Shironita, Sayoko; Umeda, Minoru

    2012-01-01

    The generation percentage of H2O2 during oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) at practical powder electrocatalysts was evaluated using a scanning electrochemical microscope (SECM). We employed a porous microelectrode that contains electrocatalysts, namely, Pt/C, Pt-Co/C, and Pt-Ru/C as the oxygen reduction electrode of the SECM, and the Pt microelectrode was used as the H2O2 detector. First, the H2O2 generation amount at Pt/Cs was measured by changing the Pt loading amount. A Pt/C with a higher Pt loading has a higher ORR activity and generates a larger amount of H2O2. However, the percentage of H2O2 generated with respect to the ORR is the same regardless of the Pt loading amount. Next, H2O2 generation is markedly suppressed at the Pt-Co/C and Pt-Ru/C in the potential ranges of practical fuel cell cathode and anode, respectively. This explains that the Pt-Co/C is effective when used as a cathode, and the anode Pt-Ru/C enables the reduction of the H2O2 generation even if O2 crossleak occurs in the practical polymer electrolyte fuel cell.

  20. Hierarchical nanostructured hollow spherical carbon with mesoporous shell as a unique cathode catalyst support in proton exchange membrane fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Fang, Baizeng; Kim, Jung Ho; Kim, Minsik; Kim, Minwoo; Yu, Jong-Sung

    2009-03-07

    Hierarchical nanostructured spherical carbon with hollow macroporous core in combination with mesoporous shell has been explored to support Pt cathode catalyst with high metal loading in proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). The hollow core-mesoporous shell carbon (HCMSC) has unique structural characteristics such as large specific surface area and mesoporous volume, ensuring uniform dispersion of the supported high loading (60 wt%) Pt nanoparticles with small particle size, and well-developed three-dimensionally interconnected hierarchical porosity network, facilitating fast mass transport. The HCMSC-supported Pt(60 wt%) cathode catalyst has demonstrated markedly enhanced catalytic activity toward oxygen reduction and greatly improved PEMFC polarization performance compared with carbon black Vulcan XC-72 (VC)-supported ones. Furthermore, the HCMSC-supported Pt(40 wt%) or Pt(60 wt%) outperforms the HCMSC-supported Pt(20 wt%) even at a low catalyst loading of 0.2 mg Pt cm(-2) in the cathode, which is completely different from the VC-supported Pt catalysts. The capability of supporting high loading Pt is supposed to accelerate the commercialization of PEMFC due to the anticipated significant reduction in the amount of catalyst support required, diffusion layer thickness and fabricating cost of the supported Pt catalyst electrode.

  1. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Facile electrochemical polymerization of polypyrrole film applied as cathode material in dual rotating disk photo fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Kan; Zhang, Hongbo; Tang, Tiantian; Tang, Yanping; Wang, Yalin; Jia, Jinping

    2016-08-01

    Polypyrrole (PPy) film is synthesized on Ti substrate through electrochemical polymerization method and is applied as cathode material in a TiO2 NTs-PPy dual rotating disk photo fuel cell (PFC). The optimized PPy electrochemical polymerization is carried out using linear sweep voltammetry from 0 V to 1.2 V (vs. SCE) with scan rate of 0.1 V s-1, 100 circles. Sixty milliliter real textile wastewater with the initial COD and conductivity of 408 ± 6 mgO2 L-1 and 20180 μS cm-1 is treated in this PFC under UV irradiation. About 0.46 V open-circuit voltage (VOC) and 1.8-2.2 mA short-circuit current (JSC) are obtained. Due to the effective electron-hole separation effect, the COD removal rate is as high as 0.0055 min-1. Stable current and COD removal can be obtained at different output voltage. Two influence factors including rotating speed and pH are investigated. Better electricity generation performance and COD removal activity are achieved at high rotating speed and in acidic condition. In comparison with platinized cathode, though VOC is lower, similar JSC is measured. Considering the high cost of Pt, PPy is a promising alternative cathode material in PFC that can also generate electricity efficiently and stably.

  4. Enhanced reductive degradation of methyl orange in a microbial fuel cell through cathode modification with redox mediators.

    PubMed

    Liu, Rong-Hua; Sheng, Guo-Ping; Sun, Min; Zang, Guo-Long; Li, Wen-Wei; Tong, Zhong-Hua; Dong, Fang; Lam, Michael Hon-Wah; Yu, Han-Qing

    2011-01-01

    A model azo dye, methyl orange (MO), was reduced through in situ utilization of the electrons derived from the anaerobic conversion of organics in a microbial fuel cell (MFC). The MO reduction process could be described by a pseudo first-order kinetic model with a rate constant of 1.29 day(-1). Electrochemical impedance spectroscopic analysis shows that the cathode had a high polarization resistance, which could decrease the reaction rate and limit the electron transfer. To improve the MO reduction efficiency, the cathode was modified with redox mediators to enhance the electron transfer. After modification with thionine, the polarization resistance significantly decreased by over 50%. As a consequence, the MO decolorization rate increased by over 20%, and the power density was enhanced by over three times. Compared with thionine, anthraquinone-2, 6-disulfonate modified cathode has less positive effect on the MFC performance. These results indicate that the electrode modification with thionine is a useful approach to accelerate the electrochemical reactions. This work provides useful information about the key factors limiting the azo dye reduction in the MFC and how to improve such a process.

  5. 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.

  6. Simultaneous decolorization and bioelectricity generation in a dual chamber microbial fuel cell using electropolymerized-enzymatic cathode.

    PubMed

    Savizi, Iman Shahidi Pour; Kariminia, Hamid-Reza; Bakhshian, Sahar

    2012-06-19

    Effect of cathodic enzymatic decolorization of reactive blue 221 (RB221) on the performance of a dual-chamber microbial fuel cell (MFC) was investigated. Immobilized laccase on the surface of a modified graphite electrode was used in the cathode compartment in order to decolorize the azo dye and enhance the oxygen reduction reaction. First, methylene blue which is an electroactive polymer was electropolymerized on the surface of a graphite bar to prepare the modified electrode. Utilization of the modified electrode with no enzyme in the MFC increased the power density up to 57% due to the reduction of internal resistance from 1000 to 750 Ω. Using the electropolymerized-enzymatic cathode resulted in 65% improvement of the power density and a decolorization efficiency of 74%. Laccase could act as a biocatalyst for oxygen reduction reaction along with catalyzing RB221 decolorization. Treatment of RB221 with immobilized laccase reduced its toxicity up to 5.2%. Degradation products of RB221 were identified using GC-MS, and the decomposition pathway was proposed. A discussion was also provided as to the mechanism of dye decolorization on the enhancement of the MFC performance.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  8. Nanostructured LnBaCo2O6-𝜹 (Ln = Sm, Gd) with layered structure for intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cell cathodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mejía Gómez, Augusto E.; Lamas, Diego G.; Leyva, Ana Gabriela; Sacanell, Joaquín

    2017-04-01

    In this work, we present the combination of two characteristics that are beneficial for solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) cathodic performance in one material. We developed and evaluated for the first time nanostructured layered perovskites of formulae LnBaCo2O6-d with Ln = Sm and Gd (SBCO and GBCO, respectively) as SOFC cathodes, finding promising electrochemical properties in the intermediate temperature range. We obtained those nanostructures by using porous templates to confine the chemical reagents in regions of 200-800 nm. The performance of nanostructured SBCO and GBCO cathodes was analyzed by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy technique under different operating conditions using Gd2O3-doped CeO2 as electrolyte. We found that SBCO cathodes displayed lower area-specific resistance than GBCO ones, because bulk diffusion of oxide ions is enhanced in the former. We also found that cathodes synthesized using smaller template pores exhibited better performance.

  9. A robust one-compartment fuel cell with a polynuclear cyanide complex as a cathode for utilizing H2O2 as a sustainable fuel at ambient conditions.

    PubMed

    Yamada, Yusuke; Yoneda, Masaki; Fukuzumi, Shunichi

    2013-08-26

    A robust one-compartment H2O2 fuel cell, which operates without membranes at room temperature, has been constructed by using a series of polynuclear cyanide complexes that contain Fe, Co, Mn, and Cr as cathodes, in sharp contrast to conventional H2 and MeOH fuel cells, which require membranes and high temperatures. A high open-circuit potential of 0.68 V was achieved by using Fe3[{Co(III)(CN)6}2] on a carbon cloth as the cathode and a Ni mesh as the anode of a H2O2 fuel cell by using an aqueous solution of H2O2 (0.30  M, pH 3) with a maximum power density of 0.45 mW cm(-2). The open-circuit potential and maximum power density of the H2O2 fuel cell were further increased to 0.78 V and 1.2 mW cm(-2), respectively, by operation under these conditions at pH 1. No catalytic activity of Co3[{Co(III)(CN)6}2] and Co3[{Fe(III)(CN)6}2] towards H2O2 reduction suggests that the N-bound Fe ions are active species for H2O2 reduction. H2O2 fuel cells that used Fe3[{Mn(III)(CN)6}2] and Fe3[{Cr(III)(CN)6}2] as the cathode exhibited lower performance compared with that using Fe3[{Co(III)(CN)6}2] as a cathode, because ligand isomerization of Fe3[{M(III)(CN)6}2] into (FeM2)[{Fe(II)(CN)6}2] (M = Cr or Mn) occurred to form inactive Fe-C bonds under ambient conditions, whereas no ligand isomerization of Fe3[{Co(III)(CN)6}2] occurred under the same reaction conditions. The importance of stable Fe(2+)-N bonds was further indicated by the high performance of the H2O2 fuel cells with Fe3[{Ir(III)(CN)6}2] and Fe3[{Rh(III)(CN)6}2], which also contained stable Fe(2+)-N bonds. The stable Fe(2+)-N bonds in Fe3[{Co(III)(CN)6}2], which lead to high activity for the electrocatalytic reduction of H2O2, allow Fe3[{Co(III)(CN)6}2] to act as a superior cathode in one-compartment H2O2 fuel cells. Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  10. 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.

  11. Enhanced catalytic activity and inhibited biofouling of cathode in microbial fuel cells through controlling hydrophilic property

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-11-01

    The hydrophilicity of activated carbon cathode directly determines the distribution of three-phase interfaces where oxygen reduction occurs. In this study, activated carbon cathodes are fabricated by using hydrophobic polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and amphiphilic LA132 at various weight ratio to investigate the effect of hydrophilic property on cathode performance. Contact angle tests confirm the positive impact of LA132 content on hydrophilicity. Cathode with 67 wt% LA132 content shows the highest electrochemical activity as exchange current density increases by 71% and charge transfer resistance declines by 44.6% compared to that of PTFE cathode, probably due to the extended reaction interfaces by optimal hydrophilicity of cathode so that oxygen reduction is facilitated. As a result, the highest power density of 1171 ± 71 mW m-2 is obtained which is 14% higher than PTFE cathode. In addition to the hydrophilicity, this cathode had more negative charged surface of catalyst layer, therefore the protein content of cathodic biofilm decreased by 47.5%, indicating the effective bacterial inhibition when 67 wt% LA132 is used. This study shows that the catalytic activity of cathode is improved by controlling proper hydrophilicity of cathode, and that biofilm can be reduced by increasing hydrophilicity and lowering the surface potential.

  12. 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) .

  13. New design of a cathode flow-field with a sub-channel to improve the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yulin; Yue, Like; Wang, Shixue

    2017-03-01

    The cathode flow-field design of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells determines the distribution of reactant gases and the removal of liquid water. A suitable design can result in perfect water management and thus high cell performance. In this paper, a new design for a cathode flow-field with a sub-channel was proposed and had been experimentally analyzed in a parallel flow-field PEM fuel cell. Three sub-channel inlets were placed along the cathode channel. The main-channel inlet was fed with moist air to humidify the membrane and maintain high proton conductivity, whereas, the sub-channel inlet was fed with dry air to enhance water removal in the flow channel. The experimental results indicated that the sub-channel design can decrease the pressure drop in the flow channel, and the sub-channels inlet positions (SIP, where the sub-channel inlets were placed along the cathode channel) and flow rates (SFR, percentage of air from the sub-channel inlet in the total cathode flow rate) had a considerable impact on water removal and cell performance. A proposed design that combines the SIP and SFR can effectively eliminate water from the fuel cell, increasing the maximum power density by more than 13.2% compared to the conventional design.

  14. Core-Protected Platinum Monolayer Shell High-Stability Electrocatalysts for Fuel-Cell Cathodes

    SciTech Connect

    K Sasaki; H Naohara; Y Cai; Y Choi; P Liu; M Vukmirovic; J Wang; R Adzic

    2011-12-31

    Platinum monolayers can act as shells for palladium nanoparticles to lead to electrocatalysts with high activities and an ultralow platinum content, but high platinum utilization. The stability derives from the core protecting the shell from dissolution. In fuel-cell tests, no loss of platinum was observed in 200,000 potential cycles, whereas loss of palladium was significant.

  15. Core-Protected Platinum Monolayer Shell High-Stability Electrocatalysts for Fuel-Cell Cathodes

    SciTech Connect

    Adzic, R.R.; Sasaki, K.; Naohara, H.; Cai, Y.; Choi, Y.M.; Liu, P.; Vukmirovic, M.B.; Wang, J.X.

    2010-11-08

    More than skin deep: Platinum monolayers can act as shells for palladium nanoparticles to lead to electrocatalysts with high activities and an ultralow platinum content, but high platinum utilization. The stability derives from the core protecting the shell from dissolution. In fuel-cell tests, no loss of platinum was observed in 200?000 potential cycles, whereas loss of palladium was significant.

  16. Full cell simulation and the evaluation of the buffer system on air-cathode microbial fuel cell

    DOE PAGES

    Ou, Shiqi; Kashima, Hiroyuki; Aaron, Douglas S.; ...

    2017-02-23

    This paper presents a computational model of a single chamber, air-cathode MFC. The model considers losses due to mass transport, as well as biological and electrochemical reactions, in both the anode and cathode half-cells. Computational fluid dynamics and Monod-Nernst analysis are incorporated into the reactions for the anode biofilm and cathode Pt catalyst and biofilm. The integrated model provides a macro-perspective of the interrelation between the anode and cathode during power production, while incorporating microscale contributions of mass transport within the anode and cathode layers. Model considerations include the effects of pH (H+/OH– transport) and electric field-driven migration on concentrationmore » overpotential, effects of various buffers and various amounts of buffer on the pH in the whole reactor, and overall impacts on the power output of the MFC. The simulation results fit the experimental polarization and power density curves well. Further, this model provides insight regarding mass transport at varying current density regimes and quantitative delineation of overpotentials at the anode and cathode. Altogether, this comprehensive simulation is designed to accurately predict MFC performance based on fundamental fluid and kinetic relations and guide optimization of the MFC system.« less

  17. Full cell simulation and the evaluation of the buffer system on air-cathode microbial fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-04-01

    This paper presents a computational model of a single chamber, air-cathode MFC. The model considers losses due to mass transport, as well as biological and electrochemical reactions, in both the anode and cathode half-cells. Computational fluid dynamics and Monod-Nernst analysis are incorporated into the reactions for the anode biofilm and cathode Pt catalyst and biofilm. The integrated model provides a macro-perspective of the interrelation between the anode and cathode during power production, while incorporating microscale contributions of mass transport within the anode and cathode layers. Model considerations include the effects of pH (H+/OH- transport) and electric field-driven migration on concentration overpotential, effects of various buffers and various amounts of buffer on the pH in the whole reactor, and overall impacts on the power output of the MFC. The simulation results fit the experimental polarization and power density curves well. Further, this model provides insight regarding mass transport at varying current density regimes and quantitative delineation of overpotentials at the anode and cathode. Overall, this comprehensive simulation is designed to accurately predict MFC performance based on fundamental fluid and kinetic relations and guide optimization of the MFC system.

  18. 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.

  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. 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.

  1. Kinetics of oxygen reduction in perovskite cathodes for solid oxide fuel cells: A combined modeling and experimental approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miara, Lincoln James

    Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) have the potential to replace conventional stationary power generation technologies; however, there are major obstacles to commercialization, the most problematic of which is poor cathode performance. Commercialization of SOFCs will follow when the mechanisms occurring at the cathode are more thoroughly understood and adapted for market use. The catalytic reduction of oxygen occurring in SOFC cathodes consists of many elementary steps such as gas phase diffusion, chemical and/or electrochemical reactions which lead to the adsorption and dissociation of molecular oxygen onto the cathode surface, mass transport of oxygen species along the surface and/or through the bulk of the cathode, and full reduction and incorporation of the oxygen at the cathode/electrolyte two or three phase boundary. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) is the main technique used to identify the occurrence of these different processes, but when this technique is used without an explicit model describing the kinetics it is difficult to unravel the interdependence of each of these processes. The purpose of this dissertation is to identify the heterogeneous reactions occurring at the cathode of an SOFC by combining experimental EIS results with mathematical models describing the time dependent behavior of the system. This analysis is performed on two different systems. In the first case, experimental EIS results from patterned half cells composed of Ca-doped lanthanum manganite (LCM)| yttria-doped ZrO2 (YSZ) are modeled to investigate the temperature and partial pressure of oxygen, pO2, dependence of oxygen adsorption/dissociation onto the LCM surface, surface diffusion of atomic oxygen, and electrochemical reduction and incorporation of the oxygen into the electrolyte in the vicinity of the triple phase boundary (TPB). This model determines the time-independent state-space equations from which the Faradaic admittance transfer function is obtained. The

  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. Comparison of electrode reduction activities of Geobacter sulfurreducens and an enriched consortium in an air-cathode microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Ishii, Shun'ichi; Watanabe, Kazuya; Yabuki, Soichi; Logan, Bruce E; Sekiguchi, Yuji

    2008-12-01

    An electricity-generating bacterium, Geobacter sulfurreducens PCA, was inoculated into a single-chamber, air-cathode microbial fuel cell (MFC) in order to determine the maximum electron transfer rate from bacteria to the anode. To create anodic reaction-limiting conditions, where electron transfer from bacteria to the anode is the rate-limiting step, anodes with electrogenic biofilms were reduced in size and tests were conducted using anodes of six different sizes. The smallest anode (7 cm(2), or 1.5 times larger than the cathode) achieved an anodic reaction-limiting condition as a result of a limited mass of bacteria on the electrode. Under these conditions, the limiting current density reached a maximum of 1,530 mA/m(2), and power density reached a maximum of 461 mW/m(2). Per-biomass efficiency of the electron transfer rate was constant at 32 fmol cell(-1) day(-1) (178 micromol g of protein(-1) min(-1)), a rate comparable to that with solid iron as the electron acceptor but lower than rates achieved with fumarate or soluble iron. In comparison, an enriched electricity-generating consortium reached 374 micromol g of protein(-1) min(-1) under the same conditions, suggesting that the consortium had a much greater capacity for electrode reduction. These results demonstrate that per-biomass electrode reduction rates (calculated by current density and biomass density on the anode) can be used to help make better comparisons of electrogenic activity in MFCs.

  4. Deposition of Fe on graphite felt by thermal decomposition of Fe(CO)5 for effective cathodic preparation of microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Wang, Peng; Lai, Bin; Li, Haoran; Du, Zhuwei

    2013-04-01

    In this paper, an efficient and cost-effective method to prepare cathodes for microbial fuel cells (MFCs) was developed. Fe(CO)5 was decomposed and Fe was deposited on graphite felts for cathodic preparation. The unmodified, Pt modified and Fe modified graphite felts were utilized as cathodes in MFCs and power generation was compared. The maximum power density of MFCs with unmodified, Pt modified and Fe modified cathodes were respectively 288, 866 and 925 mW/m3. The internal resistance of MFCs with unmodified, Pt modified and Fe modified cathodes were respectively 505, 384 and 278Ω. The results of multiple analyses confirmed that Fe on cathode was Fe2O3 and FeOOH and Fe(III) oxides as cathodic catalysts improved the electrochemical activity and promoted power generation. The greatest advantage of new method for cathodic preparation was the replacing manual brushing and Nafion solution and decreasing the cost. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Proton Emission Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell Stack Power Generation Using Cathode Humidification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erikpara, Jolomi

    The replacement of the power source for stationary and aeronautic applications with alternative energy source has been the subject of countless research. The Proton Exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) has been one of the most promising alternatives because of its quick start up advantages, portability, and quietness of operation with an ability to generate several kilowatts of power. In the short term, this power source can be employed to meet different energy needs and power a medium size Unpiloted Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Fuel Cells can also be applied as a source of emergency power needs for aeronautical applications. In the presence of all these advantages, the power optimization of the PEMFC system has been greatly inhibited by the water and heat generated as by-products of the electrochemical reactions. The operational parameters like pressure, temperature and relative humidity; have been shown to influence the overall water content of the cell and also improve the power generation through improved current density output. This research is aimed at improving the power generation of low temperature (< 100°C) fuel cells through the use of optimal operational parameters and electrode humidity control to mitigate the water effect within the cell. The effects of these processes were investigated with a two cell stack and the results compared with other laboratory experiments showed a power improvement of 0.4Watts using the method employed by this research. The same approach was employed on a 4-cell stack, and an improvement above 369Watts as given by present water management technique was achieved. Maximum power output of 382W was achieved at 0.45V from the 4-cell stack before mass transport limitations were reached.

  6. LaNi1-xCoxO3-δ (x=0.4 to 0.7) cathodes for solid oxide fuel cells by infiltration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chrzan, Aleksander; Ovtar, Simona; Chen, Ming

    2016-01-01

    Performance of LaNi1-xCoxO3-δ (LNC) (x=0.4 to 0.7) as a cathode in solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) is evaluated. Symmetrical cathode/electrolyte/cathode cells for electrochemical testing are prepared by infiltration of yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) backbone with LNC solutions. It is showed that the cathode infiltrated with LaNi0.5Co0.5O3-δ (LNC155) has the lowest polarization resistance and activation energy, 197 mΩ cm2 at 600 °C and 0.91 eV, respectively. Therefore it is the most promising material of the LNC group for electrochemical applications. X-ray diffraction analysis revealed that none of the materials is single-phased after heat treatment at 800 °C as they contain residues of La2O3 and La2NiO4-δ

  7. 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.

  8. Electrochemically Promoted Organic Isomerization Reactions at Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Cathodes

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-01-04

    fuel cells ( PEMFCs ) incorporate an ionomer membrane (e.g., Nafion 117) for support of electro- catalytic layers and proton conduction between the...central to PEMFC electrocatalysis. For example, a spin coated Nafion layer on polycrystalline Pt enhances electrocatalysis.7,8 Little is known about...CO Poisoning Effect in PEMFCs Operational at Temperatures up to 200°C. Journal of the Electrochemical Society, 2003. 150(12): p. A1599-A1605. 21

  9. Electricity generation in a membrane-less microbial fuel cell with down-flow feeding onto the cathode.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Feng; Wang, Wancheng; Zhang, Xiaoyan; Tao, Guanhong

    2011-08-01

    A novel membrane-less microbial fuel cell (MFC) with down-flow feeding was constructed to generate electricity. Wastewater was fed directly onto the cathode which was horizontally installed in the upper part of the MFC. Oxygen could be utilized readily from the air. The concentration of dissolved oxygen in the influent wastewater had little effect on the power generation. A saturation-type relationship was observed between the initial COD and the power generation. The influent flow rate could affect greatly the power density. Fed by the synthetic glucose wastewater with a COD value of 3500 mg/L at a flow rate of 4.0 mL/min, the developed MFC could produce a maximum power density of 37.4 mW/m(2). Its applicability was further evaluated by the treatment of brewery wastewater. The system could be scaled up readily due to its simple configuration, easy operation and relatively high power density.

  10. Cyclic oxidation of Mn-Co spinel coated SUS 430 alloy in the cathodic atmosphere of solid oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hua, Bin; Pu, Jian; Gong, Wei; Zhang, Jianfu; Lu, Fengshuang; Jian, Li

    In order to improve oxidation resistance and long-term stability of the metallic interconnects and prevent the cathode of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) from Cr-poisoning, an effective, relatively dense and well adherent Mn-Co spinel protection coating with a nominal composition of MnCo 2O 4 is applied onto the surfaces of the SUS 430 ferritic stainless steel by a cost-effective sol-gel process. The long-term thermally cyclic oxidation kinetics and oxide scale structures as well as the composition of the coated SUS 430 alloy are investigated. The Mn-Co spinel protection layer demonstrates an excellent structural and thermomechanical stability, and effectively acts as a mass barrier to the outward diffusion of cations, especially Cr, and a lowered parabolic rate constant of k p = 1.951 × 10 -15 g 2 cm -4 s -1 is obtained.

  11. Perovskite-type oxides La 1- xSr xMnO 3 for cathode catalysts in direct ethylene glycol alkaline fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miyazaki, Kohei; Sugimura, Naotsugu; Matsuoka, Koji; Iriyama, Yasutoshi; Abe, Takeshi; Matsuoka, Masao; Ogumi, Zempachi

    Carbon-supported La 1- xSr xMnO 3 (LSM/C) was prepared by reversible homogeneous precipitation method, and its catalytic activities for oxygen reduction under the existence of ethylene glycol (EG) were investigated by using rotating disk electrode. LSM/C exhibited the high activity for oxygen reduction irrespective with the presence of EG, indicating that EG is not oxidized by LSM/C at the cathode side in the present system. Consequently, LSM/C can serve as a cathode catalyst in alkaline direct alcohol fuel cells with no crossover problem. Performance test for fuel cells operation also supported these results and showed cathodic polarization curves were not affected by the concentration of EG supplied to anode even at 5 mol dm -3.

  12. Three-dimensional X-ray microcomputed tomography of carbonates and biofilm on operated cathode in single chamber microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Santini, Maurizio; Guilizzoni, Manfredo; Lorenzi, Massimo; Atanassov, Plamen; Marsili, Enrico; Fest-Santini, Stephanie; Cristiani, Pierangela; Santoro, Carlo

    2015-09-10

    Power output limitation is one of the main concerns that need to be addressed for full-scale applications of the microbial fuel cell technology. Fouling and biofilm growth on the cathode of single chamber microbial fuel cells (SCMFC) affects their performance in long-term operation with wastewater. In this study, the authors report the power output and cathode polarization curves of a membraneless SCMFC, fed with raw primary wastewater and sodium acetate for over 6 months. At the end of the experiment, the whole cathode surface is analyzed through X-ray microcomputed tomography (microCT), scanning electron microscopy, and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) to characterize the fouling layer and the biofilm. EDX shows the distribution of Ca, Na, K, P, S, and other elements on the two faces of the cathode. Na-carbonates and Ca-carbonates are predominant on the air (outer) side and the water (inner) side, respectively. The three-dimensional reconstruction by X-ray microCT shows biofilm spots unevenly distributed above the Ca-carbonate layer on the inner (water) side of the cathode. These results indicate that carbonates layer, rather than biofilm, might lower the oxygen reduction reaction rate at the cathode during long-term SCMFC operation.

  13. The performance of solid oxide fuel cells with Mn-Co electroplated interconnect as cathode current collector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Junwei; Johnson, Christopher D.; Gemmen, Randall S.; Liu, Xingbo

    To add a coating on a metallic interconnect is one option to prevent Cr poisoning of the cathode and to retain high conductivity during solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) operation. Electroplating of metals or alloys followed by oxidation offers a cost-effective method. In this study, pure Co and Mn/Co alloys formed by electrodeposition are used to protect the substrate, SUS 430. On-cell tests, using uncoated, cobalt-coated and MnCo-coated interconnects were conducted at 375 mA cm -2 for 323, 500 and 820 h, respectively. The results show that cell power degrades at a rate of 33% in 320 h using an uncoated interconnect. Significant improvements are obtained for cell tests utilizing unoptimized coated interconnects with the degradation rate of 5% and 9% per 1000 h for cobalt and MnCo coatings, respectively. Based on the results from SEM and XRD studies, the advantages of both coatings are to successfully inhibit Cr diffusion to the scale surface. However, thin (∼2 μm) cobalt coating allows fast scale growth, while thicker cobalt coatings have the potential to fail due to mismatch in the coefficient of temperature expansion (CTE) between Co 3O 4 and the SUS 430 substrate. In spite of higher degradation rate for the MnCo coatings evaluated here, the addition of Mn into the cobalt coating not only aids in suppression of scale growth, but also reduces the CTE mismatch. Furthermore, no performance decay after two thermal cycles was observed. Finally, the cell degradation was observed to have a correlation with the cell cathode interlayer microstructure.

  14. Nb(5+)-Doped SrCoO3-δ Perovskites as Potential Cathodes for Solid-Oxide Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

    Cascos, Vanessa; Alonso, José Antonio; Fernández-Díaz, María Teresa

    2016-07-15

    SrCoO3-δ outperforms as cathode material in solid-oxide fuel cells (SOFC) when the three-dimensional (3C-type) perovskite structure is stabilized by the inclusion of highly-charged transition-metal ions at the octahedral positions. In a previous work we studied the Nb incorporation at the Co positions in the SrCo1-xNbxO3-δ system, in which the stabilization of a tetragonal P4/mmm perovskite superstructure was described for the x = 0.05 composition. In the present study we extend this investigation to the x = 0.10-0.15 range, also observing the formation of the tetragonal P4/mmm structure instead of the unwanted hexagonal phase corresponding to the 2H polytype. We also investigated the effect of Nb(5+) doping on the thermal, electrical, and electrochemical properties of SrCo1-xNbxO3-δ (x = 0.1 and 0.15) perovskite oxides performing as cathodes in SOFC. In comparison with the undoped hexagonal SrCoO3-δ phase, the resulting compounds present high thermal stability and an increase of the electrical conductivity. The single-cell tests for these compositions (x = 0.10 and 0.15) with La0.8Sr0.2Ga0.83Mg0.17O3-δ (LSGM) as electrolyte and SrMo0.8Fe0.2CoO3-δ as anode gave maximum power densities of 693 and 550 mW∙cm(-2) at 850 °C respectively, using pure H₂ as fuel and air as oxidant.

  15. TiO2 nanotubes as alternative cathode in microbial fuel cells: Effect of annealing treatment on its performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yahia, S. Ait Ali; Hamadou, L.; Salar-García, M. J.; Kadri, A.; Ortiz-Martínez, V. M.; Hernández-Fernández, F. J.; de los Rios, A. Pérez; Benbrahim, N.

    2016-11-01

    In the present work, amorphous and crystalline TiO2 nanotubes (TiNT) were fabricated via anodization and characterized as an alternative cathode for Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs). The morphology of TiNT is characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The crystalline structure and chemical composition are examined by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX). The electrical conductivity characteristics were examined by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). MFCs based on the alternative cathodes were evaluated in terms of energy generation and wastewater treatment. The performances of the as-anodized nanotubes and TiNT annealed at 450 °C and at 550 °C were investigated in double-chamber MFCs with carbon rod and graphite granules as anode and polymer inclusion membrane based on ionic liquid as separator. Industrial wastewater was the source of carbon and inoculum for the experiments. The as grown amorphous nanotubes exhibited the best output power density of 15.16 mWm-2. The results reported here indicate that the specific surface area and the oxygen vacancies of the TiNT cathode can influence the MFCs performance together, because both factors play crucial role in the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). As-anodized TiNT, due to its higher specific surface provide more active sites for electrode reactions. The final oxygen demand (COD) for all systems achieved a COD removal within the interval 54-71% after 10 days. This approved the suitability of MFCs for wastewater treatment.

  16. Enlargement of anode for enhanced simultaneous azo dye decolorization and power output in air-cathode microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

    Air-cathode, microbial fuel cells (MFC) with different anode surface areas were evaluated for simultaneous decolorization of Congo Red and bioelectricity production. Doubling the anode area from 18 to 36 cm(2) increased net power by 150 % (0.16-0.4 mW), normalized power (per anode surface area) by 22 % (88-107 mW m(-2)) and Congo Red decolorization by 163 % (1.6-4.2 mg l(-1) h(-1)). Quadrupling the original anode area induced an additional 5 % increase (up to 4.2 mW) in net power and 174 % increase (up to 11.5 mg l(-1) h(-1)) in Congo Red decolorization; however, normalized power decreased by 85 % (down to 58 mW m(-2)). Increased bacterial attachment could account for both the enhanced power and Congo Red decolorization in larger anode MFCs. The limited effect on power output likely arises from cathode limitation or inefficient utilization of anodes.

  17. 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

    2013-12-03

    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.

  18. Bio-inspired Construction of Advanced Fuel Cell Cathode with Pt Anchored in Ordered Hybrid Polymer Matrix.

    PubMed

    Xia, Zhangxun; Wang, Suli; Jiang, Luhua; Sun, Hai; Liu, Shuang; Fu, Xudong; Zhang, Bingsen; Sheng Su, Dang; Wang, Jianqiang; Sun, Gongquan

    2015-11-05

    The significant use of platinum for catalyzing the cathodic oxygen reduction reactions (ORRs) has hampered the widespread use of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). The construction of well-defined electrode architecture in nanoscale with enhanced utilization and catalytic performance of Pt might be a promising approach to address such barrier. Inspired by the highly efficient catalytic processes in enzymes with active centers embedded in charge transport pathways, here we demonstrate for the first time a design that allocates platinum nanoparticles (Pt NPs) at the boundaries with dual-functions of conducting both electrons by aid of polypyrrole and protons via Nafion(®) ionomer within hierarchical nanoarrays. By mimicking enzymes functionally, an impressive ORR activity and stability is achieved. Using this brand new electrode architecture as the cathode and the anode of a PEMFC, a high mass specific power density of 5.23 W mg(-1)Pt is achieved, with remarkable durability. These improvements are ascribed to not only the electron decoration and the anchoring effects from the Nafion(®) ionomer decorated PPy substrate to the supported Pt NPs, but also the fast charge and mass transport facilitated by the electron and proton pathways within the electrode architecture.

  19. Bio-inspired Construction of Advanced Fuel Cell Cathode with Pt Anchored in Ordered Hybrid Polymer Matrix

    PubMed Central

    Xia, Zhangxun; Wang, Suli; Jiang, Luhua; Sun, Hai; Liu, Shuang; Fu, Xudong; Zhang, Bingsen; Sheng Su, Dang; Wang, Jianqiang; Sun, Gongquan

    2015-01-01

    The significant use of platinum for catalyzing the cathodic oxygen reduction reactions (ORRs) has hampered the widespread use of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). The construction of well-defined electrode architecture in nanoscale with enhanced utilization and catalytic performance of Pt might be a promising approach to address such barrier. Inspired by the highly efficient catalytic processes in enzymes with active centers embedded in charge transport pathways, here we demonstrate for the first time a design that allocates platinum nanoparticles (Pt NPs) at the boundaries with dual-functions of conducting both electrons by aid of polypyrrole and protons via Nafion® ionomer within hierarchical nanoarrays. By mimicking enzymes functionally, an impressive ORR activity and stability is achieved. Using this brand new electrode architecture as the cathode and the anode of a PEMFC, a high mass specific power density of 5.23 W mg−1Pt is achieved, with remarkable durability. These improvements are ascribed to not only the electron decoration and the anchoring effects from the Nafion® ionomer decorated PPy substrate to the supported Pt NPs, but also the fast charge and mass transport facilitated by the electron and proton pathways within the electrode architecture. PMID:26537781

  20. [Performance of microbial fuel cells with Fe/C catalyst carbon felt air-cathode for treating landfill leachate].

    PubMed

    Tang, Yu-Lan; Peng, Man; Yu, Yan; He, Ya-Ting; Fu, Jin-Xiang; Zhao, Yu-Hua

    2012-06-01

    Ferric nitrate/activated carbon powder catalyst was obtained through impregnation and Fe/C catalyst was adsorbed on carbon felt as air cathode electrodes. Effects of activated carbon powder dosage and ferric nitrate concentration on electricity generation of MFC with landfill leachate as fuel were measured. Performances of cathodes obtained at different ferric nitrate concentrations were evaluated by cyclic voltammetry tests. The results showed that with the increase of activated carbon powder dosage or the iron nitrate concentration, MFC produce electrical properties showed a decreasing trend after the first rise. When the activated carbon powder dosage was 1 g and the iron nitrate concentration was 0.25 mol x L(-1), it was proved to be an optimum cell performance for 4199.8 mW x m(-3) output power and 465 omega apparent resistance. Under the optimal ratio rang between ferric nitrate and activated carbon powder, MFC apparent resistance decreased and the power density increased respectively with the increase of catalyst total dosage. The best produce electrical properties of MFC with Fe/C catalyst for 0.25 mol x L(-1) iron nitrate and 1 g activated carbon powder dosage was observed by cyclic voltammetry tests. The output power of MFC and the removal quantity increased with the concentration of inlet and the maximum values were respectively 5478.92 mW x m(-3) and 1505.2 mg x L(-1). the maximum removal rates of COD achieved at 89.1%.

  1. Nano-structured composite cathodes for intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells via an infiltration/impregnation technique

    SciTech Connect

    Jiang, Zhiyi; Xia, Changrong; Chen, Fanglin

    2010-02-12

    Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are high temperature energy conversion devices working efficiently and environmental friendly. SOFC requires a functional cathode with high electrocatalytic activity for the electrochemical reduction of oxygen. The electrode is often fabricated at high temperature to achieve good bonding between the electrode and electrolyte. The high temperature not only limits material choice but also results in coarse particles with low electrocatalytic activity. Nano-structured electrodes fabricated at low temperature by an infiltration/impregnation technique have shown many advantages including superior activity and wider range of material choices. The impregnation technique involves depositing nanoparticle catalysts into a pre-sintered electrode backbone. Two basic types of nano-structures are developed since the electrode is usually a composite consists of an electrolyte and an electrocatalyst. One is infiltrating electronically conducting nano-catalyst into a single phase ionic conducting backbone, while the other is infiltrating ionically conducting nanoparticles into a single phase electronically conducting backbone. In addition, nanoparticles of the electrocatalyst, electrolyte and other oxides have also been infiltrated into mixed conducting backbones. These nano-structured cathodes are reviewed here regarding the preparation methods, their electrochemical performance, and stability upon thermal cycling.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

    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.

  3. Bio-inspired Construction of Advanced Fuel Cell Cathode with Pt Anchored in Ordered Hybrid Polymer Matrix

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xia, Zhangxun; Wang, Suli; Jiang, Luhua; Sun, Hai; Liu, Shuang; Fu, Xudong; Zhang, Bingsen; Sheng Su, Dang; Wang, Jianqiang; Sun, Gongquan

    2015-11-01

    The significant use of platinum for catalyzing the cathodic oxygen reduction reactions (ORRs) has hampered the widespread use of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). The construction of well-defined electrode architecture in nanoscale with enhanced utilization and catalytic performance of Pt might be a promising approach to address such barrier. Inspired by the highly efficient catalytic processes in enzymes with active centers embedded in charge transport pathways, here we demonstrate for the first time a design that allocates platinum nanoparticles (Pt NPs) at the boundaries with dual-functions of conducting both electrons by aid of polypyrrole and protons via Nafion® ionomer within hierarchical nanoarrays. By mimicking enzymes functionally, an impressive ORR activity and stability is achieved. Using this brand new electrode architecture as the cathode and the anode of a PEMFC, a high mass specific power density of 5.23 W mg-1Pt is achieved, with remarkable durability. These improvements are ascribed to not only the electron decoration and the anchoring effects from the Nafion® ionomer decorated PPy substrate to the supported Pt NPs, but also the fast charge and mass transport facilitated by the electron and proton pathways within the electrode architecture.

  4. 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.

  5. FePO4 based single chamber air-cathode microbial fuel cell for online monitoring levofloxacin.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Libin; Li, Xinyong; Shi, Yueran; Qi, Yefei; Huang, Daqiong; Tadé, Moses; Wang, Shaobin; Liu, Shaomin

    2017-05-15

    A bio-electrochemical strategy was developed for constructing a simple and sensitive levofloxacin (LEV) sensor based on a single chamber microbial fuel cell (SC-MFC) using FePO4 nanoparticles (NPs) as the cathode catalyst instead of traditional Pt/C. In this assembled sensor device, FePO4 NPs dramatically promoted the electrooxidation of oxygen on the cathode, which helps to accelerate the voltage output from SC-MFC and can provide a powerful guarantee for LEV detection. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) were used to fully characterize the FePO4 NPs. Under the optimized COD condition (3mM), the LEV with a concentration range of 0.1-1000µg/L could be detected successfully, and exhibited the excellent linear interval in the concentration range of 0.1-100µg/L. During this range of concentrations of LEV, a temporary effect on the anode of exoelectrogenic bacterial in less than 10min could occur, and then came back to the normal. It exhibited a long-term stability, maintaining the stable electricity production for 14 months of continuous running. Besides, the detection mechanism was investigated by quantum chemical calculation using density functional theory (DFT).

  6. Cobalt based layered perovskites as cathode material for intermediate temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cells: A brief review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pelosato, Renato; Cordaro, Giulio; Stucchi, Davide; Cristiani, Cinzia; Dotelli, Giovanni

    2015-12-01

    Nowadays, the cathode is the most studied component in Intermediate Temperature-Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (IT-SOFCs). Decreasing SOFCs operating temperature implies slow oxygen reduction kinetics and large polarization losses. Double perovskites with general formula REBaCo2O5+δ are promising mixed ionic-electronic conductors, offering a remarkable enhancement of the oxygen diffusivity and surface exchange respect to disordered perovskites. In this review, more than 250 compositions investigated in the literature were analyzed. The evaluation was performed in terms of electrical conductivity, Area Specific Resistance (ASR), chemical compatibility with electrolytes and Thermal Expansion Coefficient (TEC). The most promising materials have been identified as those bearing the mid-sized rare earths (Pr, Nd, Sm, Gd). Doping strategies have been analyzed: Sr doping on A site promotes higher electrical conductivity, but worsen ASR and TECs; B-site doping (Fe, Ni, Mn) helps lowering TECs, but is detrimental for the electrochemical properties. A promising boost of the electrochemical activity is obtained by simply introducing a slight Ba under-stoichiometry. Still, the high sensitivity of the electrochemical properties against slight changes in the stoichiometry hamper a conclusive comparison of all the investigated compounds. Opportunities for an improvement of double perovskite cathodes performance is tentatively foreseen in combining together the diverse effective doping strategies.

  7. Nonlinear observation of internal states of fuel cell cathode utilizing a high-order sliding-mode algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Liangfei; Hu, Junming; Cheng, Siliang; Fang, Chuan; Li, Jianqiu; Ouyang, Minggao; Lehnert, Werner

    2017-07-01

    A scheme for designing a second-order sliding-mode (SOSM) observer that estimates critical internal states on the cathode side of a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell system is presented. A nonlinear, isothermal dynamic model for the cathode side and a membrane electrolyte assembly are first described. A nonlinear observer topology based on an SOSM algorithm is then introduced, and equations for the SOSM observer deduced. Online calculation of the inverse matrix produces numerical errors, so a modified matrix is introduced to eliminate the negative effects of these on the observer. The simulation results indicate that the SOSM observer performs well for the gas partial pressures and air stoichiometry. The estimation results follow the simulated values in the model with relative errors within ± 2% at stable status. Large errors occur during the fast dynamic processes (<1 s). Moreover, the nonlinear observer shows good robustness against variations in the initial values of the internal states, but less robustness against variations in system parameters. The partial pressures are more sensitive than the air stoichiometry to system parameters. Finally, the order of effects of parameter uncertainties on the estimation results is outlined and analyzed.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-13

    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 S(2-) 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.

  9. Pore development in carbonized hemoglobin by concurrently generated MgO template for activity enhancement as fuel cell cathode catalyst.

    PubMed

    Maruyama, Jun; Hasegawa, Takahiro; Amano, Taiji; Muramatsu, Yasuji; Gullikson, Eric M; Orikasa, Yuki; Uchimoto, Yoshiharu

    2011-12-01

    Various carbon materials with a characteristic morphology and pore structure have been produced using template methods in which a carbon-template composite is once formed and the characteristic features derived from the template are generated after the template removal. In this study, hemoglobin, which is a natural compound that could be abundantly and inexpensively obtained, was used as the carbon material source to produce a carbonaceous noble-metal-free fuel cell cathode catalyst. Magnesium oxide was used as the template concurrently generated with the hemoglobin carbonization from magnesium acetate mixed with hemoglobin as the starting material mixture to enable pore development for improving the activity of the carbonized hemoglobin for the cathodic oxygen reduction. After removal of the MgO template, the substantially developed pores were generated in the carbonized hemoglobin with an amorphous structure observed by total-electron-yield X-ray absorption. The extended X-ray absorption fine structure at the Fe-K edge indicated that Fe was coordinated with four nitrogen atoms (Fe-N(4) moiety) in the carbonized hemoglobin. The oxygen reduction activity of the carbonized hemoglobin evaluated using rotating disk electrodes was dependent on the pore structure. The highly developed pores led to an improved activity.

  10. 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.

  11. Carbon supported cobalt oxide nanoparticles-iron phthalocyanine as alternative cathode catalyst for oxygen reduction in microbial fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahmed, Jalal; Yuan, Yong; Zhou, Lihua; Kim, Sunghyun

    2012-06-01

    The high cost and limited resources of precious metals as oxygen reduction catalysts (ORR) hindered the widespread use of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) in practice. Here, the feasibility of metal oxide assisted metal macrocyclic complex was investigated as a catalyst for ORR in an air-cathode MFC. Electrochemical results revealed that cobalt oxide (CoOx) incorporation increased the ORR activity of iron phthalocyanine (FePc). In MFCs, the maximum power density of 654 ± 32 mW m-2 was achieved from the C-CoOx-FePc cathode, which was 37% higher than the power density of carbon supported FePc (C-FePc). The voltage output of the MFC only decreased to 85% of its initial voltage after 50 cycles, suggesting that the synthesized catalyst showed acceptable long-term stability. The voltage drop partially resulted from the covering of biofilm on the catalyst layer. This work provided a potential alternative to Pt in MFCs for sustainable energy generation.

  12. In-plane structuring of proton exchange membrane fuel cell cathodes: Effect of ionomer equivalent weight structuring on performance and current density distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herden, Susanne; Riewald, Felix; Hirschfeld, Julian A.; Perchthaler, Markus

    2017-07-01

    Within the active area of a fuel cell inhomogeneous operating conditions occur, however, state of the art electrodes are homogenous over the complete active area. This study uses current density distribution measurements to analyze which ionomer equivalent weight (EW) shows locally the highest current densities. With this information a segmented cathode electrode is manufactured by decal transfer. The segmented electrode shows better performance especially at high current densities compared to homogenous electrodes. Furthermore this segmented catalyst coated membrane (CCM) performs optimal in wet as well as dry conditions, both operating conditions arise in automotive fuel cell applications. Thus, cathode electrodes with an optimized ionomer EW distribution might have a significant impact on future automotive fuel cell development.

  13. 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

    2015-06-04

    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.

  14. Continuous electricity generation in stacked air cathode microbial fuel cell treating domestic wastewater.

    PubMed

    Choi, Jeongdong; Ahn, Youngho

    2013-11-30

    This study examined the continuous performance of air cathode MFC stacks for domestic wastewater treatments at two different temperatures (23 ± 3 °C and 30 ± 1 °C) and organic loading rates to determine the effects of the electrode connection and hydraulic flow mode on the stack performance. The power density and process stability were affected significantly by the electrode connection type, flow mode, and operating parameters. The parallel electrode connection system (in series flow mode) had benefits of COD removal, Coulombic efficiency and maximal power density due to the higher stability of the ORP in overall cells. The highest power density of 420 mW/m(2) (12.8 W/m(3)) was achieved in series flow and parallel connection mode at an organic loading rate of 25.6 g COD/L-d (HRT of 0.33 h) under mesophilic conditions, achieving a COD removal of 44%. The results highlight the importance of prefermentation process in the application of a stacked MFC for an actual wastewater treatment.

  15. 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.

  16. Investigation of GDL compression effects on the performance of a PEM fuel cell cathode by lattice Boltzmann method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molaeimanesh, G. R.; Nazemian, M.

    2017-08-01

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells with a great potential for application in vehicle propulsion systems will have a promising future. However, to overcome the exiting challenges against their wider commercialization further fundamental research is inevitable. The effects of gas diffusion layer (GDL) compression on the performance of a PEM fuel cell is not well-recognized; especially, via pore-scale simulation technique capturing the fibrous microstructure of the GDL. In the current investigation, a stochastic microstructure reconstruction method is proposed which can capture GDL microstructure changes by compression. Afterwards, lattice Boltzmann pore-scale simulation technique is adopted to simulate the reactive gas flow through 10 different cathode electrodes with dissimilar carbon paper GDLs produced from five different compression levels and two different carbon fiber diameters. The distributions of oxygen mole fraction, water vapor mole fraction and current density for the simulated cases are presented and analyzed. The results of simulations demonstrate that when the fiber diameter is 9 μm adding compression leads to lower average current density while when the fiber diameter is 7 μm the compression effect is not monotonic.

  17. Synthesis of Pt-Ni-Fe/CNT/CP nanocomposite as an electrocatalytic electrode for PEM fuel cell cathode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Litkohi, Hajar Rajaei; Bahari, Ali; Ojani, Reza

    2017-08-01

    In order to use carbon nanotube (CNT)-supported catalyst as fuel cell electrodes, Pt-Ni-Fe/CNT/carbon paper (CP) electrode was prepared using an ethylene glycol reduction method. CNTs were directly synthesized on Ni-impregnated carbon paper, plain carbon cloth, and Teflonized carbon cloth using chemical vapor deposition. FESEM and TEM images and thermogravimetric analysis indicated that in situ CNT on carbon paper (ICNT/CP) possesses more appropriate structural quality and stronger adhesion to the substrate than other substrates. The contact angle analysis demonstrated that the degree of ICNT/CP surface hydrophobicity encountered a 24% increase in comparison to CP and promoted to superhydrophobicity from hydrophobicity. The polarization curves and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy results of the loaded Pt-Ni-Fe on in situ and ex situ CNT/CP illustrated that the power density increased and charge transfer resistance reduced compared to commercial Pt/C loaded on CP. The results can be attributed to the outstanding properties of CNTs and high catalytic activity of triple catalysts causing alloying of Pt with Ni and Fe, which makes them a proper candidate to be used as cathode electrodes in proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

  18. A niobium and tantalum co-doped perovskite cathode for solid oxide fuel cells operating below 500 °C.

    PubMed

    Li, Mengran; Zhao, Mingwen; Li, Feng; Zhou, Wei; Peterson, Vanessa K; Xu, Xiaoyong; Shao, Zongping; Gentle, Ian; Zhu, Zhonghua

    2017-01-03

    The slow activity of cathode materials is one of the most significant barriers to realizing the operation of solid oxide fuel cells below 500 °C. Here we report a niobium and tantalum co-substituted perovskite SrCo0.8Nb0.1Ta0.1O3-δ as a cathode, which exhibits high electroactivity. This cathode has an area-specific polarization resistance as low as ∼0.16 and ∼0.68 Ω cm(2) in a symmetrical cell and peak power densities of 1.2 and 0.7 W cm(-2) in a Gd0.1Ce0.9O1.95-based anode-supported fuel cell at 500 and 450 °C, respectively. The high performance is attributed to an optimal balance of oxygen vacancies, ionic mobility and surface electron transfer as promoted by the synergistic effects of the niobium and tantalum. This work also points to an effective strategy in the design of cathodes for low-temperature solid oxide fuel cells.

  19. A niobium and tantalum co-doped perovskite cathode for solid oxide fuel cells operating below 500 °C

    PubMed Central

    Li, Mengran; Zhao, Mingwen; Li, Feng; Zhou, Wei; Peterson, Vanessa K.; Xu, Xiaoyong; Shao, Zongping; Gentle, Ian; Zhu, Zhonghua

    2017-01-01

    The slow activity of cathode materials is one of the most significant barriers to realizing the operation of solid oxide fuel cells below 500 °C. Here we report a niobium and tantalum co-substituted perovskite SrCo0.8Nb0.1Ta0.1O3−δ as a cathode, which exhibits high electroactivity. This cathode has an area-specific polarization resistance as low as ∼0.16 and ∼0.68 Ω cm2 in a symmetrical cell and peak power densities of 1.2 and 0.7 W cm−2 in a Gd0.1Ce0.9O1.95-based anode-supported fuel cell at 500 and 450 °C, respectively. The high performance is attributed to an optimal balance of oxygen vacancies, ionic mobility and surface electron transfer as promoted by the synergistic effects of the niobium and tantalum. This work also points to an effective strategy in the design of cathodes for low-temperature solid oxide fuel cells. PMID:28045088

  20. High temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell performance of Pt xCo y/C cathodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rao, Ch. Venkateswara; Parrondo, Javier; Ghatty, Sundara L.; Rambabu, B.

    Carbon-supported Pt-Co alloy nanoparticles of varying Pt:Co atomic ratios of 1:1, 2:1, 3:1 and 4:1 are prepared, characterized and tested in high temperature PEM fuel cell intend to reduce the Pt loading. These electrocatalysts are prepared by borohydride reduction method in the presence of citric acid as stabilizing agent. Face-centered cubic structure of Pt is evident from XRD. The positive shift of Pt diffraction peaks with increasing cobalt content in the Pt xCo y/C catalysts indicated the solubility of Co in Pt lattice. The average crystallite size is found to be 6 nm in all the prepared catalysts. The electrochemical active surface area (EAS) of the catalysts from CO-stripping voltammetry is calculated to be 65.2, 51.4, 47.7, 41.5 and 38.3 m 2 g -1 Pt for Pt/C, Pt-Co(4:1)/C, Pt-Co(3:1)/C, Pt-Co(2:1)/C and Pt-Co(1:1)/C, respectively. These catalysts are used as cathode in the fabrication of polybenzimidazole-based membrane electrode assembly (MEA) and the polarization curves are recorded at 160 and 180 °C. The results indicate the good performance of Pt-Co alloys than that of Pt under the PEM fuel cell conditions. Among the investigated electrocatalysts, Pt-Co(1:1)/C and Pt-Co(2:1)/C exhibited good fuel cell performance. Durability tests also indicated the good stability of Pt-Co(1:1)/C and Pt-Co(2:1)/C compared to Pt/C.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  3. Perovskite Sr₁-xCexCoO₃-δ (0.05 ≤ x ≤ 0.15) as superior cathodes for intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Yang, Wei; Hong, Tao; Li, Shuai; Ma, Zhaohui; Sun, Chunwen; Xia, Changrong; Chen, Liquan

    2013-02-01

    Perovskite Sr(1-x)Ce(x)CoO(3-δ) (0.05 ≤ x ≤ 0.15) have been prepared by a sol-gel method and studied as cathodes for intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells. As SOFC cathodes, Sr(1-x)Ce(x)CoO(3-δ) materials have sufficiently high electronic conductivities and excellent chemical compatibility with SDC electrolyte. The peak power density of cells with Sr(0.95)Ce(0.05)CoO(3-δ) is 0.625 W cm(-2) at 700 °C. By forming a composite cathode with an oxygen ion conductor SDC, the peak power density of the cell with Sr(0.95)Ce(0.05)CoO(3-δ)-30 wt %SDC composite cathode, reaches 1.01 W cm(-2) at 700 °C, better than that of Sm(0.5)Sr(0.5)CoO(3)-based cathode. All these results demonstrates that Sr(1-x)Ce(x)CoO(3-δ) (0.05 ≤ x ≤ 0.15)-based materials are promising cathodes for an IT-SOFC.

  4. Catalyzed double layer cathodes for high performance and long life molten carbonate fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Bischoff, M.; Jantsch, U.; Rohland, B.

    1996-12-31

    NiO/LiCoO{sub 2} double layer cathodes (DLCs) were prepared with a thin highly active LiCoO{sub 2}-layer by a new double layer tape casting/sintering procedure. The resulting metallic porous precursor plates were mounted into the MCFC and heated up by a special procedure to form LiCoO{sub 2} from air, Co and Li{sub 2}CO{sub 3} in a solid/gas reaction. MCFCs with highly active NiO/LiCoO{sub 2}-DLCs can operate over prolonged periods of time with a Ni-precipitation which is 10% lower than one finds with state of the art NiO cathodes. According to LiCoO{sub 2}-cathodes have theoretical life times of more than 100 000 hours at nonpressurized conditions. MCFCs with new NiO/LiCoO{sub 2} double layer cathodes (DLC) were investigated with regard to variable parameters of their microstructure. From the agglomerate model of the porous MCFC cathode, the dependence of the polarization resistance from the radius of the agglomerates and the inner agglomerate surface area was calculated.

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

    PubMed

    Mink, Justine E; Hussain, Muhammad Mustafa

    2013-08-27

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

  6. Metal-supported solid oxide fuel cells with impregnated SrFe0.75Mo0.25O3 cathodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Yucun; Meng, Xie; Ye, Xiaofeng; Li, Junliang; Wang, Shaorong; Zhan, Zhongliang

    2014-02-01

    This paper reports on the fabrication in reducing atmospheres of SrFe0.75Mo0.25O3 (SFMO)-8 mol%Y2O3-stabilized ZrO2 (YSZ) composites by impregnating Sr2+-, Fe3+- and Mo7O246--containing solutions into the porous YSZ backbones, which would find important applications as cathodes for co-fired metal-supported solid oxide fuel cells. X-ray diffraction examination shows that as-synthesized infiltrates consist of perovskite SFMO oxides and metallic Fe. In situ oxidation during the fuel cell operation eliminates metallic Fe, and SFMO oxides become the predominant component with some minor SrMoO4 impurities. Impedance measurements on symmetric cathode fuel cells show that such impregnated SFMO-YSZ composites exhibit low polarization resistances in air, e.g., 0.06 Ω cm2 at 800 °C. Metal-supported solid oxide fuel cells, consisting of porous 430L stainless steel substrates, Ni-YSZ active anodes, YSZ electrolytes and impregnated SFMO-YSZ composite cathodes, are fabricated using tape casting, tape lamination, co-sintering and solution impregnation techniques, and show maximum power densities of 438 mW cm-2 at 800 °C and 221 mW cm-2 at 700 °C.

  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. Fuel Cell Animation

    NASA Image and Video Library

    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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-10

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

  10. Simultaneous sulfide removal, nitrification, and electricity generation in a microbial fuel cell equipped with an oxic cathode.

    PubMed

    Bao, Renbing; Zhang, Shaohui; Zhao, Li; Zhong, Liuxiang

    2017-02-01

    With sulfide as an anodic electron donor and ammonium as a cathodic substrate, the feasibility of simultaneous sulfide removal, nitrification, and electricity generation was investigated in a microbial fuel cell (MFC) equipped with an oxic cathode. Successful simultaneous sulfide removal, nitrification, and electricity generation in this MFC were achieved in 35 days, with the sulfide and ammonium removal percent of 92.7 ± 1.4 and 96.4 ± 0.3%, respectively. The maximum power density increased, but the internal resistance decreased with the increase of feeding sulfide concentration from 62.9 ± 0.3 to 238.5 ± 0.2 mg S/L. Stable ammonium removal with complete nitrification, preparing for future denitrification, was obtained throughout the current study. Sulfide removal loading significantly increased with the increase of feeding sulfide concentration at each external resistance, but no significant correlation between sulfide removal loading and external resistance was found at each feeding sulfide concentration. The charge recovery and anodic coulombic efficiency (CE) significantly decreased with the increase of external resistance. High feeding sulfide concentration led to low anodic CE. Granular sulfur deposition was found on the anode graphite fiber. The appropriate feeding sulfide concentration for sulfide removal and sulfur deposition was deemed to be 178.0 ± 1.7 mg S/L, achieving a sulfur deposition percent of 69.7 ± 0.6%.

  11. Bifunctional Ag/Fe/N/C Catalysts for Enhancing Oxygen Reduction via Cathodic Biofilm Inhibition in Microbial Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

    Dai, Ying; Chan, Yingzi; Jiang, Baojiang; Wang, Lei; Zou, Jinlong; Pan, Kai; Fu, Honggang

    2016-03-23

    Limitation of the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in single-chamber microbial fuel cells (SC-MFCs) is considered an important hurdle in achieving their practical application. The cathodic catalysts faced with a liquid phase are easily primed with the electrolyte, which provides more surface area for bacterial overgrowth, resulting in the difficulty in transporting protons to active sites. Ag/Fe/N/C composites prepared from Ag and Fe-chelated melamine are used as antibacterial ORR catalysts for SC-MFCs. The structure-activity correlations for Ag/Fe/N/C are investigated by tuning the carbonization temperature (600-900 °C) to clarify how the active-constituents of Ag/Fe and N-species influence the antibacterial and ORR activities. A maximum power density of 1791 mW m(-2) is obtained by Ag/Fe/N/C (630 °C), which is far higher than that of Pt/C (1192 mW m(-2)), only having a decline of 16.14% after 90 days of running. The Fe-bonded N and the cooperation of pyridinic N and pyrrolic N in Ag/Fe/N/C contribute equally to the highly catalytic activity toward ORR. The ·OH or O2(-) species originating from the catalysis of O2 can suppress the biofilm growth on Ag/Fe/N/C cathodes. The synergistic effects between the Ag/Fe heterojunction and N-species substantially contribute to the high power output and Coulombic efficiency of Ag/Fe/N/C catalysts. These new antibacterial ORR catalysts show promise for application in MFCs.

  12. 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.

  13. Dependency of simultaneous Cr(VI), Cu(II) and Cd(II) reduction on the cathodes of microbial electrolysis cells self-driven by microbial fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Yong; Yu, Lihua; Wu, Dan; Huang, Liping; Zhou, Peng; Quan, Xie; Chen, Guohua

    2015-01-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) using either Cr(VI) (MFCsCr) or Cu(II) (MFCsCu) as a final electron acceptor, are stacked to self-drive microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) using Cd(II) (MECsCd) as an electron acceptor for simultaneous reduction of Cr(VI) in MFCsCr, Cu(II) in MFCsCu and Cd(II) in MECsCd with no external energy consumption. Titanium sheet (TS) and carbon rod (CR) as the cathodes of MECsCd are assessed for efficient system performance. MFCsCr and MFCsCu in series is superior to the parallel configuration, and higher Cd(II) reduction along with simultaneous Cr(VI) and Cu(II) reduction supports TS function as a good cathode material. Conversely, CR can not entirely proceed Cd(II) reduction in MECsCd despite of more Cr(VI) and Cu(II) reduction in the same serial configuration than either system alone. While a decrease in cathode volume in both MFCsCr and MFCsCu with serial connection benefits to reduction of Cr(VI) in MFCsCr and Cu(II) in MFCsCu, Cd(II) reduction in MECsCd is substantially enhanced under a decrease in cathode volume in individual MFCsCr and serially connected with volume-unchanged MFCsCu. This study demonstrates simultaneous Cr(VI), Cu(II) and Cd(II) recovery from MFCsCr-MFCsCu-MECsCd self-driven system is feasible, and TS as the cathodes of MECsCd is critical for efficient system performance.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Development of high-performance cathode catalyst of polypyrrole modified carbon supported CoOOH for direct borohydride fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Yan; Zhu, Cai; Chen, Kaijian; Wang, Juan; Qin, Haiying; Liu, Jiabin; Yan, Shuai; Yang, Ke; Li, Aiguo

    2017-01-01

    Polypyrrole modified carbon supported CoOOH electrocatalyst (CoOOH-PPy-C) is prepared by impregnation-chemical method, and the catalytic properties for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in alkaline media are investigated. The X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy results confirm the presence of the expected CoOOH. The electrochemical tests show that the CoOOH-PPy-C catalyst exhibits good electrocatalytic activity towards ORR. The direct borohydride fuel cell using CoOOH-PPy-C as the cathode catalyst demonstrates a good stability performance. There is only 4% decrease of the cell voltage after 80-h operation. The ORR occurs an average 4-electron transfer pathway on the CoOOH-PPy-C catalyst. The good catalytic activity towards ORR benefits from the Cosbnd N bond, which is identified by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy test. X-ray absorption fine structure experiments further show that two nearest O atoms are substituted by two N atoms bonding to Co ion at a distance of 1.64 Å. The CoOOH-PPy-C exhibits better electrochemical properties than the Co(OH)2 counterpart even though the valence state of Co ion is +3 in CoOOH-PPy-C. Those results indicate that the bonding of Co ion with N atoms should be a key issue regardless the valence of Co ion.

  17. Effect of unsintered gadolinium-doped ceria buffer layer on performance of metal-supported solid oxide fuel cells using unsintered barium strontium cobalt ferrite cathode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Yu-Mi; Kim-Lohsoontorn, Pattaraporn; Bae, Joongmyeon

    In this study, a Gd 0.1Ce 0.9O 1.95 (GDC) buffer layer and a Ba 0.5Sr 0.5Co 0.8Fe 0.2O 3- δ (BSCF) cathode, fabricated without pre-sintering, are investigated (unsintered GDC and unsintered BSCF). The effect of the unsintered GDC buffer layer, including the thickness of the layer, on the performance of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) using an unsintered BSCF cathode is studied. The maximum power density of the metal-supported SOFC using an unsintered BSCF cathode without a buffer layer is 0.81 W cm -2, which is measured after 2 h of operation (97% H 2 and 3% H 2O at the anode and ambient air at the cathode), and it significantly decreases to 0.63 W cm -2 after 50 h. At a relatively low temperature of 800 °C, SrZrO 3 and BaZrO 3, arising from interaction between BSCF and yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ), are detected after 50 h. Introducing a GDC interlayer between the cathode and electrolyte significantly increases the durability of the cell performance, supporting over 1000 h of cell usage with an unsintered GDC buffer layer. Comparable performance is obtained from the anode-supported cell when using an unsintered BSCF cathode with an unsintered GDC buffer layer (0.75 W cm -2) and sintered GDC buffer layer (0.82 W cm -2). When a sintered BSCF cathode is used, however, the performance increases to 1.23 W cm -2. The adhesion between the BSCF cathode and the cell can be enhanced by an unsintered GDC buffer layer, but an increase in the layer thickness (1-6 μm) increases the area specific resistance (ASR) of the cell, and the overly thick buffer layer causes delamination of the BSCF cathode. Finally, the maximum power densities of the metal-supported SOFC using an unsintered BSCF cathode and unsintered GDC buffer layer are 0.78, 0.64, 0.45 and 0.31 W cm -2 at 850, 800, 750 and 700 °C, respectively.

  18. 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.

  19. Final Report: Cathode Catalysis in Hydrogen/Oxygen Fuel Cells: New Catalysts, Mechanism, and Characterization

    SciTech Connect

    Gewirth, Andrew A.; Kenis, Paul J.; Nuzzo, Ralph G.; Rauchfuss, Thomas B.

    2016-01-18

    In this research, we prosecuted a comprehensive plan of research directed at developing new catalysts and new understandings relevant to the operation of low temperature hydrogen-oxygen fuel cells. The focal point of this work was one centered on the Oxygen Reduction Reaction (ORR), the electrochemical process that most fundamentally limits the technological utility of these environmentally benign energy conversion devices. Over the period of grant support, we developed new ORR catalysts, based on Cu dimers and multimers. In this area, we developed substantial new insight into design rules required to establish better ORR materials, inspired by the three-Cu active site in laccase which has the highest ORR onset potential of any material known. We also developed new methods of characterization for the ORR on conventional (metal-based) catalysts. Finally, we developed a new platform to study the rate of proton transfer relevant to proton coupled electron transfer (PCET) reactions, of which the ORR is an exemplar. Other aspects of work involved theory and prototype catalyst testing.

  20. A complete two-phase model of a porous cathode of a PEM fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hwang, J. J.

    This paper has developed a complete two-phase model of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell by considering fluid flow, heat transfer and current simultaneously. In fluid flow, two momentum equations governing separately the gaseous-mixture velocity (u g) and the liquid-water velocity (u w) illustrate the behaviors of the two-phase flow in a porous electrode. Correlations for the capillary pressure and the saturation level connect the above two-fluid transports. In heat transfer, a local thermal non-equilibrium (LTNE) model accounting for intrinsic heat transfer between the reactant fluids and the solid matrices depicts the interactions between the reactant-fluid temperature (T f) and the solid-matrix temperature (T s). The irreversibility heating due to electrochemical reactions, Joule heating arising from Ohmic resistance, and latent heat of water condensation/evaporation are considered in the present non-isothermal model. In current, Ohm's law is applied to yield the conservations in ionic current (i m) and electronic current (i s) in the catalyst layer. The Butler-Volmer correlation describes the relation of the potential difference (overpotential) and the transfer current between the electrolyte (such as Nafion™) and the catalyst (such as Pt/C).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Electrochemical and Phase Stability Studies of Cathode Materials for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duffy, Patrick K.

    Growing energy and climate concerns in the United States and across the world demand improvements in energy efficiency, conservation, and renewability. Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are highly efficient devices that electrochemically convert the chemical energy of a fuel to electricity. These devices can operate on natural gas as a fuel, enabling the use of existing infrastructure with significantly higher efficiency compared to conventional natural gas power plants. However, expensive system components and durability issues prevent SOFCs from being cost-competitive with current power plants. This work focused on the search for new SOFC materials that provide increased performance at reduced operating temperatures. Both electrochemical performance and thermodynamic stability between various layers are important factors for creating SOFCs with good long-term performance, and both were investigated in this work, making extensive use of AC impedance spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction. A novel method used to rapidly characterize the electrochemical performance of electrode materials was developed. A hemispherical electrolyte probe pressed into the flat surface of a dense electrode pellet created a circular interface. Impedance spectroscopy measured the polarization resistance associated with the electrode reaction at the interface, along with the resistance of the electrolyte probe, from which the size of the contact was determined. The polarization resistance was normalized by the triple phase boundary (TPB) length to calculate the TPB linear-specific resistance of electronic conductor electrodes. For mixed ionic-electronic conductor (MIEC) electrodes, the polarization resistance was normalized by the contact area to estimate the area-specific surface resistance. Both normalized resistances were found to underestimate literature values by a consistent factor of 3. The method is shown to have good potential for the rapid screening and ranking of potential SOFC

  3. Carbon dioxide addition to microbial fuel cell cathodes maintains sustainable catholyte pH and improves anolyte pH, alkalinity, and conductivity.

    PubMed

    Fornero, Jeffrey J; Rosenbaum, Miriam; Cotta, Michael A; Angenent, Largus T

    2010-04-01

    Bioelectrochemical system (BES) pH imbalances develop due to anodic proton-generating oxidation reactions and cathodic hydroxide-ion-generating reduction reactions. Until now, workers added unsustainable buffers to reduce the pH difference between the anode and cathode because the pH imbalance contributes to BES potential losses and, therefore, power losses. Here, we report that adding carbon dioxide (CO(2)) gas to the cathode, which creates a CO(2)/bicarbonate buffered catholyte system, can diminish microbial fuel cell (MFC) pH imbalances in contrast to the CO(2)/carbonate buffered catholyte system by Torres, Lee, and Rittmann [Environ. Sci. Technol. 2008, 42, 8773]. We operated an air-cathode and liquid-cathode MFC side-by-side. For the air-cathode MFC, CO(2) addition resulted in a stable catholyte film pH of 6.61 +/- 0.12 and a 152% increase in steady-state power density. By adding CO(2) to the liquid-cathode system, we sustained a steady catholyte pH (pH = 5.94 +/- 0.02) and a low pH imbalance (DeltapH = 0.65 +/- 0.18) over a 2-week period without external salt buffer addition. By migrating bicarbonate ions from the cathode to the anode (with an anion-exchange membrane), we increased the anolyte pH (DeltapH = 0.39 +/- 0.31), total alkalinity (494 +/- 6 to 582 +/- 6 as mg CaCO(3)/L), and conductivity (1.53 +/- 0.49 to 2.16 +/- 0.03 mS/cm) relative to the feed properties. We also verified with a phosphate-buffered MFC that our reaction rates were limited mainly by the reactor configuration rather than limitations due to the bicarbonate buffer.

  4. Correlative tomography at the cathode/electrolyte interfaces of solid oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wankmüller, Florian; Szász, Julian; Joos, Jochen; Wilde, Virginia; Störmer, Heike; Gerthsen, Dagmar; Ivers-Tiffée, Ellen

    2017-08-01

    This paper introduces a correlative tomography technique. It visualizes the spatial organization of primary and secondary phases at the interface of La0.58Sr0.4Co0.2Fe0.8O3-δ cathode/10 mol% Gadolinia doped Ceria/8 mol% Yttria stabilized Zirconia electrolyte. It uses focused ion beam/scanning electron microscope tomography (FIB/SEM), and combines data sets from Everhart-Thornley and Inlens detector differentiating four primary and two secondary material phases. In addition, grayscale information is correlated to elemental distribution gained by energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy in a scanning transmission electron microscope. Interdiffusion of GDC into YSZ and SrZrO3 as secondary phases depend (in both amount and spatial organization) on the varied co-sintering temperature of the GDC/YSZ electrolyte. The ion-blocking SrZrO3 forms a continuous layer on top of the temperature-dependent GDC/YSZ interdiffusion zone (ID) at and below a co-sintering temperature of 1200 °C; above it becomes intermittent. 2D FIB/SEM images of primary and secondary phases at 1100, 1200, 1300 and 1400 °C were combined with a 3D FIB/SEM reconstruction (1300 °C). This reveals that ;preferred; oxygen ion transport pathways from the LSCF cathode through GDC and the ID into the YSZ electrolyte only exist in samples sintered above 1200 °C. The applied correlative technique expands our understanding of this multiphase cathode/electrolyte interface region.

  5. Fabrication of lanthanum strontium cobalt ferrite (LSCF) cathodes for high performance solid oxide fuel cells using a low price commercial inkjet printer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Gwon Deok; Neoh, Ke Chean; Bae, Kiho; Choi, Hyung Jong; Park, Suk Won; Son, Ji-Won; Shim, Joon Hyung

    2016-02-01

    In this study, we investigate a method to fabricate high quality lanthanum strontium cobalt ferrite (LSCF) cathodes for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) using a commercial low price inkjet printer. The ink source is synthesized by dissolving the LSCF nanopowder in a water-based solvent with a proper amount of surfactants. Microstructures of the LSCF layer, including porosity and thickness per printing scan cycle, are adjusted by grayscale in the printing image. It is successfully demonstrated that anode-supported SOFCs with optimally printed LSCF cathodes can produce decent power output, i.e., a maximum peak power density of 377 mW cm-2 at 600 °C, in our experiment. We expect that this approach can support the quick and easy prototyping and evaluating of a variety of cathode materials in SOFC research.

  6. Ionomer equivalent weight structuring in the cathode catalyst layer of automotive fuel cells: Effect on performance, current density distribution and electrochemical impedance spectra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herden, Susanne; Hirschfeld, Julian A.; Lohri, Cyrill; Perchthaler, Markus; Haase, Stefan

    2017-10-01

    To improve the performance of proton exchange membrane fuel cells, membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) with segmented cathode electrodes have been manufactured. Electrodes with a higher and lower ionomer equivalent weight (EW) were used and analyzed using current density and temperature distribution, polarization curve, temperature sweep and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy measurements. These were performed using automotive metallic bipolar plates and operating conditions. Measurement data were used to manufacture an optimized segmented cathode electrode. We were able to show that our results are transferable from a small scale hardware to automotive application and that an ionomer EW segmentation of the cathode leads to performance improvement in a broad spectrum of operating conditions. Furthermore, we confirmed our results by using in-situ electrochemical impedance spectroscopy.

  7. 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.

  8. Enhancing the methanol tolerance of platinum nanoparticles for the cathode reaction of direct methanol fuel cells through a geometric design

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Yan; Ye, Feng; Liu, Hui; Yang, Jun

    2015-01-01

    Mastery over the structure of nanoparticles might be an effective way to enhance their performance for a given application. Herein we demonstrate the design of cage-bell nanostructures to enhance the methanol tolerance of platinum (Pt) nanoparticles while remaining their catalytic activity for oxygen reduction reaction. This strategy starts with the synthesis of core-shell-shell nanoparticles with Pt and silver (Ag) residing respectively in the core and inner shell regions, which are then agitated with saturated sodium chloride (NaCl) solution to eliminate the Ag component from the inner shell region, leading to the formation of bimetallic nanoparticles with a cage-bell structure, defined as a movable Pt core enclosed by a metal shell with nano-channels, which exhibit superior methanol-tolerant property in catalyzing oxygen reduction reaction due to the different diffusion behaviour of methanol and oxygen in the porous metal shell of cage-bell structured nanoparticles. In particular, the use of remarkably inexpensive chemical agent (NaCl) to promote the formation of cage-bell structured particles containing a wide spectrum of metal shells highlights its engineering merit to produce highly selective electrocatalysts on a large scale for the cathode reaction of direct methanol fuel cells. PMID:26578100

  9. A domain decomposition method for two-phase transport model in the cathode of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Pengtao; Xue, Guangri; Wang, Chao-yang; Xu, Jinchao

    2009-09-01

    Using Kirchhoff transformation, we develop a Dirichlet- Neumann alternating iterative domain decomposition method for a 2D steady-state two-phase model for the cathode of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) which contains a channel and a gas diffusion layer (GDL). This two-phase PEFC model is represented by a nonlinear coupled system which typically includes a modified Navier-Stokes equation with Darcy's drag as an additional source term of the momentum equation, and a convection-diffusion equation for the water concentration with discontinuous and degenerate diffusivity. For both cases of dry and wet gas channel, we employ Kirchhoff transformation and Dirichlet- Neumann alternating iteration with appropriate interfacial conditions on the GDL/channel interface to treat the jump nonlinearities in the water equation. Numerical experiments demonstrate that fast convergence as well as accurate numerical solutions are obtained simultaneously owing to the implementation of the above-described numerical techniques along with a combined finite element-upwind finite volume discretization to automatically control the dominant convection terms arising in the gas channel.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-15

    The heavy use of chemicals for agricultural, industrial and domestic purposes has increased the risk of freshwater contamination worldwide. Consequently, the demand for efficient new analytical tools for on-line and on-site water quality monitoring has become particularly urgent. In this study, a small-scale single chamber air-cathode microbial fuel cell (SCMFC), fabricated by rapid prototyping layer-by-layer 3D printing, was tested as a biosensor for continuous water quality monitoring. When acetate was fed as the rate-limiting substrate, the SCMFC acted as a sensor for chemical oxygen demand (COD) in water. The linear detection range was 3-164 ppm, with a sensitivity of 0.05 μA mM(-1) cm(-2) with respect to the anode total surface area. The response time was as fast as 2.8 min. At saturating acetate concentrations (COD>164 ppm), the miniature SCMFC could rapidly detect the presence of cadmium in water with high sensitivity (0.2 μg l(-1) cm(-2)) and a lower detection limit of only 1 μg l(-1). The biosensor dynamic range was 1-25 μg l(-1). Within this range of concentrations, cadmium affected only temporarily the electroactive biofilm at the anode. When the SCMFCs were again fed with fresh wastewater and no pollutant, the initial steady-state current was recovered within 12 min. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  11. Direct electricity recovery from Canna indica by an air-cathode microbial fuel cell inoculated with rumen microorganisms.

    PubMed

    Zang, Guo-Long; Sheng, Guo-Ping; Tong, Zhong-Hua; Liu, Xian-Wei; Teng, Shao-Xiang; Li, Wen-Wei; Yu, Han-Qing

    2010-04-01

    Aquatic plants are widely used for phytoremediation, and effective disposal methods should be pursued for their utilization and to avoid further environmental pollution problems. This study demonstrated that, using an air-cathode microbial fuel cell (MFC) inoculated with rumen microorganisms, electricity could be directly produced with a maximum power density of 0.405 W/m(3) from Canna indica (canna), a lignocellulosic aquatic plant rich in cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin, without pretreatment. The mechanisms of the Canna indica degradation in the MFC were elucidated through analyzing the changes of canna structure and intermediates, that is, soluble sugars and volatile fatty acids (VFAs), in the electricity generation process. The results showed that lignin was partially removed and more cellulose became exposed on the sample surface during the electricity generation in the MFC. The electron transfer in this MFC was mainly completed through electron shuttling via self-produced mediators. This work presents an attempt to understand how complex substrates like aquatic plants are decomposed in an MFC during electricity generation. It might, hopefully, provide a promising way to utilize lignocellulosic biomass for energy generation.

  12. Enhancing the methanol tolerance of platinum nanoparticles for the cathode reaction of direct methanol fuel cells through a geometric design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Yan; Ye, Feng; Liu, Hui; Yang, Jun

    2015-11-01

    Mastery over the structure of nanoparticles might be an effective way to enhance their performance for a given application. Herein we demonstrate the design of cage-bell nanostructures to enhance the methanol tolerance of platinum (Pt) nanoparticles while remaining their catalytic activity for oxygen reduction reaction. This strategy starts with the synthesis of core-shell-shell nanoparticles with Pt and silver (Ag) residing respectively in the core and inner shell regions, which are then agitated with saturated sodium chloride (NaCl) solution to eliminate the Ag component from the inner shell region, leading to the formation of bimetallic nanoparticles with a cage-bell structure, defined as a movable Pt core enclosed by a metal shell with nano-channels, which exhibit superior methanol-tolerant property in catalyzing oxygen reduction reaction due to the different diffusion behaviour of methanol and oxygen in the porous metal shell of cage-bell structured nanoparticles. In particular, the use of remarkably inexpensive chemical agent (NaCl) to promote the formation of cage-bell structured particles containing a wide spectrum of metal shells highlights its engineering merit to produce highly selective electrocatalysts on a large scale for the cathode reaction of direct methanol fuel cells.

  13. Proton-conducting Micro-solid Oxide Fuel Cells with Improved Cathode Reactions by a Nanoscale Thin Film Gadolinium-doped Ceria Interlayer

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yong; Wang, Shijie; Su, Pei-Chen

    2016-01-01

    An 8 nm-thick gadolinium-doped ceria (GDC) layer was inserted as a cathodic interlayer between the nanoscale proton-conducting yttrium-doped barium zirconate (BZY) electrolyte and the porous platinum cathode of a micro-solid oxide fuel cell (μ-SOFC), which has effectively improved the cathode reaction kinetics and rendered high cell power density. The addition of the GDC interlayer significantly reduced the cathodic activation loss and increased the peak power density of the μ-SOFC by 33% at 400 °C. The peak power density reached 445 mW/cm2 at 425 °C, which is the highest among the reported μ-SOFCs using proton-conducting electrolytes. The impressive performance was attributed to the mixed protonic and oxygen ionic conducting properties of the nano-granular GDC, and also to the high densities of grain boundaries and lattice defects in GDC interlayer that favored the oxygen incorporation and transportation during the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and the water evolution reaction at cathode. PMID:26928192

  14. Proton-conducting Micro-solid Oxide Fuel Cells with Improved Cathode Reactions by a Nanoscale Thin Film Gadolinium-doped Ceria Interlayer.

    PubMed

    Li, Yong; Wang, Shijie; Su, Pei-Chen

    2016-02-29

    An 8 nm-thick gadolinium-doped ceria (GDC) layer was inserted as a cathodic interlayer between the nanoscale proton-conducting yttrium-doped barium zirconate (BZY) electrolyte and the porous platinum cathode of a micro-solid oxide fuel cell (μ-SOFC), which has effectively improved the cathode reaction kinetics and rendered high cell power density. The addition of the GDC interlayer significantly reduced the cathodic activation loss and increased the peak power density of the μ-SOFC by 33% at 400 °C. The peak power density reached 445 mW/cm(2) at 425 °C, which is the highest among the reported μ-SOFCs using proton-conducting electrolytes. The impressive performance was attributed to the mixed protonic and oxygen ionic conducting properties of the nano-granular GDC, and also to the high densities of grain boundaries and lattice defects in GDC interlayer that favored the oxygen incorporation and transportation during the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and the water evolution reaction at cathode.

  15. Proton-conducting Micro-solid Oxide Fuel Cells with Improved Cathode Reactions by a Nanoscale Thin Film Gadolinium-doped Ceria Interlayer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yong; Wang, Shijie; Su, Pei-Chen

    2016-02-01

    An 8 nm-thick gadolinium-doped ceria (GDC) layer was inserted as a cathodic interlayer between the nanoscale proton-conducting yttrium-doped barium zirconate (BZY) electrolyte and the porous platinum cathode of a micro-solid oxide fuel cell (μ-SOFC), which has effectively improved the cathode reaction kinetics and rendered high cell power density. The addition of the GDC interlayer significantly reduced the cathodic activation loss and increased the peak power density of the μ-SOFC by 33% at 400 °C. The peak power density reached 445 mW/cm2 at 425 °C, which is the highest among the reported μ-SOFCs using proton-conducting electrolytes. The impressive performance was attributed to the mixed protonic and oxygen ionic conducting properties of the nano-granular GDC, and also to the high densities of grain boundaries and lattice defects in GDC interlayer that favored the oxygen incorporation and transportation during the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and the water evolution reaction at cathode.

  16. Rejuvenation of automotive fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Yu Seung; Langlois, David A.

    2016-08-23

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

  17. Study of the aromatic hydrocarbons poisoning of platinum cathodes on proton exchange membrane fuel cell spatial performance using a segmented cell system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reshetenko, Tatyana V.; St-Pierre, Jean

    2016-11-01

    Aromatic hydrocarbons are produced and used in many industrial processes, which makes them hazardous air pollutants. Currently, air is the most convenient oxidant for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), and air quality is an important consideration because airborne contaminants can negatively affect fuel cell performance. The effects of exposing the cathode of PEMFCs to benzene and naphthalene were investigated using a segmented cell system. The introduction of 2 ppm C6H6 resulted in moderate performance loss of 40-45 mV at 0.2 A cm-2 and 100-110 mV at 1.0 A cm-2 due to benzene adsorption on Pt and its subsequent electrooxidation to CO2 under operating conditions and cell voltages of 0.5-0.8 V. In contrast, PEMFC poisoning by ∼2 ppm of naphthalene led to a decrease in cell performance from 0.66 to 0.13 V at 1.0 A cm-2, which was caused by the strong adsorption of C10H8 onto Pt at cell voltages of 0.2-1.0 V. Naphthalene desorption and hydrogenation only occurred at potentials below 0.2 V. The PEMFCs' performance loss due to each contaminant was recoverable, and the obtained results demonstrated that the fuel cells' exposure to benzene and naphthalene should be limited to concentrations less than 2 ppm.

  18. A Study Of Electrochemical Performance And Degradation Of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Cathodes Based On Three Dimensional Tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yakal-Kremski, Kyle

    Several different solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) cathodes, produced using varied processing conditions and subsequently subjected to different thermal ageing and current loading conditions, were assessed. The resultant electrode performance was evaluated by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and the results interpreted through extensive use of focused ion beam---scanning electron microscope (FIB-SEM) 3D tomography. Two, three, and four phase segmentation of tomographic data sets was achieved by use of several segmentation techniques, including thresholding, EM/MPM, and a method developed for this work, called self-similar region isolation segmentation. (La0.8Sr0.2)0.98MnO3-delta-(Y 2O3)0.08(ZrO2)0.92 (LSM-YSZ) symmetrical cells were manufactured and subjected to various firing temperatures, intermediate temperature anneals, and run in a novel mode of switching current to simulate operation in a reversible solid oxide cell. FIB-SEM was used to determine the reason(s) behind the observed minimum in RP at a firing temperature of 1175°C. Annealing of LSM-YSZ cells was used to simulate long times at operating temperature, with FIB-SEM used as a tool to observe changes that occur at high temperature, as compared to temperatures closer to those used in normal fuel cell operation. FIB-SEM data sets were used to map locations of metallic Ag impurity deposits in LSM-YSZ cells with time at current. La0.6Sr0.4Co0.8Fe0.2O 3-lambda (LSCF) electrodes in symmetrical cells were life tested at SOFC operating temperature both with and without constant current. While the LSCF electrodes annealed without current showed a substantial increase in polarization resistance with time, those tested with current were essentially stable. FIB-SEM 3D image analysis before and after the life tests showed that there were no significant microstructural changes. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis was carried out to observe if changes in LSCF surface composition, such as Sr segregation

  19. A robust fuel cell cathode catalyst assembled with nitrogen-doped carbon nanohorn and platinum nanoclusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Linwei; Zheng, Ning; Gao, Ang; Zhu, Chunmei; Wang, Zhiyong; Wang, Yuan; Shi, Zujin; Liu, Yan

    2012-12-01

    A highly durable and active nanocomposite cathode catalyst (Pt/NSWCNH) is assembled with “unprotected” Pt nanoclusters and nitrogen-doped single-wall carbon nanohorns (NSWCNH) as building blocks by a convenient process. The specific catalytic activity and mass catalytic activity for the oxygen reduction reaction over Pt/NSWCNH is 1.60 and 1.75 times as high as those over a commercial Pt/C catalyst, respectively. There is no obvious loss in the catalytic activity of Pt/NSWCNH after potential cycling from 0.6 to 1.1 V versus RHE for 15,000 cycles at 30 °C, under the oxidizing conditions for the electrochemically catalytic reduction of O2. TEM characterization results reveal that, during the accelerated aging tests, Pt nanoparticles in Pt/NSWCNH are more stable than that in Pt/C-JM, showing a low increase in the particle size.

  20. Effects of azide on electron transport of exoelectrogens in air-cathode microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xiangtong; Qu, Youpeng; Kim, Byung Hong; Choo, Pamela Yengfung; Liu, Jia; Du, Yue; He, Weihua; Chang, In Seop; Ren, Nanqi; Feng, Yujie

    2014-10-01

    The effects of azide on electron transport of exoelectrogens were investigated using air-cathode MFCs. These MFCs enriched with azide at the concentration higher than 0.5mM generated lower current and coulomb efficiency (CE) than the control reactors, but at the concentration lower than 0.2mM MFCs generated higher current and CE. Power density curves showed overshoot at higher azide concentrations, with power and current density decreasing simultaneously. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) showed that azide at high concentration increased the charge transfer resistance. These analyses might reflect that a part of electrons were consumed by the anode microbial population rather than transferred to the anode. Bacterial population analyses showed azide-enriched anodes were dominated by Deltaproteobacteria compared with the controls. Based on these results it is hypothesized that azide can eliminate the growth of aerobic respiratory bacteria, and at the same time is used as an electron acceptor/sink.

  1. Solid oxide fuel cell cathode infiltrate particle size control and oxygen surface exchange resistance determination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burye, Theodore E.

    Over the past decade, nano-sized Mixed Ionic Electronic Conducting (MIEC) -- micro-sized Ionic Conducting (IC) composite cathodes produced by the infiltration method have received much attention in the literature due to their low polarization resistance (RP) at intermediate (500-700°C) operating temperatures. Small infiltrated MIEC oxide nano-particle size and low intrinsic MIEC oxygen surface exchange resistance (Rs) have been two critical factors allowing these Nano-Micro-Composite Cathodes (NMCCs) to achieve high performance and/or low temperature operation. Unfortunately, previous studies have not found a reliable method to control or reduce infiltrated nano-particle size. In addition, controversy exists on the best MIEC infiltrate composition because: 1) Rs measurements on infiltrated MIEC particles are presently unavailable in the literature, and 2) bulk and thin film Rs measurements on nominally identical MIEC compositions often vary by up to 3 orders of magnitude. Here, two processing techniques, precursor nitrate solution desiccation and ceria oxide pre-infiltration, were developed to systematically produce a reduction in the average La0.6Sr0.4Co0.8Fe 0.2O3-delta (LSCF) infiltrated nano-particle size from 50 nm to 22 nm. This particle size reduction reduced the SOFC operating temperature, (defined as the temperature where RP=0.1 Ocm 2) from 650°C to 540°C. In addition, Rs values for infiltrated MIEC particles were determined for the first time through finite element modeling calculations on 3D Focused Ion Beam-Scanning Electron Microscope (FIB-SEM) reconstructions of electrochemically characterized infiltrated electrodes.

  2. Microbial fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-04-09

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

  3. A comparison of glucose oxidase and aldose dehydrogenase as mediated anodes in printed glucose/oxygen enzymatic fuel cells using ABTS/laccase cathodes.

    PubMed

    Jenkins, Peter; Tuurala, Saara; Vaari, Anu; Valkiainen, Matti; Smolander, Maria; Leech, Dónal

    2012-10-01

    Current generation by mediated enzyme electron transfer at electrode surfaces can be harnessed to provide biosensors and redox reactions in enzymatic fuel cells. A glucose/oxygen enzymatic fuel cell can provide power for portable and implantable electronic devices. High volume production of enzymatic fuel cell prototypes will likely require printing of electrode and catalytic materials. Here we report on preparation and performance of, completely enzymatic, printed glucose/oxygen biofuel cells. The cells are based on filter paper coated with conducting carbon inks, enzyme and mediator. A comparison of cell performance using a range of mediators for either glucose oxidase (GOx) or aldose dehydrogenase (ALDH) oxidation of glucose at the anode and ABTS and a fungal laccase, for reduction of oxygen at the cathode, is reported. Highest power output, although of limited stability, is observed for ALDH anodes mediated by an osmium complex, providing a maximum power density of 3.5 μW cm(-2) at 0.34 V, when coupled to a laccase/ABTS cathode. The stability of cell voltage in a biobattery format, above a threshold of 200 mV under a moderate 75 kΩ load, is used to benchmark printed fuel cell performance. Highest stability is obtained for printed fuel cells using ALDH, providing cell voltages over the threshold for up to 74 h, compared to only 2 h for cells with anodes using GOx. These results provide promising directions for further development of mass-producible, completely enzymatic, printed biofuel cells. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Effect of the cathode open ratios on the water management of a passive vapor-feed direct methanol fuel cell fed with neat methanol

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Xianglin; Faghri, Amir

    2011-08-01

    A novel approach has been proposed to improve the water management of a passive direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) fed with neat methanol without increasing its volume or weight. By adopting perforated covers with different open ratios at the cathode, the water management has been significantly improved in a DMFC fed with neat methanol. An optimized cathode open ratio could ensure both the sufficient supply of oxygen and low water loss. While changing the open ratio of anode vaporizer can adjust the methanol crossover rate in a DMFC. Furthermore, the gas mixing layer, added between the anode vaporizer and the anode current collector to increase the mass transfer resistance, can improve the cell performance, decrease the methanol crossover, and increase the fuel efficiency. For the case of a DMFC fed with neat methanol, an anode vaporizer with the open ratio of 12% and a cathode open ratio of 20% produced the highest peak power density, 22.7 mW cm-2, and high fuel efficiency, 70.1%, at room temperature of 25 ± 1 °C and ambient humidity of 25-50%.

  5. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Phase transition of a cobalt-free perovskite as a high-performance cathode for intermediate-temperature solid oxide fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Shanshan; Zhou, Wei; Niu, Yingjie; Zhu, Zhonghua; Shao, Zongping

    2012-10-01

    It is generally recognized that the phase transition of a perovskite may be detrimental to the connection between cathode and electrolyte. Moreover, certain phase transitions may induce the formation of poor electronic and ionic conducting phase(s), thereby lowering the electrochemical performance of the cathode. Here, we present a study on the phase transition of a cobalt-free perovskite (SrNb(0.1)Fe(0.9)O(3-δ), SNF) and evaluate its effect on the electrochemical performance of the fuel cell. SNF exists as a primitive perovskite structure with space group P4mm (99) at room temperature. As evidenced by in situ high-temperature X-ray diffraction measurements over the temperature range of 600 to 1000 °C, SNF undergoes a transformation to a tetragonal structure with a space group I4/m (87). This phase transition is accompanied by a moderate change in the volume, allowing a good cathode/electrolyte interface on thermal cycling. According to the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy evaluation, the I4/m phase exhibits positive effects on the cathode's performance, showing the highest oxygen reduction reaction activity of cobalt-free cathodes reported so far. This activity improvement is attributed to enhanced oxygen surface processes.

  7. Decolourisation of Acid orange 7 in a microbial fuel cell with a laccase-based biocathode: Influence of mitigating pH changes in the cathode chamber.

    PubMed

    Mani, Priyadharshini; Keshavarz, Taj; Chandra, T S; Kyazze, Godfrey

    2017-01-01

    Biocathodes may be a suitable replacement of platinum in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) if the cost of MFCs is to be reduced. However, the use of enzymes as bio-cathodes is fraught with loss of activity as time progresses. A possible cause of this loss in activity might be pH increase in the cathode as pH gradients in MFCs are well known. This pH increase is however, accompanied by simultaneous increase in salinity; therefore salinity may be a confounding variable. This study investigated various ways of mitigating pH changes in the cathode of MFCs and their effect on laccase activity and decolourisation of a model azo dye Acid orange 7 in the anode chamber. Experiments were run with catholyte pH automatically controlled via feedback control or by using acetate buffers (pH 4.5) of various strength (100mM and 200mM), with CMI7000 as the cation exchange membrane. A comparison was also made between use of CMI7000 and Nafion 117 as the transport properties of cations for both membranes (hence their potential effects on pH changes in the cathode) are different. Results show that using Nafion 117 membrane limits salinity and pH changes in the cathode (100mM acetate buffer as catholyte) leading to prolonged laccase activity and faster AO7 decolourisation compared to using CMI7000 as a membrane; similarly automatic pH control in the cathode chamber was found to be better than using 200mM acetate buffer. It is suggested that while pH control in the cathode chamber is important, it does not guarantee sustained laccase activity; as salinity increases affect the activity and it could be mitigated using a cation selective membrane. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Bipolar fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    McElroy, James F.

    1989-01-01

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

  9. Theoretical Design and Experimental Evaluation of Molten Carbonate Modified LSM Cathode for Low Temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-01-07

    Min Lee, Kevin Huang. Mixed Oxide-Ion and Carbonate-Ion Conductors (MOCCs) as Electrolyte Materials for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells, 218th ECS Meeting... Solid Oxide Fuel Cells The views, opinions and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not contrued as an official...ES) U.S. Army Research Office P.O. Box 12211 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2211 Solid Oxide Fuel Cell, Oxygen Reduction, Molten Carbonate

  10. Hard X-ray Fluorescence Measurements of Heteroepitaxial Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Cathode Materials

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, Jacob N.; Miara, Lincoln J.; Saraf, Laxmikant V.; Kaspar, Tiffany C.; Gopalan, Srikanth; Pal, Uday B.; Woicik, Joseph C.; Basu, Soumendra N.; Ludwig, Karl F.

    2012-12-01

    Commonly, SOFCs are operated at high temperatures (above 800°C). At these temperatures expensive housing is needed to contain an operating stack as well as coatings to contain the oxidation of the metallic interconnects. Lowering the temperature of an operating device would allow for more conventional materials to be used, thus lowering overall cost. Understanding the surface chemical states of cations in the surface of the SOFC cathode is vital to designing a system that will perform well at lower temperatures. The samples studied were grown by pulsed laser deposition (PLD) at the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). 20% strontium doped lanthanum manganite (LSM-20) was grown on YSZ and NGO (neodymium gallate). The films on YSZ have a fiber texture. LSM-20 on NGO is heteroepitaxial. Lanthanum strontium cobalt ferrite (LSCF-6428) films were grown on LAO and YSZ with a GDC barrier layer. Total X-ray Reflection Fluorescence (TXRF) was used to depth profile the samples. In a typical experiment, the angle of the incident beam is varied though the critical angle. Below the critical angle, the x-ray decays as an evanescent wave and will only penetrate the top few nanometers. TXRF experiments done on LSM films have suggested strontium segregates to the surface and form strontium enriched nanoparticles (1). It should be pointed out that past studies have focused on 30% strontium A-site doping, but this project uses 20% strontium doped lanthanum manganite. XANES and EXAFS data were taken as a function of incoming angle to probe composition as a function of depth. XANES spectra can be difficult to analyze fully. For other materials density functional theory calculations compared to near edge measurements have been a good way to understand the 3d valence electrons (2).

  11. Effects of cathode materials on the characteristics of electrolyte supported micro-tubular solid oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsieh, Wen-Shuo; Lin, Pang; Wang, Sea-Fue

    2014-05-01

    The effects of the GDC-LSCF (Ce0.8Gd0.2O0-δ-La0.6Sr0.4Co0.2Fe0.8O3-δ) cathode layer and the GDC interlayer on the electrochemical performance of the ScSZ (Zr0.8Sc0.2O2-δ) electrolyte supported (≈270 μm) micro-tubular SOFC cells are investigated in this study. Material formulation and sintering profile for fabricating the micro-tubular SOFC cells are developed to avoid physical defects caused by the large sintering shrinkage mismatch among the layers. Cell B (with the LSCF-GDC composite cathode layer and the GDC interlayer) reports an ohmic resistance slightly higher than that of Cell A (with the GDC-La0.8Sr0.2MnO3-δ, i.e. LSM, composite cathode), while its polarization resistance emerges to be significantly smaller than that of Cell A. In terms of cell performance, Cell B demonstrates an OCV value (>1.07 V) similar to that of Cell A and a maximum power density (0.26 W cm-2) 44.4% greater than that of Cell A (0.17 W cm-2) at 850 °C. It can thus be concluded that using the LSCF-GDC composite-cathode layer and inserting the GDC interlayer help reduce the total cell impedance, thereby improving the power density of the tubular cells.

  12. Use of the Simple Infiltrated Microstructure Polarization Loss Estimation (SIMPLE) model to describe the performance of nano-composite solid oxide fuel cell cathodes.

    PubMed

    Nicholas, Jason D; Wang, Lin; Call, Ann V; Barnett, Scott A

    2012-11-28

    Nano-composite Sm(0.5)Sr(0.5)CoO(3-δ) (SSC)-Ce(0.9)Gd(0.1)O(1.95) (GDC) and La(0.6)Sr(0.4)Co(0.8)Fe(0.2)O(3-δ) (LSCF)-GDC Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) cathodes with various infiltrate loading levels were prepared through multiple nitrate solution infiltrations into porous GDC ionic conducting (IC) scaffolds. Microstructural analyses indicated that the average SSC and average LSCF hemispherical particle radii remained roughly constant, at 25 nm, across multiple infiltration-gelation-firing sequences. Comparisons between symmetric cell polarization resistance measurements and Simple Infiltrated Microstructure Polarization Loss Estimation (SIMPLE) model predictions showed that the SIMPLE model was able to predict the performance of heavily infiltrated SSC-GDC and LSCF-GDC cathodes with accuracies better than 55% and 70%, respectively (without the use of fitting parameters). Poor electronic conduction between mixed ionic electronic conducting (MIEC) infiltrate particles was found in lightly infiltrated cathodes. Since these electronic conduction losses were not accounted for by the SIMPLE model, larger discrepancies between the SIMPLE-model-predicted and measured polarization resistances were observed for lightly infiltrated cathodes. This work demonstrates that the SIMPLE model can be used to quickly determine the lowest possible polarization resistance of a variety of infiltrated MIEC on IC nano-composite cathodes (NCC's) when the NCC microstructure and an experimentally-applicable set of intrinsic MIEC oxygen surface resistances and IC bulk oxygen conductivities are known. Currently, this model is the only one capable of predicting the polarization resistance of heavily infiltrated MIEC on IC NCC's as a function of temperature, cathode thickness, nano-particle size, porosity, and composition.

  13. Investigation of Sm 0.5Sr 0.5CoO 3- δ/Co 3O 4 composite cathode for intermediate-temperature solid oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Haizhou; Liu, Huanying; Cong, You; Yang, Weishen

    The electrochemical properties of an Sm 0.5Sr 0.5CoO 3- δ/Co 3O 4 (SSC/Co 3O 4) composite cathode were investigated as a function of the cathode-firing temperature, SSC/Co 3O 4 composition, oxygen partial pressure and CO 2 treatment. The results showed that the composite cathodes had an optimal microstructure at a firing temperature of about 1100 °C, while the optimum Co 3O 4 content in the composite cathode was about 40 wt.%. A single cell with this optimized C 40-1100 cathode exhibited a very low polarization resistance of 0.058 Ω cm 2, and yielded a maximum power density of 1092 mW cm -2 with humidified hydrogen fuel and air oxidant at 600 °C. The maximum power density reached 1452 mW cm -2 when pure oxygen was used as the oxidant for a cell with a C 30-1100 cathode operating at 600 °C due to the enhanced open-circuit voltage and accelerated oxygen surface-exchange rate. X-ray diffraction and thermogravimetric analyses, as well as the electrochemical properties of a CO 2-treated cathode, also implied promising applications of such highly efficient SSC/Co 3O 4 composite cathodes in single-chamber fuel cells with direct hydrocarbon fuels operating at temperatures below 500 °C.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reshetenko, Tatyana V.; St-Pierre, Jean

    2015-08-01

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

  15. REACTIVE FORCE FIELDS FOR Y-DOPED BaZrO3 ELECTROLYTE AND NI-ANODE. POTENTIAL CATHODE MATERIALS FOR APPLICATION IN PROTON CERAMIC FUEL CELLS

    SciTech Connect

    Boris Merinov; Adri van Duin; Sossina Haile; William A. Goddard III

    2004-10-30

    Based on quantum mechanical data obtained for the Y-doped BaZrO{sub 3} electrolyte and Ni-anode Reactive Force Field parameters have been developed for further molecular dynamics simulations of the proton diffusion and electrode/electrolyte interfaces. Electronic and atomic structures of different terminations of the (001) BaZrO{sub 3} surface have been studied using first-principles calculations. Several potential cathode materials for the Y-doped BaZrO{sub 3} system were synthesized via glycine nitrate combustion method. Of the five potential cathode materials examined BaZr{sub 0.40}Pr{sub 0.40}Gd{sub 0.20}O{sub 3} and BaZr{sub 0.60}Y{sub 0.20}Co{sub 0.20}O{sub 3} appear to be the most promising for further applications in proton ceramic fuel cells. Fuel cell test of a Y-doped BaZrO{sub 3} thin film using platinum ink for both electrodes have been performed. The obtained results shows that a robust method for fabricating crack-free thin membranes, as well as methods for sealing anode and cathode chambers, have successfully been developed.

  16. Fuel cell gas management system

    DOEpatents

    DuBose, Ronald Arthur

    2000-01-11

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

  17. Corrosion free phosphoric acid fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Wright, Maynard K.

    1990-01-01

    A phosphoric acid fuel cell with an electrolyte fuel system which supplies electrolyte via a wick disposed adjacent a cathode to an absorbent matrix which transports the electrolyte to portions of the cathode and an anode which overlaps the cathode on all sides to prevent corrosion within the cell.

  18. 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

    2014-11-06

    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.

  19. Bio-cathode materials evaluation and configuration optimization for power output of vertical subsurface flow constructed wetland - microbial fuel cell systems.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shentan; Song, Hailiang; Wei, Size; Yang, Fei; Li, Xianning

    2014-08-01

    To optimize the performance of a vertical subsurface flow constructed wetland-microbial fuel cell (CW-MFC), studies of bio-cathode materials and reactor configurations were carried out. Three commonly used bio-cathode materials including stainless steel mesh (SSM), carbon cloth (CC) and granular activated carbon (GAC) were compared and evaluated. GAC-SSM bio-cathode achieved the highest maximum power density of 55.05 mWm(-2), and it was most suitable for CW-MFCs application because of its large surface area and helpful capillary water absorption. Two types of CW-MFCs with roots were constructed, one was placed in the anode and the other was placed in the cathode. Both planted CW-MFCs obtained higher power output than non-planted CW-MFC. Periodic voltage fluctuations of planted CW-MFCs were caused by light/dark cycles, and the influent substrate concentration significantly affected the amplitude of oscillation. The coulombic efficiencies of CW-MFCs decreased greatly with the increase of the influent substrate concentration. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Overcoming phase instability of RBaCo2O5+ (R = Y and Ho) by Sr substitution for application as cathodes in solid oxide fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Jung-Hyun; Young Nam, Kim; Bi, Zhonghe; Manthiram, Arumugam; Paranthaman, Mariappan Parans; Huq, Ashfia

    2013-01-01

    Phase instabilities of the RBaCo2O5+ (R = Y and Ho) layered-perovskites and their decompositions into RCoO3 and BaCoO3-z at 800 oC in air were investigated. This will restrict their high temperature applications such as cathodes in solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC). However, appropriate amount of Sr substitution ( 60 % for R = Y and 70 % for R = Ho) for Ba successfully stabilized the R(Ba1-xSrx)Co2O5+ phase at elevated temperatures. This can be explained by decreasing oxygen vacancies at R-O layer, decreasing R-O bonding length, and consequent improvement of structural integrity. In addition, the Sr substitution (x = 0.6 - 1.0) for Ba provided added benefit with respect to the chemical stability against Ce0.8Gd0.2O1.9 (GDC) electrolyte, which is a critical requirement for the cathodes in SOFC. Among the various compositions investigated, the Y(Ba0.3Sr0.7)Co2O5+ + GDC composite cathode delivered the optimum electrochemical performances with a stable phase demonstrating the potential as a cathode in SOFC.

  1. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. 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.

  3. The performance of spinel bulk-like oxygen-deficient CoGa2O4 as an air-cathode catalyst in microbial fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Di; Mo, Xiaoping; Li, Kexun; Liu, Yi; Wang, Junjie; Yang, Tingting

    2017-08-01

    Nano spinel bulk-like CoGa2O4 prepared via a facile hydrothermal method is used as a high efficient electrochemical catalyst in activated carbon (AC) air-cathode microbial fuel cell (MFC). The maximum power density of the modified MFC is 1911 ± 49 mW m-2, 147% higher than the MFC of untreated AC cathode. Transmission electron microscope (TEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) exhibit the morphology and crystal structure of CoGa2O4. Rotating disk electrode (RDE) confirms the four-electron pathway at the cathode during the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) illustrate that the high rate oxygen vacancy exist in the CoGa2O4. The oxygen vacancy of CoGa2O4 plays an important role in catalytic activity. In a word, the prepared nano spinel bulk-like CoGa2O4 provides an alternative to the costly Pt in air-cathode for power output.

  4. Optimisation of the Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) cathode material Ca 3Co 4O 9- δ

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rolle, Aurélie; Boulfrad, Samir; Nagasawa, Kensaku; Nakatsugawa, Hiroshi; Mentré, Olivier; Irvine, John; Daviero-Minaud, Sylvie

    This paper focuses on the electrochemical potentialities of the 2D misfit compound Ca 3Co 4O 9- δ, so far mainly investigated for its thermoelectric properties. Its expansion coefficient (TEC = (9-10) × 10 -6 °C -1) and its chemical stability are compatible with standard CGO IT-electrolyte and the first optimisation steps of the deposited cathode have been performed with the aim to minimise the ASR and increase the cell durability. Particular attention has been paid on the effect of thickness and microstructure for pure and composite cathodes. The electrode reaction was performed on symmetrical cells. The preliminary results presented here show that the composite (70 wt.% Ca 3Co 4O 9- δ-30 wt.% CGO) gives the lowest ASR values compare to single-phased electrodes. Strikingly, the ASR values increase for thinner deposited layers. The effect of various current collectors (gold grid vs. platinum paste) has been also checked.

  5. 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.

  6. An efficient electrocatalyst as cathode material for solid oxide fuel cells: BaFe0·95Sn0·05O3-δ

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong, Feifei; Ni, Meng; He, Wei; Chen, Yubo; Yang, Guangming; Chen, Dengjie; Shao, Zongping

    2016-09-01

    The B-site substitution with the minor amount of tin in BaFeO3-δ parent oxide is expected to stabilize a single perovskite lattice structure. In this study, a composition of BaFe0·95Sn0·05O3-δ (BFS) as a new cathode material for intermediate-temperature solid oxide fuel cells (IT-SOFCs) is synthesized and characterized. Special attention is paid to the exploration of some basic properties including phase structure, oxygen non-stoichiometry, electrical conductivity, oxygen bulk diffusion coefficient, and surface exchange coefficient, which are of significant importance to the electrochemical activity of cathode materials. BFS holds a single cubic perovskite structure over temperature range of cell operation, determined by in-situ X-ray diffraction and scanning transmission electron microscope. A high oxygen vacancy concentration at cell operating temperatures is observed by combining thermo-gravimetric data and iodometric titration result. Furthermore, electrical conductivity relaxation measurement illustrates the fast oxygen bulk diffusion and surface exchange kinetics. Accordingly, testing cells based on BFS cathode material demonstrate the low polarization resistance of 0.033 Ω cm2 and high peak power density of 1033 mW cm-2 at 700 °C, as well as a relatively stable long-term operation for ∼300 h. The results obtained suggest that BFS perovskite oxide holds a great promise as an oxygen reduction electrocatalyst for IT-SOFCs.

  7. Bromomethane Contamination in the Cathode of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    PubMed Central

    Baturina, Olga; Ramaker, David E.; Farquhar, Erik; St-Pierre, Jean; Swider-Lyons, Karen E.

    2016-01-01

    The effects of bromomethane (BrCH3), an airborne contaminant, on the performance of a single PEMFC are compared with that of another halocarbon, chlorobenzene. Under a constant current of 1 A cm−2 and at 45 °C, 20 ppm bromomethane causes approximately 30% cell voltage loss in approximately 30 h, as opposed to much more rapid performance degradation observed with chlorobenzene. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, cyclic voltammetry, linear scanning voltammetry, and polarization measurements are applied to characterize the temporary electrochemical reaction effect and permanent performance effects. X-ray absorption spectroscopy is used to confirm that Br is adsorbed on the Pt electrocatalyst surface. We conclude that airborne bromomethane poisons a PEMFC in a different way from chlorobenzene because it is largely hydrolyzed to bromide, Br−, which is then excluded from the Pt catalyst by the negatively charged Nafion ionomer. The little Br− and bromomethane that adsorbs on the Pt surface can be partially removed by cycling but causes some irreversible surface area loss. PMID:27695133

  8. Bromomethane Contamination in the Cathode of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-20

    The effects of bromomethane (BrCH3), an airborne contaminant, on the performance of a single PEMFC are compared with that of another halocarbon, chlorobenzene. Under a constant current of 1 A cm(-2) and at 45 °C, 20 ppm bromomethane causes approximately 30% cell voltage loss in approximately 30 h, as opposed to much more rapid performance degradation observed with chlorobenzene. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, cyclic voltammetry, linear scanning voltammetry, and polarization measurements are applied to characterize the temporary electrochemical reaction effect and permanent performance effects. X-ray absorption spectroscopy is used to confirm that Br is adsorbed on the Pt electrocatalyst surface. We conclude that airborne bromomethane poisons a PEMFC in a different way from chlorobenzene because it is largely hydrolyzed to bromide, Br(-), which is then excluded from the Pt catalyst by the negatively charged Nafion ionomer. The little Br(-) and bromomethane that adsorbs on the Pt surface can be partially removed by cycling but causes some irreversible surface area loss.

  9. 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.

  10. Novel SrCo 1- yNb yO 3- δ cathodes for intermediate-temperature solid oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Fang; Zhou, Qingjun; He, Tianmin; Li, Guodong; Ding, Hong

    Perovskite oxides SrCo 1- yNb yO 3- δ (SCN y, y = 0.00-0.20) are investigated as potential cathode materials for intermediate-temperature solid oxide fuel cells (IT-SOFCs) on La 0.9Sr 0.1Ga 0.8Mg 0.2O 3- δ (LSGM) electrolyte. Compared to the undoped SrCoO 3- δ, the Nb doping significantly improves the thermal stability and enhances the electrical conductivity of the SCN y oxides. The cubic phase of the SCN y oxides with high thermal stability can be totally obtained when the Nb doping content y ≥ 0.10. Among the investigated compositions, the SrCo 0.9Nb 0.1O 3- δ oxide exhibits the highest electrical conductivity of 461-145 S cm -1 over the temperature range of 300-800 °C in air. The SCN y cathode has a good chemical compatibility with the LSGM electrolyte for temperatures up to 1050 °C for 5 h. The area specific resistances of SCN y with y = 0.10, 0.15 and 0.20 cathodes on LSGM electrolyte are 0.083, 0.099 and 0.110 Ω cm 2 at 700 °C, respectively. At y = 0.10, 0.15 and 0.20, the maximum power densities of a single-cell with SCN y cathodes on 300-μm thick LSGM electrolyte achieve 675, 642 and 625 mW cm -2 at 800 °C, respectively. These results indicate that SCN y perovskite oxides with cubic phase are potential cathode materials for application in IT-SOFCs.

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

    DOEpatents

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

    2011-10-25

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

  12. 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; ...

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Chalcogen catalysts for polymer electrolyte fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Alonso-Vante, Nicolas [Buxerolles, FR; Zelenay, Piotr [Los Alamos, NM; Choi, Jong-Ho [Los Alamos, NM; Wieckowski, Andrzej [Champaign, IL; Cao, Dianxue [Urbana, IL

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. Alternative perovskite materials as a cathode component for intermediate temperature single-chamber solid oxide fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaudillère, Cyril; Olivier, Louis; Vernoux, Philippe; Zhang, Chunming; Shao, Zongping; Farrusseng, David

    This paper exploits the suitability of three perovskite materials Ba 0.5Sr 0.5Co 0.8Fe 0.2O 3- δ (BSCF), GdBaCo 2O 5+ δ (GBC) and Ba 0.5Sr 0.5Mn 0.7Fe 0.3O 3- δ (BSMF) as SOFC cathodes in the single-chamber configuration operating at the intermediate temperature range. TG analysis showed high thermal stability depending on the crystalline phases of the materials. The catalytic activity of these three materials for hydrocarbon conversion was investigated under a realistic feed, i.e. with hydrocarbon, oxygen, water and carbon dioxide. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy of the various cathodes tested in symmetric cell configuration revealed a B-site dependence of the electrode catalytic activity for oxygen reduction. High temperature (1000 °C) powder reactivity tests over a gadolinium doped-ceria (CGO) and perovskite cathode revealed excellent chemical compatibility of BSMF and CGO. Catalytic tests associated with thermal and structural characterization attest to the suitability of these materials in the single-chamber configuration.

  18. 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.

  19. Fuel cell system with interconnect

    DOEpatents

    Liu, Zhien; Goettler, Richard

    2015-09-29

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

  20. Effect of ‘A’-site non stoichiometry in strontium doped lanthanum ferrite based solid oxide fuel cell cathodes

    SciTech Connect

    Banerjee, Koyel; Mukhopadhyay, Jayanta Barman, Madhurima; Basu, Rajendra N.

    2015-12-15

    Highlights: • La{sub 1−x}Sr{sub x}Co{sub y}Fe{sub 1−y}O{sub 3−δ}, x = 0.4; y = 0.2 system varying La-site (0.6–0.54) are studied. • Combustion synthesis technique is used to prepare the powder samples. • Highest electrical conductivity observed with largest A-site deficit composition. • Lowest cathode polarization is found with the same composition (0.02 Ω cm{sup 2}). • Composition with largest A-site deficiency exhibits best performance (2.84 A cm{sup −2}). - Abstract: Effect of A-site non-stoichiometry in strontium doped lanthanum cobalt ferrite (La{sub 1−x}Sr{sub x}Co{sub y}Fe{sub 1−y}O{sub 3−δ}, x = 0.4; y = 0.2) is studied in a systematic manner with variation of ‘A’ site stoichiometry from 1 to 0.94. The perovskite based cathode compositions are synthesized by combustion synthesis. Powder characterizations reveal rhombohedral crystal structure with crystallite size ranging from 29 to 34 nm with minimum lattice spacing of 0.271 nm. Detailed sintering studies along with total DC electrical conductivities are evaluated in the bulk form with variation of sintering temperatures. The electrode polarizations are measured in the symmetric cell configuration by impedance spectroscopy which is found to be the lowest (0.02 Ω cm{sup 2} at 800 °C) for cathode having highest degree of ‘A’-site deficiency. The same cathode composition exhibits a current density of 2.84 A cm{sup −2} (at 0.7 V, 800 °C) in anode-supported single cell. An attempt has been made to correlate the trend of electrical behaviour with increasing ‘A’-site deficiency for such cathode compositions.

  1. A three-dimensional pore-scale model of the cathode electrode in polymer-electrolyte membrane fuel cell by lattice Boltzmann method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molaeimanesh, G. R.; Akbari, M. H.

    2014-07-01

    High power density, low operation temperature, high efficiency and low emissions have granted proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells the most promising future among all types of fuel cells. The porous electrodes of PEM fuel cells have a complicated, non-homogeneous, anisotropic microstructure. Therefore, pore-scale modeling techniques such as lattice Boltzmann method, which can capture non-homogeneous and anisotropic microstructures, have recently gained a great attention. In the present study, a three-dimensional lattice Boltzmann model of a PEM fuel cell cathode electrode is proposed in which electrochemical reaction on the catalyst layer and microstructure of GDL are taken into account. The model enables us to simulate single-phase, multi-species reactive flow in a heterogeneous, anisotropic gas diffusion layer through an active approach. To show the capability of the proposed model, reactive flow in three reconstructed GDLs with different anisotropic characteristics is simulated to investigate the effects of GDL microstructure on species and current density distributions. The results demonstrate that when carbon fibers are more likely oriented normal to the catalyst layer, species density distribution is thicker and more disturbed. Current density also experiences a larger variation on the catalyst layer in such a case.

  2. Compact fuel cell

    DOEpatents

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

    2010-10-19

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

  3. (Y0.5In0.5)Ba(Co,Zn)4O7 cathodes with superior high-temperature phase stability for solid oxide fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Young Nam, Kim; Kim, Jung-Hyun; Paranthaman, Mariappan Parans; Manthiram, Arumugam; Huq, Ashfia

    2012-01-01

    (Y0.5In0.5)BaCo4-xZnxO7 (1.0 x 2.0) oxides crystallizing in a trigonal P31c structure have been synthesized and explored as cathode materials for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC). At a given Zn content, the (Y0.5In0.5)BaCo4-xZnxO7 sample with 50 % Y and 50 % In exhibits much improved phase stability at intermediate temperatures (600 - 800 oC) compared to the samples with 100 % Y or In. However, the substitution of Zn for Co in (Y0.5In0.5)Ba(Co4-xZnx)O7 (1.0 x 2.0) decreases the amount of oxygen loss on heating, total electrical conductivity, and cathode performance in SOFC while providing good long-term phase stability at high temperatures. Among the various chemical compositions investigated in the (Y0.5In0.5)Ba(Co4-xZnx)O7 system, the (Y0.5In0.5)BaCo3ZnO7 sample offers a combination of good electrochemical performance and low thermal expansion coefficient (TEC) while maintaining superior phase stability at 600 800 oC for 100 h. Fuel cell performances of the (Y0.5In0.5)Ba(Co3Zn)O7 + Ce0.8Gd0.2O1.9 (GDC) (50 : 50 wt. %) composite cathodes collected with anode-supported single cell reveal a maximum power density value of 521 mW cm-2 at 700 oC.

  4. Hydrogen diffusion fuel cell

    SciTech Connect

    Struthers, R.C.

    1987-08-04

    This patent describes a fuel cell comprising; an elongate case; a thin, flat separator part of non-porous, di-electric, hydrogen-permeable material between the ends of and extending transverse the case and defining anode and cathode chambers; a thin, flat anode part of non-porous, electric conductive, hydrogen-permeable metallic material in the anode chamber in flat contacting engagement with and co-extensive with the separator part; a flat, porous, catalytic cathode part in the cathode chamber in contacting engagement with the separator part; hydrogen supply means supplying hydrogen to the anode part within the anode chamber; oxidant gas supply means supplying oxidant gas to the cathode part within the cathode chamber; and, an external electric circuit connected with and between the anode and cathode parts. The anode part absorbs and is permeated by hydrogen supplied to it and diffuses the hydrogen to hydrogen ions and free electrons; the free electrons in the anode part are conducted from the anode part into the electric circuit to perform useful work. The hydrogen ions in the anode part move from the anode part through the separator part and into the cathode part. Free electrons are conducted by the electric circuit into the cathode part. The hydrogen ions, oxidant gas and free electrons in the cathode part react and generate waste, heat and water.

  5. A simple preparation of very high methanol tolerant cathode electrocatalyst for direct methanol fuel cell based on polymer-coated carbon nanotube/platinum

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Zehui; Nakashima, Naotoshi

    2015-01-01

    The development of a durable and methanol tolerant electrocatalyst with a high oxygen reduction reaction activity is highly important for the cathode side of direct methanol fuel cells. Here, we describe a simple and novel methodology to fabricate a practically applicable electrocatalyst with a high methanol tolerance based on poly[2,2′-(2,6-pyridine)-5,5′-bibenzimidazole]-wrapped multi-walled carbon nanotubes, on which Pt nanoparticles have been deposited, then coated with poly(vinylphosphonic acid) (PVPA). The polymer coated electrocatalyst showed an ~3.3 times higher oxygen reduction reaction activity compared to that of the commercial CB/Pt and methanol tolerance in the presence of methanol to the electrolyte due to a 50% decreased methanol adsorption on the Pt after coating with the PVPA. Meanwhile, the peroxide generation of the PVPA coated electrocatalyst was as low as 0.8% with 2 M methanol added to the electrolyte, which was much lower than those of the non-PVPA-coated electrocatalyst (7.5%) and conventional CB/Pt (20.5%). Such a high methanol tolerance is very important for the design of a direct methanol fuel cell cathode electrocatalyst with a high performance. PMID:26192397

  6. Modulation of the microstructure of the Ag/C-based alkaline cathode via the ionomer content for a bipolar membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Xin; Peng, Sikan; Lu, Shanfu; Gong, Jian; Zhang, Jin; Huang, Wanxia; Xiang, Yan

    2017-06-01

    Ag/C is evaluated as a cathode catalyst for a bipolar membrane fuel cell (BPMFC). The microstructure of the cathode catalyst layer is modulated via ionomer content, and the effects on BPMFC performance are studied. When the ionomer content is increased from 10 wt% to 30 wt%, the fuel cell performance is optimized at 19.3 mW/cm2 with an ionomer content of 20 wt%. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and cyclic voltammetry (CV) are conducted on the catalyst layer. EIS indicates that the charge transfer resistance is minimum, while CV suggests that the highest electrocatalytic activity of the catalyst is achieved with an ionomer content of 20 wt%. The microstructure of the catalyst layer is characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and nanometer-scale X-ray computed tomography (nano-CT). The SEM results show that excess ionomer cover on the surface of the catalyst, and the catalyst seems to form larger aggregates. Nano-CT, however, produces quite different results. The reconstructed 3D image of the catalyst layer reveals that the Ag/C catalyst tends to aggregate at low ionomer content. When the ionomer content is increased from 10 wt% to 30 wt%, the average diameter of the catalyst aggregation decreases from 313 nm to 210 nm.

  7. Fibrous polyaniline@manganese oxide nanocomposites as supercapacitor electrode materials and cathode catalysts for improved power production in microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Ansari, Sajid Ali; Parveen, Nazish; Han, Thi Hiep; Ansari, Mohammad Omaish; Cho, Moo Hwan

    2016-04-07

    Fibrous Pani-MnO2 nanocomposite were prepared using a one-step and scalable in situ chemical oxidative polymerization method. The formation, structural and morphological properties were investigated using a range of characterization techniques. The electrochemical capacitive behavior of the fibrous Pani-MnO2 nanocomposite was examined by cyclic voltammetry and galvanostatic charge-discharge measurements using a three-electrode experimental setup in an aqueous electrolyte. The fibrous Pani-MnO2 nanocomposite achieved high capacitance (525 F g(-1) at a current density of 2 A g(-1)) and excellent cycling stability of 76.9% after 1000 cycles at 10 A g(-1). Furthermore, the microbial fuel cell constructed with the fibrous Pani-MnO2 cathode catalyst showed an improved power density of 0.0588 W m(-2), which was higher than that of pure Pani and carbon paper, respectively. The improved electrochemical supercapacitive performance and cathode catalyst performance in microbial fuel cells were attributed mainly to the synergistic effect of Pani and MnO2 in fibrous Pani-MnO2, which provides high surface area for the electrode/electrolyte contact as well as electronic conductive channels and exhibits pseudocapacitance behavior.

  8. High performance cobalt-free Cu1.4Mn1.6O4 spinel oxide as an intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cell cathode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhen, Shuying; Sun, Wang; Li, Peiqian; Tang, Guangze; Rooney, David; Sun, Kening; Ma, Xinxin

    2016-05-01

    In this work Cu1.4Mn1.6O4 (CMO) spinel oxide is prepared and evaluated as a novel cobalt-free cathode for intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells (IT-SOFCs). Single phase CMO powder with cubic structure is identified using XRD. XPS results confirm that mixed Cu+/Cu2+ and Mn3+/Mn4+ couples exist in the CMO sample, and a maximum conductivity of 78 S cm-1 is achieved at 800 °C. Meanwhile, CMO oxide shows good thermal and chemical compatibility with a 10 mol% Sc2O3 stabilized ZrO2 (ScSZ) electrolyte material. Impedance spectroscopy measurements reveals that CMO exhibits a low polarization resistance of 0.143 Ω cm2 at 800 °C. Furthermore, a Ni-ScSZ/ScSZ/CMO single cell demonstrates a maximum power density of 1076 mW cm-2 at 800 °C under H2 (3% H2O) as the fuel and ambient air as the oxidant. These results indicate that Cu1.4Mn1.6O4 is a superior and promising cathode material for IT-SOFCs.

  9. SrCo 1- yTi yO 3- δ as potential cathode materials for intermediate-temperature solid oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, Yu; Wang, Fang; Ma, Xin; He, Tianmin

    The perovskites SrCo 1- yTi yO 3- δ (SCT y, y = 0.00-0.20) are synthesized and assessed as potential cathode materials for intermediate-temperature solid oxide fuel cells (IT-SOFCs) based on the La 0.9Sr 0.1Ga 0.8Mg 0.2O 3- δ (LSGM) electrolyte. SCT y composites with y ≥ 0.05 adopt a cubic perovskite structure with thermal stability between 30 °C and 1000 °C in air. Substitution of Ti significantly enhances the electrical conductivity of the SCT y composites relative to the undoped SrCoO 3- δ. The highest electrical conductivity of the sample with y = 0.05 varied from 430 S cm -1 to 160 S cm -1 between 300 °C to 800 °C in air. The area-specific resistances of the SCT y cathodes on the LSGM electrolyte gradually increase from 0.084 Ω cm 2 at y = 0.05 to 0.091 Ω cm 2 at y = 0.20 with increasing Ti content at 750 °C. Single-cells that used SCT y cathodes with y = 0.05, 0.10, 0.15, and 0.20 on a 300 μm-thick LSGM electrolyte achieve peak power densities of 793, 608, 525, and 425 mW cm -2 at 800 °C, respectively. These novel SCT y cubic perovskites demonstrate considerable potential for application in IT-SOFC cathodes.

  10. Characterization and evaluation of double perovskites LnBaCoFeO5+δ (Ln = Pr and Nd) as intermediate-temperature solid oxide fuel cell cathodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, Fangjun; Xu, Huawei; Long, Wen; Shen, Yu; He, Tianmin

    2013-12-01

    Double perovskites LnBaCoFeO5+δ (Ln = Pr and Nd, PBCF and NBCF) are comparatively investigated as potential cathode materials for intermediate-temperature solid oxide fuel cells (IT-SOFCs). LnBaCoFeO5+δ materials are chemically compatible with La0.9Sr0.1Ga0.8Mg0.2O3-δ (LSGM) electrolyte at temperatures below 1000 °C. Fe and Co ions in LnBaCoFeO5+δ exist in two oxidation states, 3+ and 4+. Pr ions are found in PBCF mostly as Pr3+. Thermal expansion coefficients (TECs) of PBCF and NBCF are 21.0 × 10-6 and 19.5 × 10-6 K-1, respectively, between 30 and 1000 °C; these are lower than the TECs of undoped LnBaCo2O5+δ. The best electrical conductivity for both materials is observed near 350 °C: 321 and 172 S cm-1 for PBCF and NBCF, respectively. Polarization resistances of PBCF and NBCF cathodes on LSGM electrolyte are 0.049 and 0.062 Ω cm2 at 800 °C, respectively. Maximum power densities of the single-cell with Ni/SDC as anode on a 0.3 mm-thick LSGM electrolyte reach 749 and 669 mW cm-2 for PBCF and NBCF cathodes at 800 °C, respectively. As cathodes for application in IT-SOFCs, the performance of PBCF and NBCF double perovskites is promising.

  11. Ab initio study of vacancy formation in cubic LaMnO3 and SmCoO3 as cathode materials in solid oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olsson, Emilia; Aparicio-Anglès, Xavier; de Leeuw, Nora H.

    2016-07-01

    Doped LaMnO3 and SmCoO3 are important solid oxide fuel cell cathode materials. The main difference between these two perovskites is that SmCoO3 has proven to be a more efficient cathode material than LaMnO3 at lower temperatures. In order to explain the difference in efficiency, we need to gain insight into the materials' properties at the atomic level. However, while LaMnO3 has been widely studied, ab initio studies on SmCoO3 are rare. Hence, in this paper, we perform a comparative DFT + U study of the structural, electronic, and magnetic properties of these two perovskites. To that end, we first determined a suitable Hubbard parameter for the Co d-electrons to obtain a proper description of SmCoO3 that fully agrees with the available experimental data. We next evaluated the impact of oxygen and cation vacancies on the geometry, electronic, and magnetic properties. Oxygen vacancies strongly alter the electronic and magnetic structures of SmCoO3, but barely affect LaMnO3. However, due to their high formation energy, their concentrations in the material are very low and need to be induced by doping. Studying the cation vacancy concentration showed that the formation of cation vacancies is less energetically favorable than oxygen vacancies and would thus not markedly influence the performance of the cathode.

  12. Direct observation of the dealloying process of a platinum-yttrium nanoparticle fuel cell cathode and its oxygenated species during the oxygen reduction reaction.

    PubMed

    Malacrida, Paolo; Casalongue, Hernan G Sanchez; Masini, Federico; Kaya, Sarp; Hernández-Fernández, Patricia; Deiana, Davide; Ogasawara, Hirohito; Stephens, Ifan E L; Nilsson, Anders; Chorkendorff, Ib

    2015-11-14

    Size-selected 9 nm PtxY nanoparticles have recently shown an outstanding catalytic activity for the oxygen reduction reaction, representing a promising cathode catalyst for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Studying their electrochemical dealloying is a fundamental step towards the understanding of both their activity and stability. Herein, size-selected 9 nm PtxY nanoparticles have been deposited on the cathode side of a PEMFC specifically designed for in situ ambient pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (APXPS). The dealloying mechanism was followed in situ for the first time. It proceeds through the progressive oxidation of alloyed Y atoms, soon leading to the accumulation of Y(3+) cations at the cathode. Acid leaching with sulfuric acid is capable of accelerating the dealloying process and removing these Y(3+) cations which might cause long term degradation of the membrane. The use of APXPS under near operating conditions allowed observing the population of oxygenated surface species as a function of the electrochemical potential. Similar to the case of pure Pt nanoparticles, non-hydrated hydroxide plays a key role in the ORR catalytic process.

  13. An innovative architectural design to enhance the electrochemical performance of La2NiO4+δ cathodes for solid oxide fuel cell applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharma, Rakesh K.; Burriel, Mónica; Dessemond, Laurent; Martin, Vincent; Bassat, Jean-Marc; Djurado, Elisabeth

    2016-06-01

    An architectural design of the cathode microstructure based on combining electrostatic spray deposition (ESD) and screen-printing (SP) techniques has demonstrated to be an innovative strategy to enhance the electrochemical properties of La2NiO4+δ (LNO) as oxygen electrode on Ce0.9Gd0.1O2-δ (CGO) electrolyte for solid oxide fuel cells. For this purpose, the influence of the ESD process parameters on the microstructure has been systematically investigated. Electrochemical performances of four selected cathode microstructures are investigated: (i) 3-D coral nanocrystalline (average particle size ∼ 100 nm) LNO film grown by ESD; (ii) 3-D coral nanocrystalline film (average particle size ∼ 150 nm) grown by ESD with a continuous nanometric dense interface; (iii) porous screen-printed LNO film (average particle size ∼ 400 nm); and (iv) 3-D coral nanocrystalline film (average particle size ∼ 150 nm) with a continuous nanometric dense interface prepared by ESD topped by a LNO current collector prepared by SP. A significant reduction in the polarization resistance (Rpol) is obtained (0.08 Ω cm2 at 700 °C) for 3-D coral topped by the SP layer. Moreover LNO is found to be stable and compatible with CGO up to 800 °C for only 10 days duration in air, making it potentially suitable for SOFCs cathode application.

  14. Exchange current model for (La0.8Sr0.2)0.95MnO3 (LSM) porous cathode for solid oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miyoshi, Kota; Miyamae, Takuma; Iwai, Hiroshi; Saito, Motohiro; Kishimoto, Masashi; Yoshida, Hideo

    2016-05-01

    In this paper, we propose an empirical formula for i0,TPB, the exchange current density per unit triple-phase boundary (TPB) length, for porous lanthanum strontium manganite (LSM) cathodes of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs); the evaluation of i0,TPB is of crucial importance in numerical simulations of electrodes based on reconstructed microstructures obtained by a dual beam focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM) and tomography techniques. To derive a widely applicable empirical formula for i0,TPB, electrochemical measurements of porous LSM cathodes are conducted under various oxygen partial pressures (0.05-0.25 atm) and temperatures (800-950 °C). By comparing the derived formula with that derived from a thin and dense patterned LSM electrode used in previous studies, it is found that at an air temperature of 800 °C, i0,TPB derived from a porous LSM cathode is approximately 40% smaller than that for the patterned electrode. This can be attributed to the fact that the electrochemical reaction in thin and dense electrodes can occur not only at the TPBs but also at the LSM surface owing to the non-negligible ionic conductivity of LSM. The derived formula is also applied to a three-dimensional numerical simulation to confirm its validity.

  15. An easy and innovative method based on spray-pyrolysis deposition to obtain high efficiency cathodes for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    dos Santos-Gómez, L.; Porras-Vázquez, J. M.; Martín, F.; Ramos-Barrado, J. R.; Losilla, E. R.; Marrero-López, D.

    2016-07-01

    A novel electrode preparation method based on the spray-pyrolysis deposition of metal nitrate solutions onto a porous electrolyte scaffold is proposed. This method has been proved with different cathode materials, usually used in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells, such as La0.8Sr0.2MnO3-δ and La0.6Sr0.4Co1-xFexO3-δ (x = 0, 0.2, 0.8 and 1). The electrode microstructure is composed by two layers; the inner layer is a porous electrolyte scaffold homogeneously coated by cathode nanoparticles, providing an increased number of triple phase boundary sites for oxygen reduction, whereas, the top layer is formed by only cathode nanoparticles and acts mainly as a current collector. Polarization resistance values as low as 0.07 and 1.0 Ω cm2 at 600 and 450 °C, respectively, are obtained at open circuit voltage. This alternative approach has several advantages with respect to the traditional wet infiltration method for large area electrode fabrication, such as higher reproducibility, shorter preparation time in a single thermal deposition step, and easy implementation at industrial scale as a continuous process.

  16. Cerium and niobium doped SrCoO3-δ as a potential cathode for intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Shouguo; Feng, Shuangjiu; Lu, Qiliang; Li, Yide; Wang, Hong; Wang, Chunchang

    2014-04-01

    Sr0.9Ce0.1Co0.9Nb0.1O3-δ (SCCN) has been synthesized using solid state reaction, and investigated as a new cathode material for intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells (ITSOFCs). SCCN material exhibits sufficiently high electronic conductivity and excellent chemical compatibility with SDC electrolyte. Highly charged Ce4+ and Nb5+ successfully stabilize the perovskite structure to avoid order-disorder phase transition. The electrical conductivity reaches a high value of 516 S cm-1 at 300 °C in air. The area specific resistances of the SCCN-50 wt.% Ce0.8Sm0.2O1.9 (SDC) cathode are as low as 0.027, 0.049, and 0.094 Ω cm2 at 700, 650, and 600 °C, respectively, with the corresponding peak power densities of 1074, 905, and 589 mW cm-2. A relatively low thermal expansion coefficient of SCCN-SDC is 14.3 × 10-6 K-1 in air. All these results imply that SCCN holds tremendous promise as a cathode material for ITSOFCs.

  17. Evaluation of microbial fuel cell coupled with aeration chamber and bio-cathode for organic matter and nitrogen removal from synthetic domestic wastewater.

    PubMed

    Cha, J; Kim, C; Choi, S; Lee, G; Chen, G; Lee, T

    2009-01-01

    For simultaneous carbon and nitrogen removal via single stream, a microbial fuel cell (MFC) coupled with an aeration chamber and a bio-cathode was investigated. Without catalysts and any additional buffer, the MFC produced electricity continuously and the power density reached 1.3 W/m3 at a loading rate of 1.6 kg COD/m3 d. Simultaneously, the COD and the nitrate removal rate were 1.4 kg COD/m3 d and 67 g NO3-N/m3 d, respectively. When the hydraulic retention time was changed from 6 to 0.75 hours, the power density significantly increased from 0.2 to 10.8 W/m3 due to an increase of cathodic potential. When the aeration chamber was removed and the nitrate was injected into the cathode, the power density increased to 3.7 W/m3. At a high recirculation rate of 10 ml/min, the power density and the nitrate removal rate greatly increased to 34 W/m3 and 294 g NO3--N/m3 d, respectively.

  18. In-plane and through-plane non-uniform carbon corrosion of polymer electrolyte fuel cell cathode catalyst layer during extended potential cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghosh, Sourov; Ohashi, Hidenori; Tabata, Hiroshi; Hashimasa, Yoshiyuki; Yamaguchi, Takeo

    2017-09-01

    The impact of electrochemical carbon corrosion via potential cycling durability tests mimicking start-stop operation events on the microstructure of the cathode catalyst layer in polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) is investigated using focused ion beam (FIB) fabrication without/with the pore-filling technique and subsequent scanning electron microscope (SEM) observations. FIB/SEM investigations without pore-filling reveals that the durability test induces non-uniform cathode shrinking across the in-plane direction; the thickness of the catalyst layer decreases more under the gas flow channel compared to the area under the rim of the flow field. Furthermore, FIB/SEM investigations with the pore-filling technique reveal that the durability test also induces non-uniform cathode shrinking in the through-plane direction; the pores in the area close to the membrane are more shrunken compared with those close to the microporous layer. In particular, a thin area (1-1.5 μm) close to the membrane is found to be severely damaged; it includes closed pores that hinder mass transport through the catalyst layer. It is suggested that uneven carbon corrosion and catalyst layer compaction are responsible for the performance loss during potential cycling operation of PEFCs.

  19. 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.

  20. Advanced fuel cell development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1985-01-01

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

  1. Layer-structured LiNi0.8Co0.2O2: A new triple (H+/O2-/e-) conducting cathode for low temperature proton conducting solid oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fan, Liangdong; Su, Pei-Chen

    2016-02-01

    Solid oxide fuel cells with proton conducting electrolytes (H-SOFCs) show great potential for more efficient energy conversion over their oxygen ionic conducting counterparts at temperatures below 650 °C, providing a comparably high performance cathode material can be available. A brief review of current development of cathode materials shows that materials with triple (oxygen ionic, protonic, and electronic) conducting properties are most promising for H-SOFCs. In this work, a triple-conducting LiNi0.8Co0.2O2 (LNCO) with layered structure, allowing simultaneous conduction of intrinsic oxygen ion and electron as well as the extrinsic proton, is proposed as a cathode material for H-SOFC. The electrochemical impedance spectroscopy analysis of LNCO shows the good oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity with a considerably low activation energy of 0.88 eV, and an evident water uptake capability those facilitate the cathode reaction process. Fuel cells using LNCO cathode on a BaZr0.1Ce0.7Y0.2O3 proton-conducting electrolyte render a peak power density of 410 mW cm-2 at 650 °C under H2/air condition, which is higher than most of the typical cathode materials reported with similar cell configurations. This work also demonstrated a new series of simple and low cost cathode materials simultaneously possessing interesting triple-conduction and good ORR activities for low temperature H-SOFCs.

  2. Highly porous PEM fuel cell cathodes based on low density carbon aerogels as Pt-support: Experimental study of the mass-transport losses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marie, Julien; Chenitz, Regis; Chatenet, Marian; Berthon-Fabry, Sandrine; Cornet, Nathalie; Achard, Patrick

    Carbon aerogels exhibiting high porous volumes and high surface areas, differentiated by their pore-size distributions were used as Pt-supports in the cathode catalytic layer of H 2/air-fed PEM fuel cell. The cathodes were tested as 50 cm 2 membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs). The porous structure of the synthesized catalytic layers was impacted by the nanostructure of the Pt-doped carbon aerogels (Pt/CAs). In this paper thus we present an experimental study aiming at establishing links between the porous structure of the cathode catalytic layers and the MEAs performances. For that purpose, the polarization curves of the MEAs were decomposed in 3 contributions: the kinetic loss, the ohmic loss and the mass-transport loss. We showed that the MEAs made with the different carbon aerogels had similar kinetic activities (low current density performance) but very different mass-transport voltage losses. It was found that the higher the pore-size of the initial carbon aerogel, the higher the mass-transport voltage losses. Supported by our porosimetry (N 2-adsorption and Hg-porosimetry) measurement, we interpret this apparent contradiction as the consequence of the more important Nafion penetration into the carbon aeorogel with larger pore-size. Indeed, the catalytic layers made from the larger pore-size carbon aerogel had lower porosities. We thus show in this work that carbon aerogels are materials with tailored nanostructured structure which can be used as model materials for experimentally testing the optimization of the PEM fuel cell catalytic layers.

  3. Development of a hybrid microbial fuel cell (MFC) and fuel cell (FC) system for improved cathodic efficiency and sustainability: the M2FC reactor.

    PubMed

    Eom, Heonseop; Chung, Kyungmi; Kim, Ilgook; Han, Jong-In

    2011-10-01

    In an effort to improve the efficiency and sustainability of microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology, a novel MFC reactor, the M2FC, was constructed by combining a ferric-based MFC with a ferrous-based fuel cell (FC). In this M2FC reactor, ferric ion, the catholyte in the MFC component, is regenerated by the FC system with the generation of additional electricity. When the MFC component was operated separately, the electricity generation was maintained for only 98 h due to the depletion of ferric ion in the catholyte. In combination with the fuel cell, however, the production of power was sustained because ferric ion was continually replenished from ferrous ion in the FC component. Moreover, the regeneration process of ferric ion by the FC produced additional energy. The M2FC reactor yielded a power density of up to 2 W m(-2) (or time-averaged value of approximately 650 mW m(-2)), density up to 20 times (or approximately six times based on time-averaged value) higher than the corresponding MFC system.

  4. 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.

  5. Highly CO2-Tolerant Cathode for Intermediate-Temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cells: Samarium-Doped Ceria-Protected SrCo0.85Ta0.15O3-δ Hybrid.

    PubMed

    Li, Mengran; Zhou, Wei; Zhu, Zhonghua

    2017-01-25

    Susceptibility to CO2 is one of the major challenges for the long-term stability of the alkaline-earth-containing cathodes for intermediate-temperature solid oxide fuel cells. To alleviate the adverse effects from CO2, we incorporated samarium-stabilized ceria (SDC) into a SrCo0.85Ta0.15O3-δ (SCT15) cathode by either mechanical mixing or a wet impregnation method and evaluated their cathode performance stability in the presence of a gas mixture of 10% CO2, 21% O2, and 69% N2. We observed that the CO2 tolerance of the hybrid cathode outperforms the pure SCT15 cathode by over 5 times at 550 °C. This significant enhancement is likely attributable to the low CO2 adsorption and reactivity of the SDC protective layer, which are demonstrated through thermogravimetric analysis, energy-dispersive spectroscopy, and electrical conductivity study.

  6. Sm0.5Sr0.5CoO3-δ infiltrated Ce0.9Gd0.1O2-δ composite cathodes for high performance protonic ceramic fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Ling; Li, Geng; Chen, Kongfa; Ling, Yihan; Cui, Yuexiao; Gui, Liangqi; He, Beibei

    2016-11-01

    Sm0.5Sr0.5CoO3-δ (SSC) infiltrated Ce0.9Gd0.1O2-δ (GDC) composite cathodes are developed for protonic ceramic fuel cells (PCFCs). Although the SSC infiltrated GDC cathodes make little contribute to expending the reaction sites of water formation, it can significantly improve the oxygen reduction dynamics among the whole electrochemical reaction. The symmetric half cell and single cell testing results demonstrate the high electrochemical activity of SSC infiltrated GDC cathodes. Moreover, the single cell is stable at 600 °C for 120 h in humidified H2 and humidified H2sbnd CO. The encouraging results indicate that the SSC infiltrated GDC could be the promising composite cathodes for application in PCFCs.

  7. Advanced fuel cell development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1984-06-01

    Fuel cell research and development activities at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) during the period July through September 1983 are discussed. These efforts were directed principally toward seeking alternative cathode materials to NiO for molten carbonate fuel cells. An investigation was made of the thermodynamically stable phases formed under cathode conditions with a number of transition metal oxides. Prospective alternative cathode materials are being synthesized and doped to promote electronic conductivity. Three materials-LiFeO2, Li2MnO3, and ZnO were doped to give suitable conductivity. These materials are being further tested for solubility and ion migration in the cell environment. Techniques are being studied for the preparation of thin electrode and electrolyte materials by tape casting, and a creep-resistant superstructure for the anode is under development.

  8. High power density of one-compartment H2O2 fuel cells using pyrazine-bridged Fe[M(C)(CN)4] (M(C) = Pt2+ and Pd2+) complexes as the cathode.

    PubMed

    Yamada, Yusuke; Yoneda, Masaki; Fukuzumi, Shunichi

    2014-02-03

    Pyrazine-bridged Fe[M(C)(CN)4] complexes (M(C) = Pt(2+) and Pd(2+)) with 3D porous structures were utilized as the cathode of one-compartment H2O2 fuel cells, which operated in 0.3 M H2O2, using a nickel mesh as an anode. The power density of a H2O2 fuel cell using pyrazine-bridged Fe[Pt(CN)4] reached 4.2 mW cm(-2), which is the highest value reported for the one-compartment H2O2 fuel cells. On the other hand, H2O2 fuel cells using pyrazine-bridged M(N)[Pt(CN)4] (M(N) = Co(2+) and Mn(2+)) as the cathodes exhibited power densities lower than 0.01 mW cm(-2), indicating that Fe(2+) ions are indispensable to achieve the high power density.

  9. Electricity generation using an air-cathode single chamber microbial fuel cell in the presence and absence of a proton exchange membrane.

    PubMed

    Liu, Hong; Logan, Bruce E

    2004-07-15

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are typically designed as a two-chamber system with the bacteria in the anode chamber separated from the cathode chamber by a polymeric proton exchange membrane (PEM). Most MFCs use aqueous cathodes where water is bubbled with air to provide dissolved oxygen to electrode. To increase energy output and reduce the cost of MFCs, we examined power generation in an air-cathode MFC containing carbon electrodes in the presence and absence of a polymeric proton exchange membrane (PEM). Bacteria present in domestic wastewater were used as the biocatalyst, and glucose and wastewater were tested as substrates. Power density was found to be much greater than typically reported for aqueous-cathode MFCs, reaching a maximum of 262 +/- 10 mW/m2 (6.6 +/- 0.3 mW/L; liquid volume) using glucose. Removing the PEM increased the maximum power density to 494 +/- 21 mW/m2 (12.5 +/- 0.5 mW/L). Coulombic efficiency was 40-55% with the PEM and 9-12% with the PEM removed, indicating substantial oxygen diffusion into the anode chamber in the absence of the PEM. Power output increased with glucose concentration according to saturation-type kinetics, with a half saturation constant of 79 mg/L with the PEM-MFC and 103 mg/L in the MFC without a PEM (1000 omega resistor). Similar results on the effect of the PEM on power density were found using wastewater, where 28 +/- 3 mW/m2 (0.7 +/- 0.1 mW/L) (28% Coulombic efficiency) was produced with the PEM, and 146 +/- 8 mW/m2 (3.7 +/- 0.2 mW/L) (20% Coulombic efficiency) was produced when the PEM was removed. The increase in power output when a PEM was removed was attributed to a higher cathode potential as shown by an increase in the open circuit potential. An analysis based on available anode surface area and maximum bacterial growth rates suggests that mediatorless MFCs may have an upper order-of-magnitude limit in power density of 10(3) mW/m2. A cost-effective approach to achieving power densities in this range will likely

  10. Advanced fuel cell development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1984-02-01

    Research and development activities on both molten carbonate and solid oxide fuel cells is reported. The efforts on development of molten carbonate fuel cells have been directed principally toward seeking alternative cathode materials to NiO. Based on an investigation of the thermodynamically stable phases formed under cathode conditions with a number of transition metal oxides, synthesis of prospective alternative cathode materials and doping of these materials to promote electronic conductivity is under way. The compounds LiFeO2, Li2MnO3, and ZnO have been doped to give suitable conductivity. Solubility data were taken for NiO, CoO, and NiO-CoO in a cathode environment with different carbonate salt compositions. Techniques are for the preparation of thin electrode and electrolyte materials by tape casting, and a creep resistant superstructure for the anode are studied. Development of an advanced, high power density fuel cell is examined. By employing the thin ceramic layer components of existing solid oxide fuel cells in a strong, lightweight structure of small cells, unequaled power per unit mass or volume can be achieved. Advanced electrolyte fabrication, electrolyte sintering and interconnection and electrode fabrication were investigated.

  11. Electrorefining cell with parallel electrode/concentric cylinder cathode

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-12-31

    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 and a mixture of uranium and plutonium for use as a fresh blanket and 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 cathode is disposed about the outer anodic dissolution baskets. Uranium is deposited from the anode baskets 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 collection efficiency enhanced by increasing the electrode area and reducing the anode-cathode spacing for enhanced trapping and recovery of uranium dendrites scraped off of the cylindrical cathodes which may be greater in number than two.

  12. Electricity generation coupled with wastewater treatment using a microbial fuel cell composed of a modified cathode with a ceramic membrane and cellulose acetate film.

    PubMed

    Seo, Ha Na; Lee, Woo Jin; Hwang, Tae Sik; Park, Doo Hyun

    2009-09-01

    A noncompartmented microbial fuel cell (NCMFC) composed of a Mn(IV)-carbon plate and a Fe(III)-carbon plate was used for electricity generation from organic wastewater without consumption of external energy. The Fe(III)-carbon plate, coated with a porous ceramic membrane and a semipermeable cellulose acetate film, was used as a cathode, which substituted for the catholyte and cathode. The Mn(IV)-carbon plate was used as an anode without a membrane or film coating. A solar cell connected to the NCMFC activated electricity generation and bacterial consumption of organic matter contained in the wastewater. More than 99 degrees of the organic matter was biochemically oxidized during wastewater flow through the four NCMFC units. A predominant bacterium isolated from the anode surface in both the conventional and the solar cell-linked NCMFC was found to be more than 99 degrees similar to a Mn(II)-oxidizing bacterium and Burkeholderia sp., based on 16S rDNA sequence analysis. The isolate reacted electrochemically with the Mn(IV)-modified anode and produced electricity in the NCMFC. After 90 days of incubation, a bacterial species that was enriched on the Mn(IV)-modified anode surface in all of the NCMFC units was found to be very similar to the initially isolated predominant species by comparing 16S rDNA sequences.

  13. Palladium-based electrocatalysts and fuel cells employing such electrocatalysts

    DOEpatents

    Masel; Richard I. , Zhu; Yimin , Larsen; Robert T.

    2010-08-31

    A direct organic fuel cell includes a fluid fuel comprising formic acid, an anode having an electrocatalyst comprising palladium nanoparticles, a fluid oxidant, a cathode electrically connected to the anode, and an electrolyte interposed between the anode and the cathode.

  14. Fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1984-12-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Fossil Energy, has supported and managed a fuel cell research and development (R and D) program since 1976. Responsibility for implementing DOE's fuel cell program, which includes activities related to both fuel cells and fuel cell systems, has been assigned to the Morgantown Energy Technology Center (METC) in Morgantown, West Virginia. The total United States effort of the private and public sectors in developing fuel cell technology is referred to as the National Fuel Cell Program (NFCP). The goal of the NFCP is to develop fuel cell power plants for base-load and dispersed electric utility systems, industrial cogeneration, and on-site applications. To achieve this goal, the fuel cell developers, electric and gas utilities, research institutes, and Government agencies are working together. Four organized groups are coordinating the diversified activities of the NFCP. The status of the overall program is reviewed in detail.

  15. Insight into the structure and functional application of the Sr0.95Ce0.05CoO3-δ cathode for solid oxide fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Yang, Wei; Zhang, Huairuo; Sun, Chunwen; Liu, Lilu; Alonso, J A; Fernández-Díaz, M T; Chen, Liquan

    2015-04-06

    A new perovskite cathode, Sr0.95Ce0.05CoO3-δ, performs well for oxygen-reduction reactions in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). We gain insight into the crystal structure of Sr1-xCexCoO3-δ (x = 0.05, 0.1) and temperature-dependent structural evolution of Sr0.95Ce0.05CoO3-δ by X-ray diffraction, neutron powder diffraction, and scanning transmission electron microscopy experiments. Sr0.9Ce0.1CoO3-δ shows a perfectly cubic structure (a = a0), with a large oxygen deficiency in a single oxygen site; however, Sr0.95Ce0.05CoO3-δ exhibits a tetragonal perovskite superstructure with a double c axis, defined in the P4/mmm space group, that contains two crystallographically different cobalt positions, with distinct oxygen environments. The structural evolution of Sr0.95Ce0.05CoO3-δ at high temperatures was further studied by in situ temperature-dependent NPD experiments. At 1100 K, the oxygen atoms in Sr0.95Ce0.05CoO3-δ show large and highly anisotropic displacement factors, suggesting a significant ionic mobility. The test cell with a La0.8Sr0.2Ga0.83Mg0.17O3-δ-electrolyte-supported (∼300 μm thickness) configuration yields peak power densities of 0.25 and 0.48 W cm(-2) at temperatures of 1023 and 1073 K, respectively, with pure H2 as the fuel and ambient air as the oxidant. The electrochemical impedance spectra evolution with time of the symmetric cathode fuel cell measured at 1073 K shows that the Sr0.95Ce0.05CoO3-δ cathode possesses superior ORR catalytic activity and long-term stability. Mixed ionic-electronic conduction properties of Sr0.95Ce0.05CoO3-δ account for its good performance as an oxygen-reduction catalyst.

  16. Investigation of SmBaCuCoO{sub 5+{delta}} double-perovskite as cathode for proton-conducting solid oxide fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Zhu, Zhiwen; Tao, Zetian; Bi, Lei; Liu, Wei

    2010-11-15

    SmBaCuCoO{sub 5+{delta}}, a double-perovskite oxide, was synthesized by the modified Pechini method and developed as cathode material for proton-conducting solid oxide fuel cells. The SmBaCuCoO{sub 5+{delta}} powders calcined at 800 {sup o}C, show the double-perovskite structure in powder XRD pattern. SmBaCuCoO{sub 5+{delta}} has a more suitable thermal expansion coefficient than SmBaCo{sub 2}O{sub 5+{delta}} for BaCe{sub 0.7}Zr{sub 0.1}Y{sub 0.2}O{sub 3-{delta}} electrolyte-based solid oxide fuel cells. The single cell was tested with humidified hydrogen ({approx}3% H{sub 2}O) as the fuel and static air as the oxidant. The performance of the cell was characterized by DC Electronic Load and AC impedance spectroscopy. The peak power densities reached 355-86 mW cm{sup -2} in the range of 700-550 {sup o}C and the interfacial polarization resistance decreased with increasing operation temperature, from 3.1 {Omega} cm{sup 2} at 550 {sup o}C to 0.22 {Omega} cm{sup 2} at 700 {sup o}C. The high power density and low polarization demonstrate that SmBaCuCoO{sub 5+{delta}} is a potential candidate for proton-conducting solid oxide fuel cells.

  17. Isolation and bioelectrochemical characterization of novel fungal sources with oxidasic activity applied in situ for the cathodic oxygen reduction in microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Morant, Kyriale Vasconcelos; da Silva, Paulo Henrique; de Campos-Takaki, Galba Maria; Hernández, Camilo Enrique La Rotta

    2014-11-01

    Brazilian filamentous fungi Rhizopus sp. (SIS-31), Aspergillus sp. (SIS-18) and Penicillium sp. (SIS-21), sources of oxidases were isolated from Caatinga's soils and applied during the in situ cathodic oxygen reduction in fuel cells. All strains were cultivated in submerged cultures using an optimized saline medium enriched with 10 g L(-1) of glucose, 3.0 g L(-1) of peptone and 0.0005 g L(-1) of CuSO4 as enzyme inducer. Parameters of oxidase activity, glucose consumption and microbial growth were evaluated. In-cell experiments evaluated by chronoamperometry were performed and two different electrode compositions were also compared. Maximum current densities of 125.7, 98.7 and 11.5 μA cm(-2) were observed before 24 h and coulombic efficiencies of 56.5, 46.5 and 23.8% were obtained for SIS-31, SIS-21 and SIS-18, respectively. Conversely, maximum power outputs of 328.73, 288.80 and 197.77 mW m(-3) were observed for SIS-18, SIS-21 and SIS-31, respectively. This work provides the primary experimental evidences that fungi isolated from the Caatinga region in Brazil can serve as efficient biocatalysts during the oxygen reduction in air-cathodes to improve electricity generation in MFCs.

  18. High performance of proton-conducting solid oxide fuel cell with a layered PrBaCo 2O 5+ δ cathode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Ling; He, Beibei; Lin, Bin; Ding, Hanping; Wang, Songlin; Ling, Yihan; Peng, Ranran; Meng, Guangyao; Liu, Xingqin

    A dense BaZr 0.1Ce 0.7Y 0.2O 3- δ (BZCY) electrolyte is fabricated on a porous anode by in situ drop-coating method which can lead to extremely thin electrolyte membrane (∼10 μm in thickness). The layered perovskite structure oxide PrBaCo 2O 5+ δ (PBCO) is synthesized by auto ignition process and initially examined as a cathode for proton-conducting IT-SOFCs. The electrical conductivity of PrBaCo 2O 5+ δ (PBCO) reaches the general required value for the electrical conductivity of cathode absolutely. The single cell, consisting of PrBaCo 2O 5+ δ (PBCO)/BaZr 0.1Ce 0.7Y 0.2O 3- δ (BZCY)/NiO-BaZr 0.1Ce 0.7Y 0.2O 3- δ (BZCY) structure, is assembled and tested from 600 to 700 °C with humidified hydrogen (∼3% H 2O) as the fuel an