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Sample records for fuel cells operational

  1. Fuel cells: Operating flexibly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Young Moo

    2016-09-01

    Fuel cells typically function well only in rather limited temperature and humidity ranges. Now, a proton exchange membrane consisting of ion pair complexes is shown to enable improved fuel cell performance under a wide range of conditions that are unattainable with conventional approaches.

  2. Fuel cell chemistry and operation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  3. Operating a fuel cell using landfill gas

    SciTech Connect

    Trippel, C.E.; Preston, J.L. Jr.; Trocciola, J.; Spiegel, R.

    1996-12-31

    An ONSI PC25{trademark}, 200 kW (nominal capacity) phosphoric acid fuel cell operating on landfill gas is installed at the Town of Groton Flanders Road landfill in Groton, Connecticut. This joint project by the Connecticut Light & Power Company (CL&P) which is an operating company of Northeast Utilities, the Town of Groton, International Fuel Cells (IFC), and the US EPA is intended to demonstrate the viability of installing, operating and maintaining a fuel cell operating on landfill gas at a landfill site. The goals of the project are to evaluate the fuel cell and gas pretreatment unit operation, test modifications to simplify the GPU design and demonstrate reliability of the entire system.

  4. Self-humidified proton exchange membrane fuel cells: Operation of larger cells and fuel cell stacks

    SciTech Connect

    Dhar, H.P.; Lee, J.H.; Lewinski, K.A.

    1996-12-31

    The PEM fuel cell is promising as the power source for use in mobile and stationary applications primarily because of its high power density, all solid components, and simplicity of operation. For wide acceptability of this power source, its cost has to be competitive with the presently available energy sources. The fuel cell requires continuous humidification during operation as a power source. The humidification unit however, increases fuel cell volume, weight, and therefore decreases its overall power density. Great advantages in terms of further fuel cell simplification can be achieved if the humidification process can be eliminated or minimized. In addition, cost reductions are associated with the case of manufacturing and operation. At BCS Technology we have developed a technology of self-humidified operation of PEM fuel cells based on the mass balance of the reactants and products and the ability of membrane electrode assembly (MEA) to retain water necessary for humidification under the cell operating conditions. The reactants enter the fuel cell chambers without carrying any form of water, whether in liquid or vapor form. Basic principles of self-humidified operation of fuel cells as practiced by BCS Technology, Inc. have been presented previously in literature. Here, we report the operation of larger self-humidified single cells and fuel cell stacks. Fuel cells of areas Up to 100 cm{sup 2} have been operated. We also show the self-humidified operation of fuel cell stacks of 50 and 100 cm{sup 2} electrode areas.

  5. GRID INDEPENDENT FUEL CELL OPERATED SMART HOME

    SciTech Connect

    Dr. Mohammad S. Alam

    2003-12-07

    A fuel cell power plant, which utilizes a smart energy management and control (SEMaC) system, supplying the power need of laboratory based ''home'' has been purchased and installed. The ''home'' consists of two rooms, each approximately 250 sq. ft. Every appliance and power outlet is under the control of a host computer, running the SEMaC software package. It is possible to override the computer, in the event that an appliance or power outage is required. Detailed analysis and simulation of the fuel cell operated smart home has been performed. Two journal papers has been accepted for publication and another journal paper is under review. Three theses have been completed and three additional theses are in progress.

  6. Towards operating direct methanol fuel cells with highly concentrated fuel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, T. S.; Yang, W. W.; Chen, R.; Wu, Q. X.

    A significant advantage of direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) is the high specific energy of the liquid fuel, making it particularly suitable for portable and mobile applications. Nevertheless, conventional DMFCs have to be operated with excessively diluted methanol solutions to limit methanol crossover and the detrimental consequences. Operation with diluted methanol solutions significantly reduces the specific energy of the power pack and thereby prevents it from competing with advanced batteries. In view of this fact, there exists a need to improve conventional DMFC system designs, including membrane electrode assemblies and the subsystems for supplying/removing reactants/products, so that both the cell performance and the specific energy can be simultaneously maximized. This article provides a comprehensive review of past efforts on the optimization of DMFC systems that operate with concentrated methanol. Based on the discussion of the key issues associated with transport of the reactants/products, the strategies to manage the supply/removal of the reactants/products in DMFC operating with highly concentrated methanol are identified. With these strategies, the possible approaches to achieving the goal of concentrated fuel operation are then proposed. Past efforts in the management of the reactants/products for implementing each of the approaches are also summarized and reviewed.

  7. Fuel cell power plant economic and operational considerations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lance, J. R.

    1984-01-01

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

  8. Solid Oxide Fuel Cells Operating on Alternative and Renewable Fuels

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Xiaoxing; Quan, Wenying; Xiao, Jing; Peduzzi, Emanuela; Fujii, Mamoru; Sun, Funxia; Shalaby, Cigdem; Li, Yan; Xie, Chao; Ma, Xiaoliang; Johnson, David; Lee, Jeong; Fedkin, Mark; LaBarbera, Mark; Das, Debanjan; Thompson, David; Lvov, Serguei; Song, Chunshan

    2014-09-30

    This DOE project at the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) initially involved Siemens Energy, Inc. to (1) develop new fuel processing approaches for using selected alternative and renewable fuels – anaerobic digester gas (ADG) and commercial diesel fuel (with 15 ppm sulfur) – in solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) power generation systems; and (2) conduct integrated fuel processor – SOFC system tests to evaluate the performance of the fuel processors and overall systems. Siemens Energy Inc. was to provide SOFC system to Penn State for testing. The Siemens work was carried out at Siemens Energy Inc. in Pittsburgh, PA. The unexpected restructuring in Siemens organization, however, led to the elimination of the Siemens Stationary Fuel Cell Division within the company. Unfortunately, this led to the Siemens subcontract with Penn State ending on September 23rd, 2010. SOFC system was never delivered to Penn State. With the assistance of NETL project manager, the Penn State team has since developed a collaborative research with Delphi as the new subcontractor and this work involved the testing of a stack of planar solid oxide fuel cells from Delphi.

  9. Method for operating a combustor in a fuel cell system

    DOEpatents

    Clingerman, Bruce J.; Mowery, Kenneth D.

    2002-01-01

    In one aspect, the invention provides a method of operating a combustor to heat a fuel processor to a desired temperature in a fuel cell system, wherein the fuel processor generates hydrogen (H.sub.2) from a hydrocarbon for reaction within a fuel cell to generate electricity. More particularly, the invention provides a method and select system design features which cooperate to provide a start up mode of operation and a smooth transition from start-up of the combustor and fuel processor to a running mode.

  10. Fuel cell operation characterization using simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schott, Pascal; Baurens, Pierre

    The first step of fuel cell stack characterization consists in experimental testing of its global electrochemical performances under various working conditions. The second step is devoted to link the collected data to local species concentrations, membrane hydration and resulting current density in the stack. In the project PICOS, we have to characterize a 1.5 kW 12-cells' stack of 330 cm 2. The stack performances are measured on a specific test bench and analyzed using a fuel cell-stack modeling tool. The test bench allows to control the oxygen (or air) and hydrogen flow rates and humidity at the inlet of the stack, the pressure at the outlet, and the delivered current. Each cell potential and the total stack potential are monitored, the produced water is condensed at the outlet in order to measure its amount. The model used is a mono-dimensional description of a single cell. It is based on a semi-empirical law for the local electrochemical response computation. The local pressures, temperatures, gas compositions and membrane hydration are computed dynamically. A semi-empirical electrochemical model of the active layer is fitted to experimental data, the gas diffusion layer porosity and electro-osmosis coefficient of the membrane have been adjusted to obtain the best fit. The simulations calculate the cell potential and the current density profile in the cell for various feeding conditions. The simulations allow us to explain the effect of gas hydration on the stack potential and to predict possible drying out of the membrane.

  11. Method for operating a combustor in a fuel cell system

    DOEpatents

    Chalfant, Robert W.; Clingerman, Bruce J.

    2002-01-01

    A method of operating a combustor to heat a fuel processor in a fuel cell system, in which the fuel processor generates a hydrogen-rich stream a portion of which is consumed in a fuel cell stack and a portion of which is discharged from the fuel cell stack and supplied to the combustor, and wherein first and second streams are supplied to the combustor, the first stream being a hydrocarbon fuel stream and the second stream consisting of said hydrogen-rich stream, the method comprising the steps of monitoring the temperature of the fuel processor; regulating the quantity of the first stream to the combustor according to the temperature of the fuel processor; and comparing said quantity of said first stream to a predetermined value or range of predetermined values.

  12. Solid oxide fuel cell operable over wide temperature range

    DOEpatents

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

    2001-01-01

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

  13. Intelligent Machine Learning Analysis for Fuel Cell Operations

    SciTech Connect

    Murphy, R W; Hoyt, W A

    2000-06-30

    A performance computational model for a 100 kW nominal solid oxide fuel cell generator system is described. The calculational methods are based on the FORTRAN programming language. Comprehensive parameter input options are presented, and constraints are identified. Example reactant, electrical, and efficiency outputs are demonstrated over the relevant operating ranges. A sample calculated output display at nominal operating conditions is given.

  14. FUEL CELL OPERATION ON LANDFILL GAS AT PENROSE POWER STATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    This demonstration test successfully demonstrated operation of a commercial phosphoric acid fuel cell (FC) on landfill gas (LG) at the Penrose Power Station in Sun Valley, CA. Demonstration output included operation up to 137 kW; 37.1% efficiency at 120 kW; exceptionally low sec...

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

    DOEpatents

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

    2006-06-06

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

  16. Measurement of Species Distributions in Operating Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Partridge Jr, William P; Toops, Todd J; Parks, II, James E; Armstrong, Timothy R.

    2004-10-01

    Measurement and understanding of transient species distributions across and within fuel cells is a critical need for advancing fuel cell technology. The Spatially Resolved Capillary Inlet Mass Spectrometer (SpaciMS) instrument has been applied for in-situ measurement of transient species distributions within operating reactors; including diesel catalyst, air-exhaust mixing systems, and non-thermal plasma reactors. The work described here demonstrates the applicability of this tool to proton exchange membrane (PEM) and solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) research. Specifically, we have demonstrated SpaciMS measurements of (1) transient species dynamics across a PEM fuel cell (FC) associated with load switching, (2) intra-PEM species distributions, and transient species dynamics at SOFC temperatures associated with FC load switching.

  17. Cerium migration during PEM fuel cell assembly and operation

    SciTech Connect

    Baker, Andrew M.; Torraco, Dennis; Judge, Elizabeth J.; Spernjak, Dusan; Mukundan, Rangachary; Borup, Rod L.; Advani, Suresh G.; Prasad, Ajay K.

    2015-10-02

    Cerium migration between PEM fuel cell components is influenced by potential-driven mobility, ionic diffusion, and gradients in water content. These factors were investigated in ex situ experiments and in operating fuel cells. Potential-induced migration was measured ex situ in hydrated window cells. Cerium-containing MEAs were also fabricated and tested under ASTs. MEA disassembly and subsequent XRF analysis were used to observe rapid cerium migration during cell assembly and operation. During MEA hot pressing, humidification, and low RH operation at OCV, ionic diffusion causes uniform migration from the membrane into the catalyst layers. During high RH operation at OCV, in-plane cerium gradients arise due to variations in water content. These gradients may diminish the scavenging efficacy of cerium by reducing its proximity to generated radicals.

  18. Cerium migration during PEM fuel cell assembly and operation

    DOE PAGES

    Baker, Andrew M.; Torraco, Dennis; Judge, Elizabeth J.; Spernjak, Dusan; Mukundan, Rangachary; Borup, Rod L.; Advani, Suresh G.; Prasad, Ajay K.

    2015-09-14

    Cerium migration between PEM fuel cell components is influenced by potential-driven mobility, ionic diffusion, and gradients in water content. These factors were investigated in ex situ experiments and in operating fuel cells. Potential-induced migration was measured ex situ in hydrated window cells. Cerium-containing MEAs were also fabricated and tested under ASTs. MEA disassembly and subsequent XRF analysis were used to observe rapid cerium migration during cell assembly and operation. During MEA hot pressing, humidification, and low RH operation at OCV, ionic diffusion causes uniform migration from the membrane into the catalyst layers. During high RH operation at OCV, in-plane ceriummore » gradients arise due to variations in water content. These gradients may diminish the scavenging efficacy of cerium by reducing its proximity to generated radicals.« less

  19. Cerium migration during PEM fuel cell assembly and operation

    SciTech Connect

    Baker, Andrew M.; Torraco, Dennis; Judge, Elizabeth J.; Spernjak, Dusan; Mukundan, Rangachary; Borup, Rod L.; Advani, Suresh G.; Prasad, Ajay K.

    2015-09-14

    Cerium migration between PEM fuel cell components is influenced by potential-driven mobility, ionic diffusion, and gradients in water content. These factors were investigated in ex situ experiments and in operating fuel cells. Potential-induced migration was measured ex situ in hydrated window cells. Cerium-containing MEAs were also fabricated and tested under ASTs. MEA disassembly and subsequent XRF analysis were used to observe rapid cerium migration during cell assembly and operation. During MEA hot pressing, humidification, and low RH operation at OCV, ionic diffusion causes uniform migration from the membrane into the catalyst layers. During high RH operation at OCV, in-plane cerium gradients arise due to variations in water content. These gradients may diminish the scavenging efficacy of cerium by reducing its proximity to generated radicals.

  20. Long-term operation of manure-microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Guodong; Zhao, Qingliang; Jiao, Yan; Lee, Duu-Jong

    2015-03-01

    Microbial fuel cell (MFC) is applied to produce electricity using dairy manure as a fuel. Since the way MFC utilizes manure as a fuel and the long-term operation stability of manure-MFC remains unclear, this study examined the evolution of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in anodic chamber and power generation by MFC in a 171days test. The tested MFC can produce electricity over the entire testing period by single feed of manure, with stable power output and total chemical oxygen demand (TCOD) removal rate in the period of day 30-140. The hydrophobic acid (HPO-A) and hydrophilic (HPI) fractions of manure were the principal components of anolyte DOM, with the concentrations of both being reduced over MFC operation. The degradable organic matters were converted to compounds with high aromaticity.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mishler, Jeffrey Harris

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

  2. Coking suppression in solid oxide fuel cells operating on ethanol by applying pyridine as fuel additive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Wei; Wang, Feng; Ran, Ran; Park, Hee Jung; Jung, Doh Won; Kwak, Chan; Shao, Zongping

    2014-11-01

    In this study, pyridine was used to suppress the coke formation in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) operating on liquid fuels. Pyridine can selectively occupy acidic sites of the Ni/Al2O3 catalyst layer and solves the problem of dehydration of ethanol in principle, resulting in a significant reduction in the coke formation rate for operating on ethanol fuel. At 600 °C, by adding 12.5 vol.% pyridine into the ethanol fuel, the coke formation rate over the Ni/Al2O3 catalyst is reduced by 64% while a cell power output comparable to that operating on hydrogen is still achieved based on total potential hydrogen available from ethanol. The effective reduction of carbon deposition on the catalyst layer thus protects the anode layer from carbon deposition by strongly suppressing coke formation, especially near the anode-electrolyte interface. Pyridine is adsorbed onto the acidic sites of the Ni/Al2O3 catalyst and the adsorbed pyridine may reduce the amount of carbonium ions formed, thereby reducing coke formation. This study suggested that the addition of pyridine could suppress the coke formation in SOFCs with Ni/Al2O3 catalyst layer operated on ethanol or some other similar liquid fuels.

  3. System for operating solid oxide fuel cell generator on diesel fuel

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Singh, Prabhu (Inventor); George, Raymond A. (Inventor)

    1997-01-01

    A system is provided for operating a solid oxide fuel cell generator on diesel fuel. The system includes a hydrodesulfurizer which reduces the sulfur content of commercial and military grade diesel fuel to an acceptable level. Hydrogen which has been previously separated from the process stream is mixed with diesel fuel at low pressure. The diesel/hydrogen mixture is then pressurized and introduced into the hydrodesulfurizer. The hydrodesulfurizer comprises a metal oxide such as ZnO which reacts with hydrogen sulfide in the presence of a metal catalyst to form a metal sulfide and water. After desulfurization, the diesel fuel is reformed and delivered to a hydrogen separator which removes most of the hydrogen from the reformed fuel prior to introduction into a solid oxide fuel cell generator. The separated hydrogen is then selectively delivered to the diesel/hydrogen mixer or to a hydrogen storage unit. The hydrogen storage unit preferably comprises a metal hydride which stores hydrogen in solid form at low pressure. Hydrogen may be discharged from the metal hydride to the diesel/hydrogen mixture at low pressure upon demand, particularly during start-up and shut-down of the system.

  4. On the influence of temperature on PEM fuel cell operation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coppo, M.; Siegel, N. P.; Spakovsky, M. R. von

    The 3D implementation of a previously developed 2D PEMFC model [N.P. Siegel, M.W. Ellis, D.J. Nelson, M.R. von Spakovsky, A two-dimensional computational model of a PEMFC with liquid water transport, J. Power Sources 128 (2) (2004) 173-184; N.P. Siegel, M.W. Ellis, D.J. Nelson, M.R. von Spakovsky, Single domain PEMFC model based on agglomerate catalyst geometry, J. Power Sources 115 (2003) 81-89] has been used to analyze the various pathways by which temperature affects the operation of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell [M. Coppo, CFD analysis and experimental investigation of proton exchange membrane fuel cells, Ph.D. Dissertation, Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy, 2005]. The original model, implemented in a specially modified version of CFDesign ® [CFDesign ® V5.1, Blue Ridge Numerics, 2003] , accounts for all of the major transport processes including: (i) a three-phase model for water transport in the liquid, vapor and dissolved phases, (ii) proton transport, (iii) gaseous species transport and reaction, (iv) an agglomerate model for the catalyst layers and (v) gas phase momentum transport. Since the details of it have been published earlier [N.P. Siegel, M.W. Ellis, D.J. Nelson, M.R. von Spakovsky, A two-dimensional computational model of a PEMFC with liquid water transport, J. Power Sources 128 (2) (2004) 173-184; N.P. Siegel, M.W. Ellis, D.J. Nelson, M.R. von Spakovsky, Single domain PEMFC model based on agglomerate catalyst geometry, J. Power Sources 115 (2003) 81-89; N.P. Siegel, Development and validation of a computational model for a proton exchange membrane fuel cell, Ph.D. Dissertation, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA, 2003], only new features are briefly discussed in the present work. In particular, the model has been extended in order to account for the temperature dependence of all of the physical properties involved in the model formulation. Moreover, a novel model has been developed to describe liquid

  5. OPERATION OF SOLID OXIDE FUEL CELL ANODES WITH PRACTICAL HYDROCARBON FUELS

    SciTech Connect

    Scott A. Barnett; Jiang Liu; Yuanbo Lin

    2004-07-30

    This work was carried out to achieve a better understanding of how SOFC anodes work with real fuels. The motivation was to improve the fuel flexibility of SOFC anodes, thereby allowing simplification and cost reduction of SOFC power plants. The work was based on prior results indicating that Ni-YSZ anode-supported SOFCs can be operated directly on methane and natural gas, while SOFCs with novel anode compositions can work with higher hydrocarbons. While these results were promising, more work was clearly needed to establish the feasibility of these direct-hydrocarbon SOFCs. Basic information on hydrocarbon-anode reactions should be broadly useful because reformate fuel gas can contain residual hydrocarbons, especially methane. In the Phase I project, we have studied the reaction mechanisms of various hydrocarbons--including methane, natural gas, and higher hydrocarbons--on two kinds of Ni-containing anodes: conventional Ni-YSZ anodes and a novel ceramic-based anode composition that avoid problems with coking. The effect of sulfur impurities was also studied. The program was aimed both at achieving an understanding of the interactions between real fuels and SOFC anodes, and providing enough information to establish the feasibility of operating SOFC stacks directly on hydrocarbon fuels. A combination of techniques was used to provide insight into the hydrocarbon reactions at these anodes during SOFC operation. Differentially-pumped mass spectrometry was be used for product-gas analysis both with and without cell operation. Impedance spectroscopy was used in order to understand electrochemical rate-limiting steps. Open-circuit voltages measurements under a range of conditions was used to help determine anode electrochemical reactions. Life tests over a wide range of conditions were used to establish the conditions for stable operation of anode-supported SOFC stacks directly on methane. Redox cycling was carried out on ceramic-based anodes. Tests on sulfur tolerance of

  6. Fuel cells: A survey

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Crowe, B. J.

    1973-01-01

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

  7. TEST RESULTS FOR FUEL-CELL OPERATION ON LANDFILL GAS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Test results from a demonstration of fuel-cell (FC) energy recovery and control of landfill gas emissions are presented. The project addressed two major issues: (i) the design, construction, and testing of a landfill-gas cleanup system; and (ii) a field test of a commercial phos...

  8. TEST RESULTS FOR FUEL CELL OPERATION ON ANAEROBIC DIGESTER GAS

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA, in conjunction with ONSI Corp., embarked on a project to define, design, test, and assess a fuel cell energy recovery system for application at anaerobic digester waste water (sewage) treatment plants. Anaerobic digester gas (ADG) is produced at these plants during the proce...

  9. Design and Operation of an Electrochemical Methanol Concentration Sensor for Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Narayanan, S. R.; Valdez, T. I.; Chun, W.

    2000-01-01

    The development of a 150-Watt packaged power source based on liquid feed direct methanol fuel cells is being pursued currently at the Jet propulsion Laboratory for defense applications. In our studies we find that the concentration of methanol in the fuel circulation loop affects the electrical performance and efficiency the direct methanol fuel cell systems significantly. The practical operation of direct methanol fuel cell systems, therefore, requires accurate monitoring and control of methanol concentration. The present paper reports on the principle and demonstration of an in-house developed electrochemical sensor suitable for direct methanol fuel cell systems.

  10. An operationally flexible fuel cell based on quaternary ammonium-biphosphate ion pairs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Kwan-Soo; Spendelow, Jacob S.; Choe, Yoong-Kee; Fujimoto, Cy; Kim, Yu Seung

    2016-09-01

    Fuel cells are promising devices for clean power generation in a variety of economically and environmentally significant applications. Low-temperature proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells utilizing Nafion require a high level of hydration, which limits the operating temperature to less than 100 ∘C. In contrast, high-temperature PEM fuel cells utilizing phosphoric acid-doped polybenzimidazole can operate effectively up to 180 ∘C however, these devices degrade when exposed to water below 140 ∘C. Here we present a different class of PEM fuel cells based on quaternary ammonium-biphosphate ion pairs that can operate under conditions unattainable with existing fuel cell technologies. These fuel cells exhibit stable performance at 80–160 ∘C with a conductivity decay rate more than three orders of magnitude lower than that of a commercial high-temperature PEM fuel cell. By increasing the operational flexibility, this class of fuel cell can simplify the requirements for heat and water management, and potentially reduce the costs associated with the existing fully functional fuel cell systems.

  11. An operationally flexible fuel cell based on quaternary ammonium-biphosphate ion pairs

    DOE PAGES

    Lee, Kwan -Soo; Spendelow, Jacob Schatz; Choe, Yoong -Kee; Fujimoto, Cy; Kim, Yu Seung

    2016-08-22

    Here, fuel cells are promising devices for clean power generation in a variety of economically and environmentally significant applications. Low-temperature proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells utilizing Nafion require a high level of hydration, which limits the operating temperature to less than 100°C. In contrast, high-temperature PEM fuel cells utilizing phosphoric acid-doped polybenzimidazole can operate effectively up to 180°C; however, these devices degrade when exposed to water below 140°C. Here we present a different class of PEM fuel cells based on quaternary ammonium-biphosphate ion pairs that can operate under conditions unattainable with existing fuel cell technologies. These fuel cells exhibitmore » stable performance at 80–160°C with a conductivity decay rate more than three orders of magnitude lower than that of a commercial high-temperature PEM fuel cell. By increasing the operational flexibility, this class of fuel cell can simplify the requirements for heat and water management, and potentially reduce the costs associated with the existing fully functional fuel cell systems.« less

  12. An operationally flexible fuel cell based on quaternary ammonium-biphosphate ion pairs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Kwan-Soo; Spendelow, Jacob S.; Choe, Yoong-Kee; Fujimoto, Cy; Kim, Yu Seung

    2016-09-01

    Fuel cells are promising devices for clean power generation in a variety of economically and environmentally significant applications. Low-temperature proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells utilizing Nafion require a high level of hydration, which limits the operating temperature to less than 100 ∘C. In contrast, high-temperature PEM fuel cells utilizing phosphoric acid-doped polybenzimidazole can operate effectively up to 180 ∘C however, these devices degrade when exposed to water below 140 ∘C. Here we present a different class of PEM fuel cells based on quaternary ammonium-biphosphate ion pairs that can operate under conditions unattainable with existing fuel cell technologies. These fuel cells exhibit stable performance at 80-160 ∘C with a conductivity decay rate more than three orders of magnitude lower than that of a commercial high-temperature PEM fuel cell. By increasing the operational flexibility, this class of fuel cell can simplify the requirements for heat and water management, and potentially reduce the costs associated with the existing fully functional fuel cell systems.

  13. High-temperature passive direct methanol fuel cells operating with concentrated fuels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Xuxin; Yuan, Wenxiang; Wu, Qixing; Sun, Hongyuan; Luo, Zhongkuan; Fu, Huide

    2015-01-01

    Conventionally, passive direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC) are fed with diluted methanol solutions and can hardly be operated at elevated temperatures (>120 °C) because the ionic conductivity of Nafion-type proton exchange membranes depends strongly on water content. Such a system design would limit its energy density and power density in mobile applications. In this communication, a passive vapor feed DMFC capable of operating with concentrated fuels at high temperatures is reported. The passive DMFC proposed in this work consists of a fuel reservoir, a perforated silicone sheet, a vapor chamber, two current collectors and a membrane electrode assembly (MEA) based on a phosphoric acid doped polybenzimidazole (PBI) membrane. The experimental results reveal that the methanol crossover through a PBI membrane is substantially low when compared with the Nafion membranes and the PBI-based passive DMFC can yield a peak power density of 37.2 mW cm-2 and 22.1 mW cm-2 at 180 °C when 16 M methanol solutions and neat methanol are used respectively. In addition, the 132 h discharge test indicates that the performance of this new DMFC is quite stable and no obvious performance degradation is observed after activation, showing its promising applications in portable power sources.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-15

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

  15. Magnetic resonance imaging of water content across the Nafion membrane in an operational PEM fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ziheng; Martin, Jonathan; Wu, Jinfeng; Wang, Haijiang; Promislow, Keith; Balcom, Bruce J

    2008-08-01

    Water management is critical to optimize the operation of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. At present, numerical models are employed to guide water management in such fuel cells. Accurate measurements of water content variation in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells are required to validate these models and to optimize fuel cell behavior. We report a direct water content measurement across the Nafion membrane in an operational polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell, employing double half k-space spin echo single point imaging techniques. The MRI measurements with T2 mapping were undertaken with a parallel plate resonator to avoid the effects of RF screening. The parallel plate resonator employs the electrodes inherent to the fuel cell to create a resonant circuit at RF frequencies for MR excitation and detection, while still operating as a conventional fuel cell at DC. Three stages of fuel cell operation were investigated: activation, operation and dehydration. Each profile was acquired in 6 min, with 6 microm nominal resolution and a SNR of better than 15.

  16. Analysis of long-time operation of micro-cogeneration unit with fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patsch, Marek; Čaja, Alexander

    2015-05-01

    Micro-cogeneration is cogeneration with small performance, with maximal electric power up to 50 kWe. On the present, there are available small micro-cogeneration units with small electric performance, about 1 kWe, which are usable also in single family houses or flats. These micro-cogeneration units operate on principle of conventional combustion engine, Stirling engine, steam engine or fuel cell. Micro-cogeneration units with fuel cells are new progressive developing type of units for single family houses. Fuel cell is electrochemical device which by oxidation-reduction reaction turn directly chemical energy of fuel to electric power, secondary products are pure water and thermal energy. The aim of paper is measuring and evaluation of operation parameters of micro-cogeneration unit with fuel cell which uses natural gas as a fuel.

  17. Purge gas protected transportable pressurized fuel cell modules and their operation in a power plant

    DOEpatents

    Zafred, Paolo R.; Dederer, Jeffrey T.; Gillett, James E.; Basel, Richard A.; Antenucci, Annette B.

    1996-01-01

    A fuel cell generator apparatus and method of its operation involves: passing pressurized oxidant gas, (O) and pressurized fuel gas, (F), into fuel cell modules, (10 and 12), containing fuel cells, where the modules are each enclosed by a module housing (18), surrounded by an axially elongated pressure vessel (64), where there is a purge gas volume, (62), between the module housing and pressure vessel; passing pressurized purge gas, (P), through the purge gas volume, (62), to dilute any unreacted fuel gas from the modules; and passing exhaust gas, (82), and circulated purge gas and any unreacted fuel gas out of the pressure vessel; where the fuel cell generator apparatus is transpatable when the pressure vessel (64) is horizontally disposed, providing a low center of gravity.

  18. Optimal design and operation of solid oxide fuel cell systems for small-scale stationary applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Braun, Robert Joseph

    The advent of maturing fuel cell technologies presents an opportunity to achieve significant improvements in energy conversion efficiencies at many scales; thereby, simultaneously extending our finite resources and reducing "harmful" energy-related emissions to levels well below that of near-future regulatory standards. However, before realization of the advantages of fuel cells can take place, systems-level design issues regarding their application must be addressed. Using modeling and simulation, the present work offers optimal system design and operation strategies for stationary solid oxide fuel cell systems applied to single-family detached dwellings. A one-dimensional, steady-state finite-difference model of a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) is generated and verified against other mathematical SOFC models in the literature. Fuel cell system balance-of-plant components and costs are also modeled and used to provide an estimate of system capital and life cycle costs. The models are used to evaluate optimal cell-stack power output, the impact of cell operating and design parameters, fuel type, thermal energy recovery, system process design, and operating strategy on overall system energetic and economic performance. Optimal cell design voltage, fuel utilization, and operating temperature parameters are found using minimization of the life cycle costs. System design evaluations reveal that hydrogen-fueled SOFC systems demonstrate lower system efficiencies than methane-fueled systems. The use of recycled cell exhaust gases in process design in the stack periphery are found to produce the highest system electric and cogeneration efficiencies while achieving the lowest capital costs. Annual simulations reveal that efficiencies of 45% electric (LHV basis), 85% cogenerative, and simple economic paybacks of 5--8 years are feasible for 1--2 kW SOFC systems in residential-scale applications. Design guidelines that offer additional suggestions related to fuel cell

  19. Trial operation of a phosphoric acid fuel cell (PC25) for CHP applications in Europe

    SciTech Connect

    Uhrig, M.; Droste, W.; Wolf, D.

    1996-12-31

    In Europe, ten 200 kW phosphoric acid fuel cells (PAFCs) produced by ONSI (PC25) are currently in operation. Their operators collaborate closely in the European Fuel Cell Users Group (EFCUG). The experience gained from trial operation by the four German operators - HEAG, HGW/HEW, Thyssengas and Ruhrgas - coincides with that of the other European operators. This experience can generally be regarded as favourable. With a view to using fuel cells in combined heat and power generation (CHP), the project described in this report, which was carried out in cooperation with the municipal utility of Bochum and Gasunie of the Netherlands, aimed at gaining experience with the PC 25 in field operation under the specific operating conditions prevailing in Europe. The work packages included heat-controlled operation, examination of plant behavior with varying gas properties and measurement of emissions under dynamic load conditions. The project received EU funding under the JOULE programme.

  20. Fuel Cells

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hawkins, M. D.

    1973-01-01

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

  1. High pressure operation of tubular solid oxide fuel cells and their intergration with gas turbines

    SciTech Connect

    Haynes, C.; Wepfer, W.J.

    1996-12-31

    Fossil fuels continue to be used at a rate greater than that of their natural formation, and the current byproducts from their use are believed to have a detrimental effect on the environment (e.g. global warming). There is thus a significant impetus to have cleaner, more efficient fuel consumption alternatives. Recent progress has led to renewed vigor in the development of fuel cell technology, which has been shown to be capable of producing high efficiencies with relatively benign exhaust products. The tubular solid oxide fuel cell developed by Westinghouse Electric Corporation has shown significant promise. Modeling efforts have been and are underway to optimize and better understand this fuel cell technology. Thus far, the bulk of modeling efforts has been for operation at atmospheric pressure. There is now interest in developing high-efficiency integrated gas turbine/solid oxide fuel cell systems. Such operation of fuel cells would obviously occur at higher pressures. The fuel cells have been successfully modeled under high pressure operation and further investigated as integrated components of an open loop gas turbine cycle.

  2. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of PEM Dehydration and Gas Manifold Flooding During Continuous Fuel Cell Operation

    SciTech Connect

    Minard, Kevin R.; Vishwanathan, Vilanyur V.; Majors, Paul D.; Wang, Li Q.; Rieke, Peter C.

    2006-10-27

    The methods, apparatus, and results are reported for in-situ, near real time, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of MEA dehydration and gas manifold flooding in an operating PEM fuel cell. To acquire high-resolution, artifact-free images for visualizing water distribution, acquisition parameters for a standard, two-dimensional (2D), spin-echo sequence were first optimized for the measured magnetic field heterogeneity induced by fuel cell components. 2D images of water inside the fuel cell were then acquired every 128 seconds during 11.4 hours of continuous operation under constant load. Collected images revealed that MEA dehydration proceeded non-uniformly across its plane, starting from gas inlets and ending at gas outlets, and that upon completion of this dehydration process manifold flooding began. To understand these observations, acquired images were correlated to the current output and operating characteristics of the fuel cell. Results demonstrate the power of MRI for in-situ, near real-time imaging of water distribution and non-uniformity in operating PEM fuel cells, and highlight its utility for understanding PEM fuel cell operation, the causes of cell failure, and for developing new strategies of water management.

  3. In-ground operation of Geothermic Fuel Cells for unconventional oil and gas recovery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sullivan, Neal; Anyenya, Gladys; Haun, Buddy; Daubenspeck, Mark; Bonadies, Joseph; Kerr, Rick; Fischer, Bernhard; Wright, Adam; Jones, Gerald; Li, Robert; Wall, Mark; Forbes, Alan; Savage, Marshall

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents operating and performance characteristics of a nine-stack solid-oxide fuel cell combined-heat-and-power system. Integrated with a natural-gas fuel processor, air compressor, reactant-gas preheater, and diagnostics and control equipment, the system is designed for use in unconventional oil-and-gas processing. Termed a "Geothermic Fuel Cell" (GFC), the heat liberated by the fuel cell during electricity generation is harnessed to process oil shale into high-quality crude oil and natural gas. The 1.5-kWe SOFC stacks are packaged within three-stack GFC modules. Three GFC modules are mechanically and electrically coupled to a reactant-gas preheater and installed within the earth. During operation, significant heat is conducted from the Geothermic Fuel Cell to the surrounding geology. The complete system was continuously operated on hydrogen and natural-gas fuels for ∼600 h. A quasi-steady operating point was established to favor heat generation (29.1 kWth) over electricity production (4.4 kWe). Thermodynamic analysis reveals a combined-heat-and-power efficiency of 55% at this condition. Heat flux to the geology averaged 3.2 kW m-1 across the 9-m length of the Geothermic Fuel Cell-preheater assembly. System performance is reviewed; some suggestions for improvement are proposed.

  4. Dissolution of Platinum in the Operational Range of Fuel Cells

    PubMed Central

    Keeley, Gareth P.; Geiger, Simon; Zeradjanin, Aleksandar R.; Hodnik, Nejc; Kulyk, Nadiia

    2015-01-01

    Abstract One of the most important practical issues in low‐temperature fuel‐cell catalyst degradation is platinum dissolution. According to the literature, it initiates at 0.6–0.9 VRHE, whereas previous time‐ and potential‐resolved inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP–MS) experiments, however, revealed dissolution onset at only 1.05 VRHE. In this manuscript, the apparent discrepancy is addressed by investigating bulk and nanoparticulated catalysts. It is shown that, given enough time for accumulation, traces of platinum can be detected at potentials as low as 0.85 VRHE. At these low potentials, anodic dissolution is the dominant process, whereas, at more positive potentials, more platinum dissolves during the oxide reduction after accumulation. Interestingly, the potential and time dissolution dependence is similar for both types of electrode. Dissolution processes are discussed with relevance to fuel‐cell operation and plausible dissolution mechanisms are considered. PMID:27525206

  5. Purge gas protected transportable pressurized fuel cell modules and their operation in a power plant

    DOEpatents

    Zafred, P.R.; Dederer, J.T.; Gillett, J.E.; Basel, R.A.; Antenucci, A.B.

    1996-11-12

    A fuel cell generator apparatus and method of its operation involves: passing pressurized oxidant gas and pressurized fuel gas into modules containing fuel cells, where the modules are each enclosed by a module housing surrounded by an axially elongated pressure vessel, and where there is a purge gas volume between the module housing and pressure vessel; passing pressurized purge gas through the purge gas volume to dilute any unreacted fuel gas from the modules; and passing exhaust gas and circulated purge gas and any unreacted fuel gas out of the pressure vessel; where the fuel cell generator apparatus is transportable when the pressure vessel is horizontally disposed, providing a low center of gravity. 11 figs.

  6. Influence of anode surface chemistry on microbial fuel cell operation.

    PubMed

    Santoro, Carlo; Babanova, Sofia; Artyushkova, Kateryna; Cornejo, Jose A; Ista, Linnea; Bretschger, Orianna; Marsili, Enrico; Atanassov, Plamen; Schuler, Andrew J

    2015-12-01

    Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) modified gold anodes are used in single chamber microbial fuel cells for organic removal and electricity generation. Hydrophilic (N(CH3)3(+), OH, COOH) and hydrophobic (CH3) SAMs are examined for their effect on bacterial attachment, current and power output. The different substratum chemistry affects the community composition of the electrochemically active biofilm formed and thus the current and power output. Of the four SAM-modified anodes tested, N(CH3)3(+) results in the shortest start up time (15 days), highest current achieved (225 μA cm(-2)) and highest MFC power density (40 μW cm(-2)), followed by COOH (150 μA cm(-2) and 37 μW cm(-2)) and OH (83 μA cm(-2) and 27 μW cm(-2)) SAMs. Hydrophobic SAM decreases electrochemically active bacteria attachment and anode performance in comparison to hydrophilic SAMs (CH3 modified anodes 7 μA cm(-2) anodic current and 1.2 μW cm(-2) MFC's power density). A consortium of Clostridia and δ-Proteobacteria is found on all the anode surfaces, suggesting a synergistic cooperation under anodic conditions.

  7. Method for reducing fuel cell output voltage to permit low power operation

    DOEpatents

    Reiser, Carl A.; Landau, Michael B.

    1980-01-01

    Fuel cell performance is degraded by recycling a portion of the cathode exhaust through the cells and, if necessary, also reducing the total air flow to the cells for the purpose of permitting operation below a power level which would otherwise result in excessive voltage.

  8. Analysis of Actual Operating Conditions of an Off-grid Solid Oxide Fuel Cell

    SciTech Connect

    Dennis Witmer; Thomas Johnson; Jack Schmid

    2008-12-31

    Fuel cells have been proposed as ideal replacements for other technologies in remote locations such as Rural Alaska. A number of suppliers have developed systems that might be applicable in these locations, but there are several requirements that must be met before they can be deployed: they must be able to operate on portable fuels, and be able to operate with little operator assistance for long periods of time. This project was intended to demonstrate the operation of a 5 kW fuel cell on propane at a remote site (defined as one without access to grid power, internet, or cell phone, but on the road system). A fuel cell was purchased by the National Park Service for installation in their newly constructed visitor center at Exit Glacier in the Kenai Fjords National Park. The DOE participation in this project as initially scoped was for independent verification of the operation of this demonstration. This project met with mixed success. The fuel cell has operated over 6 seasons at the facility with varying degrees of success, with one very good run of about 1049 hours late in the summer of 2006, but in general the operation has been below expectations. There have been numerous stack failures, the efficiency of electrical generation has been lower than expected, and the field support effort required has been far higher than expected. Based on the results to date, it appears that this technology has not developed to the point where demonstrations in off road sites are justified.

  9. A comparison of low-pressure and supercharged operation of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell systems for aircraft applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Werner, C.; Preiß, G.; Gores, F.; Griebenow, M.; Heitmann, S.

    2016-08-01

    Multifunctional fuel cell systems are competitive solutions aboard future generations of civil aircraft concerning energy consumption, environmental issues, and safety reasons. The present study compares low-pressure and supercharged operation of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells with respect to performance and efficiency criteria. This is motivated by the challenge of pressure-dependent fuel cell operation aboard aircraft with cabin pressure varying with operating altitude. Experimental investigations of low-pressure fuel cell operation use model-based design of experiments and are complemented by numerical investigations concerning supercharged fuel cell operation. It is demonstrated that a low-pressure operation is feasible with the fuel cell device under test, but that its range of stable operation changes between both operating modes. Including an external compressor, it can be shown that the power demand for supercharging the fuel cell is about the same as the loss in power output of the fuel cell due to low-pressure operation. Furthermore, the supercharged fuel cell operation appears to be more sensitive with respect to variations in the considered independent operating parameters load requirement, cathode stoichiometric ratio, and cooling temperature. The results indicate that a pressure-dependent self-humidification control might be able to exploit the potential of low-pressure fuel cell operation for aircraft applications to the best advantage.

  10. EXPERIMENTAL AND NUMERICAL ANALYSIS OF SUBFREEZING OPERATION IN PEM FUEL CELLS

    SciTech Connect

    Mukherjee, Partha P

    2010-01-01

    In this work, we present the neutron radiography and analysis, as well as modeling predictions of cold-start operation of PEM fuel cells. Fuel cells with Gore or LANL MEAs and SGL or E-Tek ELAT GDLs are tested in varying subfreezing temperatures (-40 to 0 C) to determine time to failure, amount of water formation, and place of water formation. Theoretical modeling is also conducted and model predictions are compared with the cell voltage evolution during subfreezing operation. A higher PTFE-loading in the MPL is found to decrease loss in ESCA in our case.

  11. A Reversible Planar Solid Oxide Fuel-Fed Electrolysis Cell and Solid Oxide Fuel Cell for Hydrogen and Electricity Production Operating on Natural Gas/Biomass Fuels

    SciTech Connect

    Tao, Greg, G.

    2007-03-31

    A solid oxide fuel-assisted electrolysis technique was developed to co-generate hydrogen and electricity directly from a fuel at a reduced cost of electricity. Solid oxide fuel-assisted electrolysis cells (SOFECs), which were comprised of 8YSZ electrolytes sandwiched between thick anode supports and thin cathodes, were constructed and experimentally evaluated at various operation conditions on lab-level button cells with 2 cm2 per-cell active areas as well as on bench-scale stacks with 30 cm2 and 100 cm2 per-cell active areas. To reduce the concentration overpotentials, pore former systems were developed and engineered to optimize the microstructure and morphology of the Ni+8YSZ-based anodes. Chemically stable cathode materials, which possess good electronic and ionic conductivity and exhibit good electrocatalytic properties in both oxidizing and reducing gas atmospheres, were developed and materials properties were investigated. In order to increase the specific hydrogen production rate and thereby reduce the system volume and capital cost for commercial applications, a hybrid system that integrates the technologies of the SOFEC and the solid-oxide fuel cell (SOFC), was developed and successfully demonstrated at a 1kW scale, co-generating hydrogen and electricity directly from chemical fuels.

  12. Operation of PEM fuel cells at 120-150 °C to improve CO tolerance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Hui; Song, Ying; Kunz, H. Russell; Fenton, James M.

    Sulfonic acid modified perfluorocarbon polymer proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells operated at elevated temperatures (120-150 °C) can greatly alleviate CO poisoning on anode catalysts. However, fuel cells with these PEMs operated at elevated temperature and atmospheric pressure typically experience low relative humidity (RH) and thus have increased membrane and electrode resistance. To operate PEM fuel cells at elevated temperature and high RH, work is needed to pressurize the anode and cathode reactant gases, thereby decreasing the efficiency of the PEM fuel cell system. A liquid-fed hydrocarbon-fuel processor can produce reformed gas at high pressure and high relative humidity without gas compression. If the anode is fed with this high-pressure, high-relative humidity stream, the water in the anode compartment will transport through the membrane and into the ambient pressure cathode structure, decreasing the cell resistance. This work studied the effect of anode pressurization on the cell resistance and performance using an ambient pressure cathode. The results show that high RH from anode pressurization at both 120 and 150 °C can decrease the membrane resistance and therefore increase the cell voltage. A cell running at 150 °C obtains a cell voltage of 0.43 V at 400 mA cm -2 even with 1% CO in H 2. The results presented here provide a concept for the application of a coupled steam reformer and PEM fuel cell system that can operate at 150 °C with reformate and an atmospheric air cathode.

  13. Preliminary Experimental Results of Integrated Gasification Fuel Cell Operation Using Hardware Simulation

    SciTech Connect

    Traverso, Alberto; Tucker, David; Haynes, Comas L.

    2012-07-01

    A newly developed integrated gasification fuel cell (IGFC) hybrid system concept has been tested using the Hybrid Performance (Hyper) project hardware-based simulation facility at the U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory. The cathode-loop hardware facility, previously connected to the real-time fuel cell model, was integrated with a real-time model of a gasifier of solid (biomass and fossil) fuel. The fuel cells are operated at the compressor delivery pressure, and they are fueled by an updraft atmospheric gasifier, through the syngas conditioning train for tar removal and syngas compression. The system was brought to steady state; then several perturbations in open loop (variable speed) and closed loop (constant speed) were performed in order to characterize the IGFC behavior. Coupled experiments and computations have shown the feasibility of relatively fast control of the plant as well as a possible mitigation strategy to reduce the thermal stress on the fuel cells as a consequence of load variation and change in gasifier operating conditions. Results also provided an insight into the different features of variable versus constant speed operation of the gas turbine section.

  14. A new topology of fuel cell hybrid power source for efficient operation and high reliability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bizon, Nicu

    2011-03-01

    This paper analyzes a new fuel cell Hybrid Power Source (HPS) topology having the feature to mitigate the current ripple of the fuel cell inverter system. In the operation of the inverter system that is grid connected or supplies AC motors in vehicle application, the current ripple normally appears at the DC port of the fuel cell HPS. Consequently, if mitigation measures are not applied, this ripple is back propagated to the fuel cell stack. Other features of the proposed fuel cell HPS are the Maximum Power Point (MPP) tracking, high reliability in operation under sharp power pulses and improved energy efficiency in high power applications. This topology uses an inverter system directly powered from the appropriate fuel cell stack and a controlled buck current source as low power source used for ripple mitigation. The low frequency ripple mitigation is based on active control. The anti-ripple current is injected in HPS output node and this has the LF power spectrum almost the same with the inverter ripple. Consequently, the fuel cell current ripple is mitigated by the designed active control. The ripple mitigation performances are evaluated by indicators that are defined to measure the mitigation ratio of the low frequency harmonics. In this paper it is shown that good performances are obtained by using the hysteretic current control, but better if a dedicated nonlinear controller is used. Two ways to design the nonlinear control law are proposed. First is based on simulation trials that help to draw the characteristic of ripple mitigation ratio vs. fuel cell current ripple. The second is based on Fuzzy Logic Controller (FLC). The ripple factor is up to 1% in both cases.

  15. Carbon corrosion in PEM fuel cells during drive cycle operation

    SciTech Connect

    Borup, Rodney L.; Papadias, D. D.; Mukundan, Rangachary; Spernjak, Dusan; Langlois, David Alan; Ahluwalia, Rajesh; More, Karen L.; Grot, Steve

    2015-09-14

    One of the major contributors to degradation involves the electrocatalyst, including the corrosion of the carbons used as catalyst supports, which leads to changes in the catalyst layer structure. We have measured and quantified carbon corrosion during drive cycle operation and as a variation of the upper and lower potential limits used during drive cycle operation. The amount of carbon corrosion is exacerbated by the voltage cycling inherent in the drive cycle compared with constant potential operation. The potential gap between upper and lower potentials appears to be more important than the absolute operating potentials in the normal operating potential regime (0.40V to 0.95V) as changes in the measured carbon corrosion are similar when the upper potential was lower compared to raising the lower potential. Catalyst layer thinning was observed during the simulated drive cycle operation which had an associated decrease in catalyst layer porosity. This catalyst layer thinning is not due solely to carbon corrosion, although carbon corrosion likely plays a role; much of this thinning must be from compaction of the material in the catalyst layer. As a result, the decrease in catalyst layer porosity leads to additional performance losses due to mass transport losses.

  16. Carbon corrosion in PEM fuel cells during drive cycle operation

    DOE PAGES

    Borup, Rodney L.; Papadias, D. D.; Mukundan, Rangachary; Spernjak, Dusan; Langlois, David Alan; Ahluwalia, Rajesh; More, Karen L.; Grot, Steve

    2015-09-14

    One of the major contributors to degradation involves the electrocatalyst, including the corrosion of the carbons used as catalyst supports, which leads to changes in the catalyst layer structure. We have measured and quantified carbon corrosion during drive cycle operation and as a variation of the upper and lower potential limits used during drive cycle operation. The amount of carbon corrosion is exacerbated by the voltage cycling inherent in the drive cycle compared with constant potential operation. The potential gap between upper and lower potentials appears to be more important than the absolute operating potentials in the normal operating potentialmore » regime (0.40V to 0.95V) as changes in the measured carbon corrosion are similar when the upper potential was lower compared to raising the lower potential. Catalyst layer thinning was observed during the simulated drive cycle operation which had an associated decrease in catalyst layer porosity. This catalyst layer thinning is not due solely to carbon corrosion, although carbon corrosion likely plays a role; much of this thinning must be from compaction of the material in the catalyst layer. As a result, the decrease in catalyst layer porosity leads to additional performance losses due to mass transport losses.« less

  17. The effect of operation and design parameters on the performance of the direct methanol fuel cell

    SciTech Connect

    Simpson, S.F.; Cisar, A.; Franaszczuk, K.

    1996-12-31

    Fuel cell technology continues to receive considerable attention as a potential replacement for fossil fuels as a primary source of terrestrial power. Ideally, such power systems would operate at relatively low temperatures (< 100{degrees}C) which suggests strongly the use of cell technology based upon the proton exchange membrane (PEM). Without question, hydrogen is a very desirable fuel choice for these types of systems, because of its high energy density. However, the difficulties associated with the production and routine handling of hydrogen limit severely its commercial use at present. The direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) is a particularly attractive alternative to the use of the hydrogen/oxygen cell. Although not as high as hydrogen, the energy density of methanol is the highest among the organic fuels. Furthermore, because of the similarity in liquid handling requirements between methanol and gasoline, a significant portion of the infrastructure necessary for the marketing and distribution of the fuel is already in place. Other inherent attributes of the DMFC which include rapid start-up and operation with little or no emission or noise signature have led to an intense DMFC research effort over the past twenty years and, indeed, the DMFC has even been referred to as {open_quotes}the electrochemist`s dream{close_quotes}.

  18. Fuel cell operation on anaerobic digester gas: Conceptual design and assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Spiegel, R.J.; Thorneloe, S.A.; Trocciola, J.C.; Preston, J.L.

    1999-11-01

    The conceptual design of a fuel cell (FC) system for operation on anaerobic digester gas (ADG) is described and its economic and environmental feasibility is projected. ADG is produced at wastewater treatment plants during the process of treating sewage anaerobically to reduce solids. The economic feasibility study shows the fuel cell is economical where plant electricity costs are 5 [cents]/kW h or higher, based on entry level fuel cell costs of $3,000/kW. FCs are one of the cleanest energy technologies available, and the widespread use of this concept should result in a significant reduction in global warming gas and acid rain air emissions. Additionally, technology evaluation focused on improving a commercial phosphoric acid FC power plant operation on ADG is described.

  19. Fuel cell operation on anaerobic digester gas: Conceptual design and assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Spiegel, R.J.; Thorneloe, S.A. . National Risk Management Research Lab.); Trocciola, J.C.; Preston, J.L. )

    1999-01-01

    The conceptual design of a fuel cell (FC) system for operation on anaerobic digester gas (ADG) is described and its economic and environmental feasibility is projected. ADG is produced at wastewater treatment plants during the process of treating sewage anaerobically to reduce solids. The economic feasibility study shows the fuel cell is economical where plant electricity costs are 5 [cents]/kW h or higher, based on entry level fuel cell costs of $3,000/kW. FCs are one of the cleanest energy technologies available, and the widespread use of this concept should result in a significant reduction in global warming gas and acid rain air emissions. Additionally, technology evaluation focused on improving a commercial phosphoric acid FC power plant operation on ADG is described.

  20. 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.

  1. FUEL CELL OPERATION ON ANAEROBIC DIGESTER GAS: CONCEPTUAL DESIGN AND ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The conceptual design of a fuel cell (FC) system for operation on anaerobic digester gas (ADG) is described and its economic and environmental feasibility is projected. ADG is produced at water treatment plants during the process of treating sewage anaerobically to reduce solids....

  2. Effectiveness of paper-structured catalyst for the operation of biodiesel-fueled solid oxide fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quang-Tuyen, Tran; Kaida, Taku; Sakamoto, Mio; Sasaki, Kazunari; Shiratori, Yusuke

    2015-06-01

    Mg/Al-hydrotalcite (HDT)-dispersed paper-structured catalyst (PSC) was prepared by a simple paper-making process. The PSC exhibited excellent catalytic activity for the steam reforming of model biodiesel fuel (BDF), pure oleic acid methyl ester (oleic-FAME, C19H36O2) which is a mono-unsaturated component of practical BDFs. The PSC exhibited fuel conversion comparable to a pelletized catalyst material, here, conventional Ni-zirconia cermet anode for solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) with less than one-hundredth Ni weight. Performance of electrolyte-supported cell connected with the PSC was evaluated in the feed of oleic-FAME, and stable operation was achieved. After 60 h test, coking was not observed in both SOFC anode and PSC.

  3. A solid oxide fuel cell power system: 1992--1993 field operation

    SciTech Connect

    Veyo, S.E.; Kusunoki, A.; Takeuchi, S.; Kaneko, S.; Yokoyama, H.

    1994-05-01

    Westinghouse has deployed fully integrated, automatically controlled, packaged solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) power generation systems in order to obtain useful customer feedback. Recently, Westinghouse has deployed 20 kW class natural gas fueled SOFC generator modules integrated into two 25 kW SOFC systems, the first with The UTILITIES, a Japanese consortium. The UTILITIES 25 kW SOFC system is the focus of this paper. The unit was shipped to the Rokko Island Test Center for Advanced Energy Systems (near Kobe, Japan) operated by Kansai Electric Power Co.; testing was initiated February 1992. Module A operated for 2601 hours at an ave output 16.6 kW dc; final shutdown was induced by current stability problems with dissipator (restart not possible because of damaged cells). Module B operated for 1579 hours at ave output 17.8 kWdc. The unit was damaged by operation at excessively high fuel utilization > 91%. It was rebuilt and returned to Rokko Island. This module B2 operated for 1843 hours on PNG; shutdown was cuased by air supply failure. After a new blower and motor were installed July 1993, the system was restarted August 5, 1993 and operated continuously until November 10, 1993, when an automatic shutdown was induced as part of a MITI licensing inspection. After restart, the unit passed 6000 hours of operation on desulfurized PNG on January 25, 1994. Westinghouse`s future plans are outlined.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Direct hydrocarbon fuel cells

    DOEpatents

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

    2010-05-04

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

  6. Depression of hydrogen evolution during operation of a direct borohydride fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Z. P.; Liu, B. H.; Zhu, J. K.; Suda, S.

    Hydrogen evolution from the anode usually occurs during operation of a Direct Borohydride Fuel Cell (DBFC). This would not only decrease the fuel utilization, but also lower the cell performance because hydrogen bubbles would hinder ion movement in the anolyte. In this paper, the hydrogen evolution behavior is investigated based on relations of hydrogen evolution rates versus operation currents of the DBFC. The effects of anode modification on the hydrogen evolution rate and the cell performance were investigated. It was found that hydrogen evolution was depressed by adding Pd, Ag and Au catalysts in the anode. Coating a thin Nafion film on the catalyst surfaces was another effective way to decrease the hydrogen evolution rate. Depression of the hydrogen evolution and improvement of the DBFC performance can be achieved by adding carbon supported Pd in Ni anode with a suitable content of Nafion. However, too much Nafion in the anode would degrade the DBFC performance.

  7. Why solid oxide cells can be reversibly operated in solid oxide electrolysis cell and fuel cell modes?

    PubMed

    Chen, Kongfa; Liu, Shu-Sheng; Ai, Na; Koyama, Michihisa; Jiang, San Ping

    2015-12-14

    High temperature solid oxide cells (SOCs) are attractive for storage and regeneration of renewable energy by operating reversibly in solid oxide electrolysis cell (SOEC) and solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) modes. However, the stability of SOCs, particularly the deterioration of the performance of oxygen electrodes in the SOEC operation mode, is the most critical issue in the development of high performance and durable SOCs. In this study, we investigate in detail the electrochemical activity and stability of La0.8Sr0.2MnO3 (LSM) oxygen electrodes in cyclic SOEC and SOFC modes. The results show that the deterioration of LSM oxygen electrodes caused by anodic polarization can be partially or completely recovered by subsequent cathodic polarization. Using in situ assembled LSM electrodes without pre-sintering, we demonstrate that the deteriorated LSM/YSZ interface can be repaired and regenerated by operating the cells under cathodic polarization conditions. This study for the first time establishes the foundation for the development of truly reversible and stable SOCs for hydrogen fuel production and electricity generation in cyclic SOEC and SOFC operation modes. PMID:26548929

  8. Why solid oxide cells can be reversibly operated in solid oxide electrolysis cell and fuel cell modes?

    PubMed

    Chen, Kongfa; Liu, Shu-Sheng; Ai, Na; Koyama, Michihisa; Jiang, San Ping

    2015-12-14

    High temperature solid oxide cells (SOCs) are attractive for storage and regeneration of renewable energy by operating reversibly in solid oxide electrolysis cell (SOEC) and solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) modes. However, the stability of SOCs, particularly the deterioration of the performance of oxygen electrodes in the SOEC operation mode, is the most critical issue in the development of high performance and durable SOCs. In this study, we investigate in detail the electrochemical activity and stability of La0.8Sr0.2MnO3 (LSM) oxygen electrodes in cyclic SOEC and SOFC modes. The results show that the deterioration of LSM oxygen electrodes caused by anodic polarization can be partially or completely recovered by subsequent cathodic polarization. Using in situ assembled LSM electrodes without pre-sintering, we demonstrate that the deteriorated LSM/YSZ interface can be repaired and regenerated by operating the cells under cathodic polarization conditions. This study for the first time establishes the foundation for the development of truly reversible and stable SOCs for hydrogen fuel production and electricity generation in cyclic SOEC and SOFC operation modes.

  9. Special considerations on operating a fuel cell power plant using natural gas with marginal heating value

    SciTech Connect

    Moses, L. Ng; Chien-Liang Lin; Ya-Tang Cheng

    1996-12-31

    In realizing new power generation technologies in Taiwan, a phosphoric acid fuel cell power plant (model PC2513, ONSI Corporation) has been installed in the premises of the Power Research Institute of the Taiwan Power Company in Taipei County of Taiwan. The pipeline gas supplying to the site of this power plant has a high percentage of carbon dioxide and thus a slightly lower heating value than that specified by the manufacturer. Because of the lowering of heating value of input gas, the highest Output power from the power plant is understandably less than the rated power of 200 kW designed. Further, the transient response of the power plant as interrupted from the Grid is also affected. Since this gas is also the pipeline gas supplying to the heavily populated Taipei Municipal area, it is conceivable that the success of the operations of fuel cells using this fuel is of vital importance to the promotion of the use of this power generation technology in Taiwan. Hence, experiments were set up to assess the feasibility of this fuel cell power plant using the existing pipeline gas in this part of Taiwan where fuel cells would most likely find useful.

  10. Operational optimization and real-time control of fuel-cell systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hasikos, J.; Sarimveis, H.; Zervas, P. L.; Markatos, N. C.

    Fuel cells is a rapidly evolving technology with applications in many industries including transportation, and both portable and stationary power generation. The viability, efficiency and robustness of fuel-cell systems depend strongly on optimization and control of their operation. This paper presents the development of an integrated optimization and control tool for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel-Cell (PEMFC) systems. Using a detailed simulation model, a database is generated first, which contains steady-state values of the manipulated and controlled variables over the full operational range of the fuel-cell system. In a second step, the database is utilized for producing Radial Basis Function (RBF) neural network "meta-models". In the third step, a Non-Linear Programming Problem (NLP) is formulated, that takes into account the constraints and limitations of the system and minimizes the consumption of hydrogen, for a given value of power demand. Based on the formulation and solution of the NLP problem, a look-up table is developed, containing the optimal values of the system variables for any possible value of power demand. In the last step, a Model Predictive Control (MPC) methodology is designed, for the optimal control of the system response to successive sep-point changes of power demand. The efficiency of the produced MPC system is illustrated through a number of simulations, which show that a successful dynamic closed-loop behaviour can be achieved, while at the same time the consumption of hydrogen is minimized.

  11. Direct ethanol solid oxide fuel cell operating in gradual internal reforming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nobrega, S. D.; Galesco, M. V.; Girona, K.; de Florio, D. Z.; Steil, M. C.; Georges, S.; Fonseca, F. C.

    2012-09-01

    An electrolyte supported solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) using standard electrodes, doped-lanthanum manganite cathode and Ni-cermet anode, was operated with direct (anhydrous) ethanol for more than 100 h, delivering essentially the same power output as running on hydrogen. A ceria-based layer provides the catalytic activity for the gradual internal reforming, which uses the steam formed by the electrochemical oxidation of hydrogen for the decomposition of ethanol. Such a concept opens up the way for multi-fuel SOFCs using standard components and a catalytic layer.

  12. Operation of the 25 kW NASA Lewis Solar Regenerative Fuel Cell Testbed Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Voecks, G.E.; Rohatgi, N.K.; Moore, S.H.

    1996-12-31

    Assembly of the NASA Lewis Research Center Solar Regenerative Fuel Cell Testbed Facility has recently been completed and system testing is in progress. This facility includes the integration of 50 kW photovoltaic solar cell arrays, a 25 kW proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysis unit, four 5 kW PEM fuel cells, high pressure hydrogen and oxygen storage vessels, high purity water storage containers, and computer monitoring, control and data acquisition. The purpose of this facility is multi-faceted, but was originally intended to serve as a testbed for evaluating a closed-loop powerplant for future NASA extended life support operations, such as a Lunar outpost, and also as a terrestrial powerplant example for remote or continuous back-up support operations. The fuel cell and electrolyzer subsystems design and assembly were conducted by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the photovoltaic arrays and electrical interconnect to the electrolyzer were provided by the US Navy/China Lake Naval Weapons Center, and testing and operations are being carried out by JPL.

  13. Operation of a solid oxide fuel cell on biodiesel with a partial oxidation reformer

    SciTech Connect

    Siefert, N, Shekhawat, D.; Gemmen, R.; Berry, D.

    2010-01-01

    The National Energy Technology Laboratory’s Office of Research & Development (NETL/ORD) has successfully demonstrated the operation of a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) using reformed biodiesel. The biodiesel for the project was produced and characterized by West Virginia State University (WVSU). This project had two main aspects: 1) demonstrate a catalyst formulation on monolith for biodiesel fuel reforming; and 2) establish SOFC stack test stand capabilities. Both aspects have been completed successfully. For the first aspect, in–house patented catalyst specifications were developed, fabricated and tested. Parametric reforming studies of biofuels provided data on fuel composition, catalyst degradation, syngas composition, and operating parameters required for successful reforming and integration with the SOFC test stand. For the second aspect, a stack test fixture (STF) for standardized testing, developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) for the Solid Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA) Program, was engineered and constructed at NETL. To facilitate the demonstration of the STF, NETL employed H.C. Starck Ceramics GmbH & Co. (Germany) anode supported solid oxide cells. In addition, anode supported cells, SS441 end plates, and cell frames were transferred from PNNL to NETL. The stack assembly and conditioning procedures, including stack welding and sealing, contact paste application, binder burn-out, seal-setting, hot standby, and other stack assembly and conditioning methods were transferred to NETL. In the future, fuel cell stacks provided by SECA or other developers could be tested at the STF to validate SOFC performance on various fuels. The STF operated on hydrogen for over 1000 hrs before switching over to reformed biodiesel for 100 hrs of operation. Combining these first two aspects led to demonstrating the biodiesel syngas in the STF. A reformer was built and used to convert 0.5 ml/min of

  14. Fuel cells feasibility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schonfeld, D.; Charng, T.

    1981-01-01

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

  15. Rejuvenation of automotive fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Kim, Yu Seung; Langlois, David A.

    2016-08-23

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

  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. Durability of Membrane Electrode Assemblies (MEAs) in PEM Fuel Cells Operated on Pure Hydrogen and Oxygen

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stanic, Vesna; Braun, James; Hoberecht, Mark

    2003-01-01

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells are energy sources that have the potential to replace alkaline fuel cells for space programs. Broad power ranges, high peak-to-nominal power capabilities, low maintenance costs, and the promise of increased life are the major advantages of PEM technology in comparison to alkaline technology. The probability of PEM fuel cells replacing alkaline fuel cells for space applications will increase if the promise of increased life is verified by achieving a minimum of 10,000 hours of operating life. Durability plays an important role in the process of evaluation and selection of MEAs for Teledyne s Phase I contract with the NASA Glenn Research Center entitled Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel cell (PEMFC) Power Plant Technology Development for 2nd Generation Reusable Launch Vehicles (RLVs). For this contract, MEAs that are typically used for H2/air operation were selected as potential candidates for H2/O2 PEM fuel cells because their catalysts have properties suitable for O2 operation. They were purchased from several well-established MEA manufacturers who are world leaders in the manufacturing of diverse products and have committed extensive resources in an attempt to develop and fully commercialize MEA technology. A total of twelve MEAs used in H2/air operation were initially identified from these manufacturers. Based on the manufacturers specifications, nine of these were selected for evaluation. Since 10,000 hours is almost equivalent to 14 months, it was not possible to perform continuous testing with each MEA selected during Phase I of the contract. Because of the lack of time, a screening test on each MEA was performed for 400 hours under accelerated test conditions. The major criterion for an MEA pass or fail of the screening test was the gas crossover rate. If the gas crossover rate was higher than the membrane intrinsic permeability after 400 hours of testing, it was considered that the MEA had failed the test. Three types of

  18. Performance and durability of PEM fuel cells operated at sub-freezing temperatures

    SciTech Connect

    Mukundan, Rangachary; Davey, John R; Lujan, Roger W; Spendelow, Jacob S

    2008-01-01

    The durability of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells operated at sub-freezing temperatures has received increasing attention in recent years. The Department of Energy's PEM fuel cell stack technical targets for the year 2010 include unassisted start-up from -40 {sup o}C and startup from -20 {sup o}C ambient in as low as 30 seconds with < 5 MJ energy consumption. Moreover, the sub-freezing operations should not have any impact on acieving other technical targets including 5000 hours durability. The effect of MEA preparation on the performance of single-PEM fuel cells operated at sub-freezing temperatures is presented. The cell performance and durability are dependent on the MEA and are probably influenced by the porosity of the catalyst layers. When a cell is operated isothermally at -10 {sup o}C in constant current mode, the voltage gradually decreases over time and eventually drops to zero. AC impedance analysis indicated that the rate of voltage loss is initially due to an increase in the charge transfer resistance and is gradual. After a period, the rate of decay accelerates rapidly due to mass transport limitations at the catalyst and/or gas diffusion layers. The high frequency resistance also increases over time during the isothermal operation at sub-freezing temperatures and was a function of the initial membrane water content. LANL prepared MEAs showed very little loss in the catalyst surface area with multiple sub-freezing operations, whereas the commercial MEAs exhibited significant loss in cathode surface area with the anode being unaffected. These results indicate that catalyst layer ice formation is influenced strongly by the MEA and is responsible for the long-term degradation of fuel cells operated at sub-freezing temperatures. This ice formation was monitored using neutron radiography and was found to be concentrated near cell edges at the flow field turns. The water distribution also indicated that ice may be forming mainly in the GDLs at

  19. Modelling of tubular-designed solid oxide fuel cell with indirect internal reforming operation fed by different primary fuels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dokmaingam, P.; Assabumrungrat, S.; Soottitantawat, A.; Laosiripojana, N.

    Mathematical models of an indirect internal reforming solid oxide fuel cell (IIR-SOFC) fed by four different primary fuels, i.e., methane, biogas, methanol and ethanol, are developed based on steady-state, heterogeneous, two-dimensional and tubular-design SOFC models. The effect of fuel type on the thermal coupling between internal endothermic reforming with exothermic electrochemical reactions and system performance are determined. The simulation reveals that an IIR-SOFC fuelled by methanol provides the smoothest temperature gradient with high electrochemical efficiency. Furthermore, the content of CO 2 in biogas plays an important role on system performance since electrical efficiency is improved by the removal of some CO 2 from biogas but a larger temperature gradient is expected. Sensitivity analysis of three parameters, namely, a operating pressure, inlet steam to carbon (S:C) ratio and flow direction is then performed. By increasing the operating pressure up to 10 bar, the system efficiency increases and the temperature gradient can be minimized. The use of a high inlet S:C ratio reduces the cooling spot at the entrance of reformer channel but the electrical efficiency is considerably decreased. An IIR-SOFC with a counter-flow pattern (as based case) is compared with that with co-flow pattern (co-flow of air and fuel streams through fuel cell). The IIR-SOFC with co-flow pattern provides higher voltage and a smoother temperature gradient along the system due to superior matching between heat supplied from electrochemical reaction and heat required for steam reforming reaction; thus it is expected to be a better option for practical applications.

  20. Microscale Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Holladay, Jamie D.; Viswanathan, Vish V.

    2005-11-03

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

  1. Fuel cells 101

    SciTech Connect

    Hirschenhofer, J.H.

    1999-07-01

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

  2. Air Breathing Direct Methanol Fuel Cell

    DOEpatents

    Ren; Xiaoming

    2003-07-22

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

  3. Effects of Operating Conditions on Internal Resistances in Enzyme Fuel Cells Studied via Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Aaron, D; Borole, Abhijeet P; Yiacoumi, Sotira; Tsouris, Costas

    2012-01-01

    Enzyme fuel cells (EFCs) offer some advantages over traditional precious-metal-catalyzed fuel cells, such as polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). However, EFCs exhibit far less power output than PEMFCs and have relatively short life spans before materials must be replaced. In this work, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) is used to analyze the internal resistances throughout the EFC at a variety of operating conditions. EIS analysis is focused primarily on the resistances of the anode, solution/membrane, and cathode. Increased enzyme loading results in improved power output and reductions in internal resistance. Conditions are identified for which enzyme loading does not limit the EFC performance. EIS experiments are also reported for EFCs operated continuously for 2 days; power output declines sharply over time, while all internal resistances increase. Drying of the cathode and enzyme/mediator degradation are believed to have contributed to this behavior. Finally, experiments are performed at varying air-humidification temperatures. Little effect on internal resistances or power output is observed. However, it is anticipated that increased air humidification can improve longevity by delivering more water to the cathode. Improvements to the enzymatic cathode are needed for EFC development. These improvements need to focus on improving transport rather than increasing enzyme loading.

  4. Improving the operation of a fuel-cell power unit with supervision control - A simulation study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pregelj, Boštjan; Vrečko, Darko; Jovan, Vladimir

    Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells are proving to be a clean and efficient source of energy. Nowadays, extensive research efforts are being focused on bringing this technology to everyday use. An important aspect when integrating fuel cells in practical applications is their ability to respond to load demand. With respect to this, due to their complex internal dynamics, fuel cells belong to the group of more slowly responding sources. In order to make them more generally applicative they are often connected with a battery or a super-capacitor via a power converter to form a hybrid power source. A control algorithm, designed for such a system, represents an interesting challenge: it has to adapt to varying working conditions and operate optimally in terms of efficiency and reliability, while minimizing any impacts on the degradation of the components. Here, we present an approach using supervisory control automaton that switches between the system's operational modes and sets the references for the lower-level control loops. The evaluation of the efficiency and degradation is carried out in a simulation using a model of the widely used 1.2-kW Ballard Nexa power module.

  5. Novel microbial fuel cell design to operate with different wastewaters simultaneously.

    PubMed

    Mathuriya, Abhilasha Singh

    2016-04-01

    A novel single cathode chamber and multiple anode chamber microbial fuel cell design (MAC-MFC) was developed by incorporating multiple anode chambers into a single unit and its performance was checked. During 60 days of operation, performance of MAC-MFC was assessed and compared with standard single anode/cathode chamber microbial fuel cell (SC-MFC). The tests showed that MAC-MFC generated stable and higher power outputs compared with SC-MFC and each anode chamber contributed efficiently. Further, MAC-MFCs were incorporated with different wastewaters in different anode chambers and their behavior in MFC performance was observed. MAC-MFC efficiently treated multiple wastewaters simultaneously at low cost and small space, which claims its candidature for future possible scale-up applications.

  6. Energy balance affected by electrolyte recirculation and operating modes in microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, Kyle S; Kelly, Patrick T; He, Zhen

    2015-03-01

    Energy recovery and consumption in a microbial fuel cell (MFC) can be significantly affected by the operating conditions. This study investigated the effects of electrolyte recirculation and operation mode (continuous vs sequence batch reactor) on the energy balance in a tubular MFC. It was found that decreasing the anolyte recirculation also decreased the energy recovery. Because of the open environment of the cathode electrode, the catholyte recirculation consumed 10 to 50 times more energy than the anolyte recirculation, and resulted in negative energy balances despite the reduction of the anolyte recirculation. Reducing the catholyte recirculation to 20% led to a positive energy balance of 0.0288 kWh m(-3). The MFC operated as a sequence batch reactor generated less energy and had a lower energy balance than the one with continuous operation. Those results encourage the further development of MFC technology to achieve neutral or even positive energy output.

  7. Development and operation of gold and cobalt oxide nanoparticles containing polypropylene based enzymatic fuel cell for renewable fuels.

    PubMed

    Kilic, Muhammet Samet; Korkut, Seyda; Hazer, Baki; Erhan, Elif

    2014-11-15

    Newly synthesized gold and cobalt oxide nanoparticle embedded Polypropylene-g-Polyethylene glycol was used for a compartment-less enzymatic fuel cell. Glucose oxidase and bilirubin oxidase were selected as anodic and cathodic enzymes, respectively. Electrode fabrication and EFC operation parameters were optimized to achieve high power output. Maximum power density of 23.5 µW cm(-2) was generated at a cell voltage of +560 mV vs Ag/AgCl, in 100mM PBS pH 7.4 with the addition of 20mM of synthetic glucose solution. 20 µg of polymer amount with 185 µg of glucose oxidase and 356 µg of bilirubin oxidase was sufficient to get maximum performance. The working electrodes could harvest glucose, produced during photosynthesis reaction of Carpobrotus Acinaciformis plant, and readily found in real domestic wastewater of Zonguldak City in Turkey.

  8. Environmental assessment of the 40 kilowatt fuel cell system field test operation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bollenbacher, G.

    1982-01-01

    This environmental assessment examines the potential environmental consequences, both adverse and beneficial, of the 40 kW fuel cell system system field test operation. The assessment is of necessity generic in nature since actual test sites were not selected. This assessment provides the basis for determining the need for an environmental impact statement. In addition, this assessment provides siting criteria to avoid or minimize negative environmental impacts and standards for determining candidate test sites, if any, for which site specific assessments may be required.

  9. Inhibition of methane production in microbial fuel cells: operating strategies which select electrogens over methanogens.

    PubMed

    Kaur, Amandeep; Boghani, Hitesh C; Michie, Iain; Dinsdale, Richard M; Guwy, Alan J; Premier, Giuliano C

    2014-12-01

    Methanogenesis may diminish coulombic efficiency of microbial fuel cells (MFCs), although its importance is application dependent; e.g., suppression of methanogenesis may improve MFC sensing accuracy, but may be tolerable in COD removal from wastewaters. Suppression of methanogenesis was investigated in three H-type MFCs, enriched and acclimated with acetate, propionate and butyrate substrates and subsequently operated under open and closed circuit (OC/CC) regimes. Altering the polarisation state of the electrode displaces microorganisms from the anodic biofilm and leads to observable methane inhibition. The planktonic archeal community was compared to the electrode biofilm whilst under the OC/CC regimes. Semi-quantitative DNA analyses indicate a shift in some dominant species, from the electrode to the solution, during OC operation. The effect of prolonged starvation on anodic species was also studied. The results indicate progressive inhibition of methanogenesis from OC/CC operations; and virtual cessation of methanogenesis when an MFC was starved for a significant period.

  10. Parallel operation characteristics of PEM fuel cell and microturbine power plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uzunoglu, M.; Onar, O.; El-Sharkh, M. Y.; Sisworahardjo, N. S.; Rahman, A.; Alam, M. S.

    This paper reports on the dynamic behavior of a 250 kW proton exchange membrane fuel cell power plant (PEM FCPP) and a 250 kW microturbine (MT) when operating in parallel. A load sharing control scheme is used to distribute the load equally between the PEM FCPP and the MT. For stand alone operation of a PEM FCPP, a set of batteries or ultracapacitors are needed in order to satisfy the power mismatch during transient periods. Using MT in parallel with the PEM FCPP helps in eliminating the need for storage devices. Models for the PEM FCPP and the MT with power, voltage and speed controls are used to determine the dynamic response of the system to a step change in the load. Simulation results indicate viability of parallel operation of the PEM FCPP and the MT. These results are obtained using MATLAB ®, Simulink ®, and SimPowerSystems ®.

  11. Performance of solid oxide fuel cells operated with coal syngas provided directly from a gasification process

    SciTech Connect

    Hackett, Gregory A.; Gerdes, Kirk R.; Song, Xueyan; Chen, Yun; Shutthanandan, V.; Engelhard, Mark H.; Zhu, Zihua; Thevuthasan, Suntharampillai; Gemmen, Randall

    2012-09-15

    Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are presently being developed for gasification integrated power plants that generate electricity from coal at 50+% efficiency. The interaction of trace metals in coal syngas with the Ni-based SOFC anodes is being investigated through thermodynamic analyses and in laboratory experiments, but direct test data from coal syngas exposure are sparsely available. This research effort evaluates the significance of SOFC performance losses associated with exposure of a SOFC anode to direct coal syngas. SOFC specimen of industrially relevant composition are operated in a unique mobile test skid that was deployed to the research gasifier at the National Carbon Capture Center (NCCC) in Wilsonville, AL. The mobile test skid interfaces with a gasifier slipstream to deliver hot syngas (up to 300°C) directly to a parallel array of 12 button cell specimen, each of which possesses an active area of approximately 2 cm2. During the 500 hour test period, all twelve cells were monitored for performance at four discrete operating current densities, and all cells maintained contact with a data acquisition system. Of these twelve, nine demonstrated good performance throughout the test, while three of the cells were partially compromised. Degradation associated with the properly functioning cells was attributed to syngas exposure and trace material attack on the anode structure that was accelerated at increasing current densities. Cells that were operated at 0 and 125 mA/cm² degraded at 9.1 and 10.7% per 1000 hours, respectively, while cells operated at 250 and 375 mA/cm² degraded at 18.9 and 16.2% per 1000 hours, respectively. Post-trial spectroscopic analysis of the anodes showed carbon, sulfur, and phosphorus deposits; no secondary Ni-metal phases were found.

  12. Numerical simulation of proton exchange membrane fuel cells at high operating temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peng, Jie; Lee, Seung Jae

    A three-dimensional, single-phase, non-isothermal numerical model for proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell at high operating temperature (T ≥ 393 K) was developed and implemented into a computational fluid dynamic (CFD) code. The model accounts for convective and diffusive transport and allows predicting the concentration of species. The heat generated from electrochemical reactions, entropic heat and ohmic heat arising from the electrolyte ionic resistance were considered. The heat transport model was coupled with the electrochemical and mass transport models. The product water was assumed to be vaporous and treated as ideal gas. Water transportation across the membrane was ignored because of its low water electro-osmosis drag force in the polymer polybenzimidazole (PBI) membrane. The results show that the thermal effects strongly affect the fuel cell performance. The current density increases with the increasing of operating temperature. In addition, numerical prediction reveals that the width and distribution of gas channel and current collector land area are key optimization parameters for the cell performance improvement.

  13. AuPd/polyaniline as the anode in an ethylene glycol microfluidic fuel cell operated at room temperature.

    PubMed

    Arjona, N; Palacios, A; Moreno-Zuria, A; Guerra-Balcázar, M; Ledesma-García, J; Arriaga, L G

    2014-08-01

    AuPd/polyaniline was used for the first time, for ethylene glycol (EG) electrooxidation in a novel microfluidic fuel cell (MFC) operated at room temperature. The device exhibits high electrocatalytic performance and stability for the conversion of cheap and fully available EG as fuel. PMID:24923468

  14. The use of experimental design to find the operating maximum power point of PEM fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Crăciunescu, Aurelian; Pătularu, Laurenţiu; Ciumbulea, Gloria; Olteanu, Valentin; Pitorac, Cristina; Drugan, Elena

    2015-03-10

    Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cells are difficult to model due to their complex nonlinear nature. In this paper, the development of a PEM Fuel Cells mathematical model based on the Design of Experiment methodology is described. The Design of Experiment provides a very efficient methodology to obtain a mathematical model for the studied multivariable system with only a few experiments. The obtained results can be used for optimization and control of the PEM Fuel Cells systems.

  15. Composite polymer membranes for proton exchange membrane fuel cells operating at elevated temperatures and reduced humidities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Tao

    Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs) are the leading candidate in the fuel cell technology due to the high power density, solid electrolyte, and low operational temperature. However, PEMFCs operating in the normal temperature range (60-80°C) face problems including poor carbon monoxide tolerance and heat rejection. The poisoning effect can be significantly relieved by operating the fuel cell at elevated temperature, which also improves the heat rejection and electrochemical kinetics. Low relative humidity (RH) operation is also desirable to simplify the reactant humidification system. However, at elevated temperatures, reduced RH PEMFC performance is seriously impaired due to irreversible water loss from presently employed state-of-the-art polymer membrane, Nafion. This thesis focuses on developing polymer electrolyte membranes with high water retention ability for operation in elevated temperature (110-150°C), reduced humidity (˜50%RH) PEMFCs. One approach is to alter Nafion by adding inorganic particles such as TiO2, SiO2, Zr(HPO 4)2, etc. While the presence of these materials in Nafion has proven beneficial, a reduction or no improvement in the PEMFC performance of Nafion/TiO2 and Nafion/Zr(HPO4)2 membranes is observed with reduced particle sizes or increased particle loadings in Nafion. It is concluded that the PEMFC performance enhancement associated with addition of these inorganic particles was not due to the particle hydrophilicity. Rather, the particle, partially located in the hydrophobic region of the membrane, benefits the cell performance by altering the membrane structure. Water transport properties of some Nafion composite membranes were investigated by NMR methods including pulsed field gradient spin echo diffusion, spin-lattice relaxation, and spectral measurements. Compared to unmodified Nafion, composite membranes materials exhibit longer longitudinal relaxation time constant T1. In addition to the Nafion material, sulfonated styrene

  16. Performance of solid oxide fuel cells operated with coal syngas provided directly from a gasification process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hackett, Gregory A.; Gerdes, Kirk; Song, Xueyan; Chen, Yun; Shutthanandan, Vaithiyalingam; Engelhard, Mark; Zhu, Zihua; Thevuthasan, Suntharampillai; Gemmen, Randall

    2012-09-01

    Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are being developed for integrated gasification power plants that generate electricity from coal at 50+% efficiency. The interaction of trace metals in coal syngas with Ni-based SOFC anodes is being investigated through thermodynamic analyses and in laboratory experiments, but test data from direct coal syngas exposure are sparsely available. This effort evaluates the significance of performance losses associated with exposure to direct coal syngas. Specimen are operated in a unique mobile test skid that is deployed to the research gasifier at NCCC in Wilsonville, AL. The test skid interfaces with a gasifier slipstream to deliver hot syngas to a parallel array of twelve SOFCs. During the 500 h test period, all twelve cells are monitored for performance at four current densities. Degradation is attributed to syngas exposure and trace material attack on the anode structure that is accelerated at increasing current densities. Cells that are operated at 0 and 125 mA cm-2 degrade at 9.1 and 10.7% per 1000 h, respectively, while cells operated at 250 and 375 mA cm-2 degrade at 18.9 and 16.2% per 1000 h, respectively. Spectroscopic analysis of the anodes showed carbon, sulfur, and phosphorus deposits; no secondary Ni-metal phases were found.

  17. Flow rate and humidification effects on a PEM fuel cell performance and operation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guvelioglu, Galip H.; Stenger, Harvey G.

    A new algorithm is presented to integrate component balances along polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) channels to obtain three-dimensional results from a detailed two-dimensional finite element model. The analysis studies the cell performance at various hydrogen flow rates, air flow rates and humidification levels. This analysis shows that hydrogen and air flow rates and their relative humidity are critical to current density, membrane dry-out, and electrode flooding. Uniform current densities along the channels are known to be critical for thermal management and fuel cell life. This approach, of integrating a detailed two-dimensional across-the-channel model, is a promising method for fuel cell design due to its low computational cost compared to three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics models, its applicability to a wide range of fuel cell designs, and its ease of extending to fuel cell stack models.

  18. An expert system to manage the operation of the Space Shuttle's fuel cell cryogenic reactant tanks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murphey, Amy Y.

    1990-01-01

    This paper describes a rule-based expert system to manage the operation of the Space Shuttle's cryogenic fuel system. Rules are based on standard fuel tank operating procedures described in the EECOM Console Handbook. The problem of configuring the operation of the Space Shuttle's fuel tanks is well-bounded and well defined. Moreover, the solution of this problem can be encoded in a knowledge-based system. Therefore, a rule-based expert system is the appropriate paradigm. Furthermore, the expert system could be used in coordination with power system simulation software to design operating procedures for specific missions.

  19. Catalytic and electrochemical behaviour of solid oxide fuel cell operated with simulated-biogas mixtures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dang-Long, T.; Quang-Tuyen, T.; Shiratori, Y.

    2016-06-01

    Being produced from organic matters of wastes (bio-wastes) through a fermentation process, biogas mainly composed of CH4 and CO2 and can be considered as a secondary energy carrier derived from solar energy. To generate electricity from biogas through the electrochemical process in fuel cells is a state-of-the-art technology possessing higher energy conversion efficiency without harmful emissions compared to combustion process in heat engines. Getting benefits from high operating temperature such as direct internal reforming ability and activation of electrochemical reactions to increase overall system efficiency, solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) system operated with biogas becomes a promising candidate for distributed power generator for rural applications leading to reductions of environmental issues caused by greenhouse effects and bio-wastes. CO2 reforming of CH4 and electrochemical oxidation of the produced syngas (H2-CO mixture) are two main reaction processes within porous anode material of SOFC. Here catalytic and electrochemical behavior of Ni-ScSZ (scandia stabilized-zirconia) anode in the feed of CH4-CO2 mixtures as simulated-biogas at 800 °C were evaluated. The results showed that CO2 had strong influences on both reaction processes. The increase in CO2 partial pressure resulted in the decrease in anode overvoltage, although open-circuit voltage was dropped. Besides that, the simulation result based on a power-law model for equimolar CH4-CO2 mixture revealed that coking hazard could be suppressed along the fuel flow channel in both open-circuit and closed-circuit conditions.

  20. Ice formation in PEM fuel cells operated isothermally at sub-freezing temperatures

    SciTech Connect

    Mukundan, Rangachary; Luhan, Roger W; Davey, John R; Spendelow, Jacob S; Borup, Rodney L; Hussey, Daniel S; Jacobson, David L; Arif, Muhammad

    2009-01-01

    The effect of MEA and GDL structure and composition on the performance of single-PEM fuel cells operated isothermally at subfreezing temperatures is presented. The cell performance and durability are not only dependent on the MEA/GDL materials used but also on their interfaces. When a cell is operated isothermally at sub-freezing temperatures in constant current mode, the water formation due to the current density initially hydrates the membrane/ionomer and then forms ice in the catalyst layer/GDL. An increase in high frequency resistance was also observed in certain MEAs where there is a possibility of ice formation between the catalyst layer and GDL leading to a loss in contact area. The total water/ice holding capacity for any MEA was lower at lower temperatures and higher current densities. The durability of MEAs subjected to multiple isothermal starts was better for LANL prepared MEAs as compared to commercial MEAs, and cloth GDLs when compared to paper GDLs. The ice formation was monitored using high-resolution neutron radiography and was found to be concentrated near the cathode catalyst layer. However, there was significant ice formation in the GDLs especially at the higher temperature ({approx} -10 C) and lower current density (0.02 A/cm{sup 2}) operations. These results are consistent with the longer-term durability observations that show more severe degradation at the lower temperatures.

  1. Treatment of landfill leachate using microbial fuel cells: alternative anodes and semi-continuous operation.

    PubMed

    Ganesh, Krishnadas; Jambeck, Jenna R

    2013-07-01

    Microbial fuel cells were designed and operated to treat landfill leachate while continuously producing power. Two different anodes were tested in batch cycles using landfill leachate as a substrate without inoculation: an activated carbon anode and biochar anode. In addition, a semi-continuous serpentine design was evaluated. No significant difference of the mean was found for the peak voltage, current density or power densities between the batch cell with activated carbon or biochar. Similar COD reduction occurred at both the batch (with biochar) and semi-continuous scale (28% ± 8.8% and 21.7% ± 12.2%, respectively). The batch MFC with activated carbon anode had significantly higher COD removal (74.7% ± 5.5%). BOD was removed by the semi-continuous MFC, but ammonia was not removed in four of the five cycles. The results provide further information on the possibility of using MFCs in landfill leachate treatment systems.

  2. Operating experience with a 250 kW el molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC) power plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bischoff, Manfred; Huppmann, Gerhard

    The MTU MCFC program is carried out by a European consortium comprising the German companies MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH, Ruhrgas AG and RWE Energie AG as well as the Danish company Energi E2 S/A. MTU acts as consortium leader. The company shares a license and technology exchange agreement with Fuel Cell Energy Inc., Danbury, CT, USA (formerly Energy Research Corp., ERC). The program was started in 1990 and covers a period of about 10 years. The highlights of this program to date are: Considerable improvements regarding component stability have been demonstrated on laboratory scale. Manufacturing technology has been developed to a point which enables the consortium to fabricate the porous components on a 250 cm 2 scale. Several large area stacks with 5000-7660 cm 2 cell area and a power range of 3-10 kW have been tested at the facilities in Munich (Germany) and Kyndby (Denmark). These stacks have been supplied by FCE. As far as the system design is concerned it was soon realized that conventional systems do not hold the promise for competitive power plants. A system analysis led to the conclusion that a new innovative design approach is required. As a result the "Hot Module" system was developed by the consortium. A Hot Module combines all the components of a MCFC system operating at the similar temperatures and pressures into a common thermally insulated vessel. In August 1997 the consortium started its first full size Hot Module MCFC test plant at the facilities of Ruhrgas AG in Dorsten, Germany. The stack was assembled in Munich using 292 cell packages purchased from FCE. The plant is based on the consortium's unique and proprietary "Hot Module" concept. It operates on pipeline natural gas and was grid connected on 16 August 1997. After a total of 1500 h of operation, the plant was intentionally shut down in a controlled manner in April 1998 for post-test analysis. The Hot Module system concept has demonstrated its functionality. The safety concept has been

  3. VOC and hazardous air pollutant emission factors for military aircraft fuel cell inspection, maintenance, and repair operations

    SciTech Connect

    Nand, K.; Sahu, R.

    1997-12-31

    Accurate emission estimation is one of the key aspects of implementation of any air quality program. The Federal Title 5 program, specially requires an accurate and updated inventory of criteria as well hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) from all facilities. An overestimation of these two categories of pollutants, may cause the facility to be classified as a major source, when in fact it may actually be a minor source, and may also trigger unnecessary compliance requirements. A good example of where overestimation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and HAPs is easily possible are military aircraft fuel cells inspection, maintenance, and repair operations. The military aircraft fuel tanks, which are commonly identified as fuel cells, are routinely inspected for maintenance and repairs at military aircraft handling facilities. Prior to entry into the fuel cell by an inspector, fuel cells are first drained into bowsers and then purged with fresh air; the purged air is generally released without any controls to the atmosphere through a stack. The VOC and HAPs emission factors from these operations are not available in the literature for JP-8 fuel, which is being used increasingly by military aircraft. This paper presents two methods for estimating emissions for this source type, which are based on engineering calculations and professional judgment. This paper presents several methods for estimating emissions for this source type, which are based on engineering calculations and professional judgment. There are three emission producing phases during the draining and purging operations: (1) emissions during splash loading of bowsers (unloading of fuel cells), (2) emissions from spillage of fuel during loading of bowsers, and (3) emissions from fuel cell purging operations. Results of the emission estimation, including a comparison of the two emission estimation methods are presented in this paper.

  4. Fuel cell-fuel cell hybrid system

    DOEpatents

    Geisbrecht, Rodney A.; Williams, Mark C.

    2003-09-23

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

  5. Operational Concept Evaluation of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells for Space Vehicle Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Poast, Kenneth I.

    2011-01-01

    With the end of the Space Shuttle Program, NASA is evaluating many different technologies to support future missions. Green propellants, like liquid methane and liquid oxygen, have potential advantages for some applications. A Lander propelled with LOX/methane engines is one such application. When the total vehicle design and infrastructure are considered, the advantages of the integration of propulsion, heat rejection, life support and power generation become attractive for further evaluation. Scavenged residual propellants from the propulsion tanks could be used to generate needed electric power, heat and water with a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell(SOFC). In-Situ Resource Utilization(ISRU) technologies may also generate quantities of green propellants to refill these tanks and/or supply these fuel cells. Technology demonstration projects such as the Morpheus Lander are currently underway to evaluate the practicality of such designs and operational concepts. Tethered tests are currently in progress on this vertical test bed to evaluate the propulsion and avionics systems. Evaluation of the SOFC seeks to determine the feasibility of using these green propellants to supply power and identify the limits to the integration of this technology into a space vehicle prototype.

  6. Density Functional Theory Calculations of H/D Isotope Effects on Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell Operations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yanase, Satoshi; Oi, Takao

    2015-06-01

    To elucidate hydrogen isotope effects observed between fuel and exhaust hydrogen gases during polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell operations, H-to-D reduced partition function ratios (RPFRs) for the hydrogen species in the Pt catalyst phase of the anode and the electrolyte membrane phase of the fuel cell were evaluated by density functional theory calculations on model species of the two phases. The evaluation yielded 3.2365 as the value of the equilibrium constant of the hydrogen isotope exchange reaction between the two phases at 39 °C, which was close to the experimentally estimated value of 3.46-3.99 at the same temperature. It was indicated that H+ ions on the Pt catalyst surface of the anode and H species in the electrolyte membrane phase were isotopically in equilibrium with one another during fuel cell operations.

  7. Durability of Low Platinum Fuel Cells Operating at High Power Density

    SciTech Connect

    Polevaya, Olga; Blanchet, Scott; Ahluwalia, Rajesh; Borup, Rod; Mukundan, Rangachary

    2014-03-19

    Understanding and improving the durability of cost-competitive fuel cell stacks is imperative to successful deployment of the technology. Stacks will need to operate well beyond today’s state-of-the-art rated power density with very low platinum loading in order to achieve the cost targets set forth by DOE ($15/kW) and ultimately be competitive with incumbent technologies. An accelerated cost-reduction path presented by Nuvera focused on substantially increasing power density to address non-PGM material costs as well as platinum. The study developed a practical understanding of the degradation mechanisms impacting durability of fuel cells with low platinum loading (≤0.2mg/cm2) operating at high power density (≥1.0W/cm2) and worked out approaches for improving the durability of low-loaded, high-power stack designs. Of specific interest is the impact of combining low platinum loading with high power density operation, as this offers the best chance of achieving long-term cost targets. A design-of-experiments approach was utilized to reveal and quantify the sensitivity of durability-critical material properties to high current density at two levels of platinum loading (the more conventional 0.45 mgPt.cm–1 and the much lower 0.2 mgPt.cm–2) across several cell architectures. We studied the relevance of selected component accelerated stress tests (AST) to fuel cell operation in power producing mode. New stress tests (NST) were designed to investigate the sensitivity to the addition of electrical current on the ASTs, along with combined humidity and load cycles and, eventually, relate to the combined city/highway drive cycle. Changes in the cathode electrochemical surface area (ECSA) and average oxygen partial pressure on the catalyst layer with aging under AST and NST protocols were compared based on the number of completed cycles. Studies showed elevated sensitivity of Pt growth to the potential limits and the initial particle size distribution. The ECSA loss

  8. Preparation and operation of gas diffusion electrodes for high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, Chao; Li, Qingfeng; Jensen, Jens Oluf; He, Ronghuan; Cleemann, Lars N.; Nilsson, Morten S.; Bjerrum, Niels J.; Zeng, Qingxue

    Gas diffusion electrodes for high-temperature PEMFC based on acid-doped polybenzimidazole membranes were prepared by a tape-casting method. The overall porosity of the electrodes was tailored in a range from 38% to 59% by introducing porogens into the supporting and/or catalyst layers. The investigated porogens include volatile ammonium oxalate, carbonate and acetate and acid-soluble zinc oxide, among which are ammonium oxalate and ZnO more effective in improving the overall electrode porosity. Effects of the electrode porosity on the fuel cell performance were investigated in terms of the cathodic limiting current density and minimum air stoichiometry, anodic limiting current and hydrogen utilization, as well as operations under different pressures and temperatures.

  9. Study of the long-term operation of a vanadium/oxygen fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noack, Jens; Cognard, Gwenn; Oral, Meryem; Küttinger, Michael; Roznyatovskaya, Nataliya; Pinkwart, Karsten; Tübke, Jens

    2016-09-01

    A vanadium/oxygen fuel cell (VOFC) with a geometrically active area of 51 cm2 and two membranes was discontinuously operated over a period of over 676 h with 47 successive tests at room temperature with a current density of 19.6 mA/cm2 in order to investigate signs of ageing. As well as measuring cell voltages, the test setup was also used to measure anode and redox potentials as well as cell and half-cell impedances. The performance data of the VOFC fluctuated widely over the course of the test period, due to different V2+ concentrations and instabilities of the starting solutions on the one hand and complex changes in cathode conditions on the other. The desired behaviour of the anode reactions was achieved primarily through improved methods for producing the V2+ solutions, and remained stable at the end of the experiments. The kinetics of the cathode reactions were temporarily increased by purging with 2 M H2SO4, however their performance decreased over time. The VOFC had symptoms of ageing by complex and overlaid changes in the cathode's triple phase boundary layer and in the special conditions between the two electrodes and membranes.

  10. Organic fuel cells and fuel cell conducting sheets

    DOEpatents

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

    2007-10-16

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-09-01

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

  12. CAM operated fuel valve

    SciTech Connect

    Kelly, S.T.; Katchka, J.R.

    1991-09-03

    This patent describes improvement in a fuel control valve construction comprising a housing means having an inlet means adapted to be interconnected to a fuel source and a main outlet means adapted to be interconnected to a main burner means, the housing means having a main valve seat for interconnecting the inlet means with the main outlet means, the housing means having a movable main valve member for opening and closing the main valve seat, the housing means having a movable lever operatively associated with the main valve member and having a manually operable actuator means for controlling the operating positions of the lever, the lever having an intermediate cam follower portion and opposed ends disposed on each side of the cam follower portion with one end of the opposed ends being pivotally mounted to the housing means and with the other end of the opposed ends for operating the main valve member, the housing means having biasing means operatively interconnected to the lever to tend to pivot the lever in one direction that opens the main valve member away from its the main valve seat. The improvement comprises; the housing means has a thermostatically controlled means that is operatively associated with the lever and is adapted to engage and hold the lever in a position wherein the main valve member is in a closed condition against its the main valve seat when the thermostatically controlled means is in one operating condition thereof and the actuator means is in the on condition thereof.

  13. In-situ diagnostic tools for hydrogen transfer leak characterization in PEM fuel cell stacks part II: Operational applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niroumand, Amir M.; Homayouni, Hooman; DeVaal, Jake; Golnaraghi, Farid; Kjeang, Erik

    2016-08-01

    This paper describes a diagnostic tool for in-situ characterization of the rate and distribution of hydrogen transfer leaks in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cell stacks. The method is based on reducing the air flow rate from a high to low value at a fixed current, while maintaining an anode overpressure. At high air flow rates, the reduction in air flow results in lower oxygen concentration in the cathode and therefore reduction in cell voltages. Once the air flow rate in each cell reaches a low value at which the cell oxygen-starves, the voltage of the corresponding cell drops to zero. However, oxygen starvation results from two processes: 1) the electrochemical oxygen reduction reaction which produces current; and 2) the chemical reaction between oxygen and the crossed over hydrogen. In this work, a diagnostic technique has been developed that accounts for the effect of the electrochemical reaction on cell voltage to identify the hydrogen leak rate and number of leaky cells in a fuel cell stack. This technique is suitable for leak characterization during fuel cell operation, as it only requires stack air flow and voltage measurements, which are readily available in an operational fuel cell system.

  14. Handbook of fuel cell performance

    SciTech Connect

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

    1980-05-01

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

  15. Fuel cell stack arrangements

    DOEpatents

    Kothmann, Richard E.; Somers, Edward V.

    1982-01-01

    Arrangements of stacks of fuel cells and ducts, for fuel cells operating with separate fuel, oxidant and coolant streams. An even number of stacks are arranged generally end-to-end in a loop. Ducts located at the juncture of consecutive stacks of the loop feed oxidant or fuel to or from the two consecutive stacks, each individual duct communicating with two stacks. A coolant fluid flows from outside the loop, into and through cooling channels of the stack, and is discharged into an enclosure duct formed within the loop by the stacks and seals at the junctures at the stacks.

  16. An XAS experimental approach to study low Pt content electrocatalysts operating in PEM fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Principi, Emiliano; Witkowska, Agnieszka; Dsoke, Sonia; Marassi, Roberto; Di Cicco, Andrea

    2009-11-21

    We present an X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) study of a low Pt content catalyst layer (Pt loading 0.1 mg cm(-2)) operating at the cathode of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). This catalyst is based on the use of a mesoporous inorganic matrix as a support for the catalyst Pt nanoparticles. Due to the high Pt dilution, in situ measurements of its structural properties by XAS are challenging and suitable experimental strategies must be devised for this purpose. In particular, we show that accurate XAS in situ fluorescence measurements can be obtained using an optimized fuel cell, suitable protocols for alignment of a focused X-ray beam and an appropriate filter for the background signal of the other atomic species contained in the electrodes. Details, advantages and limitations of the XAS technique for in situ measurements are discussed. Analysis of the near-edge XAS and EXAFS (extended X-ray absorption fine structure) data, corroborated by a HRTEM (high-resolution transmission electron microscopy) study, shows that the Pt particles have a local structure compatible with that of bulk Pt (fcc) and coordination numbers match those expected for particles with typical sizes in the 1.5-2.0 nm range. Substantial changes in the oxidation state and in local atomic arrangement of the Pt particles are found for different applied potentials. The catalyst support, containing W atoms, exhibits a partial reduction upon PEMFC activation, thus mimicking the catalyst behavior. This indicates a possible role of the mesoporous matrix in favouring the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and stimulates further research on active catalyst supports.

  17. Fuel dissipater for pressurized fuel cell generators

    DOEpatents

    Basel, Richard A.; King, John E.

    2003-11-04

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

  18. Influence of gadolinium doping on the structure and defects of ceria under fuel cell operating temperature

    SciTech Connect

    Acharya, S. A. Gaikwad, V. M.; Sathe, V.; Kulkarni, S. K.

    2014-03-17

    Correlation between atomic positional shift, oxygen vacancy defects, and oxide ion conductivity in doped ceria system has been established in the gadolinium doped ceria system from X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Raman spectroscopy study at operating temperature (300–600 °C) of Intermediate Temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (IT-SOFC). High temperature XRD data are used to quantify atomic positional shift from mean position with temperature. The Raman spectroscopy study shows additional vibration modes related to ordering of defect spaces (Gd{sub Ce}{sup ′}−V{sub o}{sup ••}){sup *} and (2Gd{sub Ce}{sup ′}−V{sub o}{sup ••}){sup x} generated due to association of oxygen vacancies and reduced cerium or dopant cations site (Gd{sup 3+}), which disappear at 450 °C; indicating oxygen vacancies dissociation from the defect complex. The experimental evidences of cation-anion positional shifting and oxygen vacancies dissociation from defect complex in the IT-SOFC operating temperature are discussed to correlate with activation energy for ionic conductivity.

  19. 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.

  20. Sinusoidal potential cycling operation of a direct ethanol fuel cell to improving carbon dioxide yields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Majidi, Pasha; Pickup, Peter G.

    2014-12-01

    A direct ethanol fuel cell has been operated under sinusoidal (AC) potential cycling conditions in order to increase the yield of carbon dioxide and thereby increase cell efficiency relative to operation at a fixed potential. At 80 °C, faradaic yields of CO2 as high as 25% have been achieved with a PtRu anode catalyst, while the maximum CO2 production at constant potential was 13%. The increased yields under cycling conditions have been attributed to periodic oxidative stripping of adsorbed CO. These results will be important in the optimization of operating conditions for direct ethanol fuel cells, where the benefits of potential cycling are projected to increase as catalysts that produce CO2 more efficiently are implemented.

  1. Water outlet control mechanism for fuel cell system operation in variable gravity environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vasquez, Arturo (Inventor); McCurdy, Kerri L. (Inventor); Bradley, Karla F. (Inventor)

    2007-01-01

    A self-regulated water separator provides centrifugal separation of fuel cell product water from oxidant gas. The system uses the flow energy of the fuel cell's two-phase water and oxidant flow stream and a regulated ejector or other reactant circulation pump providing the two-phase fluid flow. The system further uses a means of controlling the water outlet flow rate away from the water separator that uses both the ejector's or reactant pump's supply pressure and a compressibility sensor to provide overall control of separated water flow either back to the separator or away from the separator.

  2. Fuel Processors for PEM Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Levi T. Thompson

    2008-08-08

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

  3. Construction and operation of microbial fuel cell with Chlorella vulgaris biocathode for electricity generation.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xia-yuan; Song, Tian-shun; Zhu, Xu-jun; Wei, Ping; Zhou, Charles C

    2013-12-01

    In this study, a modified microbial fuel cell (MFC) with a tubular photobioreactor (PHB) configuration as a cathode compartment was constructed by introducing Chlorella vulgaris to the cathode chamber used to generate oxygen in situ. Two types of cathode materials and light/dark cycles were used to test the effect on MFC with algae biocathode. Results showed that the use of algae is an effective approach because these organisms can act as efficient in situ oxygenators, thereby facilitating the cathodic reaction. Dissolved oxygen and voltage output displayed a clear light positive response and were drastically enhanced compared with the abiotic cathode. In particular, carbon paper-coated Pt used as a cathode electrode increased voltage output at a higher extent than carbon felt used as an electrode. The maximum power density of 24.4 mW/m(2) was obtained from the MFC with algae biocathode which utilized the carbon paper-coated Pt as the cathode electrode under intermittent illumination. This density was 2.8 times higher than that of the abiotic cathode. Continuous illumination shortened the algal lifetime. These results demonstrated that intermittent illumination and cathode material-coated catalyst are beneficial to a more efficient and prolonged operation of MFC with C. vulgaris biocathode.

  4. Construction and operation of microbial fuel cell with Chlorella vulgaris biocathode for electricity generation.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xia-yuan; Song, Tian-shun; Zhu, Xu-jun; Wei, Ping; Zhou, Charles C

    2013-12-01

    In this study, a modified microbial fuel cell (MFC) with a tubular photobioreactor (PHB) configuration as a cathode compartment was constructed by introducing Chlorella vulgaris to the cathode chamber used to generate oxygen in situ. Two types of cathode materials and light/dark cycles were used to test the effect on MFC with algae biocathode. Results showed that the use of algae is an effective approach because these organisms can act as efficient in situ oxygenators, thereby facilitating the cathodic reaction. Dissolved oxygen and voltage output displayed a clear light positive response and were drastically enhanced compared with the abiotic cathode. In particular, carbon paper-coated Pt used as a cathode electrode increased voltage output at a higher extent than carbon felt used as an electrode. The maximum power density of 24.4 mW/m2 was obtained from the MFC with algae biocathode which utilized the carbon paper-coated Pt as the cathode electrode under intermittent illumination. This density was 2.8 times higher than that of the abiotic cathode. Continuous illumination shortened the algal lifetime. These results demonstrated that intermittent illumination and cathode material-coated catalyst are beneficial to a more efficient and prolonged operation of MFC with C. vulgaris biocathode.

  5. Characterization of wastewater treatment by two microbial fuel cells in continuous flow operation.

    PubMed

    Kubota, Keiichi; Watanabe, Tomohide; Yamaguchi, Takashi; Syutsubo, Kazuaki

    2016-01-01

    A two serially connected single-chamber microbial fuel cell (MFC) was applied to the treatment of diluted molasses wastewater in a continuous operation mode. In addition, the effect of series and parallel connection between the anodes and the cathode on power generation was investigated experimentally. The two serially connected MFC process achieved 79.8% of chemical oxygen demand removal and 11.6% of Coulombic efficiency when the hydraulic retention time of the whole process was 26 h. The power densities were 0.54, 0.34 and 0.40 W m(-3) when electrodes were in individual connection, serial connection and parallel connection modes, respectively. A high open circuit voltage was obtained in the serial connection. Power density decreased at low organic loading rates (OLR) due to the shortage of organic matter. Power generation efficiency tended to decrease as a result of enhancement of methane fermentation at high OLRs. Therefore, high power density and efficiency can be achieved by using a suitable OLR range. PMID:26109271

  6. PEM regenerative fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  7. Zirconia fuel cells and electrolyzers

    SciTech Connect

    Isaacs, H.S.

    1980-01-01

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

  8. Dual membrane hollow fiber fuel cell and method of operating same

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ingham, J. D.; Lawson, D. D. (Inventor)

    1978-01-01

    A gaseous fuel cell is described which includes a pair of electrodes formed by open-ended, ion-exchange hollow fibers, each having a layer of metal catalyst deposited on the inner surface and large surface area current collectors such as braided metal mesh in contact with the metal catalyst layer. A fuel cell results when the electrodes are immersed in electrolytes and electrically connected. As hydrogen and oxygen flow through the bore of the fibers, oxidation and reduction reactions develop an electrical potential. Since the hollow fiber configuration provides large electrode area per unit volume and intimate contact between fuel and oxidizer at the interface, and due to the low internal resistance of the electrolyte, high power densities can be obtained.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  10. Performance study of a solid oxide fuel cell and gas turbine hybrid system designed for methane operating with non-designed fuels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yang; Weng, Yiwu

    This paper presents an analysis of the fuel flexibility of a methane-based solid oxide fuel cell-gas turbine (SOFC-GT) hybrid system. The simulation models of the system are mathematically defined. Special attention is paid to the development of an SOFC thermodynamic model that allows for the calculation of radial temperature gradients. Based on the simulation model, the new design point of system for new fuels is defined first; the steady-state performance of the system fed by different fuels is then discussed. When the hybrid system operates with hydrogen, the net power output at the new design point will decrease to 70% of the methane, while the design net efficiency will decrease to 55%. Similar to hydrogen, the net output power of the ethanol-fueled system will decrease to 88% of the methane value due to the lower cooling effect of steam reforming. However, the net efficiency can remain at 61% at high level due to increased heat recuperation from exhaust gas. To increase the power output of the hybrid system operating with non-design fuels without changing the system configuration, three different measures are introduced and investigated in this paper. The introduced measures can increase the system net power output operating with hydrogen to 94% of the original value at the cost of a lower efficiency of 45%.

  11. TECHNICAL ASSESSMENT OF FUEL CELL OPERATION ON LANDFILL GAS AT THE GROTON, CT, LANDFILL

    EPA Science Inventory

    The paper summarizes the results from a seminal assessment conducted on a fuel cell technology which generates electrical power from waste landfill gas. This assessment/ demonstration was the second such project conducted by the EPA, the first being conducted at the Penrose Power...

  12. Method to improve reliability of a fuel cell system using low performance cell detection at low power operation

    DOEpatents

    Choi, Tayoung; Ganapathy, Sriram; Jung, Jaehak; Savage, David R.; Lakshmanan, Balasubramanian; Vecasey, Pamela M.

    2013-04-16

    A system and method for detecting a low performing cell in a fuel cell stack using measured cell voltages. The method includes determining that the fuel cell stack is running, the stack coolant temperature is above a certain temperature and the stack current density is within a relatively low power range. The method further includes calculating the average cell voltage, and determining whether the difference between the average cell voltage and the minimum cell voltage is greater than a predetermined threshold. If the difference between the average cell voltage and the minimum cell voltage is greater than the predetermined threshold and the minimum cell voltage is less than another predetermined threshold, then the method increments a low performing cell timer. A ratio of the low performing cell timer and a system run timer is calculated to identify a low performing cell.

  13. Hydrocarbon fuel effects in solid-oxide fuel cell operation: an experimental and modeling study of n-hexane pyrolysis.

    PubMed

    Randolph, Katie L; Dean, Anthony M

    2007-08-21

    Pyrolysis experiments of n-hexane were performed and the product distribution and fuel consumption were measured as a function of temperature. The experimental temperatures ranged from 550-675 degrees C, with a pressure of approximately 1 atm, and residence times of approximately 5 s. N-Hexane was used as a model compound to represent the linear alkanes that might be found in practical hydrocarbon fuels. Under these conditions, high fuel conversion was observed at the higher temperatures and a wide range of products were formed. The experimental observations were compared to predictions from a plug-flow model using a reaction mechanism consisting of 205 species and 1403 reactions. The hydrogen abstraction and isomerization rate coefficients in this model were based on CBS-QB3 calculations. The only model modification was adjustment of the A-factor of the initiation rates to match conversion at one temperature. This model was able to successfully predict the observed trends in both product selectivities as well as fuel conversion over the temperature range. The mechanism was also used to capture the trends previously observed in n-butane pyrolysis under similar experimental conditions. Significant differences in the sensitivity coefficients for the hexane and butane systems are discussed in terms of the competition between beta-scission and isomerization of the initial radicals formed. The kinetic model predicts that n-hexane will be completely converted within 0.1 s in the higher temperature environment ( approximately 800 degrees C) of the anode channel of a solid-oxide fuel cell (SOFC). This result clearly illustrates the need to explicitly account for gas-phase reactions in SOFC models for those cases where hydrocarbons, especially those larger than methane, are fed directly to an SOFC. PMID:17687473

  14. Performance evaluation of a liquid tin anode solid oxide fuel cell operating under hydrogen, argon and coal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khurana, Sanchit; LaBarbera, Mark; Fedkin, Mark V.; Lvov, Serguei N.; Abernathy, Harry; Gerdes, Kirk

    2015-01-01

    A liquid tin anode solid oxide fuel cell is constructed and investigated under different operating conditions. Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) is used to reflect the effect of fuel feed as the EIS spectra changes significantly on switching the fuel from argon to hydrogen. A cathode symmetric cell is used to separate the impedance from the two electrodes, and the results indicate that a major contribution to the charge-transfer and mass-transfer impedance arises from the anode. The OCP of 0.841 V for the cell operating under argon as a metal-air battery indicates the formation of a SnO2 layer at the electrolyte/anode interface. The increase in the OCP to 1.1 V for the hydrogen fueled cell shows that H2 reduces the SnO2 film effectively. The effective diffusion coefficients are calculated using the Warburg element in the equivalent circuit model for the experimental EIS data, and the values of 1.9 10-3 cm2 s-1 at 700 °C, 2.3 10-3 cm2 s-1 at 800 °C and 3.5 10-3 cm2 s-1 at 900 °C indicate the system was influenced by diffusion of hydrogen in the system. Further, the performance degradation over time is attributed to the irreversible conversion of Sn to SnO2 resulting from galvanic polarization.

  15. Comprehensive characterization and understanding of micro-fuel cells operating at high methanol concentrations.

    PubMed

    Gago, Aldo S; Esquivel, Juan-Pablo; Sabaté, Neus; Santander, Joaquín; Alonso-Vante, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    We report on the analysis of the performance of each electrode of an air-breathing passive micro-direct methanol fuel cell (µDMFC) during polarization, stabilization and discharge, with CH3OH (2-20 M). A reference electrode with a microcapillary was used for separately measuring the anode the cathode potential. Information about the open circuit potential (OCP), the voltage and the mass transport related phenomena are available. Using 2 M CH3OH, the anode showed mass transport problems. With 4 and 6 M CH3OH both electrodes experience this situation, whereas with 10 and 20 M CH3OH the issue is attributed to the cathode. The stabilization and fuel consumption time depends mainly on the cathode performance, which is very sensitive to fuel crossover. The exposure to 20 M CH3OH produced a loss in performance of more than 75% of the highest power density (16.3 mW·cm(-2)).

  16. Fuel Cell Handbook, Fifth Edition

    SciTech Connect

    Energy and Environmental Solutions

    2000-10-31

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

  17. A simple, analytic model of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell anode recirculation at operating power including nitrogen crossover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Promislow, Keith; St-Pierre, Jean; Wetton, Brian

    A simple, analytic model is presented that describes the steady state profile of anode nitrogen concentration in a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell operated with anode recirculation. The model is appropriate for fuel cells with straight gas channels and includes the effect of nitrogen crossover from cathode to anode through the membrane. The key analytic simplification in the model is that this crossover rate, when scaled to the gas flows in the channels, is small. This is a good approximation when the device is used at operating power levels. The model shows that the characteristic times for the anode nitrogen profiles to reach steady state are of the order of minutes and that the dilution effect of anode nitrogen is severe for pure recirculation. The model shows additionally that a small anode outlet bleed can significantly reduce the nitrogen dilution effect. Within the framework of the model, the energy efficiency of pure recirculation can be compared to hydrogen venting or partial anode bleeding. An optimal bleed rate is identified. The model and optimization analysis can be adapted to other fuel cell designs and operating conditions. Along with operating conditions, only two key parameters are needed: a nitrogen crossover coefficient and the marginal efficiency loss to compressors for increased anode stoichiometric gas flow.

  18. Alkaline fuel cells applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  19. Startup, testing, and operation of the Santa Clara 2MW direct carbonate fuel cell demonstration plant

    SciTech Connect

    Skok, A.J.; Leo, A.J.; O`Shea, T.P.

    1996-12-31

    The Santa Clara Demonstration Project (SCDP) is a collaboration between several utility organizations, Fuel Cell Engineering Corporation (FCE), and the U.S. Dept. Of Energy aimed at the demonstration of Energy Research Corporation`s (ERC) direct carbonate fuel cell (DFC) technology. ERC has been pursuing the development of the DFC for commercialization near the end of this decade, and this project is an integral part of the ERC commercialization effort. The objective of the Santa Clara Demonstration Project is to provide the first full, commercial scale demonstration of this technology. The approach ERC has taken in the commercialization of the DFC is described in detail elsewhere. An aggressive core technology development program is in place which is focused by ongoing interaction with customers and vendors to optimize the design of the commercial power plant. ERC has selected a 2.85 MW power plant unit for initial market entry. Two ERC subsidiaries are supporting the commercialization effort: the Fuel Cell Manufacturing Corporation (FCMC) and the Fuel Cell Engineering Corporation (FCE). FCMC manufactures carbonate stacks and multi-stack modules, currently from its production facility in Torrington, CT. FCE is responsible for power plant design, integration of all subsystems, sales/marketing, and client services. FCE is serving as the prime contractor for the design, construction, and testing of the SCDP Plant. FCMC has manufactured the multi-stack submodules used in the DC power section of the plant. Fluor Daniel Inc. (FDI) served as the architect-engineer subcontractor for the design and construction of the plant and provided support to the design of the multi-stack submodules. FDI is also assisting the ERC companies in commercial power plant design.

  20. Fuel Cell Handbook, Fourth Edition

    SciTech Connect

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

    1998-11-01

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

  1. Chemically regenerable redox fuel cell and method of operating the same

    SciTech Connect

    Kummer, J.T.; Oei, D.G.

    1983-08-02

    A chemically regenerable redox fuel cell is disclosed. This fuel cell is one in which the oxidant is oxygen and the fuel is hydrogen. A catholyte solution is used. The catholyte solution is one which reoxidized from a reduced state to an oxidized state by direct exposure of the catholyte solution oxygen. An anolyte solution is also used. This anolyte solution is one which is reduced from an oxidized state to a reduced state by direct exposure of the catholyte solution to hydrogen. Structure is provided for containing in separate containers the catholyte solution and the anolyte solution, for providing oxygen to the catholyte solution and hydrogen to the anolyte solution. A suitable cationic exchange membrane is housed in a housing and provided with volumes on opposite sides of the membrane for the catholyte solution and anolyte solution so that the necessary exchanges may take place to form the redox cell. All necessary plumbing and electrical systems are provided to supply catholyte and anolyte solutions to the cationic exchange membrane and to obtain from the exchange which takes place at the membrane the electrical potential generated.

  2. Chemically regenerable redox fuel cell and method of operating the same

    SciTech Connect

    Kummer, J.T.; Oei, D.G.

    1983-10-04

    A chemically regenerable redox fuel cell is disclosed. This fuel cell is one in which the oxidant is oxygen and the fuel is hydrogen. A catholyte solution is used. The catholyte solution is one which is reoxidized from a reduced state to an oxidized state by direct exposure of the catholyte solution to oxygen. An anolyte solution is also used. This anolyte solution is one which is reduced from an oxidized state to a reduced state by direct exposure of the catholyte solution to hydrogen. Structure is provided for containing in separate containers the catholyte solution and the anolyte solution, and for providing oxygen to the catholyte solution and hydrogen to the anolyte solution. A suitable cationic exchange membrane is housed in a housing and provided with volumes on opposite sides of the membrane for the catholyte solution and anolyte solution so that the necessary exchanges may take place to form the redox cell. All necessary plumbing and electrical systems are provided to supply the catholyte and anolyte solutions to the cationic exchange membrane and to obtain from the exchange which takes place at the membrane the electrical potential generated.

  3. Nafion-porous cerium oxide nanotubes composite membrane for polymer electrolyte fuel cells operated under dry conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ketpang, Kriangsak; Oh, Kwangjin; Lim, Sung-Chul; Shanmugam, Sangaraju

    2016-10-01

    A composite membrane operated in polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) under low relative humidity (RH) is developed by incorporating cerium oxide nanotubes (CeNT) into a perfluorosulfonic acid (Nafion®) membrane. Porous CeNT is synthesized by direct heating a precursor impregnated polymer fibers at 500 °C under an air atmosphere. Compared to recast Nafion and commercial Nafion (NRE-212) membranes, the Nafion-CeNT composite membrane generates 1.1 times higher power density at 0.6 V, operated at 80 °C under 100% RH. Compared to Nafion-cerium oxide nanoparticles (Nafion-CeNP) membrane, the Nafion-CeNT provides 1.2 and 1.7 times higher PEFC performance at 0.6 V when operated at 80 °C under 100% and 18% RH, respectively. Additionally, the Nafion-CeNT composite membrane exhibits a good fuel cell operation under 18% RH at 80 °C. Specifically, the fluoride emission rate of Nafion-CeNT composite membrane is 20 times lower than that of the commercial NRE-212 membrane when operated under 18% RH at 80 °C for 96 h. The outstanding PEFC performance and durability operated under dry conditions is mainly attributed to the facile water diffusion capability as well as the effective hydroxyl radical scavenging property of the CeNT filler, resulting in significantly mitigating both the ohmic resistance and Nafion membrane degradation.

  4. Effects of fuel processing methods on industrial scale biogas-fuelled solid oxide fuel cell system for operating in wastewater treatment plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farhad, Siamak; Yoo, Yeong; Hamdullahpur, Feridun

    The performance of three solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) systems, fuelled by biogas produced through anaerobic digestion (AD) process, for heat and electricity generation in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) is studied. Each system has a different fuel processing method to prevent carbon deposition over the anode catalyst under biogas fuelling. Anode gas recirculation (AGR), steam reforming (SR), and partial oxidation (POX) are the methods employed in systems I-III, respectively. A planar SOFC stack used in these systems is based on the anode-supported cells with Ni-YSZ anode, YSZ electrolyte and YSZ-LSM cathode, operated at 800 °C. A computer code has been developed for the simulation of the planar SOFC in cell, stack and system levels and applied for the performance prediction of the SOFC systems. The key operational parameters affecting the performance of the SOFC systems are identified. The effect of these parameters on the electrical and CHP efficiencies, the generated electricity and heat, the total exergy destruction, and the number of cells in SOFC stack of the systems are studied. The results show that among the SOFC systems investigated in this study, the AGR and SR fuel processor-based systems with electrical efficiency of 45.1% and 43%, respectively, are suitable to be applied in WWTPs. If the entire biogas produced in a WWTP is used in the AGR or SR fuel processor-based SOFC system, the electricity and heat required to operate the WWTP can be completely self-supplied and the extra electricity generated can be sold to the electrical grid.

  5. CLIMATE CHANGE FUEL CELL PROGRAM

    SciTech Connect

    Steven A. Gabrielle

    2004-12-03

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

  6. ARPA advanced fuel cell development

    SciTech Connect

    Dubois, L.H.

    1995-08-01

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

  7. More Than 410,000 Hours of Real-World Fuel Cell System Operation Have Been Analyzed by NREL's Technology Validation Team (Fact Sheet)

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-02-01

    This fact sheet discusses how researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are working to validate hydrogen and fuel cell systems in real-world settings. NREL strives to provide an independent third-party technology assessment that focuses on fuel cell system and hydrogen infrastructure performance, operation, maintenance, and safety.

  8. A microbial fuel cell operating at low pH using an acidophile, Acidiphilium cryptum.

    SciTech Connect

    Borole, Abhijeet P; Cesar, Scott A; O'Neill, Hugh Michael; Tsouris, Costas

    2008-01-01

    A microbial fuel cell using an acidophilic microorganism, Acidiphilium cryptum, as the anode biocatalyst was investigated. The mode of electron transfer by this organism to the electrode was studied. Electricity production in the presence of a mediator was demonstrated using its natural electron acceptor, iron, as well as phenosafranin as the electron mediating agent. Production of Fe(II), as a result of iron reduction, at a pH of 4.0 or below was found to support electricity production. Accumulation of the oxidized iron, Fe(III) as a result of electron donation to the electrode, however, restricted higher current output. Addition of nitrilotriacetic acid helped resolve the problem by redissolution of deposited Fe(III). Further, use of phenosafranin as a secondary mediator resulted in improvement in power output. At a cell loading equivalent to OD600 of 1.0, a power output of 12.7 mW/m2 was obtained in a two-chamber air-sparged fuel cell. Potential for direct electron transfer was also investigated but not detected under the conditions studied.

  9. Transient response of a unit proton-exchange membrane fuel cell under various operating conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cho, Junhyun; Kim, Han-Sang; Min, Kyoungdoug

    The transient response of proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) is an important criterion in their application to automotive systems. Nevertheless, few papers have attempted to study experimentally this dynamic behaviour and its causes. Using a large-effective-area (330 cm 2) unit PEMFC and a transparent unit PEMFC (25 cm 2), systematic transient response and cathode flooding during load changes are investigated. The cell voltage is acquired according to the current density change under a variety of stoichiometry, temperature and humidity conditions, as well as different flooding intensities. In the case of the transparent fuel cell, the cathode gas channel images are obtained simultaneously with a CCD imaging system. The different levels of undershoot occur at the moment of load change under different cathode stoichiometry, both cathode and anode side humidity and flooding intensity conditions. It is shown that undershoot behaviour consists of two stages with different time delays: one is of the order of 1 s and the other is of the order of 10 s. It takes about 1 s for the product water to come up on to the flow channel surface so that oxygen supply is temporarily blocked, which causes voltage loss in that "undershoot". The correlation of dynamic behaviour with stoichiometry and cathode flooding is analyzed from the results of these experiments.

  10. In situ PEM fuel cell water measurements

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-01-01

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

  11. Comprehensive characterization and understanding of micro-fuel cells operating at high methanol concentrations.

    PubMed

    Gago, Aldo S; Esquivel, Juan-Pablo; Sabaté, Neus; Santander, Joaquín; Alonso-Vante, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    We report on the analysis of the performance of each electrode of an air-breathing passive micro-direct methanol fuel cell (µDMFC) during polarization, stabilization and discharge, with CH3OH (2-20 M). A reference electrode with a microcapillary was used for separately measuring the anode the cathode potential. Information about the open circuit potential (OCP), the voltage and the mass transport related phenomena are available. Using 2 M CH3OH, the anode showed mass transport problems. With 4 and 6 M CH3OH both electrodes experience this situation, whereas with 10 and 20 M CH3OH the issue is attributed to the cathode. The stabilization and fuel consumption time depends mainly on the cathode performance, which is very sensitive to fuel crossover. The exposure to 20 M CH3OH produced a loss in performance of more than 75% of the highest power density (16.3 mW·cm(-2)). PMID:26665070

  12. Comprehensive characterization and understanding of micro-fuel cells operating at high methanol concentrations

    PubMed Central

    Gago, Aldo S; Esquivel, Juan-Pablo; Sabaté, Neus; Santander, Joaquín

    2015-01-01

    Summary We report on the analysis of the performance of each electrode of an air-breathing passive micro-direct methanol fuel cell (µDMFC) during polarization, stabilization and discharge, with CH3OH (2–20 M). A reference electrode with a microcapillary was used for separately measuring the anode the cathode potential. Information about the open circuit potential (OCP), the voltage and the mass transport related phenomena are available. Using 2 M CH3OH, the anode showed mass transport problems. With 4 and 6 M CH3OH both electrodes experience this situation, whereas with 10 and 20 M CH3OH the issue is attributed to the cathode. The stabilization and fuel consumption time depends mainly on the cathode performance, which is very sensitive to fuel crossover. The exposure to 20 M CH3OH produced a loss in performance of more than 75% of the highest power density (16.3 mW·cm−2). PMID:26665070

  13. Fuel cell technology program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

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

  14. Archaea-based microbial fuel cell operating at high ionic strength conditions.

    PubMed

    Abrevaya, Ximena C; Sacco, Natalia; Mauas, Pablo J D; Cortón, Eduardo

    2011-11-01

    In this work, two archaea microorganisms (Haloferax volcanii and Natrialba magadii) used as biocatalyst at a microbial fuel cell (MFC) anode were evaluated. Both archaea are able to grow at high salt concentrations. By increasing the media conductivity, the internal resistance was diminished, improving the MFC's performance. Without any added redox mediator, maximum power (P (max)) and current at P (max) were 11.87/4.57/0.12 μW cm(-2) and 49.67/22.03/0.59 μA cm(-2) for H. volcanii, N. magadii and E. coli, respectively. When neutral red was used as the redox mediator, P (max) was 50.98 and 5.39 μW cm(-2) for H. volcanii and N. magadii, respectively. In this paper, an archaea MFC is described and compared with other MFC systems; the high salt concentration assayed here, comparable with that used in Pt-catalyzed alkaline hydrogen fuel cells, will open new options when MFC scaling up is the objective necessary for practical applications.

  15. Fuel cells seminar

    SciTech Connect

    1996-12-01

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

  16. μPIV measurements of two-phase flows of an operated direct methanol fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burgmann, Sebastian; Blank, Mirja; Panchenko, Olha; Wartmann, Jens

    2013-05-01

    In direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs), two-phase flows appear in the channels of the anode side (CO2 bubbles in a liquid water-methanol environment) as well as of the cathode side (water droplets or films in an ambient air flow). CO2 bubbles or water droplets may almost completely fill the cross-section of a channel. The instantaneous effect of the formation of two-phase flows on the cell performance has not been investigated in detail, yet. In the current project, the micro particle image velocimetry (μPIV) technique is used to elucidate the corresponding flow phenomena on the anode as well as on the cathode side of a DMFC and to correlate those phenomena with the performance of the cell. A single-channel DMFC with optical access at the anode and the cathode side is constructed and assembled that allows for μPIV measurements at both sides as well as a detailed time-resolved cell voltage recording. The appearance and evolution of CO2 bubbles on the anode side is qualitatively and quantitatively investigated. The results clearly indicate that the cell power increases when the free cross-section area of the channel is decreased by huge bubbles. Methanol is forced into the porous gas diffusion layer (GDL) between the channels and the membrane is oxidized to CO2, and hence, the fuel consumption is increased and the cell performance rises. Eventually, a bubble forms a moving slug that effectively cleans the channel from CO2 bubbles on its way downstream. The blockage effect is eliminated; the methanol flow is not forced into the GDL anymore. The remaining amount of methanol in the GDL is oxidized. The cell power decreases until enough CO2 is produced to eventually form bubbles again and the process starts again. On the other hand under the investigated conditions, water on the cathode side only forms liquid films on the channels walls rather than channel-filling droplets. Instantaneous changes of the cell power due to liquid water formation could not be observed. The

  17. Electricity production from Azo dye wastewater using a microbial fuel cell coupled constructed wetland operating under different operating conditions.

    PubMed

    Fang, Zhou; Song, Hai-liang; Cang, Ning; Li, Xian-ning

    2015-06-15

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) have got tremendous attention for their capability to enhance the degradation of some recalcitrant pollutants and simultaneous electricity production. A microbial fuel cell coupled constructed wetland (CW-MFC) is a new device to treat the wastewater and produce energy which has more wastewater treatment volume and more easily to maintenance than others MFCs. The studies on the performance of CW-MFCs are necessary. In this work, the effects of hydraulic residence time (HRT), reactive brilliant red X-3B (ABRX3) proportion and COD concentration on the electricity production of CW-MFC and the degradation characteristics of ABRX3 were investigated. The decolorization rate and the electricity production increased to a peak before slowing down with the elongation of HRT. The highest decolorization rate and electricity production were obtained when HRT was 3 days. The ABRX3 proportion (calculated as COD) in the wastewater played an important role in decolorization and electricity production, which may influence the distribution of electrons in the system. The power density of CW-MFC and the decolorization rate decreased concomitantly with an increasing ABRX3 proportion. The COD concentration influenced the CW-MFC performance slightly. The highest decolorization rate and power density reached 95.6% and 0.852 W/m(3), respectively, when the COD concentration was 300 mg/L while the ABRX3 proportion was 30%. The coulombic efficiency of the CW-MFC depended on glucose and ABRX3 proportions in the wastewater. ABRX3 acquired more electrons than the anode. Further investigations are needed to optimize CW-MFC performance and explain the mechanism of biorefractory compounds degradation and electron motion in CW-MFCs.

  18. Electricity production from Azo dye wastewater using a microbial fuel cell coupled constructed wetland operating under different operating conditions.

    PubMed

    Fang, Zhou; Song, Hai-liang; Cang, Ning; Li, Xian-ning

    2015-06-15

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) have got tremendous attention for their capability to enhance the degradation of some recalcitrant pollutants and simultaneous electricity production. A microbial fuel cell coupled constructed wetland (CW-MFC) is a new device to treat the wastewater and produce energy which has more wastewater treatment volume and more easily to maintenance than others MFCs. The studies on the performance of CW-MFCs are necessary. In this work, the effects of hydraulic residence time (HRT), reactive brilliant red X-3B (ABRX3) proportion and COD concentration on the electricity production of CW-MFC and the degradation characteristics of ABRX3 were investigated. The decolorization rate and the electricity production increased to a peak before slowing down with the elongation of HRT. The highest decolorization rate and electricity production were obtained when HRT was 3 days. The ABRX3 proportion (calculated as COD) in the wastewater played an important role in decolorization and electricity production, which may influence the distribution of electrons in the system. The power density of CW-MFC and the decolorization rate decreased concomitantly with an increasing ABRX3 proportion. The COD concentration influenced the CW-MFC performance slightly. The highest decolorization rate and power density reached 95.6% and 0.852 W/m(3), respectively, when the COD concentration was 300 mg/L while the ABRX3 proportion was 30%. The coulombic efficiency of the CW-MFC depended on glucose and ABRX3 proportions in the wastewater. ABRX3 acquired more electrons than the anode. Further investigations are needed to optimize CW-MFC performance and explain the mechanism of biorefractory compounds degradation and electron motion in CW-MFCs. PMID:25562740

  19. In situ fluorescence spectroscopy correlates ionomer degradation to reactive oxygen species generation in an operating fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Prabhakaran, Venkateshkumar; Arges, Christopher G; Ramani, Vijay

    2013-11-21

    The rate of generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) within the polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) of an operating proton exchange member fuel cell (PEMFC) was monitored using in situ fluorescence spectroscopy. A modified barrier layer was introduced between the PEM and the electrocatalyst layer to eliminate metal-dye interactions and fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) effects during measurements. Standard fuel cell operating parameters (temperature, relative humidity, and electrode potential) were systematically varied to evaluate their influence on the rate of ROS generation during PEMFC operation. Independently, the macroscopic rate of PEM degradation was measured by monitoring the fluoride ion emission rate (FER) in the effluent stream at each operating condition. The ROS generation reaction rate constant (estimated from the in situ fluorescence experiments) correlated perfectly with the measured FER across all conditions, demonstrating unequivocally for the first time that a direct correlation exists between in situ ROS generation and PEM macroscopic degradation. The activation energy for ROS generation within the PEM was estimated to be 12.5 kJ mol(-1).

  20. TESTING AND PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS OF NASA 5 CM BY 5 CM BI-SUPPORTED SOLID OXIDE ELECTROLYSIS CELLS OPERATED IN BOTH FUEL CELL AND STEAM ELECTROLYSIS MODES

    SciTech Connect

    R. C. O'Brien; J. E. O'Brien; C. M. Stoots; X. Zhang; S. C. Farmer; T. L. Cable; J. A. Setlock

    2011-11-01

    A series of 5 cm by 5 cm bi-supported Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cells (SOEC) were produced by NASA for the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and tested under the INL High Temperature Steam Electrolysis program. The results from the experimental demonstration of cell operation for both hydrogen production and operation as fuel cells is presented. An overview of the cell technology, test apparatus and performance analysis is also provided. The INL High Temperature Steam Electrolysis laboratory has developed significant test infrastructure in support of single cell and stack performance analyses. An overview of the single cell test apparatus is presented. The test data presented in this paper is representative of a first batch of NASA's prototypic 5 cm by 5 cm SOEC single cells. Clearly a significant relationship between the operational current density and cell degradation rate is evident. While the performance of these cells was lower than anticipated, in-house testing at NASA Glenn has yielded significantly higher performance and lower degradation rates with subsequent production batches of cells. Current post-test microstructure analyses of the cells tested at INL will be published in a future paper. Modification to cell compositions and cell reduction techniques will be altered in the next series of cells to be delivered to INL with the aim to decrease the cell degradation rate while allowing for higher operational current densities to be sustained. Results from the testing of new batches of single cells will be presented in a future paper.

  1. Fuel utilization and fuel sensitivity of solid oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Kevin

    2011-03-01

    Fuel utilization and fuel sensitivity are two important process variables widely used in operation of SOFC cells, stacks, and generators. To illustrate the technical values, the definitions of these two variables as well as practical examples are particularly given in this paper. It is explicitly shown that the oxygen-leakage has a substantial effect on the actual fuel utilization, fuel sensitivity and V-I characteristics. An underestimation of the leakage flux could potentially results in overly consuming fuel and oxidizing Ni-based anode. A fuel sensitivity model is also proposed to help extract the leakage flux information from a fuel sensitivity curve. Finally, the "bending-over" phenomenon observed in the low-current range of a V-I curve measured at constant fuel-utilization is quantitatively coupled with leakage flux.

  2. Climate Change Fuel Cell Program

    SciTech Connect

    Alice M. Gitchell

    2006-09-15

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

  3. Anode regeneration following carbon depositions in an industrial-sized anode supported solid oxide fuel cell operating on synthetic diesel reformate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Subotić, Vanja; Schluckner, Christoph; Mathe, Jörg; Rechberger, Jürgen; Schroettner, Hartmuth; Hochenauer, Christoph

    2015-11-01

    Carbon deposition is a primary concern during operation of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) fueled with carbon-containing fuels. It leads to cell degradation and thus reduces SOFC sustained operation and durability. This paper reports on an experimental investigation of carbon formation on the nickel/yttria-stabilized zirconia (Ni/YSZ) anode of an anode-supported SOFC and its regeneration. The cell was fueled with a synthetically produced diesel reformate to investigate and simulate the cell behavior under real operating conditions. For this purpose the cell was operated under load to determine the critical operating time. Rapid carbon generation, such as at open circuit voltage (OCV), can be prevented when the cell is under load. Carbon depositions were detected using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and further analyzed by Raman spectroscopy. Industrial-size cells suitable for commercial applications were studied. This study proves the reversibility of carbon formation and the reproducibility of the regeneration process. It shows that carbon formations can be recognized and effectively, fully and cell-protecting regenerated. It indicates the excellent possibility of using SOFCs in the automotive industry as an auxiliary power unit (APU) or combined power-heat unit, operated with diesel reformate, without danger from cell degradation caused by carbon-containing fuels.

  4. 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.

  5. Acoustic emission: Towards a real-time diagnosis technique for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell operation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Legros, B.; Thivel, P.-X.; Bultel, Y.; Boinet, M.; Nogueira, R. P.

    This paper deals with one of the needs for PEMFC to be economically reliable: diagnosis tool for water management. This issue is actually a key parameter for both performance and durability improvement. Acoustic emission (AE) technique was employed to survey PEM single cell under various operating conditions. AE events coming from different sources have thus been identified, classified and finally ascribed to different phenomena induced by MEA water uptake and/or biphasic flow in the gas channel thanks to a statistical post-treatment of the acoustic data. Results, although qualitative, seems trusty enough to unravel hidden correlations between AE hits and physicochemical phenomena taking place during the cell operation and open up the way for an innovative and non-invasive online diagnosis tool.

  6. An Operational Method of Residential Fuel Cell System with Super Capacitor Storage and its Application to an Energy Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doi, Yusuke; Ishida, Masayoshi; Aki, Hirohisa

    In this paper, we have proposed that an electric double layer capacitor storage, which has quick response in output or input of electricity but has smaller capacity than normal secondary batteries, is applied to a residential fuel cell co-generation system to shave spike-like electric power consumptions. The method is expected to enhance the utilization rate of the system and to moderate burdens for power grid connecting to such distributed generator as fuel cell. A low-pass filter method was introduced for balancing between the power supply and the demand, and leveling the power input from a grid. According to the simulation by using practically measured load patterns, the appropriate storage capacity is about 500Wh for a household, the fuel cell utilization rate or the grid burden improvement is increased by around 40% in comparison with the case of the system without storage capacity. It has been clarified that, in the energy network method of over 5 households, the storage capacity can be approximately reduced down to 40% with extreme burden improvement less than 90% of the stand alone condition. Also we have verified the practical operation and the performance by using an experimental system.

  7. Dummy Cell Would Improve Performance Of Fuel-Cell Stack

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Suljak, G. T.

    1993-01-01

    Interposition of dummy cell between stack of alkaline fuel cells and accessory section of fuel-cell powerplant proposed to overcome operational deficiencies plaguing end-most active cell. Cell in combination with additional hydrogen/coolant separator plate keeps end cell warmer and drier. End cell 96th in stack of fuel cells.

  8. Modeling a 5 kWe planar solid oxide fuel cell based system operating on JP-8 fuel and a comparison with tubular cell based system for auxiliary and mobile power applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanim, Tanvir; Bayless, David J.; Trembly, Jason P.

    2014-01-01

    A steady state planar solid oxide fuel cell (P-SOFC) based system operating on desulfurized JP-8 fuel was modeled using Aspen Plus simulation software for auxiliary and mobile power applications. An onboard autothermal reformer (ATR) employed to reform the desulfurized JP-8 fuel was coupled with the P-SOFC stack to provide for H2 and CO as fuel, minimizing the cost and complexity associated with hydrogen storage. Characterization of the ATR reformer was conducted by varying the steam to carbon ratio (H2O/C) from 0.1 to 1.0 at different ATR operating temperatures (700-800 °C) while maintaining the P-SOFC stack temperature at 850 °C. A fraction of the anode recycle was used as the steam and heat source for autothermal reforming of the JP-8 fuel, intending to make the system lighter and compact for mobile applications. System modeling revealed a maximum net AC efficiency of 37.1% at 700 °C and 29.2% at 800 °C ATR operating temperatures, respectively. Parametric analyses with respect to fuel utilization factor (Uf) and current density (j) were conducted to determine optimum operating conditions. Finally, the P-SOFC based system was compared with a previously published [1] tubular solid oxide fuel cell based (T-SOFC) system to identify the relative advantages over one another.

  9. Delta nitrogen tetroxide fueling operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grigsby, R. B.; Cross, T. M.; Rucci, T. D.

    1978-01-01

    The development of the Delta second stage nitrogen tetroxide fueling system is briefly summarized. The nitrogen tetroxide fueling system and the equipment used to protect the spacecraft environment from the toxic nitrogen tetroxide fumes are described. Topics covered include: the nitrogen tetroxide transfer system; loading operations; safety precautions; and chemical treatment of all toxic vapors.

  10. Mixotrophic operation of photo-bioelectrocatalytic fuel cell under anoxygenic microenvironment enhances the light dependent bioelectrogenic activity.

    PubMed

    Chandra, Rashmi; Venkata Subhash, G; Venkata Mohan, S

    2012-04-01

    Electrogenic activity of photo-bioelectrocatalytic /photo-biological fuel cell (PhFC) was evaluated in a mixotrophic mode under anoxygenic microenvironment using photosynthetic consortia as biocatalyst. An acetate rich wastewater was used as anolyte for harnessing energy along with additional treatment. Mixotrophic operation facilitated good electrogenic activity and wastewater treatment associated with biomass growth. PhFC operation documented feasible microenvironment for the growth of photosynthetic bacteria compared to algae which was supported by pigment (total chlorophyll and bacteriochlorophyll) and diversity analysis. Pigment data also illustrated the association between bacterial and algal species. The synergistic interaction between anoxygenic and oxygenic photosynthesis was found to be suitable for PhFC operation. Light dependent deposition of electrons at electrode was relatively higher compared to dark dependent electron deposition under anoxygenic condition. PhFC documented for good volatile fatty acids removal by utilizing them as electron donor. Bioelectrochemical behavior of PhFC was evaluated by voltammetric and chronoamperometry analysis. PMID:22297047

  11. Unitized regenerative fuel cell system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burke, Kenneth A. (Inventor)

    2008-01-01

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

  12. A flexible all-inorganic fuel cell membrane with conductivity above Nafion, and durable operation at 150 °C

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ansari, Y.; Tucker, T. G.; Huang, W.; Klein, I. S.; Lee, S.-Y.; Yarger, J. L.; Angell, C. A.

    2016-01-01

    The search for fuel cell membranes has focused on carbon backbone polymers, among which Nafion seems to best survive the most severe of the degradation mechanisms - attack by peroxide radicals. Less attention has been given to inorganic membranes because of their generally inflexible nature and lower conductivity, though some SiO2-Nafion composites have shown improved properties. Nafion dominates, despite needing hydration, which then restricts operation to below 100 °C (so CO poisoning problems persist). Described herein is a low cost, flexible, and all-inorganic fiberglass reinforced gel membrane with conductivity exceeding that of Nafion at any temperature above 60 °C. Using Teflon fuel cells, maximum currents > 1 Acm-2 and OCV of 1.03 V at 150 °C are demonstrated. No detectable loss of cell potential was observed over 24 h during 50 mAcm-2 constant current operation at 120 °C while, at 150 °C and maximum power, the degradation rate is intermediate among other high conductivity H3PO4-PBI type membranes. The structure of the membrane is deduced, mainly from 29Si solid state-NMR. The -115 ppm resonance, which is extreme for Q4 Si(O) structures, identifies a zeolite-like SiO2 network, which is "floppy". 31P and 1H NMR establish nano-permeating H3PO4 as the source of the exceptional conductivity.

  13. Moisturized anode and water management in a passive vapor-feed direct methanol fuel cell operated with neat methanol

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Zhaochun; Yuan, Wei; Wang, Aoyu; Yan, Zhiguo; Tang, Yong; Tang, Kairui

    2015-11-01

    This paper investigates the moisturized anode and water management of a vapor-feed direct methanol fuel cell operated with neat methanol. Three methods of water management are experimentally compared, including water storage in a fuel reservoir, active water vapor supply and water recovery from the cathode to the anode. A water management layer for water recovery is introduced to the cathode, which is made of a quasi-superhydrophobic sintered porous metal plate (SPMP) to enhance water back diffusion (WBD). Results prove that each of these methods can improve the cell performance. WBD enhancement based on the use of a SPMP is proven to be the most effective way. It is also found that combination of different methods may more promote the cell performance. Using a WBD enhancement layer under the condition of active water vapor supply can completely eliminate performance decline in the early stage of constant-load discharging. For fully-passive operation, a higher catalyst loading at the cathode helps retain stable performance when a WBD enhancement layer is used. Based on this design, the passive vapor-feed DMFC fed with neat methanol can achieve a maximum power density of 21 mW cm-2.

  14. Fuel cell technology program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1971-01-01

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

  15. Proton exchange membrane fuel cell reversible performance loss induced by carbon monoxide produced during operation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Decoopman, B.; Vincent, R.; Rosini, S.; Paganelli, G.; Thivel, P.-X.

    2016-08-01

    Cyclic voltammetry measurements at the anode have been carried out and reveal the presence of carbon monoxide in steady-state operation, with pure hydrogen. Experiments have been performed both in single cell and in stack to find out its origin. The contamination of the anode catalyst is partly due the reverse-water gas shift (RWGS) with carbon dioxide from the cathode. However, this study shows a temperature-activated and time-related corrosion mechanism which appears under humidified hydrogen. Due to this degradation mechanism, a reversible 25 mV-loss of performances is observed and can be recovered by oxidizing carbon monoxide on the anode.

  16. Proton exchange membrane fuel cell reversible performance loss induced by carbon monoxide produced during operation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Decoopman, B.; Vincent, R.; Rosini, S.; Paganelli, G.; Thivel, P.-X.

    2016-08-01

    Cyclic voltammetry measurements at the anode have been carried out and reveal the presence of carbon monoxide in steady-state operation, with pure hydrogen. Experiments have been performed both in single cell and in stack to find out its origin. The contamination of the anode catalyst is partly due the reverse-water gas shift (RWGS) with carbon dioxide from the cathode. However, this study shows a temperature-activated and time-related corrosion mechanism which appears under humidified hydrogen. Due to this degradation mechanism, a reversible 25 mV-loss of performances is observed and can be recovered by oxidizing carbon monoxide on the anode.

  17. Fuel cell/gas turbine integration

    SciTech Connect

    Knickerbocker, T.

    1995-10-19

    The Allison Engine Company`s very high efficiency fuel cell/advanced turbine power cycle program is discussed. The power cycle has the following advantages: high system efficiency potential, reduced emissions inherent to fuel cells, unmanned operation(no boiler) particularly suited for distributed power, and existing product line matches fuel cell operating environment. Cost effectiveness, estimates, and projections are given.

  18. Increased power generation from primary sludge by a submersible microbial fuel cell and optimum operational conditions.

    PubMed

    Vologni, Valentina; Kakarla, Ramesh; Angelidaki, Irini; Min, Booki

    2013-05-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) have received attention as a promising renewable energy technology for waste treatment and energy recovery. We tested a submersible MFC with an innovative design capable of generating a stable voltage of 0.250 ± 0.008 V (with a fixed 470 Ω resistor) directly from primary sludge. In a polarization test, the maximum power density was 0.18 W/m(2) at a current density of 0.8 A/m(2) with an external resistor of 300 Ω. The anodic solution of the primary sludge needs to be adjusted to a pH 7 for high power generation. The modified primary sludge with an added phosphate buffer prolonged the current generation and increased the power density by 7 and 1.5 times, respectively, in comparison with raw primary sludge. These findings suggest that energy recovery from primary sludge can be maximized using an advanced MFC system with optimum conditions.

  19. Increased power generation from primary sludge by a submersible microbial fuel cell and optimum operational conditions.

    PubMed

    Vologni, Valentina; Kakarla, Ramesh; Angelidaki, Irini; Min, Booki

    2013-05-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) have received attention as a promising renewable energy technology for waste treatment and energy recovery. We tested a submersible MFC with an innovative design capable of generating a stable voltage of 0.250 ± 0.008 V (with a fixed 470 Ω resistor) directly from primary sludge. In a polarization test, the maximum power density was 0.18 W/m(2) at a current density of 0.8 A/m(2) with an external resistor of 300 Ω. The anodic solution of the primary sludge needs to be adjusted to a pH 7 for high power generation. The modified primary sludge with an added phosphate buffer prolonged the current generation and increased the power density by 7 and 1.5 times, respectively, in comparison with raw primary sludge. These findings suggest that energy recovery from primary sludge can be maximized using an advanced MFC system with optimum conditions. PMID:23420478

  20. Optimal operation management of fuel cell/wind/photovoltaic power sources connected to distribution networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niknam, Taher; Kavousifard, Abdollah; Tabatabaei, Sajad; Aghaei, Jamshid

    2011-10-01

    In this paper a new multiobjective modified honey bee mating optimization (MHBMO) algorithm is presented to investigate the distribution feeder reconfiguration (DFR) problem considering renewable energy sources (RESs) (photovoltaics, fuel cell and wind energy) connected to the distribution network. The objective functions of the problem to be minimized are the electrical active power losses, the voltage deviations, the total electrical energy costs and the total emissions of RESs and substations. During the optimization process, the proposed algorithm finds a set of non-dominated (Pareto) optimal solutions which are stored in an external memory called repository. Since the objective functions investigated are not the same, a fuzzy clustering algorithm is utilized to handle the size of the repository in the specified limits. Moreover, a fuzzy-based decision maker is adopted to select the 'best' compromised solution among the non-dominated optimal solutions of multiobjective optimization problem. In order to see the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed algorithm, two standard distribution test systems are used as case studies.

  1. Mathematical model for the analysis of structure and optimal operational parameters of a solid oxide fuel cell generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coralli, Alberto; Villela de Miranda, Hugo; Espiúca Monteiro, Carlos Felipe; Resende da Silva, José Francisco; Valadão de Miranda, Paulo Emílio

    2014-12-01

    Solid oxide fuel cells are globally recognized as a very promising technology in the area of highly efficient electricity generation with a low environmental impact. This technology can be advantageously implemented in many situations in Brazil and it is well suited to the use of ethanol as a primary energy source, an important feature given the highly developed Brazilian ethanol industry. In this perspective, a simplified mathematical model is developed for a fuel cell and its balance of plant, in order to identify the optimal system structure and the most convenient values for the operational parameters, with the aim of maximizing the global electric efficiency. In this way it is discovered the best operational configuration for the desired application, which is the distributed generation in the concession area of the electricity distribution company Elektro. The data regarding this configuration are required for the continuation of the research project, i.e. the development of a prototype, a cost analysis of the developed system and a detailed perspective of the market opportunities in Brazil.

  2. An economic feasibility analysis of distributed electric power generation based upon the Natural Gas-Fired Fuel Cell: a model of the operations cost.

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-06-30

    This model description establishes the revenues, expenses incentives and avoided costs of Operation of a Natural Gas-Fired Fuel Cell-Based. Fuel is the major element of the cost of operation of a natural gas-fired fuel cell. Forecasts of the change in the price of this commodity a re an important consideration in the ownership of an energy conversion system. Differences between forecasts, the interests of the forecaster or geographical areas can all have significant effects on imputed fuel costs. There is less effect on judgments made on the feasibility of an energy conversion system since changes in fuel price can affect the cost of operation of the alternatives to the fuel cell in a similar fashion. The forecasts used in this model are only intended to provide the potential owner or operator with the means to examine alternate future scenarios. The operations model computes operating costs of a system suitable for a large condominium complex or a residential institution such as a hotel, boarding school or prison. The user may also select large office buildings that are characterized by 12 to 16 hours per day of operation or industrial users with a steady demand for thermal and electrical energy around the clock.

  3. Aircraft Fuel Cell Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Needham, Robert

    2004-01-01

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

  4. Stationary Fuel Cell Evaluation (Presentation)

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-05-01

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

  5. Fuel cell stack monitoring and system control

    DOEpatents

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

    2004-02-17

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

  6. Mobile fuel cell development at Siemens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strasser, K.

    1992-01-01

    Recent mobile fuel cell developments are reported with particular attention given to fuel cell technology based on photon exchange membrane (PEM) as electrolyte. Advantages of PEM fuel cells over conventional systems include their overload capacity, low power degradation, long lifetime, and the possibility to operate the fuel cell at different temperatures. The PEM fuel cells can be operated with CO2-containing reactants and have a considerable potential for increasing power. These facts make it possible to construct energy storage systems with H2/air fuel cells for electric cars or long-term storage facilities for regenerative energy systems.

  7. Fuel cell arrangement

    DOEpatents

    Isenberg, A.O.

    1987-05-12

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

  8. Fuel cell arrangement

    DOEpatents

    Isenberg, Arnold O.

    1987-05-12

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

  9. DIGESTER GAS - FUEL CELL - PROJECT

    SciTech Connect

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

    2002-03-01

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

  10. The influence of operating temperature on the efficiency of a combined heat and power fuel cell plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Au, S. F.; McPhail, S. J.; Woudstra, N.; Hemmes, K.

    It is generally accepted that the ideal operating temperature of a molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC) is 650 °C. Nevertheless, when waste heat utilization in the form of an expander and steam production cycle is introduced in the system, another temperature level might prove more productive. This article is a first attempt to the optimization of MCFC operating temperatures of a MCFC system by presenting a case study in which the efficiency of a combined heat and power (CHP) plant is analyzed. The fuel cell plant under investigation is designed around a 250 kW-class MCFC fuelled by natural gas, which is externally reformed by a heat exchange reformer (HER). The operating temperature of the MCFC is varied over a temperature range between 600 and 700 °C while keeping the rest of the system the same as far as possible. Changes in energetic efficiency are given and the causes of these changes are further analyzed. Furthermore, the exergetic efficiencies of the system and the distribution of exergy losses in the system are given. Flowsheet calculations show that there is little dependency on the temperature in the first order. Both the net electrical performance and the overall exergetic performance show a maximum at approximately 675 °C, with an electrical efficiency of 51.9% (LHV), and an exergy efficiency of 58.7%. The overall thermal efficiency of this CHP plant increases from 87.1% at 600 °C to 88.9% at 700 °C. Overall, the change in performance is small in this typical range of MCFC operating temperature.

  11. Micro fuel cell

    SciTech Connect

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

    1998-12-31

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

  12. Dry gas operation of proton exchange membrane fuel cells with parallel channels: Non-porous versus porous plates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Litster, Shawn; Santiago, Juan G.

    We present a study of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells with parallel channel flow fields for the cathode, dry inlet gases, and ambient pressure at the outlets. The study compares the performance of two designs: a standard, non-porous graphite cathode plate design and a porous hydrophilic carbon plate version. The experimental study of the non-porous plate is a control case and highlights the significant challenges of operation with dry gases and non-porous, parallel channel cathodes. These challenges include significant transients in power density and severe performance loss due to flooding and electrolyte dry-out. Our experimental study shows that the porous plate yields significant improvements in performance and robustness of operation. We hypothesize that the porous plate distributes water throughout the cell area by capillary action; including pumping water upstream to normally dry inlet regions. The porous plate reduces membrane resistance and air pressure drop. Further, IR-free polarization curves confirm operation free of flooding. With an air stoichiometric ratio of 1.3, we obtain a maximum power density of 0.40 W cm -2, which is 3.5 times greater than that achieved with the non-porous plate at the same operating condition.

  13. Fuel cell electric power production

    DOEpatents

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

    1985-01-01

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

  14. Stabilized composite membranes and membrane electrode assemblies for high temperature/low relative humidity polymer electrolyte fuel cell operation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramani, Vijay Krishna

    Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) have a variety of applications in the stationary power, mobile power and automotive power sectors. Existing membrane technology presently permits fuel cell operation at temperatures less than 100°C under fully saturated conditions. However, several advantages such as easier heat rejection rates and improved impurities tolerance by the anode electrocatalyst result by operating a PEMFC at elevated temperatures (above 100°C) and lower relative humidities. In an attempt to extend the operating range of the polymer electrolyte membrane, perfluorosulfonic acid (NafionRTM) based organic/inorganic (heteropolyacid) composite membranes were investigated in terms of thermal and electrochemical stability, additive stability and conductivity. Tungsten based heteropolyacids (HPAs) were found to be electrochemically stable as opposed to molybdenum based additives. The stability of the inorganic heteropolyacid additive in aqueous environments was enhanced by ion exchanging the protons of the HPAs with larger counter ions. An additional stabilization technique developed involved improving the interaction of HPA with NafionRTM by linking the particles to the sulfonic acid clusters via a sol-gel induced metal oxide linkage. The proton conductivity of the composite membranes was found to depend on the particle size of the HPA additive. A two order of magnitude change in additive particle size was attained by modification of the membrane preparation technique. This modification resulted in a nearly 50% increase in conductivity. The membranes prepared were characterized by thermal analysis, spectroscopy and microscopy. A technique was developed to incorporate existing MEA preparation and HPA stabilization techniques to the composite membranes with small HPA particles. All MEAs prepared were evaluated at high temperatures (120°C) and low relative humidities (35%) in an operating fuel cell, with membrane resistance and hence conductivity

  15. In situ observations of water production and distribution in an operating H2/O2 PEM fuel cell assembly using 1H NMR microscopy.

    PubMed

    Feindel, Kirk W; LaRocque, Logan P-A; Starke, Dieter; Bergens, Steven H; Wasylishen, Roderick E

    2004-09-22

    Proton NMR imaging was used to investigate in situ the distribution of water in a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell operating on H2 and O2. In a single experiment, water was monitored in the gas flow channels, the membrane electrode assembly, and in the membrane surrounding the catalysts. Radial gradient diffusion removes water from the catalysts into the surrounding membrane. This research demonstrates the strength of 1H NMR microscopy as an aid for designing fuel cells to optimize water management.

  16. Corrosion resistant PEM fuel cell

    DOEpatents

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

    1997-04-29

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

  17. Fuel Cell Handbook update

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-11-01

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

  18. Fuel cell CO sensor

    DOEpatents

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

    1999-12-14

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

  19. Fuel cell CO sensor

    SciTech Connect

    Grot, S.A.; Meltser, M.A.; Gutowski, S.; Neutzler, J.K.; Borup, R.L.; Weisbrod, K.

    1999-12-14

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

  20. Open end protection for solid oxide fuel cells

    DOEpatents

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

    2001-01-01

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

  1. A fuel cell operating between room temperature and 250 °C based on a new phosphoric acid based composite electrolyte

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lan, Rong; Xu, Xiaoxiang; Tao, Shanwen; Irvine, John T. S.

    A phosphoric acid based composite material with core-shell microstructure has been developed to be used as a new electrolyte for fuel cells. A fuel cell based on this electrolyte can operate at room temperature indicating leaching of H 3PO 4 with liquid water is insignificant at room temperature. This will help to improve the thermal cyclability of phosphoric acid based electrolyte to make it easier for practical use. The conductivity of this H 3PO 4-based electrolyte is stable at 250 °C with addition of the hydrophilic inorganic compound BPO 4 forming a core-shell microstructure which makes it possible to run a PAFC at a temperature above 200 °C. The core-shell microstructure retains after the fuel cell measurements. A power density of 350 mW/cm 2 for a H 2/O 2 fuel cell has been achieved at 200 °C. The increase in operating temperature does not have significant benefit to the performance of a H 2/O 2 fuel cell. For the first time, a composite electrolyte material for phosphoric acid fuel cells which can operate in a wide range of temperature has been evaluated but certainly further investigation is required.

  2. Fuel cells and fuel cell catalysts

    DOEpatents

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

    2006-11-07

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

  3. Climate Change Fuel Cell Program

    SciTech Connect

    Paul Belard

    2006-09-21

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

  4. Fuel cell generator

    DOEpatents

    Isenberg, Arnold O.

    1983-01-01

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

  5. Reforming of fuel inside fuel cell generator

    DOEpatents

    Grimble, Ralph E.

    1988-01-01

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

  6. Reforming of fuel inside fuel cell generator

    DOEpatents

    Grimble, R.E.

    1988-03-08

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

  7. Novel membranes for proton exchange membrane fuel cell operation above 120°C. Final report for period October 1, 1998 to December 31, 1999

    SciTech Connect

    Srinivasan, Supramaniam

    2000-05-31

    In this project we investigated the experimental performance of three new classes of membranes, composites of perfluorosulfonic acid polymers with heteropolyacides, hydrated oxides and fast proton conducting glasses, which are promising candidates as electrolytes for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), capable of operation at temperatures above 120°C. The motivations for PEMFC's operation at this temperature are to: 1) minimize the CO poisoning problem (adsorption of CO onto the platinum catalyst is greatly reduced at these temperatures), 2) find better solutions for the water and thermal management problems in proton exchange membrane fuel cells, 3) find potentially lower cost materials for proton exchange membranes. We prepared and characterized a variety of novel membrane materials. The most promising of these have been evaluated for performance in a single, small area (5cm2) fuel cell run on hydrogen and oxygen. Our results establish the technical feasibility of PEMFC operation above 120°C.

  8. Model-based development of low-level control strategies for transient operation of solid oxide fuel cell systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sorrentino, Marco; Pianese, Cesare

    The exploitation of an SOFC-system model to define and test control and energy management strategies is presented. Such a work is motivated by the increasing interest paid to SOFC technology by industries and governments due to its highly appealing potentialities in terms of energy savings, fuel flexibility, cogeneration, low-pollution and low-noise operation. The core part of the model is the SOFC stack, surrounded by a number of auxiliary devices, i.e. air compressor, regulating pressure valves, heat exchangers, pre-reformer and post-burner. Due to the slow thermal dynamics of SOFCs, a set of three lumped-capacity models describes the dynamic response of fuel cell and heat exchangers to any operation change. The dynamic model was used to develop low-level control strategies aimed at guaranteeing targeted performance while keeping stack temperature derivative within safe limits to reduce stack degradation due to thermal stresses. Control strategies for both cold-start and warmed-up operations were implemented by combining feedforward and feedback approaches. Particularly, the main cold-start control action relies on the precise regulation of methane flow towards anode and post-burner via by-pass valves; this strategy is combined with a cathode air-flow adjustment to have a tight control of both stack temperature gradient and warm-up time. Results are presented to show the potentialities of the proposed model-based approach to: (i) serve as a support to control strategies development and (ii) solve the trade-off between fast SOFC cold-start and avoidance of thermal-stress caused damages.

  9. Chemometrical assessment of the electrical parameters obtained by long-term operating freshwater sediment microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Mitov, Mario; Bardarov, Ivo; Mandjukov, Petko; Hubenova, Yolina

    2015-12-01

    The electrical parameters of nine freshwater sediment microbial fuel cells (SMFCs) were monitored for a period of over 20 months. The developed SMFCs, divided into three groups, were started up and continuously operated under different constant loads (100, 510 and 1100 Ω) for 2.5 months. At this stage of the experiment, the highest power density values, reaching 1.2 ± 0.2 mW/m(2), were achieved by the SMFCs loaded with 510 Ω. The maximum power obtained at periodical polarization during the rest period, however, ranged between 26.2 ± 2.8 and 35.3 ± 2.8 mW/m(2), strongly depending on the internal cell resistance. The statistical evaluation of data derived from the polarization curves shows that after 300 days of operation all examined SMFCs reached a steady-state and the system might be assumed as homoscedastic. The estimated values of standard and expanded uncertainties of the electric parameters indicate a high repeatability and reproducibility of the SMFCs' performance. Results obtained in subsequent discharge-recovery cycles reveal the opportunity for practical application of studied SMFCs as autonomous power sources.

  10. Low cost, lightweight fuel cell elements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kindler, Andrew (Inventor)

    2001-01-01

    New fuel cell elements for use in liquid feed fuel cells are provided. The elements including biplates and endplates are low in cost, light in weight, and allow high efficiency operation. Electrically conductive elements are also a part of the fuel cell elements.

  11. Operando fuel cell spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kendrick, Ian Michael

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

  12. Employing FAD-dependent glucose dehydrogenase within a glucose/oxygen enzymatic fuel cell operating in human serum.

    PubMed

    Milton, Ross D; Lim, Koun; Hickey, David P; Minteer, Shelley D

    2015-12-01

    Flavin adenine dinucleotide-dependent glucose dehydrogenase (FAD-GDH) is emerging as an oxygen-insensitive alternative to glucose oxidase (GOx) as the biocatalyst for bioelectrodes and bioanodes in glucose sensing and glucose enzymatic fuel cells (EFCs). Glucose EFCs, which utilize oxygen as the oxidant and final electron acceptor, have the added benefit of being able to be implanted within living hosts. These can then produce electrical energy from physiological glucose concentrations and power internal or external devices. EFCs were prepared with FAD-GDH and bilirubin oxidase (BOx) to evaluate the suitability of FAD-GDH within an implantable setting. Maximum current and power densities of 186.6±7.1 μA cm(-2) and 39.5±1.3 μW cm(-2) were observed when operating in human serum at 21 °C, which increased to 285.7±31.3 μA cm(-2) and 57.5±5.4 μW cm(-2) at 37 °C. Although good stability was observed with continual near-optimal operation of the EFCs in human serum at 21 °C for 24 h, device failure was observed between 13-14 h when continually operated at 37 °C.

  13. Corrosion resistant PEM fuel cell

    DOEpatents

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

    2001-07-17

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

  14. Corrosion resistant PEM fuel cell

    DOEpatents

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

    1997-01-01

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

  15. Corrosion resistant PEM fuel cell

    DOEpatents

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

    2002-01-01

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

  16. Molten carbonate fuel cell

    DOEpatents

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

    1986-07-08

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

  17. Molten carbonate fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Kaun, Thomas D.; Smith, James L.

    1987-01-01

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

  18. The design of alkaline fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strasser, K.

    1990-01-01

    Alkaline fuel cells recently developed have yielded satisfactory operation even in the cases of their use of mobile and matrix-type electrolytes; the advantages of realistic operation have been demonstrated by a major West German manufacturer's 100 kW alkaline fuel cell apparatus, which was operated in the role of an air-independent propulsion system. Development has begun for a spacecraft alkaline fuel cell of the matrix-electrolyte configuration.

  19. Micro-Tubular Fuel Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  20. Fuel cell system for transportation applications

    DOEpatents

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

    1993-09-28

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

  1. Fuel cell system for transportation applications

    DOEpatents

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Nuvera Fuel Cells

    2005-04-15

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

  3. Fuel cell stack monitoring and system control

    DOEpatents

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

    2005-01-25

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

  4. The TMI regenerable solid oxide fuel cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cable, Thomas L.

    1995-01-01

    Energy storage and production in space requires rugged, reliable hardware which minimizes weight, volume, and maintenance while maximizing power output and usable energy storage. These systems generally consist of photovoltaic solar arrays which operate during sunlight cycles to provide system power and regenerate fuel (hydrogen) via water electrolysis; during dark cycles, hydrogen is converted by the fuel cell into system. The currently preferred configuration uses two separate systems (fuel cell and electrolyzer) in conjunction with photovoltaic cells. Fuel cell/electrolyzer system simplicity, reliability, and power-to-weight and power-to-volume ratios could be greatly improved if both power production (fuel cell) and power storage (electrolysis) functions can be integrated into a single unit. The Technology Management, Inc. (TMI), solid oxide fuel cell-based system offers the opportunity to both integrate fuel cell and electrolyzer functions into one unit and potentially simplify system requirements. Based an the TMI solid oxide fuel cell (SOPC) technology, the TMI integrated fuel cell/electrolyzer utilizes innovative gas storage and operational concepts and operates like a rechargeable 'hydrogen-oxygen battery'. Preliminary research has been completed on improved H2/H2O electrode (SOFC anode/electrolyzer cathode) materials for solid oxide, regenerative fuel cells. Improved H2/H2O electrode materials showed improved cell performance in both fuel cell and electrolysis modes in reversible cell tests. ln reversible fuel cell/electrolyzer mode, regenerative fuel cell efficiencies (ratio of power out (fuel cell mode) to power in (electrolyzer model)) improved from 50 percent (using conventional electrode materials) to over 80 percent. The new materials will allow the TMI SOFC system to operate as both the electrolyzer and fuel cell in a single unit. Preliminary system designs have also been developed which indicate the technical feasibility of using the TMI SOFC

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

    SciTech Connect

    Sederquist, R.A.; Garow, J.

    1995-08-01

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

  6. Miniature ceramic fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Lessing, Paul A.; Zuppero, Anthony C.

    1997-06-24

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

  7. Anode purge strategy optimization of the polymer electrode membrane fuel cell system under the dead-end anode operation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Zhe; Yu, Yi; Wang, Guangjin; Chen, Xuesong; Chen, Pei; Chen, Jun; Zhou, Su

    2016-07-01

    Dead-ended anode (DEA) mode is commonly applied in fuel cell vehicles for the hydrogen purge at the anode side, to reduce fuel waste and enhance fuel cell efficiency. Anode purge is necessary and is definitely important with respect to removing liquid water and accumulated nitrogen in the gas diffusion layer and the flow field of the DEA-mode fuel cell. In this paper, the effect of different purge strategies on the stack performance and system efficiency is investigated experimentally using fast data acquisition and advanced tools, such as the fast cell voltage measurement (CVM) system and the mass spectrum. From the fast data acquisition, the voltage stability, liquid water and nitrogen concentration measurement in the anode exhaust are compared and analyzed under different purge strategy designs and using different purge valves. The results show that under the optimal purge strategy, the DEA fuel cell stack can achieve the desired stability and system efficiency based on the analysis of the cell voltage and purge volume. Moreover, the diameter of the purge valve has a great impact on the voltage stability because a diameter change will result in a different pressure drop and purge volume when the purge valve is open.

  8. A review on durability issues and restoration techniques in long-term operations of direct methanol fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mehmood, Asad; Scibioh, M. Aulice; Prabhuram, Joghee; An, Myung-Gi; Ha, Heung Yong

    2015-11-01

    Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) remain attractive among advanced energy conversion technologies due to their high energy density and simple system configuration. Although they made an early market entry but failed to attain a large-scale commercialization mainly because of their inferior performance sustainment in lifetime operations and high production costs. There have been lots of R&D efforts made to upgrade the long-term durability of DMFCs to a commercially acceptable standard. These rigorous efforts have been useful in gaining insights about various degradation mechanisms and their origins. This review first briefly describes the recent progress in lifetime enhancement of DMFC technology reported by various groups in academia and industry. Then, it is followed by comprehensive discussions on the major performance degradation routes and associated physico-chemical origins, and influence of operational parameters, together with the methods which have been employed to alleviate and restore the performance losses. Finally, a brief summary of the presented literature survey is provided in conjunction with some possible future research directions.

  9. Microstructural analysis of mass transport phenomena in gas diffusion media for high current density operation in PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kotaka, Toshikazu; Tabuchi, Yuichiro; Mukherjee, Partha P.

    2015-04-01

    Cost reduction is a key issue for commercialization of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV). High current density operation is a solution pathway. In order to realize high current density operation, it is necessary to reduce mass transport resistance in the gas diffusion media commonly consisted of gas diffusion layer (GDL) and micro porous layer (MPL). However, fundamental understanding of the underlying mass transport phenomena in the porous components is not only critical but also not fully understood yet due to the inherent microstructural complexity. In this study, a comprehensive analysis of electron and oxygen transport in the GDL and MPL is conducted experimentally and numerically with three-dimensional (3D) microstructural data to reveal the structure-transport relationship. The results reveal that the mass transport in the GDL is strongly dependent on the local microstructural variations, such as local pore/solid volume fractions and connectivity. However, especially in the case of the electrical conductivity of MPL, the contact resistance between carbon particles is the dominant factor. This suggests that reducing the contact resistance between carbon particles and/or the number of contact points along the transport pathway can improve the electrical conductivity of MPL.

  10. Investigation of the flow field inside the manifold of a real operated fuel cell stack using optical measurements and Computational Fluid Mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmieder, Felix; Kinaci, Mustafa E.; Wartmann, Jens; König, Jörg; Büttner, Lars; Czarske, Jürgen; Burgmann, Sebastian; Heinzel, Angelika

    2016-02-01

    The versatility of fuel cells enables a wide range of applications. Usually fuel cells are combined to stacks such that the reactant supply of the single cells is achieved via a pipe branching system, the manifold. The overall performance significantly depends on cell flow rates which are related to the fluidic interaction of the manifold and the cells. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations, which are often used to find a suitable design, lack experimental flow data for validation of the numerical results. To enable flow measurements within the small geometries of the manifold and to provide reliable velocity information inside a real fuel cell stack, a low-coherence Laser Doppler Anemometer (LDA) is applied, which uses multi-mode laser light to achieve a spatial resolution of <100 μm. The use of fluorescent particles and backward scatter mode make the sensor highly suitable for the application in small manifold geometries like in fuel cell stacks. Sensor and measurement technique are validated in simplified stack models and the applicability to air flows is demonstrated. Finally, for the first time, velocity profiles with high spatial resolution inside an operated fuel cell stack are presented, which serve as benchmark for CFD to find an optimal geometry.

  11. Annular feed air breathing fuel cell stack

    DOEpatents

    Wilson, Mahlon S.

    1996-01-01

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

  12. Solid oxide fuel cell generator

    DOEpatents

    Di Croce, A.M.; Draper, R.

    1993-11-02

    A solid oxide fuel cell generator has a plenum containing at least two rows of spaced apart, annular, axially elongated fuel cells. An electrical conductor extending between adjacent rows of fuel cells connects the fuel cells of one row in parallel with each other and in series with the fuel cells of the adjacent row. 5 figures.

  13. Solid oxide fuel cell generator

    DOEpatents

    Di Croce, A. Michael; Draper, Robert

    1993-11-02

    A solid oxide fuel cell generator has a plenum containing at least two rows of spaced apart, annular, axially elongated fuel cells. An electrical conductor extending between adjacent rows of fuel cells connects the fuel cells of one row in parallel with each other and in series with the fuel cells of the adjacent row.

  14. Liquid fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Soloveichik, Grigorii L

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Liquid fuel cells

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  16. CLIMATE CHANGE FUEL CELL PROGRAM

    SciTech Connect

    Mike Walneuski

    2004-09-16

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

  17. Soft X-ray imaging and spectromicroscopy: new insights in chemical state and morphology of the key components in operating fuel-cells.

    PubMed

    Bozzini, Benedetto; Abyaneh, Majid Kazemian; Amati, Matteo; Gianoncelli, Alessandra; Gregoratti, Luca; Kaulich, Burkhard; Kiskinova, Maya

    2012-08-13

    Fuel cells are one of the most appealing environmentally friendly devices for the effective conversion of chemical energy into electricity and heat, but still there are key barriers to their broad commercialization. In addition to efficiency, a major challenge of fuel-cell technology is the durability of the key components (interconnects, electrodes, and electrolytes) that can be subject to corrosion or undesired morphology and chemical changes occurring under operating conditions. The complementary capabilities of synchrotron-based soft X-ray microscopes in terms of imaging, spectroscopy, spatial and time resolution, and variable probing depths are opening unique opportunities to shed light on the multiple processes occurring in these complex systems at microscopic length scales. This type of information is prerequisite for understanding and controlling the performance and durability of such devices. This paper reviews the most recent efforts in the implementation of these methods for exploring the evolving structure and chemical composition of some key fuel cell components. Recent achievements are illustrated by selected results obtained with simplified versions of proton-exchange fuel-cells (PEFC) and solid-oxide fuel-cells (SOFC), which allow in situ monitoring of the redox reactions resulting in: 1) undesired deposits at interconnects and electrodes (PEFC); 2) material interactions at the electrode-electrolyte interface (PEFC); 3) release of corrosion products to the electrolyte phase (PEFC, and 4) mass-transport processes and structural changes occurring at the high operation temperatures of SOFC and promoted by the polarization. PMID:22836392

  18. Fuel Cells Vehicle Systems Analysis (Fuel Cell Freeze Investigation)

    SciTech Connect

    Pesaran, A.; Kim, G.; Markel, T.; Wipke, K.

    2005-05-01

    Presentation on Fuel Cells Vehicle Systems Analysis (Fuel Cell Freeze Investigation) for the 2005 Hydrogen, Fuel Cells & Infrastructure Technologies Program Annual Review held in Arlington, Virginia on May 23-26, 2005.

  19. PLATINUM AND FUEL CELLS

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  20. Tilted fuel cell apparatus

    DOEpatents

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

    2005-04-12

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

  1. A lithotrophic microbial fuel cell operated with pseudomonads-dominated iron-oxidizing bacteria enriched at the anode

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Thuy Thu; Luong, Tha Thanh Thi; Tran, Phuong Hoang Nguyen; Bui, Ha Thi Viet; Nguyen, Huy Quang; Dinh, Hang Thuy; Kim, Byung Hong; Pham, Hai The

    2015-01-01

    In this study, we attempted to enrich neutrophilic iron bacteria in a microbial fuel cell (MFC)-type reactor in order to develop a lithotrophic MFC system that can utilize ferrous iron as an inorganic electron donor and operate at neutral pHs. Electrical currents were steadily generated at an average level of 0.6 mA (or 0.024 mA cm–2 of membrane area) in reactors initially inoculated with microbial sources and operated with 20 mM Fe2+ as the sole electron donor and 10 ohm external resistance; whereas in an uninoculated reactor (the control), the average current level only reached 0.2 mA (or 0.008 mA cm–2 of membrane area). In an inoculated MFC, the generation of electrical currents was correlated with increases in cell density of bacteria in the anode suspension and coupled with the oxidation of ferrous iron. Cultivation-based and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analyses both show the dominance of some Pseudomonas species in the anode communities of the MFCs. Fluorescent in-situ hybridization results revealed significant increases of neutrophilic iron-oxidizing bacteria in the anode community of an inoculated MFC. The results, altogether, prove the successful development of a lithotrophic MFC system with iron bacteria enriched at its anode and suggest a chemolithotrophic anode reaction involving some Pseudomonas species as key players in such a system. The system potentially offers unique applications, such as accelerated bioremediation or on-site biodetection of iron and/or manganese in water samples. PMID:25712332

  2. A lithotrophic microbial fuel cell operated with pseudomonads-dominated iron-oxidizing bacteria enriched at the anode.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Thuy Thu; Luong, Tha Thanh Thi; Tran, Phuong Hoang Nguyen; Bui, Ha Thi Viet; Nguyen, Huy Quang; Dinh, Hang Thuy; Kim, Byung Hong; Pham, Hai The

    2015-05-01

    In this study, we attempted to enrich neutrophilic iron bacteria in a microbial fuel cell (MFC)-type reactor in order to develop a lithotrophic MFC system that can utilize ferrous iron as an inorganic electron donor and operate at neutral pHs. Electrical currents were steadily generated at an average level of 0.6 mA (or 0.024 mA cm(-2) of membrane area) in reactors initially inoculated with microbial sources and operated with 20 mM Fe(2+) as the sole electron donor and 10 ohm external resistance; whereas in an uninoculated reactor (the control), the average current level only reached 0.2 mA (or 0.008 mA cm(-2) of membrane area). In an inoculated MFC, the generation of electrical currents was correlated with increases in cell density of bacteria in the anode suspension and coupled with the oxidation of ferrous iron. Cultivation-based and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analyses both show the dominance of some Pseudomonas species in the anode communities of the MFCs. Fluorescent in-situ hybridization results revealed significant increases of neutrophilic iron-oxidizing bacteria in the anode community of an inoculated MFC. The results, altogether, prove the successful development of a lithotrophic MFC system with iron bacteria enriched at its anode and suggest a chemolithotrophic anode reaction involving some Pseudomonas species as key players in such a system. The system potentially offers unique applications, such as accelerated bioremediation or on-site biodetection of iron and/or manganese in water samples.

  3. Hybrid cars now, fuel cell cars later.

    PubMed

    Demirdöven, Nurettin; Deutch, John

    2004-08-13

    We compare the energy efficiency of hybrid and fuel cell vehicles as well as conventional internal combustion engines. Our analysis indicates that fuel cell vehicles using hydrogen from fossil fuels offer no significant energy efficiency advantage over hybrid vehicles operating in an urban drive cycle. We conclude that priority should be placed on hybrid vehicles by industry and government.

  4. Hybrid Cars Now, Fuel Cell Cars Later

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demirdöven, Nurettin; Deutch, John

    2004-08-01

    We compare the energy efficiency of hybrid and fuel cell vehicles as well as conventional internal combustion engines. Our analysis indicates that fuel cell vehicles using hydrogen from fossil fuels offer no significant energy efficiency advantage over hybrid vehicles operating in an urban drive cycle. We conclude that priority should be placed on hybrid vehicles by industry and government.

  5. Apparatus and method for grounding compressed fuel fueling operator

    DOEpatents

    Cohen, Joseph Perry; Farese, David John; Xu, Jianguo

    2002-06-11

    A safety system for grounding an operator at a fueling station prior to removing a fuel fill nozzle from a fuel tank upon completion of a fuel filling operation is provided which includes a fuel tank port in communication with the fuel tank for receiving and retaining the nozzle during the fuel filling operation and a grounding device adjacent to the fuel tank port which includes a grounding switch having a contact member that receives physical contact by the operator and where physical contact of the contact member activates the grounding switch. A releasable interlock is included that provides a lock position wherein the nozzle is locked into the port upon insertion of the nozzle into the port and a release position wherein the nozzle is releasable from the port upon completion of the fuel filling operation and after physical contact of the contact member is accomplished.

  6. General Motors automotive fuel cell program

    SciTech Connect

    Fronk, M.H.

    1995-08-01

    The objectives of the second phase of the GM/DOE fuel cell program is to develop and test a 30 kW fuel cell powerplant. This powerplant will be based on a methanol fuel processor and a proton exchange membrane PM fuel cell stack. In addition, the 10 kW system developed during phase I will be used as a {open_quotes}mule{close_quotes} to test automotive components and other ancillaries, needed for transient operation.

  7. Fuel Cell Applied Research Project

    SciTech Connect

    Lee Richardson

    2006-09-15

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

  8. PEM fuel cell monitoring system

    DOEpatents

    Meltser, Mark Alexander; Grot, Stephen Andreas

    1998-01-01

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

  9. PEM fuel cell monitoring system

    DOEpatents

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

    1998-06-09

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

  10. Fuel economy of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  11. Fuel-cell-powered golf cart

    SciTech Connect

    Bobbett, R.E.; McCormick, J.B.; Lynn, D.K.; Kerwin, W.J.; Derouin, C.R.; Salazar, P.H.

    1980-01-01

    The implementation of a battery/fuel-cell-powered golf cart test bed designed to verify computer simulations and to gain operational experience with a fuel cell in a vehicular environment is described. A technically untrained driver can easily operate the golf cart because the motor and fuel cell controllers automatically sense and execute the appropriate on/off sequencing. A voltage imbalance circuit and a throttle compress circuit were developed that are directly applicable to electric vehicles in general.

  12. Separation of gaseous hydrogen from a water-hydrogen mixture in a fuel cell power system operating in a weightless environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Romanowski, William E. (Inventor); Suljak, George T. (Inventor)

    1989-01-01

    A fuel cell power system for use in a weightless environment, such as in space, includes a device for removing water from a water-hydrogen mixture condensed from the exhaust from the fuel cell power section of the system. Water is removed from the mixture in a centrifugal separator, and is fed into a holding, pressure operated water discharge valve via a Pitot tube. Entrained nondissolved hydrogen is removed from the Pitot tube by a bleed orifice in the Pitot tube before the water reaches the water discharge valve. Water discharged from the valve thus has a substantially reduced hydrogen content.

  13. Fuel cell water transport

    DOEpatents

    Vanderborgh, Nicholas E.; Hedstrom, James C.

    1990-01-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Kakarla, Ramesh; Min, Booki

    2014-12-01

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

  16. Microscale measurements of oxygen concentration across the thickness of diffusion media in operating polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Epting, William K.; Litster, Shawn

    2016-02-01

    Although polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) offer promise as efficient, low emission power sources, the large amount of platinum catalyst used for the cathode's oxygen reduction (ORR) results in high costs. One approach to using less Pt is to increase the oxygen concentration at the catalyst by reducing the oxygen transport resistances. An important resistance is that of the diffusion media (DM). The DM are highly heterogeneous porous carbon fiber substrates with a graded composition of additives across their thickness. In this work we use an oxygen microsensor with a micro-positioning system to measure the oxygen concentration and presence of liquid water in the pores at discrete points across the thickness of a commercial carbon felt DM in operating PEFCs. Under conditions with no liquid water, the DM accounts for 60% of the oxygen depletion, with 60-70% of that depletion being due to the thin microporous layer (MPL) on the catalyst layer (CL) side. Using concentration gradient data, we quantify the non-uniform local transport resistance across the DM and relate it to high resolution 3D X-ray computed tomography of the same DM.

  17. 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.

  18. Microfluidic fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kjeang, Erik

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

  19. Corrigendum to "Sinusoidal potential cycling operation of a direct ethanol fuel cell to improving carbon dioxide yields" [J. Power Sources 268 (5 December 2014) 439-442

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Majidi, Pasha; Pickup, Peter G.

    2016-09-01

    The authors regret that Equation (5) is incorrect and has resulted in errors in Fig. 4 and the efficiencies stated on p. 442. The corrected equation, figure and text are presented below. In addition, the title should be 'Sinusoidal potential cycling operation of a direct ethanol fuel cell to improve carbon dioxide yields', and the reversible cell potential quoted on p. 441 should be 1.14 V. The authors would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.

  20. Internet Fuel Cells Forum

    SciTech Connect

    Sudhoff, Frederick A.

    1996-08-01

    The rapid development and integration of the Internet into the mainstream of professional life provides the fuel cell industry with the opportunity to share new ideas with unprecedented capabilities. The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Morgantown Energy Technology Center (METC) has undertaken the task to maintain a Fuel Cell Forum on the Internet. Here, members can exchange ideas and information pertaining to fuel cell technologies. The purpose of this forum is to promote a better understanding of fuel cell concepts, terminology, processes, and issues relating to commercialization of fuel cell power technology. The Forum was developed by METC to provide those interested with fuel cell conference information for its current concept of exchanging ideas and information pertaining to fuel cells. Last August, the Forum expanded to an on-line and world-wide network. There are 250 members, and membership is growing at a rate of several new subscribers per week. The forum currently provides updated conference information and interactive information exchange. Forum membership is encouraged from utilities, industry, universities, and government. Because of the public nature of the internet, business sensitive, confidential, or proprietary information should not be placed on this system. The Forum is unmoderated; therefore, the views and opinions of authors expressed in the forum do not necessarily state or reflect those of the U.S. government or METC.

  1. Fuel processors for fuel cell APU applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  2. TECHNICAL ASSESSMENT OF FUEL CELL OPERATION ON ANAEROBIC DIGESTER GAS AT THE YONKERS, NY, WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The paper summarizes the results of a 2-year field test to assess the performance of a specially modified commercial phosphoric acid 200 kW fuel cell power plant to recover energy from anaerobic digester gas (ADG) which has been cleansed of contaminants (sulfur and halide compoun...

  3. Preventing CO poisoning in fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Gottesfeld, Shimshon

    1990-01-01

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell performance with CO contamination of the H.sub.2 fuel stream is substantially improved by injecting O.sub.2 into the fuel stream ahead of the fuel cell. It is found that a surface reaction occurs even at PEM operating temperatures below about 100.degree. C. to oxidatively remove the CO and restore electrode surface area for the H.sub.2 reaction to generate current. Using an O.sub.2 injection, a suitable fuel stream for a PEM fuel cell can be formed from a methanol source using conventional reforming processes for producing H.sub.2.

  4. Fuel processors for automotive fuel cell systems : a parametric analysis.

    SciTech Connect

    Doss, E. D.; Kumar, R.; Ahluwalia, R. K.; Krumpelt, M.

    2001-12-15

    An autothermally-reformed, gasoline-fueled automotive polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) system has been modeled and analyzed for the fuel processor and total system performance. The purpose of the study is to identify the influence of various operating parameters on the system performance and to investigate related tradeoff scenarios. Results of steady-state analyses at the design rated power level are presented and discussed. The effects of the following parameters are included in the analysis: operating pressure (3 and 1 atm), reforming temperature (1000-1300 K), water-to-fuel and air-to-fuel reactant feed ratios, electrochemical fuel utilization, and thermal integration of the fuel processor and the fuel cell stack subsystems. The analyses are also used to evaluate the impact of those parameters on the concentrations of methane and carbon monoxide in the processed reformate. Both of these gases can be reduced to low levels with adequate water-to-carbon used in the fuel processor. Since these two species represent corresponding amounts of hydrogen that would not be available for electrochemical oxidation in the fuel cell stack, it is important to maintain them at low levels. Subject to the assumptions used in the analyses, particularly that of thermodynamic equilibrium, it was determined that reforming temperatures of 1100 K, a water-to-carbon mole ratio of 1.5-2.5, and the use of fuel cell exhaust energy in the fuel processor subsystem can yield fuel processor efficiencies of 82-84%, and total system efficiencies of 40-42% can be achieved. For the atmospheric pressure system, if the exhaust energy is not used in the fuel processor subsystem, the fuel processor efficiency would drop to 75-82% and the total system efficiency would drop below 40%. At higher reforming temperatures, say 1300 K, the fuel processor efficiency would decrease to 78%, and the total system efficiency would drop below 39%, even with the use of the fuel cell stack exhaust energy.

  5. Electrochemical cell operation and system

    DOEpatents

    Maru, Hansraj C.

    1980-03-11

    Thermal control in fuel cell operation is affected through sensible heat of process gas by providing common input manifolding of the cell gas flow passage in communication with the cell electrolyte and an additional gas flow passage which is isolated from the cell electrolyte and in thermal communication with a heat-generating surface of the cell. Flow level in the cell gas flow passage is selected based on desired output electrical energy and flow level in the additional gas flow passage is selected in accordance with desired cell operating temperature.

  6. 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.

  7. Fuel Cells: Reshaping the Future

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Toay, Leo

    2004-01-01

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

  8. Fuel cell generator energy dissipator

    DOEpatents

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

    2000-01-01

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

  9. Fuel Cell Animation

    NASA Video Gallery

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

  10. Clean energy from a carbon fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kacprzak, Andrzej; Kobyłecki, Rafał; Bis, Zbigniew

    2011-12-01

    The direct carbon fuel cell technology provides excellent conditions for conversion of chemical energy of carbon-containing solid fuels directly into electricity. The technology is very promising since it is relatively simple compared to other fuel cell technologies and accepts all carbon-reach substances as possible fuels. Furthermore, it makes possible to use atmospheric oxygen as the oxidizer. In this paper the results of authors' recent investigations focused on analysis of the performance of a direct carbon fuel cell supplied with graphite, granulated carbonized biomass (biocarbon), and granulated hard coal are presented. The comparison of the voltage-current characteristics indicated that the results obtained for the case when the cell was operated with carbonized biomass and hard coal were much more promising than those obtained for graphite. The effects of fuel type and the surface area of the cathode on operation performance of the fuel cell were also discussed.

  11. Transient analysis of gas transport in anode channel of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell with dead-ended anode under pressure swing operation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ichikawa, Yasushi; Oshima, Nobuyuki; Tabuchi, Yuichiro; Ikezoe, Keigo

    2014-12-01

    Further cost reduction is a critical issue for commercialization of fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) based on polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs). The cost of the fuel-cell system is driven by the multiple parts required to maximize stack performance and maintain durability and robustness. The fuel-cell system of the FCEV must be simplified while maintaining functionality. The dead-ended anode is considered as a means of simplification in this study. Generally, if hydrogen is supplied under constant pressure during dead-ended operation, stable power generation is impossible because of accumulation of liquid water produced by power generation and of nitrogen via leakage from the cathode through the membrane. Herein, pressure oscillation is applied to address this issue. Empirical and CFD data are employed to elucidate the mechanism of stable power generation using the pressure swing supply. Simultaneous and time-continuous measurements of the current distribution and gas concentration distribution are also conducted. The results demonstrate that the nitrogen concentration in the anode channel under pressure constant operation differs from that under pressure swing supply conditions. The transient two-dimensional CFD results indicate that oscillatory flow is generated by pressure swing supply, which periodically sweeps out nitrogen from the active area, resulting in stable power generation.

  12. Determination of O[H] and CO coverage and adsorption sites on PtRu electrodes in an operating PEM fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Roth, Christina; Benker, Nathalie; Buhrmester, Thorsten; Mazurek, Marian; Loster, Matthias; Fuess, Hartmut; Koningsberger, Diederik C; Ramaker, David E

    2005-10-26

    A special in situ PEM fuel cell has been developed to allow X-ray absorption measurements during real fuel cell operation. Variations in both the coverage of O[H] (O[H] indicates O and/or OH) and CO (applying a novel Deltamu(L3) = mu(L3)(V) - mu(L3)(ref) difference technique), as well as in the geometric (EXAFS) and electronic (atomic XAFS) structure of the anode catalyst, are monitored as a function of the current. In hydrogen, the N(Pt)(-)(Ru) coordination number increases much slower than the N(Pt)(-)(Pt) with increasing current, indicating a more reluctant reduction of the surface Pt atoms near the hydrous Ru oxide islands. In methanol, both O[H] and CO adsorption are separately visible with the Deltamu technique and reveal a drop in CO and an increase in OH coverage in the range of 65-90 mA/cm(2). With increasing OH coverage, the Pt-O coordination number and the AXAFS intensity increase. The data allow the direct observation of the preignition and ignition regions for OH formation and CO oxidation, during the methanol fuel cell operation. It can be concluded that both a bifunctional mechanism and an electronic ligand effect are active in CO oxidation from a PtRu surface in a PEM fuel cell.

  13. Rapidly refuelable fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Joy, Richard W.

    1983-01-01

    This invention is directed to a metal-air fuel cell where the consumable metal anode is movably positioned in the cell and an expandable enclosure, or bladder, is used to press the anode into contact with separating spacers between the cell electrodes. The bladder may be depressurized to allow replacement of the anode when consumed.

  14. Composite fuel cell membranes

    DOEpatents

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

    1997-01-01

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

  15. Composite fuel cell membranes

    DOEpatents

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

    1997-08-05

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

  16. Compliant fuel cell system

    DOEpatents

    Bourgeois, Richard Scott; Gudlavalleti, Sauri

    2009-12-15

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

  17. Fuel quality issues in stationary fuel cell systems.

    SciTech Connect

    Papadias, D.; Ahmed, S.; Kumar, R.

    2012-02-07

    Fuel cell systems are being deployed in stationary applications for the generation of electricity, heat, and hydrogen. These systems use a variety of fuel cell types, ranging from the low temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) to the high temperature solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC). Depending on the application and location, these systems are being designed to operate on reformate or syngas produced from various fuels that include natural gas, biogas, coal gas, etc. All of these fuels contain species that can potentially damage the fuel cell anode or other unit operations and processes that precede the fuel cell stack. These detrimental effects include loss in performance or durability, and attenuating these effects requires additional components to reduce the impurity concentrations to tolerable levels, if not eliminate the impurity entirely. These impurity management components increase the complexity of the fuel cell system, and they add to the system's capital and operating costs (such as regeneration, replacement and disposal of spent material and maintenance). This project reviewed the public domain information available on the impurities encountered in stationary fuel cell systems, and the effects of the impurities on the fuel cells. A database has been set up that classifies the impurities, especially in renewable fuels, such as landfill gas and anaerobic digester gas. It documents the known deleterious effects on fuel cells, and the maximum allowable concentrations of select impurities suggested by manufacturers and researchers. The literature review helped to identify the impurity removal strategies that are available, and their effectiveness, capacity, and cost. A generic model of a stationary fuel-cell based power plant operating on digester and landfill gas has been developed; it includes a gas processing unit, followed by a fuel cell system. The model includes the key impurity removal steps to enable predictions of impurity breakthrough

  18. Controlled shutdown of a fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Clingerman, Bruce J.; Keskula, Donald H.

    2002-01-01

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

  19. PEM fuel cell durability studies

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    DOEpatents

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

    1987-01-01

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

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

    DOEpatents

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

    1987-04-14

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

  2. 2009 Fuel Cell Market Report

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-11-01

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

  3. Seventh Edition Fuel Cell Handbook

    SciTech Connect

    NETL

    2004-11-01

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

  4. Hydrogen production from formic acid in pH-stat fed-batch operation for direct supply to fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Shin, Jong-Hwan; Yoon, Jong Hyun; Lee, Seung Hoon; Park, Tai Hyun

    2010-01-01

    Enterobacter asburiae SNU-1 harvested after cultivation was used as a whole cell biocatalyst, for the production of hydrogen. Formic acid was efficiently converted to hydrogen using the harvested cells with an initial hydrogen production rate and total hydrogen production of 491 ml/l/h and 6668 ml/l, respectively, when 1 g/l of whole cell enzyme was used. Moreover, new pH-stat fed-batch operation was conducted, and total hydrogen production was 1.4 times higher than that of batch operation. For practical application, bio-hydrogen produced from formic acid using harvested cells was directly applied to PEMFC for power generation.

  5. Fuel cell cogeneration

    SciTech Connect

    Wimer, J.G.; Archer, D.

    1995-08-01

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

  6. The TMI Regenerative Solid Oxide Fuel Cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cable, Thomas L.; Ruhl, Robert C.; Petrik, Michael

    1996-01-01

    Energy storage and production in space requires rugged, reliable hardware which minimizes weight, volume, and maintenance while maximizing power output and usable energy storage. Systems generally consist of photovoltaic solar arrays which operate (during sunlight cycles) to provide system power and regenerate fuel (hydrogen) via water electrolysis and (during dark cycles) fuel cells convert hydrogen into electricity. Common configurations use two separate systems (fuel cell and electrolyzer) in conjunction with photovoltaic cells. Reliability, power to weight and power to volume ratios could be greatly improved if both power production (fuel cells) and power storage (electrolysis) functions can be integrated into a single unit. The solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) based design integrates fuel cell and electrolyzer functions and potentially simplifies system requirements. The integrated fuel cell/electrolyzer design also utilizes innovative gas storage concepts and operates like a rechargeable 'hydrogen-oxygen battery'. Preliminary research has been completed on improved H2/H20 electrode (SOFC anode/electrolyzer cathode) materials for regenerative fuel cells. Tests have shown improved cell performance in both fuel and electrolysis modes in reversible fuel cell tests. Regenerative fuel cell efficiencies, ratio of power out (fuel cell mode) to power in (electrolyzer mode), improved from 50 percent using conventional electrode materials to over 80 percent. The new materials will allow a single SOFC system to operate as both the electolyzer and fuel cell. Preliminary system designs have also been developed to show the technical feasibility of using the design for space applications requiring high energy storage efficiencies and high specific energy. Small space systems also have potential for dual-use, terrestrial applications.

  7. Development of portable fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Nakatou, K.; Sumi, S.; Nishizawa, N.

    1996-12-31

    Sanyo Electric has been concentrating on developing a marketable portable fuel cell using phosphoric acid fuel cells (PAFC). Due to the fact that this power source uses PAFC that operate at low temperature around 100{degrees} C, they are easier to handle compared to conventional fuel cells that operate at around 200{degrees} C , they can also be expected to provide extended reliable operation because corrosion of the electrode material and deterioration of the electrode catalyst are almost completely nonexistent. This power source is meant to be used independently and stored at room temperature. When it is started up, it generates electricity itself using its internal load to raise the temperature. As a result, the phosphoric acid (the electolyte) absorbs the reaction water when the temperature starts to be raised (around room temperature). At the same time the concentration and volume of the phosphoric acid changes, which may adversely affect the life time of the cell. We have studied means for starting, operating PAFC stack using methods that can simply evaluate changes in the concentration of the electrolyte in the stack with the aim of improving and extending cell life and report on them in this paper.

  8. SOFC cells and stacks for complex fuels

    SciTech Connect

    Edward M. Sabolsky; Matthew Seabaugh; Katarzyna Sabolsky; Sergio A. Ibanez; Zhimin Zhong

    2007-07-01

    Reformed hydrocarbon and coal (syngas) fuels present an opportunity to integrate solid oxide fuel cells into the existing fuel infrastructure. However, these fuels often contain impurities or additives that may lead to cell degradation through sulfur poisoning or coking. Achieving high performance and sulfur tolerance in SOFCs operating on these fuels would simplify system balance of plant and sequestration of anode tail gas. NexTech Materials, Ltd., has developed a suite of materials and components (cells, seals, interconnects) designed for operation in sulfur-containing syngas fuels. These materials and component technologies have been integrated into an SOFC stack for testing on simulated propane, logistic fuel reformates and coal syngas. Details of the technical approach, cell and stack performance is reported.

  9. Fuel Cells for Space Science Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burke, Kenneth A.

    2003-01-01

    Fuel cell technology has been receiving more attention recently as a possible alternative to the internal combustion engine for our automobile. Improvements in fuel cell designs as well as improvements in lightweight high-pressure gas storage tank technology make fuel cell technology worth a look to see if fuel cells can play a more expanded role in space missions. This study looks at the specific weight density and specific volume density of potential fuel cell systems as an alternative to primary and secondary batteries that have traditionally been used for space missions. This preliminary study indicates that fuel cell systems have the potential for energy densities of greater than 500 W-hr/kg, greater than 500W/kg and greater than 400 W-hr/liter, greater than 200 W/liter. This level of performance makes fuel cells attractive as high-power density, high-energy density sources for space science probes, planetary rovers and other payloads. The power requirements for these space missions are, in general, much lower than the power levels where fuel cells have been used in the past. Adaptation of fuel cells for space science missions will require down-sizing the fuel cell stack and making the fuel cell operate without significant amounts of ancillary equipment.

  10. Regenerative fuel cell engineering - FY99

    SciTech Connect

    Michael A. Inbody; Rodney L. Borup; James C. Hedstrom; Jose Tafoya; Byron Morton; Lois Zook; Nicholas E. Vanderborgh

    2000-01-01

    The authors report the work conducted by the ESA-EPE Fuel Cell Engineering Team at Los Alamos National Laboratory during FY99 on regenerative fuel cell system engineering. The work was focused on the evaluation of regenerative fuel cell system components obtained through the RAFCO program. These components included a 5 kW PEM electrolyzer, a two-cell regenerative fuel cell stack, and samples of the electrolyzer membrane, anode, and cathode. The samples of the electrolyzer membrane, anode, and cathode were analyzed to determine their structure and operating characteristics. Tests were conducted on the two-cell regenerative fuel cell stack to characterize its operation as an electrolyzer and as a fuel cell. The 5 kW PEM electrolyzer was tested in the Regenerative Fuel Cell System Test Facility. These tests served to characterize the operation of the electrolyzer and, also, to verify the operation of the newly completed test facility. Future directions for this work in regenerative fuel cell systems are discussed.

  11. Fuel cell system

    DOEpatents

    Early, Jack; Kaufman, Arthur; Stawsky, Alfred

    1982-01-01

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

  12. Fuel processor for fuel cell power system

    DOEpatents

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

    1987-01-01

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

  13. Development of a Ni-Ce0.8Zr0.2O2 catalyst for solid oxide fuel cells operating on ethanol through internal reforming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liao, Mingming; Wang, Wei; Ran, Ran; Shao, Zongping

    2011-08-01

    Inexpensive 20 wt.% Ni-Ce0.8Zr0.2O2 catalysts are synthesized by a glycine nitrate process (GNP) and an impregnation process (IMP). The catalytic activity for ethanol steam reforming (ESR) at 400-650 °C, catalytic stability and carbon deposition properties are investigated. Ni-Ce0.8Zr0.2O2 (GNP) shows a higher catalytic performance than Ni-Ce0.8Zr0.2O2 (IMP), especially at lower temperatures. It also presents a better coking resistance and a lower graphitization degree of the deposited carbon. The superior catalytic activity and coke resistance of Ni-Ce0.8Zr0.2O2 (GNP) is attributed to the small particle size of the active metallic nickel phase and the strong interaction between the nickel and the Ce0.8Zr0.2O2 support, as evidenced by the XRD and H2-TPR. The Ni-Ce0.8Zr0.2O2 (GNP) is further applied as an anode functional layer in solid oxide fuel cells operating on ethanol steam. The cell yields a peak power density of 536 mW cm-2 at 700 °C when operating on EtOH-H2O gas mixtures, which is only slightly lower than that of hydrogen fuel, whereas the cell without the functional layer failed for short-term operations. Ni-Ce0.8Zr0.2O2 (GNP) is promising as an active and highly coking-resistant catalyst layer for solid-oxide fuel cells operating on ethanol steam fuel.

  14. Microbial fuel cell treatment of fuel process wastewater

    DOEpatents

    Borole, Abhijeet P; Tsouris, Constantino

    2013-12-03

    The present invention is directed to a method for cleansing fuel processing effluent containing carbonaceous compounds and inorganic salts, the method comprising contacting the fuel processing effluent with an anode of a microbial fuel ell, the anode containing microbes thereon which oxidatively degrade one or more of the carbonaceous compounds while producing electrical energy from the oxidative degradation, and directing the produced electrical energy to drive an electrosorption mechanism that operates to reduce the concentration of one or more inorganic salts in the fuel processing effluent, wherein the anode is in electrical communication with a cathode of the microbial fuel cell. The invention is also directed to an apparatus for practicing the method.

  15. Carbon fuel cells with carbon corrosion suppression

    DOEpatents

    Cooper, John F.

    2012-04-10

    An electrochemical cell apparatus that can operate as either a fuel cell or a battery includes a cathode compartment, an anode compartment operatively connected to the cathode compartment, and a carbon fuel cell section connected to the anode compartment and the cathode compartment. An effusion plate is operatively positioned adjacent the anode compartment or the cathode compartment. The effusion plate allows passage of carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide exhaust channels are operatively positioned in the electrochemical cell to direct the carbon dioxide from the electrochemical cell.

  16. 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.

  17. Fuel cell system configurations

    DOEpatents

    Kothmann, Richard E.; Cyphers, Joseph A.

    1981-01-01

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

  18. Carbon-based Fuel Cell

    SciTech Connect

    Steven S. C. Chuang

    2005-08-31

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

  19. Comparative analysis of selected fuel cell vehicles

    SciTech Connect

    1993-05-07

    Vehicles powered by fuel cells operate more efficiently, more quietly, and more cleanly than internal combustion engines (ICEs). Furthermore, methanol-fueled fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) can utilize major elements of the existing fueling infrastructure of present-day liquid-fueled ICE vehicles (ICEVs). DOE has maintained an active program to stimulate the development and demonstration o fuel cell technologies in conjunction with rechargeable batteries in road vehicles. The purpose of this study is to identify and assess the availability of data on FCVs, and to develop a vehicle subsystem structure that can be used to compare both FCVs and ICEV, from a number of perspectives--environmental impacts, energy utilization, materials usage, and life cycle costs. This report focuses on methanol-fueled FCVs fueled by gasoline, methanol, and diesel fuel that are likely to be demonstratable by the year 2000. The comparative analysis presented covers four vehicles--two passenger vehicles and two urban transit buses. The passenger vehicles include an ICEV using either gasoline or methanol and an FCV using methanol. The FCV uses a Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell, an on-board methanol reformer, mid-term batteries, and an AC motor. The transit bus ICEV was evaluated for both diesel and methanol fuels. The transit bus FCV runs on methanol and uses a Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cell (PAFC) fuel cell, near-term batteries, a DC motor, and an on-board methanol reformer. 75 refs.

  20. Aluminum oxide as a dual-functional modifier of Ni-based anodes of solid oxide fuel cells for operation on simulated biogas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Feng; Wang, Wei; Ran, Ran; Tade, Moses O.; Shao, Zongping

    2014-12-01

    Al2O3 and SnO2 additives are introduced into the Ni-YSZ cermet anode of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) for operation on simulated biogas. The effects of incorporating Al2O3/SnO2 on the electrical conductivity, morphology, coking resistance and catalytic activity for biogas reforming of the cermet anode are systematically studied. The electrochemical performance of the internal reforming SOFC is enhanced by introducing an appropriate amount of Al2O3 into the anode, but it becomes worse with excess alumina addition. For SnO2, a negative effect on the electrochemical performance is demonstrated, although the coking resistance of the anode is improved. For fuel cells operating on biogas, stable operation under a polarization current for 130 h at 750 °C is achieved for a cell with an Al2O3-modified anode, while cells with unmodified or SnO2-modified Ni-YSZ anodes show much poorer stability under the same conditions. The improved performance of the cell with the Al2O3-modified anode mainly results from the suppressed coking and sintering of the anode and from the formation of NiAl2O4 in the unreduced anode. In sum, modifying the anode with Al2O3 may be a useful and facile way to improve the coking resistance and electrochemical performance of the nickel-based cermet anodes for SOFCs.

  1. Internal reforming fuel cell assembly with simplified fuel feed

    DOEpatents

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Wheeler, D.J.

    1996-04-01

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

  3. Ceramic fuel cells for stationary and mobile applications

    SciTech Connect

    Singhal, Subhash C. )

    2003-11-01

    Fuel cells are newsworthy because of high gasoline prices and concern about the environment. Several questions arise when fuel cells are discussed: - What are fuel cells? - What is the current status of fuel cells? - What fuel cell designs are being pursued by various organizations worldwide? - What are the advantages and disadvantages of the various fuel cell designs? - What size power systems have been produced and how well have they operated? Fuel cells are electrochemical energy conversion devices that directly convert chemical energy of a fuel to electricity, without combustion of the fuel. In this sense, they are similar to batteries. However, unlike a battery, where life is limited by the amount of chemical that is stored in it, fuel cells produce electricity as long as fuel is supplied. Thus, one might say that fuel cells are continuous batteries. Like batteries, there are many types of fuel cells: - Polymer electrolyte fuel cells are the most commonly discussed in the general interest media--newspapers, magazines and television. These fuel cells operate at {approx}90 degrees C and are the primary candidates for use in automobiles. - Alkaline fuel cells have been used in our space program since the early days of the Gemini and Apollo missions. - Phosphoric acid fuel cells are currently the most advanced on the market and are being commercialized by a division of United Technologies. - Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are based on zirconia electrolyte. This article concentrates on ceramic SOFCs.

  4. Cell module and fuel conditioner development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feret, J. M.

    1981-01-01

    A phosphoric acid fuel cell (PAFC) stack design having a 10 kW power rating for operation at higher than atmospheric pressure based on the existing Mark II design configuration is described. Functional analysis, trade studies and thermodynamic cycle analysis for requirements definition and system operating parameter selection purposes were performed. Fuel cell materials and components, and performance testing and evaluation of the repeating electrode components were characterized. The state of the art manufacturing technology for all fuel cell components and the fabrication of short stacks of various sites were established. A 10 kW PAFC stack design for higher pressure operation utilizing the top down systems engineering aproach was developed.

  5. Effects of Operating Parameters on Measurements of Biochemical Oxygen Demand Using a Mediatorless Microbial Fuel Cell Biosensor.

    PubMed

    Hsieh, Min-Chi; Cheng, Chiu-Yu; Liu, Man-Hai; Chung, Ying-Chien

    2015-01-01

    The conventional Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) method takes five days to analyze samples. A microbial fuel cell (MFC) may be an alternate tool for rapid BOD determination in water. However, a MFC biosensor for continuous BOD measurements of water samples is still unavailable. In this study, a MFC biosensor inoculated with known mixed cultures was used to determine the BOD concentration. Effects of important parameters on establishing a calibration curve between the BOD concentration and output signal from the MFC were evaluated. The results indicate monosaccharides were good fuel, and methionine, phenylalanine, and ethanol were poor fuels for electricity generation by the MFC. Ions in the influent did not significantly affect the MFC performance. CN(-) in the influent could alleviate the effect of antagonistic electron acceptors on the MFC performance. The regression equation for BOD concentration and current density of the biosensor was y = 0.0145x + 0.3317. It was adopted to measure accurately and continuously the BOD concentration in actual water samples at an acceptable error margin. These results clearly show the developed MFC biosensor has great potential as an alternative BOD sensing device for online measurements of wastewater BOD. PMID:26729113

  6. Effects of Operating Parameters on Measurements of Biochemical Oxygen Demand Using a Mediatorless Microbial Fuel Cell Biosensor

    PubMed Central

    Hsieh, Min-Chi; Cheng, Chiu-Yu; Liu, Man-Hai; Chung, Ying-Chien

    2015-01-01

    The conventional Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) method takes five days to analyze samples. A microbial fuel cell (MFC) may be an alternate tool for rapid BOD determination in water. However, a MFC biosensor for continuous BOD measurements of water samples is still unavailable. In this study, a MFC biosensor inoculated with known mixed cultures was used to determine the BOD concentration. Effects of important parameters on establishing a calibration curve between the BOD concentration and output signal from the MFC were evaluated. The results indicate monosaccharides were good fuel, and methionine, phenylalanine, and ethanol were poor fuels for electricity generation by the MFC. Ions in the influent did not significantly affect the MFC performance. CN− in the influent could alleviate the effect of antagonistic electron acceptors on the MFC performance. The regression equation for BOD concentration and current density of the biosensor was y = 0.0145x + 0.3317. It was adopted to measure accurately and continuously the BOD concentration in actual water samples at an acceptable error margin. These results clearly show the developed MFC biosensor has great potential as an alternative BOD sensing device for online measurements of wastewater BOD. PMID:26729113

  7. Effects of Operating Parameters on Measurements of Biochemical Oxygen Demand Using a Mediatorless Microbial Fuel Cell Biosensor.

    PubMed

    Hsieh, Min-Chi; Cheng, Chiu-Yu; Liu, Man-Hai; Chung, Ying-Chien

    2015-12-28

    The conventional Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) method takes five days to analyze samples. A microbial fuel cell (MFC) may be an alternate tool for rapid BOD determination in water. However, a MFC biosensor for continuous BOD measurements of water samples is still unavailable. In this study, a MFC biosensor inoculated with known mixed cultures was used to determine the BOD concentration. Effects of important parameters on establishing a calibration curve between the BOD concentration and output signal from the MFC were evaluated. The results indicate monosaccharides were good fuel, and methionine, phenylalanine, and ethanol were poor fuels for electricity generation by the MFC. Ions in the influent did not significantly affect the MFC performance. CN(-) in the influent could alleviate the effect of antagonistic electron acceptors on the MFC performance. The regression equation for BOD concentration and current density of the biosensor was y = 0.0145x + 0.3317. It was adopted to measure accurately and continuously the BOD concentration in actual water samples at an acceptable error margin. These results clearly show the developed MFC biosensor has great potential as an alternative BOD sensing device for online measurements of wastewater BOD.

  8. Fuel Cell/Electrochemical Cell Voltage Monitor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vasquez, Arturo

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Advanced spacecraft fuel cell systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thaller, L. H.

    1972-01-01

    The development and characteristics of advanced spacecraft fuel cell systems are discussed. The system is designed to operate on low pressure, propulsion grade hydrogen and oxygen. The specific goals are 10,000 hours of operation with refurbishment, 20 pounds per kilowatt at a sustained power of 7 KW, and 21 KW peaking capability for durations of two hours. The system rejects waste heat to the spacecraft cooling system at power levels up to 7 KW. At higher powers, the system automatically transfers to open cycle operation with overboard steam venting.

  10. Mathematical modeling of solid oxide fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lu, Cheng-Yi; Maloney, Thomas M.

    1988-01-01

    Development of predictive techniques, with regard to cell behavior, under various operating conditions is needed to improve cell performance, increase energy density, reduce manufacturing cost, and to broaden utilization of various fuels. Such technology would be especially beneficial for the solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) at it early demonstration stage. The development of computer models to calculate the temperature, CD, reactant distributions in the tubular and monolithic SOFCs. Results indicate that problems of nonuniform heat generation and fuel gas depletion in the tubular cell module, and of size limitions in the monolithic (MOD 0) design may be encountered during FC operation.

  11. High temperature PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Jianlu; Xie, Zhong; Zhang, Jiujun; Tang, Yanghua; Song, Chaojie; Navessin, Titichai; Shi, Zhiqing; Song, Datong; Wang, Haijiang; Wilkinson, David P.; Liu, Zhong-Sheng; Holdcroft, Steven

    There are several compelling technological and commercial reasons for operating H 2/air PEM fuel cells at temperatures above 100 °C. Rates of electrochemical kinetics are enhanced, water management and cooling is simplified, useful waste heat can be recovered, and lower quality reformed hydrogen may be used as the fuel. This review paper provides a concise review of high temperature PEM fuel cells (HT-PEMFCs) from the perspective of HT-specific materials, designs, and testing/diagnostics. The review describes the motivation for HT-PEMFC development, the technology gaps, and recent advances. HT-membrane development accounts for ∼90% of the published research in the field of HT-PEMFCs. Despite this, the status of membrane development for high temperature/low humidity operation is less than satisfactory. A weakness in the development of HT-PEMFC technology is the deficiency in HT-specific fuel cell architectures, test station designs, and testing protocols, and an understanding of the underlying fundamental principles behind these areas. The development of HT-specific PEMFC designs is of key importance that may help mitigate issues of membrane dehydration and MEA degradation.

  12. Single module pressurized fuel cell turbine generator system

    DOEpatents

    George, Raymond A.; Veyo, Stephen E.; Dederer, Jeffrey T.

    2001-01-01

    A pressurized fuel cell system (10), operates within a common pressure vessel (12) where the system contains fuel cells (22), a turbine (26) and a generator (98) where preferably, associated oxidant inlet valve (52), fuel inlet valve (56) and fuel cell exhaust valve (42) are outside the pressure vessel.

  13. 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.

  14. Annular feed air breathing fuel cell stack

    DOEpatents

    Wilson, Mahlon S.; Neutzler, Jay K.

    1997-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Fuel economy and range estimates for fuel cell powered automobiles

    SciTech Connect

    Steinbugler, M.; Ogden, J.

    1996-12-31

    While a number of automotive fuel cell applications have been demonstrated, including a golf cart, buses, and a van, these systems and others that have been proposed have utilized differing configurations ranging from direct hydrogen fuel cell-only power plants to fuel cell/battery hybrids operating on reformed methanol. To date there is no clear consensus on which configuration, from among the possible combinations of fuel cell, peaking device, and fuel type, is the most likely to be successfully commercialized. System simplicity favors direct hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, but infrastructure is lacking. Infrastructure favors a system using a liquid fuel with a fuel processor, but system integration and performance issues remain. A number of studies have analyzed particular configurations on either a system or vehicle scale. The objective of this work is to estimate, within a consistent framework, fuel economies and ranges for a variety of configurations using flexible models with the goal of identifying the most promising configurations and the most important areas for further research and development.

  18. Interfacial material for solid oxide fuel cell

    DOEpatents

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

    1999-01-01

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

  19. Fuel cell generator

    DOEpatents

    Makiel, Joseph M.

    1985-01-01

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

  20. Biogas, compost and fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Wichert, B.; Wittrup, L.; Robel, R.

    1994-08-01

    A pilot project now under development in Folsom, California, incorporates an anaerobic digestion/aerobic composting process that could eventually supply enough biogas to a fuel cell. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) has two fuel cells in operation and is participating in the research project. Recently, the California Prison Industry Authority (PIA) began operating a processing facility at the Folsom prison, designed for 100 tons/day of mixed waste from the City of Folsom. The 35,000 square foot Correctional Resource Recovery Facility (CRRF) uses minimum security inmates from Folsom`s Return to Custody Facility to manually separate recyclables and compostable materials from the waste stream. The PIA will be using a new technology, high solids anaerobic digestion, to compost the organic fraction (representing approximately 60 to 70 percent of the waste stream). Construction began in June on a 40-foot wide by 120-foot long and 22-foot deep anaerobic digester. Once the vessel is operational in 1995, the composting process and the gradual breakdown of organic material will produce biogas, which SMUD hopes to use to power an adjacent two megawatt fuel cell. The electricity generated will serve SMUD customers, including the waste facility and nearby correctional institutions. 1 fig.

  1. Opportunities for portable Ballard Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

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

    1996-12-31

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

  2. Integrated regenerative fuel cell experimental evaluation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, Ronald E.

    1990-01-01

    An experimental test program was conducted to investigate the performance characteristics of an integrated regenerative fuel cell (IRFC) concept. The IRFC consists of a separate fuel cell unit and electrolysis cell unit in the same structure, with internal storage of fuel cell product water and external storage of electrolysis cell produced hydrogen and oxygen. The fuel cell unit incorporates an enhanced Orbiter-type cell capable of improved performance at reduced weight. The electrolysis cell features a NiCo2O4 catalyst oxygen evolution eletrode with a porous Teflon cover to retard electrolyte loss. Six complete IRFC assemblies were assembled and performance tested at an operating temperature of 200 F (93.3 C) and reactant pressures up to 170 psia (117.2 n/cu cm) on IRFC No. 4. Anomalous pressure charge/discharge characteristics were encountered during performance evaluation. A reversible fuel cell incorporating a proprietary bi-functional oxygen electrode operated satisfactory at 200 F (93.3 C) at reactant pressures up to 50 psia (41.4 n/cu cm) as a regenerative fuel cell for one cycle, before developing an electrical short in the fuel cell mode. Electrolysis cell 300-hour endurance tests demonstrated the electrolyte retention capability of the electrode Teflon cover and the performance stability of the bi-functional oxygen electrode at high potential.

  3. Bioelectricity generation in an integrated system combining microbial fuel cell and tubular membrane reactor: effects of operation parameters performing a microbial fuel cell-based biosensor for tubular membrane bioreactor.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jie; Zheng, Yawen; Jia, Hui; Zhang, Hongwei

    2014-10-01

    A bio-cathode microbial fuel cell (MFC) with tubular membrane was integrated to construct a microbial fuel cell-tubular membrane bioreactor (MFC-TMBR) system, in which the bio-cathode MFC was developed as a biosensor for COD real-time monitoring in TMBR and the performance was analyzed in terms of its current variation caused by operation parameters. With a constant anode potential, the effect of HRT demonstrated that higher rate of mass transport increased the response of the system. The system was further explored an inverse relationship between TMP and current peak by using EPS concentration under the different MLSS concentration. The sensor output had a linear relationship with COD up to 1000mg/L (regression coefficient, R(2)=0.97) and MLSS (regression coefficient, R(2)=0.94). The simple and compact bio-cathode MFC biosensor for TMBR using MFC-TMBR integrated system showed promising potential for direct and economical COD online monitoring, and provided an opportunity to widen the application of MFC-based biosensor.

  4. Dead-ended anode polymer electrolyte fuel cell stack operation investigated using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, off-gas analysis and thermal imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyer, Quentin; Ashton, Sean; Curnick, Oliver; Reisch, Tobias; Adcock, Paul; Ronaszegi, Krisztian; Robinson, James B.; Brett, Daniel J. L.

    2014-05-01

    Dead-ended anode operation, with intermittent purge, is increasingly being used in polymer electrolyte fuel cells as it simplifies the mass flow control of feed and improves fuel efficiency. However, performance is affected through a reduction in voltage during dead-ended operation, particularly at high current density. This study uses electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), off-gas analysis and high resolution thermal imaging to examine the source of performance decay during dead-ended operation. A novel, 'reconstructed impedance' technique is applied to acquire complete EIS spectra with a temporal resolution that allows the dynamics of cell processes to be studied. The results provide evidence that upon entering dead-ended operation, there is an initial increase in performance associated with an increase in anode compartment pressure and improved hydration of the membrane electrolyte. Subsequent reduction in performance is associated with an increase in mass transport losses due to a combination of water management issues and build-up of N2 in the anode. The purge process rapidly recovers performance. Understanding of the processes involved in the dead-end/purge cycle provides a rationale for determining the optimum cycle frequency and duration as a function of current density.

  5. Fuel cells - Past, present and future

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sonawat, H. M.; Phadke, Ratna S.; Govil, Girjesh

    Fuel cells employing hydrogen as their fuel are plagued by the continuing problems of hydrogen storage and availability. Attention is presently given to the design features and operating characteristics of a class of fuel cells, employing such organic fuels as methanol and ethanol, which have improved electron transfer efficiencies under normal pH and ambient temperature conditions. These cells' electrode surfaces are coated with the appropriate heterogeneous catalysts. Emphasis is given to the possibility of harnessing biological oxidation reactions that are catalyzed by enzymes and coenzymes; the chemical energy and proton and electron fluxes in these reactions are used in the generation of ATP, and may be harnessed to generate electricity.

  6. Current and temperature distributions in-situ acquired by electrode-segmentation along a microtubular solid oxide fuel cell operating with syngas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aydın, Özgür; Nakajima, Hironori; Kitahara, Tatsumi

    2015-10-01

    Addressing the fuel distribution and endothermic cooling by the internal reforming, we have measured longitudinal current/temperature variations by "Electrode-segmentation" in a microtubular solid oxide fuel cell operated with syngas (50% pre-reformed methane) and equivalent H2/N2 (100% conversion of syngas to H2) at three different flow rates. Regardless of the syngas flow rates, currents and temperatures show irregular fluctuations with varying amplitudes from upstream to downstream segment. Analysis of the fluctuations suggests that the methane steam reforming reaction is highly affected by the H2 partial pressure. Current-voltage curves plotted for the syngas and equivalent H2/N2 flow rates reveal that the fuel depletion is enhanced toward the downstream during the syngas operation, resulting in a larger performance degradation. All the segments exhibit temperature drops with the syngas flow compared with the equivalent H2/N2 flow due to the endothermic cooling by the methane steam reforming reaction. Despite the drops, the segment temperatures remain above the furnace temperature; besides, the maximum temperature difference along the cell diminishes. The MSR reaction rate does not consistently increase with the decreasing gas inlet velocity (increasing residence time on the catalyst); which we ascribe to the dominating impact of the local temperatures.

  7. Fuel cell technology program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

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

  8. Fuel Cell Technical Team Roadmap

    SciTech Connect

    2013-06-01

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

  9. Mass transfer in fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walker, R. D., Jr.

    1973-01-01

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

  10. Fuel cell membranes and crossover prevention

    DOEpatents

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

    2009-08-04

    A membrane electrode assembly for use with a direct organic fuel cell containing a formic acid fuel includes a solid polymer electrolyte having first and second surfaces, an anode on the first surface and a cathode on the second surface and electrically linked to the anode. The solid polymer electrolyte has a thickness t:.gtoreq..times..times..times..times. ##EQU00001## where C.sub.f is the formic acid fuel concentration over the anode, D.sub.f is the effective diffusivity of the fuel in the solid polymer electrolyte, K.sub.f is the equilibrium constant for partition coefficient for the fuel into the solid polymer electrolyte membrane, I is Faraday's constant n.sub.f is the number of electrons released when 1 molecule of the fuel is oxidized, and j.sub.f.sup.c is an empirically determined crossover rate of fuel above which the fuel cell does not operate.

  11. Fuels for fuel cells: Fuel and catalyst effects on carbon formation

    SciTech Connect

    Borup, R. L.; Inbody, M. A.; Perry, W. L.; Parkinson, W. J. ,

    2002-01-01

    The goal of this research is to explore the effects of fuels, fuel constituents, additives and impurities on the performance of on-board hydrogen generation devices and consequently on the overall performance of fuel cell systems using reformed hydrocarbon fuels. Different fuels and components have been tested in automotive scale, adiabatic autothermal reactors to observe their relative reforming characteristics with various operating conditions. Carbon formation has been modeled and was experimentally monitored in situ during operation by laser measurements of the effluent reformate. Ammonia formation was monitored, and conditions varied to observe under what conditions N H 3 is made.

  12. Water balance in fuel cells systems.

    SciTech Connect

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

    2002-01-10

    Fuel cell systems are attractive for their high efficiency (i.e., electric power generated per weight/volume of fuel,) and lower emissions. These systems are being developed for applications that include transportation (propulsion and auxiliary), remote stationary, and portable. Where these systems use on-board fuel processing of available fuels, the fuel processor requires high-purity water. For utility applications, this water may be available on-site, but for most applications, the process water must be recovered from the fuel cell system exhaust gas. For such applications, it is critically important that the fuel cell system be a net water-producing device. A variety of environmental conditions (e.g., ambient temperature, pressure), fuel cell system design, and operating conditions determine whether the fuel cell system is water-producing or water-consuming. This paper will review and discuss the conditions that determine the net-water balance of a generic fuel cell system and identify some options that will help meet the water needs of the fuel processor.

  13. Fuel cell membrane humidification

    DOEpatents

    Wilson, Mahlon S.

    1999-01-01

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

  14. Fuel cell sub-assembly

    DOEpatents

    Chi, Chang V.

    1983-01-01

    A fuel cell sub-assembly comprising a plurality of fuel cells, a first section of a cooling means disposed at an end of the assembly and means for connecting the fuel cells and first section together to form a unitary structure.

  15. Fuel cell report to congress

    SciTech Connect

    None, None

    2003-02-28

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

  16. Gasifiers optimized for fuel cell applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinfeld, G.; Fruchtman, J.; Hauserman, W. B.; Lee, A.; Meyers, S. J.

    Conventional coal gasification carbonate fuel cell systems are typically configured so that the fuel gas is primarily hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide, with waste heat recovery for process requirements and to produce additional power in a steam bottoming cycle. These systems make use of present day gasification processes to produce the low to medium Btu fuel gas which in turn is cleaned up and consumed by the fuel cell. These conventional gasification/fuel cell systems have been studied in recent years projecting system efficiencies of 45-53 percent (HHV). Conventional gasification systems currently available evolved as stand-alone systems producing low to medium Btu gas fuel gas. The requirements of the gasification process dictates high temperatures to carry out the steam/carbon reaction and to gasify the tars present in coal. The high gasification temperatures required are achieved by an oxidant which consumes a portion of the feed coal to provide the endothermic heat required for the gasification process. The thermal needs of this process result in fuel gas temperatures that are higher than necessary for most end use applications, as well as for gas cleanup purposes. This results in some efficiency and cost penalties. This effort is designed to study advanced means of power generation by integrating the gasification process with the unique operating characteristics of carbonate fuel cells to achieve a more efficient and cost effective coal based power generating system. This is to be done by altering the gasification process to produce fuel gas compositions which result in more efficient fuel cell operation and by integrating the gasification process with the fuel cell as shown in Figure 2. Low temperature catalytic gasification was chosen as the basis for this effort due to the inherent efficiency advantages and compatibility with fuel cell operating temperatures.

  17. Inorganic salt mixtures as electrolyte media in fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Fuel cell systems program plan, Fiscal year 1994

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1994-07-01

    Goal of the fuel cell program is to increase energy efficiency and economic effectiveness through development and commercialization of fuel cell systems which operate on fossil fuels in multiple end use sectors. DOE is participating with the private sector in sponsoring development of molten carbonate fuel cells and solid oxide fuel cells for application in the utility, commercial, and industrial sectors. Commercialization of phosphoric acid fuel cells is well underway. Besides the introduction, this document is divided into: goal/objectives, program strategy, technology description, technical status, program description/implementation, coordinated fuel cell activities, and international activities.

  19. 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.

  20. Carbonate fuel cell matrix

    DOEpatents

    Farooque, Mohammad; Yuh, Chao-Yi

    1996-01-01

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

  1. Carbonate fuel cell matrix

    DOEpatents

    Farooque, M.; Yuh, C.Y.

    1996-12-03

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

  2. Fuel cell oxygen electrode

    DOEpatents

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

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

  3. Fuel cell oxygen electrode

    DOEpatents

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

    1980-11-04

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

  4. Fuel cell current collector

    DOEpatents

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

    1991-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. In-situ visualization of N2 evolution in operating direct hydrazine hydrate fuel cell by soft X-ray radiography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakamoto, Tomokazu; Deevanhxay, Phengxay; Asazawa, Koichiro; Tsushima, Shohji; Hirai, Shuichiro; Tanaka, Hirohisa

    2014-04-01

    Soft X-ray radiography technique was firstly applied to operating direct hydrazine hydrate fuel cell (DHFCs) in order to visualize N2 gas behaviors with high spatial and temporal resolution. Two different cells for in-situ visualization of N2 gas in the DHFCs in in-plane and through-plane direction were designed and fabricated. The utilization of soft X-ray made the visualization of generated N2 behavior in the DHFC possible with the spatial resolution of 1.5 μm and the temporal resolution of 2.0 s frame-1. In the in-plane visualization, the inhomogeneous N2 gas distribution, suggesting non-uniform reaction distribution in the anode of DHFC, was observed. In the through-plane visualization, N2 gas accumulation under the rib of anode and discharge to the channel was clearly observed, which are related with cell performance instability.

  7. Ambient pressure fuel cell system

    DOEpatents

    Wilson, Mahlon S.

    2000-01-01

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

  8. An Overview of Stationary Fuel Cell Technology

    SciTech Connect

    DR Brown; R Jones

    1999-03-23

    Technology developments occurring in the past few years have resulted in the initial commercialization of phosphoric acid (PA) fuel cells. Ongoing research and development (R and D) promises further improvement in PA fuel cell technology, as well as the development of proton exchange membrane (PEM), molten carbonate (MC), and solid oxide (SO) fuel cell technologies. In the long run, this collection of fuel cell options will be able to serve a wide range of electric power and cogeneration applications. A fuel cell converts the chemical energy of a fuel into electrical energy without the use of a thermal cycle or rotating equipment. In contrast, most electrical generating devices (e.g., steam and gas turbine cycles, reciprocating engines) first convert chemical energy into thermal energy and then mechanical energy before finally generating electricity. Like a battery, a fuel cell is an electrochemical device, but there are important differences. Batteries store chemical energy and convert it into electrical energy on demand, until the chemical energy has been depleted. Depleted secondary batteries may be recharged by applying an external power source, while depleted primary batteries must be replaced. Fuel cells, on the other hand, will operate continuously, as long as they are externally supplied with a fuel and an oxidant.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Colon-Mercado, H.

    2010-09-28

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

  10. Effect of fed-batch vs. continuous mode of operation on microbial fuel cell performance treating biorefinery wastewater

    DOE PAGES

    Pannell, Tyler C.; Goud, R. Kannaiah; Schell, Daniel J.; Borole, Abhijeet P.

    2016-05-01

    Bioelectrochemical systems have been shown to treat low-value biorefinery streams while recovering energy, however, low current densities and anode conversion efficiencies (ACE) limit their application. A bioanode was developed via enrichment of electroactive biofilm under fed-batch and continuous feeding conditions using corn stover-derived waste stream. The continuously-fed MFC exhibited a current density of 5.8±0.06 A/m2 and an ACE of 39%±4. The fed-batch MFC achieved a similar current density and an ACE of 19.2%, however, its performance dropped after 36 days of operation to 1.1 A/m2 and 0.5%, respectively. In comparison, the ACE of the continuously-fed MFC remained stable achieving anmore » ACE of 30% ± 3 after 48 days of operation. An MFC treating a biorefinery stream post fuel separation achieved a current density of 10.7±0.1 A/m2 and an ACE of 57% ± 9 at an organic loading of 12.5 g COD/L-day. Characterization of the microbial communities indicate higher abundance of Firmicutes and Proteobacteria and lower abundance of Bacteriodetes and a higher level of Geobacter spp. (1.4% vs. 0.2%) in continuously-fed MFC vs. fed-batch MFC. Finally, the results demonstrate that limiting substrate to the equivalent maximum current that the anode can generate, maintains MFC performance over a long term for high strength wastewaters, such as those generated in the biorefinery.« less

  11. Fuel flowmeters help diesel operators maintain efficiency

    SciTech Connect

    1996-04-01

    At a time when peak engine efficiencies are needed to control operating costs, Flowdata, based in Richardson, Texas, has introduced the FuelCom flowmeter system designed for accurate and dependable metering of net fuel burn on large diesel engines. By determining the efficiency curve of an engine through accurate fuel metering, an operator can run the engine at its most efficient level or balance multi-engine installations, thus saving fuel. Further, if efficiency begins to drop, maintenance or downtime can be scheduled appropriately. Designed specifically for operation with No. 2 fuel oil, Flowdata`s typical FuelCom metering system consists of two flowmeters and transmitters, one each for the supply and return side of an engine`s recirculating fuel system. Output signals from the transmitters are taken to an electronic display or computer where net fuel consumption is tallied to within {+-}0.5% of the indicated reading, according to the company. This paper describes briefly the design and specifications of the flowmeters.

  12. Operational, design and microbial aspects related to power production with microbial fuel cells implemented in constructed wetlands.

    PubMed

    Corbella, Clara; Guivernau, Miriam; Viñas, Marc; Puigagut, Jaume

    2015-11-01

    This work aimed at determining the amount of energy that can be harvested by implementing microbial fuel cells (MFC) in horizontal subsurface constructed wetlands (HSSF CWs) during the treatment of real domestic wastewater. To this aim, MFC were implemented in a pilot plant based on two HSSF CW, one fed with primary settled wastewater (Settler line) and the other fed with the effluent of a hydrolytic up-flow sludge blanket reactor (HUSB line). The eubacterial and archaeal community was profiled on wetland gravel, MFC electrodes and primary treated wastewater by means of 16S rRNA gene-based 454-pyrosequencing and qPCR of 16S rRNA and mcrA genes. Maximum current (219 mA/m(2)) and power (36 mW/m(2)) densities were obtained for the HUSB line. Power production pattern correlated well with water level fluctuations within the wetlands, whereas the type of primary treatment implemented had a significant impact on the diversity and relative abundance of eubacteria communities colonizing MFC. It is worth noticing the high predominance (13-16% of relative abundance) of one OTU belonging to Geobacter on active MFC of the HUSB line that was absent for the settler line MFC. Hence, MFC show promise for power production in constructed wetlands receiving the effluent of a HUSB reactor.

  13. Operational, design and microbial aspects related to power production with microbial fuel cells implemented in constructed wetlands.

    PubMed

    Corbella, Clara; Guivernau, Miriam; Viñas, Marc; Puigagut, Jaume

    2015-11-01

    This work aimed at determining the amount of energy that can be harvested by implementing microbial fuel cells (MFC) in horizontal subsurface constructed wetlands (HSSF CWs) during the treatment of real domestic wastewater. To this aim, MFC were implemented in a pilot plant based on two HSSF CW, one fed with primary settled wastewater (Settler line) and the other fed with the effluent of a hydrolytic up-flow sludge blanket reactor (HUSB line). The eubacterial and archaeal community was profiled on wetland gravel, MFC electrodes and primary treated wastewater by means of 16S rRNA gene-based 454-pyrosequencing and qPCR of 16S rRNA and mcrA genes. Maximum current (219 mA/m(2)) and power (36 mW/m(2)) densities were obtained for the HUSB line. Power production pattern correlated well with water level fluctuations within the wetlands, whereas the type of primary treatment implemented had a significant impact on the diversity and relative abundance of eubacteria communities colonizing MFC. It is worth noticing the high predominance (13-16% of relative abundance) of one OTU belonging to Geobacter on active MFC of the HUSB line that was absent for the settler line MFC. Hence, MFC show promise for power production in constructed wetlands receiving the effluent of a HUSB reactor. PMID:26253894

  14. 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.

  15. Solid Acid Fuel Cell Stack for APU Applications

    SciTech Connect

    Duong, Hau H.

    2011-04-15

    Solid acid fuel cell technology affords the opportunity to operate at the 200-300 degree centigrade regime that would allow for more fuel flexibility, compared to polymer electrode membrane fuel cell, while avoiding the relatively more expensive and complex system components required by solid oxide fuel cell. This project addresses many factors such as MEA size scalability, fuel robustness, stability, etc., that are essential for successful commercialization of the technology.

  16. Near-ambient solid polymer fuel cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holleck, G. L.

    1993-01-01

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

  17. Fuel cell system with interconnect

    DOEpatents

    Liu, Zhien; Goettler, Richard; Delaforce, Philip Mark

    2016-03-08

    The present invention includes a fuel cell system having an interconnect that reduces or eliminates diffusion (leakage) of fuel and oxidant by providing an increased densification, by forming the interconnect as a ceramic/metal composite.

  18. Fuel cell tubes and method of making same

    DOEpatents

    Borglum, Brian P.

    1999-11-30

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

  19. Pattern recognition monitoring of PEM fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Meltser, Mark Alexander

    1999-01-01

    The CO-concentration in the H.sub.2 feed stream to a PEM fuel cell stack is monitored by measuring current and voltage behavior patterns from an auxiliary cell attached to the end of the stack. The auxiliary cell is connected to the same oxygen and hydrogen feed manifolds that supply the stack, and discharges through a constant load. Pattern recognition software compares the current and voltage patterns from the auxiliary cell to current and voltage signature determined from a reference cell similar to the auxiliary cell and operated under controlled conditions over a wide range of CO-concentrations in the H.sub.2 fuel stream.

  20. Pattern recognition monitoring of PEM fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Meltser, M.A.

    1999-08-31

    The CO-concentration in the H{sub 2} feed stream to a PEM fuel cell stack is monitored by measuring current and voltage behavior patterns from an auxiliary cell attached to the end of the stack. The auxiliary cell is connected to the same oxygen and hydrogen feed manifolds that supply the stack, and discharges through a constant load. Pattern recognition software compares the current and voltage patterns from the auxiliary cell to current and voltage signature determined from a reference cell similar to the auxiliary cell and operated under controlled conditions over a wide range of CO-concentrations in the H{sub 2} fuel stream. 4 figs.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  2. MOLTEN CARBONATE FUEL CELL PRODUCT DESIGN IMPROVEMENT

    SciTech Connect

    H.C. Maru; M. Farooque

    2004-08-01

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

  3. Hydrogen-fueled polymer electrolyte fuel cell systems for transportation.

    SciTech Connect

    Ahluwalia, R.; Doss, E.D.; Kumar, R.

    1998-10-19

    The performance of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) system that is fueled directly by hydrogen has been evaluated for transportation vehicles. The performance was simulated using a systems analysis code and a vehicle analysis code. The results indicate that, at the design point for a 50-kW PEFC system, the system efficiency is above 50%. The efficiency improves at partial load and approaches 60% at 40% load, as the fuel cell operating point moves to lower current densities on the voltage-current characteristic curve. At much lower loads, the system efficiency drops because of the deterioration in the performance of the compressor, expander, and, eventually, the fuel cell. The results also indicate that the PEFC system can start rapidly from ambient temperatures. Depending on the specific weight of the fuel cell (1.6 kg/kW in this case), the system takes up to 180s to reach its design operating conditions. The PEFC system has been evaluated for three mid-size vehicles: the 1995 Chrysler Sedan, the near-term Ford AIV (Aluminum Intensive Vehicle) Sable, and the future P2000 vehicle. The results show that the PEFC system can meet the demands of the Federal Urban Driving Schedule and the Highway driving cycles, for both warm and cold start-up conditions. The results also indicate that the P2000 vehicle can meet the fuel economy goal of 80 miles per gallon of gasoline (equivalent).

  4. Advances in direct oxidation methanol fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  5. MOLTEN CARBONATE FUEL CELL PRODUCT DESIGN IMPROVEMENT

    SciTech Connect

    H.C. Maru; M. Farooque

    2002-02-01

    The carbonate fuel cell promises highly efficient, cost-effective and environmentally superior power generation from pipeline natural gas, coal gas, biogas, and other gaseous and liquid fuels. FuelCell Energy, Inc. has been engaged in the development of this unique technology, focusing on the development of the Direct Fuel Cell (DFC{reg_sign}). The DFC{reg_sign} design incorporates the unique internal reforming feature which allows utilization of a hydrocarbon fuel directly in the fuel cell without requiring any external reforming reactor and associated heat exchange equipment. This approach upgrades waste heat to chemical energy and thereby contributes to a higher overall conversion efficiency of fuel energy to electricity with low levels of environmental emissions. Among the internal reforming options, FuelCell Energy has selected the Indirect Internal Reforming (IIR)--Direct Internal Reforming (DIR) combination as its baseline design. The IIR-DIR combination allows reforming control (and thus cooling) over the entire cell area. This results in uniform cell temperature. In the IIR-DIR stack, a reforming unit (RU) is placed in between a group of fuel cells. The hydrocarbon fuel is first fed into the RU where it is reformed partially to hydrogen and carbon monoxide fuel using heat produced by the fuel cell electrochemical reactions. The reformed gases are then fed to the DIR chamber, where the residual fuel is reformed simultaneously with the electrochemical fuel cell reactions. FuelCell Energy plans to offer commercial DFC power plants in various sizes, focusing on the subMW as well as the MW-scale units. The plan is to offer standardized, packaged DFC power plants operating on natural gas or other hydrocarbon-containing fuels for commercial sale. The power plant design will include a diesel fuel processing option to allow dual fuel applications. These power plants, which can be shop-fabricated and sited near the user, are ideally suited for distributed power

  6. Fuel Cells on Bio-Gas (Presentation)

    SciTech Connect

    Remick, R. J.

    2009-03-04

    The conclusions of this presentation are: (1) Fuel cells operating on bio-gas offer a pathway to renewable electricity generation; (2) With federal incentives of $3,500/kW or 30% of the project costs, reasonable payback periods of less than five years can be achieved; (3) Tri-generation of electricity, heat, and hydrogen offers an alternative route to solving the H{sub 2} infrastructure problem facing fuel cell vehicle deployment; and (4) DOE will be promoting bio-gas fuel cells in the future under its Market Transformation Programs.

  7. Sealant materials for solid oxide fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Krumpelt, M.

    1995-08-01

    The objective of this work is to complete the development of soft glass-ceramic sealants for the solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC). Among other requirements, the materials must soften at the operation temperature of the fuel cell (600-1000{degrees}C) to relieve stresses between stack components, and their thermal expansions must be tailored to match those of the stack materials. Specific objectives included addressing the needs of industrial fuel cell developers, based on their evaluation of samples we supply, as well as working with commercial glass producers to achieve scaled-up production of the materials without changing their properties.

  8. Evaluation of a 2.5 kWel automotive low temperature PEM fuel cell stack with extended operating temperature range up to 120 °C

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruiu, Tiziana; Dreizler, Andreas M.; Mitzel, Jens; Gülzow, Erich

    2016-01-01

    Nowadays, the operating temperature of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell stacks is typically limited to 80 °C due to water management issues of membrane materials. In the present work, short-term operation at elevated temperatures up to 120 °C and long-term steady-state operation under automotive relevant conditions at 80 °C are examined using a 30-cell stack developed at DLR. The high temperature behavior is investigated by using temperature cycles between 90 and 120 °C without adjustment of the gases dew points, to simulate a short-period temperature increase, possibly caused by an extended power demand and/or limited heat removal. This galvanostatic test demonstrates a fully reversible performance decrease of 21 ± 1% during each thermal cycle. The irreversible degradation rate is about a factor of 6 higher compared to the one determined by the long-term test. The 1200-h test at 80 °C demonstrates linear stack voltage decay with acceptable degradation rate, apart from a malfunction of the air compressor, which results in increased catalyst degradation effects on individual cells. This interpretation is based on an end-of-life characterization, aimed to investigate catalyst, electrode and membrane degradation, by determining hydrogen crossover rates, high frequency resistances, electrochemically active surface areas and catalyst particle sizes.

  9. Towards the next generation of solid oxide fuel cells operating below 600 °c with chemically stable proton-conducting electrolytes.

    PubMed

    Fabbri, Emiliana; Bi, Lei; Pergolesi, Daniele; Traversa, Enrico

    2012-01-10

    The need for reducing the solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) operating temperature below 600 °C is imposed by cost reduction, which is essential for widespread SOFC use, but might also disclose new applications. To this aim, high-temperature proton-conducting (HTPC) oxides have gained widespread interest as electrolyte materials alternative to oxygen-ion conductors. This Progress Report describes recent developments in electrolyte, anode, and cathode materials for protonic SOFCs, addressing the issue of chemical stability, processability, and good power performance below 600 °C. Different fabrication methods are reported for anode-supported SOFCs, obtained using state-of-the-art, chemically stable proton-conducting electrolyte films. Recent findings show significant improvements in the power density output of cells based on doped barium zirconate electrolytes, pointing out towards the feasibility of the next generation of protonic SOFCs, including a good potential for the development of miniaturized SOFCs as portable power supplies.

  10. Spent Nuclear Fuel Project operational staffing plan

    SciTech Connect

    Debban, B.L.

    1996-03-01

    Using the Spent Nuclear Fuel (SNF) Project`s current process flow concepts and knowledge from cognizant engineering and operational personnel, an initial assessment of the SNF Project radiological exposure and resource requirements was completed. A small project team completed a step by step analysis of fuel movement in the K Basins to the new interim storage location, the Canister Storage Building (CSB). This analysis looked at fuel retrieval, conditioning of the fuel, and transportation of the fuel. This plan describes the staffing structure for fuel processing, fuel movement, and the maintenance and operation (M&O) staffing requirements of the facilities. This initial draft does not identify the support function resources required for M&O, i.e., administrative and engineering (technical support). These will be included in future revisions to the plan. This plan looks at the resource requirements for the SNF subprojects, specifically, the operations of the facilities, balances resources where applicable, rotates crews where applicable, and attempts to use individuals in multi-task assignments. This plan does not apply to the construction phase of planned projects that affect staffing levels of K Basins.

  11. Fuel cell elements with improved water handling capacity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kindler, Andrew (Inventor); Lee, Albany (Inventor)

    2001-01-01

    New fuel cell components for use in liquid feed fuel cell systems are provided. The components include biplates and endplates, having a hydrophilic surface and allow high efficiency operation. Conductive elements and a wicking device also form a part of the fuel cell components of the invention.

  12. Carbonate fuel cell anodes

    DOEpatents

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

    1993-04-27

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

  13. Carbonate fuel cell anodes

    DOEpatents

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

    1993-01-01

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

  14. Fuel cell having electrolyte

    DOEpatents

    Wright, Maynard K.

    1989-01-01

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

  15. DOE perspective on fuel cells in transportation

    SciTech Connect

    Kost, R.

    1996-04-01

    Fuel cells are one of the most promising technologies for meeting the rapidly growing demand for transportation services while minimizing adverse energy and environmental impacts. This paper reviews the benefits of introducing fuel cells into the transportation sector; in addition to dramatically reduced vehicle emissions, fuel cells offer the flexibility than use petroleum-based or alternative fuels, have significantly greater energy efficiency than internal combustion engines, and greatly reduce noise levels during operation. The rationale leading to the emphasis on proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells for transportation applications is reviewed as are the development issues requiring resolution to achieve adequate performance, packaging, and cost for use in automobiles. Technical targets for power density, specific power, platinum loading on the electrodes, cost, and other factors that become increasingly more demanding over time have been established. Fuel choice issues and pathways to reduced costs and to a renewable energy future are explored. One such path initially introduces fuel cell vehicles using reformed gasoline while-on-board hydrogen storage technology is developed to the point of allowing adequate range (350 miles) and refueling convenience. This scenario also allows time for renewable hydrogen production technologies and the required supply infrastructure to develop. Finally, the DOE Fuel Cells in Transportation program is described. The program, whose goal is to establish the technology for fuel cell vehicles as rapidly as possible, is being implemented by means of the United States Fuel Cell Alliance, a Government-industry alliance that includes Detroit`s Big Three automakers, fuel cell and other component suppliers, the national laboratories, and universities.

  16. Static regenerative fuel cell system for use in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Levy, Alexander H. (Inventor); VanDine, Leslie L. (Inventor); Trocciola, John C. (Inventor)

    1989-01-01

    The cell stack can be operated as a fuel cell stack or as an electrolysis cell stack. The stack consists of a series of alternate fuel cell subassemblies with intervening electrolysis cell subassemblies, and interspersed cooling plates. The water produced and consumed in the two modes of operation migrates between adjacent cell subassemblies. The component plates are annular with a central hydrogen plenum and integral internal oxygen manifolds. No fluid pumps are needed to operate the stack in either mode.

  17. Carbonate fuel cells: Milliwatts to megawatts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farooque, M.; Maru, H. C.

    The carbonate fuel cell power plant is an emerging high efficiency, ultra-clean power generator utilizing a variety of gaseous, liquid, and solid carbonaceous fuels for commercial and industrial applications. The primary mover of this generator is a carbonate fuel cell. The fuel cell uses alkali metal carbonate mixtures as electrolyte and operates at ∼650 °C. Corrosion of the cell hardware and stability of the ceramic components have been important design considerations in the early stages of development. The material and electrolyte choices are founded on extensive fundamental research carried out around the world in the 60s and early 70s. The cell components were developed in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The present day carbonate fuel cell construction employs commonly available stainless steels. The electrodes are based on nickel and well-established manufacturing processes. Manufacturing process development, scale-up, stack tests, and pilot system tests dominated throughout the 1990s. Commercial product development efforts began in late 1990s leading to prototype field tests beginning in the current decade leading to commercial customer applications. Cost reduction has been an integral part of the product effort. Cost-competitive product designs have evolved as a result. Approximately half a dozen teams around the world are pursuing carbonate fuel cell product development. The power plant development efforts to date have mainly focused on several hundred kW (submegawatt) to megawatt-class plants. Almost 40 submegawatt units have been operating at customer sites in the US, Europe, and Asia. Several of these units are operating on renewable bio-fuels. A 1 MW unit is operating on the digester gas from a municipal wastewater treatment plant in Seattle, Washington (US). Presently, there are a total of approximately 10 MW capacity carbonate fuel cell power plants installed around the world. Carbonate fuel cell products are also being developed to operate on

  18. Hybrid Fuel Cell Technology Overview

    SciTech Connect

    None available

    2001-05-31

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

  19. Improved electrolytes for fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

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

    1991-06-01

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

  20. Fuel cell design and assembly

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Myerhoff, Alfred (Inventor)

    1984-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Fuel cell systems for personal and portable power applications

    SciTech Connect

    Fateen, S. A.

    2001-01-01

    Fuel cells are devices that electrochemically convert fuel, usually hydrogen gas, to directly produce electricity. Fuel cells were initially developed for use in the space program to provide electricity and drinking water for astronauts. Fuel cells are under development for use in the automobile industry to power cars and buses with the advantage of lower emissions and higher efficiency than internal combustion engines. Fuel cells also have great potential to be used in portable consumer products like cellular phones and laptop computers, as well as military applications. In fact, any products that use batteries can be powered by fuel cells. In this project, we examine fuel cell system trade-offs between fuel cell type and energy storage/hydrogen production for portable power generation. The types of fuel cells being examined include stored hydrogen PEM (polymer electrolyte), direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC) and indirect methanol fuel cells, where methanol is reformed producing hydrogen. These fuel cells systems can operate at or near ambient conditions, which make them potentially optimal for use in manned personal power applications. The expected power production for these systems is in the range of milliwatts to 500 watts of electrical power for either personal or soldier field use. The fuel cell system trade-offs examine hydrogen storage by metal hydrides, carbon nanotubes, and compressed hydrogen tanks. We examine the weights each system, volume, fuel storage, system costs, system peripherals, power output, and fuel cell feasibility in portable devices.

  3. Lightweight fuel cell powerplant components program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, R. E.

    1980-01-01

    A lightweight hydrogen-oxygen alkaline fuel cell incorporated into the design of a lightweight fuel cell powerplant (LFCP) was analytically and experimentally developed. The powerplant operates with passive water removal which contributes to a lower system weight and extended operating life. A preliminary LFCP specification and design table were developed along with a lightweight power section for the LFCP design, consisting of repeating two-cell modules was designed. Two, four-cell modules were designed incorporating 0.508 sq ft active area space shuttle technology fuel cells. Over 1,200 hours of single-cell and over 8,800 hours of two-cell module testing was completed. The 0.25 sq ft active area lightweight cell design was shown to be capable of operating on propellant purity reactants out to a current density of 600ASF. Endurance testing of the two-cell module configuration exceeded the 2,500-hour LFCP voltage requirements out to 3700-hours. A two-cell module capable of operating at increased reactant pressure completed 1000 hours of operation at a 30 psia reactant pressure. A lightweight power section consisting of fifteen, two-cell modules connected electrically in series was fabricated.

  4. Solid oxide MEMS-based fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Jankowksi, Alan F.; Morse, Jeffrey D.

    2007-03-13

    A micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) based thin-film fuel cells for electrical power applications. The MEMS-based fuel cell may be of a solid oxide type (SOFC), a solid polymer type (SPFC), or a proton exchange membrane type (PEMFC), and each fuel cell basically consists of an anode and a cathode separated by an electrolyte layer. The electrolyte layer can consist of either a solid oxide or solid polymer material, or proton exchange membrane electrolyte materials may be used. Additionally catalyst layers can also separate the electrodes (cathode and anode) from the electrolyte. Gas manifolds are utilized to transport the fuel and oxidant to each cell and provide a path for exhaust gases. The electrical current generated from each cell is drawn away with an interconnect and support structure integrated with the gas manifold. The fuel cells utilize integrated resistive heaters for efficient heating of the materials. By combining MEMS technology with thin-film deposition technology, thin-film fuel cells having microflow channels and full-integrated circuitry can be produced that will lower the operating temperature an will yield an order of magnitude greater power density than the currently known fuel cells.

  5. Solid polymer MEMS-based fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Jankowski, Alan F.; Morse, Jeffrey D.

    2008-04-22

    A micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) based thin-film fuel cells for electrical power applications. The MEMS-based fuel cell may be of a solid oxide type (SOFC), a solid polymer type (SPFC), or a proton exchange membrane type (PEMFC), and each fuel cell basically consists of an anode and a cathode separated by an electrolyte layer. The electrolyte layer can consist of either a solid oxide or solid polymer material, or proton exchange membrane electrolyte materials may be used. Additionally catalyst layers can also separate the electrodes (cathode and anode) from the electrolyte. Gas manifolds are utilized to transport the fuel and oxidant to each cell and provide a path for exhaust gases. The electrical current generated from each cell is drawn away with an interconnect and support structure integrated with the gas manifold. The fuel cells utilize integrated resistive heaters for efficient heating of the materials. By combining MEMS technology with thin-film deposition technology, thin-film fuel cells having microflow channels and full-integrated circuitry can be produced that will lower the operating temperature an will yield an order of magnitude greater power density than the currently known fuel cells.

  6. Data Collection & Analysis for ARRA Fuel Cell Projects (Presentation)

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-08-21

    The data analysis objectives are: (1) Independent assessment of technology, focused on fuel cell system and hydrogen infrastructure:performance, operation, and safety; (2) Leverage data processing and analysis capabilities from the fuel cell vehicle Learning Demonstration project and DoD Forklift Demo; (3) Establish a baseline of real-world fuel cell operation and maintenance data and identify technical/market barriers; (4) Support market growth of fuel cell technologies by reporting on technology features relevant to the business case; and (5) Report on technology to fuel cell and hydrogen communities and stakeholders.

  7. Orbiter fuel cell improvement assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, R. E.

    1981-01-01

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

  8. Molten carbonate fuel cell separator

    DOEpatents

    Nickols, R.C.

    1984-10-17

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

  9. Molten carbonate fuel cell separator

    DOEpatents

    Nickols, Richard C.

    1986-09-02

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

  10. In situ PEM fuel cell water measurements

    SciTech Connect

    Borup, Rodney L; Mukundan, Rangachary; Davey, John R; Spendelow, Jacob S; Hussey, Daniel S; Jacobson, David L; Arif, Muhammad

    2009-01-01

    Efficient PEM (Polymer Electrolyte Membrane) fuel cell performance requires effective water management. To achieve a deeper understanding of water transport and performance issues associated with water management, we have conducted in situ water examinations to help understand the effects of components and operations. High Frequency Resistance (HFR), AC Impedance and Neutron imaging were used to measure water content in operating fuel cells, with various conditions, including current density, relative humidity, inlet flows, flow orientation and variable Gas Diffusion Layer (GDL) properties. High resolution neutron radiography was used to image fuel cells during a variety of conditions. The effect of specific operating conditions, including flow direction (co-flow or counter-flow) was examined. Counter-flow operation was found to result in higher water content than co-flow operation, which correlates to lower membrane resistivity. A variety of cells were used to quantify the membrane water in situ during exposure to saturated gases, during fuel cell operation, and during hydrogen pump operation. The quantitative results show lower membrane water content than previous results suggested.

  11. What happens inside a fuel cell? Developing an experimental functional map of fuel cell performance.

    PubMed

    Brett, Daniel J L; Kucernak, Anthony R; Aguiar, Patricia; Atkins, Stephen C; Brandon, Nigel P; Clague, Ralph; Cohen, Lesley F; Hinds, Gareth; Kalyvas, Christos; Offer, Gregory J; Ladewig, Bradley; Maher, Robert; Marquis, Andrew; Shearing, Paul; Vasileiadis, Nikos; Vesovic, Velisa

    2010-09-10

    Fuel cell performance is determined by the complex interplay of mass transport, energy transfer and electrochemical processes. The convolution of these processes leads to spatial heterogeneity in the way that fuel cells perform, particularly due to reactant consumption, water management and the design of fluid-flow plates. It is therefore unlikely that any bulk measurement made on a fuel cell will accurately represent performance at all parts of the cell. The ability to make spatially resolved measurements in a fuel cell provides one of the most useful ways in which to monitor and optimise performance. This Minireview explores a range of in situ techniques being used to study fuel cells and describes the use of novel experimental techniques that the authors have used to develop an 'experimental functional map' of fuel cell performance. These techniques include the mapping of current density, electrochemical impedance, electrolyte conductivity, contact resistance and CO poisoning distribution within working PEFCs, as well as mapping the flow of reactant in gas channels using laser Doppler anemometry (LDA). For the high-temperature solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC), temperature mapping, reference electrode placement and the use of Raman spectroscopy are described along with methods to map the microstructural features of electrodes. The combination of these techniques, applied across a range of fuel cell operating conditions, allows a unique picture of the internal workings of fuel cells to be obtained and have been used to validate both numerical and analytical models.

  12. Fuel cell development for transportation: Catalyst development

    SciTech Connect

    Doddapaneni, N.; Ingersoll, D.

    1996-12-31

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1989-01-01

    Small cell size, thin ceramic components, and high operating temperature are the key features of the MSOFC. The small size of individual cells in the monolithic structure increases the active surface area. For example, an MSOFC with channels about 1 mm in diameter has a ratio of active surface area to volume of about 9.4 sq cm/cu cm. This is about seven times the ratio for conventional fuel cells. On this basis alone, an MSOFC with a channel diameter of 1 mm should produce the same power as a conventional fuel cell seven times as large. The high current density of the MSOFC results from the small cell size and ensuing low internal resistance. The current density is high at the fuel inlet end of the fuel channel where the thermodynamic driving force (Nernst potential) is highest. Similarly, the current density is low at the outlet end of the fuel channel where the Nernst potential is lowest. Because of the high operating temperature of the MSOFC (1000{degrees}C),hydrocarbon fuels can be reformed in the fuel channels. The reform reaction produces hydrogen which is consumed by the fuel cell. Catalytic reforming of methane and natural gas within a solid oxide fuel cell has been demonstrated.

  14. Fuel Cell Powered Lift Truck

    SciTech Connect

    Moulden, Steve

    2015-08-20

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

  15. Pressurized solid oxide fuel cell testing

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-08-01

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

  16. 1986 fuel cell seminar: Program and abstracts

    SciTech Connect

    1986-10-01

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

  17. Tubular solid oxide fuel cell current collector

    DOEpatents

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

    2010-07-20

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

  18. Reversible (unitized) PEM fuel cell devices

    SciTech Connect

    Mitlitsky, F; Myers, B; Smith, W F; Weisberg, Molter, T M

    1999-06-01

    Regenerative fuel cells (RFCs) are enabling for many weight-critical portable applications, since the packaged specific energy (>400 Wh/kg) of properly designed lightweight RFC systems is several-fold higher than that of the lightest weight rechargeable batteries. RFC systems can be rapidly refueled (like primary fuel cells), or can be electrically recharged (like secondary batteries) if a refueling infrastructure is not conveniently available. Higher energy capacity systems with higher performance, reduced weight, and freedom from fueling infrastructure are the features that RFCs promise for portable applications. Reversible proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells, also known as unitized regenerative fuel cells (URFCs), or reversible regenerative fuel cells, are RFC systems which use reversible PEM cells, where each cell is capable of operating both as a fuel cell and as an electrolyzer. URFCs further economize portable device weight, volume, and complexity by combining the functions of fuel cells and electrolyzers in the same hardware, generally without any system performance or efficiency reduction. URFCs are being made in many forms, some of which are already small enough to be portable. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has worked with industrial partners to design, develop, and demonstrate high performance and high cycle life URFC systems. LLNL is also working with industrial partners to develop breakthroughs in lightweight pressure vessels that are necessary for URFC systems to achieve the specific energy advantages over rechargeable batteries. Proton Energy Systems, Inc. (Proton) is concurrently developing and commercializing URFC systems (UNIGEN' product line), in addition to PEM electrolyzer systems (HOGEN' product line), and primary PEM fuel cell systems. LLNL is constructing demonstration URFC units in order to persuade potential sponsors, often in their own conference rooms, that advanced applications based on URFC s are feasible. Safety

  19. Solid oxide fuel cell generator

    DOEpatents

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

    1993-01-01

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

  20. Solid oxide fuel cell generator

    DOEpatents

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

    1993-04-06

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

  1. Cell module and fuel conditioner development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feret, J. M.

    1982-01-01

    The efforts performed to develop a phosphoric acid fuel cell (PAFC) stack design having a 10 kW power rating for operation at higher than atmospheric pressure based on the existing Mark II design configuration are described. The work involves: (1) Performance of pertinent functional analysis, trade studies and thermodynamic cycle analysis for requirements definition and system operating parameter selection purposes, (2) characterization of fuel cell materials and components, and performance testing and evaluation of the repeating electrode components, (3) establishment of the state-of-the-art manufacturing technology for all fuel cell components at Westinghouse and the fabrication of short stacks of various sites, and (4) development of a 10 kW PAFC stack design for higher pressure operation utilizing the top down systems engineering approach.

  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. MOLTEN CARBONATE FUEL CELL PRODUCT DESIGN IMPROVEMENT

    SciTech Connect

    H. C. Maru; M. Farooque

    2003-12-19

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

  4. Commercializing fuel cells: managing risks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bos, Peter B.

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

  5. Heated transportable fuel cell cartridges

    DOEpatents

    Lance, Joseph R.; Spurrier, Francis R.

    1985-01-01

    A fuel cell stack protective system is made where a plurality of fuel cells, each containing liquid electrolyte subject to crystallization, is enclosed by a containing vessel, and where at least one electric heater is placed in the containing vessel and is capable of preventing electrolyte crystallization.

  6. Fuel cells: Hydrogen induced insulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Wei; Shao, Zongping

    2016-06-01

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

  7. Energy 101: Fuel Cell Technology

    ScienceCinema

    None

    2016-07-12

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

  8. Bronx Zoo Fuel Cell Project

    SciTech Connect

    Hoang Pham

    2007-09-30

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

  9. Bonded polyimide fuel cell package

    DOEpatents

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

    2010-06-08

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

  10. Energy 101: Fuel Cell Technology

    SciTech Connect

    2014-03-11

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

  11. Fuel cell system with interconnect

    DOEpatents

    Goettler, Richard; Liu, Zhien

    2015-03-10

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

  12. Fuel cell system with interconnect

    DOEpatents

    Goettler, Richard; Liu, Zhien

    2015-08-11

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

  13. Fuel cell system with interconnect

    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.

  14. Development of advanced fuel cell system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gitlow, B.; Meyer, A. P.; Bell, W. F.; Martin, R. E.

    1978-01-01

    An experimental program was conducted continuing the development effort to improve the weight, life, and performance characteristics of hydrogen-oxygen alkaline fuel cells for advanced power systems. These advanced technology cells operate with passive water removal which contributes to a lower system weight and extended operating life. Endurance evaluation of two single cells and two, two-cell plaques was continued. Three new test articles were fabricated and tested. A single cell completed 7038 hours of endurance testing. This cell incorporated a Fybex matrix, hybrid-frame, PPF anode, and a 90 Au/10 Pt cathode. This configuration was developed to extend cell life. Two cell plaques with dedicated flow fields and manifolds for all fluids did not exhibit the cell-to-cell electrolyte transfer that limited the operating life of earlier multicell plaques.

  15. DIRECT FUEL CELL/TURBINE POWER PLANT

    SciTech Connect

    Hossein Ghezel-Ayagh

    2004-11-01

    This report includes the progress in development of Direct FuelCell/Turbine{reg_sign} (DFC/T{reg_sign}) power plants for generation of clean power at very high efficiencies. The DFC/T power system is based on an indirectly heated gas turbine to supplement fuel cell generated power. The DFC/T power generation concept extends the high efficiency of the fuel cell by utilizing the fuel cell's byproduct heat in a Brayton cycle. Features of the DFC/T system include: electrical efficiencies of up to 75% on natural gas, 60% on coal gas, minimal emissions, simplicity in design, direct reforming internal to the fuel cell, reduced carbon dioxide release to the environment, and potential cost competitiveness with existing combined cycle power plants. The operation of sub-MW hybrid Direct FuelCell/Turbine power plant test facility with a Capstone C60 microturbine was initiated in March 2003. The inclusion of the C60 microturbine extended the range of operation of the hybrid power plant to higher current densities (higher power) than achieved in previous tests using a 30kW microturbine. The design of multi-MW DFC/T hybrid systems, approaching 75% efficiency on natural gas, was initiated. A new concept was developed based on clusters of One-MW fuel cell modules as the building blocks. System analyses were performed, including systems for near-term deployment and power plants with long-term ultra high efficiency objectives. Preliminary assessment of the fuel cell cluster concept, including power plant layout for a 14MW power plant, was performed.

  16. Sulfur tolerant molten carbonate fuel cell anode and process

    DOEpatents

    Remick, Robert J.

    1990-01-01

    Molten carbonate fuel cell anodes incorporating a sulfur tolerant carbon monoxide to hydrogen water-gas-shift catalyst provide in situ conversion of carbon monoxide to hydrogen for improved fuel cell operation using fuel gas mixtures of over about 10 volume percent carbon monoxide and up to about 10 ppm hydrogen sulfide.

  17. Status of ELENCO's alkaline fuel cell technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van den Broeck, H.; van Bogaert, G.; Vennekens, G.; Vermeeren, L.; Vlasselaer, F.

    Low-temperature alkaline fuel cells which can be operated with air, oxygen-enriched air, and pure oxygen are discussed. Aspects of the electrochemical stack development, including manufacturing techniques, performance levels, and reactant purity, are first reviewed. Design, engineering, and operating aspects of the 1.5 kW, 15 kW, and 50 kW prototype fuel cell systems are considered. An ejector device based on the venturi principle is used to improve the H2 gas circulation and to reduce the H2 losses. Various industrial and aerospace applications of the modules are discussed.

  18. Intra-Fuel Cell Stack Measurements of Transient Concentration Distributions

    SciTech Connect

    Partridge Jr, William P; Toops, Todd J; Green Jr, Johney Boyd; Armstrong, Timothy R.

    2006-01-01

    Intra-fuel-cell measurements are required to understand detailed fuel-cell chemistry and physics, validate models, optimize system design and control, and realize enhanced efficiency regimes; in comparison, conventional integrated fuel-cell supply and effluent measurements are fundamentally limited in value. Intra-reactor measurements are needed for all fuel cell types. This paper demonstrates the ability of a capillary-inlet mass spectrometer to resolve transient species distributions within operating polymer-electrolyte-membrane (PEM) fuel cells and at temperatures typical of solid-oxide fuel cells (SOFC). This is the first such demonstration of a diagnostic that is sufficiently minimally invasive as to allow measurements throughout an operating fuel cell stack. Measurements of transient water, hydrogen, oxygen and diluent concentration dynamics associated with fuel-cell load switching suggest oxygen-limited chemistry. Intra-PEM fuel cell measurements of oxygen distribution at various fuel-cell loads are used to demonstrate concentration gradients, non-uniformities, and anomalous fuel cell operation.

  19. Intra-fuel cell stack measurements of transient concentration distributions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Partridge, W. P.; Toops, T. J.; Green, J. B.; Armstrong, T. R.

    Intra-fuel-cell measurements are required to understand detailed fuel-cell chemistry and physics, validate models, optimize system design and control, and realize enhanced efficiency regimes; in comparison, conventional integrated fuel-cell supply and effluent measurements are fundamentally limited in value. Intra-reactor measurements are needed for all fuel cell types. This paper demonstrates the ability of a capillary-inlet mass spectrometer to resolve transient species distributions within operating polymer-electrolyte-membrane (PEM) fuel cells and at temperatures typical of solid-oxide fuel cells (SOFC). This is the first such demonstration of a diagnostic that is sufficiently minimally invasive as to allow measurements throughout an operating fuel cell stack. Measurements of transient water, hydrogen, oxygen and diluent concentration dynamics associated with fuel-cell load switching suggest oxygen-limited chemistry. Intra-PEM fuel cell measurements of oxygen distribution at various fuel-cell loads are used to demonstrate concentration gradients, non-uniformities, and anomalous fuel cell operation.

  20. Fuel cells: A handbook (Revision 3)

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. MOLTEN CARBONATE FUEL CELL PRODUCT DESIGN IMPROVEMENT

    SciTech Connect

    H.C. Maru; M. Farooque

    2005-03-01

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

  3. Navy fuel cell demonstration project.

    SciTech Connect

    Black, Billy D.; Akhil, Abbas Ali

    2008-08-01

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

  4. Fuel-Cell Water Separator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  5. Fuel cell with internal flow control

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-06-12

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

  6. Solid Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Technology Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1980-01-01

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

  7. Tubular solid oxide fuel cell demonstration activities

    SciTech Connect

    Ray, E.R.; Veyo, S.E.

    1995-12-31

    This reports on a solid oxide fuel cell demonstration program in which utilities are provided fully integrated, automatically controlled, packaged solid oxide fuel cell power generation systems. These field units serve to demonstrate to customers first hand the beneficial attributes of the SOFC, to expose deficiencies through experience in order to guide continued development, and to garner real world feedback and data concerning not only cell and stack parameters, but also transportation, installation, permitting and licensing, start-up and shutdown, system alarming, fault detection, fault response, and operator interaction.

  8. Degradation effects in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell stacks by sub-zero operation-An in situ and ex situ analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alink, R.; Gerteisen, D.; Oszcipok, M.

    The effect of low temperatures down to -40 °C on the performance and component properties of a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell stack was investigated. By analyzing the temperature-dependent high-frequency resistance, the mechanism of ice formation within the stack was investigated during freeze/thaw (F/T) cycling while the stack was not operating and during a cold start-up. A step-like change in conductivity at 0 °C indicates that the membranes are dehydrated at sub-zero temperatures due to a change in capillary pressure at the interface membrane/catalyst. Furthermore, it was found that the stack shows little degradation when it is dried out before cooling down. Freezing in a wet state and additional cold start-ups resulted in performance degradation which was mainly attributed to changes in wetting properties. Ex situ environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM) investigations showed distinct damage and increasing porosity of the electrode in the wet frozen stack, which was most likely the reason for the change in wetting properties. Inductively coupled plasma (ICP) mass spectroscopy showed distinct concentrations of platinum in the exhaust gas of the dry cycled stack, but no additional platinum was found when the stack was cycled in a wet state. Additional ex situ F/T investigations of gas diffusion layers (GDLs) and membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) within an ESEM confirmed the results, found by in situ investigations of the fuel cell stacks. Serious detachment of electrode material was found without the compressive force applied to an assembly.

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

    DOEpatents

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

    1996-01-01

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

  10. Fuel Cell/Reformers Technology Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    NASA Glenn Research Center is interested in developing Solid Oxide Fuel Cell for use in aerospace applications. Solid oxide fuel cell requires hydrogen rich feed stream by converting commercial aviation jet fuel in a fuel processing process. The grantee's primary research activities center on designing and constructing a test facility for evaluating injector concepts to provide optimum feeds to fuel processor; collecting and analyzing literature information on fuel processing and desulfurization technologies; establishing industry and academic contacts in related areas; providing technical support to in-house SOFC-based system studies. Fuel processing is a chemical reaction process that requires efficient delivery of reactants to reactor beds for optimum performance, i.e., high conversion efficiency and maximum hydrogen production, and reliable continuous operation. Feed delivery and vaporization quality can be improved by applying NASA's expertise in combustor injector design. A 10 KWe injector rig has been designed, procured, and constructed to provide a tool to employ laser diagnostic capability to evaluate various injector concepts for fuel processing reactor feed delivery application. This injector rig facility is now undergoing mechanical and system check-out with an anticipated actual operation in July 2004. Multiple injector concepts including impinging jet, venturi mixing, discrete jet, will be tested and evaluated with actual fuel mixture compatible with reforming catalyst requirement. Research activities from September 2002 to the closing of this collaborative agreement have been in the following areas: compiling literature information on jet fuel reforming; conducting autothermal reforming catalyst screening; establishing contacts with other government agencies for collaborative research in jet fuel reforming and desulfurization; providing process design basis for the build-up of injector rig facility and individual injector design.

  11. Miniature fuel cells relieve gas pressure in sealed batteries

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frank, H. A.

    1971-01-01

    Miniature fuel cells within sealed silver zinc batteries consume evolved hydrogen and oxygen rapidly, preventing pressure rupturing. They do not significantly increase battery weight and they operate in all battery life phases. Complete gas pressure control requires two fuel cells during all phases of operation of silver zinc batteries.

  12. Computational modeling of solid oxide fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Penmetsa, Satish Kumar

    In the ongoing search for alternative and environmentally friendly power generation facilities, the solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) is considered one of the prime candidates for the next generation of energy conversion devices due to its capability to provide environmentally friendly and highly efficient power generation. Moreover, SOFCs are less sensitive to composition of fuel as compared to other types of fuel cells, and internal reforming of the hydrocarbon fuel cell can be performed because of higher operating temperature range of 700°C--1000°C. This allows us to use different types of hydrocarbon fuels in SOFCs. The objective of this study is to develop a three-dimensional computational model for the simulation of a solid oxide fuel cell unit to analyze the complex internal transport mechanisms and sensitivity of the cell with different operating conditions, and also to develop SOFC with higher operating current density with a more uniform gas distributions in the electrodes and with lower ohmic losses. This model includes mass transfer processes due to convection and diffusion in the gas flow channels based on the Navier-Stokes equations as well as combined diffusion and advection in electrodes using Brinkman's hydrodynamic equation and associated electrochemical reactions in the trilayer of the SOFC. Gas transport characteristics in terms of three-dimensional spatial distributions of reactant gases and their effects on electrochemical reactions at the electrode-electrolyte interface, and in the resulting polarizations, are evaluated for varying pressure conditions. Results show the significance of the Brinkman's hydrodynamic model in electrodes to achieve more uniform gas concentration distributions while using a higher operating pressure and over a higher range of operating current densities.

  13. Fuel Cell Research

    SciTech Connect

    Weber, Peter M.

    2014-03-30

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

  14. A review of fuel cell systems for maritime applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Biert, L.; Godjevac, M.; Visser, K.; Aravind, P. V.

    2016-09-01

    Progressing limits on pollutant emissions oblige ship owners to reduce the environmental impact of their operations. Fuel cells may provide a suitable solution, since they are fuel efficient while they emit few hazardous compounds. Various choices can be made with regard to the type of fuel cell system and logistic fuel, and it is unclear which have the best prospects for maritime application. An overview of fuel cell types and fuel processing equipment is presented, and maritime fuel cell application is reviewed with regard to efficiency, gravimetric and volumetric density, dynamic behaviour, environmental impact, safety and economics. It is shown that low temperature fuel cells using liquefied hydrogen provide a compact solution for ships with a refuelling interval up to a tens of hours, but may result in total system sizes up to five times larger than high temperature fuel cells and more energy dense fuels for vessels with longer mission requirements. The expanding infrastructure of liquefied natural gas and development state of natural gas-fuelled fuel cell systems can facilitate the introduction of gaseous fuels and fuel cells on ships. Fuel cell combined cycles, hybridisation with auxiliary electricity storage systems and redundancy improvements are identified as topics for further study.

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

    PubMed

    Feng, Leiyu; Chen, Yinguang; Chen, Lang

    2011-12-27

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

  16. System for adding sulfur to a fuel cell stack system for improved fuel cell stability

    DOEpatents

    Mukerjee, Subhasish; Haltiner, Jr., Karl J; Weissman, Jeffrey G

    2013-08-13

    A system for adding sulfur to a reformate stream feeding a fuel cell stack, having a sulfur source for providing sulfur to the reformate stream and a metering device in fluid connection with the sulfur source and the reformate stream. The metering device injects sulfur from the sulfur source to the reformate stream at a predetermined rate, thereby providing a conditioned reformate stream to the fuel cell stack. The system provides a conditioned reformate stream having a predetermined sulfur concentration that gives an acceptable balance of minimal drop in initial power with the desired maximum stability of operation over prolonged periods for the fuel cell stack.

  17. Fuel cell transit bus development & commercialization programs at Gerogetown University

    SciTech Connect

    Wimmer, R.; Larkins, J.; Romano, S.

    1996-12-31

    Fourteen years ago, Georgetown University (GU) perceived the need for a clean, efficient power systems for transportation that could operate on non-petroleum based fuels. The transit bus application was selected to begin system development. GU recognized the range and recharge constraints of a pure battery powered transit bus. A Fuel Cell power system would circumvent these limitations and, with an on board reformer, accommodate liquid fuel for rapid refueling. Feasibility studies for Fuel Cell power systems for transit buses were conducted with the Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1983. Successful results of this investigation resulted in the DOT/DOE Fuel Cell transit bus development program. The first task was to prove that small Fuel Cell power plants were possible. This was achieved with the Phase I development of two 25 kW Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cell (PAFC) brassboard systems. A liquid cooled version was selected for the Phase II activity in which three 30-foot Fuel Cell powered Test Bed Buses (TBBs) were fabricated. The first of these TBBs was delivered in the spring of 1994. All three of these development vehicles are now in Phase III of the program to conduct testing and evaluation, is conducting operational testing of the buses. The test will involve two fuel cell-operated buses; one with a proton exchange fuel cell and the other with a phosphoric acid fuel cell.

  18. European opportunities for fuel cell commercialisation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gibbs, C. E.; Steel, M. C. F.

    1992-01-01

    The European electricity market is changing. This paper will look at the background to power generation in Europe and highlight the recent factors which have entered the market to promote change. The 1990s seem to offer great possibilities for fuel cell commercialisation. Awareness of environmental problems has never been greater and there is growing belief that fuel cell technology can contribute to solving some of these problems. Issues which have caused the power industry in Europe to re-think its methods of generation include: concern over increasing carbon dioxide emissions and their contribution to the greenhouse effect; increasing SO x and NO x emissions and the damage cause by acid rain; the possibility of adverse effects on health caused by high voltage transmission lines; environmental restrictions to the expansion of hydroelectric schemes; public disenchantment with nuclear power following the Chernobyl accident; avoidance of dependence on imported oil following the Gulf crisis and a desire for fuel flexibility. All these factors are hastening the search for clean, efficient, modular power generators which can be easily sited close to the electricity consumer and operated using a variety of fuels. It is not only the power industry which is changing. A tightening of the legislation concerning emissions from cars is encouraging European auto companies to develop electric vehicles, some of which may be powered by fuel cells. Political changes, such as the opening up of Eastern Europe will also expand the market for low-emission, efficient power plants as attempts are made to develop and clean up that region. Many Europeans organisations are re-awakening their interest, or strengthening their activities, in the area of fuel cells because of the increasing opportunities offered by the European market. While some companies have chosen to buy, test and demonstrate Japanese or American fuel cell stacks with the aim of gaining operational experience and

  19. Gasoline-fueled solid oxide fuel cell using MoO2-Based Anode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hou, Xiaoxue; Marin-Flores, Oscar; Kwon, Byeong Wan; Kim, Jinsoo; Norton, M. Grant; Ha, Su

    2014-12-01

    This short communication describes the performance of a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) fueled by directly feeding premium gasoline to the anode without using external reforming. The novel component of the fuel cell that enables such operation is the mixed conductivity of MoO2-based anode. Using this anode, a fuel cell demonstrating a maximum power density of 31 mW/cm2 at 0.45 V was successfully fabricated. Over a 24 h period of operation, the open cell voltage remained stable at ∼0.92 V. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) examination of the anode surface pre- and post-testing showed no evidence of coking.

  20. Water reactive hydrogen fuel cell power system

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-11-25

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

  1. Water reactive hydrogen fuel cell power system

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-01-21

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

  2. Electrochemical and impedance characterization of Microbial Fuel Cells based on 2D and 3D anodic electrodes working with seawater microorganisms under continuous operation.

    PubMed

    Hidalgo, D; Sacco, A; Hernández, S; Tommasi, T

    2015-11-01

    A mixed microbial population naturally presents in seawater was used as active anodic biofilm of two Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs), employing either a 2D commercial carbon felt or 3D carbon-coated Berl saddles as anode electrodes, with the aim to compare their electrochemical behavior under continuous operation. After an initial increase of the maximum power density, the felt-based cell reduced its performance at 5 months (from 7 to 4 μW cm(-2)), while the saddle-based MFC exceeds 9 μW cm(-2) (after 2 months) and maintained such performance for all the tests. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy was used to identify the MFCs controlling losses and indicates that the mass-transport limitations at the biofilm-electrolyte interface have the main contribution (>95%) to their internal resistance. The activation resistance was one order of magnitude lower with the Berl saddles than with carbon felt, suggesting an enhanced charge-transfer in the high surface-area 3D electrode, due to an increase in bacteria population growth.

  3. Electrochemical and impedance characterization of Microbial Fuel Cells based on 2D and 3D anodic electrodes working with seawater microorganisms under continuous operation.

    PubMed

    Hidalgo, D; Sacco, A; Hernández, S; Tommasi, T

    2015-11-01

    A mixed microbial population naturally presents in seawater was used as active anodic biofilm of two Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs), employing either a 2D commercial carbon felt or 3D carbon-coated Berl saddles as anode electrodes, with the aim to compare their electrochemical behavior under continuous operation. After an initial increase of the maximum power density, the felt-based cell reduced its performance at 5 months (from 7 to 4 μW cm(-2)), while the saddle-based MFC exceeds 9 μW cm(-2) (after 2 months) and maintained such performance for all the tests. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy was used to identify the MFCs controlling losses and indicates that the mass-transport limitations at the biofilm-electrolyte interface have the main contribution (>95%) to their internal resistance. The activation resistance was one order of magnitude lower with the Berl saddles than with carbon felt, suggesting an enhanced charge-transfer in the high surface-area 3D electrode, due to an increase in bacteria population growth. PMID:26166463

  4. First European fuel cell installation with anaerobic digester gas in a molten carbonate fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krumbeck, M.; Klinge, T.; Döding, B.

    The City of Ahlen in North Rhine Westphalia, Germany and RWE Fuel Cells GmbH, Essen, cooperate in order to install a molten carbonate fuel cell in the municipal sewage works of Ahlen in May/June 2005. The MCFC unit, a so-called HotModule made by MTU CFC Solutions, Ottobrunn operates on anaerobic digester gas and provides power and heat for the sewage works. This is the first project of its kind in Europe. This article outlines the experiences of RWE Fuel Cells with planning, installation and operation of MCFC systems and is focussing on the use of digester gas. The engineering and installation phase is described regarding to the special features of digester gas, for example variation in gas composition and impurities as well as different flow rates. The results of the first months of operation are interpreted and influences to the performance of the fuel cell on digester gas composition are compared. One focus of the recent RWE Fuel Cells projects is the use of MCFC systems using different biofuels. With the results from planning, installation and operation of the MCFC in Ahlen a system design for the application of different fuels can be validated and tested.

  5. Double interconnection fuel cell array

    DOEpatents

    Draper, R.; Zymboly, G.E.

    1993-12-28

    A fuel cell array is made, containing number of tubular, elongated fuel cells which are placed next to each other in rows (A, B, C, D), where each cell contains inner electrodes and outer electrodes, with solid electrolyte between the electrodes, where the electrolyte and outer electrode are discontinuous, having two portions, and providing at least two opposed discontinuities which contain at least two oppositely opposed interconnections contacting the inner electrode, each cell having only three metallic felt electrical connectors which contact surrounding cells, where each row is electrically connected to the other. 5 figures.

  6. Double interconnection fuel cell array

    DOEpatents

    Draper, Robert; Zymboly, Gregory E.

    1993-01-01

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

  7. Densified edge seals for fuel cell components

    DOEpatents

    DeCasperis, Anthony J.; Roethlein, Richard J.; Breault, Richard D.

    1982-01-01

    A porous fuel cell component, such as an electrode substrate, has a densified edge which forms an improved gas seal during operation when soaked with electrolyte. The edges are made from the same composition as the rest of the component and are made by compressing an increased thickness of this material along the edges during the fabrication process.

  8. Regenerative fuel cell systems R and D

    SciTech Connect

    Mitlitsky, F.; Myers, B.; Weisberg, A.H.

    1998-08-01

    Regenerative fuel cell (RFC) systems produce power and electrolytically regenerate their reactants using stacks of electrochemical cells. Energy storage systems with extremely high specific energy (> 400 Wh/kg) have been designed that use lightweight pressure vessels to contain the gases generated by reversible (unitized) regenerative fuel cells (URFCs). Progress is reported on the development, integration, and operation of rechargeable energy storage systems with such high specific energy. Lightweight pressure vessels that enable high specific energies have been designed with performance factors (burst pressure/internal volume/tank weight) > 50 km (2.0 million inches), and a vessel with performance factor of 40 km (1.6 million inches) was fabricated. New generations of both advanced and industry-supplied hydrogen tankage are under development. A primary fuel cell test rig with a single cell (46 cm{sup 2} active area) has been modified and operated reversibly as a URFC (for up to 2010 cycles on a single cell). This URFC uses bifunctional electrodes (oxidation and reduction electrodes reverse roles when switching from charge to discharge, as with a rechargeable battery) and cathode feed electrolysis (water is fed from the hydrogen side of the cell). Recent modifications also enable anode feed electrolysis (water is fed from the oxygen side of the cell). Hydrogen/halogen URFCs, capable of higher round-trip efficiency than hydrogen/oxygen URFCs, have been considered, and will be significantly heavier. Progress is reported on higher performance hydrogen/oxygen URFC operation with reduced catalyst loading.

  9. Robust NdBa0.5Sr0.5Co1.5Fe0.5O5+δ cathode material and its degradation prevention operating logic for intermediate temperature-solid oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Tae-Hee; Park, Ka-Young; Kim, Nam-In; Song, Sun-Ju; Hong, Ki-Ha; Ahn, Docheon; Azad, Abul K.; Hwang, Junyeon; Bhattacharjee, Satadeep; Lee, Seung-Cheol; Lim, Hyung-Tae; Park, Jun-Young

    2016-11-01

    We report solutions (durable material and degradation prevention method) to minimize the performance degradation of cell components occurring in the solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) operation. Reliability testing is carried out with the Nisbnd Nd0.1Ce0.9O2-δ (NDC) anode-supported intermediate temperature-SOFCs. For the cathode materials, single perovskite structured Ba0.5Sr0.5Co0.8Fe0.2O3-δ (BSCF) and double perovskite structured NdBa0.5Sr0.5Co1.5Fe0.5O5+δ (NBSCF) are prepared and evaluated under harsh SOFC operating conditions. The double perovskite NBSCF cathode shows excellent stability in harsh SOFC environments of high humidity and low flow rate of air. Furthermore, we propose the concurrent fuel and air starvation mode, in which the cell potential is temporarily reduced due to the formation of both fuel-starvation (in the anode) and air-depletion (in the cathode) concurrently under a constant load. This is carried out in order to minimize the performance decay of the stable NBSCF-cell through the periodic and extra reduction of aH2 O (and aO2) in the anode. The operating-induced degradation of SOFCs, which are ordinarily assumed to be unrecoverable, can be completely circumvented by the proposed periodical operation logic to prevent performance degradation (concurrent fuel-starvation and air-depletion mode).

  10. PEM/SPE fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Grot, Stephen Andreas

    1998-01-01

    A PEM/SPE fuel cell including a membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) having a plurality of oriented filament embedded the face thereof for supporting the MEA and conducting current therefrom to contiguous electrode plates.

  11. Metrology for Fuel Cell Manufacturing

    SciTech Connect

    Stocker, Michael; Stanfield, Eric

    2015-02-04

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

  12. PEM/SPE fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Grot, S.A.

    1998-01-13

    A PEM/SPE fuel cell is described including a membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) having a plurality of oriented filament embedded the face thereof for supporting the MEA and conducting current therefrom to contiguous electrode plates. 4 figs.

  13. Intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Brett, Daniel J L; Atkinson, Alan; Brandon, Nigel P; Skinner, Stephen J

    2008-08-01

    High temperature solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), typified by developers such as Siemens Westinghouse and Rolls-Royce, operate in the temperature region of 850-1000 degrees C. For such systems, very high efficiencies can be achieved from integration with gas turbines for large-scale stationary applications. However, high temperature operation means that the components of the stack need to be predominantly ceramic and high temperature metal alloys are needed for many balance-of-plant components. For smaller scale applications, where integration with a heat engine is not appropriate, there is a trend to move to lower temperatures of operation, into the so-called intermediate temperature (IT) range of 500-750 degrees C. This expands the choice of materials and stack geometries that can be used, offering reduced system cost and, in principle, reducing the corrosion rate of stack and system components. This review introduces the IT-SOFC and explains the advantages of operation in this temperature regime. The main advances made in materials chemistry that have made IT operation possible are described and some of the engineering issues and the new opportunities that reduced temperature operation affords are discussed. This tutorial review examines the advances being made in materials and engineering that are allowing solid oxide fuel cells to operate at lower temperature. The challenges and advantages of operating in the so-called 'intermediate temperature' range of 500-750 degrees C are discussed and the opportunities for applications not traditionally associated with solid oxide fuel cells are highlighted. This article serves as an introduction for scientists and engineers interested in intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells and the challenges and opportunities of reduced temperature operation. PMID:18648682

  14. Fuel cells: a real option for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles propulsion.

    PubMed

    González-Espasandín, Óscar; Leo, Teresa J; Navarro-Arévalo, Emilio

    2014-01-01

    The possibility of implementing fuel cell technology in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) propulsion systems is considered. Potential advantages of the Proton Exchange Membrane or Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEMFC) and Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFC), their fuels (hydrogen and methanol), and their storage systems are revised from technical and environmental standpoints. Some operating commercial applications are described. Main constraints for these kinds of fuel cells are analyzed in order to elucidate the viability of future developments. Since the low power density is the main problem of fuel cells, hybridization with electric batteries, necessary in most cases, is also explored.

  15. Fuel Cells: A Real Option for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Propulsion

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    The possibility of implementing fuel cell technology in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) propulsion systems is considered. Potential advantages of the Proton Exchange Membrane or Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEMFC) and Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFC), their fuels (hydrogen and methanol), and their storage systems are revised from technical and environmental standpoints. Some operating commercial applications are described. Main constraints for these kinds of fuel cells are analyzed in order to elucidate the viability of future developments. Since the low power density is the main problem of fuel cells, hybridization with electric batteries, necessary in most cases, is also explored. PMID:24600326

  16. Variable area fuel cell cooling

    DOEpatents

    Kothmann, Richard E.

    1982-01-01

    A fuel cell arrangement having cooling fluid flow passages which vary in surface area from the inlet to the outlet of the passages. A smaller surface area is provided at the passage inlet, which increases toward the passage outlet, so as to provide more uniform cooling of the entire fuel cell. The cooling passages can also be spaced from one another in an uneven fashion.

  17. Thin-Layer Fuel Cell for Teaching and Classroom Demonstrations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shirkhanzadeh, M.

    2009-01-01

    A thin-layer fuel cell is described that is simple and easy to set up and is particularly useful for teaching and classroom demonstrations. The cell is both an electrolyzer and a fuel cell and operates using a thin layer of electrolyte with a thickness of approximately 127 micrometers and a volume of approximately 40 microliters. As an…

  18. Integrated Fuel Cell/Coal Gasifier

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ferrall, J. F.

    1985-01-01

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

  19. Solid acids as fuel cell electrolytes.

    PubMed

    Haile, S M; Boysen, D A; Chisholm, C R; Merle, R B

    2001-04-19

    Fuel cells are attractive alternatives to combustion engines for electrical power generation because of their very high efficiencies and low pollution levels. Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells are generally considered to be the most viable approach for mobile applications. However, these membranes require humid operating conditions, which limit the temperature of operation to less than 100 degrees C; they are also permeable to methanol and hydrogen, which lowers fuel efficiency. Solid, inorganic, acid compounds (or simply, solid acids) such as CsHSO4 and Rb3H(SeO4)2 have been widely studied because of their high proton conductivities and phase-transition behaviour. For fuel-cell applications they offer the advantages of anhydrous proton transport and high-temperature stability (up to 250 degrees C). Until now, however, solid acids have not been considered viable fuel-cell electrolyte alternatives owing to their solubility in water and extreme ductility at raised temperatures (above approximately 125 degrees C). Here we show that a cell made of a CsHSO4 electrolyte membrane (about 1.5 mm thick) operating at 150-160 degrees C in a H2/O2 configuration exhibits promising electrochemical performances: open circuit voltages of 1.11 V and current densities of 44 mA cm-2 at short circuit. Moreover, the solid-acid properties were not affected by exposure to humid atmospheres. Although these initial results show promise for applications, the use of solid acids in fuel cells will require the development of fabrication techniques to reduce electrolyte thickness, and an assessment of possible sulphur reduction following prolonged exposure to hydrogen.

  20. Enhanced performance of bio-cathode microbial fuel cells with the applying of transient-state operation modes.

    PubMed

    Liang, Peng; Yuan, Lulu; Wu, Wenlong; Yang, Xufei; Huang, Xia

    2013-11-01

    To enhance the MFC's denitrification performance, this study investigated three different external circuits/operation modes of the MFC: alternative charging and discharging (ACD), intermittent charging (IC) and constant external resistance (R). Results showed that the ACD and IC modes offered larger output currents as well as higher nitrate and COD removal rates than the steady R mode. The best performance was achieved with the ACD mode. At the initial [COD]=~1200 mg/L and [NO3(-)]=~140 mg/L, the ACD mode delivered an average power density of 0.91 W/m(3), an average nitrate removal rate of 15.5mg/(Ld) and an average COD removal rate of 137 mg/(Ld), 268%, 207% and 168% respectively greater than those by the R mode. The enhancement by the ACD and IC modes was more pronounced at lower nitrate and COD concentrations and/or with the lack of stirring of electrolyte solutions.

  1. 14 CFR 23.961 - Fuel system hot weather operation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Fuel system hot weather operation. 23.961 Section 23.961 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION... Fuel System § 23.961 Fuel system hot weather operation. Each fuel system must be free from vapor...

  2. 14 CFR 23.961 - Fuel system hot weather operation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Fuel system hot weather operation. 23.961 Section 23.961 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION... Fuel System § 23.961 Fuel system hot weather operation. Each fuel system must be free from vapor...

  3. 14 CFR 23.961 - Fuel system hot weather operation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Fuel system hot weather operation. 23.961 Section 23.961 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION... Fuel System § 23.961 Fuel system hot weather operation. Each fuel system must be free from vapor...

  4. 14 CFR 23.961 - Fuel system hot weather operation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Fuel system hot weather operation. 23.961 Section 23.961 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION... Fuel System § 23.961 Fuel system hot weather operation. Each fuel system must be free from vapor...

  5. 14 CFR 23.961 - Fuel system hot weather operation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Fuel system hot weather operation. 23.961 Section 23.961 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION... Fuel System § 23.961 Fuel system hot weather operation. Each fuel system must be free from vapor...

  6. Fuel Cells for Backup Power in Telecommunications Facilities (Fact Sheet)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2009-04-01

    Telecommunications providers rely on backup power to maintain a constant power supply, to prevent power outages, and to ensure the operability of cell towers, equipment, and networks. The backup power supply that best meets these objectives is fuel cell technology.

  7. Catalytic autothermal reforming of hydrocarbon fuels for fuel cells.

    SciTech Connect

    Krumpelt, M.; Krause, T.; Kopasz, J.; Carter, D.; Ahmed, S.

    2002-01-11

    Fuel cell development has seen remarkable progress in the past decade because of an increasing need to improve energy efficiency as well as to address concerns about the environmental consequences of using fossil fuel for producing electricity and for propulsion of vehicles [1]. The lack of an infrastructure for producing and distributing H{sub 2} has led to a research effort to develop on-board fuel processing technology for reforming hydrocarbon fuels to generate H{sub 2} [2]. The primary focus is on reforming gasoline, because a production and distribution infrastructure for gasoline already exists to supply internal combustion engines [3]. Existing reforming technology for the production of H{sub 2} from hydrocarbon feedstocks used in large-scale manufacturing processes, such as ammonia synthesis, is cost prohibitive when scaled down to the size of the fuel processor required for transportation applications (50-80 kWe) nor is it designed to meet the varying power demands and frequent shutoffs and restarts that will be experienced during normal drive cycles. To meet the performance targets required of a fuel processor for transportation applications will require new reforming reactor technology developed to meet the volume, weight, cost, and operational characteristics for transportation applications and the development of new reforming catalysts that exhibit a higher activity and better thermal and mechanical stability than reforming catalysts currently used in the production of H{sub 2} for large-scale manufacturing processes.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1978-01-01

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

  9. Diesel fueled ship propulsion fuel cell demonstration project

    SciTech Connect

    Kumm, W.H.

    1996-12-31

    The paper describes the work underway to adapt a former US Navy diesel electric drive ship as a 2.4 Megawatt fuel cell powered, US Coast Guard operated, demonstrator. The Project will design the new configuration, and then remove the four 600 kW diesel electric generators and auxiliaries. It will design, build and install fourteen or more nominal 180 kW diesel fueled molten carbonate internal reforming direct fuel cells (DFCs). The USCG cutter VINDICATOR has been chosen. The adaptation will be carried out at the USCG shipyard at Curtis Bay, MD. A multi-agency (state and federal) cooperative project is now underway. The USCG prime contractor, AEL, is performing the work under a Phase III Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award. This follows their successful completion of Phases I and II under contract to the US Naval Sea Systems (NAVSEA) from 1989 through 1993 which successfully demonstrated the feasibility of diesel fueled DFCs. The demonstrated marine propulsion of a USCG cutter will lead to commercial, naval ship and submarine applications as well as on-land applications such as diesel fueled locomotives.

  10. The Fuel Cell Powered Club Car Carryall

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eichenberg, Dennis J.

    2005-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center initiated development of the Fuel Cell Powered Club Car Carryall as a way to reduce pollution in industrial settings, reduce fossil fuel consumption and reduce operating costs for transportation systems. The Club Car Carryall provides an inexpensive approach to advance the state of the art in electric vehicle technology in a practical application. The project transfers space technology to terrestrial use via non-traditional partners, and provides power system data valuable for future aeronautics and space applications. The work was done under the Hybrid Power Management (HPM) Program. The Carryall is a state of the art, dedicated, electric utility vehicle. Hydrogen powered proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells are the primary power source. Ultracapacitors were used for energy storage as long life, maintenance free operation, and excellent low temperature performance is essential. Metal hydride hydrogen storage was used to store hydrogen in a safe and efficient low-pressure solid form. The report concludes that the Fuel Cell Powered Club Car Carryall can provide excellent performance, and that the implementation of fuel cells in conjunction with ultracapacitors in the power system can provide significant reliability and performance improvements.

  11. Evaluation of a 2-MW carbonate fuel cell power plant fueled by landfill gas. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Meade, D.B.; Selander, S.; Rastler, D.M.

    1991-11-01

    This project assessed the technical and economic feasibility of operating an atmospheric pressure 2 MW carbonate fuel cell power plant on landfill gas. A commercially available low pressure gas pre-treatment system was identified for this application. System simulation studies were performed to identify component bottle-necks which would limit power production, or preclude system operation. An economic assessment was conducted to assess the competitiveness of the fuel cell system. The analysis confirmed the technical feasibility of operating Energy Research Corporation`s 2MW fuel cell system on landfill gas. Resulting net electrical efficiency was 50% based on the fuel`s lower heating value. Plant capital cost increased by {approximately}$180/kw; this was primarily for gas cleanup. Bus bar power costs for market entry and commercial fuel cell plants were found to be competitive with power produced from baseload coal plants in Minnesota.

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

    DOEpatents

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

    2009-11-17

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

  13. Fuel cell with electrolyte feed system

    DOEpatents

    Feigenbaum, Haim

    1984-01-01

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

  14. 2009 Fuel Cell Market Report, November 2010

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2010-11-01

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

  15. Advanced technology lightweight fuel cell program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, R. E.

    1981-01-01

    The potential of the alkaline electrolyte fuel cell as the power source in a multi hundred kilowatt orbital energy storage system was studied. The total system weight of an electrolysis cell energy storage system was determined. The tests demonstrated: (1) the performance stability of a platinum on carbon anode catalyst configuration after 5000 hours of testing has no loss in performance; (2) capability of the alkaline fuel cell to operate to a cyclical load profile; (3) suitability of a lightweight graphite electrolyte reservoir plate for use in the alkaline fuel cell; (4) long life potential of a hybrid polysulfone cell edge frame construction; and (5) long term stability of a fiber reinforced potassium titanate matrix structure. The power section tested operates with passive water removal eliminating the requirement for a dynamic hydrogen pump water separator thereby allowing a powerplant design with reduced weight, lower parasite power, and a potential for high reliability and extended endurance. It is concluded that two perovskites are unsuitable for use as a catalyst or as a catalyst support at the cathode of an alkaline fuel cell.

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

    SciTech Connect

    FuelCell Energy

    2005-05-16

    With about 50% of power generation in the United States derived from coal and projections indicating that coal will continue to be the primary fuel for power generation in the next two decades, the Department of Energy (DOE) Clean Coal Technology Demonstration Program (CCTDP) has been conducted since 1985 to develop innovative, environmentally friendly processes for the world energy market place. The 2 MW Fuel Cell Demonstration was part of the Kentucky Pioneer Energy (KPE) Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) project selected by DOE under Round Five of the Clean Coal Technology Demonstration Program. The participant in the CCTDP V Project was Kentucky Pioneer Energy for the IGCC plant. FuelCell Energy, Inc. (FCE), under subcontract to KPE, was responsible for the design, construction and operation of the 2 MW fuel cell power plant. Duke Fluor Daniel provided engineering design and procurement support for the balance-of-plant skids. Colt Engineering Corporation provided engineering design, fabrication and procurement of the syngas processing skids. Jacobs Applied Technology provided the fabrication of the fuel cell module vessels. Wabash River Energy Ltd (WREL) provided the test site. The 2 MW fuel cell power plant utilizes FuelCell Energy's Direct Fuel Cell (DFC) technology, which is based on the internally reforming carbonate fuel cell. This plant is capable of operating on coal-derived syngas as well as natural gas. Prior testing (1992) of a subscale 20 kW carbonate fuel cell stack at the Louisiana Gasification Technology Inc. (LGTI) site using the Dow/Destec gasification plant indicated that operation on coal derived gas provided normal performance and stable operation. Duke Fluor Daniel and FuelCell Energy developed a commercial plant design for the 2 MW fuel cell. The plant was designed to be modular, factory assembled and truck shippable to the site. Five balance-of-plant skids incorporating fuel processing, anode gas oxidation, heat recovery, water

  17. 14 CFR 31.45 - Fuel cells.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

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

  18. 14 CFR 31.45 - Fuel cells.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

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

  19. 14 CFR 31.45 - Fuel cells.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

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

  20. 14 CFR 31.45 - Fuel cells.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

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

  1. 14 CFR 31.45 - Fuel cells.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Dual fuel diesel engine operation using LPG

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mirica, I.; Pana, C.; Negurescu, N.; Cernat, Al; Nutu, N. C.

    2016-08-01

    Diesel engine fuelling with LPG represents a good solution to reduce the pollutant emissions and to improve its energetic performances. The high autoignition endurance of LPG requires specialized fuelling methods. From all possible LPG fuelling methods the authors chose the diesel-gas method because of the following reasons: is easy to be implemented even at already in use engines; the engine does not need important modifications; the LPG-air mixture has a high homogeneity with favorable influences over the combustion efficiency and over the level of the pollutant emissions, especially on the nitrogen oxides emissions. This paper presents results of the theoretical and experimental investigations on operation of a LPG fuelled heavy duty diesel engine at two operating regimens, 40% and 55%. For 55% engine load is also presented the exhaust gas recirculation influence on the pollutant emission level. Was determined the influence of the diesel fuel with LPG substitution ratio on the combustion parameters (rate of heat released, combustion duration, maximum pressure, maximum pressure rise rate), on the energetic parameters (indicate mean effective pressure, effective efficiency, energetic specific fuel consumption) and on the pollutant emissions level. Therefore with increasing substitute ratio of the diesel fuel with LPG are obtained the following results: the increase of the engine efficiency, the decrease of the specific energetic consumption, the increase of the maximum pressure and of the maximum pressure rise rate (considered as criteria to establish the optimum substitute ratio), the accentuated reduction of the nitrogen oxides emissions level.

  3. Tubular solid oxide fuel cell development program

    SciTech Connect

    1995-08-01

    This paper presents an overview of the Westinghouse Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) development activities and current program status. The Westinghouse goal is to develop a cost effective cell that can operate for 50,000 to 100,000 hours. Progress toward this goal will be discussed and test results presented for multiple single cell tests which have now successfully exceeded 56,000 hours of continuous power operation at temperature. Results of development efforts to reduce cost and increase power output of tubular SOFCs are described.

  4. Chitosan biopolymer for fuel cell applications.

    PubMed

    Ma, Jia; Sahai, Yogeshwar

    2013-02-15

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

  5. Effects of porous properties on cold-start behavior of polymer electrolyte fuel cells from sub-zero to normal operating temperatures.

    PubMed

    Gwak, Geonhui; Ko, Johan; Ju, Hyunchul

    2014-01-01

    In this investigation, a parametric study was performed using the transient cold-start model presented in our previous paper, in which the ice melting process and additional constitutive relations were newly included for transient cold-start simulations of polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) from a sub-zero temperature (-20°C) to a normal operating temperature (80°C). The focus is placed on exploring the transient cold-start behavior of a PEFC for different porous properties of the catalyst layer (CL) and gas diffusion layer (GDL). This work elucidates the detailed effects of these properties on key cold-start phenomena such as ice freezing/melting and membrane hydration/dehydration processes. In particular, the simulation results highlight that designing a cathode CL with a high ionomer fraction helps to retard the rate of ice growth whereas a high ionomer fraction in the anode CL is not effective to mitigate the anode dry-out and membrane dehydration issues during PEFC cold-start. PMID:25712425

  6. Enhancing Signal Output and Avoiding BOD/Toxicity Combined Shock Interference by Operating a Microbial Fuel Cell Sensor with an Optimized Background Concentration of Organic Matter

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Yong; Liang, Peng; Liu, Panpan; Bian, Yanhong; Miao, Bo; Sun, Xueliang; Zhang, Helan; Huang, Xia

    2016-01-01

    In the monitoring of pollutants in an aquatic environment, it is important to preserve water quality safety. Among the available analysis methods, the microbial fuel cell (MFC) sensor has recently been used as a sustainable and on-line electrochemical microbial biosensor for biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and toxicity, respectively. However, the effect of the background organic matter concentration on toxicity monitoring when using an MFC sensor is not clear and there is no effective strategy available to avoid the signal interference by the combined shock of BOD and toxicity. Thus, the signal interference by the combined shock of BOD and toxicity was systematically studied in this experiment. The background organic matter concentration was optimized in this study and it should be fixed at a high level of oversaturation for maximizing the signal output when the current change (ΔI) is selected to correlate with the concentration of a toxic agent. When the inhibition ratio (IR) is selected, on the other hand, it should be fixed as low as possible near the detection limit for maximizing the signal output. At least two MFC sensors operated with high and low organic matter concentrations and a response chart generated from pre-experiment data were both required to make qualitative distinctions of the four types of combined shock caused by a sudden change in BOD and toxicity. PMID:27563887

  7. Enhancing Signal Output and Avoiding BOD/Toxicity Combined Shock Interference by Operating a Microbial Fuel Cell Sensor with an Optimized Background Concentration of Organic Matter.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Yong; Liang, Peng; Liu, Panpan; Bian, Yanhong; Miao, Bo; Sun, Xueliang; Zhang, Helan; Huang, Xia

    2016-01-01

    In the monitoring of pollutants in an aquatic environment, it is important to preserve water quality safety. Among the available analysis methods, the microbial fuel cell (MFC) sensor has recently been used as a sustainable and on-line electrochemical microbial biosensor for biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and toxicity, respectively. However, the effect of the background organic matter concentration on toxicity monitoring when using an MFC sensor is not clear and there is no effective strategy available to avoid the signal interference by the combined shock of BOD and toxicity. Thus, the signal interference by the combined shock of BOD and toxicity was systematically studied in this experiment. The background organic matter concentration was optimized in this study and it should be fixed at a high level of oversaturation for maximizing the signal output when the current change (ΔI) is selected to correlate with the concentration of a toxic agent. When the inhibition ratio (IR) is selected, on the other hand, it should be fixed as low as possible near the detection limit for maximizing the signal output. At least two MFC sensors operated with high and low organic matter concentrations and a response chart generated from pre-experiment data were both required to make qualitative distinctions of the four types of combined shock caused by a sudden change in BOD and toxicity.

  8. Enhancing Signal Output and Avoiding BOD/Toxicity Combined Shock Interference by Operating a Microbial Fuel Cell Sensor with an Optimized Background Concentration of Organic Matter.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Yong; Liang, Peng; Liu, Panpan; Bian, Yanhong; Miao, Bo; Sun, Xueliang; Zhang, Helan; Huang, Xia

    2016-01-01

    In the monitoring of pollutants in an aquatic environment, it is important to preserve water quality safety. Among the available analysis methods, the microbial fuel cell (MFC) sensor has recently been used as a sustainable and on-line electrochemical microbial biosensor for biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and toxicity, respectively. However, the effect of the background organic matter concentration on toxicity monitoring when using an MFC sensor is not clear and there is no effective strategy available to avoid the signal interference by the combined shock of BOD and toxicity. Thus, the signal interference by the combined shock of BOD and toxicity was systematically studied in this experiment. The background organic matter concentration was optimized in this study and it should be fixed at a high level of oversaturation for maximizing the signal output when the current change (ΔI) is selected to correlate with the concentration of a toxic agent. When the inhibition ratio (IR) is selected, on the other hand, it should be fixed as low as possible near the detection limit for maximizing the signal output. At least two MFC sensors operated with high and low organic matter concentrations and a response chart generated from pre-experiment data were both required to make qualitative distinctions of the four types of combined shock caused by a sudden change in BOD and toxicity. PMID:27563887

  9. Effects of porous properties on cold-start behavior of polymer electrolyte fuel cells from sub-zero to normal operating temperatures

    PubMed Central

    Gwak, Geonhui; Ko, Johan; Ju, Hyunchul

    2014-01-01

    In this investigation, a parametric study was performed using the transient cold-start model presented in our previous paper, in which the ice melting process and additional constitutive relations were newly included for transient cold-start simulations of polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) from a sub-zero temperature (−20°C) to a normal operating temperature (80°C). The focus is placed on exploring the transient cold-start behavior of a PEFC for different porous properties of the catalyst layer (CL) and gas diffusion layer (GDL). This work elucidates the detailed effects of these properties on key cold-start phenomena such as ice freezing/melting and membrane hydration/dehydration processes. In particular, the simulation results highlight that designing a cathode CL with a high ionomer fraction helps to retard the rate of ice growth whereas a high ionomer fraction in the anode CL is not effective to mitigate the anode dry-out and membrane dehydration issues during PEFC cold-start. PMID:25712425

  10. Aerosol feed direct methanol fuel cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  11. 46 CFR 108.487 - Helicopter deck fueling operations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 4 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Helicopter deck fueling operations. 108.487 Section 108... DESIGN AND EQUIPMENT Fire Extinguishing Systems Fire Protection for Helicopter Facilities § 108.487 Helicopter deck fueling operations. (a) Each helicopter landing deck on which fueling operations...

  12. 46 CFR 108.487 - Helicopter deck fueling operations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 4 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Helicopter deck fueling operations. 108.487 Section 108... DESIGN AND EQUIPMENT Fire Extinguishing Systems Fire Protection for Helicopter Facilities § 108.487 Helicopter deck fueling operations. (a) Each helicopter landing deck on which fueling operations...

  13. 46 CFR 108.487 - Helicopter deck fueling operations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 4 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Helicopter deck fueling operations. 108.487 Section 108... DESIGN AND EQUIPMENT Fire Extinguishing Systems Fire Protection for Helicopter Facilities § 108.487 Helicopter deck fueling operations. (a) Each helicopter landing deck on which fueling operations...

  14. 46 CFR 108.487 - Helicopter deck fueling operations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 4 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Helicopter deck fueling operations. 108.487 Section 108... DESIGN AND EQUIPMENT Fire Extinguishing Systems Fire Protection for Helicopter Facilities § 108.487 Helicopter deck fueling operations. (a) Each helicopter landing deck on which fueling operations...

  15. 46 CFR 108.487 - Helicopter deck fueling operations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Helicopter deck fueling operations. 108.487 Section 108... DESIGN AND EQUIPMENT Fire Extinguishing Systems Fire Protection for Helicopter Facilities § 108.487 Helicopter deck fueling operations. (a) Each helicopter landing deck on which fueling operations...

  16. 1990 fuel cell seminar: Program and abstracts

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1990-12-31

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

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

    PubMed

    Feng, Leiyu; Chen, Yinguang; Chen, Lang

    2011-12-27

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

  18. Progress in carbonate fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Krumpelt, M.; Roche, M.F.

    1995-08-01

    Our objective is to increase both the life and power of the molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC) by developing improved components and designs. Current activities are as follows: (1) Development of lithium ferrate (LiFeO{sub 2}) and lithium cobaltate (LiCoO{sub 2}) cathodes for extended MCFC life, particularly in pressurized operation, where the present cathode, NiO, provides insufficient life; (2) Development of distributed-manifold MCFC designs for increased volumetric power density and decreased temperature gradients (and, therefore, increased life); (3) Development of components and designs appropriate for high-power-density operation (>2 kW/m{sup 2} and >100 kW/m{sup 3} in an integrated MCFC system); and (4) Studies of pitting corrosion of the stainless-steel interconnects and aluminized seals now being employed in the MCFC (alternative components will also be studied). Each of these activities has the potential to reduce the MCFC system cost significantly. Progress in each activity will be presented during the poster session.

  19. WORKING PARK-FUEL CELL COMBINED HEAT AND POWER SYSTEM

    SciTech Connect

    Allan Jones

    2003-09-01

    This report covers the aims and objectives of the project which was to design, install and operate a fuel cell combined heat and power (CHP) system in Woking Park, the first fuel cell CHP system in the United Kingdom. The report also covers the benefits that were expected to accrue from the work in an understanding of the full technology procurement process (including planning, design, installation, operation and maintenance), the economic and environmental performance in comparison with both conventional UK fuel supply and conventional CHP and the commercial viability of fuel cell CHP energy supply in the new deregulated energy markets.

  20. Limitations of Commercializing Fuel Cell Technologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nordin, Normayati

    2010-06-01

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