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Sample records for proton-exchange membrane fuel

  1. Proton Exchange Membranes for Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Devanathan, Ramaswami

    2010-11-01

    Proton exchange membrane, also known as polymer electrolyte membrane, fuel cells (PEMFCs) offer the promise of efficient conversion of chemical energy of fuel, such as hydrogen or methanol, into electricity with minimal pollution. Their widespread use to power zero-emission automobiles as part of a hydrogen economy can contribute to enhanced energy security and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. However, the commercial viability of PEMFC technology is hindered by high cost associated with the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) and poor membrane durability under prolonged operation at elevated temperature. Membranes for automotive fuel cell applications need to perform well over a period comparable to the life of an automotive engine and under heavy load cycling including start-stop cycling under sub-freezing conditions. The combination of elevated temperature, changes in humidity levels, physical stresses and harsh chemical environment contribute to membrane degradation. Perfluorinated sulfonic acid (PFSA)-based membranes, such as Nafion®, have been the mainstay of PEMFC technology. Their limitations, in terms of cost and poor conductivity at low hydration, have led to continuing research into membranes that have good proton conductivity at elevated temperatures above 120 °C and under low humidity conditions. Such membranes have the potential to avoid catalyst poisoning, simplify fuel cell design and reduce the cost of fuel cells. Hydrocarbon-based membranes are being developed as alternatives to PFSA membranes, but concerns about chemical and mechanical stability and durability remain. Novel anhydrous membranes based on polymer gels infused with protic ionic liquids have also been recently proposed, but considerable fundamental research is needed to understand proton transport in novel membranes and evaluate durability under fuel cell operating conditions. In order to advance this promising technology, it is essential to rationally design the next generation

  2. Electronic circuit model for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Dachuan; Yuvarajan, S.

    The proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell is being investigated as an alternate power source for various applications like transportation and emergency power supplies. The paper presents a novel circuit model for a PEM fuel cell that can be used to design and analyze fuel cell power systems. The PSPICE-based model uses bipolar junction transistors (BJTs) and LC elements available in the PSPICE library with some modification. The model includes the phenomena like activation polarization, ohmic polarization, and mass transport effect present in a PEM fuel cell. The static and dynamic characteristics obtained through simulation are compared with experimental results obtained on a commercial fuel cell module.

  3. Proton exchange membrane fuel cell technology for transportation applications

    SciTech Connect

    Swathirajan, S.

    1996-04-01

    Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells are extremely promising as future power plants in the transportation sector to achieve an increase in energy efficiency and eliminate environmental pollution due to vehicles. GM is currently involved in a multiphase program with the US Department of Energy for developing a proof-of-concept hybrid vehicle based on a PEM fuel cell power plant and a methanol fuel processor. Other participants in the program are Los Alamos National Labs, Dow Chemical Co., Ballard Power Systems and DuPont Co., In the just completed phase 1 of the program, a 10 kW PEM fuel cell power plant was built and tested to demonstrate the feasibility of integrating a methanol fuel processor with a PEM fuel cell stack. However, the fuel cell power plant must overcome stiff technical and economic challenges before it can be commercialized for light duty vehicle applications. Progress achieved in phase I on the use of monolithic catalyst reactors in the fuel processor, managing CO impurity in the fuel cell stack, low-cost electrode-membrane assembles, and on the integration of the fuel processor with a Ballard PEM fuel cell stack will be presented.

  4. Percolation in a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Catalyst Layer

    SciTech Connect

    Stacy, Stephen; Allen, Jeffrey

    2012-07-01

    Water management in the catalyst layers of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) is confronted by two issues, flooding and dry out, both of which result in improper functioning of the fuel cell and lead to poor performance and degradation. At the present time, the data that has been reported about water percolation and wettability within a fuel cell catalyst layer is limited. A method and apparatus for measuring the percolation pressure in the catalyst layer has been developed based upon an experimental apparatus used to test water percolation in porous transport layers (PTL). The experimental setup uses a pseudo Hele-Shaw type testing where samples are compressed and a fluid is injected into the sample. Testing the samples gives percolation pressure plots which show trends in increasing percolation pressure with an increase in flow rate. A decrease in pressure was seen as percolation occurred in one sample, however the pressure only had a rising effect in the other sample.

  5. Physical Chemistry Research Toward Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Advancement.

    PubMed

    Swider-Lyons, Karen E; Campbell, Stephen A

    2013-02-07

    Hydrogen fuel cells, the most common type of which are proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), are on a rapid path to commercialization. We credit physical chemistry research in oxygen reduction electrocatalysis and theory with significant breakthroughs, enabling more cost-effective fuel cells. However, most of the physical chemistry has been restricted to studies of platinum and related alloys. More work is needed to better understand electrocatalysts generally in terms of properties and characterization. While the advent of such highly active catalysts will enable smaller, less expensive, and more powerful stacks, they will require better understanding and a complete restructuring of the diffusion media in PEMFCs to facilitate faster transport of the reactants (O2) and products (H2O). Even Ohmic losses between materials become more important at high power. Such lessons from PEMFC research are relevant to other electrochemical conversion systems, including Li-air batteries and flow batteries.

  6. A Novel Unitized Regenerative Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murphy, O. J.; Cisar, A. J.; Gonzalez-Martin, A.; Salinas, C. E.; Simpson, S. F.

    1996-01-01

    A difficulty encountered in designing a unitized regenerative proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell lies in the incompatibility of electrode structures and electrocatalyst materials optimized for either of the two functions (fuel cell or electrolyzer) with the needs of the other function. This difficulty is compounded in previous regenerative fuel cell designs by the fact that water, which is needed for proton conduction in the PEM during both modes of operation, is the reactant supplied to the anode in the electrolyzer mode of operation and the product formed at the cathode in the fuel cell mode. Drawbacks associated with existing regenerative fuel cells have been addressed. In a first innovation, electrodes function either as oxidation electrodes (hydrogen ionization or oxygen evolution) or as reduction electrodes (oxygen reduction or hydrogen evolution) in the fuel cell and electrolyzer modes, respectively. Control of liquid water within the regenerative fuel cell has been brought about by a second innovation. A novel PEM has been developed with internal channels that permit the direct access of water along the length of the membrane. Lateral diffusion of water along the polymer chains of the PEM provides the water needed at electrode/PEM interfaces. Fabrication of the novel single cell unitized regenerative fuel cell and results obtained on testing it are presented.

  7. A novel unitized regenerative proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murphy, O. J.; Cisar, A. J.; Gonzalez-Martin, A.; Salinas, C. E.; Simpson, S. F.

    1995-01-01

    A difficulty encountered in designing a unitized regenerative proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell lies in the incompatibility of electrode structures and electrocatalyst materials optimized for either of the two functions (fuel cell or electrolyzer) with the needs of the other function. This difficulty is compounded in previous regenerative fuel cell designs by the fact that water, which is needed for proton conduction in the PEM during both modes of operation, is the reactant supplied to the anode in the electrolyzer mode of operation and the product formed at the cathode in the fuel cell mode. Drawbacks associated with existing regenerative fuel cells have been addressed in work performed at Lynntech. In a first innovation, electrodes function either as oxidation electrodes (hydrogen ionization or oxygen evolution) or as reduction electrodes (oxygen reduction or hydrogen evolution) in the fuel cell and electrolyzer modes, respectively. Control of liquid water within the regenerative fuel cell has been brought about by a second innovation. A novel PEM has been developed with internal channels that permit the direct access of water along the length of the membrane. Lateral diffusion of water along the polymer chains of the PEM provides the water needed at electrode/PEM interfaces. Fabrication of the novel unitized regenerative fuel cell and results obtained on testing it will be presented.

  8. Gold Nanoparticles-Enhanced Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Hongfei; Pan, Cheng; Liu, Ping; Zhu, Yimei; Adzic, Radoslav; Rafailovich, Miriam

    Proton exchange membrane fuel cells have drawn great attention and been taken as a promising alternated energy source. One of the reasons hamper the wider application of PEM fuel cell is the catalytic poison effect from the impurity of the gas flow. Haruta has predicted that gold nanoparticles that are platelet shaped and have direct contact with the metal oxide substrate to be the perfect catalysts of the CO oxidization, yet the synthesis method is difficult to apply in the Fuel Cell. In our approach, thiol-functionalized gold nanoparticles were synthesized through two-phase method developed by Brust et al. We deposit these Au particles with stepped surface directly onto the Nafion membrane in the PEM fuel cell by Langmuir-Blodgett method, resulting in over 50% enhancement of the efficiency of the fuel cell. DFT calculations were conducted to understand the theory of this kind of enhancement. The results indicated that only when the particles were in direct surface contact with the membrane, where AuNPs attached at the end of the Nafion side chains, it could reduce the energy barrier for the CO oxidation that could happen at T<300K.

  9. DEVELOPMENT OF NOVEL ELECTROCATALYST FOR PROTON EXCHANGE MEMBRANE FUEL CELLS

    SciTech Connect

    Shamsuddin Ilias

    2000-01-19

    Proton-exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is one of the strongest contenders as a power source for space & electric vehicle applications. Platinum catalyst is used for both fuel and air electrodes in PEMFCs. CO contamination of H{sub 2} greatly affects electrocatalysts used at the anode of polymer electrolyte fuel cells and decrease the cell performance. Pt-Ru catalyst had been recognized to alleviate this problem by showing better tolerance to CO poisoning than only Pt catalyst. This irreversible poisoning of the anode can be happened even in concentrations as little as a few ppm, and therefore, require expensive scrubbing to reduce the contaminant concentration to acceptable level. In order to commercialize this environmentally sound source of energy/power system, development of suitable impurity tolerant catalyst is needed. This project will develop novel electrocatalysts for the PEMFCs and demonstrate the feasibility of a H{sub 2}/O{sub 2} fuel cell base on these materials. This project, if successful, will reduce the costs due to reduce Pt catalyst loading or use non-precious metals. It will increase the PEM fuel cell performance by increasing catalyst tolerance to methanol oxidation intermediate products (CO) and fuel impurities (H{sub 2}S), which will generate substantial interest for commercialization of the PEM fuel cell technology.

  10. DEVELOPMENT OF NOVEL ELECTROCATALYSTS FOR PROTON EXCHANGE MEMBRANE FUEL CELLS

    SciTech Connect

    Shamsuddin Ilias

    2002-06-11

    The Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) is one of the most promising power sources for stand-alone utility and electric vehicle applications. Platinum (Pt) Catalyst is used for both fuel and air electrodes in PEMFCs. However, carbon monoxide (CO) contamination of H{sub 2} greatly affects electro catalysts used at the anode of PEMFCs and decreases cell performance. The irreversible poisoning of the anode can occur even in CO concentrations as low as few parts per million (ppm). In this work, we have synthesized several novel elctrocatalysts (Pt/C, Pt/Ru/C, Pt/Mo/C, Pt/Ir and Pt/Ru/Mo) for PEMFCs. These catalysts have been tested for CO tolerance in the H{sub 2}/air fuel cell, using CO concentrations in the H{sub 2} fuel that varies from 10 to 100 ppm. The performance of the electrodes was evaluated by determining the cell potential against current density. The effects of catalyst composition and electrode film preparation method on the performance of PEM fuel cell were also studied. It was found that at 70 C and 3.5 atm pressure at the cathode, Pt-alloy catalyst (10 wt% Pt/Ru/C, 20 wt% Pt/Mo/C) were more CO tolerant than the 20 wt% Pt/C catalyst alone. It was also observed that spraying method was better than the brushing technique for the preparation of electrode film.

  11. Ionic Liquids and New Proton Exchange Membranes for Fuel Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Belieres, Jean-Philippe

    2004-01-01

    There is currently a great surge of activity in fuel cell research as laboratories across the world seek to take advantage of the high energy capacity provided by &el cells relative to those of other portable electrochemical power systems. Much of this activity is aimed at high temperature fie1 cells, and a vital component of such &el cells must be the availability of a high temperature stable proton-permeable membrane. NASA Glenn Research Center is greatly involved in developing this technology. Other approaches to the high temperature fuel cell involve the use of single- component or almost-single-component electrolytes that provide a path for protons through the cell. A heavily researched case is the phosphoric acid fuel cell, in which the electrolyte is almost pure phosphoric acid and the cathode reaction produces water directly. The phosphoric acid fie1 cell delivers an open circuit voltage of 0.9 V falling to about 0.7 V under operating conditions at 170 C. The proton transport mechanism is mainly vehicular in character according to the viscosity/conductance relation. Here we describe some Proton Transfer Ionic Liquids (PTILs) with low vapor pressure and high temperature stability that have conductivities of unprecedented magnitude for non-aqueous systems. The first requirement of an ionic liquid is that, contrary to experience with most liquids consisting of ions, it must have a melting point that is not much above room temperature. The limit commonly suggested is 100 C. PTILs constitute an interesting class of non-corrosive proton-exchange electrolyte, which can serve well in high temperature (T = 100 - 250 C) fuel cell applications. We will present cell performance data showing that the open circuit voltage output, and the performance of a simple H2(g)Pt/PTIL/Pt/O2(g) fuel cell may be superior to those of the equivalent phosphoric acid electrolyte fuel cell both at ambient temperature and temperatures up to and above 200 C. My work at NASA Glenn Research

  12. Fault tolerance control for proton exchange membrane fuel cell systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Xiaojuan; Zhou, Boyang

    2016-08-01

    Fault diagnosis and controller design are two important aspects to improve proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) system durability. However, the two tasks are often separately performed. For example, many pressure and voltage controllers have been successfully built. However, these controllers are designed based on the normal operation of PEMFC. When PEMFC faces problems such as flooding or membrane drying, a controller with a specific design must be used. This paper proposes a unique scheme that simultaneously performs fault diagnosis and tolerance control for the PEMFC system. The proposed control strategy consists of a fault diagnosis, a reconfiguration mechanism and adjustable controllers. Using a back-propagation neural network, a model-based fault detection method is employed to detect the PEMFC current fault type (flooding, membrane drying or normal). According to the diagnosis results, the reconfiguration mechanism determines which backup controllers to be selected. Three nonlinear controllers based on feedback linearization approaches are respectively built to adjust the voltage and pressure difference in the case of normal, membrane drying and flooding conditions. The simulation results illustrate that the proposed fault tolerance control strategy can track the voltage and keep the pressure difference at desired levels in faulty conditions.

  13. DEVELOPMENT OF NOVEL ELECTROCATALYSTS FOR PROTON EXCHANGE MEMBRANE FUEL CELLS

    SciTech Connect

    Shamsuddin Ilias

    2003-04-24

    Fuel cells are electrochemical devices that convert the available chemical free energy directly into electrical energy, without going through heat exchange process. Of all different types of fuel cells, the Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) is one of the most promising power sources for stand-alone utility and electric vehicle applications. Platinum (Pt) Catalyst is used for both fuel and air electrodes in PEMFCs. However, carbon monoxide (CO) contamination of H{sub 2} greatly affects electro catalysts used at the anode of PEMFCs and decreases cell performance. The irreversible poisoning of the anode can occur even in CO concentrations as low as few parts per million (ppm). In this work, we have synthesized several novel elctrocatalysts (Pt/C, Pt/Ru/C, Pt/Mo/C, Pt/Ir and Pt/Ru/Mo) for PEMFCs. These catalysts have been tested for CO tolerance in the H{sub 2}/air fuel cell, using CO concentrations in the H{sub 2} fuel that varies from 10 to 100 ppm. The performance of the electrodes was evaluated by determining the cell potential against current density. The effects of catalyst composition and electrode film preparation method on the performance of PEM fuel cell were also studied. It was found that at 70 C and 3.5 atm pressure at the cathode, Pt-alloy catalyst (10 wt% Pt/Ru/C, 20 wt% Pt/Mo/C) were more CO tolerant than the 20 wt% Pt/C catalyst alone. It was also observed that spraying method was better than the brushing technique for the preparation of electrode film.

  14. DEVELOPMENT OF NOVEL ELECTROCATALYSTS FOR PROTON EXCHANGE MEMBRANE FUEL CELLS

    SciTech Connect

    Shamsuddin Ilias

    2001-07-06

    Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) is one of the most promising power sources for space and electric vehicle applications. Platinum (Pt) catalyst is used for both fuel and air electrodes in PEMFCs. The carbon monoxide (CO) contamination of H{sub 2} greatly affects electrocatalysts used at the anode of PEMFCs and decrease the cell performance. This irreversible poisoning of the anode can happen even in CO concentrations as low as few ppm, and therefore, require expensive scrubbing of the H{sub 2}-fuel to reduce the contaminant concentration to acceptable level. In order to commercialize this environmentally sound source of energy/power system, development of suitable CO-tolerant catalyst is needed. In this work, we have synthesized several novel electrocatalysts (Pt/C, Pt/Ru/C Pt/Mo/C, Pt/Ir and Pt/Ru/Mo) for PEMFCs. These catalysts have been tested for CO tolerance in the H{sub 2}/air fuel cell. The concentration of CO in the H{sub 2} fuel varied from 10 ppm to 100 ppm. The performance of the electrodes was evaluated by determining the cell potential against current density. The effect of temperature, catalyst compositions, and electrode film preparation methods on the performance of PEM fuel cell has also been studied. It was found that at 70 C and 3.5 atm pressure at the cathode, Pt-alloy catalysts (10 wt % Pt/Ru/C, 20 wt % Pt/Mo/C) were more CO-tolerant than 20 wt % Pt catalyst alone. It was also observed that spraying method is better for the preparation of electrode film than the brushing technique. Some of these results are summarized in this report.

  15. High power density proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murphy, Oliver J.; Hitchens, G. Duncan; Manko, David J.

    1993-01-01

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells use a perfluorosulfonic acid solid polymer film as an electrolyte which simplifies water and electrolyte management. Their thin electrolyte layers give efficient systems of low weight, and their materials of construction show extremely long laboratory lifetimes. Their high reliability and their suitability for use in a microgravity environment makes them particularly attractive as a substitute for batteries in satellites utilizing high-power, high energy-density electrochemical energy storage systems. In this investigation, the Dow experimental PEM (XUS-13204.10) and unsupported high platinum loading electrodes yielded very high power densities, of the order of 2.5 W cm(exp -2). A platinum black loading of 5 mg per cm(exp 2) was found to be optimum. On extending the three-dimensional reaction zone of fuel cell electrodes by impregnating solid polymer electrolyte into the electrode structures, Nafion was found to give better performance than the Dow experimental PEM. The depth of penetration of the solid polymer electrolyte into electrode structures was 50-70 percent of the thickness of the platinum-catalyzed active layer. However, the degree of platinum utilization was only 16.6 percent and the roughness factor of a typical electrode was 274.

  16. Spatial proton exchange membrane fuel cell performance under bromomethane poisoning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reshetenko, Tatyana V.; Artyushkova, Kateryna; St-Pierre, Jean

    2017-02-01

    The poisoning effects of 5 ppm CH3Br in the air on the spatial performance of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) were studied using a segmented cell system. The presence of CH3Br caused performance loss from 0.650 to 0.335 V at 1 A cm-2 accompanied by local current density redistribution. The observed behavior was explained by possible bromomethane hydrolysis with the formation of Br-. Bromide and bromomethane negatively affected the oxygen reduction efficiency over a wide range of potentials because of their adsorption on Pt, which was confirmed by XPS. Moreover, the PEMFC exposure to CH3Br led to a decrease in the anode and cathode electrochemical surface area (∼52-57%) due to the growth of Pt particles through agglomeration and Ostwald ripening. The PEMFC did not restore its performance after stopping bromomethane introduction to the air stream. However, the H2/N2 purge of the anode/cathode and CV scans almost completely recovered the cell performance. The observed final loss of ∼50 mV was due to an increased activation overpotential. PEMFC exposure to CH3Br should be limited to concentrations much less than 5 ppm due to serious performance loss and lack of self-recovery.

  17. Numerical modeling transport phenomena in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suh, DongMyung

    To study the coupled phenomena occurring in proton exchange membrane fuel cells, a two-phase, one-dimensional, non-isothermal model is developed in the chapter 1. The model includes water phase change, proton transport in the membrane and electro-osmotic effect. The thinnest, but most complex layer in the membrane electrode assembly, catalyst layer, is considered an interfacial boundary between the gas diffusion layer and the membrane. Mass and heat transfer and electro-chemical reaction through the catalyst layer are formulated into equations, which are applied to boundary conditions for the gas diffusion layer and the membrane. Detail accounts of the boundary equations and the numerical solving procedure used in this work are given. The polarization curve is calculated at different oxygen pressures and compared with the experimental results. When the operating condition is changed along the polarization curve, the change of physicochemical variables in the membrane electrode assembly is studied. In particular, the over-potential diagram presents the usage of the electrochemical energy at each layer of the membrane electrode assembly. Humidity in supplying gases is one of the most important factors to consider for improving the performance of PEMFE. Both high and low humidity conditions can result in a deteriorating cell performance. The effect of humidity on the cell performance is studied in the chapter 2. First, a numerical model based on computational fluid dynamics is developed. Second, the cell performances are simulated, when the relative humidity is changed from 0% to 100% in the anode and the cathode channel. The simulation results show how humidity in the reactant gases affects the water content distribution in the membrane, the over-potential at the catalyst layers and eventually the cell performance. In particular, the rapid enhancement in the cell performance caused by self-hydrating membrane is captured by the simulation. Fully humidifying either H2

  18. High temperature polymers for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Einsla, Brian Russel

    Novel proton exchange membranes (PEMs) were investigated that show potential for operating at higher temperatures in both direct methanol (DMFC) and H 2/air PEM fuel cells. The need for thermally stable polymers immediately suggests the possibility of heterocyclic polymers bearing appropriate ion conducting sites. Accordingly, monomers and random disulfonated poly(arylene ether) copolymers containing either naphthalimide, benzoxazole or benzimidazole moieties were synthesized via direct copolymerization. The ion exchange capacity (IEC) was varied by simply changing the ratio of disulfonated monomer to nonsulfonated monomer in the copolymerization step. Water uptake and proton conductivity of cast membranes increased with IEC. The water uptake of these heterocyclic copolymers was lower than that of comparable disulfonated poly(arylene ether) systems, which is a desirable improvement for PEMs. Membrane electrode assemblies were prepared and the initial fuel cell performance of the disulfonated polyimide and polybenzoxazole (PBO) copolymers was very promising at 80°C compared to the state-of-the-art PEM (NafionRTM); nevertheless these membranes became brittle under operating conditions. Several series of poly(arylene ether)s based on disodium-3,3'-disulfonate-4,4 '-dichlorodiphenylsulfone (S-DCDPS) and a benzimidazole-containing bisphenol were synthesized and afforded copolymers with enhanced stability. Selected properties of these membranes were compared to separately prepared miscible blends of disulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone) copolymers and polybenzimidazole (PBI). Complexation of the sulfonic acid groups with the PBI structure reduced water swelling and proton conductivity. The enhanced proton conductivity of NafionRTM membranes has been proposed to be due to the aggregation of the highly acidic side-chain sulfonic acid sites to form ion channels. A series of side-chain sulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone) copolymers based on methoxyhydroquinone was

  19. Proton exchange membrane fuel cell conductivity and system analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Qian

    A fuel cell converts chemical energy to electrical energy. It is a device that uses the electrochemical reaction of hydrogen and an oxidant, to produce electrical energy silently, without combustion. The role of the electrolyte in a PEM fuel cell is played by a proton exchange membrane. NafionRTM and its derivatives are the most widely used and studied polymers. Percolation theory holds a key to understanding the behavior of these polymers. In this dissertation, the percolation phenomenon was first simulated for the thermal conductivity of a representative polymer material. The simulation program was based on the finite element method, using Ansys software, which not only simplifies the method of calculation, but also increases the accuracy of the result. Ansys programs were developed to study the effects of matrix thickness, filler particle volume percentage, and various conductivities of the base material and filler particles. Comparison with existing experimental results and other models showed that the results from the finite element method were more accurate than the other models, especially the three-dimensional model. A similar Ansys program was utilized to predict the percolation threshold for the polymer electric conductivity, and its relationship with extra water content over the studied temperature range. The result showed that the percolation threshold varied with temperature and is in the range of 22% to 26% at room temperature, and matches the experimental data within 10% error margin. A natural gas fuel cell (NGFC) is a direct-energy conversion system which uses natural gas as the hydrogen carrier. A parametric model was developed to predict the overall system performance of a natural-gas-fueled PEM fuel cell system sized for a residential or small commercial building. The model accounts for interactions between various operating parameters: fuel consumption, air and water requirements, power produced, and heat and waste water discharge. For example

  20. Durability of sulfonated aromatic polymers for proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Hou, Hongying; Di Vona, Maria Luisa; Knauth, Philippe

    2011-11-18

    As a key component of proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), proton-exchange membranes (PEMs) must continuously withstand very harsh environments during long-term fuel cell operations. With the coming commercialization of PEMFCs, investigations into the durability and degradation of PEMs are becoming more and more urgent and interesting. Herein, various recent attempts and achievements to improve the durability of sulfonated aromatic polymers (SAPs) are reviewed and some further developments are predicted. Extensive investigations into inexpensive SAPs as alternative electrolyte membranes include modification of available polymer materials; design, synthesis, and optimization of new macromolecules; durability testing; and exploring the degradation mechanisms.

  1. Durability of symmetrically and asymmetrically porous polybenzimidazole membranes for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jheng, Li-Cheng; Chang, Wesley Jen-Yang; Hsu, Steve Lien-Chung; Cheng, Po-Yang

    2016-08-01

    Two types of porous polybenzimidazole (PBI) membranes with symmetric and asymmetric morphologies were fabricated by the template-leaching method and characterized by scanning electron microscope (SEM). Their physicochemical properties were compared in terms of acid-doping level, proton conductivity, mechanical strength, and oxidative stability. The durability of fuel cell operation is one of the most challenging for the PBI based membrane electrode assembly (MEA) used in high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells (HT-PEMFCs). In the present work, we carried out a long-term steady-state fuel cell test to compare the effect of membrane structure on the cell voltage degradation. It has also been demonstrated that the asymmetrically porous PBI could bring some notable improvements on the durability of fuel cell operation, the fuel crossover problem, and the phosphoric acid leakage.

  2. The application of Dow Chemical's perfluorinated membranes in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eisman, G. A.

    1989-01-01

    Dow Chemical's research activities in fuel cell devices revolves around the development and subsequent investigation of the perfluorinated inomeric membrane separator useful in proton-exchange membrane systems. Work is currently focusing on studying the effects of equivalent weight, thickness, water of hydration, pretreatment procedures, as well as the degree of water management required for a given membrane separator in the cell. The presentation will include details of certain aspects of the above as well as some of the requirements for high and low power generation.

  3. The application of Dow Chemical's perfluorinated membranes in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eisman, G. A.

    1989-01-01

    Dow Chemical's research activities in fuel cells revolve around the development of perfluorosulfonic acid membranes useful as the proton transport medium and separator. Some of the performance characteristics which are typical for such membranes are outlined. The results of tests utilizing a new experimental membrane useful in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells are presented. The high voltage at low current densities can lead to higher system efficiencies while, at the same time, not sacrificing other critical properties pertinent to membrane fuel cell operation. A series of tests to determine response times indicated that on-off cycles are on the order of 80 milliseconds to reach 90 percent of full power. The IR free voltage at 100 amps/sq ft was determined and the results indicating a membrane/electrode package resistance to be .15 ohm-sq cm at 100 amps/sq ft.

  4. Hydrocarbon-based polymer electrolyte cerium composite membranes for improved proton exchange membrane fuel cell durability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Hyejin; Han, Myungseong; Choi, Young-Woo; Bae, Byungchan

    2015-11-01

    Hydrocarbon-based cerium composite membranes were prepared for proton exchange membrane fuel cell applications to increase oxidative stability. Different amounts of cerium ions were impregnated in sulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone) (SPES) membranes and their physicochemical properties were investigated according to the cerium content. Field-emission scanning electron microscopy and inductively coupled plasma analyses confirmed the presence of cerium ions in the composite membranes and 1H NMR indicated the successful coordination of sulfonic acid groups with the metal ions. Increasing amounts of cerium ions resulted in decreases in the proton conductivity and water uptake, but enhanced oxidative stability. The oxidative stability of the composite membranes was proven via a hydrogen peroxide exposure experiment which mimicked fuel cell operating conditions. In addition, more than 2200 h was achieved with the composite membrane under in situ accelerated open circuit voltage (OCV) durability testing (DOE protocol), whereas the corresponding pristine SPES membrane attained only 670 h.

  5. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells with chromium nitridenanocrystals as electrocatalysts

    SciTech Connect

    Zhong, Hexiang; Chen, Xiaobo; Zhang, Huamin; Wang, Meiri; Mao,Samuel S.

    2007-07-01

    Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are energy conversion devices that produce electricity from a supply of fuel, such as hydrogen. One of the major challenges in achieving efficient energy conversion is the development of cost-effective materials that can act as electrocatalysts for PEMFCs. In this letter, we demonstrate that, instead of conventional noble metals, such as platinum, chromium nitride nanocrystals of fcc structure exhibit attractive catalytic activity for PEMFCs. Device testing indicates good stability of nitride nanocrystals in low temperature fuel cell operational environment.

  6. Nonhumidified High-Temperature Membranes Developed for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kinder, James D.

    2005-01-01

    Fuel cells are being considered for a wide variety of aerospace applications. One of the most versatile types of fuel cells is the proton-exchange-membrane (PEM) fuel cell. PEM fuel cells can be easily scaled to meet the power and space requirements of a specific application. For example, small 100-W PEM fuel cells are being considered for personal power for extravehicular activity suit applications, whereas larger PEM fuel cells are being designed for primary power in airplanes and in uninhabited air vehicles. Typically, PEM fuel cells operate at temperatures up to 80 C. To increase the efficiency and power density of the fuel cell system, researchers are pursuing methods to extend the operating temperature of the PEM fuel cell to 180 C. The most widely used membranes in PEM fuel cells are Nafion 112 and Nafion 117--sulfonated perfluorinated polyethers that were developed by DuPont. In addition to their relatively high cost, the properties of these membranes limit their use in a PEM fuel cell to around 80 C. The proton conductivity of Nafion membranes significantly decreases above 80 C because the membrane dehydrates. The useful operating range of Nafion-based PEM fuel cells can be extended to over 100 C if ancillary equipment, such as compressors and humidifiers, is added to maintain moisture levels within the membrane. However, the addition of these components reduces the power density and increases the complexity of the fuel cell system.

  7. Impedance study of membrane dehydration and compression in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Canut, Jean-Marc; Latham, Ruth; Mérida, Walter; Harrington, David A.

    Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) is used to measure drying and rehydration in proton exchange membrane fuel cells running under load. The hysteresis between forward and backward acquisition of polarization curves is shown to be largely due to changes in the membrane resistance. Drying tests are carried out with hydrogen and simulated reformate (hydrogen and carbon dioxide), and quasi-periodic drying and rehydration conditions are studied. The membrane hydration state is clearly linked to the high-frequency arc in the impedance spectrum, which increases in size for dry conditions indicating an increase in membrane resistance. Changes in impedance spectra as external compression is applied to the cell assembly show that EIS can separate membrane and interfacial effects, and that changes in membrane resistance dominate. Reasons for the presence of a capacitance in parallel with the membrane resistance are discussed.

  8. Modeling of gaseous flows within proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Weisbrod, K.R.; Vanderborgh, N.E.; Grot, S.A.

    1996-12-31

    Development of a comprehensive mechanistic model has been helpful to understand PEM fuel cell performance. Both through-the-electrode and down-the-channel models have been developed to support our experimental effort to enhance fuel cell design and operation. The through-the-electrode model was described previously. This code describes the known transport properties and dynamic processes that occur within a membrane and electrode assembly. Key parameters include transport through the backing layers, water diffusion and electroosmotic transport in the membrane, and reaction electrochemical kinetics within the cathode catalyst layer. In addition, two geometric regions within the cathode layer are represented, the first region below saturation and second with liquid water present. Although processes at high gas stoichiometry are well represented by more simple codes, moderate stoichiometry processes require a two dimensional representation that include the gaseous composition and temperature along flow channel. Although usually PEM hardware utilizes serpentine flow channels, this code does not include such geometric features and thus the flow can be visualized along a single channel.

  9. Heat sources in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramousse, Julien; Lottin, Olivier; Didierjean, Sophie; Maillet, Denis

    In order to model accurately heat transfer in PEM fuel cell, a particular attention had to be paid to the assessment of heat sources in the cell. Although the total amount of heat released is easily computed from its voltage, local heat sources quantification and localization are not simple. This paper is thus a discussion about heat sources/sinks distribution in a single cell, for which many bold assumptions are encountered in the literature. The heat sources or sinks under consideration are: (1) half-reactions entropy, (2) electrochemical activation, (3) water sorption/desorption at the GDL/membrane interfaces, (4) Joule effect in the membrane and (5) water phase change in the GDL. A detailed thermodynamic study leads to the conclusion that the anodic half-reaction is exothermic (Δ Sr ev a = - 226 J mo l-1 K-1) , instead of being athermic as supposed in most of the thermal studies. As a consequence, the cathodic half-reaction is endothermic (Δ Sr ev c = + 62.8 J mo l-1 K-1) , which results in a heat sink at the cathode side, proportional to the current. In the same way, depending on the water flux through the membrane, sorption can create a large heat sink at one electrode and an equivalent heat source at the other. Water phase change in the GDL - condensation/evaporation - results in heat sources/sinks that should also be taken into account. All these issues are addressed in order to properly set the basis of heat transfer modeling in the cell.

  10. Preparation and performance of nano silica/Nafion composite membrane for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Keping; McDermid, Scott; Li, Jing; Kremliakova, Natalia; Kozak, Paul; Song, Chaojie; Tang, Yanghua; Zhang, Jianlu; Zhang, Jiujun

    Composite membranes made from Nafion ionomer with nano phosphonic acid-functionalised silica and colloidal silica were prepared and evaluated for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) operating at elevated temperature and low relative humidity (RH). The phosphonic acid-functionalised silica additive obtained from a sol-gel process was well incorporated into Nafion membrane. The particle size determined using transmission electron microscope (TEM) had a narrow distribution with an average value of approximately 11 nm and a standard deviation of ±4 nm. The phosphonic acid-functionalised silica additive enhanced proton conductivity and water retention by introducing both acidic groups and porous silica. The proton conductivity of the composite membrane with the acid-functionalised silica was 0.026 S cm -1, 24% higher than that of the unmodified Nafion membrane at 85 °C and 50% RH. Compared with the Nafion membrane, the phosphonic acid-functionalised silica (10% loading level) composite membrane exhibited 60 mV higher fuel cell performance at 1 A cm -2, 95 °C and 35% RH, and 80 mV higher at 0.8 A cm -2, 120 °C and 35% RH. The fuel cell performance of composite membrane made with 6% colloidal silica without acidic group was also higher than unmodified Nafion membrane, however, its performance was lower than the acid-functionalised silica additive composite membrane.

  11. Conductivity Measurements of Synthesized Heteropoly Acid Membranes for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Record, K.A.; Haley, B.T.; Turner, J.

    2006-01-01

    Fuel cell technology is receiving attention due to its potential to be a pollution free method of electricity production when using renewably produced hydrogen as fuel. In a Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell H2 and O2 react at separate electrodes, producing electricity, thermal energy, and water. A key component of the PEM fuel cell is the membrane that separates the electrodes. DuPont’s Nafion® is the most commonly used membrane in PEM fuel cells; however, fuel cell dehydration at temperatures near 100°C, resulting in poor conductivity, is a major hindrance to fuel cell performance. Recent studies incorporating heteropoly acids (HPAs) into membranes have shown an increase in conductivity and thus improvement in performance. HPAs are inorganic materials with known high proton conductivities. The primary objective of this work is to measure the conductivity of Nafion, X-Ionomer membranes, and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Developed Membranes that are doped with different HPAs at different concentrations. Four-point conductivity measurements using a third generation BekkTech conductivity test cell are used to determine membrane conductivity. The effect of multiple temperature and humidification levels is also examined. While the classic commercial membrane, Nafion, has a conductivity of approximately 0.10 S/cm, measurements for membranes in this study range from 0.0030 – 0.58 S/cm, depending on membrane type, structure of the HPA, and the relative humidity. In general, the X-ionomer with H6P2W21O71 HPA gave the highest conductivity and the Nafion with the 12-phosphotungstic (PW12) HPA gave the lowest. The NREL composite membranes had conductivities on the order of 0.0013 – 0.025 S/cm.

  12. Graphene-doped electrospun nanofiber membrane electrodes and proton exchange membrane fuel cell performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Meng; Jiang, Min; Liu, Xiaobo; Wang, Min; Mu, Shichun

    2016-09-01

    A rational electrode structure can allow proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells own high performance with a low noble metal loading and an optimal transport pathway for reaction species. In this study, we develop a graphene doped polyacrylonitile (PAN)/polyvinylident fluoride (PVDF) (GPP) electrospun nanofiber electrode with improved electrical conductivity and high porosity, which could enhance the triple reaction boundary and promote gas and water transport throughout the porous electrode. Thus the increased electrochemical active surface area (ECSA) of Pt catalysts and fuel cell performance can be expected. As results, the ECSA of hot-pressed electrospun electrodes with 2 wt% graphene oxide (GO) is up to 84.3 m2/g, which is greatly larger than that of the conventional electrode (59.5 m2/g). Significantly, the GPP nanofiber electrospun electrode with Pt loading of 0.2 mg/cm2 exhibits higher fuel cell voltage output and stability than the conventional electrode.

  13. Nanostructure-based proton exchange membrane for fuel cell applications at high temperature.

    PubMed

    Li, Junsheng; Wang, Zhengbang; Li, Junrui; Pan, Mu; Tang, Haolin

    2014-02-01

    As a clean and highly efficient energy source, the proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) has been considered an ideal alternative to traditional fossil energy sources. Great efforts have been devoted to realizing the commercialization of the PEMFC in the past decade. To eliminate some technical problems that are associated with the low-temperature operation (such as catalyst poisoning and poor water management), PEMFCs are usually operated at elevated temperatures (e.g., > 100 degrees C). However, traditional proton exchange membrane (PEM) shows poor performance at elevated temperature. To achieve a high-performance PEM for high temperature fuel cell applications, novel PEMs, which are based on nanostructures, have been developed recently. In this review, we discuss and summarize the methods for fabricating the nanostructure-based PEMs for PEMFC operated at elevated temperatures and the high temperature performance of these PEMs. We also give an outlook on the rational design and development of the nanostructure-based PEMs.

  14. Commercialization of proton exchange membrane fuel cells for transportation applications

    SciTech Connect

    Wismer, L.

    1996-04-01

    Environmental concerns with air quality and global warming have triggered strict federal ambient ozone air quality standards. Areas on non-attainment of these standards exist across the United States. Because it contains several of the most difficult attainment areas, the State of California has adopted low emission standards including a zero emission vehicle mandate that has given rise to development of hybrid electric vehicles, both battery-powered and fuel-cell powered. Fuel cell powered vehicles, using on-board hydrogen as a fuel, share the non-polluting advantage of the battery electric vehicle while offering at least three times the range today`s battery technology.

  15. Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel Cell for Space Shuttle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoffman, William C., III; Vasquez, Arturo; Lazaroff, Scott M.; Downey, Michael G.

    1999-01-01

    Development of a PEM fuel cell powerplant (PFCP) for use in the Space Shuttle offers multiple benefits to NASA. A PFCP with a longer design life than is delivered currently from the alkaline fuel will reduce Space Shuttle Program maintenance costs. A PFCP compatible with zero-gravity can be adapted for future NASA transportation and exploration programs. Also, the commercial PEM fuel cell industry ensures a competitive environment for select powerplant components. Conceptual designs of the Space Shuttle PFCP have resulted in identification of key technical areas requiring resolution prior to development of a flight system. Those technical areas include characterization of PEM fuel cell stack durability under operational conditions and water management both within and external to the stack. Resolution of the above issues is necessary to adequately control development, production, and maintenance costs for a PFCP.

  16. Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cells for Space Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bradley, Karla

    2004-01-01

    This presentation will provide a summary of the PEM fuel cell development at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Johnson Space Center (NASA, JSC) in support of future space applications. Fuel cells have been used for space power generation due to their high energy storage density for multi-day missions. The Shuttle currently utilizes the alkaline fuel cell technology, which has highly safe and reliable performance. However, the alkaline technology has a limited life due to the corrosion inherent to the alkaline technology. PEM fuel cells are under development by industry for transportation, residential and commercial stationary power applications. NASA is trying to incorporate some of this stack technology development in the PEM fuel cells for space. NASA has some unique design and performance parameters which make developing a PEM fuel cell system more challenging. Space fuel cell applications utilize oxygen, rather than air, which yields better performance but increases the hazard level. To reduce the quantity of reactants that need to be flown in space, NASA also utilizes water separation and reactant recirculation. Due to the hazards of utilizing active components for recirculation and water separation, NASA is trying to develop passive recirculation and water separation methods. However, the ability to develop recirculation components and water separators that are gravity-independent and successfully operate over the full range of power levels is one of the greatest challenges to developing a safe and reliable PEM fuel cell system. PEM stack, accessory component, and system tests that have been performed for space power applications will be discussed.

  17. Hydrogen-oxygen proton-exchange membrane fuel cells and electrolyzers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baldwin, R.; Pham, M.; Leonida, A.; Mcelroy, J.; Nalette, T.

    1989-01-01

    Hydrogen-oxygen solid polymer electrolyte (SPE) fuel cells and SPE electrolyzers (products of Hamilton Standard) both use a Proton-Exchange Membrane (PEM) as the sole electrolyte. These solid electrolyte devices have been under continuous development for over 30 years. This experience has resulted in a demonstrated ten-year SPE cell life capability under load conditions. Ultimate life of PEM fuel cells and electrolyzers is primarily related to the chemical stability of the membrane. For perfluorocarbon proton exchange membranes an accurate measure of the membrane stability is the fluoride loss rate. Millions of cell hours have contributed to establishing a relationship between fluoride loss rates and average expected ultimate cell life. This relationship is shown. Several features have been introduced into SPE fuel cells and SPE electrolyzers such that applications requiring greater than or equal to 100,000 hours of life can be considered. Equally important as the ultimate life is the voltage stability of hydrogen-oxygen fuel cells and electrolyzers. Here again the features of SPE fuel cells and SPE electrolyzers have shown a cell voltage stability in the order of 1 microvolt per hour. That level of stability has been demonstrated for tens of thousands of hours in SPE fuel cells at up to 500 amps per square foot (ASF) current density.

  18. Effect of gas diffusion layer and membrane properties in an annular proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khazaee, I.; Ghazikhani, M.; Esfahani, M. Nasr

    2012-01-01

    A complete three-dimensional and single phase computational dynamics model for annular proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell is used to investigate the effect of changing gas diffusion layer and membrane properties on the performances, current density and gas concentration. The proposed model is a full cell model, which includes all the parts of the PEM fuel cell, flow channels, gas diffusion electrodes, catalyst layers and the membrane. Coupled transport and electrochemical kinetics equations are solved in a single domain; therefore no interfacial boundary condition is required at the internal boundaries between cell components. This computational fluid dynamics code is used as the direct problem solver, which is used to simulate the two-dimensional mass, momentum and species transport phenomena as well as the electron- and proton-transfer process taking place in a PEMFC that cannot be investigated experimentally. The results show that by increasing the thickness and decreasing the porosity of GDL the performance of the cell enhances that it is different with planner PEM fuel cell. Also the results show that by decreasing the thickness of the membrane the performance of the cell increases.

  19. Diffusion-driven proton exchange membrane fuel cell for converting fermenting biomass to electricity.

    PubMed

    Malati, P; Mehrotra, P; Minoofar, P; Mackie, D M; Sumner, J J; Ganguli, R

    2015-10-01

    A membrane-integrated proton exchange membrane fuel cell that enables in situ fermentation of sugar to ethanol, diffusion-driven separation of ethanol, and its catalytic oxidation in a single continuous process is reported. The fuel cell consists of a fermentation chamber coupled to a direct ethanol fuel cell. The anode and fermentation chambers are separated by a reverse osmosis (RO) membrane. Ethanol generated from fermented biomass in the fermentation chamber diffuses through the RO membrane into a glucose solution contained in the DEFC anode chamber. The glucose solution is osmotically neutral to the biomass solution in the fermentation chamber preventing the anode chamber from drying out. The fuel cell sustains >1.3 mW cm(-2) at 47°C with high discharge capacity. No separate purification or dilution is necessary, resulting in an efficient and portable system for direct conversion of fermenting biomass to electricity.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  1. Improved Electrodes for High Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells using Carbon Nanospheres.

    PubMed

    Zamora, Héctor; Plaza, Jorge; Cañizares, Pablo; Lobato, Justo; Rodrigo, Manuel A

    2016-05-23

    This work evaluates the use of carbon nanospheres (CNS) in microporous layers (MPL) of high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell (HT-PEMFC) electrodes and compares the characteristics and performance with those obtained using conventional MPL based on carbon black. XRD, hydrophobicity, Brunauer-Emmett-Teller theory, and gas permeability of MPL prepared with CNS were the parameters evaluated. In addition, a short life test in a fuel cell was carried out to evaluate performance under accelerated stress conditions. The results demonstrate that CNS is a promising alternative to traditional carbonaceous materials because of its high electrochemical stability and good electrical conductivity, suitable to be used in this technology.

  2. A self-sustained, complete and miniaturized methanol fuel processor for proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Mei; Jiao, Fengjun; Li, Shulian; Li, Hengqiang; Chen, Guangwen

    2015-08-01

    A self-sustained, complete and miniaturized methanol fuel processor has been developed based on modular integration and microreactor technology. The fuel processor is comprised of one methanol oxidative reformer, one methanol combustor and one two-stage CO preferential oxidation unit. Microchannel heat exchanger is employed to recover heat from hot stream, miniaturize system size and thus achieve high energy utilization efficiency. By optimized thermal management and proper operation parameter control, the fuel processor can start up in 10 min at room temperature without external heating. A self-sustained state is achieved with H2 production rate of 0.99 Nm3 h-1 and extremely low CO content below 25 ppm. This amount of H2 is sufficient to supply a 1 kWe proton exchange membrane fuel cell. The corresponding thermal efficiency of whole processor is higher than 86%. The size and weight of the assembled reactors integrated with microchannel heat exchangers are 1.4 L and 5.3 kg, respectively, demonstrating a very compact construction of the fuel processor.

  3. Novel proton exchange membrane fuel cell electrodes to improve performance of reversible fuel cell systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Tim Matthew

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells react fuel and oxidant to directly and efficiently produce electrical power, without the need for combustion, heat engines, or motor-generators. Additionally, PEM fuel cell systems emit zero to virtually zero criteria pollutants and have the ability to reduce CO2 emissions due to their efficient operation, including the production or processing of fuel. A reversible fuel cell (RFC) is one particular application for a PEM fuel cell. In this application the fuel cell is coupled with an electrolyzer and a hydrogen storage tank to complete a system that can store and release electrical energy. These devices can be highly tailored to specific energy storage applications, potentially surpassing the performance of current and future secondary battery technology. Like all PEM applications, RFCs currently suffer from performance and cost limitations. One approach to address these limitations is to improve the cathode performance by engineering more optimal catalyst layer geometry as compared to the microscopically random structure traditionally used. Ideal configurations are examined and computer modeling shows promising performance improvements are possible. Several novel manufacturing methods are used to build and test small PEM fuel cells with novel electrodes. Additionally, a complete, dynamic model of an RFC system is constructed and the performance is simulated using both traditional and novel cathode structures. This work concludes that PEM fuel cell microstructures can be tailored to optimize performance based on design operating conditions. Computer modeling results indicate that novel electrode microstructures can improve fuel cell performance, while experimental results show similar performance gains that bolster the theoretical predictions. A dynamic system model predicts that novel PEM fuel cell electrode structures may enable RFC systems to be more competitive with traditional energy storage technology options.

  4. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells for electrical power generation on-board commercial airplanes.

    SciTech Connect

    Curgus, Dita Brigitte; Munoz-Ramos, Karina; Pratt, Joseph William; Akhil, Abbas Ali; Klebanoff, Leonard E.; Schenkman, Benjamin L.

    2011-05-01

    Deployed on a commercial airplane, proton exchange membrane fuel cells may offer emissions reductions, thermal efficiency gains, and enable locating the power near the point of use. This work seeks to understand whether on-board fuel cell systems are technically feasible, and, if so, if they offer a performance advantage for the airplane as a whole. Through hardware analysis and thermodynamic and electrical simulation, we found that while adding a fuel cell system using today's technology for the PEM fuel cell and hydrogen storage is technically feasible, it will not likely give the airplane a performance benefit. However, when we re-did the analysis using DOE-target technology for the PEM fuel cell and hydrogen storage, we found that the fuel cell system would provide a performance benefit to the airplane (i.e., it can save the airplane some fuel), depending on the way it is configured.

  5. Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells for Electrical Power Generation On-Board Commercial Airplanes

    SciTech Connect

    Pratt, Joesph W.; Klebanoff, Leonard E.; Munoz-Ramos, Karina; Akhil, Abbas A.; Curgus, Dita B.; Schenkman, Benjamin L.

    2011-05-01

    Deployed on a commercial airplane, proton exchange membrane fuel cells may offer emissions reductions, thermal efficiency gains, and enable locating the power near the point of use. This work seeks to understand whether on-board fuel cell systems are technically feasible, and, if so, if they offer a performance advantage for the airplane as a whole. Through hardware analysis and thermodynamic and electrical simulation, we found that while adding a fuel cell system using today’s technology for the PEM fuel cell and hydrogen storage is technically feasible, it will not likely give the airplane a performance benefit. However, when we re-did the analysis using DOE-target technology for the PEM fuel cell and hydrogen storage, we found that the fuel cell system would provide a performance benefit to the airplane (i.e., it can save the airplane some fuel), depending on the way it is configured.

  6. A review on the performance and modelling of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boucetta, A.; Ghodbane, H.; Ayad, M. Y.; Bahri, M.

    2016-07-01

    Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC), are energy efficient and environmentally friendly alternative to conventional energy conversion for various applications in stationary power plants, portable power device and transportation. PEM fuel cells provide low operating temperature and high-energy efficiency with near zero emission. A PEM fuel cell is a multiple distinct parts device and a series of mass, energy, transport through gas channels, electric current transport through membrane electrode assembly and electrochemical reactions at the triple-phase boundaries. These processes play a decisive role in determining the performance of the Fuel cell, so that studies on the phenomena of gas flows and the performance modelling are made deeply. This paper gives a comprehensive overview of the state of the art on the Study of the phenomena of gas flow and performance modelling of PEMFC.

  7. New High-Temperature Membranes Developed for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kinder, James D.

    2004-01-01

    Fuel cells are receiving a considerable amount of attention for potential use in a variety of areas, including the automotive industry, commercial power generation, and personal electronics. Research at the NASA Glenn Research Center has focused on the development of fuel cells for use in aerospace power systems for aircraft, unmanned air vehicles, and space transportation systems. These applications require fuel cells with higher power densities and better durability than what is required for nonaerospace uses. In addition, membrane cost is a concern for any fuel cell application. The most widely used membrane materials for proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells are based on sulfonated perfluorinated polyethers, typically Nafion 117, Flemion, or Aciplex. However, these polymers are costly and do not function well at temperatures above 80 C. At higher temperatures, conventional membrane materials dry out and lose their ability to conduct protons, essential for the operation of the fuel cell. Increasing the operating temperature of PEM fuel cells from 80 to 120 C would significantly increase their power densities and enhance their durability by reducing the susceptibility of the electrode catalysts to carbon monoxide poisoning. Glenn's Polymers Branch has focused on developing new, low-cost membranes that can operate at these higher temperatures. A new series of organically modified siloxane (ORMOSIL) polymers were synthesized for use as membrane materials in a high-temperature PEM fuel cell. These polymers have an organic portion that can allow protons to transport through the polymer film and a cross-linked silica network that gives the polymers dimensional stability. These flexible xerogel polymer films are thermally stable, with decomposition onset as high as 380 C. Two types of proton-conducting ORMOSIL films have been produced: (1) NASA-A, which can coordinate many highly acid inorganic salts that facilitate proton conduction and (2) NASA-B, which has been

  8. Hydrogen-oxygen proton-exchange membrane fuel cells and electrolyzers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baldwin, R.; Pham, M.; Leonida, A.; Mcelroy, J.; Nalette, T.

    1989-01-01

    Hydrogen-oxygen SPE fuel cells and SPE electrolyzers (products of Hamilton Standard) both use a Proton-Exchange Membrane (PEM) as the sole electrolyte. The SPE cells have demonstrated a ten year life capability under load conditions. Ultimate life of PEM fuel cells and electrolyzers is primarily related to the chemical stability of the membrane. For perfluorocarbon proton-exchange membranes an accurate measure of the membrane stability is the fluoride loss rate. Millions of cell hours have contributed to establishing a relationship between fluroride loss rates and average expected ultimate cell life. Several features were introduced into SPE fuel cells and SPE electrolyzers such that applications requiring greater than or equal to 100,000 hours of life can be considered. Equally important as the ultimate life is the voltage stability of hydrogen-oxygen fuel cells and electrolyzers. Here again the features of SPE fuel cells and SPE electrolyzers have shown a cell voltage stability in the order of 1 microvolt per hour. That level of stability were demonstrated for tens of thousands of hours in SPE fuel cells at up to 500 amps per square foot (ASF) current density. The SPE electrolyzers have demonstrated the same at 1000 ASF. Many future extraterrestrial applications for fuel cells require that they be self recharged. To translate the proven SPE cell life and stability into a highly reliable extraterrestrial electrical energy storage system, a simplification of supporting equipment is required. Static phase separation, static fluid transport and static thermal control will be most useful in producting required system reliability. Although some 200,000 SPE fuel cell hours were recorded in earth orbit with static fluid phase separation, no SPE electrolyzer has, as yet, operated in space.

  9. Hydrogen-oxygen proton-exchange membrane fuel cells and electrolyzers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baldwin, R.; Pham, M.; Leonida, A.; McElroy, J.; Nalette, T.

    1989-12-01

    Hydrogen-oxygen SPE fuel cells and SPE electrolyzers (products of Hamilton Standard) both use a Proton-Exchange Membrane (PEM) as the sole electrolyte. The SPE cells have demonstrated a ten year life capability under load conditions. Ultimate life of PEM fuel cells and electrolyzers is primarily related to the chemical stability of the membrane. For perfluorocarbon proton-exchange membranes an accurate measure of the membrane stability is the fluoride loss rate. Millions of cell hours have contributed to establishing a relationship between fluroride loss rates and average expected ultimate cell life. Several features were introduced into SPE fuel cells and SPE electrolyzers such that applications requiring greater than or equal to 100,000 hours of life can be considered. Equally important as the ultimate life is the voltage stability of hydrogen-oxygen fuel cells and electrolyzers. Here again the features of SPE fuel cells and SPE electrolyzers have shown a cell voltage stability in the order of 1 microvolt per hour. That level of stability were demonstrated for tens of thousands of hours in SPE fuel cells at up to 500 amps per square foot (ASF) current density. The SPE electrolyzers have demonstrated the same at 1000 ASF. Many future extraterrestrial applications for fuel cells require that they be self recharged. To translate the proven SPE cell life and stability into a highly reliable extraterrestrial electrical energy storage system, a simplification of supporting equipment is required. Static phase separation, static fluid transport and static thermal control will be most useful in producting required system reliability. Although some 200,000 SPE fuel cell hours were recorded in earth orbit with static fluid phase separation, no SPE electrolyzer has, as yet, operated in space.

  10. Synthesis of the diazonium (perfluoroalkyl) benzenesulfonimide monomer from Nafion monomer for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mei, Hua; D'Andrea, Dan; Nguyen, Tuyet-Trinh; Nworie, Chima

    2014-02-01

    One diazonium (perfluoroalkyl) benzenesulfonimide monomer, perfluoro-3, 6-dioxa-4-methyl-7-octene benzenesulfonyl imide, has been synthesized from Nafion monomer for the first time. With trifluorovinyl ether and diazonium precursors, the partially-fluorinated diazonium PFSI monomer can be polymerized and will provide chemically bonding with carbon electrode in proton exchange membrane fuel cells. A systematic study of the synthesis and characterization of this diazonium PFSI monomer has been conducted by varying reaction conditions. The optimized synthesis method has been established in the lab.

  11. Catalyst layers for proton exchange membrane fuel cells prepared by electrospray deposition on Nafion membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaparro, A. M.; Ferreira-Aparicio, P.; Folgado, M. A.; Martín, A. J.; Daza, L.

    The electrospray deposition method has been used for preparation of catalyst layers for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) on Nafion membrane. Deposition of Pt/C + ionomer suspensions on Nafion 212 gives rise to layers with a globular morphology, in contrast with the dendritic growth observed for the same layers when deposited on the gas diffusion layer, GDL (microporous carbon black layer on carbon cloth) or on metallic Al foils. Such a change is discussed in the light of the influence of the Nafion substrate on the electrospray deposition process. Nafion, which is a proton conductor and electronic insulator, gives rise to the discharge of particles through proton release and transport towards the counter electrode, compared with the direct electron transfer that takes place when depositing on an electronic conductor. There is also a change in the electric field distribution in the needle to counter-electrode gap due to the presence of Nafion, which may alter conditions for the electrospray effect. If discharging of particles is slow enough, for instances with a low membrane protonic conductivity, the Nafion substrate may be charged positively yielding a change in the electric field profile and, with it, in the properties of the film. Single cell characterization is carried out with Nafion 212 membranes catalyzed by electrospray on the cathode side. It is shown that the internal resistance of the cell decreases with on-membrane deposited cathodic catalyst layers, with respect to the same layers deposited on GDL, giving rise to a considerable improvement in cell performance. The lower internal resistance is due to higher proton conductivity at the catalyst layer-membrane interface resulting from on-membrane deposition. On the other hand, electroactive area and catalyst utilization appear little modified by on-membrane deposition, compared with on-GDL deposition.

  12. In-situ monitoring of internal local temperature and voltage of proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Lee, Chi-Yuan; Fan, Wei-Yuan; Hsieh, Wei-Jung

    2010-01-01

    The distribution of temperature and voltage of a fuel cell are key factors that influence performance. Conventional sensors are normally large, and are also useful only for making external measurements of fuel cells. Centimeter-scale sensors for making invasive measurements are frequently unable to accurately measure the interior changes of a fuel cell. This work focuses mainly on fabricating flexible multi-functional microsensors (for temperature and voltage) to measure variations in the local temperature and voltage of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) that are based on micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS). The power density at 0.5 V without a sensor is 450 mW/cm(2), and that with a sensor is 426 mW/cm(2). Since the reaction area of a fuel cell with a sensor is approximately 12% smaller than that without a sensor, but the performance of the former is only 5% worse.

  13. Development of shut-down process for a proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Hyoung-Juhn; Lim, Sang Jin; Lee, Jeung Woo; Min, In-Gyu; Lee, Sang-Yeop; Cho, EunAe; Oh, In-Hwan; Lee, Jong Hyun; Oh, Seung-Chan; Lim, Tae-Won; Lim, Tae-Hoon

    Several different shut-down procedures were carried out to reduce the degradation of membrane electrode assembly (MEA) in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). The effects of close/open state of outlets of a single cell and application of a dummy load during the shut-down on the degradation of the MEA were investigated. Also, we elucidated the relationship between the thickness of the electrolyte membrane and the degradation of the MEA for different shut-down procedures. When a thin electrolyte membrane was used, the closer of outlets mitigated the degradation during on/off operation. For the thicker electrolyte membrane, the dummy load which eliminates residual hydrogen and oxygen in the electrodes should be applied to lower the degradation.

  14. Advances in proton-exchange membranes for fuel cells: an overview on proton conductive channels (PCCs).

    PubMed

    Wu, Liang; Zhang, Zhenghui; Ran, Jin; Zhou, Dan; Li, Chuanrun; Xu, Tongwen

    2013-04-14

    Proton-exchange membranes (PEM) display unique ion-selective transport that has enabled a breakthrough in high-performance proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Elemental understanding of the morphology and proton transport mechanisms of the commercially available Nafion® has promoted a majority of researchers to tune proton conductive channels (PCCs). Specifically, knowledge of the morphology-property relationship gained from statistical and segmented copolymer PEMs has highlighted the importance of the alignment of PCCs. Furthermore, increasing efforts in fabricating and aligning artificial PCCs in field-aligned copolymer PEMs, nanofiber composite PEMs and mesoporous PEMs have set new paradigms for improvement of membrane performances. This perspective profiles the recent development of the channels, from the self-assembled to the artificial, with a particular emphasis on their formation and alignment. It concludes with an outlook on benefits of highly aligned PCCs for fuel cell operation, and gives further direction to develop new PEMs from a practical point of view.

  15. Detecting and localizing failure points in proton exchange membrane fuel cells using IR thermography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bender, Guido; Felt, Wyatt; Ulsh, Michael

    2014-05-01

    An understanding of the potentially serious long-term performance degradation effects that coating and/or other fabrication irregularities might have in mass produced proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) is essential to determine manufacturing tolerances of fuel cell components. An experimental setup and methodology is described that employs accelerated stress tests (ASTs) and IR thermography to accurately determine the location and severity of developing failure points in PEMFCs. The method entails a novel hardware that allows the spatial observation of a hydrogen crossover experiment within a fuel cell hardware. The application of the method is demonstrated by comparing the effects of an AST on pristine as well as defect-containing MEAs. The presented method is shown to be valuable for determining the areas within a fuel cell that are most stressed by aging processes.

  16. Proton exchange membrane fuel cell diagnosis by spectral characterization of the electrochemical noise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maizia, R.; Dib, A.; Thomas, A.; Martemianov, S.

    2017-02-01

    Electrochemical noise analysis (ENA) has been performed for the diagnosis of proton-exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) under various operating conditions. Its interest is related with the possibility of a non-invasive on-line diagnosis of a commercial fuel cell. A methodology of spectral analysis has been developed and an evaluation of the stationarity of the signal has been proposed. It has been revealed that the spectral signature of fuel cell, is a linear slope with a fractional power dependence 1/fα where α = 2 for different relative humidities and current densities. Experimental results reveal that the electrochemical noise is sensitive to the water management, especially under dry conditions. At RHH2 = 20% and RHair = 20%, spectral analysis shows a three linear slopes signature on the spectrum at low frequency range (f < 100 Hz). This results indicates that power spectral density, calculated thanks to FFT, can be used for the detection of an incorrect fuel cell water balance.

  17. Direct-hydrogen-fueled proton-exchange-membrane fuel cell system for transportation applications

    SciTech Connect

    Oei, D.; Adams, J.A.; Kinnelly, A.A.

    1997-07-01

    In partial fulfillment of the U.S. Department of Energy Contract No. DE-ACO2-94CE50389, {open_quotes}Direct Hydrogen-Fueled Proton-Exchange-Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell System for Transportation Applications{close_quotes}, this conceptual vehicle design report addresses the design and packaging of battery augmented fuel cell powertrain vehicles. This report supplements the {open_quotes}Conceptual Vehicle Design Report - Pure Fuel Cell Powertrain Vehicle{close_quotes} and includes a cost study of the fuel cell power system. The three classes of vehicles considered in this design and packaging exercise are the same vehicle classes that were studied in the previous report: the Aspire, representing the small vehicle class; the AIV (Aluminum Intensive Vehicle) Sable, representing the mid-size vehicle; and the E-150 Econoline, representing the van-size class. A preliminary PEM fuel cell power system manufacturing cost study is also presented. As in the case of the previous report concerning the {open_quotes}Pure Fuel Cell Powertrain Vehicle{close_quotes}, the same assumptions are made for the fuel cell power system. These assumptions are fuel cell system power densities of 0.33 kW/ka and 0.33 kW/l, platinum catalyst loading of less than or equal to 0.25 mg/cm{sup 2} total, and hydrogen tanks containing compressed gaseous hydrogen under 340 atm (5000 psia) pressure. The batteries considered for power augmentation of the fuel cell vehicle are based on the Ford Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) program. These are state-of-the-art high power lead acid batteries with power densities ranging from 0.8 kW/kg to 2 kW/kg. The results reported here show that battery augmentation provides the fuel cell vehicle with a power source to meet instant high power demand for acceleration and start-up. Based on the assumptions made in this report, the packaging of the battery augmented fuel cell vehicle appears to be as feasible as the packaging of the pure fuel cell powered vehicle.

  18. Nanocomposite membranes based on polybenzimidazole and ZrO2 for high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Nawn, Graeme; Pace, Giuseppe; Lavina, Sandra; Vezzù, Keti; Negro, Enrico; Bertasi, Federico; Polizzi, Stefano; Di Noto, Vito

    2015-04-24

    Owing to the numerous benefits obtained when operating proton exchange membrane fuel cells at elevated temperature (>100 °C), the development of thermally stable proton exchange membranes that demonstrate conductivity under anhydrous conditions remains a significant goal for fuel cell technology. This paper presents composite membranes consisting of poly[2,2'-(m-phenylene)-5,5'-bibenzimidazole] (PBI4N) impregnated with a ZrO2 nanofiller of varying content (ranging from 0 to 22 wt %). The structure-property relationships of the acid-doped and undoped composite membranes have been studied using thermogravimetric analysis, differential scanning calorimetry, dynamic mechanical analysis, wide-angle X-ray scattering, infrared spectroscopy, and broadband electrical spectroscopy. Results indicate that the level of nanofiller has a significant effect on the membrane properties. From 0 to 8 wt %, the acid uptake as well as the thermal and mechanical properties of the membrane increase. As the nanofiller level is increased from 8 to 22 wt % the opposite effect is observed. At 185 °C, the ionic conductivity of [PBI4N(ZrO2 )0.231 ](H3 PO4 )13 is found to be 1.04×10(-1)  S cm(-1) . This renders membranes of this type promising candidates for use in high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

  19. Study and development of sulfated zirconia based proton exchange fuel cell membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kemp, Brittany Wilson

    With the increasing consumption of energy, fuel cells are among the most promising alternatives to fossil fuels, provided some technical challenges are overcome. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) have been investigated and improvements have been made, but the problem with NafionRTM, the main membrane for PEMFCs, has not been solved. NafionRTM restricts the membranes from operating at higher temperatures, thus preventing them from working in small electronics. The problem is to develop a novel fuel cell membrane that performs comparably to NafionRTM in PEMFCs. The membranes were fabricated by applying sulfated zirconia, via template wetting, to porous alumina membranes. The fabricated membranes showed a proton conductivity of 0.016 S/cm in comparison to the proton conductivity of Nafion RTM (0.05 S/cm). Both formic acid and methanol had a lower crossover flux through the sulfated zirconia membranes (formic acid- 2.89x10 -7 mols/cm2s and methanol-1.78x10-9 mols/cm2s) than through NafionRTM (formic acid-2.03x10 -8 mols/cm2s methanol-2.42x10-6 mols/cm 2s), indicating that a sulfated zirconia PEMFC may serve as a replacement for NafionRTM.

  20. Polarity governed selective amplification of through plane proton shuttling in proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Gautam, Manu; Chattanahalli Devendrachari, Mruthyunjayachari; Thimmappa, Ravikumar; Raja Kottaichamy, Alagar; Pottachola Shafi, Shahid; Gaikwad, Pramod; Makri Nimbegondi Kotresh, Harish; Ottakam Thotiyl, Musthafa

    2017-03-15

    Graphene oxide (GO) anisotropically conducts protons with directional dominance of in plane ionic transport (σ IP) over the through plane (σ TP). In a typical H2-O2 fuel cell, since the proton conduction occurs through the plane during its generation at the fuel electrode, it is indeed inevitable to selectively accelerate GO's σ TP for advancement towards a potential fuel cell membrane. We successfully achieved ∼7 times selective amplification of GO's σ TP by tuning the polarity of the dopant molecule in its nanoporous matrix. The coexistence of strongly non-polar and polar domains in the dopant demonstrated a synergistic effect towards σ TP with the former decreasing the number of water molecules coordinated to protons by ∼3 times, diminishing the effects of electroosmotic drag exerted on ionic movements, and the latter selectively accelerating σ TP across the catalytic layers by bridging the individual GO planes via extensive host guest H-bonding interactions. When they are decoupled, the dopant with mainly non-polar or polar features only marginally enhances the σ TP, revealing that polarity factors contribute to fuel cell relevant transport properties of GO membranes only when they coexist. Fuel cell polarization and kinetic analyses revealed that these multitask dopants increased the fuel cell performance metrics of the power and current densities by ∼3 times compared to the pure GO membranes, suggesting that the functional group factors of the dopants are of utmost importance in GO-based proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

  1. An non-uniformity voltage model for proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Kelei; Li, Yankun; Liu, Jiawei; Guo, Ai

    2017-01-01

    The fuel cell used in transportation has environmental protection, high efficiency and no line traction power system which can greatly reduce line construction investment. That makes it a huge potential. The voltage uniformity is one of the most important factors affecting the operation life of proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). On the basis of principle and classical model of the PEMFC, single cell voltage is calculated and the location coefficients are introduced so as to establish a non-uniformity voltage model. These coefficients are estimated with the experimental datum at stack current 50 A. The model is validated respectively with datum at 60 A and 100 A. The results show that the model reflects the basic characteristics of voltage non-uniformity and provides the beneficial reference for fuel cell control and single cell voltage detection.

  2. Evaluation of the humidification requirements of new proton exchange membranes for fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grot, Stephen; Hedstrom, J. C.; Vanderborgh, N. E.

    Measurements of PEM fuel cell device performance were made with different gas inlet temperatures and relative humidity using a newly-designed test fixture. Significant improvement in device performance was observed when the fuel inlet temperature was increased above the operating temperature of the cell. These measurements were then correlated to a model to describe energy and mass transport processes. Proton exchange membrane (PEM), fuel cells--the focus of this study--use an ion conducting polymer, especially polyperfluorosulfonic acid materials. These polymer materials, when imbibed with water, exhibit solution-like properties, but because the anions are chemically bound to the polymeric structure, the electrolyte is contained. Importantly, product water removal is simplified, as electrolyte dilution is not a concern. However, the proton transport rate is a function of the polymer geometry, which is set, in part, by the polymer water content. Consequently, dynamics of water flow are essential to understand the design of efficient conversion devices.

  3. A review of water flooding issues in the proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Hui; Tang, Yanghua; Wang, Zhenwei; Shi, Zheng; Wu, Shaohong; Song, Datong; Zhang, Jianlu; Fatih, Khalid; Zhang, Jiujun; Wang, Haijiang; Liu, Zhongsheng; Abouatallah, Rami; Mazza, Antonio

    We have reviewed more than 100 references that are related to water management in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells, with a particular focus on the issue of water flooding, its diagnosis and mitigation. It was found that extensive work has been carried out on the issues of flooding during the last two decades, including prediction through numerical modeling, detection by experimental measurements, and mitigation through the design of cell components and manipulating the operating conditions. Two classes of strategies to mitigate flooding have been developed. The first is based on system design and engineering, which is often accompanied by significant parasitic power loss. The second class is based on membrane electrode assembly (MEA) design and engineering, and involves modifying the material and structural properties of the gas diffusion layer (GDL), cathode catalyst layer (CCL) and membrane to function in the presence of liquid water. In this review, several insightful directions are also suggested for future investigation.

  4. Improving dynamic performance of proton-exchange membrane fuel cell system using time delay control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Young-Bae

    Transient behaviour is a key parameter for the vehicular application of proton-exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell. The goal of this presentation is to construct better control technology to increase the dynamic performance of a PEM fuel cell. The PEM fuel cell model comprises a compressor, an injection pump, a humidifier, a cooler, inlet and outlet manifolds, and a membrane-electrode assembly. The model includes the dynamic states of current, voltage, relative humidity, stoichiometry of air and hydrogen, cathode and anode pressures, cathode and anode mass flow rates, and power. Anode recirculation is also included with the injection pump, as well as anode purging, for preventing anode flooding. A steady-state, isothermal analytical fuel cell model is constructed to analyze the mass transfer and water transportation in the membrane. In order to prevent the starvation of air and flooding in a PEM fuel cell, time delay control is suggested to regulate the optimum stoichiometry of oxygen and hydrogen, even when there are dynamical fluctuations of the required PEM fuel cell power. To prove the dynamical performance improvement of the present method, feed-forward control and Linear Quadratic Gaussian (LQG) control with a state estimator are compared. Matlab/Simulink simulation is performed to validate the proposed methodology to increase the dynamic performance of a PEM fuel cell system.

  5. Inductive phenomena at low frequencies in impedance spectra of proton exchange membrane fuel cells - A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pivac, Ivan; Barbir, Frano

    2016-09-01

    The results of electrochemical impedance spectroscopy of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells may exhibit inductive phenomena at low frequencies. The occurrence of inductive features at high frequencies is explained by the cables and wires of the test system. However, explanation of inductive loop at low frequencies requires a more detailed study. This review paper discusses several possible causes of such inductive behavior in PEM fuel cells, such as side reactions with intermediate species, carbon monoxide poisoning, and water transport, also as their equivalent circuit representations. It may be concluded that interpretation of impedance spectra at low frequencies is still ambiguous, and that better equivalent circuit models are needed with clearly defined physical meaning of each of the circuit elements.

  6. Towards neat methanol operation of direct methanol fuel cells: a novel self-assembled proton exchange membrane.

    PubMed

    Li, Jing; Cai, Weiwei; Ma, Liying; Zhang, Yunfeng; Chen, Zhangxian; Cheng, Hansong

    2015-04-18

    We report here a novel proton exchange membrane with remarkably high methanol-permeation resistivity and excellent proton conductivity enabled by carefully designed self-assembled ionic conductive channels. A direct methanol fuel cell utilizing the membrane performs well with a 20 M methanol solution, very close to the concentration of neat methanol.

  7. Carbon film coating on gas diffusion layer for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Jui-Hsiang; Chen, Wei-Hung; Su, Shih-Hsuan; Liao, Yuan-Kai; Ko, Tse-Hao

    This study discusses a novel process to increase the performance of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC). In order to improve the electrical conductivity and reduce the surface indentation of the carbon fibers, we modified the carbon fibers with pitch-based carbon materials (mesophase pitch and coal tar pitch). Compared with the gas diffusion backing (GDB), GDB-A240 and GDB-MP have 32% and 33% higher current densities at 0.5 V, respectively. Self-made carbon paper with the addition of a micro-porous layer (MPL) (GDL-A240 and GDL-MP) show improved performance compared with GDB-A240 and GDB-MP. The current densities of GDL-A240 and GDL-MP at 0.5 V increased by 37% and 31% compared with GDL, respectively. This study combines these two effects (carbon film and MPL coating) to promote high current density in a PEMFC.

  8. Vibration mode analysis of the proton exchange membrane fuel cell stack

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, B.; Liu, L. F.; Wei, M. Y.; Wu, C. W.

    2016-11-01

    Proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) stacks usually undergo vibration during packing, transportation, and serving time, in particular for those used in the automobiles or portable equipment. To study the stack vibration response, based on finite element method (FEM), a mode analysis is carried out in the present paper. Using this method, we can distinguish the local vibration from the stack global modes, predict the vibration responses, such as deformed shape and direction, and discuss the effects of the clamping configuration and the clamping force magnitude on vibration modes. It is found that when the total clamping force remains the same, increasing the bolt number can strengthen the stack resistance to vibration in the clamping direction, but cannot obviously strengthen stack resistance to vibration in the translations perpendicular to clamping direction and the three axis rotations. Increasing the total clamping force can increase both of the stack global mode and the bolt local mode frequencies, but will decrease the gasket local mode frequency.

  9. Characterisation of porous carbon electrode materials used in proton exchange membrane fuel cells via gas adsorption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watt-Smith, M. J.; Rigby, S. P.; Ralph, T. R.; Walsh, F. C.

    Porous carbon materials are typically used in both the substrate (typically carbon paper) and the electrocatalyst supports (often platinised carbon) within proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Gravimetric nitrogen adsorption has been studied at a carbon paper substrate, two different Pt-loaded carbon paper electrodes and three particulate carbon blacks. N 2 BET surface areas and surface fractal dimensions were determined using the fractal BET and Frenkel-Halsey-Hill models for all but one of the materials studied. The fractal dimensions of the carbon blacks obtained from gas adsorption were compared with those obtained independently by small angle X-ray scattering and showed good agreement. Density functional theory was used to characterise one of the carbon blacks, as the standard BET model was not applicable.

  10. Exergy analysis of an ethanol fuelled proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell system for automobile applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Shuqin; Douvartzides, Savvas; Tsiakaras, Panagiotis

    An integrated ethanol fuelled proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) power system was investigated following a second law exergy analysis. The system was assumed to have the typical design for automobile applications and was comprised of a vaporizer/mixer, a steam reformer, a CO-shift reactor, a CO-remover (PROX) reactor, a PEMFC and a burner. The exergy analysis was applied for different PEMFC power and voltage outputs assuming the ethanol steam reforming at about 600 K and the CO-shift reaction at about 400 K. A detailed parametric analysis of the plant is presented and operation guidelines are suggested for effective performance. In every case, the exergy analysis method is proved to allow an accurate allocation of the deficiencies of the subsystems of the plant and serves as a unique tool for essential technical improvements.

  11. Pendant dual sulfonated poly(arylene ether ketone) proton exchange membranes for fuel cell application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, Minh Dat Thinh; Yang, Sungwoo; Kim, Dukjoon

    2016-10-01

    Poly(arylene ether ketone) (PAEK) possessing carboxylic groups at the pendant position is synthesized, and the substitution degree of pendant carboxylic groups is controlled by adjusting the ratio of 4,4-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)valeric acid and 2,2-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)propane. Dual sulfonated 3,3-diphenylpropylamine (SDPA) is grafted onto PAEK as a proton-conducting moiety via the amidation reaction with carboxylic groups. The transparent and flexible membranes with different degrees of sulfonation are fabricated so that we can test and compare their structure and properties with a commercial Nafion® 115 membrane for PEMFC applications. All prepared PAEK-SDPA membranes exhibit good oxidative and hydrolytic stability from Fenton's and high temperature water immersion test. SAXS analysis illustrates an excellent phase separation between the hydrophobic backbone and hydrophilic pendant groups, resulting in big ionic clusters. The proton conductivity was measured at different relative humidity, and its behavior was analyzed by hydration number of the membrane. Among a series of membranes, some samples (including B20V80-SDPA) show not only higher proton conductivity, but also higher integrated cell performance than those of Nafion® 115 at 100% relative humidity, and thus we expect these to be good candidate membranes for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs).

  12. Polymer Composites for High-Temperature Proton-Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Xiuling; Liu, Yuxiu; Zhu, Lei

    Recent advances in composite proton-exchange membranes for fuel cell applications at elevated temperature and low relative humidity are briefly reviewed in this chapter. Although a majority of research has focused on new sulfonated hydrocarbon and fluorocarbon polymers and their blends to directly enhance high temperature performance, we emphasize on polymer/inorganic composite membranes with the aim of improving the mechanical strength, thermal stability, and proton conductivity, which depend on water retention at elevated temperature and low relative humidity conditions. The polymer systems include perfluoronated polymers such as Nafion, sulfonated poly(arylene ether)s, polybenzimidazoles (PBI)s, and many others. The inorganic proton conductors are silica, heteropolyacids (HPA)s, layered zirconium phosphates, and liquid phosphoric acid. Direct use of sol-gel silica requires pressurization of fuel cells to maintain 100% relative humidity for high proton conductivity above 100°C. Direct incorporation of HPAs such as phosphotungstic acid (PTA) into polyelectrolyte membranes is capable of improving both proton conductivity and fuel cell performance above 100°C; however, they tend to leach out of the membrane whenever fuel cell flooding happens. To prevent HPA leaching, amine-functionalized mesoporous silica is used to immobilize PTA in Nafion membranes, whose proton conductivity and fuel cell performance are discussed. Compared with Nafion, sulfonated poly(arylene ether)s such as sulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone)s are cost-effective materials with excellent thermal and electrochemical stability. Their composites with HPAs show increased proton conductivity at elevated temperatures when fully hydrated. Organic/inorganic hybrid membranes from acid-doped PBIs and other polymers are also discussed.

  13. Design and Development of Membrane Electrode Assembly for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kasat, Harshal Anil

    This work aimed to characterize and optimize the variables that influence the Gas Diffusion Layer (GDL) preparation using design of experiment (DOE) approach. In the process of GDL preparation, the quantity of carbon support and Teflon were found to have significant influence on the Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC). Characterization methods like surface roughness, wetting characteristics, microstructure surface morphology, pore size distribution, thermal conductivity of GDLs were examined using laser interferometer, Goniometer, SEM, porosimetry and thermal conductivity analyzer respectively. The GDLs were evaluated in single cell PEMFC under various operating conditions of temperature and relative humidity (RH) using air as oxidant. Electrodes were prepared with different PUREBLACKRTM and poly-tetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) content in the diffusion layer and maintaining catalytic layer with a Pt-loading (0.4 mg cm-2). In the study, a 73.16 wt.% level of PB and 34 wt.% level of PTFE was the optimal compositions for GDL at 70°C for 70% RH under air atmosphere. For most electrochemical processes the oxygen reduction is very vita reaction. Pt loading in the electrocatalyst contributes towards the total cost of electrochemical devices. Reducing the Pt loading in electrocatalysts with high efficiency is important for the development of fuel cell technologies. To this end, this thesis work reports the approach to lower down the Pt loading in electrocatalyst based on N-doped carbon nanotubes derived from Zeolitic Imidazolate Frameworks (ZIF-67) for oxygen reduction. This electrocatalyst perform with higher electrocatalytic activity and stability for oxygen reduction in fuel cell testing. The electrochemical properties are mainly due to the synergistic effect from N-doped carbon nanotubes derived from ZIF and Pt loading. The strategy with low Pt loading forecasts in emerging highly active and less expensive electrocatalysts in electrochemical energy devices. This

  14. PEM (Proton exchange membrane) fuel cell stack heat and mass measurement

    SciTech Connect

    Vanderborgh, N.E.; Kimble, M.C.; Huff, J.R.; Hedstrom, J.C.

    1992-01-01

    PEM stacks are under evaluation as candidates for future space power technology. Results of long-term operation on a set of contemporary stacks fitted with different proton exchange membrane materials are given. Data on water balances show effects of membrane materials on stack performance. 15 refs.

  15. Highly efficient sulfonated polybenzimidazole as a proton exchange membrane for microbial fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singha, Shuvra; Jana, Tushar; Modestra, J. Annie; Naresh Kumar, A.; Mohan, S. Venkata

    2016-06-01

    Although microbial fuel cells (MFCs) represent a promising bio-energy technology with a dual advantage (i.e., electricity production and waste-water treatment), their low power densities and high installation costs are major impediments. To address these bottlenecks and replace highly expensive Nafion, which is a proton exchange membrane (PEM), the current study focuses for the first time on membranes made from an easily synthesizable and more economical oxy-polybenzimidazole (OPBI) and its sulfonated analogue (S-OPBI) as alternate PEMs in single-chambered MFCs. The S-OPBI membrane exhibits better properties, with high water uptake, ion exchange capacity (IEC) and proton conductivity and a comparatively smaller degree of swelling compared to Nafion. The membrane morphology is characterized by atomic force microscopy, and the bright and dark regions of the S-OPBI membrane reveals the formation of ionic domains in the matrix, forming continuous water nanochannels when doped with water. These water-filled nanochannels are responsible for faster proton conduction in S-OPBI than in Nafion; therefore, the power output in the MFC with S-OPBI as the PEM is higher than in other MFCs. The open circuit voltage (460 mV), current generation (2.27 mA) and power density profile (110 mW/m2) as a function of time, as well as the polarization curves, exhibits higher current and power density (87.8 mW/m2) with S-OPBI compared to Nafion as the PEM.

  16. A water and heat management model for proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Nguyen, T.V.; White, R.E. . Dept. of Chemical Engineering)

    1993-08-01

    Proper water and heat management are essential for obtaining high-power-density performance at high energy efficiency for proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells. A water and heat management model was developed and used to investigate the effectiveness of various humidification designs. The model accounts for water transport across the membrane by electro-osmosis and diffusion, heat transfer from the solid phase to the gas phase and latent heat associated with water evaporation and condensation in the flow channels. Results from the model showed that at high current (> 1A/cm[sup 2]) ohmic loss in the membrane accounts for a large fraction of the voltage loss in the cell and back diffusion of water from the cathode side of the membrane is insufficient to keep the membrane hydrated (i.e., conductive). Consequently, to minimize this ohmic loss the anode stream must be humidified, and when air is used instead of pure oxygen the cathode stream must also be humidified.

  17. Design and simulation of novel flow field plate geometry for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruan, Hanxia; Wu, Chaoqun; Liu, Shuliang; Chen, Tao

    2016-10-01

    Bipolar plate is one of the many important components of proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) stacks as it supplies fuel and oxidant to the membrane-electrode assembly (MEA), removes water, collects produced current and provides mechanical support for the single cells in the stack. The flow field design of a bipolar plate greatly affects the performance of a PEMFC. It must uniformly distribute the reactant gases over the MEA and prevent product water flooding. This paper aims at improving the fuel cell performance by optimizing flow field designs and flow channel configurations. To achieve this, a novel biomimetic flow channel for flow field designs is proposed based on Murray's Law. Computational fluid dynamics based simulations were performed to compare three different designs (parallel, serpentine and biomimetic channel, respectively) in terms of current density distribution, power density distribution, pressure distribution, temperature distribution, and hydrogen mass fraction distribution. It was found that flow field designs with biomimetic flow channel perform better than that with convectional flow channel under the same operating conditions.

  18. Single-wall carbon nanotube-based proton exchange membrane assembly for hydrogen fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Girishkumar, G; Rettker, Matthew; Underhile, Robert; Binz, David; Vinodgopal, K; McGinn, Paul; Kamat, Prashant

    2005-08-30

    A membrane electrode assembly (MEA) for hydrogen fuel cells has been fabricated using single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) support and platinum catalyst. Films of SWCNTs and commercial platinum (Pt) black were sequentially cast on a carbon fiber electrode (CFE) using a simple electrophoretic deposition procedure. Scanning electron microscopy and Raman spectroscopy showed that the nanotubes and the platinum retained their nanostructure morphology on the carbon fiber surface. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) revealed that the carbon nanotube-based electrodes exhibited an order of magnitude lower charge-transfer reaction resistance (R(ct)) for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) than did the commercial carbon black (CB)-based electrodes. The proton exchange membrane (PEM) assembly fabricated using the CFE/SWCNT/Pt electrodes was evaluated using a fuel cell testing unit operating with H(2) and O(2) as input fuels at 25 and 60 degrees C. The maximum power density obtained using CFE/SWCNT/Pt electrodes as both the anode and the cathode was approximately 20% better than that using the CFE/CB/Pt electrodes.

  19. Performance improvement of proton exchange membrane fuel cell by using annular shaped geometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khazaee, I.; Ghazikhani, M.

    2011-03-01

    A complete three-dimensional and single phase CFD model for a different geometry of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell is used to investigate the effect of using different connections between bipolar plate and gas diffusion layer on the performances, current density and gas concentration. The proposed model is a full cell model, which includes all the parts of the PEM fuel cell, flow channels, gas diffusion electrodes, catalyst layers and the membrane. Coupled transport and electrochemical kinetics equations are solved in a single domain; therefore no interfacial boundary condition is required at the internal boundaries between cell components. This computational fluid dynamics code is used as the direct problem solver, which is used to simulate the three-dimensional mass, momentum and species transport phenomena as well as the electron- and proton-transfer process taking place in a PEMFC that cannot be investigated experimentally. The results show that the predicted polarization curves by using this model are in good agreement with the experimental results. Also the results show that by increasing the number of connection between GDL and bipolar plate the performance of the fuel cell enhances.

  20. Detecting proton exchange membrane fuel cell hydrogen leak using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mousa, Ghassan; Golnaraghi, Farid; DeVaal, Jake; Young, Alan

    2014-01-01

    When a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell runs short of hydrogen, it suffers from a reverse potential fault that, when driven by neighboring cells, can lead to anode catalyst degradation and holes in the membrane due to local heat generation. As a result, hydrogen leaks through the electrically-shorted membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) without being reacted, and a reduction in fuel cell voltage is noticed. Such voltage reduction can be detected by using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). To fully understand the reverse potential fault, the effect of hydrogen crossover leakage in a commercial MEA is measured by EIS at different differential pressures between the anode and cathode. Then the signatures of these leaky cells were compared with the signatures of a no-leaky cells at different oxygen concentrations with the same current densities. The eventual intent of this early stage work is to develop an on-board diagnostics system that can be used to detect and possibly prevent cell reversal failures, and to permit understanding the status of crossover or transfer leaks versus time in operation.

  1. 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.

  2. Characterization of Polyethylene-Graft-Sulfonated Polyarylsulfone Proton Exchange Membranes for Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Applications.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hyung Kyu; Zhang, Gang; Nam, Changwoo; Chung, T C Mike

    2015-12-04

    This paper examines polymer film morphology and several important properties of polyethylene-graft-sulfonated polyarylene ether sulfone (PE-g-s-PAES) proton exchange membranes (PEMs) for direct methanol fuel cell applications. Due to the extreme surface energy differences between a semi-crystalline and hydrophobic PE backbone and several amorphous and hydrophilic s-PAES side chains, the PE-g-s-PAES membrane self-assembles into a unique morphology, with many proton conductive s-PAES channels embedded in the stable and tough PE matrix and a thin hydrophobic PE layer spontaneously formed on the membrane surfaces. In the bulk, these membranes show good mechanical properties (tensile strength >30 MPa, Young's modulus >1400 MPa) and low water swelling (λ < 15) even with high IEC >3 mmol/g in the s-PAES domains. On the surface, the thin hydrophobic and semi-crystalline PE layer shows some unusual barrier (protective) properties. In addition to exhibiting higher through-plane conductivity (up to 160 mS/cm) than in-plane conductivity, the PE surface layer minimizes methanol cross-over from anode to cathode with reduced fuel loss, and stops the HO• and HO₂• radicals, originally formed at the anode, entering into PEM matrix. Evidently, the thin PE surface layer provides a highly desirable protecting layer for PEMs to reduce fuel loss and increase chemical stability. Overall, the newly developed PE-g-s-PAES membranes offer a desirable set of PEM properties, including conductivity, selectivity, mechanical strength, stability, and cost-effectiveness for direct methanol fuel cell applications.

  3. Characterization of Polyethylene-Graft-Sulfonated Polyarylsulfone Proton Exchange Membranes for Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Applications

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hyung Kyu; Zhang, Gang; Nam, Changwoo; Chung, T.C. Mike

    2015-01-01

    This paper examines polymer film morphology and several important properties of polyethylene-graft-sulfonated polyarylene ether sulfone (PE-g-s-PAES) proton exchange membranes (PEMs) for direct methanol fuel cell applications. Due to the extreme surface energy differences between a semi-crystalline and hydrophobic PE backbone and several amorphous and hydrophilic s-PAES side chains, the PE-g-s-PAES membrane self-assembles into a unique morphology, with many proton conductive s-PAES channels embedded in the stable and tough PE matrix and a thin hydrophobic PE layer spontaneously formed on the membrane surfaces. In the bulk, these membranes show good mechanical properties (tensile strength >30 MPa, Young’s modulus >1400 MPa) and low water swelling (λ < 15) even with high IEC >3 mmol/g in the s-PAES domains. On the surface, the thin hydrophobic and semi-crystalline PE layer shows some unusual barrier (protective) properties. In addition to exhibiting higher through-plane conductivity (up to 160 mS/cm) than in-plane conductivity, the PE surface layer minimizes methanol cross-over from anode to cathode with reduced fuel loss, and stops the HO• and HO2• radicals, originally formed at the anode, entering into PEM matrix. Evidently, the thin PE surface layer provides a highly desirable protecting layer for PEMs to reduce fuel loss and increase chemical stability. Overall, the newly developed PE-g-s-PAES membranes offer a desirable set of PEM properties, including conductivity, selectivity, mechanical strength, stability, and cost-effectiveness for direct methanol fuel cell applications. PMID:26690232

  4. Stereochemistry-Dependent Proton Conduction in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

    Thimmappa, Ravikumar; Devendrachari, Mruthyunjayachari Chattanahalli; Kottaichamy, Alagar Raja; Tiwari, Omshanker; Gaikwad, Pramod; Paswan, Bhuneshwar; Thotiyl, Musthafa Ottakam

    2016-01-12

    Graphene oxide (GO) is impermeable to H2 and O2 fuels while permitting H(+) shuttling, making it a potential candidate for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC), albeit with a large anisotropy in their proton transport having a dominant in plane (σIP) contribution over the through plane (σTP). If GO-based membranes are ever to succeed in PEMFC, it inevitably should have a dominant through-plane proton shuttling capability (σTP), as it is the direction in which proton gets transported in a real fuel-cell configuration. Here we show that anisotropy in proton conduction in GO-based fuel cell membranes can be brought down by selectively tuning the geometric arrangement of functional groups around the dopant molecules. The results show that cis isomer causes a selective amplification of through-plane proton transport, σTP, pointing to a very strong geometry angle in ionic conduction. Intercalation of cis isomer causes significant expansion of GO (001) planes involved in σTP transport due to their mutual H-bonding interaction and efficient bridging of individual GO planes, bringing down the activation energy required for σTP, suggesting the dominance of a Grotthuss-type mechanism. This isomer-governed amplification of through-plane proton shuttling resulted in the overall boosting of fuel-cell performance, and it underlines that geometrical factors should be given prime consideration while selecting dopant molecules for bringing down the anisotropy in proton conduction and enhancing the fuel-cell performance in GO-based PEMFC.

  5. Prognostics of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells stack using an ensemble of constraints based connectionist networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Javed, Kamran; Gouriveau, Rafael; Zerhouni, Noureddine; Hissel, Daniel

    2016-08-01

    Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) is considered the most versatile among available fuel cell technologies, which qualify for diverse applications. However, the large-scale industrial deployment of PEMFCs is limited due to their short life span and high exploitation costs. Therefore, ensuring fuel cell service for a long duration is of vital importance, which has led to Prognostics and Health Management of fuel cells. More precisely, prognostics of PEMFC is major area of focus nowadays, which aims at identifying degradation of PEMFC stack at early stages and estimating its Remaining Useful Life (RUL) for life cycle management. This paper presents a data-driven approach for prognostics of PEMFC stack using an ensemble of constraint based Summation Wavelet- Extreme Learning Machine (SW-ELM) models. This development aim at improving the robustness and applicability of prognostics of PEMFC for an online application, with limited learning data. The proposed approach is applied to real data from two different PEMFC stacks and compared with ensembles of well known connectionist algorithms. The results comparison on long-term prognostics of both PEMFC stacks validates our proposition.

  6. Superhydrophobic PAN nanofibers for gas diffusion layers of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salahuddin, Mohammad; Hwang, Gisuk; Asmatulu, Ramazan

    2016-04-01

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells are considered to be the promising alternatives of natural resources for generating electricity and power. An optimal water management in the gas diffusion layers (GDL) is critical to high fuel cell performance. Its basic functions include transportation of the reactant gas from flow channels to catalyst effectively, draining out the liquid water from catalyst layer to flow channels, and conducting electrons with low humidity. In this study, polyacrylonitrile (PAN) was dissolved in a solvent and electrospun at various conditions to produce PAN nanofibers prior to the stabilization at 280 °C for 1 hour in the atmospheric pressure and carbonization at 850 °C for 1 hour. The surface hydrophobicity values of the carbonized PAN nanofibers were adjusted using superhydrophobic and hydrophilic agents. The thermal, mechanical, and electrical properties of the new GDLs depicted much better results compared to the conventionally used ones. The water condensation tests on the surfaces (superhydrophobic and hydrophilic) of the GDL showed a crucial step towards improved water managements in the fuel cell. This study may open up new possibilities for developing high- performing GDL materials for future PEM fuel cell applications.

  7. Multiple model predictive control for a hybrid proton exchange membrane fuel cell system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Qihong; Gao, Lijun; Dougal, Roger A.; Quan, Shuhai

    This paper presents a hierarchical predictive control strategy to optimize both power utilization and oxygen control simultaneously for a hybrid proton exchange membrane fuel cell/ultracapacitor system. The control employs fuzzy clustering-based modeling, constrained model predictive control, and adaptive switching among multiple models. The strategy has three major advantages. First, by employing multiple piecewise linear models of the nonlinear system, we are able to use linear models in the model predictive control, which significantly simplifies implementation and can handle multiple constraints. Second, the control algorithm is able to perform global optimization for both the power allocation and oxygen control. As a result, we can achieve the optimization from the entire system viewpoint, and a good tradeoff between transient performance of the fuel cell and the ultracapacitor can be obtained. Third, models of the hybrid system are identified using real-world data from the hybrid fuel cell system, and models are updated online. Therefore, the modeling mismatch is minimized and high control accuracy is achieved. Study results demonstrate that the control strategy is able to appropriately split power between fuel cell and ultracapacitor, avoid oxygen starvation, and so enhance the transient performance and extend the operating life of the hybrid system.

  8. Interim report re: component parts for proton-exchange membrane fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    George Marchetti

    1999-10-01

    The purpose of the first phase of the grant project is to design, develop and test a simplified fuel cell electrode structure for use in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (''PEMFC''). By simplifying the structure of the electrode, mass production manufacturing efficiencies can be brought into play which will result in significant cost reductions for this fuel cell component. With a reduction in the cost of this key fuel cell component overall costs for PEMFC's can be brought within the commercialization target range of about US$100 per kilowatt for the fuel cell stack. Fuel cell electrodes are necessarily ''multi-layered'' composites. Multi-layers are required because of the several functions that the electrode must be able to perform in the working PEM fuel cell. The current generation of state-of-the-art porous fuel cell electrodes for PEMFC's is comprised of three primary layers. The first layer is the catalyst layer. Since hydrogen is the fuel used in this project and air is used as the oxidant, the catalyst must be capable of adsorbing hydrogen and oxygen from the air. While work is constantly on-going with respect to new hydrogen or oxygen catalysts, the best available catalyst at present for both of the reactant gases is platinum. To be effective, the catalyst (1) must be exposed to a constant flow of the respective reactant gas; (2) must be in intimate contact with the proton-exchange membrane; and (3) must be a finely divided catalyst and have a large specific surface area, especially on the oxidant side where the electrochemical reaction is slower by several orders of magnitude. The second layer is the substrate layer. The substrate layer provides structural support for the finely divided catalyst. It also functions as an electronic junction for conducting electricity produced by the electrochemical reaction from the catalyst layer to the bipolar plate of the fuel cell. In state-of-the-art PEMFC's, this layer is comprised of carbon particles (onto which

  9. Investigation of high temperature operation of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adjemian, Kevork Tro

    Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) have garnered much attention in the media over the past years as they can provide a clean, environmentally friendly alternative to internal combustion engines. PEMFCs also have the flexibility to operate on many different types of fuels, thereby diminishing our reliance on foreign oil. PEMFCs, however, suffer from many drawbacks which need to be overcome before mass production becomes viable. One drawback is the expense of the fuel cell system, costing several times more than existing technologies. Another problem is that if the fuel cell is running on reformed fuels, trace amounts of carbon monoxide (10 ppm) in the hydrogen gas stream will completely poison the anode electrocatalyst, killing the PEMFC. Also, as a lot of waste heat is generated, a very elaborate cooling system needs to be used, making the overall system more expensive and complex. A possible solution to both the carbon monoxide poisoning and thermal management of a PEMFC is to elevate its operating temperature above 100°C. Unfortunately, current state-of-the-art electrolytes used in PEMFCs, i.e. Nafion 115, rely on water for the conduction of protons and by elevating the temperature, water loss occurs due to evaporation resulting in inadequate PEMFC performance. This thesis delves into the modification of Nafion and similar electrolytes to permit PEMFC operation above 100°C. This was accomplished by impregnating the pores of the Nafion with hydrophilic inorganic materials-silicon oxide via sol-gel processing and various inorganic particles. By performing these modifications to the various electrolytes, several composite membranes performed exceptionally well at an operating temperature of 130°C and demonstrated carbon monoxide tolerance of up to 500 ppm. In addition, a theory on how these materials help improve the water management characteristics of Nafion was developed, laying the foundation for the development of a completely novel membrane to

  10. Comparison of platinum/MWCNTs Nanocatalysts Synthesis Processes for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Xuan

    Due to the growing concerns on the depletion of petroleum based energy resources and climate change; fuel cell technologies have received much attention in recent years. Proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFCs) features high energy conversion efficiency and nearly zero greenhouse gas emissions, because of its combination of the hydrogen oxidation reaction (HOR) at anode side and oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) at cathode side. Synthesis of Pt nanoparticles supported on multi walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) possess a highly durable electrochemical surface area (ESA) and show good power output on proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell performance. Platinum on multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) support were synthesized by two different processes to transfer PtCl62- from aqueous to organic phase. While the first method of Pt/MWCNTs synthesis involved dodecane thiol (DDT) and octadecane thiol (ODT) as anchoring agent, the second method used ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS) as the dispersion/anchoring agent. The particle size and distribution of platinum were examined by high-resolution transmission electron microscope (HRTEM). The TEM images showed homogenous distribution and uniform particle size of platinum deposited on the surface of MWCNTs. The single cell fuel cell performance of the Pt/MWCNTs synthesized thiols and ALS based electrode containing 0.2 (anode) and 0.4 mg (cathode) Pt.cm-2 were evaluated using Nafion-212 electrolyte with H2 and O2 gases at 80 °C and ambient pressure. The catalyst synthesis with ALS is relatively simple compared to that with thiols and also showed higher performance (power density reaches about 1070 mW.cm -2). The Electrodes with Pt/MWCNTs nanocatalysts synthesized using ALS were characterized by cyclic voltammetry (CV) for durability evaluation using humidified H2 and N2 gases at room temperature (21 °C) along with commercial Pt/C for comparison. The ESA measured by cyclic voltammetry between 0.15 and 1.2 V showed significant

  11. A small portable proton exchange membrane fuel cell and hydrogen generator for medical applications.

    PubMed

    Adlhart, O J; Rohonyi, P; Modroukas, D; Driller, J

    1997-01-01

    Small, lightweight power sources for total artificial hearts (TAH), left ventricular assist devices (LVAD), and other medical products are under development. The new power source will provide 2 to 3 times the capacity of conventional batteries. The implications of this new power source are profound. For example, for the Heartmate LVAD, 5 to 8 hours of operation are obtained with 3 lb of lead acid batteries (Personal Communication Mr. Craig Sherman, Thermo Cardiosystems, Inc TCI 11/29/96). With the same weight, as much as 14 hours of operation appear achievable with the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell power source. Energy densities near 135 watt-hour/L are achievable. These values significantly exceed those of most conventional and advanced primary and secondary batteries. The improvement is mission dependent and even applies for the short deployment cited above. The comparison to batteries becomes even more favorable if the mission length is increased. The higher capacity requires only replacement of lightweight hydride cartridges and logistically available water. Therefore, when one spare 50 L hydride cartridge weighing 115 g is added to the reactant supply the energy density of the total system increases to 230 watt-hour/kg. This new power source is comprised of a hydrogen fueled, air-breathing PEM fuel cell and a miniature hydrogen generator (US Patent No 5,514,353). The fuel cell is of novel construction and differs from conventional bipolar PEM fuel cells by the arrangement of cells on a single sheet of ion-exchange membrane. The construction avoids the weight and volume penalty of conventional bipolar stacks. The hydrogen consumed by the fuel cell is generated load-responsively in the miniature hydrogen generator, by reacting calcium hydride with water, forming in the process hydrogen and lime. The generator is cartridge rechargeable and available in capacities providing up to several hundred watt-hours of electric power.

  12. High energy density proton exchange membrane fuel cell with dry reactant gases

    SciTech Connect

    Srinivasan, S.; Gamburzev, S.; Velev, O.A.

    1996-12-31

    Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) require careful control of humidity levels in the cell stack to achieve a high and stable level of performance. External humidification of the reactant gases, as in the state-of-the-art PEMFCs, increases the complexity, the weight, and the volume of the fuel cell power plant. A method for the operation of PEMFCs without external humidification (i.e., self-humidified PEMFCs) was first developed and tested by Dhar at BCS Technology. A project is underway in our Center to develop a PEMFC cell stack, which can work without external humidification and attain a performance level of a current density of 0.7 A/cm{sup 2} at a cell potential of 0.7 V, with hydrogen/air as reactants at 1 atm pressure. In this paper, the results of our efforts to design and develop a PEMFC stack requiring no external humidification will be presented. This paper focuses on determining the effects of type of electrodes, the methods of their preparation, as well as that of the membrane and electrode assembly (MEA), platinum loading and types of electrocatalyst on the performance of the PEMFC will be illustrated.

  13. Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Engineering Model Powerplant. Test Report: Benchmark Tests in Three Spatial Orientations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Loyselle, Patricia; Prokopius, Kevin

    2011-01-01

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell technology is the leading candidate to replace the aging alkaline fuel cell technology, currently used on the Shuttle, for future space missions. This test effort marks the final phase of a 5-yr development program that began under the Second Generation Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) Program, transitioned into the Next Generation Launch Technologies (NGLT) Program, and continued under Constellation Systems in the Exploration Technology Development Program. Initially, the engineering model (EM) powerplant was evaluated with respect to its performance as compared to acceptance tests carried out at the manufacturer. This was to determine the sensitivity of the powerplant performance to changes in test environment. In addition, a series of tests were performed with the powerplant in the original standard orientation. This report details the continuing EM benchmark test results in three spatial orientations as well as extended duration testing in the mission profile test. The results from these tests verify the applicability of PEM fuel cells for future NASA missions. The specifics of these different tests are described in the following sections.

  14. A new stochastic algorithm for proton exchange membrane fuel cell stack design optimization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chakraborty, Uttara

    2012-10-01

    This paper develops a new stochastic heuristic for proton exchange membrane fuel cell stack design optimization. The problem involves finding the optimal size and configuration of stand-alone, fuel-cell-based power supply systems: the stack is to be configured so that it delivers the maximum power output at the load's operating voltage. The problem apparently looks straightforward but is analytically intractable and computationally hard. No exact solution can be found, nor is it easy to find the exact number of local optima; we, therefore, are forced to settle with approximate or near-optimal solutions. This real-world problem, first reported in Journal of Power Sources 131, poses both engineering challenges and computational challenges and is representative of many of today's open problems in fuel cell design involving a mix of discrete and continuous parameters. The new algorithm is compared against genetic algorithm, simulated annealing, and (1+1)-EA. Statistical tests of significance show that the results produced by our method are better than the best-known solutions for this problem published in the literature. A finite Markov chain analysis of the new algorithm establishes an upper bound on the expected time to find the optimum solution.

  15. Characterization techniques for gas diffusion layers for proton exchange membrane fuel cells - A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arvay, A.; Yli-Rantala, E.; Liu, C.-H.; Peng, X.-H.; Koski, P.; Cindrella, L.; Kauranen, P.; Wilde, P. M.; Kannan, A. M.

    2012-09-01

    The gas diffusion layer (GDL) in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is one of the functional components that provide a support structure for gas and water transport. The GDL plays a crucial role when the oxidant is air, especially when the fuel cell operates in the higher current density region. There has been an exponential growth in research and development because the PEMFC has the potential to become the future energy source for automotive applications. In order to serve in this capacity, the GDL requires due innovative analysis and characterization toward performance and durability. It is possible to achieve the optimum fuel cell performance only by understanding the characteristics of GDLs such as structure, pore size, porosity, gas permeability, wettability, thermal and electrical conductivities, surface morphology and water management. This review attempts to bring together the characterization techniques for the essential properties of the GDLs as handy tools for R&D institutions. Topics are categorized based on the ex-situ and in-situ characterization techniques of GDLs along with related modeling and simulation. Recently reported techniques used for accelerated durability evaluation of the GDLs are also consolidated within the ex-situ and in-situ methods.

  16. An analytical model and parametric study of electrical contact resistance in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Zhiliang; Wang, Shuxin; Zhang, Lianhong; Hu, S. Jack

    This paper presents an analytical model of the electrical contact resistance between the carbon paper gas diffusion layers (GDLs) and the graphite bipolar plates (BPPs) in a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell. The model is developed based on the classical statistical contact theory for a PEM fuel cell, using the same probability distributions of the GDL structure and BPP surface profile as previously described in Wu et al. [Z. Wu, Y. Zhou, G. Lin, S. Wang, S.J. Hu, J. Power Sources 182 (2008) 265-269] and Zhou et al. [Y. Zhou, G. Lin, A.J. Shih, S.J. Hu, J. Power Sources 163 (2007) 777-783]. Results show that estimates of the contact resistance compare favorably with experimental data by Zhou et al. [Y. Zhou, G. Lin, A.J. Shih, S.J. Hu, J. Power Sources 163 (2007) 777-783]. Factors affecting the contact behavior are systematically studied using the analytical model, including the material properties of the two contact bodies and factors arising from the manufacturing processes. The transverse Young's modulus of chopped carbon fibers in the GDL and the surface profile of the BPP are found to be significant to the contact resistance. The factor study also sheds light on the manufacturing requirements of carbon fiber GDLs for a better contact performance in PEM fuel cells.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trimm, Bryan Dunning

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

  18. Impact of heat and water management on proton exchange membrane fuel cells degradation in automotive application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nandjou, F.; Poirot-Crouvezier, J.-P.; Chandesris, M.; Blachot, J.-F.; Bonnaud, C.; Bultel, Y.

    2016-09-01

    In Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells, local temperature is a driving force for many degradation mechanisms such as hygrothermal deformation and creep of the membrane, platinum dissolution and bipolar plates corrosion. In order to investigate and quantify those effects in automotive application, durability testing is conducted in this work. During the ageing tests, the local performance and temperature are investigated using in situ measurements of a printed circuit board. At the end of life, post-mortem analyses of the aged components are conducted. The experimental results are compared with the simulated temperature and humidity in the cell obtained from a pseudo-3D multiphysics model in order to correlate the observed degradations to the local conditions inside the stack. The primary cause of failure in automotive cycling is pinhole/crack formation in the membrane, induced by high variations of its water content over time. It is also observed that water condensation largely increases the probability of the bipolar plates corrosion while evaporation phenomena induce local deposits in the cell.

  19. Pt nanoparticle-dispersed graphene-wrapped MWNT composites as oxygen reduction reaction electrocatalyst in proton exchange membrane fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Aravind, S S Jyothirmayee; Ramaprabhu, Sundara

    2012-08-01

    Chemical and electrical synergies between graphite oxide and multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWNT) for processing graphene wrapped-MWNT hybrids has been realized by chemical vapor deposition without any chemical functionalization. Potential of the hybrid composites have been demonstrated by employing them as electrocatalyst supports in proton exchange membrane fuel cells. The defects present in the polyelectrolyte, which have been wrapped over highly dispersed MWNT, act as anchoring sites for the homogeneous deposition of platinum nanoparticles. Single-cell proton exchange membrane fuel cells show that the power density of the hybrid composite-based fuel cells is higher compared to the pure catalyst-support-based fuel cells, because of enhanced electrochemical reactivity and good surface area of the nanocomposites.

  20. Conducting polymer-coated corrosion resistant metallic bipolar plates for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joseph, Shine

    2005-11-01

    Concerns over depleting stocks of natural resources and a growing awareness of the environmental damage caused by widespread burning of fossil fuels, and more energy demands brought the idea of alternative energy systems. Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells are one of the fast growing alternative energy technologies. PEM fuel cells generate electricity from an electrochemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen and produce electricity, a small amount of heat and water and therefore, they are environmentally friendly. Fuel cells are more efficient than internal combustion engines and operate continuously as long as fuel is supplied from an external tank. Fuel cells in stacks are used for most applications because the current output of a PEM fuel cell is around 0.3--0.5 A/cm2. In fuel cell stacks, bipolar plates combine two cells in series with anode and cathode of adjacent cells. The main functions of bipolar plates are electron and gas transport. Bipolar plates are major components in weight and volume of the PEM fuel cell stack and are a significant contributor to the stack cost. The bipolar plate is therefore a key component if power density is to increase and cost to come down. Bipolar plate material should be corrosion resistant, conductive, gas impermeable, light weight (mobile applications) and economical. Graphite plates are used for bipolar plate applications but they are expensive, are brittle to make in thin plates with gas channels on sides, have high manufacturing cost and are gas permeable if too thin. Metals are preferable for bipolar plate application because of better mechanical properties, higher electrical conductivity, lower gas permeability and low cost. In this work Al 6061 and 304 stainless steel alloys are the materials selected for bipolar plates. These metals form non-conductive surface oxides in a PEM fuel cell environment and cause a high contact resistance. This internal resistance lowers the efficiency of PEM fuel cell system. In

  1. Epoxy-crosslinked sulfonated poly (phenylene) copolymer proton exchange membranes

    DOEpatents

    Hibbs, Michael; Fujimoto, Cy H.; Norman, Kirsten; Hickner, Michael A.

    2010-10-19

    An epoxy-crosslinked sulfonated poly(phenylene) copolymer composition used as proton exchange membranes, methods of making the same, and their use as proton exchange membranes (PEM) in hydrogen fuel cells, direct methanol fuel cell, in electrode casting solutions and electrodes, and in sulfur dioxide electrolyzers. These improved membranes are tougher, have higher temperature capability, and lower SO.sub.2 crossover rates.

  2. The detection of palladium particles in proton exchange membrane fuel-cell water by laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS).

    PubMed

    Snyder, Stuart C; Wickun, William G; Mode, Jeremy M; Gurney, Brian D; Michels, Fred G

    2011-06-01

    Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) using conditional data analysis was applied to aqueous suspensions of palladium particles in the reformate water of palladium-based proton exchange membrane fuel cells. A significant amount of palladium was found in the water, indicating degradation of the fuel-cell cathode catalytic layers. The palladium particle-size detection limit was found to be about 400 nm. Calibration procedures to quantify the palladium concentration are discussed.

  3. Proton exchange membrane materials for the advancement of direct methanol fuel-cell technology

    DOEpatents

    Cornelius, Christopher J.

    2006-04-04

    A new class of hybrid organic-inorganic materials, and methods of synthesis, that can be used as a proton exchange membrane in a direct methanol fuel cell. In contrast with Nafion.RTM. PEM materials, which have random sulfonation, the new class of materials have ordered sulfonation achieved through self-assembly of alternating polyimide segments of different molecular weights comprising, for example, highly sulfonated hydrophilic PDA-DASA polyimide segment alternating with an unsulfonated hydrophobic 6FDA-DAS polyimide segment. An inorganic phase, e.g., 0.5 5 wt % TEOS, can be incorporated in the sulfonated polyimide copolymer to further improve its properties. The new materials exhibit reduced swelling when exposed to water, increased thermal stability, and decreased O.sub.2 and H.sub.2 gas permeability, while retaining proton conductivities similar to Nafion.RTM.. These improved properties may allow direct methanol fuel cells to operate at higher temperatures and with higher efficiencies due to reduced methanol crossover.

  4. Recovery mechanisms in proton exchange membrane fuel cells after accelerated stress tests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xu; Guo, Liejin; Liu, Hongtan

    2015-11-01

    The mechanisms of performance recovery after accelerated stress test (AST) in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are systematically studied. Experiments are carried out by incorporating a well-designed performance recovery procedure right after the AST protocol. The experiment results show that the cell performance recovers significantly from the degraded state after the AST procedure. The results from cyclic voltammetry (CV) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) measurements further show that the performance recovery can be divided into kinetic and mass transport recoveries. It is further determined that the kinetic recovery, i.e. the recovery of electrochemical active area (ECA), is due to two distinct mechanisms: the reduction of platinum oxide and the re-attachment of detached platinum nanoparticles onto the carbon surface. The mass transport resistance is probably due to reduction of hydrophilic oxide groups on the carbon surface and the microstructure change that alleviates flooding. Performance comparisons show that the recovery procedure is highly effective, indicating the results of AST significantly over-estimate the true degradation in a PEM fuel cell. Therefore, a recovery procedure is highly recommended when an AST protocol is used to evaluate cell degradations to avoid over-estimating true performance degradations in PEMFCs.

  5. Graphene oxide based nanohybrid proton exchange membranes for fuel cell applications: An overview.

    PubMed

    Pandey, Ravi P; Shukla, Geetanjali; Manohar, Murli; Shahi, Vinod K

    2017-02-01

    In the context of many applications, such as polymer composites, energy-related materials, sensors, 'paper'-like materials, field-effect transistors (FET), and biomedical applications, chemically modified graphene was broadly studied during the last decade, due to its excellent electrical, mechanical, and thermal properties. The presence of reactive oxygen functional groups in the grapheme oxide (GO) responsible for chemical functionalization makes it a good candidate for diversified applications. The main objectives for developing a GO based nanohybrid proton exchange membrane (PEM) include: improved self-humidification (water retention ability), reduced fuel crossover (electro-osmotic drag), improved stabilities (mechanical, thermal, and chemical), enhanced proton conductivity, and processability for the preparation of membrane-electrode assembly. Research carried on this topic may be divided into protocols for covalent grafting of functional groups on GO matrix, preparation of free-standing PEM or choice of suitable polymer matrix, covalent or hydrogen bonding between GO and polymer matrix etc. Herein, we present a brief literature survey on GO based nano-hybrid PEM for fuel cell applications. Different protocols were adopted to produce functionalized GO based materials and prepare their free-standing film or disperse these materials in various polymer matrices with suitable interactions. This review article critically discussed the suitability of these PEMs for fuel cell applications in terms of the dependency of the intrinsic properties of nanohybrid PEMs. Potential applications of these nanohybrid PEMs, and current challenges are also provided along with future guidelines for developing GO based nanohybrid PEMs as promising materials for fuel cell applications.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    The platinum electrocatalysts found in proton exchange membrane fuel cells are poisoned both reversibly and irreversibly by air pollutants and residual manufacturing contaminants. In this work, the poisoning of a Pt/C PEMFC cathode was probed by a trace of chlorobenzene in the air feed. Chlorobenzene inhibits the oxygen reduction reaction and causes significant cell performance loss. The performance loss is largely restored by neat air operation and potential cycling between 0.08 V and 1.2 V under H2/N2 (anode/cathode). The analysis of emissions, in situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy and electrochemical impedance spectra show the chlorobenzene adsorption/reaction and molecular orientation on Pt surface depend on the electrode potential. At low potentials, chlorobenzene deposits either on top of adsorbed H atoms or on the Pt surface via the benzene ring and is converted to benzene (ca. 0.1 V) or cyclohexane (ca. 0 V) upon Cl removal. At potentials higher than 0.2 V, chlorobenzene binds to Pt via the Cl atom and can be converted to benzene (less than 0.3 V) or desorbed. Cl− is created and remains in the membrane electrode assembly. Cl− binds to the Pt surface much stronger than chlorobenzene, but can slowly be flushed out by liquid water. PMID:26388963

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  8. Analysis and Test of a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Power System for Space Power Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vasquez, Arturo; Varanauski, Donald; Clark, Robert, Jr.

    2000-01-01

    An effort is underway to develop a prototype Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell breadboard system for fuhlre space applications. This prototype will be used to develop a comprehensive design basis for a space-rated PEM fuel cell powerplant. The prototype system includes reactant pressure regulators, ejector-based reactant pumps, a 4-kW fuel cell stack and cooling system, and a passive, membranebased oxygen / water separator. A computer model is being developed concurrently to analytically predict fluid flow in the oxidant reactant system. Fuel cells have historically played an important role in human-rated spacecraft. The Gemini and Apollo spacecraft used fuel cells for vehicle electrical power. The Space Shuttle currently uses three Alkaline Fuel Cell Powerplants (AFCP) to generate all of the vehicle's 15-20kW electrical power. Engineers at the Johnson Space Center have leveraged off the development effort ongoing in the commercial arena to develop PEM fuel cel ls for terrestrial uses. The prototype design originated from efforts to develop a PEM fuel cell replacement for the current Space Shuttle AFCP' s. In order to improve on the life and an already excellent hi storical record of reliability and safety, three subsystems were focused on. These were the fuel cell stack itself, the reactant circulation devices, and reactant / product water separator. PEM fuel cell stack performance is already demonstrating the potential for greater than four times the useful life of the current Shuttle's AFCP. Reactant pumping for product water removal has historically been accomplished with mechanical pumps. Ejectors offer an effective means of reactant pumping as well as the potential for weight reduction, control simplification, and long life. Centrifugal water separation is used on the current AFCP. A passive, membrane-based water separator offers compatibility with the micro-gravity environment of space, and the potential for control simplification, elimination of

  9. Conceptual design report for a Direct Hydrogen Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell for transportation application

    SciTech Connect

    1995-09-05

    This report presents the conceptual design for a Direct-Hydrogen-Fueled Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell System for transportation applications. The design is based on the initial selection of the Chrysler LH sedan as the target vehicle with a 50 kW (gross) PEM Fuel Cell Stack (FCS) as the primary power source, a battery-powered Load Leveling Unit (LLU) for surge power requirements, an on-board hydrogen storage subsystem containing high pressure gaseous storage, a Gas Management Subsystem (GMS) to manage the hydrogen and air supplies for the FCS, and electronic controllers to control the electrical system. The design process has been dedicated to the use of Design-to-Cost (DTC) principles. The Direct Hydrogen-Powered PEM Fuel Cell Stack Hybrid Vehicle (DPHV) system is designed to operate on the Federal Urban Driving Schedule (FUDS) and Hiway Cycles. These cycles have been used to evaluate the vehicle performance with regard to range and hydrogen usage. The major constraints for the DPHV vehicle are vehicle and battery weight, transparency of the power system and drive train to the user, equivalence of fuel and life cycle costs to conventional vehicles, and vehicle range. The energy and power requirements are derived by the capability of the DPHV system to achieve an acceleration from 0 to 60 MPH within 12 seconds, and the capability to achieve and maintain a speed of 55 MPH on a grade of seven percent. The conceptual design for the DPHV vehicle is shown in a figure. A detailed description of the Hydrogen Storage Subsystem is given in section 4. A detailed description of the FCS Subsystem and GMS is given in section 3. A detailed description of the LLU, selection of the LLU energy source, and the power controller designs is given in section 5.

  10. Channel geometric scales effect on performance and optimization for serpentine proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Youcef, Kerkoub; Ahmed, Benzaoui; Ziari, Yasmina; Fadila, Haddad

    2017-02-01

    A three dimensional computational fluid dynamics model is proposed in this paper to investigate the effect of flow field design and dimensions of bipolar plates on performance of serpentine proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). A complete fuel cell of 25 cm2 with 25 channels have been used. The aim of the work is to investigate the effect of flow channels and ribs scales on overall performance of PEM fuel cell. Therefore, geometric aspect ratio parameter defined as (width of flow channel/width of rib) is used. Influences of the ribs and openings current collector scales have been studied and analyzed in order to find the optimum ratio between them to enhance the production of courant density of PEM fuel cell. Six kind of serpentine designs have been used in this paper included different aspect ratio varying from 0.25 to 2.33 while the active surface area and number of channels are keeping constant. Aspect ratio 0.25 corresponding of (0.4 mm channel width/ 1.6mm ribs width), and Aspect ratio2.33 corresponding of (0.6 mm channel width/ 1.4mm ribs width. The results show that the best flow field designs (giving the maximum density of current) are which there dimensions of channels width is minimal and ribs width is maximal (Γ≈0.25). Also decreasing width of channels enhance the pressure drop inside the PEM fuel cell, this causes an increase of gazes velocity and enhance convection process, therefore more power generation.

  11. Membrane patterned by pulsed laser micromachining for proton exchange membrane fuel cell with sputtered ultra-low catalyst loadings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cuynet, S.; Caillard, A.; Kaya-Boussougou, S.; Lecas, T.; Semmar, N.; Bigarré, J.; Buvat, P.; Brault, P.

    2015-12-01

    Proton exchange membranes were nano- and micro-patterned on their cathode side by pressing them against stainless steel molds previously irradiated by a Ti:Sapphire femtosecond laser. The membranes were associated to ultra-low loaded thin catalytic layers (25 μgPt cm-2) prepared by plasma magnetron sputtering. The Pt catalyst was sputtered either on the membrane or on the porous electrode. The fuel cell performance in dry conditions were found to be highly dependent on the morphology of the membrane surface. When nanometric ripples covered by a Pt catalyst were introduced on the surface of the membrane, the fuel cell outperformed the conventional one with a flat membrane. By combining nano- and micro-patterns (nanometric ripples and 11-24 μm deep craters), the performance of the cells was clearly enhanced. The maximum power density achieved by the fuel cell was multiplied by a factor of 3.6 (at 50 °C and 3 bar): 438 mW cm-2 vs 122 mW cm-2. This improvement is due to high catalyst utilization with a high membrane conductivity. When Pt is sputtered on the porous electrode (and not on the membrane), the contribution of the patterned membrane to the fuel cell efficiency was less significant, except in the presence of nanometric ripples. This result suggests that the patterning of the membrane must be consistent with the way the catalyst is synthesized, on the membrane or on the porous electrode.

  12. Transient computation fluid dynamics modeling of a single proton exchange membrane fuel cell with serpentine channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Guilin; Fan, Jianren

    The proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) has become a promising candidate for the power source of electrical vehicles because of its low pollution, low noise and especially fast startup and transient responses at low temperatures. A transient, three-dimensional, non-isothermal and single-phase mathematical model based on computation fluid dynamics has been developed to describe the transient process and the dynamic characteristics of a PEMFC with a serpentine fluid channel. The effects of water phase change and heat transfer, as well as electrochemical kinetics and multicomponent transport on the cell performance are taken into account simultaneously in this comprehensive model. The developed model was employed to simulate a single laboratory-scale PEMFC with an electrode area about 20 cm 2. The dynamic behavior of the characteristic parameters such as reactant concentration, pressure loss, temperature on the membrane surface of cathode side and current density during start-up process were computed and are discussed in detail. Furthermore, transient responses of the fuel cell characteristics during step changes and sinusoidal changes in the stoichiometric flow ratio of the cathode inlet stream, cathode inlet stream humidity and cell voltage are also studied and analyzed and interesting undershoot/overshoot behavior of some variables was found. It was also found that the startup and transient response time of a PEM fuel cell is of the order of a second, which is similar to the simulation results predicted by most models. The result is an important guide for the optimization of PEMFC designs and dynamic operation.

  13. Computational modeling of intermediate temperature proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheddie, Denver Faron

    A two-phase three-dimensional computational model of an intermediate temperature (120--190°C) proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell is presented. This represents the first attempt to model PEM fuel cells employing intermediate temperature membranes, in this case, phosphoric acid doped polybenzimidazole (PBI). To date, mathematical modeling of PEM fuel cells has been restricted to low temperature operation, especially to those employing Nafion RTM membranes; while research on PBI as an intermediate temperature membrane has been solely at the experimental level. This work is an advancement in the state of the art of both these fields of research. With a growing trend toward higher temperature operation of PEM fuel cells, mathematical modeling of such systems is necessary to help hasten the development of the technology and highlight areas where research should be focused. This mathematical model accounted for all the major transport and polarization processes occurring inside the fuel cell, including the two phase phenomenon of gas dissolution in the polymer electrolyte. Results were presented for polarization performance, flux distributions, concentration variations in both the gaseous and aqueous phases, and temperature variations for various heat management strategies. The model predictions matched well with published experimental data, and were self-consistent. The major finding of this research was that, due to the transport limitations imposed by the use of phosphoric acid as a doping agent, namely low solubility and diffusivity of dissolved gases and anion adsorption onto catalyst sites, the catalyst utilization is very low (˜1--2%). Significant cost savings were predicted with the use of advanced catalyst deposition techniques that would greatly reduce the eventual thickness of the catalyst layer, and subsequently improve catalyst utilization. The model also predicted that an increase in power output in the order of 50% is expected if alternative doping

  14. Chromium nitride films on stainless steel as bipolar plate for proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Bo; Fu, Yu; Xu, Jun; Lin, Guoqiang; Hou, Ming

    A series of chromium nitride films are prepared on stainless steel substrates by pulsed bias arc ion plating (PBAIP) at different N 2 flow rate as bipolar plates for proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). The film chemical composition and phase structure are characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and X-ray diffractometry (XRD). The characterization results indicate that the nitrogen content of deposited films varies from 0.28 to 0.50, and the phase structure changes from mixtures of Cr + Cr 2N, pure Cr 2N through Cr 2N + CrN, to pure CrN. The interfacial contact resistance between samples and carbon paper is measured by Wang's method, and a minimum value of 5.8 mΩ cm 2 is obtained under 1.2 MPa compaction force. The anticorrosion property is examined by potentiodynamic test in the simulated corrosive circumstance of the PEMFC under 25 °C, and the lowest corrosive current density of 5.9 × 10 -7 A cm -2 is obtained at 0.6 V (vs. SCE). Stainless steel substrates coated by the film with lowest contact resistance are chosen as the bipolar plates to assemble cells. An average voltage value of 0.62 V is achieved at 500 mA cm -2, which is close to that of the cell with Ag-plated bipolar plates.

  15. Synthesis and characterization of carbon nanotubes supported platinum nanocatalyst for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, J. F.; Kamavaram, V.; Kannan, A. M.

    Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) were used as catalyst support for depositing platinum nanoparticles by a wet chemistry route. MWCNTs were initially surface modified by citric acid to introduce functional groups which act as anchors for metallic clusters. A two-phase (water-toluene) method was used to transfer PtCl 6 2- from aqueous to organic phase and the subsequent sodium formate solution reduction step yielded Pt nanoparticles on MWCNTs. High-resolution TEM images showed that the platinum particles in the size range of 1-3 nm are homogeneously distributed on the surface of MWCNTs. The Pt/MWCNTs nanocatalyst was evaluated in the proton exchange membrane (PEM) single cell using H 2/O 2 at 80 °C with Nafion-212 electrolyte. The single PEM fuel cell exhibited a peak power density of about 1100 mW cm -2 with a total catalyst loading of 0.6 mg Pt cm -2 (anode: 0.2 mg Pt cm -2 and cathode: 0.4 mg Pt cm -2). The durability of Pt/MWCNTs nanocatalyst was evaluated for 100 h at 80 °C at ambient pressure and the performance (current density at 0.4 V) remained stable throughout. The electrochemically active surface area (64 m 2 g -1) as estimated by cyclic voltammetry (CV) was also similar before and after the durability test.

  16. Stable support based on highly graphitic carbon xerogel for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, Hong; Zhang, Huamin; Ma, Yuanwei; Xu, Ting; Zhong, Hexiang; Wang, Meiri

    Highly graphitic carbon xerogel (GCX) is prepared by the modified sol-gel polymerization process using cobalt nitrate as the catalyst, followed by high temperature treatment at 1800 °C. The as-prepared GCX is explored as a stable support for Pt in proton exchange membrane fuel cells. The results of N 2 sorption measurement and X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD) reveal that GCX has a better mesoporous structure and a preferably higher degree of graphitization, compared with the commercial XC-72 carbon black. The transmission electron microscopy (TEM) image indicates that Pt nanoparticles are well dispersed on GCX and exhibit relatively narrow size distribution. Accelerated aging test (AAT) based on potential cycling is used to investigate the durability of the as-prepared Pt/GCX in comparison with the commercial Pt/C. Electrochemical analysis demonstrates that the catalyst with GCX as a support exhibits an alleviated degradation rate of electrochemical active surface area (39% for Pt/GCX and 53% for Pt/C). The results of single cell durability tests indicate that the voltage loss of Pt/GCX at 100 mA cm -2 is about 50% lower than that of Pt/C. GCX is expected to be a corrosion resistant electrocatalyst support.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  18. Method to improve catalyst layer model for modelling proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xiaoxian; Gao, Yuan; Ostadi, Hossein; Jiang, Kyle; Chen, Rui

    2015-09-01

    Correctly describing oxygen reduction within the cathode catalyst layer (CL) in modelling proton exchange membrane fuel cell is an important issue remaining unresolved. In this paper we show how to derive an agglomerate model for calculating oxygen reactions by describing dissolved oxygen in the agglomerates using two independent random processes. The first one is the probability that an oxygen molecule, which dissolves in the ionomer film on the agglomerate surface, moves into and then remains in the agglomerates; the second one is the probability of the molecule being consumed in reactions. The first probability depends on CL structure and can be directly calculated; the second one is derived by assuming that the oxygen reduction is first-order kinetic. It is found that the distribution functions of the first process can be fitted to a generalised gamma distribution function, which enables us to derive an analytical agglomerate model. We also expend the model to include oxygen dissolution in the ionomer film, and apply it to simulate cathode electrodes. The results reveal that the resistance to oxygen diffusion in ionomer film and agglomerate in modern CL is minor, and that the main potential loss is due to oxygen dissolution in the ionomer film.

  19. Anticorrosion properties of tin oxide coatings for carbonaceous bipolar plates of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kinumoto, Taro; Nagano, Keita; Yamamoto, Yuji; Tsumura, Tomoki; Toyoda, Masahiro

    2014-03-01

    An anticorrosive surface treatment of a carbonaceous bipolar plate used in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) was demonstrated by addition of a tin oxide surface coating by liquid phase deposition (LPD), and its effectiveness toward corrosion prevention was determined. The tin oxide coating was deposited by immersion in tin fluoride and boric acid solutions, without any observable decrease in the bipolar plate electrical conductivity. Anticorrosion properties of a flat carbonaceous bipolar plate were investigated in an aqueous HClO4 electrolyte solution (10 μmol dm-3) at 80 °C. CO2 release due to corrosion was significant for the bare specimen above 1.3 V, whereas no CO2 release was noted for the tin-oxide-coated specimen, even approaching 1.5 V. Moreover, minimal changes in contact angle against a water droplet before and after treatment indicated suppressed corrosion of the surface-coated specimen. Anticorrosion properties were also confirmed for a model bipolar plate having four gas flow channels. The tin oxide layer remained on the channel surfaces (inner walls, corners and intersections) after durability tests. Based on these results, tin-oxide-based surface coatings fabricated by LPD show promise as an anticorrosion technique for carbonaceous bipolar plates for PEMFCs.

  20. Niobized AISI 304 stainless steel bipolar plate for proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Lixia; Sun, Juncai; Li, Pengbin; Jing, Bo; Li, Song; Wen, Zhongsheng; Ji, Shijun

    2012-06-01

    AISI 304 stainless steel (SS) has been niobized by a plasma surface diffusion alloying method. A 3 μm niobized layer with dominant niobium elements has been formed on the 304 SS surface and the performances of the niobized 304 SS has been examined and evaluated as bipolar plate for proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). Results show that the average contact angle with water for the niobized 304 SS is about 90.4°, demonstrating better hydrophobicity as compared with the untreated 304 SS (68.1°). The corrosion resistance of the 304 SS is considerably improved by the niobized layer with the corrosion current densities decreased at 0.2 and 0.4 μA cm-2 in simulated PEMFC anode purged with hydrogen and the cathode purged with air condition (0.05 M H2SO4 + 2 ppm F- solution at 70 °C), respectively. The interfacial contact resistance (ICR) for the as-prepared niobized 304 SS is 10.53 mΩ cm2 at the compaction of 140 N cm-2. Furthermore, after 4 h potentiostatic tests, the niobizied specimens exhibit much lower ICR than that for the untreated ones. Thus, the niobized layer can act as a conductively protective layer of the 304 SS bipolar plate for PEMFC.

  1. Multivariable robust control of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Fu-Cheng; Chen, Hsuan-Tsung; Yang, Yee-Pien; Yen, Jia-Yush

    This paper applies multivariable robust control strategies to a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) system. From the system point of view, a PEMFC can be modeled as a two-input-two-output system, where the inputs are air and hydrogen flow rates and the outputs are cell voltage and current. By fixing the output resistance, we aimed to control the cell voltage output by regulating the air and hydrogen flow rates. Due to the nonlinear characteristics of this system, multivariable robust controllers were designed to provide robust performance and to reduce the hydrogen consumption of this system. The study was carried out in three parts. Firstly, the PEMFC system was modeled as multivariable transfer function matrices using identification techniques, with the un-modeled dynamics treated as system uncertainties and disturbances. Secondly, robust control algorithms were utilized to design multivariable H ∞ controllers to deal with system uncertainty and performance requirements. Finally, the designed robust controllers were implemented to control the air and hydrogen flow rates. From the experimental results, multivariable robust control is shown to provide steady output responses and significantly reduce hydrogen consumption.

  2. Current short circuit implementation for performance improvement and lifetime extension of proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhan, Yuedong; Guo, Youguang; Zhu, Jianguo; Li, Li

    2014-12-01

    To improve its performance, extend its lifetime, and overcome the problem of the slow dynamic during the start-up and the operation process of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC), this paper presents current short circuit and smart energy management approaches for a main PEMFC with auxiliary PEMFC, battery and supercapacitor as hybrid power source in parallel with an intelligent uninterrupted power supply (UPS) system. The hybrid UPS system consists of two low-cost 63-cell 300 W PEMFC stacks, 3-cell lead-acid battery, and 20-cell series-connected supercapacitors. Based on the designed intelligent hybrid UPS system, experimental tests and theoretical studies are conducted. Firstly, the modeling of PEMFC is obtained and evaluated. Then the performance improvement mechanism of the current short circuit is proposed and analyzed based on the Faradaic process and non-Faradaic process of electrochemical theory. Finally, the performances of the main PEMFC with the auxiliary PEMFC/battery/supercapacitor hybrid power source and intelligent energy management are experimentally measured and analyzed. The proposed current short circuit method can significantly extend the lifetime, improve the performance of PEMFC and decrease the size of the main FC for stationary, backup power sources and vehicular applications.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  4. Improvement of proton exchange membrane fuel cell overall efficiency by integrating heat-to-electricity conversion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, Chungang; Wang, Shuxin; Zhang, Lianhong; Hu, S. Jack

    Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) have shown to be well suited for distributed power generation due to their excellent performance. However, a PEMFC produces a considerable amount of heat in the process of electrochemical reaction. It is desirable to use thermal energy for electricity generation in addition to heating applications. Based on the operating characteristics of a PEMFC, an advanced thermal energy conversion system using "ocean thermal energy conversion" (OTEC) technology is applied to exploit the thermal energy of the PEMFC for electricity generation. Through this combination of technology, this unique PEMFC power plant not only achieves the combined heat and power efficiency, but also adequately utilizes heat to generate more valuable electricity. Exergy analysis illustrates the improvement of overall efficiency and energy flow distribution in the power plant. Analytical results show that the overall efficiency of the PEMFC is increased by 0.4-2.3% due to the thermal energy conversion (TEC) system. It is also evident that the PEMFC should operate within the optimal load range by balancing the design parameters of the PEMFC and of the TEC system.

  5. The influence of hydrogen sulfide on proton exchange membrane fuel cell anodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Weiyu; Yi, Baolian; Hou, Ming; Jing, Fenning; Yu, Hongmei; Ming, Pingwen

    The effect of hydrogen sulfide on proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) anodes was studied by cyclic voltammetry (CV), potential steps and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The severity of the effect of H 2S varies depending on the H 2S concentration, current density and the cell temperature. The anode humidification does not impact the poisoning rate much when the anode is exposed to H 2S. The adsorption of H 2S on the anode is dissociative and this dissociation can produce adsorbed sulfur. The dissociation potential of H 2S was studied by potential steps, and the values of the dissociation potential are about 0.4 V at 90 °C, 0.5 V at 60 °C and 0.6 V at 30 °C, respectively. The adsorbed sulfur can be oxidized at a higher potential. During CV scans, two oxidation peaks for the adsorbed sulfur at 1.07 and 1.2 V were observed at 90 °C, however a single oxidation peak could be observed at 1.2 V at 60 °C and at 1.27 V at 30 °C. Application of EIS to a H 2S|H 2 half-cell shows that the charge transfer resistance increases when the anode is exposed to H 2S because of H 2S adsorption.

  6. Carbon composite bipolar plate for high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells (HT-PEMFCs)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Dongyoung; Lee, Dai Gil

    2016-09-01

    A carbon/epoxy composite bipolar plate is an ideal substitute for the brittle graphite bipolar plate for lightweight proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) because of its high specific strength and stiffness. However, conventional carbon/epoxy composite bipolar plates are not applicable for high-temperature PEMFCs (HT-PEMFCs) because these systems are operated at higher temperatures than the glass transition temperatures of conventional epoxies. Therefore, in this study, a cyanate ester-modified epoxy is adopted for the development of a carbon composite bipolar plate for HT-PEMFCs. The composite bipolar plate with exposed surface carbon fibers is produced without any surface treatments or coatings to increase the productivity and is integrated with a silicone gasket to reduce the assembly cost. The developed carbon composite bipolar plate exhibits not only superior electrical properties but also high thermo-mechanical properties. In addition, a unit cell test is performed, and the results are compared with those of the conventional graphite bipolar plate.

  7. An extended stochastic reconstruction method for catalyst layers in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kang, Jinfen; Moriyama, Koji; Kim, Seung Hyun

    2016-09-01

    This paper presents an extended, stochastic reconstruction method for catalyst layers (CLs) of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs). The focus is placed on the reconstruction of customized, low platinum (Pt) loading CLs where the microstructure of CLs can substantially influence the performance. The sphere-based simulated annealing (SSA) method is extended to generate the CL microstructures with specified and controllable structural properties for agglomerates, ionomer, and Pt catalysts. In the present method, the agglomerate structures are controlled by employing a trial two-point correlation function used in the simulated annealing process. An off-set method is proposed to generate more realistic ionomer structures. The variations of ionomer structures at different humidity conditions are considered to mimic the swelling effects. A method to control Pt loading, distribution, and utilization is presented. The extension of the method to consider heterogeneity in structural properties, which can be found in manufactured CL samples, is presented. Various reconstructed CLs are generated to demonstrate the capability of the proposed method. Proton transport properties of the reconstructed CLs are calculated and validated with experimental data.

  8. Erythrocyte-like hollow carbon capsules and their application in proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jung Ho; Yu, Jong-Sung

    2010-12-14

    Hierarchical nanostructured erythrocyte-like hollow carbon (EHC) with a hollow hemispherical macroporous core of ca. 230 nm in diameter and 30-40 nm thick mesoporous shell was synthesized and explored as a cathode catalyst support in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). The morphology control of EHC was successfully achieved using solid core/mesoporous shell (SCMS) silica template and different styrene/furfuryl alcohol mixture compositions by a nanocasting method. The EHC-supported Pt (20 wt%) cathodes prepared have demonstrated markedly enhanced catalytic activity towards oxygen reduction reactions (ORRs) and greatly improved PEMFC polarization performance compared to carbon black Vulcan XC-72 (VC)-supported ones, probably due to the superb structural characteristics of the EHC such as uniform size, well-developed porosity, large specific surface area and pore volume. In particular, Pt/EHC cathodes exhibited ca. 30-60% higher ORR activity than a commercial Johnson Matthey Pt catalyst at a low catalyst loading of 0.2 mg Pt cm(-2).

  9. On active disturbance rejection in temperature regulation of the proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Dazi; Li, Chong; Gao, Zhiqiang; Jin, Qibing

    2015-06-01

    Operating a Proton Exchange Membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) system to maintain the stack temperature stable is one of the key issues in PEMFC's normal electrochemical reaction process. Its temperature characteristic is easily affected by inlet gas humidity, external disturbances, and electrical load changes and so on. Because of the complexity and nonlinearity of the reaction process, it is hard to build a model totally consistent with the real characteristic of the process. If model uncertainty, external disturbances, parameters changes can be regarded as "total disturbance", which is then estimated and compensated, the accurate model is no longer required and the control design can be greatly simplified to meet the practical needs. Based on this idea, an active disturbance rejection control (ADRC) with a switching law is proposed for the problem of precise temperature regulation in PEMFC. Results of the work show that the proposed control system allows the PEMFC to operate successfully at the temperature of 343 K point in the presence of two different disturbances.

  10. Highly conductive epoxy/graphite polymer composite bipolar plates in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Du, Ling

    In this work, highly conductive carbon-filled epoxy composites were developed for manufacturing bipolar plates in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. These composites were prepared by solution intercalation mixing, followed by compression molding and curing. The in-plane and through-plane electrical conductivity, thermal and mechanical properties, gas barrier properties, and hygrothermal characteristics were determined as a function of carbon-filler type and content. For this purpose, expanded graphite and carbon black were used as a synergistic combination. Mixtures of aromatic and aliphatic epoxy resin were used as the polymer matrix to capitalize on the ductility of the aliphatic epoxy and chemical stability of the aromatic epoxy. The composites showed high glass transition temperatures (Tg ˜ 180°C), high thermal degradation temperatures (T2˜ 415°C), and in-plane conductivity of 200-500 S/cm with carbon fillers as low as 50 wt%. These composites also showed strong mechanical properties, such as flexural modulus, flexural strength, and impact strength, which either met or exceeded the targets. In addition, these composites showed excellent thermal conductivity greater than 50 W/m/K, small values of linear coefficient of thermal expansion, and dramatically reduced oxygen permeation rate. The values of mechanical and thermal properties and electrical conductivity of the composites did not change upon exposure to boiling water, aqueous sulfuric acid solution and hydrogen peroxide solution, indicating that the composites provided long-term reliability and durability under PEM fuel cell operating conditions. Experimental data show that the composites developed in this study are suitable for application as bipolar plates in PEM fuel cells.

  11. 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; Lee, Seung-Jae; Costamagna, Paola; Yang, Christopher; Adjemian, Kevork; Bocarsly, Andrew; Ogden, Joan M.; Benziger, Jay

    2000-05-01

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  13. Chitosan/silica coated carbon nanotubes composite proton exchange membranes for fuel cell applications.

    PubMed

    Liu, Hai; Gong, Chunli; Wang, Jie; Liu, Xiaoyan; Liu, Huanli; Cheng, Fan; Wang, Guangjin; Zheng, Genwen; Qin, Caiqin; Wen, Sheng

    2016-01-20

    Silica-coated carbon nanotubes (SCNTs), which were obtained by a simple sol-gel method, were utilized in preparation of chitosan/SCNTs (CS/SCNTs) composite membranes. The thermal and oxidative stability, morphology, mechanical properties, water uptake and proton conductivity of CS/SCNTs composite membranes were investigated. The insulated and hydrophilic silica layer coated on CNTs eliminates the risk of electronic short-circuiting and enhances the interaction between SCNTs and chitosan to ensure the homogenous dispersion of SCNTs, although the water uptake of CS/SCNTs membranes is reduced owing to the decrease of the effective number of the amino functional groups of chitosan. The CS/SCNTs composite membranes are superior to the pure CS membrane in thermal and oxidative stability, mechanical properties and proton conductivity. The results of this study suggest that CS/SCNTs composite membranes exhibit promising potential for practical application in proton exchange membranes.

  14. State-of-the-art in bipolar of proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yun; Wang, Jingjing; Yin, Bi-feng; Xu, Zhen-ying; Ding, Sheng

    2010-10-01

    Proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) has been the research focus because of the characteristics of compact structure, low-temperature starting, high specific energy density and power, environmental protection, prolonged service time. The bipolar plate in PEMFC has the function of isolating and uniformly distributing reactants, removing reaction products, collecting and inducing current, providing mechanical support for the cells in the stack collects, etc. The bipolar plate, which influences not only the cell stack performance but also the stack cost, is a vital component of PEMFC that is the choke point of industrialization. Compared with the conventional graphite bipolar plate, the metallic bipolar plate has the advantages of excellent electrical and thermal conductivity, high mechanical strength and power density, no leakage and good workability. Furthermore, the metal plate is especially suitable for production in mass. Therefore, metallic bipolar plate is considered to be a promising alternative for PEMFC bipolar. A review of the research work involves the material selection and processing of bipolar plate, flow-field type and the corresponding design, the forming methods of metallic bipolar plates. The materials of bipolar plate for PEMFC are focused on graphite, metal or alloy, and all kinds of composite materials. The disadvantages and advantages of these materials are compared. The flow channels of bipolar include dot-type, web-type, serpentine-type and the interdigital shape. Among them, serpentine-type flow channel plates are mentioned in detail. In this paper, we introduced the forming methods of metallic bipolar plates such as the electrochemical micro-fabrication, electroforming, thermoforming, micro-stamping and micro-milling. Finally, it points out that the prospective research about the PEMFC is minimization and industrialization.

  15. Non-precious metal catalysis for proton-exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leonard, Nathaniel Dean

    Non-precious metal catalysts (NPMC) for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) are explored. Research into NPMCs is motivated by the growing need for cleaner, more efficient energy options. NPMCs are one option to make fuel cells more commercially viable. To this end, the present work studies and simulates the morphology and function of metal-nitrogen-carbon (MNC) oxygen reduction catalysts. A porosity study finds that mesoporosity is critical to high performance of autogenic pressure metal-nitrogen-carbon (APMNC) oxygen reduction catalysts. Various carbon materials are used as precursors to synthesis APMNC catalysts. The catalysts and the associated porous carbon materials are characterized morphologically, chemically, and electrochemically. The results indicated that substrates adsorbing the most nitrogen and iron show the highest activity. Furthermore, a relationship is found between mesoporosity and nitrogen content indicating the importance of transport to active site creation. A correlation is found between surface alkalinity and catalytic activity for APMNC catalysts. The basic site strength and quantity were calculated by two different methods, and it was shown that increased Bronsted- Lowry basicity correlates to more active catalysts. The relationship between alkalinity and catalytic activity could be the result of the impact of alkalinity on the electron density of the metal centers or basic sites could encourage active site formation. It is found that the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) proceeds both via a direct four-electron pathway to water at high potentials and an indirect peroxide pathway at low potentials on an APMNC catalyst. At higher potential, site availability inhibits peroxide generation causing the direct four-electron reduction pathway to dominate. Oxygen reduction begins to shift to the indirect peroxide pathway due to fast kinetics and higher site availability around 0.6 V vs RHE. The net peroxide generation remains relatively low

  16. In-situ membrane hydration measurement of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Yeh-Hung; Fly, Gerald W.; Clapham, Shawn

    2015-01-01

    Achieving proper membrane hydration control is one of the most critical aspects of PEM fuel cell development. This article describes the development and application of a novel 50 cm2 fuel cell device to study the in-situ membrane hydration by measuring the through-thickness membrane swelling via an array of linear variable differential transducers. Using this setup either as an air/air (dummy) cell or as a hydrogen/air (operating) cell, we performed a series of hydration and dehydration experiments by cycling the RH of the inlet gas streams at 80 °C. From the linear relationship between the under-the-land swelling and the over-the-channel water content, the mechanical constraint within the fuel cell assembly can suppress the membrane water uptake by 11%-18%. The results from the air/air humidity cycling test show that the membrane can equilibrate within 120 s for all RH conditions and that membrane can reach full hydration at a RH higher than 140% in spite of the use of a liquid water impermeable Carbel MP30Z microporous layer. This result confirms that the U.S. DOE's humidity cycling mechanical durability protocol induces sufficient humidity swings to maximize hygrothermal mechanical stresses. This study shows that the novel experimental technique can provide a robust and accurate means to study the in-situ hydration of thin membranes subject to a wide range of fuel cell conditions.

  17. Proton-Exchange-Membrane Fuel Cell Powerplants Developed and Tested for Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoberecht, Mark A.; Pham, Nang T.

    2005-01-01

    Proton-exchange-membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) technology has received major attention for terrestrial applications, such as the automotive and residential markets, for the past 20 years. This attention has significantly advanced the maturity of the technology, resulting in ever more compact, efficient, reliable, and inexpensive PEMFC designs. In comparison to the terrestrial operating environment, the space operating environment is much more demanding. Microgravity to high-gravity loads and the need to use pure oxygen (rather than air) as the fuel cell oxidizer place more stringent demands on PEMFC technology. NASA and its partners from industry are leveraging terrestrial PEMFC advancements by conducting parallel space technology development for future exploration missions. A team from the NASA Glenn Research Center, NASA Johnson Space Center, and NASA Kennedy Space Center recently completed the first phase of a PEMFC powerplant development effort for exploration missions. The industry partners for this phase of the development effort were ElectroChem, Inc., and Teledyne Energy Systems, Inc. Under contract to Glenn, both of these industry partners successfully designed, fabricated, and tested a breadboard PEMFC powerplant in the 1- to 5-kW power range. These powerplants were based on existing company-proprietary fuel cell stack designs, combined with off-the-shelf components, which formed the balance of the powerplant design. Subsequent to the contractor development efforts, both powerplants were independently tested at Johnson to verify operational and performance characteristics, and to determine suitability for further technology development in the second phase of the NASA-led effort. Following the independent NASA testing, Teledyne Energy Systems, Inc., was selected to develop an engineering model PEMFC powerplant. This effort was initiated by the 2nd Generation Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) Program Office in 2001; it transitioned to the Next Generation Launch

  18. High-temperature proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells using an ether-containing polybenzimidazole membrane as electrolyte.

    PubMed

    Li, Jin; Li, Xiaojin; Zhao, Yun; Lu, Wangting; Shao, Zhigang; Yi, Baolian

    2012-05-01

    Herein, poly[2,2'-(p-oxydiphenylene)-5,5'-benzimidazole] (PBI) is synthesized from 3,3'-diaminobenzidine and 4,4'-oxybisbenzoic acid, and the membrane is prepared by solvent casting. The main characteristics of PBI are studied. In the preparation of the PBI/H(3) PO(4) composite membrane, the absorbing temperature of H(3) PO(4) is 120 °C, which leads to a membrane with a high content of H(3) PO(4) . Membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) are fabricated from PBI/H(3) PO(4) membranes with the catalyst layer made of Pt/C, PBI, and polyvinylidene fluoride (230:12:7 w/w). The fabricated MEA is tested at 150 °C with dry hydrogen and oxygen gas at 0.2 MPa for both anode and cathode feeds. No degradation of voltage is seen during stability testing of the PBI/H(3) PO(4) membrane at a constant current for 100 h. The maximum power density is 1.17 W cm(-2) , and the maximum current density is 6.0 A cm(-2) with a Pt loading of 0.5 mg cm(-2) . The high performance of these membrane materials demonstrates that PBI can be regarded as an alternative membrane material for high-temperature proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells.

  19. 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.

  20. The Investigation and Development of Low Cost Hardware Components for Proton-Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells - Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    George A. Marchetti

    1999-12-15

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell components, which would have a low-cost structure in mass production, were fabricated and tested. A fuel cell electrode structure, comprising a thin layer of graphite (50 microns) and a front-loaded platinum catalyst layer (600 angstroms), was shown to produce significant power densities. In addition, a PEM bipolar plate, comprising flexible graphite, carbon cloth flow-fields and an integrated polymer gasket, was fabricated. Power densities of a two-cell unit using this inexpensive bipolar plate architecture were shown to be comparable to state-of-the-art bipolar plates.

  1. Oxidation-resistant catalyst supports for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chhina, Harmeet

    In automotive applications, when proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are subjected to frequent startup-shutdown cycles, a significant drop in performance is observed. One reason for this drop in performance is oxidation of the carbon in the catalyst layer when cathode potential excursions as high as 1.5V are observed. In this work, non-carbon based catalyst support materials were studied. The materials investigated include: tungsten carbide (WC), tungsten oxide (WOx), and niobium (Nb) or tungsten (W) doped titania. Platinum was dispersed on commercial samples of WC and WO x. Stability tests were performed by stepping the materials between 0.6 to 1.8V. Higher stability of both WC and WOx was observed compared to carbon based commercial catalyst (HiSpec 4000). The performance of Pt supported on WC or WOx was found to be lower than that of Pt/C due to poor dispersion of Pt on these low surface area commercial powders. High surface area Nb and W doped titania materials synthesized using sol-gel techniques were subjected to several heat treatments and atmospheres, and their resulting physical properties characterized. The materials' phase changes and their impact on electrical conductivity were evaluated. W doped titania was found to be resistive, and for Nb doped titania, the rutile phase was found to be more conductive than the anatase phase. Conventionally, 10-50 wt% Pt is supported on carbon, but as the non-carbon catalyst support materials have different densities, similar mass ratios of catalyst to support will not result in directly comparable performances. It is recommended that the ratio of Pt surface area to the support surface area should be similar when comparing Pt supported on carbon to Pt supported on a non-carbon support. A normalization approach was investigated in this work, and the ORR performance of 40wt.%Pt/C was found to be similar to that of 10wt.%Pt/Nb-TiO2. Fuel cell performance tests showed significantly higher stability of Pt on Nb

  2. UV-visible spectroscopy method for screening the chemical stability of potential antioxidants for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banham, Dustin; Ye, Siyu; Knights, Shanna; Stewart, S. Michael; Wilson, Mahlon; Garzon, Fernando

    2015-05-01

    A novel method based on UV-visible spectroscopy is reported for screening the chemical stability of potential antioxidant additives for proton exchange membrane fuel cells, and the chemical stabilities of three CeOx samples of varying crystallite sizes (6, 13, or 25 nm) are examined. The chemical stabilities predicted by this new screening method are compared to in-situ membrane electrode assembly (MEA) accelerated stress testing, with the results confirming that this rapid and inexpensive method can be used to accurately predict performance impacts of antioxidants.

  3. Sulfated Titania-Silica Reinforced Nafion Nanocomposite Membranes for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

    Abu Sayeed, M D; Kim, Hee Jin; Gopalan, A I; Kim, Young Ho; Lee, Kwang-Pill; Choi, Sang-June

    2015-09-01

    Sulfated titania-silica (SO4(2-)-/TiO2-SiO2) composites were prepared by a sol-gel method with sulfate reaction and characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). The nanometric diameter and geometry of the sulfated titania-silica (STS) was investigated by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). A small amount of the STS composite in the range of 0.5-3 wt% was then added as reinforcing into the Nafion membrane by water-assisted solution casting method to prepare STS reinforced Nafion nanocomposite membranes (STS-Nafion nanocomposite membranes). The additional functional groups, sulfate groups, of the nanocomposite membrane having more surface oxygenated groups enhanced the fuel cell membrane properties. The STS-Nafion nanocomposite membranes exhibited improved water uptake compared to that of neat Nafion membranes, whereas methanol uptake values were decreased dramatically improved thermal property of the prepared nanocomposite membranes were measured by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Furthermore, increased ion exchange capacity values were obtained by thermoacidic pretreatment of the nanocomposite membranes.

  4. Cross-linked high conductive membranes based on water soluble ionomer for high performance proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Hao; Guo, Xin; Zhang, Gang; Ni, Jing; Zhao, Chengji; Liu, Zhongguo; Zhang, Liyuan; Li, Mingyu; Xu, Shuai; Na, Hui

    2013-11-01

    In this paper, a series of proton exchange membranes prepared by “Click Reaction” are reported. The cross-linked membranes are based on water soluble sulfonated poly (ether ether ketone) containing dipropenyl groups (SDPEEK-nE/nH). Compared with self-crosslinked membranes (SDPEEK-nS), this “Click” cross-linked membranes using 1,2-Ethanedithiol and 1,6-Hexanedithiol as the cross-linker exhibit extremely reduced water uptake and swelling ratio. The lowest proton conductivity at 80 °C of the “Click” cross-linked membranes reaches to 0.168 S cm-1, and the highest methanol permeability of the “Click” cross-linked SDPEEK-8E is only 4.13 × 10-7 cm2 s-1, which is 5 times lower than that of Nafion 117 membrane. All the results imply that the cross-linked membranes with novel thiol cross-linker are promising alternative material for fuel cell application.

  5. Study of catalysts with high stability for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Fan

    The innovation and investigation of catalysts in proton exchange membrane fuel cells are included in this thesis. In the first part of this work, stability of the catalyst support of PEMFC catalyst is investigated. Nanoscale platinum particles were loaded on two different kinds of carbon supports, nano graphene sheets and functionalized carbon black/graphene hybrid were developed by the liquid phase reaction. The crystal structure of two kinds of catalysts was characterized by X-ray diffractometer (XRD). The morphology and particle size were characterized by scanning electron microscope (SEM) and transmission electron microscope (TEM). Pt loading was measured by thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA). The Brunauer, Emmett and Teller (BET) method was applied to test the surface area of the catalysts. The electrochemical surface area (ECSA) and mass activity during oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) process for two kinds of catalyst were tested by cyclic voltammetry method under different conditions. The stability of the catalysts were tested by accelerated durability test (ADT). The results show that although the mass activity of Pt/graphene is much lower, the stability of it is much better than that of the commercial catalyst. After adding functionalized carbon black (FCB) as spacer, the stability of the catalyst is preserved and at the meantime, the mass activity becomes higher than 20% Pt/XC72 catalyst. The lower mass activity of both catalysts are due to the limitation of the electrolyte diffusion into the carbon support because of the aggregation nature of graphene nano-sheets. After introducing functional carbon black as spacer, the mass activity and ECSA increased dramatically which proved that FCB can be applied to prevent the restacking of graphene and hence solved the diffusion problem. In the meantime, the durability was still keeping the same as Pt/graphene catalyst. In the second part of the work, the restacking problem was solved by introducing FCB as spacers

  6. Properties and degradation of the gasket component of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell--a review.

    PubMed

    Basuli, Utpal; Jose, Jobin; Lee, Ran Hee; Yoo, Yong Hwan; Jeong, Kwang-Un; Ahn, Jou-Hyeon; Nah, Changwoon

    2012-10-01

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell stack requires gaskets and seals in each cell to keep the reactant gases within their respective regions. Gasket performance is integral to the successful long-term operation of a fuel cell stack. This review focuses on properties, performance and degradation mechanisms of the different polymer gasket materials used in PEM fuel cell under normal operating conditions. The different degradation mechanisms and their corresponding representative mitigation strategies are also presented here. Summary of various properties of elastomers and their advantages and disadvantages in fuel cell'environment are presented. By considering the level of chemical degradation, mechanical properties and cost effectiveness, it can be proposed that EPDM is one of the best choices for gasket material in PEM fuel cell. Finally, the challenges that remain in using rubber component as in PEM fuel cell, as well as the prospects for exploiting them in the future are discussed.

  7. Performance evaluation and characterization of metallic bipolar plates in a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hung, Yue

    Bipolar plate and membrane electrode assembly (MEA) are the two most repeated components of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell stack. Bipolar plates comprise more than 60% of the weight and account for 30% of the total cost of a fuel cell stack. The bipolar plates perform as current conductors between cells, provide conduits for reactant gases, facilitate water and thermal management through the cell, and constitute the backbone of a power stack. In addition, bipolar plates must have excellent corrosion resistance to withstand the highly corrosive environment inside the fuel cell, and they must maintain low interfacial contact resistance throughout the operation to achieve optimum power density output. Currently, commercial bipolar plates are made of graphite composites because of their relatively low interfacial contact resistance (ICR) and high corrosion resistance. However, graphite composite's manufacturability, permeability, and durability for shock and vibration are unfavorable in comparison to metals. Therefore, metals have been considered as a replacement material for graphite composite bipolar plates. Since bipolar plates must possess the combined advantages of both metals and graphite composites in the fuel cell technology, various methods and techniques are being developed to combat metallic corrosion and eliminate the passive layer formed on the metal surface that causes unacceptable power reduction and possible fouling of the catalyst and the electrolyte. The main objective of this study was to explore the possibility of producing efficient, cost-effective and durable metallic bipolar plates that were capable of functioning in the highly corrosive fuel cell environment. Bulk materials such as Poco graphite, graphite composite, SS310, SS316, incoloy 800, titanium carbide and zirconium carbide were investigated as potential bipolar plate materials. In this work, different alloys and compositions of chromium carbide coatings on aluminum and SS316

  8. The effects of excess phosphoric acid in a Polybenzimidazole-based high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matar, Saif; Higier, Andrew; Liu, Hongtan

    A series of experiments are conducted in order to investigate the performance of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell using a commercially available polybenzimidazole (PBI)-based high temperature membrane. During the study a drastic degradation in performance is observed over time and a significant amount of solid material built-up is found in the flow field plate and the membrane-electrode assembly (MEA). The built-up material is examined by the use of a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). Further elemental analysis using Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) finds that the built-up material contains large amount of phosphorus, thus relating it with the excess phosphoric acid found in the MEA. Additional experimental studies show that the built-up material is caused by the excess acid solution in the MEA, and when the excess phosphoric acid is removed from the MEA the fuel cell performance improves significantly and becomes very stable.

  9. Studies of transient behavior of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Sunhoe

    The Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) is a technology with growing interest. The PEMFC is the most fascinating among other kinds of fuel cells for its high power density and zero emission pure water products. The use of PEMFCs will expose it to transient conditions. For instance, acceleration or deceleration in vehicle applications and turning on or off dishwashers in stationary applications may cause transient conditions of operation of PEMFCs. This dissertation presents experimental data that may be used to understand PEMFC behavior during these transients and these data may be used to verify the numerical simulations and models of PEMFC designs. The electrical load was changed with fixed inlet flowrates for the anode and cathode, and this caused hydrogen and air, stoichiometries to change. The transient experiments showed conditions and stoichiometric changes that gave the overshoot and undershoot behaviors. Data are presented to show the effects of voltage changes on the current response with four different cases of stoichiometry changes: from excess to normal, from normal to excess, from normal to starved, and from starved to normal. An overshoot behavior was observed when the cell stoichiometry changed from normal to starved condition. With a triple path flow field this overshoot was followed by an undershoot and this second order behavior is a result of, in this case, the air flowing back into the cell at the end of anode side to balance pressure. We named these phenomena as "vacuum effects" when the current density shows "undershoot" after "overshoot" behavior. For other conditions an undershoot behavior was observed when the voltage changed to cause a change from starved to normal conditions. In contrast, only exponential first order behavior was observed for voltage changes between excess and normal conditions. Various cell voltage ranges and change rates are presented to compare the overshoot and undershoot behaviors. Experiments were performed

  10. Physico-chemical study of the degradation of membrane-electrode assemblies in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell stack

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferreira-Aparicio, P.; Gallardo-López, B.; Chaparro, A. M.; Daza, L.

    A proton exchange membrane fuel cell stack integrated by 8-elements has been evaluated in an accelerated stress test. The application of techniques such as TEM analyses of ultramicrotome-sliced sections of some samples and XRD, XPS and TGA of spent electrodes reveal the effects of several degradation processes contributing to reduce the cells performance. The reduction of the Pt surface area at the cathode is favored by the oxidation of carbon black agglomerates in the catalytic layer, the agglomeration of Pt particles and by the partial dissolution of Pt, which migrates towards the anode and precipitates within the membrane. In the light of the TEM, EDAX and XPS results, two combined effects are probably responsible of the increase of the internal resistance of the stack cells: (i) a lower proton conductivity of the membranes due to the high affinity of the sulfonic acid groups for ions originated from Pt crystallites and other peripherical elements such as the silicone elastomeric gaskets and (ii) the increment of electrically isolated islands in the cathode gas diffusion electrodes resulting from carbon corrosion and the degradation of the perfluorinated polymers. Water accumulation and inhomogeneous gas distribution throughout the stack cells originate different degradation rates in them.

  11. Nanostructured TiOx as a catalyst support material for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, Richard S.

    Recent interest in the development of new catalyst support materials for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) has stimulated research into the viability of TiO2-based support structures. Specifically, substoichiometric TiO2 (TiOx) has been reported to exhibit a combination of high conductivity, stability, and corrosion resistance. These properties make TiOx-based support materials a promising prospect when considering the inferior corrosion resistance of traditional carbon-based supports. This document presents an investigation into the formation of conductive and stable TiOx thin films employing atomic layer deposition (ALD) and a post deposition oxygen reducing anneal (PDORA). Techniques for manufacturing TiOx-based catalyst support nanostructures by means of ALD in conjunction with carbon black (CB), anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) and silicon nanowires (SiNWs) will also be presented. The composition and thickness of resulting TiOx thin films was determined with the aid of Auger electron spectroscopy (AES), Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Film crystal structure was determined with X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis. Film conductivity was calculated using four-point probe (4-PP) and film thickness measurement data. Resulting thin films show a significant decrease of oxygen in ALD TiOx films corresponding with a great increase in conductivity following the PDORA. The effectiveness of the PDORA was also found to be highly dependent on ALD process parameters. TiOx-based nanostructures were coated with platinum using one of three Pt deposition techniques. First, liquid phase deposition (LPD), which was performed at room temperature, provided equal access to catalyst support material surfaces which were suspended in solution. Second, plasma enhanced atomic layer deposition (PEALD), which was performed at 450°C, provided good Pt

  12. Enhancement of water retention in UV-exposed fuel-cell proton exchange membranes studied using terahertz spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ray, Shaumik; Devi, Nirmala; Dash, Jyotirmayee; Rambabu, Gutru; Bhat, Santoshkumar D.; Pesala, Bala

    2016-02-01

    Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells are increasingly gaining importance as a clean energy source. PEMs need to possess high proton conductivity and should be chemically and mechanically stable in the fuel cell environment. Proton conductivity of PEM in fuel cells is directly proportional to water content in the membrane. Among the various PEMs available, Nafion has high proton conductivity even with low water content compared to SPEEK (Sulfonated Poly(ether ether ketone)) but is also expensive. SPEEK membranes and it's composites have better mechanical properties and have comparatively higher thermal stability. Operating the fuel cell at higher temperatures and at the same time maintaining the water content of the membrane is always a great challenge. In this paper, to increase water retention capacity, Nafion, SPEEK and it's composite (SPEEK PSSA-CNT) membranes are exposed to Ultra-Violet (UV) radiation for varied times. Terahertz Spectroscopy, in both pulsed and CW mode has been used as an efficient tool to quantify the water retention of the membrane. Results using Terahertz spectroscopy show that even though the initial water absorption capacity of Nafion membranes is more, SPEEK membranes and it's composites show considerable improvement in the water retention capacity upon high intensity UV irradiation.

  13. Direct alcohol fuel cells: toward the power densities of hydrogen-fed proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yanxin; Bellini, Marco; Bevilacqua, Manuela; Fornasiero, Paolo; Lavacchi, Alessandro; Miller, Hamish A; Wang, Lianqin; Vizza, Francesco

    2015-02-01

    A 2 μm thick layer of TiO2 nanotube arrays was prepared on the surface of the Ti fibers of a nonwoven web electrode. After it was doped with Pd nanoparticles (1.5 mgPd  cm(-2) ), this anode was employed in a direct alcohol fuel cell. Peak power densities of 210, 170, and 160 mW cm(-2) at 80 °C were produced if the cell was fed with 10 wt % aqueous solutions of ethanol, ethylene glycol, and glycerol, respectively, in 2 M aqueous KOH. The Pd loading of the anode was increased to 6 mg cm(-2) by combining four single electrodes to produce a maximum peak power density with ethanol at 80 °C of 335 mW cm(-2) . Such high power densities result from a combination of the open 3 D structure of the anode electrode and the high electrochemically active surface area of the Pd catalyst, which promote very fast kinetics for alcohol electro-oxidation. The peak power and current densities obtained with ethanol at 80 °C approach the output of H2 -fed proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

  14. Electrochemical durability of heat-treated carbon nanospheres as catalyst supports for proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Lv, Haifeng; Wu, Peng; Wan, Wei; Mu, Shichun

    2014-09-01

    Carbon nanospheres is wildly used to support noble metal nanocatalysts in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells, however they show a low resistance to electrochemical corrosion. In this study, the N-doped treatment of carbon nanospheres (Vulcan XC-72) is carried out in ammonia gas. The effect of heating treatment (up to 1000 degrees C) on resistances to electrochemical oxidation of the N-doped carbon nanospheres (HNC) is investigated. The resistance to electrochemical oxidation of carbon supports and stability of the catalysts are investigated with potentiostatic oxidation and accelerated durability test by simulating PEM fuel cell environment. The HNC exhibit a higher resistance to electrochemical oxidation than traditional Vulcan XC-72. The results show that the N-doped carbon nanospheres have a great potential application in PEM fuel cells.

  15. Long-term testing of a high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell short stack operated with improved polybenzimidazole-based composite membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

    In this work, the feasibility of a 150 cm2 high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell (HT-PEMFC) stack operated with modified proton exchange membranes is demonstrated. The short fuel cell stack was manufactured using a total of three 50 cm2 membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs). The PEM technology is based on a polybenzimidazole (PBI) membrane. The obtained results were compared with those obtained using a HT-PEMFC stack with unmodified membranes. The membranes were cast from a PBI polymer synthesized in the laboratory, and the modified membranes contained 2 wt.% micro-sized TiO2 as a filler. Long-term tests were performed in both constant and dynamic loading modes. The fuel cell stack with 2 wt.% TiO2 composite PBI membranes exhibited an irreversible voltage loss of less than 2% after 1100 h of operation. In addition, the acid loss was reduced from 2% for the fuel cell stack with unmodified membranes to 0.6% for the fuel cell stack with modified membranes. The results demonstrate that introducing filler into the membranes enhances the durability and stability of this type of fuel cell technology. Moreover, the fuel cell stack system also exhibits very rapid and stable power and voltage output responses under dynamic load regimes.

  16. Use of Multi-Functional Flexible Micro-Sensors for in situ Measurement of Temperature, Voltage and Fuel Flow in a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Chi-Yuan; Chan, Pin-Cheng; Lee, Chung-Ju

    2010-01-01

    Temperature, voltage and fuel flow distribution all contribute considerably to fuel cell performance. Conventional methods cannot accurately determine parameter changes inside a fuel cell. This investigation developed flexible and multi-functional micro sensors on a 40 μm-thick stainless steel foil substrate by using micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and embedded them in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) to measure the temperature, voltage and flow. Users can monitor and control in situ the temperature, voltage and fuel flow distribution in the cell. Thereby, both fuel cell performance and lifetime can be increased. PMID:22163545

  17. Use of multi-functional flexible micro-sensors for in situ measurement of temperature, voltage and fuel flow in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Lee, Chi-Yuan; Chan, Pin-Cheng; Lee, Chung-Ju

    2010-01-01

    Temperature, voltage and fuel flow distribution all contribute considerably to fuel cell performance. Conventional methods cannot accurately determine parameter changes inside a fuel cell. This investigation developed flexible and multi-functional micro sensors on a 40 μm-thick stainless steel foil substrate by using micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and embedded them in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) to measure the temperature, voltage and flow. Users can monitor and control in situ the temperature, voltage and fuel flow distribution in the cell. Thereby, both fuel cell performance and lifetime can be increased.

  18. Modelling static and dynamic behaviour of proton exchange membrane fuel cells on the basis of electro-chemical description

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ceraolo, M.; Miulli, C.; Pozio, A.

    A simplified dynamical model of a fuel cell of the proton exchange membrane (PEM) type, based on physical-chemical knowledge of the phenomena occurring inside the cell has been developed by the authors. The model has been implemented in the MATLAB/SIMULINK environment. Lab tests have been carried out at ENEA's laboratories; and a good agreement has been found between tests and simulations, both in static and dynamic conditions. In a previous study [M. Ceraolo, R. Giglioli, C. Miulli, A. Pozio, in: Proceedings of the 18th International Electric Fuel Cell and Hybrid Vehicle Symposium (EVS18), Berlin, 20-24 October 2001, p. 306] the basic ideas of the model, as well as its experimental validation have been published. In the present paper, the full implementation of the model is reported in detail. Moreover, a procedure for evaluating all the needed numerical parameters is presented.

  19. Technique of laser calibration for wavelength-modulation spectroscopy with application to proton exchange membrane fuel cell measurements.

    PubMed

    Sur, Ritobrata; Boucher, Thomas J; Renfro, Michael W; Cetegen, Baki M

    2010-01-01

    A diode laser sensor was developed for partial pressure and temperature measurements using a single water vapor transition. The Lorentzian half-width and line intensity of the transition were calibrated for conditions relevant to proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell operation. Comparison of measured and simulated harmonics from wavelength-modulation spectroscopy is shown to yield accuracy of +/-2.5% in water vapor partial pressure and +/-3 degrees C in temperature despite the use of a single transition over a narrow range of temperatures. Collisional half-widths in air or hydrogen are measured so that calibrations can be applied to both anode and cathode channels of a PEM fuel cell. An in situ calibration of the nonlinear impact of modulation on laser wavelength is presented and used to improve the accuracy of the numerical simulation of the signal.

  20. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells for space and electric vehicle applications: From basic research to technology development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Srinivasan, Supramaniam; Mukerjee, Sanjeev; Parthasarathy, A.; CesarFerreira, A.; Wakizoe, Masanobu; Rho, Yong Woo; Kim, Junbom; Mosdale, Renaut A.; Paetzold, Ronald F.; Lee, James

    1994-01-01

    The proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is one of the most promising electrochemical power sources for space and electric vehicle applications. The wide spectrum of R&D activities on PEMFC's, carried out in our Center from 1988 to date, is as follows (1) Electrode Kinetic and Electrocatalysis of Oxygen Reduction; (2) Optimization of Structures of Electrodes and of Membrane and Electrode Assemblies; (3) Selection and Evaluation of Advanced Proton Conducting Membranes and of Operating Conditions to Attain High Energy Efficiency; (4) Modeling Analysis of Fuel Cell Performance and of Thermal and Water Management; and (5) Engineering Design and Development of Multicell Stacks. The accomplishments on these tasks may be summarized as follows: (1) A microelectrode technique was developed to determine the electrode kinetic parameters for the fuel cell reactions and mass transport parameters for the H2 and O2 reactants in the proton conducting membrane. (2) High energy efficiencies and high power densities were demonstrated in PEMFCs with low platinum loading electrodes (0.4 mg/cm(exp 2) or less), advanced membranes and optimized structures of membrane and electrode assemblies, as well as operating conditions. (3) The modeling analyses revealed methods to minimize mass transport limitations, particularly with air as the cathodic reactant; and for efficient thermal and water management. (4) Work is in progress to develop multi-kilowatt stacks with the electrodes containing low platinum loadings.

  1. High temperature direct methanal-fuel proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Lvov, S. N.; Allcock, H. R.; Zhou, X. Y.; Hofmann, M. A.; Chalkova, E.; Fedkin, M. V.; Weston, J. A.; Ambler, C. M.

    2001-10-01

    The lack of proton conductive polymeric membranes stable at high temperatures is one of the main issues impeding the development of DMFCs. The currently employed Nafion membranes are not suitable at temperatures abouve 100 degrees C due to a substantial methanol crossover and poor thermal stability. Therefore, the development of a polymeric membrane stable at high temperatures for DMFCs was the main task of the project. Our approach is based on an interdisciplinary effort that brings together a research group with expertise in the design and synthesis of polyphosphazenes polymer membranes (Allcock Research Laboratory) and a team that has experience in the fields of high temperature electrochemistry and electrochemical energy conversion systems (Lvov Research Laboratory). We have synthesized a new class of ion-exchange membranes for DMFCs.

  2. Comparison of degradation behaviors for open-ended and closed proton exchange membrane fuel cells during startup and shutdown cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Yi; Tu, Zhengkai; Zhang, Haining; Zhan, Zhigang; Pan, Mu

    As catalyst support materials, the oxidation of carbon materials is considered one of the major factors for performance decay during the startup and shutdown process of proton exchange membrane fuel cells, which must be mitigated to achieve acceptable durability. In this paper, the effect of cathode exhaust conditions on the degradation behaviors of fuel cells is investigated using two single cells named the open-ended and closed cells. The cathode inlet pressure during the introduction of the dummy load is an important factor in analyzing the performance decay of membrane electrode assemblies under different conditions. Electrochemical techniques, including the measurement of polarization curves, cyclic and linear sweep voltammetry, and cross-sectional scanning electron microscopy of tested membrane electrode assemblies, are employed to evaluate the performance decay of fuel cells. The results show that a closed cathode exhaust valve during the introduction of the dummy load would significantly alleviate both the performance decay and the decrease in the electrochemically active surface area, resulting in an improvement in fuel cell durability. No significant deterioration of the membranes is observed for both the open-ended and the closed cells during frequent startup and shutdown processes.

  3. Develpment of Higher Temperature Membrane and Electrode Assembly (MEA) for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Devices

    SciTech Connect

    Susan Agro, Anthony DeCarmine, Shari Williams

    2005-12-30

    Our work will fucus on developing higher temperature MEAs based on SPEKK polymer blends. Thse MEAs will be designed to operatre at 120 degrees C Higher temperatures, up to 200 degrees C will also be explored. This project will develop Nafion-free MEAs using only SPEKK blends in both membrane and catalytic layers.

  4. Dimensionally-stable phosphoric acid-doped polybenzimidazoles for high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Xiaobai; Ma, Hongwei; Shen, Yanchao; Hu, Wei; Jiang, Zhenhua; Liu, Baijun; Guiver, Michael D.

    2016-12-01

    Phosphoric acid-doped polybenzimidazole (PA-m-PBI) membranes are widely investigated for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells because of their low cost and high performance. For this system, a major challenge is in achieving a good compromise between the phosphoric acid doping level and the membrane dimensional-mechanical stability. Different from the established PA-m-PBI system, the present work investigates two types of PA-PBI membranes incorporating flexible ether linkages and asymmetric bulky pendants (phenyl and methylphenyl), which exhibit much better dimensional-mechanical stability after immersing in PA solution, even at high temperature for an extended period. This superior stability allowed higher acid doping levels (20.6 and 24.6) to be achieved, thus increasing proton conductivity (165 and 217 mS cm-1 at 200 °C under anhydrous conditions) as well as significantly improving fuel cell performance. The peak power densities in hydrogen/air fuel cell were 279 and 320 mW cm-2 at 160 °C, without humidification. Molecular simulation, density and fractional free volume, and wide-angle X-ray diffraction were used to investigate their structure-property relationships.

  5. Hydrocarbon and partially fluorinated sulfonated copolymer blends as functional membranes for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arnett, Natalie Y.; Harrison, William L.; Badami, Anand S.; Roy, Abhishek; Lane, Ozma; Cromer, Frank; Dong, Limin; McGrath, James E.

    Polymer blending is recognized as a valuable technique used to modify and improve the mechanical, thermal, and surface properties of two different polymers or copolymers. This paper investigated the solution properties and membrane properties of a biphenol-based disulfonated poly (arylene ether sulfone) random copolymer (BPS-35) with hexafluoroisopropylidene bisphenol based sulfonated poly (arylene ether sulfone) copolymers (6FSH) and an unsulfonated biphenol-based poly (arylene ether sulfone)s. The development of blended membranes with desirable surface characteristics, reduced water swelling and similar proton conductivity is presented. Polymer blends were prepared both in the sodium salt and acid forms from dimethylacetamide (DMAc). Water uptake, specific conductivity, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and contact angles were used to characterize the blended films. Surface enrichment of the fluorinated component is illustrated by an significant increase in the water-surface contact angle was observed when 10 wt.% 6FBPA-00 (106°) was added to BPS 35 (80°). Water weight gain was reduced by a factor of 2.

  6. Investigating the effects of proton exchange membrane fuel cell conditions on carbon supported platinum electrocatalyst composition and performance

    SciTech Connect

    Patel, Anant; Artyushkova, Kateryna; Atanassov, Plamen; Colbow, Vesna; Dutta, Monica; Harvey, Davie; Wessel, Silvia

    2011-12-01

    Changes that carbon-supported platinum electrocatalysts undergo in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell environment were simulated by ex situ heat treatment of catalyst powder samples at 150 C and 100% relative humidity. In order to study modifications that are introduced to chemistry, morphology, and performance of electrocatalysts, XPS, HREELS and three-electrode rotating disk electrode experiments were performed. Before heat treatment, graphitic content varied by 20% among samples with different types of carbon supports, with distinct differences between bulk and surface compositions within each sample. Following the aging protocol, the bulk and surface chemistry of the samples were similar, with graphite content increasing or remaining constant and Pt-carbide decreasing for all samples. From the correlation of changes in chemical composition and losses in performance of the electrocatalysts, we conclude that relative distribution of Pt particles on graphitic and amorphous carbon is as important for electrocatalytic activity as the absolute amount of graphitic carbon present

  7. Investigating the effects of proton exchange membrane fuel cell conditions on carbon supported platinum electrocatalyst composition and performance

    SciTech Connect

    A. Patel; K. Artyushkova; P. Atanassov; V. Colbow; M. Dutta; D. Harvey; S. Wessel

    2012-04-30

    Changes that carbon-supported platinum electrocatalysts undergo in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell environment were simulated by ex situ heat treatment of catalyst powder samples at 150 C and 100% relative humidity. In order to study modifications that are introduced to chemistry, morphology, and performance of electrocatalysts, XPS, HREELS and three-electrode rotating disk electrode experiments were performed. Before heat treatment, graphitic content varied by 20% among samples with different types of carbon supports, with distinct differences between bulk and surface compositions within each sample. Following the aging protocol, the bulk and surface chemistry of the samples were similar, with graphite content increasing or remaining constant and Pt-carbide decreasing for all samples. From the correlation of changes in chemical composition and losses in performance of the electrocatalysts, we conclude that relative distribution of Pt particles on graphitic and amorphous carbon is as important for electrocatalytic activity as the absolute amount of graphitic carbon present

  8. Analytical Investigation and Improvement of Performance of a Proton Exchange Membrane (Pem) Fuel Cell in Mobile Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khazaee, I.

    2015-05-01

    In this study, the performance of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell in mobile applications is investigated analytically. At present the main use and advantages of fuel cells impact particularly strongly on mobile applications such as vehicles, mobile computers and mobile telephones. Some external parameters such as the cell temperature (Tcell ) , operating pressure of gases (P) and air stoichiometry (λair ) affect the performance and voltage losses in the PEM fuel cell. Because of the existence of many theoretical, empirical and semi-empirical models of the PEM fuel cell, it is necessary to compare the accuracy of these models. But theoretical models that are obtained from thermodynamic and electrochemical approach, are very exact but complex, so it would be easier to use the empirical and smi-empirical models in order to forecast the fuel cell system performance in many applications such as mobile applications. The main purpose of this study is to obtain the semi-empirical relation of a PEM fuel cell with the least voltage losses. Also, the results are compared with the existing experimental results in the literature and a good agreement is seen.

  9. Low platinum loading for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell developed by ultrasonic spray coating technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, Huaneng; Jao, Ting-Chu; Barron, Olivia; Pollet, Bruno G.; Pasupathi, Sivakumar

    2014-12-01

    This paper reports use of an ultrasonic-spray for producing low Pt loadings membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) with the catalyst coated substrate (CCS) fabrication technique. The main MEA sub-components (catalyst, membrane and gas diffusion layer (GDL)) are supplied from commercial manufacturers. In this study, high temperature (HT) MEAs with phosphoric acid (PA)-doped poly(2,5-benzimidazole) (AB-PBI) membrane are fabricated and tested under 160 °C, hydrogen and air feed 100 and 250 cc min-1 and ambient pressure conditions. Four different Pt loadings (from 0.138 to 1.208 mg cm-2) are investigated in this study. The experiment data are determined by in-situ electrochemical methods such as polarization curve, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and cyclic voltammetry (CV). The high Pt loading MEA exhibits higher performance at high voltage operating conditions but lower performances at peak power due to the poor mass transfer. The Pt loading 0.350 mg cm-2 GDE performs the peak power density and peak cathode mass power to 0.339 W cm-2 and 0.967 W mgPt-1, respectively. This work presents impressive cathode mass power and high fuel cell performance for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells (HT-PEMFCs) with low Pt loadings.

  10. Improved durability of proton exchange membrane fuel cells by introducing Sn (IV) oxide into electrodes using an ion exchange method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poulsen, M. G.; Larsen, M. J.; Andersen, S. M.

    2017-03-01

    Electrodes of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs), consisting of catalyst-coated gas diffusion layers, were subjected to an optimized ion exchange procedure, in which tin (IV) oxide (SnO2) nanoparticles were introduced into them. Both methanol and sulfuric acid were tested as ion exchange solvents. SnO2 has previously been shown to exhibit radical scavenging abilities towards radicals inside the electrocatalyst layers. Its presence inside the electrodes was confirmed using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and X-ray fluorescence. After exposure to an accelerated stress test in a three-electrode setup, the electrodes containing SnO2 were found to have retained approximately 73.0% of their original Pt, while only 53.2% was retained in electrodes treated identically, but without Sn. Similarly, the SnO2-treated electrodes also experienced a smaller loss in electrochemical surface area in comparison to before the accelerated stress test. A membrane electrode assembly (MEA) constructed with a SnO2-containing anode was evaluated over 500 h. The results showed remarkably reduced OCV decay rate and end of test hydrogen crossover compared to the control MEA, indicating that SnO2 aids in impeding membrane thinning and pinhole formation. The results point toward a positive effect of SnO2 on fuel cell durability, by reducing the degradation of the membrane as well as of the ionomer in the electrocatalyst layer.

  11. Improving a free air breathing proton exchange membrane fuel cell through the Maximum Efficiency Point Tracking method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Higuita Cano, Mauricio; Mousli, Mohamed Islam Aniss; Kelouwani, Sousso; Agbossou, Kodjo; Hammoudi, Mhamed; Dubé, Yves

    2017-03-01

    This work investigates the design and validation of a fuel cell management system (FCMS) which can perform when the fuel cell is at water freezing temperature. This FCMS is based on a new tracking technique with intelligent prediction, which combined the Maximum Efficiency Point Tracking with variable perturbation-current step and the fuzzy logic technique (MEPT-FL). Unlike conventional fuel cell control systems, our proposed FCMS considers the cold-weather conditions, the reduction of fuel cell set-point oscillations. In addition, the FCMS is built to respond quickly and effectively to the variations of electric load. A temperature controller stage is designed in conjunction with the MEPT-FL in order to operate the FC at low-temperature values whilst tracking at the same time the maximum efficiency point. The simulation results have as well experimental validation suggest that propose approach is effective and can achieve an average efficiency improvement up to 8%. The MEPT-FL is validated using a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) of 500 W.

  12. Local area water removal analysis of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell under gas purge conditions.

    PubMed

    Lee, Chi-Yuan; Lee, Yu-Ming; Lee, Shuo-Jen

    2012-01-01

    In this study, local area water content distribution under various gas purging conditions are experimentally analyzed for the first time. The local high frequency resistance (HFR) is measured using novel micro sensors. The results reveal that the liquid water removal rate in a membrane electrode assembly (MEA) is non-uniform. In the under-the-channel area, the removal of liquid water is governed by both convective and diffusive flux of the through-plane drying. Thus, almost all of the liquid water is removed within 30 s of purging with gas. However, liquid water that is stored in the under-the-rib area is not easy to remove during 1 min of gas purging. Therefore, the re-hydration of the membrane by internal diffusive flux is faster than that in the under-the-channel area. Consequently, local fuel starvation and membrane degradation can degrade the performance of a fuel cell that is started from cold.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  14. Modeling hydrogen starvation conditions in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohs, Jan Hendrik; Sauter, Ulrich; Maass, Sebastian; Stolten, Detlef

    In this study, a steady state and isothermal 2D-PEM fuel cell model is presented. By simulation of a single cell along the channel and in through-plane direction, its behaviour under hydrogen starvation due to nitrogen dilution is analysed. Under these conditions, carbon corrosion and water electrolysis are observed on the cathode side. This phenomenon, causing severe cell degradation, is known as reverse current decay mechanism in literature. Butler-Volmer equations are used to model the electrochemical reactions. In addition, we account for permeation of gases through the membrane and for the local water content within the membrane. The results show that the membrane potential locally drops in areas starved from hydrogen. This leads to potential gradients >1.2 V between electrode and membrane on the cathode side resulting in significant carbon corrosion and electrolysis reaction rates. The model enables the analysis of sub-stoichiometric states occurring during anode gas recirculation or load transients.

  15. Analysis of the behavior and degradation in proton exchange membrane fuel cells with a dead-ended anode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Jianliang; Jiang, Zuwei; Hou, Ming; Liang, Dong; Xiao, Yu; Dou, Meiling; Shao, Zhigang; Yi, Baolian

    2014-01-01

    Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) with a dead-ended anode (DEA) can obtain high hydrogen utilization by a comparatively simple system. Nevertheless, the accumulation of the nitrogen and the water in the anode channels can lead to a local fuel starvation, which degrades the performance and durability of PEMFCs. In this paper, the behaviors of PEMFCs with a DEA are explored experimentally by detecting the current distribution and the local potentials. The results indicate that the current distribution is uneven during the DEA operation. The local current firstly decreases at the region near the anode outlet, and then extends to the inlet region along the channels with time. The complete fuel starvation near the anode outlet leads to a high local potential and carbon corrosion on the cathode side. The SEM images of the cathode electrode reveal that the significant thickness reduction and the collapse of the electrode's porous structure happen in the cathode catalyst layer, leading to the irreversible decline of the performance. The comparison of the experiments with different oxidants and fuels reveals that the nitrogen crossover from cathode to anode is the dominant factor on the performance decline under the DEA operations.

  16. Membrane electrode assembly with enhanced platinum utilization for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell prepared by catalyst coating membrane method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, Huagen; Su, Huaneng; Pollet, Bruno G.; Linkov, Vladimir; Pasupathi, Sivakumar

    2014-11-01

    In this work, membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) prepared by catalyst coating membrane (CCM) method are investigated for reduced platinum (Pt) loading and improved Pt utilization of high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) based on phosphoric acid (PA)-doped poly(2,5-benzimidazole) (AB-PBI) membrane. The results show that CCM method exhibits significantly higher cell performance and Pt-specific power density than that of MEAs prepared with conventional gas diffusion electrode (GDE) under a low Pt loading level. In-suit cyclic voltammetry (CV) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) show that the MEAs prepared by the CCM method have a higher electrochemical surface area (ECSA), low cell ohmic resistance and low charge transfer resistance as compared to those prepared with GDEs at the same Pt loading.

  17. Non-covalent bonding interaction of surfactants with functionalized carbon nanotubes in proton exchange membranes for fuel cell applications.

    PubMed

    Sayeed, M Abu; Kim, Young Ho; Park, Younjin; Gopalan, A I; Lee, Kwang-Pill; Choi, Sang-June

    2013-11-01

    Dispersion of functionalized multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) in proton exchange membranes (PEMs) was conducted via non-covalent bonding between benzene rings of various surfactants and functionalized MWCNTs. In the solution casting method, dispersion of functionalized MWCNTs in PEMs such as Nafion membranes is a critical issue. In this study, 1 wt.% pristine MWCNTs (p-MWCNTs) and oxidized MWCNTs (ox-MWCNTs) were reinforced in Nafion membranes by adding 0.1-0.5 wt.% of a surfactant such as benzalkonium chloride (BKC) as a cationic surfactant with a benzene ring, Tween-80 as a nonanionic surfactant without a benzene ring, sodium dodecylsulfonate (SDS) as an anionic surfactant without a benzene ring, or sodium dodecylben-zenesulfonate (SDBS) as an anionic surfactant with a benzene ring and their effects on the dispersion of nanocomposites were then observed. Among these surfactants, those with benzene rings such as BKC and SDBS produced enhanced dispersion via non-covalent bonding interaction between CNTs and surfactants. Specifically, the surfactants were adsorbed onto the surface of functionalized MWCNTs, where they prevented re-aggregation of MWCNTs in the nanocomposites. Furthermore, the prepared CNTs reinforced nanocomposite membranes showed reduced methanol uptake values while the ion exchange capacity values were maintained. The enhanced properties, including thermal property of the CNTs reinforced PEMs with surfactants, could be applicable to fuel cell applications.

  18. Three-dimensional two-phase flow model of proton exchange membrane fuel cell with parallel gas distributors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Xunliang; Lou, Guofeng; Wen, Zhi

    A non-isothermal, steady-state, three-dimensional (3D), two-phase, multicomponent transport model is developed for proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell with parallel gas distributors. A key feature of this work is that a detailed membrane model is developed for the liquid water transport with a two-mode water transfer condition, accounting for the non-equilibrium humidification of membrane with the replacement of an equilibrium assumption. Another key feature is that water transport processes inside electrodes are coupled and the balance of water flux is insured between anode and cathode during the modeling. The model is validated by the comparison of predicted cell polarization curve with experimental data. The simulation is performed for water vapor concentration field of reactant gases, water content distribution in the membrane, liquid water velocity field and liquid water saturation distribution inside the cathode. The net water flux and net water transport coefficient values are obtained at different current densities in this work, which are seldom discussed in other modeling works. The temperature distribution inside the cell is also simulated by this model.

  19. Issues associated with modelling of proton exchange membrane fuel cell by computational fluid dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bednarek, Tomasz; Tsotridis, Georgios

    2017-03-01

    The objective of the current study is to highlight possible limitations and difficulties associated with Computational Fluid Dynamics in PEM single fuel cell modelling. It is shown that an appropriate convergence methodology should be applied for steady-state solutions, due to inherent numerical instabilities. A single channel fuel cell model has been taken as numerical example. Results are evaluated for quantitative as well qualitative points of view. The contribution to the polarization curve of the different fuel cell components such as bi-polar plates, gas diffusion layers, catalyst layers and membrane was investigated via their effects on the overpotentials. Furthermore, the potential losses corresponding to reaction kinetics, due to ohmic and mas transport limitations and the effect of the exchange current density and open circuit voltage, were also investigated. It is highlighted that the lack of reliable and robust input data is one of the issues for obtaining accurate results.

  20. Polymeric nanocomposite proton exchange membranes prepared by radiation-induced polymerization for direct methanol fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Young-Seok; Seo, Kwang-Seok; Choi, Seong-Ho

    2016-01-01

    The vinyl group-modified montmorillonite clay (F-MMT), vinyl group-modified graphene oxide (F-GO), and vinyl group-modified multi-walled carbon nanotube (F-MWNT) were first prepared by ion exchange reaction of 1-[(4-ethylphenyl)methyl]-3-butyl-imidazolium chloride in order to use the materials for protection against methanol cross-over in direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) membrane. Then polymeric nanocomposite membranes with F-MMT, F-GO, and F-MWNT were prepared by the solvent casting method after radiation-induced polymerization of vinyl monomers in water-methanol mixture solvents. The proton conductivity, water uptake, ion-exchange capacity, methanol permeability, and DMFC performance of the polymeric nanocomposite membranes with F-MMT, F-GO, and F-MWNT were evaluated.

  1. Improvement the equation of polarization curve of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell at different channel geometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khazaee, I.

    2015-12-01

    The polarization curve of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell is an important parameter which is expressed by the change of voltage and current of it that indicates the performance of the cell. The voltage of the cell is a function of temperature that is expressed by the Nernst equation and the equation of voltage losses such as activation loss, ohmic loss and concentration loss. In this study a new correlation for polarization curve is obtained that it in addition to temperature, a new parameter is involved in it that shows the effect of the geometry of cross-section area of channels. For this purpose three PEM fuel cells with different channels geometry of rectangular, elliptical and triangular have constructed. The active area of each cell is 25 cm2 that its weight is 1300 g. The material of the gas diffusion layer is carbon clothes, the membrane is nafion 117 and the catalyst layer is a plane with 0.004 g/cm2 platinum. Also a test bench designed and constructed for testing the cell and a series of experiments are carried out to investigate the influence of the geometry of the cell on performance of the cell. The results show that when the geometry of channel is rectangular the performance of the cell is better than the triangular and elliptical channel.

  2. Analysis of the control structures for an integrated ethanol processor for proton exchange membrane fuel cell systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biset, S.; Nieto Deglioumini, L.; Basualdo, M.; Garcia, V. M.; Serra, M.

    The aim of this work is to investigate which would be a good preliminary plantwide control structure for the process of Hydrogen production from bioethanol to be used in a proton exchange membrane (PEM) accounting only steady-state information. The objective is to keep the process under optimal operation point, that is doing energy integration to achieve the maximum efficiency. Ethanol, produced from renewable feedstocks, feeds a fuel processor investigated for steam reforming, followed by high- and low-temperature shift reactors and preferential oxidation, which are coupled to a polymeric fuel cell. Applying steady-state simulation techniques and using thermodynamic models the performance of the complete system with two different control structures have been evaluated for the most typical perturbations. A sensitivity analysis for the key process variables together with the rigorous operability requirements for the fuel cell are taking into account for defining acceptable plantwide control structure. This is the first work showing an alternative control structure applied to this kind of process.

  3. Synthesis of transport layers with controlled anisotropy and application thereof to study proton exchange membrane fuel cell performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Todd, Devin; Mérida, Walter

    2016-04-01

    We report on a novel method for the synthesis of fibre-based proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell porous transport layers (PTLs) with controllable fibre alignment. We also report the first application of such layers as diagnostics tools to probe the effect of within-plane PTL anisotropy upon PEM fuel cell performance. These structures are realized via adaptation of electrospinning technology. Electrospun layers with progressive anisotropy magnitude are produced and evaluated. This novel approach is distinguished from the state-of-the-art because an equivalent study using commercially available materials is impossible due to lack of structurally similar substrates with different anisotropies. The anisotropy is visualized via scanning electron microscopy, and quantified using electrical resistivity. The capacity is demonstrated to achieve fibre alignment, and the associated impact on transport properties. A framework is presented for assessing the in-situ performance, whereby transport layer orientation versus bipolar plate flow-field geometry is manipulated. While an effect upon the commercial baseline cannot be discerned, electrospun transport layers with greater anisotropy magnitude suggest greater sensitivity to orientation; where greater performance is obtained with fibres cross-aligned to flow-field channels. Our approach of electrospun transport enables deterministic structures by which fuel cell performance can be explained and optimized.

  4. Improvement of proton-exchange membrane fuel cell performance using platinum-loaded carbon black entrapped in crosslinked chitosan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phompan, Waranya; Hansupalak, Nanthiya

    To improve the performance of proton-exchange membrane fuel cells which use hydrogen and oxygen as fuels, the application of small proton-conducting polymer to extend the three-phase boundary into the primary pores of catalyst-loaded carbon black agglomerates is of interest. An alternative and simple crosslinking method is proposed in place of the complicated polymer-grafting methods. Platinum-loaded carbon black is entrapped in epichlorohydrin-crosslinked chitosan of low molecular weight. Morphology and pore analyses of carbon black prior and post treatment are assessed, as well as performances of fuel cells fabricated with the treated and the untreated carbon black at 40 °C and 100% humidity. Results indicate the existence of chitosan chains in the primary pores of the carbon black agglomerates, corresponding to a decline in the activation overvoltage and resulting in significantly better cell performance. An increase in chitosan amount, however, does not necessarily enhance the cell performance because effects of ohmic and concentration losses may become more dominant than that of the raised exchange current density of the cell.

  5. High energy efficiency and high power density proton exchange membrane fuel cells: Electrode kinetics and mass transport

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Srinivasan, Supramaniam; Velev, Omourtag A.; Parthasathy, Arvind; Manko, David J.; Appleby, A. John

    1991-01-01

    The development of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell power plants with high energy efficiencies and high power densities is gaining momentum because of the vital need of such high levels of performance for extraterrestrial (space, underwater) and terrestrial (power source for electric vehicles) applications. Since 1987, considerable progress has been made in achieving energy efficiencies of about 60 percent at a current density of 200 mA/sq cm and high power densities (greater than 1 W/sq cm) in PEM fuel cells with high (4 mg/sq cm) or low (0.4 mg/sq cm) platinum loadings in electrodes. The following areas are discussed: (1) methods to obtain these high levels of performance with low Pt loading electrodes - by proton conductor impregnation into electrodes, localization of Pt near front surface; (2) a novel microelectrode technique which yields electrode kinetic parameters for oxygen reduction and mass transport parameters; (3) demonstration of lack of water transport from anode to cathode; (4) modeling analysis of PEM fuel cell for comparison with experimental results and predicting further improvements in performance; and (5) recommendations of needed research and development for achieving the above goals.

  6. A review of composite and metallic bipolar plates in proton exchange membrane fuel cell: Materials, fabrication, and material selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taherian, Reza

    2014-11-01

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells offer exceptional potential for a clean, efficient, and reliable power source. The bipolar plate (BP) is a key component in this device, as it connects each cell electrically, supplies reactant gases to both anode and cathode, and removes reaction products from the cell. BPs have primarily been fabricated from high-density graphite, but in recent years, much attention has been paid to develop the cost-effective and feasible alternative materials. Recently, two different classes of materials have been attracted attention: metals and composite materials. This paper offers a comprehensive review of the current researches being carried out on the metallic and composite BPs, covering materials and fabrication methods. In this research, the phenomenon of ionic contamination due to the release of the corrosion products of metallic BP and relative impact on the durability as well as performance of PEM fuel cells is extensively investigated. Furthermore, in this paper, upon several effective parameters on commercialization of PEM fuel cells, such as stack cost, weight, volume, durability, strength, ohmic resistance, and ionic contamination, a material selection is performed among the most common BPs currently being used. This material selection is conducted by using Simple Additive Weighting Method (SAWM).

  7. Proton exchange membranes for application in fuel cells: grafted silica/SPEEK nanocomposite elaboration and characterization.

    PubMed

    Reinholdt, Marc X; Kaliaguine, Serge

    2010-07-06

    Hydrogen technologies and especially fuel cells are key components in the battle to find alternate sources of energy to the highly polluting and economically constraining fossil fuels in an aim to preserve the environment. The present paper shows the synthesis of surface functionalized silica nanoparticles, which are used to prepare grafted silica/SPEEK nanocomposite membranes. The nanoparticles are grafted either with hexadecylsilyl or aminopropyldimethylsilyl moieties or both. The synthesized particles are analyzed using XRD, NMR, TEM, and DLS to collect information on the nature of the particles and the functional groups, on the particle sizes, and on the hydrophilic/hydrophobic character. The composite membranes prepared using the synthesized particles and two SPEEK polymers with sulfonation degrees of 69.4% and 85.0% are characterized for their proton conductivity and water uptake properties. The corresponding curves are very similar for the composites prepared with both polymers and the nanoparticles bearing the two functional groups. The composites prepared with the nanoparticles bearing solely the aminopropyldimethylsilyl moiety exhibit lower conductivity and water uptake, possibly due to higher interaction of the polymer sulfonic acid sites with the amine groups. The composites prepared with the nanoparticles bearing solely the hexadecylsilyl moiety were not further investigated because of very high particles segregation. A study of the proton conductivity as a function of temperature was performed on selected membranes and showed that nanocomposites made with nanoparticles bearing both functional moieties have a higher conductivity at higher temperatures.

  8. Effective Transport Properties Accounting for Electrochemical Reactions of Proton-Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Catalyst Layers

    SciTech Connect

    Pharoah, Jon; Choi, Hae-Won; Chueh, Chih-Che; Harvey, David

    2011-07-01

    There has been a rapidly growing interest in three-dimensional micro-structural reconstruction of fuel cell electrodes so as to derive more accurate descriptors of the pertinent geometric and effective transport properties. Due to the limited accessibility of experiments based reconstruction techniques, such as dual-beam focused ion beam-scanning electro microscopy or micro X-Ray computed tomography, within sample micro-structures of the catalyst layers in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), a particle based numerical model is used in this study to reconstruct sample microstructure of the catalyst layers in PEMFCs. Then the reconstructed sample structure is converted into the computational grid using body-fitted/cut-cell based unstructured meshing technique. Finally, finite volume methods (FVM) are applied to calculate effective properties on computational sample domains.

  9. Poly(organophosphazenes) with azolylmethylphenoxy and pyridinoxy side groups to be used as proton exchange membranes in fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ekanayake, Sujeewani K.

    2011-12-01

    Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs) are of great importance to many stationary and portable applications. The development of a more efficient, high-temperature tolerant membrane with a high protonic conductivity has become critical to the better performance of PEMFCs. Consequently, the focus of current research is more focused on synthesizing membranes which can function at a non-humidified high temperature environment. Because N-heterocycles such as azoles substituted on a polyphosphazene backbone have been found to be one of the best polymers in this regard, the focus of this dissertation is primarily on developing PEMs (proton exchange membranes) based on azole and pyridine substituted phosphazenes. In Chapter 1, an overview on PEMFCs as well as PEMs that have been synthesized to date is presented. The first part of the introduction is devoted to sulfonated fluorocarbon-based membrane, NafionRTM. Then the focus slowly shifts towards PEMs based on hydrocarbon polymers. The rest of Chapter 1 mainly revolves around polyphosphazene based PEMs. Chapter 2 describes the synthesis of trimeric, small-molecule, model compounds for high polymers. A series of hexakis(azolylmethylphenoxy)cyclotriphosphazenes where the azolyl groups are pyrazol, 1,2,4-triazol and 5-methyltetrazol and all three isomers of hexakis(pyridinoxy)cyclotriphosphazenes have been synthesized and characterized. The focus of Chapter 3 is on the synthesis of poly(dichlorophosphazene) by modifying a literature procedure reported by Wang (Macromolecules 2005, 38, 643--645) via one-pot in situ polycondensation. Chapter 3 also presents a preliminary study on ring opening polymerization. The focus of Chapter 4 is completely on the synthesis and characterization of azole and pyridine substituted polyphosphazenes. Chapter 5 includes film casting studies from both triazolphenol trimer and polymer to obtain corresponding composites and blends by mixing with commercially available poly(PMDA-ODA) amic acid

  10. Computational modeling of transport and electrochemical reactions in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Um, Sukkee

    A comprehensive, multi-physics computational fuel cell dynamics (CFCD) model integrating electrochemical kinetics, charge transport, mass transport (particularly water transport), and flow dynamics is developed in this thesis. The numerical model is validated against published experimental data and utilized to generate results that reveal the internal operation of a PEM fuel cell. A number of model applications are demonstrated in the present work. First, the CFCD model is applied to explore hydrogen dilution effects in the anode feed. Detailed two-dimensional electrochemical and flow/transport simulations are provided to examine substantial anode concentration polarization due to hydrogen depletion at the reaction sites. A transient simulation of the cell current response to a step change in cell voltage is also attempted to elucidate characteristics of the dynamic response of a fuel cell for the first time. After the two-dimensional computational study, the CFCD model is applied to illustrate three-dimensional interactions between mass transfer and electrochemical kinetics. Emphasis is placed on obtaining a fundamental understanding of fully three-dimensional flow in the air cathode with interdigitated flowfield design and how it impacts the transport and electrochemical reaction processes. The innovative design concept for enhanced oxygen transport to, and effective water removal from the cathode, is explored numerically. Next, an analytical study of water transport is performed to investigate various water transport regimes of practical interest. The axial locations characteristic of anode water loss and cathode flooding are predicted theoretically and compared with numerical results. A continuous stirred fuel cell reactor (CSFCR) model is also proposed for the limiting situation where the anode and cathode sides reach equilibrium in water concentration with a thin ionomer membrane in between. In addition to the analytical solutions, a detailed water transport

  11. Effect of System Contaminants on the Performance of a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

    SciTech Connect

    Mehrabadi, Bahareh Alsadat Tavakoli; Dinh, Huyen N.; Bender, Guido; Weidner, John W.

    2016-01-01

    The performance loss and recovery of the fuel cell due to Balance of Plant (BOP) contaminants was identified via a combination of experimental data and a mathematical model. The experiments were designed to study the influence of organic contaminants (e.g. those from BOP materials) on the resistance of the catalyst, ionomer and membrane, and a mathematical model was developed that allowed us to separate these competing resistances from the data collected on an operating fuel cell. For this reason, based on the functional groups, four organic contaminants found in BOP materials, diethylene glycol monoethyl ether (DGMEE), diethylene glycol monoethyl ether acetate (DGMEA), benzyl alcohol (BzOH) and 2,6-diaminotoluene (2,6-DAT) were infused separately to the cathode side of the fuel cell. The cell voltage and high frequency impedance resistance was measured as a function of time. The contaminant feed was then discontinued and voltage recovery was measured. It was determined that compounds with ion exchange properties like 2,6-DAT can cause voltage loss with non-reversible recovery, so this compound was studied in more detail. The degree of voltage loss increased with an increase in concentration, and/or infusion time, and increased with a decrease in catalyst loadings.

  12. Effect of System Contaminants on the Performance of a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

    DOE PAGES

    Mehrabadi, Bahareh Alsadat Tavakoli; Dinh, Huyen N.; Bender, Guido; ...

    2016-11-10

    The performance loss and recovery of the fuel cell due to Balance of Plant (BOP) contaminants was identified via a combination of experimental data and a mathematical model. The experiments were designed to study the influence of organic contaminants (e.g. those from BOP materials) on the resistance of the catalyst, ionomer and membrane, and a mathematical model was developed that allowed us to separate these competing resistances from the data collected on an operating fuel cell. For this reason, based on the functional groups, four organic contaminants found in BOP materials, diethylene glycol monoethyl ether (DGMEE), diethylene glycol monoethyl ethermore » acetate (DGMEA), benzyl alcohol (BzOH) and 2,6-diaminotoluene (2,6-DAT) were infused separately to the cathode side of the fuel cell. The cell voltage and high frequency impedance resistance was measured as a function of time. The contaminant feed was then discontinued and voltage recovery was measured. It was determined that compounds with ion exchange properties like 2,6-DAT can cause voltage loss with non-reversible recovery, so this compound was studied in more detail. Finally, the degree of voltage loss increased with an increase in concentration, and/or infusion time, and increased with a decrease in catalyst loadings.« less

  13. Effect of System Contaminants on the Performance of a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

    SciTech Connect

    Mehrabadi, Bahareh Alsadat Tavakoli; Dinh, Huyen N.; Bender, Guido; Weidner, John W.

    2016-11-10

    The performance loss and recovery of the fuel cell due to Balance of Plant (BOP) contaminants was identified via a combination of experimental data and a mathematical model. The experiments were designed to study the influence of organic contaminants (e.g. those from BOP materials) on the resistance of the catalyst, ionomer and membrane, and a mathematical model was developed that allowed us to separate these competing resistances from the data collected on an operating fuel cell. For this reason, based on the functional groups, four organic contaminants found in BOP materials, diethylene glycol monoethyl ether (DGMEE), diethylene glycol monoethyl ether acetate (DGMEA), benzyl alcohol (BzOH) and 2,6-diaminotoluene (2,6-DAT) were infused separately to the cathode side of the fuel cell. The cell voltage and high frequency impedance resistance was measured as a function of time. The contaminant feed was then discontinued and voltage recovery was measured. It was determined that compounds with ion exchange properties like 2,6-DAT can cause voltage loss with non-reversible recovery, so this compound was studied in more detail. Finally, the degree of voltage loss increased with an increase in concentration, and/or infusion time, and increased with a decrease in catalyst loadings.

  14. Thermal and electrochemical durability of carbonaceous composites used as a bipolar plate of proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kinumoto, Taro; Nagano, Keita; Tsumura, Tomoki; Toyoda, Masahiro

    Thermal and electrochemical durability of carbonaceous composite plates, which are made from graphite powders and a resin for use as bipolar plates of PEMFC (proton exchange membrane fuel cell), were investigated. The thermal durability was investigated by TG (thermal gravimetry) coupled with DTA (differential thermal analysis) technique under air up to 600 °C. A weight loss was significant over 300 °C, but the hydrophobicity was decreased after heated at 80 °C for 192 h. The electrochemical durability was investigated in 10 μmol dm -3 of hydrochloric acid solution under nitrogen or oxygen atmosphere by means of potential holding test from 0.8 to 1.5 V against RHE (reversible hydrogen electrode) at 80 °C. During the potential holding tests, CO 2 production due to the corrosion was quantified by a GC (gas-chromatography) and the production was detectable above 1.3 V irrespective with atmosphere; on the other hand, it was clarified from the contact angle measurements that the hydrophobicity was changed below 1.3 V. The results of this study showed that the carbonaceous composite plates were electrochemically degraded under PEMFC condition and were seriously degraded in URFC (unitized regenerative fuel cell) condition.

  15. Modeling the performance of hydrogen-oxygen unitized regenerative proton exchange membrane fuel cells for energy storage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guarnieri, Massimo; Alotto, Piergiorgio; Moro, Federico

    2015-11-01

    Thanks to the independent sizing of power and energy, hydrogen-based energy storage is one of the very few technologies capable of providing long operational times in addition to the other advantages offered by electrochemical energy storage, for example scalability, site versatility, and mobile service. The typical design consists of an electrolyzer in charge mode and a separate fuel cell in discharge mode. Instead, a unitized regenerative fuel cell (URFC) is a single device performing both energy conversions, achieving a higher compactness and power-to-weight ratio. This paper presents a performance model of a URFC based on a proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyte and working on hydrogen and oxygen, which can provide high energy and power densities (>0.7 W cm-2). It provides voltage, power, and efficiency at varying load conditions as functions of the controlling physical quantities: temperature, pressure, concentration, and humidification. The model constitutes a tool for designing the interface and control sub-system as well as for exploring optimized cell/stack designs and operational conditions. To date, only a few of such analyses have been carried out and more research is needed in order to explore the true potential of URFCs.

  16. Real-time remote monitoring of temperature and humidity within a proton exchange membrane fuel cell using flexible sensors.

    PubMed

    Kuo, Long-Sheng; Huang, Hao-Hsiu; Yang, Cheng-Hao; Chen, Ping-Hei

    2011-01-01

    This study developed portable, non-invasive flexible humidity and temperature microsensors and an in situ wireless sensing system for a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). The system integrated three parts: a flexible capacitive humidity microsensor, a flexible resistive temperature microsensor, and a radio frequency (RF) module for signal transmission. The results show that the capacitive humidity microsensor has a high sensitivity of 0.83 pF%RH(-1) and the resistive temperature microsensor also exhibits a high sensitivity of 2.94 × 10(-3) °C(-1). The established RF module transmits the signals from the two microsensors. The transmission distance can reach 4 m and the response time is less than 0.25 s. The performance measurements demonstrate that the maximum power density of the fuel cell with and without these microsensors are 14.76 mW·cm(-2) and 15.90 mW·cm(-2), with only 7.17% power loss.

  17. Coupled modeling of water transport and air-droplet interaction in the electrode of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esposito, Angelo; Pianese, Cesare; Guezennec, Yann G.

    In this work, an accurate and computationally fast model for liquid water transport within a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) electrode is developed by lumping the space-dependence of the relevant variables. Capillarity is considered as the main transport mechanism within the gas diffusion layer (GDL). The novelty of the model lies in the coupled simulation of the water transport at the interface between gas diffusion layer and gas flow channel (GFC). This is achieved with a phenomenological description of the process that allows its simulation with relative simplicity. Moreover, a detailed two-dimensional visualization of such interface is achieved via geometric simulation of water droplets formation, growth, coalescence and detachment on the surface of the GDL. The model is useful for optimization analysis oriented to both PEMFC design and balance of plant. Furthermore, the accomplishment of reduced computational time and good accuracy makes the model suitable for control strategy implementation to ensure PEM fuel cells operation within optimal electrode water content.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reshetenko, Tatyana V.; St-Pierre, Jean

    2015-08-01

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

  19. Proton exchange membrane fuel cell model for aging predictions: Simulated equivalent active surface area loss and comparisons with durability tests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robin, C.; Gérard, M.; Quinaud, M.; d'Arbigny, J.; Bultel, Y.

    2016-09-01

    The prediction of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) lifetime is one of the major challenges to optimize both material properties and dynamic control of the fuel cell system. In this study, by a multiscale modeling approach, a mechanistic catalyst dissolution model is coupled to a dynamic PEMFC cell model to predict the performance loss of the PEMFC. Results are compared to two 2000-h experimental aging tests. More precisely, an original approach is introduced to estimate the loss of an equivalent active surface area during an aging test. Indeed, when the computed Electrochemical Catalyst Surface Area profile is fitted on the experimental measures from Cyclic Voltammetry, the computed performance loss of the PEMFC is underestimated. To be able to predict the performance loss measured by polarization curves during the aging test, an equivalent active surface area is obtained by a model inversion. This methodology enables to successfully find back the experimental cell voltage decay during time. The model parameters are fitted from the polarization curves so that they include the global degradation. Moreover, the model captures the aging heterogeneities along the surface of the cell observed experimentally. Finally, a second 2000-h durability test in dynamic operating conditions validates the approach.

  20. Real-Time Remote Monitoring of Temperature and Humidity Within a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Using Flexible Sensors

    PubMed Central

    Kuo, Long-Sheng; Huang, Hao-Hsiu; Yang, Cheng-Hao; Chen, Ping-Hei

    2011-01-01

    This study developed portable, non-invasive flexible humidity and temperature microsensors and an in situ wireless sensing system for a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). The system integrated three parts: a flexible capacitive humidity microsensor, a flexible resistive temperature microsensor, and a radio frequency (RF) module for signal transmission. The results show that the capacitive humidity microsensor has a high sensitivity of 0.83 pF%RH−1 and the resistive temperature microsensor also exhibits a high sensitivity of 2.94 × 10−3 °C−1. The established RF module transmits the signals from the two microsensors. The transmission distance can reach 4 m and the response time is less than 0.25 s. The performance measurements demonstrate that the maximum power density of the fuel cell with and without these microsensors are 14.76 mW·cm−2 and 15.90 mW·cm−2, with only 7.17% power loss. PMID:22164099

  1. Study of the two-phase dummy load shut-down strategy for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Q.; Lin, R.; Cui, X.; Xia, S. X.; Yang, Z.; Chang, Y. T.

    2017-02-01

    This paper presents a new system strategy designed to alleviate the performance decay caused by start-up/shut-down (SU/SD) conditions in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). The innovative method was tested using a two-phase dummy load composed of a linearly declined main load and a fixed small auxiliary load. The initial value of the main load must be controlled within a proper range, and a closed-ended air exhaust is necessary. According to the analysis of in-situ current density distribution during SD processes, the two-phase dummy load can continuously fit the process of oxygen reduction in the cathode, whereas the conventional dummy load leads to local air starvation. Polarization curves and cyclic voltammetry (CV) were employed to evaluate the performance decay during SU/SD repetition. After tests of 900 cycles, the highest voltage degradation rate of the PEMFC was 3.33 μV cycle-1 (800 mA cm-2), and the electrochemical surface area (ECSA) loss was 0.0046 m2 g-1 cycle-1 with the two-phase dummy load strategy. After comparing results with similar work on a single PEMFC, the authors confirmed the preeminent effectiveness of this strategy. This strategy will also improve fuel cell stack performance due to controllable SD duration and comparatively low performance decay rates.

  2. Method using gas chromatography to determine the molar flow balance for proton exchange membrane fuel cells exposed to impurities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bender, G.; Angelo, M.; Bethune, K.; Dorn, S.; Thampan, T.; Rocheleau, R.

    An understanding of the potentially serious performance degradation effects that trace level contaminants can cause in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) is crucial for the successful deployment of PEMFC for commercial applications. An experimental and analytic methodology is described that employs gas chromatography (GC) to accurately determine the concentration of impurity species in the fuel and oxidant streams of a PEMFC. In this paper we further show that the accurate determination of the contaminant concentrations at the anode and cathode inlets and outlets provides a means to quantify reactions of contaminants within the cell and to identify diffusive mass transport across the membrane. High data accuracy down to sub-ppm contaminant levels is required and was achieved by addressing several challenges pertaining to experimental setup and data analysis which are both discussed in detail. The application of the methodology is demonstrated using carbon monoxide and toluene which were injected into the cell at concentrations between 1 and 10 ppm and 20 and 60 ppm, respectively. Both impurities were observed to react in the fuel cell: carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide, and toluene to methylcyclohexane. For both contaminants closure of the molar flow balances to within 3% was achieved even at the low contaminant concentrations. This allowed the extent of both reactions at the applied operating conditions to be quantified. The presented methodology is shown to be a valuable tool for investigating the effects and reactions of trace contaminants in fuel cells and for providing critical insights into the mechanisms responsible for the associated performance degradation.

  3. Scanning transmission X-ray microscopy of nano structured thin film catalysts for proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Vincent; Berejnov, Viatcheslav; West, Marcia; Kundu, Sumit; Susac, Darija; Stumper, Jürgen; Atanasoski, Radoslav T.; Debe, Mark; Hitchcock, Adam P.

    2014-10-01

    Scanning transmission X-ray microscopy (STXM) has been applied to characterize nano structured thin film (NSTF) catalysts implemented as electrode materials in proton-exchange-membrane (PEM) fuel cells. STXM is used to study all chemical constituents at various stages in the fabrication process, from the perylene red (PR149) starting material, through the formation of the uncoated perylene whiskers, their coated form with Pt-based catalyst, and toward the NSTF anode fully integrated into the catalyst coated membrane (CCM). CCM samples were examined prior to operational testing and after several different accelerated testing protocols: start-up/shut-down (SU/SD), and reversal tests. It was found that, while the perylene support material is present in the pre-test samples, it was completely absent in the post-test samples. We attribute this loss of perylene material to the presence of cracks in the catalyst combined with intensive hydrogenation processes happening at the anode during operation. Despite the loss of the perylene support, the platinum shells forming the NSTF anode catalyst layer performed well during the tests.

  4. 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.

  5. Water management in a single cell proton exchange membrane fuel cells with a serpentine flow field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hassan, Nik Suhaimi Mat; Daud, Wan Ramli Wan; Sopian, Kamaruzzaman; Sahari, Jaafar

    Gas and water management is the key to achieving good performance from a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) stack. Imbalance between production and evaporation rates can result in either flooding of the electrodes or membrane dehydration, both of which severely limit fuel cell performance. In the present study, a mathematical model was developed to evaluate moisture profiles of hydrogen and air flows in the flow field channels of both the anode and the cathode. For model validation, a single fuel cell was designed with an active area of 200 cm 2. Six humidity sensors were installed in the flow fields of both the anode and the cathode at 457 mm, 1266 mm and 2532 mm from the inlets. The experiment was performed using an Arbin Fuel Cell Test Station. The temperature was varied (25 °C, 40 °C, 50 °C and 60 °C), while hydrogen and air velocities were fixed at 3 L min -1 and 6 L min -1, respectively, during the operation of the single cell. The feed relative humidity at the anode was fixed at 1.0, while the feed relative humidity at the cathode was fixed at 0.005 (dry air). All humidity sensor readings were taken at steady state after 2 h of operation. Model predictions were then compared with experimental results by using the least squares algorithm. The moisture content was found to decrease along the flow field at the anode, but to increase at the cathode. The moisture content profile at the anode was shown to depend on the moisture Peclet number, which decreased with temperature. On the other hand, the moisture profile at the cathode was shown to depend on both the Peclet number and the Damkohler number. The trend of the Peclet number in the cathode followed closely that of the anode. The Damkohler number decreased with temperature, indicating increasing moisture mass transfer with temperature. The moisture profile models were successfully validated by the published data of the estimated overall mass transfer coefficient and moisture effective

  6. New theoretical model for convergent nozzle ejector in the proton exchange membrane fuel cell system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Yinhai; Li, Yanzhong

    A new theoretical model for the convergent nozzle ejector in the anode recirculation line of the polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell system is established in this paper. A velocity function for analyzing the flow characteristics of the PEM ejector is proposed by employing a two-dimensional (2D) concave exponential curve. This treatment of velocity is an improvement compared to the conventional 1D "constant area mixing" or "constant pressure mixing" ejector theories. The computational fluid dynamics (CFD) technique together with the data regression and parameter identification methods are applied in the determination of the velocity function's exponent. Based on the model, the anode recirculation performances of a hybrid PEM system are studied under various stack currents. Results show that the model is capable of evaluating the performance of ejector in both the critical mode and subcritical mode.

  7. Characterization of proton exchange membrane materials for fuel cells by solid state nuclear magnetic resonance

    SciTech Connect

    Kong, Zueqian

    2010-01-01

    Solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) has been used to explore the nanometer-scale structure of Nafion, the widely used fuel cell membrane, and its composites. We have shown that solid-state NMR can characterize chemical structure and composition, domain size and morphology, internuclear distances, molecular dynamics, etc. The newly-developed water channel model of Nafion has been confirmed, and important characteristic length-scales established. Nafion-based organic and inorganic composites with special properties have also been characterized and their structures elucidated. The morphology of Nafion varies with hydration level, and is reflected in the changes in surface-to-volume (S/V) ratio of the polymer obtained by small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). The S/V ratios of different Nafion models have been evaluated numerically. It has been found that only the water channel model gives the measured S/V ratios in the normal hydration range of a working fuel cell, while dispersed water molecules and polymer ribbons account for the structures at low and high hydration levels, respectively.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  9. Thermal-Conductivity Characterization of Gas Diffusion Layer in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells and Electrolyzers Under Mechanical Loading

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamour, M.; Garnier, J. P.; Grandidier, J. C.; Ouibrahim, A.; Martemianov, S.

    2011-05-01

    Accurate information on the temperature field and associated heat transfer rates is particularly important for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) and PEM electrolyzers. An important parameter in fuel cell and electrolyzer performance analysis is the effective thermal conductivity of the gas diffusion layer (GDL) which is a solid porous medium. Usually, this parameter is introduced in modeling and performance analysis without taking into account the dependence of the GDL thermal conductivity λ (in W · m-1 · K-1) on mechanical compression. Nevertheless, mechanical stresses arising in an operating system can change significantly the thermal conductivity and heat exchange. Metrology allowing the characterization of the GDL thermal conductivity as a function of the applied mechanical compression has been developed in this study using the transient hot-wire technique (THW). This method is the best for obtaining standard reference data in fluids, but it is rarely used for thermal-conductivity measurements in solids. The experiments provided with Quintech carbon cloth indicate a strong dependence (up to 300%) of the thermal conductivity λ on the applied mechanical load. The experiments have been provided in the pressure range 0 < p < 8 MPa which corresponds to stresses arising in fuel cells. All obtained experimental results have been fitted by the equation λ = 0.9log(12 p + 17)(1 - 0.4e-50 p ) with 9% uncertainty. The obtained experimental dependence can be used for correct modeling of coupled thermo/electro-mechanical phenomena in fuel cells and electrolyzers. Special attention has been devoted to justification of the main hypotheses of the THW method and for estimation of the possible influence of the contact resistances. For this purpose, measurements with a different number of carbon cloth layers have been provided. The conducted experiments indicate the independence of the measured thermal conductivity on the number of GDL layers and, thus, justify the

  10. A Methanol Steam Reforming Micro Reactor for Proton Exchange Membrane Micro Fuel Cell System

    SciTech Connect

    Park, H G; Piggott, W T; Chung, J; Morse, J D; Havstad, M; Grigoropoulos, C P; Greif, R; Benett, W; Sopchak, D; Upadhye, R

    2003-07-28

    The heat, mass and momentum transfer from a fuel reforming packed bed to a surrounding silicon wafer has been simulated. Modeling showed quantitatively reasonable agreement with experimental data for fuel conversion efficiency, hydrogen production rate, outlet methanol mole fraction and outlet steam mole fraction. The variation in fuel conversion efficiency with the micro reformer thermal isolation can be used to optimize fuel-processing conditions for micro PEM fuel cells.

  11. Isothermal Ice Crystallization Kinetics in the Gas-Diffusion Layer of a Proton-Exchange-Membrane Fuel Cell

    SciTech Connect

    Dursch, Thomas J.; Ciontea, Monica A.; Radke, Clayton J.; Weber, Adam Z.

    2011-12-01

    Nucleation and growth of ice in the fibrous gas-diffusion layer (GDL) of a proton-exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) are studied using isothermal differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Isothermal crystallization rates and pseudo-steady-state nucleation rates are obtained as a function of subcooling from heat-flow and induction-time measurements. Kinetics of ice nucleation and growth are studied at two polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) loadings (0 and 10 wt %) in a commercial GDL for temperatures between 240 and 273 K. A nonlinear ice-crystallization rate expression is developed using Johnson–Mehl–Avrami–Kolmogorov (JMAK) theory, in which the heat-transfer-limited growth rate is determined from the moving-boundary Stefan problem. Induction times follow a Poisson distribution and increase upon addition of PTFE, indicating that nucleation occurs more slowly on a hydrophobic fiber than on a hydrophilic fiber. The determined nucleation rates and induction times follow expected trends from classical nucleation theory. Finally, a validated rate expression is now available for predicting ice-crystallization kinetics in GDLs.

  12. Iridium-decorated palladium-platinum core-shell catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction in proton exchange membrane fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chen-Hao; Hsu, Hsin-Cheng; Wang, Kai-Ching

    2014-08-01

    Carbon-supported Pt, Pd, Pd-Pt core-shell (Pt(shell)-Pd(core)/C) and Ir-decorated Pd-Pt core-shell (Ir-decorated Pt(shell)-Pd(core)/C) catalysts were synthesized, and their physical properties, electrochemical behaviors, oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) characteristics and proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) performances were investigated herein. From the XRD patterns and TEM images, Ir-decorated Pt(shell)-Pd(core)/C has been confirmed that Pt was deposited on the Pd nanoparticle which had the core-shell structure. Ir-decorated Pt(shell)-Pd(core)/C has more positive OH reduction peak than Pt/C, which is beneficial to weaken the binding energy of Pt-OH during the ORR. Thus, Ir-decorated Pt(shell)-Pd(core)/C has higher ORR activity than Pt/C. The maximum power density of H2-O2 PEMFC using Ir-decorated Pt(shell)-Pd(core)/C is 792.2 mW cm(-2) at 70°C, which is 24% higher than that using Pt/C. The single-cell accelerated degradation test of PEMFC using Ir-decorated Pt(shell)-Pd(core)/C shows good durability by the potential cycling of 40,000 cycles. This study concludes that Ir-decorated Pt(shell)-Pd(core)/C has the low Pt content, but it can facilitate the low-cost and high-efficient PEMFC.

  13. Numerical study of a novel micro-diaphragm flow channel with piezoelectric device for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, H. K.; Huang, S. H.; Chen, B. R.; Cheng, L. W.

    Previous studies have shown that the amplitude of the vibration of a piezoelectric (PZT) device produces an oscillating flow that changes the chamber volume along with a curvature variation of the diaphragm. In this study, an actuating micro-diaphragm with piezoelectric effects is utilized as an air-flow channel in proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) systems, called PZT-PEMFC. This newly designed gas pump, with a piezoelectric actuation structure, can feed air into the system of an air-breathing PEMFC. When the actuator moves outward to increase the cathode channel volume, the air is sucked into the chamber; moving inward decreases the channel's volume and thereby compresses air into the catalyst layer and enhancing the chemical reaction. The air-standard PZT-PEMFC cycle is proposed to describe an air-breathing PZT-PEMFC. A novel design for PZT-PEMFCs has been proposed and a three-dimensional, transitional model has been successfully built to account for its major phenomena and performance. Moreover, at high frequencies, PZT actuation leads to a more stable current output, more drained water, higher sucked air, higher hydrogen consumption, and also overcomes concentration losses.

  14. Dynamic analysis and linear control strategies for proton exchange membrane fuel cell using a distributed parameter model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Methekar, R. N.; Prasad, V.; Gudi, R. D.

    To satisfy high power density demand in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), a robust control strategy is essential. A linear ratio control strategy is examined in this work. The manipulated variables are selected using steady-state relative gain array (RGA) analysis to be the inlet molar flow rates of hydrogen and coolant, and the controlled variables are average power density and average solid temperature, respectively. By selecting proper manipulated variables, the PEMFC does not exhibit sign change in gain and hence can be controlled by using a linear controller. Transfer function models obtained from step tests on the distributed parameter PEMFC model are used to design controllers for the multiple input-multiple output (MIMO) system. In addition, a ratio control strategy is proposed and evaluated, where the inlet molar flow rate of oxygen is used as a dependent manipulated variable and changed in a constant ratio with respect to the inlet molar flow rate of hydrogen. Simulation results show that the ratio control strategy provides a faster response than a MIMO control strategy. This ratio control strategy is able to circumvent the problem of oxygen starvation, and the increase in average solid temperature is small as compared to the MIMO control strategy.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  16. New insights into non-precious metal catalyst layer designs for proton exchange membrane fuel cells: Improving performance and stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banham, Dustin; Kishimoto, Takeaki; Sato, Tetsutaro; Kobayashi, Yoshikazu; Narizuka, Kumi; Ozaki, Jun-ichi; Zhou, Yingjie; Marquez, Emil; Bai, Kyoung; Ye, Siyu

    2017-03-01

    The activity of non-precious metal catalysts (NPMCs) has now reached a stage at which they can be considered as possible alternatives to Pt for some proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) applications. However, despite significant efforts over the past 50 years on catalyst development, only limited studies have been performed on NPMC-based cathode catalyst layer (CCL) designs. In this work, an extensive ionomer study is performed to investigate the impact of ionomer equivalent weight on performance, which has uncovered two crucial findings. Firstly, it is demonstrated that beyond a critical CCL conductance, no further improvement in performance is observed. The procedure used to determine this critical conductance can be used by other researchers in this field to aid in their design of high performing NPMC-based CCLs. Secondly, it is shown that the stability of NPMC-based CCLs can be improved through the use of low equivalent weight ionomers. This represents a completely unexplored pathway for further stability improvements, and also provides new insights into the possible degradation mechanisms occurring in NPMC-based CCLs. These findings have broad implications on all future NPMC-based CCL designs.

  17. Experimental study on the optimal purge duration of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell with a dead-ended anode

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Yu-Fen; Chen, Yong-Song

    2017-02-01

    When a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is operated with a dead-ended anode, impurities gradually accumulate within the anode, resulting in a performance drop. An anode purge is thereby ultimately required to remove impurities within the anode. A purge strategy comprises purge interval (valve closed) and purge duration (valve is open). A short purge interval causes frequent and unnecessary activation of the valve, whereas a long purge interval leads to excessive impurity accumulation. A short purge duration causes an incomplete performance recovery, whereas a long purge duration results in low hydrogen utilization. In this study, a series of experimental trials was conducted to simultaneously measure the hydrogen supply rate and power generation of a PEMFC at a frequency of 50 Hz for various operating current density levels and purge durations. The effect of purge duration on the cell's energy efficiency was subsequently analyzed and discussed. The results showed that the optimal purge duration for the PEMFC was approximately 0.2 s. Based on the results of this study, a methodical process for determining optimal purge durations was ultimately proposed for widespread application. Purging approximately one-fourth of anode gas can obtain optimal energy efficiency for a PEMFC with a dead-ended anode.

  18. Design and optimization of anode flow field of a large proton exchange membrane fuel cell for high hydrogen utilization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yesilyurt, Serhat; Rizwandi, Omid

    2016-11-01

    We developed a CFD model of the anode flow field of a large proton exchange membrane fuel cell that operates under the ultra-low stoichiometric (ULS) flow conditions which intend to improve the disadvantages of the dead-ended operation such as severe voltage transient and carbon corrosion. Very small exit velocity must be high enough to remove accumulated nitrogen, and must be low enough to retain hydrogen in the active area. Stokes equations are used to model the flow distribution in the flow field, Maxwell-Stefan equations are used to model the transport of the species, and a voltage model is developed to model the reactions kinetics. Uniformity of the distribution of hydrogen concentration is quantified as the normalized area of the region in which the hydrogen mole fraction remains above a certain level, such as 0.9. Geometry of the anode flow field is modified to obtain optimal configuration; the number of baffles at the inlet, width of the gaps between baffles, width of the side gaps, and length of the central baffle are used as design variables. In the final design, the hydrogen-depleted region is less than 0.2% and the hydrogen utilization is above 99%. This work was supported by The Scientific and Technolo-gical Research Council of Turkey, TUBITAK-213M023.

  19. Hybrid approach combining multiple characterization techniques and simulations for microstructural analysis of proton exchange membrane fuel cell electrodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cetinbas, Firat C.; Ahluwalia, Rajesh K.; Kariuki, Nancy; De Andrade, Vincent; Fongalland, Dash; Smith, Linda; Sharman, Jonathan; Ferreira, Paulo; Rasouli, Somaye; Myers, Deborah J.

    2017-03-01

    The cost and performance of proton exchange membrane fuel cells strongly depend on the cathode electrode due to usage of expensive platinum (Pt) group metal catalyst and sluggish reaction kinetics. Development of low Pt content high performance cathodes requires comprehensive understanding of the electrode microstructure. In this study, a new approach is presented to characterize the detailed cathode electrode microstructure from nm to μm length scales by combining information from different experimental techniques. In this context, nano-scale X-ray computed tomography (nano-CT) is performed to extract the secondary pore space of the electrode. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is employed to determine primary C particle and Pt particle size distributions. X-ray scattering, with its ability to provide size distributions of orders of magnitude more particles than TEM, is used to confirm the TEM-determined size distributions. The number of primary pores that cannot be resolved by nano-CT is approximated using mercury intrusion porosimetry. An algorithm is developed to incorporate all these experimental data in one geometric representation. Upon validation of pore size distribution against gas adsorption and mercury intrusion porosimetry data, reconstructed ionomer size distribution is reported. In addition, transport related characteristics and effective properties are computed by performing simulations on the hybrid microstructure.

  20. Isothermal ice crystallization kinetics in the gas-diffusion layer of a proton-exchange-membrane fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Dursch, T J; Ciontea, M A; Radke, C J; Weber, A Z

    2012-01-17

    Nucleation and growth of ice in the fibrous gas-diffusion layer (GDL) of a proton-exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) are investigated using isothermal differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Isothermal crystallization rates and pseudo-steady-state nucleation rates are obtained as a function of subcooling from heat-flow and induction-time measurements. Kinetics of ice nucleation and growth are studied at two polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) loadings (0 and 10 wt %) in a commercial GDL for temperatures between 240 and 273 K. A nonlinear ice-crystallization rate expression is developed using Johnson-Mehl-Avrami-Kolmogorov (JMAK) theory, in which the heat-transfer-limited growth rate is determined from the moving-boundary Stefan problem. Induction times follow a Poisson distribution and increase upon addition of PTFE, indicating that nucleation occurs more slowly on a hydrophobic fiber than on a hydrophilic fiber. The determined nucleation rates and induction times follow expected trends from classical nucleation theory. A validated rate expression is now available for predicting ice-crystallization kinetics in GDLs.

  1. Application of a self-supporting microporous layer to gas diffusion layers of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ito, Hiroshi; Heo, Yun; Ishida, Masayoshi; Nakano, Akihiro; Someya, Satoshi; Munakata, Tetsuo

    2017-02-01

    The intrinsic effect of properties of a self-supporting microporous layer (MPL) on the performance of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) is identified. First, a self-supporting MPL is fabricated and applied to a gas diffusion layer (GDL) of a PEMFC, when the GDL is either an integrated sample composed of a gas diffusion backing (GDB, i.e., carbon paper) combined with MPL or a sample with only MPL. Cell performance tests reveal that, the same as the MPL fabricated by the coating method, the self-supporting MPL on the GDB improves the cell performance at high current density. Furthermore, the GDL composed only of the MPL (i.e., GDB-free GDL) shows better performance than does the integrated GDB/MPL GDL. These results along with literature data strongly suggest that the low thermal conductivity of MPL induces a high temperature throughout the GDL, and thus vapor diffusion is dominant in the transport of product water through the MPL.

  2. On the estimation of high frequency parameters of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells via Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mainka, J.; Maranzana, G.; Dillet, J.; Didierjean, S.; Lottin, O.

    2014-05-01

    This paper is a discussion on the estimation of impedance parameters of H2/air fed Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC). The impedance model corresponds to the Randles electrical equivalent circuit accounting for charge separation and transport processes in the cathode catalyst layer, as well as for oxygen diffusion through the backing layer. A sensitivity analysis confirms that the cathode parameters are not correlated and that the consideration of the anode has no significant impact on the estimation of their values. In addition, it is shown that the diffusion parameters have a significant impact in the low frequency domain only, at least with this model. The parameters characterizing charge separation and transport processes at the cathode can thus be estimated with the high frequency impedance data, independently of the oxygen transport model. Consequently, even in the absence of a fully validated oxygen transport impedance, EIS can be used as an alternative method (to classical steady-state methods) for the estimation of the parameters characterizing the cathode reaction: the Tafel slope b, the charge transfer coefficient α and possibly, the exchange current density j0. This reduces significantly the measuring time while enhancing the accuracy by comparison with steady-state methods.

  3. Air supply using an ionic wind generator in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kwon, Kilsung; Li, Longnan; Park, Byung Ho; Lee, Seung Jun; Kim, Daejoong

    2015-06-01

    A new air supply is demonstrated for a portable polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). The air supply is an ionic wind generator (IWG) with a needle-to-cylinder configuration. The IWG supplies air to the portable PEMFC owing to momentum transfer to the air by charged molecules generated by the corona discharge from a high applied potential. There is no difference in the performance of the PEMFC when compressed air and the IWG are used as the air supply. For the varying interelectrode distance, IWG performance is varied and measured in terms of the flow rate and current. At the interelectrode distance of 9.0 mm, the air flow rate is a suitable for the portable PEMFC with low power consumption. When the IWG is used to supply air to the portable PEMFC, it is found that the flow rate per unit power consumed decreases with the applied voltage, the gross power generation monotonously increases with the applied voltage, and the highest net power (268 mW) is obtained at the applied voltage of 8.5 kV. The parasitic power ratio reaches a minimum value of ∼0.06 with the applied IWG voltage of 5.5 kV.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  5. Polypyrrole layered SPEES/TPA proton exchange membrane for direct methanol fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neelakandan, S.; Kanagaraj, P.; Sabarathinam, R. M.; Nagendran, A.

    2015-12-01

    Hybrid membranes based on sulfonated poly(1,4-phenylene ether ether sulfone) (SPEES)/tungstophosphoric acid (TPA) were prepared. SPEES/TPA membrane surfaces were modified with polypyrrole (Ppy) by in situ polymerization method to reduce the TPA leaching. The morphology and electrochemical property of the surface coated membranes were studied by SEM, AFM, water uptake, ion exchange capacity, proton conductivity, methanol permeability and tensile strength. The water uptake and the swelling ratio of the surface coated membranes decreased with increasing the Ppy layer. The surface roughness of the hybrid membrane was decreased with an increase in Ppy layer on the membrane surface. The methanol permeability of SPEES/TPA-Ppy4 hybrid membrane was significantly suppressed and found to be 2.1 × 10-7 cm2 s-1, which is 1.9 times lower than pristine SPEES membrane. The SPEES/TPA-Ppy4 membrane exhibits highest relative selectivity (2.86 × 104 S cm-3 s) than the other membrane with low TPA leaching. The tensile strength of hybrid membranes was improved with the introduction of Ppy layer. Combining their lower swelling ratio, high thermal stability and selectivity, SPEES/TPA-Ppy4 membranes could be a promising material as PEM for DMFC applications.

  6. Three order state space modeling of proton exchange membrane fuel cell with energy function definition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becherif, M.; Hissel, D.; Gaagat, S.; Wack, M.

    The fuel cell is a complex system which is the centre of a lot of multidisciplinary research activities since it involves intricate application of various fields of study. The operation of a fuel cell depends on a wide range of parameters. The effect of one cannot be studied in isolation without disturbing the system which makes it very difficult to comprehend, analyze and predict various phenomena occurring in the fuel cell. In the current work, we present an equivalent electrical circuit of the pneumatics and fluidics in a fuel cell stack. The proposed model is based on the physical phenomena occurring inside fuel cell stack where we define the fluidic-electrical and pneumatic-electrical analogy. The effect of variation in temperature and relative humidity on the cell are considered in this model. The proposed model, according to the considered hypothesis, is a simple three order state space model which is suitable for the control purpose where a desired control structure can be formulated for high-end applications of the fuel cell as a subpart of a larger system, for instance, in hybrid propulsion of vehicles coupled with batteries and supercapacitors. Another key point of our work is the definition of the natural fuel cell stack energy function. The circuit analysis equations are presented and the simulated model is validated using the experimental data obtained using the fuel cell test bench available in Fuel Cell Laboratory, France.

  7. Development of a Space-Rated Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoffman, William C., III; Vasquez, Arturo; Lazaroff, Scott M.; Downey, Michael G.

    1999-01-01

    Power systems for human spacecraft have historically included fuel cells due to the superior energy density they offer over battery systems depending on mission length and power consumption. As space exploration focuses on the evolution of reusable spacecraft and also considers planetary exploration power system requirements, fuel cells continue to be a factor in the potential system solutions.

  8. Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell Status and Remaining Challenges for Manned Space-Flight Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reaves, Will F.; Hoberecht, Mark A.

    2003-01-01

    The Fuel Cell has been used for manned space flight since the Gemini program. Its power output and water production capability over long durations for the mass and volume are critical for manned space-flight requirements. The alkaline fuel cell used on the Shuttle, while very reliable and capable for it s application, has operational sensitivities, limited life, and an expensive recycle cost. The PEM fuel cell offers many potential improvements in those areas. NASA Glenn Research Center is currently leading a PEM fuel cell development and test program intended to move the technology closer to the point required for manned space-flight consideration. This paper will address the advantages of PEM fuel cell technology and its potential for future space flight as compared to existing alkaline fuel cells. It will also cover the technical hurdles that must be overcome. In addition, a description of the NASA PEM fuel cell development program will be presented, and the current status of this effort discussed. The effort is a combination of stack and ancillary component hardware development, culminating in breadboard and engineering model unit assembly and test. Finally, a detailed roadmap for proceeding fiom engineering model hardware to qualification and flight hardware will be proposed. Innovative test engineering and potential payload manifesting may be required to actually validate/certify a PEM fuel cell for manned space flight.

  9. Effect of relative humidity cycles accompanied by intermittent start/stop switches on performance degradation of membrane electrode assembly components in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qiu, Yanling; Zhong, Hexiang; Wang, Meiri; Zhang, Huamin

    2015-06-01

    The performance degradation of membrane electrode assembly (MEA) components in proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is studied by designing relative humidity (RH) cycles accompanied by intermittent start/stop switches. Cathode catalyst activity, permeability and resistance of proton exchange membrane (PEM) as well as cell performance are monitored during the test procedure. The interfaces of MEA, the catalyst particle distribution near the cathode inlet are characterized by SEM and TEM, respectively. The results demonstrate both the overall H2 permeability and crossover current of PEM are doubled compared with its initial properties. Signs of PEM degradation, including periodical thinning, cracks and pinholes formation, are observed after 300 RH cycles and 40 times of start/stop switches. The average Pt particle size increases by more than 75%, and the cathode electrochemical surface area decreases by 48% after the test procedure. Meanwhile, the cathode catalyst layer becomes looser due to the dissolution of some smaller Pt particles and catalyst agglomeration in the RH cycles and the high potential during the intermittent start/stop switches. The membrane resistance demonstrates downshift variation during the RH cycles. PEMFC performance, however, decays due to the chemical and electrochemical attack as well as the mechanical stresses.

  10. Real Time Monitoring of Temperature of a Micro Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Chi-Yuan; Lee, Shuo-Jen; Hu, Yuh-Chung; Shih, Wen-Pin; Fan, Wei-Yuan; Chuang, Chih-Wei

    2009-01-01

    Silicon micro-hole arrays (Si-MHA) were fabricated as a gas diffusion layer (GDL) in a micro fuel cell using the micro-electro-mechanical-systems (MEMS) fabrication technique. The resistance temperature detector (RTD) sensor was integrated with the GDL on a bipolar plate to measure the temperature inside the fuel cell. Experimental results demonstrate that temperature was generally linearly related to resistance and that accuracy and sensitivity were within 0.5 °C and 1.68×10−3/°C, respectively. The best experimental performance was 9.37 mW/cm2 at an H2/O2 dry gas flow rate of 30/30 SCCM. Fuel cell temperature during operation was 27 °C, as measured using thermocouples in contact with the backside of the electrode. Fuel cell operating temperature measured in situ was 30.5 °C. PMID:22573963

  11. Insight into proton transfer in phosphotungstic acid functionalized mesoporous silica-based proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Yuhua; Yang, Jing; Su, Haibin; Zeng, Jie; Jiang, San Ping; Goddard, William A

    2014-04-02

    We have developed for fuel cells a novel proton exchange membrane (PEM) using inorganic phosphotungstic acid (HPW) as proton carrier and mesoporous silica as matrix (HPW-meso-silica) . The proton conductivity measured by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy is 0.11 S cm(-1) at 90 °C and 100% relative humidity (RH) with a low activation energy of ∼14 kJ mol(-1). In order to determine the energetics associated with proton migration within the HPW-meso-silica PEM and to determine the mechanism of proton hopping, we report density functional theory (DFT) calculations using the generalized gradient approximation (GGA). These DFT calculations revealed that the proton transfer process involves both intramolecular and intermolecular proton transfer pathways. When the adjacent HPWs are close (less than 17.0 Å apart), the calculated activation energy for intramolecular proton transfer within a HPW molecule is higher (29.1-18.8 kJ/mol) than the barrier for intermolecular proton transfer along the hydrogen bond. We find that the overall barrier for proton movement within the HPW-meso-silica membranes is determined by the intramolecular proton transfer pathway, which explains why the proton conductivity remains unchanged when the weight percentage of HPW on meso-silica is above 67 wt %. In contrast, the activation energy of proton transfer on a clean SiO2 (111) surface is computed to be as high as ∼40 kJ mol(-1), confirming the very low proton conductivity on clean silica surfaces observed experimentally.

  12. Experimental research on water management in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Li-jun; Chen, Wen-can; Qin, Ming-jun; Ren, Geng-po

    A simulated cathode flow channel experiment system was set up based on the gas flow rate and water flow rate in the PEM fuel cell. With the assistance of the visualization system, high-sensitivity double parallel conductance probes flow regime inspecting technique was adopted successfully in the experiment system to inspect the flow regime of the gas-liquid two-phase flow in the PEM fuel cell. The research results show that the double parallel conductance probes inspecting system and the flow regime image system for the gas-liquid two-phase flow in the PEM fuel cell simulated channel both can judge the slug flow and annular flow in it, and the double parallel conductance probes flow regime inspecting system can divide the annular flow into three subtypes. The main probes inspecting system and the assistant image system validate reciprocally, which enhances the experimental veracity. The typical flow regimes of the PEM fuel cell simulated channel include slug flow, annular flow with big water film wave, annular flow with small water film wave and annular flow without water film wave. With the increase of the liquid superficial velocity, the frequencies of liquid slug and wave of liquid film increase. The flow regime map in the flow channel of the PEM fuel cell was developed. The flow regime of the gas-liquid two-phase flow in a PEM fuel cell in different operating conditions can be forecasted with this map. With the PEM fuel cell operating condition in this study, the flow regimes of gas-liquid two-phase flow for different cases are all annular flow with small water film wave, and the liquid film waves more with bigger current density. With the location closer to the channel outlet, the liquid film waves are more for the same current density.

  13. Modeling the dynamic behavior of proton-exchange membrane fuel cell

    SciTech Connect

    Llapade, Peter O; Mukundan, Rangachary; Davey, John R; Borup, Rodney L; Meyers, Jeremy P

    2010-01-01

    A two-phase transient model that incorporates the permanent hysteresis observed in the experimentally measured capillary pressure of GDL has been developed. The model provides explanation for the difference in time constant between membrane hydration and dehydration observed in the HFR experiment conducted at LANL. When there is liquid water at the cathode catalyst layer, time constant of the water content in the membrane is closely tied to that of liquid water saturation in the CCL, as the vapor is already saturated. The water content in the membrane will not reach steady state as long as the liquid water flow in the CCL is not at steady state. Also, Increased resistance to proton transport in the membrane is observed when the cell voltage is stepped down to a very low value.

  14. Direct-hydrogen-fueled proton-exchange-membrane fuel cell system for transportation applications: Conceptual vehicle design report pure fuel cell powertrain vehicle

    SciTech Connect

    Oei, D.; Kinnelly, A.; Sims, R.; Sulek, M.; Wernette, D.

    1997-02-01

    In partial fulfillment of the Department of Energy (DOE) Contract No. DE-AC02-94CE50389, {open_quotes}Direct-Hydrogen-Fueled Proton-Exchange-Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell for Transportation Applications{close_quotes}, this preliminary report addresses the conceptual design and packaging of a fuel cell-only powered vehicle. Three classes of vehicles are considered in this design and packaging exercise, the Aspire representing the small vehicle class, the Taurus or Aluminum Intensive Vehicle (AIV) Sable representing the mid-size vehicle and the E-150 Econoline representing the van-size class. A fuel cell system spreadsheet model and Ford`s Corporate Vehicle Simulation Program (CVSP) were utilized to determine the size and the weight of the fuel cell required to power a particular size vehicle. The fuel cell power system must meet the required performance criteria for each vehicle. In this vehicle design and packaging exercise, the following assumptions were made: fuel cell power system density of 0.33 kW/kg and 0.33 kg/liter, platinum catalyst loading less than or equal to 0.25 mg/cm{sup 2} total and hydrogen tanks containing gaseous hydrogen under 340 atm (5000 psia) pressure. The fuel cell power system includes gas conditioning, thermal management, humidity control, and blowers or compressors, where appropriate. This conceptual design of a fuel cell-only powered vehicle will help in the determination of the propulsion system requirements for a vehicle powered by a PEMFC engine in lieu of the internal combustion (IC) engine. Only basic performance level requirements are considered for the three classes of vehicles in this report. Each vehicle will contain one or more hydrogen storage tanks and hydrogen fuel for 560 km (350 mi) driving range. Under these circumstances, the packaging of a fuel cell-only powered vehicle is increasingly difficult as the vehicle size diminishes.

  15. Hydrogen-oxygen proton-exchange membrane fuel cells and electrolyzers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baldwin, R.; Pham, M.; Leonida, A.; Mcelroy, J.; Nalette, T.

    1990-01-01

    A flight experiment is planned for the validation, in a microgravity environment, of several ground-proven simplification features relating to SPE fuel cells and SPE electrolyzers. With a successful experiment, these features can be incorporated into equipment designs for specific extraterrestrial energy storage applications.

  16. Surface area loss mechanisms of Pt3Co nanocatalysts in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rasouli, S.; Ortiz Godoy, R. A.; Yang, Z.; Gummalla, M.; Ball, S. C.; Myers, D.; Ferreira, P. J.

    2017-03-01

    Pt3Co catalyst nanoparticles of 4.9 nm size present on the cathode side of a PEMFC membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) were analyzed by transmission electron microscopy after 10 K voltage cycles under different operating conditions. The operating conditions include baseline (0.4-0.95 V, 80° C, 100% Relative Humidity (RH)), high potential (0.4-1.05 V, 80° C, 100% RH), high temperature (0.4-0.95 V, 90° C, 100% RH), and low humidity (0.4-0.95 V, 80° C, 30% RH). Particle growth and particle loss to the membrane is more severe in the high potential sample than in the high temperature and baseline MEAs, while no significant particle growth and particle precipitation in the membrane can be observed in the low humidity sample. Particles with different morphologies were seen in the cathode including: 1-Spherical individual particles resulting from modified electro-chemical Ostwald ripening and 2-aggregated and coalesced particles resulting from either necking of two or more particles or preferential deposition of Pt between particles with consequent bridging. The difference in the composition of these morphologies results in composition variations through the cathode from cathode/diffusion media (DM) to the cathode/membrane interface.

  17. Bipolar plate/diffuser for a proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Besmann, Theodore M.; Burchell, Timothy D.

    2000-01-01

    A combination bipolar plate/diffuser fuel cell component includes an electrically conducting solid material having: a porous region having a porous surface; and a hermetic region, the hermetic region defining at least a portion of at least one coolant channel, the porous region defining at least a portion of at least one reactant channel, the porous region defining a flow field medium for diffusing the reactant to the porous surface.

  18. Bipolar plate/diffuser for a proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Besmann, Theodore M.; Burchell, Timothy D.

    2001-01-01

    A combination bipolar plate/diffuser fuel cell component includes an electrically conducting solid material having: a porous region having a porous surface; and a hermetic region, the hermetic region defining at least a portion of at least one coolant channel, the porous region defining at least a portion of at least one reactant channel, the porous region defining a flow field medium for diffusing the reactant to the porous surface.

  19. Decentralized generation of electricity from biomass with proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toonssen, Richard; Woudstra, Nico; Verkooijen, Adrian H. M.

    Biomass can be applied as the primary source for the production of hydrogen in the future. The biomass is converted in an atmospheric fluidized bed gasification process using steam as the gasifying agent. The producer gas needs further cleaning and processing before the hydrogen can be converted in a fuel cell; it is assumed that the gas cleaning processes are able to meet the requirements for a PEM-FC. The compressed hydrogen is supplied to a hydrogen grid and can be used in small-scale decentralized CHP units. In this study it is assumed that the CHP units are based on low temperature PEM fuel cells. For the evaluation of alternative technologies the whole chain of centralized hydrogen production from biomass up to and including decentralized electricity production in PEM fuel cells is considered. Two models for the production of hydrogen from biomass and three models for the combined production of electricity and heat with PEM fuel cells are built using the computer program Cycle-Tempo. Two different levels of hydrogen purity are considered in this evaluation: 60% and 99.99% pure hydrogen. The purity of the hydrogen affects both the efficiencies of the hydrogen production as well as the PEM-FC systems. The electrical exergy efficiency of the PEM-FC system without additional heat production is calculated to be 27.66% in the case of 60% hydrogen and 29.06% in the case of 99.99% pure hydrogen. The electrical exergy efficiencies of the whole conversion chain appear to be 21.68% and 18.74%, respectively. The high losses during purification of the hydrogen gas result in a higher efficiency for the case with low purity hydrogen. The removal of the last impurities strongly increases the overall exergy losses of the conversion chain.

  20. Polyphosphazene-Based Proton-Exchange Membranes for Direct Liquid Methanol Fuel Cells

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-11-04

    sulfonic acid site), as shown in Figure 9 and (ii) the neutralization of some sulfonic acid groups in SPOP due to complexation with PBI (see Figure 10...polybenzimidazole (for acid -base complexation crosslinking) prior to membrane casting. Some of the films containing poly[bis(3- methylphenoxy)phosphazene...sulfonated poly[bis(phenoxy)phosphazene] (SPOP) and polybenzimidazole ( PBI ) worked particularly well in a DMFC (at 60oC 1.0 M methanol, and ambient

  1. Degradation analyses of Ru85Se15 catalyst layer in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Qiaoming; Cheng, Xuan; Jao, Ting-Chu; Weng, Fang-Bor; Su, Ay; Chiang, Yu-Chun

    2012-11-01

    Accelerated degradation tests (ADTs) for the H2/air single cell are carried out at 65 °C and ambient pressure by cycling the cell between 0 and 200 mA cm-2 up to 6000 cycles. Membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) are prepared using the Nafion 212 membrane and the carbon supported platinum as an anode catalyst, as well as the carbon supported Ru85Se15 as a cathode catalyst prepared with five selected Nafion contents and Ru loads to represent the optimized (33% Nafion and 0.27 mg Ru cm-2), overloaded (43% Nafion and 0.61 mg Ru cm-2) and underloaded (20% Nafion and 0.14 mg Ru cm-2) conditions. The lowest cell performance loss of 44% in terms of peak power density is achieved with 33% Nafion and 0.27 mg Ru cm-2. Very severe losses of 80% and 82% are found for 20% and 43% Nafion contents, respectively, while relatively moderate losses of 57% and 64% for 0.14 and 0.61 mg Ru cm-2, respectively. Dissolution and migration of Se/Ru and corrosion of carbon support from the catalyst, together with the shrinkage and release of sulfonic acid from the membrane are identified and correlated to decayed cell performances.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-10

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

  3. Mechanisms for enhanced performance of platinum-based electrocatalysts in proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Su, Liang; Jia, Wenzhao; Li, Chang-Ming; Lei, Yu

    2014-02-01

    As a new generation of power sources, fuel cells have shown great promise for application in transportation. However, the expensive catalyst materials, especially the cathode catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), severely limit the widespread commercialization of fuel cells. Therefore, this review article focuses on platinum (Pt)-based electrocatalysts for ORR with better catalytic performance and lower cost. Major breakthroughs in the improvement of activity and durability of electrocatalysts are discussed. Specifically, on one hand, the enhanced activity of Pt has been achieved through crystallographic control, ligand effect, or geometric effect; on the other hand, improved durability of Pt-based cathode catalysts has been realized by means of the incorporation of another noble metal or the morphological control of nanostructures. Furthermore, based on these improvement mechanisms, rationally designed Pt-based nanoparticles are summarized in terms of different synthetic strategies such as wet-chemical synthesis, Pt-skin catalysts, electrochemically dealloyed nanomaterials, and Pt-monolayer deposition. These nanoparticulate electrocatalysts show greatly enhanced catalytic performance towards ORR, aiming not only to outperform the commercial Pt/C, but also to exceed the US Department of Energy 2015 technical target ($30/kW and 5000 h).

  4. Degradation modeling of high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells using dual time scale simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pohl, E.; Maximini, M.; Bauschulte, A.; vom Schloß, J.; Hermanns, R. T. E.

    2015-02-01

    HT-PEM fuel cells suffer from performance losses due to degradation effects. Therefore, the durability of HT-PEM is currently an important factor of research and development. In this paper a novel approach is presented for an integrated short term and long term simulation of HT-PEM accelerated lifetime testing. The physical phenomena of short term and long term effects are commonly modeled separately due to the different time scales. However, in accelerated lifetime testing, long term degradation effects have a crucial impact on the short term dynamics. Our approach addresses this problem by applying a novel method for dual time scale simulation. A transient system simulation is performed for an open voltage cycle test on a HT-PEM fuel cell for a physical time of 35 days. The analysis describes the system dynamics by numerical electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. Furthermore, a performance assessment is performed in order to demonstrate the efficiency of the approach. The presented approach reduces the simulation time by approximately 73% compared to conventional simulation approach without losing too much accuracy. The approach promises a comprehensive perspective considering short term dynamic behavior and long term degradation effects.

  5. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy investigation on electrochemical degradation of proton exchange membrane fuel cell electrodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andersen, Shuang Ma; Dhiman, Rajnish; Skou, Eivind

    2015-05-01

    X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy studies were systematically carried out on the electrodes before and after the electrochemical stress tests in an aqueous electrolyte at 20 °C and 70 °C. The electrodes have different ionomer structures (no ionomer, only ionomer, physically mixed ionomer and hot pressed ionomer) but have identical, commercial catalyst and catalyst loading. A significant degree of carbon corrosion, platinum migration and ionomer degradation were observed in the electrodes after the treatment. The degradation of the ionomer in the electrode is more severe than that of membrane. The electrode structure and the corresponding interface are crucial for the catalyst performance and durability.

  6. Modification and improvement of proton-exchange membrane fuel cells via treatment using peracetic acid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Zhiqiang; Qi, Zhigang; Kaufman, Arthur

    Electrodes and catalyst-coated membranes (CCMs) were treated using peracetic acid. After such a treatment, the properties and performance of these electrodes and CCMs were changed in several aspects. First, their catalytic activity was increased compared to the untreated counterparts. Second, their ability to hold water within the catalyst layers was increased so that the cathode did not need to be humidified. Third, if the cathode was humidified together with the anode, some of the electrodes were more readily to be flooded than the untreated counterparts.

  7. Demonstrating hydrogen production from ammonia using lithium imide - Powering a small proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunter, Hazel M. A.; Makepeace, Joshua W.; Wood, Thomas J.; Mylius, O. Simon; Kibble, Mark G.; Nutter, Jamie B.; Jones, Martin O.; David, William I. F.

    2016-10-01

    Accessing the intrinsic hydrogen content within ammonia, NH3, has the potential to play a very significant role in the future of a CO2-free sustainable energy supply. Inexpensive light metal imides and amides are effective at decomposing ammonia to hydrogen and nitrogen (2NH3 → 3H2 + N2), at modest temperatures, and thus represent a low-cost approach to on-demand hydrogen production. Building upon this discovery, this paper describes the integration of an ammonia cracking unit with a post-reactor gas purification system and a small-scale PEM fuel cell to create a first bench-top demonstrator for the production of hydrogen using light metal imides.

  8. A model for hydrogen sulfide poisoning in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shah, A. A.; Walsh, F. C.

    A polymer-electrolyte fuel cell model that incorporates the effects of hydrogen sulfide contaminant on performance is developed. The model is transient, fully two-phase and non-isothermal and includes a complex kinetic mechanism to describe the electrode reactions. Comparisons between the simulation results and data in the literature demonstrate that known trends are well captured. The effects of temperature and relative humidity variations in the anode stream are investigated, with further comparisons to experimental data and a proposed explanation for the nonlinear behaviour observed in the experiments of Mohtadi et al. [R. Mohatadi, W.-K. Lee, J. van Zee, Appl. Catal. B 56 (2005) 37-42)]. Extensions to the model and future work are discussed.

  9. Effect of mechanical vibration on platinum particle agglomeration and growth in proton exchange membrane fuel cell catalyst layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diloyan, Georgiy

    The objective of the current research is to study the effect of mechanical vibration on catalyst layer degradation via Platinum (Pt) particle agglomeration and growth in the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEM Fuel Cell). This study is of great importance, since many PEM fuel cells operate under a vibrating environment, such as the case of vehicular applications, and this may influence the catalyst layer degradation and fuel cell performance. Through extensive literature review, there are only few researches that have been studied the effect of mechanical vibration on PEM fuel cells. These studies focused only on PEM fuel cell performance under vibration for less than 50 hours and none of them considered the degradation of the fuel cell components, such as MEA and its catalyst layer. To study the effect of the mechanical vibration on the catalyst layer an accelerated test with potential cycling was specially designed to simulate a typical vehicle driving condition. The length of the accelerated test was designed to be 300 hour with potential cycling comprised of idle running, constant load, triangle (variable) load and overload running at various mechanical vibration conditions. These mechanical vibration conditions were as follows: 1g 20 Hz, 1g 40 Hz, 4g 20 Hz and 4g 40 Hz. No vibration tests were also conducted to study the influence of operating time and were used as a baseline for comparison study. The series of accelerated tests were followed by microscopy and spectroscopy analyses using environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-Ray diffraction (XRD). An ESEM was used to qualitatively analyze pristine and degraded catalyst. TEM and XRD were used to quantitatively analyze catalyst layer degradation via Pt agglomeration and growth in pristine and degraded states. For each test condition, PEM fuel cell performance by means of Voltage - Current (VI) curves was

  10. Wire rod coating process of gas diffusion layers fabrication for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kannan, A. M.; Sadananda, S.; Parker, D.; Munukutla, L.; Wertz, J.; Thommes, M.

    Gas diffusion layers (GDLs) were fabricated using non-woven carbon paper as a macro-porous layer substrate developed by Hollingsworth & Vose Company. A commercially viable coating process was developed using wire rod for coating micro-porous layer by a single pass. The thickness as well as carbon loading in the micro-porous layer was controlled by selecting appropriate wire thickness of the wire rod. Slurry compositions with solid loading as high as 10 wt.% using nano-chain and nano-fiber type carbons were developed using dispersion agents to provide cohesive and homogenous micro-porous layer without any mud-cracking. The surface morphology, wetting characteristics and pore size distribution of the wire rod coated GDLs were examined using FESEM, Goniometer and Hg porosimetry, respectively. The GDLs were evaluated in single cell PEMFC under various operating conditions (temperature and RH) using hydrogen and air as reactants. It was observed that the wire rod coated micro-porous layer with 10 wt.% nano-fibrous carbon based GDLs showed the highest fuel cell performance at 85 °C using H 2 and air at 50% RH, compared to all other compositions.

  11. TiO2/bi A-SPAES(Ds 1.0) composite membranes for proton exchange membrane in direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ni; Zhong, Chuanqing; Xie, Bing; Liu, Huiling; Wang, Xingzu

    2014-09-01

    A series of TiO2/bi A-SPAES(Ds 1.0) composite membranes with various contents of nano-sized TiO2 particles were prepared through sol-gel method. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images indicated the TiO2 particles were well dispersed within polymer matrix. These membranes were used for proton exchange membrane (PEM) for performance evaluation in direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC). These composite membranes showed good thermal stability and mechanical strength. It was found that the water uptake of these membranes enhanced with the TiO2 amount increasing in these composite membranes. Meanwhile, the introduction of TiO2 particles increased the proton conductivity and reduced the methanol permeability. The proton conductivities of these composite membranes with 8% TiO2 particles (0.120 S/cm and 0.128 S/cm) were higher than those of Nafion 117 membrane (0.114 S/cm and 0.117 S/cm) at 80 degrees C and 100 degrees C. Specially, the methanol diffusion coefficient (1.2 x 10(-7) cm2/s) of the composite membrane with 8% TiO2 content was much lower than that of Nafion 117 membrane (2.1 x 10(-6) cm2/s). As a result, the TiO2/bi A-SPAES composite membrane was considered as a promising material for PEM in DMFC.

  12. Application of proton exchange membrane fuel cells for the monitoring and direct usage of biohydrogen produced by Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oncel, S.; Vardar-Sukan, F.

    Photo-biologically produced hydrogen by Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is integrated with a proton exchange (PEM) fuel cell for online electricity generation. To investigate the fuel cell efficiency, the effect of hydrogen production on the open circuit fuel cell voltage is monitored during 27 days of batch culture. Values of volumetric hydrogen production, monitored by the help of the calibrated water columns, are related with the open circuit voltage changes of the fuel cell. From the analysis of this relation a dead end configuration is selected to use the fuel cell in its best potential. After the open circuit experiments external loads are tested for their effects on the fuel cell voltage and current generation. According to the results two external loads are selected for the direct usage of the fuel cell incorporating with the photobioreactors (PBR). Experiments with the PEM fuel cell generate a current density of 1.81 mA cm -2 for about 50 h with 10 Ω load and 0.23 mA cm -2 for about 80 h with 100 Ω load.

  13. Molecular-Level Modeling of the Structure and Proton Transport within the Membrane Electrode Assembly of Hydrogen Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Selvan, Myvizhi Esai; Keffer, David J.

    The creation of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) in the early 1960's attracted great interest with the prospect of serving as a highly efficient and eco-friendly power source. This nascent technology found a broad range of applications spanning from spacecrafts to automobiles and electronic devices. The PEMFC in its simplest form consists of an anode, where the hydrogen fuel is catalytically electro-oxidized (dissociated into protons and electrons), a cathode, where oxygen is catalytically electro-reduced (combined with protons to form water) and a polymer electrolyte membrane, which serves as the structural framework of the cell and transports protons from anode to cathode, while the electrons are forced through the external circuit generating electricity. Today, fuel cell remains one of the most promising means of generating energy from alternative fuels, with tremendous potential to reduce oil dependence and carbon emissions. However, current PEMFCs have a relatively narrow operational range and a high cost of production, thus requiring significant experimental and theoretical research to develop a thorough understanding of this technology (at both the molecular and macroscopic scale), which will ultimately render the fuel cell as an economically viable option.

  14. Structural and chemical analysis by transmission electron microscopy of Pt-Ru membrane precipitates in proton exchange membrane fuel cell aged under reformate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henry, Philémon A.; Guétaz, Laure; Pélissier, Nathalie; Jacques, Pierre-André; Escribano, Sylvie

    2015-02-01

    Carbon supported platinum-ruthenium (Pt-Ru/C) nanoparticles are used as anode catalysts in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) operated under reformate owing to their good carbon monoxide tolerance. The stability of these catalysts during fuel cell operation is still not well known. In this work, we have studied by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) the microstructural evolution of a membrane/electrode assembly after a 1000 h ageing test under reformate (26 ppm CO). The analyses clearly show dissolution of Ru from the Pt-Ru/C anode catalysts, its diffusion and precipitation within the anode micro-porous layer and within the membrane. The structure and the chemistry of the membrane precipitates were accurately analysed. The high resolution TEM images and EDS (Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy) Pt, Ru elemental maps show that the largest precipitates display a singular flower shape consisting of a Pt-rich face-centred cubic (fcc) crystallographic structure core and Ru-rich hexagonal close-packed (hcp) crystallographic structure shell. These results suggest that within the membrane the Ru reduction is catalysed by Pt. Moreover, the localization of the precipitation band near the cathode seems to indicate that the Pt in the precipitates comes from the dissolution of cathodic Pt/C and that both Pt and Ru ions are reduced by the hydrogen crossover.

  15. The production of sulfonated chitosan-sodium alginate found in brown algae (Sargassum sp.) composite membrane as proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wafiroh, Siti; Pudjiastuti, Pratiwi; Sari, Ilma Indana

    2016-03-01

    The majority of energy was used in this period is from fossil fuel, which getting decreased in the future. The objective of this research is production and characterization of sulfonated chitosan-sodium alginate found in brown algae (Sargassum sp.) composite membrane as Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) for alternative energy. PEMFC was produced with 4 variations (w/w) ratio between chitosan and sodium alginate, 8 : 0, 8 : 1, 8 : 2, 8 : 4 (w/w). The production of membrane was mixed sodium alginate solution into chitosan solution and sulfonated with H2SO4 0.72 N. The characterization of the PEM was uses Modulus Young analysis, water swelling, ion exchange capacity, FTIR, SEM, DTA, methanol permeability and proton conductivity. The result of the research, showed that the optimum membrane was with ratio 8 : 2 (w/w) that the Modulus Young 8564 kN/m2, water swelling 31.86%, ion exchange capacity 1.020 meq/g, proton conductivity 8,8 × 10-6 S/cm, methanol permeability 1.90 × 10-8 g/cm2s and glass transition temperature (Tg) 100.9 °C, crystalline temperature (Tc) 227.6 °C, and the melting temperature (Tm) 267.9 °C.

  16. Development of membrane electrode assembly for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell by catalyst coating membrane method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, Huagen; Su, Huaneng; Pollet, Bruno G.; Pasupathi, Sivakumar

    2015-08-01

    Membrane electrode assembly (MEA), which contains cathode and anode catalytic layer, gas diffusion layers (GDL) and electrolyte membrane, is the key unit of a PEMFC. An attempt to develop MEA for ABPBI membrane based high temperature (HT) PEMFC is conducted in this work by catalyst coating membrane (CCM) method. The structure and performance of the MEA are examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and I-V curve. Effects of the CCM preparation method, Pt loading and binder type are investigated for the optimization of the single cell performance. Under 160 °C and atmospheric pressure, the peak power density of the MEA, with Pt loading of 0.5 mg cm-2 and 0.3 mg cm-2 for the cathode and the anode, can reach 277 mW cm-2, while a current density of 620 A cm-2 is delivered at the working voltage of 0.4 V. The MEA prepared by CCM method shows good stability operating in a short term durability test: the cell voltage maintained at ∼0.45 V without obvious drop when operated at a constant current density of 300 mA cm-2 and 160 °C under ambient pressure for 140 h.

  17. High performance polymer electrolytes based on main and side chain pyridine aromatic polyethers for high and medium temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geormezi, M.; Chochos, C. L.; Gourdoupi, N.; Neophytides, S. G.; Kallitsis, J. K.

    Novel aromatic polyether type copolymers bearing side chain polar pyridine rings as well as combination of main and side chain pyridine units have been evaluated as potential polymer electrolytes for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). The advanced chemical and physicochemical properties of these new polymers with their high oxidative stability, mechanical integrity and high glass transition temperatures (T g's up to 270 °C) and decomposition temperatures (T d's up to 480 °C) make them promising candidates for high and medium temperature proton exchange membranes in fuel cells. These copolymers exhibit adequate proton conductivities up to 0.08 S cm -1 even at moderate phosphoric acid doping levels. An optimized terpolymer chemical structure has been developed, which has been effectively tested as high temperature phosphoric acid imbibed polymer electrolyte. MEA prepared out of the novel terpolymer chemical structure is approaching state of the art fuel cell operating performance (135 mW cm -2 with electrical efficiency 45%) at high temperatures (150-180 °C) despite the low phosphoric acid content (<200 wt%) and the low platinum loading (ca. 0.7 mg cm -2). Durability tests were performed affording stable performance for more than 1000 h.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-10

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

  19. Vertically aligned carbon-coated titanium dioxide nanorod arrays on carbon paper with low platinum for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Shangfeng; Yi, Baolian; Zhang, Changkun; Liu, Sa; Yu, Hongmei; Shao, Zhigang

    2015-02-01

    Carbon-coated titanium dioxide (TiO2-C) has received much attention as a catalyst support in proton exchange membrane fuel cells. In this study, TiO2 nanorod arrays (NRs) are hydrothermally grown on carbon paper and converted into TiO2-C NRs by heat treatment at 900 °C under methane atmosphere. Then, platinum nanoparticles are sputtered onto the TiO2 NRs by physical vapor deposition to produce Pt-TiO2-C. The as-prepared Pt-TiO2-C exhibits high stability during accelerated durability tests. As compared with the commercial gas diffusion electrode (GDE, 34.4% decrease), a minor reduction in the electrochemically active surface area of the Pt-TiO2-C electrode after 1500 cycles (10.6% decrease) is observed. When the as-prepared electrode with ultra-low platinum content (Pt loading: 28.67 μg cm-2) is employed as the cathode of a single cell, the electrode generates power that is 4.84 × that of the commercial GDE (Pt loading: 400 μg cm-2). An electrode that generates power of 11.9 kW gPt-1 (as the cathode) is proposed. The fabricated Pt-TiO2-C electrode can be used in proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

  20. An experimental approach to investigate the transport of ammonia as a fuel contaminant in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jung, Ryan M.; Cho, Hyun-Seok; Park, Sehkyu; Van Zee, J. W.

    2015-02-01

    Data are presented for the transport of NH3 from the anode to the cathode for various inlet conditions in a N2/N2 laboratory-scale fuel cell at open circuit voltage (OCV). The data were obtained with a material balance technique, which uses an ion selective electrode (ISE) to determine the concentration of ammonium ions. The results show that ammonia did not move across the membrane when the feed to both electrodes was dry. However, with humidified feeds on either side, the ammonia was transported from the anode to the cathode. The data include changes in the relative humidity of the anode inlet and the flowrate on the cathode. The data support a diffusion-solubility mechanism in a N2/N2 system at OCV.

  1. Experimental study on performance of a planar membrane humidifier for a proton exchange membrane fuel cell stack

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hwang, Jenn Jiang; Chang, Wei Ru; Kao, Jenn Kun; Wu, Wei

    2012-10-01

    Experiments are conducted to evaluate the performance of a planar membrane humidifier for a PEM fuel cell stack. The humidification performance of the humidifier adopted here includes the dew point approach temperature (DPAT), water recovery ratio (WRR), and water vapor transfer rate (WVTR). Parametric studies involve the dry inlet temperature, the wet inlet dew point, and the flow rate across the humidifier. Results show that increasing the flow rate across the humidifier linearly increases its pressure drop. However, the DPAT increases sharply at high flow rates (>350 SLPM) due to the inadequate WVTR limited by the humidifier size. In addition, increasing the wet inlet dew point reduces the humidification performance by increasing the DPAT and reducing in the WRR. Moreover, an increase in the dry inlet temperature could reduce the DPAT at the low flow rate of 100 SLPM, but does not affect the DPAT at the high flow rate of 450 SLPM. Furthermore, the electrochemical performance of the stack-humidifier assembly is only 10% less than that of the stack tested on a commercial test station. Stability test reveals a satisfactory reliability of the present membrane humidifier as well.

  2. The influence of humidification and temperature differences between inlet gases on water transport through the membrane of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Kuan-Jen; Hwang, Sheng-Jye; Lai, Wei-Hsiang

    2015-06-01

    This paper discusses the effects of humidification and temperature differences of the anode and cathode on water transport in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell. Heaters are used to cause a difference in gas temperature between two electrodes before the gases enter the fuel cell. The results show that when the temperature of the cathode is higher than that of the anode, the electro-osmotic drag is suppressed. In contrast, when the temperature of the anode is higher than that of cathode, it is enhanced. These effects are more significant when the temperature difference between the anode and cathode is greater. The same trends are seen with back diffusion. Three cases are tested, and the results show that the suppression due to the temperature difference occurs even when the relative humidity is low at the hotter side. The water transport tendencies of electro-osmotic drag and back diffusion in different situations can be expressed as dominant percentages calculated by the water masses collected at the anode and cathode. The suppression effect due to the temperature difference is relatively insignificant with regard to back diffusion compared to electro-osmosis, so water tends to accumulate on the anode rather than the cathode side.

  3. Performance and durability of carbon black-supported Pd catalyst covered with silica layers in membrane-electrode assemblies of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujii, Keitaro; Ito, Mizuki; Sato, Yasushi; Takenaka, Sakae; Kishida, Masahiro

    2015-04-01

    Pd metal particles supported on a high surface area carbon black (Pd/CB) were covered with silica layers to improve the durability under severe cathode condition of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). The performance and the durability of the silica-coated Pd/CB (SiO2/Pd/CB) were investigated by rotating disk electrode (RDE) in aqueous HClO4 and single cell test of the membrane-electrode assemblies (MEAs). SiO2/Pd/CB showed excellent durability exceeding Pt/CB during potential cycle in single cell test as well as in RDE measurement while Pd/CB significantly degraded. Furthermore, the MEA using SiO2/Pd/CB as the cathode catalyst showed higher performance than that using Pd/CB even in the initial state. The catalytic activity of SiO2/Pd/CB was higher than that of Pd/CB, and the drop of the cell performances due to the inhibition of electron conduction, proton conduction, and oxygen diffusion by the silica layer was not significant. It has been shown that the silica-coating is a very practical technique that can stabilize metal species originally unstable in the cathode condition of PEMFCs without a decrease in the cell performance.

  4. Validation of pore network simulations of ex-situ water distributions in a gas diffusion layer of proton exchange membrane fuel cells with X-ray tomographic images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agaesse, Tristan; Lamibrac, Adrien; Büchi, Felix N.; Pauchet, Joel; Prat, Marc

    2016-11-01

    Understanding and modeling two-phase flows in the gas diffusion layer (GDL) of proton exchange membrane fuel cells are important in order to improve fuel cells performance. They are scientifically challenging because of the peculiarities of GDLs microstructures. In the present work, simulations on a pore network model are compared to X-ray tomographic images of water distributions during an ex-situ water invasion experiment. A method based on watershed segmentation was developed to extract a pore network from the 3D segmented image of the dry GDL. Pore network modeling and a full morphology model were then used to perform two-phase simulations and compared to the experimental data. The results show good agreement between experimental and simulated microscopic water distributions. Pore network extraction parameters were also benchmarked using the experimental data and results from full morphology simulations.

  5. Modeling of Membrane-Electrode-Assembly Degradation in Proton-Exchange-Membrane Fuel Cells - Local H2 Starvation and Start-Stop Induced Carbon-Support Corrosion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gu, Wenbin; Yu, Paul T.; Carter, Robert N.; Makharia, Rohit; Gasteiger, Hubert A.

    Carbon-support corrosion causes electrode structure damage and thus electrode degradation. This chapter discusses fundamental models developed to predict cathode carbon-support corrosion induced by local H2 starvation and start-stop in a proton-exchange-membrane (PEM) fuel cell. Kinetic models based on the balance of current among the various electrode reactions are illustrative, yielding much insight on the origin of carbon corrosion and its implications for future materials developments. They are particularly useful in assessing carbon corrosion rates at a quasi-steady-state when an H2-rich region serves as a power source that drives an H2-free region as a load. Coupled kinetic and transport models are essential in predicting when local H2 starvation occurs and how it affects the carbon corrosion rate. They are specifically needed to estimate length scales at which H2 will be depleted and time scales that are valuable for developing mitigation strategies. To predict carbon-support loss distributions over an entire active area, incorporating the electrode pseudo-capacitance appears necessary for situations with shorter residence times such as start-stop events. As carbon-support corrosion is observed under normal transient operations, further model improvement shall be focused on finding the carbon corrosion kinetics associated with voltage cycling and incorporating mechanisms that can quantify voltage decay with carbon-support loss.

  6. Simulation studies of the membrane exchange assembly of an all-liquid, proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Byrd, Ethan D.; Miley, George H.

    A model has been designed and constructed for the all-liquid, sodium borohydride/hydrogen peroxide fuel cell under development at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The electrochemical behavior, momentum balance, and mass balance effects within the fuel cell are modeled using the Butler-Volmer equations, Darcy's law, and Fick's law, respectively, within a finite element modeling platform. The simulations performed with the model indicate that an optimal physical design of the fuel cell's flow channel land area or current collector exists when considering the pressure differential between channels, and the diffusion layer permeability and conductivity. If properties of the diffusion layer are known, the model is an effective method of improving the fuel cell design in order to achieve higher power density.

  7. New Method for Super Hydrophobic Treatment of Gas Diffusion Layers for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells Using Electrochemical Reduction of Diazonium Salts.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Yohann R J; Benayad, Anass; Schroder, Maxime; Morin, Arnaud; Pauchet, Joël

    2015-07-15

    The purpose of this article is to report a new method for the surface functionalization of commercially available gas diffusion layers (GDLs) by the electrochemical reduction of diazonium salt containing hydrophobic functional groups. The method results in superhydrophobic GDLs, over a large area, without pore blocking. An X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy study based on core level spectra and chemical mapping has demonstrated the successful grafting route, resulting in a homogeneous distribution of the covalently bonded hydrophobic molecules on the surface of the GDL fibers. The result was corroborated by contact angle measurement, showing similar hydrophobicity between the grafted and PTFE-modified GDLs. The electrochemically modified GDLs were tested in proton exchange membrane fuel cells under automotive, wet, and dry conditions and demonstrated improved performance over traditional GDLs.

  8. Direct-hydrogen-fueled proton-exchange-membrane fuel cell system for transportation applications. Hydrogen vehicle safety report

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, C.E.

    1997-05-01

    This report reviews the safety characteristics of hydrogen as an energy carrier for a fuel cell vehicle (FCV), with emphasis on high pressure gaseous hydrogen onboard storage. The authors consider normal operation of the vehicle in addition to refueling, collisions, operation in tunnels, and storage in garages. They identify the most likely risks and failure modes leading to hazardous conditions, and provide potential countermeasures in the vehicle design to prevent or substantially reduce the consequences of each plausible failure mode. They then compare the risks of hydrogen with those of more common motor vehicle fuels including gasoline, propane, and natural gas.

  9. Enhancement of proton exchange membrane fuel cells performance at elevated temperatures and lower humidities by incorporating immobilized phosphotungstic acid in electrodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bose, Anima B.; Gopu, Susmitha; Li, Wei

    2014-10-01

    Doping phosphotungstic acid immobilized by silicon dioxide (PWA/SiO2) in a Nafion membrane is an effective way to achieve a good proton conductivity of the membrane in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) at elevated temperatures and lower humidity. To further advance the theory, immobilized PWA/SiO2 was incorporated in the Nafion ionomer as the binder and proton conductor in the electrode matrices for additional performance enhancement. Two sets of membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) were prepared and tested by incorporating PWA/SiO2 both in the membrane and electrodes (MEA-1) and only in the membrane (MEA-2). Analyses of the ohmic resistance, open circuit voltage, Tafel slope, charge transfer time constant of the two MEAs indicate that the superior performance of MEA-1 at elevated temperatures and low relative humidities was primarily ascribed to a better hydration of electrodes. The protonic transports across the interfaces between the electrodes and membrane were also improved, which has less impact on the performance enhancement. These results also show that the immobilized PWA/SiO2 in the electrodes did not exhibit poisoning effects on the electrocatalysts. The lack of poisoning effects is attributed to the stabilization of PWA in ionic channels with Nafion ionomer which does not interact with the electrocatalysts.

  10. Modification of Nafion membrane with biofunctional SiO2 nanofiber for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Hang; Li, Xiaojie; Zhuang, Xupin; Cheng, Bowen; Wang, Wei; Kang, Weimin; Shi, Lei; Li, Hongjun

    2017-02-01

    Proton currents are an integral part of the most important energy-converting structures in biology. We prepared a new type of bioinspired Nafion (Bio-Nafion) membrane composited of biofunctional SiO2 (Bio-SiO2) nanofiber and Nafion matrix. SiO2 nanofibers were prepared by electrospinning silica sol prepared from tetraethyl orthosilicate. Meanwhile, Bio-SiO2 nanofibers were synthesized by immobilizing amino acids (cysteine, serine, lysine, and glycine) on SiO2 nanofibers, which acted as efficient proton-conducting pathways that involved numerous H+ transport sites. In our study, the SiO2 nanofibers biofunctionalized with cysteine were further oxidized, and the composite membranes were designated as Nafion-Cys, Nafion-Lys, Nafion-Ser, and Nafion-Gly, respectively. We then investigated the different polar groups (sbnd SO3H, sbnd OH, and sbnd NH2) of the amino acids that contributed to membrane properties of thermal stability, water uptake (WU), dimensional stability, proton conductivity, and methanol permeability. Nafion-Cys exhibited the highest proton conductivity of 0.2424 S/cm (80 °C). Nafion-Gly showed the lowest proton conductivity and WU because glycine contains the least number of hydrophilic groups among the amino acids. Overall, the introduction of Bio-SiO2 nanofiber to composite membranes significantly improved proton conductivity, dimensional stability, and methanol permeability.

  11. Cross-linked poly (vinyl alcohol)/sulfosuccinic acid polymer as an electrolyte/electrode material for H2-O2 proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ebenezer, D.; Deshpande, Abhijit P.; Haridoss, Prathap

    2016-02-01

    Proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) performance with a cross-linked poly (vinyl alcohol)/sulfosuccinic acid (PVA/SSA) polymer is compared with Nafion® N-115 polymer. In this study, PVA/SSA (≈5 wt. % SSA) polymer membranes are synthesized by a solution casting technique. These cross-linked PVA/SSA polymers and Nafion are used as electrolytes and ionomers in catalyst layers, to fabricate different membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) for PEMFCs. Properties of each MEA are evaluated using scanning electron microscopy, contact angle measurements, impedance spectroscopy and hydrogen pumping technique. I-V characteristics of each cell are evaluated in a H2-O2 fuel cell testing fixture under different operating conditions. PVA/SSA ionomer causes only an additional ≈4% loss in the anode performance compared to Nafion ionomer. The maximum power density obtained from PVA/SSA based cells range from 99 to 117.4 mW cm-2 with current density range of 247 to 293.4 mA cm-2. Ionic conductivity of PVA/SSA based cells is more sensitive to state of hydration of MEA, while maximum power density obtained is less sensitive to state of hydration of MEA. Maximum power density of cross-linked PVA/SSA membrane based cell is about 35% that of Nafion® N-115 based cell. From these results, cross-linked PVA/SSA polymer is identified as potential candidate for PEMFCs.

  12. Research and development of proton-exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell system for transportation applications. Phase I final report

    SciTech Connect

    1996-01-01

    Objective during Phase I was to develop a methanol-fueled 10-kW fuel cell power source and evaluate its feasibility for transportation applications. This report documents research on component (fuel cell stack, fuel processor, power source ancillaries and system sensors) development and the 10-kW power source system integration and test. The conceptual design study for a PEM fuel cell powered vehicle was documented in an earlier report (DOE/CH/10435-01) and is summarized herein. Major achievements in the program include development of advanced membrane and thin-film low Pt-loaded electrode assemblies that in reference cell testing with reformate-air reactants yielded performance exceeding the program target (0.7 V at 1000 amps/ft{sup 2}); identification of oxidation catalysts and operating conditions that routinely result in very low CO levels ({le} 10 ppm) in the fuel processor reformate, thus avoiding degradation of the fuel cell stack performance; and successful integrated operation of a 10-kW fuel cell stack on reformate from the fuel processor.

  13. Simultaneous Congo red decolorization and electricity generation in air-cathode single-chamber microbial fuel cell with different microfiltration, ultrafiltration and proton exchange membranes.

    PubMed

    Hou, Bin; Sun, Jian; Hu, Yong-you

    2011-03-01

    Different microfiltration membrane (MFM), proton exchange membrane (PEM) and ultrafiltration membranes (UFMs) with different molecular cutoff weights of 1K (UFM-1K), 5K (UFM-5K) and 10K (UFM-10K) were incorporated into air-cathode single-chamber microbial fuel cells (MFCs) which were explored for simultaneous azo dye decolorization and electricity generation to investigate the effect of membrane on the performance of the MFC. Batch test results showed that the MFC with an UFM-1K produced the highest power density of 324 mW/m(2) coupled with an enhanced coulombic efficiency compared to MFM. The MFC with UMF-10K achieved the fastest decolorization rate (4.77 mg/L h), followed by MFM (3.61 mg/L h), UFM-5K (2.38 mg/L h), UFM-1K (2.02 mg/Lh) and PEM (1.72 mg/Lh). These results demonstrated the possibility of using various membranes in the system described here, and showed that UFM-1K was the best one based on the consideration of both cost and performance.

  14. In-Situ Measurement of High-Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Stack Using Flexible Five-in-One Micro-Sensor.

    PubMed

    Lee, Chi-Yuan; Weng, Fang-Bor; Kuo, Yzu-Wei; Tsai, Chao-Hsuan; Cheng, Yen-Ting; Cheng, Chih-Kai; Lin, Jyun-Ting

    2016-10-18

    In the chemical reaction that proceeds in a high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell stack (HT-PEMFC stack), the internal local temperature, voltage, pressure, flow and current nonuniformity may cause poor membrane material durability and nonuniform fuel distribution, thus influencing the performance and lifetime of the fuel cell stack. In this paper micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) are utilized to develop a high-temperature electrochemical environment-resistant five-in-one micro-sensor embedded in the cathode channel plate of an HT-PEMFC stack, and materials and process parameters are appropriately selected to protect the micro-sensor against failure or destruction during long-term operation. In-situ measurement of the local temperature, voltage, pressure, flow and current distributions in the HT-PEMFC stack is carried out. This integrated micro-sensor has five functions, and is favorably characterized by small size, good acid resistance and temperature resistance, quick response, real-time measurement, and the goal is being able to be put in any place for measurement without affecting the performance of the battery.

  15. In-Situ Measurement of High-Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Stack Using Flexible Five-in-One Micro-Sensor

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Chi-Yuan; Weng, Fang-Bor; Kuo, Yzu-Wei; Tsai, Chao-Hsuan; Cheng, Yen-Ting; Cheng, Chih-Kai; Lin, Jyun-Ting

    2016-01-01

    In the chemical reaction that proceeds in a high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell stack (HT-PEMFC stack), the internal local temperature, voltage, pressure, flow and current nonuniformity may cause poor membrane material durability and nonuniform fuel distribution, thus influencing the performance and lifetime of the fuel cell stack. In this paper micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) are utilized to develop a high-temperature electrochemical environment-resistant five-in-one micro-sensor embedded in the cathode channel plate of an HT-PEMFC stack, and materials and process parameters are appropriately selected to protect the micro-sensor against failure or destruction during long-term operation. In-situ measurement of the local temperature, voltage, pressure, flow and current distributions in the HT-PEMFC stack is carried out. This integrated micro-sensor has five functions, and is favorably characterized by small size, good acid resistance and temperature resistance, quick response, real-time measurement, and the goal is being able to be put in any place for measurement without affecting the performance of the battery. PMID:27763559

  16. Proton exchange membrane fuel cell degradation under close to open-circuit conditions. Part I: In situ diagnosis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Jinfeng; Yuan, Xiao-Zi; Martin, Jonathan J.; Wang, Haijiang; Yang, Daijun; Qiao, Jinli; Ma, Jianxin

    Durability of polymer exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells under a wide range of operational conditions has been generally identified as one of the top technical gaps that need to be overcome for the acceptance of this fuel cell technology as a commercially viable power source, especially for automotive and portable applications. In this study, a 1200 h lifetime test was conducted with a six-cell PEM fuel cell stack under close to open-circuit conditions. In situ measurements of the hydrogen crossover rate through the membrane, high frequency resistance and electrochemically active surface area of each single cell, in combination with cell polarization curves, were used to investigate the degradation mechanisms. Direct gas mass spectrometry of the cathode exhaust gas indicated the formation of HF, H 2O 2 and CO 2 during the durability testing. The overall cell degradation rate under this accelerated stress testing is approximately 0.128 mV h -1. The cell degradation rate for the first 800 h is much lower than that after 800 h, which may result from the dominance of different degradation mechanisms. For the first period, the degradation of fuel cell performance was mainly attributed to catalyst decay, while the subsequent dramatic degradation is likely caused by membrane failure.

  17. Novel composite polybenzimidazole-based proton exchange membranes as efficient and sustainable separators for microbial fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Angioni, S.; Millia, L.; Bruni, G.; Ravelli, D.; Mustarelli, P.; Quartarone, E.

    2017-04-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are gaining increasing technological relevance for wastewater remediation and ancillary energy production. MFC separators are often fabricated with ion-exchange perfluorinated membranes, the most common of them being Nafion™. Here, we prepared composite separators based on polybenzimidazole (PBI), where the filler is made of SBA-15 mesostructured silica functionalized with sulphonic moieties. These membranes allowed strong increase of power density (up to one order of magnitude), operating life and wastewater treatment efficiency with respect to Nafion™. Moreover, our sustainability and cost analysis clearly showed that PBI is more convenient than Nafion™ for making these membranes. Therefore, we conclude that PBI-based membranes are very promising as separators for MFCs.

  18. Efficiency measurement and uncertainty discussion of an electric engine powered by a "self-breathing" and "self-humidified" proton exchange membrane fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Schiavetti, Pierluigi; Del Prete, Zaccaria

    2007-08-01

    The efficiency of an automotive engine based on a "self-breathing" and "self-humidified" proton exchange membrane fuel cell stack (PEM FC) connected to a dc brushless electrical motor was measured under variable power load conditions. Experiments have been carried out on a small scale 150 W engine model. After determining the fuel cell static polarization curve and the time response to power steps, the system was driven to copy on the test bench a "standard urban load cycle" and its instantaneous efficiencies were measured at an acquisition rate of 5 Hz. The integral system efficiency over the entire urban load cycle, comprising the losses of the unavoidable auxiliary components of the engine, was then calculated. The fuel cell stack was operated mainly in "partial" dead-end mode, with a periodic anode flow channel purging, and one test was carried out in "pure" dead-end mode, with no anode channel purging. An uncertainty analysis of the efficiencies was carried out, taking into account either type A and type B evaluation methods, strengthening the discussion about the outcomes obtained for a system based on this novel simplified FC type. For our small scale engine we measured over the standard urban cycle, on the basis of the H(2) high heating value (HHV), a tank-to-wheel integral efficiency of (18.2+/-0.8)%, when the fuel cell was operated with periodic flow channel purging, and of (21.5+/-1.3)% in complete dead-end operation mode.

  19. Experimental investigation and numerical comparison of the performance of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell at different channel geometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khazaee, I.

    2015-08-01

    In this study, the performance of a PEM fuel cell is investigated experimentally and numerically by changing the geometry of the channels. At first an experimental setup is used and three different fuel cells with rectangular, elliptical and triangular serpentine channels are constructed. The active area of each cell is 25 cm2 that its weight is 1,300 g. The material of the gas diffusion layer is carbon clothes, the membrane is nafion 117 and the catalyst layer is a plane with 0.004 g cm-2 platinum. Then a complete three-dimensional model for fuel cell is used to investigate the effect of using this channels geometry on the performance. The proposed model is a full cell model, which includes all the parts of the PEM fuel cell, flow channels, gas diffusion electrodes, catalyst layers and the membrane. Coupled transport and electrochemical kinetics equations are solved in a single domain; therefore no interfacial boundary condition is required at the internal boundaries between cell components. The results show that the predicted polarization curves by using this model are in good agreement with the experimental results. Also the results show that when the geometry of channel is rectangular the performance of the cell is better than the triangular and elliptical channel.

  20. Proton exchange membranes based on PVDF/SEBS blends

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mokrini, A.; Huneault, M. A.

    Proton-conductive polymer membranes are used as an electrolyte in the so-called proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Current commercially available membranes are perfluorosulfonic acid polymers, a class of high-cost ionomers. This paper examines the potential of polymer blends, namely those of styrene-(ethylene-butylene)-styrene block copolymer (SEBS) and polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), in the proton exchange membrane application. SEBS/PVDF blends were prepared by twin-screw extrusion and the membranes were formed by calendering. SEBS is a phase-segregated material where the polystyrene blocks can be selectively functionalized offering high ionic conductivity, while PVDF insures good dimensional stability and chemical resistance to the films. Proton conductivity of the films was obtained by solid-state grafting of sulfonic acid moieties. The obtained membranes were characterized in terms of conductivity, ionic exchange capacity and water uptake. In addition, the membranes were characterized in terms of morphology, microstructure and thermo-mechanical properties to establish the blends morphology-property relationships. Modification of interfacial properties between SEBS and PVDF was found to be a key to optimize the blends performance. Addition of a methyl methacrylate-butyl acrylate-methyl methacrylate block copolymer (MMA-BA-MMA) was found to compatibilize the blend by reducing the segregation scale and improving the blend homogeneity. Mechanical resistance of the membranes was also improved through the addition of this compatibilizer. As little as 2 wt.% compatibilizer was sufficient for complete interfacial coverage and lead to improved mechanical properties. Compatibilized blend membranes also showed higher conductivities, 1.9 × 10 -2 to 5.5 × 10 -3 S cm -1, and improved water management.

  1. Interfacial Water-Transport Effects in Proton-Exchange Membranes

    SciTech Connect

    Kienitz, Brian; Yamada, Haruhiko; Nonoyama, Nobuaki; Weber, Adam

    2009-11-19

    It is well known that the proton-exchange membrane is perhaps the most critical component of a polymer-electrolyte fuel cell. Typical membranes, such as Nafion(R), require hydration to conduct efficiently and are instrumental in cell water management. Recently, evidence has been shown that these membranes might have different interfacial morphology and transport properties than in the bulk. In this paper, experimental data combined with theoretical simulations will be presented that explore the existence and impact of interfacial resistance on water transport for Nafion(R) 21x membranes. A mass-transfer coefficient for the interfacial resistance is calculated from experimental data using different permeation cells. This coefficient is shown to depend exponentially on relative humidity or water activity. The interfacial resistance does not seem to exist for liquid/membrane or membrane/membrane interfaces. The effect of the interfacial resistance is to flatten the water-content profiles within the membrane during operation. Under typical operating conditions, the resistance is on par with the water-transport resistance of the bulk membrane. Thus, the interfacial resistance can be dominant especially in thin, dry membranes and can affect overall fuel-cell performance.

  2. A Comparison of Flow-Through Versus Non-Flow-Through Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Systems for NASA's Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoberecht, Mark A.

    2010-01-01

    As part of the Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP) under the auspices of the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD), NASA is developing both primary fuel cell power systems and regenerative fuel cell (RFC) energy storage systems within the fuel cell portion of the Energy Storage Project. This effort is being led by the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) in partnership with the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC), Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC), and industrial partners. The development goals are to improve fuel cell and electrolysis stack electrical performance, reduce system mass, volume, and parasitic power requirements, and increase system life and reliability. A major focus of this effort has been the parallel development of both flow-through and non-flow-through proton exchange membrane (PEM) primary fuel cell power systems. The plan has been, at the appropriate time, to select a single primary fuel cell technology for eventual flight hardware development. Ideally, that appropriate time would occur after both technologies have achieved a technology readiness level (TRL) of six, which represents an engineering model fidelity PEM fuel cell system being successfully tested in a relevant environment. Budget constraints in fiscal year 2009 and beyond have prevented NASA from continuing to pursue the parallel development of both primary fuel cell options. Because very limited data exists for either system, a toplevel, qualitative assessment based on engineering judgement was performed expeditiously to provide guidance for a selection. At that time, the non-flow-through technology was selected for continued development because of potentially major advantages in terms of weight, volume, parasitic power, reliability, and life. This author believes that the advantages are significant enough, and the potential benefits great enough, to offset the higher state of technology readiness of flow-through technology. This paper

  3. Performance degradation studies on an poly 2,5-benzimidazole high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell using an accelerated degradation technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jung, Guo-Bin; Chen, Hsin-Hung; Yan, Wei-Mon

    2014-02-01

    In this work, the performance degradation of a poly 2,5-benzimidazole (ABPBI) based high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell (HT-PEMFC) was examined using an accelerated degradation technique (ADT). Experiments using an ADT with 30 min intervals were performed by applying 1.5 V to a membrane electrode assembly (MEA) with hydrogen and nitrogen feeding to the anode and cathode, respectively, to simulate the high voltage generated during fuel cell shutdown and restart. The characterization of the MEAs was performed using in-situ and ex-situ electrochemical methods, such as polarization curves, AC impedance, and cyclic voltammetry (CV), and TEM imaging before and after the ADT experiments. The measured results demonstrated that the ADT testing could be used to dramatically reduce the duration of the degradation. The current output at 0.4 V decreased by 48% after performing ADT testing for 30 min. From the AC impedance, CV and RTGA measurements, the decline in cell performance was found to be primarily due to corrosion and thinning of the catalyst layer (or carbon support) during the first 30 min, leading to the dissolution and agglomeration of the platinum catalyst.

  4. Investigation of carbon supported PtW catalysts as CO tolerant anodes at high temperature in proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hassan, Ayaz; Paganin, Valdecir A.; Ticianelli, Edson A.

    2016-09-01

    The CO tolerance mechanism and the stability of carbon supported PtW electrocatalysts are evaluated in the anode of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) at two different temperatures. The electrocatalysts are characterized by energy dispersive spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and transmission electron spectroscopy. Employed electrochemical techniques include cyclic voltammetry, CO stripping, fuel cell polarization, and online mass spectrometry. At a cell temperature of 85 °C, the PtW/C catalyst shows higher CO tolerance compared to Pt/C due an electronic effect of WOx in the Pt 5d band, which reduces the CO adsorption. An increase in hydrogen oxidation activity in the presence of CO is observed for both the catalysts at a higher temperature, due to the decrease of the Pt-CO coverage. A reduction in the current densities occurs for the PtW/C catalyst in both polarization curves and cyclic voltammograms after 5000 cycles of the anode in the range of 0.1-0.7 V vs. RHE at 50 mVs-1. This decrease in performance is assigned to the dissolution of W, with a consequent increase in the membrane resistivity. However, the observed decline of performance is small either in the presence of pure H2 or in the presence of H2/CO.

  5. Enhanced performance of polybenzimidazole-based high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell with gas diffusion electrodes prepared by automatic catalyst spraying under irradiation technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, Huaneng; Pasupathi, Sivakumar; Bladergroen, Bernard Jan; Linkov, Vladimir; Pollet, Bruno G.

    2013-11-01

    Gas diffusion electrodes (GDEs) prepared by a novel automatic catalyst spraying under irradiation (ACSUI) technique are investigated for improving the performance of phosphoric acid (PA)-doped polybenzimidazole (PBI) high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). The physical properties of the GDEs are characterized by pore size distribution and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The electrochemical properties of the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) with the GDEs are evaluated and analyzed by polarization curve, cyclic voltammetry (CV) and electrochemistry impedance spectroscopy (EIS). Effects of PTFE binder content, PA impregnation and heat treatment on the GDEs are investigated to determine the optimum performance of the single cell. At ambient pressure and 160 °C, the maximum power density can reach 0.61 W cm-2, and the current density at 0.6 V is up to 0.38 A cm-2, with H2/air and a platinum loading of 0.5 mg cm-2 on both electrodes. The MEA with the GDEs shows good stability for fuel cell operating in a short term durability test.

  6. Local potential evolutions during proton exchange membrane fuel cell operation with dead-ended anode - Part II: Aging mitigation strategies based on water management and nitrogen crossover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abbou, S.; Dillet, J.; Maranzana, G.; Didierjean, S.; Lottin, O.

    2017-02-01

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells operate with dead-ended anode in order to reduce system cost and complexity when compared with hydrogen re-circulation systems. In the first part of this work, we showed that localized fuel starvation events may occur, because of water and nitrogen accumulation in the anode side, which could be particularly damaging to the cell performance. To prevent these degradations, the anode compartment must be purged which may lead to an overall system efficiency decrease because of significant hydrogen waste. In the second part, we present several purge strategies in order to minimize both hydrogen waste and membrane-electrode assembly degradations during dead-ended anode operation. A linear segmented cell with reference electrodes was used to monitor simultaneously the current density distribution along the gas channel and the time evolution of local anode and cathode potentials. To asses MEA damages, Platinum ElectroChemical Surface Area (ECSA) and cell performance were periodically measured. The results showed that dead-end mode operation with an anode plate maintained at a temperature 5 °C hotter than the cathode plate limits water accumulation in the anode side, reducing significantly purge frequency (and thus hydrogen losses) as well as MEA damages. As nitrogen contribution to hydrogen starvation is predominant in this thermal configuration, we also tested a microleakage solution to discharge continuously most the nitrogen accumulating in the anode side while ensuring low hydrogen losses and minimum ECSA losses provided the right microleakage flow rate is chosen.

  7. Water emergence from the land region and water-sidewall interactions in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell gas channels with microgrooves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shah, Mihir M.; Kandlikar, Satish G.

    2015-11-01

    Liquid water produced in a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) can adversely affect the fuel cell performance in two ways: (a) reduction in surface area available for reactant transport at the channel-gas diffusion layer (GDL) interface, and (b) increase in two-phase pressure drop in channels leading to flow maldistribution and increased pumping power. Further, the channels blocked by water reduce reactant availability at reaction sites. Most of the earlier water transport studies were focused on water droplet formation on the gas diffusion layer (GDL) in the channel and its removal from the gas flow without considering the sidewall interactions. In an actual fuel cell, water under the land emerges in the channel and fills the corner, drawing in additional water from the GDL surface. The present work explores water droplet-sidewall interactions and the transport of water from the corner region. Transverse micro-grooves are introduced on the sidewalls and their effect on water removal from the corner region, flow patterns, area coverage ratio and pressure drop are investigated. The micro-grooves are also seen to introduce a wetting regime that facilitates removal of water at the channel exit without causing blockage at the manifold region.

  8. Comparative degradation study of carbon supported proton exchange membrane fuel cell electrocatalysts - The influence of the platinum to carbon ratio on the degradation rate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Speder, Jozsef; Zana, Alessandro; Spanos, Ioannis; Kirkensgaard, Jacob J. K.; Mortensen, Kell; Hanzlik, Marianne; Arenz, Matthias

    2014-09-01

    A colloidal synthesis approach is used to prepare supported proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) catalysts with various Pt loadings - from low to extremely high ones. The catalyst samples are used to continue our investigation of the role of the Pt:C ratio in the degradation processes. The influence of the platinum loading on the electrochemical surface area (ECSA) loss is evaluated in a systematic electrochemical study by using two commercially available carbon blacks, namely Vulcan XC72R and Ketjenblack EC-300J. Accelerated degradation tests simulating load cycle and start-up/shutdown conditions are carried out in accordance with the Fuel Cell Commercialization Conference of Japan (FCCJ) recommendations. Under conditions simulating the load cycle of PEM fuel cells no unambiguous correlation between the ECSA loss and the Pt:C ratio is found. By contrast, under conditions simulating the repetitive start-up/shutdown processes of PEMFCs the ECSA loss first increases with increasing Pt loading. However, it decreases again for very high loadings. Furthermore, the Vulcan samples exhibited higher ECSA losses than the Ketjenblack samples, indicating the important role of the physical and chemical properties of pristine carbon supports in the carbon degradation mechanism.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reshetenko, Tatyana V.; St-Pierre, Jean

    2016-11-01

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

  10. SSH2S: Hydrogen storage in complex hydrides for an auxiliary power unit based on high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baricco, Marcello; Bang, Mads; Fichtner, Maximilian; Hauback, Bjorn; Linder, Marc; Luetto, Carlo; Moretto, Pietro; Sgroi, Mauro

    2017-02-01

    The main objective of the SSH2S (Fuel Cell Coupled Solid State Hydrogen Storage Tank) project was to develop a solid state hydrogen storage tank based on complex hydrides and to fully integrate it with a High Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane (HT-PEM) fuel cell stack. A mixed lithium amide/magnesium hydride system was used as the main storage material for the tank, due to its high gravimetric storage capacity and relatively low hydrogen desorption temperature. The mixed lithium amide/magnesium hydride system was coupled with a standard intermetallic compound to take advantage of its capability to release hydrogen at ambient temperature and to ensure a fast start-up of the system. The hydrogen storage tank was designed to feed a 1 kW HT-PEM stack for 2 h to be used for an Auxiliary Power Unit (APU). A full thermal integration was possible thanks to the high operation temperature of the fuel cell and to the relative low temperature (170 °C) for hydrogen release from the mixed lithium amide/magnesium hydride system.

  11. Highly Durable Supportless Pt Hollow Spheres Designed for Enhanced Oxygen Transport in Cathode Catalyst Layers of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

    Dogan, Didem C; Cho, Seonghun; Hwang, Sun-Mi; Kim, Young-Min; Guim, Hwanuk; Yang, Tae-Hyun; Park, Seok-Hee; Park, Gu-Gon; Yim, Sung-Dae

    2016-10-10

    Supportless Pt catalysts have several advantages over conventional carbon-supported Pt catalysts in that they are not susceptible to carbon corrosion. However, the need for high Pt loadings in membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) to achieve state-of-the-art fuel cell performance has limited their application in proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Herein, we report a new approach to the design of a supportless Pt catalyst in terms of catalyst layer architecture, which is crucial for fuel cell performance as it affects water management and oxygen transport in the catalyst layers. Large Pt hollow spheres (PtHSs) 100 nm in size were designed and prepared using a carbon template method. Despite their large size, the unique structure of the PtHSs, which are composed of a thin-layered shell of Pt nanoparticles (ca. 7 nm thick), exhibited a high surface area comparable to that of commercial Pt black (PtB). The PtHS structure also exhibited twice the durability of PtB after 2000 potential cycles (0-1.3 V, 50 mV/s). A MEA fabricated with PtHSs showed significant improvement in fuel cell performance compared to PtB-based MEAs at high current densities (>800 mA/cm(2)). This was mainly due to the 2.7 times lower mass transport resistance in the PtHS-based catalyst layers compared to that in PtB, owing to the formation of macropores between the PtHSs and high porosity (90%) in the PtHS catalyst layers. The present study demonstrates a successful example of catalyst design in terms of catalyst layer architecture, which may be applied to a real fuel cell system.

  12. Multi-block sulfonated poly(phenylene) copolymer proton exchange membranes

    DOEpatents

    Fujimoto, Cy H [Albuquerque, NM; Hibbs, Michael [Albuquerque, NM; Ambrosini, Andrea [Albuquerque, NM

    2012-02-07

    Improved multi-block sulfonated poly(phenylene) copolymer compositions, methods of making the same, and their use as proton exchange membranes (PEM) in hydrogen fuel cells, direct methanol fuel cells, in electrode casting solutions and electrodes. The multi-block architecture has defined, controllable hydrophobic and hydrophilic segments. These improved membranes have better ion transport (proton conductivity) and water swelling properties.

  13. Enhanced performance and stability of high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell by incorporating zirconium hydrogen phosphate in catalyst layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barron, Olivia; Su, Huaneng; Linkov, Vladimir; Pollet, Bruno G.; Pasupathi, Sivakumar

    2015-03-01

    Zirconium hydrogen phosphate (ZHP) together with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) polymer binder is incorporated into the catalyst layers (CLs) of ABPBI (poly(2,5-benzimidazole))-based high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (HT-PEMFCs) to improve its performance and durability. The influence of ZHP content (normalised with respect to dry PTFE) on the CL properties are structurally characterised by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and mercury intrusion porosimetry. Electrochemical analyses of the resultant membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) are performed by recording polarisation curves and impedance spectra at 160 °C, ambient pressure and humidity. The result show that a 30 wt.% ZHP/PTFE content in the CL is optimum for improving fuel cell performance, the resultant MEA delivers a peak power of 592 mW cm-2 at a cell voltage of 380 mV. Electrochemical impedance spectra (EIS) indicate that 30% ZHP in the CL can increase the proton conductivity compared to the pristine PTFE-gas diffusion electrode (GDE). A short term stability test (∼500 h) on the 30 wt.% ZHP/PTFE-GDE shows a remarkable high durability with a degradation rate as low as ∼19 μV h-1 at 0.2 A cm-2, while 195 μV h-1 was obtained for the pristine GDE.

  14. Three-Dimensional Transport Modeling for Proton Exchange Membrane(PEM) Fuel Cell with Micro Parallel Flow Field

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Pil Hyong; Han, Sang Seok; Hwang, Sang Soon

    2008-01-01

    Modeling and simulation for heat and mass transport in micro channel are being used extensively in researches and industrial applications to gain better understanding of the fundamental processes and to optimize fuel cell designs before building a prototype for engineering application. In this study, we used a single-phase, fully three dimensional simulation model for PEMFC that can deal with both anode and cathode flow field for examining the micro flow channel with electrochemical reaction. The results show that hydrogen and oxygen were solely supplied to the membrane by diffusion mechanism rather than convection transport, and the higher pressure drop at cathode side is thought to be caused by higher flow rate of oxygen at cathode. And it is found that the amount of water in cathode channel was determined by water formation due to electrochemical reaction plus electro-osmotic mass flux directing toward the cathode side. And it is very important to model the back diffusion and electro-osmotic mass flux accurately since the two flux was closely correlated each other and greatly influenced for determination of ionic conductivity of the membrane which directly affects the performance of fuel cell. PMID:27879774

  15. Use of impedance spectroscopy to investigate factors that influence the performance and durability of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roy, Sunil K.

    Impedance spectroscopy provides the opportunity for in-situ identification and quantification of physical processes and has been used extensively to study the behavior of the fuel cell. However, a key question to be answered is whether the features seen in the impedance response are caused by an artifact or represent a physical process taking place in the system. The measurement model developed by our group can be used to identify the frequency ranges unaffected by bias errors associated with instrument artifacts and non-stationary behavior. Impedance measurements were performed with the 850C fuel-cell test station supplied by Scribner Associates and with a Gamry Instruments FC350 impedance analyzer coupled with a Dynaload electronic load. All electrochemical measurements were performed with a two-electrode cell in which the anode served as a pseudo-reference electrode. The experiments were conducted in galavanostatic mode for a frequency range of 0.001-3000 Hz with 10 mA peak-to-peak sinusoidal perturbation, and ten points were collected per frequency decade. Ultra pure hydrogen was used as the anode fuel, and compressed air was used as oxidant. The measurement model was used to show that low-frequency inductive loops were, in some cases, fully self consistent, and, therefore, the inductive loops could be attributed to processes occurring in the fuel cell. Then we developed first-principle models that incorporate processes that may be responsible for the inductive response seen at low frequencies. We found that side reactions producing hydrogen peroxide intermediates and reactions causing Pt deactivation could yield inductive loops. These side reactions and the intermediates can degrade fuel cell components such as membranes and electrodes, thereby reducing the lifetime the fuel cells. The hypothesized reaction involving of peroxide and PtO formation were supported by microstructural characterization. A more sensitive manner of using impedance spectroscopy to gain

  16. Ozonated graphene oxide film as a proton-exchange membrane.

    PubMed

    Gao, Wei; Wu, Gang; Janicke, Michael T; Cullen, David A; Mukundan, Rangachary; Baldwin, Jon K; Brosha, Eric L; Galande, Charudatta; Ajayan, Pulickel M; More, Karren L; Dattelbaum, Andrew M; Zelenay, Piotr

    2014-04-01

    Graphene oxide (GO) contains several chemical functional groups that are attached to the graphite basal plane and can be manipulated to tailor GO for specific applications. It is now revealed that the reaction of GO with ozone results in a high level of oxidation, which leads to significantly improved ionic (protonic) conductivity of the GO. Freestanding ozonated GO films were synthesized and used as efficient polymer electrolyte fuel cell membranes. The increase in protonic conductivity of the ozonated GO originates from enhanced proton hopping, which is due to the higher content of oxygenated functional groups in the basal planes and edges of ozonated GO as well as the morphology changes in GO that are caused by ozonation. The results of this study demonstrate that the modification of dispersed GO presents a powerful opportunity for optimizing a nanoscale material for proton-exchange membranes.

  17. Production of high-performance and improved-durability Pt-catalyst /support for proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells with pulsed laser deposition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Ting-Wei; Qayyum, Hamza; Lin, Guan-Ren; Chen, Szu-yuan; Tseng, Chung-Jen

    2016-06-01

    Pulsed laser deposition in Ar atmosphere is used to deposit Pt nanoparticles onto gas diffusion layer, and its application to proton-exchange-membrane fuel cell is optimized and characterized. When used at anode side, with a Pt loading of 17 μg cm-2 the fuel-cell current density at 0.6 V reaches 1.08 A cm-2, which is close to that of a cell with the anode made by conventional slurry process using E-TEK Pt /C of 200 μg cm-2 Pt loading. The usage of Pt is decreased by 12 fold. Such a low usage of Pt prepared by pulsed laser deposition can be ascribed to the prevention of forming isolated regions that occurs with Pt /C slurry, good dispersion of Pt particles on support, and small particle sizes of 2-3 nm. Furthermore, using accelerated degradation test, it is found that the pulsed laser deposition sample retains 60% of its initial electrochemical surface area after 5000 potential cycles, much higher than that with E-TEK Pt /C, which retains only 7% of its initial electrochemical surface area. The higher electrochemical durability can be attributed to the higher degree of graphitization in the gas diffusion layer used as compared with the carbon black in E-TEK Pt /C, which leads to stronger binding of the Pt nanoparticles onto the carbon support and stronger corrosion resistance of the carbon support.

  18. A highly stable anode, carbon-free, catalyst support based on tungsten trioxide nanoclusters for proton-exchange membrane fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Dou, Meiling; Hou, Ming; Zhang, Huabing; Li, Guangfu; Lu, Wangting; Wei, Zidong; Shao, Zhigang; Yi, Baolian

    2012-05-01

    Durability is an important issue in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). One of the major challenges lies in the degradation caused by the oxidation of the carbon support under high anode potentials (under fuel starvation conditions). Herein, we report highly stable, carbon-free, WO(3) nanoclusters as catalyst supports. The WO(3) nanoclusters are synthesized through a hard template method and characterized by means of electron microscopy and electrochemical analysis. The electrochemical studies show that the WO(3) nanoclusters have excellent electrochemical stability under a high potential (1.6 V for 10 h) compared to Vulcan XC-72. Pt nanoparticles supported on these nanoclusters exhibit high and stable electrocatalytic activity for the oxidation of hydrogen. The catalyst shows negligible loss in electrochemically active surface area (ECA) after an accelerated durability test, whereas the ECA of the Pt nanoparticles immobilized on conventional carbon decreases significantly after the same oxidation condition. Therefore, Pt/WO(3) could be considered as a promising alternative anode catalyst for PEMFCs.

  19. Platinum group metal-free electrocatalysts: Effects of synthesis on structure and performance in proton-exchange membrane fuel cell cathodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Workman, Michael J.; Dzara, Michael; Ngo, Chilan; Pylypenko, Svitlana; Serov, Alexey; McKinney, Sam; Gordon, Jonathan; Atanassov, Plamen; Artyushkova, Kateryna

    2017-04-01

    Development of platinum group metal free catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) requires understanding of the interactions between surface chemistry and performance, both of which are strongly dependent on synthesis conditions. To elucidate these complex relationships, a set of Fe-N-C catalysts derived from the same set of precursor materials is fabricated by varying several key synthetic parameters under controlled conditions. The results of physicochemical characterization are presented and compared with the results of rotating disk electrode (RDE) analysis and fuel cell testing. We find that electrochemical performance is strongly correlated with three key properties related to catalyst composition: concentrations of 1) atomically dispersed Fe species, 2) species in which N is bound to Fe, and 3) surface oxides. Not only are these factors related to performance, these types of chemical species are shown to correlate with each other. This study provides evidence supporting the role of iron coordinated with nitrogen as an active species for the ORR, and offers synthetic pathways to increase the density of atomically dispersed iron species and surface oxides for optimum performance.

  20. Advanced proton-exchange materials for energy efficient fuel cells.

    SciTech Connect

    Fujimoto, Cy H.; Grest, Gary Stephen; Hickner, Michael A.; Cornelius, Christopher James; Staiger, Chad Lynn; Hibbs, Michael R.

    2005-12-01

    The ''Advanced Proton-Exchange Materials for Energy Efficient Fuel Cells'' Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project began in October 2002 and ended in September 2005. This LDRD was funded by the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy strategic business unit. The purpose of this LDRD was to initiate the fundamental research necessary for the development of a novel proton-exchange membranes (PEM) to overcome the material and performance limitations of the ''state of the art'' Nafion that is used in both hydrogen and methanol fuel cells. An atomistic modeling effort was added to this LDRD in order to establish a frame work between predicted morphology and observed PEM morphology in order to relate it to fuel cell performance. Significant progress was made in the area of PEM material design, development, and demonstration during this LDRD. A fundamental understanding involving the role of the structure of the PEM material as a function of sulfonic acid content, polymer topology, chemical composition, molecular weight, and electrode electrolyte ink development was demonstrated during this LDRD. PEM materials based upon random and block polyimides, polybenzimidazoles, and polyphenylenes were created and evaluated for improvements in proton conductivity, reduced swelling, reduced O{sub 2} and H{sub 2} permeability, and increased thermal stability. Results from this work reveal that the family of polyphenylenes potentially solves several technical challenges associated with obtaining a high temperature PEM membrane. Fuel cell relevant properties such as high proton conductivity (>120 mS/cm), good thermal stability, and mechanical robustness were demonstrated during this LDRD. This report summarizes the technical accomplishments and results of this LDRD.

  1. New electrocatalysts for unitized regenerative fuel cell: Pt-Ir alloy deposited on the proton exchange membrane surface by impregnation-reduction method.

    PubMed

    Wan, Chieh-Hao; Wu, Chun-Lin; Lin, Meng-Tsun; Shih, Chihhsiong

    2010-07-01

    In this paper, a modified technique to prepare Pt-Ir catalyst layer on the proton exchange membrane (PEM) surface using the impregnation-reduction (IR) method is proposed to improve the electrocatalytic activity as well as the life cycle of the bifunctional oxygen electrode (BOE). The resulted electrocatalysts were characterized by the Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), X-ray Diffraction (XRD), Electron Probe Micro-Analysis (EPMA), and Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM). The electrocatalytic properties of the Pt-Ir layer on PEM surface for the oxygen reduction and water oxidation reactions as well as the life cycle of MEA were investigated. Experimental results showed that the Ir particles were dispersed densely in the platinum layer through the modified IR technique. The atomic ratio of Pt over Ir elements was 9:1, and the resulted thickness of the obtained Pt-Ir catalyst layer was about 1.0 microm. The Pt-Ir catalyst layer was composed of Pt layer doped with Ir nano-particles comprising nano Pt-Ir alloy phase. The large surface area of Ir core with Pt shell particles and the presence of nano Pt-Ir alloy phase led to a higher electrocatalytic activity of BOE. Due to the good binding between the Nafion membrane and the Pt-Ir alloy catalyst, as well as the composite structure of the resulted Pt-Ir, the life cycle of Unitized Regenerative Fuel Cell (URFC) is improved through this novel BOE.

  2. Microscale X-ray tomographic investigation of the interfacial morphology between the catalyst and micro porous layers in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prass, Sebastian; Hasanpour, Sadegh; Sow, Pradeep Kumar; Phillion, André B.; Mérida, Walter

    2016-07-01

    The interfacial morphology between the catalyst layer (CL) and micro porous layer (MPL) influences the performance of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Here we report a direct method to investigate the CL-MPL interfacial morphology of stacked and compressed gas diffusion layer (GDL with MPL)-catalyst coated membrane (CCM) assemblies. The area, origin and dimensions of interfacial gaps are studied with high-resolution X-ray micro computed tomography (X-μCT). The projected gap area (fraction of the CL-MPL interface separated by gaps) is higher for GDL-CCM assemblies with large differences in the surface roughness between CL and MPL but reduces with increasing compression and similarity in roughness. Relatively large continuous gaps are found in proximity to cracks in the MPL. These are hypothesized to form due to the presence of large pores on the surface of the GDL. Smaller gaps are induced by the surface roughness features throughout the CL-MPL interface. By modification of the pore sizes on the GDL surface serving as substrate for the MPL, the number and dimension of MPL crack induced gaps can be manipulated. Moreover, adjusting the CL and MPL surface roughness parameters to achieve similar orders of roughness can improve the surface mating characteristics of these two components.

  3. Miso Model Identification of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEM-FC) using Least-Square Method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yusivar, F.; Subiantoro, A.; Aryani, D.; Gunawan, R.; Priambodo, P. S.

    2009-09-01

    This paper presents a dynamic model of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell (PEM FC) as a MISO system using an identification model. The actual PEMFC system is represented in a non linear mathematical model. By identifying the non linear model with Least Square Method, a linear state space model is generated, with and without compensation vector. Another model is derived from linearization in the operating conditions of PEMFC. The Voltage-Current characteristics of each PEMFC models are generated from simulation results, and are compared. It can be seen that the best model is the linear model with compensation vector, since its characteristic is very similar with the typical characteristic of PEMFC. Its Criterion Function of 0.0142 is the smallest among the other models. The smaller the Criterion Function, the model can represent the actual system more accurate. The resulting model can be used for model-based control system.

  4. Renewable Electricity Generation via Solar-Powered Methanol Reforming: Hybrid Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Systems Based on Novel Non-Concentrating, Intermediate-Temperature Solar Collectors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Real, Daniel J.

    Tremendous research efforts have been conducted studying the capturing and conversion of solar energy. Solar thermal power systems offer a compelling opportunity for renewable energy utilization with high efficiencies and excellent cost-effectiveness. The goal of this work was to design a non-concentrating collector capable of reaching temperatures above 250 °C, use this collector to power methanol steam reforming, and operate a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell using the generated hydrogen. The study presents the construction and characterization of a non-concentrating, intermediate-temperature, fin-in-tube evacuated solar collector, made of copper and capable of reaching stagnation temperatures of 268.5 °C at 1000 W/m2 irradiance. The collector was used to power methanol steam reforming, including the initial heating and vaporization of liquid reactants and the final heating of the gaseous reactants. A preferential oxidation (PROX) catalyst was used to remove CO from simulated reformate gas, and this product gas was used to operate a PEM fuel cell. The results show 1) that the outlet temperature is not limited by heat transfer from the absorber coating to the heat transfer fluid, but by the amount of solar energy absorbed. This implicates a constant heat flux description of the heat transfer process and allows for the usage of materials with lower thermal conductivity than copper. 2) It is possible to operate a PEM fuel cell from reformate gas if a PROX catalyst is used to remove CO from the gas. 3) The performance of the fuel cell is only slightly decreased (~4%) by CO2 dilution present in the reformate and PROX gas. These results provide a foundation for the first renewable electricity generation via solar-powered methanol reforming through a hybrid PEM fuel cell system based on novel non-concentrating, intermediate-temperature solar collectors.

  5. Synthesizing 2D MoS2 Nanofins on carbon nanospheres as catalyst support for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Yan; Chua, Daniel H. C.

    2016-06-01

    Highly dense 2D MoS2 fin-like nanostructures on carbon nanospheres were fabricated and formed the main catalyst support structure in the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) for polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells. These nanofins were observed growing perpendicular to the carbon nanosphere surface in random orientations and high resolution transmission electron microscope confirmed 2D layers. The PEM fuel cell test showed enhanced electrochemical activity with good stability, generating over 8.5 W.mgPt‑1 as compared to standard carbon black of 7.4 W.mgPt‑1 under normal operating conditions. Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy confirmed that the performance improvement is highly due to the excellent water management of the MoS2 lamellar network, which facilitates water retention at low current density and flood prevention at high current density. Reliability test further demonstrated that these nanofins are highly stable in the electrochemical reaction and is an excellent ORR catalyst support.

  6. Synthesizing 2D MoS2 Nanofins on carbon nanospheres as catalyst support for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Yan; Chua, Daniel H. C.

    2016-01-01

    Highly dense 2D MoS2 fin-like nanostructures on carbon nanospheres were fabricated and formed the main catalyst support structure in the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) for polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells. These nanofins were observed growing perpendicular to the carbon nanosphere surface in random orientations and high resolution transmission electron microscope confirmed 2D layers. The PEM fuel cell test showed enhanced electrochemical activity with good stability, generating over 8.5 W.mgPt−1 as compared to standard carbon black of 7.4 W.mgPt−1 under normal operating conditions. Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy confirmed that the performance improvement is highly due to the excellent water management of the MoS2 lamellar network, which facilitates water retention at low current density and flood prevention at high current density. Reliability test further demonstrated that these nanofins are highly stable in the electrochemical reaction and is an excellent ORR catalyst support. PMID:27302135

  7. AC impedance modelling study on porous electrodes of proton exchange membrane fuel cells using an agglomerate model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerteisen, Dietmar; Hakenjos, Alex; Schumacher, Jürgen O.

    A one-dimensional model of the PEM fuel cell cathode is developed to analyse ac impedance spectra and polarisation curves. The porous gas diffusion electrode is assumed to consist of a network of dispersed catalyst (Pt/C) forming spherically shaped agglomerated zones that are filled with electrolyte. The coupled differential equation system describes: ternary gas diffusion in the backing (O2 , N2 , water vapour), Fickian diffusion and Tafel kinetics for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) inside the agglomerates, proton migration with ohmic losses and double-layer charging in the electrode. Measurements are made of a temperature-controlled fuel cell with a geometric area of 1.4 cm × 1.4 cm. Lateral homogeneity is ensured by using a high stoichiometry of λmin . The model predicts the behaviour of measured polarisation curves and impedance spectra. It is found that a better humidification of the electrode leads to a higher volumetric double-layer capacity. The catalyst layer resistance shows the same behaviour depending on the humidification as the membrane resistance. Model parameters, e.g. Tafel slope, ionic resistance and agglomerate radius are varied. A sensitivity analysis of the model parameters is conducted.

  8. Enhancement of the fuel cell performance of a high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell running with titanium composite polybenzimidazole-based membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-10-01

    The fuel cell performance of a composite PBI-based membrane with TiO2 has been studied. The behaviour of the membrane has been evaluated by comparison with the fuel cell performance of other PBI-based membranes, all of which were cast from the same polymer with the same molecular weight. The PBI composite membrane incorporating TiO2 showed the best performance and reached 1000 mW cm-2 at 175 °C. Moreover, this new titanium composite PBI-based membrane also showed the best stability during the preliminary long-term test under our operation conditions. Thus, the slope of the increase in the ohmic resistance of the composite membrane was 0.041 mΩ cm2 h-1 and this is five times lower than that of the standard PBI membrane. The increased stability was due to the high phosphoric acid retention capacity - as confirmed during leaching tests, in which the Ti-based composite PBI membrane retained 5 mol of H3PO4/PBI r.u. whereas the PBI standard membrane only retained 1 mol H3PO4/PBI r.u. Taking into account the results obtained in this study, the TiO2-PBI based membranes are good candidates as electrolytes for high temperature PEMFCs.

  9. Efficiency measurement and uncertainty discussion of an electric engine powered by a ``self-breathing'' and ``self-humidified'' proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schiavetti, Pierluigi; Del Prete, Zaccaria

    2007-08-01

    The efficiency of an automotive engine based on a "self-breathing" and "self-humidified" proton exchange membrane fuel cell stack (PEM FC) connected to a dc brushless electrical motor was measured under variable power load conditions. Experiments have been carried out on a small scale 150W engine model. After determining the fuel cell static polarization curve and the time response to power steps, the system was driven to copy on the test bench a "standard urban load cycle" and its instantaneous efficiencies were measured at an acquisition rate of 5Hz. The integral system efficiency over the entire urban load cycle, comprising the losses of the unavoidable auxiliary components of the engine, was then calculated. The fuel cell stack was operated mainly in "partial" dead-end mode, with a periodic anode flow channel purging, and one test was carried out in "pure" dead-end mode, with no anode channel purging. An uncertainty analysis of the efficiencies was carried out, taking into account either type A and type B evaluation methods, strengthening the discussion about the outcomes obtained for a system based on this novel simplified FC type. For our small scale engine we measured over the standard urban cycle, on the basis of the H2 high heating value (HHV), a tank-to-wheel integral efficiency of (18.2±0.8)%, when the fuel cell was operated with periodic flow channel purging, and of (21.5±1.3)% in complete dead-end operation mode.

  10. Electricity generation using an air-cathode single chamber microbial fuel cell in the presence and absence of a proton exchange membrane.

    PubMed

    Liu, Hong; Logan, Bruce E

    2004-07-15

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are typically designed as a two-chamber system with the bacteria in the anode chamber separated from the cathode chamber by a polymeric proton exchange membrane (PEM). Most MFCs use aqueous cathodes where water is bubbled with air to provide dissolved oxygen to electrode. To increase energy output and reduce the cost of MFCs, we examined power generation in an air-cathode MFC containing carbon electrodes in the presence and absence of a polymeric proton exchange membrane (PEM). Bacteria present in domestic wastewater were used as the biocatalyst, and glucose and wastewater were tested as substrates. Power density was found to be much greater than typically reported for aqueous-cathode MFCs, reaching a maximum of 262 +/- 10 mW/m2 (6.6 +/- 0.3 mW/L; liquid volume) using glucose. Removing the PEM increased the maximum power density to 494 +/- 21 mW/m2 (12.5 +/- 0.5 mW/L). Coulombic efficiency was 40-55% with the PEM and 9-12% with the PEM removed, indicating substantial oxygen diffusion into the anode chamber in the absence of the PEM. Power output increased with glucose concentration according to saturation-type kinetics, with a half saturation constant of 79 mg/L with the PEM-MFC and 103 mg/L in the MFC without a PEM (1000 omega resistor). Similar results on the effect of the PEM on power density were found using wastewater, where 28 +/- 3 mW/m2 (0.7 +/- 0.1 mW/L) (28% Coulombic efficiency) was produced with the PEM, and 146 +/- 8 mW/m2 (3.7 +/- 0.2 mW/L) (20% Coulombic efficiency) was produced when the PEM was removed. The increase in power output when a PEM was removed was attributed to a higher cathode potential as shown by an increase in the open circuit potential. An analysis based on available anode surface area and maximum bacterial growth rates suggests that mediatorless MFCs may have an upper order-of-magnitude limit in power density of 10(3) mW/m2. A cost-effective approach to achieving power densities in this range will likely

  11. Electroless Ni-Cu-P/nano-graphite composite coatings for bipolar plates of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Cheng-Kuo

    2012-12-01

    This study evaluates the effects of an electroless Ni-Cu-P/nano-graphite composite coating on the surface characteristics of anodized 5083 aluminum alloy, including electrical resistivity, corrosion resistance of the alloy in a simulated solution of 0.5 M H2SO4 + 2 ppm NaF in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). The co-deposition and adhesion of the composite coatings on a 5083 substrate are enhanced by an anodizing process. The electroless Ni-Cu-P plating solution is prepared by adding different CuSO4·5H2O concentrations into the electroless Ni-P plating solution and adding nano-graphite (15-40 nm) particles to form the Ni-Cu-P/nano-graphite composite coatings. Experimental results indicate that the electroless Ni-Cu-P/nano-graphite composite coating enhances the hardness, conductivity, corrosion resistance of the 5083 substrate in the corrosive solution. The anodizing treatment enhances the electroless composite coatings by providing better uniformity, density, and adhesion compared to substrate without anodizing treatment. The electroless Ni-Cu-P/nano-graphite composite coating deposited on the optimal anodized 5083 substrate at a low CuSO4·5H2O concentration of 0.25 g l-1 with 20 g l-1 nano-graphite added have the best surface structure, highest hardness, electrical conductivity and corrosion resistance. Therefore, this novel electroless Ni-Cu-P/nano-graphite composite-coated 5083 aluminum alloy has potential applications in bipolar plates of PEM fuel cells.

  12. Reduction of hydrogen peroxide production at anode of proton exchange membrane fuel cell under open-circuit conditions using ruthenium-carbon catalyst

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jung, Un Ho; Jeong, Seong Uk; Chun, Kook; Park, Ki Tae; Lee, Hyang Mee; Choi, Dong Woong; Kim, Sung Hyun

    This study examines the effect of hydrogen peroxide (H 2O 2) on the open-circuit voltage (OCV) of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) and the reduction of H 2O 2 in the membrane using a ruthenium/carbon catalyst (Ru/C) at the anode. Each cathode and anode potential of the PEMFC in the presence of H 2O 2 is examined by constructing a half-cell using 1.0 M H 2SO 4 solution as an electrolyte and Ag/AgCl as the reference electrode. H 2O 2 is added to the H 2SO 4 solution and the half-cell potential is measured at each H 2O 2 concentration. The cathode potential is affected by the H 2O 2 concentration while the anode potential remains stable. A Ru catalyst is used to reduce the level of H 2O 2 formation through O 2 cross-over at the interface of a membrane and the anode. The Ru catalyst is known to produce less H 2O 2 through oxygen reduction at the anode of PEMFC than a Pt catalyst. A Ru/C layer is placed between the Nafion ® 112 membrane and anode catalyst layer and the cell voltage under open-circuit condition is measured. A single cell is constructed to compare the OCV of the Pt/C only anode with that of the Ru/C-layered anode. The level of hydrogen cross-over and the OCV are determined after operation at a current density of 1 A cm -2 for 10 h and stabilization at open-circuit for 1 h to obtain an equilibrium state in the cell. Although there is an increase in the OCV of the cell with the Ru/C layer at the anode, excessive addition of Ru/C has an adverse effect on cell performance.

  13. Towards developing a backing layer for proton exchange membrane electrolyzers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lettenmeier, P.; Kolb, S.; Burggraf, F.; Gago, A. S.; Friedrich, K. A.

    2016-04-01

    Current energy policies require the urgent replacement of fossil energy carriers by carbon neutral ones, such as hydrogen. The backing or micro-porous layer plays an important role in the performance of hydrogen proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells, reducing contact resistance and improving reactant/product management. Such carbon-based coating cannot be used in PEM electrolysis since it oxidizes to CO2 at high voltages. A functional titanium macro-porous layer (MPL) on the current collectors of a PEM electrolyzer is developed by thermal spraying. It improves the contact with the catalyst layers by ca. 20 mΩ cm2, increasing significantly the efficiency of the device when operating at high current densities.

  14. Synthesis of platinum-polyaniline composite, its evaluation as a performance boosting interphase in the electrode assembly of proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jayasree, R.; Mohanraju, K.; Cindrella, L.

    2013-01-01

    Platinum formed on polyaniline (PANi) is used as the interlayer between porous gas diffusion layer and the catalyst layer with the aim to reduce the thickness of the ordinary gas diffusion layer and provide a performance boosting electrostatic layer. The doping tendency of PANi is utilized to incorporate platinum(IV) ion in its matrix by chemisorption followed by its reduction to metallic platinum. Platinum is deposited on polyaniline by a simple wet chemistry method. PANi is prepared by the chemical oxidative polymerization of aniline by ammonium persulphate while Pt deposition on PANi is achieved by a phase transfer method (water-toluene) to yield Pt nanoparticles on PANi. The composite is characterized by XRD, Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX), IR spectroscopy, cyclic voltammetry (CV), AC impedance studies, density and conductivity measurements. The Pt/PANi composite is assessed in the proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) using H2/O2 gases at ambient pressure. The performance of the PEMFC with Pt/PANi composite interphase on cathode side of the gas diffusion layer (GDL) shows improvement at high current densities which is attributed to the increased capacitative current of Pt/PANi layer in the presence of O2 thereby improving the kinetics of subsequent reduction of O2.

  15. A study on novel pulse preparation and electrocatalytic activities of Pt/C-Nafion electrodes for proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Jingjing; Ye, Feng; Chen, Ling; Wang, Tongtao; Li, Jianling; Wang, Xindong

    To aim at reducing the platinum loading and increasing the utilization of platinum in PEMFC electrode, a new pulse electrodeposition technique for preparing proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) electrodes has been developed in this paper. This method combines coating Pt seeds on the C-Nafion substrate and introducing polyethylene glycol (PEG) into the deposition solution. SEM images of the samples show that Pt seeds and PEG take an important role in the morphology of the Pt deposit. The surface area and average particle size of Pt were determined by charge integration under the hydrogen desorption peaks of cyclic voltammetry. The electrocatalytic activities of these electrodes towards oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) were investigated by using rotating disc electrode (RDE). The Pt catalyst which was prepared by Pt seeds and PEG, its active surface area and electrocatalytic activity towards ORR were improved remarkably. And the optimized electrode displayed higher catalytic activity than a conventional electrode made from commercial Pt/C catalyst. The possible reasons for the effects of Pt seeds and PEG on the higher catalytic activity of prepared Pt catalysts have been preliminarily discussed.

  16. Synthesis and structure-activity relationship exploration of carbon-supported PtRuNi nanocomposite as a CO-tolerant electrocatalyst for proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Liang, Yongmin; Zhang, Huamin; Tian, Zhiqun; Zhu, Xiaobing; Wang, Xiaoli; Yi, Baolian

    2006-04-20

    A carbon-supported PtRuNi nanocomposite is synthesized via a microwave-irradiated polyol plus annealing synthesis strategy. The catalyst is characterized by transmission electron microscopy, powder X-ray diffraction, energy dispersive spectroscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The data are discussed with respect to those for the carbon-supported PtRu nanocomposite prepared following the same way. The characterizations show that the inclusion of Ni in the PtRu system has only a small effect on the particle size, the structure, and the compositional homogeneity. CO-stripping voltammetry and measurements on the single proton exchange membrane fuel cells show that the PtRuNi/C catalyst has an improved activity for CO(ads) electro-oxidation. An accelerated durability test on the catalyst exhibits insignificant loss of activity in acidic media. On the basis of the exploration of the structure-activity relationship, a mechanism for the improved performance of the catalyst is proposed. It is suggested that the improved CO-tolerant performance of the PtRuNi/C nanocomposite should be related to the hydrogen spillover on the catalyst surface, the enhanced oxidation of CO(ads) by nickel hydroxides, and the high proton and electronic conductivity of the hydroxides. The nickel hydroxide passivated surface and/or anchoring of metallic nickel in the platinum lattice may contribute to the durability of the catalyst in acid solution.

  17. Electrochemical behavior of nanocrystalline Ta/TaN multilayer on 316L stainless steel: Novel bipolar plates for proton exchange membrane fuel-cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alishahi, M.; Mahboubi, F.; Mousavi Khoie, S. M.; Aparicio, M.; Hübner, R.; Soldera, F.; Gago, R.

    2016-08-01

    Insufficient corrosion resistance and surface conductivity are two main issues that plague large-scale application of stainless steel (SS) bipolar plates in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). This study explores the use of nanocrystalline Ta/TaN multilayer coatings to improve the electrical and electrochemical performance of polished 316L SS bipolar plates. The multilayer coatings have been deposited by (reactive) magnetron sputtering and characterized by X-ray diffraction, field-emission scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. The electrochemical behavior of bare and coated substrates has been evaluated in simulated PEMFC working environments by potentiodynamic and potentiostatic polarization tests at ambient temperature and 80 °C. The results show that the Ta/TaN multilayer coating increases the polarization resistance of 316L SS by about 30 and 104 times at ambient and elevated temperatures, respectively. The interfacial contact resistance (ICR) shows a low value of 12 mΩ × cm2 before the potentiostatic test. This ICR is significantly lower than for the bare substrate and remains mostly unchanged after potentiostatic polarization for 14 h. In addition, the high contact angle (92°) with water for coated substrates indicates a hydrophobic character, which can improve the water management within the cell in PEMFC stacks.

  18. Study of the acetonitrile poisoning of platinum cathodes on proton exchange membrane fuel cell spatial performance using a segmented cell system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reshetenko, Tatyana V.; St-Pierre, Jean

    2015-10-01

    Due to the wide applications of acetonitrile as a solvent in the chemical industry, acetonitrile can be present in the air and should be considered a possible pollutant. In this work, the spatial proton exchange membrane fuel cell performance exposed to air with 20 ppm CH3CN was studied using a segmented cell system. The injection of CH3CN led to performance losses of 380 mV at 0.2 A cm-2 and 290 mV at 1.0 A cm-2 accompanied by a significant change in the current density distribution. The observed local currents behavior is likely attributed to acetonitrile chemisorption and the subsequent two consecutive reduction/oxidation reactions. The hydrolysis of CH3CN and its intermediate imine species resulted in NH4+ formation, which increased the high-frequency resistance of the cell and affected oxygen reduction and performance. Other products of hydrolysis can be oxidized to CO2 under the operating conditions. The reintroduction of pure air completely recovered cell performance within 4 h at 1.0 A cm-2, while at 0.2 A cm-2 the cell recovery was only partial. A detailed analysis of the current density distribution, its correlation with spatial electrochemical impedance spectroscopy data, possible CH3CN oxidation/reduction mechanisms and mitigation strategies are presented and discussed.

  19. Electrodeposited conductive polypyrrole/polyaniline composite film for the corrosion protection of copper bipolar plates in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, T. J.; Zuo, X. W.; Wang, T.; Hu, J.; Chen, Z. D.; Ren, Y. J.

    2016-01-01

    A conductive composite coating consisting of an inner polypyrrole (PPY) layer and an outer polyaniline (PANI) layer is prepared on a copper substrate by an electrochemical synthesis. Potential application of these composite coatings in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is evaluated. The corrosion performance of the copper substrate without and with the polymer coatings in the acidic solutions containing H2SO4 (0.2 M), HCl (0.1 M) and HF (3 ppm) is investigated by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, polarization and open-circuit potential measurements. The results indicate that both the bilayered PPY/PANI and the single PPY coating can increase the corrosion potential of copper substrate by more than 250 mV (SCE), and effectively decrease the corrosion current density by an order of magnitude in comparison with the uncoated copper substrate. Long-term test further confirms that the bilayered PPY/PANI coating with acceptable contact resistance provides better protection for the substrate than the single PPY coating. The bilayered structure with different ion-permselective nature may serve as an effective physical barrier to the inward penetration of corrosive species.

  20. A review of the stability and durability of non-precious metal catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banham, Dustin; Ye, Siyu; Pei, Katie; Ozaki, Jun-ichi; Kishimoto, Takeaki; Imashiro, Yasuo

    2015-07-01

    A major hurdle to the widespread commercialization of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) is the high loading of noble metal (Pt/Pt-alloy) catalyst at the cathode, which is necessary to facilitate the inherently sluggish oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). To eliminate the use of Pt/Pt-alloy catalysts at the cathode of PEMFCs and thus significantly reduce the cost, extensive research on non-precious metal catalysts (NPMCs) has been carried out over the past decade. Major advances in improving the ORR activity of NPMCs, particularly Fe- and Co-based NPMCs, have elevated these materials to a level at which they can start to be considered as potential alternatives to Pt/Pt-alloy catalysts. Unfortunately, the stability (performance loss following galvanostatic experiments) of these materials is currently unacceptably low and the durability (performance loss following voltage cycling) remains uncertain. The three primary mechanisms of instability are: (a) Leaching of the metal site, (b) Oxidative attack by H2O2, and (c) Protonation followed by possible anion adsorption of the active site. While (a) has largely been solved, further work is required to understand and prevent losses from (b) and/or (c). Thus, this review is focused on historical progress in (and possible future strategies for) improving the stability/durability of NPMCs.

  1. Multilayered Zr-C/a-C film on stainless steel 316L as bipolar plates for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bi, Feifei; Peng, Linfa; Yi, Peiyun; Lai, Xinmin

    2016-05-01

    A multilayered zirconium-carbon/amorphous carbon (Zr-C/a-C) coating is synthesized by magnetron sputtering in order to improve the corrosion resistance and interfacial conductivity of stainless steel 316L (SS316L) as bipolar plates for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Zr-C/a-C film contains an outmost pure amorphous carbon layer and a sub zirconium containing carbon layer. Interfacial contact resistance (ICR) between carbon paper and coated SS316L decreases to 3.63 mΩ cm2 at 1.4 MPa. Potentiodynamic polarization results reveal that the corrosion potential of Zr-C/a-C coated sample is more positive than pure a-C coated sample and the current density is only 0.49 μA cm-2 at the cathode applied potential 0.6 V. Electrochemical impendence spectroscopy also indicates that multilayered Zr-C/a-C film coated SS316L has much higher charge transfer resistance than the bare sample. After potentiostatic polarization, ICR values are 3.92 mΩ cm2 and 3.82 mΩ cm2 in the simulated PEMFCs cathode and anode environment, respectively. Moreover, XPS analysis of the coated samples before and after potential holding tests shows little difference, which disclose the chemical stability of multilayered Zr-C/a-C film. Therefore, the multilayered Zr-C/a-C coating exhibits excellent performance in various aspects and is preferred for the application of stainless steel bipolar plates.

  2. An investigation on corrosion protection of chromium nitride coated Fe-Cr alloy as a bipolar plate material for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, T. J.; Zhang, B.; Li, J.; He, Y. X.; Lin, F.

    2014-12-01

    The corrosion properties of chromium nitride (CrN) coating are investigated to assess the potential use of this material as a bipolar plate for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Conductive metallic ceramic CrN layers are firstly deposited onto Fe-Cr alloy using a multi-arc ion plating technique to increase the corrosion resistance of the base alloy. Electrochemical measurements indicate that the corrosion resistance of the substrate alloy is greatly enhanced by the CrN coating. The free corrosion potential of the substrate is increased by more than 50 mV. Furthermore, a decrease in three orders of magnitude of corrosive current density for the CrN-coated alloy is observed compared to the as-received Fe-Cr alloy. Long-term immersion tests show that the CrN layer is highly stable and effectively acts as a barrier to inhibit permeation of corrosive species. On the contrary, corrosion of the Fe-Cr alloy is rather severe without the protection of CrN coating due to the active dissolution. Finally, the corresponding electrochemical impedance models are proposed to elucidate the corrosion process of the CrN/Fe-Cr alloy submerged in a simulated PEMFCs environment.

  3. High throughput study of fuel cell proton exchange membranes: Poly(vinylidene fluoride)/acrylic polyelectrolyte blends and nanocomposites with zirconium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zapata B., Pedro Jose

    Sustainability is perhaps one of the most heard buzzwords in the post-20 th century society; nevertheless, it is not without a reason. Our present practices for energy supply are largely unsustainable if we consider their environmental and social impact. In view of this unfavorable panorama, alternative sustainable energy sources and conversion approaches have acquired noteworthy significance in recent years. Among these, proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are being considered as a pivotal building block in the transition towards a sustainable energy economy in the 21st century. The polyelectrolyte membrane or proton exchange membrane (PEM) is a vital component, as well as a performance-limiting factor, of the PEMFC. Consequently, the development of high-performance PEM materials is of utmost importance for the advance of the PEMFC field. In this work, alternative PEM materials based on semi-interpenetrated networks from blends of poly(vinyledene fluoride) (PVDF) (inert phase) and sulfonated crosslinked acrylic polyelectrolytes (PE) (proton-conducting phase), as well as tri-phase PVDF/PE/zirconium-based composites, are studied. To alleviate the burden resulting from the vast number of possible combinations of the different precursors utilized in the preparation of the membranes (PVDF: 5x, PE: 2x, Nanoparticle: 3x), custom high-throughput (HT) screening systems have been developed for their characterization. By coupling the data spaces obtained via these systems with the appropriate statistical and data analysis tools it was found that, despite not being directly involved in the proton transport process, the inert PVDF phase plays a major role on proton conductivity. Particularly, a univocal inverse correlation between the PVDF crystalline characteristics (i.e., crystallinity and crystallite size) and melt viscosity, and membrane proton conductivity was discovered. Membranes based on highly crystalline and viscous PVDF homopolymers exhibited reduced proton

  4. Method of fabricating electrode catalyst layers with directionally oriented carbon support for proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Liu, Di-Jia [Naperville, IL; Yang, Junbing [Bolingbrook, IL

    2012-03-20

    A membrane electrode assembly (MEA) of the invention comprises an anode and a cathode and a proton conductive membrane therebetween, the anode and the cathode each comprising a patterned sheet of longitudinally aligned transition metal-containing carbon nanotubes, wherein the carbon nanotubes are in contact with and are aligned generally perpendicular to the membrane, wherein a catalytically active transition metal is incorporated throughout the nanotubes.

  5. Lamellar crystals as proton conductors to enhance the performance of proton exchange membrane for direct methanol fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Yuning; Jiang, Zhongyi; Xiao, Lulu; Xu, Tao; Wu, Hong

    2011-08-01

    Zirconium glyphosate (ZrG) is a solid proton conductor with layered crystal structure. The inorganic veneer sheets of ZrG are covalently intercalated by glyphosate molecules with carboxylic acid end groups (-COOH). The existence of abundant -COOH groups both inside and on the surface of ZrG provides additional proton-conducting channels facilitating the proton conduction through and around the inorganic crystals. ZrG is incorporated into the sulfonated polyether ether ketone (SPEEK) matrices to prepare proton-conducting hybrid membranes. The conductivity of the hybrid membranes is higher than the pristine SPEEK membrane, and increases with increasing ZrG content. Furthermore, the enhancement of the proton conductivity is more obvious at elevated temperatures. At 25 °C, the proton conductivity of the hybrid membrane with 16 wt% ZrG is 1.4 times higher than that of the pristine membrane. When the temperature increases to 55 °C, the conductivity of the hybrid membrane with 8 wt% ZrG is more than twice that of the pristine SPEEK membrane. The prolonged and tortuous pathways originated from the incorporation of inorganic crystals lead to reduced methanol permeability. The selectivity of the hybrid membrane is increased by as much as 72% compared to the pristine SPEEK membrane.

  6. Research and Development of Proton-Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell System for Transportation Applications: Initial Conceptual Design Report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-11-30

    This report addresses Task 1.1, model development and application, and Task 1.2, vehicle mission definition. Overall intent is to produce a methanol-fueled 10-kW power source, and to evaluate electrochemical engine (ECE) use in transportation. Major achievements include development of an ECE power source model and its integration into a comprehensive power source/electric vehicle propulsion model, establishment of candidate FCV (fuel cell powered electric vehicle) mission requirements, initial FCV studies, and a candidate FCV recommendation for further study.

  7. DOD Residential Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell Demonstration Program. Volume 1. Summary of the Fiscal Year 2001 Program

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-02-01

    de- tailed special provisions concerning patent rights, rights in technical data and computer software, reporting requirements, equal employment...Fuel Cells (860) 673-9181 Revised draft of the technical report is in the review process. ERDC/CERL TR-04-3 43 IEC TC105 Working Group 2...Champaign, IL 61826-9005 Final Report Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Prepared for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Washington

  8. Study on the mesocarbon microbeads/polyphenylene sulfide composite bipolar plates applied for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Tao; Shi, Pengfei

    Thermoplastic/graphite composite bipolar plates based on polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) and mesocarbon microbeads (MCMB) were prepared by compression molding at a pressure of 40 MPa and 400 °C. Electrical conductivity, bulk density, flexural strength, water and ethanol absorption were determined as function of PPS content. The influences of molding time, actived carbon and carbon fiber on the properties of the composite bipolar plates were investigated, the cross section of the composite plates were analyzed by scanning electron microscope (SEM). We found that the optimized PPS content is 20 wt% and the required molding time is 30 min. In particular, the composite plates containing 20 wt% PPS demonstrated in-plane conductivity as high as 133.7 S cm -1, through-plane conductivity 21.37 S cm -1, in addition to showing the value of density, flexural strength, water and ethanol absorption as 1.98 g cm -3, 38.82 MPa, 0.0409 and 0.352 g cm -3. The addition of actived carbon degraded all the performance of the bipolar plate, while addition of carbon fiber improved almost all the performance of bipolar plate except bulk density and through-plane conductivity. The performances of fuel cell with this composite bipolar plate were tested, no distinct variation occurred after the composite plates operating in fuel cell. These data indicates the chemical and mechanical stability of the composite plates and their potential application in fuel cell.

  9. Method of fabricating electrode catalyst layers with directionally oriented carbon support for proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Liu, Di-Jia; Yang, Junbing

    2010-07-20

    A method of making a membrane electrode assembly (MEA) having an anode and a cathode and a proton conductive membrane there between. A bundle of longitudinally aligned carbon nanotubes with a catalytically active transition metal incorporated in the nanotubes forms at least one portion of the MEA and is in contact with the membrane. A combination selected from one or more of a hydrocarbon and an organometallic compound containing an catalytically active transition metal and a nitrogen containing compound and an inert gas and a reducing gas is introduced into a first reaction zone maintained at a first reaction temperature for a time sufficient to vaporize material therein. The vaporized material is transmitted to a second reaction zone maintained at a second reaction temperature for a time sufficient to grow longitudinally aligned carbon nanotubes with a catalytically active transition metal incorporated throughout the nanotubes. The nanotubes are in contact with a portion of the MEA at production or being positioned in contact thereafter. Methods of forming a PEMFC are also disclosed.

  10. Investigation of titanium nitride as catalyst support material and development of durable electrocatalysts for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Avasarala, Bharat K.

    The impending energy and climatic crisis makes it imperative for human society to seek non-fossil based alternative sources for our energy needs. Although many alternative energy technologies are currently being developed, fuel cell technology provides energy solutions, which satisfy a wide range of applications. But the current fuel cell technology is far from its target of large scale commercialization mainly because of its high cost and poor durability. Considerable work has been done in reducing the cost but its durability still needs significant improvement. Of the various materials in a PEM fuel cell, the degradation of electrocatalyst affects its durability the most, leading to performance loss. Carbon black (C) support corrosion plays a significant role in the electrocatalyst degradation and its severe affects due to potential cycling has been identified through my research. Through my resaerch, I introduce titanium nitride nanoparticles (TiN NP) as alternative catalyst supports replacing carbon black. TiN NP has higher electrical conductivity and corrosion resistance compared to that of C. The physical and electrochemical properties of TiN NP were studied and the Pt/TiN electrocatalyst was synthesized using polyol process. Upon optimizing using DOE, for desired catalyst particle size and activity, Pt/TiN is shown to have higher catalytic performance than conventional Pt/C. TiN NP are significantly influenced by the electrochemical conditions and show 'active' or 'passive' nature depending on the temperature and acidic concentration; and a temperature dependence model is proposed to understand the active/passive nature of TiN NP. A one-to-one comparison between TiN NP and C electrodes under similar electrochemical conditions show a superior performance of TiN NP as a catalyst support. The durability of the Pt/TiN electrocatalyst is also tested and it agrees well with the proposed model of active/passive nature of the TiN NP. Through theoretical calculation

  11. Final report on LDRD project : elucidating performance of proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells via computational modeling with experimental discovery and validation.

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Chao Yang (Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA); Pasaogullari, Ugur (Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA); Noble, David R.; Siegel, Nathan P.; Hickner, Michael A.; Chen, Ken Shuang

    2006-11-01

    In this report, we document the accomplishments in our Laboratory Directed Research and Development project in which we employed a technical approach of combining experiments with computational modeling and analyses to elucidate the performance of hydrogen-fed proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). In the first part of this report, we document our focused efforts on understanding water transport in and removal from a hydrogen-fed PEMFC. Using a transparent cell, we directly visualized the evolution and growth of liquid-water droplets at the gas diffusion layer (GDL)/gas flow channel (GFC) interface. We further carried out a detailed experimental study to observe, via direct visualization, the formation, growth, and instability of water droplets at the GDL/GFC interface using a specially-designed apparatus, which simulates the cathode operation of a PEMFC. We developed a simplified model, based on our experimental observation and data, for predicting the onset of water-droplet instability at the GDL/GFC interface. Using a state-of-the-art neutron imaging instrument available at NIST (National Institute of Standard and Technology), we probed liquid-water distribution inside an operating PEMFC under a variety of operating conditions and investigated effects of evaporation due to local heating by waste heat on water removal. Moreover, we developed computational models for analyzing the effects of micro-porous layer on net water transport across the membrane and GDL anisotropy on the temperature and water distributions in the cathode of a PEMFC. We further developed a two-phase model based on the multiphase mixture formulation for predicting the liquid saturation, pressure drop, and flow maldistribution across the PEMFC cathode channels. In the second part of this report, we document our efforts on modeling the electrochemical performance of PEMFCs. We developed a constitutive model for predicting proton conductivity in polymer electrolyte membranes and compared

  12. Degradation mechanisms of Platinum Nanoparticle Catalysts in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells: The Role of Particle Size

    SciTech Connect

    Yu, Kang; Groom, Daniel J.; Wang, Xiaoping; Yang, Zhiwei; Gummalla, Mallika; Ball, Sarah C.; Myers, Deborah J.; Ferreira, Paulo J.

    2014-10-14

    Five membrane-electrode assemblies (MEAs) with different average sizes of platinum (Pt) nanoparticles (2.2, 3.5, 5.0, 6.7, and 11.3 nm) in the cathode were analyzed before and after potential cycling (0.6 to 1.0 V, 50 mV/s) by transmission electron microscopy. Cathodes loaded with 2.2 nm and 3.5 nm catalyst nanoparticles exhibit the following changes during electrochemical cycling: (i) substantial broadening of the size distribution relative to the initial size distribution, (ii) presence of coalesced particles within the electrode, and (iii) precipitation of sub-micron-sized particles with complex shapes within the membrane. In contrast, cathodes loaded with 5.0 nm, 6.7 nm and 11.3 nm size catalyst nanoparticles are significantly less prone to the aforementioned effects. As a result, the electrochemically-active surface area (ECA) of MEA cathodes loaded with 2.2 nm and 3.5 nm nanoparticle catalysts degrades dramatically within 1,000 cycles of operation, while the electrochemically-active surface area of MEA cathodes loaded with 5.0 nm, 6.7 nm and 11.3 nm nanoparticle catalysts appears to be stable even after 10,000 cycles. The loss in MEA performance for cathodes loaded with 2.2 nm and 3.5 nm nanoparticle catalysts appears to be due to the loss in electrochemically-active surface area concomitant with the observed morphological changes in these nanoparticle catalysts

  13. Study of coupled transport and its effect on different electrochemical systems: Implications in high temperature energy storage batteries and proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parthasarathy, Preethy

    Coupled transport is studied on two electrochemical systems: Na-ZnCl 2 batteries and Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC). The energy storage system of interest here is based on sodium β"-alumina solid electrolyte (BASE): Na/BASE/ZnCl2. BASE is an excellent Na+ conductor with a very high conductivity at 300°C. Its high Na+ ion conductivity and high stability are the principal reasons for its application in electrochemical storage systems. A novel vapor phase process was invented facilitating the fabrication of high strength and moisture/CO 2 resistant BASE. A two-phase composite of alumiNa+YSZ is formed by sintering and exposed to Na2O vapor, keeping the activity of Na2O lower than that in NaAlO2. This prevents the formation of hygroscopic NaAlO2 at the grain boundaries. A thin layer of β"-alumina is formed on the surface upon exposure. Further reaction occurs by transporting Na+ ions through the formed β"-alumina and a parallel transport of O2- ions through YSZ. This occurs by a coupled transport of Na+ through β"-alumina and O 2- ions through YSZ, thus expediting the process. The second electrochemical system of interest is PEMFC. The degradation mechanism of catalysts is studied using inexpensive copper particles. The mechanism of growth involves a coupled transport of Cu2+ through the aqueous medium and an electron transport through the direct particle-to-particle contact. Effect of applied stress on coarsening of platinum was also investigated. Two platinum wires/foils were immersed in a PtCl4+DMSO (Dimethyl sulfoxide) solution. A tensile load was applied to one wire/foil and the other one was left load-free. The wire/foil subjected to a tensile load became cathodic with respect to the unstressed wire/foil. Thus, under a tensile stress, the chemical potential of Pt decreases. This result suggests design strategies for core-shell catalysts used in PEMFCs: stable core-shell catalysts for PEMFC with Pt shell should be designed such that the shell is

  14. HYDROGEN ISOTOPE RECOVERY USING PROTON EXCHANGE MEMBRANE ELECTROLYSIS OF WATER

    SciTech Connect

    Fox, E; Scott Greenway, S; Amy Ekechukwu, A

    2007-08-27

    A critical component of tritium glovebox operations is the recovery of high value tritium from the water vapor in the glove box atmosphere. One proposed method to improve existing tritium recovery systems is to replace the disposable hot magnesium beds used to separate the hydrogen and oxygen in water with continuous use Proton Exchange Membrane Electrolyzers (PEMEs). This study examines radiation exposure to the membrane of a PEME and examines the sizing difference that would be needed if the electrolyzer were operated with a cathode water vapor feed instead of an anode liquid water feed.

  15. Preparation and characterization of polymer blend based on sulfonated poly (ether ether ketone) and polyetherimide (SPEEK/PEI) as proton exchange membranes for fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hashim, Nordiana; Ali, Ab Malik Marwan; Lepit, Ajis; Rasmidi, Rosfayanti; Subban, Ri Hanum Yahaya; Yahya, Muhd Zu Azhan

    2015-08-01

    Blends of sulfonated poly (ether ether ketone) (SPEEK) and polyetherimide (PEI) were prepared in five different weight ratios using N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) as solvent by the solution cast technique. The degree of sulfonation (DS) of the sulfonated PEEK was determined from deuterated dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO-d6) solution of the purified polymer using 1H NMR method. The properties studied in the present investigation includes conductivity, water uptake, thermal stability and structure analysis of pure SPEEK as well as SPEEK-PEI polymer blend membranes. The experimental results show that the conductivity of the membranes increased with increase in temperature from 30 to 80°C, except for that of pure SPEEK membrane which increased with temperature from 30 to 60°C while its conductivity decreased with increasing temperature from 60 to 80°C. The conductivity of 70wt.%SPEEK-30wt.%PEI blend membrane at 80% relative humidity (RH) is found to be 1.361 × 10-3 Scm-1 at 30°C and 3.383 × 10-3 Scm-1 at 80°C respectively. It was also found that water uptake and thermal stability of the membranes slightly improved upon blending with PEI. Structure analysis was carried out using Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy which revealed considerable interactions between sulfonic acid group of SPEEK and imide groups of PEI. Modification of SPEEK by blending with PEI shows good potential for improving the electrical and physical properties of proton exchange membranes.

  16. Preparation and characterization of polymer blend based on sulfonated poly (ether ether ketone) and polyetherimide (SPEEK/PEI) as proton exchange membranes for fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Hashim, Nordiana; Ali, Ab Malik Marwan; Lepit, Ajis; Rasmidi, Rosfayanti; Subban, Ri Hanum Yahaya; Yahya, Muhd Zu Azhan

    2015-08-28

    Blends of sulfonated poly (ether ether ketone) (SPEEK) and polyetherimide (PEI) were prepared in five different weight ratios using N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) as solvent by the solution cast technique. The degree of sulfonation (DS) of the sulfonated PEEK was determined from deuterated dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO-d{sub 6}) solution of the purified polymer using {sup 1}H NMR method. The properties studied in the present investigation includes conductivity, water uptake, thermal stability and structure analysis of pure SPEEK as well as SPEEK-PEI polymer blend membranes. The experimental results show that the conductivity of the membranes increased with increase in temperature from 30 to 80°C, except for that of pure SPEEK membrane which increased with temperature from 30 to 60°C while its conductivity decreased with increasing temperature from 60 to 80°C. The conductivity of 70wt.%SPEEK-30wt.%PEI blend membrane at 80% relative humidity (RH) is found to be 1.361 × 10{sup −3} Scm{sup −1} at 30°C and 3.383 × 10{sup −3} Scm{sup −1} at 80°C respectively. It was also found that water uptake and thermal stability of the membranes slightly improved upon blending with PEI. Structure analysis was carried out using Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy which revealed considerable interactions between sulfonic acid group of SPEEK and imide groups of PEI. Modification of SPEEK by blending with PEI shows good potential for improving the electrical and physical properties of proton exchange membranes.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  18. Effect of assembly error of bipolar plate on the contact pressure distribution and stress failure of membrane electrode assembly in proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Dong'an; Peng, Linfa; Lai, Xinmin

    In practice, the assembly error of the bipolar plate (BPP) in a PEM fuel cell stack is unavoidable based on the current assembly process. However its effect on the performance of the PEM fuel cell stack is not reported yet. In this study, a methodology based on FEA model, "least squares-support vector machine (LS-SVM)" simulation and statistical analysis is developed to investigate the effect of the assembly error of the BPP on the pressure distribution and stress failure of membrane electrode assembly (MEA). At first, a parameterized FEA model of a metallic BPP/MEA assembly is established. Then, the LS-SVM simulation process is conducted based on the FEA model, and datasets for the pressure distribution and Von Mises stress of MEA are obtained, respectively for each assembly error. At last, the effect of the assembly error is obtained by applying the statistical analysis to the LS-SVM results. A regression equation between the stress failure and the assembly error is also built, and the allowed maximum assembly error is calculated based on the equation. The methodology in this study is beneficial to understand the mechanism of the assembly error and can be applied to guide the assembly process for the PEM fuel cell stack.

  19. Water hydrogen bonding in proton exchange and neutral polymer membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smedley, Sarah Black

    Understanding the dynamics of water sorbed into polymer films is critical to reveal structure-property relationships in membranes for energy and water treatment applications, where membranes must interact with water to facilitate or inhibit the transport of ions. The chemical structure of the polymer has drastic effects on the transport properties of the membrane due to the morphological structure of the polymer and how water is interacting with the functional groups on the polymer backbone. Therefore studying the dynamics of water adsorbed into a membrane will give insight into how water-polymer interactions influence transport properties of the film. With a better understanding of how to design materials to have specific properties, we can accelerate development of smarter materials for both energy and water treatment applications to increase efficiency and create high-flux materials and processes. The goal of this dissertation is to investigate the water-polymer interactions in proton exchange and uncharged membranes and make correlations to their charge densities and transport properties. A linear Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopic method for measuring the hydrogen bonding distribution of water sorbed in proton exchange membranes is described in this thesis. The information on the distribution of the microenvironments of water in an ionic polymer is critical to understanding the effects of different acidic groups on the proton conductivity of proton exchange membranes at low relative humidity. The OD stretch of dilute HOD in H2O is a single, well-defined vibrational band. When HOD in dilute H2O is sorbed into a proton exchange membrane, the OD stretch peak shifts based on the microenvironment that water encounters within the nanophase separated structure of the material. This peak shift is a signature of different hydrogen bonding populations within the membrane, which can be deconvoluted rigorously for dilute HOD in H 2O compared to only

  20. Random and Block Sulfonated Polyaramides as Advanced Proton Exchange Membranes

    SciTech Connect

    Kinsinger, Corey L.; Liu, Yuan; Liu, Feilong; Yang, Yuan; Seifert, Soenke; Knauss, Daniel M.; Herring, Andrew M; Maupin, C. Mark

    2015-10-09

    We present here the experimental and computational characterization of two novel copolyaramide proton exchange membranes (PEMs) with higher conductivity than Nafion at relatively high temperatures, good mechanical properties, high thermal stability, and the capability to operate in low humidity conditions. The random and block copolyaramide PEMs are found to possess different ion exchange capacities (IEC) in addition to subtle structural and morphological differences, which impact the stability and conductivity of the membranes. SAXS patterns indicate the ionomer peak for the dry block copolymer resides at q = 0.1 Å–1, which increases in amplitude when initially hydrated to 25% relative humidity, but then decrease in amplitude with additional hydration. This pattern is hypothesized to signal the transport of water into the polymer matrix resulting in a reduced degree of phase separation. Coupled to these morphological changes, the enhanced proton transport characteristics and structural/mechanical stability for the block copolymer are hypothesized to be primarily due to the ordered structure of ionic clusters that create connected proton transport pathways while reducing swelling upon hydration. Interestingly, the random copolymer did not possess an ionomer peak at any of the hydration levels investigated, indicating a lack of any significant ionomer structure. The random copolymer also demonstrated higher proton conductivity than the block copolymer, which is opposite to the trend normally seen in polymer membranes. However, it has reduced structural/mechanical stability as compared to the block copolymer. In conclusion, this reduction in stability is due to the random morphology formed by entanglements of polymer chains and the adverse swelling characteristics upon hydration. Therefore, the block copolymer with its enhanced proton conductivity characteristics, as compared to Nafion, and favorable structural/mechanical stability, as compared to the

  1. Random and Block Sulfonated Polyaramides as Advanced Proton Exchange Membranes

    DOE PAGES

    Kinsinger, Corey L.; Liu, Yuan; Liu, Feilong; ...

    2015-10-09

    We present here the experimental and computational characterization of two novel copolyaramide proton exchange membranes (PEMs) with higher conductivity than Nafion at relatively high temperatures, good mechanical properties, high thermal stability, and the capability to operate in low humidity conditions. The random and block copolyaramide PEMs are found to possess different ion exchange capacities (IEC) in addition to subtle structural and morphological differences, which impact the stability and conductivity of the membranes. SAXS patterns indicate the ionomer peak for the dry block copolymer resides at q = 0.1 Å–1, which increases in amplitude when initially hydrated to 25% relative humidity,more » but then decrease in amplitude with additional hydration. This pattern is hypothesized to signal the transport of water into the polymer matrix resulting in a reduced degree of phase separation. Coupled to these morphological changes, the enhanced proton transport characteristics and structural/mechanical stability for the block copolymer are hypothesized to be primarily due to the ordered structure of ionic clusters that create connected proton transport pathways while reducing swelling upon hydration. Interestingly, the random copolymer did not possess an ionomer peak at any of the hydration levels investigated, indicating a lack of any significant ionomer structure. The random copolymer also demonstrated higher proton conductivity than the block copolymer, which is opposite to the trend normally seen in polymer membranes. However, it has reduced structural/mechanical stability as compared to the block copolymer. In conclusion, this reduction in stability is due to the random morphology formed by entanglements of polymer chains and the adverse swelling characteristics upon hydration. Therefore, the block copolymer with its enhanced proton conductivity characteristics, as compared to Nafion, and favorable structural/mechanical stability, as compared to the

  2. Toward a predictive understanding of water and charge transport in proton exchange membranes.

    PubMed

    Selvan, Myvizhi Esai; Calvo-Muñoz, Elisa; Keffer, David J

    2011-03-31

    An analytical model for water and charge transport in highly acidic and highly confined systems such as proton exchange membranes of fuel cells is developed and compared to available experimental data. The model is based on observations from both experiment and multiscale simulation. The model accounts for three factors in the system including acidity, confinement, and connectivity. This model has its basis in the molecular-level mechanisms of water transport but has been coarse-grained to the extent that it can be expressed in an analytical form. The model uses the concentration of H(3)O(+) ion to characterize acidity, interfacial surface area per water molecule to characterize confinement, and percolation theory to describe connectivity. Several important results are presented. First, an integrated multiscale simulation approach including both molecular dynamics simulation and confined random walk theory is capable of quantitatively reproducing experimentally measured self-diffusivities of water in the perfluorinated sulfonic acid proton exchange membrane material, Nafion. The simulations, across a range of hydration conditions from minimally hydrated to fully saturated, have an average error for the self-diffusivity of water of 16% relative to experiment. Second, accounting for three factors-acidity, confinement, and connectivity-is necessary and sufficient to understand the self-diffusivity of water in proton exchange membranes. Third, an analytical model based on percolation theory is capable of quantitatively reproducing experimentally measured self-diffusivities of both water and charge in Nafion across a full range of hydration.

  3. Research and development of Proton-Exchange-Membrane (PEM) fuel cell system for transportation applications. Fuel cell infrastructure and commercialization study

    SciTech Connect

    1996-11-01

    This paper has been prepared in partial fulfillment of a subcontract from the Allison Division of General Motors under the terms of Allison`s contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DE-AC02-90CH10435). The objective of this task (The Fuel Cell Infrastructure and Commercialization Study) is to describe and prepare preliminary evaluations of the processes which will be required to develop fuel cell engines for commercial and private vehicles. This report summarizes the work undertaken on this study. It addresses the availability of the infrastructure (services, energy supplies) and the benefits of creating public/private alliances to accelerate their commercialization. The Allison prime contract includes other tasks related to the research and development of advanced solid polymer fuel cell engines and preparation of a demonstration automotive vehicle. The commercialization process starts when there is sufficient understanding of a fuel cell engine`s technology and markets to initiate preparation of a business plan. The business plan will identify each major step in the design of fuel cell (or electrochemical) engines, evaluation of the markets, acquisition of manufacturing facilities, and the technical and financial resources which will be required. The process will end when one or more companies have successfully developed and produced fuel cell engines at a profit. This study addressed the status of the information which will be required to prepare business plans, develop the economic and market acceptance data, and to identify the mobility, energy and environment benefits of electrochemical or fuel cell engines. It provides the reader with information on the status of fuel cell or electrochemical engine development and their relative advantages over competitive propulsion systems. Recommendations and descriptions of additional technical and business evaluations that are to be developed in more detail in Phase II, are included.

  4. Preparations of an inorganic-framework proton exchange nanochannel membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, X. H.; Jiang, H. R.; Zhao, G.; Zeng, L.; Zhao, T. S.

    2016-09-01

    In this work, a proton exchange membrane composed of straight and aligned proton conducting nanochannels is developed. Preparation of the membrane involves the surface sol-gel method assisted with a through-hole anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) template to form the framework of the PEM nanochannels. A monomolecular layer (SO3Hsbnd (CH2)3sbnd Sisbnd (OCH3)3) is subsequently added onto the inner surfaces of the nanochannels to shape a proton-conducting pathway. Straight nanochannels exhibit long range order morphology, contributing to a substantial improvement in the proton mobility and subsequently proton conductivity. In addition, the nanochannel size can be altered by changing the surface sol-gel condition, allowing control of the active species/charge carrier selectivity via pore size exclusion. The proton conductivity of the nanochannel membrane is reported as high as 11.3 mS cm-1 at 70 °C with a low activation energy of 0.21 eV (20.4 kJ mol-1). First-principle calculations reveal that the activation energy for proton transfer is impressively low (0.06 eV and 0.07 eV) with the assistance of water molecules.

  5. Study of nitrile-containing proton exchange membranes prepared by radiation grafting: Performance and degradation in the polymer electrolyte fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Zhuoxiang; Jetsrisuparb, Kaewta; Wokaun, Alexander; Gubler, Lorenz

    2013-12-01

    The fuel cell performance and durability of three kinds of styrene based radiation grafted membranes are investigated and compared in the single cell. The styrene/methacrylonitrile (MAN) co-grafted membrane exhibits the best performance among the tested radiation grafted membranes. The accelerated tests under open circuit voltage (OCV) conditions and post-mortem analysis demonstrate that the nitrile-containing membranes exhibit significantly enhanced durability compared to the pure styrene grafted membrane, which is associated with the reduced gas crossover rates and attributed to the improved gases barrier properties due to the polarity of the nitrile group. To understand the influence of each functional group in the co-monomer units, both styrene/MAN and styrene/acrylonitrile (AN) co-grafted membranes are evaluated in a set of tests at OCV. The degrees of loss of the graft components are subsequently quantitatively analyzed based on FTIR spectra, showing a comparable decomposition rate of grafted styrene units, but more loss of nitrile in case of the styrene/AN co-grafted membrane. The styrene/AN co-grafted membrane, with AN lacking protection at the α-position in contrast to MAN, is found to be susceptible to significant hydrolysis, directly leading to an accelerated degradation in the late stages of the 130 h OCV test and inhomogeneous in-plane degradation.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  7. Local potential evolutions during proton exchange membrane fuel cell operation with dead-ended anode - Part I: Impact of water diffusion and nitrogen crossover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abbou, S.; Dillet, J.; Maranzana, G.; Didierjean, S.; Lottin, O.

    2017-02-01

    Operating a PEMFC with a dead-ended anode may lead to local fuel-starvation because of water and possibly nitrogen accumulation in the anode compartment. In previous works, we used a segmented linear cell with reference electrodes to monitor simultaneously the local potentials and current densities during dead-ended anode operation. The results indicated that water transport as well as nitrogen crossover through the membrane were most probably the two key factors governing fuel starvation. In this first from a set of two papers, we evaluated with more details the contributions of nitrogen crossover and water transport to hydrogen starvation. To assess nitrogen contribution, the fuel cell cathode compartment was first supplied with pure oxygen instead of air. The results showed that in the absence of nitrogen (in the cathode side) the fuel starvation was much slower than with air, suggesting that nitrogen contribution cannot be neglected. On the other hand, the contribution of water flooding to hydrogen starvation was investigated by using different cooling temperature on the cathode and anode sides in order to drive water toward the colder plate. The results showed that with a colder anode side, fuel starvation was faster. In the opposite case of a hotter anode plate, water accumulation in the anode compartment was limited, nitrogen crossover through the membrane was the main reason for hydrogen starvation in this case. To fully assess the impact of the thermal configurations on membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) degradation, aging protocols with a dead-ended anode and a fixed closing time were also performed. The results showed that operation with a hotter anode could help to limit significantly cathode ElectroChemical Surface Area (ECSA) losses along the cell area and performance degradation induced by hydrogen starvation.

  8. Manufacturing and Performance Assessment of Stamped, Laser Welded, and Nitrided FeCrV Stainless Steel Bipolar Plates for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Brady, Michael P; Abdelhamid, Mahmoud; Dadheech, G; Bradley, J; Toops, Todd J; Meyer III, Harry M; Tortorelli, Peter F

    2013-01-01

    A manufacturing and single-cell fuel cell performance study of stamped, laser welded, and gas nitrided ferritic stainless steel foils in an advanced automotive bipolar plate assembly design was performed. Two developmental foil compositions were studied: Fee20Cre4V and Fee23Cre4V wt.%. Foils 0.1 mm thick were stamped and then laser welded together to create single bipolar plate assemblies with cooling channels. The plates were then surface treated by pre-oxidation and nitridation in N2e4H2 based gas mixtures using either a conventional furnace or a short-cycle quartz lamp infrared heating system. Single-cell fuel cell testing was performed at 80 C for 500 h at 0.3 A/cm2 using 100% humidification and a 100%/40% humidification cycle that stresses the membrane and enhances release of the fluoride ion and promotes a more corrosive environment for the bipolar plates. Periodic high frequency resistance potential-current scans during the 500 h fuel cell test and posttest analysis of the membrane indicated no resistance increase of the plates and only trace levels of metal ion contamination.

  9. Sol-gel synthesis, electrochemical characterization, and stability testing of Ti(0.7)W(0.3)O2 nanoparticles for catalyst support applications in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Subban, Chinmayee V; Zhou, Qin; Hu, Anthony; Moylan, Thomas E; Wagner, Frederick T; DiSalvo, Francis J

    2010-12-15

    The materials currently used in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) require complex control of operating conditions to make them sufficiently durable to permit commercial deployment. One of the major materials challenges to allow simplification of fuel cell operating strategies is the discovery of catalyst supports that are much more stable to oxidative decomposition than currently used carbon blacks. Here we report the synthesis and characterization of Ti(0.7)W(0.3)O2 nanoparticles (approximately 50 nm diameter), a promising doped metal oxide that is a candidate for such a durable catalyst support. The synthesized nanoparticles were platinized, characterized by electrochemical testing, and evaluated for stability under PEMFC and other oxidizing acidic conditions. Ti(0.7)W(0.3)O2 nanoparticles show no evidence of decomposition when heated in a Nafion solution for 3 weeks at 80 °C. In contrast, when heated in sulfuric, nitric, perchloric, or hydrochloric acid, the oxide reacts to form salts such as titanylsulfatehydrate from sulfuric acid. Electrochemical tests show that rates of hydrogen oxidation and oxygen reduction by platinum nanoparticles supported on Ti(0.7)W(0.3)O2 are comparable to those of commercial Pt on carbon black.

  10. Proton exchange membranes based on the short-side-chain perfluorinated ionomer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghielmi, A.; Vaccarono, P.; Troglia, C.; Arcella, V.

    Due to the renovated availability of the base monomer for the synthesis of the short-side-chain (SSC) perfluorinated ionomer, fuel cell membrane development is being pursued using this well known ionomer structure, which was originally developed by Dow in the 1980s. The new membranes under development have the trade name Hyflon Ion. After briefly reviewing the literature on the Dow ionomer, new characterization data are reported on extruded Hyflon Ion membranes. The data are compared to those available in the literature on the Dow SSC ionomer and membranes. Comparison is made also with data obtained in this work or available in the literature on the long-side-chain (LSC) perfluorinated ionomer (Nafion). Thermal, visco-elastic, water absorption and mechanical properties of Hyflon Ion are studied. While the general behavior is similar to that shown in the past by the Dow membranes, slight differences are evident in the hydration behavior at equivalent weight (EW) < 900, probably due to different EW distributions. Measurements on dry membranes confirm that Hyflon Ion has a higher glass transition temperature compared to Nafion, which makes it a more promising material for high temperature proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell operation ( T > 100 °C). Beginning of life fuel cell performance has also been confirmed to be higher than that given by a Nafion membrane of equal thickness.

  11. Novel proton exchange membranes based on cardo poly(arylene ether sulfone/nitrile)s with perfluoroalkyl sulfonic acid moieties for passive direct methanol fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Jifu; He, Qingyi; Gao, Nian; Yuan, Ting; Zhang, Suobo; Yang, Hui

    2014-09-01

    A new series of cardo poly(arylene ether sulfone/nitrile)s FSPES-x with perfluoroalkyl sulfonic acid groups have been successfully prepared by the perfluorosulfonic acid lactone ring-opening reaction without using any metal or base catalysts. These materials have been characterized by IR, NMR and TGA. The results indicate that this simple and metal-free method of preparation is highly efficient for controlling both the degree of perfluorosulfonation and the position of the sulfonate group and no side reactions such as crosslinking is observed. The FSPES-x membranes (IEC = 1.17-1.64 m equiv g-1) show the desired characteristics such as good film-forming ability, excellent thermal and mechanical properties, low methanol permeability, high conductivity (up to 0.083 S cm-1 at room temperature), as well as appropriate cell performance compared to Nafion®117. With these properties, such fluorinated sulfonic acid side-chain-type polymers are promising PEM materials for application in fuel cells.

  12. Teledyne Energy Systems, Inc., Proton Exchange Member (PEM) Fuel Cell Engineering Model Powerplant. Test Report: Initial Benchmark Tests in the Original Orientation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Loyselle, Patricia; Prokopius, Kevin

    2011-01-01

    Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell technology is the leading candidate to replace the alkaline fuel cell technology, currently used on the Shuttle, for future space missions. During a 5-yr development program, a PEM fuel cell powerplant was developed. This report details the initial performance evaluation test results of the powerplant.

  13. Fast measurement of proton exchange membrane fuel cell impedance based on pseudo-random binary sequence perturbation signals and continuous wavelet transform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Debenjak, Andrej; Boškoski, Pavle; Musizza, Bojan; Petrovčič, Janko; Juričić, Đani

    2014-05-01

    This paper proposes an approach to the estimation of PEM fuel cell impedance by utilizing pseudo-random binary sequence as a perturbation signal and continuous wavelet transform with Morlet mother wavelet. With the approach, the impedance characteristic in the frequency band from 0.1 Hz to 500 Hz is identified in 60 seconds, approximately five times faster compared to the conventional single-sine approach. The proposed approach was experimentally evaluated on a single PEM fuel cell of a larger fuel cell stack. The quality of the results remains at the same level compared to the single-sine approach.

  14. Semi-interpenetrating polymer network proton exchange membranes with narrow and well-connected hydrophilic channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fang, Chunliu; Toh, Xin Ni; Yao, Qiaofeng; Julius, David; Hong, Liang; Lee, Jim Yang

    2013-03-01

    Four series of semi-interpenetrating polymer network (SIPN) membranes are fabricated by thermally cross-linking aminated BPPO (brominated poly(2,6-dimethyl-1,4-phenylene oxide)) with different epoxide cross-linkers in the presence of sulfonated PPO (SPPO). The cross-link structure and hydrophobicity are found to impact the membrane morphology strongly - smaller and more hydrophobic cross-links form narrow and well-connected hydrophilic channels whereas bulky and less hydrophobic cross-links form wide but less-connected hydrophilic channels. The membranes of the former can support facile proton transport and suppress methanol crossover to result in higher proton conductivity and lower methanol permeability than the membranes of the latter. The membranes are also fabricated into membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) and tested in single-stack direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). It is found that some of these SIPN membranes can surpass Nafion® 117 in maximum power density, demonstrating their potential as a proton exchange membrane (PEM) for the DMFCs.

  15. Research and development of a proton-exchange-membrane (PEM) fuel cell system for transportation applications. Progress report for Quarter 4 of the Phase II report

    SciTech Connect

    1995-10-20

    This 4th quarter report summarizes activity from July 1, 1995 through October 1, 1995; the report is organized as usual into sections describing background information and work performed under the main WBS categories: The Fuel Processor (WBS 1.0) team activity during this quarter focused on the continued design/development of the full scale fuel processing hardware. The combustor test stand has been completed allowing more detailed testing of the various parts of the combustor subsystem; this subsystem is currently being evaluated using the dual fuel (methanol/hydrogen) option to gain a better understanding of the control issues. The Fuel Cell Stack (WBS 2.0) team activity focused on material analysis and testing to determine the appropriate approach for the first GM stack. Five hundred hours of durability was achieved on a single cell fixture using coated titanium plates (anode and cathode) with no appreciable voltage degradation of the SEL (Stack Engineering Lab) produced MEA. Additionally, the voltage level drop across each of the plates remained low (<5mv) over the full test period; The system integration and control team focused on the initial layout and configuration of the system; and the Reference powertrain and commercialization studies are currently under review.

  16. Synthesis and properties of reprocessable sulfonated polyimides cross-linked via acid stimulation for use as proton exchange membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Boping; Ni, Jiangpeng; Xiang, Xiongzhi; Wang, Lei; Chen, Yongming

    2017-01-01

    Cross-linked sulfonated polyimides are one of the most promising materials for proton exchange membrane (PEM) applications. However, these cross-linked membranes are difficult to reprocess because they are insoluble. In this study, a series of cross-linkable sulfonated polyimides with flexible pendant alkyl side chains containing trimethoxysilyl groups is successfully synthesized. The cross-linkable polymers are highly soluble in common solvents and can be used to prepare tough and smooth films. Before the cross-linking reaction is complete, the membranes can be reprocessed, and the recovery rate of the prepared films falls within an acceptable range. The cross-linked membranes are obtained rapidly when the cross-linkable membranes are immersed in an acid solution, yielding a cross-linking density of the gel fraction of greater than 90%. The cross-linked membranes exhibit high proton conductivities and tensile strengths under hydrous conditions. Compared with those of pristine membranes, the oxidative and hydrolytic stabilities of the cross-linked membranes are significantly higher. The CSPI-70 membrane shows considerable power density in a direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) test. All of these results suggest that the prepared cross-linked membranes have great potential for applications in proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

  17. Development of carbon nanotubes based gas diffusion layers by in situ chemical vapor deposition process for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kannan, A. M.; Kanagala, P.; Veedu, V.

    A proprietary in situ chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process was developed for gas diffusion layer (GDL) by growing a micro-porous layer on the macro-porous, non-woven fibrous carbon paper. The characteristics of the GDL samples such as, surface morphology, wetting characteristics, and cross-section were characterized using electron microscopes, goniometer and focused ion beam, respectively. Fuel cell performance of the GDLs was evaluated using single cell with hydrogen/oxygen as well as hydrogen/air at ambient pressure, at elevated temperature and various RH conditions using Nafion-212 as an electrolyte. The GDLs with in situ growth of micro-porous layers containing carbon nanotubes (CNTs) without any hydrophobic agent showed significant improvement in mechanical robustness as well as fuel cell performance at elevated temperature at lower RH conditions. The micro-porous layer of the GDLs as seen under scanning electron microscope showed excellent surface morphology with surface homogeneity through reinforcement by the multi-walled CNTs.

  18. Uneven gas diffusion layer intrusion in gas channel arrays of proton exchange membrane fuel cell and its effects on flow distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kandlikar, S. G.; Lu, Z.; Lin, T. Y.; Cooke, D.; Daino, M.

    Intrusion of the gas diffusion layer (GDL) into gas channels due to fuel cell compression has a major impact on the gas flow distribution, fuel cell performance and durability. In this work, the effect of compression resulting in GDL intrusion in individual parallel PEMFC channels is investigated. The intrusion is determined using two methods: an optical measurement in both the in-plane and through-plane directions of GDL, as well as an analytical fluid flow model based on individual channel flow rate measurements. The intrusion measurements and estimates obtained from these methods agree well with each other. An uneven distribution of GDL intrusion into individual parallel channels is observed. A non-uniform compression force distribution derived from the clamping bolts causes a higher intrusion in the end channels. The heterogeneous GDL structure and physical properties may also contribute to the uneven GDL intrusion. As a result of uneven intrusion distribution, severe flow maldistribution and increased pressure drop have been observed. The intrusion data can be further used to determine the mechanical properties of GDL materials. Using the finite element analysis software program ANSYS, the Young's modulus of the GDL from these measurements is estimated to be 30.9 MPa.

  19. Energy System and Thermoeconomic Analysis of Combined Heat and Power High Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Systems for Light Commercial Buildings

    SciTech Connect

    Colella, Whitney G.; Pilli, Siva Prasad

    2015-06-01

    The United States (U.S.) Department of Energy (DOE)’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is spearheading a program with industry to deploy and independently monitor five kilowatt-electric (kWe) combined heat and power (CHP) fuel cell systems (FCSs) in light commercial buildings. This publication discusses results from PNNL’s research efforts to independently evaluate manufacturer-stated engineering, economic, and environmental performance of these CHP FCSs at installation sites. The analysis was done by developing parameters for economic comparison of CHP installations. Key thermodynamic terms are first defined, followed by an economic analysis using both a standard accounting approach and a management accounting approach. Key economic and environmental performance parameters are evaluated, including (1) the average per unit cost of the CHP FCSs per unit of power, (2) the average per unit cost of the CHP FCSs per unit of energy, (3) the change in greenhouse gas (GHG) and air pollution emissions with a switch from conventional power plants and furnaces to CHP FCSs; (4) the change in GHG mitigation costs from the switch; and (5) the change in human health costs related to air pollution. From the power perspective, the average per unit cost per unit of electrical power is estimated to span a range from $15–19,000/ kilowatt-electric (kWe) (depending on site-specific changes in installation, fuel, and other costs), while the average per unit cost of electrical and heat recovery power varies between $7,000 and $9,000/kW. From the energy perspective, the average per unit cost per unit of electrical energy ranges from $0.38 to $0.46/kilowatt-hour-electric (kWhe), while the average per unit cost per unit of electrical and heat recovery energy varies from $0.18 to $0.23/kWh. These values are calculated from engineering and economic performance data provided by the manufacturer (not independently measured data). The GHG emissions were estimated to decrease by

  20. Proton exchange membranes prepared by grafting of styrene/divinylbenzene into crosslinked PTFE membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Jingye; Ichizuri, Shogo; Asano, Saneto; Mutou, Fumihiro; Ikeda, Shigetoshi; Iida, Minoru; Miura, Takaharu; Oshima, Akihiro; Tabata, Yoneho; Washio, Masakazu

    2005-07-01

    Thin PTFE membranes were prepared by coating the PTFE dispersion onto the aluminum films. Thus the thin crosslinked PTFE (RX-PTFE) membranes were obtained by means of electron beam irradiation above the melting temperature of PTFE under oxygen-free atmosphere. The RX-PTFE membranes were pre-irradiated and grafted by styrene with or without divinylbenzene (DVB) in liquid phase. The existence of DVB accelerated the initial grafting rate. The styrene grafted RX-PTFE membranes are white colored, on the other hand, the styrene/DVB grafted RX-PTFE membranes are colorless. The proton exchange membranes (PEMs) were obtained by sulfonating the grafted membranes using chlorosulfonic acid. The ion exchange capacity (IEC) values of the PEMs ranging from 1.5 to 2.8 meq/g were obtained. The PEMs made from the styrene/DVB grafted membranes showed higher chemical stability than those of the styrene grafted membranes under oxidative circumstance.

  1. Improved Oxygen Reduction Activity and Durability of Dealloyed PtCox Catalysts for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells: Strain, Ligand, and Particle Size Effects

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Qingying; Caldwell, Keegan; Strickland, Kara; Ziegelbauer, Joseph M.; Liu, Zhongyi; Yu, Zhiqiang; Ramaker, David E.; Mukerjee, Sanjeev

    2015-01-01

    The development of active and durable catalysts with reduced platinum content is essential for fuel cell commercialization. Herein we report that the dealloyed PtCo/HSC and PtCo3/HSC nanoparticle (NP) catalysts exhibit the same levels of enhancement in oxygen reduction activity (~4-fold) and durability over pure Pt/C NPs. Surprisingly, ex situ high-angle annular dark field scanning transmission electron microscopy (HAADF STEM) shows that the bulk morphologies of the two catalysts are distinctly different: D-PtCo/HSC catalyst is dominated by NPs with solid Pt shells surrounding a single ordered PtCo core; however, the D-PtCo3/HSC catalyst is dominated by NPs with porous Pt shells surrounding multiple disordered PtCo cores with local concentration of Co. In situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) reveals that these two catalysts possess similar Pt–Pt and Pt–Co bond distances and Pt coordination numbers (CNs), despite their dissimilar morphologies. The similar activity of the two catalysts is thus ascribed to their comparable strain, ligand, and particle size effects. Ex situ XAS performed on D-PtCo3/HSC under different voltage cycling stage shows that the continuous dissolution of Co leaves behind the NPs with a Pt-like structure after 30k cycles. The attenuated strain and/or ligand effects caused by Co dissolution are presumably counterbalanced by the particle size effects with particle growth, which likely accounts for the constant specific activity of the catalysts along with voltage cycling. PMID:26413384

  2. Improved Oxygen Reduction Activity and Durability of Dealloyed PtCo x Catalysts for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells: Strain, Ligand, and Particle Size Effects.

    PubMed

    Jia, Qingying; Caldwell, Keegan; Strickland, Kara; Ziegelbauer, Joseph M; Liu, Zhongyi; Yu, Zhiqiang; Ramaker, David E; Mukerjee, Sanjeev

    2015-01-02

    The development of active and durable catalysts with reduced platinum content is essential for fuel cell commercialization. Herein we report that the dealloyed PtCo/HSC and PtCo3/HSC nanoparticle (NP) catalysts exhibit the same levels of enhancement in oxygen reduction activity (~4-fold) and durability over pure Pt/C NPs. Surprisingly, ex situ high-angle annular dark field scanning transmission electron microscopy (HAADF STEM) shows that the bulk morphologies of the two catalysts are distinctly different: D-PtCo/HSC catalyst is dominated by NPs with solid Pt shells surrounding a single ordered PtCo core; however, the D-PtCo3/HSC catalyst is dominated by NPs with porous Pt shells surrounding multiple disordered PtCo cores with local concentration of Co. In situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) reveals that these two catalysts possess similar Pt-Pt and Pt-Co bond distances and Pt coordination numbers (CNs), despite their dissimilar morphologies. The similar activity of the two catalysts is thus ascribed to their comparable strain, ligand, and particle size effects. Ex situ XAS performed on D-PtCo3/HSC under different voltage cycling stage shows that the continuous dissolution of Co leaves behind the NPs with a Pt-like structure after 30k cycles. The attenuated strain and/or ligand effects caused by Co dissolution are presumably counterbalanced by the particle size effects with particle growth, which likely accounts for the constant specific activity of the catalysts along with voltage cycling.

  3. Surface-coupled proton exchange of a membrane-bound proton acceptor.

    PubMed

    Sandén, Tor; Salomonsson, Lina; Brzezinski, Peter; Widengren, Jerker

    2010-03-02

    Proton-transfer reactions across and at the surface of biological membranes are central for maintaining the transmembrane proton electrochemical gradients involved in cellular energy conversion. In this study, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy was used to measure the local protonation and deprotonation rates of single pH-sensitive fluorophores conjugated to liposome membranes, and the dependence of these rates on lipid composition and ion concentration. Measurements of proton exchange rates over a wide proton concentration range, using two different pH-sensitive fluorophores with different pK(a)s, revealed two distinct proton exchange regimes. At high pH (> 8), proton association increases rapidly with increasing proton concentrations, presumably because the whole membrane acts as a proton-collecting antenna for the fluorophore. In contrast, at low pH (< 7), the increase in the proton association rate is slower and comparable to that of direct protonation of the fluorophore from the bulk solution. In the latter case, the proton exchange rates of the two fluorophores are indistinguishable, indicating that their protonation rates are determined by the local membrane environment. Measurements on membranes of different surface charge and at different ion concentrations made it possible to determine surface potentials, as well as the distance between the surface and the fluorophore. The results from this study define the conditions under which biological membranes can act as proton-collecting antennae and provide fundamental information on the relation between the membrane surface charge density and the local proton exchange kinetics.

  4. Tuning surface hydrophilicity/hydrophobicity of hydrocarbon proton exchange membranes (PEMs).

    PubMed

    He, Chenfeng; Mighri, Frej; Guiver, Michael D; Kaliaguine, Serge

    2016-03-15

    The effect of annealing on the surface hydrophilicity of various representative classes of hydrocarbon-based proton exchange membranes (PEMs) is investigated. In all cases, a more hydrophilic membrane surface develops after annealing at elevated temperatures. The annealing time also had some influence, but in different ways depending on the class of PEM. Longer annealing times resulted in more hydrophilic membrane surfaces for copolymerized sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) (SPEEK-HQ), while the opposite behavior occurred in sulfonated poly(aryl ether ether ketone) (Ph-SPEEK), sulfonated poly(aryl ether ether ketone ketone) (Ph-m-SPEEKK) and sulfonated poly (aryl ether ether nitrile) (SPAEEN-B). Increased surface hydrophilicity upon annealing results from ionic cluster decomposition, according to the "Eisenberg-Hird-Moore model" (EHM). The increased surface hydrophilicity is supported by contact angle (CA) measurements, and the cluster decomposition is auxiliarily supported by probing the level of atomic sulfur (sulfonic acid) within different surface depths using angle-dependent XPS as well as ATR-FTIR. Membrane acidification leads to more hydrophilic surfaces by elimination of the hydrogen bonding that occurs between strongly-bound residual solvent (dimethylacetamide, DMAc) and PEM sulfonic acid groups. The study of physicochemical tuning of surface hydrophilicity/hydrophobicity of PEMs by annealing and acidification provides insights for improving membrane electrode assembly (MEA) fabrication in fuel cell (FC).

  5. RADIATION STABILITY OF NAFION MEMBRANES USED FOR ISOTOPE SEPARATION BY PROTON EXCHANGE MEMBRANE ELECTROLYSIS

    SciTech Connect

    Fox, E

    2009-05-15

    Proton Exchange Membrane Electrolyzers have potential interest for use for hydrogen isotope separation from water. In order for PEME to be fully utilized, more information is needed on the stability of Nafion when exposed to radiation. This work examines Nafion 117 under varying exposure conditions, including dose rate, total dosage and atmospheric condition. Analytical tools, such as FT-IR, ion exchange capacity, DMA and TIC-TOC were used to characterize the exposed membranes. Analysis of the water from saturated membranes can provide important data on the stability of the membranes during radiation exposure. It was found that the dose rate of exposure plays an important role in membrane degradation. Potential mechanisms for membrane degradation include peroxide formation by free radicals.

  6. Morphological and transport characteristics of swollen chitosan-based proton exchange membranes studied by molecular modeling.

    PubMed

    Bahlakeh, Ghasem; Mahdi Hasani-Sadrabadi, Mohammad; Jacob, Karl I

    2017-01-01

    Chitosan biopolymer has been extensively applied in direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) as a potential replacement to conventional Nafion membrane for its considerably reduced methanol crossover. Here, we computationally explored the influences of methanol concentration, temperature, and pH parameters upon the nanostructure and dynamics, particularly the methanol crossover, in chitosan proton-exchange membrane (PEM) through molecular dynamics simulations. Theoretical results demonstrated the increased swelling and radius of gyration of chitosan chains at higher concentrations. Structural examinations further revealed that an increase in methanol loading weakened the water interactions with chitosan functionalities (amineNH2 , hydroxylOH, and methoxyCH2 OH) whereas improved the methanol affinities toward chitosan, reflecting higher methanol sorption capability of chitosan at enhanced concentrations. Additionally, it was found that interactions between solvents and chitosan strengthened under acidic pH conditions on account of amine protonation. The water diffusivity inside the swollen chitosan diminished by increasing CH3 OH uptake, and in contrast diffusivity of methanol was noted to enhance. Furthermore, it was observed that an enhancement in temperature or a decrease in pH intensified solvent mobility. These insights imply that supplying methanol-concentrated and/or acidic feed solutions into DMFCs based on chitosan PEMs could lower membrane performance due to the significant methanol transport dynamics.

  7. Electrochemical investigation of stainless steel corrosion in a proton exchange membrane electrolyzer cell

    DOE PAGES

    Mo, Jingke; Steen, Stuart M.; Zhang, Feng-Yuan; ...

    2015-08-05

    The lack of a fundamental understanding of the corrosion mechanisms in the electrochemical environments of proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzer and/or fuel cells (ECs/FCs) has seriously hindered the improvement of performance and efficiency of PEM ECs/FCs. In this study, a stainless steel mesh was purposely used as an anode gas diffusion layer that was intentionally operated with high positive potentials under harsh oxidative environments in a PEMEC to study the corrosion mechanism of metal migration. A significant amount of iron and nickel cations were determined to transport through the anode catalyst layer, the PEM and the cathode catalyst layer duringmore » the PEMEC operation. The formation/deposition of iron oxide and nickel oxide on the carbon paper gas diffusion layer at the cathode side is first revealed by both scanning electron microscope and X-ray diffraction. The results indicate the corrosion elements of iron and nickel are transported from anode to cathode through the catalyst-coated membrane, and deposited on carbon fibers as oxides. This phenomenon could also open a new corrosion-based processing approach to potentially fabricate multifunctional oxide structures on carbon fiber devices. This study has demonstrated a new accelerated test method for investigating the corrosion and durability of metallic materials as well.« less

  8. Electrochemical investigation of stainless steel corrosion in a proton exchange membrane electrolyzer cell

    SciTech Connect

    Mo, Jingke; Steen, Stuart M.; Zhang, Feng-Yuan; Toops, Todd J.; Brady, Michael P.; Green, Johney B.

    2015-08-05

    The lack of a fundamental understanding of the corrosion mechanisms in the electrochemical environments of proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzer and/or fuel cells (ECs/FCs) has seriously hindered the improvement of performance and efficiency of PEM ECs/FCs. In this study, a stainless steel mesh was purposely used as an anode gas diffusion layer that was intentionally operated with high positive potentials under harsh oxidative environments in a PEMEC to study the corrosion mechanism of metal migration. A significant amount of iron and nickel cations were determined to transport through the anode catalyst layer, the PEM and the cathode catalyst layer during the PEMEC operation. The formation/deposition of iron oxide and nickel oxide on the carbon paper gas diffusion layer at the cathode side is first revealed by both scanning electron microscope and X-ray diffraction. The results indicate the corrosion elements of iron and nickel are transported from anode to cathode through the catalyst-coated membrane, and deposited on carbon fibers as oxides. This phenomenon could also open a new corrosion-based processing approach to potentially fabricate multifunctional oxide structures on carbon fiber devices. This study has demonstrated a new accelerated test method for investigating the corrosion and durability of metallic materials as well.

  9. Transport properties of proton-exchange membranes: Effect of supercritical-fluid processing and chemical functionality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pulido Ayazo

    NafionRTM membranes commonly used in direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC), are tipically limited by high methanol permeability (also known as the cross-over limitation). These membranes have phase segregated sulfonated ionic domains in a perfluorinated backbone, which makes processing challenging and limited by phase equilibria considerations. This study used supercritical fluids (SCFs) as a processing alternative, since the gas-like mass transport properties of SCFs allow a better penetration into the membranes and the use of polar co-solvents influenced their morphology, fine-tuning the physical and transport properties in the membrane. Measurements of methanol permeability and proton conductivity were performed to the NafionRTM membranes processed with SCFs at 40ºC and 200 bar and the co-solvents as: acetone, tetrahydrofuran (THF), isopropyl alcohol, HPLC-grade water, acetic acid, cyclohexanone. The results obtained for the permeability data were of the order of 10 -8-10-9 cm2/s, two orders of magnitude lower than unprocessed Nafion. Proton conductivity results obtained using AC impedance electrochemical spectroscopy was between 0.02 and 0.09 S/cm, very similar to the unprocessed Nafion. SCF processing with ethanol as co-solvent reduced the methanol permeability by two orders of magnitude, while the proton conductivity was only reduced by 4%. XRD analysis made to the treated samples exhibited a decreasing pattern in the crystallinity, which affects the transport properties of the membrane. Also, SAXS profiles of the Nafion membranes processed were obtained with the goal of determining changes produced by the SCF processing in the hydrophilic domains of the polymer. With the goal of searching for new alternatives in proton exchange membranes (PEMs) triblock copolymer of poly(styrene-isobutylene-styrene) (SIBS) and poly(styrene-isobutylene-styrene) SEBS were studied. These sulfonated tri-block copolymers had lower methanol permeabilities, but also lower proton

  10. Evaluation of nitrided titanium separator plates for proton exchange membrane electrolyzer cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toops, Todd J.; Brady, Michael P.; Zhang, Feng-Yuan; Meyer, Harry M.; Ayers, Katherine; Roemer, Andrew; Dalton, Luke

    2014-12-01

    Proton exchanges membrane (PEM) regenerative fuel cell electrolysis of water is of great recent interest as a hydrogen generation technology. Anode side titanium current collectors and separator plates used in these applications typically employ coatings of platinum group metals to achieve durability and performance requirements in the high voltage, oxidizing environment. The present work assessed the potential for lower cost surface modified titanium by both thermal (gas) nitridation and plasma nitridation approaches. The nitrided Ti was found to result in far less hydrogen uptake in coupon testing than did Pt-plated Ti. Short-term (48 h) single-cell performance at 25 °C was approximately 13% better (lower voltage) at 1.2 A cm-2 for thermal and plasma nitrided plates vs. untreated Ti. However, at 50 °C and 1.5 A cm-2, the thermally nitrided plate exhibited only on the order of 3% better behavior (lower voltage) compared to the untreated Ti and plasma nitrided Ti. Durability testing for 500 h resulted in only a minor degradation in cell performance, on the order of 1-2% voltage increase, with the best behavior exhibited by the thermally nitrided Ti plate. Despite their relatively stable cell performance, extensive local oxidation of the thermally nitrided and plasma nitrided flow field regions was observed.

  11. In-situ diagnostics and degradation mapping of a mixed-mode accelerated stress test for proton exchange membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Yeh-Hung; Fly, Gerald W.

    2015-01-01

    With increasing availability of more durable membrane materials for proton exchange membrane fuel cells, there is a need for a more stressful test that combines chemical and mechanical stressors to enable accelerated screening of promising membrane candidates. Equally important is the need for in-situ diagnostic methods with sufficient spatial resolution that can provide insights into how membranes degrade to facilitate the development of durable fuel cell systems. In this article, we report an accelerated membrane stress test and a degradation diagnostic method that satisfy both needs. By applying high-amplitude cycles of electrical load to a fuel cell fed with low-RH reactant gases, a wide range of mechanical and chemical stressful conditions can be created within the cell which leads to rapid degradation of a mechanically robust Ion Power™ N111-IP membrane. Using an in-situ shorting/crossover diagnostic method on a segmented fuel cell fixture that provides 100 local current measurements, we are able to monitor the progression and map the degradation modes of shorting, thinning, and crossover leak over the entire membrane. Results from this test method have been validated by conventional metrics of fluoride release rates, physical crossover leak rates, pinhole mapping, and cross-sectional measurements.

  12. Characterization and Modification of Electrospun Fiber Mats for Use in Composite Proton Exchange Membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mannarino, Matthew Marchand

    . Post-spin thermal annealing was used to modify the fiber morphology, inter-fiber welding, and crystallinity within the fibers. Morphological changes, in-plane tensile response, friction coefficient, and wear rate were characterized as functions of the annealing temperature. The Young's moduli, yield stresses and toughnesses of the PA 6(3)T nonwoven mats improved by two- to ten-fold when annealed slightly above the glass transition temperature, but at the expense of mat porosity. The mechanical and tribological properties of the thermally annealed P A 6,6 fiber mats exhibited significant improvements through the Brill transition temperature, comparable to the improvements observed for amorphous P A 6(3)T electrospun mats annealed near the glass transition temperature. The wear rates for both polymer systems correlate with the yield properties of the mat, in accordance with a modified Ratner-Lancaster model. The variation in mechanical and tribological properties of the mats with increasing annealing temperature is consistent with the formation of fiber-to-fiber junctions and a mechanism of abrasive wear that involves the breakage of these junctions between fibers. A mechanically robust proton exchange membrane with high ionic conductivity and selectivity is an important component in many electrochemical energy devices such as fuel cells, batteries, and photovoltaics. The ability to control and improve independently the mechanical response, ionic conductivity, and selectivity properties of a membrane is highly desirable in the development of next generation electrochemical devices. In this thesis, the use of layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly of polyelectrolytes is used to generate three different polymer film morphologies on highly porous electrospun fiber mats: webbed, conformal coating, and pore-bridging films. Specifically, depending on whether a vacuum is applied to the backside of the mat or not, the spray-LbL assembly either fills the voids of the mat with the proton

  13. Accurate measurement of the through-plane water content of proton-exchange membranes using neutron radiography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hussey, D. S.; Spernjak, D.; Weber, A. Z.; Mukundan, R.; Fairweather, J.; Brosha, E. L.; Davey, J.; Spendelow, J. S.; Jacobson, D. L.; Borup, R. L.

    2012-11-01

    The water sorption of proton-exchange membranes (PEMs) was measured in situ using high-resolution neutron imaging in small-scale fuel cell test sections. A detailed characterization of the measurement uncertainties and corrections associated with the technique is presented. An image-processing procedure resolved a previously reported discrepancy between the measured and predicted membrane water content. With high-resolution neutron-imaging detectors, the water distributions across N1140 and N117 Nafion membranes are resolved in vapor-sorption experiments and during fuel cell and hydrogen-pump operation. The measured in situ water content of a restricted membrane at 80 °C is shown to agree with ex situ gravimetric measurements of free-swelling membranes over a water activity range of 0.5 to 1.0 including at liquid equilibration. Schroeder's paradox was verified by in situ water-content measurements which go from a high value at supersaturated or liquid conditions to a lower one with fully saturated vapor. At open circuit and during fuel cell operation, the measured water content indicates that the membrane is operating between the vapor- and liquid-equilibrated states.

  14. Chitin nanowhisker-supported sulfonated poly(ether sulfone) proton exchange for fuel cell applications.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chan; Zhuang, Xupin; Li, Xiaojie; Wang, Wei; Cheng, Bowen; Kang, Weimin; Cai, Zhanjun; Li, Mengqin

    2016-04-20

    To balance the relationship among proton conductivity and mechanic strength of sulfonated poly(ether sulfone) (SPES) membrane, chitin nanowhisker-supported nanocomposite membranes were prepared by incorporating whiskers into SPES. The as-prepared chitin whiskers were prepared by 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine-1-oxyl radical (TEMPO) mediated oxidation of α-chitin from crab shells. The structure and properties of the composite membranes were examined as proton exchange membrane (PEM). Results showed that chitin nanowhiskers were dispersed incompactly in the SPES matrix. Thermal stability, mechanical properties, water uptake and proton conductivity of the nanocomposite films were improved from those of the pure SPES film with increasing whisker content, which ascribed to strong interactions between whiskers and between SPES molecules and chitin whiskers via hydrogen bonding. These indicated that composition of filler and matrix got good properties and whisker-supported membranes are promising materials for PEM.

  15. Electrocatalytic reduction of acetone in a proton-exchange-membrane reactor: a model reaction for the electrocatalytic reduction of biomass.

    PubMed

    Green, Sara K; Tompsett, Geoffrey A; Kim, Hyung Ju; Bae Kim, Won; Huber, George W

    2012-12-01

    Acetone was electrocatalytically reduced to isopropanol in a proton-exchange-membrane (PEM) reactor on an unsupported platinum cathode. Protons needed for the reduction were produced on the unsupported Pt-Ru anode from either hydrogen gas or electrolysis of water. The current efficiency (the ratio of current contributing to the desired chemical reaction to the overall current) and reaction rate for acetone conversion increased with increasing temperature or applied voltage for the electrocatalytic acetone/water system. The reaction rate and current efficiency went through a maximum with respect to acetone concentration. The reaction rate for acetone conversion increased with increasing temperature for the electrocatalytic acetone/hydrogen system. Increasing the applied voltage for the electrocatalytic acetone/hydrogen system decreased the current efficiency due to production of hydrogen gas. Results from this study demonstrate the commercial feasibility of using PEM reactors to electrocatalytically reduce biomass-derived oxygenates into renewable fuels and chemicals.

  16. Correlating Humidity-Dependent Ionically Conductive Surface Area with Transport Phenomena in Proton-Exchange Membranes

    SciTech Connect

    He, Qinggang; Kusoglu, Ahmet; Lucas, Ivan T.; Clark, Kyle; Weber, Adam Z.; Kostecki, Robert

    2011-08-01

    The objective of this effort was to correlate the local surface ionic conductance of a Nafion? 212 proton-exchange membrane with its bulk and interfacial transport properties as a function of water content. Both macroscopic and microscopic proton conductivities were investigated at different relative humidity levels, using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and current-sensing atomic force microscopy (CSAFM). We were able to identify small ion-conducting domains that grew with humidity at the surface of the membrane. Numerical analysis of the surface ionic conductance images recorded at various relative humidity levels helped determine the fractional area of ion-conducting active sites. A simple square-root relationship between the fractional conducting area and observed interfacial mass-transport resistance was established. Furthermore, the relationship between the bulk ionic conductivity and surface ionic conductance pattern of the Nafion? membrane was examined.

  17. Uncovering the Stabilization Mechanism in Bimetallic Ruthenium-Iridium Anodes for Proton Exchange Membrane Electrolyzers.

    PubMed

    Saveleva, Viktoriia A; Wang, Li; Luo, Wen; Zafeiratos, Spyridon; Ulhaq-Bouillet, Corinne; Gago, Aldo S; Friedrich, K Andreas; Savinova, Elena R

    2016-08-18

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzers are attracting an increasing attention as a promising technology for the renewable electricity storage. In this work, near ambient pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (NAP-XPS) is applied for in situ monitoring of the surface state of membrane electrode assemblies with RuO2 and bimetallic Ir0.7Ru0.3O2 anodes during water splitting. We demonstrate that Ir protects Ru from the formation of an unstable hydrous Ru(IV) oxide thereby rendering bimetallic Ru-Ir oxide electrodes with higher corrosion resistance. We further show that the water splitting occurs through a surface Ru(VIII) intermediate, and, contrary to common opinion, the presence of Ir does not hinder its formation.

  18. Development of a proton-exchange membrane electrochemical reclaimed water post-treatment system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kaba, Lamine; Verostko, Charles E.; Hitchens, G. D.; Murphy, Oliver J.

    1991-01-01

    A single-cell electrochemical reactor that utilizes a proton exchange membrane (PEM) as a solid electrolyte is being investigated for posttreatment of reclaimed waste waters with low or negligible electrolyte content. Posttreatment is a final 'polishing' of reclaimed waste waters prior to reuse, and involves removing organic impurities at levels as high as 100 ppm to below 500 ppb total organic carbon (TOC) content to provide disinfection. The system does not utilize or produce either expendable hardware components or chemicals and has no moving parts. Test data and kinetic analysis are presented. The feasibility and application for water reclamation processes in controlled ecological environments (e.g., lunar/Mars habitats) are also presented. Test results show that the electrochemical single cell reactor provides effective posttreatment.

  19. Mechanism of Proton Transport in Proton Exchange Membranes: Insights from Computer Simulation

    SciTech Connect

    Gregory A. Voth

    2010-11-30

    The solvation and transport of hydrated protons in proton exchange membranes (PEMs) such as NafionTM will be described using a novel multi-state reactive molecular dynamics (MD) approach, combined with large scale MD simulation to help probe various PEM morphological models. The multi-state MD methodology allows for the treatment of explicit (Grotthuss) proton shuttling and charge defect delocalization which, in turn, can strongly influence the properties of the hydrated protons in various aqueous and complex environments. A significant extension of the methodology to treat highly acidic (low pH) environments such as the hydrophilic domains of a PEM will be presented. Recent results for proton solvation and transport in NafionTM will be described which reveal the significant role of Grotthuss shuttling and charge defect delocalization on the excess proton solvation structures and transport properties. The role of PEM hydration level and morphology on these properties will also be described.

  20. Characterization of commercial proton exchange membrane materials after exposure to beta and gamma radiation

    SciTech Connect

    Thomson, S.N.; Carson, R.; Muirhead, C.; Li, H.; Castillo, I.; Boniface, H.; Suppiah, S.; Ratnayake, A.; Robinson, J.

    2015-03-15

    Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) type electrolysis cells have a potential use for tritium removal and heavy water upgrading. AECL is currently exposing various commercial PEM materials to both gamma (Cobalt-60 source) and beta (tritiated water) radiation to study the effects of radiation on these materials. This paper summarizes the testing methods and results that have been collected to date. The PEM materials that are or have been exposed to radiation are: Nafion 112, 212, 117 and 1110. Membrane characterization pre- and post- exposure consists of non-destructive inspection (FTIR, SEM/XPS), mechanical (tensile strength, percentage elongation, and modulus), electrical (resistance), or chemical (ion-exchange capacity - IEC). It has appeared that the best characterization techniques to compare exposed versus unexposed membranes were IEC, ultimate tensile strength and percent elongation. These testing techniques are easy and cheap to perform. The non-destructive tests, such as SEM and FTIR did not provide particularly useful information on radiation-induced degradation. Where changes in material properties were measured after radiation exposure, they would be expected to result in poorer cell performance. However, for modest γ-radiation exposure, all membranes showed a slight decrease in cell voltage (better performance). In contrast, the one β-radiation exposed membrane did show the expected increase in cell voltage. The counterintuitive trend for γ-radiation exposed membranes is not yet understood. Based on these preliminary results, it appears that γ- and β-radiation exposures have different effects.

  1. Thin film thermocouples for in situ membrane electrode assembly temperature measurements in a polybenzimidazole-based high temperature proton exchange membrane unit cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ali, Syed Talat; Lebæk, Jesper; Nielsen, Lars Pleth; Mathiasen, Claus; Møller, Per; Kær, Søren Knudsen

    This paper presents Type-T thin film thermocouples (TFTCs) fabricated on Kapton (polyimide) substrate for measuring the internal temperature of PBI (polybenzimidazole)-based high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell (HT-PEMFC). Magnetron sputtering technique was employed to deposit a 2 μm thick layer of TFTCs on 75 μm thick Kapton foil. The Kapton foil was treated with in situ argon plasma etching to improve the adhesion between TFTCs and the Kapton substrate. The TFTCs were covered with a 7 μm liquid Kapton layer using spin coating technique to protect them from environmental degradation. This Kapton foil with deposited TFTCs was used as sealing inside a PBI (polybenzimidazole)-based single cell test rig, which enabled measurements of in situ temperature variations of the working fuel cell MEA. The performance of the TFTCs was promising with minimal interference to the operation of the fuel cell.

  2. Investigations on degradation of the long-term proton exchange membrane water electrolysis stack

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Shucheng; Shao, Zhigang; Yu, Hongmei; Li, Guangfu; Yi, Baolian

    2014-12-01

    A 9-cell proton exchange membrane (PEM) water electrolysis stack is developed and tested for 7800 h. The average degradation rate of 35.5 μV h-1 per cell is measured. The 4th MEA of the stack is offline investigated and characterized. The electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) shows that the charge transfer resistance and ionic resistance of the cell both increase. The linear sweep scan (LSV) shows the hydrogen crossover rate of the membrane has slight increase. The electron probe X-ray microanalyze (EPMA) illustrates further that Ca, Cu and Fe elements distribute in the membrane and catalyst layers of the catalyst-coated membranes (CCMs). The cations occupy the ion exchange sites of the Nafion polymer electrolyte in the catalyst layers and membrane, which results in the increase in the anode and the cathode overpotentials. The metallic impurities originate mainly from the feed water and the components of the electrolysis unit. Fortunately, the degradation was reversible and can be almost recovered to the initial performance by using 0.5 M H2SO4. This indicates the performance degradation of the stack running 7800 h is mainly caused by a recoverable contamination.

  3. Rechargeable Metal-Air Proton-Exchange Membrane Batteries for Renewable Energy Storage.

    PubMed

    Nagao, Masahiro; Kobayashi, Kazuyo; Yamamoto, Yuta; Yamaguchi, Togo; Oogushi, Akihide; Hibino, Takashi

    2016-02-01

    Rechargeable proton-exchange membrane batteries that employ organic chemical hydrides as hydrogen-storage media have the potential to serve as next-generation power sources; however, significant challenges remain regarding the improvement of the reversible hydrogen-storage capacity. Here, we address this challenge through the use of metal-ion redox couples as energy carriers for battery operation. Carbon, with a suitable degree of crystallinity and surface oxygenation, was used as an effective anode material for the metal redox reactions. A Sn0.9In0.1P2O7-based electrolyte membrane allowed no crossover of vanadium ions through the membrane. The V(4+)/V(3+), V(3+)/V(2+), and Sn(4+)/Sn(2+) redox reactions took place at a more positive potential than that for hydrogen reduction, so that undesired hydrogen production could be avoided. The resulting electrical capacity reached 306 and 258 mAh g(-1) for VOSO4 and SnSO4, respectively, and remained at 76 and 91 % of their respective initial values after 50 cycles.

  4. Performance of membrane electrode assemblies based on proton exchange membranes prepared by pre-irradiation induced grafting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Jingye; Matsuura, Akio; Kakigi, Tomoyuki; Miura, Takaharu; Oshima, Akihiro; Washio, Masakazu

    Proton exchange membranes (PEMs) were prepared by pre-irradiation induced grafting of styrene (S) or styrene/divinylbenzene (S/DVB) into the radiation-crosslinked polytetrafluoroethylene (RX-PTFE) films and then sulfonated. The thicknesses of the obtained PEMs were lower than 20 μm and the ion exchange capacity (IEC) values were around 2 meq g -1. The surfaces of the PEMs and carbon electrodes were coated with Nafion ® dispersion, and then membrane electrode assembles (MEAs) were prepared by hot-pressing them together. A MEA based on a Nafion ® 112 membrane was also prepared under same procedure for comparison. The performances of the MEAs in a single cell were tested under different cell temperatures and humidifications. Electrochemical impedance spectra (EIS) were measured with ac frequencies which ranged from 100 kHz to 1 Hz at a dc density of 0.5 A cm -2. The obtained impedance curves in Nyquist representation were semicircular.

  5. Low-Cost and Durable Bipolar Plates for Proton Exchange Membrane Electrolyzers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lettenmeier, P.; Wang, R.; Abouatallah, R.; Saruhan, B.; Freitag, O.; Gazdzicki, P.; Morawietz, T.; Hiesgen, R.; Gago, A. S.; Friedrich, K. A.

    2017-03-01

    Cost reduction and high efficiency are the mayor challenges for sustainable H2 production via proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysis. Titanium-based components such as bipolar plates (BPP) have the largest contribution to the capital cost. This work proposes the use of stainless steel BPPs coated with Nb and Ti by magnetron sputtering physical vapor deposition (PVD) and vacuum plasma spraying (VPS), respectively. The physical properties of the coatings are thoroughly characterized by scanning electron, atomic force microscopies (SEM, AFM); and X-ray diffraction, photoelectron spectroscopies (XRD, XPS). The Ti coating (50 μm) protects the stainless steel substrate against corrosion, while a 50-fold thinner layer of Nb decreases the contact resistance by almost one order of magnitude. The Nb/Ti-coated stainless steel bipolar BPPs endure the harsh environment of the anode for more than 1000 h of operation under nominal conditions, showing a potential use in PEM electrolyzers for large-scale H2 production from renewables.

  6. Low-Cost and Durable Bipolar Plates for Proton Exchange Membrane Electrolyzers

    PubMed Central

    Lettenmeier, P.; Wang, R.; Abouatallah, R.; Saruhan, B.; Freitag, O.; Gazdzicki, P.; Morawietz, T.; Hiesgen, R.; Gago, A. S.; Friedrich, K. A.

    2017-01-01

    Cost reduction and high efficiency are the mayor challenges for sustainable H2 production via proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysis. Titanium-based components such as bipolar plates (BPP) have the largest contribution to the capital cost. This work proposes the use of stainless steel BPPs coated with Nb and Ti by magnetron sputtering physical vapor deposition (PVD) and vacuum plasma spraying (VPS), respectively. The physical properties of the coatings are thoroughly characterized by scanning electron, atomic force microscopies (SEM, AFM); and X-ray diffraction, photoelectron spectroscopies (XRD, XPS). The Ti coating (50 μm) protects the stainless steel substrate against corrosion, while a 50-fold thinner layer of Nb decreases the contact resistance by almost one order of magnitude. The Nb/Ti-coated stainless steel bipolar BPPs endure the harsh environment of the anode for more than 1000 h of operation under nominal conditions, showing a potential use in PEM electrolyzers for large-scale H2 production from renewables. PMID:28294119

  7. Low-Cost and Durable Bipolar Plates for Proton Exchange Membrane Electrolyzers.

    PubMed

    Lettenmeier, P; Wang, R; Abouatallah, R; Saruhan, B; Freitag, O; Gazdzicki, P; Morawietz, T; Hiesgen, R; Gago, A S; Friedrich, K A

    2017-03-15

    Cost reduction and high efficiency are the mayor challenges for sustainable H2 production via proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysis. Titanium-based components such as bipolar plates (BPP) have the largest contribution to the capital cost. This work proposes the use of stainless steel BPPs coated with Nb and Ti by magnetron sputtering physical vapor deposition (PVD) and vacuum plasma spraying (VPS), respectively. The physical properties of the coatings are thoroughly characterized by scanning electron, atomic force microscopies (SEM, AFM); and X-ray diffraction, photoelectron spectroscopies (XRD, XPS). The Ti coating (50 μm) protects the stainless steel substrate against corrosion, while a 50-fold thinner layer of Nb decreases the contact resistance by almost one order of magnitude. The Nb/Ti-coated stainless steel bipolar BPPs endure the harsh environment of the anode for more than 1000 h of operation under nominal conditions, showing a potential use in PEM electrolyzers for large-scale H2 production from renewables.

  8. Protective coatings on stainless steel bipolar plates for proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gago, A. S.; Ansar, S. A.; Saruhan, B.; Schulz, U.; Lettenmeier, P.; Cañas, N. A.; Gazdzicki, P.; Morawietz, T.; Hiesgen, R.; Arnold, J.; Friedrich, K. A.

    2016-03-01

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysis is a promising technology for large H2 production from surplus electricity from renewable sources. However, the electrolyser stack is costly due to the manufacture of bipolar plates (BPP). Stainless steel can be used as an alternative, but it must be coated. Herein, dense titanium coatings are produced on stainless steel substrates by vacuum plasma spraying (VPS). Further surface modification of the Ti coating with Pt (8 wt% Pt/Ti) deposited by physical vapour deposition (PVD) magnetron sputtering reduces the interfacial contact resistance (ICR). The Ti and Pt/Ti coatings are characterised by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and X-ray photoelectron microscopy (XPS). Subsequently, the coatings are evaluated in simulated and real PEM electrolyser environments, and they managed to fully protect the stainless steel substrate. In contrast, the absence of the thermally sprayed Ti layer between Pt and stainless steel leads to pitting corrosion. The Pt/Ti coating is tested in a PEM electrolyser cell for almost 200 h, exhibiting an average degradation rate of 26.5 μV h-1. The results reported here demonstrate the possibility of using stainless steel as a base material for the stack of a PEM electrolyser.

  9. HOGEN{trademark} proton exchange membrane hydrogen generators: Commercialization of PEM electrolyzers

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, W.F.; Molter, T.M.

    1997-12-31

    PROTON Energy Systems` new HOGEN series hydrogen generators are Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) based water electrolyzers designed to generate 300 to 1000 Standard Cubic Feet Per Hour (SCFH) of high purity hydrogen at pressures up to 400 psi without the use of mechanical compressors. This paper will describe technology evolution leading to the HOGEN, identify system design performance parameters and describe the physical packaging and interfaces of HOGEN systems. PEM electrolyzers have served US and UK Navy and NASA needs for many years in a variety of diverse programs including oxygen generators for life support applications. In the late 1970`s these systems were advocated for bulk hydrogen generation through a series of DOE sponsored program activities. During the military buildup of the 1980`s commercial deployment of PEM hydrogen generators was de-emphasized as priority was given to new Navy and NASA PEM electrolysis systems. PROTON Energy Systems was founded in 1996 with the primary corporate mission of commercializing PEM hydrogen generators. These systems are specifically designed and priced to meet the needs of commercial markets and produced through manufacturing processes tailored to these applications. The HOGEN series generators are the first step along the path to full commercial deployment of PEM electrolyzer products for both industrial and consumer uses. The 300/1000 series are sized to meet the needs of the industrial gases market today and provide a design base that can transition to serve the needs of a decentralized hydrogen infrastructure tomorrow.

  10. Nafion-stabilised bimetallic Pt–Cr nanoparticles as electrocatalysts for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs)† †Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available. See DOI: 10.1039/c6ra16025e Click here for additional data file.

    PubMed Central

    Gupta, G.; Sharma, S.

    2016-01-01

    The current study investigated the unique combination of alloying (Pt with Cr) and Nafion stabilisation to reap the benefits of catalyst systems with enhanced catalytic activity and improved durability in PEMFCs. Pt–Cr alloy nanoparticles stabilised with Nafion were chosen in the current study owing to their higher stability in acidic and oxidising media at high temperatures compared to other Pt-transition metal alloys (e.g. Pt–Ni, Pt–Co). Two different precursor : reducing agent (1 : 10 and 1 : 20) ratios were used in order to prepare two different alloys, denoted as Pt–Cr 10 and Pt–Cr 20. The Pt–Cr 20 alloy system (with composition Pt80Cr20) demonstrated higher electrocatalytic activity for the oxygen reduction reaction compared to commercial Pt/C (TKK) catalysts. Accelerated stress tests and single cell tests revealed that Nafion stabilised alloy catalyst systems displayed significantly enhanced durability (only ∼20% loss of ECSA) compared with Pt/C (50% loss of ECSA) due to improved catalyst–ionomer interaction. Furthermore, the Pt–Cr 20 alloy system demonstrated a current density comparable to that of Pt/C making them promising potential electrocatalysts for proton exchange membrane fuel cells. PMID:27774145

  11. Surface modification of Fe2TiO5 nanoparticles by silane coupling agent: Synthesis and application in proton exchange composite membranes.

    PubMed

    Salarizadeh, Parisa; Javanbakht, Mehran; Pourmahdian, Saeed; Bagheri, Ahmad; Beydaghi, Hossein; Enhessari, Morteza

    2016-06-15

    Modifying surfaces of nanoparticles with silane coupling agent provides a simple method to alter their surface properties and improve their dispersibility in organic solvents and polymer matrix. Fe2TiO5 nanoparticles (IT) were modified with 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES) as novel reinforcing filler for proton exchange membranes. The main operating parameters such as reaction time (R.T), APTES/IT and triethylamine (TEA)/IT ratios have been optimized for maximum grafting efficiency. The optimum conditions for R.T, APTES/IT and TEA/IT ratios were 6h, 4 and 0.3 respectively. It was observed that the APTES/IT and TEA/IT ratios were the most significant parameters affecting the grafting percentage. Modified nanoparticles were characterized using FT-IR, TGA, SEM, TEM and XRD techniques. Effects of modified nanoparticles in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) were evaluated. The resulting nanocomposite membranes exhibited higher proton conductivity in comparison with pristine SPPEK and SPPEK/IT membranes. This increase is attributed to connectivity of the water channels which creates more direct pathways for proton transport. Composite membrane with 3% AIT (6.46% grafting amount) showed 0.024 S cm(-1) proton conductivity at 25 °C and 149 mW cm(-2) power density (at 0.5V) at 80 °C which were about 243% and 51%, respectively higher than that of pure SPPEK.

  12. Preparation of Proton Exchange Membranes and Lithium Batteries from Melamine-containing Ormosils

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tigelaar, Dean M.; Kinder, James D.; Meador, Mary Ann; Waldecker, James; Bennett, William R.

    2004-01-01

    Our laboratory has recently reported a series of rodcoil polymers for lithium batteries that display dimensionally stable films with good ionic conductivity. The rod segments consist of rigid linear and branched polyimides and the coil segments are polyethylene oxides (PEO). It has been proposed that good mechanical and transport properties are due to phase separation between the rod and coil segments. It was also observed that increased branching and molecular weight lead to increased conductivity. The following study was undertaken to assess the effects of phase separation in polyalkylene oxides connected by melamine linkages. Melamine was chosen as the linking unit because it provides a branching site, cation binding sites to help ionic transport between polymer chains, and the opportunity for self assembly through hydrogen bonding. Polymers were made by the reaction of cyanuric chloride with a series of amine-terminated alkylene oxides. A linear polymer was first made, followed by reaction of the third site on cyanuric chloride with varying ratios of monofunctional Jeffamine and (3-aminopropyl)triethoxysilane. The lithium trifluoromethane sulfonamide-doped polymers are then crosslinked through a sol-gel process to form free-standing films. Initial results have shown mechanically strong films with lithium conductivities on the order of 2 x 10(exp -5) S/cm at ambient temperature. In a separate study, organically modified silanes (Ormosils) that contain sulfonic acid derivatized melamines have been incorporated into proton exchange membranes. The membranes are made by reaction of the primary amine groups of various ratios of melamine derivative and difunctional Jeffamine (MW = 2000) with the epoxide group of (3-Glycidyloxypropyl)trimethoxysilane. The films were then cross-linked through a sol-gel process. Resulting sulfuric acid doped films are strong, flexible, and have proton conductivities on the order of 2 x l0(exp -2) S/cm (120 C, 25% relative humidity). Our

  13. Preparation of Sulfonated Poly(aryl ether sulfone) Electrospun Mat/Phosphosilicate Composite Proton Exchange Membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Limei; Dou, Liyan; Guan, Guoying

    2017-03-01

    Side-chain-type sulfonated poly(aryl ether sulfone) (SPES) was synthesized and then electrospun into mats. Phosphosilicate glass (PS) via in situ sol-gel synthesis was enclosed in the mats to form a new reinforced composite membrane. The SPES/PS composite membranes showed satisfactory dimensional change behavior with varying humidity. Especially, the composite membrane exhibits excellent proton conductivity at harsh measurement conditions of low humidity at 80°C. The composite membrane with outstanding combined properties has potential applications for high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells.

  14. Preparation of Sulfonated Poly(aryl ether sulfone) Electrospun Mat/Phosphosilicate Composite Proton Exchange Membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Limei; Dou, Liyan; Guan, Guoying

    2017-01-01

    Side-chain-type sulfonated poly(aryl ether sulfone) (SPES) was synthesized and then electrospun into mats. Phosphosilicate glass (PS) via in situ sol-gel synthesis was enclosed in the mats to form a new reinforced composite membrane. The SPES/PS composite membranes showed satisfactory dimensional change behavior with varying humidity. Especially, the composite membrane exhibits excellent proton conductivity at harsh measurement conditions of low humidity at 80°C. The composite membrane with outstanding combined properties has potential applications for high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells.

  15. The development and implementation of high-throughput tools for discovery and characterization of proton exchange membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reed, Keith Gregory

    The need for sustainable energy use has motivated the exploration of renewable alternative fuels and fuel conversion technology on a global scale. Fuel cells, which convert chemical energy directly into electrical energy with high efficiency and low emissions, provide a promising strategy for achieving energy sustainability. The current progress in fuel cell commercialization is mainly in portable and stationary applications, but fuel cell technology for transportation applications, which make up a substantial portion of the global energy market, have seen little commercial success. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) have high potential for addressing the future energy needs of the transportation energy sector. However, one of the prevailing limitations of the PEMFC is the availability of high-performance, cost-effective electrolyte materials. These materials may be realized in the near future by developing multifunctional polymer blends targeted at specific performance capabilities. Since the number of available polymer combinations and numerous processing variations provide an almost infinite source of PEMFC membrane candidates, efficient methods of discovering high-performance PEM materials are necessary. Combinatorial methods meet these needs using gradient or discrete techniques to capture process variations such as annealing temperature, thickness, and chemical composition into a single polymer sample that serves as a library of materials. To characterize these heterogeneous samples for fuel cell performance, specific high-throughput measurement techniques are necessary. In this work, a high-throughput mass transport assay (HT-MTA) has been developed to characterize water flux and permeability at multiple sample locations in parallel. The functionality of HT-MTA was evaluated using standard NafionRTM films and a model semi-interpenetrated polymer network with commercial polyvinylidine fluoride as the host matrix for a proprietary polyelectrolyte

  16. Sulfonic acid-functionalized hybrid organic-inorganic proton exchange membranes synthesized by sol-gel using 3-mercaptopropyl trimethoxysilane (MPTMS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mosa, J.; Durán, A.; Aparicio, M.

    2015-11-01

    Organic/inorganic hybrid membranes based on (3-glycidoxypropyl) trimethoxysilane (GPTMS) and 3-mercaptopropyl trimethoxysilane (MPTMS) have been prepared by sol-gel method and organic polymerisation, as candidate materials for proton exchange membranes in direct alcohol fuel cell (DMFC) applications. The -SH groups of MPTMS are oxidized to sulfonic acid groups, which are attributed to enhance the proton conductivity of hybrid membranes. FTIR, XPS and contact angle were used to characterize and confirm the hybrid structure and oxidation reaction progress. Membranes characterization also includes ion exchange capacity, water uptake, methanol permeability and proton conductivity to confirm their applicability in fuel cells. All the membranes were homogeneous and thermally and chemically resistant. In particular, the hybrid membranes demonstrated proton conductivities as high as 0.16 S cm-1 at high temperature, while exhibiting a low methanol permeability as compared to Nafion®. These results are associated with proton conducting paths through the silica pseudo-PEO network in which sulfonic acid groups work as proton donor.

  17. Proton exchange membrane fuel cell cathode contamination - Acetylene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhai, Y.; St-Pierre, Jean

    2015-04-01

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

  18. New Proton Exchange Membranes for Direct Methanol Fuel Cells

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-06-27

    2003) Vol. 41, 2264-2276. Y.S. Kim, L. Dong, M. Hickner, T.E. Glass , and J.E. McGrath, “State of Water of Disulfonated Poly(arylene ether sulfone...of Polymer Chemistry) (2003), 44(1), 849. M. Sankir, V.A. Bhanu, H. Ghassemi, K.B. Wiles, M.L. Hill, W. Harrison, M. Sumner, T.E. Glass , J.S. Riffle...2003, 44 (1), 814. L. Dong, Y.S. Kim, F. Wang, M. Hickner, T.E. Glass , and J.E. McGrath. Self-Diffusion of Water in Sulfonated Poly(arylene ether

  19. Multilayered composite proton exchange membrane and a process for manufacturing the same

    DOEpatents

    Santurri, Pasco R; Duvall, James H; Katona, Denise M; Mausar, Joseph T; Decker, Berryinne

    2015-05-05

    A multilayered membrane for use with fuel cells and related applications. The multilayered membrane includes a carrier film, at least one layer of an undoped conductive polymer electrolyte material applied onto the carrier film, and at least one layer of a conductive polymer electrolyte material applied onto the adjacent layer of polymer electrolyte material. Each layer of conductive polymer electrolyte material is doped with a plurality of nanoparticles. Each layer of undoped electrolyte material and doped electrolyte material may be applied in an alternating configuration, or alternatively, adjacent layers of doped conductive polymer electrolyte material is employed. The process for producing a multilayered composite membrane includes providing a carrier substrate and solution casting a layer of undoped conductive polymer electrolyte material and a layer of conductive polymer electrolyte material doped with nanoparticles in an alternating arrangement or in an arrangement where doped layers are adjacent to one another.

  20. Enhanced proton conductivity of sulfonated poly(p-phenylene-co-aryl ether ketone) proton exchange membranes with controlled microblock structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Qingyi; Xu, Tong; Qian, Huidong; Zheng, Jifu; Shi, Ce; Li, Yunqi; Zhang, Suobo

    2015-03-01

    A new series of sulfonated poly(p-phenylene-co-aryl ether ketone)s (s, m, l-SPP-co-PAEKs) microblock polymers containing different hydrophobic units with precisely defined lengths have been prepared via the nickel (0) catalyzed coupling copolymerization and characterized to act as proton exchange membranes. By controlling the length and chemical structure of the hydrophobic units in the copolymers, these novel microblock polymers can exhibit well-developed nanophase morphologies and large length-scale of the ionic channels, resulting in the improvement of the proton conductivity in both the wet and dry state. Moreover, the membrane l-SPP-co-PAEK 1.80 with the largest hydrophobic micro-block length shows high proton conductivity, excellent dimensional stability, low glass-transition temperature (Tg), good oxidative stability and superior cell performance.

  1. Biodegradation and proton exchange using natural rubber in microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Winfield, Jonathan; Ieropoulos, Ioannis; Rossiter, Jonathan; Greenman, John; Patton, David

    2013-11-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) generate electricity from waste but to date the technology's development and scale-up has been held-up by the need to incorporate expensive materials. A costly but vital component is the ion exchange membrane (IEM) which conducts protons between the anode and cathode electrodes. The current study compares natural rubber as an alternative material to two commercially available IEMs. Initially, the material proved impermeable to protons, but gradually a working voltage was generated that improved with time. After 6 months, MFCs with natural rubber membrane outperformed those with anion exchange membrane (AEM) but cation exchange membrane (CEM) produced 109 % higher power and 16 % higher current. After 11 months, polarisation experiments showed a decline in performance for both commercially available membranes while natural rubber continued to improve and generated 12 % higher power and 54 % higher current than CEM MFC. Scanning electron microscope images revealed distinct structural changes and the formation of micropores in natural latex samples that had been employed as IEM for 9 months. It is proposed that the channels and micropores formed as a result of biodegradation were providing pathways for proton transfer, reflected by the steady increase in power generation over time. These improvements may also be aided by the establishment of biofilms that, in contrast, caused declining performance in the CEM. The research demonstrates for the first time that the biodegradation of a ubiquitous waste material operating as IEM can benefit MFC performance while also improving the reactor's lifetime compared to commercially available membranes.

  2. Copoly(arlene ether)s containing pendant sulfonic acid groups as proton exchange membrane

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Yu Seung; Kim, Dae Sik; Robertson, Gilles; Guiver, Michael

    2008-01-01

    A copoly(arylene ether) (PAE) with high fluorine content and a copoly(arylene ether nitrile) (PAEN) with high nitrile content, each containing pendant phenyl sulfonic acids were synthesized. The P AE and PAEN were prepared from decafluorobiphenyl (DFBP) and difluorobenzonitrile (DFBN) respectively, by polycondensation with 2-phenylhydroquinone (PHQ) by conventional aromatic nucleophilic substitution reactions. The sulfonic acid groups were introduced by mild post-sulfonation exclusively on the para-position of the pendant phenyl ring in PHQ. The membrane properties of the resulting sulfonated copolymers sP AE and sP AEN were compared for fuel cell applications. The copolymers sPAE and sPAEN, each having a degree of sulfonation (DS) of 1.0 had high ion exchange capacities (IEC{sub v}(wet) (volume-based, wet state)) of 1.77 and 2.55 meq./cm{sup 3}, high proton conductivities of 135.4 and 140.1 mS/cm at 80 C, and acceptable volume-based water uptake of 44.5-51.9 vol% at 80 C, respectively, compared to Nafion. The data points of these copolymer membranes are located in the area of outstanding properties in the trade-off plot of alternative hydrocarbon polyelectrolyte membranes (PEM) for the relationship between proton conductivity versus water uptake (weight based or volume based). Furthermore, the relative selectivity derived from proton conductivity and methanol permeability is higher than that of Nafion.

  3. Non-noble metal based electro-catalyst compositions for proton exchange membrane based water electrolysis and methods of making

    DOEpatents

    Kumta, Prashant N.; Kadakia, Karan Sandeep; Datta, Moni Kanchan; Velikokhatnyi, Oleg

    2017-02-07

    The invention provides electro-catalyst compositions for an anode electrode of a proton exchange membrane-based water electrolysis system. The compositions include a noble metal component selected from the group consisting of iridium oxide, ruthenium oxide, rhenium oxide and mixtures thereof, and a non-noble metal component selected from the group consisting of tantalum oxide, tin oxide, niobium oxide, titanium oxide, tungsten oxide, molybdenum oxide, yttrium oxide, scandium oxide, cooper oxide, zirconium oxide, nickel oxide and mixtures thereof. Further, the non-noble metal component can include a dopant. The dopant can be at least one element selected from Groups III, V, VI and VII of the Periodic Table. The compositions can be prepared using a surfactant approach or a sol gel approach. Further, the compositions are prepared using noble metal and non-noble metal precursors. Furthermore, a thin film containing the compositions can be deposited onto a substrate to form the anode electrode.

  4. Copoly(arylene ether)s containing pendant sulfonic acid groups as proton exchange membranes

    SciTech Connect

    Dae Sik, Kim; Yu Seung, Kim; Gilles, Robertson; Guiver, Michael D

    2009-01-01

    A copoly(arylene ether) (PAE) with high fluorine content and a copoly(arylene ether nitrile) (PAEN) with high nitrile content, each containing pendant phenyl sulfonic acids were synthesized. The PAE and P AEN were prepared from decafluorobiphenyl (DFBP) and difluorobenzonitrile (DFBN) respectively, by polycondensation with 2phenylhydroquinone (PHQ) by conventional aromatic nucleophilic substitution reactions. sulfonic acid groups were introduced by mild post-sulfonation exclusively on the para-position of the pendant phenyl ring in PHQ. The membrane properties of the resulting sulfonated copolymers sPAE and sPAEN were compared for fuel cell applications. The copolymers sPAE and sPAEN, each having a degree of sulfonation (OS) of 1.0 had high ion exchange capacities (IEC{sub v})(wet) (volume-based, wet state) of 1.77 and 2.55 meq./cm3, high proton conductivities of 135.4 and 140.1 mS/cm at 80 C, and acceptable volume-based water uptake of 44.5 -51.9 vol% at 80 C, respectively, compared to Nafion. The data points of these copolymer membranes are located in the upper left-hand corner in the trade-off plot of alternative hydrocarbon polyelectrolyte membranes (PEM) for the relationship between proton conductivity versus water uptake (weight based or volume based), i.e., high proton conductivity and low water uptake. Furthermore, the relative selectivity derived from proton conductivity and methanol permeability is higher than that of Nafion.

  5. Synthesis and characterization of partially fluorinated hydrophobic-hydrophilic multiblock copolymers containing sulfonate groups for proton exchange membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yanxiang; Roy, Abhishek; Badami, Anand S.; Hill, Melinda; Yang, Juan; Dunn, Stuart; McGrath, James E.

    A new hydrophobic-hydrophilic multiblock copolymer has been successfully synthesized based on the careful coupling of a fluorine terminated poly(arylene ether ketone) (6FK) hydrophobic oligomer and a phenoxide terminated disulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone) (BPSH) hydrophilic oligomer. 19F and 1H NMR spectra were used to characterize the oligomers' molecular weights and multiblock copolymer's structure. The comparison of the multiblock copolymer 13C NMR spectrum with that of the random copolymer showed that the transetherification side reaction was minimized in this synthesis. The morphologies of membranes were investigated by tapping mode atomic force microscopy (AFM), which showed that the multiblock membrane acidified by the high temperature method has sharp phase separation. Membrane properties like protonic conductivity, water uptake, and self-diffusion coefficient of water as a function of temperature and relative humidity (RH) were characterized for the multiblock copolymer and compared with ketone type random copolymers at similar ion exchange capacity value and Nafion ® controls. The multiblock copolymers are promising candidates for proton exchange membranes especially for applications at high temperatures and low relative humidity.

  6. Effect of "bridge" on the performance of organic-inorganic crosslinked hybrid proton exchange membranes via KH550

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Hailan; Li, Hai Qiang; Liu, Meiyu; Xu, Lishuang; Xu, Jingmei; Wang, Shuang; Ni, Hongzhe; Wang, Zhe

    2017-02-01

    A series of novel organic-inorganic crosslinked hybrid proton exchange membranes were prepared using sulfonated poly(arylene ether ketone sulfone) polymers containing carboxyl groups (C-SPAEKS), (3-aminopropyl)-triethoxysilane (KH550), and tetraethoxysilane (TEOS). KH550 acted as a "bridge" after reacting with carboxyl and sulfonic groups of C-SPAEKS to form covalent and ionic crosslinked structure between the C-SPAEKS and SiO2 phase. The crosslinked hybrid membranes (C-SPAEKS/K-SiO2) were characterized by FT-IR spectroscopy, TGA, and electrochemistry, etc. The thermal stability, mechanical properties and proton conductivity of the crosslinked hybrid membranes were improved by the presence of both crosslinked structure and inorganic phase. The proton conductivity of C-SPAEKS/K-SiO2-8 was recorded as 0.110 S cm-1, higher than that of Nafion® (0.028 S cm-1) at 120 °C. Moreover, the methanol permeability of the C-SPAEKS/K-SiO2-8 was measured as 3.86 × 10-7 cm2 s-1, much lower than that of Nafion® 117 membranes (29.4 × 10-7 cm2 s-1) at 25 °C.

  7. Multinuclear solid state nuclear magnetic resonance investigation of water penetration in proton exchange membrane Nafion-117 by mechanical spinning.

    PubMed

    Sabarinathan, Venkatachalam; Wu, Zhen; Cheng, Ren-Hao; Ding, Shangwu

    2013-05-30

    (1)H, (17)O, and (19)F solid state NMR spectroscopies have been used to investigate water penetration in Nafion-117 under mechanical spinning. It is found that both (1)H and (17)O spectra depend on the orientation of the membrane with respect to the magnetic field. The intensities of the side chain (19)F spectra depend slightly on the orientation of membrane with respect to the magnetic field, but the backbone (19)F spectra do not exhibit orientation dependence. By analyzing the orientation dependent (1)H and (17)O spectra and time-resolved (1)H spectra, we show that the water loaded in Nafion-117, under high spinning speed, may penetrate into regions that are normally inaccessible by water. Water penetration is enhanced as the spinning speed is increased or the spinning time is increased. In the meantime, mechanical spinning accelerates water exchange. It is also found that water penetration by mechanical spinning is persistent; i.e., after spinning, water remains in those newly found regions. While water penetration changes the pores and channels in Nafion, (19)F spectra indicate that the chemical environments of the polymer backbone do not show change. These results provide new insights about the structure and dynamics of Nafion-117 and related materials. They are relevant to proton exchange membrane aging and offer enlightening points of view on antiaging and modification of this material for better proton conductivity. It is also interesting to view this phenomenon in the perspective of forced nanofiltration.

  8. Semiempirical model based on thermodynamic principles for determining 6 kW proton exchange membrane electrolyzer stack characteristics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dale, N. V.; Mann, M. D.; Salehfar, H.

    The performance of a 6 kW proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzer was modeled using a semiempirical equation. Total cell voltage was represented as a sum of the Nernst voltage, activation overpotential and ohmic overpotential. A temperature and pressure dependent Nernst potential, derived from thermodynamic principles, was used to model the 20 cell PEM electrolyzer stack. The importance of including the temperature dependence of various model components is clearly demonstrated. The reversible potential without the pressure effect decreases with increasing temperature in a linear fashion. The exchange current densities at both the electrodes and the membrane conductivity were the coefficients of the semiempirical equation. An experimental system designed around a 6 kW PEM electrolyzer was used to obtain the current-voltage characteristics at different stack temperatures. A nonlinear curve fitting method was employed to determine the equation coefficients from the experimental current-voltage characteristics. The modeling results showed an increase in the anode and cathode exchange current densities with increasing electrolyzer stack temperature. The membrane conductivity was also increased with increasing temperature and was modeled as a function of temperature. The electrolyzer energy efficiencies at different temperatures were evaluated using temperature dependent higher heating value voltages instead of a fixed value of 1.48 V.

  9. Acid/base equilibria in clusters and their role in proton exchange membranes: Computational insight

    SciTech Connect

    Glezakou, Vanda A; Dupuis, Michel; Mundy, Christopher J

    2007-10-24

    We describe molecular orbital theory and ab initio molecular dynamics studies of acid/base equilibria of clusters AH:(H2O)n↔A-:H+(H2O)n in low hydration regime (n = 1-4), where AH is a model of perfluorinated sulfonic acids, RSO3H (R = CF3CF2), encountered in polymeric electrolyte membranes of fuel cells. Free energy calculations on the neutral and ion pair structures for n = 3 indicate that the two configurations are close in energy and are accessible in the fluctuation dynamics of proton transport. For n = 1,2 the only relevant configuration is the neutral form. This was verified through ab initio metadynamics simulations. These findings suggest that bases are directly involved in the proton transport at low hydration levels. In addition, the gas phase proton affinity of the model sulfonic acid RSO3H was found to be comparable to the proton affinity of water. Thus, protonated acids can also play a role in proton transport under low hydration conditions and under high concentration of protons. This work was supported by the Division of Chemical Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, US Department of Energy (DOE under Contract DE-AC05-76RL)1830. Computations were performed on computers of the Molecular Interactions and Transformations (MI&T) group and MSCF facility of EMSL, sponsored by US DOE and OBER located at PNNL. This work was benefited from resource of the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Centre, supported by the Office of Science of the US DOE, under Contract No. DE-AC03-76SF00098.

  10. SPEEK/PVDF/PES Composite as Alternative Proton Exchange Membrane for Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, Zhimin; Liu, Jinying; Liu, Qifeng

    2016-01-01

    A membrane consisting of a blend of sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) (SPEEK), poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF), and poly(ether sulfone) (PES) has been fabricated and used as an ion exchange membrane for application in vanadium redox flow batteries (VRBs). The vanadium ion permeability of the SPEEK/PVDF/PES membrane was one order of magnitude lower than that of Nafion 117 membrane. The low-cost composite membrane exhibited better performance than Nafion 117 membrane at the same operating condition. A VRB single cell with SPEEK/PVDF/PES membrane showed significantly lower capacity loss, higher coulombic efficiency (>95%), and higher energy efficiency (>82%) compared with Nafion 117 membrane. In the self-discharge test, the duration of the cell with the SPEEK/PVDF/PES membrane was nearly two times longer than that with Nafion 117 membrane. Considering these good properties and its low cost, SPEEK/PVDF/PES membrane is expected to have excellent commercial prospects as an ion exchange membrane for VRB systems.

  11. Mathematical Modeling of Cation Contamination in a Proton-exchange Membrane

    SciTech Connect

    Weber, Adam; Delacourt, Charles

    2008-09-11

    Transport phenomena in an ion-exchange membrane containing both H+ and K+ are described using multicomponent diffusion equations (Stefan-Maxwell). A model is developed for transport through a Nafion 112 membrane in a hydrogen-pump setup. The model results are analyzed to quantify the impact of cation contamination on cell potential. It is shown that limiting current densities can result due to a decrease in proton concentration caused by the build-up of contaminant ions. An average cation concentration of 30 to 40 percent is required for appreciable effects to be noticed under typical steady-state operating conditions.

  12. Cross-linked sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) by using diamino-organosilicon for proton exchange fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Kayser, Marie J; Reinholdt, Marc X; Kaliaguine, Serge

    2011-03-31

    Fuel cells are at the battlefront to find alternate sources of energy to the highly polluting, economically and environmentally constraining fossil fuels. This work uses an organosilicon molecule presenting two amine functions, bis(3-aminopropyl)-tetramethyldisiloxane (APTMDS) with the aim of preparing cross-linked sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) (SPEEK) based membranes. The hybrid membranes obtained at varying APTMDS loadings are characterized for their acid, proton conductivity, water uptake, and swelling properties. APTMDS may be considered as an extreme case of silica nanoparticle and is therefore most advantageously distributed within the polymeric matrix. The two amine groups can interact, via electrostatic interactions, with the sulfonic acid groups of SPEEK, resulting in a double anchoring of the molecule. The addition of a small amount of APTMDS is enhancing the mechanical and hydrolytic properties of the membranes and allows some unfolding of the polymer chains, rendering some acid sites accessible to water molecules and thus available for proton transport.

  13. Effect of end-group cross-linking on transport properties of sulfonated poly(phenylene sulfide nitrile)s for proton exchange membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

    A series of end-group cross-linked membranes (Az-XESPSN) were prepared by click reaction to investigate the effects of cross-linking on the morphology and proton transport properties of proton exchange membranes. The morphological transformations resulting from thermal annealing and cross-linking were observed by means of atomic force microscopy (AFM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Compared to the non-cross-linked ESPSN membranes, the Az-XESPSN membranes exhibited lower water uptake and improved mechanical and chemical stabilities. In addition, the Az-XESPSN membranes exhibited higher proton conductivities (0.018-0.028 S cm-1) compared to those of the ESPSN membranes (0.0044-0.0053 S cm-1) and Nafion 212 (0.0061 S cm-1), particularly in conditions of elevated temperature (120 °C) and low relative humidity (35%). Such enhancements can be attributed to a synergistic effect of well-defined hydrophilic ionic clusters and triazole groups that function as proton carriers under anhydrous conditions. Furthermore, the Az-XESPSN membranes exhibited significantly enhanced single cell performance and long-term stability compared to those of ESPSN membranes.

  14. Characterization of polyethyleneterephthalate (PET) based proton exchange membranes prepared by UV-radiation-induced graft copolymerization of styrene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahmed, Mostak; Khan, Mohammad B.; Khan, Mubarak A.; Alam, S. Shamsul; Halim, Md. Abdul; Khan, M. Anwar H.

    Polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMs) were successfully prepared by simultaneous ultraviolet (UV) radiation-induced graft copolymerization of styrene (35 vol.% concentration) onto poly(ethyleneterephthalate) (PET) film, followed by sulfonation on the styrene monomer units in the grafting chain using 0.05 M chlorosulfonic acid (ClSO 3H). The radiation grafting and the sulfonation have been confirmed by titrimetric and gravimetric analyses as well as Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. The maximum ion-exchange capacity (IEC) of the PEM was measured to be 0.04385 mmol g -1 at its highest level of grafting and sulfonation. They exhibited high thermal and mechanical properties as well as oxidative stability. They are highly stable in H 2SO 4 solutions and can be used in the acidic fuel cells. The membranes showed low water uptake as well as low proton conductivity than Nafion. In this study, the preparation of PEMs from commodity-type polymers is found to be very inexpensive and is a suitable candidate for applications in fuel cells.

  15. High temperature proton exchange membranes with enhanced proton conductivities at low humidity and high temperature based on polymer blends and block copolymers of poly(1,3-cyclohexadiene) and poly(ethylene glycol)

    SciTech Connect

    Deng, Shawn; Hassan, Mohammad K.; Nalawade, Amol; Perry, Kelly A.; More, Karren L.; Mauritz, Kenneth A.; McDonnell, Marshall T.; Keffer, David J.; Mays, Jimmy W.

    2015-09-16

    Hot (at 120 °C) and dry (20% relative humidity) operating conditions benefit fuel cell designs based on proton exchange membranes (PEMs) and hydrogen due to simplified system design and increasing tolerance to fuel impurities. In this paper, presented are preparation, partial characterization, and multi-scale modeling of such PEMs based on cross-linked, sulfonated poly(1,3-cyclohexadiene) (xsPCHD) blends and block copolymers with poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG). These low cost materials have proton conductivities 18 times that of current industry standard Nafion at hot, dry operating conditions. Among the membranes studied, the blend xsPCHD-PEG PEM displayed the highest proton conductivity, which exhibits a morphology with higher connectivity of the hydrophilic domain throughout the membrane. Simulation and modeling provide a molecular level understanding of distribution of PEG within this hydrophilic domain and its relation to proton conductivities. Finally, this study demonstrates enhancement of proton conductivity at high temperature and low relative humidity by incorporation of PEG and optimized sulfonation conditions.

  16. High temperature proton exchange membranes with enhanced proton conductivities at low humidity and high temperature based on polymer blends and block copolymers of poly(1,3-cyclohexadiene) and poly(ethylene glycol)

    DOE PAGES

    Deng, Shawn; Hassan, Mohammad K.; Nalawade, Amol; ...

    2015-09-16

    Hot (at 120 °C) and dry (20% relative humidity) operating conditions benefit fuel cell designs based on proton exchange membranes (PEMs) and hydrogen due to simplified system design and increasing tolerance to fuel impurities. In this paper, presented are preparation, partial characterization, and multi-scale modeling of such PEMs based on cross-linked, sulfonated poly(1,3-cyclohexadiene) (xsPCHD) blends and block copolymers with poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG). These low cost materials have proton conductivities 18 times that of current industry standard Nafion at hot, dry operating conditions. Among the membranes studied, the blend xsPCHD-PEG PEM displayed the highest proton conductivity, which exhibits a morphology withmore » higher connectivity of the hydrophilic domain throughout the membrane. Simulation and modeling provide a molecular level understanding of distribution of PEG within this hydrophilic domain and its relation to proton conductivities. Finally, this study demonstrates enhancement of proton conductivity at high temperature and low relative humidity by incorporation of PEG and optimized sulfonation conditions.« less

  17. Nanosized IrO(x)-Ir Catalyst with Relevant Activity for Anodes of Proton Exchange Membrane Electrolysis Produced by a Cost-Effective Procedure.

    PubMed

    Lettenmeier, Philipp; Wang, Li; Golla-Schindler, Ute; Gazdzicki, Pawel; Cañas, Natalia A; Handl, Michael; Hiesgen, Renate; Hosseiny, Seyed S; Gago, Aldo S; Friedrich, Kaspar A

    2016-01-11

    We have developed a highly active nanostructured iridium catalyst for anodes of proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysis. Clusters of nanosized crystallites are obtained by reducing surfactant-stabilized IrCl3 in water-free conditions. The catalyst shows a five-fold higher activity towards oxygen evolution reaction (OER) than commercial Ir-black. The improved kinetics of the catalyst are reflected in the high performance of the PEM electrolyzer (1 mg(Ir) cm(-2)), showing an unparalleled low overpotential and negligible degradation. Our results demonstrate that this enhancement cannot be only attributed to increased surface area, but rather to the ligand effect and low coordinate sites resulting in a high turnover frequency (TOF). The catalyst developed herein sets a benchmark and a strategy for the development of ultra-low loading catalyst layers for PEM electrolysis.

  18. Interferometric tomography of fuel cells for monitoring membrane water content.

    PubMed

    Waller, Laura; Kim, Jungik; Shao-Horn, Yang; Barbastathis, George

    2009-08-17

    We have developed a system that uses two 1D interferometric phase projections for reconstruction of 2D water content changes over time in situ in a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell system. By modifying the filtered backprojection tomographic algorithm, we are able to incorporate a priori information about the object distribution into a fast reconstruction algorithm which is suitable for real-time monitoring.

  19. A cost-effective nanoporous ultrathin film electrode based on nanoporous gold/IrO2 composite for proton exchange membrane water electrolysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeng, Yachao; Guo, Xiaoqian; Shao, Zhigang; Yu, Hongmei; Song, Wei; Wang, Zhiqiang; Zhang, Hongjie; Yi, Baolian

    2017-02-01

    A cost-effective nanoporous ultrathin film (NPUF) electrode based on nanoporous gold (NPG)/IrO2 composite has been constructed for proton exchange membrane (PEM) water electrolysis. The electrode was fabricated by integrating IrO2 nanoparticles into NPG through a facile dealloying and thermal decomposition method. The NPUF electrode is featured in its 3D interconnected nanoporosity and ultrathin thickness. The nanoporous ultrathin architecture is binder-free and beneficial for improving electrochemical active surface area, enhancing mass transport and facilitating releasing of oxygen produced during water electrolysis. Serving as anode, a single cell performance of 1.728 V (@ 2 A cm-2) has been achieved by NPUF electrode with a loading of IrO2 and Au at 86.43 and 100.0 μg cm-2 respectively, the electrolysis voltage is 58 mV lower than that of conventional electrode with an Ir loading an order of magnitude higher. The electrolysis voltage kept relatively constant up to 300 h (@250 mA cm-2) during the course of durability test, manifesting that NPUF electrode is promising for gas evolution.

  20. Calcineurin homologous proteins regulate the membrane localization and activity of sodium/proton exchangers in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Allman, Erik; Wang, Qian; Walker, Rachel L; Austen, Molly; Peters, Maureen A; Nehrke, Keith

    2016-02-01

    Calcineurin B homologous proteins (CHP) are N-myristoylated, EF-hand Ca(2+)-binding proteins that bind to and regulate Na(+)/H(+) exchangers, which occurs through a variety of mechanisms whose relative significance is incompletely understood. Like mammals, Caenorhabditis elegans has three CHP paralogs, but unlike mammals, worms can survive CHP loss-of-function. However, mutants for the CHP ortholog PBO-1 are unfit, and PBO-1 has been shown to be required for proton signaling by the basolateral Na(+)/H(+) exchanger NHX-7 and for proton-coupled intestinal nutrient uptake by the apical Na(+)/H(+) exchanger NHX-2. Here, we have used this genetic model organism to interrogate PBO-1's mechanism of action. Using fluorescent tags to monitor Na(+)/H(+) exchanger trafficking and localization, we found that loss of either PBO-1 binding or activity caused NHX-7 to accumulate in late endosomes/lysosomes. In contrast, NHX-2 was stabilized at the apical membrane by a nonfunctional PBO-1 protein and was only internalized following its complete loss. Additionally, two pbo-1 paralogs were identified, and their expression patterns were analyzed. One of these contributed to the function of the excretory cell, which acts like a kidney in worms, establishing an alternative model for testing the role of this protein in membrane transporter trafficking and regulation. These results lead us to conclude that the role of CHP in Na(+)/H(+) exchanger regulation differs between apical and basolateral transporters. This further emphasizes the importance of proper targeting of Na(+)/H(+) exchangers and the critical role of CHP family proteins in this process.

  1. 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.

  2. Microporous layer based on SiC for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lobato, Justo; Zamora, Héctor; Cañizares, Pablo; Plaza, Jorge; Rodrigo, Manuel Andrés

    2015-08-01

    This work reports the evaluation of Silicon Carbide (SiC) for its application in microporous layers (MPL) of HT-PEMFC electrodes and compares results with those obtained using conventional MPL based on Vulcan XC72. Influence of the support load on the MPL prepared with SiC was evaluated, and the MPL were characterized by XRD, Hg porosimetry and cyclic voltammetries. In addition, a short lifetest was carried out to evaluate performance in accelerated stress conditions. Results demonstrate that SiC is a promising alternative to carbonaceous materials because of its higher electrochemical and thermal stability and the positive effect on mass transfer associated to its different pore size distribution. Ohmic resistance is the most significant challenge to be overcome in further studies.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Alternate Fuel Cell Membranes for Energy Independence

    SciTech Connect

    Storey, Robson, F.; Mauritz, Kenneth, A.; Patton, Derek, L.; Savin, Daniel, A.

    2012-12-18

    The overall objective of this project was the development and evaluation of novel hydrocarbon fuel cell (FC) membranes that possess high temperature performance and long term chemical/mechanical durability in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells (FC). The major research theme was synthesis of aromatic hydrocarbon polymers of the poly(arylene ether sulfone) (PAES) type containing sulfonic acid groups tethered to the backbone via perfluorinated alkylene linkages and in some cases also directly attached to the phenylene groups along the backbone. Other research themes were the use of nitrogen-based heterocyclics instead of acid groups for proton conduction, which provides high temperature, low relative humidity membranes with high mechanical/thermal/chemical stability and pendant moieties that exhibit high proton conductivities in the absence of water, and synthesis of block copolymers consisting of a proton conducting block coupled to poly(perfluorinated propylene oxide) (PFPO) blocks. Accomplishments of the project were as follows: 1) establishment of a vertically integrated program of synthesis, characterization, and evaluation of FC membranes, 2) establishment of benchmark membrane performance data based on Nafion for comparison to experimental membrane performance, 3) development of a new perfluoroalkyl sulfonate monomer, N,N-diisopropylethylammonium 2,2-bis(p-hydroxyphenyl) pentafluoropropanesulfonate (HPPS), 4) synthesis of random and block copolymer membranes from HPPS, 5) synthesis of block copolymer membranes containing high-acid-concentration hydrophilic blocks consisting of HPPS and 3,3'-disulfonate-4,4'-dichlorodiphenylsulfone (sDCDPS), 6) development of synthetic routes to aromatic polymer backbones containing pendent 1H-1,2,3-triazole moieties, 7) development of coupling strategies to create phase-separated block copolymers between hydrophilic sulfonated prepolymers and commodity polymers such as PFPO, 8) establishment of basic performance

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, Nam-Trung; Chan, Siew Hwa

    2006-04-01

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

  8. Modification and evaluation of fuel cell membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nalawade, Amol Prataprao

    The primary goals of this study were modification of existing NafionRTM membranes and characterization of newly developed hydrocarbon-based membranes for high temperature fuel cell applications. Various NafionRTM/silicate nanocomposites were formulated via in situ sol-gel reactions for tetraethylorthosilicate. Different silicate composition profiles generated across membrane cross-sections were investigated by EDAX/ESEM. Composite water uptake, proton conductivity and fuel cell performance were comparable to that of unmodified Nafion RTM. Tafel analysis showed better electrode kinetics for composites having more silicate in the middle and less or no silicate at electrolyte-electrode interfaces. All composites showed reduced fuel cross-over and superior mechanical as well as chemical durability than unmodified NafionRTM. Poly(cyclohexadiene) (PCHD) materials were characterized in the interest of developing alternative low-cost proton exchange membranes. All cross-linked sulfonated (xsPCHD) membranes showed significantly higher water uptake at 80 °C and higher proton conductivity at 120 °C at all relative humidities (RH), compared to the current benchmark membrane, NafionRTM. A xsPCHD-poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) copolymer and a xsPCHD-PEG blend surpassed the DOE target by exhibiting proton conductivities of 141.44 and 322.40 mS/cm, respectively, at 50 % RH. Although the PCHD-based PEMs exhibited thermal stability up to 150 °C, they showed poor mechanical properties which would cause poor membrane durability during fuel cell operation. Atomic force microscopy studies demonstrated nanophase separated morphology of xsPCHD having a higher degree of connectedness of hydrophilic domains in the copolymer and blends relative to the xsPCHD homopolymer. Broadband dielectric spectroscopy (BDS) was used to study sub-Tg relaxations in annealed poly(2,5-benzimidazole) (ABPBI) fuel cell precursor materials. A trend in degree of connectivity of charge migration pathways and

  9. 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.

  10. Autocorrelation standard deviation and root mean square frequency analysis of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell to monitor for hydrogen and air undersupply

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Joo Gon; Mukherjee, Santanu; Bates, Alex; Zickel, Benjamin; Park, Sam; Son, Byung Rak; Choi, Jae Sung; Kwon, Osung; Lee, Dong Ha; Chung, Hyun-Youl

    2015-12-01

    Proton exchange membrane fuel cells are a promising energy conversion device which can help to solve urgent environmental and economic problems. Among the various types of fuel cells, the air breathing proton exchange membrane fuel cell, which minimizes the balance of plant, has drawn a lot of attention due to its superior energy density. In this study a compact, air breathing, proton exchange membrane fuel cell based on Nafion and a Pt/C membrane electrode assembly was designed. The fuel cell was tested using a Scribner Associates 850e fuel cell test station. Specifically, the hydrogen fuel and oxygen starvation of the fuel cell were accurately and systematically tested and analyzed using a frequency analysis method which can analyze the input and output frequency. The analysis of the frequency variation under a fuel starvation condition was done using RMSF (root mean square frequency) and ACSD (autocorrelation standard deviation). The study reveals two significant results: first, the fuel starvations show entirely different phenomenon in both RMSF and ACSD and second, the results of the Autocorrelation show clearer results for fuel starvation detection than the results with RMSF.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  12. Review of Fuel Cell Technologies for Military Land Vehicles

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-01

    fuel they use or limited power output. The report concludes that SOFC or PEM FC may be a valuable tool for silent watch extension in the future...OEM Original Equipment Manufacturer PEM Proton Exchange Membrane PEMFC Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell SOFC Solid Oxide Fuel Cell TRL Technical ...TYPE OF REPORT Technical Report 7. DOCUMENT DATE September 2014 8. FILE NUMBER 2014/1160976/1 9. TASK NUMBER 07/357 10. TASK SPONSOR

  13. Polymer synthesis toward fuel cell membrane materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rebeck, Nathaniel T.

    Fuel cells are a promising technology that will be part of the future energy landscape. New membranes for alkaline and proton exchange membrane fuel cells are needed to improve the performance, simplify the system, and reduce cost. Polymer chemistry can be applied to develop new polymers and to assemble polymers into improved membranes that need less water, have increased performance and are less expensive, thereby removing the deficiencies of current membranes. Nucleophilic aromatic substitution polymerization typically produces thermally stable engineering polymers that can be easily functionalized. New functional monomers were developed to explore new routes to novel functional polymers. Sulfonamides were discovered as new activating groups for polymerization of high molecular weight thermooxidatively stable materials with sulfonic acid latent functionality. While the sulfonamide functional polymers could be produced, the sulfonamide group proved to be too stable to convert into a sulfonic acid after reaction. The reactivity of 2-aminophenol was investigated to search for a new class of ion conducting polymer materials. Both the amine and the phenol groups are found to be reactive in a nucleophilic aromatic substitution, however not to the extent to allow the formation of high molecular weight polymer materials. Layer-by-layer films were assembled from aqueous solutions of poly(styrene sulfonate) and trimethylammonium functionalized poly(phenylene oxide). The deposition conditions were adjusted to increase the free charge carrier content, and chloride conductivites reached almost 30 mS/cm for the best films. Block and random poly(phenylene oxide) copolymers were produced from 2,6-dimethylphenol and 2,6-diphenylphenol and the methyl substituted repeat units were functionalized with trimethylammonium bromide. The block copolymers displayed bromide conductivities up to 26 mS/cm and outperformed the random copolymers, indicating that morphology has an effect on ion

  14. Model development of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell to predict steady and unsteady behavior

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mishra, Bikash

    Fuel cells are promising technology to meet the energy need of the future. This alternative energy source is clean and efficient, and with the continuous decrease in fossil fuel resources, one of the best bets towards sustaining our power needs. Fuel cells are being used in automobiles as well as to fulfill portable power needs. In this work a computational model has been developed for fuel cells which can be used to simulate traditional as well as passive proton exchange membrane fuel cell behavior. The model is unsteady, two phase, nonisothermal in nature, and also capable of handling natural convection or buoyancy driven flows. The model also takes into account electrochemical reactions at catalyst sites. The model has been implemented and validated against experiments. It is used to carry out unsteady simulations to study start-up characteristic of proton exchange membrane fuel cells and to follow the behavior of liquid water as well as heat transfer within the cell. The buoyancy model is used to simulate a natural convection region and a passive fuel cell (used for portable applications). Design of passive fuel cells is driven by high temperature regimes and that issue has been further explored.

  15. Durability aspects of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sethuraman, Vijay Anand

    In order for the successful adoption of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell technology, it is imperative that durability is understood, quantified and improved. A number of mechanisms are known to contribute to PEMFC membrane electrode assembly (MEA) performance degradation. In this dissertation, we show, via experiments, some of the various processes that degrade the proton exchange membrane in a PEM fuel cell; and catalyst poisoning due to hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and siloxane. The effect of humidity on the chemical stability of two types of membranes, [i.e., perfluorosulfonic acid type (PFSA, NafionRTM 112) and biphenyl sulfone hydrocarbon type, (BPSH-35)] was studied by subjecting the MEAs to open-circuit voltage (OCV) decay and potential cycling tests at elevated temperatures and low inlet gas relative humidities. The BPSH-35 membranes showed poor chemical stability in ex situ Fenton tests compared to that of NafionRTM membranes. However, under fuel cell conditions, BPSH-35 MEAs outperformed NafionRTM 112 MEAs in both the OCV decay and potential cycling tests. For both membranes, (i) at a given temperature, membrane degradation was more pronounced at lower humidities and (ii) at a given relative humidity operation, increasing the cell temperature accelerated membrane degradation. Mechanical stability of these two types of membranes was also studied using relative humidity (RH) cycling. Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) formation rates in a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell were estimated by studying the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) on a rotating ring disc electrode (RRDE). Fuel cell conditions were replicated by depositing a film of Pt/Vulcan XC-72 catalyst onto the disk and by varying the temperature, dissolved O2 concentration and the acidity levels in HClO4. The HClO4 acidity was correlated to ionomer water activity and hence fuel cell humidity. H 2O2 formation rates showed a linear dependence on oxygen concentration and square dependence on water

  16. A monolayer graphene - Nafion sandwich membrane for direct methanol fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, X. H.; Wu, Ruizhe; Xu, J. B.; Luo, Zhengtang; Zhao, T. S.

    2016-04-01

    Methanol crossover due to the low selectivity of proton exchange membranes is a long-standing issue in direct methanol fuel cell technology. Here we attempt to address this issue by designing a composite membrane fabricated by sandwiching a monolayer graphene between two thin Nafion membranes to take advantage of monolayer graphene's selective permeability to only protons. The methanol permeability of the present membrane is demonstrated to have a 68.6% decrease in comparison to that of the pristine Nafion membrane. The test in a passive direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) shows that the designed membrane retains high proton conductivity while substantially suppressing methanol crossover. As a result, the present membrane enables the passive DMFC to exhibit a decent performance even at a methanol concentration as high as 10.0 M.

  17. Development of a 10 kW PEM fuel cell for stationary applications

    SciTech Connect

    Barthels, H.; Mergel, J.; Oetjen, H.F.

    1996-12-31

    A 10 kW Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) is being developed as part of a long-term energy storage path for electricity in the photovoltaic demonstration plant called PHOEBUS at the Forschungszentrum Julich.

  18. The effect of platinum in a Nafion membrane on the durability of the membrane under fuel cell conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, D.; Yi, B. L.; Zhang, H. M.; Liu, Meilin

    The effect of platinum on free radical generation and membrane degradation in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells is investigated using three typical cell configurations. Examinations of the fluoride emission rates (FERs) under different testing conditions indicate that platinum deposited in the membrane plays an important role as a catalytic center for the formation of H 2O 2 and HO rad free radicals, leading to PEM degradation. The chemical durability of the membranes is tested in accelerated Fenton tests. It confirms the formation of free radicals in the presence of platinum in the decomposition of H 2O 2 by colorimetric method with dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) as the trapping agent. In addition, structural and morphological changes of the membranes are characterized using FT-IR spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM).

  19. DOD Residential Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell Demonstration Program. Volume 2. Summary of Fiscal Year 2001-2003 Projects

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-09-01

    SAR] teams into inaccessible areas on the east, north, and west sides of Mount Rainier , lowering rangers to the ground by a cable device known as...Navigation Team is located in Bristol, RI on a penin- sula located between the Narragansett and Mount Hope Bays. Bristol is about 12 miles southeast...be mounted side by side at the host site and connected to the Salt River Project grid system. There is no plan to attempt during this demonstration

  20. Electrochemical study of highly durable cathode with Pt supported on ITO-CNT composite for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Park, Sehkyu; Shao, Yuyan; Viswanathan, Vilayanur V.; Liu, Jun; Wang, Yong

    2016-10-01

    In this paper, we describe a highly stable cathode containing a Pt catalyst supported on an indium tin oxide (ITO) and carbon nanotube (CNT) composite. The dependence of cathode performance and durability on the ITO content and the diameter of the CNTs were investigated by electrochemical techniques. The cathode with 30 wt% ITO and CNTs with diameters 10–20 nm in the composite offered preferred locations for Pt stabilization and was very resistant to carbon corrosion (i.e., 82.7% ESA retention and 105.7% mass activity retention after an accelerated stress test for 400 h).

  1. Radiation grafted and sulfonated (FEP-g-polysterene) - An alternative to perfluorinated membranes for PEM fuel cells?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buechi, F. N.; Gupta, B.; Rouilly, M.; Hauser, P. C.; Chapiro, A.; Scherer, G. G.

    Partially fluorinated proton exchange membranes (PEMs) were synthesized for fuel cell applications by simultaneous radiation grafting of styrene on FEP films followed by sulfonation. Properties of the synthesized membranes can be tailored by varying the degree of grafting and crosslinking. The performance of these membranes was tested in H2/O2 fuel cells. Long time testing showed steady performance for high grafted membranes over periods of more than 300 h at a cell temperature of 60 C. Low grafted membranes and the Morgane CDS membrane showed considerable decay of cell power on the same time scale. A fast degradation of all membranes occurred at a cell temperature of 80 C. It is noted that grafting in film form makes this process a potentially cheap and easy technique for the preparation of solid polymer fuel cell electrolytes.

  2. Comprehensive Study on Ceramic Membranes for Low‐Cost Microbial Fuel Cells

    PubMed Central

    Pasternak, Grzegorz; Greenman, John

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) made with different types of ceramic membranes were investigated to find a low‐cost alternative to commercially available proton exchange membranes. The MFCs operated with fresh human urine as the fuel. Pyrophyllite and earthenware produced the best performance to reach power densities of 6.93 and 6.85 W m−3, respectively, whereas mullite and alumina achieved power densities of 4.98 and 2.60 W m−3, respectively. The results indicate the dependence of bio‐film growth and activity on the type of ceramic membrane applied. The most favourable conditions were created in earthenware MFCs. The performance of the ceramic membranes was related to their physical and chemical properties determined by environmental scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X‐ray spectroscopy. The cost of mullite, earthenware, pyrophyllite and alumina was estimated to be 13.61, 4.14, 387.96 and 177.03 GBP m−2, respectively. The results indicate that earthenware and mullite are good substitutes for commercially available proton exchange membranes, which makes the MFC technology accessible in developing countries. PMID:26692569

  3. Comprehensive Study on Ceramic Membranes for Low-Cost Microbial Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

    Pasternak, Grzegorz; Greenman, John; Ieropoulos, Ioannis

    2016-01-08

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) made with different types of ceramic membranes were investigated to find a low-cost alternative to commercially available proton exchange membranes. The MFCs operated with fresh human urine as the fuel. Pyrophyllite and earthenware produced the best performance to reach power densities of 6.93 and 6.85 W m(-3), respectively, whereas mullite and alumina achieved power densities of 4.98 and 2.60 W m(-3), respectively. The results indicate the dependence of bio-film growth and activity on the type of ceramic membrane applied. The most favourable conditions were created in earthenware MFCs. The performance of the ceramic membranes was related to their physical and chemical properties determined by environmental scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. The cost of mullite, earthenware, pyrophyllite and alumina was estimated to be 13.61, 4.14, 387.96 and 177.03 GBP m(-2), respectively. The results indicate that earthenware and mullite are good substitutes for commercially available proton exchange membranes, which makes the MFC technology accessible in developing countries.

  4. Channel orientation anisotropy in perfluorosulfonic acid/SiO 2 composite proton exchange membranes: Water self-diffusion study using NMR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filipoi, Carmen; Demco, Dan E.; Zhu, Xiaomin; Vinokur, Rostislav; Conradi, Oliver; Fechete, Radu; Möller, Martin

    2011-09-01

    A diffusion-exchange model with the assumption of two water pools was applied to describe the water transport in perfluorinated sulfonic acid (PFSA)/SiO 2 nanocomposites. The water diffusivity in-plane and through-plane in solution cast films was measured by NMR revealing higher in-plane mobility. Both diffusion coefficients reached maxima at ˜3%-wt. concentration in SiO 2. The anisotropy of the PFSA channels orientation reflected in the diffusivity anisotropy decreased with the increase in the nanofiller content. Water exchange rates reached a maximum at low concentration of silica. Gaussian displacement distribution for water diffusion was detected in PFSA membrane at 40 °C independent of the direction of gradient for small concentration in silica.

  5. Harvesting energy of interaction between bacteria and bacteriophage in a membrane-less fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Ragini; Bekele, Wasihun; Ghatak, Animangsu

    2013-11-01

    When a fuel and oxidant flow in laminar contact through a micro-fluidic channel, a sharp interface appears between the two liquids, which eliminate the need of a proton exchange membrane. This principle has been used to generate potential in a membrane-less fuel cell. This study use such a cell to harvest energy of interaction between a bacteria having negative charge on its surface and a bacteriophage with positive and negative charges on its tail and head, respectively. When Klebsiella pneumoniae (Kp6) and phage (P-Kp6) are pumped through a fuel cell fitted with two copper electrodes placed at its two sides, interaction between these two charged species at the interface results in a constant open circuit potential which varies with concentration of charged species but gets generated for both specific and non-specific bacteria and phage system. Oxygenation of bacteria or phage however diminishes the potential unlike in conventional microbial fuel cells.

  6. 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.

  7. Fuel cell with ionization membrane

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hartley, Frank T. (Inventor)

    2007-01-01

    A fuel cell is disclosed comprising an ionization membrane having at least one area through which gas is passed, and which ionizes the gas passing therethrough, and a cathode for receiving the ions generated by the ionization membrane. The ionization membrane may include one or more openings in the membrane with electrodes that are located closer than a mean free path of molecules within the gas to be ionized. Methods of manufacture are also provided.

  8. Enhancement of fuel cell performance with less-water dependent composite membranes having polyoxometalate anchored nanofibrous interlayer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abouzari-lotf, Ebrahim; Jacob, Mohan V.; Ghassemi, Hossein; Ahmad, Arshad; Nasef, Mohamed Mahmoud; Zakeri, Masoumeh; Mehdipour-Ataei, Shahram

    2016-09-01

    Polyoxometalate immobilized nanofiber was used to fabricate low gas permeable layer for composite membranes designed for proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) operating at low relative humidity (RH). The composite membranes revealed enhanced proton conductivity in dry conditions compared with state-of-the-art pristine membrane (Nafion 112, N112). This was coupled with a low fuel crossover inheriting the composite membranes about 100 mV higher OCV than N112 when tested in PEMFC at 60 °C and 40% RH. A maximum power density of up to 930 mW cm-2 was also achieved which is substantially higher than the N112 under similar conditions (577 mW cm-2). Such remarkable performance enhancement along with undetectable leaching of immobilized polyoxometalate, high dimensional stability and low water uptake of the composite membranes suggest a strong potential for PEMFC under low RH operation.

  9. Grove Fuel Cell Symposium - Progress in Fuel Cell Commercialisation, 2nd, London, England, Sept. 24-27, 1991, Proceedings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Appleby, A. J.; Lovering, D. G.

    1992-01-01

    Consideration is given to American fuel cell market development, a gas utility approach to fuel cell commercialization, solid oxide fuel cell developments, proton exchange membrane fuel cell systems engineering, and high temperature fuel cell development. Electric vehicle drive systems, solid polymer fuel cell developments, the role of fuel cells in California clean air initiatives, fuel cell energy recovery from landfill gas, and fuel cells and the city of the future are also considered.

  10. Biological Fuel Cells and Membranes.

    PubMed

    Ghassemi, Zahra; Slaughter, Gymama

    2017-01-17

    Biofuel cells have been widely used to generate bioelectricity. Early biofuel cells employ a semi-permeable membrane to separate the anodic and cathodic compartments. The impact of different membrane materials and compositions has also been explored. Some membrane materials are employed strictly as membrane separators, while some have gained significant attention in the immobilization of enzymes or microorganisms within or behind the membrane at the electrode surface. The membrane material affects the transfer rate of the chemical species (e.g., fuel, oxygen molecules, and products) involved in the chemical reaction, which in turn has an impact on the performance of the biofuel cell. For enzymatic biofuel cells, Nafion, modified Nafion, and chitosan membranes have been used widely and continue to hold great promise in the long-term stability of enzymes and microorganisms encapsulated within them. This article provides a review of the most widely used membrane materials in the development of enzymatic and microbial biofuel cells.

  11. Biological Fuel Cells and Membranes

    PubMed Central

    Ghassemi, Zahra; Slaughter, Gymama

    2017-01-01

    Biofuel cells have been widely used to generate bioelectricity. Early biofuel cells employ a semi-permeable membrane to separate the anodic and cathodic compartments. The impact of different membrane materials and compositions has also been explored. Some membrane materials are employed strictly as membrane separators, while some have gained significant attention in the immobilization of enzymes or microorganisms within or behind the membrane at the electrode surface. The membrane material affects the transfer rate of the chemical species (e.g., fuel, oxygen molecules, and products) involved in the chemical reaction, which in turn has an impact on the performance of the biofuel cell. For enzymatic biofuel cells, Nafion, modified Nafion, and chitosan membranes have been used widely and continue to hold great promise in the long-term stability of enzymes and microorganisms encapsulated within them. This article provides a review of the most widely used membrane materials in the development of enzymatic and microbial biofuel cells. PMID:28106711

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  13. Highly conductive anion exchange membrane for high power density fuel-cell performance.

    PubMed

    Ren, Xiaoming; Price, Samuel C; Jackson, Aaron C; Pomerantz, Natalie; Beyer, Frederick L

    2014-08-27

    Anion exchange membrane fuel cells (AEMFCs) are regarded as a new generation of fuel cell technology that has the potential to overcome many obstacles of the mainstream proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) in cost, catalyst stability, efficiency, and system size. However, the low ionic conductivity and poor thermal stability of current anion exchange membranes (AEMs) have been the key factors limiting the performance of AEMFCs. In this study, an AEM made of styrenic diblock copolymer with a quaternary ammonium-functionalized hydrophilic block and a cross-linkable hydrophobic block and possessing bicontinuous phases of a hydrophobic network and hydrophilic conduction paths was found to have high ionic conductivity at 98 mS cm(-1) and controlled membrane swelling with water uptake at 117 wt % at 22 °C. Membrane characterizations and fuel cell tests of the new AEM were carried out together with a commercial AEM, Tokuyama A201, for comparison. The high ionic conductivity and water permeability of the new membrane reported in this study is attributed to the reduced torturosity of the ionic conduction paths, while the hydrophobic network maintains the membrane mechanical integrity, preventing excessive water uptake.

  14. Durable, Low-cost, Improved Fuel Cell Membranes

    SciTech Connect

    Chris Roger; David Mountz; Wensheng He; Tao Zhang

    2011-03-17

    The development of low cost, durable membranes and membranes electrode assemblies (MEAs) that operate under reduced relative humidity (RH) conditions remain a critical challenge for the successful introduction of fuel cells into mass markets. It was the goal of the team lead by Arkema, Inc. to address these shortages. Thus, this project addresses the following technical barriers from the fuel cells section of the Hydrogen Fuel Cells and Infrastructure Technologies Program Multi-Year Research, Development and Demonstration Plan: (A) Durability (B) Cost Arkema’s approach consisted of using blends of polyvinylidenefluoride (PVDF) and proprietary sulfonated polyelectrolytes. In the traditional approach to polyelectrolytes for proton exchange membranes (PEM), all the required properties are “packaged” in one macromolecule. The properties of interest include proton conductivity, mechanical properties, durability, and water/gas transport. This is the case, for example, for perfluorosulfonic acid-containing (PFSA) membranes. However, the cost of these materials is high, largely due to the complexity and the number of steps involved in their synthesis. In addition, they suffer other shortcomings such as mediocre mechanical properties and insufficient durability for some applications. The strength and originality of Arkema’s approach lies in the decoupling of ion conductivity from the other requirements. Kynar® PVDF provides an exceptional combination of properties that make it ideally suited for a membrane matrix (Kynar® is a registered trademark of Arkema Inc.). It exhibits outstanding chemical resistance in highly oxidative and acidic environments. In work with a prior grant, a membrane known as M41 was developed by Arkema. M41 had many of the properties needed for a high performance PEM, but had a significant deficiency in conductivity at low RH. In the first phase of this work, the processing parameters of M41 were explored as a means to increase its proton

  15. Block copolymers for alkaline fuel cell membrane materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yifan

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

  16. Novel Polyoxometalate Containing Membranes for PEM Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Mason K. Harrup; Frederick F. Stewart; Thomas A Luther; Tammy Trowbridge

    2009-03-01

    Current proton exchange membrane (PEM) technologies are inadequate to address the projected needs for fuel cell performance above 80 ºC. Continuing research into traditional ion carriers in novel membrane materials offers the promise of marginal improvement, representing only an evolutionary increase in performance. This conclusion is supported by the role of water in conduction. Thus, the key to better PEMs is not to eliminate water, but to change the role of water by developing ion carriers that will bind water more tightly than traditional sulfur or phosphorus based carriers resulting in materials that will conduct at higher temperatures. This change entails having a carrier structure that interacts more intimately with water and by increasing the ion carrier anionic charge to result in more tightly held inner shell protonated waters of hydration. Both of these factors synergistically act to maintain a critical water concentration at the carrier necessary for conduction. In this work, polyoxometalate (POM) clusters were selected to serve as these different proton carriers.

  17. Sulfonated polyphosphazene-based membranes for use in direct methanol fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carter, Roy Lee

    Novel crosslinked and sulfonated poly[bis(3-methylphenoxy)phosphazene] blended proton exchange membranes were fabricated for use as the solid polymer electrolyte in a direct methanol fuel cell. Three polymers, polybenzimidazole, polyacrylonitrile and polyvinylidene fluoride-co-polyhexafluoropropylene were found to be compatible for blending with sulfonated polyphosphazene. A combination of blending and crosslinking was shown to be an effective method of producing durable, low water swelling films with acceptable proton conductivity. A novel tracer-diffusion 1H NMR method was developed and used to measure the mutual diffusion of methanol in non-crosslinked and crosslinked membranes composed of sulfonated polyphosphazene. The technique measures the growth of a solute NMR signal in the bulk (external) solution as it diffuses out of a thin film membrane. The transient increase in methanol peak height during analyte (methanol) desorption was fitted to a simple theoretical diffusion model using the methanol diffusion coefficient as an adjustable parameter. This method was found to be fast, reproducible, and accurate to within about +/-20%. Diffusion coefficients at 25°C were in the range of 1.0 x 10-8 cm2/s to 4.0 x 10-7 cm2/s for methanol concentrations of 1.0--5.0 M and were significantly smaller than those reported for a NafionRTM perfluorosulfonic acid membrane. Direct liquid methanol fuel cell tests were performed with membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) fabricated with polyphosphazene-based proton-exchange membranes. MEAs worked best when high ion-exchange capacity (high conductivity) polyphosphazene membrane contacted the electrodes, in which case the fuel cell power output was nearly the same as that with Nafion 117 (for current densities ≤0.15 A/cm2), but the methanol crossover was three times lower than that of Nafion. The electrochemical performance of single-membrane MEAs with low conductivity S-POP/PAN films was poor, although the methanol crossover was

  18. Fuel cell development at McDermott Technology, Inc.

    SciTech Connect

    Tharp, M.R.; Privette, R.M.; Rowley, D.R.; Khandkar, A.

    1999-07-01

    McDermott Technology, Inc. (MTI) has been involved with the development of a wide variety of fuel cell technologies since 1990. Current programs include the development of planar solid fuel cell (pSOFC) stacks and systems and fuel processing and balance of plant development for proton exchange membrane (PEM) systems. These programs are described.

  19. Radiation-grafted membranes based on polyethylene for direct methanol fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sherazi, Tauqir A.; Guiver, Michael D.; Kingston, David; Ahmad, Shujaat; Kashmiri, M. Akram; Xue, Xinzhong

    Styrene was grafted onto ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene powder (UHMWPE) by gamma irradiation using a 60Co source. Compression moulded films of selected pre-irradiated styrene-grafted ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE-g-PS) were post-sulfonated to the sulfonic acid derivative (UHMWPE-g-PSSA) for use as proton exchange membranes (PEMs). The sulfonation was confirmed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The melting and flow properties of UHMWPE and UHMWPE-g-PS are conducive to forming homogeneous pore-free membranes. Both the ion conductivity and methanol permeability coefficient increased with degree of grafting, but the grafted membranes showed comparable or higher ion conductivity and lower methanol permeability than Nafion ® 117 membrane. One UHMWPE-g-PS membrane was fabricated into a membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) and tested as a single cell direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC). Low membrane cost and acceptable fuel cell performance indicate that UHMWPE-g-PSSA membranes could offer an alternative approach to perfluorosulfonic acid-type membranes for DMFC.

  20. Development of cesium phosphotungstate salt and chitosan composite membrane for direct methanol fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Yanxin; Xiang, Yan; Xiu, Ruijie; Lu, Shanfu

    2013-10-15

    A novel composite membrane has been developed by doping cesium phosphotungstate salt (CsxH3-xPW12O40 (0≤x≤3), Csx-PTA) into chitosan (CTS/Csx-PTA) for application in direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). Uniform distribution of Csx-PTA nanoparticles has been achieved in the chitosan matrix. The proton conductivity of the composite membrane is significantly affected by the Csx-PTA content in the composite membrane as well as the Cs substitution in PTA. The highest proton conductivity for the CTS/Csx-PTA membranes was obtained with x=2 and Cs2-PTA content of 5 wt%. The value is 6×10(-3) S cm(-1) and 1.75×10(-2) S cm(-1) at 298 K and 353 K, respectively. The methanol permeability of CTS/Cs2-PTA membrane is about 5.6×10(-7), 90% lower than that of Nafion-212 membrane. The highest selectivity factor (φ) was obtained on CTS/Cs2-PTA-5 wt% composite membrane, 1.1×10(4)/Scm(-3)s. The present study indicates the promising potential of CTS/Csx-PTA composite membrane as alternative proton exchange membranes in direct methanol fuel cells.

  1. Corrugated Membrane Fuel Cell Structures

    SciTech Connect

    Grot, Stephen

    2013-09-30

    One of the most challenging aspects of traditional PEM fuel cell stacks is the difficulty achieving the platinum catalyst utilization target of 0.2 gPt/kWe set forth by the DOE. Good catalyst utilization can be achieved with state-of-the-art catalyst coated membranes (CCM) when low catalyst loadings (<0.3 mg/cm2) are used at a low current. However, when low platinum loadings are used, the peak power density is lower than conventional loadings, requiring a larger total active area and a larger bipolar plate. This results in a lower overall stack power density not meeting the DOE target. By corrugating the fuel cell membrane electrode structure, Ion Power?s goal is to realize both the Pt utilization targets as well as the power density targets of the DOE. This will be achieved by demonstrating a fuel cell single cell (50 cm2) with a twofold increase in the membrane active area over the geometric area of the cell by corrugating the MEA structure. The corrugating structure must be able to demonstrate the target properties of < 10 mOhm-cm2 electrical resistance at > 20 psi compressive strength over the active area, in combination with offering at least 80% of power density that can be achieved by using the same MEA in a flat plate structure. Corrugated membrane fuel cell structures also have the potential to meet DOE power density targets by essentially packaging more membrane area into the same fuel cell volume as compared to conventional stack constructions.

  2. Nano composite membrane-electrode assembly formation for fuel cell-modeling aspects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vaivars, G.; Linkov, V.

    2007-12-01

    Long term stability is an essential requirement for fuel cell applications in automobile and stationary energy systems. In these sy