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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. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Computational fluid dynamics modeling of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    UM,SUKKEE; WANG,C.Y.; CHEN,KEN S.

    2000-02-11

    A transient, multi-dimensional model has been developed to simulate proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. The model accounts simultaneously for electrochemical kinetics, current distribution, hydrodynamics and multi-component transport. A single set of conservation equations valid for flow channels, gas-diffusion electrodes, catalyst layers and the membrane region are developed and numerically solved using a finite-volume-based computational fluid dynamics (CFD) technique. The numerical model is validated against published experimental data with good agreement. Subsequently, the model is applied to explore hydrogen dilution effects in the anode feed. The predicted polarization cubes under hydrogen dilution conditions are found to be in qualitative agreement with recent experiments reported in the literature. The detailed two-dimensional electrochemical and flow/transport simulations further reveal that in the presence of hydrogen dilution in the fuel stream, hydrogen is depleted at the reaction surface resulting in substantial kinetic polarization and hence a lower current density that is limited by hydrogen transport from the fuel stream to the reaction site.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Tandem cathode for proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-21

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

  12. Nanoparticle adhesion in proton exchange membrane fuel cell electrodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Qianping; Joy, David C.; Keffer, David J.

    2013-11-01

    Carbon supported platinum (Pt/C) catalyst remains among the most preferable catalyst materials for Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells. However, platinum (Pt) particles suffer from poor durability and encounter electrochemical surface area (ESA) loss under operation with the accompany of Pt nanoparticle coarsening. Several proposed mechanisms have involved the Pt detachment from its carbonate support as an initial step for the deactivation of Pt nanoparticles. In this study, we investigated the detachment mechanism from the nano-adhesion point of view. Classic molecular dynamics simulations are performed on systems contain Pt nanoparticles of different sizes and shapes. A thin Nafion film (1 nm) at different hydration levels is also included in the system to study the environmental effect on nanoparticle adhesion. We found that the adhesion force strengthens as the Pt size goes up. Pt nanoparticles of tetrahedral shape exhibit relatively stronger connection with the carbon substrate due to its unique ‘anchor-like’ structure. Adhesion is enhanced with the introduction of a Nafion. The humidity level in the Nafion film has a rather complicated effect on the strength of nanoparticle adhesion. The binding energies and maximum adhesive forces are reported for all systems studied.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Time-dependent mechanical behavior of proton exchange membrane fuel cell electrodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Zongwen; Santare, Michael H.; Karlsson, Anette M.; Busby, F. Colin; Walsh, Peter

    2014-01-01

    The electrodes used for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs) are typically painted or sprayed onto the membrane during manufacturing, making it difficult to directly characterize their mechanical behavior as a stand-alone material. An experimental-numerical hybrid technique is devised to extract the electrode properties from the experimentally measured properties of Nafion® 211 membrane

  17. Nanoceramic oxide hybrid electrolyte membranes for proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Xu, Feng; Mu, Shichun

    2014-02-01

    This review reports on the functions and applications of nanoceramic oxides in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Such materials are mainly used as fillers to enhance the water uptake and proton conductivity of polymeric matrices at high temperatures under low relative humidity. To further enhance the mechanical property of proton exchange membranes (PEMs), the functionalized ceramic oxides with organic groups are introduced. Furthermore, the inorganic PEMs are developed to improve their proton conductivities at elevated temperatures. Due to the inherent disadvantages of polymeric PEMs, it is believed that the inorganic PEMs based on porous ceramic oxides are a promising new candidate as solid electrolyte membranes in PEMFCs at high temperatures and with low relative humidity.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 160 C PROTON EXCHANGE MEMBRANE (PEM) FUEL CELL SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT

    SciTech Connect

    L.G. Marianowski

    2001-12-21

    The objectives of this program were: (a) to develop and demonstrate a new polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) system that operates up to 160 C temperatures and at ambient pressures for stationary power applications, and (b) to determine if the GTI-molded composite graphite bipolar separator plate could provide long term operational stability at 160 C or higher. There are many reasons that fuel cell research has been receiving much attention. Fuel cells represent environmentally friendly and efficient sources of electrical power generation that could use a variety of fuel sources. The Gas Technology Institute (GTI), formerly Institute of Gas Technology (IGT), is focused on distributed energy stationary power generation systems. Currently the preferred method for hydrogen production for stationary power systems is conversion of natural gas, which has a vast distribution system in place. However, in the conversion of natural gas into a hydrogen-rich fuel, traces of carbon monoxide are produced. Carbon monoxide present in the fuel gas will in time cumulatively poison, or passivate the active platinum catalysts used in the anodes of PEMFC's operating at temperatures of 60 to 80 C. Various fuel processors have incorporated systems to reduce the carbon monoxide to levels below 10 ppm, but these require additional catalytic section(s) with sensors and controls for effective carbon monoxide control. These CO cleanup systems must also function especially well during transient load operation where CO can spike 300% or more. One way to circumvent the carbon monoxide problem is to operate the fuel cell at a higher temperature where carbon monoxide cannot easily adsorb onto the catalyst and poison it. Commercially available polymer membranes such as Nafion{trademark} are not capable of operation at temperatures sufficiently high to prevent this. Hence this project investigated a new polymer membrane alternative to Nafion{trademark} that is capable of operation at

  3. Through-the-electrode model of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell with independently measured parameters

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-05-01

    A one dimensional model for a proton exchange membrane fuel cell was developed which makes use of independently measured parameters for predicting single cell performance. Optimization of catalyst layer formulation and properties are explored. Impact of temperature and cathode pressure upon system performance was investigated.

  4. Through-the-electrode model of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell with independently measured parameters

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-09-01

    A one dimensional model for a proton exchange membrane fuel cell was developed which makes use of independently measured parameters for predicting single cell performance. Optimization of catalyst layer formulation and properties are explored. Impact of temperature and cathode pressure upon system performance is investigated.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Shaohua; Zhang, Huamin

    2014-01-01

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

  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.

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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. PMID:26208756

  18. Flow distribution in parallel-channel plate for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Yu; Ming, Pingwen; Hou, Ming; Fu, Yunfeng; Yi, Baolian; Shao, Zhi-Gang

    Parallel channel flow field with manifold openings is widely used in Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) because of its low-pressure drop and easiness of manufacture. This research presents a hydrodynamic model to describe the airflow distribution, and the predicted pressure differences are validated by experiments. We also investigate the influences of the flow rate, the geometry of header and the length ratio of manifold opening to header region on the airflow distribution. Therefore, the optimal strategy is proposed based on an overall consideration of uniformity and configuration in the fuel-cell plate for application.

  19. Hierarchy carbon paper for the gas diffusion layer of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Du, Chunyu; Wang, Baorong; Cheng, Xinqun

    This communication described the fabrication of a hierarchy carbon paper, and its application to the gas diffusion layer (GDL) of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. The carbon paper was fabricated by growing carbon nanotubes (CNTs) on carbon fibers via covalently assembling metal nanocatalysts. Surface morphology observation revealed a highly uniform distribution of hydrophobic materials within the carbon paper. The contact angle to water of this carbon paper was not only very large but also particularly even. Polarization measurements verified that the hierarchy carbon paper facilitated the self-humidifying of PEM fuel cells, which could be mainly attributed to its higher hydrophobic property as diagnosed by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS).

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-28

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

  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. PMID:27076055

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Proton exchange membrane fuel cell system diagnosis based on the signed directed graph method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hua, Jianfeng; Lu, Languang; Ouyang, Minggao; Li, Jianqiu; Xu, Liangfei

    The fuel-cell powered bus is becoming the favored choice for electric vehicles because of its extended driving range, zero emissions, and high energy conversion efficiency when compared with battery-operated electric vehicles. In China, a demonstration program for the fuel cell bus fleet operated at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and the Shanghai Expo in 2010. It is necessary to develop comprehensive proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) diagnostic tools to increase the reliability of these systems. It is especially critical for fuel-cell city buses serving large numbers of passengers using public transportation. This paper presents a diagnostic analysis and implementation study based on the signed directed graph (SDG) method for the fuel-cell system. This diagnostic system was successfully implemented in the fuel-cell bus fleet at the Shanghai Expo in 2010.

  7. 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.

  8. Water removal characteristics of proton exchange membrane fuel cells using a dry gas purging method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Sang-Yeop; Kim, Sang-Uk; Kim, Hyoung-Juhn; Jang, Jong Hyun; Oh, In-Hwan; Cho, Eun Ae; Hong, Seong-Ahn; Ko, Jaejun; Lim, Tae-Won; Lee, Kwan-Young; Lim, Tae-Hoon

    Water removal from proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) is of great importance to improve start-up ability and mitigate cell degradation when the fuel cell operates at subfreezing temperatures. In this study, we report water removal characteristics under various shut down conditions including a dry gas-purging step. In order to estimate the dehydration level of the electrolyte membrane, the high frequency resistance of the fuel cell stack was observed. Also, a novel method for measuring the amount of residual water in the fuel cell was developed to determine the amount of water removal. The method used the phase change of liquid water and was successfully applied to examine the water removal characteristics. Based on these works, the effects of several parameters such as purging time, flow rate of purging gas, operation current, and stack temperature on the amount of residual water were investigated.

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Tao

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Long-range ordered straight holes manufacturing in polyimide for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Huan; Deng, Leimin; Guo, Wei; Zhang, Fei; Duan, Jun; Tang, Haolin; Zeng, Xiaoyan

    2013-12-01

    In this study, long-range ordered straight holes with definable open pattern and diameter of 100-200 μm were manufactured using a 355 nm Nd:YVO4 ultraviolet laser to sustain Nafion resin for durable proton exchange membranes. Composite proton exchange membrane prepared from the straight-hole polyimide support successfully reduced the dimensional swelling and humidity-induced stress of the proton exchange membrane under variable humidities. The effect of laser fluence and overlap rate on the size precision and quality of the straight holes were investigated. The thermodynamic mechanical capacity of composite proton exchange membrane and the single cell performance were also determined. The experimental results showed that long-range ordered straight holes with high precision and good quality could be achieved by laser trepanning with appropriate scanning speed, high repetition frequency and suitable laser fluence.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Influence of water and membrane microstructure on the transport properties of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siu, Ana Rosa

    Proton transport in proton exchange membranes (PEMs) depends on interaction between water and acid groups covalently bound to the polymer. Although the presence of water is important in maintaining the PEM's functions, a thorough understanding of this topic is still lacking. The objective of this work is to provide a better understanding of how the nature water, confined to ionic domains of the polymer, influences the membrane's ability to transport protons, methanol and water. Understanding this topic will facilitate development of new materials with favorable transport properties for fuel cells use. Five classes of polymer membranes were used in this work: polyacrylonitrile-graft-poly(styrenesulfonic) acid (PAN-g-macPSSA); poly(vinylidene difluoride) irradiation-graft-poly(styrenesulfonic) acid (PVDF-g-PSSA); poly(ethylenetetrafluoroethylene) irradiation-graft-poly(styrenesulfonic) acid (ETFE-gPSSA); PVDF-g-PSSA with hydroxyethylmethacrylate (HEMA); and perfluorosulfonic acid membrane (Nafion). The nature of water within the polymers (freezable versus non-freezable states) was measured by systematically freezing samples, and observing the temperature at which water freezes and the amount of heat released in the process. Freezing water-swollen membranes resulted in a 4-fold decrease in the proton conductivity of the PEM. Activation energies of proton transport before and after freezing were ˜ 0.15 eV and 0.5 eV, consistent with proton transport through liquid water and bound water, respectively. Reducing the content of water in membrane samples decreased the amount of freezable and non-freezable water. Calorimetric measurements of membranes in various degrees of hydration showed that water molecules became non-freezable when lambda, (water molecules per sulfonic acid group) was less than ˜14. Proton conduction through membranes containing only non-freezable water was demonstrated to be feasible. Diffusion experiments showed that the permeability of methanol

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

    SciTech Connect

    Grot, S.A.; Hedstrom, J.C.; Vanderborgh, N.E.

    1995-05-01

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. Phosphorus-doped glass proton exchange membranes for low temperature direct methanol fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prakash, Shruti; Mustain, William E.; Park, SeongHo; Kohl, Paul A.

    Phosphorus-doped silicon dioxide thin films were used as ion exchange membranes in low temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Phosphorus-doped silicon dioxide glass (PSG) was deposited via plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD). The plasma deposition of PSG films allows for low temperature fabrication that is compatible with current microelectronic industrial processing. SiH 4, PH 3 and N 2O were used as the reactant gases. The effect of plasma deposition parameters, substrate temperature, RF power, and chamber pressure, on the ionic conductivity of the PSG films is elucidated. PSG conductivities as high as 2.54 × 10 -4 S cm -1 were realized, which is 250 times higher than the conductivity of pure SiO 2 films (1 × 10 -6 S cm -1) under identical deposition conditions. The higher conductivity films were deposited at low temperature, moderate pressure, limited reactant gas flow rate, and high RF power.

  20. Fabrication of metallic bipolar plate for proton exchange membrane fuel cells by rubber pad forming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yanxiong; Hua, Lin

    In this paper, the rubber pad forming process is used to fabricate the metallic bipolar plate for a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell, which has multi-array micro-scale flow channels on its surface. The rubber pad forming process has the following advantages: high surface quality and dimensional accuracy of the formed parts, low cost of the die because only one rigid die is required, and high efficiency. The process control parameters (rubber hardness, internal and outer radii, draft angle) of the rubber pad forming are analyzed by the finite element method using the commercial software Abaqus. After that, the rubber pad forming process is used to manufacture a metallic bipolar plate of SS304 stainless steel with perfect flow micro-channels. The results of this effort indicated that the rubber pad forming process is a feasible technique for fabricating the bipolar plates of PEM fuel cells.

  1. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  3. Experimental and thermodynamic approach on proton exchange membrane fuel cell performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miansari, Me.; Sedighi, K.; Amidpour, M.; Alizadeh, E.; Miansari, Mo.

    The present work is employed in two sections. Firstly the effect of different parameters such as pressure, temperature and anode and cathode channel depth on the performance of the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell was experimentally studied. The experimental result shows a good accuracy compared to other works. Secondly a semi-empirical model of the PEM fuel cell has been developed. This model was used to study the effect of different operating conditions such as temperature, pressure and air stoichiometry on the exergy efficiencies and irreversibilities of the cell. The results show that the predicted polarization curves are in good agreement with the experimental data and a high performance was observed at the channel depth of 1.5 mm for the anode and 1 mm for the cathode. Furthermore the results show that increase in the operating temperature and pressure can enhance the cell performance, exergy efficiencies and reduce irreversibilities of the cell.

  4. Chloride contamination effects on proton exchange membrane fuel cell performance and durability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Hui; Wang, Haijiang; Qian, Weimin; Zhang, Shengsheng; Wessel, Silvia; Cheng, Tommy T. H.; Shen, Jun; Wu, Shaohong

    2011-08-01

    Chlorine is a major fuel contaminant when by-product hydrogen from the chlor-alkali industry is used as the fuel for proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. Understanding the effects of chlorine contamination on fuel cell performance and durability is essential to address fuel cell applications for the automotive and stationary markets. This paper reports our findings of chloride contamination effects on PEM fuel cell performance and durability, as our first step in understanding the effects of chlorine contamination. Fuel cell contamination tests were conducted by injecting ppm levels of contaminant into the fuel cell from either the fuel stream or the air stream. In situ and ex situ diagnosis were performed to investigate the contamination mechanisms. The results show that cell voltage during chloride contamination is characterized by an initial sudden drop followed by a plateau, regardless of which side the contaminant is introduced into the fuel cell. The drop in cell performance is predominantly due to increased cathode charge transfer resistance as a result of electrochemical catalyst surface area (ECSA) loss attributable to the blocking of active sites by Cl- and enhanced Pt dissolution.

  5. Performance of differently cross-linked, partially fluorinated proton exchange membranes in polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Buechi, F.N.; Gupta, B.; Haas, O.; Scherer, G.G.

    1995-09-01

    A series of differently cross-linked FEP-g-polystyrene proton exchange membranes has been synthesized by the preirradiation grafting method [FEP: poly(tetrafluoroethylene-co-hexafluoropropylene)]. Divinylbenzene (DVB) and/or triallyl cyanurate (TAC) were used as cross-linkers in the membranes. It was found that the physical properties of the membranes, such as water-uptake and specific resistance, are strongly influenced by the nature of the cross-linker. Generally it can be stated that DVB decreases water-uptake and increases specific resistance; on the other hand TAC increases swelling and decreases specific resistance to values as low as 5.0 {Omega} cm at 60 C. The membranes were tested in H{sub 2}/O{sub 2} fuel cells for stability and performance. It was found that thick (170 {micro}m) DVB cross-linked membranes showed stable operation for 1,400 h at temperatures up to 80 C. The highest power density in the fuel cell was found for the DVB and TAC double-cross-linked membrane; it exceeded the value of a cell with a Nafion{reg_sign} 117 membrane by more than 60%.

  6. The effect of internal air bleed on CO poisoning in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Wentao

    It is found that carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning could be mitigated by increasing only cathode backpressure for a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) with ultra-thin membranes (≤25 μm). This mitigation can be explained by a heterogeneous oxidation of CO on a Pt-Ru/C anode by the permeated O 2 which is known as "internal air bleed" in his paper. A steady-state model which accounts for this internal air bleed has been developed to model the Pt-Ru/C anode polarization data when 50 ppm CO in H 2 is used as anode feed gas. The modeling results show that the mitigation of CO poisoning by the internal air bleed even exists at ambient conditions for a PEMFC with an ultra-thin membrane. Therefore, the effect of internal air bleed must be considered for modeling fuel cell performance or anode polarization data if an ultra-thin membrane and a low level of CO concentration are used for a Pt-Ru/C anode. An empirical relationship between the amount of internal air bleed used for the mitigation of CO poisoning and the fraction of free Pt sites is provided to facilitate the inclusion of an internal air bleed term in the modeling of anode polarization and the fuel cell performance.

  7. 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.

  8. 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).

  9. 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.

  10. Low power proton exchange membrane fuel cell system identification and adaptive control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Yee-Pien; Wang, Fu-Cheng; Chang, Hsin-Ping; Ma, Ying-Wei; Weng, Biing-Jyh

    This paper proposes a systematic method of system identification and control of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell. This fuel cell can be used for low-power communication devices involving complex electrochemical reactions of nonlinear and time-varying dynamic properties. From a system point of view, the dynamic model of PEM fuel cell is reduced to a configuration of two inputs, hydrogen and air flow rates, and two outputs, cell voltage and current. The corresponding transfer functions describe linearized subsystem dynamics with finite orders and time-varying parameters, which are expressed as discrete-time auto-regression moving-average with auxiliary input models for system identification by the recursive least square algorithm. In the experiments, a pseudo-random binary sequence of hydrogen or air flow rate is fed to a single fuel cell device to excite its dynamics. By measuring the corresponding output signals, each subsystem transfer function of reduced order is identified, while the unmodeled, higher-order dynamics and disturbances are described by the auxiliary input term. This provides a basis of adaptive control strategy to improve the fuel cell performance in terms of efficiency, as well as transient and steady state specifications. Simulation shows that adaptive controller is robust to the variation of fuel cell system dynamics, and it has proved promising from the experimental results.

  11. Fouling of proton exchange membrane (PEM) deteriorates the performance of microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Xu, Juan; Sheng, Guo-Ping; Luo, Hong-Wei; Li, Wen-Wei; Wang, Long-Fei; Yu, Han-Qing

    2012-04-15

    The fouling characteristics of proton exchange membrane (PEM) in microbial fuel cell (MFC) and the resulting deterioration of MFC performance were explored in this study. It was observed that the ion exchange capacity, conductivity and diffusion coefficients of cations of PEM were reduced significantly after fouling. Imaging analysis coupled with FTIR analysis indicated that the fouling layer attached on PEM consisted of microorganisms encased in extracellular polymers and inorganic salt precipitations. The results clearly demonstrate that PEM fouling deteriorated the performance of MFCs and led to a decrease in electricity generation. Cation transfer limitation might play an important role in the deterioration of MFC performance because of the membrane fouling. This was attributed to the physical blockage of charge transfer in the MFC resulted from the membrane fouling. With the experimental results, the effect of membrane fouling on the electrical generation of MFCs was evaluated. It was found that the decreased diffusion coefficients of cations and cathodic potential loss after membrane fouling contributed mainly to the deterioration of the MFC performance.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  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

    2015-12-01

    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. Development of novel proton exchange membrane fuel cells using stamped metallic bipolar plates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jung, Shiauh-Ping; Lee, Chun-I.; Chen, Chi-Chang; Chang, Wen-Sheng; Yang, Chang-Chung

    2015-06-01

    This study presents the development of novel proton exchange membrane fuel cells using stamped metallic bipolar plates. To achieve uniformly distributed and low pressure-drop flow fields within fuel cells, a novel bipolar plate with straight channels is designed and verification of a fuel-cell short stack using this bipolar plate is performed. In the experiments, low-temperature and low-humidity operations and high-temperature and high-humidity operations are adopted to evaluate effects of stack temperature and inlet relative humidity on performance at various outlet pressures. Experimental results show that under low-temperature and low-humidity operations, increasing the outlet pressure enhances stack performance and reduces performance differences between various stack temperatures. Under high-temperature and high-humidity operations, stack performance increases with increasing outlet pressures, while the extent of their increase becomes smaller. Compared to low-temperature and low-humidity operations, high-temperature and high-humidity operations have better electrochemical reactions and membrane hydration and, thus, better stack performance. In this study, the operation with a stack temperature of 80 °C and outlet pressure of 4 atm produces the best performance of 1100 mA cm-2 at 0.646 V.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Proton exchange membrane micro fuel cells on 3D porous silicon gas diffusion layers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kouassi, S.; Gautier, G.; Thery, J.; Desplobain, S.; Borella, M.; Ventura, L.; Laurent, J.-Y.

    2012-10-01

    Since the 90's, porous silicon has been studied and implemented in many devices, especially in MEMS technology. In this article, we present a new approach to build miniaturized proton exchange membrane micro-fuel cells using porous silicon as a hydrogen diffusion layer. In particular, we propose an innovative process to build micro fuel cells from a “corrugated iron like” 3D structured porous silicon substrates. This structure is able to increase up to 40% the cell area keeping a constant footprint on the silicon wafer. We propose here a process route to perform electrochemically 3D porous gas diffusion layers and to deposit fuel cell active layers on such substrates. The prototype peak power performance was measured to be 90 mW cm-2 in a “breathing configuration” at room temperature. These performances are less than expected if we compare with a reference 2D micro fuel cell. Actually, the active layer deposition processes are not fully optimized but this prototype demonstrates the feasibility of these 3D devices.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Femtoelectron-Based Terahertz Imaging of Hydration State in a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buaphad, P.; Thamboon, P.; Kangrang, N.; Rhodes, M. W.; Thongbai, C.

    2015-08-01

    Imbalanced water management in a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell significantly reduces the cell performance and durability. Visualization of water distribution and transport can provide greater comprehension toward optimization of the PEM fuel cell. In this work, we are interested in water flooding issues that occurred in flow channels on cathode side of the PEM fuel cell. The sample cell was fabricated with addition of a transparent acrylic window allowing light access and observed the process of flooding formation (in situ) via a CCD camera. We then explore potential use of terahertz (THz) imaging, consisting of femtoelectron-based THz source and off-angle reflective-mode imaging, to identify water presence in the sample cell. We present simulations of two hydration states (water and nonwater area), which are in agreement with the THz image results. A line-scan plot is utilized for quantitative analysis and for defining spatial resolution of the image. Implementing metal mesh filtering can improve spatial resolution of our THz imaging system.

  14. 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.

  15. Free air breathing proton exchange membrane fuel cell: Thermal behavior characterization near freezing temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Higuita Cano, Mauricio; Kelouwani, Sousso; Agbossou, Kodjo; Dubé, Yves

    2014-01-01

    A free air breathing fuel cell thermal model is developed. This proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) has been selected as the basis for the study due to its use in automotive applications. The blowers integrated to the stack provide the required air flow for hydrogen oxidation as well as the fluid for the stack thermal regulation. Hence, their controls are a key point for keeping the system to maximum efficiency. Using well-known fuel cell electrochemistry, a dynamic thermal model near freezing temperature, which includes the stack physical parameters, is developed and validated. In addition to these parameters, only the inlet and outlet air temperatures are used to derive the model. Experimental validation with a real 1 kW free air breathing PEMFC has demonstrated that the model can reasonably track the stack internal temperature with a maximum deviation between the observed and the estimated temperatures of 5%. Therefore, the proposed method will allow the development of efficient blower management systems for PEMFC efficiency improvement.

  16. 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.

  17. Water management diagnostics of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell using Magnetic Resonance Imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunbar, Zachary W.

    Water management presents a critical challenge to fuel cell technology. A major obstacle is the lack of in situ experimental data In this work, a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is used as a diagnostic tool to study water distribution in an operating fuel cell and discover unexpected water transport phenomena. For the first time, quantitative water distribution data is gathered for the flow fields of an operating Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell. Several critical discoveries are made. First, experimental data verifies that wavy-stratified flow is the dominate flow regime in the cathode flow channels. This is in contrast to the common literature assumption that assumes the slug flow regime A fuel cell design that assumes the wrong water flow regime can suffer significant issues. Consequences include reduction in the fuel cell's freeze resistance, degraded catalyst stability, and poor stack stability and performance. A second discovery is experimental evidence for the eruptive transport by hydraulic pressure mechanism for water transport through the diffusion layer. This is the first experimental validation of this transport theory from an operating fuel cell with realistic surface characteristics. By understanding the diffusion layer transport mechanisms, new diffusion layers can be designed to better control water management. A final finding is that surface defects in the flow field impact the water distribution pattern. To the author's knowledge, this is the first time the importance of flow field surface quality is considered, and its impact is found to be profound. In our system we find that defects act as 'sticking' points on the flow channel bottom, creating water waves that do not exhaust from the fuel cell. These stuck waves increase the pressure drop within the fuel cell, as well as reducing its freeze resistance, catalyst stability, and stack stability.

  18. Investigations on proton exchange membrane fuel cells with different configurations and flow fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kazim, Ayoub Mohamed

    In this study, two mathematical models are developed. The first one is a simple mathematical approach that computes all transport and electrochemical parameters inside the different layers of a fuel cell regardless of its configuration. Through heat and mass transfer analogy, convective mass transfer coefficients at different Reynolds number are determined for both concentric cylindrical and conventional proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. Concentrations of oxygen and hydrogen are then determined at each layer of the fuel cell using steady-state diffusion analysis. The concentration equations are solved together with the electrochemical equations inside the fuel cell, to obtain the fuel cell voltage and power density. The results from this simple approach compared well with the existing numerical and experimental results. The second mathematical model is to study PEM fuel cell with conventional and non-conventional namely interdigitated flow fields. Through proper handling of the boundary conditions at the gas diffusion/catalyst layer interface, the numerical solution of the model resulted in the profiles of transport and electrochemical parameters in the cathode. Parameters such as pressure distribution, velocity profile, oxygen concentration, molar flux, current density, polarization and overall power density at different cell over-potentials in both flow fields were determined. The results demonstrates the superiority of interdigitated flow field over the conventional type in terms of overall performance and illustrated the importance of the convective term of the species equation in enhancing the reaction rates, leading to a significant improvement in the fuel cell performance. The effects of different parameters, such as cathode porosity, inlet oxygen mole fraction, and operating pressure on fuel cell performance have been studied using this 2-D mathematical model. Finally, a simple efficiency and economical analysis was formulated and implemented on

  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. PMID:22850438

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  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. Strategies to Produce Efficient Electrocatalysts and Improve Electrode Designs for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burk, Jonathan James

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells are electrochemical devices that convert chemical energy to electrical energy. These devices are attractive alternative power sources due to their compact designs, high efficiencies, low emissions, and low noise but have issues with high cost and low durability. In this thesis, electrochemical and thin-film methods were used to understand the limitations of the electrocatalyst in PEM fuel cells and address the issues that limit PEM fuel cell commercialization. The electrochemical deposition of Pt from a novel plating solution was used to control the proximity of fuel cell electrocatalysts. We found that optimized pulse potential deposition parameters produced a large density of nanoparticles with narrow size distribution (1.36 +/- 0.36 nm) on amorphous carbon supports. This resulted in thin catalyst layers (< 8 microm thick) that contained 93 % less Pt that performed similar to and greater than commercial fuel cells. In addition, pulse potential deposition was used to produce functioning PEM fuel cells by using the Nafion membrane as a template to selectively localize Pt in the three-phase reaction zone. The fuel cell performance of these devices had Pt loadings down to 11 microg cm--2 with a maximum power density of 213 mW cm--2. The catalyst layer was redesigned to improve conventional catalyst layer designs that limited MEA durability. A spin cast thin-film method was developed to produce smoother electrode surfaces that lead to lower resistance, isotropic conductivity, and increased contact area to the Nafion membrane. These fuel cells produced higher power and were resistant to electrode delamination. The catalyst activity and stability was improved by redesigning the support structure via constant potential electrolysis of 4-aminomethylpyridine on carbon electrodes. The Pt nanoparticles that were electrodeposited on carbon electrodes functionalized with 4-aminomethylpyridine had improved size and dispersion compared

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Control of proton exchange membrane fuel cell system breathing based on maximum net power control strategy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Qi; Chen, Weirong; Liu, Zhixiang; Guo, Ai; Liu, Shukui

    2013-11-01

    In order to achieve the maximum net power, the analysis for the maximum net power characterization of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) system is carried out. A maximum net power control (MNPC) strategy based on an implicit generalized predictive control (IGPC) and a reference governor is proposed to keep optimal oxygen excess ratio (OER) trajectory. The IGPC based on an effective informed adaptive particle swarm optimization (EIA-PSO) algorithm is developed to solve the predictive control law and reduce the computational complexity in the rolling optimization process. The simulations of three conditional tests are implemented and the results demonstrate that the proposed strategy can track the optimal OER trajectory, reduce the parasitic power and maximize the output net power. The comprehensive comparisons based on three conditional tests verify that the MNPC-IGPC has better robust performance in the presence of large disturbances, time delay and various noises. The experimental comparison with internal control system of Ballard 1.2 kW Nexa Power Module testifies the validity of the MNPC-IGPC for increasing the net power. Hence, this proposed strategy can provide better behavior to guarantee optimal OER trajectory and the maximum net power even though the disturbances and uncertainties occur.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Srinivasan, Supramaniam

    2000-05-31

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:26572483

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoberecht, Mark A.; Pham, Nang T.

    2005-06-01

    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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. A boron phosphate-phosphoric acid composite membrane for medium temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mamlouk, M.; Scott, K.

    2015-07-01

    A composite membrane based on a non-stoichiometric composition of BPO4 with excess of PO4 (BPOx) was synthesised and characterised for medium temperature fuel cell use (120-180 °C). The electrolyte was characterised by FTIR, SS-NMR, TGA and XRD and showed that the B-O is tetrahedral, in agreement with reports in the literature that boron phosphorus oxide compounds at B:P < 1 are exclusively built of borate and phosphate tetrahedra. Platinum micro electrodes were used to study the electrolyte compatibility and stability towards oxygen reduction at 150 °C and to obtain kinetic and mass transport parameters. The conductivities of the pure BPOx membrane electrolyte and a Polybenzimidazole (PBI)-4BPOx composite membrane were 7.9 × 10-2 S cm-1 and 4.5 × 10-2 S cm-1 respectively at 150 °C, 5%RH. Fuel cell tests showed a significant enhancement in performance of BPOx over that of typical 5.6H3PO4-PBI membrane electrolyte. The enhancement is due to the improved ionic conductivity (3×), a higher exchange current density of the oxygen reduction (30×) and a lower membrane gas permeability (10×). Fuel cell current densities at 0.6 V were 706 and 425 mA cm-2 for BPOx and 5.6H3PO4-PBI, respectively, at 150 °C with O2 (atm).

  6. 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.

  7. MnO2 nanotube-Pt/graphene mixture as an ORR catalyst for proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Divya, P.; Ramaprabhu, S.

    2013-02-01

    In the present study, MnO2 nanotubes are synthesized by hydrothermal method and Pt/graphene by co reduction of hexachloroplatinic acid and graphite oxide. The formation of MnO2 nanotubes and Pt/graphene are confirmed by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy. MnO2 nanotubes are mixed with Pt/graphene is applied as the ORR catalyst in proton exchange membrane fuel cell. The single cell measurement is carried out after fabricating the membrane electrode assembly and polarization curves are recorded at different temperatures and the results are discussed.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nallathambi, Vijayadurga

    2011-12-01

    and increased the porosity, particularly micro and mesopores of the catalysts that led to increased active site density and reduced oxygen transport hindrances respectively. Collaborative efforts with the University of New Mexico facilitated XPS characterization of MNC catalysts. XPS analyses indicated that pyridinic nitrogen sites, present in the edge plane of the catalysts and pyridinic nitrogen coordinated to transition metals correlated to oxygen reduction activity. Further insight into the role of transition metal and the structure of active site was gained through EXAFS measurements, carried out in collaboration with Northeastern University. Electrochemical studies performed in the presence of poisoning anions such as cyanide in alkaline environment indicated a 25% decrease in oxygen reduction activity, suggesting that the metal is part of the active sites and participates in oxygen reduction. In-situ EXAFS analysis of the catalysts indicated the active reaction site for oxygen reduction to be Fe metal coordinated to 4 nitrogen atoms. These low cost MNC catalysts find direct application in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel cells for transportation applications, where there is a huge drive to improve the economy of the fuel cell by reducing the costs associated with state-of the art platinum-based catalysts.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells cold startup global strategy for fuel cell plug-in hybrid electric vehicle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henao, Nilson; Kelouwani, Sousso; Agbossou, Kodjo; Dubé, Yves

    2012-12-01

    This paper investigates the Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) Cold Startup problem within the specific context of the Plugin Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV). A global strategy which aims at providing an efficient method to minimize the energy consumption during the startup of a PEMFC is proposed. The overall control system is based on a supervisory architecture in which the Energy Management System (EMS) plays the role of the power flow supervisor. The EMS estimates in advance, the time to start the fuel cell (FC) based upon the battery energy usage during the trip. Given this estimation and the amount of additional energy required, the fuel cell temperature management strategy computes the most appropriate time to start heating the stack in order to reduce heat loss through the natural convection. As the cell temperature rises, the PEMFC is started and the reaction heat is used as a self-heating power source to further increase the stack temperature. A time optimal self-heating approach based on the Pontryagin minimum principle is proposed and tested. The experimental results have shown that the proposed approach is efficient and can be implemented in real-time on FC-PHEVs.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Performance comparison between high temperature and traditional proton exchange membrane fuel cell stacks using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Ying; Zhu, Wenhua H.; Tatarchuk, Bruce J.

    2014-06-01

    A temperature above 100 °C is always desired for proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell operation. It not only improves kinetic and mass transport processes, but also facilitates thermal and water management in fuel cell systems. Increased carbon monoxide (CO) tolerance at higher operating temperature also simplifies the pretreatment of fuel supplement. The novel phosphoric acid (PA) doped polybenzimidazole (PBI) membranes achieve PEM fuel cell operations above 100 °C. The performance of a commercial high temperature (HT) PEM fuel cell stack module is studied by measuring its impedance under various current loads when the operating temperature is set at 160 °C. The contributions of kinetic and mass transport processes to stack impedance are analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively by equivalent circuit (EC) simulation. The performance of a traditional PEM fuel cell stack module operated is also studied by impedance measurement and EC simulation. The operating temperature is self-stabilized between 40 °C and 65 °C. An enhancement of the HT-PEM fuel cell stack in polarization impedance is evaluated by comparing to the traditional PEM fuel cell stack. The impedance study on two commercial fuel cell stacks reveals the real situation of current fuel cell development.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  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

    2001-10-31

    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. Investigation of dynamic driving cycle effect on the degradation of proton exchange membrane fuel cell by segmented cell technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, R.; Xiong, F.; Tang, W. C.; Técher, L.; Zhang, J. M.; Ma, J. X.

    2014-08-01

    Durability is one of the most important limiting factors for the commercialization of proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). Fuel cells are more vulnerable to degradation under operating conditions as dynamic load cycle or start up/shut down. The purpose of this study is to evaluate influences of driving cycles on the durability of fuel cells through analyzing the degradation mechanism of a segmented cell in real time. This study demonstrates that the performance of the fuel cell significantly decreases after 200 cycles. The segmented cell technology is used to measure the local current density distribution, which shows that the current density at the exit region and the inlet region declines much faster than the other parts. Meanwhile, electro-chemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) reveals that after 200 cycles the ohmic resistance of fuel cell increases, especially at the cathode, and electro-chemical surface area (ESA) decreases from 392 to 307 cm2 mg-1. Furthermore, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images of the membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) in cross-section demonstrate crackle flaw on the surface of the catalyst layer and the delamination of the electrodes from the membrane. Transmission electron microscope (TEM) results also show that the Pt particle size increases distinctly after driving cycles.

  3. The Structure and Properties of Pulsed dc Sputtered Nanocrystalline NbN Coatings for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell.

    PubMed

    Chun, Sung-Yong

    2016-02-01

    Niobium nitride coatings for the surface modified proton exchange membrane fuel cells with various pulse parameters have been prepared using dc (direct current) and asymmetric-bipolar pulsed dc magnetron sputtering. The pulse frequency and the duty cycle were varied from 5 to 50 kHz and 50 to 95%, respectively. The deposition rate, grain size and resistivity of pulsed dc sputtered films were decreased when the pulse frequency increased, while the nano hardness of niobium nitride films increased. We present in detail coatings (e.g., deposition rate, grain size, prefer-orientation, resistivity and hardness). Our studies show that niobium nitride coatings with superior properties can be prepared using asymmetric-bipolar pulsed dc sputtering.

  4. 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

  5. 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

    2012-04-01

    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 #2;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

  6. Effect of through-plane polytetrafluoroethylene distribution in gas diffusion layers on performance of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ito, Hiroshi; Iwamura, Takuya; Someya, Satoshi; Munakata, Tetsuo; Nakano, Akihiro; Heo, Yun; Ishida, Masayoshi; Nakajima, Hironori; Kitahara, Tatsumi

    2016-02-01

    This experimental study identifies the effect of through-plane polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) distribution in gas diffusion backing (GDB) on the performance of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC). PTFE-drying under vacuum pressure created a relatively uniform PTFE distribution in GDB compared to drying under atmospheric pressure. Carbon paper samples with different PTFE distributions due to the difference in drying conditions were prepared and used for the cathode gas diffusion layer (GDL) of PEMFCs. Also investigated is the effect of MPL application on the performance for those samples. The current density (i) - voltage (V) characteristics of these PEMFCs measured under high relative humidity conditions clearly showed that, with or without MPL, the cell using the GDL with PTFE dried under vacuum condition showed better performance than that dried under atmospheric condition. It is suggested that this improved performance is caused by the efficient transport of liquid water through the GDB due to the uniform distribution of PTFE.

  7. The Structure and Properties of Pulsed dc Sputtered Nanocrystalline NbN Coatings for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell.

    PubMed

    Chun, Sung-Yong

    2016-02-01

    Niobium nitride coatings for the surface modified proton exchange membrane fuel cells with various pulse parameters have been prepared using dc (direct current) and asymmetric-bipolar pulsed dc magnetron sputtering. The pulse frequency and the duty cycle were varied from 5 to 50 kHz and 50 to 95%, respectively. The deposition rate, grain size and resistivity of pulsed dc sputtered films were decreased when the pulse frequency increased, while the nano hardness of niobium nitride films increased. We present in detail coatings (e.g., deposition rate, grain size, prefer-orientation, resistivity and hardness). Our studies show that niobium nitride coatings with superior properties can be prepared using asymmetric-bipolar pulsed dc sputtering. PMID:27433732

  8. On controllability and system constraints of the linear models of proton exchange membrane and solid oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Radisavljevic, Verica

    2011-10-01

    In this paper we first show that the linear models of proton exchange membrane (polymer electrolyte membrane, PEM) and solid oxide (SO) fuel cells, commonly used in power and energy literature, are not controllable. The source of uncontrollability is the equation for pressure of the water vapor that is only affected by the fuel cell current, which in fact is a disturbance in this system and cannot be controlled by the given model inputs: inlet molar flow rates of hydrogen and oxygen. Being uncontrollable these models are not good candidates for studying control of dynamic processes in PEM and SO fuel cells. However, due to their simplicity, they can be used in hybrid configurations with other energy producing devices such as photovoltaic (solar) cells, wind turbine, micro gas turbine, battery (ultra capacitor) to demonstrate some other phenomena, but not for control purposes unless the hybrid models formed in such hybrid configurations are controllable. Testing controllability of such hybrid models is mandatory. Secondly, we introduce some algebraic constraints that follow from the model dynamics and the Nernst open-loop fuel cell voltage formula. These constraints must be satisfied in simulation of considered fuel cell modes, for example, via MATLAB/Simulink or any other computer software package.

  9. In situ measurements of water transfer due to different mechanisms in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Husar, Attila; Higier, Andrew; Liu, Hongtan

    Water management is of critical importance in a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell, in particular, those based on a sulfonic acid polymer, which requires water to conduct protons. Yet there are limited in situ studies of water transfer through the membrane and no data are available for water transfer due to individual mechanisms through the membrane in an operational fuel cell. Thus it is the objective of this study to measure water transfer through the membrane due to each individual mechanism in an operational PEM fuel cell. The three different mechanisms of water transfer, i.e., electro-osmotic drag, diffusion and hydraulic permeation are isolated by specially imposed boundary conditions. Therefore water transfer through the membrane due to each mechanism is measured separately. In this study, all the data is collected in an actual assembled operational fuel cell. The experimental results show that water transfer due to hydraulic permeation, i.e. the pressure difference between the anode and cathode is at least an order of magnitude lower than those due to the other two mechanisms. The data for water transfer due to diffusion through the membrane are in good agreement with some of the ex situ data in the literature. The data for electro-osmosis show that the number of water molecules dragged per proton increases not only with temperature but also with current density, which is different from existing data in the literature. The methodology used in this study is simple and can be easily adopted for in situ water transfer measurement due to different mechanisms in other PEM fuel cells without any cell modifications.

  10. Sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone)/clay-SO 3H hybrid proton exchange membranes for direct methanol fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, Tiezhu; Cui, Zhiming; Zhong, Shuangling; Shi, Yuhua; Zhao, Chengji; Zhang, Gang; Shao, Ke; Na, Hui; Xing, Wei

    A new type of sulfonated clay (clay-SO 3H) was prepared by the ion exchange method with the sulfanilic acid as the surfactant agent. The grafted amount of sulfanilic acid in clay-SO 3H was 51.8 mequiv. (100 g) -1, which was measured by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) (SPEEK)/clay-SO 3H hybrid membranes which composed of SPEEK and different weight contents of clay-SO 3H, were prepared by a solution casting and evaporation method. For comparison, the SPEEK/clay hybrid membranes were produced with the same method. The performances of hybrid membranes for direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) in terms of mechanical and thermal properties, water uptake, water retention, methanol permeability and proton conductivity were investigated. The mechanical and thermal properties of the SPEEK membranes had been improved by introduction of clay and clay-SO 3H, obviously. The water desorption coefficients of the SPEEK and hybrid membranes were studied at 80 °C. The results showed that the addition of the inorganic part into SPEEK membrane enhanced the water retention of the membrane. Both methanol permeability and proton conductivity of the hybrid membranes decreased in comparison to the pristine SPEEK membrane. However, it was worth noting that higher selectivity defined as ratio of proton conductivity to methanol permeability of the SPEEK/clay-SO 3H-1 hybrid membrane with 1 wt.% clay-SO 3H was obtained than that of the pristine SPEEK membrane. These results showed that the SPEEK/clay-SO 3H hybrid membrane with 1 wt.% clay-SO 3H had potential usage of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) for DMFCs.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Proton exchange membrane fuel cell degradation: A parametric analysis using Computational Fluid Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ozden, Ender; Tari, Ilker

    2016-02-01

    A Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cell is numerically investigated both as fresh and as degraded with the help of observed degradation patterns reported in the literature. The fresh fuel cell model is validated and verified with the data from the literature. Modifying the model by varying the parameters affected by degradation, a degraded PEM fuel cell model is created. The degraded fuel cell is parametrically analyzed by using a commercial Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software. The investigated parameters are the membrane equivalent weight, the Catalyst Layer (CL) porosity and viscous resistance, the Gas Diffusion Layer (GDL) porosity and viscous resistance, and the bipolar plate contact resistance. It is shown for the first time that PEM fuel cell overall degradation can be numerically estimated by combining experimental data from degraded individual components. By comparing the simulation results for the fresh and the degraded PEM fuel cells for two years of operation, it is concluded that the effects of overall degradation on cell potential is significant - estimated to be 17% around the operating point of the fuel cell at 0.95 V open circuit voltage and 70 °C operating temperature.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Instrument for layer-by-layer deposition of catalyst layers directly on proton exchange membrane for direct methanol fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Wang, D; Wang, L; Liang, J; Liu, C

    2012-09-01

    A catalyst layer (CL) layer-by-layer (LbL) deposition instrument, consisting of an electrohydrodynamic atomization (EHDA) device and a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fixing device, has been developed. It has been used to deposit anode CL on Nafion membrane under different working distances of 4, 5, and 6 mm. The incorporation of EHDA LbL deposition allowed the generation of the CLs with different structures, where the higher working distance produced more porous CL structure. A catalyst-coated membrane (CCM) was also produced using this EHDA LbL deposition and PEM fixing device. It was observed that the catalyst has been uniformly coated on the Nafion membrane and the CCM presents an uniform surface feature. The performance of a single direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) assembled with the deposited CCM at different working temperatures was analysed. The cell performance increased when the temperature rose. This instrument has the potential of being developed into a powerful device for controlling the deposition of CL of desired structures directly on PEM for DMFCs.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. A conductive and hydrophilic bipolar plate coating for enhanced proton exchange membrane fuel cell performance and water management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nowak, Andrew P.; Salguero, Tina T.; Kirby, Kevin W.; Zhong, Feng; Blunk, Richard H. J.

    2012-07-01

    Electrically conductive and hydrophilic coatings for proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) stainless steel bipolar plates have been developed in order to minimize voltage losses at the plate and gas diffusion layer (GDL) interface and facilitate liquid water transport in plate channels for efficient stack operation. The coatings are based on a multifunctional silane, 1,2-bis(triethoxysilyl)ethane (BTSE), mixed with conductive, hydrophilic carbon black. Vulcan® XC72 carbon black was modified with either polar phenylsulfonic acid (PSA) or carboxylic acid (COOH) groups to increase hydrophilic character and wetting behavior. Wetting and electrical contact resistance performance was compared with coatings based on nano-particle titania and silica. These conductive silane and carbon composite coating precursors are conveniently formulated in alcohol solution for scalable application via spray coating. Cured films exhibit negligible contact resistance increase (<2 mΩ cm2) at 1.4 MPa when deposited on both physical vapor deposited (PVD) carbon and electroplated gold coated stainless steel. The coatings were tested for hydrophilicity retention under wet and dry fuel cell conditions where the BTSE-COOH coating remained hydrophilic on stamped stainless steel bipolar plate prototypes after greater than 1200 h of simulated fuel cell testing with only moderate loss of hydrophilicity.

  1. 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.

  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. 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).

  5. 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.

  6. Utilization of Pt/Ru catalysts in MEA for fuel cell application by breathing process of proton exchange membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Kyung-Chul; Kim, Woo-Jae; Chung, Chan-Hwa

    Small direct-methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) have recently been highlighted as possible power sources for applications ranging from cellular phones and wireless digital devices to autonomous sensors and micro-electro mechanical devices. One of the key issues in commercializing miniaturized DMFCs for portable applications is to improve the electrochemical performance of the cells with a small quantity of catalysts. Up to now, the spraying or brush method has been used to fabricate a catalyst layer, which uses a slurry of nano-sized Pt or Pt/Ru catalysts. However, these methods produce a poor electrochemical interface that reduces the catalytic activity and the reproducibility of their performance tests. In this study, a unique process known as a "breathing process" was used to fabricate a catalytic electrode layer in a membrane-electrode-assembly (MEA) of DMFCs. The Pt/Ru nano-particles were loaded directly onto a proton exchange membrane using this breathing process. This process consisted of the following three steps: (1) the electrolyte membrane was fully swollen in water; (2) the swollen membrane was placed into an aprotic solvent, which induced the shrinkage of the membrane by driving the water out ("breathing out"); (3) the shrunken membrane was placed in an aqueous solution containing a suspension of Pt/Ru nano-particles. This induces the swelling of the membrane, and the suspended Pt/Ru nano-particles penetrate the membrane during this process ("breathing in"). It is possible to control the amount of catalysts loaded in the MEA by controlling the number of the cycles of such breathing processes. Compared with the fuel cell adopting the MEA fabricated by a conventional spraying method with the same amount of catalysts, the performance of this novel fuel cell was enhanced by approximately 4.5 mW cm -2 in case of the passive-type fuel cell and by 9.0 mW cm -2 in case of the active-type. This paper details the optimized process conditions along with other advanced

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. A novel phosphoric acid doped poly(ethersulphone)-poly(vinyl pyrrolidone) blend membrane for high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Xin; Wang, Haining; Lu, Shanfu; Guo, Zhibin; Rao, Siyuan; Xiu, Ruijie; Xiang, Yan

    2015-07-01

    A high-temperature proton exchange membrane, poly(ethersulphone)-poly(vinyl pyrrolidone) (PES-PVP) blend membrane is successfully prepared by scalable polymer blending method. The physical properties of blend membrane are characterized by DSC, TG and tensile strength test. The DSC and TG results indicate PES-PVP blend membranes possess excellent thermal stability. After phosphoric acid (PA) doping treatment, the blend membrane shows enhanced proton conductivity. PA doping level and volume swelling ratio of the blend membrane are found to be positively related to the PVP content. A high proton conductivity of 0.21 S/cm is achieved at 180 °C for PA doped PES-PVP 80% with a PA doping level of 9.1. PEM fuel cell based on PA doped PES-PVP 80% membrane shows a high power density of 850 mW/cm2 and outstanding stability at 180 °C without extra humidification.

  11. 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.

  12. 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. PMID:22164099

  13. 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.

  14. Effect of gas composition and gas utilisation on the dynamic response of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weydahl, Helge; Møller-Holst, Steffen; Børresen, Børre

    The transient response of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) was measured for various cathode gas compositions and gas utilisations (fraction of supplied reactant gas which is consumed in the fuel cell reaction). For a PEMFC operated on pure hydrogen and oxygen, the cell voltage response to current steps was fast, with response times in the range 0.01-1 s, depending on the applied current. For a PEMFC supplied with air as cathode gas, an additional relaxation process related to oxygen transport caused a slower response (approximately 0.1-2 s depending on the applied current). Response curves up to approximately 0.01 s were apparently unaffected by gas composition and utilisation and were most likely dominated by capacitive discharge of the double layer and reaction with surplus oxygen residing in the cathode. The utilisation of hydrogen had only a minor effect on the response curves, while the utilisation of air severely influenced the PEMFC dynamics. Results suggested that air flow rates should be high to obtain rapid PEMFC response.

  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. Carbon nanofiber growth optimization for their use as electrocatalyst support in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Lázaro, M J; Sebastián, D; Suelves, I; Moliner, R

    2009-07-01

    Carbon nanofiber (CNF) growth by catalytic decomposition of methane in a fixed-bed reactor was studied out to elucidate the influence of some important reaction conditions: temperature, space velocity and reactant partial pressure, in the morphological properties of the carbonaceous material obtained. The main objective is to synthesize a suitable carbonaceous nanomaterial to be used as support in platinum based electrocatalysts for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC) which improves current carbon blacks. High specific surface area is required in an electrocatalyst support since platinum dispersion is enhanced and so a cost-effective usage and high catalytic activity. Good electrical conductivity of carbon support is also required since the fuel cell power density is improved. With this proposal, characterization was carried out by nitrogen physisorption, XRD, SEM and TPO. The results were analysed by a factorial design and analysis of variance (ANOVA) in order to find an empirical correlation between operating conditions and CNF characteristics. It was found that the highest specific surface area and pore volume were found at 823 K and at a space velocity of 10 L gcat(-1) h(-1). The graphitic character of CNF, which is known to influence the electrical conductivity, presented a maximum value at temperatures between 923 K and 973 K. SEM images showed a narrow size distribution of CNF diameter between 40 and 90 nm and homogeneous appearance.

  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. Liquid Water Transport in the Reactant Channels of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banerjee, Rupak

    Water management has been identified as a critical issue in the development of PEM fuel cells for automotive applications. Water is present inside the PEM fuel cell in three phases, i.e. liquid phase, vapor phase and mist phase. Liquid water in the reactant channels causes flooding of the cell and blocks the transport of reactants to the reaction sites at the catalyst layer. Understanding the behavior of liquid water in the reactant channels would allow us to devise improved strategies for removing liquid water from the reactant channels. In situ fuel cell tests have been performed to identify and diagnose operating conditions which result in the flooding of the fuel cell. A relationship has been identified between the liquid water present in the reactant channels and the cell performance. A novel diagnostic technique has been established which utilizes the pressure drop multiplier in the reactant channels to predict the flooding of the cell or the drying-out of the membrane. An ex-situ study has been undertaken to quantify the liquid water present in the reactant channels. A new parameter, the Area Coverage Ratio (ACR), has been defined to identify the interfacial area of the reactant channel which is blocked for reactant transport by the presence of liquid water. A parametric study has been conducted to study the effect of changing temperature and the inlet relative humidity on the ACR. The ACR decreases with increase in current density as the gas flow rates increase, removing water more efficiently. With increase in temperature, the ACR decreases rapidly, such that by 60°C, there is no significant ACR to be reported. Inlet relative humidity of the gases does change the saturation of the gases in the channel, but did not show any significant effect on the ACR. Automotive powertrains, which is the target for this work, are continuously faced with transient changes. Water management under transient operating conditions is significantly more challenging and has not

  19. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Design and Development of Highly Sulfonated Polymers as Proton Exchange Membranes for High Temperature Fuel Cell Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dang, Thuy D.; Bai, Zongwu; Yoonessi, Mitra

    attributed to the presence of water molecules. The changes in the scattering features of the water in SPTES-70 membrane were examined as a function of drying time during an in situ drying experiment. The in situ small angle X-ray scattering from water swollen SPTES-70 membrane in a drying experiment exhibited a decrease in the water domain size morphology. AFM studies of SPTES-70 membrane in a humidity range (35 - 65 % RH) revealed an increased size of hydrophilic clusters with increasing humidity. SEM examination of cryofractured dry and swollen SPTES-70 membrane surface indicated a change from a smooth brittle fracture to a fractured surface with plastic deformation, verifying the plasticizing effects of the water molecules in the swollen membrane. Membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs), fabricated using SPTES-50 polymer as proton exchange membrane (PEM) incorporating conventional electrode application techniques, exhibit high proton mobility. The electrochemical performance of SPTES-50 membrane in the MEA was superior to that of Nafion. The SPTES polymers have been demonstrated to be promising candidates for high temperature PEM in fuel cell applications.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. The preparation technique optimization of epoxy/compressed expanded graphite composite bipolar plates for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Du, Chao; Ming, Pingwen; Hou, Ming; Fu, Jie; Fu, Yunfeng; Luo, Xiaokuan; Shen, Qiang; Shao, Zhigang; Yi, Baolian

    Vacuum resin impregnation method has been used to prepare polymer/compressed expanded graphite (CEG) composite bipolar plates for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). In this research, three different preparation techniques of the epoxy/CEG composite bipolar plate (Compression-Impregnation method, Impregnation-Compression method and Compression-Impregnation-Compression method) are optimized by the physical properties of the composite bipolar plates. The optimum conditions and the advantages/disadvantages of the different techniques are discussed respectively. Although having different characteristics, bipolar plates obtained by these three techniques can all meet the demands of PEMFC bipolar plates as long as the optimum conditions are selected. The Compression-Impregnation-Compression method is shown to be the optimum method because of the outstanding properties of the bipolar plates. Besides, the cell assembled with these optimum composite bipolar plates shows excellent stability after 200 h durability testing. Therefore the composite prepared by vacuum resin impregnation method is a promising candidate for bipolar plate materials in PEMFCs.

  9. 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.

  10. A novel method for preparing proton exchange membrane fuel cell electrodes by the ultrasonic-spray technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Millington, Ben; Whipple, Vincent; Pollet, Bruno G.

    2011-10-01

    A novel ultrasonic-spray method for preparing gas diffusion electrodes (GDEs) for proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is described. Platinum (Pt) loaded on Nafion®-bonded GDEs were prepared by the ultrasonic-spray method on various commercial woven and non-woven gas diffusion layers (GDLs) at several Pt loadings in the range of 0.40-0.05 mg cm-2. The ultrasonic-sprayed GDEs were tested and compared to commercial and hand-painted GDEs. It was found that the GDEs prepared by the ultrasonic-spray method exhibited better performances compared to those prepared by the hand-painting technique, especially at low Pt loadings. GDEs fabricated by the ultrasonic-spray method with a platinum loading of 0.05 mg cm-2 exhibited a peak power rating of 10.9 W mg-1 compared to 9.8 W mg-1 for hand-painted GDEs. For all experiments using various GDLs, Sigracet SGL 10BC exhibited the best performance with a peak power of 0.695 W cm-2.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Hyperbranched poly(benzimidazole-co-benzene) with honeycomb structure as a membrane for high-temperature proton-exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhadra, Sambhu; Kim, Nam Hoon; Choi, Ji Sun; Rhee, Kyong Yop; Lee, Joong Hee

    Hyperbranched poly(benzimidazole-co-benzene) (PBIB) with a honeycomb structure is synthesized by condensation polymerization of trimesic acid (TMA) and 3,3‧-diaminobenzidine (DAB) for use as a membrane high-temperature proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (HT-PEMFCs). The hyperbranched honeycomb structure of polybenzimidazole (PBI) has been introduced to impart higher mechanical strength to doped PBI membranes. The stress at break of the phosphoric acid doped PBIB (DPBIB) membrane (29 ± 3 MPa) is comparable with that of Nafion (28 ± 2 MPa) and much superior to doped PBI membranes. The DPBIB membrane exhibits lower proton conductivity than Nafion 115. On the other hand, the proton conductivity of Nafion 115 is enhanced with increase in relative humidity, whereas humidity has only a moderate effect on the proton conductivity of the DPBIB membrane. Consequently, the Nafion 115 membrane in a fuel cell cannot operate in the absence of humidity, whereas the DPBIB membrane can perform well. The power output of the DPBIB membrane in a fuel cell is superior under humid conditions than under dry conditions. The maximum power output from the DPBIB and Nafion 115 membranes is comparable under humid conditions. It is concluded that the DPBIB membrane, but not Nafion, is suitable for application in HT-PEMFCs.

  15. 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.

  16. Highly flexible, proton-conductive silicate glass electrolytes for medium-temperature/low-humidity proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hyeon-Ji; Kim, Jung-Hwan; Won, Ji-Hye; Lim, Jun-Muk; Hong, Young Taik; Lee, Sang-Young

    2013-06-12

    We demonstrate highly flexible, proton-conductive silicate glass electrolytes integrated with polyimide (PI) nonwoven fabrics (referred to as "b-SS glass electrolytes") for potential use in medium-temperature/low-humidity proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). The b-SS glass electrolytes are fabricated via in situ sol-gel synthesis of 3-trihydroxysilyl-1-propanesulfonic acid (THPSA)/3-glycidyloxypropyl trimethoxysilane (GPTMS) mixtures inside PI nonwoven substrates that serve as a porous reinforcing framework. Owing to this structural uniqueness, the b-SS glass electrolytes provide noticeable improvements in mechanical bendability and membrane thickness, in comparison to typical bulk silicate glass electrolytes that are thick and easily fragile. Another salient feature of the b-SS glass electrolytes is the excellent proton conductivity at harsh measurement conditions of medium temperature/low humidity, which is highly important for PEMFC-powered electric vehicle applications. This beneficial performance is attributed to the presence of a highly interconnected, proton-conductive (THPSA/GPTMS-based) silicate glass matrix in the PI reinforcing framework. Notably, the b-SS glass electrolyte synthesized from THPSA/GPTMS = 9/1 (mol/mol) exhibits a higher proton conductivity than water-swollen sulfonated polymer electrolyte membranes (here, sulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone) and Nafion are chosen as control samples). This intriguing behavior in the proton conductivity of the b-SS glass electrolytes is discussed in great detail by considering its structural novelty and Grotthuss mechanism-driven proton migration that is strongly affected by ion exchange capacity (IEC) values and also state of water.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Organically functionalized titanium oxide/Nafion composite proton exchange membranes for fuel cells applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cozzi, Dafne; de Bonis, Catia; D'Epifanio, Alessandra; Mecheri, Barbara; Tavares, Ana C.; Licoccia, Silvia

    2014-02-01

    An organically-modified ceramic material (TiO2-RSO3H) to be used as filler in Nafion-based composite membranes was synthesized by covalently grafting propylsulfonic acid groups on the surface of TiO2 nanoparticles. Higher ion exchange capacity (IEC) and proton conductivity of the hybrid material (one order of magnitude higher for the functionalized filler) reflected in superior performance of Nafion/TiO2-RSO3H composite membranes compared to Nafion. The highest conductivity value was obtained for the composite membrane containing 10 wt. % TiO2-RSO3H (σ = 0.08 S cm-1 at 140 °C). The membranes were tested in a DMFC single cell. The presence of the filler resulted in a general enhancement in the cell response, in terms of both higher power density (PD) delivered and lower methanol crossover with respect to unfilled Nafion membrane. The DMFC containing N_10TiO2-RSO3H membrane showed the best performance at 110 °C with a PD of 64 mW cm-2, corresponding to a PD improvement of about 40% with respect to that of Nafion membrane.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

    2014-04-01

    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.

  4. Real time monitoring of temperature of a micro proton exchange membrane fuel cell.

    PubMed

    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/cm(2) at an H(2)/O(2) 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Water management of proton exchange membrane fuel cell based on control of hydrogen pressure drop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Mancun; Pei, Pucheng; Zha, Hongshan; Xu, Huachi

    2014-12-01

    Flooding experiments in various conditions are developed and the hydrogen pressure drop is investigated on a two-piece PEM fuel cell in this study. A two-level characteristic of hydrogen pressure drop is observed and analyzed in combination with water droplet accumulation in channels. Based on the characteristic, the flooding process can be divided into four continuous periods, which are the proper period, the humid period, the transitional period and the flooding period. The voltage shows the segmented tendency during these periods. Experimental results show that current and temperature have little influence on the growth rate of the two levels, while the effects of pressure and hydrogen stoichiometry are remarkable. The growth rate can be calculated through the channel dimensions and matches the experimental results well. Hydrogen purge is not a fundamental method to solve flooding. The end of the humid period should be the boundary before flooding. The moist section can be obtained in the beginning part of the humid period. In this section PEM fuel cell is neither flooding nor dehydration by adjusting the cell temperature, which is verified by two additional experiments. This water management is convenient and swift for PEM fuel cell applications and the fault diagnosis.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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).

  13. In situ-polymerized wicks for passive water management in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strickland, Daniel G.; Santiago, Juan G.

    Air-delivery is typically the largest parasitic loss in PEM fuel cell systems. We develop a passive water management system that minimizes this loss by enabling stable, flood-free performance in parallel channel architectures, at very low air stoichiometries. Our system employs in situ-polymerized wicks which conform to and coat cathode flow field channel walls, thereby spatially defining regions for water and air transport. We first present the fabrication procedure, which incorporates a flow field plate geometry comparable to many state-of-the-art architectures (e.g., stamped metal or injection molded flow fields). We then experimentally compare water management flow field performance versus a control case with no wick integration. At the very low air stoichiometry of 1.15, our system delivers a peak power density of 0.68 W cm -2. This represents a 62% increase in peak power over the control case. The open channel and manifold geometries are identical for both cases, and we demonstrate near identical inlet-to-outlet cathode pressure drops at all fuel cell operating points. Our water management system therefore achieves significant performance enhancement without introducing additional parasitic losses.

  14. 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.

  15. Bulk and contact resistances of gas diffusion layers in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ye, Donghao; Gauthier, Eric; Benziger, Jay B.; Pan, Mu

    2014-06-01

    A multi-electrode probe is employed to distinguish the bulk and contact resistances of the catalyst layer (CL) and the gas diffusion layer (GDL) with the bipolar plate (BPP). Resistances are compared for Vulcan carbon catalyst layers (CL), carbon paper and carbon cloth GDL materials, and GDLs with microporous layers (MPL). The Vulcan carbon catalyst layer bulk resistance is 100 times greater than the bulk resistance of carbon paper GDL (Toray TG-H-120). Carbon cloth (CCWP) has bulk and contact resistances twice those of carbon paper. Compression of the GDL decreases the GDL contact resistance, but has little effect on the bulk resistance. Treatment of the GDL with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) increases the contact resistance, but has little effect on the bulk resistance. A microporous layer (MPL) added to the GDL decreases the contact resistance, but has little effect on the bulk resistance. An equivalent circuit model shows that for channels less than 1 mm wide the contact resistance is the major source of electronic resistance and is about 10% of the total ohmic resistance associated with the membrane electrode assembly.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Addition of sulfonated silicon dioxide on an anode catalyst layer to improve the performance of a self-humidifying proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Chien-Liang; Hsu, Shih-Chieh; Ho, Wei-Yu

    2016-03-01

    Sulfonated SiO2 was added on an anode catalyst layer to manufacture a hygroscopic electrode for self-humidifying proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). The inherent humidity of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) determines the electrical performance of PEMFCs. To maintain the high moisture content of the PEM, self-humidifying PEMFCs can use the water produced by the fuel cell reaction and, thus, do not require external humidification. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, and water contact angle measurement tests were performed to characterize the structures and properties of sulfonated SiO2 and the related electrodes, and the electric current and voltage (I-V) performance curve tests for the fuel cells were conducted under differing gas humidification conditions. When 0.01mg/cm2 of sulfonated SiO2 was added, the electrical performance of the fuel cells (50∘C) increased 29% and 59% when the fuel cell reaction gases were humidified at 70∘C and 50∘C, respectively.

  1. 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.

  2. Numerical simulations of two-phase flow in proton exchange membrane fuel cells using the volume of fluid method - A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferreira, Rui B.; Falcão, D. S.; Oliveira, V. B.; Pinto, A. M. F. R.

    2015-03-01

    Water management in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells, i.e., balance between membrane drying and liquid water flooding, is a major aspect in the operation of these devices. Flooding results in gas-liquid two-phase flow that causes high pressure drops, flow maldistribution and poor cell performances. Limitations related to the experimental techniques dedicated to investigate the dynamics of liquid water in a PEM fuel cell have motivated researchers to conduct computational modeling and simulation to better understand the two-phase flow and its implications. Among different mathematical models employed, the volume of fluid (VOF) method is the most popular approach. This paper reviews the VOF numerical simulations of two-phase flow in PEM fuel cells. The focus of the study, numerical details, and main outcomes of each research work are discussed during this review. Moreover, recommendations for future simulations as well as challenges of applying the VOF method to PEM fuel cells are presented.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Groves, Michael Nelson

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

  6. 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.

  7. Direct-hydrogen-fueled proton-exchange-membrane (PEM) fuel cell system for transportation applications. Quarterly technical progress report No. 4, April 1, 1995--June 30, 1995

    SciTech Connect

    Oei, D.

    1995-08-03

    This is the fourth Technical Progress Report for DOE Contract No. DE-AC02-94CE50389 awarded to Ford Motor Company on July 1, 1994. The overall objective of this contract is to advance the Proton-Exchange-Membrane (PEM) fuel cell technology for automotive applications. Specifically, the objectives resulting from this contract are to: (1) Develop and demonstrate on a laboratory propulsion system within 2-1/2 years a fully functional PEM Fuel Cell Power System (including fuel cell peripherals, peak power augmentation and controls). This propulsion system will achieve, or will be shown to have the growth potential to achieve, the weights, volumes, and production costs which are competitive with those same attributes of equivalently performing internal combustion engine propulsion systems; (2) Select and demonstrate a baseline onboard hydrogen storage method with acceptable weight, volume, cost, and safety features and analyze future alternatives; and (3) Analyze the hydrogen infrastructure components to ensure that hydrogen can be safely supplied to vehicles at geographically widespread convenient sites and at prices which are less than current gasoline prices per vehicle-mile; (4) Identify any future R&D needs for a fully integrated vehicle and for achieving the system cost and performance goals.

  8. 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.

  9. Pre-oxidized and nitrided stainless steel alloy foil for proton exchange membrane fuel cell bipolar plates. Part 2: Single-cell fuel cell evaluation of stamped plates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toops, Todd J.; Brady, Michael P.; Tortorelli, Peter F.; Pihl, Josh A.; Estevez, Francisco; Connors, Daniel; Garzon, Fernando; Rockward, Tommy; Gervasio, Don; Mylan, William; Kosaraju, Sree Harsha

    Thermal (gas) nitridation of stainless steel alloys can yield low interfacial contact resistance (ICR), electrically conductive and corrosion-resistant nitride containing surface layers (Cr 2N, CrN, TiN, V 2N, VN, etc.) of interest for fuel cells, batteries, and sensors. This paper presents results of proton exchange membrane (PEM) single-cell fuel cell studies of stamped and pre-oxidized/nitrided developmental Fe-20Cr-4V weight percent (wt.%) and commercial type 2205 stainless steel alloy foils. The single-cell fuel cell behavior of the stamped and pre-oxidized/nitrided material was compared to as-stamped (no surface treatment) 904L, 2205, and Fe-20Cr-4V stainless steel alloy foils and machined graphite of similar flow field design. The best fuel cell behavior among the alloys was exhibited by the pre-oxidized/nitrided Fe-20Cr-4V, which exhibited ∼5-20% better peak power output than untreated Fe-20Cr-4V, 2205, and 904L metal stampings. Durability was assessed for pre-oxidized/nitrided Fe-20Cr-4V, 904L metal, and graphite plates by 1000+ h of cyclic single-cell fuel cell testing. All three materials showed good durability with no significant degradation in cell power output. Post-test analysis indicated no metal ion contamination of the membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) occurred with the pre-oxidized and nitrided Fe-20Cr-4V or graphite plates, and only a minor amount of contamination with the 904L plates.

  10. Pre-Oxidized and Nitrided Stainless Steel Foil for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Bipolar Plates: Part 2- Single-Cell Fuel Cell Evaluation of Stamped Plates

    SciTech Connect

    Toops, Todd J; Brady, Michael P; Tortorelli, Peter F; Pihl, Josh A; EstevezGenCell, Francisco; Connors, Dan; Garzon, Fernando; Rockward, Tommy; Gervasio, Don; Kosaraju, S.H.

    2010-01-01

    Thermal (gas) nitridation of stainless steel alloys can yield low interfacial contact resistance (ICR), electrically conductive and corrosion-resistant nitride containing surface layers (Cr{sub 2}N, CrN, TiN, V{sub 2}N, VN, etc.) of interest for fuel cells, batteries, and sensors. This paper presents results of proton exchange membrane (PEM) single-cell fuel cell studies of stamped and pre-oxidized/nitrided developmental Fe-20Cr-4V weight percent (wt.%) and commercial type 2205 stainless steel alloy foils. The single-cell fuel cell behavior of the stamped and pre-oxidized/nitrided material was compared to as-stamped (no surface treatment) 904L, 2205, and Fe-20Cr-4V stainless steel alloy foils and machined graphite of similar flow field design. The best fuel cell behavior among the alloys was exhibited by the pre-oxidized/nitrided Fe-20Cr-4V, which exhibited {approx}5-20% better peak power output than untreated Fe-20Cr-4V, 2205, and 904L metal stampings. Durability was assessed for pre-oxidized/nitrided Fe-20Cr-4V, 904L metal, and graphite plates by 1000+ h of cyclic single-cell fuel cell testing. All three materials showed good durability with no significant degradation in cell power output. Post-test analysis indicated no metal ion contamination of the membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) occurred with the pre-oxidized and nitrided Fe-20Cr-4V or graphite plates, and only a minor amount of contamination with the 904L plates.

  11. 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.

  12. Composite proton exchange membranes based on phosphosilicate sol and sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) for fuel cell applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, Qiang; Li, Yifan; Chen, Xiaojing; Hu, Jing; Li, Lu; Li, Haibin

    2015-05-01

    The phosphosilicate sol/sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) (SPEEK) composite membranes are fabricated by using a simple mechanical mixing process. The performance of the composite membranes is investigated, including their morphology, thermal and mechanical properties, water adsorption and swelling ratio, proton conductivity and fuel cell performance. The composite membranes obtain the advantages of both components while avert their disadvantages, showing excellent comprehensive performance. The utilization of SPEEK endows the composite membranes with good mechanical properties even if the proportion of inorganic components in the membranes is as high as 40 wt.%. The incorporation of phosphosilicate sol not only enhances the dimensional and thermal stability of the composite membranes, but also improves their conductivity significantly. A maximum of proton conductivity of 0.138 S cm-1, higher than that of Nafion 212 membrane (0.124 S cm-1), is obtained from the composite membrane 6SPEEK/4(P-Si) under the conditions of 70 °C and 95% relative humidity, owing to its enhanced hygroscopicity and functional groups. Besides, a single fuel cell equipped with the composite membrane 7SPEEK/3(P-Si) releases a peak power density of 449.9 mW cm-2 at 60 °C, higher than that of cells equipped with SPEEK and Nafion 212 membrane measured under the same conditions.

  13. Improved corrosion resistance and interfacial contact resistance of 316L stainless-steel for proton exchange membrane fuel cell bipolar plates by chromizing surface treatment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, S. B.; Cho, K. H.; Lee, W. G.; Jang, H.

    The electrochemical performance and electrical contact resistance of chromized 316 stainless-steel (SS) are investigated under simulated operating condition in a proton-exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). The corrosion resistance of the chromized stainless steel is assessed by potentiodynamic and potentiostatic tests and the interfacial contact resistance (ICR) is examined by measuring the electrical contact resistance as a function of the compaction force. The results show that the chromizing surface treatment improves the corrosion resistance of the stainless steel due to the high-chromium concentration in the diffuse coating layer. On the other hand, the excess Chromium content on the surface increases the contact resistance of the steel plate to a level that is excessively high for commercial applications. This study examines the root cause of the high-contact resistance after chromizing and reports the optimum process to improve the corrosion resistance without sacrificing the ICR by obtaining a chrome carbide on the outer layer.

  14. Corrosion behavior of TiN, TiAlN, TiAlSiN-coated 316L stainless steel in simulated proton exchange membrane fuel cell environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nam, Nguyen Dang; Vaka, Mahesh; Tran Hung, Nguyen

    2014-12-01

    To gain high hardness, good thermal stability and corrosion resistance, multicomponent TiAlSiN coating has been developed using different deposition methods. In this study, the influence of Al and Si on the electrochemical properties of TiN-coated 316L stainless steel as bipolar plate (BP) materials has been investigated in simulated proton exchange membrane fuel cell environment. The deposited TiN, TiAlN and TiAlSiN possess high hardness of 23.9, 31.7, 35.0 GPa, respectively. The coating performance of the TiN coating is enhanced by Al and Si addition due to lower corrosion current density and higher Rcoating and Rct values. This result could be attributed to the formation of crystalline-refined TiN(200), which improves the surface roughness, surface resistance, corrosion performance, and decreased passive current density.

  15. 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.

  16. High performance disulfonated poly(arylene sulfone) co- and terpolymers for proton exchange membranes for fuel cell and transducer applications: Synthesis, characterization and fabrication of ion conducting membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiles, Kenton Broyhill

    2005-07-01

    The results described in this dissertation have demonstrated several alternative proton exchange membranes (PEM) for hydrogen-air and direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC) that perform as well or better than the state of the art Nafion perfluorosulfonic acid membrane. Direct aromatic nucleophilic substitution polycondensations of disodium 3,3'-disulfonate-4,4 '-difluorodiphenylsulfone (SDFDPS), 4,4'-difluorodiphenylsulfone (DFDPS) (or their chlorinated analogs, SDCDPS, DCDPS) and 4,4' -thiobisbenzenethiol (TBBT) in the presence of potassium carbonate were investigated. Electrophilic aromatic substitution was employed to synthesize the SDFDPS or SDCDPS comonomers in high yields and purity. High molecular weight disulfonated poly(arylene thioether sulfone) (PATS) copolymers were easily obtained using the SDFDPS monomers, but in general, slower rates and a lower molecular weight copolymer was obtained using the analogous chlorinated monomers. Tough and ductile membranes were solution cast from N,N-dimethylacetamide for both series of copolymers. The degrees of disulfonation (20--50%, PATS 20--50) were controlled by varying the ratio of disulfonated to unsulfonated comonomers. Composite membranes were prepared by homogeneous solution blending the copolymers with phosphotungstic acid (PTA) in dimethylacetamide (DMAc). The composite PATS membranes exhibited moderate PTA molecule water extraction after acidification treatments performed at either room or boiling temperatures. The membranes containing HPA showed improved conductivity at high temperatures (120°C) and low relative humidities when compared to the pure copolymers. Molecular weight of the copolymers plays a critical role in the overall copolymer physical behavior. It is well known that molecular weight has an enormous impact on practically all of the physical properties of polymeric systems. This dissertation discusses the influence of molecular weight on the characteristics of a specific family of PEM PATS

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Development of poly(ether ether ketone)(PEEK) derived from bisphenol-S for proton exchange membrane (PEM) in direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Changkhamchom, Sairung; Sirivat, Anuvat

    2008-03-01

    The currently used Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) in Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC) is Nafion?, an excellent proton conductivity in fully hydrated membrane. However, it has major drawbacks such as very high cost, and lost of conductivity at elevated temperature and low humidity. In our work, the novel PEM was based on sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) (S-PEEK) which was synthesized by the nucleophilic aromatic substitution polycondensation of bisphonol-S, 4,4'-dichlorobenzophenone (DCBP), and sodium 5,5'-carbonylbis(2-chlorobenzenesulfonate) (SDCBP). Bisphenol-S is expected to improve thermal stability due to its high melting point (245oC). S-PEEK was characterized by FTIR, 1H-NMR, TGA, DSC, and titration to determine the degree of sulfonation (D.S.). Composite membranes were prepared by using S-PEEK as polymer matrix and heteropolyacid (HPA) as an inorganic filler. The phosphotungstic acid (PTA) was used due to its highly proton conductivity at high temperature and low water uptake. The membranes were characterized by SEM, TGA, DSC, DMTA, and by the measurements of the water uptake (%), the swelling ratio (%), the ion exchange capacities (IEC), the methanol diffusion coefficient, and the proton conductivity.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    DOEpatents

    Fujimoto, Cy H.; Hibbs, Michael; Ambrosini, Andrea

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Modelling of the vapour-liquid equilibrium of water and the in situ concentration of H3PO4 in a high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kazdal, Timur J.; Lang, Sebastian; Kühl, Frank; Hampe, Manfred J.

    2014-03-01

    The fuel cell technology is a key element for the hydrogen energy economy and therefore crucial for sustainable development. High temperature proton exchange membrane (HT-PEM) fuel cells (FC) can be operated with reformate gas and thus represent an important bridging technology for the energy transition to a renewable energy based system. HT-PEM FCs based on phosphoric acid (PA) are still subject to intense research, investigating the electrolyte behaviour. By enhancing state of the art 2D FEM simulations of FCs with the vapour liquid equilibrium of water-phosphoric acid and evaporation kinetics, a model was created in which the local concentration of PA can be calculated. Knowledge of the concentration field yields the basis for calculating the locally varying ionic conductivity and other physical properties. By describing the volume expansion behaviour of PA it was possible to predict the catalyst particle deactivation due to the swelling of PA. The in situ concentration predicted by the simulation ranges from 96 to 111 wt%. The model was validated using measured data of a single cell design for different temperatures and pressures. By varying the PA content flooding of the simulated fuel cell could be observed and was linked to humidification effects.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. A spectroscopic proton-exchange membrane fuel cell test setup allowing fluorescence x-ray absorption spectroscopy measurements during state-of-the-art cell tests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petrova, Olga; Kulp, Christian; van den Berg, Maurits W. E.; Klementiev, Konstantin V.; Otto, Bruno; Otto, Horst; Lopez, Marco; Bron, Michael; Grünert, Wolfgang

    2011-04-01

    A test setup for membrane-electrode-assemblies (MEAs) of proton exchange membrane fuel cells which allows in situ fluorescence x-ray absorption spectroscopy studies of one electrode with safe exclusion of contributions from the counter electrode is described. Interference by the counter electrode is excluded by a geometry including a small angle of incidence (< 6°) between primary beam and electrode layer. The cell has been constructed by introducing just minor modifications to an electrochemical state-of-the-art MEA test setup, which ensures realistic electrochemical test conditions. This is at the expense of significant intensity losses in the path of the incident beam, which calls for the brilliance of third-generation synchrotrons to provide meaningful data. In measurements on Pt/C and Pt-Co/C cathodes combined with Pt-C anodes (H2/O2 feed), good data quality was demonstrated both for the majority element Pt as well as for Co despite of a low areal Co density in the order of 0.02 mg/cm2.

  12. 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.

  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. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Pre-oxidized and nitrided stainless steel alloy foil for proton exchange membrane fuel cell bipolar plates: Part 1. Corrosion, interfacial contact resistance, and surface structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brady, M. P.; Wang, H.; Turner, J. A.; Meyer, H. M.; More, K. L.; Tortorelli, P. F.; McCarthy, B. D.

    Thermal (gas) nitridation of stainless steel alloys can yield low interfacial contact resistance (ICR), electrically conductive and corrosion-resistant nitride containing surface layers (Cr 2N, CrN, TiN, V 2N, VN, etc.) of interest for fuel cells, batteries, and sensors. This paper presents results of scale-up studies to determine the feasibility of extending the nitridation approach to thin 0.1 mm stainless steel alloy foils for proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) bipolar plates. Developmental Fe-20Cr-4V alloy and type 2205 stainless steel foils were treated by pre-oxidation and nitridation to form low-ICR, corrosion-resistant surfaces. As-treated Fe-20Cr-4V foil exhibited target (low) ICR values, whereas 2205 foil suffered from run-to-run variation in ICR values, ranging up to 2× the target value. Pre-oxidized and nitrided surface structure examination revealed surface-through-layer-thickness V-nitride particles for the treated Fe-20Cr-4V, but near continuous chromia for treated 2205 stainless steel, which was linked to the variation in ICR values. Promising corrosion resistance was observed under simulated aggressive PEMFC anode- and cathode-side bipolar plate conditions for both materials, although ICR values were observed to increase. The implications of these findings for stamped bipolar plate foils are discussed.

  17. Pre-Oxidized and Nitrided Stainless Steel Foil for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Bipolar Plates: Part 1 Corrosion, Interfacial Contact Resistance, and Surface Structure

    SciTech Connect

    Brady, Michael P; Wang, Heli; Turner, John; Meyer III, Harry M; More, Karren Leslie; Tortorelli, Peter F; McCarthy, Brian D

    2010-01-01

    Thermal (gas) nitridation of stainless steels can yield low interfacial contact resistance (ICR), electrically-conductive and corrosion-resistant nitride containing surfaces (Cr2N, CrN, TiN, V2N, VN, etc) of interest for fuel cells, batteries, and sensors. This paper presents the results of scale up studies to determine the feasibility of extending the nitridation approach to thin 0.1 mm stainless steel alloy foils for proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) bipolar plates. A major emphasis was placed on selection of alloy foil composition and nitidation conditions potentially capable of meeting the stringent cost goals for automotive PEMFC applications. Developmental Fe-20Cr-4V alloy and type 2205 stainless steel foils were treated by pre-oxidation and nitridation to form low-ICR, corrosion-resistant surfaces. Promising behavior was observed under simulated aggressive anode- and cathode- side bipolar plate conditions for both materials. Variation in ICR values were observed for treated 2205 foil, with lower (better) values generally observed for the treated Fe-20Cr-4V. This behavior was linked to the nature of the pre-oxidized and nitrided surface structure, which contained through surface layer thickness V-nitride particles in the case of Fe-20Cr-4V but near continuous chromia in the case of 2205 stainless steel. The implications of these findings for stamped bipolar plate foils are discussed.

  18. Prediction of the effective conductivity of Nafion in the catalyst layer of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hongsirikarn, Kitiya; Mo, Xunhua; Liu, Zhiming; Goodwin, James G.

    In a previous study, a simple acid catalyzed reaction (esterification) was found to predict excellently conductivity of a membrane contaminated with NH 4 + or Na +. Since measurement of the conductivity of Nafion in a catalyst layer is problematic, being able to predict this conductivity for various formulations and fuel cell conditions would be advantageous. In this study, the same methodology as before was used to examine the proton availabilities of supported Nafion (Nafion on carbon and on Pt/C), as exists in the catalyst layer used in a PEMFC, during impurity exposure (e.g., NH 3) as a means for prediction of its conductivity. It was found that the effect of NH 3 exposure on the proton composition (yH+) of supported Nafion was similar to that of N-211 under the same conditions. Determined values of yH+ were then used to estimate the effective conductivity of an ammonium-poisoned cathode layer using the correlation developed and the agglomerate model. The predicted conductivities were matched with the results available in the literature. This technique would be useful for the optimization of catalyst design and for fuel cell simulation, since it provides many benefits over conventional performance test procedures.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Synthesizing 2D MoS2 Nanofins on carbon nanospheres as catalyst support for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

    Hu, Yan; Chua, Daniel H C

    2016-06-15

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Effect of organic loading rates and proton exchange membrane surface area on the performance of an up-flow cylindrical microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Jana, Partha S; Behera, Manaswini; Ghangrekar, M M

    2012-01-01

    The effect of organic loading rates (OLRs) and proton exchange membrane (PEM) surface area on the performance of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) was evaluated. Three MFCs (MFC-1, MFC-2 and MFC-3) having PEM surface area of 10 cm2, 20 cm2 and 40 cm2, respectively, were used in the study. The MFCs were operated at influent chemical oxygen demand (COD) of 500 mg L(-1) and hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 20 h, 17 h, 13 h and 6 h in experimental Run-1 to Run-4. MFC-3, with highest PEM surface area showed highest power generation throughout the study. The optimum performancewas obtained at HRT of 13 h. In Run-5 and Run-6, the influent COD was increased to 1000 mg L(-1) and 1500 mg L(-1), respectively, maintaining the HRT at 13 h. Maximum volumetric powers of 4.26 W m(-3), 9.41 W m(-3) and 17.24 W m(-3) were obtained in MFC-1, MFC-2 and MFC-3, respectively, in Run-5 under the OLR of 1.84 kg COD m(-3) d(-1). These power values are among the higher values reported in literature; MFCs with higher PEM surface area showed better electricity generation, which clearly demonstrates that proton mass transfer is the main constraint in the MFCs which limits the power output. Combined effect of influent COD and HRT was found on electricity generation.

  12. Unveiling N-Protonation and Anion-Binding Effects on Fe/N/C Catalysts for O2 Reduction in Proton-Exchange-Membrane Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    J Herranz; F Jaouen; M Lefevre; U Kramm; E Proietti; J Dodelet; P Bogdanoff; S Fiechter; I Abs-Wurbach; et al.

    2011-12-31

    The high cost of proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells would be considerably reduced if platinum-based catalysts were replaced by iron-based substitutes, which have recently demonstrated comparable activity for oxygen reduction but whose cause of activity decay in acidic medium has been elusive. Here, we reveal that the activity of Fe/N/C catalysts prepared through a pyrolysis in NH{sub 3} is mostly imparted by acid-resistant FeN{sub 4} sites whose turnover frequency for the O{sub 2} reduction can be regulated by fine chemical changes of the catalyst surface. We show that surface N-groups protonate at pH 1 and subsequently bind anions. This results in decreased activity for the O{sub 2} reduction. The anions can be removed chemically or thermally, which restores the activity of acid-resistant FeN{sub 4} sites. These results are interpreted as an increased turnover frequency of FeN{sub 4} sites when specific surface N-groups protonate. These unprecedented findings provide a new perspective for stabilizing the most active Fe/N/C catalysts known to date.

  13. Effects of passive films on corrosion resistance of uncoated SS316L bipolar plates for proton exchange membrane fuel cell application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Ying; Ning, Xiaohui; Tang, Hongsheng; Guo, Liejin; Liu, Hongtan

    2014-11-01

    The effects of passive films on the corrosion behaviors of uncoated SS316L in anode and cathode environments of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are studied. Potentiodynamic and potentiostatic polarizations are employed to study the corrosion behavior; Mott-Schottky measurements are used to characterize the semiconductor properties of passive films; X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analyses are used to identify the compositions and the depth profiles of passive films. The passive films formed in the PEMFC anode and cathode environments under corresponding conditions both behave as n-type semiconductor. The passive film formed in the anode environment has a single-layer structure, Cr is the major element (Cr/Fe atomic ratio > 1), and the Cr/Fe atomic ratio decreases from the surface to the bulk; while the passive film formed in the PEMFC cathode environment has a bi-layer structure, Fe is the major element (Cr/Fe atomic ratio < 0.5), and in the external layer of the bi-layer structure Fe content increases rapidly and gradually in the internal layer. SS316L shows better corrosion resistance owing to both the high content of Cr oxide in the passive film and low band bending in normal PEMFC anode environments.

  14. 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

  15. Method of fabricating electrode catalyst layers with directionally oriented carbon support for proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Liu, Di-Jia; Yang, Junbing

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. Cryo-SEM of hydrated high temperature proton exchange membranes

    SciTech Connect

    Perry, Kelly A; More, Karren Leslie; Walker, Larry R; Benicewicz, Brian

    2009-01-01

    Alternative energy technologies, such as high temperature fuel cells and hydrogen pumps, rely on proton exchange membranes (PEM). A chemically and thermally stable PEM with rapid proton transport is sol-gel phosphoric acid (PA)-doped polybenzimidazole (PBI) membranes. It is believed that the key to the high ionic conductivity of PA-doped PBI membranes is related to the gel morphology. However, the gel structure and general morphology of this PA-doped PBI membrane has not been widely investigated. In an effort to understand the gel morphology, two SEM sample preparation methodologies have been developed for PA-doped PBI membranes. Due to the high vacuum environment of conventional SEM, the beam-sensitivity of these membranes was reduced with a mild 120 C heat treatment to remove excess water without structural rearrangement (as verified from wide angle X-ray scattering). Cryo-SEM has also been implemented for both initial and heated membranes. Cryo-SEM is known to prevent dehydration of the specimen and reduce beam-sensitivity. The SEM cross-section image (Fig. 1A) of the heated samples exhibit 3{micro}m spheroidal features that are elongated in the direction of the casting blade. These features are distorted to 2{micro}m under conventional SEM conditions (Fig. 1B). The fine-scale gel morphology image (Fig. 2) is composed of 65nm diameter domains and 30nm walls, which resembles a cellular structure. In the future, the PA-doped PBI membranes will be cryo-microtomed and cryotransferred for elemental analysis in a TEM.

  18. Heterogeneous Electrocatalyst of Palladium-Cobalt-Phosphorus on Carbon Support for Oxygen Reduction Reaction in High Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

    You, Dae Jong; Pak, Chanho; Jin, Seon-Ah; Lee, Kang Hee; Kwon, Kyungjung; Choi, Kyoung Hwan; Heo, Pil Won; Jang, Hongchul; Kim, Jun Young; Kim, Ji Man

    2016-05-01

    Palladium-cobalt-phosphorus (PdCoP) catalysts supported on carbon (Ketjen Black) were investigated as a cathode catalyst for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells (HT-PEMFCs). The PdCoP catalyst was synthesized via a modified polyol process in teflon-sealed reactor by microwave-heating. From X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopic analysis, the PdCoP catalyst exhibits a face-centered cubic structure, similar to palladium (Pd), which is attributed to form a good solid solution of Co atoms and P atoms in the Pd lattice. The PdCoP nanoparticles with average diameter of 2.3 nm were uniformly distributed on the carbon support. The electrochemical surface area (ECSA) and ORR activity of PdP, PdCo and PdCoP catalysts were measured using a rotating disk electrode technique with cyclic voltammetry and the linear sweep method. The PdCoP catalysts showed the highest performances for ECSA and ORR, which might be attributed both to formation of small nanoparticle by phosphorus atom and to change in lattice constant of Pd by cobalt atom. Furthermore, The HT-PEMFCs single cell performance employing PdCoP catalyst exhibited an enhanced cell performance compared to a single cell using the PdP and PdCo catalysts. This result indicates the importance of electric and geometric control of Pd alloy nanoparticles that can improve the catalytic activity. This synergistic combination of Co and P with Pd could provide the direction of development of non-Pt catalyst for fuel cell system.

  19. Heterogeneous Electrocatalyst of Palladium-Cobalt-Phosphorus on Carbon Support for Oxygen Reduction Reaction in High Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

    You, Dae Jong; Pak, Chanho; Jin, Seon-Ah; Lee, Kang Hee; Kwon, Kyungjung; Choi, Kyoung Hwan; Heo, Pil Won; Jang, Hongchul; Kim, Jun Young; Kim, Ji Man

    2016-05-01

    Palladium-cobalt-phosphorus (PdCoP) catalysts supported on carbon (Ketjen Black) were investigated as a cathode catalyst for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells (HT-PEMFCs). The PdCoP catalyst was synthesized via a modified polyol process in teflon-sealed reactor by microwave-heating. From X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopic analysis, the PdCoP catalyst exhibits a face-centered cubic structure, similar to palladium (Pd), which is attributed to form a good solid solution of Co atoms and P atoms in the Pd lattice. The PdCoP nanoparticles with average diameter of 2.3 nm were uniformly distributed on the carbon support. The electrochemical surface area (ECSA) and ORR activity of PdP, PdCo and PdCoP catalysts were measured using a rotating disk electrode technique with cyclic voltammetry and the linear sweep method. The PdCoP catalysts showed the highest performances for ECSA and ORR, which might be attributed both to formation of small nanoparticle by phosphorus atom and to change in lattice constant of Pd by cobalt atom. Furthermore, The HT-PEMFCs single cell performance employing PdCoP catalyst exhibited an enhanced cell performance compared to a single cell using the PdP and PdCo catalysts. This result indicates the importance of electric and geometric control of Pd alloy nanoparticles that can improve the catalytic activity. This synergistic combination of Co and P with Pd could provide the direction of development of non-Pt catalyst for fuel cell system. PMID:27483757

  20. System Modeling and Validation of a Thermoelectric Fluidic Power Source: Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell and Thermoelectric Generator (PEMFC-TEG)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Min; Andreasen, Søren Juhl; Rosendahl, Lasse; Kær, Søren Knudsen; Condra, Thomas

    2010-09-01

    To facilitate the co-design and co-optimization of fluid or combustion systems and thermoelectric devices, a three-dimensional (3D) thermoelectric generator (TEG) model has been proposed and implemented in a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation environment. The model includes all temperature-dependent characteristics of the materials and nonlinear fluid-thermal- electric multiphysics coupled effects. In this paper, the device-level model is first extended to the module level by taking a general geometry, identifying regions such as positive and negative thermoelements, and assigning properties to them. The system-level model is then demonstrated by coupling the module-level model with a fluidic-thermal system model in a single CFD simulator to predict the generation performance based on the thermal equilibrium that is achieved. The linked models are validated experimentally at the system level using data from three real thermoelectric modules installed on the surface of an exhaust pipe-like rig, where the temperature profile as well as the electricity generated can be measured and compared with the simulation results. The rig is intended not only to verify the proposed system model but also to mimic a practical exhaust recovery apparatus for a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). Based on the data obtained from the system-level test rig, a novel low-temperature low-cost application for auxiliary electric power appliances based on the waste heat of the PEMFC can be envisaged. Within the common simulator, it is shown that the thermoelectric model can be connected to various continuum-domain CFD models of the fuel cell itself, thus enabling further possibilities to optimize system efficiency and performance.

  1. A critical review of two-phase flow in gas flow channels of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Ryan; Zhang, Lifeng; Ding, Yulong; Blanco, Mauricio; Bi, Xiaotao; Wilkinson, David P.

    Water management in PEM fuel cells has received extensive attention due to its key role in fuel cell performance. The unavoidable water, from humidified gas streams and electrochemical reaction, leads to gas-liquid two-phase flow in the flow channels of fuel cells. The presence of two-phase flow increases the complexity in water management in PEM fuel cells, which remains a challenging hurdle in the commercialization of this technology. Unique water emergence from the gas diffusion layer, which is different from conventional gas-liquid two-phase flow where water is introduced from the inlet together with the gas, leads to different gas-liquid flow behaviors, including pressure drop, flow pattern, and liquid holdup along flow field channels. These parameters are critical in flow field design and fuel cell operation and therefore two-phase flow has received increasing attention in recent years. This review emphasizes gas-liquid two-phase flow in minichannels or microchannels related to PEM fuel cell applications. In situ and ex situ experimental setups have been utilized to visualize and quantify two-phase flow phenomena in terms of flow regime maps, flow maldistribution, and pressure drop measurements. Work should continue to make the results more relevant for operating PEM fuel cells. Numerical simulations have progressed greatly, but conditions relevant to the length scales and time scales experienced by an operating fuel cell have not been realized. Several mitigation strategies exist to deal with two-phase flow, but often at the expense of overall cell performance due to parasitic power losses. Thus, experimentation and simulation must continue to progress in order to develop a full understanding of two-phase flow phenomena so that meaningful mitigation strategies can be implemented.

  2. Research and development of Proton-Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell system for transportation applications: Initial conceptual design report

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1993-11-01

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. Dynamic model of oxygen starved proton exchange membrane fuel-cell using hybrid analytical-numerical method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vijayaraghavan, Krishna; DeVaal, Jake; Narimani, Mohammad

    2015-07-01

    One of the primary life-limiting factors in PEM fuel-cells arises from performance degradation resulting from transfer (crossover) leaks. Transfer leaks result in oxygen starvation and models of fuel cells under oxygen starved conditions would allow for detection of fault inception. This paper develops a unified fuel-cell model for when the fuel-cells can either deliver power (termed driving-mode, and for when the cell absorb power (termed driven-mode) for higher leak rates. The model captures the gradient of the reactants both in the GDL and in the flow channel in addition to capturing the various electro-chemical effects. The response of the model under normal conditions is first validated for normal operation against previously published experiments. The response of the model under oxygen-starved conditions is then validated against simulated leaks in three different cell architectures: a Ballard 9-cell Mk1100 stack where hydrogen is injected into one cell, and a Ballard 10-cell Mk902 stack and 20-cell Mk903 stack where hydrogen is injected into the upstream cathode flow. Finally, the response of the model is also validated against an actual leaky Mk902 cell. The model generally agrees well with the measured cell voltage data for all the above experiments.

  5. Molecular sieve/sulfonated poly(ether ketone ether sulfone) composite membrane as proton exchange membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Changkhamchom, Sairung; Sirivat, Anuvat

    2012-02-01

    A proton exchange membrane (PEM) is an electrolyte membrane used in both polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) and direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). Currently, PEMs typically used for PEMFCs are mainly the commercially available Nafion^ membranes, which is high cost and loss of proton conductivity at elevated temperature. In this work, the Sulfonated poly(ether ketone ether sulfone), (S-PEKES), was synthesized by the nucleophilic aromatic substitution polycondensation between bisphenol S and 4,4'-dichlorobenzophenone, and followed by the sulfonation reaction with concentrated sulfuric acid. The molecular sieve was added in the S-PEKES matrix at various ratios to form composite membranes to be the candidate for PEM. Properties of both pure sulfonated polymer and composite membranes were compared with the commercial Nafion^ 117 membrane from Dupont. S-PEKES membranes cast from these materials were evaluated as a polymer electrolyte membrane for direct methanol fuel cells. The main properties investigated were the proton conductivity, methanol permeability, thermal, chemical, oxidative, and mechanical stabilities by using a LCR meter, Gas Chromatography, Thermogravimetric Analysis, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy, Fenton's reagent, and Universal Testing Machine. The addition of the molecular sieve helped to increase both the proton conductivity and the methanol stability. These composite membranes are shown as to be potential candidates for use as a Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM).

  6. 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.

  7. Pressure drop and flow distribution in multiple parallel-channel configurations used in proton-exchange membrane fuel cell stacks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maharudrayya, S.; Jayanti, S.; Deshpande, A. P.

    Single U- and Z-type parallel-channel configurations for gas distributor plates in planar fuel cells reduce the pressure drop but give rise to the problem of severe flow maldistribution wherein some of the channels may be starved of the reactants. In this paper, previous analytical solutions obtained for single U- and Z-type flow configurations are extended to multiple U- and multiple Z-type flow configurations of interest to fuel cell applications. Algorithms to calculate flow distribution and pressure drop in multiple U- and Z-type flow configurations are developed. The results are validated by comparison with those obtained from three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. It is found that there is a significant improvement in the flow distribution in some configurations without paying for extra pressure drop. The possibility of unmatched distribution on the cathode and the anodes sides is also highlighted. Careful design of the flow configuration is therefore necessary for optimum performance.

  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. Effect of heat treatment on the activity and stability of carbon supported PtMo alloy electrocatalysts for hydrogen oxidation in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hassan, Ayaz; Carreras, Alejo; Trincavelli, Jorge; Ticianelli, Edson Antonio

    2014-02-01

    The effect of heat treatment on the activity, stability and CO tolerance of PtMo/C catalysts was studied, due to their applicability in the anode of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). To this purpose, a carbon supported PtMo (60:40) alloy electrocatalyst was synthesized by the formic acid reduction method, and samples of this catalyst were heat-treated at various temperatures ranging between 400 and 700 °C. The samples were characterized by temperature programmed reduction (TPR), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS), cyclic voltammetry (CV), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and wavelength dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (WDS). Cyclic voltammetry was used to study the stability, and polarization curves were used to investigate the performance of all materials as CO tolerant anode on a PEM single cell text fixture. The catalyst treated at 600 °C, for which the average crystallite size was 16.7 nm, showed the highest hydrogen oxidation activity in the presence of CO, giving an overpotential induced by CO contamination of 100 mV at 1 Acm-2. This catalyst also showed a better stability up to 5000 potential cycles of cyclic voltammetry, as compared to the untreated catalyst. CV, SEM and WDS results indicated that a partial dissolution of Mo and its migration/diffusion from the anode to the cathode occurs during the single cell cycling. Polarization results showed that the catalytic activity and the stability can be improved by a heat treatment, in spite of a growth of the catalyst particles.

  10. An air-breathing single cell small proton exchange membrane fuel cell system with AB5-type metal hydride and an ultra-low voltage input boost converter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akiyama, Kazuya; Matsumoto, Satoshi; Miyasaka, Akihiro; Shodai, Takahisa

    A new strategy for increasing the power density of an air-breathing small proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) system for the main energy source of portable consumer electronics is presented. The small PEMFC system is composed of a single cell. Utilizing the output voltage of the single cell, we introduce a newly designed ultra-low voltage input boost converter. The boost converter can generate 4.1 V output from input sources with low voltage ranges, such as under 1.0 V. The cathode plate is made from a thin SUS 316L stainless steel plate and has ribs that prevent the cathode from bending. The hydrogen is supplied by a metal hydride (MH) tank cartridge. The MH tank contains highly packed AB5-type MH. The MH tank cartridge has a volume of 13.2 cm 3 and can absorb 6.7 L of hydrogen. The maximum power of the small PEMFC is 4.42 W at room temperature. Using 6.7 L of hydrogen, the small PEMFC can generate 11 Wh of electricity. The power density of the small PEMFC reaches 0.51 Wh cm -3. And the power density of the whole small PEMFC system, which contains the boost converter, a small Li-ion battery for a load absorber, and a case for the system, reaches 0.14 Wh cm -3. This value matches that of external Li-ion battery chargers for cell phones. We installed the small PEMFC system in a cell phone and confirmed the operations of calling, receiving, videophone, connecting to the Internet, and watching digital TV. And also confirmed that the small PEMFC system provides approximately 8.25 h of talk time, which is about three times as long as that for the original Li-ion battery.

  11. 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.

  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. 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

  14. Miniaturized proton exchange fuel cell in micromachined silicon surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Arrigo, Giuseppe; Spinella, Corrado; Rimini, Emanuele; Rubino, Loredana; Lorenti, Simona

    2004-01-01

    The increasing interest for light and movable electronic systems, cell phones and small digital devices, drives the technological research toward integrated regenerating power sources with small dimensions and great autonomy. Conventional batteries are already unable to deliver power in more and more shrunk volumes maintaining the requirements of long duration and lightweight. A possible solution to overcome these limits is the use of miniaturized fuel cell. The fuel cell offers a greater gravimetric energy density compared to conventional batteries. The micromachining technology of silicon is an important tool to reduce the fuel cell structure to micrometer sizes. The use of silicon also gives the opportunity to integrate the power source and the electronic circuits controlling the fuel cell on the same structure. This paper reports preliminary results concerning the micromachining procedure to fabricate an arrays of microchannels for a Si-based electrocatalytic membrane for miniaturized Si-based proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Several techniques are routinely used to fabricate arrays of microchannels embedded in crystalline silicon. In this paper we present an innovative microchannel formation process, entirely based on surface silicon micromachining, which allows us to produce rhomboidal microchannels embedded on (100) silicon wafers. Compared to the traditional techniques, the proposed process is extremely compatible with the standard microelectronics silicon technology. The kinetics of rhomboidal microchannel formation is monitored by cyclic voltammetry measurements and the results are compared with a detailed structural characterisation performed by scanning electron microscopy. The effectiveness of this process is discussed in view of the possible applications in the fuel cell application.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Investigations on the micro-scale surface interactions at the tool and workpiece interface in micro-manufacturing of bipolar plates for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peker, Mevlut Fatih

    Micro-forming studies have been more attractive in recent years because of miniaturization trend. One of the promising metal forming processes, micro-stamping, provides durability, strength, surface finish, and low cost for metal products. Hence, it is considered a prominent method for fabricating bipolar plates (BPP) with micro-channel arrays on large metallic surfaces to be used in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC). Major concerns in micro-stamping of high volume BPPs are surface interactions between micro-stamping dies and blank metal plates, and tribological changes. These concerns play a critical role in determining the surface quality, channel formation, and dimensional precision of bipolar plates. The surface quality of BPP is highly dependent on the micro-stamping die surface, and process conditions due to large ratios of surface area to volume (size effect) that cause an increased level of friction and wear issues at the contact interface. Due to the high volume and fast production rates, BPP surface characteristics such as surface roughness, hardness, and stiffness may change because of repeated interactions between tool (micro-forming die) and workpiece (sheet blank of interest). Since the surface characteristics of BPPs have a strong effect on corrosion and contact resistance of bipolar plates, and consequently overall fuel cell performance, evolution of surface characteristics at the tool and workpiece should be monitored, controlled, and kept in acceptable ranges throughout the long production cycles to maintain the surface quality. Compared to macro-forming operations, tribological changes in micro-forming process are bigger challenges due to their dominance and criticality. Therefore, tribological size effect should be considered for better understanding of tribological changes in micro-scale. The integrity of process simulation to the experiments, on the other hand, is essential. This study describes an approach that aims to investigate

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Analyses of interfacial resistances in a membrane-electrode assembly for a proton exchange membrane fuel cell using symmetrical impedance spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Seo, Seok-Jun; Woo, Jung-Je; Yun, Sung-Hyun; Lee, Hong-Joo; Park, Jin-Soo; Xu, Tongwen; Yang, Tae-Hyun; Lee, Jaeyoung; Moon, Seung-Hyeon

    2010-12-14

    Interfacial resistances between the polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) and catalyst layer (CL) in membrane-electrode assemblies (MEAs) have yet to be systematically examined in spite of its great importance on the fuel cell performance. In order to investigate ionic transport through the PEM/CL interface, the symmetrical impedance mode (SIM) was employed in which the same type of gas was injected (H(2)/H(2)). In this study, the ionic transport resistance at the interface was controlled by the additionally sprayed outer ionomer on the surface of each CL. Effectiveness of the outer ionomer on ionic transport at the interface was quantitatively explained by the reduced contact, proton hydration, and charge transport resistances in the SIM. To characterize the ionic transport resistance, the concept of total resistance (R(tot)) in the SIM was introduced, representing the overall ohmic loss due to proton transport in an MEA. This concept was successfully supported via an agreement of the interpretation and the linear correlation that was obtained between the admittance (1/R(tot)) and the performance of a fuel cell in the ohmic loss region. This correlation will enable researchers to predict the performance of a fuel cell under the influence of proton transport by examining the R(tot) in the SIM.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

    2015-11-05

    Presented here is 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. 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 random copolymer

  4. Investigations on the micro-scale surface interactions at the tool and workpiece interface in micro-manufacturing of bipolar plates for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peker, Mevlut Fatih

    Micro-forming studies have been more attractive in recent years because of miniaturization trend. One of the promising metal forming processes, micro-stamping, provides durability, strength, surface finish, and low cost for metal products. Hence, it is considered a prominent method for fabricating bipolar plates (BPP) with micro-channel arrays on large metallic surfaces to be used in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC). Major concerns in micro-stamping of high volume BPPs are surface interactions between micro-stamping dies and blank metal plates, and tribological changes. These concerns play a critical role in determining the surface quality, channel formation, and dimensional precision of bipolar plates. The surface quality of BPP is highly dependent on the micro-stamping die surface, and process conditions due to large ratios of surface area to volume (size effect) that cause an increased level of friction and wear issues at the contact interface. Due to the high volume and fast production rates, BPP surface characteristics such as surface roughness, hardness, and stiffness may change because of repeated interactions between tool (micro-forming die) and workpiece (sheet blank of interest). Since the surface characteristics of BPPs have a strong effect on corrosion and contact resistance of bipolar plates, and consequently overall fuel cell performance, evolution of surface characteristics at the tool and workpiece should be monitored, controlled, and kept in acceptable ranges throughout the long production cycles to maintain the surface quality. Compared to macro-forming operations, tribological changes in micro-forming process are bigger challenges due to their dominance and criticality. Therefore, tribological size effect should be considered for better understanding of tribological changes in micro-scale. The integrity of process simulation to the experiments, on the other hand, is essential. This study describes an approach that aims to investigate

  5. Composite proton exchange membrane based on sulfonated organic nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pitia, Emmanuel Sokiri

    As the world sets its sight into the future, energy remains a great challenge. Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell is part of the solution to the energy challenge because of its high efficiency and diverse application. The purpose of the PEM is to provide a path for proton transport and to prevent direct mixing of hydrogen and oxygen at the anode and the cathode, respectively. Hence, PEMs must have good proton conductivity, excellent chemical stability, and mechanical durability. The current state-of-the-art PEM is a perfluorosulfonate ionomer, Nafion®. Although Nafion® has many desirable properties, it has high methanol crossover and it is expensive. The objective of this research was to develop a cost effective two-phase, composite PEM wherein a dispersed conductive organic phase preferentially aligned in the transport direction controls proton transport, and a continuous hydrophobic phase provides mechanical durability to the PEM. The hypothesis that was driving this research was that one might expect better dispersion, higher surface to volume ratio and improved proton conductivity of a composite membrane if the dispersed particles were nanometer in size and had high ion exchange capacity (IEC, = [mmol sulfonic acid]/gram of polymer). In view of this, considerable efforts were employed in the synthesis of high IEC organic nanoparticles and fabrication of a composite membrane with controlled microstructure. High IEC, ~ 4.5 meq/g (in acid form, theoretical limit is 5.4 meq/g) nanoparticles were achieved by emulsion copolymerization of a quaternary alkyl ammonium (QAA) neutralized-sulfonated styrene (QAA-SS), styrene, and divinylbenzene (DVB). The effects of varying the counterion of the sulfonated styrene (SS) monomer (alkali metal and QAA cations), SS concentration, and the addition of a crosslinking agent (DVB) on the ability to stabilize the nanoparticles to higher IECs were assessed. The nanoparticles were ion exchanged to acid form. The extent of ion

  6. 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.

  7. Ultrasonic-assisted synthesis of ZrO2 nanoparticles and their application to improve the chemical stability of Nafion membrane in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Taghizadeh, Mohammad Taghi; Vatanparast, Morteza

    2016-12-01

    Zirconium dioxide (ZrO2) nanoparticles were fabricated successfully via ultrasonic-assisted method using ZrO(NO3)2·H2O, ethylenediamine and hydrazine as precursors in aqueous solution. Morphology, structure and composition of the obtained products were characterized by means of X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), dynamic light scattering (DLS), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS). Then, the synthesized nanoparticles were used to prepare Nafion/ZrO2 nanocomposite membranes. The properties of the membranes were studied by ion exchange capacity (IEC) proton conductivity (σ), thermal stability and water uptake measurements. The ex-situ Fenton's test was used to investigate the chemical stability of the membranes. From our results, compared with Nafion membrane, the nanocomposite membrane exhibited lower fluoride release and weight loss. Therefore, it can concluded that Nafion/ZrO2 nanocomposite exhibit more chemical stability than the pure Nafion membrane. ATR-FTIR spectra and SEM surface images of membranes also confirm these results. PMID:27544443

  8. Ultrasonic-assisted synthesis of ZrO2 nanoparticles and their application to improve the chemical stability of Nafion membrane in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Taghizadeh, Mohammad Taghi; Vatanparast, Morteza

    2016-12-01

    Zirconium dioxide (ZrO2) nanoparticles were fabricated successfully via ultrasonic-assisted method using ZrO(NO3)2·H2O, ethylenediamine and hydrazine as precursors in aqueous solution. Morphology, structure and composition of the obtained products were characterized by means of X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), dynamic light scattering (DLS), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS). Then, the synthesized nanoparticles were used to prepare Nafion/ZrO2 nanocomposite membranes. The properties of the membranes were studied by ion exchange capacity (IEC) proton conductivity (σ), thermal stability and water uptake measurements. The ex-situ Fenton's test was used to investigate the chemical stability of the membranes. From our results, compared with Nafion membrane, the nanocomposite membrane exhibited lower fluoride release and weight loss. Therefore, it can concluded that Nafion/ZrO2 nanocomposite exhibit more chemical stability than the pure Nafion membrane. ATR-FTIR spectra and SEM surface images of membranes also confirm these results.

  9. 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.

  10. Development and design of experiments optimization of a high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell auxiliary power unit with onboard fuel processor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karstedt, Jörg; Ogrzewalla, Jürgen; Severin, Christopher; Pischinger, Stefan

    In this work, the concept development, system layout, component simulation and the overall DOE system optimization of a HT-PEM fuel cell APU with a net electric power output of 4.5 kW and an onboard methane fuel processor are presented. A highly integrated system layout has been developed that enables fast startup within 7.5 min, a closed system water balance and high fuel processor efficiencies of up to 85% due to the recuperation of the anode offgas burner heat. The integration of the system battery into the load management enhances the transient electric performance and the maximum electric power output of the APU system. Simulation models of the carbon monoxide influence on HT-PEM cell voltage, the concentration and temperature profiles within the autothermal reformer (ATR) and the CO conversion rates within the watergas shift stages (WGSs) have been developed. They enable the optimization of the CO concentration in the anode gas of the fuel cell in order to achieve maximum system efficiencies and an optimized dimensioning of the ATR and WGS reactors. Furthermore a DOE optimization of the global system parameters cathode stoichiometry, anode stoichiometry, air/fuel ratio and steam/carbon ratio of the fuel processing system has been performed in order to achieve maximum system efficiencies for all system operating points under given boundary conditions.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Effect of heat treatment on the activity and stability of PtCo/C catalyst and application of in-situ X-ray absorption near edge structure for proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Rui; Zhao, Tiantian; Shang, Mingfeng; Wang, Jianqiang; Tang, Wenchao; Guterman, Vladimir E.; Ma, Jianxin

    2015-10-01

    For the purpose of reducing the cost and improving the performance of the proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC), some low-Pt or non-Pt catalysts have been studied in recent years. PtCo/C electrocatalysts are synthesized by a two-step reduction approach followed by the heat treatment. PtCo metal particles are uniformly dispersed on the surface of XC-72 carbon support, with a uniform particle size distribution. The PtCo/C catalyst after 400 °C heat treatment has the best electrochemical performance among the as-prepared catalysts, even superior to the commercial Pt/C catalyst. In the durability test, PtCo/C-400 also shows excellent stability with only 6.9% decline of electrochemical surface area (ECSA) after 1000 cyclic voltammetry (CV) cycles. In-situ X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) technique is conducted to explore the nanostructure change of Pt during the PEMFC operation. For PtCo/C catalyst, with the fuel cell operation potential decreasing from open circuit voltage (OCV) to 0.3 V, the Pt L3 white line intensity decreases continuously, indicating the decline of Pt 5d-vacancy due to the adsorption of oxygenated species.

  14. Sol-Gel Synthesis, Electrochemical Characterization, and Stability Testing of Ti0.7W0.3O2 Nanoparticles for Catalyst Support Applications in Proton-Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Subban, Chinmayee V.; Zhou, Qin; Hu, Anthony; Moylan, Thomas E.; Wagner, Frederick T.; DiSalvo, Francis J.

    2010-11-19

    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 Ti0.7W0.3O2 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. Ti0.7W0.3O2 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 Ti0.7W0.3O2 are comparable to those of commercial Pt on carbon black.

  15. Superacid-doped polybenzimidazole-decorated carbon nanotubes: a novel high-performance proton exchange nanocomposite membrane.

    PubMed

    Hasani-Sadrabadi, Mohammad Mahdi; Dashtimoghadam, Erfan; Majedi, Fatemeh Sadat; Moaddel, Homayoun; Bertsch, Arnaud; Renaud, Philippe

    2013-12-01

    Here we demonstrate design and electrochemical characterization of novel proton exchange membranes based on Nafion and superacid-doped polymer coated carbon nanotubes (CNTs). Polybenzimidazole-decorated CNT (PBI-CNT), a high-performance proton exchange nanostructure, was doped using phosphotungstic acid (PWA) as a super proton conductor. The engineered nanohybrid structure was shown to retain water molecules and provide high proton conduction at low humidity and elevated temperatures. The developed complex nanomaterial was then incorporated into the Nafion matrix to fabricate nanocomposite membranes. The acid-base interactions between imidazole groups of PBI and sulfonate groups of Nafion facilitate proton conductivity, especially at elevated temperatures. The improved characteristics of the membranes at the nanoscale result in enhanced fuel cell power generation capacity (386 mW cm(-2)) at elevated temperatures and low humidity (40% R.H.), which was found to be considerably higher than the commercial Nafion®117 membrane (73 mW cm(-2)). PMID:24108383

  16. Comparison of water management between two bipolar plate flow-field geometries in proton exchange membrane fuel cells at low-density current range

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López, Ana M.; Barreras, Félix; Lozano, Antonio; García, Juan A.; Valiño, Luis; Mustata, Radu

    This experimental research studies some aspects of water formation and management in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). To this end, two different single cells of 49 cm 2 active area have been tested, the first one with a serpentine-parallel geometry and the second with a cascade-type flow-field topology. In order to visualize the processes, flow-field channels have been machined on transparent plastic. Experiments have consisted in both image acquisition using a CCD camera, and simultaneous measurements of pressure drop in both hydrogen and oxygen gas flow paths. It has been observed that with the cascade-type flow-field geometry, water produced in the cathode does not flood the gas flow channels and, consequently, can be drained in an easy way. On the other hand, it has also been verified that saturated condition for the hydrogen gas flow at the anode side produces water condensation and channel flooding for the serpentine-parallel flow-field topology. Time fluctuations in the pressure drop of the gas flow have been detected and are associated to some transient process inherent to water formation and management.

  17. Esterification as a diagnostic tool to predict proton conductivity affected by impurities on Nafion components for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hongsirikarn, Kitiya; Mo, Xunhua; Goodwin, James G.

    Quantitative data of the effect of contaminants on individual components of a PEMFC is limited and difficult to acquire, especially for the ionomer in the catalyst layer. In this paper, we propose the use of an acid-catalysed reaction (esterification) as a method to quantitatively investigate the effect of contaminants on proton availability and conductivity of Nafion components, since proton sites in Nafion are also active as Brønsted acid sites for catalysis. It was found that at typical fuel cell conditions, ammonia adsorption decreased both conductivity and esterification activity of Nafion in a uniform manner. Because of the linear relationship between the number of proton/acid sites and both the conductivity and the esterification activity, a correlation between the two could be developed taking into account differences in the effect of humidity on the conductivity/activity of the poisoned Nafion. The methodology and correlation developed were also shown to predict accurately the effect of another impurity species (Na +) on Nafion conductivity. The results demonstrate the application of esterification as a means to quantify the number of proton sites poisoned by adsorbing impurities, permitting the prediction of Nafion conductivity. This method would be applicable to both the membrane and ionomer in the catalyst layer.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  19. Highly Stable and CO-Tolerant Pt/Ti0.7W0.3O2 Electrocatalyst for Proton-Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Deli; Subban, Chinmayee V.; Wang, Hongsen; Rus, Eric; DiSalvo, Francis J.; Abruña, Héctor D.

    2010-07-12

    The current materials used in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are not sufficiently durable for commercial deployment. One of the major challenges lies in the development of an inexpensive, efficient, and CO-tolerant anode catalyst. Here we report the unique CO-tolerant property of Pt nanoparticles supported on Ti0.7W0.3O2. The Ti0.7W0.3O2 nanoparticles (50 nm) were synthesized via a sol-gel process and platinized using an impregnation-reduction technique. Electrochemical studies of Pt/Ti0.7W0.3O2 show unique CO-tolerant electrocatalytic activity for hydrogen oxidation compared to commercial E-TEK PtRu/C catalysts. Differential electrochemical mass spectrometry measurements show the onset potential for CO oxidation on Pt/Ti0.7W0.3O2 to be below 0.1 V (vs RHE). Pt/Ti0.7W0.3O2 is a promising new anode catalyst for PEMFC applications.

  20. An investigation of structure-property relationships in several categories of proton exchange membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodgers, Marianne Phelan

    The chemical and structural features of proton exchange membranes (PEMs) are related to their fuel cell relevant properties. The objective of this work is to understand structure-property relationships in PEMs through the fabrication and characterization of several classes of membranes. Incorporation of linear and angled monomers into the main chain of a polyimide permitted investigation of the effect of kinked versus linear polymers on membrane properties. The conductivity of angled sulfonated polyimide membranes is greater than those prepared from linear polymers, but water uptakes are lower. These differences are attributed to increased entanglements of angled polymers, which limit the degree of swelling and lead to increased proton concentration. Polyelectrolytes were incorporated into reinforcing materials to study the effect of incorporating and confining polyelectrolytes in the pores of reinforcing materials. The employment of reinforcing materials reduces conductivity, mobility, and permeance due to decreased ionomer content and connectivity of the ionomer. However, membranes are stronger and thinner, which compensates for these losses in terms of lower resistance and increased dimensional stability. Incorporating zirconium hydrogen phosphate (ZrP) and silicon dioxide (SiO2) into NafionRTM membranes permitted investigation of their effect on membrane properties. Data for NafionRTM/ZrP membranes support the theory that ZrP disrupts cohesive forces in Nafion RTM, causing it to absorb more water. The increased water content of the membranes does not result in increased conductivity because there is a concurrent decrease in proton concentration and mobility due to poorly conducting ZrP disrupting the conduction pathway and increased water content diluting protons and separating proton conduction sites. The decreasing density of the NafionRTM/SiO2 composite membranes with increasing SiO2 content and the increased dimensional stability of the membranes increasing

  1. Effect of cation contamination and hydrated pressure loading on the mechanical properties of proton exchange membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jia, Ruiliang; Han, Binghong; Levi, Kemal; Hasegawa, Takuya; Ye, Jiping; Dauskardt, Reinhold H.

    Perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) polymer membranes are widely used as electrolyte thin films to transport protons in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. The mechanical degradation of the membrane represents a common failure mode that limits the operational life of the fuel cells. In the present work, effect of contamination related to cation exchange on the mechanical reliability of PEMs was investigated. We applied the bulge test technique to assess the mechanical properties of Nafion ® PFSA membranes simulating pressure loading on hydrated PEMs in fuel cells. The corresponding elastic moduli of Nafion ® before and after cation exchange were analyzed and compared with the results measured by uniaxial tension experiments at selected humidity conditions, showing increasing stiffness with the increase of cation radius. We also used the out-of-plane tearing test method to characterize the fracture behaviors of PEMs. The effects of cation exchange and water absorption on mechanical and fracture properties of PEMs at different temperatures are discussed in terms of cation and water interactions with the molecular structure of PFSA polymers.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Development and application of an actively controlled hybrid proton exchange membrane fuel cell-Lithium-ion battery laboratory test-bed based on off-the-shelf components

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yufit, V.; Brandon, N. P.

    The use of commercially available components enables rapid prototyping and assembling of laboratory scale hybrid test-bed systems, which can be used to evaluate new hybrid configurations. The development of such a test-bed using an off-the-shelf PEM fuel cell, lithium-ion battery and DC/DC converter is presented here, and its application to a hybrid configuration appropriate for an unmanned underwater vehicle is explored. A control algorithm was implemented to regulate the power share between the fuel cell and the battery with a graphical interface to control, record and analyze the electrochemical and thermal parameters of the system. The results demonstrate the applicability of the test-bed and control algorithm for this application, and provide data on the dynamic electrical and thermal behaviour of the hybrid system.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strahl, Stephan; Husar, Attila; Riera, Jordi

    2014-02-01

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

  7. Activity inhibition and its mitigation in high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells: The role of phosphoric acid, ammonium trifluoromethanesulfonate, and polyvinylidene difluoride

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holst-Olesen, Kaspar; Nesselberger, Markus; Perchthaler, Markus; Hacker, Viktor; Arenz, Matthias

    2014-12-01

    In the presented work we systematically study the influence of phosphoric acid, ammonium trifluoromethanesulfonate (ATFMS), and polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) on the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity of carbon supported, Pt based catalysts. The influence of phosphoric acid is investigated in a mixed solution of perchloric acid with small amounts of phosphoric acid added. Thin-film rotating disk electrode (TF-RDE) measurements show that such a mixed electrolyte is advantageous as the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) is inhibited without influencing the oxygen solubility in the electrolyte. In contrast to previous reports it is seen when investigating additives that ATFMS acts as a catalyst poison; whereas the results provide evidence of a better performance in case of the PVDF incorporated catalysts as compared to reference samples without PVDF. The technological relevance of the PVDF improvements and its stability over prolonged time was validated by membrane electrode assembly (MEA) tests.

  8. Preparation and characterization of MWCNT-graft-PCA-Pt electrode fabricated by electrospray deposition method for proton exchange membrane fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Sarlak, Nahid; Karimi, Mostafa; Dourani, Akram

    2014-09-01

    In this paper, the development and application of a novel carbon nanotube/Polycitric acid (MWCNT-graft-PCA-Pt) nanocomposite as an efficient nanocatalyst for PEM fuel cell is reported. Covalent attachment to PCA agents is the main method for the modification of CNTs with polymers. By this method electrocatalysts with a narrow particle-size distribution and good dispersion have been produced. Carbon nanotube (CNT) film electrodes have been fabricated by a novel process involving the electrostatic spray deposition (ESD) of a CNT solution. The CNT film electrodes have shown well-entangled and interconnected porous structures with good adherence to the substrate. Cyclic voltammograms (CV) of catalysts using the spongy thin layer electrode technique were obtained for the catalysts surface at evaluation and for Methanol Oxidation reaction (MOR). CV results have demonstrated that the current density and MOR activity of the MWCNT-graft-PCA-Pt is respectively higher than of the MWCNT-Pt nanocatalyst.

  9. 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

  10. The effect of passive mixing on pressure drop and oxygen mass fraction using opposing channel flow field design in a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Anant Bir

    This study investigates a flow field with opposing channel design. Previous studies on flow field designs have been focused on improving fuel utilization which often leads to increased pressure drop. This increased pressure drop is typical because standard designs employ either a single flow channel to clear blockages or dead end condition to force the flow through the gas diffusion layer. The disadvantage with these designs is the increased resistance to the flow which requires higher pressure, which becomes a parasitic loss that lowers the system efficiency. For this study the focus was to reduce the pressure drop by providing a less resistive path to the flow. To achieve a less resistive path, the inlet channel was split into two opposing channels. These channels are then recombined only to be split again for the next leg. Therefore, the split channel design should reduce the pressure drop which reduces the parasitic load and ultimately contributes to higher system efficiency. In addition the recombining of the streams at each leg should induce mixing. Having opposing channels should also increase cross flow under the lands to reduce mass transfer loses. The cathode side of the fuel cell is especially sensitive to the mass transport losses since air (oxygen mixed with nitrogen) is used for supplying oxygen unlike the anode side which uses pure hydrogen. To test the hypothesis of having benefits from an opposing channel design, both an experimental and analytical approach was taken. For the experiment, a serpentine flow field and opposing channel flow field plates were compared over several flow rates with compressed air. To test the hypothesis of increased mass transfer, the two flow fields were modeled using a CFD software package, COMSOL. It was found that the opposing channel configuration for high flow rate with multiple entry and exit conditions exhibited significant improvement over the single serpentine channel. Pressure drop was ⅓ less than the

  11. 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.

  12. Proton exchange membrane fuel cell contamination model: Competitive adsorption followed by a surface segregated electrochemical reaction leading to an irreversibly adsorbed product

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    St-Pierre, Jean

    A generic, transient fuel cell kinetic loss mathematical model was developed for the case of contaminants that partially cover the catalyst surface with irreversibly adsorbed products. The model was derived using step changes in contaminant concentration, constant operating conditions and disregarding liquid water scavenging effects. The closed form solutions were validated using H 2S, SO 2 and COS data from a single source. The model needs to be validated against other data sets and transient operating conditions more representative of automotive applications. A method is proposed to determine kinetic rate constants and relies on tests with a reactant, a contaminant and, a reactant and a contaminant mixture. The method is useful to evaluate the presence of interactions between reactant and contaminant related adsorbates, and, to minimize electrode potential variations during controlled cell voltage measurements. Model parameters were similar for all contaminants suggesting a common adsorbate configuration. The model also expands the number of previously derived cases. All models in this inventory, derived with the assumption that the reactant is absent, lead to different dimensionless current vs. time behaviors similar to a fingerprint. These model characteristics facilitate contaminant mechanism identification. Model predictions include a limit of 0.7 ppb contaminant concentration in the reactant stream to minimize cell performance losses during the 5000 h automotive application life. This tolerance limit represents a worse case scenario because it does not take into account performance recovery resulting from drive cycle operation or the addition of mitigation strategies. A cell performance loss increase of 40% is also predicted for a catalyst loading decrease from 0.4 to 0.1 mg Pt cm -2.

  13. A concise guide to sustainable PEMFCs: recent advances in improving both oxygen reduction catalysts and proton exchange membranes.

    PubMed

    Scofield, Megan E; Liu, Haiqing; Wong, Stanislaus S

    2015-08-21

    The rising interest in fuel cell vehicle technology (FCV) has engendered a growing need and realization to develop rational chemical strategies to create highly efficient, durable, and cost-effective fuel cells. Specifically, technical limitations associated with the major constituent components of the basic proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC), namely the cathode catalyst and the proton exchange membrane (PEM), have proven to be particularly demanding to overcome. Therefore, research trends within the community in recent years have focused on (i) accelerating the sluggish kinetics of the catalyst at the cathode and (ii) minimizing overall Pt content, while simultaneously (a) maximizing activity and durability as well as (b) increasing membrane proton conductivity without causing any concomitant loss in either stability or as a result of damage due to flooding. In this light, as an example, high temperature PEMFCs offer a promising avenue to improve the overall efficiency and marketability of fuel cell technology. In this Critical Review, recent advances in optimizing both cathode materials and PEMs as well as the future and peculiar challenges associated with each of these systems will be discussed.

  14. 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.

  15. Electrochemical investigation of stainless steel corrosion in a proton exchange membrane electrolyzer cell

    DOE PAGES

    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 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

  16. Hygrothermal characterization of the viscoelastic properties of Gore-Select® 57 proton exchange membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patankar, Kshitish A.; Dillard, David A.; Case, Scott W.; Ellis, Michael W.; Lai, Yeh-Hung; Budinski, Michael K.; Gittleman, Craig S.

    2008-09-01

    When a proton exchange membrane (PEM) based fuel cell is placed in service, hygrothermal stresses develop within the membrane and vary widely with internal operating environment. These hygrothermal stresses associated with hygral contraction and expansion at the operating conditions are believed to be critical in membrane mechanical integrity and durability. Understanding and accurately modeling the viscoelastic constitutive properties of a PEM is important for making hygrothermal stress predictions in the cyclic temperature and humidity environment of operating fuel cells. The tensile stress relaxation moduli of a commercially available PEM, Gore-Select® 57, were obtained over a range of humidities and temperatures. These tests were performed using TA Instruments 2980 and Q800 dynamic mechanical analyzers (DMA), which are capable of applying specified tensile loading conditions on small membrane samples at a given temperature. A special humidity chamber was built in the form of a cup that encloses tension clamps of the DMA. The chamber was inserted in the heating furnace of the DMA and connected to a gas humidification unit by means of plastic tubing through a slot in the chamber. Stress relaxation data over a temperature range of 40 90°C and relative humidity range of 30 90% were obtained. Thermal and hygral master curves were constructed using thermal and hygral shift factors and were used to form a hygrothermal master curve using the time temperature moisture superposition principle. The master curve was also constructed independently using just one shift factor. The hygrothermal master curve was fitted with a 10-term Prony series for use in finite element software. The hygrothermal master curve was then validated using longer term tests. The relaxation modulus from longer term data matches well with the hygrothermal master curve. The long term test showed a plateau at longer times, suggesting an equilibrium modulus.

  17. Synthesis of Proton-Exchange Membranes by a Plasma Polymerization Technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Zhongqing; Meng, Yuedong; Shi, Yicai

    2008-08-01

    An after-glow capacitively coupled discharge technique has been used to fabricate ultra-thin proton-exchange composite membranes in a plasma polymerization reactor, where styrene and acrylic acid are used as starting materials. During the preparation, the energy of the ionized particles extracted from the radio frequency glow discharge region to the plasma polymerization region can be easily controlled by adjusting the bias voltage applied to the screen grids and substrate. Therefore, the degradation of monomers can be effectively avoided, and the contents of the proton exchange groups on the obtained membranes could reach to a higher extent. The synthesized membranes are dense with uniform structure and are demonstrated as good proton conductors.

  18. Fabrication of novel proton exchange membranes for DMFC via UV curing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dai, Chi-An; Liu, Chien-Pan; Lee, Yi-Huan; Chang, Chun-Jie; Chao, Chi-Yang; Cheng, Yao-Yi

    The radiation hardening of various UV curable resins provides a simple but powerful method to fabricate thin films or membranes with desirable physical and chemical properties. In this study, we proposed to use this method to fabricate a novel proton exchange membrane (PEM) for direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC) with good mechanical, transport and stability properties. The PEM was prepared by crosslinking a mixture of a photoinitiator, a bifunctional aliphatic urethane acrylate resin (UAR), a trifunctional triallyl isocyanate (TAIC) crosslinker and tertrabutylammonium styrenesulfonate (SSTBA) to form a uniform network structure for proton transport. Key PEM parameters such as ion exchange capacity (IEC), water uptake, proton conductivity, and methanol permeability were controlled by adjusting the chemical composition of the membranes. The IEC value of the membrane was found to be an important parameter in affecting water uptake, conductivity as well as the permeability of the resulting membrane. Plots of the water uptake, conductivity, and methanol permeability vs. IEC of the membranes show a distinct change in the slope of their curves at roughly the same IEC value which suggests a transition of structural changes in the network. It is demonstrated that below the critical IEC value, the membrane exhibits a closed structure where hydrophilic segments form isolated domains while above the critical IEC value, it shows an open structure where hydrophilic segments are interconnected and form channels in the membrane. The transition from a closed to an open proton conduction network was verified by the measurement of the activation energy of membrane conductivity. The activation energy in the closed structure regime was found to be around 16.5 kJ mol -1 which is higher than that of the open structure region of 9.6 kJ mol -1. The membranes also display an excellent oxidative stability, which suggests a good lifetime usage of the membranes. The proton conductivities and

  19. 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

  20. Novel polymer and inorganic/organic hybrid composite materials for proton exchange membrane applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Zhiwei

    In this study, various novel proton exchange membranes (PEM) have been synthesized and investigated for high temperature PEM applications. Sulfonic acid functionalized polysilsesquioxane hybrid membranes with the empirical formula of R-Si-(O)1.5 consist of a highly cross-linked Si-O backbone and pendant organic side chain R, which is terminated in a proton conducting functional group (i.e., sulfonic acid). The membranes exhibited excellent proton conductivities (sigma) of >10-2 S/cm under low humidity conditions and a wide range of temperatures. The fuel cell (FC) performance of the membranes under low humidity conditions has been evaluated. Acid-doped linear meta-polyaniline membranes have been prepared through solution casting of m-PANI. The obtained membrane shows good proton conductivities at temperatures above 100°C, achieving 10-2.7 S/cm under 120°C and practically no humidity conditions. The effects of doping acids, doping levels and humidity on the conductivity are discussed. Polyethylenimine (PEI)/SiO2 nanocomposites membranes have been synthesized through sol-gel processes. The introduction of SiO2 clusters into high molecule weight, linear PEI greatly improved its thermal stability at high temperatures and O2 atmosphere. During the sol-gel processes, trifluoromethanesulfonimide (HTFSI) was added to dope the amine groups of PEI and form immobilized proton-conducting ionic liquids, which provide the hybrid membranes with proton-conducting behavior. The resultant membranes show good proton conductivities at high temperatures and low to zero humidity conditions. The effects of temperature, humidity and mobility of active groups on the conductivity are discussed. Various organic amine/HTFSI ionic group functionalized polysilsesquioxane hybrid membranes have been prepared. The Si-O backbone provides excellent thermal/chemical/mechanical properties and the HTFSI-doped amine end groups provide the proton conducting properties. The membranes exhibited proton

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Mechanical properties and microstructure changes of proton exchange membrane under immersed conditions

    SciTech Connect

    Shi, Shouwen; Liu, Dan; Liu, Dazhi; Tae, Patrick J; Gao, Carrie Y; Yan, Lei; An, Ke; Chen, Xu

    2013-01-01

    In this study, mechanical tensile stress strain response and microstructure changes of proton exchange membranes (PEM) in immersed conditions are studied. The effects of water pretreatment and immersion time on stress strain responses of NafionVR2212 membranes are discussed. It is found that in the water immersion it took 24 h for the membrane to reach saturation equilibrium. Compared with dry membrane, immersed Nafion membrane shows a lower stress level at 30C, but a higher stress level at 70C. In situ small angle neutron scattering (SANS) experiments show that with the increase of temperature and water uptake, domains of the membrane become ordered and stay stable at around 60C. Based on the observation, the relationship between the microstructure and mechanical properties is explained.

  4. Nafion-Initiated ATRP of 1-Vinylimidazole for Preparation of Proton Exchange Membranes.

    PubMed

    Feng, Kai; Liu, Lei; Tang, Beibei; Li, Nanwen; Wu, Peiyi

    2016-05-11

    Nafion is one of the most widely investigated materials applied in proton exchange membranes. Interestingly, it was found that Nafion could serve as a macroinitiator to induce atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) on its C-F sites. In this study, poly(1-vinylimidazole) was selectively bonded on the side chains of Nafion via the Nafion-initiated ATRP process, which was confirmed by the measurements of (1)H/(19)F nuclear magnetic resonance spectra, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimeter and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time-of-flight/time-of-flight mass spectrometry. The as-prepared Nafion-co-poly(1-vinylimidazole) (Nafion-PVIm) membranes, with tunable loading amount of imidazole rings, presented greatly enhanced proton conductivity and methanol resistivity due to their well-controlled chemical structures. Especially, chemically bonding PVIm with Nafion chains endowed the Nafion-PVIm membranes with high stability in proton conductivity. For the first time, we revealed the great potentials of the Nafion-initiated ATRP process in developing high-performance proton exchange membranes. PMID:27077232

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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. PMID:22961747

  8. 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.

  9. 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. PMID:27477824

  10. Photosynthetic solar cell using nanostructured proton exchange membrane for microbial biofilm prevention.

    PubMed

    Lee, Dong Hyun; Oh, Hwa Jin; Bai, Seoung Jae; Song, Young Seok

    2014-06-24

    Unwanted biofilm formation has a detrimental effect on bioelectrical energy harvesting in microbial cells. This issue still needs to be solved for higher power and longer durability and could be resolved with the help of nanoengineering in designing and manufacturing. Here, we demonstrate a photosynthetic solar cell (PSC) that contains a nanostructure to prevent the formation of biofilm by micro-organisms. Nanostructures were fabricated using nanoimprint lithography, where a film heater array system was introduced to precisely control the local wall temperature. To understand the heat and mass transfer phenomena behind the manufacturing and energy harvesting processes of PSC, we carried out a numerical simulation and experimental measurements. It revealed that the nanostructures developed on the proton exchange membrane enable PSC to produce enhanced output power due to the retarded microbial attachment on the Nafion membrane. We anticipate that this strategy can provide a pathway where PSC can ensure more renewable, sustainable, and efficient energy harvesting performance.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Preparation of a Proton-Exchange Me mbrane with -SO3H Group Based on Polyethylene and Poly(vinylidene fluoride) Film by Radiation-Induced Graft Polymerization for Proton-Exchange Fuel Cell.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sang-Kyum; Lee, Yong-Sang; Koo, Kee-Kahb; Kim, Sang-Ho; Choi, Seong-Ho

    2015-09-01

    This paper reports the preparation of a proton-exchange membrane (PEM) with sulfonic acid (-SO3H) groups based on polyethylene (PE) films and poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVdF) films by the radiation-induced graft polymerization (RIGP) of sodium styrene sulfonate (NaSS) in the presence of the polymerizable access agents, such as acrylic acid and pyrollidone in a methanol solution. A PEM with -SO3H based on PE and PVdF films were confirmed by ATR, XPS and contact angle measurements. The water uptake (%), graft yield (%), ion-exchange content (mmol/g), and proton conductivity (S/cm), as well as the current density (mA/cm2), and power density (mW/cm) for PEM with -SO3H groups prepared by RIGP were evaluated. The PEM prepared with the -SO3H groups based on PE and PVdF films can be used as a proton-exchange fuel cell membrane. PMID:26716266

  15. Preparation of a Proton-Exchange Me mbrane with -SO3H Group Based on Polyethylene and Poly(vinylidene fluoride) Film by Radiation-Induced Graft Polymerization for Proton-Exchange Fuel Cell.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sang-Kyum; Lee, Yong-Sang; Koo, Kee-Kahb; Kim, Sang-Ho; Choi, Seong-Ho

    2015-09-01

    This paper reports the preparation of a proton-exchange membrane (PEM) with sulfonic acid (-SO3H) groups based on polyethylene (PE) films and poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVdF) films by the radiation-induced graft polymerization (RIGP) of sodium styrene sulfonate (NaSS) in the presence of the polymerizable access agents, such as acrylic acid and pyrollidone in a methanol solution. A PEM with -SO3H based on PE and PVdF films were confirmed by ATR, XPS and contact angle measurements. The water uptake (%), graft yield (%), ion-exchange content (mmol/g), and proton conductivity (S/cm), as well as the current density (mA/cm2), and power density (mW/cm) for PEM with -SO3H groups prepared by RIGP were evaluated. The PEM prepared with the -SO3H groups based on PE and PVdF films can be used as a proton-exchange fuel cell membrane.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Research and development of a Proton-Exchange-Membrane (PEM) fuel cell system for transportation applications. Progress report for Quarter 8 of the Phase II effort, July 1, 1996--September 30, 1996

    SciTech Connect

    1996-11-08

    This eighth quarterly report summarizes activity from July 1, 1996 through September 30, 1996. The report is organized in sections describing background information and work performed under the main work breakdown structure (WBS) categories. The WBS categories included are fuel processor, fuel cell stack, and system integration and controls. Program scheduling and task progress are presented in the appendix.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Organic-inorganic hybrid proton exchange membrane based on polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxanes and sulfonated polyimides containing benzimidazole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, Haiyan; Zhang, Yuanyuan; Pu, Hongting; Chang, Zhihong

    2014-10-01

    A new series of organic-inorganic hybrid proton exchange membranes (PEMs) were prepared using sulfonated polyimides containing benzimidazole (SPIBIs) and glycidyl ether of polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxanes (G-POSS). SPIBIs were synthesized using 1,4,5,8-naphthalenetetracarboxylic dianhydride (NTDA), 5-amino-2-(4-aminophenyl) benzimidazole (APBIA) and 4,4‧-diaminodiphenyl ether-2,2‧-disulfonic acid (ODADS). The organic-inorganic cross-linked membranes can be prepared by SPIBIs with G-POSS by a thermal treatment process. The cross-linking density of the membranes was evaluated by gel fractions. The water uptake, swelling ratio, mechanical property, thermal behavior, proton conductivity, oxidative and hydrolytic stability of the cross-linked organic-inorganic membranes were intensively investigated. All the cross-linked membranes exhibit high cross-linking density for the gel fraction higher than 70%. Compared to pristine membranes (SPIBIs) and membranes without benzimidazole groups (SPI), the anti-free-radical oxidative and hydrolytic stabilities of cross-linked membranes are significantly higher. The anti-free-oxidative stability of SPIBI-100-P (cross-linked SPIBI membrane with 100% degree of sulfonation) is nearly four-fold higher than that of SPIBI-100. The proton conductivity of the cross-linked membranes ranges from 10-3 S cm-1 to 10-2 S cm-1 depending both on the degree of sulfonation (DS) of the SPIBI and temperature.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Separation and compression characteristics of hydrogen by use of proton exchange membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Onda, Kazuo; Ichihara, Keiji; Nagahama, Mitsuyuki; Minamoto, Yasuo; Araki, Takuto

    Fuel cells (FC) can produce electricity through electrochemical reaction of hydrogen with oxygen with the use of a membrane and electrode assembly (MEA). In other words, the hydrogen pressure difference between the anode and cathode can produce electricity via an electrochemical process. Conversely, when we supply electricity to MEA from an external power source, we can pump up or separate hydrogen from the low pressure anode to the high pressure cathode according to the principle of the "concentration cell". The depleted hydrogen from the FC can be recovered by the hydrogen separation pump proposed herein, or low pressure hydrogen can be pumped to high pressure hydrogen by the hydrogen compression pump proposed herein. In this study we preliminarily tested the hydrogen separation pump and hydrogen compression pump, and demonstrated their good performance. The tested performances were analyzed with the use of our simulation model of a hydrogen pump, which was made by modifying our FC simulation model, and the test results agreed well with the calculated results.

  12. Physical and electrochemical evaluation of ATO supported IrO2 catalyst for proton exchange membrane water electrolyser

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Puthiyapura, Vinod Kumar; Mamlouk, Mohammed; Pasupathi, Sivakumar; Pollet, Bruno G.; Scott, Keith

    2014-12-01

    Antimony doped tin oxide (ATO) was studied as a support material for IrO2 in proton exchange membrane water electrolyser (PEMWE). Adams fusion method was used to prepare the IrO2-ATO catalysts. The physical and electrochemical characterisation of the catalysts were carried out using X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), powder conductivity, cyclic voltammetry (CV) and membrane electrode assembly (MEA) polarisation. The BET surface area and electronic conductivity of the supported catalysts were found to be predominantly arisen from the IrO2. Supported catalyst showed higher active surface area than the pristine IrO2 in CV analysis with 85% H3PO4 as electrolyte. The MEA performance using Nafion®-115 membrane at 80 °C and atmospheric pressure showed a better performance for IrO2 loading ≥60 wt.% than the pristine IrO2 with a normalised current density of 1625 mA cm-2 @1.8 V for the 60% IrO2-ATO compared to 1341 mA cm-2 for the pristine IrO2 under the same condition. The higher performance of the supported catalysts was mainly attributed to better dispersion of active IrO2 on electrochemically inactive ATO support material, forming smaller IrO2 crystallites. A 40 wt.% reduction in the IrO2 was achieved by utilising the support material.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Novel proton-exchange membrane based on single-step preparation of functionalized ceramic powder containing surface-anchored sulfonic acid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reichman, S.; Burstein, L.; Peled, E.

    2008-05-01

    A novel approach to the synthesis of a low-cost proton-exchange membrane (PEM) based on the single-step preparation of a functionalized ceramic powder containing surface-anchored sulfonic acid (SASA) and a polymer binder, is presented for the first time. The added value of this technique, compared with earlier work published by our group, is the adoption of a direct, single-step synthesis, as opposed to a multiple-step synthesis. The latter requires an oxidation step, in order to convert the thiol group into a sulfonic group. SASA powders of different compositions have been prepared and characterized by means of Brunaur-Emmet-Teller (BET), thermogravimetric analysis-differential thermal analysis (TGA-DTG), differential scanning calorimeter (DSC), Fourier transformation infrared (FT-IR), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and electrochemical techniques. The lowest equivalent weight measured for SASA powders is 1281 g equiv.-1. The ionic conductivity of a 100-μm-thick membrane is measured ex situ at room temperature (25 ± 3 °C) and the highest proton conductivity is 48 mS cm-1. The typical pore size, for the SASA powders is less than 10 nm and ranges from 2 to 50 nm for the SASA-based membranes. The membranes are thermally stable up to 250 °C. Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) are assembled with some of the membranes. Preliminary tests showed that the cell resistance for a ∼100-μm-thick membrane ranges between 0.29 and 0.19 Ω cm2 from 80 to 130 °C, respectively, and that the maximum cell power density with a 1 M methanol solution is 127, 208 and 290 mW cm-2 at 80, 110 and 130 °C, respectively, while the corresponding methanol crossover current density is 0.093, 0.238 and 0.281 A cm-2.

  17. Development and Characterization of Gas Diffusion Layer Using Carbon Slurry Dispersed by Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate for Proton Exchange Member Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villacorta, Rashida

    Gas diffusion layers (GDLs) are a critical and essential part of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). They carry out various important functions such as transportation of reactants to and from the reaction sites. The material properties and structural characteristics of the substrate and the microporous layer strongly influence fuel cell performance. The microporous layer of the GDLs was fabricated with the carbon slurry dispersed in water containing ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS) using the wire rod coating method. GDLs were fabricated with different materials to compose the microporous layer and evaluated the effects on PEMFC power output performance. The consistency of the carbon slurry was achieved by adding 25 wt. % of PTFE, a binding agent with a 75:25 ratio of carbon (Pureblack and vapor grown carbon fiber). The GDLs were investigated in PEMFC under various relative humidity (RH) conditions using H2/O2 and H2/Air. GDLs were also fabricated with the carbon slurry dispersed in water containing sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) and multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) with isopropyl alcohol (IPA) based for fuel cell performance comparison. MWCNTs and SDS exhibits the highest performance at 60% and 70% RH with a peak power density of 1100 mW.cm-2 and 850 mW.cm-2 using air and oxygen as an oxidant. This means that the gas diffusion characteristics of these two samples were optimum at 60 and 70 % RH with high limiting current density range. It was also found that the composition of the carbon slurry, specifically ALS concentration has the highest peak power density of 1300 and 500mW.cm-2 for both H2/O 2 and H2/Air at 100% RH. However, SDS and MWCNTs demonstrates the lowest power density using air and oxygen as an oxidants at 100% RH.

  18. Novel composite proton-exchange membrane based on proton-conductive glass powders and sulfonated poly (ether ether ketone)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di, Zhigang; Xie, Qiang; Li, Haibin; Mao, Dali; Li, Ming; Zhou, Daowu; Li, Lu

    2015-01-01

    The SiO2-Nafion/sulfonated poly (ether ether ketone) (SPEEK) composite membranes are fabricated by using the simple mechanical ball-milling process to combine SiO2 glass powders with small portion of Nafion, in which SiO2 glass powders are prepared by modified sol-gel progress and Nafion is embedded in situ into a highly porous silica network. The morphology, thermal and mechanical properties, pore structure, proton conductivity and fuel cell performance of the SiO2-Nafion/SPEEK composite membranes are investigated. The poor miscibility of Nafion and sulfonated aromatic polymer is solved by fixing Nafion into SiO2 glass powders. The composite membranes perform well even if the proportion of inorganic component in membranes is as high as 40 wt.%. A maximum of proton conductivity, 0.018 S cm-1, is obtained from the membrane of 4(8Si-2N)/6SPEEK at 80 °C and 90% relative humidity, which is owing to its enhanced hygroscopicity and highly dispersed Nafion clusters. In addition, a single fuel cell equipped with the composite membrane shows a peak power density of 589.2 mW cm-2 at 70 °C.

  19. 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; 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 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

  20. 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.

  1. Study of a combined sulfur autotrophic with proton-exchange membrane electrodialytic denitrification technology: sulfate control and pH balance.

    PubMed

    Wan, Dongjin; Liu, Huijuan; Liu, Ruiping; Qu, Jiuhui

    2011-12-01

    A novel combined system established for nitrate removal from aqueous solution consisted of two parts: sulfur autotrophic denitrification and bio-electrochemical denitrification based on proton-exchange membrane electrodialysis (PEMED). The system was operated at various hydraulic retention times (HRT) and current intensities. Its optimum operation condition was also determined. The combined process had pH adjustment thus generating less nitrite than PEMED process. The denitrification rate of sulfur autotrophic part was dependent on HRT, while shorter HRT could reduce the sulfate generated by the sulfur autotrophic process. The denitrification rate of PEMED process depended on the applied current. For 32±1 mg-N/L nitrate in influent, the optimum operation parameters of combined process were: HRT 2h; applied current 350 mA. The combined reactor could achieve 95.8% nitrate removal without nitrite accumulation, the pH of effluent kept neutral and the sulfate of effluent was 202.1 mg/L, lower than the drinking water standard in China.

  2. Sulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone)s with phosphine oxide moieties: a promising material for proton exchange membranes.

    PubMed

    Fu, Lingchao; Xiao, Guyu; Yan, Deyue

    2010-06-01

    Sulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone)s with phosphine oxide moieties (sPESPO) were achieved by polycondensation of bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)phenylphosphine oxide with 3,3'-disulfonate-4,4'-difluorodiphenyl sulfone (SFDPS) and 4-fluorophenyl sulfone (FPSF). Sulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone)s (sPES) were also synthesized by polymerization of 4,4'-sulfonyldiphenol with SFDPS and FPSF for comparison. The comparative study demonstrates that the sPESPO ionomers exhibit strong intermolecular interactions and high oxidative stability because of the phosphine oxide groups. Furthermore, the sPESPO membrane and the sPES membrane with an equal ion exchange capacity show much different nanophase separation morphology. As a result, the former shows better properties than the latter. The sPESPO membranes exhibit excellent overall properties. For instance, the sPESPO membrane, with a disulfonation degree of 45%, exhibits high thermal and oxidative stability. Moreover, it shows a water uptake of 30.8% and a swelling ratio of 15.8% as well as a proton conductivity of 0.087 S/cm at 80 degrees C.

  3. Carbon-supported Pd-Pt cathode electrocatalysts for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Yongfu; Zhang, Huamin; Zhong, Hexiang; Xu, Ting; Jin, Hong

    A series of carbon-supported Pd-Pt alloy (Pd-Pt/C) catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) with low-platinum content are synthesized via a modified sodium borohydride reduction method. The structure of as-prepared catalysts is characterized by powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electron microscope (TEM) measurements. The prepared Pd-Pt/C catalysts with alloy form show face-centered-cubic (FCC) structure. The metal particles of Pd-Pt/C catalysts with mean size of around 4-5 nm are uniformly dispersed on the carbon support. The electrocatalytic activities for ORR of these catalysts are investigated by rotating disk electrode (RDE), cyclic voltammetry (CV), single cell measurements and electrochemical impedance spectra (EIS) measurements. The results suggest that the electrocatalytic activities of Pd-Pt/C catalysts with low platinum are comparable to that of the commercial Pt/C with the same metal loading. The maximum power density of MEA with a Pd-Pt/C catalyst, the Pd/Pt mass ratio of which is 7:3, is about 1040 mW cm -2.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Development of proton exchange membrane from bisphonol S for using in direct methanol fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Changkhamchom, Sairung; Sirivat, Anuvat

    2009-03-01

    A novel PEM based on sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) (S-PEEK) was synthesized by the nucleophilic aromatic substitution polycondensation between bisphonol-S and 4,4'-difluorobenzophenone (system A), bisphenol S and 4,4'- dichlorobenzophenone (system B), whose properties are compared with commercial PEEK 150XF (system C) from Victrex. The main difference between the systems A and B is the cost of 4,4'-difluorobenzophenone which is 4 times more expensive than 4,4'-dichlorobenzophenone. Bisphenol-S increase the thermal stability due to its high melting point (245°C). The post-sulfonation reaction was carried out using a concentrated sulfuric acid. Sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) (S-PEEK) samples were characterized by FTIR and 1H-NMR to confirm the chemical structure of the S-PEEK, by TGA to investigate the thermal property, and by a LCR meter to determine the dependences of the dielectric permittivity on frequency. Both FTIR and 1H-NMR data show the characteristic peaks of sulfonic acid group confirming the successful sulfonation. The PEEK thermal data show 2-steps degradation temperatures. The first degradation represents the splitting of the sulfonic group, and the second is due to polymer backbone degradation. The IEC, DS, and water uptake (%) increase with increasing sulfonation time. Most of all S-PEEK systems showed the dielectric permittivities (ɛ') were independent with the frequencies.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. A polybenzimidazole/ionic-liquid-graphite-oxide composite membrane for high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Chenxi; Liu, Xiaoteng; Cheng, Jigui; Scott, Keith

    2015-01-01

    Graphite oxide is successfully functionalised by 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane ionic liquid and used as a filler material in a polybenzimidazole (PBI) membrane for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells. The ionic-liquid-graphite-oxide/polybenzimidazole (ILGO/PBI) composite membrane exhibits an appropriate level of proton conductivity when imbibed with phosphoric acid at low phosphoric acid loading, which promotes its use in fuel cells by avoiding acid leakage and materials corrosion. The ionic conductivities of the ILGO/PBI membranes at 175 °C are 0.035 S cm-1 and 0.025 S cm-1 at per repeat units of 3.5 and 2.0, respectively. The fuel cell performance of ILGO/PBI membranes exhibits a maximum power density of 320 mW cm-2 at 175 °C, which is higher than that of a pristine PBI membrane.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Characterization of Hybrid Polyhedral Oligomeric Silsesquioxane (POSS)-Polybenzimidazole (PBI)-Phosphoric Acid (PA) Materials Intended for Proton Exchange Membranes (PEM)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bubeck, Robert; Stark, Edmund; Decker, Berryinne; Hartmann-Thompson, Claire

    2013-03-01

    Isophthalic acid and 3,3'-diaminobenzidine (DAB) were polymerized in the presence of polyphosphoric acid (PPA) and various additives, degree of polymerization was monitored by viscosity and torque change measurements, and membranes were prepared by casting the reaction solution and allowing PPA to hydrolyze to PA under ambient conditions. As a function of relative humidity, the membranes were characterized for (1) acid content, (2) in-plane conductivity and (3) complex shear modulus G* obtained via oscillatory parallel plate dynamic mechanical spectroscopy. The addition of sulfonated octaphenyl polyhedral oligomeric silsesquixane (S-POSS) to m-polybenzimidazole (PBI)-phosphoric acid (PA) membranes resulted in increased in-plane proton conductivity at high temperatures (120-150 °C) and increased G* relative to a m-PBI control membrane and to m-PBI control membranes carrying comparable weight loadings of non-proton conducting octaphenyl-POSS nanoadditive or silica.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. A new class of partially fluorinated fuel cell membranes

    SciTech Connect

    Buechi, F.N.; Gupta, B.; Halim, J.; Haas, O.; Scherer, G.G.

    1994-12-31

    A series of differently crosslinked FEP-g-polystyrene proton exchange membranes has been synthesized by the pre-irradiation grafting method. Divinylbenzene (DVB) and/or triallyl cyanurate (TAC) were used as crosslinkers in the membranes. It was found, that the physical properties of the membranes, such as water-uptake and specific resistance are strongly influenced by the nature of the crosslinker. Generally it can be stated, that DVB decreases water-uptake and increases specific resistance, on the other hand TAC increases swelling and decreases specific resistance to values as low as 5.0 {Omega}cm at 60 C. The membranes were tested in H{sub 2}/O{sub 2} fuel cells for stability and performance. It was found, that thick (170 {mu}m) DBV crosslinked membranes showed stable operation for 1,400 hours at temperatures up to 80 C. The highest power density in the fuel cell was found for the DVB and TAC double crosslinked membrane, it exceeded the value of a cell with a Nafion{reg_sign} 117 membrane by more than 60%.

  2. Analysis and optimization of flow distribution in parallel-channel configurations for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Weigang; Hu, Peng; Lai, Xinmin; Peng, Linfa

    Parallel channels have many advantages, such as low pressure drop and easy fabrication, but they may cause flow maldistribution which would result in low reaction efficiency. This study presents an analytical model to calculate the flow distribution of the parallel channels based on the assumption of the analogy between fluid flow and electrical network. The model, which ultimately releases from the solution of a set of nonlinear equations, is validated by comparing with the results obtained from three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. Consequently, the model is used to optimize the geometric dimension of a parallel plate to obtain a uniform flow field distribution.

  3. Surface modification and performance of inexpensive Fe-based bipolar plates for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bai, Ching-Yuan; Wen, Tse-Min; Huang, Mao-Suan; Hou, Kung-Hsu; Ger, Ming-Der; Lee, Shuo-Jen

    A reforming pack chromization with rolling pretreatment process is utilized to develop inexpensive and high-performance Fe-based metal bipolar plates (SS 420, SS 430, and SS 316 stainless steels) for PEMFC systems. Rolling process is previously performed to reduce the chromizing temperature and generate a coating possessing excellent conductivity and corrosion resistance on the steels during chromization. The power efficiencies of rolled-chromized and simple chromized bipolar plates are compared with graphite bipolar plates employed in PEMFCs. The results show that the rolled-chromized bipolar plates have a corrosion current (I corr) of 7.87 × 10 -8 A cm -2 and an interfacial contact resistance of 9.7 mΩ cm 2. Moreover, the power density of the single cell assembled with rolled-chromized bipolar plates is 0.46 W cm -2, which is very close to that of graphite (0.50 W cm -2), in the tested conditions of this study.

  4. 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.

  5. Comprehensive Study on Ceramic Membranes for Low-Cost Microbial Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

    Pasternak, Grzegorz; Greenman, John; Ieropoulos, Ioannis

    2016-01-01

    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

  6. 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

  7. Comprehensive Study on Ceramic Membranes for Low-Cost Microbial Fuel Cells.

    PubMed

    Pasternak, Grzegorz; Greenman, John; Ieropoulos, Ioannis

    2016-01-01

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  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. 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.

  18. 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. PMID:23987340

  19. A calcineurin homologous protein is required for sodium-proton exchange events in the C. elegans intestine

    PubMed Central

    Wagner, Jamie; Allman, Erik; Taylor, Ashley; Ulmschneider, Kiri; Kovanda, Timothy; Ulmschneider, Bryne; Nehrke, Keith

    2011-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans defecation is a rhythmic behavior, composed of three sequential muscle contractions, with a 50-s periodicity. The motor program is driven by oscillatory calcium signaling in the intestine. Proton fluxes, which require sodium-proton exchangers at the apical and basolateral intestinal membranes, parallel the intestinal calcium flux. These proton shifts are critical for defecation-associated muscle contraction, nutrient uptake, and longevity. How sodium-proton exchangers are activated in time with intestinal calcium oscillation is not known. The posterior body defecation contraction mutant (pbo-1) encodes a calcium-binding protein with homology to calcineurin homologous proteins, which are putative cofactors for mammalian sodium-proton exchangers. Loss of pbo-1 function results in a weakened defecation muscle contraction and a caloric restriction phenotype. Both of these phenotypes also arise from dysfunctions in pH regulation due to mutations in intestinal sodium-proton exchangers. Dynamic, in vivo imaging of intestinal proton flux in pbo-1 mutants using genetically encoded pH biosensors demonstrates that proton movements associated with these sodium-proton exchangers are significantly reduced. The basolateral acidification that signals the first defecation motor contraction is scant in the mutant compared with a normal animal. Luminal and cytoplasmic pH shifts are much reduced in the absence of PBO-1 compared with control animals. We conclude that pbo-1 is required for normal sodium-proton exchanger activity and may couple calcium and proton signaling events. PMID:21865588

  20. 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.

  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. Fuel cell development for transportation: Catalyst development

    SciTech Connect

    Doddapaneni, N.

    1996-04-01

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

  3. Biodegradation test of SPS-LS blends as polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Putri, Zufira E-mail: arcana@chem.itb.ac.id; Arcana, I Made E-mail: arcana@chem.itb.ac.id

    2014-03-24

    Sulfonated polystyrene (SPS) can be applied as a proton exchange membrane fuel cell due to its fairly good chemical stability. In order to be applied as polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), membrane polymer should have a good ionic conductivity, high proton conductivity, and high mechanical strength. Lignosulfonate (LS) is a complex biopolymer which has crosslinks and sulfonate groups. SPS-LS blends with addition of SiO{sub 2} are used to increase the proton conductivity and to improve the mechanical properties and thermal stability. However, the biodegradation test of SPS-LS blends is required to determine whether the application of these membranes to be applied as an environmentally friendly membrane. In this study, had been done the synthesis of SPS, biodegradability test of SPS-LS blends with variations of LS and SiO{sub 2} compositions. The biodegradation test was carried out in solid medium of Luria Bertani (LB) with an activated sludge used as a source of microorganism at incubation temperature of 37°C. Based on the results obtained indicated that SPS-LS-SiO{sub 2} blends are more decomposed by microorganism than SPS-LS blends. This result is supported by analysis of weight reduction percentage, functional groups with Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy, and morphological surface with Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)

  4. Biodegradation test of SPS-LS blends as polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Putri, Zufira; Arcana, I. Made

    2014-03-01

    Sulfonated polystyrene (SPS) can be applied as a proton exchange membrane fuel cell due to its fairly good chemical stability. In order to be applied as polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), membrane polymer should have a good ionic conductivity, high proton conductivity, and high mechanical strength. Lignosulfonate (LS) is a complex biopolymer which has crosslinks and sulfonate groups. SPS-LS blends with addition of SiO2 are used to increase the proton conductivity and to improve the mechanical properties and thermal stability. However, the biodegradation test of SPS-LS blends is required to determine whether the application of these membranes to be applied as an environmentally friendly membrane. In this study, had been done the synthesis of SPS, biodegradability test of SPS-LS blends with variations of LS and SiO2 compositions. The biodegradation test was carried out in solid medium of Luria Bertani (LB) with an activated sludge used as a source of microorganism at incubation temperature of 37°C. Based on the results obtained indicated that SPS-LS-SiO2 blends are more decomposed by microorganism than SPS-LS blends. This result is supported by analysis of weight reduction percentage, functional groups with Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy, and morphological surface with Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM).

  5. ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGY VERIFICATION REPORT: RESIDENTIAL ELECTRIC POWER GENERATION USING THE PLUG POWER SU1 FUEL CELL SYSTEM

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Environmental Technology Verification report discusses the technology and performance of the Plug Power SU1 Fuel Cell System manufactured by Plug Power. The SU1 is a proton exchange membrane fuel cell that requires hydrogen (H2) as fuel. H2 is generally not available, so the ...

  6. Fuel-Cell Structure Prevents Membrane Drying

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcelroy, J.

    1986-01-01

    Embossed plates direct flows of reactants and coolant. Membrane-type fuel-cell battery has improved reactant flow and heat removal. Compact, lightweight battery produces high current and power without drying of membranes.

  7. An ultrathin self-humidifying membrane for PEM fuel cell application: fabrication, characterization, and experimental analysis.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Xiaobing; Zhang, Huamin; Zhang, Yu; Liang, Yongmin; Wang, Xiaoli; Yi, Baolian

    2006-07-27

    An ultrathin poly(tetrafluoroethylene) (PTFE)-reinforced multilayer self-humidifying composite membrane (20 microm, thick) is developed. The membrane is composed of Nafion-impregnated porous PTFE composite as the central layer, and SiO2 supported nanosized Pt particles (Pt-SiO2) imbedded into the Nafion as the two side layers. The proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell employing the self-humidifying membrane (Pt-SiO2/NP) turns out a peak power density of 1.40 W cm(-2) and an open circuit voltage (OCV) of 1.032 V under dry H2/O2 condition. The excellent performance is attributed to the combined result of both the accelerated water back-diffusion in the thin membrane and the adsorbing/releasing water properties of the Pt-SiO2 catalyst in the side layers. Moreover, the inclusion of the hygroscopic Pt-SiO2 catalyst inside the membrane results in an enhanced anode self-humidification capability and also the decreased cathode polarization (accordingly an improved cell OCV). Several techniques, such as transmission electronic microscopy, scanning electronic microscopy, energy dispersive spectroscopy, thermal analysis and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy etc., are employed to characterize the Pt-SiO2/NP membrane. The results are discussed in comparison with the plain Nafion/PTFE membrane (NP). It is established that the reverse net water drag (from the cathode to the anode) across the Pt-SiO2/NP membrane reaches 0.16 H2O/H+. This implies a good hydration of the Pt-SiO2/NP membrane and thus ensures an excellent PEM fuel cell performance under self-humidification operation.

  8. In-membrane micro fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Omosebi, Ayokunle; Besser, Ronald

    2016-09-06

    An in-membrane micro fuel cell comprises an electrically-insulating membrane that is permissive to the flow of cations, such as protons, and a pair of electrodes deposited on channels formed in the membrane. The channels are arranged as conduits for fluids, and define a membrane ridge between the channels. The electrodes are porous and include catalysts for promoting the liberation of a proton and an electron from a chemical species and/or or the recombination of a proton and an electron with a chemical specie. The fuel cell may be provided a biosensor, an electrochemical sensor, a microfluidic device, or other microscale devices fabricated in the fuel cell membrane.

  9. General Motors automotive fuel cell program

    SciTech Connect

    Fronk, M.H.

    1995-08-01

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

  10. FUEL CELL BUS DEMONSTRATION IN MEXICO CITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    The report discusses the performance of a cull-size, zero-emission, Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel-cell-powered transit bus in the atmospheric environment of Mexico City. To address the air quality problems caused by vehicle emissions in Mexico City, a seminar on clean vehic...

  11. Polymer electrolyte membrane assembly for fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yen, Shiao-Ping S. (Inventor); Kindler, Andrew (Inventor); Yavrouian, Andre (Inventor); Halpert, Gerald (Inventor)

    2002-01-01

    An electrolyte membrane for use in a fuel cell can contain sulfonated polyphenylether sulfones. The membrane can contain a first sulfonated polyphenylether sulfone and a second sulfonated polyphenylether sulfone, wherein the first sulfonated polyphenylether and the second sulfonated polyphenylether sulfone have equivalent weights greater than about 560, and the first sulfonated polyphenylether and the second sulfonated polyphenylether sulfone also have different equivalent weights. Also, a membrane for use in a fuel cell can contain a sulfonated polyphenylether sulfone and an unsulfonated polyphenylether sulfone. Methods for manufacturing a membrane electrode assemblies for use in fuel cells can include roughening a membrane surface. Electrodes and methods for fabricating such electrodes for use in a chemical fuel cell can include sintering an electrode. Such membranes and electrodes can be assembled into chemical fuel cells.

  12. Polymer electrolyte membrane assembly for fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yen, Shiao-Ping S. (Inventor); Kindler, Andrew (Inventor); Yavrouian, Andre (Inventor); Halpert, Gerald (Inventor)

    2000-01-01

    An electrolyte membrane for use in a fuel cell can contain sulfonated polyphenylether sulfones. The membrane can contain a first sulfonated polyphenylether sulfone and a second sulfonated polyphenylether sulfone, wherein the first sulfonated polyphenylether and the second sulfonated polyphenylether sulfone have equivalent weights greater than about 560, and the first sulfonated polyphenylether and the second sulfonated polyphenylether sulfone also have different equivalent weights. Also, a membrane for use in a fuel cell can contain a sulfonated polyphenylether sulfone and an unsulfonated polyphenylether sulfone. Methods for manufacturing a membrane electrode assemblies for use in fuel cells can include roughening a membrane surface. Electrodes and methods for fabricating such electrodes for use in a chemical fuel cell can include sintering an electrode. Such membranes and electrodes can be assembled into chemical fuel cells.

  13. Enhanced surface functionality and microbial fuel cell performance of chitosan membranes through phosphorylation.

    PubMed

    Holder, Shima L; Lee, Ching-Hwa; Popuri, Srinivasa R; Zhuang, Meng-Xin

    2016-09-20

    The effects of plasticization and cross-linking on the performance of chitosan as promising proton exchange membranes (PEMs) for bioelectricity generation in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) were investigated. The physico-chemical properties of chitosan (CS), sorbitol-chitosan (S-CS), phosphorylated-chitosan (CS-P) and phosphorylated-sorbitol-chitosan (S-CS-P) membranes were investigated by FESEM-EDS, FTIR-ATR, XRD, TGA, tensile strength and sorption studies. The performance of the fabricated PEMs was assessed by power density and cation exchange capacity (CEC). Maximum power densities achieved were 130.03, 20.76, 94.59 and 7.42mW/m(2) for CS-P, S-CS-P, S-CS and CS membranes respectively. Phosphorylation of the CS membranes increased CEC and tensile strength, attributed to an increase in bonded amide and phosphate ionic surface groups. Further, 49.07% COD removal from municipal wastewater was achieved with CS-P membranes. Thus, through chemical modifications, the physico-chemical and mechanical properties of natural abundant biopolymer chitosan can be enhanced for its use as an environmentally sustainable PEM in MFC technology. PMID:27261749

  14. Enhanced surface functionality and microbial fuel cell performance of chitosan membranes through phosphorylation.

    PubMed

    Holder, Shima L; Lee, Ching-Hwa; Popuri, Srinivasa R; Zhuang, Meng-Xin

    2016-09-20

    The effects of plasticization and cross-linking on the performance of chitosan as promising proton exchange membranes (PEMs) for bioelectricity generation in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) were investigated. The physico-chemical properties of chitosan (CS), sorbitol-chitosan (S-CS), phosphorylated-chitosan (CS-P) and phosphorylated-sorbitol-chitosan (S-CS-P) membranes were investigated by FESEM-EDS, FTIR-ATR, XRD, TGA, tensile strength and sorption studies. The performance of the fabricated PEMs was assessed by power density and cation exchange capacity (CEC). Maximum power densities achieved were 130.03, 20.76, 94.59 and 7.42mW/m(2) for CS-P, S-CS-P, S-CS and CS membranes respectively. Phosphorylation of the CS membranes increased CEC and tensile strength, attributed to an increase in bonded amide and phosphate ionic surface groups. Further, 49.07% COD removal from municipal wastewater was achieved with CS-P membranes. Thus, through chemical modifications, the physico-chemical and mechanical properties of natural abundant biopolymer chitosan can be enhanced for its use as an environmentally sustainable PEM in MFC technology.

  15. Nanoporous gold membranes: From morphological control to fuel cell catalysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ding, Yi

    stable, low Pt usage, and better tolerance to CO poisoning. We incorporated it as a membrane electrode into a working proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC). Preliminary results show that Pt/NPG has very good fuel cell performance at a very low platinum loading.

  16. Study of low concentration CO poisoning of Pt anode in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell using spatial electrochemical impedance spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reshetenko, Tatyana V.; Bethune, Keith; Rubio, Miguel A.; Rocheleau, Richard

    2014-12-01

    This paper presents experimental and modeling results of the effect of low CO concentration (2 ppm) on the spatial performance of PEMFC as well as its spatial electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) responses. The cell was operated at constant current using various cathode gases: air, O2 and H2. Due to CO adsorption on the Pt anode and its poisoning, the cell voltage decreased and spatial current redistribution was observed. The steady state voltage losses were 0.089, 0.280 and 0.295 V for the H2/O2, H2/air and H2/H2 gas configurations, respectively. EIS data revealed a pseudo-inductive behavior in the low frequency region for inlet segments of the cell operated under H2/air and H2/H2 conditions. Operation with O2 as an oxidant did not cause any pseudo-inductance. Analysis of the EIS and anode overpotential data suggested that CO oxidation occurred via chemical or electrochemical mechanisms, or a combination of both depending on the selected cathode gas. The spatial EIS data were analyzed using the equivalent electric circuits approach. The distributions of the equivalent electric circuit parameters are presented and discussed. A current distribution model and EIS interpolation technique were successfully applied for detailed analysis of CO effects on the spatial PEMFC performance and EIS.

  17. Synthesis of Pt-immobilized on silica and polystyrene-encapsulated silica and their applications as electrocatalysts in the proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    SciTech Connect

    Yi, Sung-Chul; Kim, Chang Young; Jung, Chi Young; Jeong, Sung Hoon; Kim, Wha Jung

    2011-01-15

    Nano sized Pt particles were successfully immobilized onto SiO{sub 2} and polystyrene-encapsulated silica core shell (SiO{sub 2}@PS). To make the immobilization of Pt onto both silica and polystyrene-encapsulated silica core shell, SiO{sub 2} was first functionalized with -NH{sub 2} using 3-amino propyl trimethoxysilane (APTMS) while for core shell, the negatively charged surface of polystyrene (PS) was changed with positive charge by cationic surfactant such as cetyltrimethylammonium chloride (CTACl) to make the formation of SiO{sub 2} shell on preformed PS sphere. Transmission electron micrograph (TEM) images shows that Pt nanoparticles immobilized onto SiO{sub 2} and SiO{sub 2}@PS were to be 3-4 nm without agglomeraiton. The energy dispersive spectroscope (EDS) shows that Pt contents on both SiO{sub 2} and SiO{sub 2}@PS were to be 21.45% and 20.28%, respectively. In case of Pt-SiO{sub 2}@PS, it is believed that Pt should have been immobilized onto PS surface and pore within SiO{sub 2} shell as well as SiO{sub 2} surface. The MEA fabricated with Pt-SiO{sub 2}@PS shows better cell performance than of Pt-SiO{sub 2}.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xiaoxian; Gao, Yuan

    2016-06-01

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

  19. R&D on an Ultra-Thin Composite Membrane for High-Temperature Operation in PEMFC. Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Yuh, C.-Y.

    2003-10-06

    FuelCell Energy developed a novel high-temperature proton exchange membrane for PEM fuel cells for building applications. The laboratory PEM fuel cell successfully operated at 100-400{supdegree}C and low relative humidity to improve CO tolerance, mitigate water and thermal management challenges, and reduce membrane cost. The developed high-temperature membrane has successfully completed 500h 120C endurance testing.

  20. Platinum- and membrane-free swiss-roll mixed-reactant alkaline fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Aziznia, Amin; Oloman, Colin W; Gyenge, Előd L

    2013-05-01

    Eliminating the expensive and failure-prone proton exchange membrane (PEM) together with the platinum-based anode and cathode catalysts would significantly reduce the high capital and operating costs of low-temperature (<373 K) fuel cells. We recently introduced the Swiss-roll mixed-reactant fuel cell (SR-MRFC) concept for borohydride-oxygen alkaline fuel cells. We now present advances in anode electrocatalysis for borohydride electrooxidation through the development of osmium nanoparticulate catalysts supported on porous monolithic carbon fiber materials (referred to as an osmium 3D anode). The borohydride-oxygen SR-MRFC operates at 323 K and near atmospheric pressure, generating a peak power density of 1880 W m(-2) in a single-cell configuration by using an osmium-based anode (with an osmium loading of 0.32 mg cm(-2)) and a manganese dioxide gas-diffusion cathode. To the best of our knowledge, 1880 W m(-2) is the highest power density ever reported for a mixed-reactant fuel cell operating under similar conditions. Furthermore, the performance matches the highest reported power densities for conventional dual chamber PEM direct borohydride fuel cells. PMID:23589385

  1. Platinum- and membrane-free swiss-roll mixed-reactant alkaline fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Aziznia, Amin; Oloman, Colin W; Gyenge, Előd L

    2013-05-01

    Eliminating the expensive and failure-prone proton exchange membrane (PEM) together with the platinum-based anode and cathode catalysts would significantly reduce the high capital and operating costs of low-temperature (<373 K) fuel cells. We recently introduced the Swiss-roll mixed-reactant fuel cell (SR-MRFC) concept for borohydride-oxygen alkaline fuel cells. We now present advances in anode electrocatalysis for borohydride electrooxidation through the development of osmium nanoparticulate catalysts supported on porous monolithic carbon fiber materials (referred to as an osmium 3D anode). The borohydride-oxygen SR-MRFC operates at 323 K and near atmospheric pressure, generating a peak power density of 1880 W m(-2) in a single-cell configuration by using an osmium-based anode (with an osmium loading of 0.32 mg cm(-2)) and a manganese dioxide gas-diffusion cathode. To the best of our knowledge, 1880 W m(-2) is the highest power density ever reported for a mixed-reactant fuel cell operating under similar conditions. Furthermore, the performance matches the highest reported power densities for conventional dual chamber PEM direct borohydride fuel cells.

  2. Enhancement of photoelectric response of bacteriorhodopsin by multilayered WO3 x H2O nanocrystals/PVA membrane.

    PubMed

    Li, Rui; Hu, Fengping; Bao, Qiaoliang; Bao, Shujuan; Qiao, Yan; Yu, Shucong; Guo, Jun; Li, Chang Ming

    2010-02-01

    For the first time, a multilayered WO(3) x H(2)O/PVA membrane on bacteriorhodopsin (bR) is constructed to significantly enhance the photoelectric response of bR by the spillover effect of WO(3) x H(2)O nanocrystals, providing great potential in its important applications in bioelectronics and proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

  3. Fuel cell and membrane therefore

    DOEpatents

    Aindow, Tai-Tsui

    2016-08-09

    A fuel cell includes first and second flow field plates, and an anode electrode and a cathode electrode between the flow field plates. A polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) is arranged between the electrodes. At least one of the flow field plates influences, at least in part, an in-plane anisotropic physical condition of the PEM that varies in magnitude between a high value direction and a low value direction. The PEM has an in-plane physical property that varies in magnitude between a high value direction and a low value direction. The PEM is oriented with its high value direction substantially aligned with the high value direction of the flow field plate.

  4. A novel sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) and cross-linked membranes for fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Hongtao; Zhang, Gang; Wu, Jing; Zhao, Chengji; Zhang, Yang; Shao, Ke; Han, Miaomiao; Lin, Haidan; Zhu, Jing; Na, Hui

    A novel poly(ether ether ketone) (PEEK) containing pendant carboxyl groups has been synthesized by a nucleophilic polycondensation reaction. Sulfonated polymers (SPEEKs) with different ion exchange capacity are then obtained by post-sulfonation process. The structures of PEEK and SPEEKs are characterized by both FT-IR and 1H NMR. The properties of SPEEKs as candidates for proton exchange membranes are studied. The cross-linking reaction is performed at 140 °C using poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) as the cross-linker. In comparison with the non-cross-linked membranes, some properties of the cross-linked membranes are significantly improved, such as water uptake, methanol resistance, mechanical and oxidative stabilities, while the proton conductivity decreases. The effect of PVA content on proton conductivity, water uptake, swelling ratio, and methanol permeability is also investigated. Among all the membranes, SPEEK-C-8 shows the highest selectivity of 50.5 × 10 4 S s cm -3, which indicates that it is a suitable candidate for applications in direct methanol fuel cells.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stanic, Vesna; Braun, James; Hoberecht, Mark

    2003-01-01

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

  6. Fuel cell ion-exchange membrane investigation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Toy, M. S.

    1972-01-01

    The present deficiencies in the fluorocarbon sulfonic acid membrane used as the solid polymer electrolyte in the H2/O2 fuel cell are studied. Considered are: Adhesives selection, elastomeric formulations, scavenger exploration, and membrane characterization. The significant data are interpreted and recommendations are given for both short and long range further investigations in two of the four major areas: membrane adhesives and membrane stabilization.

  7. Mass Production Cost Estimation For Direct H2 PEM Fuel Cell Systesm for Automotive Applications. 2010 Update

    SciTech Connect

    James, Brian D.; Kalinoski, Jeffrey A.; Baum, Kevin N.

    2010-09-30

    This report is the fourth annual update of a comprehensive automotive fuel cell cost analysis. It contains estimates for material and manufacturing costs of complete 80 kWnet direct-hydrogen proton exchange membrane fuel cell systems suitable for powering light-duty automobiles.

  8. Mass Production Cost Estimation for Direct H2 PEM Fuel Cell Systems for Automotive Applications. 2009 Update

    SciTech Connect

    James, Brian D.; Kalinoski, Jeffrey A.; Baum, Kevin N.

    2010-01-01

    This report is the third annual update of a comprehensive automotive fuel cell cost analysis. It contains estimates for material and manufacturing cost of complete 80 kWnet direct hydrogen proton exchange membrane fuel cell systems suitable for powering light duty automobiles.

  9. Fuel cell membranes and crossover prevention

    DOEpatents

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

    2009-08-04

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

  10. Zero-Gravity Fuel-Cell Product-Water Accumulator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barrera, Thomas P.

    1989-01-01

    Assortment of documents describes simple, passive system that removes water formed from reaction of hydrogen and oxygen in proton-exchange-membrane fuel cell. Designed for use in zero gravity, system does not require any machinery or external source of power. Works by capillary action and differential pressure.

  11. Center for Intelligent Fuel Cell Materials Design

    SciTech Connect

    Santurri, P.R.,; Hartmann-Thompson, C.; Keinath, S.E.

    2008-08-26

    The goal of this work was to develop a composite proton exchange membrane utilizing 1) readily available, low cost materials 2) readily modified and 3) easily processed to meet the chemical, mechanical and electrical requirements of high temperature PEM fuel cells. One of the primary goals was to produce a conducting polymer that met the criteria for strength, binding capability for additives, chemical stability, dimensional stability and good conductivity. In addition compatible, specialty nanoparticles were synthesized to provide water management and enhanced conductivity. The combination of these components in a multilayered, composite PEM has demonstrated improved conductivity at high temperatures and low humidity over commercially available polymers. The research reported in this final document has greatly increased the knowledge base related to post sulfonation of chemically and mechanically stable engineered polymers (Radel). Both electrical and strength factors for the degree of post sulfonation far exceed previous data, indicating the potential use of these materials in suitable proton exchange membrane architectures for the development of fuel cells. In addition compatible, hydrophilic, conductive nano-structures have been synthesized and incorporated into unique proton exchange membrane architectures. The use of post sulfonation for the engineered polymer and nano-particle provide cost effective techniques to produce the required components of a proton exchange membrane. The development of a multilayer proton exchange membrane as described in our work has produced a highly stable membrane at 170°C with conductivities exceeding commercially available proton exchange membranes at high temperatures and low humidity. The components and architecture of the proton exchange membrane discussed will provide low cost components for the portable market and potentially the transportation market. The development of unique components and membrane architecture

  12. Development of Novel PEM Membrane and Multiphase CD Modeling of PEM Fuel Cell

    SciTech Connect

    K. J. Berry; Susanta Das

    2009-12-30

    To understand heat and water management phenomena better within an operational proton exchange membrane fuel cell's (PEMFC) conditions, a three-dimensional, two-phase computational fluid dynamic (CFD) flow model has been developed and simulated for a complete PEMFC. Both liquid and gas phases are considered in the model by taking into account the gas flow, diffusion, charge transfer, change of phase, electro-osmosis, and electrochemical reactions to understand the overall dynamic behaviors of species within an operating PEMFC. The CFD model is solved numerically under different parametric conditions in terms of water management issues in order to improve cell performance. The results obtained from the CFD two-phase flow model simulations show improvement in cell performance as well as water management under PEMFCs operational conditions as compared to the results of a single phase flow model available in the literature. The quantitative information obtained from the two-phase model simulation results helped to develop a CFD control algorithm for low temperature PEM fuel cell stacks which opens up a route in designing improvement of PEMFC for better operational efficiency and performance. To understand heat and water management phenomena better within an operational proton exchange membrane fuel cell's (PEMFC) conditions, a three-dimensional, two-phase computational fluid dynamic (CFD) flow model has been developed and simulated for a complete PEMFC. Both liquid and gas phases are considered in the model by taking into account the gas flow, diffusion, charge transfer, change of phase, electro-osmosis, and electrochemical reactions to understand the overall dynamic behaviors of species within an operating PEMFC. The CFD model is solved numerically under different parametric conditions in terms of water management issues in order to improve cell performance. The results obtained from the CFD two-phase flow model simulations show improvement in cell performance as well

  13. Manipulating Water in High-Performance Hydroxide Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells through Asymmetric Humidification and Wetproofing

    SciTech Connect

    Kaspar, RB; Letterio, MP; Wittkopf, JA; Gong, K; Gu, S; Yan, YS

    2015-02-18

    Hydroxide exchange membrane fuel cells (HEMFCs) are an emerging low-cost alternative to conventional proton exchange membrane fuel cells. In addition to producing water at the anode, HEMFCs consume water at the cathode, leading to distinctive water transport behavior. We report that gas diffusion layer (GDL) wetproofing strictly lowers cell performance, but that the penalty is much higher when the anode side is wetproofed compared to the cathode side. We attribute this penalty primarily to mass transport losses from anode flooding, suggesting that cathode humidification may be more beneficial than anode humidification for this device. GDLs with little or no wetproofing perform best, yielding a competitive peak power density of 737 mW cm(-2). (C) The Author(s) 2015. Published by ECS. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (CC BY, hup://creativecommons.orgilicenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse of the work in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. All rights reserved.

  14. Bacterial nanocellulose/Nafion composite membranes for low temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Gao-peng; Zhang, Jing; Qiao, Jin-li; Jiang, Yong-ming; Zarrin, Hadis; Chen, Zhongwei; Hong, Feng

    2015-01-01

    Novel nanocomposite membranes aimed for both proton-exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) and direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) are presented in this work. The membranes are based on blending bacterial nanocellulose pulp and Nafion (abbreviated as BxNy, where x and y indicates the mass ratio of bacterial cellulose to Nafion). The structure and properties of BxNy membranes are characterized by FTIR, SEM, TG, DMA and EIS, along with water uptake, swelling behavior and methanol permeability tests. It is found that the BxNy composite membranes with reinforced concrete-like structure show excellent mechanical and thermal stability regardless of annealing. The water uptake plus area and volume swelling ratios are all decreased compared to Nafion membranes. The proton conductivities of pristine and annealed B1N9 are 0.071 and 0.056 S cm-1, respectively, at 30 °C and 100% humidity. Specifically, annealed B1N1 exhibited the lowest methanol permeability of 7.21 × 10-7 cm2 s-1. Through the selectivity analysis, pristine and annealed B1N7 are selected to assemble the MEAs. The performances of annealed B1N7 in PEMFC and DMFC show the maximum power densities of 106 and 3.2 mW cm-2, respectively, which are much higher than those of pristine B1N7 at 25 °C. The performances of the pristine and annealed B1N7 reach a level as high as 21.1 and 20.4 mW cm-2 at 80 °C in DMFC, respectively.

  15. Performance comparison of microbial fuel cells equipped with different membrane electrode assemblies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rubaba, O.; Araki, Y.; Yamamoto, S.; Suzuki, K.; Sakamoto, H.; Matsuda, A.; Futamata, H.

    2013-04-01

    It is important for practical use of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) to not only develop new materials including electrodes and proton exchange membranes but also to understand the bacterial community structure related to electricity generation. Here, four kinds of novel membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) were made. Four lactate fed MFCs equipped with the membranes were characterized by electrochemical, molecular-dependent and molecular-independent methods. MFC1 equipped with Nafion 117-type MEA (18 μm thickness) exhibited the highest performance. Although the other MEAs with different configurations of three kinds of polymers; poly (diallyldimethylammonium chloride), polyallylamine hydrochloride and poly (2-acrylamino-2-methyl -1-propanesulfonic acid) had thicknesses of about 0.3 μm (MEA 2 and 3) and 1.0 μm (MEA4), their power densities were lower. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and phylogenetic analyses showed that anaerobic bacteria dominated in anode biofilms of MFC1. A bacterium completely corresponding to nucleotide sequence of one of the DGGE bands was isolated from the anode biofilm in MFC1. Interestingly, BLAST search indicated that the bacterium (named strain RO1) belonged to the genus of gram positive bacterium, Propioniferax. It was confirmed that strain RO1 was capable of producing electricity and constructing biofilm on the anode surface in pure culture MFC. These results suggested that the property of MEA affects significantly the bacterial community structure, thereby influencing the MFC-performance.

  16. Protein-like proton exchange in a synthetic host cavity

    PubMed Central

    Hart-Cooper, William M.; Sgarlata, Carmelo; Perrin, Charles L.; Toste, F. Dean; Bergman, Robert G.; Raymond, Kenneth N.

    2015-01-01

    The mechanism of proton exchange in a metal–ligand enzyme active site mimic (compound 1) is described through amide hydrogen–deuterium exchange kinetics. The type and ratio of cationic guest to host in solution affect the rate of isotope exchange, suggesting that the rate of exchange is driven by a host whose cavity is occupied by water. Rate constants for acid-, base-, and water-mediated proton exchange vary by orders of magnitude depending on the guest, and differ by up to 200 million-fold relative to an alanine polypeptide. These results suggest that the unusual microenvironment of the cavity of 1 can dramatically alter the reactivity of associated water by magnitudes comparable to that of enzymes. PMID:26621709

  17. Proton conducting membrane for fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Colombo, Daniel G.; Krumpelt, Michael; Myers, Deborah J.; Kopasz, John P.

    2007-03-27

    An ion conducting membrane comprising dendrimeric polymers covalently linked into a network structure. The dendrimeric polymers have acid functional terminal groups and may be covalently linked via linking compounds, cross-coupling reactions, or copolymerization reactions. The ion conducting membranes may be produced by various methods and used in fuel cells.

  18. Proton conducting membrane for fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Colombo, Daniel G.; Krumpelt, Michael; Myers, Deborah J.; Kopasz, John P.

    2005-12-20

    An ion conducting membrane comprising dendrimeric polymers covalently linked into a network structure. The dendrimeric polymers have acid functional terminal groups and may be covalently linked via linking compounds, cross-coupling reactions, or copolymerization reactions. The ion conducting membranes may be produced by various methods and used in fuel cells.

  19. Nanosegregated bimetallic oxide anode catalyst for proton exchange membrane electrolyzer

    DOEpatents

    Danilovic, Nemanja; Kang, Yijin; Markovic, Nenad; Stamenkovic, Vojislav; Myers, Deborah J.; Subbaraman, Ram

    2016-08-23

    A surface segregated bimetallic composition of the formula Ru.sub.1-xIr.sub.x wherein 0.1.ltoreq.x.ltoreq.0.75, wherein a surface of the material has an Ir concentration that is greater than an Ir concentration of the material as a whole is provided. The surface segregated material may be produced by a method including heating a bimetallic composition of the formula Ru.sub.1-xIr.sub.x, wherein 0.1.ltoreq.x.ltoreq.0.75, at a first temperature in a reducing environment, and heating the composition at a second temperature in an oxidizing environment. The surface segregated material may be utilized in electrochemical devices.

  20. Chemical degradation mechanisms of membranes for alkaline membrane fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Choe, Yoong-Kee; Henson, Neil J.; Kim, Yu Seung

    2015-12-31

    Chemical degradation mechanisms of membranes for alkaline membrane fuel cells have been investigated using density functional theory (DFT). We have elucidated that the aryl-ether moiety of membranes is one of the weakest site against attack of hydroxide ions. The results of DFT calculations for hydroxide initiated aryl-ether cleavage indicated that the aryl-ether cleavage occurred prior to degradation of cationic functional group. Such a weak nature of the aryl-ether group arises from the electron deficiency of the aryl group as well as the low bond dissociation energy. The DFT results suggests that removal of the aryl-ether group in the membrane should enhance the stability of membranes under alkaline conditions. In fact, an ether fee poly(phenylene) membrane exhibits excellent stability against the attack from hydroxide ions.

  1. The direct borohydride fuel cell for UUV propulsion power

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lakeman, J. Barry; Rose, Abigail; Pointon, Kevin D.; Browning, Darren J.; Lovell, Keith V.; Waring, Susan C.; Horsfall, Jackie A.

    The development of proton exchange membrane and direct methanol fuel cell stacks is now well advanced for many applications. However, the significant performance advantages that these have over the battery for small to moderate scale applications will not be realised until a credible fuel source has been developed. The deficiencies of the PEMFC and DMFC can be eliminated by cation or anion-conducting membranes incorporated into a direct sodium borohydride fuel cell (DSBFC). The characterisation of membranes for the DSBFC is discussed. Novel membranes have been prepared which have resistance of an equal magnitude to the commercially available Nafion ® membrane.

  2. NASA Non-Flow-Through PEM Fuel Cell System for Aerospace Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Araghi, Koorosh R.

    2011-01-01

    NASA is researching passive NFT Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell technologies for primary fuel cell power plants in air-independent applications. NFT fuel cell power systems have a higher power density than flow through systems due to both reduced parasitic loads and lower system mass and volume. Reactant storage still dominates system mass/volume considerations. NFT fuel cell stack testing has demonstrated equivalent short term performance to flow through stacks. More testing is required to evaluate long-term performance.

  3. Developing and Implementing a Simple, Affordable Hydrogen Fuel Cell Laboratory in Introductory Chemistry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Klara, Kristina; Hou, Ning; Lawman, Allison; Wu, Liheng; Morrill, Drew; Tente, Alfred; Wang, Li-Qiong

    2014-01-01

    A simple, affordable hydrogen proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell laboratory was developed through a collaborative effort between faculty and undergraduate students at Brown University. It has been incorporated into the introductory chemistry curriculum and successfully implemented in a class of over 500 students per academic year for over 3…

  4. Advanced membrane electrode assemblies for fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Yu Seung; Pivovar, Bryan S

    2014-02-25

    A method of preparing advanced membrane electrode assemblies (MEA) for use in fuel cells. A base polymer is selected for a base membrane. An electrode composition is selected to optimize properties exhibited by the membrane electrode assembly based on the selection of the base polymer. A property-tuning coating layer composition is selected based on compatibility with the base polymer and the electrode composition. A solvent is selected based on the interaction of the solvent with the base polymer and the property-tuning coating layer composition. The MEA is assembled by preparing the base membrane and then applying the property-tuning coating layer to form a composite membrane. Finally, a catalyst is applied to the composite membrane.

  5. Advanced membrane electrode assemblies for fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Kim, Yu Seung; Pivovar, Bryan S.

    2012-07-24

    A method of preparing advanced membrane electrode assemblies (MEA) for use in fuel cells. A base polymer is selected for a base membrane. An electrode composition is selected to optimize properties exhibited by the membrane electrode assembly based on the selection of the base polymer. A property-tuning coating layer composition is selected based on compatibility with the base polymer and the electrode composition. A solvent is selected based on the interaction of the solvent with the base polymer and the property-tuning coating layer composition. The MEA is assembled by preparing the base membrane and then applying the property-tuning coating layer to form a composite membrane. Finally, a catalyst is applied to the composite membrane.

  6. Materials for use as proton conducting membranes for fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Einsla, Brian R.; McGrath, James E.

    2009-01-06

    A family of polymers having pendent sulfonate moieties connected to polymeric main chain phenyl groups are described. These polymers are prepared by the steps of polymerization (using a monomer with a phenyl with an alkoxy substitution), deportation by converting the alkoxy to a hydroxyl, and functionalization of the polymer with a pendant sulfonate group. As an example, sulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone) copolymers with pendent sulfonic acid groups are synthesized by the direct copolymerization of methoxy-containing poly(arylene ether sulfone)s, then converting the methoxy groups to the reactive hydroxyl form, and finally functionalizing the hydroxyl form with proton-conducting sites through nucleophilic substitution. The family of polymers may have application in proton exchange membranes and in other applications.

  7. Fuel cell subassemblies incorporating subgasketed thrifted membranes

    DOEpatents

    Iverson, Eric J.; Pierpont, Daniel M.; Yandrasits, Michael A.; Hamrock, Steven J.; Obradovich, Stephan J.; Peterson, Donald G.

    2013-03-01

    A fuel cell roll good subassembly is described that includes a plurality of individual electrolyte membranes. One or more first subgaskets are attached to the individual electrolyte membranes. Each of the first subgaskets has at least one aperture and the first subgaskets are arranged so the center regions of the individual electrolyte membranes are exposed through the apertures of the first subgaskets. A second subgasket comprises a web having a plurality of apertures. The second subgasket web is attached to the one or more first subgaskets so the center regions of the individual electrolyte membranes are exposed through the apertures of the second subgasket web. The second subgasket web may have little or no adhesive on the subgasket surface facing the electrolyte membrane.

  8. Fuel cell subassemblies incorporating subgasketed thrifted membranes

    DOEpatents

    Iverson, Eric J; Pierpont, Daniel M; Yandrasits, Michael A; Hamrock, Steven J; Obradovich, Stephan J; Peterson, Donald G

    2014-01-28

    A fuel cell roll good subassembly is described that includes a plurality of individual electrolyte membranes. One or more first subgaskets are attached to the individual electrolyte membranes. Each of the first subgaskets has at least one aperture and the first subgaskets are arranged so the center regions of the individual electrolyte membranes are exposed through the apertures of the first subgaskets. A second subgasket comprises a web having a plurality of apertures. The second subgasket web is attached to the one or more first subgaskets so the center regions of the individual electrolyte membranes are exposed through the apertures of the second subgasket web. The second subgasket web may have little or no adhesive on the subgasket surface facing the electrolyte membrane.

  9. Preventing CO poisoning in fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Gottesfeld, Shimshon

    1990-01-01

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

  10. Membrane electrode assembly for a fuel cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prakash, Surya (Inventor); Narayanan, Sekharipuram R. (Inventor); Atti, Anthony (Inventor); Olah, George (Inventor); Smart, Marshall C. (Inventor)

    2006-01-01

    A catalyst ink for a fuel cell including a catalytic material and poly(vinylidene fluoride). The ink may be applied to a substrate to form an electrode, or bonded with other electrode layers to form a membrane electrode assembly (MEA).

  11. Emerging roles of alkali cation/proton exchangers in organellar homeostasis

    PubMed Central

    Orlowski, John; Grinstein, Sergio

    2016-01-01

    The regulated movement of monovalent cations such as H+, Li+, Na+ and K+ across biological membranes influences a myriad of cellular processes and is fundamental to all living organisms. This is accomplished by a multiplicity of ion channels, pumps and transporters. Our insight into their molecular, cellular and physiological diversity has increased greatly in the past few years with the advent of genome sequencing, genetic manipulation and sophisticated imaging techniques. One of the revelations from these studies is the emergence of novel alkali cation/protons exchangers that are present in endomembranes, where they function to regulate not only intraorganellar pH but also vesicular biogenesis, trafficking and other aspects of cellular homeostasis. PMID:17646094

  12. Catalytic membranes for fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Liu, Di-Jia; Yang, Junbing; Wang, Xiaoping

    2011-04-19

    A fuel cell of the present invention comprises a cathode and an anode, one or both of the anode and the cathode including a catalyst comprising a bundle of longitudinally aligned graphitic carbon nanotubes including a catalytically active transition metal incorporated longitudinally and atomically distributed throughout the graphitic carbon walls of said nanotubes. The nanotubes also include nitrogen atoms and/or ions chemically bonded to the graphitic carbon and to the transition metal. Preferably, the transition metal comprises at least one metal selected from the group consisting of Fe, Co, Ni, Mn, and Cr.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-03-10

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

  14. Fuel cells: a real option for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles propulsion.

    PubMed

    González-Espasandín, Óscar; Leo, Teresa J; Navarro-Arévalo, Emilio

    2014-01-01

    The possibility of implementing fuel cell technology in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) propulsion systems is considered. Potential advantages of the Proton Exchange Membrane or Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEMFC) and Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFC), their fuels (hydrogen and methanol), and their storage systems are revised from technical and environmental standpoints. Some operating commercial applications are described. Main constraints for these kinds of fuel cells are analyzed in order to elucidate the viability of future developments. Since the low power density is the main problem of fuel cells, hybridization with electric batteries, necessary in most cases, is also explored.

  15. Fuel Cells: A Real Option for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Propulsion

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    The possibility of implementing fuel cell technology in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) propulsion systems is considered. Potential advantages of the Proton Exchange Membrane or Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEMFC) and Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFC), their fuels (hydrogen and methanol), and their storage systems are revised from technical and environmental standpoints. Some operating commercial applications are described. Main constraints for these kinds of fuel cells are analyzed in order to elucidate the viability of future developments. Since the low power density is the main problem of fuel cells, hybridization with electric batteries, necessary in most cases, is also explored. PMID:24600326

  16. Fuel cells seminar

    SciTech Connect

    1996-12-01

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

  17. Advanced direct methanol fuel cells. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Hamdan, Monjid; Kosek, John A.

    1999-11-01

    The goal of the program was an advanced proton-exchange membrane (PEM) for use as the electrolyte in a liquid feed direct methanol fuel cell which provides reduced methanol crossover while simultaneously providing high conductivity and low membrane water content. The approach was to use a membrane containing precross-linked fluorinated base polymer films and subsequently to graft the base film with selected materials. Over 80 different membranes were prepared. The rate of methanol crossover through the advanced membranes was reduced 90%. A 5-cell stack provided stable performance over a 100-hour life test. Preliminary cost estimates predicted a manufacturing cost at $4 to $9 per kW.

  18. Selectivity of Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Membranes.

    PubMed

    Aricò, Antonino S; Sebastian, David; Schuster, Michael; Bauer, Bernd; D'Urso, Claudia; Lufrano, Francesco; Baglio, Vincenzo

    2015-11-24

    Sulfonic acid-functionalized polymer electrolyte membranes alternative to Nafion(®) were developed. These were hydrocarbon systems, such as blend sulfonated polyetheretherketone (s-PEEK), new generation perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) systems, and composite zirconium phosphate-PFSA polymers. The membranes varied in terms of composition, equivalent weight, thickness, and filler and were investigated with regard to their methanol permeation characteristics and proton conductivity for application in direct methanol fuel cells. The behavior of the membrane electrode assemblies (MEA) was investigated in fuel cell with the aim to individuate a correlation between membrane characteristics and their performance in a direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC). The power density of the DMFC at 60 °C increased according to a square root-like function of the membrane selectivity. This was defined as the reciprocal of the product between area specific resistance and crossover. The power density achieved at 60 °C for the most promising s-PEEK-based membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) was higher than the benchmark Nafion(®) 115-based MEA (77 mW·cm(-2) vs. 64 mW·cm(-2)). This result was due to a lower methanol crossover (47 mA·cm(-2) equivalent current density for s-PEEK vs. 120 mA·cm(-2) for Nafion(®) 115 at 60 °C as recorded at OCV with 2 M methanol) and a suitable area specific resistance (0.15 Ohm cm² for s-PEEK vs. 0.22 Ohm cm² for Nafion(®) 115).

  19. Selectivity of Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Membranes

    PubMed Central

    Aricò, Antonino S.; Sebastian, David; Schuster, Michael; Bauer, Bernd; D’Urso, Claudia; Lufrano, Francesco; Baglio, Vincenzo

    2015-01-01

    Sulfonic acid-functionalized polymer electrolyte membranes alternative to Nafion® were developed. These were hydrocarbon systems, such as blend sulfonated polyetheretherketone (s-PEEK), new generation perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) systems, and composite zirconium phosphate–PFSA polymers. The membranes varied in terms of composition, equivalent weight, thickness, and filler and were investigated with regard to their methanol permeation characteristics and proton conductivity for application in direct methanol fuel cells. The behavior of the membrane electrode assemblies (MEA) was investigated in fuel cell with the aim to individuate a correlation between membrane characteristics and their performance in a direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC). The power density of the DMFC at 60 °C increased according to a square root-like function of the membrane selectivity. This was defined as the reciprocal of the product between area specific resistance and crossover. The power density achieved at 60 °C for the most promising s-PEEK-based membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) was higher than the benchmark Nafion® 115-based MEA (77 mW·cm−2 vs. 64 mW·cm−2). This result was due to a lower methanol crossover (47 mA·cm−2 equivalent current density for s-PEEK vs. 120 mA·cm−2 for Nafion® 115 at 60 °C as recorded at OCV with 2 M methanol) and a suitable area specific resistance (0.15 Ohm cm2 for s-PEEK vs. 0.22 Ohm cm2 for Nafion® 115). PMID:26610582

  20. Nanocrack-regulated self-humidifying membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Chi Hoon; Lee, So Young; Hwang, Doo Sung; Shin, Dong Won; Cho, Doo Hee; Lee, Kang Hyuck; Kim, Tae-Woo; Kim, Tae-Wuk; Lee, Mokwon; Kim, Deok-Soo; Doherty, Cara M.; Thornton, Aaron W.; Hill, Anita J.; Guiver, Michael D.; Lee, Young Moo

    2016-04-01

    The regulation of water content in polymeric membranes is important in a number of applications, such as reverse electrodialysis and proton-exchange fuel-cell membranes. External thermal and water management systems add both mass and size to systems, and so intrinsic mechanisms of retaining water and maintaining ionic transport in such membranes are particularly important for applications where small system size is important. For example, in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells, where water retention in the membrane is crucial for efficient transport of hydrated ions, by operating the cells at higher temperatures without external humidification, the membrane is self-humidified with water generated by electrochemical reactions. Here we report an alternative solution that does not rely on external regulation of water supply or high temperatures. Water content in hydrocarbon polymer membranes is regulated through nanometre-scale cracks (‘nanocracks’) in a hydrophobic surface coating. These cracks work as nanoscale valves to retard water desorption and to maintain ion conductivity in the membrane on dehumidification. Hydrocarbon fuel-cell membranes with surface nanocrack coatings operated at intermediate temperatures show improved electrochemical performance, and coated reverse-electrodialysis membranes show enhanced ionic selectivity with low bulk resistance.

  1. Nanocrack-regulated self-humidifying membranes.

    PubMed

    Park, Chi Hoon; Lee, So Young; Hwang, Doo Sung; Shin, Dong Won; Cho, Doo Hee; Lee, Kang Hyuck; Kim, Tae-Woo; Kim, Tae-Wuk; Lee, Mokwon; Kim, Deok-Soo; Doherty, Cara M; Thornton, Aaron W; Hill, Anita J; Guiver, Michael D; Lee, Young Moo

    2016-04-28

    The regulation of water content in polymeric membranes is important in a number of applications, such as reverse electrodialysis and proton-exchange fuel-cell membranes. External thermal and water management systems add both mass and size to systems, and so intrinsic mechanisms of retaining water and maintaining ionic transport in such membranes are particularly important for applications where small system size is important. For example, in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells, where water retention in the membrane is crucial for efficient transport of hydrated ions, by operating the cells at higher temperatures without external humidification, the membrane is self-humidified with water generated by electrochemical reactions. Here we report an alternative solution that does not rely on external regulation of water supply or high temperatures. Water content in hydrocarbon polymer membranes is regulated through nanometre-scale cracks ('nanocracks') in a hydrophobic surface coating. These cracks work as nanoscale valves to retard water desorption and to maintain ion conductivity in the membrane on dehumidification. Hydrocarbon fuel-cell membranes with surface nanocrack coatings operated at intermediate temperatures show improved electrochemical performance, and coated reverse-electrodialysis membranes show enhanced ionic selectivity with low bulk resistance.

  2. Nanocrack-regulated self-humidifying membranes.

    PubMed

    Park, Chi Hoon; Lee, So Young; Hwang, Doo Sung; Shin, Dong Won; Cho, Doo Hee; Lee, Kang Hyuck; Kim, Tae-Woo; Kim, Tae-Wuk; Lee, Mokwon; Kim, Deok-Soo; Doherty, Cara M; Thornton, Aaron W; Hill, Anita J; Guiver, Michael D; Lee, Young Moo

    2016-04-28

    The regulation of water content in polymeric membranes is important in a number of applications, such as reverse electrodialysis and proton-exchange fuel-cell membranes. External thermal and water management systems add both mass and size to systems, and so intrinsic mechanisms of retaining water and maintaining ionic transport in such membranes are particularly important for applications where small system size is important. For example, in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells, where water retention in the membrane is crucial for efficient transport of hydrated ions, by operating the cells at higher temperatures without external humidification, the membrane is self-humidified with water generated by electrochemical reactions. Here we report an alternative solution that does not rely on external regulation of water supply or high temperatures. Water content in hydrocarbon polymer membranes is regulated through nanometre-scale cracks ('nanocracks') in a hydrophobic surface coating. These cracks work as nanoscale valves to retard water desorption and to maintain ion conductivity in the membrane on dehumidification. Hydrocarbon fuel-cell membranes with surface nanocrack coatings operated at intermediate temperatures show improved electrochemical performance, and coated reverse-electrodialysis membranes show enhanced ionic selectivity with low bulk resistance. PMID:27121841

  3. Sputter-deposited fuel cell membranes and electrodes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Narayanan, Sekharipuram R. (Inventor); Jeffries-Nakamura, Barbara (Inventor); Chun, William (Inventor); Ruiz, Ron P. (Inventor); Valdez, Thomas I. (Inventor)

    2001-01-01

    A method for preparing a membrane for use in a fuel cell membrane electrode assembly includes the steps of providing an electrolyte membrane, and sputter-depositing a catalyst onto the electrolyte membrane. The sputter-deposited catalyst may be applied to multiple sides of the electrolyte membrane. A method for forming an electrode for use in a fuel cell membrane electrode assembly includes the steps of obtaining a catalyst, obtaining a backing, and sputter-depositing the catalyst onto the backing. The membranes and electrodes are useful for assembling fuel cells that include an anode electrode, a cathode electrode, a fuel supply, and an electrolyte membrane, wherein the electrolyte membrane includes a sputter-deposited catalyst, and the sputter-deposited catalyst is effective for sustaining a voltage across a membrane electrode assembly in the fuel cell.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erikpara, Jolomi

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

  5. Conception and optimization of a membrane electrode assembly microbial fuel cell (MEA-MFC) for treatment of domestic wastewater.

    PubMed

    Lefebvre, O; Uzabiaga, A; Shen, Y J; Tan, Z; Cheng, Y P; Liu, W; Ng, H Y

    2011-01-01

    A membrane electrode assembly (MEA) for microbial fuel cells (MEA-MFC) was developed for continuous electricity production while treating domestic wastewater concurrently. It was optimized via three upgraded versions (noted α, β and γ) in terms of design (current collectors, hydrophilic separator nature) and operating conditions (hydraulic retention time, external resistance, aeration rate, recirculation). An overall rise of power by over 100% from version α to γ shows the importance of factors such as the choice of proper construction materials and prevention of short-circuits. A power of 2.5 mW was generated with a hydraulic retention time of 2.3 h when a Selemion proton exchange membrane was used as a hydrophilic separator in the MEA and 2.8 mW were attained with a reverse osmosis membrane. The MFC also showed a competitive value of internal resistance (≈40-50 Ω) as compared to the literature, especially considering its large volume (3 L). However, the operation of our system in a complete loop where the anolyte was allowed to trickle over the cathode (version γ) resulted in system failure. PMID:22179652

  6. Fuel cell membrane hydration and fluid metering

    DOEpatents

    Jones, Daniel O.; Walsh, Michael M.

    2003-01-01

    A hydration system includes fuel cell fluid flow plate(s) and injection port(s). Each plate has flow channel(s) with respective inlet(s) for receiving respective portion(s) of a given stream of reactant fluid for a fuel cell. Each injection port injects a portion of liquid water directly into its respective flow channel. This serves to hydrate at least corresponding part(s) of a given membrane of the corresponding fuel cell(s). The hydration system may be augmented by a metering system including flow regulator(s). Each flow regulator meters an injecting at inlet(s) of each plate of respective portions of liquid into respective portion(s) of a given stream of fluid by corresponding injection port(s).

  7. Fuel cell membrane hydration and fluid metering

    DOEpatents

    Jones, Daniel O.; Walsh, Michael M.

    1999-01-01

    A hydration system includes fuel cell fluid flow plate(s) and injection port(s). Each plate has flow channel(s) with respective inlet(s) for receiving respective portion(s) of a given stream of reactant fluid for a fuel cell. Each injection port injects a portion of liquid water directly into its respective flow channel in order to mix its respective portion of liquid water with the corresponding portion of the stream. This serves to hydrate at least corresponding part(s) of a given membrane of the corresponding fuel cell(s). The hydration system may be augmented by a metering system including flow regulator(s). Each flow regulator meters an injecting at inlet(s) of each plate of respective portions of liquid into respective portion(s) of a given stream of fluid by corresponding injection port(s).

  8. Effectiveness of heat-integrated methanol stea