Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 11

Fuel Cells Related Abstracts

11 Experimental Investigation Of Membrane Performance

Authors: Ali Serhat Ersoyoğlu, Kevser Dincer, Salih Yayla, Derya Saygılı


In this study, performance of membrane was experimentally investigated. A solution having 1,5 gr Yttria-Stabilized Zirconia (YSZ)+ 10 mL methanol was prepared. This solution was taken out and filled into a spinning syringe. 6 grill-shaped wires having the sizes of 2x2 cm2’were cladded with YSZ + methanol solution by using the spinning method. After coating, the grill-shaped wires were left to dry. The dry wires were then weighed on a precision scale to determine the amount of coating imposed. The grill-shaped wires were mounted on the anode side of the PEM fuel cell membrane. Effects of the coating on the wires on current, power and resistance performances in the PEM fuel cells were determined experimentally and compared for every case. The highest current occurred at the 1st second on current #1, while the lowest current occurred at the 1171th second on current #6. The highest resistance was recorded at the 1171th second on resistance # 6, the lowest occurred at the 1st second on resistance # 1, whereas the highest power took place at the 1st second on power #1, the lowest power appeared at the 1171th second on power #5.

Keywords: Fuel Cells, Membrane, electro-spinning method, Yttria-Stabilized Zirconia

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10 Influence of Nitrogen Doping on the Catalytic Activity of Ni-Incorporated Carbon Nanofibers for Alkaline Direct Methanol Fuel Cells

Authors: Mohamed H. El-Newehy, Badr M. Thamer, Nasser A. M. Barakat, Mohammad A.Abdelkareem, Salem S. Al-Deyab, Hak Y. Kim


In this study, the influence of nitrogen doping on the electrocatalytic activity of carbon nanofibers with nickel nanoparticles toward methanol oxidation is introduced. The modified carbon nanofibers have been synthesized from calcination of electrospun nanofiber mats composed of nickel acetate tetrahydrate, poly(vinyl alcohol) and urea in argon atmosphere at 750oC. The utilized physicochemical characterizations indicated that the proposed strategy leads to form carbon nanofibers having nickel nanoparticles and doped by nitrogen. Moreover, due to the high-applied voltage during the electrospinning process, the utilized urea chemically bonds with the polymer matrix, which leads to form nitrogen-doped CNFs after the calcination process. Investigation of the electrocatalytic activity indicated that nitrogen doping NiCNFs strongly enhances the oxidation process of methanol as the current density increases from 52.5 to 198.5 mA/cm2 when the urea content in the original electrospun solution was 4 wt% urea. Moreover, the nanofibrous morphology exhibits distinct impact on the electrocatalytic activity. Also, nitrogen-doping enhanced the stability of the introduced Ni-based electrocatalyst. Overall, the present study introduces effective and simple strategy to modify the electrocatalytic activity of the nickel-based materials.

Keywords: Fuel Cells, Electrospinning, Nickel, methanol electrooxidation, nitrogen-doping

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9 Cryogenic Separation of CO2 from Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell Anode Outlet—Experimental Guidelines

Authors: Jarosław Milewski, Rafał Bernat


This paper presents an analysis of using cryogenic separation unit for recovering fuel from anode off gas of molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFCs) in order to upgrade the efficiently of the unit. In the proposed solution, the CSU is used for condensing water and carbon dioxide from anode off gas, and re-cycling the rest of the stream to the anode, saving certain amount of fuel (at least 30%). The resulting system efficiency is increased considerably. CSU, virtually consumes power, thus this solution has energy penalty as well, on the other hand, MCFC generates large amount of heat at elevated temperature, thus part of the CSU can be based on absorption chiller. In all cases, a high amount of fuel is obtained after condensation of water and carbon dioxide and re-cycled to the anode inlet. Based on mathematical modeling done previously, the concept and guidelines for forthcoming experimental investigations are presented in this paper. During planned experiments, an existing single cell laboratory stand will be equipped with re-cycle device (a fan, a peristaltic pump, etc.). Parallel, a mixture of anode off gas will be cooled down for determining the proper temperature for the separation of water and carbon dioxide.

Keywords: Experiments, Fuel Cells, cryogenic separation, molten carbonate fuel cells

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8 Synthesis and Characterization of Sulfonated Aromatic Hydrocarbon Polymers Containing Trifluoromethylphenyl Side Chain for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

Authors: Yi-Chiang Huang, Hsu-Feng Lee, Yu-Chao Tseng, Wen-Yao Huang


Proton exchange membranes as a key component in fuel cells have been widely studying over the past few decades. As proton exchange, membranes should have some main characteristics, such as good mechanical properties, low oxidative stability and high proton conductivity. In this work, trifluoromethyl groups had been introduced on polymer backbone and phenyl side chain which can provide densely located sulfonic acid group substitution and also promotes solubility, thermal and oxidative stability. Herein, a series of novel sulfonated aromatic hydrocarbon polyelectrolytes was synthesized by polycondensation of 4,4''''-difluoro-3,3''''- bis(trifluoromethyl)-2'',3''-bis(3-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl)-1,1':4',1'':4'',1''':4''',1''''-quinquephenyl with 2'',3''',5'',6''-tetraphenyl-[1,1':4',1'': 4'',1''':4''',1''''-quinquephenyl]-4,4''''-diol and post-sulfonated was through chlorosulfonic acid to given sulfonated polymers (SFC3-X) possessing ion exchange capacities ranging from 1.93, 1.91 and 2.53 mmol/g. ¹H NMR and FT-IR spectroscopy were applied to confirm the structure and composition of sulfonated polymers. The membranes exhibited considerably dimension stability (10-27.8% in length change; 24-56.5% in thickness change) and excellent oxidative stability (weight remain higher than 97%). The mechanical properties of membranes demonstrated good tensile strength on account of the high rigidity multi-phenylated backbone. Young's modulus were ranged 0.65-0.77GPa which is much larger than that of Nafion 211 (0.10GPa). Proton conductivities of membranes ranged from 130 to 240 mS/cm at 80 °C under fully humidified which were comparable or higher than that of Nafion 211 (150 mS/cm). The morphology of membranes was investigated by transmission electron microscopy which demonstrated a clear hydrophilic/hydrophobic phase separation with spherical ionic clusters in the size range of 5-20 nm. The SFC3-1.97 single fuel cell performance demonstrates the maximum power density at 1.08W/cm², and Nafion 211 was 1.24W/cm² as a reference in this work. The result indicated that SFC3-X are good candidates for proton exchange membranes in fuel cell applications. Fuel cell of other membranes is under testing.

Keywords: Fuel Cells, polyelectrolyte, proton exchange membrane, sulfonated polymers

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7 Development of LSM/YSZ Composite Anode Materials for Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cells

Authors: Christian C. Vaso, Rinlee Butch M. Cervera


Solid oxide electrolysis cell (SOEC) is a promising technology for hydrogen production that will contribute to the sustainable energy of the future. An important component of this SOEC is the anode material and one of the promising anode material for such application is the Sr-doped LaMnO3 (LSM) and Yttrium-stabilized ZrO2 (YSZ) composite material. In this study, LSM/YSZ with different weight percent compositions of LSM and YSZ were synthesized using solid-state reaction method. The obtained samples, 60LSM/40YSZ, 50LSM/50YSZ, and 40LSM/60YSZ, were fully characterized for its microstructure using X-ray diffraction, FTIR, and SEM/EDS. EDS analysis confirmed the elemental composition and distribution of the synthesized samples. Surface morphology of the sample using SEM exhibited a well sintered and densified samples and revealed a beveled cube-like LSM morphology while the YSZ phase appeared to have a sphere-like microstructure. Density measurements using Archimedes principle showed relative densities greater than 90%. In addition, AC impedance measurement of the synthesized samples have been investigated at intermediate temperature range (400-700 °C) in an inert and oxygen gas flow environment. At pure states, LSM exhibited a high electronic conductivity while YSZ demonstrated an ionic conductivity of 3.25 x 10-4 S/cm at 700 °C under Oxygen gas environment with calculated activation energy of 0.85eV. The composite samples were also studied and revealed that as the YSZ content of the composite electrode increases, the total conductivity decreases.

Keywords: Fuel Cells, Ceramic Composites, strontium lanthanum manganite, yttria partially-stabilized zirconia

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6 Preparation and Conductivity Measurements of LSM/YSZ Composite Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cell Anode Materials

Authors: Christian C. Vaso, Rinlee Butch M. Cervera


One of the most promising anode materials for solid oxide electrolysis cell (SOEC) application is the Sr-doped LaMnO3 (LSM) which is known to have a high electronic conductivity but low ionic conductivity. To increase the ionic conductivity or diffusion of ions through the anode, Yttria-stabilized Zirconia (YSZ), which has good ionic conductivity, is proposed to be combined with LSM to create a composite electrode and to obtain a high mixed ionic and electronic conducting anode. In this study, composite of lanthanum strontium manganite and YSZ oxide, La0.8Sr0.2MnO3/Zr0.92Y0.08O2 (LSM/YSZ), with different wt.% compositions of LSM and YSZ were synthesized using solid-state reaction. The obtained prepared composite samples of 60, 50, and 40 wt.% LSM with remaining wt.% of 40, 50, and 60, respectively for YSZ were fully characterized for its microstructure by using powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), and Scanning electron microscope/Energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM/EDS) analyses. Surface morphology of the samples via SEM analysis revealed a well-sintered and densified pure LSM, while a more porous composite sample of LSM/YSZ was obtained. Electrochemical impedance measurements at intermediate temperature range (500-700 °C) of the synthesized samples were also performed which revealed that the 50 wt.% LSM with 50 wt.% YSZ (L50Y50) sample showed the highest total conductivity of 8.27x10-1 S/cm at 600 oC with 0.22 eV activation energy.

Keywords: Fuel Cells, Microstructure, Ceramics, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy

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5 Preparation and Characterization of Pectin Based Proton Exchange Membranes Derived by Solution Casting Method for Direct Methanol Fuel Cells

Authors: Mohanapriya Subramanian, V. Raj


Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) are considered to be one of the most promising candidates for portable and stationary applications in the view of their advantages such as high energy density, easy manipulation, high efficiency and they operate with liquid fuel which could be used without requiring any fuel-processing units. Electrolyte membrane of DMFC plays a key role as a proton conductor as well as a separator between electrodes. Increasing concern over environmental protection, biopolymers gain tremendous interest owing to their eco-friendly bio-degradable nature. Pectin is a natural anionic polysaccharide which plays an essential part in regulating mechanical behavior of plant cell wall and it is extracted from outer cells of most of the plants. The aim of this study is to develop and demonstrate pectin based polymer composite membranes as methanol impermeable polymer electrolyte membranes for DMFCs. Pectin based nanocomposites membranes are prepared by solution-casting technique wherein pectin is blended with chitosan followed by the addition of optimal amount of sulphonic acid modified Titanium dioxide nanoparticle (S-TiO2). Nanocomposite membranes are characterized by Fourier Transform-Infra Red spectroscopy, Scanning electron microscopy, and Energy dispersive spectroscopy analyses. Proton conductivity and methanol permeability are determined into order to evaluate their suitability for DMFC application. Pectin-chitosan blends endow with a flexible polymeric network which is appropriate to disperse rigid S-TiO2 nanoparticles. Resulting nanocomposite membranes possess adequate thermo-mechanical stabilities as well as high charge-density per unit volume. Pectin-chitosan natural polymeric nanocomposite comprising optimal S-TiO2 exhibits good electrochemical selectivity and therefore desirable for DMFC application.

Keywords: Fuel Cells, Biopolymers, nanocomposite, methanol crossover

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4 Modeling of Anode Catalyst against CO in Fuel Cell Using Material Informatics

Authors: M. Khorshed Alam, H. Takaba


The catalytic properties of metal usually change by intermixturing with another metal in polymer electrolyte fuel cells. Pt-Ru alloy is one of the much-talked used alloy to enhance the CO oxidation. In this work, we have investigated the CO coverage on the Pt2Ru3 nanoparticle with different atomic conformation of Pt and Ru using a combination of material informatics with computational chemistry. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations used to describe the adsorption strength of CO and H with different conformation of Pt Ru ratio in the Pt2Ru3 slab surface. Then through the Monte Carlo (MC) simulations we examined the segregation behaviour of Pt as a function of surface atom ratio, subsurface atom ratio, particle size of the Pt2Ru3 nanoparticle. We have constructed a regression equation so as to reproduce the results of DFT only from the structural descriptors. Descriptors were selected for the regression equation; xa-b indicates the number of bonds between targeted atom a and neighboring atom b in the same layer (a,b = Pt or Ru). Terms of xa-H2 and xa-CO represent the number of atoms a binding H2 and CO molecules, respectively. xa-S is the number of atom a on the surface. xa-b- is the number of bonds between atom a and neighboring atom b located outside the layer. The surface segregation in the alloying nanoparticles is influenced by their component elements, composition, crystal lattice, shape, size, nature of the adsorbents and its pressure, temperature etc. Simulations were performed on different size (2.0 nm, 3.0 nm) of nanoparticle that were mixing of Pt and Ru atoms in different conformation considering of temperature range 333K. In addition to the Pt2Ru3 alloy we also considered pure Pt and Ru nanoparticle to make comparison of surface coverage by adsorbates (H2, CO). Hence, we assumed the pure and Pt-Ru alloy nanoparticles have an fcc crystal structures as well as a cubo-octahedron shape, which is bounded by (111) and (100) facets. Simulations were performed up to 50 million MC steps. From the results of MC, in the presence of gases (H2, CO), the surfaces are occupied by the gas molecules. In the equilibrium structure the coverage of H and CO as a function of the nature of surface atoms. In the initial structure, the Pt/Ru ratios on the surfaces for different cluster sizes were in range of 0.50 - 0.95. MC simulation was employed when the partial pressure of H2 (PH2) and CO (PCO) were 70 kPa and 100-500 ppm, respectively. The Pt/Ru ratios decrease as the increase in the CO concentration, without little exception only for small nanoparticle. The adsorption strength of CO on the Ru site is higher than the Pt site that would be one of the reason for decreasing the Pt/Ru ratio on the surface. Therefore, our study identifies that controlling the nanoparticle size, composition, conformation of alloying atoms, concentration and chemical potential of adsorbates have impact on the steadiness of nanoparticle alloys which ultimately and also overall catalytic performance during the operations.

Keywords: Fuel Cells, Monte Carlo, anode catalysts, material informatics

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3 Pt Decorated Functionalized Acetylene Black as Efficient Cathode Material for Li Air Battery and Fuel Cell Applications

Authors: Rajashekar Badam, Vedarajan Raman, Noriyoshi Matsumi


Efficiency of energy converting and storage systems like fuel cells and Li-Air battery principally depended on oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) which occurs at cathode. As the kinetics of the ORR is very slow, it becomes the rate determining step. Exploring carbon substrates for enhancing the dispersion and activity of the metal catalyst and commercially viable simple preparation method is a very crucial area of research in the field of energy materials. Hence, many researchers made large number of carbon-based ORR materials today. But, there are hardly few studies on the effect of interaction between Pt-carbon and carbon-electrolyte on activity. In this work, we have prepared functionalized carbon-based Pt catalyst (Pt-FAB) with enhanced interfacial properties that lead to efficient ORR catalysis. The present work deals with a single-pot method to exfoliate and functionalized acetylene black with enhanced interaction with Pt as well as electrolyte. Acetylene black was functionalized and exfoliated using a facile single pot acid treatment method. The resulted FAB was further decorated with Pt-nano particles (Pt-np). The TEM images of Pt-FAB with uniformly decorated Pt-np of ~3 nm. Further, XPS studies of Pt 4f peak revealed that Pt0 peak was shifted by 0.4 eV in Pt-FAB compared to binding energy of typical Pt⁰ found in Pt/C. The shift can be ascribed to the modulation of electronic state and strong electronic interaction of Pt with carbon. Modulated electronic structure of Pt and strong electronic interaction of Pt with FAB enhances the catalytic activity and durability respectively. To understand the electrode electrolyte interface, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy was carried out. These measurements revealed that the charge transfer resistance of electrode to electrolyte for Pt-FAB is 10 times smaller than that of conventional Pt/C. The interaction with electrolyte helps reduce the interface boundaries, which in turn affects the overall catalytic performance of the electrode. Cyclic voltammetric measurements in 0.1M HClO₄ aq. at a potential scan rate of 50 mVs-1 was employed to evaluate electrochemical surface area (ECSA) of Pt. ECSA of Pt-FAB was found to be as high as 67.2 m²g⁻¹. The three-electrode system showed very high ORR catalytic activity. Mass activity at 0.9 V vs. RHE showed 460 A/g which is much higher than the DOE target values for the year 2020. Further, it showed enhanced performance by showing 723 mW/cm² of highest power density and 1006 mA/cm² of current density at 0.6 V in fuel cell single cell type configuration and 1030 mAhg⁻¹ of rechargeable capacity in Li air battery application. The higher catalytic activity can be ascribed to the improved interaction of FAB with Pt and electrolyte. The aforementioned results evince that Pt-FAB will be a promising cathode material for efficient ORR with significant cyclability for its application in fuel cells and Li-Air batteries. In conclusion, a disordered material was prepared from AB and was systematically characterized. The extremely high ORR activity and ease of preparation make it competent for replacing commercially available ORR materials.

Keywords: Fuel Cells, oxygen reduction reaction, functionalized acetylene black, Functionalized battery

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2 Controlling the Fluid Flow in Hydrogen Fuel Cells through Material Porosity Designs

Authors: Jamal Hussain Al-Smail


Hydrogen fuel cells (HFCs) are environmentally friendly, energy converter devices that convert the chemical energy of the reactants (oxygen and hydrogen) to electricity through electrochemical reactions. The level of the electricity production of HFCs mainly increases depending on the oxygen distribution in the HFC’s cathode gas diffusion layer (GDL). With a constant porosity of the GDL, the electrochemical reaction can have a great variation that reduces the cell’s productivity and stability. Our findings bring a methodology in finding porosity designs of the diffusion layer to improve the oxygen distribution such that it results in a stable oxygen-hydrogen reaction. We first introduce a mathematical model involving the mass and momentum transport equations, in which a porosity function of the GDL is incorporated as a control for the fluid flow. We then derive numerical methods for solving the mathematical model. In conclusion, we present our numerical results to show how to design the GDL porosity to result in a uniform oxygen distribution.

Keywords: Mathematical Modeling, Fuel Cells, Porous Media, material porosity design

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1 Fuel Cells and Offshore Wind Turbines Technology for Eco-Friendly Ports with a Case Study

Authors: Ibrahim Sadek Sedik Ibrahim, Mohamed M. Elgohary


Sea ports are considered one of the factors affecting the progress of economic globalization and the international trade; consequently, they are considered one of the sources involved in the deterioration of the maritime environment due to the excessive amount of exhaust gases emitted from their activities. The majority of sea ports depend on the national electric grid as a source of power for the domestic and ships’ electric demands. This paper discusses the possibility of shifting ports from relying on the national grid electricity to green power-based ports. Offshore wind turbines and hydrogenic PEM fuel cell units appear as two typical promising clean energy sources for ports. As a case study, the paper investigates the prospect of converting Alexandria Port in Egypt to be an eco-friendly port with the study of technical, logistic, and financial requirements. The results show that the fuel cell, followed by a combined system of wind turbines and fuel cells, is the best choice regarding electricity production unit cost by 0.101 and 0.107 $/kWh, respectively. Furthermore, using of fuel cells and offshore wind turbine as green power concept will achieving emissions reduction quantity of CO₂, NOx, and CO emissions by 80,441, 20.814, and 133.025 ton per year, respectively. Finally, the paper highlights the role that renewable energy can play when supplying Alexandria Port with green energy to lift the burden on the government in supporting the electricity, with a possibility of achieving a profit of 3.85% to 22.31% of the annual electricity cost compared with the international prices.

Keywords: Renewable Energy, Fuel Cells, Offshore Wind Turbines, IMO, green ports, national electric grid, port emissions

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