Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells Related Abstracts

3 Optimal Feedback Linearization Control of PEM Fuel Cell

Authors: E. Shahsavari, R. Ghasemi, A. Akramizadeh


This paper presents a new method to design nonlinear feedback linearization controller for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). A nonlinear controller is designed based on nonlinear model to prolong the stack life of PEM fuel cells. Since it is known that large deviations between hydrogen and oxygen partial pressures can cause severe membrane damage in the fuel cell, feedback linearization is applied to the PEM fuel cell system so that the deviation can be kept as small as possible during disturbances or load variations. To obtain an accurate feedback linearization controller, tuning the linear parameters are always important. So in proposed study NSGA_II method was used to tune the designed controller in aim to decrease the controller tracking error. The simulation result showed that the proposed method tuned the controller efficiently.

Keywords: Optimal Control, nonlinear dynamic model, polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells, feedback linearization, NSGA_II

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2 Carbon-Foam Supported Electrocatalysts for Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells

Authors: Albert Mufundirwa, Satoru Yoshioka, K. Ogi, Takeharu Sugiyama, George F. Harrington, Bretislav Smid, Benjamin Cunning, Kazunari Sasaki, Akari Hayashi, Stephen M. Lyth


Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are electrochemical energy conversion devices used for portable, residential and vehicular applications due to their low emissions, high efficiency, and quick start-up characteristics. However, PEMFCs generally use expensive, Pt-based electrocatalysts as electrode catalysts. Due to the high cost and limited availability of platinum, research and development to either drastically reduce platinum loading, or replace platinum with alternative catalysts is of paramount importance. A combination of high surface area supports and nano-structured active sites is essential for effective operation of catalysts. We synthesize carbon foam supports by thermal decomposition of sodium ethoxide, using a template-free, gram scale, cheap, and scalable pyrolysis method. This carbon foam has a high surface area, highly porous, three-dimensional framework which is ideal for electrochemical applications. These carbon foams can have surface area larger than 2500 m²/g, and electron microscopy reveals that they have micron-scale cells, separated by few-layer graphene-like carbon walls. We applied this carbon foam as a platinum catalyst support, resulting in the improved electrochemical surface area and mass activity for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), compared to carbon black. Similarly, silver-decorated carbon foams showed higher activity and efficiency for electrochemical carbon dioxide conversion than silver-decorated carbon black. A promising alternative to Pt-catalysts for the ORR is iron-impregnated nitrogen-doped carbon catalysts (Fe-N-C). Doping carbon with nitrogen alters the chemical structure and modulates the electronic properties, allowing a degree of control over the catalytic properties. We have adapted our synthesis method to produce nitrogen-doped carbon foams with large surface area, using triethanolamine as a nitrogen feedstock, in a novel bottom-up protocol. These foams are then infiltrated with iron acetate (FeAc) and pyrolysed to form Fe-N-C foams. The resulting Fe-N-C foam catalysts have high initial activity (half-wave potential of 0.68 VRHE), comparable to that of commercially available Pt-free catalysts (e.g., NPC-2000, Pajarito Powder) in acid solution. In alkaline solution, the Fe-N-C carbon foam catalysts have a half-wave potential of 0.89 VRHE, which is higher than that of NPC-2000 by almost 10 mVRHE, and far out-performing platinum. However, the durability is still a problem at present. The lessons learned from X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and electrochemical measurements will be used to carefully design Fe-N-C catalysts for higher performance PEMFCs.

Keywords: Platinum, polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells, carbon-foam, Pt-free, Fe-N-C, ORR

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1 Study of Structural Behavior and Proton Conductivity of Inorganic Gel Paste Electrolyte at Various Phosphorous to Silicon Ratio by Multiscale Modelling

Authors: P. Haldar, P. Ghosh, S. Ghoshdastidar, K. Kargupta


In polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC), the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) is consisting of two platinum coated carbon electrodes, sandwiched with one proton conducting phosphoric acid doped polymeric membrane. Due to low mechanical stability, flooding and fuel cell crossover, application of phosphoric acid in polymeric membrane is very critical. Phosphorous and silica based 3D inorganic gel gains the attention in the field of supercapacitors, fuel cells and metal hydrate batteries due to its thermally stable highly proton conductive behavior. Also as a large amount of water molecule and phosphoric acid can easily get trapped in Si-O-Si network cavities, it causes a prevention in the leaching out. In this study, we have performed molecular dynamics (MD) simulation and first principle calculations to understand the structural, electronics and electrochemical and morphological behavior of this inorganic gel at various P to Si ratios. We have used dipole-dipole interactions, H bonding, and van der Waals forces to study the main interactions between the molecules. A 'structure property-performance' mapping is initiated to determine optimum P to Si ratio for best proton conductivity. We have performed the MD simulations at various temperature to understand the temperature dependency on proton conductivity. The observed results will propose a model which fits well with experimental data and other literature values. We have also studied the mechanism behind proton conductivity. And finally we have proposed a structure for the gel paste with optimum P to Si ratio.

Keywords: molecular dynamics simulation, proton conductivity, polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells, first principle calculation, phosphorous and silica based 3D inorganic gel

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