Methanol anode modified by semipermeable membrane for mixed-feed direct methanol fuel cells

R. Kothandaraman, Weihua Deng, Moses Sorkin, Arthur Kaufman, H. Frank Gibbard, Scott Calabrese Barton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Mixed-feed direct methanol fuel cells, which operate on a single feed stream comprised of fuel and oxidant, were constructed using PtRu anode catalysts. Reaction selectivity favoring methanol oxidation at the anode was achieved by application of a barrier layer comprised of reconstituted Nafion, and optionally carbon black, hot pressed between the anode catalyst layer and reactant diffusion layer. The modified anode outperformed an unmodified anode in the presence of mixed feed at 60 and 80°C. This result is attributed to reduced infiltration of oxygen from the mixed feed due to introduction of a barrier that admits mainly aqueous methanol. Inclusion of carbon black in the barrier layer led to ∼30% increase in current density at 350 mV /dynamic hydrogen electrode, attributable to reduced contact resistance. On increasing the cell temperature from 60 to 80°C, the activation polarization region vanished for anodes that were either unmodified or modified by a Nafion-carbon barrier layer. This result is attributed to decreased water content in the barrier at elevated temperature, leading to increased oxygen flux and thereby introducing a mixed potential at the anode.

LanguageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Volume155
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 2008

Profile

Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC)
fuel cells
Methanol
Anodes
anodes
methyl alcohol
membranes
Membranes
barrier layers
Soot
Carbon black
carbon
Oxygen
catalysts
Catalysts
Catalyst selectivity
oxygen
infiltration
Contact resistance
contact resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrochemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Surfaces and Interfaces

Cite this

Methanol anode modified by semipermeable membrane for mixed-feed direct methanol fuel cells. / Kothandaraman, R.; Deng, Weihua; Sorkin, Moses; Kaufman, Arthur; Gibbard, H. Frank; Barton, Scott Calabrese.

In: Journal of the Electrochemical Society, Vol. 155, No. 9, 2008.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kothandaraman, R. ; Deng, Weihua ; Sorkin, Moses ; Kaufman, Arthur ; Gibbard, H. Frank ; Barton, Scott Calabrese. / Methanol anode modified by semipermeable membrane for mixed-feed direct methanol fuel cells. In: Journal of the Electrochemical Society. 2008 ; Vol. 155, No. 9.
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AU - Barton,Scott Calabrese

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N2 - Mixed-feed direct methanol fuel cells, which operate on a single feed stream comprised of fuel and oxidant, were constructed using PtRu anode catalysts. Reaction selectivity favoring methanol oxidation at the anode was achieved by application of a barrier layer comprised of reconstituted Nafion, and optionally carbon black, hot pressed between the anode catalyst layer and reactant diffusion layer. The modified anode outperformed an unmodified anode in the presence of mixed feed at 60 and 80°C. This result is attributed to reduced infiltration of oxygen from the mixed feed due to introduction of a barrier that admits mainly aqueous methanol. Inclusion of carbon black in the barrier layer led to ∼30% increase in current density at 350 mV /dynamic hydrogen electrode, attributable to reduced contact resistance. On increasing the cell temperature from 60 to 80°C, the activation polarization region vanished for anodes that were either unmodified or modified by a Nafion-carbon barrier layer. This result is attributed to decreased water content in the barrier at elevated temperature, leading to increased oxygen flux and thereby introducing a mixed potential at the anode.

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