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Research Papers

Performance Enhancement of Alkaline Direct Methanol Fuel Cells by Ni/Al Layered Double Hydroxides

[+] Author and Article Information
Jason C. Ganley1

Department of Chemical Engineering, Howard University, 2013 Lewis K. Downing Hall, 2300 6th Street NW, Washington, DC 20059jganley@howard.edu

Nana K. Karikari, Dharmaraj Raghavan

Department of Chemistry, Howard University, 525 College Street NW, Washington, DC 20059

1

Corresponding author.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 7(3), 031019 (Mar 17, 2010) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3211100 History: Received March 11, 2009; Revised June 10, 2009; Published March 17, 2010; Online March 17, 2010

This paper reports the results of fuel cell performance tests detailing the effects of Ni/Al layered double hydroxide (Ni-LDH) on the performance of alkaline direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). It is desirable to enhance the maximum rate of methanol consumption at a fuel cell’s anode so that expensive bimetallic catalysts (such as Pt-Ru) would not be as essential to remedy the well-known sluggish kinetics and Pt catalyst deactivation tendencies of DMFCs. The test cells were constructed using partially hydrolyzed polyvinyl alcohol film membranes impregnated with a 10 M potassium hydroxide electrolyte. The cells were tested at a constant temperature of 40°C, and the effect of the addition of Ni-LDH to the membrane surface was studied by comparison of fuel cell polarization and power production curves of cells with Pt or Pt-Ru anodes paired with Pt cathodes. The benefits of Ni-LDH addition to DMFCs are clearly shown vis-à-vis the extended operating current densities and associated increases in power density for each catalyst type. The enhancement effect of Ni-LDH appears largely as enhancement of cell mass transport. Cells constructed with Pt anodes and membrane surfaces modified by Ni-LDH perform very nearly as well as Ni-LDH-free cells using bimetallic Pt-Ru anodes.

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Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Schematic representation of the Ni-LDH structure used in the present study

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Figure 2

Polarization behavior of the alkaline direct methanol fuel cells constructed with platinum anodes and (◼) plain PVA membranes and (◻) Ni-LDH coated PVA membranes

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Figure 3

Power production performance of the alkaline direct methanol fuel cells constructed with platinum anodes and (◼) plain PVA membranes and (◻) Ni-LDH coated membranes

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Figure 4

Polarization behavior of the alkaline direct methanol fuel cells constructed with platinum-ruthenium anodes and (▲) plain PVA membranes and (△) Ni-LDH coated PVA membranes

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Figure 5

Power production performance of the alkaline direct methanol fuel cells constructed with platinum-ruthenium anodes and (▲) plain PVA membranes and (△) Ni-LDH coated PVA membranes

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Figure 6

Polarization behavior of the alkaline direct methanol fuel cells constructed with (◼) platinum anodes with plain PVA membranes, (◻) platinum anodes with Ni-LDH coated PVA membranes, and (▲) platinum-ruthenium anodes with plain PVA membranes

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Figure 7

Power production performance of the alkaline direct methanol fuel cells constructed with (◼) platinum anodes with plain PVA membranes, (◻) platinum anodes with Ni-LDH coated PVA membranes, and (▲) platinum-ruthenium anodes with plain membranes

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