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Research Papers

Design of a Membraneless Passive Planar Four-Cell Direct Borohydride Fuel Cell

[+] Author and Article Information
Jinfu Ma1

School of Materials Science and Engineering,  Beifang University for Nationalities, Yinchuan 750021, P. R. C. e-mail: majf0870@163.comState Key Laboratory for Mechanical Behavior of Materials,  Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710049, P. R. C.

Yongning Liu

School of Materials Science and Engineering,  Beifang University for Nationalities, Yinchuan 750021, P. R. C. e-mail: majf0870@163.comState Key Laboratory for Mechanical Behavior of Materials,  Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710049, P. R. C.

1

Corresponding author.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 9(1), 011004 (Dec 19, 2011) (3 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4005383 History: Received January 02, 2011; Revised September 27, 2011; Published December 19, 2011; Online December 19, 2011

The use of noble catalysts and ion exchange membranes make the design of a direct borohydride fuel cell (DBFC) stack complicate and limit its application. Therefore, the development of simple, cost effective construction for DBFC stacks is necessary. In this paper, a passive DBFC stack that consists of four unit cells was designed, fabricated, and tested. The stack eliminated the need for a polyelectrolyte membrane because of the use of a metal phthalocyanine catalyst for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), which has a high borohydride tolerance. The electrochemical experiments show that the stack can obtain open-circuit-voltage (OCV) of 3.6 V and the maximal power of 400 mW at 1.5 V at ambient temperature. In addition, the DBFC stack was successfully applied to power a radio, which can continuously run for about 3 h on refueling 8 mL 1 M borohydride solution.

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Figures

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Figure 1

Schematic of the passive four-cell stack

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Figure 2

Schematic of the connection of the unit cells

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Figure 3

Performance of the four-cell stack. (Anode: AB5 -HSA 150 mg.cm−2 , Cathode: LaNiO3 7.5 mg.cm−2 , and Electrolyte: 0.8 M KBH4 in a 6 M KOH solution at room temperature).

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Figure 4

Voltage of each unit cell in the stack at different discharge currents

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Figure 5

Photo of a radio powered by the actual four-cell DBFC stack

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