Research Papers

A Simple Analytical Model of a Direct Methanol Fuel Cell

[+] Author and Article Information
Sh. Fakourian

Chemical Engineering Department,
Amirkabir University of Technology,
Tehran 15875-4413, Iran
e-mail: sh.fakourian@gmail.com

M. Kalbasi

Chemical Engineering Department,
Amirkabir University of Technology,
Tehran 15875-4413, Iran

M. M. Hasani-Sadrabadi

Department of Biomedical Engineering,
Amirkabir University of Technology,
Tehran 15875-4413, Iran

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FUEL CELL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received March 4, 2015; final manuscript received September 20, 2015; published online October 21, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Dirk Henkensmeier.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 12(5), 051003 (Oct 21, 2015) (7 pages) Paper No: FC-15-1012; doi: 10.1115/1.4031696 History: Received March 04, 2015; Revised September 20, 2015

A one-dimensional analytical model of a direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) was presented. This model was developed to describe the electrochemical reactions on the anode and cathode electrodes, and the transport phenomena in fuel cell consisting of methanol transport from anode to cathode through the membrane (methanol crossover), diffusion of reactants in gas diffusion layers (GDLs), and fluid flow in flow channels. One of the main strike features of this work was that the complicated relations were simplified logically and the model was solved analytically by the first-order differential equation. The results of the model indicated that increasing the current density led to lower methanol concentration in anode in spite of higher oxygen concentration in cathode. The presented model supports the experimental data well.

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Fig. 1

Schematic of the DMFC that was used in our model

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Fig. 2

Overpotential curves of the presented model for 1 M and 2 M of methanol feed concentration

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Fig. 3

Polarization curves of the single-cell test for 1.0 M and 2.0 M methanol solutions at 1.36 atm pressure for the anode and oxygen at 1.36 atm pressure for the cathode at 90 °C

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Fig. 4

Schematic of the experimental setup

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Fig. 5

Model-predicted methanol concentration distributions in anode side (0.1859 A cm−2)

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Fig. 6

Model-predicted methanol concentration distributions in anodic catalyst layer and PEM

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Fig. 7

Model-predicted oxygen concentration distributions in cathode side

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Fig. 8

Prediction of fuel cell performance in different methanol feed concentrations




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