Research Papers

Electrochemical Characterization of Synthesized Ni–Co and Ni–Co–Fe Electrodes for Methanol Fuel Cell

[+] Author and Article Information
Subir Paul

Department of Metallurgical
and Material Engineering,
Jadavpur University,
Kolkata 700032, India
e-mail: spaul@metal.jdvu.ac.in

Sk Naimuddin

Department of Metallurgical
and Material Engineering,
Jadavpur University,
Kolkata 700032, India
e-mail: naim.uddin78@gmail.com

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FUEL CELL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received August 28, 2012; final manuscript received October 27, 2014; published online December 11, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Abel Hernandez-Guerrero.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 12(1), 011007 (Feb 01, 2015) (8 pages) Paper No: FC-12-1081; doi: 10.1115/1.4029063 History: Received August 28, 2012; Revised October 27, 2014; Online December 11, 2014

Pt based materials having high electrocatalytic properties are normally used for the electrodes of the fuel cell. But the cost of the material limits the commercialization of alcoholic fuel cell. Non-Pt based metals and alloys as electrode materials for methyl alcohol fuel cells have been investigated with an aim of finding high electrocatalytic surface property for the faster electrode reactions. Electrodes were fabricated by electrodeposition on pure Al foil, from an electrolyte of Ni, Co, and Fe salts. The optimum condition of electrodeposition was found by a series of experiments, varying the chemistry of the electrolyte, pH, temperature, current, and cell potential. Polarization study of the coated Ni–Co or Ni–Co–Fe alloy on pure Al was found to exhibit high exchange current density, indicating an improved electrocatalytic surface with faster charge–discharge reactions at anode and cathode and low overvoltage. Electrochemical impedance studies on the coated and uncoated surface clearly showed that the polarization resistance and impedance were decreased by Ni–Co or N–Co–Fe coating. X-ray diffraction (XRD), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), and atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) studies confirmed the presence of alloying elements and constituents of the alloy. The morphology of the deposits from scanning electron microscope (SEM) images indicated that the electrode surface was a three-dimensional space which increased the effective surface area for the electrode reactions to take place.

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Fig. 1

Polarization of bare Al, bare Ni, Ni–Co, and Ni–Co–Fe coated Al in methanol solution under anaerobic condition at 25 °C

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Fig. 2

Polarization study of bare aluminum, bare nickel, Ni–Co, and Ni–Co–Fe coated Al electrodes in aerated phosphate buffer solution

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Fig. 3

Comparison of exchange current density of different electrocatalytic surface, coated and bare electrodes (a) anodic solution (anaerobic methanol solution) and (b) cathodic solution (aerated phosphate buffer solution)

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Fig. 4

Bode plots Ni–Co and Ni–Co–Fe coated Al, bare Al in anaerobic methanol solution at 25 °C

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Fig. 5

Nyquist plot for bare Al, Ni–Co, and Ni–Co–Fe coated Al in anaerobic methanol solution at 25 °C

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Fig. 6

Bode plots Ni–Co and Ni–Co–Fe coated Al, bare Al in phosphate buffer solution at 25 °C

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Fig. 7

Nyquist plot for bare Al, Ni–Co, and Ni–Co–Fe coated Al in phosphate buffer solution at 25 °C

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Fig. 8

XRD of coated electrodes (a) Ni–Co coated on Al and (b) Ni–Co–Fe coated on Al

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Fig. 9

EDX study of alloy coated on Al surface (a) Ni–Co and (b) Ni–Co–Fe

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Fig. 10

Shows the SEM photographs of alloy coated aluminum electrode surface (a) Ni–Co, (b) Ni–Co, (c) Ni–Co–Fe, and (d) Ni–Co–Fe

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Fig. 11

Anodic polarization of Ni–Co–Fe alloy coated electrode in 1 M methanol solution with 0.5 M H2SO4 solution purged with argon under anaerobic condition, before anodic polarization and after anodic polarization



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