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Performance of the Direct Methanol Carbonate Fuel Cell Using Anion Exchange Materials and Non-Noble Metal Cathode Catalyst

Lookup NU author(s): Xu Wang, Professor Eileen Yu, Emeritus Professor Keith Scott


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A direct methanol fuel cell using a mixture of O2 and CO2 at the cathode was evaluated using anion exchange materials and cathode catalysts of Pt and a non-Pt catalyst. The MEA based on non-noble metal catalyst Acta 4020 showed superior performance than Pt/C based MEA in terms of open circuit potential and power density in carbonate environment. The fuel cell performance was improved by applying anion exchange ionomer in the catalyst layer. A maximum power density of 4.5 mW cm–2 was achieved at 50 °C using 6.0 M methanol and 2.0 M K2CO3.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wang X, Yu EH, Horsfall J, Scott K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Fuel Cells

Year: 2013

Volume: 13

Issue: 5

Pages: 817-821

Print publication date: 01/10/2013

Online publication date: 26/07/2013

Acceptance date: 01/07/2013

ISSN (print): 1615-6846

ISSN (electronic): 1615-6854

Publisher: Wiley - V C H Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA


DOI: 10.1002/fuce.201200234

Notes: This study targeted the premier challenge in direct alkaline fuel cells: slow carbonation limiting fuel cell lifetime. By applying novel commercial non-Pt catalyst and the novel anion exchange polymer developed in our group, the feasibility of running alkaline fuel cells with carbonate and CO2 is a significant development and improvement for this type of fuel cells. It also provided possibility of utilisation of CO2 by electrochemical oxidation. Two grants obtained based on this concept: NERC catalyst grant for Resource recovery from waste (NE/K015788/1), and EPSRC CO2Chem Network Seedcorn grant.


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