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Gas evolution and power performance in direct methanol fuel cells

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Panagiotis Argyropoulos, Emeritus Professor Keith Scott, Dr Wathiq Taama


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The use of acrylic cells and a CCTV camera for visually investigating the carbon dioxide gas evolution process inside an operating direct methanol fuel cell environment is demonstrated. Also, the effect of operating parameters on the system gas management, using a series of tests with different gas diffusion layer supporting materials, flow bed designs, cell sizes and exhaust manifold configurations, is studied. Carbon dioxide gas management is an important issue obstructing progress in viable direct methanol fuel cell systems development. Gas evolution mechanisms and gas management techniques are discussed and analyzed with reference to several video picture and performance data. The data demonstrate that Toray carbon paper is not a suitable material for DMFCs due to its poor gas removal properties. `A' type carbon cloth shows relatively good gas removal behaviour. Increasing the liquid phase inlet flow rate is beneficial for gas removal. Increasing the current density results in higher gas production and in the formation of gas slugs, especially at low flow rates, which can lead to blocking of the channels and hence deterioration in the cell performance. A new flow bed design, based on a heat exchanger concept, is affective for gas management and gives a more uniform flow distribution in the flow bed channels. Using the results of this study, and the modelling techniques developed by our group, will are able to determine suitable operating conditions for our prototype 0.5 kW cell DMFC stack.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Argyropoulos P, Scott K, Taama WM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Applied Electrochemistry

Year: 1999

Volume: 29

Issue: 6

Pages: 661-669

Print publication date: 01/01/1999

ISSN (print): 0021-891X

ISSN (electronic): 1572-8838

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1023/A:1003589319211


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