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Quantifying and elucidating the effect of CO2 on the thermodynamics, kinetics and charge transport of AEMFCs

Zheng, Yiwei, Omasta, Travis J., Peng, Xiong, Wang, Lianqin, Varcoe, John R., Pivovar, Bryan S. and Mustain, William E. (2019) Quantifying and elucidating the effect of CO2 on the thermodynamics, kinetics and charge transport of AEMFCs Energy & Environmental Science, 12 (9). pp. 2806-2819.

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It has been long-recognized that carbonation of anion exchange membrane fuel cells (AEMFCs) would be an important practical barrier for their implementation in applications that use ambient air containing atmospheric CO₂. Most literature discussion around AEMFC carbonation has hypothesized: (1) that the effect of carbonation is limited to an increase in the Ohmic resistance because carbonate has lower mobility than hydroxide; and/or (2) that the so-called “self-purging” mechanism could effectively decarbonate the cell and eliminate CO₂-related voltage losses during operation at a reasonable operating current density (>1 A cm−2). However, this study definitively shows that neither of these assertions are correct. This work, the first experimental examination of its kind, studies the dynamics of cell carbonation and its effect on AEMFC performance over a wide range of operating currents (0.2–2.0 A cm¯²), operating temperatures (60–80 °C) and CO₂ concentrations in the reactant gases (5–3200 ppm). The resulting data provide for new fundamental relationships to be developed and for the root causes of increased polarization in the presence of CO₂ to be quantitatively probed and deconvoluted into Ohmic, Nernstian and charge transfer components, with the Nernstian and charge transfer components controlling the cell behavior under conditions of practical interest.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Chemistry
Authors :
Zheng, Yiwei
Omasta, Travis J.
Peng, Xiong
Varcoe, John
Pivovar, Bryan S.
Mustain, William E.
Date : 22 July 2019
Funders : Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
DOI : 10.1039/c9ee01334b
Copyright Disclaimer : © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2019. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence.
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 26 Sep 2019 13:09
Last Modified : 26 Sep 2019 13:09

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