High power direct methanol fuel cell with a porous carbon nanofiber anode layer

A. M. Zainoodin, Siti Kartom Kamarudin, Mohd Shahbudin Mastar @ Masdar, Wan Ramli Wan Daud, Abu Bakar Mohamad, J. Sahari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Three anode electrodes containing Pt-Ru Black as a catalyst were fabricated with a porous layer made with different carbon materials: carbon black (CB), carbon nanofiber (CNF) and a combination of both carbon materials (CB+CNF). The carbon-based porous layer was coated onto a carbon cloth with PTFE pre-treatment for delivering hydrophobic properties and applied in direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). Characterisation of electrochemical properties for three different anode electrodes was performed with cyclic voltammetry (CV), chronoamperometry (CA) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) at room temperature in a half-cell configuration. The evolution of the surface morphology of diffusion layer and electrodes was characterised by using variable-pressure scanning electron microscopy (VP-SEM). The electrochemical results indicate that electrode with CNF layer showed the highest current densities compared to CB and CB+CNF with the same catalyst loading. VP-SEM measurements show the network formation within the structure, which could facilitate the methanol mass transfer and improve the catalyst efficiency. The electrodes were applied to a single-cell DMFC, and the cell performance was experimentally investigated under passive operating mode and room temperature. A maximum power density of 23.0mWcm-2 at a current density of 88.0mAcm-2 with a 3M dilute methanol solution was achieved. The results show that the electrodes with a CNF layer could improve the performance of DMFC as compared with commercially used CB and prove it's potentially application in DMFC technology especially for portable power source applications due to several advantages as followings: operating at low concentration of methanol, operating at room temperature, low catalyst loading in anode and cathode, cheaper, less hazardous and no parasitic load.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)946-954
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Energy
Volume113
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014

Fingerprint

Carbon nanofibers
Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC)
fuel cell
methanol
Carbon black
Anodes
Electrodes
black carbon
carbon
electrode
Catalysts
Carbon
Methanol
catalyst
Current density
Chronoamperometry
Scanning electron microscopy
scanning electron microscopy
Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy
Electrochemical properties

Keywords

  • Carbon nanofiber
  • Direct methanol fuel cell
  • Electrode

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy(all)
  • Civil and Structural Engineering

Cite this

High power direct methanol fuel cell with a porous carbon nanofiber anode layer. / Zainoodin, A. M.; Kamarudin, Siti Kartom; Mastar @ Masdar, Mohd Shahbudin; Wan Daud, Wan Ramli; Mohamad, Abu Bakar; Sahari, J.

In: Applied Energy, Vol. 113, 01.2014, p. 946-954.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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