• Ionela Florentina Grigoras
4. term, Energy Engineering, Master (Master Programme)
Methanol steam reforming process can be a good solution for hydrogen generation in the case of fuel cells. The use of hydrogen generated by such process to fuel a fuel cell can eliminate the issues related to infrastructure and storage. But the hydrogen obtained through methanol steam reforming is not pure, containing impurities such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, water vapor and unconverted methanol. Researches have been conducted on HT-PEM fuel cells to study the effects of fuel impurities.
The current work investigates experimentally the effects of methanol-water vapor mixture concentrations in a H3PO4 doped PBI-based HT-PEM fuel cell. To isolate the effects of methanol-water vapor mixture from the whole reformate gas, the carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide are excluded from the experimental matrix. Two types of experiments are conducted: performance tests and degradation tests. The performance tests are realized in order to study the effect of temperature and the different vapor mixture concentrations on the fuel cell. The effect of startup-shutdown cycles is studied during the degradation tests.
The analysis of these effects is made based on the impedance spectra measurements, polarization curves and cyclic voltammetry measurements. The results showed that temperature and methanol-water vapor mixture variations have an effect on the fuel cell performance. The increase in temperature increases the cathode catalyst active area and decreases the charge transfer resistance. Methanol-water vapor variations have an effect on the membrane conductivity when the cell is operated for longer times and cause a decrease in the catalyst active area of the cathode.
During the startup/shutdown cycles performed with pure hydrogen the total voltage decay was of -46.3 mV, while the degradation rate for the case with methanol at a concentration of 3% was of -7.9 mV/h.
SpecialisationFuel Cells and Hydrogen Technology
Publication date4 Jun 2013
Number of pages79
Publishing institutionAalborg University
ID: 77230358