Matching Items (18)

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Practicality of the Convolutional Solution Method of the Polarization Estimation Inverse Problem for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

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A specific species of the genus Geobacter exhibits useful electrical properties when processing a molecule often found in waste water. A team at ASU including Dr Cèsar Torres and Dr Sudeep Popat used that species to create a special type

A specific species of the genus Geobacter exhibits useful electrical properties when processing a molecule often found in waste water. A team at ASU including Dr Cèsar Torres and Dr Sudeep Popat used that species to create a special type of solid oxide fuel cell we refer to as a microbial fuel cell. Identification of possible chemical processes and properties of the reactions used by the Geobacter are investigated indirectly by taking measurements using Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy of the electrode-electrolyte interface of the microbial fuel cell to obtain the value of the fuel cell's complex impedance at specific frequencies. Investigation of the multiple polarization processes which give rise to measured impedance values is difficult to do directly and so examination of the distribution function of relaxation times (DRT) is considered instead. The DRT is related to the measured complex impedance values using a general, non-physical equivalent circuit model. That model is originally given in terms of a Fredholm integral equation with a non-square integrable kernel which makes the inverse problem of determining the DRT given the impedance measurements an ill-posed problem. The original integral equation is rewritten in terms of new variables into an equation relating the complex impedance to the convolution of a function based upon the original integral kernel and a related but separate distribution function which we call the convolutional distribution function. This new convolutional equation is solved by reducing the convolution to a pointwise product using the Fourier transform and then solving the inverse problem by pointwise division and application of a filter function (equivalent to regularization). The inverse Fourier transform is then taken to get the convolutional distribution function. In the literature the convolutional distribution function is then examined and certain values of a specific, less general equivalent circuit model are calculated from which aspects of the original chemical processes are derived. We attempted to instead directly determine the original DRT from the calculated convolutional distribution function. This method proved to be practically less useful due to certain values determined at the time of experiment which meant the original DRT could only be recovered in a window which would not normally contain the desired information for the original DRT. This limits any attempt to extend the solution for the convolutional distribution function to the original DRT. Further research may determine a method for interpreting the convolutional distribution function without an equivalent circuit model as is done with the regularization method used to solve directly for the original DRT.

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2016-05

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Characterizing Buffers to Maximize Peroxide Production in the Cathode Chamber of Microbial Fuel Cells

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Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) facilitate the conversion of organic matter to electrical current to make the total energy in black water treatment neutral or positive and produce hydrogen peroxide to assist the reuse of gray water. This research focuses on

Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) facilitate the conversion of organic matter to electrical current to make the total energy in black water treatment neutral or positive and produce hydrogen peroxide to assist the reuse of gray water. This research focuses on wastewater treatment at the U.S. military forward operating bases (FOBs). FOBs experience significant challenges with their wastewater treatment due to their isolation and dangers in transporting waste water and fresh water to and from the bases. Even though it is theoretically favorable to produce power in a MFC while treating black water, producing H2O2 is more useful and practical because it is a powerful cleaning agent that can reduce odor, disinfect, and aid in the treatment of gray water. Various acid forms of buffers were tested in the anode and cathode chamber to determine if the pH would lower in the cathode chamber while maintaining H2O2 efficiency, as well as to determine ion diffusion from the anode to the cathode via the membrane. For the catholyte experiments, phosphate and bicarbonate were tested as buffers while sodium chloride was the control. These experiments determined that the two buffers did not lower the pH. It was seen that the phosphate buffer reduced the H2O2 efficiency significantly while still staying at a high pH, while the bicarbonate buffer had the same efficiency as the NaCl control. For the anolyte experiments, it was shown that there was no diffusion of the buffers or MFC media across the membrane that would cause a decrease in the H2O2 production efficiency.

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2016-05

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Direct Flame Solid Oxide Fuel Cells for Use in Remote Powering Applications

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In this Honors thesis, direct flame solid oxide fuel cells (DFFC) were considered for their feasibility in providing a means of power generation for remote powering needs. Also considered for combined heat and fuel cell power cogeneration are thermoelectric cells

In this Honors thesis, direct flame solid oxide fuel cells (DFFC) were considered for their feasibility in providing a means of power generation for remote powering needs. Also considered for combined heat and fuel cell power cogeneration are thermoelectric cells (TEC). Among the major factors tested in this project for all cells were life time, thermal cycle/time based performance, and failure modes for cells. Two types of DFFC, anode and electrolyte supported, were used with two different fuel feed streams of propane/isobutene and ethanol. Several test configurations consisting of single cells, as well as stacked systems were tested to show how cell performed and degraded over time. All tests were run using a Biologic VMP3 potentiostat connected to a cell placed within the flame of a modified burner MSR® Wisperlite Universal stove. The maximum current and power output seen by any electrolyte supported DFFCs tested was 47.7 mA/cm2 and 9.6 mW/cm2 respectively, while that generated by anode supported DFFCs was 53.7 mA/cm2 and 9.25 mW/cm2 respectively with both cells operating under propane/isobutene fuel feed streams. All TECs tested dramatically outperformed both constructions of DFFC with a maximum current and power output of 309 mA/cm2 and 80 mW/cm2 respectively. It was also found that electrolyte supported DFFCs appeared to be less susceptible to degradation of the cell microstructure over time but more prone to cracking, while anode supported DFFCs were dramatically less susceptible to cracking but exhibited substantial microstructure degradation and shorter usable lifecycles. TECs tested were found to only be susceptible to overheating, and thus were suggested for use with electrolyte supported DFFCs in remote powering applications.

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2014-05

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Analysis of Various Renewable Energy Systems as a Potential Replacement to Industrial Diesel Engine Systems [CLOSED DEFENSE]

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This thesis explores the investigation of the project “Designing for a Post-Diesel Engine World”, a collaborative experiment between organizations within Arizona State University and an undisclosed company. This investigation includes the analysis of various renewable energy technologies and their potential

This thesis explores the investigation of the project “Designing for a Post-Diesel Engine World”, a collaborative experiment between organizations within Arizona State University and an undisclosed company. This investigation includes the analysis of various renewable energy technologies and their potential to replace industrial diesel engines as used in the company’s business. In order to be competitive with diesel engines, the technology should match or exceed diesel in power output, have reduced environmental impact, and meet other criteria standards as determined by the company. The team defined the final selection criteria as: low environmental impact, high efficiency, high power, and high technology readiness level. I served as the lead Hydrogen Fuel Cell Researcher and originally hypothesized that PEM fuel cells would be the most viable solution. Results of the analysis led to PEM fuel cells and Li-ion batteries being top contenders, and the team developed a hybrid solution incorporating both of these technologies in a technical and strategic solution. The resulting solution design from this project has the potential to be modified and implemented in various industries and reduce overall anthropogenic emissions from industrial processes.

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2021-05

Surface stress during electro-oxidation of carbon monoxide and bulk stress evolution during electrochemical intercalation of lithium

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This work investigates in-situ stress evolution of interfacial and bulk processes in electrochemical systems, and is divided into two projects. The first project examines the electrocapillarity of clean and CO-covered electrodes. It also investigates surface stress evolution during electro-oxidation of

This work investigates in-situ stress evolution of interfacial and bulk processes in electrochemical systems, and is divided into two projects. The first project examines the electrocapillarity of clean and CO-covered electrodes. It also investigates surface stress evolution during electro-oxidation of CO at Pt{111}, Ru/Pt{111} and Ru{0001} electrodes. The second project explores the evolution of bulk stress that occurs during intercalation (extraction) of lithium (Li) and formation of a solid electrolyte interphase during electrochemical reduction (oxidation) of Li at graphitic electrodes. Electrocapillarity measurements have shown that hydrogen and hydroxide adsorption are compressive on Pt{111}, Ru/Pt{111}, and Ru{0001}. The adsorption-induced surface stresses correlate strongly with adsorption charge. Electrocatalytic oxidation of CO on Pt{111} and Ru/Pt{111} gives a tensile surface stress. A numerical method was developed to separate both current and stress into background and active components. Applying this model to the CO oxidation signal on Ru{0001} gives a tensile surface stress and elucidates the rate limiting steps on all three electrodes. The enhanced catalysis of Ru/Pt{111} is confirmed to be bi-functional in nature: Ru provides adsorbed hydroxide to Pt allowing for rapid CO oxidation. The majority of Li-ion batteries have anodes consisting of graphite particles with polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) as binder. Intercalation of Li into graphite occurs in stages and produces anisotropic strains. As batteries have a fixed size and shape these strains are converted into mechanical stresses. Conventionally staging phenomena has been observed with X-ray diffraction and collaborated electrochemically with the potential. Work herein shows that staging is also clearly observed in stress. The Li staging potentials as measured by differential chronopotentiometry and stress are nearly identical. Relative peak heights of Li staging, as measured by these two techniques, are similar during reduction, but differ during oxidation due to non-linear stress relaxation phenomena. This stress relaxation appears to be due to homogenization of Li within graphite particles rather than viscous flow of the binder. The first Li reduction wave occurs simultaneously with formation of a passivating layer known as the solid electrolyte interphase (SEI). Preliminary experiments have shown the stress of SEI formation to be tensile (~+1.5 MPa).

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2011

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Potential materials for fuel cells

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Proton exchange membrane fuel cells have attracted immense research activities from the inception of the technology due to its high stability and performance capabilities. The major obstacle from commercialization is the cost of the catalyst material in manufacturing the fuel

Proton exchange membrane fuel cells have attracted immense research activities from the inception of the technology due to its high stability and performance capabilities. The major obstacle from commercialization is the cost of the catalyst material in manufacturing the fuel cell. In the present study, the major focus in PEMFCs has been in reduction of the cost of the catalyst material using graphene, thin film coated and Organometallic Molecular catalysts. The present research is focused on improving the durability and active surface area of the catalyst materials with low platinum loading using nanomaterials to reduce the effective cost of the fuel cells. Performance, Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, oxygen reduction and surface morphology studies were performed on each manufactured material.

Alkaline fuel cells with anion exchange membrane get immense attention due to very attractive opportunity of using non-noble metal catalyst materials. In the present study, cathodes with various organometallic cathode materials were prepared and investigated for alkaline membrane fuel cells for oxygen reduction and performance studies. Co and Fe Phthalocyanine catalyst materials were deposited on multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) support materials. Membrane Electrode Assemblies (MEAs) were fabricated using Tokuyama Membrane (#A901) with cathodes containing Co and Fe Phthalocyanine/MWCNTs and Pt/C anodes. Fuel cell performance of the MEAs was examined.

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2014

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The synthesis and characterization of ionic liquids for alkali-metal batteries and a novel electrolyte for non-humidified fuel cells

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This thesis focused on physicochemical and electrochemical projects directed towards two electrolyte types: 1) class of ionic liquids serving as electrolytes in the catholyte for alkali-metal ion conduction in batteries and 2) gel membrane for proton conduction in fuel cells;

This thesis focused on physicochemical and electrochemical projects directed towards two electrolyte types: 1) class of ionic liquids serving as electrolytes in the catholyte for alkali-metal ion conduction in batteries and 2) gel membrane for proton conduction in fuel cells; where overall aims were encouraged by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Large-scale, sodium-ion batteries are seen as global solutions to providing undisrupted electricity from sustainable, but power-fluctuating, energy production in the near future. Foreseen ideal advantages are lower cost without sacrifice of desired high-energy densities relative to present lithium-ion and lead-acid battery systems. Na/NiCl2 (ZEBRA) and Na/S battery chemistries, suffer from high operation temperature (>300ºC) and safety concerns following major fires consequent of fuel mixing after cell-separator rupturing. Initial interest was utilizing low-melting organic ionic liquid, [EMI+][AlCl4-], with well-known molten salt, NaAlCl4, to create a low-to-moderate operating temperature version of ZEBRA batteries; which have been subject of prior sodium battery research spanning decades. Isothermal conductivities of these electrolytes revealed a fundamental kinetic problem arisen from "alkali cation-trapping effect" yet relived by heat-ramping >140ºC.

Battery testing based on [EMI+][FeCl4-] with NaAlCl4 functioned exceptional (range 150-180ºC) at an impressive energy efficiency >96%. Newly prepared inorganic ionic liquid, [PBr4+][Al2Br7-]:NaAl2Br7, melted at 94ºC. NaAl2Br7 exhibited super-ionic conductivity 10-1.75 Scm-1 at 62ºC ensued by solid-state rotator phase transition. Also improved thermal stability when tested to 265ºC and less expensive chemical synthesis. [PBr4+][Al2Br7-] demonstrated remarkable, ionic decoupling in the liquid-state due to incomplete bromide-ion transfer depicted in NMR measurements.

Fuel cells are electrochemical devices generating electrical energy reacting hydrogen/oxygen gases producing water vapor. Principle advantage is high-energy efficiency of up to 70% in contrast to an internal combustion engine <40%. Nafion-based fuel cells are prone to carbon monoxide catalytic poisoning and polymer membrane degradation unless heavily hydrated under cell-pressurization. This novel "SiPOH" solid-electrolytic gel (originally liquid-state) operated in the fuel cell at 121oC yielding current and power densities high as 731mAcm-2 and 345mWcm-2, respectively. Enhanced proton conduction significantly increased H2 fuel efficiency to 89.7% utilizing only 3.1mlmin-1 under dry, unpressurized testing conditions. All these energy devices aforementioned evidently have future promise; therefore in early developmental stages.

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2014

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Novel anhydrous superprotonic ionic liquids and membranes for application in mid-temperature fuel cells

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This thesis studies three different types of anhydrous proton conducting electrolytes for use in fuel cells. The proton energy level scheme is used to make the first electrolyte which is a rubbery polymer in which the conductivity reaches values typical

This thesis studies three different types of anhydrous proton conducting electrolytes for use in fuel cells. The proton energy level scheme is used to make the first electrolyte which is a rubbery polymer in which the conductivity reaches values typical of activated Nafion, even though it is completely anhydrous. The protons are introduced into a cross-linked polyphospazene rubber by the superacid HOTf, which is absorbed by partial protonation of the backbone nitrogens. The decoupling of conductivity from segmental relaxation times assessed by comparison with conductivity relaxation times amounts to some 10 orders of magnitude, but it cannot be concluded whether it is purely protonic or due equally to a mobile OTf- or H(OTf)2-; component. The second electrolyte is built on the success of phosphoric acid as a fuel cell electrolyte, by designing a variant of the molecular acid that has increased temperature range without sacrifice of high temperature conductivity or open circuit voltage. The success is achieved by introduction of a hybrid component, based on silicon coordination of phosphate groups, which prevents decomposition or water loss to 250ºC, while enhancing free proton motion. Conductivity studies are reported to 285ºC and full H2/O2 cell polarization curves to 226ºC. The current efficiency reported here (current density per unit of fuel supplied per sec) is the highest on record. A power density of 184 (mW.cm-2) is achieved at 226ºC with hydrogen flow rate of 4.1 ml/minute. The third electrolyte is a novel type of ionic liquids which is made by addition of a super strong Brønsted acid to a super weak Brønsted base. Here it is shown that by allowing the proton of transient HAlCl4, to relocate on a very weak base that is also stable to superacids, we can create an anhydrous ionic liquid, itself a superacid, in which the proton is so loosely bound that at least 50% of the electrical conductivity is due to the motion of free protons. The protic ionic liquids (PILs) described, pentafluoropyridinium tetrachloroaluminate and 5-chloro-2,4,6-trifluoropyrimidinium tetrachloroaluminate, might be the forerunner of a class of materials in which the proton plasma state can be approached.

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2013

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Development of transition metal macrocyclic-catalysts supported on multi-walled carbon nanotubes for alkaline membrane fuel cell

Description

Low temperature fuel cells are very attractive energy conversion technology for automotive applications due to their qualities of being clean, quiet, efficient and good peak power densities. However, due to high cost and limited durability and reliability, commercialization of this

Low temperature fuel cells are very attractive energy conversion technology for automotive applications due to their qualities of being clean, quiet, efficient and good peak power densities. However, due to high cost and limited durability and reliability, commercialization of this technology has not been possible as yet. The high fuel cell cost is mostly due to the expensive noble catalyst Pt. Alkaline fuel cell (AFC) systems, have potential to make use of non-noble catalysts and thus, provides with a solution of overall lower cost. Therefore, this issue has been addressed in this thesis work. Hydrogen-oxygen fuel cells using an alkaline anion exchange membrane were prepared and evaluated. Various non-platinum catalyst materials were investigated by fabricating membrane-electrode assemblies (MEAs) using Tokuyama membrane (# A201) and compared with commercial noble metal catalysts. Co and Fe phthalocyanine catalyst materials were synthesized using multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) as support materials. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopic study was conducted in order to examine the surface composition. The electroreduction of oxygen has been investigated on Fe phthalocyanine/MWCNT, Co phthalocyanine/MWCNT and commercial Pt/C catalysts. The oxygen reduction reaction kinetics on these catalyst materials were evaluated using rotating disk electrodes in 0.1 M KOH solution and the current density values were consistently higher for Co phthalocyanine based electrodes compared to Fe phthalocyanine. The fuel cell performance of the MEAs with Co and Fe phthalocyanines and Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo Pt/C cathode catalysts were 100, 60 and 120 mW cm-2 using H22 and O2 gases. This thesis also includes work on synthesizing nitrogen doped MWCNTs using post-doping and In-Situ methods. Post-doped N-MWNCTs were prepared through heat treatment with NH4OH as nitrogen source. Characterization was done through fuel cell testing, which gave peak power density ~40mW.cm-2. For In-Situ N-MWCT, pyridine was used as nitrogen source. The sample characterization was done using Raman spectroscopy and RBS, which showed the presence ~3 at.% of nitrogen on the carbon surface.

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2012

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Proton exchange membrane fuel cell modeling and simulation using Ansys Fluent

Description

Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) run on pure hydrogen and oxygen (or air), producing electricity, water, and some heat. This makes PEMFC an attractive option for clean power generation. PEMFCs also operate at low temperature which makes them quick

Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) run on pure hydrogen and oxygen (or air), producing electricity, water, and some heat. This makes PEMFC an attractive option for clean power generation. PEMFCs also operate at low temperature which makes them quick to start up and easy to handle. PEMFCs have several important limitations which must be overcome before commercial viability can be achieved. Active areas of research into making them commercially viable include reducing the cost, size and weight of fuel cells while also increasing their durability and performance. A growing and important part of this research involves the computer modeling of fuel cells. High quality computer modeling and simulation of fuel cells can help speed up the discovery of optimized fuel cell components. Computer modeling can also help improve fundamental understanding of the mechanisms and reactions that take place within the fuel cell. The work presented in this thesis describes a procedure for utilizing computer modeling to create high quality fuel cell simulations using Ansys Fluent 12.1. Methods for creating computer aided design (CAD) models of fuel cells are discussed. Detailed simulation parameters are described and emphasis is placed on establishing convergence criteria which are essential for producing consistent results. A mesh sensitivity study of the catalyst and membrane layers is presented showing the importance of adhering to strictly defined convergence criteria. A study of iteration sensitivity of the simulation at low and high current densities is performed which demonstrates the variance in the rate of convergence and the absolute difference between solution values derived at low numbers of iterations and high numbers of iterations.

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2011