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Sensors 2009, 9(5), 3314-3324; doi:10.3390/s90503314

Effects of Anode Flow Field Design on CO2 Bubble Behavior in μDMFC

1, 2, 1, 2,* , 3 and 3
1 Key Laboratory for Micro/Nano Technology and System of Liaoning Province, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, Liaoning Province, 116023, P.R. China 2 Key Laboratory for Precision and Non-traditional Machining Technology of Ministry of Education, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, Liaoning Province, P.R. China 3 Direct Alcohol Fuel Cell Laboratory, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Science, Dalian, Liaoning Province, P. R. China
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 April 2009 / Revised: 24 April 2009 / Accepted: 27 April 2009 / Published: 6 May 2009
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Clogging of anode flow channels by CO2 bubbles is a vital problem for further performance improvements of the micro direct methanol fuel cell (μDMFC). In this paper, a new type anode structure usingthe concept of the non-equipotent serpentine flow field (NESFF) to solve this problem was designed, fabricated and tested. Experiments comparing the μDMFC with and without this type of anode flow field were implemented using a home-made test loop. Results show that the mean-value, amplitude and frequency of the inlet-to-outlet pressure drops in the NESFF is far lower than that in the traditional flow fields at high μDMFC output current. Furthermore, the sequential images of the CO2 bubbles as well as the μDMFC performance with different anode flow field pattern were also investigated, and the conclusions are in accordance with those derived from the pressure drop experiments. Results of this study indicate that the non-equipotent design of the µDMFC anode flow field can effectively mitigate the CO2 clogging in the flow channels, and hence lead to a significant promotion of the μDMFC performance.
Keywords: μDMFC; flow field; pressure drop; CO2 bubbles μDMFC; flow field; pressure drop; CO2 bubbles
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Li, M.; Liang, J.; Liu, C.; Sun, G.; Zhao, G. Effects of Anode Flow Field Design on CO2 Bubble Behavior in μDMFC. Sensors 2009, 9, 3314-3324.

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