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Energies 2018, 11(2), 369; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11020369

Improving the Energy Efficiency of Direct Formate Fuel Cells with a Pd/C-CeO2 Anode Catalyst and Anion Exchange Ionomer in the Catalyst Layer

1
Istituto di Chimica dei Composti Organometallici (CNR-ICCOM), Via Madonna del Piano 10, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Firenze, Italy
2
Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry, University of Pisa, Via Moruzzi 13, 56124 Pisa, Italy
3
Istituto di Chimica dei Composti Organometallici (CNR-ICCOM), Area della Ricerca, Via G. Moruzzi 1, 56124 Pisa, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 January 2018 / Revised: 26 January 2018 / Accepted: 31 January 2018 / Published: 5 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Direct Alcohol Fuel Cells 2018)
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Abstract

This article describes the development of a high power density Direct Formate Fuel Cell (DFFC) fed with potassium formate (KCOOH). The membrane electrode assembly (MEA) contains no platinum metal. The cathode catalyst is FeCo/C combined with a commercial anion exchange membrane (AEM). To enhance the power output and energy efficiency we have employed a nanostructured Pd/C-CeO2 anode catalyst. The activity for the formate oxidation reaction (FOR) is enhanced when compared to a Pd/C catalyst with the same Pd loading. Fuel cell tests at 60 °C show a peak power density of almost 250 mW cm−2. The discharge energy (14 kJ), faradic efficiency (89%) and energy efficiency (46%) were determined for a single fuel charge (30 mL of 4 M KCOOH and 4 M KOH). Energy analysis demonstrates that removal of the expensive KOH electrolyte is essential for the future development of these devices. To compensate we apply for the first time a polymeric ionomer in the catalyst layer of the anode electrode. A homopolymer is synthesized by the radical polymerization of vinyl benzene chloride followed by amination with 1,4-diazabicyclo[2.2.2]octane (DABCO). The energy delivered, energy efficiency and fuel consumption efficiency of DFFCs fed with 4 M KCOOH are doubled with the use of the ionomer. View Full-Text
Keywords: direct alcohol fuel cells; formate; alkaline membrane; palladium; ceria; ionomer; energy efficiency direct alcohol fuel cells; formate; alkaline membrane; palladium; ceria; ionomer; energy efficiency
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Miller, H.A.; Ruggeri, J.; Marchionni, A.; Bellini, M.; Pagliaro, M.V.; Bartoli, C.; Pucci, A.; Passaglia, E.; Vizza, F. Improving the Energy Efficiency of Direct Formate Fuel Cells with a Pd/C-CeO2 Anode Catalyst and Anion Exchange Ionomer in the Catalyst Layer. Energies 2018, 11, 369.

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