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Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 458; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020458

Comprehensive Analysis of Trends and Emerging Technologies in All Types of Fuel Cells Based on a Computational Method

1
SUNCAT Center for Interface Science and Catalysis, Department of Chemical Engineering, Stanford University, 443 Via Ortega, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
2
Department of Technology and Innovation Management, School of Environment and Society, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo 108–0023, Japan
Present address: Department of Socio-Environmental Energy Science, Graduate School of Energy Science, Kyoto University, Yoshida-Honmachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 December 2017 / Revised: 2 February 2018 / Accepted: 5 February 2018 / Published: 9 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogen Economy: Technology and Social Issue)
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Abstract

Fuel cells have been attracting significant attention recently as highly efficient and eco-friendly energy generators. Here, we have comprehensively reviewed all types of fuel cells using computational analysis based on a citation network that detects emerging technologies objectively and provides interdisciplinary data to compare trends. This comparison shows that the technologies of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) and electrolytes in polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) are at the mature stage, whereas those of biofuel cells (BFCs) and catalysts in PEFCs are currently garnering attention. It does not mean, however, that the challenges of SOFCs and PEFC electrolytes have been overcome. SOFCs need to be operated at lower temperatures, approximately 500 °C. Electrolytes in PEFCs still suffer from a severe decrease in proton conductivity at low relative humidity and from their high cost. Catalysts in PEFCs are becoming attractive as means to reduce the platinum catalyst cost. The emerging technologies in PEFC catalysts are mainly heteroatom-doped graphene/carbon nanotubes for metal-free catalysts and supports for iron- or cobalt-based catalysts. BFCs have also received attention for wastewater treatment and as miniaturized energy sources. Of particular interest in BFCs are membrane reactors in microbial fuel cells and membrane-less enzymatic biofuel cells. View Full-Text
Keywords: solid oxide fuel cell; SOFC; polymer electrolyte fuel cell; PEFC; microbial fuel cell; MFC; enzymatic biofuel cell; EBFC; bibliometrics; citation network solid oxide fuel cell; SOFC; polymer electrolyte fuel cell; PEFC; microbial fuel cell; MFC; enzymatic biofuel cell; EBFC; bibliometrics; citation network
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Ogawa, T.; Takeuchi, M.; Kajikawa, Y. Comprehensive Analysis of Trends and Emerging Technologies in All Types of Fuel Cells Based on a Computational Method. Sustainability 2018, 10, 458.

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