E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Methanol and Alcohol Fuel Cells"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2015)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Carsten Cremers

Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT, Joseph-von-Fraunhofer Strasse 7, 76327 Pfinztal, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Fax: +49-721-4640-800665
Interests: electrocatalysis; direct alcohol fuel cells; direct methanol fuel cells; anion exchange membrane fuel cells; high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells; reformed methanol fuel cells; fuel cells for portable applications; fuel cell based auxiliary power units; fuel cell based range extenders

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In addition to hydrogen, methanol is the fuel most often discussed for use in fuel cells. Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC) were among the first fuel cell systems to be commercialized for small scale battery charging and portable power source applications. Reformed methanol fuel cells (RMFC) have even been considered as an alternative to hydrogen fuel cells for fuel cell electric drive train application, e.g., in the Daimler’s NECAR 4 concept car, due to the higher energy storage density and easier storage of methanol.

The use of methanol in fuel cells also poses, however, certain challenges. Thus, DMFC suffer from the slow kinetics of the methanol oxidation, which usually lead to higher catalyst loadings, as in hydrogen fed polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEMFC) of the same power, thus, causing higher costs. Extensive research on an improved anode catalyst is, therefore, performed. As of recently, two new approaches, suitable also for larger scale DMFC, have been investigated. Direct conversion of methanol, or other alcohols, in alkaline anion exchange membrane fuel cells, has the potential to avoid the use of platinum at the anode and of platinum group metal catalysts at the cathode, reducing fuel cell costs. The direct conversion of methanol or ethanol in high temperature PEMFC, or alternative intermediate temperature fuel cells, can profit from the internal reforming of fuel, a technique already successfully used in solid oxide and molten carbonate fuel cell technology to mitigate restrictions in heat removal and to simplify the systems. Last but not least, RMFC, using high temperature PEMFC as a fuel cell component, have shown high potential with respect to system integration. In combination with battery electric drive trains, this can offer methanol operated fuel cells the chance to re-enter the automotive market.

In this Special Issue of Energies on Methanol and Alcohol Fuel Cells, new developments in the field of methanol, or, generally, alcohol-operated fuel cells shall be discussed. This comprises material research, such as catalysts for the anodic oxidation of methanol and other alcohols in PEM, AEM, or HT-PEMFC-based environments, improved and possibly PGM-free cathode catalysts and new membranes, as well as stack development issues and system integration issues including reformer technologies.

Dr. Carsten Cremers
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


Keywords

  • direct methanol fuel cells
  • reformed methanol fuel cells
  • anode catalysts
  • cathode catalysts
  • membranes
  • anion exchange membrane fuel cells
  • high temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cells
  • methanol/alcohol reformers

Published Papers (5 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-5
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Open AccessArticle Reorientation of Magnetic Graphene Oxide Nanosheets in Crosslinked Quaternized Polyvinyl Alcohol as Effective Solid Electrolyte
Energies 2016, 9(12), 1003; https://doi.org/10.3390/en9121003
Received: 11 August 2016 / Revised: 11 November 2016 / Accepted: 14 November 2016 / Published: 29 November 2016
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (2691 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This work aims to clarify the effect of magnetic graphene oxide (GO) reorientation in a polymer matrix on the ionic conduction and methanol barrier properties of nanocomposite membrane electrolytes. Magnetic iron oxide (Fe3O4) nanoparticles were prepared and dispersed on
[...] Read more.
This work aims to clarify the effect of magnetic graphene oxide (GO) reorientation in a polymer matrix on the ionic conduction and methanol barrier properties of nanocomposite membrane electrolytes. Magnetic iron oxide (Fe3O4) nanoparticles were prepared and dispersed on GO nanosheets (GO-Fe3O4). The magnetic GO-Fe3O4 was imbedded into a quaternized polyvinyl alcohol (QPVA) matrix and crosslinked (CL-) with glutaraldehyde (GA) to obtain a polymeric nanocomposite. A magnetic field was applied in the through-plane direction during the drying and film formation steps. The CL-QPVA/GO-Fe3O4 nanocomposite membranes were doped with an alkali to obtain hydroxide-conducting electrolytes for direct methanol alkaline fuel cell (DMAFC) applications. The magnetic field-reoriented CL-QPVA/GO-Fe3O4 electrolyte demonstrated higher conductivity and lower methanol permeability than the unoriented CL-QPVA/GO-Fe3O4 membrane or the CL-QPVA film. The reoriented CL-QPVA/GO-Fe3O4 nanocomposite was used as the electrolyte in a DMAFC and resulted in a maximum power density of 55.4 mW·cm−2 at 60 °C, which is 73.7% higher than that of the composite without the magnetic field treatment (31.9 mW·cm−2). In contrast, the DMAFC using the CL-QPVA electrolyte generated only 22.4 mW·cm−2. This research proved the surprising benefits of magnetic-field-assisted orientation of GO-Fe3O4 in facilitating the ion conduction of a polymeric electrolyte. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Methanol and Alcohol Fuel Cells)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle An Effective Approach towards the Immobilization of PtSn Nanoparticles on Noncovalent Modified Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes for Ethanol Electrooxidation
Energies 2016, 9(3), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/en9030165
Received: 21 December 2015 / Revised: 15 February 2016 / Accepted: 29 February 2016 / Published: 4 March 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (3169 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this article, we describe an effective method to tether Pt and PtSn nanoparticles (NPs) on polyelectrolyte modified multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) for ethanol electrooxidation. By using a polymer wrapping technique, positively charged polyethyleneimine (PEI) was attached onto carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to provide
[...] Read more.
In this article, we describe an effective method to tether Pt and PtSn nanoparticles (NPs) on polyelectrolyte modified multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) for ethanol electrooxidation. By using a polymer wrapping technique, positively charged polyethyleneimine (PEI) was attached onto carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to provide preferential linking sites for metal precursors. Well-dispersed Pt and PtSn nanocrystals (2–5 nm) were subsequently decorated on PEI-functionalized MWCNTs through the polyol reduction method. The successful non-covalent modification of MWCNTs was confirmed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and Zeta potential measurements. Energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) spectrum indicates approximately 20 wt % Pt loading and a desirable Pt:Sn atomic ratio of 1:1. Electrochemical analysis demonstrated that the as-synthesized PtSn/PEI-MWCNTs nanocomposite exhibited improved catalytic activity and higher poison tolerance for ethanol oxidation as compared to Pt/PEI-MWCNTs and commercial Pt/XC-72 catalysts. The enhanced electrochemical performance may be attributed to the uniform dispersion of NPs as well as the mitigating of CO self-poisoning effect by the alloying of Sn element. This modification and synthetic strategy will be studied further to develop a diversity of carbon supported Pt-based hybrid nanomaterials for electrocatalysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Methanol and Alcohol Fuel Cells)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Two-Dimensional Simulation of Mass Transfer in Unitized Regenerative Fuel Cells under Operation Mode Switching
Energies 2016, 9(1), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/en9010047
Received: 16 October 2015 / Revised: 28 November 2015 / Accepted: 28 December 2015 / Published: 15 January 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (3421 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A two-dimensional, single-phase, isothermal, multicomponent, transient model is built to investigate the transport phenomena in unitized regenerative fuel cells (URFCs) under the condition of switching from the fuel cell (FC) mode to the water electrolysis (WE) mode. The model is coupled with an
[...] Read more.
A two-dimensional, single-phase, isothermal, multicomponent, transient model is built to investigate the transport phenomena in unitized regenerative fuel cells (URFCs) under the condition of switching from the fuel cell (FC) mode to the water electrolysis (WE) mode. The model is coupled with an electrochemical reaction. The proton exchange membrane (PEM) is selected as the solid electrolyte of the URFC. The work is motivated by the need to elucidate the complex mass transfer and electrochemical process under operation mode switching in order to improve the performance of PEM URFC. A set of governing equations, including conservation of mass, momentum, species, and charge, are considered. These equations are solved by the finite element method. The simulation results indicate the distributions of hydrogen, oxygen, water mass fraction, and electrolyte potential response to the transient phenomena via saltation under operation mode switching. The hydrogen mass fraction gradients are smaller than the oxygen mass fraction gradients. The average mass fractions of the reactants (oxygen and hydrogen) and product (water) exhibit evident differences between each layer in the steady state of the FC mode. By contrast, the average mass fractions of the reactant (water) and products (oxygen and hydrogen) exhibit only slight differences between each layer in the steady state of the WE mode. Under either the FC mode or the WE mode, the duration of the transient state is only approximately 0.2 s. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Methanol and Alcohol Fuel Cells)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Fumed Silica Nanoparticles Incorporated in Quaternized Poly(Vinyl Alcohol) Nanocomposite Membrane for Enhanced Power Densities in Direct Alcohol Alkaline Fuel Cells
Energies 2016, 9(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/en9010015
Received: 31 July 2015 / Revised: 13 November 2015 / Accepted: 21 December 2015 / Published: 25 December 2015
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (7095 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A nanocomposite polymer membrane based on quaternized poly(vinyl alcohol)/fumed silica (QPVA/FS) was prepared via a quaternization process and solution casting method. The physico-chemical properties of the QPVA/FS membrane were investigated. Its high ionic conductivity was found to depend greatly on the concentration of
[...] Read more.
A nanocomposite polymer membrane based on quaternized poly(vinyl alcohol)/fumed silica (QPVA/FS) was prepared via a quaternization process and solution casting method. The physico-chemical properties of the QPVA/FS membrane were investigated. Its high ionic conductivity was found to depend greatly on the concentration of fumed silica in the QPVA matrix. A maximum conductivity of 3.50 × 10−2 S/cm was obtained for QPVA/5%FS at 60 °C when it was doped with 6 M KOH. The permeabilities of methanol and ethanol were reduced with increasing fumed silica content. Cell voltage and peak power density were analyzed as functions of fumed silica concentration, temperature, methanol and ethanol concentrations. A maximum power density of 96.8 mW/cm2 was achieved with QPVA/5%FS electrolyte using 2 M methanol + 6 M KOH as fuel at 80 °C. A peak power density of 79 mW/cm2 was obtained using the QPVA/5%FS electrolyte with 3 M ethanol + 5 M KOH as fuel. The resulting peak power densities are higher than the majority of published reports. The results confirm that QPVA/FS exhibits promise as a future polymeric electrolyte for use in direct alkaline alcoholic fuel cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Methanol and Alcohol Fuel Cells)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Increasing Fuel Efficiency of Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Systems with Feedforward Control of the Operating Concentration
Energies 2015, 8(9), 10409-10429; https://doi.org/10.3390/en80910409
Received: 16 June 2015 / Revised: 2 August 2015 / Accepted: 14 September 2015 / Published: 21 September 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1412 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Most of the R&D on fuel cells for portable applications concentrates on increasing efficiencies and energy densities to compete with other energy storage devices, especially batteries. To improve the efficiency of direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) systems, several modifications to system layouts and
[...] Read more.
Most of the R&D on fuel cells for portable applications concentrates on increasing efficiencies and energy densities to compete with other energy storage devices, especially batteries. To improve the efficiency of direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) systems, several modifications to system layouts and operating strategies are considered in this paper, rather than modifications to the fuel cell itself. Two modified DMFC systems are presented, one with an additional inline mixer and a further modification of it with a separate tank to recover condensed water. The set point for methanol concentration control in the solution is determined by fuel efficiency and varies with the current and other process variables. Feedforward concentration control enables variable concentration for dynamic loads. Simulation results were validated experimentally with fuel cell systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Methanol and Alcohol Fuel Cells)
Figures

Figure 1

Back to Top