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Special Issue "Hydrogen and Fuel Cells: From Materials to Systems"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Antonino Salvatore Aricò

CNR-ITAE Via Salita S. Lucia sopra Contesse 5, 98126 Messina, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: materials for energy; electrochemistry; systems; fuel cells; electrolysis; photo-electrochemical cells; batteries; physico-chemical characterization
Guest Editor
Dr. Vincenzo Baglio

CNR-ITAE Institute for Advanced Energy Technologies “N. Giordano”, Via Salita S. Lucia sopra Contesse 5, Messina 98126, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: direct alcohol fuel cells; electrocatalysis; polymer electrolyte fuel cells; water electrolysis; metal–air batteries; dye-sensitized solar cells; photo-electrolysis; carbon dioxide electro-reduction
Guest Editor
Dr. Francesco Lufrano

CNR-ITAE, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche Istituto di tecnologie Avanzate per l’Energia “Nicola Giordano” Via Salita S. Lucia sopra Contesse, 5 98126 Messina, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: polymers; membranes; nano carbon materials; metal oxides and hybrid materials; fuel cells; supercapacitors; electrochemistry

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Special Issue, “Hydrogen and Fuel Cells: From Materials to Systems”, will address advances in materials science, processing, characterization, technology development and system testing of various types of fuel cells and hydrogen processes. The introduction of efficient and sustainable energy conversion technologies and zero-emission vehicles is strongly required worldwide to address urgent environmental issues. Fuel cell technology represents one of the most appropriate approaches to address these problems, and hydrogen can become an important energy vector in future energy systems. These technologies comply with the requirement of a low carbon economy by 2050, where both hydrogen and a highly efficiency distributed power generation using fuel cells, providing both electrical power and heat, can significantly reduce the emission of green-house gases. Original papers are solicited on all types of fuel cells and hydrogen production technologies. Of particular interest are recent developments in advanced materials, processes, characterization, stack designs, and systems. Articles and reviews dealing with fuel cells and hydrogen for different market applications, including zero-emission vehicles, grid-balancing service, power-to-gas, portable power systems, combined heat and power (CHP) production, consumer devices and distributed energy systems are very welcome.

Dr. Antonino Salvatore Aricò
Dr. Vincenzo Baglio
Dr. Francesco Lufrano
Guest Editors

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. Materials 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

  • Fuel cells and Hydrogen
  • Proton-conducting and Alkaline Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells
  • Direct alcohol Fuel Cells
  • Solid Oxide Fuel Cells
  • Molten Carbonate Fuel Cells
  • Combined Heat and Power
  • Distributed Power Generation
  • Transportation
  • Portable power
  • Electrolysis
  • Reforming

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Reduced Graphene Oxide and Its Modifications as Catalyst Supports and Catalyst Layer Modifiers for PEMFC
Materials 2018, 11(8), 1405; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11081405
Received: 2 July 2018 / Revised: 3 August 2018 / Accepted: 8 August 2018 / Published: 10 August 2018
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Abstract
Reduced graphene oxide (RGO) and RGO modified by ozone (RGO-O) and fluorine (RGO-F) were synthesized. Pt nanoparticles were deposited on these materials and also on Vulcan XC-72 using the polyol method. The structural and electrochemical properties of the obtained catalysts were investigated in
[...] Read more.
Reduced graphene oxide (RGO) and RGO modified by ozone (RGO-O) and fluorine (RGO-F) were synthesized. Pt nanoparticles were deposited on these materials and also on Vulcan XC-72 using the polyol method. The structural and electrochemical properties of the obtained catalysts were investigated in a model glass three-electrode electrochemical cell and in a laboratory PEM fuel cell. Among the RGO-based catalysts, the highest electrochemically active surface area (EASA) was obtained for the oxidized RGO supported catalyst. The EASA of the fluorine-modified RGO-supported catalyst was half as big. In the PEM fuel cell the performance of RGO-based catalysts did not exceed the activity of Vulcan XC-72-based catalysts. However, the addition of an RGO-O-based catalyst to Vulcan XC-72-based catalyst (in contrast to the RGO-F-based catalyst) allowed us to increase the catalyst layer activity and PEM fuel cell performance. Possible reasons for such an effect are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogen and Fuel Cells: From Materials to Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy as a Diagnostic Tool in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Electrolysis
Materials 2018, 11(8), 1368; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11081368
Received: 29 June 2018 / Revised: 25 July 2018 / Accepted: 3 August 2018 / Published: 7 August 2018
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Abstract
Membrane–electrode assemblies (MEAs) designed for a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) water electrolyser based on a short-side chain (SSC) perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) membrane, Aquivion®, and an advanced Ir-Ru oxide anode electro-catalyst, with various cathode and anode noble metal loadings, were investigated. Electrochemical
[...] Read more.
Membrane–electrode assemblies (MEAs) designed for a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) water electrolyser based on a short-side chain (SSC) perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) membrane, Aquivion®, and an advanced Ir-Ru oxide anode electro-catalyst, with various cathode and anode noble metal loadings, were investigated. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), in combination with performance and durability tests, provided useful information to identify rate-determining steps and to quantify the impact of the different phenomena on the electrolysis efficiency and stability characteristics as a function of the MEA properties. This technique appears to be a useful diagnostic tool to individuate different phenomena and to quantify their effect on the performance and degradation of PEM electrolysis cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogen and Fuel Cells: From Materials to Systems)
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Open AccessArticle N,P-Codoped Carbon Layer Coupled with MoP Nanoparticles as an Efficient Electrocatalyst for Hydrogen Evolution Reaction
Materials 2018, 11(8), 1316; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11081316
Received: 27 June 2018 / Revised: 20 July 2018 / Accepted: 27 July 2018 / Published: 30 July 2018
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Abstract
Efficient electrocatalyst plays a significant role on the development of hydrogen energy. In this work, an N,P-codoped carbon layer coupled with MoP nanoparticles (MoP/NPCs) was prepared through a facile high-temperature pyrolysis treatment. The obtained MoP/NPCs presented efficient activity for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER),
[...] Read more.
Efficient electrocatalyst plays a significant role on the development of hydrogen energy. In this work, an N,P-codoped carbon layer coupled with MoP nanoparticles (MoP/NPCs) was prepared through a facile high-temperature pyrolysis treatment. The obtained MoP/NPCs presented efficient activity for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), with low onset potential of 90 mV, and a small Tafel slope (71 mV dec−1), as well as extraordinary stability in acidic electrolyte. This work provides a new facile strategy for the design and synthesis of sustainable and effective molybdenum-based electrocatalysts as alternatives to non-Pt catalysts for HER. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogen and Fuel Cells: From Materials to Systems)
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Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle Application of Low-Cost Me-N-C (Me = Fe or Co) Electrocatalysts Derived from EDTA in Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFCs)
Materials 2018, 11(7), 1193; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11071193
Received: 1 June 2018 / Revised: 29 June 2018 / Accepted: 10 July 2018 / Published: 12 July 2018
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Abstract
Co-N-C and Fe-N-C electrocatalysts have been prepared by mixing Fe or Co precursors, ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid (EDTA) as a nitrogen source, and an oxidized carbon. These materials were thermally treated at 800 °C or 1000 °C under nitrogen flow to produce
[...] Read more.
Co-N-C and Fe-N-C electrocatalysts have been prepared by mixing Fe or Co precursors, ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid (EDTA) as a nitrogen source, and an oxidized carbon. These materials were thermally treated at 800 °C or 1000 °C under nitrogen flow to produce four samples, named CoNC8, CoNC10, FeNC8, and FeNC10. They have been physicochemically characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) analyses have been carried out to investigate the performance of the nonprecious cathode catalysts, using a low amount of Pt (0.7 mg/cm2) at the anode side. It appears that FeNC8 is the best performing low-cost cathode catalyst in terms of higher oxygen reduction reaction activity and methanol tolerance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogen and Fuel Cells: From Materials to Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Graphitized Carbon: A Promising Stable Cathode Catalyst Support Material for Long Term PEMFC Applications
Materials 2018, 11(6), 907; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11060907
Received: 5 April 2018 / Revised: 18 May 2018 / Accepted: 24 May 2018 / Published: 28 May 2018
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Abstract
Stability of cathode catalyst support material is one of the big challenges of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) for long term applications. Traditional carbon black (CB) supports are not stable enough to prevent oxidation to CO2 under fuel cell operating conditions.
[...] Read more.
Stability of cathode catalyst support material is one of the big challenges of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) for long term applications. Traditional carbon black (CB) supports are not stable enough to prevent oxidation to CO2 under fuel cell operating conditions. The feasibility of a graphitized carbon (GC) as a cathode catalyst support for low temperature PEMFC is investigated herein. GC and CB supported Pt electrocatalysts were prepared via an already developed polyol process. The physical characterization of the prepared catalysts was performed using transmission electron microscope (TEM), X-ray Powder Diffraction (XRD) and inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) analysis, and their electrochemical characterizations were conducted via cyclic voltammetry(CV), rotating disk electrode (RDE) and potential cycling, and eventually, the catalysts were processed using membrane electrode assemblies (MEA) for single cell performance tests. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and scanning electrochemical microscopy (SEM) have been used as MEA diagonostic tools. GC showed superior stability over CB in acid electrolyte under potential conditions. Single cell MEA performance of the GC-supported catalyst is comparable with the CB-supported catalyst. A correlation of MEA performance of the supported catalysts of different Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) surface areas with the ionomer content was also established. GC was identified as a promising candidate for catalyst support in terms of both of the stability and the performance of fuel cell. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogen and Fuel Cells: From Materials to Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Proton Conduction in Grain-Boundary-Free Oxygen-Deficient BaFeO2.5+δ Thin Films
Materials 2018, 11(1), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11010052
Received: 29 November 2017 / Revised: 21 December 2017 / Accepted: 22 December 2017 / Published: 29 December 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (5806 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Reduction of the operating temperature to an intermediate temperature range between 350 °C and 600 °C is a necessity for Solid Oxide Fuel/Electrolysis Cells (SOFC/SOECs). In this respect the application of proton-conducting oxides has become a broad area of research. Materials that can
[...] Read more.
Reduction of the operating temperature to an intermediate temperature range between 350 °C and 600 °C is a necessity for Solid Oxide Fuel/Electrolysis Cells (SOFC/SOECs). In this respect the application of proton-conducting oxides has become a broad area of research. Materials that can conduct protons and electrons at the same time, to be used as electrode catalysts on the air electrode, are especially rare. In this article we report on the proton conduction in expitaxially grown BaFeO2.5+δ (BFO) thin films deposited by pulsed laser deposition on Nb:SrTiO3 substrates. By using Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) measurements under different wet and dry atmospheres, the bulk proton conductivity of BFO (between 200 °C and 300 °C) could be estimated for the first time (3.6 × 10−6 S cm−1 at 300 °C). The influence of oxidizing measurement atmosphere and hydration revealed a strong dependence of the conductivity, most notably at temperatures above 300 °C, which is in good agreement with the hydration behavior of BaFeO2.5 reported previously. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogen and Fuel Cells: From Materials to Systems)
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