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New Trends and Research in Fuel Cells and Energy Conversion/Storage

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "D2: Electrochem: Batteries, Fuel Cells, Capacitors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 4817

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Sustainable Energy Laboratory, Faculty of Materials Science and Chemistry, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China
Interests: heat and mass transfer in fuel cells; electromedical catalysts; DFT; OER; HER; ORR; hydrogen energy conversion

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Guest Editor
College of New Energy, Ningbo University of Technology, Ningbo 315211, China
Interests: fuel cell system integration; thermoelectric generator; water electrolysis for hydrogen production
Sustainable Energy Laboratory, Faculty of Materials Science and Chemistry, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China
Interests: electromedical catalysts; OER; HER; membrane; bi-functional oxygen electrocatalyst

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Guest Editor
School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China
Interests: oxygen reduction reaction; carbon nanomaterials; fuel cells

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In our pursuit of sustainable and clean energy solutions, technologies such as PEMFC/PEMEC, SOFC/SOEC, DMFC, and lithium–air batteries in the cell domain, as well as clean energy conversion/storage, have emerged as pivotal research areas, especially in the context of hydrogen generation and usage. They offer alternatives to traditional combustion-based energy sources, but there are still issues regarding stability, lifespan, and efficiency that need addressing. Key research focuses include the optimization of novel catalysts, advancements in membrane technologies, structural design, and system integration strategies to enhance both performance and economic viability. Deep understanding and optimization of the reaction mechanisms, transport phenomena, and coupling relationships in these technologies are urgently needed to further their commercialization.

New investigative methods for clean energy, including synthesis, testing, and computation, are critical to achieving enhanced performance in these technologies. Modern methods provide strategies for more efficient energy conversion; for instance, CFD is widely used to analyze the transport of gases, phase changes, electrons/protons, and thermal transport. Meanwhile, MD and DFT are applied to examine the microscale atomic aspects, active sites, reaction pathways, and electronic states/structures of catalysts. Improved efficiency, achieved through these methods, can reduce energy losses and manufacturing costs by introducing new catalyst sites/composites, innovative flow patterns, and high integration potential in energy conversion systems. Additionally, supplementary and balancing methods involving solar, wind, capacitors, thermoelectric power generation, and lithium batteries are being increasingly explored for implementation in fuel cell systems.

This Special Issue focuses on innovative developments in the fields of fuel cells and clean energy conversion/storage technologies. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Water electrolysis;
  • Oxygen reduction reaction;
  • Transport phenomena;
  • Thermoelectric generators;
  • Two-phase flow;
  • Advances in membranes;
  • Advances in catalysts;
  • Efficiency improvement;
  • Operation strategies;
  • Fuel cells;
  • Lithium batteries;
  • Catalytic theory;
  • The integration of renewable energy systems;
  • Breakthroughs in lithium-ion, solid-state, and flow batteries;
  • Hybrid storage systems;
  • Supercapacitor technology;
  • Hydrogen production, storage, and infrastructure;
  • Lifecycle analysis of fuel cell and storage technologies;
  • Environmental impact assessment;

Dr. Jiatang Wang
Prof. Dr. Houcheng Zhang
Dr. Weiwei Cai
Dr. Jian Zhang
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 semimonthly 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 2600 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
  • battery
  • energy conversion
  • hydrogen
  • stability
  • efficiency
  • performance
  • system integration
  • water electrolysis
  • transport phenomena
  • catalyst

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

13 pages, 2906 KiB  
Article
The Performance Evaluation of a Hybrid System Combining an Alkaline Fuel Cell with an Inhomogeneous Thermoelectric Generator
by Chenjun Zhang, Hanqi Li, Xi Zhang, Man Shen and Xu Jin
Energies 2024, 17(9), 2066; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17092066 - 26 Apr 2024
Viewed by 399
Abstract
To harness the full potential of the exhaust heat produced by an alkaline fuel cell (AFC), a novel coupling system that combines an AFC with an inhomogeneous thermoelectric generator (ITEG) is proposed. Detailed models of both the AFC and ITEG are developed, accounting [...] Read more.
To harness the full potential of the exhaust heat produced by an alkaline fuel cell (AFC), a novel coupling system that combines an AFC with an inhomogeneous thermoelectric generator (ITEG) is proposed. Detailed models of both the AFC and ITEG are developed, accounting for various irreversible losses. Following model validations, mathematical expressions for the power output density (POD) and energy efficiency (EE) of the hybrid system are derived. Though performance comparisons, the hybrid system’s effectiveness and competitiveness are demonstrated. Our calculation results reveal that the hybrid system achieves a 31.19% increase in its maximum POD and 54.61% improvement in its corresponding EE compared to that of the standalone AFC. Furthermore, numerous parametric studies are conducted. Some findings indicate that the POD of the hybrid system can be improved by elevating the operating temperature of the AFC and the environmental temperature, and that it can be optimized using the geometric characteristics of an ITEG. However, the EE of the hybrid system gains improvement via increasing the operating temperature of the AFC or decreasing both the environmental temperature and geometric characteristics of the ITEG. Additionally, the coefficient of the spatial inhomogeneity of the ITEG determines the optimal operating current density of the AFC. These insights offer valuable guidance for the integration and operation of practical hybrid systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends and Research in Fuel Cells and Energy Conversion/Storage)
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16 pages, 2347 KiB  
Article
Application and Analysis of Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier (LOHC) Technology in Practical Projects
by Hanqi Li, Xi Zhang, Chenjun Zhang, Zhenfeng Ding and Xu Jin
Energies 2024, 17(8), 1940; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17081940 - 19 Apr 2024
Viewed by 2599
Abstract
In contemporary times, the utilization of liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHCs) has gained prominence due to their high volumetric storage density and material properties closely resembling conventional fuels. Numerous countries are incorporating LOHCs in hydrogen demonstration initiatives, encompassing applications such as hydrogen refueling [...] Read more.
In contemporary times, the utilization of liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHCs) has gained prominence due to their high volumetric storage density and material properties closely resembling conventional fuels. Numerous countries are incorporating LOHCs in hydrogen demonstration initiatives, encompassing applications such as hydrogen refueling stations, hydrogen-powered ships, and trains. This paper conducts a comprehensive review of seventeen LOHC projects, spanning Germany, Europe, and other nations, presenting detailed project specifications. This review includes information on project consortiums, funding sources, covered supply chains, transport modalities, and employed technologies. Through a global evaluation of LOHC projects, this review underscores the promising and competitive nature of LOHCs as a viable option for the large-scale and long-distance storage and transportation of hydrogen. The future development of this field is discussed at in the last section. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends and Research in Fuel Cells and Energy Conversion/Storage)
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15 pages, 9455 KiB  
Article
Self-Supporting np-AlFeNiO Bifunctional Electrode Material for Electrochemical Water Splitting Prepared by Electrooxidation
by Zhihui Ma, Wence Xu, Zhonghui Gao, Yanqin Liang, Hui Jiang, Zhaoyang Li, Zhenduo Cui, Huifang Zhang and Shengli Zhu
Energies 2024, 17(7), 1591; https://doi.org/10.3390/en17071591 - 26 Mar 2024
Viewed by 476
Abstract
Hydrogen production through water splitting is a promising path to develop renewable green energy. Effective, stable, and low-cost catalysts are the key to water splitting. In the present work, a series of self-supporting nanoporous alloys are prepared by using a dealloying process followed [...] Read more.
Hydrogen production through water splitting is a promising path to develop renewable green energy. Effective, stable, and low-cost catalysts are the key to water splitting. In the present work, a series of self-supporting nanoporous alloys are prepared by using a dealloying process followed by electrooxidation. Among them, the np-AlFeNiO-4s sample exhibits remarkable activity (10 mA cm−2 at 32 mV for the HER and 278 mV for the OER) and good long-term stability (100 h) in alkaline conditions for both the HER and the OER. It only requires 1.56 V to reach 10 mA cm−2 current density for total water splitting performance. The very short time of electrooxidation can significantly improve the HER performance. Electrooxidation makes the metal and metal oxide sites on the electrode surface effectively coupled, which greatly enhances the kinetic rate of the Volmer and Heyrovsky steps. Appropriate electrooxidation is a rapid and easy way to improve the activity of the electrocatalyst, which has a broad application prospect in electrochemical water splitting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends and Research in Fuel Cells and Energy Conversion/Storage)
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11 pages, 2239 KiB  
Article
Density Functional Theory Optimization of Cobalt- and Nitrogen-Doped Graphene Catalysts for Enhanced Oxygen Evolution Reaction
by Jiatang Wang, Huawei He, Weiwei Cai, Chao Yang, Yu Wu, Houcheng Zhang, Rui Liu and Hansong Cheng
Energies 2023, 16(24), 7981; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16247981 - 9 Dec 2023
Viewed by 948
Abstract
The optimization and advancement of effective catalysts in the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) are integral to the evolution of diverse green power technologies. In this study, cobalt–nitrogen–graphene (Co-N-g) catalysts are analyzed for their OER contribution via density functional theory (DFT). The influence of [...] Read more.
The optimization and advancement of effective catalysts in the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) are integral to the evolution of diverse green power technologies. In this study, cobalt–nitrogen–graphene (Co-N-g) catalysts are analyzed for their OER contribution via density functional theory (DFT). The influence of vacancies and nitrogen doping on catalyst performance was probed via electronic features and related Frontier Molecular Orbitals. The research reveals that the double-vacancy nitrogen-doped catalyst (DV-N4) exhibits remarkable OER effectiveness, characterized by a notably low overpotential of 0.61 V. This is primarily attributed to enhanced metal–ligand bonding interactions, a diminished energy gap indicating augmented reactivity, and advantageous charge redistribution upon water adsorption. Additionally, nitrogen doping is found to facilitate electron loss from Co, thus promoting water oxidation and improving OER performance. This research provides crucial insights into high-performance OER catalyst design, informing future developments in efficient renewable energy devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends and Research in Fuel Cells and Energy Conversion/Storage)
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