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Special Issue "Direct Alcohol Fuel Cells 2018"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 February 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Francesco Lufrano

CNR-ITAE Institute for Advanced Energy Technologies “N. Giordano” Via Salita S. Lucia sopra Contesse 5, Messina 98126,Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: polymers; membranes; nanocarbon materials; metal oxides and hybrid materials; fuel cells; supercapacitors; electrochemistry
Guest Editor
Dr. Antonino S. Aricò

Institute for Advanced Energy Technologies "Nicola Giordano" (ITAE) of the Italian National Research Council (CNR), 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

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

“Direct Alcohol Fuel Cells 2018” is a continuation of the previous and successful Special Issue, “Direct Alcohol Fuel Cells”. Direct alcohol fuel cells (DAFCs) are emerging technologies for electrochemical conversion of the chemical energy of an alcohol fuel, directly into electrical energy, with a low environmental impact and high-energy efficiency. However, before this technology can reach a large-scale diffusion, specific issues related to its unsatisfactory electrochemical performance, the high cost of cell components and limited fuel cell durability must be solved. In a direct alcohol fuel cell system, high capital costs are mainly derived from the use of noble metal catalysts, perfluorosulfonate polymer electrolyte membranes and expensive bipolar plates. Therefore, the development of cost-effective and highly performing polymer electrolyte membranes, enhanced electro-catalysts and cheap bipolar plates, satisfying the target requirements of high performance and durability, represents an important challenge. The research is currently addressed to cost-effective materials, such as novel hydrocarbon membranes, low precious metal loading electrodes, non-platinum catalysts for applications in DAFC systems. These can find wide application in portable, distributed and remote electrical energy generation. Papers addressing development components, systems, reaction mechanisms, cost analysis, cross-over, performance and durability of direct alcohol fuel cells are solicited. Technical papers dealing with recent results and advances in the field of alcohol fed fuel cells, featured papers, review articles providing an analysis of the state-of-the-art and future perspectives for this technology are warmly invited. We look forward receiving your contribution.

Dr. Francesco Lufrano
Dr. Antonino S. Aricò
Dr. Vincenzo Baglio
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. 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

  • Fundamentals of direct alcohol fuel cells
  • reaction mechanisms
  • fuel cell electrochemistry
  • polymer electrolyte membranes
  • electrocatalysts
  • non noble catalysts
  • electrodes
  • alcohol crossover
  • alcohol electro-oxidation
  • oxygen reduction reaction in the presence of alcohol
  • bipolar plates
  • cell and stack technology
  • fuel cell systems and applications
  • numerical modelling and simulation
  • cost analysis

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Nitrogen Doped Ordered Mesoporous Carbon as Support of PtRu Nanoparticles for Methanol Electro-Oxidation
Energies 2018, 11(4), 831; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11040831
Received: 23 February 2018 / Revised: 23 March 2018 / Accepted: 30 March 2018 / Published: 4 April 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (20083 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The low oxidation kinetics of alcohols and the need for expensive platinum group metals are still some of the main drawbacks for the commercialization of energy efficient direct alcohol fuel cells. In this work, we investigate the influence of nitrogen doping of ordered
[...] Read more.
The low oxidation kinetics of alcohols and the need for expensive platinum group metals are still some of the main drawbacks for the commercialization of energy efficient direct alcohol fuel cells. In this work, we investigate the influence of nitrogen doping of ordered mesoporous carbon (CMK) as support on the electrochemical activity of PtRu nanoparticles. Nitrogen doping procedures involve the utilization of pyrrole as both nitrogen and carbon precursor by means of a templating method using mesoporous silica. This method allows obtaining carbon supports with up to 14 wt. % nitrogen, with an effective introduction of pyridinic, pyrrolic and quaternary nitrogen. PtRu nanoparticles were deposited by sodium formate reduction method. The presence of nitrogen mainly influences the Pt:Ru atomic ratio at the near surface, passing from 50:50 on the bare (un-doped) CMK to 70:30 for the N-doped CMK catalyst. The electroactivity towards the methanol oxidation reaction (MOR) was evaluated in acid and alkaline electrolytes. The presence of nitrogen in the support favors a faster oxidation of methanol due to the enrichment of Pt at the near surface together with an increase of the intrinsic activity of PtRu nanoparticles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Direct Alcohol Fuel Cells 2018)
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Open AccessArticle 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(2), 369; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11020369
Received: 12 January 2018 / Revised: 26 January 2018 / Accepted: 31 January 2018 / Published: 5 February 2018
PDF Full-text (1766 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
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
[...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Direct Alcohol Fuel Cells 2018)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Performance of an Active Micro Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Using Reduced Catalyst Loading MEAs
Energies 2017, 10(11), 1683; https://doi.org/10.3390/en10111683
Received: 11 September 2017 / Revised: 20 October 2017 / Accepted: 21 October 2017 / Published: 25 October 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2351 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The micro direct methanol fuel cell (MicroDMFC) is an emergent technology due to its special interest for portable applications. This work presents the results of a set of experiments conducted at room temperature using an active metallic MicroDMFC with an active area of
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The micro direct methanol fuel cell (MicroDMFC) is an emergent technology due to its special interest for portable applications. This work presents the results of a set of experiments conducted at room temperature using an active metallic MicroDMFC with an active area of 2.25 cm2. The MicroDMFC uses available commercial materials with low platinum content in order to reduce the overall fuel cell cost. The main goal of this work is to provide useful information to easily design an active MicroDMFC with a good performance recurring to cheaper commercial Membrane Electrode Assemblies MEAs. A performance/cost analysis for each MEA tested is provided. The maximum power output obtained was 18.1 mW/cm2 for a hot-pressed MEA with materials purchased from Quintech with very low catalyst loading (3 mg/cm2 Pt–Ru at anode side and 0.5 mg/cm2 PtB at the cathode side) costing around 15 euros. Similar power values are reported in literature for the same type of micro fuel cells working at higher operating temperatures and substantially higher cathode catalyst loadings. Experimental studies using metallic active micro direct methanol fuel cells operating at room temperature are very scarce. The results presented in this work are, therefore, very useful for the scientific community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Direct Alcohol Fuel Cells 2018)
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Open AccessArticle Numerical Investigations of the Combined Effects of Flow Rate and Methanol Concentration on DMFC Performance
Energies 2017, 10(8), 1094; https://doi.org/10.3390/en10081094
Received: 6 June 2017 / Revised: 7 July 2017 / Accepted: 13 July 2017 / Published: 26 July 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (5656 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A modified 3D numerical model on the energy conversion process in the anode side of a Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC) system was constructed and validated to published experimental results. Systematic simulations were performed to investigate the underlying mechanisms of the energy conversion
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A modified 3D numerical model on the energy conversion process in the anode side of a Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC) system was constructed and validated to published experimental results. Systematic simulations were performed to investigate the underlying mechanisms of the energy conversion process, and the combined effects of inlet flow rate and input methanol concentration were summarized systematically. The increase of flow rate was found to be an effective strategy to accelerate the internal flow fields, while the diffusion layer was proposed to be a critical component in the design of high-performance DMFC. The frontier for optimal conditions of DMFC’s output was also determined, which can be helpful to improve the energy conversion performance of DMFC in practical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Direct Alcohol Fuel Cells 2018)
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