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Special Issue "Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells 2015"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 June 2015) | Viewed by 22488

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Vladimir Gurau
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Manufacturing Engineering, Georgia Southern University, Center of Engineering and Research Building, Office# 2020, Statesboro, GA 30458, USA
Interests: proton exchange membrane fuel cells; robotics; advanced manufacturing processes for fuel cell systems; electrical power systems for extended autonmy of field robots; numerical simulation of fuel cell systems; fuel cells testing
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Fuel cells are promising sources of electrical energy for automotive, stationary and portable applications, having the potential to reduce our energy use and offering cleaner, more efficient alternatives to the combustion of fossil fuels. Polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEMFCs) deliver high-power density and offer the advantages of low weight and volume, rapid start-up and good durability compared with other fuel cells.

Major challenges to fuel cells commercialization are related to their manufacturing cost, durability and reliability, system size, air, thermal and water management and improved heat recovery systems.

This Special Issue on polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells addresses the needs of today’s fuel cell industry in order to overcome the critical technical barriers in PEMFC commercialization and focuses on research related to:

  • Material durability and reliability
  • Innovative and alternative materials for PEMFCs
  • Characterization methods
  • Air, heat and water management
  • Numerical modelling and simulations
  • Fuel cell system integration
  • Industrial production technologies
  • Operating strategies
  • Methods and strategies for material quality control

Prof. Dr. Vladimir Gurau
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs)
  • numerical simulations
  • modeling
  • fuel cell characterization
  • materials and components for fuel cells
  • thermal and water management
  • degradation
  • production technology
  • system integration

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Article
Further Improvements of an End-Effector for Robotic Assembly of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells
Energies 2015, 8(9), 9452-9463; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8099452 - 01 Sep 2015
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2788
Abstract
This paper presents a technology for robotic assembly of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs). We describe the most recent configuration of the end-effector used for robotic assembly of PEMFCs, the robot workcell, the fuel cell components and the method of automated assembling [...] Read more.
This paper presents a technology for robotic assembly of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs). We describe the most recent configuration of the end-effector used for robotic assembly of PEMFCs, the robot workcell, the fuel cell components and the method of automated assembling fuel cell stacks. In this second generation of end-effector and workcell designs, the productivity of the automated assembly process and the capability of the robot to assemble larger scale fuel cell stacks have been improved. The advantage of the technology presented here consists in its low cost, its simplicity, in its capability of rapidly assembling fuel cell stacks containing a large number of cells due to a passive compliance system of the end-effector and in its capability of accurately aligning the fuel cell components in the stack. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells 2015)
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Article
Coelectrodeposition of Ternary Mn-Oxide/Polypyrrole Composites for ORR Electrocatalysts: A Study Based on Micro-X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy and X-ray Fluorescence Mapping
Energies 2015, 8(8), 8145-8164; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8088145 - 05 Aug 2015
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2877
Abstract
Low energy X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and soft X-ray absorption (XAS) microspectroscopies at high space-resolution are employed for the investigation of the coelectrodeposition of composites consisting of a polypyrrole(PPy)-matrix and Mn-based ternary dispersoids, that have been proposed as promising electrocatalysts for oxygen-reduction electrodes. Specifically, [...] Read more.
Low energy X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and soft X-ray absorption (XAS) microspectroscopies at high space-resolution are employed for the investigation of the coelectrodeposition of composites consisting of a polypyrrole(PPy)-matrix and Mn-based ternary dispersoids, that have been proposed as promising electrocatalysts for oxygen-reduction electrodes. Specifically, we studied Mn–Co–Cu/PP, Mn–Co–Mg/PPy and Mn–Ni–Mg/PPy co-electrodeposits. The Mn–Co–Cu system features the best ORR electrocatalytic activity in terms of electron transfer number, onset potential, half-wave potential and current density. XRF maps and micro-XAS spectra yield compositional and chemical state distributions, contributing unique molecular-level information on the pulse-plating processes. Mn, Ni, Co and Mg exhibit a bimodal distribution consisting of mesoscopic aggregates of micrometric globuli, separated by polymer-rich ridges. Within this common qualitative scenario, the individual systems exhibit quantitatively different chemical distribution patterns, resulting from specific electrokinetic and electrosorption properties of the single components. The electrodeposits consist of Mn3+,4+-oxide particles, accompanied by combinations of Co0/Co2+, Ni0/Ni2+ and Cu0,+/Cu2+ resulting from the alternance of cathodic and anodic pulses. The formation of highly electroactive Mn3+,4+ in the as-fabricated material is a specific feature of the ternary systems, deriving from synergistic stabilisation brought about by two types of bivalent dopants as well as by galvanic contact to elemental metal; this result represents a considerable improvement in material quality with respect to previously studied Mn/PPy and Mn-based/PPy binaries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells 2015)
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Article
Enhancement of Oxygen Reduction and Mitigation of Ionomer Dry-Out Using Insoluble Heteropoly Acids in Intermediate Temperature Polymer-Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells
Energies 2015, 8(8), 7805-7817; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8087805 - 30 Jul 2015
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2584
Abstract
The use of Cs0.5H0.5PW12O40 insoluble salt as a superacid promoter in the catalyst layer of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) has been investigated. An increase of performance has been recorded at intermediate temperatures (110–130 [...] Read more.
The use of Cs0.5H0.5PW12O40 insoluble salt as a superacid promoter in the catalyst layer of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) has been investigated. An increase of performance has been recorded at intermediate temperatures (110–130 °C) and under low relative humidity (R.H.). The promoter appears to mitigate the ionomer dry-out effects in the catalytic layer and produces an increase of the extent of the catalyst-electrolyte interface as demonstrated by cyclic voltammetry analysis. These effects are also corroborated by a significant decrease of polarization resistance at intermediate temperatures. Such characteristics have been demonstrated for a conventional membrane-electrode assembly based on a Pt-Co alloy and a Nafion 115 membrane. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells 2015)
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Article
Characterization of Anion Exchange Membrane Containing Epoxy Ring and C–Cl Bond Quaternized by Various Amine Groups for Application in Fuel Cells
Energies 2015, 8(7), 7084-7099; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8077084 - 14 Jul 2015
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 4138
Abstract
Anion exchange membranes were synthesized from different compositions of glycidyl methacrylate (GMA) and vinylbenzyl chloride (VBC), with constant content of divinyl benzene (DVB) by radical polymerization using benzoyl peroxide (BPO) on non-woven polyethylene terephthalate (PET) substrate. Polymerized membranes were then quaternized by soaking [...] Read more.
Anion exchange membranes were synthesized from different compositions of glycidyl methacrylate (GMA) and vinylbenzyl chloride (VBC), with constant content of divinyl benzene (DVB) by radical polymerization using benzoyl peroxide (BPO) on non-woven polyethylene terephthalate (PET) substrate. Polymerized membranes were then quaternized by soaking in trimethylamine (TMA), triethylamine (TEA), tripropylamine (TPA), and 1,4-diazabicyclo [2.2.2] octane (DABCO). Characteristics of membranes were confirmed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, water uptake, ion exchange capacity, ion conductivity, thermal, and alkaline stability. The results revealed that membranes quaternized by TPA and DABCO showed high affinity when GMA content was 15 wt% and 75 wt%, respectively. IEC and ion conductivity of membranes quaternized by TPA were 1.34 meq·g1 and 0.022 S·cm1 (at 60 °C), respectively. IEC and ion conductivity of membranes were quaternized by DABCO were 1.34 meq·g1 and 0.021 S·cm1 (at 60 °C), respectively. The results indicate that the membrane containing GMA 15 wt% quaternized by TPA showed the highest thermal stability among membranes and exhibited high ion conductivity compared to existing researches using GMA, VBC, and DVB monomers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells 2015)
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Article
Development and Characterization of Non-Conventional Micro-Porous Layers for PEM Fuel Cells
Energies 2015, 8(7), 7070-7083; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8077070 - 13 Jul 2015
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3442
Abstract
Gas diffusion medium (GDM) is a crucial component in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Being composed of a gas diffusion layer (GDL) with a micro-porous layer (MPL) coated onto it, it ensures a proper water management due to the highly hydrophobic materials [...] Read more.
Gas diffusion medium (GDM) is a crucial component in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Being composed of a gas diffusion layer (GDL) with a micro-porous layer (MPL) coated onto it, it ensures a proper water management due to the highly hydrophobic materials employed in cell assembly. In current commercial applications, the desired water repellent behaviour is usually obtained by using polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). In this work, Fluorolink® P56 (Solvay Specialty Polymers, Milan, Italy), a commercially available, anionic, segmented high molecular weight polyfluorourethane with perfluoropolyether groups was extensively evaluated as an alternative to PTFE for micro-porous layer hydrophobization. A change in polymer used is desirable in order to simplify the production process, both in terms of ink formulation and thermal treatment, as well as to get a higher hydrophobicity and, consequently, more efficient water management. Innovative prepared samples were compared to a PTFE-based GDM, in order to assess differences both from morphological and from an electrochemical point of view. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells 2015)
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Article
Nonhumidified Fuel Cells Using N-Ethyl-N-methyl-pyrrolidinium Fluorohydrogenate Ionic Liquid-poly(Vinylidene Fluoride-Hexafluoropropylene) Composite Membranes
Energies 2015, 8(6), 6202-6214; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8066202 - 23 Jun 2015
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3608
Abstract
Composite membranes consisting of N-ethyl-N-methylpyrrolidinium fluoro-hydrogenate (EMPyr(FH)1.7F) ionic liquid and poly(vinylidene fluoride hexafluoro-propylene) (PVdF-HFP) copolymer were successfully prepared in weight ratios of 5:5, 6:4, and 7:3 using a casting method. The prepared membranes possessed rough surfaces, which potentially [...] Read more.
Composite membranes consisting of N-ethyl-N-methylpyrrolidinium fluoro-hydrogenate (EMPyr(FH)1.7F) ionic liquid and poly(vinylidene fluoride hexafluoro-propylene) (PVdF-HFP) copolymer were successfully prepared in weight ratios of 5:5, 6:4, and 7:3 using a casting method. The prepared membranes possessed rough surfaces, which potentially enlarged the three-phase boundary area. The EMPyr(FH)1.7F/PVdF-HFP (7:3 weight ratio) composite membrane had an ionic conductivity of 41 mS·cm-1 at 120 °C. For a single cell using this membrane, a maximum power density of 103 mW·cm-2 was observed at 50 °C under non-humidified conditions; this is the highest power output that has ever been reported for fluorohydrogenate fuel cells. However, the cell performance decreased at 80 °C, which was explained by penetration of the softened composite membrane into gas diffusion electrodes to partially plug gas channels in the gas diffusion layers; this was verified by in situ a.c. impedance analysis and cross-sectional SEM images of the membrane electrode assembly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells 2015)
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Article
A Comparative Study on EB-Radiation Deterioration of Nafion Membrane in Water and Isopropanol Solvents
Energies 2015, 8(6), 5370-5380; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8065370 - 05 Jun 2015
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2638
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of electron beam (EB) irradiation on the structure and physical properties of Nafion 117 membranes (in both acid and sodium forms) when they are irradiated in water and isopropanol as solvents. The mechanical [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of electron beam (EB) irradiation on the structure and physical properties of Nafion 117 membranes (in both acid and sodium forms) when they are irradiated in water and isopropanol as solvents. The mechanical properties of Nafion membranes in acid form irradiated in water were found to rapidly deteriorate as the irradiation dose was increased compared to those irradiated in isopropanol. It was also found that the thermal stability of the irradiated Nafion membranes decreased with an increase in the irradiation dose, especially when the Nafion membranes were irradiated in water. It was also observed that the irradiated Nafion membranes in sodium form showed higher mechanical and thermal properties than the irradiated Nafion membranes in acid form regardless of the solvent at the same irradiation dose. The ion exchange capacity of irradiated Nafion membranes was found to be somewhat unaffected compared to the mechanical properties, regardless of the solvent used. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells 2015)
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