Special Issue "Latest Progress for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "Advanced Energy Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 December 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. César Augusto Correia de Sequeira
Website
Guest Editor
Materials Electrochemistry Group, CeFEMA, Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal
Interests: electrochemistry of materials; electrocatalysis; low temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells; high temperature corrosion
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are electrochemical energy conversion devices to generate power from hydrogen and hydrogen-containing compounds as fuel, and air or oxygen as an oxidant. They possess many advantages compared to conventional power generation systems; specifically, they do not produce greenhouse gases or polluting gases, unlike internal combustion engines that still use fossil fuels, and they give improved efficiency. In particular, working at temperatures ranging from ambient to 70–80 ºC, they are becoming a mature technology for powering electrical vehicles with an autonomy range approaching 600 km without hydrogen refueling, or for stationary power plants with relatively good energy efficiencies of 40%–55% in electrical energy, to 80%–95% in total energy (electricity and heat production in combined heat and power systems), depending on the applications and working conditions. Recent thrusts in these fuel cells are toward cost reduction and the improvement of durability under various duty cycles. Several reviews have covered the various advances in the alternative catalysts and membrane developments for all of these cells. A reversible fuel cell that can also function as an electrolyzer, built using na acidic or alkaline electrolyte, known as “regenerative fuel cells (RFCs)”, are also known. The RFC has been a dream of many hydrogen technology enthusiasts, as it can be an ideal solution for maximizing the benefits of the variable renewable energy (VRE) sources, such as solar and wind. Recent advancements in various aspects of the required development and commercialization of the hydrogen/air PEMFCs for industrial applications, such as fundamental understanding, high-speed manufacturing of fuel cell components, electrocatalysts development, systems development, health monitoring, and contaminant’s effects, are necessary for low-cost, high-volume fuel cell production with increased activity and durability. Moreover, to address the needs in today’s fuel cell industry, this Special Issue on Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells also focuses on research related to the followng:

  • Nonplatinum-based nanostructured electrocatalysts;
  • Design and fabrication of nanoporous metallic electrocatalysts;
  • Shape-controlled nanoparticles for HER and ORR electrocatalysis;
  • Platinum monolayer electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction reaction;
  • Graphene-based oxygen reduction catalysts;
  • Macroporous substrate materials;
  • Advanced single and double-layer gas diffusion layers;
  • Manufacturing methods for metallic bipolar plates;
  • Carbon and noncarbon hybrid support materials;
  • Degradation mechanisms, focused on the support degradation;
  • Novel spectroscopy and microscopy characterizations;
  • Air, heat, and water management.
Prof. Dr. Cesar Augusto Correia de Sequeira
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Fuel cell materials and components
  • HER and ORR electrode processes
  • Synthesis of nanostructured electrocatalysts
  • Ionic membranes
  • Metallic bipolar plates
  • Thermal and water management
  • Cell/electrodes characterization
  • Support degradation
  • MEAs design and performance

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Ethanol Electrooxidation at Platinum-Rare Earth (RE = Ce, Sm, Ho, Dy) Binary Alloys
Energies 2020, 13(7), 1658; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13071658 - 02 Apr 2020
Abstract
Proton exchange membrane fuel cells and direct alcohol fuel cells have been extensively studied over the last three decades or so. They have emerged as potential systems to power portable applications, providing clean energy, and offering good commercial viability. Ethanol is considered one [...] Read more.
Proton exchange membrane fuel cells and direct alcohol fuel cells have been extensively studied over the last three decades or so. They have emerged as potential systems to power portable applications, providing clean energy, and offering good commercial viability. Ethanol is considered one of the most interesting fuels in this field. Herein, platinum-rare earth (Pt-RE) binary alloys (RE = Ce, Sm, Ho, Dy, nominal composition 50 at.% Pt) were produced and studied as anodes for ethanol oxidation reaction (EOR) in alkaline medium. A Pt-Dy alloy with nominal composition 40 at.% Pt was also tested. Their electrocatalytic performance was evaluated by voltammetric and chronoamperometric measurements in 2 M NaOH solution with different ethanol concentrations (0.2–0.8 M) in the 25–45 °C temperature range. Several EOR kinetic parameters were determined for the Pt-RE alloys, namely the charge transfer and diffusion coefficients, and the number of exchanged electrons. Charge transfer coefficients ranging from 0.60 to 0.69 and n values as high as 0.7 were obtained for the Pt0.5Sm0.5 electrode. The EOR reaction order at the Pt-RE alloys was found to vary between 0.4 and 0.9. The Pt-RE electrodes displayed superior performance for EOR than bare Pt, with Pt0.5Sm0.5 exhibiting the highest electrocatalytic activity. The improved electrocatalytic activity in all of the evaluated Pt-RE binary alloys suggests a strategy for the solution of the existing anode issues due to the structure-sensitive EOR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Latest Progress for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells)
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Open AccessArticle
Stochastic 3D Carbon Cloth GDL Reconstruction and Transport Prediction
Energies 2020, 13(3), 572; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13030572 - 24 Jan 2020
Abstract
This paper presents the 3D carbon cloth gas diffusion layer (GDL) to predict transport behaviors of anisotropic structure properties. A statistical characterization and stochastic reconstruction method is established to construct the 3D micro-structure using the data from the true materials. Statistics of the [...] Read more.
This paper presents the 3D carbon cloth gas diffusion layer (GDL) to predict transport behaviors of anisotropic structure properties. A statistical characterization and stochastic reconstruction method is established to construct the 3D micro-structure using the data from the true materials. Statistics of the many microstructure characteristics, such as porosity, pore size distribution, and shape of the void, are all quantified by image-based characterization. Furthermore, the stochastic reconstruction algorithm is proposed to generate random and anisotropic 3D microstructure models. The proposed method is demonstrated by some classical simulation prediction and to give the evaluation of the transport properties. Various reconstructed GDLs are also generated to demonstrate the capability of the proposed method. In the end, the adapted structure properties are offered to optimize the carbon cloth GDLs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Latest Progress for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Fiber Orientation on Stochastic Reconstruction and Permeability of a Carbon Paper Gas Diffusion Layer
Energies 2019, 12(14), 2808; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12142808 - 22 Jul 2019
Abstract
By analyzing the three-dimensional digital model of a real carbon paper gas diffusion layer (GDL) reconstructed by X-ray computed tomography (CT), it was found that fibers are not distributed at any angle but within a certain range. The fiber orientation can be represented [...] Read more.
By analyzing the three-dimensional digital model of a real carbon paper gas diffusion layer (GDL) reconstructed by X-ray computed tomography (CT), it was found that fibers are not distributed at any angle but within a certain range. The fiber orientation can be represented by fiber pitch (i.e., the angle between a single fiber and the in-plane direction). The effect of fiber orientation on stochastic reconstruction and transport properties (permeability) was investigated in this paper to find which fiber pitch range can achieve a better GDL on fluid flow. First, the actual fiber pitch was measured by analyzing SGL-24BA images obtained by X-ray CT. Also, seven different ranges of fiber pitch were randomly chosen to reconstruct GDL. Then, the permeability of these digital models was calculated using the Lattice Bolzmann Method (LBM) and discussed to obtain the fiber pitch range of the optimal permeability. The results show that the mean fiber pitch of SGL-24BA is 2.40° and the individual values are all less than 6°, also, the permeability of the through-plane direction increases gradually as the range of fiber pitch increases, which can be used for the structural design of carbon paper GDL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Latest Progress for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells)
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