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Journal of Applied Electrochemistry

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 359–365 | Cite as

Electrochemical hydrogen pump for recirculation of hydrogen in a fuel cell stack

  • Frano Barbir
  • Haluk Görgün
Article

Abstract

The objective of this work is to evaluate the use of an electrochemical hydrogen pump for recirculation of hydrogen in a fuel cell stack. The hydrogen pump needed about 130 mV at 0.5 A cm−2, primarily because of the cell resistance (0.18 Ω cm2). This voltage loss was higher than a fuel cell voltage gain resulting from hydrogen recirculation. However, if one pumping cell is used for 10 active cells this means 13 mV loss per cell (or about 2%) which may be an acceptable voltage penalty. A stack with hydrogen recirculation should operate with less voltage fluctuation and should need purging less often than a stack operating with a dead-end mode of hydrogen supply. An additional benefit of hydrogen purification may be achieved in the systems with a fuel processor where operation in a dead-end mode is not possible. Attention must be paid to water management when designing and operating a hydrogen pump within a fuel cell stack.

Keywords

electrochemical compressor electrochemical pump hydrogen recirculation 

Nomenclature

b

Tafel slope, V per decade

F

Faraday constant, 96,485 C mol−1

i

current density, A cm−2

I

current, A

i0

exchange current density, A cm−2

\({\dot {m}}\)

mass flow rate, g s−1

M

molecular mass, g mol−1

n

number of electrons, 2

N

number of cells in stack

P

pressure, kPa

RΩ

areal resistance, Ω cm2

R

gas constant, 8.314 J g−1 mol−1

S

stoichiometric ratio

T

temperature, K

V

potential, V

W

power, W

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work started while the first author (FB) was working at Proton Energy Systems, Wallingford, CT, and continued during his tenure at University of Connecticut. Experimental work was conducted at Connecticut Global Fuel Cell Center, University of Connecticut, partially funded by the U.S. Army Research and Development Command (RDECOM), Ft. Belvoir, VA, as a part of the project Exploratory Research in Micro/Miniature/Portable Fuel Cells (contract #DAAB07-03-3-K-415).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.United Nations Industrial Development Organization-International Centre for Hydrogen Energy Technologies (UNIDO-ICHET)IstanbulTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Electrical EngineeringYıldız Technical UniversityIstanbulTurkey

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