Studies of some operating parameters and cyclic voltammetry for a direct ethanol fuel cell
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A direct ethanol fuel cell (DEFC) of 5 cm2 membrane-electrode area was studied systematically by varying the catalyst loading, ethanol concentration, temperature and different Pt based electro-catalysts (Pt–Ru/C, Pt-black High Surface Area (HSA) and Pt/C). A combination of 2 M ethanol at the anode, pure oxygen at the cathode, 1 mg cm−2 of Pt–Ru/C (40%:20%) as the anode and 1 mg cm−2 of Pt-black as the cathode gave a maximum open circuit voltage (OCV) of 0.815 V, a short circuit current density of 27.90 mA cm−2 and a power density of 10.3 mW cm−2. The optimum temperatures of the anode and cathode were determined as 90 °C and 60 °C, respectively. The power density increased with increase in ethanol concentration and catalyst loading at the anode and cathode. However, the power density decreased slightly beyond 2 M ethanol concentration and 1 mg cm−2 catalyst loading at the anode and cathode. These results were validated using cyclic voltammetry at single electrodes under similar conditions to those of the DEFC.
KeywordsDirect ethanol fuel cell (DEFC) Ethanol Pt electrode catalyst Cyclic voltammetry
The authors acknowledge financial support by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India (102/01/2002-NT).
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