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Title: Center for Electrocatalysis, Transport Phenomena, and Materials (CETM) for Innovative Energy Storage - Final Report

EFRC vision. The direct use of organic hydrides in fuel cells as virtual hydrogen carriers that generate stable organic molecules, protons, and electrons upon electro-oxidation and can be electrochemically charged by re-hydrogenating the oxidized carrier was the major focus of the Center for Electrocatalysis, Transport Phenomena and Materials for Innovative Energy Storage (EFRC-ETM). Compared to a hydrogen-on-demand design that includes thermal decomposition of organic hydrides in a catalytic reactor, the proposed approach is much simpler and does not require additional dehydrogenation catalysts or heat exchangers. Further, this approach utilizes the advantages of a flow battery (i.e., separation of power and energy, ease of transport and storage of liquid fuels) with fuels that have system energy densities similar to current hydrogen PEM fuel cells. EFRC challenges. Two major EFRC challenges were electrocatalysis and transport phenomena. The electrocatalysis challenge addresses fundamental processes which occur at a single molecular catalyst (microscopic level) and involve electron and proton transfer between the hydrogen rich and hydrogen depleted forms of organic liquid fuel and the catalyst. To form stable, non-radical dehydrogenation products from the organic liquid fuel, it is necessary to ensure fast transport of at least two electrons and two protons (per double bond formation).more » The same is true for the reverse hydrogenation reaction. The transport phenomena challenge addresses transport of electrons to/from the electrocatalyst and the current collector as well as protons across the polymer membrane. Additionally it addresses prevention of organic liquid fuel, water and oxygen transport through the PEM. In this challenge, the transport of protons or molecules involves multiple sites or a continuum (macroscopic level) and water serves as a proton conducting medium for the majority of known sulfonic acid based PEMs. Proton transfer in the presence of prospective organic liquid fuels was studied. During EFRC program various types of electrocatalysts, classes of fuels, and membranes have been investigated.« less
  1. GE Global Research, Niskayuna, New York (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
GE Global Research, Niskayuna, New York (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Contributing Orgs:
Yale Univ., New Haven, CT (United States), Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States), Stanford Univ., CA (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
25 ENERGY STORAGE Electrochemical energy storage; organic flow battery; electrocatalysis; membrane development