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Title: Along-the-Channel Impacts of Water Management and Carbon-Dioxide Contamination in Hydroxide-Exchange-Membrane Fuel Cells: A Modeling Study

Abstract

Water management and carbon-dioxide contamination from ambient air remain key challenges for development and operation of high-performance hydroxide-exchange-membrane fuel cells (HEMFCs). In this work, a 2D computational model of an HEMFC cell, coupled with a 1D down-channel stepping algorithm, is used to explore water management and carbon-dioxide contamination issues along the channel. Variations in local current density along the channel due to changes in membrane hydration and a reduction in oxygen content of the cathode gas are quantified. Water transport from anode to cathode is critical for replenishing water consumed at the cathode, and the effects of varying flow rates and membrane transport properties on water management are explored. We then include carbon dioxide gas in the cathode and show that the formation of a pH gradient could explain the observed decrease in current density in HEMFCs exposed to CO 2. Furthermore, the HEMFC acts as an electrochemical CO 2 pump, causing an increasing concentration of CO 2 gas in the anode stream that prevents self-purging of the membrane from carbonate to hydroxide form. These issues highlight the need for careful engineering of HEMFC systems and for advanced membrane development to enhance water transport and hydroxide selectivity.

Authors:
ORCiD logo; ORCiD logo; ORCiD logo
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Transportation Office. Fuel Cell Technologies Office
OSTI Identifier:
1507814
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1602195
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Published Article
Journal Name:
Journal of the Electrochemical Society
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Journal of the Electrochemical Society Journal Volume: 166 Journal Issue: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 0013-4651
Publisher:
IOP Publishing - The Electrochemical Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
25 ENERGY STORAGE

Citation Formats

Gerhardt, Michael R., Pant, Lalit M., and Weber, Adam Z. Along-the-Channel Impacts of Water Management and Carbon-Dioxide Contamination in Hydroxide-Exchange-Membrane Fuel Cells: A Modeling Study. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1149/2.0171907jes.
Gerhardt, Michael R., Pant, Lalit M., & Weber, Adam Z. Along-the-Channel Impacts of Water Management and Carbon-Dioxide Contamination in Hydroxide-Exchange-Membrane Fuel Cells: A Modeling Study. United States. doi:10.1149/2.0171907jes.
Gerhardt, Michael R., Pant, Lalit M., and Weber, Adam Z. Fri . "Along-the-Channel Impacts of Water Management and Carbon-Dioxide Contamination in Hydroxide-Exchange-Membrane Fuel Cells: A Modeling Study". United States. doi:10.1149/2.0171907jes.
@article{osti_1507814,
title = {Along-the-Channel Impacts of Water Management and Carbon-Dioxide Contamination in Hydroxide-Exchange-Membrane Fuel Cells: A Modeling Study},
author = {Gerhardt, Michael R. and Pant, Lalit M. and Weber, Adam Z.},
abstractNote = {Water management and carbon-dioxide contamination from ambient air remain key challenges for development and operation of high-performance hydroxide-exchange-membrane fuel cells (HEMFCs). In this work, a 2D computational model of an HEMFC cell, coupled with a 1D down-channel stepping algorithm, is used to explore water management and carbon-dioxide contamination issues along the channel. Variations in local current density along the channel due to changes in membrane hydration and a reduction in oxygen content of the cathode gas are quantified. Water transport from anode to cathode is critical for replenishing water consumed at the cathode, and the effects of varying flow rates and membrane transport properties on water management are explored. We then include carbon dioxide gas in the cathode and show that the formation of a pH gradient could explain the observed decrease in current density in HEMFCs exposed to CO2. Furthermore, the HEMFC acts as an electrochemical CO2 pump, causing an increasing concentration of CO2 gas in the anode stream that prevents self-purging of the membrane from carbonate to hydroxide form. These issues highlight the need for careful engineering of HEMFC systems and for advanced membrane development to enhance water transport and hydroxide selectivity.},
doi = {10.1149/2.0171907jes},
journal = {Journal of the Electrochemical Society},
issn = {0013-4651},
number = 7,
volume = 166,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {4}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record at 10.1149/2.0171907jes

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 6 works
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