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Title: Flowing electrolyte fuel cell with improved performance and stability

Abstract

A flowing electrolyte fuel cell system design (DHCFC-Flow) is provided. The use of a flowing oxygen-saturated electrolyte in a fuel cell offers a significant enhancement in the cell performance characteristics. The mass transfer and reaction kinetics of the superoxide/peroxide/oxide ion (mobile oxygen ion species) in the fuel cell are enhanced by recirculating an oxidizing gas-saturated electrolyte. Recirculating oxygen-saturated electrolyte through a liquid channel enhances the maximal current observed in a fuel cell. The use of a oxygen saturated electrolyte ensures that the reaction kinetics of the oxygen reduction reaction are fast and the use of convection ameliorates concentration gradients and the diffusion-limited maximum current density. The superoxide ion is generated in situ by the reduction of the oxygen dissolved in the gaseous electrolyte. Also, a dual porosity membrane allows the uniform flow of fuel (e.g., methane) on the fuel side, without allowing phase mixing. The capillary pressure for liquid intrusion into the gas phase and vice versa is quite large, estimated to be 1-10 psi. This makes it easier to control the fluctuations in gas/liquid velocity which might otherwise lead to phase mixing and the loss of fuel cell performance. In one variation, a dual-porosity membrane structure is incorporated inmore » the system to allow uniform flow of fuel and prevent mixing of fuel with a liquid electrolyte.« less

Inventors:
; ; ; ; ; ;
Issue Date:
Research Org.:
Palo Alto Research Center Inc., Palo Alto, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E)
OSTI Identifier:
1600173
Patent Number(s):
10446861
Application Number:
14/981,104
Assignee:
Palo Alto Research Center Incorporated (Palo Alto, CA)
Patent Classifications (CPCs):
H - ELECTRICITY H01 - BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS H01M - PROCESSES OR MEANS, e.g. BATTERIES, FOR THE DIRECT CONVERSION OF CHEMICAL ENERGY INTO ELECTRICAL ENERGY
Y - NEW / CROSS SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES Y02 - TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE Y02E - REDUCTION OF GREENHOUSE GAS [GHG] EMISSIONS, RELATED TO ENERGY GENERATION, TRANSMISSION OR DISTRIBUTION
DOE Contract Number:  
AR0000500
Resource Type:
Patent
Resource Relation:
Patent File Date: 12/28/2015
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Desai, Divyaraj, Vedharathinam, Vedasri, Sheridan, Martin Joseph, Pattekar, Ashish V., Eldershaw, Craig, Padmarajan, Rajesh Kumar, and Iftime, Gabriel. Flowing electrolyte fuel cell with improved performance and stability. United States: N. p., 2019. Web.
Desai, Divyaraj, Vedharathinam, Vedasri, Sheridan, Martin Joseph, Pattekar, Ashish V., Eldershaw, Craig, Padmarajan, Rajesh Kumar, & Iftime, Gabriel. Flowing electrolyte fuel cell with improved performance and stability. United States.
Desai, Divyaraj, Vedharathinam, Vedasri, Sheridan, Martin Joseph, Pattekar, Ashish V., Eldershaw, Craig, Padmarajan, Rajesh Kumar, and Iftime, Gabriel. Tue . "Flowing electrolyte fuel cell with improved performance and stability". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1600173.
@article{osti_1600173,
title = {Flowing electrolyte fuel cell with improved performance and stability},
author = {Desai, Divyaraj and Vedharathinam, Vedasri and Sheridan, Martin Joseph and Pattekar, Ashish V. and Eldershaw, Craig and Padmarajan, Rajesh Kumar and Iftime, Gabriel},
abstractNote = {A flowing electrolyte fuel cell system design (DHCFC-Flow) is provided. The use of a flowing oxygen-saturated electrolyte in a fuel cell offers a significant enhancement in the cell performance characteristics. The mass transfer and reaction kinetics of the superoxide/peroxide/oxide ion (mobile oxygen ion species) in the fuel cell are enhanced by recirculating an oxidizing gas-saturated electrolyte. Recirculating oxygen-saturated electrolyte through a liquid channel enhances the maximal current observed in a fuel cell. The use of a oxygen saturated electrolyte ensures that the reaction kinetics of the oxygen reduction reaction are fast and the use of convection ameliorates concentration gradients and the diffusion-limited maximum current density. The superoxide ion is generated in situ by the reduction of the oxygen dissolved in the gaseous electrolyte. Also, a dual porosity membrane allows the uniform flow of fuel (e.g., methane) on the fuel side, without allowing phase mixing. The capillary pressure for liquid intrusion into the gas phase and vice versa is quite large, estimated to be 1-10 psi. This makes it easier to control the fluctuations in gas/liquid velocity which might otherwise lead to phase mixing and the loss of fuel cell performance. In one variation, a dual-porosity membrane structure is incorporated in the system to allow uniform flow of fuel and prevent mixing of fuel with a liquid electrolyte.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {10}
}

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