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Title: A novel PEMEC with 3D printed non-conductive bipolar plate for low-cost hydrogen production from water electrolysis

Abstract

For establishing the large-scale hydrogen production as energy carrier from water electrolysis, improving cost-effectiveness and efficiency remains the main challenges. In this study, we propose a novel proton exchange membrane electrolyzer cell (PEMEC), consisting of non-conductive bipolar plates (BPs) and thin film liquid/gas diffusion layers (TF-LGDLs) to reduce the cost and improve the PEMEC performance. The 3D printed non-conductive BP is manufactured with low-cost polylactic acid (PLA) and is mainly functioned to distribute the water and gas products. A titanium thin film LGDL (TF-LGDL) with surroundings is developed for directly transporting electrons from the external power sources, which changes the electron transport path in the PEMECs. The PLA BP exhibits an extremely low cost (1/10 of that of the graphite BP), and the hydrogen production rate per unit BP cost in a PEMEC with PLA BP, is almost 6 times higher than a conventional one with graphite BPs. More importantly, the PEMECs with PLA BPs can achieve a good electrochemical performance of 2.21 V at 1 A/cm 2 under room temperature. A model is also developed to investigate the impact of the BP resistivity of on the cell performance, and a guideline for the selection guideline of conductivity of BPsmore » material is provided. The easily accessible and low-cost PLA BPs coupled with the new electron-conducting path will drive the exploration of plastic materials for economic and efficient water splitting or other energy conversion devices, including fuel cells, batteries, and solar cells.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [2];  [2];  [2];  [3];  [3];  [1]
  1. Univ. of Tennessee Space Inst. (UTSI), Tullahoma, TN (United States). Nanodynamics and High-Efficiency Lab for Propulsion and Power, Department of Mechanical, Aerospace & Biomedical Engineering
  2. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  3. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
OSTI Identifier:
1550733
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1491442
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5900-73117
Journal ID: ISSN 0196-8904
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308; AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Energy Conversion and Management
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 182; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0196-8904
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; 37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; 3D printing; plastic bipolar plate; water electrolysis; low cost; hydrogen; electrical conductivity

Citation Formats

Yang, Gaoqiang, Yu, Shule, Kang, Zhenye, Dohrmann, Yeshi, Bender, Guido, Pivovar, Bryan S., Green, Johney B., Retterer, Scott T., Cullen, David A., and Zhang, Feng -Yuan. A novel PEMEC with 3D printed non-conductive bipolar plate for low-cost hydrogen production from water electrolysis. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1016/j.enconman.2018.12.046.
Yang, Gaoqiang, Yu, Shule, Kang, Zhenye, Dohrmann, Yeshi, Bender, Guido, Pivovar, Bryan S., Green, Johney B., Retterer, Scott T., Cullen, David A., & Zhang, Feng -Yuan. A novel PEMEC with 3D printed non-conductive bipolar plate for low-cost hydrogen production from water electrolysis. United States. doi:10.1016/j.enconman.2018.12.046.
Yang, Gaoqiang, Yu, Shule, Kang, Zhenye, Dohrmann, Yeshi, Bender, Guido, Pivovar, Bryan S., Green, Johney B., Retterer, Scott T., Cullen, David A., and Zhang, Feng -Yuan. Thu . "A novel PEMEC with 3D printed non-conductive bipolar plate for low-cost hydrogen production from water electrolysis". United States. doi:10.1016/j.enconman.2018.12.046.
@article{osti_1550733,
title = {A novel PEMEC with 3D printed non-conductive bipolar plate for low-cost hydrogen production from water electrolysis},
author = {Yang, Gaoqiang and Yu, Shule and Kang, Zhenye and Dohrmann, Yeshi and Bender, Guido and Pivovar, Bryan S. and Green, Johney B. and Retterer, Scott T. and Cullen, David A. and Zhang, Feng -Yuan},
abstractNote = {For establishing the large-scale hydrogen production as energy carrier from water electrolysis, improving cost-effectiveness and efficiency remains the main challenges. In this study, we propose a novel proton exchange membrane electrolyzer cell (PEMEC), consisting of non-conductive bipolar plates (BPs) and thin film liquid/gas diffusion layers (TF-LGDLs) to reduce the cost and improve the PEMEC performance. The 3D printed non-conductive BP is manufactured with low-cost polylactic acid (PLA) and is mainly functioned to distribute the water and gas products. A titanium thin film LGDL (TF-LGDL) with surroundings is developed for directly transporting electrons from the external power sources, which changes the electron transport path in the PEMECs. The PLA BP exhibits an extremely low cost (1/10 of that of the graphite BP), and the hydrogen production rate per unit BP cost in a PEMEC with PLA BP, is almost 6 times higher than a conventional one with graphite BPs. More importantly, the PEMECs with PLA BPs can achieve a good electrochemical performance of 2.21 V at 1 A/cm2 under room temperature. A model is also developed to investigate the impact of the BP resistivity of on the cell performance, and a guideline for the selection guideline of conductivity of BPs material is provided. The easily accessible and low-cost PLA BPs coupled with the new electron-conducting path will drive the exploration of plastic materials for economic and efficient water splitting or other energy conversion devices, including fuel cells, batteries, and solar cells.},
doi = {10.1016/j.enconman.2018.12.046},
journal = {Energy Conversion and Management},
number = C,
volume = 182,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {1}
}

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This content will become publicly available on February 15, 2020
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