Skip to comments.Microfluidic fuel cell powers forward
Posted on 04/10/2012 6:21:19 PM PDT by neverdem
Researchers at Cornell University in the US have challenged prevailing fuel cell wisdom by throwing out three standard characteristics of today's mainstream systems to drive down their cost. Héctor Abruña and Abraham Stroock's team changed the fuel and oxidant chemicals used and the cell design that keeps them apart, getting power densities above 0.25 W/cm2. 'What we attain is extraordinary for a device that simple,' Abruña tells Chemistry World. 'Fuel cells for automotive applications are typically around 1-2W/cm2. It's not that far off.'
The microfluidic fuel cell doesn't need an expensive Nafion membrane to keep the fuel and oxidant separate
© Cornell University
Team member David Finkelstein notes that while borohydride use is increasingly being considered in fuel cells, conventional approaches can't exploit it fully. 'People are fixated on using oxygen in the fuel cell because they see it as free,' he says. 'But borohydride can put out orders of magnitude higher current densities than hydrogen or methanol, and the oxidant must keep pace. Oxygen can't do it.'
Peter Edwards, head of inorganic chemistry at the University of Oxford, UK, and director of the UK sustainable hydrogen energy consortium, calls the work a 'highly important development'. 'By utilising borohydride as a high energy density fuel, they have overcome several of the major problems with using hydrogen,' he says. 'The challenge now is to control the borohydride stability at the necessarily high concentrations to enhance power densities and efficiencies.'
Finkelstein underlines that although the team's approach is far from commercialisation, its ideas could help find ways around barriers facing today's technology. 'We are trying to show different types of useful fuel cell chemistries and novel flow geometries that haven't been considered much,' he says. Abruña, in particular, concedes that their chemistry could not be used in large scale due to limited supplies. 'But for niche applications I think this could be very powerful,' he adds, 'both literally and figuratively.'
N Da Mota et al, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2012, DOI: 10.1021/ja211751k
” It’s not that far off.’ “
.25W/cm -> ~2W/cm — only off by an order of magnitude.... (give or take..)
Wow! A new "green technology" - ant farms.
Maybe all of this idiocy is why people are getting so sick from never heard of diseases?
These deranged “scientists” only operate when they have “Grants... i.e. Gubmint Money” the endgame is always based in the “ premise” of the study correlating with the funding’s expected results!
We are but sheeple in this whole crazy New World!
Assuming they have found the right path for this technology, it’s not hard jumping it up by magnitudes.
I disagree with the scientist/researcher on the oxidizer though. If you have to carry your oxidizer, you basically lose the energy density game, because now you have to compromise both your fuel store, and overall system mass, to tote around the oxidizer.
Glorified fertilizer fuel cell
His team pairs borohydride ions, which are stable under basic conditions, with cerium ammonium nitrate (CAN) as an oxidant. ‘We have one compartment of acid and one of base,’ he says. ‘You couldn’t do that with a membrane. This opens up tremendous opportunities` [for explosions].\
cerium ammonium nitrate:
Heat, shock, friction, or contact with other materials may cause fire or explosion.
Harmful if swallowed.
Avoid breathing vapor or dust.
Use adequate ventilation.
Avoid contact with eyes, skin or clothes.
Wash thoroughly after handling.
Fire Extinguisher Type: Water
Fire/Explosion Hazards: May cause fire with combustible materials
Fire Fighting Procedure: Wear self-contained breathing apparatus and protective clothing to prevent contact with skin and clothing.
Stability: Stable Conditions to Avoid: Avoid contact with incompatible materials.
Materials to Avoid:
Organic compounds, reducing agents
Hazardous Decomposition Products:
Nitric oxides may be released in fire.
Hazardous Polymerization:Will Not Occur
Condition to Avoid:None known
Irritating to eyes, skin and nasal passages. Conditions aggravated/target organs: Persons with eye, skin, or respiratory conditions may be more susceptible.
FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.
If they mention Pixie Dust as a component they might get hit with a patent infringement suit by the E-Cat people!
good to see you again...