Investigation of a Passive DMFC Mini-Stack at Room Temperature
Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFCs) are promising candidates for portable electric power sources because of their high energy density, lightweight, compactness, simplicity as well as easy and fast recharging. Recently, the attention has been focused on portable applications with passive-feed DMFCs. Under this configuration, DMFCs operate without any external device for feeding methanol and blowing air into the cells. An investigation of properties and operating parameters of a passive DMFC monopolar mini-stack, such as catalyst loading and methanol concentration, was carried out. From this analysis, it was derived that a proper Pt loading is necessary to achieve the best compromise between electrode thickness and number of catalytic sites for the anode and cathode reactions to occurs at suitable rates. Methanol concentrations ranging from 1 M up to 10 M (40 vol%) and an air-breathing operation mode were investigated. A maximum power of 225 mW was obtained at ambient conditions for a three-cell stack, with an active single cell area of 4 cm2 corresponding to a power density of about 20 mW cm-2.
Pietro VINCENZINI, Cynthia POWELL, Marco VITTORI ANTISARI, Vincenzo ANTONUCCI and Fausto CROCE
A. S. Arico’ et al., "Investigation of a Passive DMFC Mini-Stack at Room Temperature", Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 72, pp. 271-276, 2010