Analysis of Coconut Carbon Fibers for Gas Diffusion Layer Material
The main compound of natural fibers is a hydrocarbon. The heating of hydrocarbon in inert gas produces charcoal or carbon. Carbon materials are widely used for several purposes depending on the physical and electric properties, for example for hydrogen storage, conductive or reinforced plastics, catalyst supports, batteries and fuel cells. The main raw material of Gas diffusion Layer (GDL) of the Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) is a carbon. The properties of GDL are porous and electron-conductive material, because of the function of GDL is to distribute the gas as fuel and electricity conductors. This study aims to analyze the carbon fibers made from coconut fibers for the application of GDL materials. The carbon fiber was made using pyrolysis process in the inert gas (nitrogen) at a certain temperature according to the analysis of Differential Thermal Analysis (DTA) 3000C, 4000C, 5000C, 6000C, and 9000C. The crystalstructure, carbon content, powder density and morphology of carbon fibers were observed using X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), fixed carbon according to ASTM D 1762-64, Archimedes method (BS 19202 Part 1A), and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), respectively. The results showed that the structure of carbon was amorphous, and content of 51% ̶ 71%, powder density of 0.42g/cm3 ̶ 0.71g/cm3. The morphology having many parallel hollows like a tube that are close to each other with diameters of 2m ̶ 10m, and in the wall of tube there are some porous with sizes around 1m. According to this analysis, the coconut carbon fiber enables to be applied as candidate for a basic material of GDL.
Ahmad Kamal Ariffin, Shahrum Abdullah, Aidy Ali, Andanastuti Muchtar, Mariyam Jameelah Ghazali and Zainuddin Sajuri
N. Indayaningsih et al., "Analysis of Coconut Carbon Fibers for Gas Diffusion Layer Material", Key Engineering Materials, Vols. 462-463, pp. 937-942, 2011