The performance of a single cell flowing electrolyte-direct methanol fuel cell (FE-DMFC) was experimentally studied and its performance was compared to a regular DMFC. The active area of the fuel cell was approximately 25 cm 2. Serpentine channels were used for both the methanol and air flows. Two combinations of Nafion® polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMs) were used in the MEAs. These were NR-212/N-117 (Type 1) and NR-212/NR-212 (Type 2). For this study, diluted sulphuric acid was used as the electrolyte, which flows through a channel made of a polyethylene porous material. The flowing electrolyte conditions (e.g., flow rate, channel thickness and sulphuric acid concentration), the methanol concentration, and the fuel cell temperatures were varied to study how these parameters affect the overall performance of the FE-DMFC. Type 1 MEA used in conjunction with 2 M methanol produced the highest current density. The power density decreased when the thickness of the flowing electrolyte channel was increased, and the performance of the fuel cell increased when the temperature of the fuel cell was increased, as expected. The results show that the performance of the present FE-DMFC was similar to a DMFC using the same active area and a single MEA (Nafion® N-117).

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Journal of Power Sources
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Sabet-Sharghi, N. (Nasim), Cruickshank, C, Matida, E, & Hamdullahpur, F. (Feridun). (2013). Performance measurements of a single cell flowing electrolyte-direct methanol fuel cell (FE-DMFC). Journal of Power Sources, 230, 194–200. doi:10.1016/j.jpowsour.2012.11.147