A new methanol fuel cell that utilizes a liquid formic acid electrolyte, named the formic acid electrolyte-direct methanol fuel cell (FAE-DMFC) is experimentally tested. Three fuel cell configurations were examined; a flowing electrolyte and two circulating electrolyte configurations. From these three configurations, the flowing electrolyte and the circulating electrolyte, with the electrolyte outlet routed to the anode inlet, provided the most stable power output; where minimal decay in performance and less than 3 and 5.6 % variation in power output were observed in the respective configurations. The flowing electrolyte configuration also yielded the greatest power output by as much as 34 %. Furthermore, for the flowing electrolyte configuration, several key operating conditions were experimentally tested to determine the optimal operating points. It was found that an inlet concentration of 2.2 M methanol and 6.5 M formic acid, as well as a cell temperature of 52.8 °C provided the best performance. Copyright

ASME 2013 11th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology, FUELCELL 2013 Collocated with the ASME 2013 Heat Transfer Summer Conference and the ASME 2013 7th International Conference on Energy Sustainability
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Ouellette, D. (David), Cruickshank, C, & Matida, E. (2013). Experimental studies of a formic acid electrolyte - Direct methanol fuel cell. In ASME 2013 11th Int. Conf. on Fuel Cell Science, Eng. and Technology Collocated with the ASME 2013 Heat Transfer Summer Conf. and the ASME 2013 7th Int. Conf. on Energy Sustainability, FUELCELL 2013. doi:10.1115/FuelCell2013-18171