Direct ethanol fuel cell anode simulation model
The electrochemical behavior of a direct ethanol feed proton exchange membrane fuel cell (DEFC) operating under steady-state isothermal conditions at 1 atm at both anode and cathode sides is considered. A mathematical model that describes in one phase and one dimension the ethanol mass transport throughout the anode compartment and proton exchange membrane is developed. The influence of the operation parameters such as current density, temperature, catalyst layer thickness and ethanol feed concentration on both anode overpotential and ethanol crossover rate has been examined. According to the simulation results, it was found that the anode overpotential is more sensitive to the protonic conductivity than to the diffusion coefficient of ethanol in the catalyst layer. It was concluded that in the case of low current density values and high concentrations of ethanol aqueous solutions, ethanol crossover is a serious problem for a DEFC performance. Finally, it was found a good agreement between simulation and experimental results. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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