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Dynamic behavior in low-temperature fuel cells based on oxidation of small organic molecules

Grant number: 15/09295-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2015
Effective date (End): February 29, 2020
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Physical-Chemistry
Acordo de Cooperação: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Hamilton Brandão Varela de Albuquerque
Grantee:Jéssica Alves Nogueira
Host Institution: Instituto de Química de São Carlos (IQSC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/16930-7 - Electrocatalysis V: electrocatalytic processes of chemical and electrical energy interconversion, AP.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):17/17644-9 - Stability of electrocatalysts towards the electro-oxidation of organic molecules, BE.EP.DR


Low-Temperature Fuel Cells, more specifically Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC) operating with hydrogen contaminated with CO can exhibit a higher efficiency when spontaneous potential oscillations emerge. Kinetic instabilities are common during the electro-oxidation of organic molecules, such as methanol, formic acid and ethanol, in half-cell experiments. However, until now there are no studies about voltage oscillations in fuel cells operating with such molecules. To fill this gap, the current proposal aims to investigate the emergence and evolution of oscillatory and other dynamic behaviors in low-temperature fuel cells operating with methanol, formic acid, ethanol, and dimethyl ether. We will evaluate if the operation of the cell under oscillatory regime results in higher performance than that obtained at steady state, as previously reported for PEMFC fed with hydrogen/CO. In order to achieve the project objectives, tests will be performed in unit cells making use of: I) polarization curves under potentio/galvanostatic control, II) mapping of the oscillatory conditions for different fuels, III) investigation of kinetic instabilities and their dependence on parameters such as temperature and concentration. We will also use electrochemical impedance spectroscopy as an auxiliary technique for the characterization of the complex behavior under study. Finally, high performance liquid chromatography and on line mass spectrometry will be used to evaluate conversion rates and production of volatile species at oscillatory and steady states. (AU)

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Scientific publications (7)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
TRIPKOVIC, D. V.; POPOVIC, K. DJ.; JOVANOVIC, V. M.; NOGUEIRA, J. A.; VARELA, H.; LOPES, P. P.; STRMCNIK, D.; STAMENKOVIC, V. R.; MARKOVIC, N. M.. Tuning of catalytic properties for electrooxidation of small organic molecules on Pt-based thin films via controlled thermal treatment. JOURNAL OF CATALYSIS, v. 371, p. 96-105, . (15/09295-9, 13/16930-7, 17/17644-9)
NOGUEIRA, JESSICA A.; KRISCHER, KATHARINA; VARELA, HAMILTON. Coupled Dynamics of Anode and Cathode in Proton-Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells. ChemPhysChem, v. 20, n. 22, SI, . (15/09295-9, 13/16930-7, 17/17644-9)
NOGUEIRA, JESSICA A.; LOPES, PIETRO P.; MARKOVIC, NENAD M.; VARELA, HAMILTON. Active electrochemical interfaces stabilized through self-organized potential oscillations. Electrochemistry Communications, v. 121, . (14/50279-4, 17/17644-9, 15/09295-9, 13/16930-7, 19/22183-6)
NOGUEIRA, JESSICA A.; VARELA, HAMILTON. Direct Liquid Fuel Cells-The Influence of Temperature and Dynamic Instabilities. ENERGY & FUELS, v. 34, n. 10, p. 12995-13009, . (15/09295-9, 17/17644-9, 13/16930-7)
NOGUEIRA, JESSICA A.; ARIAS, IVONNE K. PENA; HANKE-RAUSCHENBACH, RICHARD; VIDAKOVIC-KOCH, TANJA; VARELA, HAMILTON; SUNDMACHER, KAI. Autonomous Voltage Oscillations in a Direct Methanol Fuel Cell. Electrochimica Acta, v. 212, p. 545-552, . (12/21204-0, 15/09295-9, 13/16930-7)
NOGUEIRA, JESSICA ALVES; VARELA, HAMILTON. Voltage Oscillations in a Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell with Pd-Pt/C and Pd/C Anodes. CHEMISTRYOPEN, v. 6, n. 5, p. 629-636, . (13/16930-7, 15/09295-9, 12/21204-0)
NOGUEIRA, JESSICA A.; KRISCHER, KATHARINA; VARELA, HAMILTON. Coupled Dynamics of Anode and Cathode in Proton-Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells. ChemPhysChem, v. 20, n. 22, p. 8-pg., . (15/09295-9, 17/17644-9, 13/16930-7)
Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
NOGUEIRA, Jéssica Alves. Dynamics at the electrified solid/liquid interface: self-organization and dissolution at platinum electrocatalysts. 2020. Doctoral Thesis - Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Instituto de Química de São Carlos (IQSC/BT) São Carlos.

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