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Sinusoidal potential cycling operation of a direct ethanol fuel cell to improving carbon dioxide yields

Journal of Power Sources
DOI: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2014.06.075
  • Fuel Cell
  • Ethanol
  • Sinusoidal
  • Efficiency
  • Selectivity


Abstract A direct ethanol fuel cell has been operated under sinusoidal (AC) potential cycling conditions in order to increase the yield of carbon dioxide and thereby increase cell efficiency relative to operation at a fixed potential. At 80 °C, faradaic yields of CO2 as high as 25% have been achieved with a PtRu anode catalyst, while the maximum CO2 production at constant potential was 13%. The increased yields under cycling conditions have been attributed to periodic oxidative stripping of adsorbed CO. These results will be important in the optimization of operating conditions for direct ethanol fuel cells, where the benefits of potential cycling are projected to increase as catalysts that produce CO2 more efficiently are implemented.

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