An 8-cell air-breathing direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) stack with the active area of 5 cm2 of each cell has been developed. Stainless steel plates of 500 μm thickness with flow channels were fabricated using photochemical etching method as the current collectors. Different conditioning methods for membrane electrode assembly (MEA) activation were discussed. With proper control of water crossover to the cathode, cathode flooding was avoided in the DMFC stack. Methanol crossover at open circuit voltage (OCV) in the air-breathing DMFC was measured. Further, it was found that flow maldistribution might occur in the parallel flow field of the stack, making carbon dioxide gas management at the anode necessary. Using humidified hydrogen in the anode with a high flow rate, the oxygen transport limiting current density was characterized and found to be sufficient in the air-breathing cathode. The stack produced a maximum output power of 1.33 W at 2.21 V at room temperature, corresponding to a power density of 33.3 mW cm-2.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering
- Fuel Technology
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology