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Journal of Power Sources
Year: 2009  |  Volume: 192  |  Issue: 2  |  Page No.: 423 - 428

New anodic diffusive layer for passive micro-direct methanol fuel cell

Ting Yuan, Zhiqing Zou, Mei Chen, Zhilin Li, Baojia Xia and Hui Yang    


The addition of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) into anodic micro-porous layer (MPL) of the membrane electrode assembly significantly improves the performance of the passive micro-direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). The maximum power density of ca. 32.2 mW cm-2 at a temperature of ca. 25 °C and under air-breathing mode is achieved with pure CNTs as anode MPL material. Impedance analysis and cyclic voltammetric measurements of the anodes indicate that the increased performance of the passive DMFC with the addition of CNTs into anodic MPLs could be attributed to the decrease in charge transfer resistance of the anode reaction and to the improvement in catalyst utilization. Scanning electron microscopy measurements show the network formation within the MPL due to the one-dimensional structure of CNTs, which could be beneficial to the methanol mass transfer and to the improvement in catalyst utilization. Furthermore, the durability test of a passive DMFC after 300 h operation demonstrates that the passive DMFC with CNTs as anode MPL materials exhibits very good stability.

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