Electrochemistry of fuel cells for transportation applications

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Fuel cells are the most promising power sources for electric vehicles and do not suffer from the inherent limitations of efficiency, energy density, and lifetime, as encountered with all types of batteries considered for this application. The projected performance of fuel-cell-powered vehicles is comparable to that of the internal combustion and diesel engine vehicles but with the additional advantages of higher fuel efficiency, particularly with synfuels from coal. The ideal fuel for a fuel cell power plant for electric vehicles is methanol. This fuel is reformed to hydrogen, which combines with oxygen from the air in an acid electrolyte (phosphoric, ... continued below

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Pages: 7

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Gonzalez, E.R. & Srinivasan, S. January 1, 1982.

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Description

Fuel cells are the most promising power sources for electric vehicles and do not suffer from the inherent limitations of efficiency, energy density, and lifetime, as encountered with all types of batteries considered for this application. The projected performance of fuel-cell-powered vehicles is comparable to that of the internal combustion and diesel engine vehicles but with the additional advantages of higher fuel efficiency, particularly with synfuels from coal. The ideal fuel for a fuel cell power plant for electric vehicles is methanol. This fuel is reformed to hydrogen, which combines with oxygen from the air in an acid electrolyte (phosphoric, solid polymer, or superacid) fuel cell to produce electricity. Though the phosphoric acid fuel cell is in the most advanced state of development (mainly for power generation applications), the solid polymer and superacid electrolyte fuel cells are more promising for the transportation application because of the faster oxygen reduction kinetics (and hence potential for higher power densities) and shorter start-up times. Alkaline electrolyte fuel cells can be used only with pure hydrogen (which causes a weight or energy penalty for any of the methods it can be carried on board the vehicle), but have the best potential for minimizing or eliminating noble metal requirements. Needed areas of research (i.e., reduction or elimination of noble metal loading, finding CO tolerant electrocatalysts, finding less expensive solid polymer electrolytes, synthesis of and elucidation of higher molecular weight superacids) to advance fuel cell technology for vehicular applications are summarized.

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Pages: 7

Notes

NTIS, PC A02/MF A01.

Source

  • World hydrogen energy conference, Pasadena, CA, USA, 13 Jun 1982

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  • Other: DE82008115
  • Report No.: LA-UR-82-417
  • Report No.: CONF-820605-9
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-36
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 5204949
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1060484

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • January 1, 1982

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Jan. 22, 2018, 7:23 a.m.

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  • Feb. 1, 2018, 7:05 p.m.

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Gonzalez, E.R. & Srinivasan, S. Electrochemistry of fuel cells for transportation applications, article, January 1, 1982; New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1060484/: accessed October 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.