Electrospun/Electrosprayed Aligned Fuel Cell Electrodes
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Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are a promising technology in energy conversion. However, the high cost of the platinum catalyst limits the use of fuel cells. To address this problem, many improvements and optimizations have been proposed for the PEMFC catalyst layer. In this study, an apparatus to produce aligned Nafion fiber catalyst layers is designed, the alignment capabilities of the apparatus are explored, and the performance of the aligned catalyst layer is evaluated. A horizontal accelerated drum is able to produce aligned Nafion fibers up to 80% alignment. This alignment is present at drum speeds over 3000 rpm over a wide range of electrospinning solution flow rates. A catalyst layer fabricated via simultaneous electrospinning and electrospraying (E/E) has a peak power density of 535 mW cmˉ² and an electrochemical surface area of 42 m² gˉ¹. This performance is comparable to the performance of a randomly aligned catalyst layer fabricated with E/E.
Kleiderer IV, Arthur Conrad (2017). Electrospun/Electrosprayed Aligned Fuel Cell Electrodes. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from