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Computational modeling of microfluidic fuel cells with flow-through porous electrodes
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
2011 (English)In: Journal of Power Sources, ISSN 0378-7753, Vol. 196, no 23, 10019-10031 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In the current work, a computational model of a microfluidic fuel cell with flow-through porous electrodes is developed and validated with experimental data based on vanadium redox electrolyte as fuel and oxidant. The model is the first of its kind for this innovative fuel cell design. The coupled problem of fluid flow, mass transport and electrochemical kinetics is solved from first principles using a commercial multiphysics code. The performance characteristics of the fuel cell based on polarization curves, single pass efficiency, fuel utilization and power density are predicted and theoretical maxima are established. Fuel and oxidant flow rate and its effect on cell performance is considered and an optimal operating point with respect to both efficiency and power output is identified for a given flow rate. The results help elucidate the interplay of kinetics and mass transport effects in influencing porous electrode polarization characteristics. The performance and electrode polarization at the mass transfer limit are also detailed. The results form a basis for determining parameter variations and design modifications to improve performance and fuel utilization. The validated model is expected to become a useful design tool for development and optimization of fuel cells and electrochemical sensors incorporating microfluidic flow-through porous electrodes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lausanne: Elsevier Sequoia , 2011. Vol. 196, no 23, 10019-10031 p.
Keyword [en]
Microfluidic, Fuel cell, Flow-through, Porous electrode, Modeling
National Category
Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-49948DOI: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2011.08.024ISI: 000296216600025OAI: diva2:458446
Available from: 2011-11-23 Created: 2011-11-22 Last updated: 2011-11-28Bibliographically approved

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Johansson, Erik O.
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