A membraneless microscale fuel cell using non-noble catalysts in alkaline solution

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This paper presents the development of a novel liquid-based microscale fuel cell using non-noble catalysts in an alkaline solution. The developed fuel cell is based on a membraneless structure. The operational complications of a proton exchange membrane lead the development of a fuel cell with the membraneless structure. Non-noble metals with relatively mild catalytic activity, nickel hydroxide and silver oxide, were employed as anode and cathode catalysts to minimize the effect of cross-reactions with the membraneless structure. Along with nickel hydroxide and silver oxide, methanol and hydrogen peroxide were used as a fuel at anode and an oxidant at cathode. With a fuel mixture flow rate of 200 μl min-1, a maximum output power density of 28.73 μW cm-2 was achieved. The developed fuel cell features no proton exchange membrane, inexpensive catalysts, and simple planar structure, which enables high design flexibility and easy integration of the microscale fuel cell into actual microfluidic systems and portable applications. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Journal of Power Sources

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