Study on Performance Degradation Mechanisms in Direct Formic Acid Fuel Cells

Study on Performance Degradation Mechanisms in Direct Formic Acid Fuel Cells
Issue Date
Fuel Cell Seminar 2009
The direct formic acid fuel cell (DFAFC) is considered as a promising candidate for portable power applications due to its intrinsic advantages such as, safety, energy efficiency and high power density [1, 2]. These unique characteristics of formic acid allow us to operate DFAFCs at higher voltages than direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). Ha et al. demonstrated that the Pd-based anode is highly active for the electro-oxidation of formic acid, and that the single cell with Pd catalyst showed a maximum power density of 240 mW/cm2 at the current density of 600 mA/cm2 [3]. However, the Pd based catalysts, in most, were deactivated rapidly with the operation time of DFAFC. The rapid deactivation of the Pd-based catalysts in DFAFC, causes the serious performance deterioration and the deteriorated performance was recovered to the performance before deactivation by applying the anodic potential (1.0 vs. DHE) to the anode [3-5]. However, the exact deactivation mechanism of the Pd-based catalyst, in DFAFC is not clear yet. Thus, in this study, we tried to verify the deactivation mechanism by the single cell operation combined with various electrochemical and physical analyses.
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