Investigation and Advancement of Novel Single Compartment Hydrogen Peroxide Fuel Cells

Alderson, Faraz Ahmadpour
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University of Guelph

Fuel cells are electrochemical devices that utilize coordinated redox reactions to directly convert chemical energy of select chemicals as the fuel into electrical energy. Hydrogen peroxide fuel cells have been a recent focus of research and advancement efforts in the past two decades. The main challenges thus far pertain to the energy output levels and efficiency of these fuel cells, along with operational robustness and large-scale use viabilities. In the literature, a limited number and types of catalytic electrode materials have been examined for use in hydrogen peroxide fuel cells, where most have utilized precious materials that are of high cost or other materials that are incompatible for long term fuel cell operation. Furthermore, only few enhancer additives have been studied in the literature, aiming to optimize electrolyte conditions for maximized electrocatalytic performance. In this thesis, a single compartment peroxide fuel cell design is proposed with improved operational efficiencies and energy outputs compared to those found thus far in the literature. The use of novel catalytic electrode materials, optimal electrolyte conditions, and alternate enhancer additives are proposed, and the theoretical implications and results are discussed. Enhancer-free output potential in the range of 0.57V to 0.62V was achieved in acidic peroxide electrolytes using the novel electrodes. Addition of a novel enhancer salt to the same setup results in an open circuit potential boost of 0.33V, resulting in an open circuit potential of about 0.9V. Both the highest-reported open circuit potentials for a single compartment peroxide fuel cell. Use of these novel findings and advancements in a final fuel cell design yields a robust electrical power output over time without any anomalous decays in its output efficiency.

hydrogen peroxide, fuel cell, single compartment fuel cell, hydrogen peroxide electricity, green energy