Brodeur, Drew R
Kmiotek, Stephen J.
Oxygen transport through a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell was examined with the ultimate goal of creating a model for a portable oxygen generator. Water electrolysis by four electron oxygen reduction (ORR) along with two electron ORR were tested using membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) with Pt/C, carbon (Printex L6), and PtIrB catalysts. Results in trials for all configurations yielded small currents and little to no oxygen production. Based on this study, it appears a vapor electrolysis PEM fuel cell oxygen pump and two electron oxygen reduction based on Pt/C and Printex L6 are not feasible. Alternative catalysts for two electron oxygen reduction on a PEM and alternative membranes may lead to more functional models of the proposed electrochemical oxygen generator.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Major Qualifying Project
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Chemistry and Biochemistry