Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) are highly effective alternative sources of portable power and have the potential for battery replacement for personal electronics and laptops. Conditions for improving the performance were investigated for DMFCs. Membrane thickness, molar concentration of methanol feed and temperature were the experimental variables of interest. Of the four different Nafion membrane thicknesses tested, ranging between 3.5 and 10 mil, 5 mil performed best. 5M methanol feed and 80C proved best for Nafion 117, Nafion 1110 and Nafion 1035 membranes and 7M at 70C in the Nafion 115 membrane. The results provided indications for improving the design and operation of DMFCs.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Major Qualifying Project
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