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Fuel cell membranes and crossover prevention

United States Patent

August 4, 2009
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
A membrane electrode assembly for use with a direct organic fuel cell containing a formic acid fuel includes a solid polymer electrolyte having first and second surfaces, an anode on the first surface and a cathode on the second surface and electrically linked to the anode. The solid polymer electrolyte has a thickness t: .gtoreq..times..times..times..times. ##EQU00001## where C.sub.f is the formic acid fuel concentration over the anode, D.sub.f is the effective diffusivity of the fuel in the solid polymer electrolyte, K.sub.f is the equilibrium constant for partition coefficient for the fuel into the solid polymer electrolyte membrane, I is Faraday's constant n.sub.f is the number of electrons released when 1 molecule of the fuel is oxidized, and j.sub.f.sup.c is an empirically determined crossover rate of fuel above which the fuel cell does not operate.
Masel; Richard I. (Champaign, IL), York; Cynthia A. (Newington, CT), Waszczuk; Piotr (White Bear Lake, MN), Wieckowski; Andrzej (Champaign, IL)
The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois (Urbana, IL)
11/ 303,505
December 16, 2005
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST This invention was made with Government assistance under Department of Energy Grant No. DEGF-02-99ER14993. The Government has certain rights in the invention.