Activated Reactants to Reduce Fuel Cell Overpotentials

Period of Performance: 06/14/2012 - 06/13/2013

$353K

Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

JSJ Technologies, LLC
4700 Elmo Weedon Road, Suite 117
Co, TX 77845
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

Lamar University
P.O. Box 10613
Beaumont, TX 77710
Institution POC

Abstract

he current produced in electrochemical galvanic cells is primarily dependent on the rate of the electrode reactions where the cell's anode is less negative, supplying less energy than thermodynamically predicted, and the cell's cathode is less positive, supplying less energy than thermodynamically predicted. Reduction of electrochemical overpotentials in electrochemical systems has been the prime objective of physical electrochemistry. A number of alternative approaches exist to potentially activate the reactant entering a fuel cell with the intent to lower overpotentials. These approaches include microplasmas, ultrasound, photonic irradiation, or use of chemical additives that promote activation of the reactants. Of these approaches, microplasmas through Dielectric Barrier Discharge appears to be one of the most promising routes. The approach proposed here involves activation of reactants using Micro Dielectric Barrier Discharge (MBDB) integrated directly into the internal components of a fuel cell stack.