Fuel Cell Research

 

Background

Current funding is from the US Army and State of Indiana  (21st Century).  This supports ~ 10 faculty, 10 graduate students, 5 post doctoral associates in the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering and Radiation Laboratory.  These programs are primarily aimed at portable fuel cell applications.  cover page

 

Issues

To develop portable fuel cells based on conventional consumables (methanol and air) for small electronic appliances (e.g., lap-tap computers)

To minimize the use of precious metals by developing new electrode materials and membrane assembly

 

Our Research Focus.

Utilize carbon nanostructures (fullerenes, carbon nanotubes etc) as support to boost the electrode performance
Design of new metal catalysts and composites for improving the efficiency of electrode reactions
Develop membrane assembly and evaluate the overall performance in portable fuel cells (Direct methanol and hydrogen fuel cells)

 

cnt alignment                 film

Response of SWCNT alignment in a dc electric field


Progress So Far

Electrophoretically deposited fullerene (C60) films are capable of serving as good nanostructured carbon supports. 

One-step solubilization of carbon nanotubes in an organic solvent and their alignment in a dc field has been achieved.

Electrophoretic deposition of nanotubes on various electrode surfaces (Conducting glass, Toray paper, carbon cloth)     a more effective way of depositing carbon nanostructures than the commonly used ink-paint method.

Preparation of small Pt nanoparticles (2-10 nm) using sonolytic and electrochemical reduction methods.

Demonstration of carbon nanotube based MEA assembly in a Prototype Hydrogen Fuel Cell

 fig

Researchers

Prashant V. Kamat (PI: Univ. of Notre Dame) 

K. Vinodgopal (PI: Indiana Univ. Northwest)

G. Girish Kumar (Research Associate)

Brain Seger (Graduate Student)


Anusorn Kongakanand (Visiting student from Osaka Univ.

Mat Rettker (Research Assistant)

Kristine Drew (Univ. of Waterloo Co-Op Student)
Mariko Anderson &
Randy  Orr (Indiana U. NW)


 

Research Publications

  1. Kamat, P. V., Thomas, K. G., Barazzouk, S., Girishkumar, G., Vinodgopal, K. and Meisel, D., Self-Assembled Linear Bundles of Single Wall Carbon Nanotubes and Their Alignment and Deposition as a Film in a DC-Field. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2004, 126, 10757-10762.
  2. Girishkumar, G., Vinodgopal, K., Meisel, D. and Kamat, P. V., Carbon Nanostructures in Portable Fuel Cells: Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Electrodes for Methanol Oxidation and Oxygen Reduction. J. Phys. Chem. B, 2004, 108, 19960 - 19966.
  3. Nelson, T., Vinodgopal, K., Kumar, G. G. and Kamat, P. One Step Metal Particle Deposition and Solubilization of Single Wall Carbon Nanotubes for fuel cell applications. in Annual meeting of the Electrochemical Society. 2004. San Antonio, TX: The Electrochemical Society, p. 152-159.
  4. Girishkumar, G., Rettker, M., Underhile, R., Binz, D., Vinodgopal, K., McGinn, P. and Kamat, P., Single Wall Carbon Nanotube based Proton Exchange Membrane Assembly for Hydrogen Fuel Cells. Langmuir, 2005, 21, 8487 - 8494.
  5. Drew, K., Girishkumar, G., Vinodgopal, K. and Kamat, P. V., Boosting the Fuel Cell Performance with a Semiconductor Photocatalyst. TiO2/Pt-Ru Hybrid Catalyst for Methanol Oxidation. J. Phys. Chem. B, 2005, 109, 11851 - 11857.
  6. Robel, I., Girishkumar, G., Bunker, B. A., Kamat, P. V. and Vinodgopal, K., Structural changes and catalytic activity of platinum nanoparticles supported on C60 and carbon nanotube films during the operation of direct methanol fuel cells,. Appl. Phys. Lett., 2005, submitted.
  7. Girishkumar, G., Hall, T. D., Vinodgopal, K. and Kamat, P. V., Single Wall Carbon Nanotube Supports for Portable Direct Methanol Fuel Cells. J. Phys. Chem. B, 2005, 109, submitted. 
  8. Nelson, T., Vinodgopal, K., Kumar, G. G. and Kamat, P. One Step Metal Particle Deposition and Solubilization of Single Wall Carbon Nanotubes for fuel cell applications. in Annual meeting of the Electrochemical Society. 2004. San Antonio, TX: The Electrochemical Society.
  9. Single Wall Carbon Nanotube Electrodes for Methanol OxidationG. Girish Kumar, Thomas Nelson, K. Vinodgopal, and Prashant Kamat in Annual meeting of the Electrochemical Society. 2004. San Antonio, TX: The Electrochemical Society

 

In Popular Press

 
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