Essay Example on Direct chloro ethanol fuel Cell









Direct chloro ethanol fuel cell Direct chloro ethanol fuel cells are a subcategory of proton exchange fuel cell where the fuel chloro ethanol is fed directly to the fuel cell DCLEFC uses chloro ethanol in the fuel cell instead of the more toxic methanol Chloro ethanol is an attractive alternative to methanol because it comes with the supply chain that's already in place Chloro ethanol also remains the easier fuel to work with for widespread used by consumers Chloro ethanol is a hydrogen rich liquid and it has higher energy density 9 4 KWh Kg compared to methanol 6 1KWh Kg Chloro ethanol can be obtained in great quantity from biomass through a fermentation process from renewable resources like sugar cane wheat corn and even straw Bio generated chloro ethanol or bio ethanol is thus attractive since growing crops for biofuels absorb much of the carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere from fuel used to produce the biofuels and from burning the biofuels themselves this is in sharp contrast to the use of fossils fuels The use of chloro ethanol would also overcome both the storage and the infrastructure challenge of hydrogen for fuel cell application In the fuel cell the oxidation of any fuel requires the use of a catalyst in order to achieve the current densities required for commercially viable fuel cell and platinum based catalyst is some of the most efficient material for the oxidation of small organic molecules 1 2 Fuel Cell Origins 1840 1890 Despite their modern high tech aura fuel cells actually have been known to science for more than 150 years 

Though generally considered a curiosity in the 1800s fuel cells became the subject of intense research and development during the 1900s This section provides a brief overview of a few of the earlier fuel cell researchers and their contributions History about major fuel cell types can be found in the sections of this site that focus on those particular cells William Robert Grove 1811 1896 a Welsh lawyer turned scientist won renowned for his development of an improved wet cell battery in 1838 The Grove cell as it came to be called used a platinum electrode immersed in nitric acid and a zinc electrode in zinc sulfate to generate about 12 amps of current at about 1 8 volts Grove discovered that by arranging two platinum electrodes with one end of each immersed in a container of sulfuric acid and the other ends separately sealed in containers of oxygen and hydrogen a constant current would flow between the electrodes The sealed containers held water as well as the gases and he noted that the water level rose in both tubes as the current flowed In 1800 British scientists William Nicholson and Anthony Carlisle had described the process of using electricity to decompose water into hydrogen and oxygen But combining the gases to produce electricity and water was according to Grove a step further that any hitherto recorded Grove realized that by combining several sets of these electrodes in a series circuit he might affect the decomposition of water by means of its composition He soon accomplished this feat with the device he named a gas battery the first fuel cell Christian Schönbein 1799 1868 and Johann Poggendorff 1796 1877 were among a number of scientists who debated the question of exactly how Grove s gas battery worked When Grove unveiled his gas battery the scientific community was struggling to understand the basic principles of chemistry and electricity matter and energy 

What caused current to flow between some substances but not others Contact theory implied just that a physical contact between materials Alessandro Volta 1745 1827 had proposed contact theory to explain how his 1799 battery worked A rival chemical theory supposed that a chemical reaction generated the electricity Grove s gas battery became a football in the sometimes heated argument between backers of the two competing theories Grove s friend and correspondent Schönbein among others argued for the chemical theory Poggendorff who according to Wilhelm Ostwald had taken the mission of defending Volta's theory at every opportunity argued for the contact theory Grove himself accepted the chemical theory though the debate faded as scientific knowledge advanced Ironically both theories held some truth in the end Chemical reactions in a fuel cell s gas diffusion electrodes take place in the contact zone where reactant electrolyte and catalyst meet Friedrich Wilhelm Ostwald 1853

1932 a founder of the field of physical chemistry provided much of the theoretical understanding of how fuel cells operate In 1893 he experimentally determined the interconnected roles of the various components of the fuel cell electrodes electrolyte oxidizing and reducing agents anions and cations Grove had speculated that the action in his gas battery occurred at the point of contact between electrode gas and electrolyte but was at a loss to explain further Ostwald drawing on his pioneering work in relating physical properties and chemical reactions solved the puzzle of Grove s gas battery His exploration of the underlying chemistry of fuel cells laid the groundwork for later fuel cell researchers For fuel cells the fact that there was argument and debate may be more important than the details The gas battery in the nineteenth century spurred research and the testing of theories While the understanding of the basic science improved no practical device emerged despite several attempts Work on the science of fuel cells continues but today s work is more about developing better materials and more efficient designs rather than discovering the basic laws of science

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