Direct glycerol fuel cell with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) thin film separator

Thumbnail Image
Benipal, Neeva
Qi, Ji
Gentile, Jacob
Major Professor
Committee Member
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Li, Wenzhen
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Organizational Unit
Ames National Laboratory

Ames National Laboratory is a government-owned, contractor-operated national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), operated by and located on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

For more than 70 years, the Ames National Laboratory has successfully partnered with Iowa State University, and is unique among the 17 DOE laboratories in that it is physically located on the campus of a major research university. Many of the scientists and administrators at the Laboratory also hold faculty positions at the University and the Laboratory has access to both undergraduate and graduate student talent.

Organizational Unit
Chemical and Biological Engineering

The function of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering has been to prepare students for the study and application of chemistry in industry. This focus has included preparation for employment in various industries as well as the development, design, and operation of equipment and processes within industry.Through the CBE Department, Iowa State University is nationally recognized for its initiatives in bioinformatics, biomaterials, bioproducts, metabolic/tissue engineering, multiphase computational fluid dynamics, advanced polymeric materials and nanostructured materials.

The Department of Chemical Engineering was founded in 1913 under the Department of Physics and Illuminating Engineering. From 1915 to 1931 it was jointly administered by the Divisions of Industrial Science and Engineering, and from 1931 onward it has been under the Division/College of Engineering. In 1928 it merged with Mining Engineering, and from 1973–1979 it merged with Nuclear Engineering. It became Chemical and Biological Engineering in 2005.

Dates of Existence
1913 - present

Historical Names

  • Department of Chemical Engineering (1913–1928)
  • Department of Chemical and Mining Engineering (1928–1957)
  • Department of Chemical Engineering (1957–1973, 1979–2005)
    • Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (2005–present)

    Related Units

Journal Issue
Is Version Of

Anion-exchange membrane-based direct glycerol fuel cells (AEM-DGFCs) can yield high power density, however challenges exist in developing chemically stable AEMs. Here, we demonstrate a porous PTFE thin film, a well-known chemical, electro-chemical, and thermal robust material that can serve as a separator between anode and cathode, thus achieving high DGFC’s performance. A simple aqueous-phase reduction method was used to prepare carbon nanotube supported PdAg nanoparticles (PdAg/CNT) with an average particle size of 2.9 nm. A DGFC using a PTFE thin film without any further modification with PdAg/CNT anode catalyst exhibits a peak power density of 214.7 mW cm−2 at 80 °C, about 22.6% lower than a DGFC using a state-of-the-art AEM. We report a 5.8% decrease and 11.1% decrease in cell voltage for a PTFE thin film and AEM; similarly, the cell voltage degradation rate decreases from 1.2 to 0.8 mV h−1 for PTFE thin film, while for AEM, it decreases from 9.6 to 3.0 mV h−1 over an 80 h durability test period. Transmission electron microscopy results indicate that the average particle size of PdAg/CNT increases from 2.9 to 3.7 nm after 80 h discharge; this suggests that PdAg particle growth may be the main reason for the performance drop.


This is a manuscript of an article published as Benipal, Neeva, Ji Qi, Jacob C. Gentile, and Wenzhen Li. "Direct glycerol fuel cell with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) thin film separator." Renewable Energy 105 (2017): 647-655. DOI: 10.1016/j.renene.2016.12.028. Posted with permission.

Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2017