Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 80 credits / 120 HE credits
Fuel Cells are important forms of sustainable power generation and Biofuel Cells
utilize the use of bio-compatible/biodegradable molecules as fuels. Glucose is an
ideal candidate to serve this purpose. In this project, a Glucose Fuel Cell (GFC) has
been fabricated using the nanomaterials developed in the lab. The skeletal system
of this GFC is a three-layered structure; a Membrane Electrode Assembly (MEA)
composed of carbon electrodes (anode and cathode) and a Poly Vinyl
Alcohol/Poly Acrylic Acid (PVA/PAA) polymer electrolyte. Gold and Silver (Au and
Ag) nanoparticles are utilized as catalyst on the anode and cathode respectively,
which are prepared by the use of green chemistry practice. One of the GFC has
been compacted under hot press and the other non-hot pressed. ,which led to
different surface areas. For the validation of the GFC stacks, the glucose
concentration was selected around biologically available levels, i.e at 400 mg/dL
in both the cases. One trial on hot pressed membrane with 200 mg/dL of glucose
is also studied. Short Circuit Current (SCC) and Open Circuit Voltage (OCV) were
measured following which the voltages and currents were measured across load
resistances. The Thermal Gravimetric Analysis (TGA) and Differential Scanning
Calorimetry (DSC) studies were carried out on the membrane while the electrodes
were characterized by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). UV-Vis studies were
carried out on the Au and Ag nanoparticle suspension before and after
impregnation of carbon cloth electrodes. Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical
Emission Spectrometer (ICP-OES) has been utilized to estimate the concentration
and thus the number of nanoparticles adsorbed on the surface of the carbon
cloth. The variations of output current with the thickness of the membranes were
studied. The assembly containing the catalytic particles showed power levels
ranging between 128.7 nW-332.2 nW in the glucose concentration of 400 mg/dL.
Rigorous efforts are under process to scale down the power consumption of
electronics to extremely low levels. GFCs could be used as power generators in
such devices. The inexpensiveness of the fuel is a remarkable factor.
2014. , 77 p.
Ye, Fei, Dr.
Toprak, Muhammet S, Assoc. Prof.