A Mathematical Model of a Direct Propane Fuel Cell

Hamidreza Khakdaman, Yves Bourgault, Marten Ternan
2015 Journal of Chemistry  
A rigorous mathematical model for direct propane fuel cells (DPFCs) was developed. Compared to previous models, it provides better values for the current density and the propane concentration at the exit from the anode. This is the first DPFC model to correctly account for proton transport based on the combination of the chemical potential gradient and the electrical potential gradient. The force per unit charge from the chemical potential gradient (concentration gradient) that pushes protons
more » ... at pushes protons from the anode to the cathode is greater than that from the electrical potential gradient that pushes them in the opposite direction. By including the chemical potential gradient, we learn that the proton concentration gradient is really much different than that predicted using the previous models that neglected the chemical potential gradient. Also inclusion of the chemical potential gradient made this model the first one having an overpotential gradient (calculated from the electrical potential gradient) with the correct slope. That is important because the overpotential is exponentially related to the reaction rate (current density). The model described here provides a relationship between the conditions inside the fuel cell (proton concentration, overpotential) and its performance as measured externally by current density and propane concentration.
doi:10.1155/2015/102313 fatcat:7uop3xqwvngznhage73tupezse