PreparationofaFuelCell

PreparationofaFuelCell - Preparation of a Fuel Cell...

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1 Objectives – To construct an operational fuel cell To determine the effect of fuel concentration on the output of the fuel cell This procedure was developed by Ken Lux and Johan Tabora and adapted at IU for C118. Introduction Fuel cells are devices that convert a fuel and an oxidant directly into electricity. In this manner, they are similar to batteries. However, a battery has a limited amount of chemical reactants stored inside its case and once these reactants are consumed the battery is either discarded or must be recharged to replentish the reactants. A fuel cell, on the other hand, will continue to generate electricity as long as it is supplied with fuel and oxidant. In a fuel cell, the fuel, such as hydrogen or methanol, is electrochemically oxidized to produce electrons. These electrons are forced to go through an external load by making use of an electronically insulating electrolyte. After passing through the external electrical circuit, the electrons react at the cathode to electrochemically reduce the oxidant. The electrolyte conducts ions between the anode and cathode to balance the charge flowing through the load. In order to increase the rate of reaction at the anode and cathode, electrocatalysts, such as platinum, are used to promote the oxidation and reduction reactions. In this activity a polymer-electrolyte membrane (PEM) is used as the electrolyte. When this PEM is soaked with water it conducts protons generated at the
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