A Numerical Simulation Model of Solid Acid Fuel Cell Performance by CsH2PO4 Electrolyte

Document Type: Full article


Chemical Engineering Department, Amir Kabir University of Technology, P. O. Box: 15875-4413, Tehran, Iran


The performance of the solid acid fuel cell by CsH2PO4 electrolyte was analyzed using the present model of the electrochemical reaction and transport phenomena, which are fully coupled with the governing equations. Development of such a model requires creating the three-dimensional geometry and its mesh grid, discretization of momentum, mass and electric charge balance equation and solving the equations based on the information of electrical and electrochemical models in different areas of the cell consisting of porous electrodes, gas channels, and the solid parts like the current collector. The model equations were solved employing a finite elements technique solver of cell potential. Different parameters including current density (i), cell potential (V), cell power and concentration distribution of hydrogen, oxygen and water vapor have been investigated in this study. Also, the effect of different voltages on the concentration distribution of all the mentioned species through the cell length are taken into account. Comparing the polarization curve values with the experimental results shows a good agreement between the computed and experimental values (Maximum error is less than 4%). The results showed that there is a noticeable difference between H2, O2 and H2O concentration through the cell length subjected to various voltages. This difference was more apparent at lower voltages due to higher current density and higher consumption of species. The polarization curve is well consistent with the model and experimental data which verify the present simulation results.


Main Subjects

[1]      Dupuis, A. C., “Proton exchange membranes for fuel cells operated at medium temperatures: Materials and experimental techniques”, Prog. Mater. Sci.56 (3), 289 (2011).

[2]      Demirbas, A., “Fuel cells as clean energy converters”, Energy Sources, 29 (2), 185 (2007).

[3]      McLellan, B., Costa, D., Dicks, A., Rudolph, V., Pagan, R., Sheng, C. and Wall, T., “Hydrogen economy options for Australia”, Dev. Chem. Eng. Miner. Process, 12 (5), 447 (2004).

[4]      Uda, T., Boysen, D., Chisholm, C. and Haile, S., “Alcohol fuel cells at optimal temperatures”, Electrochem. Solid-State Lett., 9 (6), 261 (2006).

[5]      Muis, Z., Hashim, H., Manan, Z. and Douglas, P., “Effects of fossil fuel price fluctuations on electricity planning comprising renewable energy”, Asia-Pac. J. Chem. Eng., 6 (3), 552 (2011).

[6]      Uda, T. and Haile, S., “Thin-membrane solid acid fuel cell”, Electrochem. Solid-State Lett., 8 (5), 245 (2005).

[7]      Ahn, Y., Mangani, I., Park, C. and Kim, J., “Study on the morphology of CsH2PO4 using the mixture of methanol and polyols”, J. Power Sources, 163 (1), 107 (2006).

[8]      Yoshimi, S., Matsui, T., Kikuchi, R. and Eguchi, K., “Temperature and humidity dependence of the electrode polarization in intermediate-temperature fuel cells employing CsH2PO4/SiP2O7-based composite electrolytes”, J. Power Sources179 (2), 497 (2008).

[9]      Haile, S., Boysen, D., Chisholm, C. and Merle, R., “Solid acids as fuel cell electrolytes”, Nature, 410 (6831), 910 (2001).

[10]  Yamane, Y., Yamada, K. and Inoue, K., “Superprotonic solid solutions between CsHSO4 and CsH2PO4”, Solid State Ionics179 (13), 483 (2008).

[11]  Ponomareva, V., Kovalenko, K., Chupakhin, A., Shutova and E., Fedin, V., “CsHSO4-Proton conduction in a crystalline metal-organic framework”, Solid State Ionics225, 420 (2012).

[12]  Lavrova, G., Russkih, M., Ponomareva, V. and Uvarov, N., “Intermediate-temperature fuel cell based on the proton conducting composite membranes”, Solid State Ionics177 (19), 2129 (2006).

[13]  Ortiz, E., Vargas, R. and Mellander, B., “Phase behaviour of the solid proton conductor CsHSO4”, J. Phys.: Condens. Matter, 18 (42),9561 (2006).

[14]  Merinov, B., “Proton transport mechanism and pathways in the superprotonic phase of CsHSO4 from experiment and theory”, Solid State Ionics213, 72 (2012).

[15]  Chisholm, C. and Haile, S., “Entropy evaluation of the superprotonic phase of CsHSO4: Pauling's ice rules adjusted for systems containing disordered hydrogen-bonded tetrahedral”, Chem. Mater., 19 (2), 270 (2007).

[16]  Boysen, D., Haile, S., Liu, H. and Secco, R., “Conductivity of potassium and rubidium dihydrogen phosphates at high temperature and pressure”, Chem. Mater., 16 (4), 693 (2004).

[17]  Otomo, J., Minagawa, N., Wen, C., Eguchi, K. and Takahashi, H., “Protonic conduction of CsH2PO4 and its composite with silica in dry and humid atmospheres”, Solid State Ionics, 156 (3), 357 (2003).

[18]  Taninouchi, Y., Uda, T. and Awakura, Y., “Dehydration of CsH2PO4 at temperatures higher than 260 °C and the ionic conductivity of liquid product”, Solid State Ionics178 (31), 1648 (2008).

[19]  Boysen, D., Uda, T., Chisholm, C. and Haile, S., “High-performance solid acid fuel cells through humidity stabilization”, Science303 (5654), 68 (2004).

[20]  Hayashi, S. and Mizuno, M., “Proton diffusion in the superprotonic phase of CsHSO4 studied by 1H NMR relaxation”, Solid State Ionics171 (3), 289 (2004).

[21]  Hogarth, W., Costa, D. and Lu, G., “Solid acid membranes for high temperature (˃140 ˚C) proton exchange membrane fuel cells”, J. Power Sources142 (1), 223 (2005).

[22]  Compton, M., Maynes, K., Pavelites, J. and Baker, D., “Proton NMR relaxation study of the CsHSO4 solid acid system”, Solid State Commun., 136 (3), 138 (2005).

[23]  Yang, C., Costamagna, P., Srinivasan, S., Benziger, J. and Bocarsly, A., “Approaches and technical challenges to high temperature operation of proton exchange membrane fuel cells”, J. Power Sources103 (1), 1 (2001).

[24]  Boysen, D., Uda, T., Chisholm, C., Haile, S., “High-performance solid acid fuel cells through humidity stabilization”, Science303 (5654), 68 (2004).

[25]  Otomo, J., Tamaki, T., Nishida, S., Wang, S., Ogura, M., Kobayashi, T., Wen, C., Nagamoto, H. and Takahashi, H., “Effect of water vapor on proton conduction of cesium dihydrogen phosphate and application to intermediate temperature fuel cells”, J. Appl. Electrochem., 35 (9), 865 (2005).

[26]  Haile, S., Chisholm, C., Sasaki, K., Boysen, D. and Uda, T., “Solid acid proton conductors: From laboratory curiosities to fuel cell electrolytes”, Faraday Discuss., 134, 17 (2007).

[27]  Ponomareva, V. and Shutova, E., “High-temperature behavior of CsH2PO4 and CsH2PO4–SiO2 composites”, Solid State Ionics178 (7), 729 (2007).

[28]  Xie, Q., Li, Y., Hu, J., Chen, X. and Li, H., “A CsH2PO4-based composite electrolyte membrane for intermediate temperature fuel cells”, J. Membr. Sci., 489, 98 (2015).

[29]  Qing, G., Kikuchi, R., Takagaki, A., Sugawara, T. and Oyama, S., “CsH2PO4/Epoxy Composite Electrolytes for intermediate temperature fuel cells”, Electrochim. Acta, 169, 219 (2015).

[30]  Bessette, N. and Wepfer, W., “Electrochemical and thermal simulation of a solid oxide fuel cell”, Chem. Eng. Commun., 147 (1), 1 (1996).

[31]  Park, J. and Min, K., “Dynamic modeling of a high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell with a fuel processor”, Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 39 (20), 10683 (2014).

[32]  Meng, H., “Numerical studies of liquid water behaviors in PEM fuel cell cathode considering transport across different porous layers”, Int. J. Hydrogen Energy35 (11), 5569 (2010).

[33]  Guvelioglu, G. and Stenger, H., “Computational fluid dynamics modeling of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells”, J. Power Sources147 (1), 95 (2005).

[34]  Bird, R., Stewart, W. and Lightfoot, E., Transport phenomena,Wiley, New York, (1960).

[35]  Bear, J. and Buchlin, J., Modelling and applications of transport phenomena in porous media, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht The Netherlands, (1991).

[36]  Chisholm, C., Boysen, D., Papandrew, A., Zecevic, S., Cha, S., Sasaki, K., Varga, A., Giapis, K. and Haile, S., “From laboratory breakthrough to technological realization: The development path for solid acid fuel cells”, Interface18 (3), 53 (2009).

[37]  Cheddie, D. and Munroe, N., “Three dimensional modeling of high temperature PEM fuel cells”, J. Power Sources160 (1), 215 (2006).

[38]  Broka, K., Characterization of the components of the proton exchange membrane, Ph.D. dissertation, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, (1995).