• P Sridhar

      Articles written in Journal of Chemical Sciences

    • Poly (vinyl alcohol) hydrogel membrane as electrolyte for direct borohydride fuel cells

      N A Choudhury S K Prashant S Pitchumani P Sridhar A K Shukla

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      A direct borohydride fuel cell (DBFC) employing a poly (vinyl alcohol) hydrogel membrane electrolyte (PHME) is reported. The DBFC employs an AB5 Misch metal alloy as anode and a goldplated stainless steel mesh as cathode in conjunction with aqueous alkaline solution of sodium borohydride as fuel and aqueous acidified solution of hydrogen peroxide as oxidant. Room temperature performances of the PHME-based DBFC in respect of peak power outputs; ex-situ cross-over of oxidant, fuel, anolyte and catholyte across the membrane electrolytes; utilization efficiencies of fuel and oxidant, as also cell performance durability are compared with a similar DBFC employing a Nafion®-117 membrane electrolyte (NME). Peak power densities of ∼30 and ∼40 mW cm-2 are observed for the DBFCs with PHME and NME, respectively. The crossover of NaBH4 across both the membranes has been found to be very low. The utilization efficiencies of NaBH4 and H2O2 are found to be ∼24 and ∼59%, respectively for the PHME-based DBFC; ∼18 and ∼62%, respectively for the NME-based DBFC. The PHME and NME-based DBFCs exhibit operational cell potentials of ∼ 1.2 and ∼ 1.4 V, respectively at a load current density of 10 mA cm-2 for ∼100 h.

    • A solid-polymer-electrolyte direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) with Pt-Ru nanoparticles supported onto poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) and polystyrene sulphonic acid polymer composite as anode

      K K Tintula S Pitchumani P Sridhar A K Shukla

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      Nano-sized Pt-Ru supported onto a mixed-conducting polymer composite comprising poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)-polystyrene sulphonic acid (PEDOT-PSSA) is employed as anode in a solid-polymer-electrolyte direct methanol fuel cell (SPE-DMFC) and its performance compared with the SPE-DMFC employing conventional Vulcan XC-72R carbon supported Pt-Ru anode. Physical characterization of the catalyst is conducted by Fourier-transform infra-red (FTIR) spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD), Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDAX) in conjunction with cyclic voltammetry and chronoamperometry. The study suggests that PEDOT-PSSA to be a promising alternative catalyst-support-material for SPE-DMFCs.

    • A self-supported 40W direct methanol fuel cell system

      A Manokaran R Vijayakumar T N Thomman P Sridhar S Pitchumani A K Shukla

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      A self-supported 40W Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC) system has been developed and performance tested. The auxiliaries in the DMFC system comprise a methanol sensor, a liquid-level indicator, and fuel and air pumps that consume a total power of about 5W. The system has a 15-cell DMFC stack with active electrode-area of 45 cm2. The self-supported DMFC system addresses issues related to water recovery from the cathode exhaust, and maintains a constant methanol-feed concentration with thermal management in the system. Pure methanol and water from cathode exhaust are pumped to the methanol-mixing tank where the liquid level is monitored and controlled with the help of a liquid-level indicator. During the operation, methanol concentration in the feed solution at the stack outlet is monitored using a methanol sensor, and pure methanol is added to restore the desired methanol concentration in the feed tank by adding the product water from the cathode exhaust. The feed-rate requirements of fuel and oxidant are designed for the stack capacity of 40W. The self-supported DMFC system is ideally suited for various defense and civil applications and, in particular, for charging the storage batteries.

    • Endurance of Nafion-composite membranes in PEFCs operating at elevated temperature under low relative-humidity

      A K Sahu A Jalajakshi S Pitchumani P Sridhar A K Shukla

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      PEFCs employing Nafion-silica (Nafion-SiO2) and Nafion-mesoporous zirconium phosphate (Nafion-MZP) composite membranes are subjected to accelerated-durability test at 100°C and 15% relative humidity (RH) at open-circuit voltage (OCV) for 50 h and performance compared with the PEFC employing pristine Nafion-1135 membrane. PEFCs with composite membranes sustain the operating voltage better with fluoride-ion-emission rate at least an order of magnitude lower than PEFC with pristine Nafion-1135 membrane. Reduced gas-crossover, fast fuel-cell-reaction kinetics and superior performance of the PEFCs with Nafion-SiO2 and Nafion-MZP composite membranes in relation to the PEFC with pristine Nafion-1135 membrane support the long-term operational usage of the former in PEFCs. An 8-cell PEFC stack employing Nafion-SiO2 composite membrane is also assembled and successfully operated at 60°C without external humidification.

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