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# CACHE Modules on Energy in the Curriculum Fuel Cells Module Title: Using Plug Flow Reactor Equations for

Fuel Cell Voltages Module Author: Jason Keith Author Affiliation: Michigan Technological University Course: Kinetics and Reactor esign Text Reference: Fogler !"th edition#\$ section %&" !'lug flow reactor#\$ section (&) and a''endi* C !+ernst equation#, avis and avis !%st edition#\$ section %&% and a''endi* !+ernst equation# and section (&" !'lug flow reactor# Concepts. Plug flow reactor equation\$ /i00s free energy change\$ +ernst equation Problem Moti ation: Fuel cells are a 'ro1ising alternative energy technology& 2ne ty'e of fuel cell\$ a 'roton e*change 1e10rane fuel cell reacts hydrogen and o*ygen together to 'roduce electricity& Funda1ental to the design of fuel cells is an understanding of gas 'ressures on the electrical energy 'roduction& This is reflected through the +ernst equation& Consider the sche1atic of a co1'ressed hydrogen tan3 feeding a 'roton e*change 1e10rane fuel cell\$ as seen in the figure 0elow& The electricity generated 0y the fuel cell is used here to 'ower a la'to' co1'uter& 4e are interested in analy5ing the 3inetics within the fuel cell\$ and how the effect of gas 'ressure i1'acts the o'en circuit voltage in the fuel cell&

## 6) feed line -ir in

-node /as Cha10er Cathode /as Cha10er

6) tan3

6) out

## -ir 8 6)2 out Fuel Cell

Problem !nformation Example Problem "tatement: The effect of the gas 'ressure on the 'otential of a 'roton e*change 1e10rane fuel cell at %99 oC !with water va'or out'ut# is given 0y the +ernst equation.

E = Eo +

%8 ) RT PH ) PO ) ln ) F PH )O

Consider the flow of fuel in a 0i'olar 'late of a 'roton e*change 1e10rane fuel cell as shown in the sche1atic 0elow. 6) in 2) 8 6)2 in The flow of all gases is 'arallel and at %99 oC& The channel length 9 : x : %& -ssu1e the feed 'artial 'ressures are PH2,in ; % 0ar\$ PO2,in ; 9&)< 0ar\$ and PH2O,in ; 9&% 0ar& -ssu1e that the o*ygen and water flows are in such e*cess that the 'artial 'ressure of the o*ygen and water are constant along the length of the channel& 6owever\$ hydrogen is fed in 1ore li1ited quantities such that the 'artial 'ressure of hydrogen gas is given as.
PH ) = PH ) \$in e*'! Dx #

=n this equation\$ D is a 'ara1eter that relates reaction ti1e and residence ti1e within the channel& a# For 'ara1eter values of D ; % and %9\$ what is the cell voltage E at the channel entrance and at the channel e*it> 0# For D ; % 'lot the following. on one gra'h 'lot the hydrogen 'artial 'ressure as a function of x on another gra'h show the voltage E as a function of x Example Problem "olution: Part a# Step 1) Derivation of this equation is provided in section 2 ! of "ar#inie and Dic\$s, and is reproduced here 4e 3now that for the reaction 6) ? @ 2) A 6)2 at low 'ressures\$ the /i00s energy is given as.
%8 ) PH ) PO ) % = %o RT ln P H )O

## Recogni5ing that % = ) FE we can o0tain

%8 ) RT PH ) PO ) E = Eo + ln ) F PH )O

where Eo is the o'en circuit voltage at a 'articular te1'erature& These are ta0ulated 0elow. Form of \$ater product 7iquid 7iquid /as /as /as /as /as /as Temperature% oC )B C9 %99 )99 "99 E99 C99 %999 Eo &'# %&)( %&%C %&%D %&%" %&9< %&9" 9&<C 9&<)

Step 2) &e can 'oo\$ up the va'ue of Eo at the standard pressures This is given as %&%D V fro1 the data ta0le a0ove& Step () Deter#ine entrance and exit h)dro*en concentrations for para#eter D 4hen D ; % and D ; %9\$ the entrance hydrogen 'artial 'ressure is given as % 0ar& For D ; %\$ the e*it hydrogen 'artial 'ressure is given as
PH ) = PH ) \$in e*'! Dx # =% e*'!%# = 9&(EC +ar

## For D ; %9\$ the e*it hydrogen 'artial 'ressure is given as

PH ) = PH ) \$in e*'!Dx# = % e*'!%9# = "&B %9 B +ar

Step ,) Deter#ine -ernst vo'ta*e at each condition. 4hen D ; % and D ; %9\$ the entrance voltage is given as.
E = %&%D + %!9&)<#% 8 ) C&(%" J81ol K (D( K %V ln ) <E"CB C81ol % J8C 9&% = %&%<D V = %&%C% V = %&9(E V

## For D ; %\$ the e*it voltage is given as.

9&(EC!9&)<#% 8 ) C&(%" J81ol K (D( K %V ln ) <E"CB C81ol % J8C 9&%

E = %&%D +

## For D ; %9\$ the e*it voltage is given as.

9&9999"B!9&)<#% 8 ) C&(%" J81ol K (D( K %V ln ) <E"CB C81ol % J8C 9&%

E = %&%D +

Part b#

4e can use the equation PH ) = PH )\$in e*'!Dx # as a 'ara1eter in the equation. %8 ) RT PH ) PO ) E = Eo + ln & The 'lots of PH2 and E are shown in the figures 0elow& )F P H ) O

Home Problem "tatement: The effect of the gas 'ressure on the 'otential of a 'roton e*change 1e10rane fuel cell at %99 oC !with water va'or out'ut# is given 0y the +ernst equation.

E = Eo +

%8 ) RT PH ) PO ) ln )F P H )O

Consider the flow of fuel in a 0i'olar 'late of a 'roton e*change 1e10rane fuel cell as shown in the sche1atic 0elow. 6) in 2) 8 6)2 in The flow of all gases is 'arallel and at %99 oC& The channel length 9 : x : %& -ssu1e the feed 'artial 'ressures are PH2,in ; % 0ar\$ PO2,in ; 9&)< 0ar\$ and PH2O,in ; 9&% 0ar& -ssu1e that the o*ygen and water flows are in such e*cess that the 'artial 'ressure of the o*ygen and water are constant along the length of the channel& 6owever\$ hydrogen is fed in 1ore li1ited quantities such that the 'artial 'ressure of hydrogen gas is given as.
PH ) = PH ) \$in e*'! Dx #

=n this equation\$ D is a 'ara1eter that relates reaction ti1e and residence ti1e within the channel& a# For 'ara1eter values of D ; ) and B\$ what is the cell voltage E at the channel entrance and at the channel e*it> 0# For D ; ) and PO2,in ; 9&BC 0ar !dou0le the o*ygen 'artial 'ressure#\$ what is the cell voltage E at the channel entrance and channel e*it>

Example Problem "olution: Part a# Step 1) Derivation of this equation is provided in section 2 ! of "ar#inie and Dic\$s, and is reproduced here 4e 3now that for the reaction 6) ? @ 2) A 6)2 at low 'ressures\$ the /i00s energy is given as.
%8 ) PH ) PO ) % = %o RT ln P H )O

## Recogni5ing that % = ) FE we can o0tain

%8 ) RT PH ) PO ) E = Eo + ln ) F PH )O

where Eo is the o'en circuit voltage at a 'articular te1'erature& These are ta0ulated 0elow. Form of \$ater product 7iquid 7iquid /as /as /as /as /as /as Temperature% oC )B C9 %99 )99 "99 E99 C99 %999 Eo &'# %&)( %&%C %&%D %&%" %&9< %&9" 9&<C 9&<)

Step 2) &e can 'oo\$ up the va'ue of Eo at the standard pressures This is given as %&%D V fro1 the data ta0le a0ove& Step () Deter#ine entrance and exit h)dro*en concentrations for para#eter D 4hen D ; ) and D ; B\$ the entrance hydrogen 'artial 'ressure is given as % 0ar& For D ; )\$ the e*it hydrogen 'artial 'ressure is given as
PH ) = PH )\$in e*'!Dx# =% e*'!%# = 9&%(B +ar

## For D ; B\$ the e*it hydrogen 'artial 'ressure is given as

PH ) = PH ) \$in e*'!Dx # =% e*'! B# = 9&99ED +ar

Step ,) Deter#ine -ernst vo'ta*e at each condition. 4hen D ; ) and D ; B\$ the entrance voltage is given as.
E = %&%D + %!9&)<#% 8 ) C&(%" J81ol K (D( K %V ln ) <E"CB C81ol % J8C 9&% = %&%<D V

## For D ; )\$ the e*it voltage is given as.

9&%(B!9&)<#% 8 ) C&(%" J81ol K (D( K %V ln ) <E"CB C81ol % J8C 9&% = %&%EB V = %&%%D V

E = %&%D +

## For D ; B\$ the e*it voltage is given as.

9&99ED!9&)<#% 8 ) C&(%" J81ol K (D( K %V ln ) <E"CB C81ol % J8C 9 &%

E = %&%D +

Part b# 4e follow the calculation for D ; ) in ste' "\$ 0ut with PO2 ; 9&BC 0ar to give.
E = %&%D + 9&%(B!9&BC#% 8 ) C&(%" J81ol K (D( K %V ln ) <E"CB C81ol % J8C 9&% = %&%D% V