Electrochemistry of Fuel Cell Electrodes
Semi-annual technical summary rept. for period ending 30 Mar 1965
TYCO LABS INC WALTHAM MA
Pagination or Media Count:
The objective of this program is to clarify the molecular basis of electrocatalysis and thereby to provide the necessary scientific framework for the optimization of fuel cell electrodes. Using electrodes of varied chemical composition, an attempt was made to show whether their catalytic properties depend primarily upon the intrinsic chemical activity of the individual surface atoms, or upon the energy states of the crystal as a whole. If this distinction can be made, and if quantitative correlations with the atomic or continuum properties can be established, then the design of fuel cell electrodes becomes enormously simplified. Hydrogen oxidation and reduction, the reduction of oxygen, and the oxidation of formic acid, a soluble organic substance, were selected for these studies because of their relevance to fuel cell systems and because of their relative simplicity. The electrodes used range from amalgams to III-V semiconducting compounds. The approach is to resolve the over-all reaction on any given electrode into the elementary steps of adsorption, electron transfer, chemical combination of free radicals, etc., and to determine how the parameters governing the rates of these various steps are related to the electrode composition and structure. The experimental studies currently under way are described.
- Electrochemical Energy Storage