Research on Electrochemical Energy Conversion Systems
Technical rept. no. 7, (Final), Oct 1971-Jun 1975
AMERICAN UNIV WASHINGTON DC
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The research on electrochemical energy conversion system has involved work on two tasks a search for electrolytes alternative to phosphoric acid for direct and indirect hydrocarbon-air fuel cells, and a study of the corrosion characteristics of electrolytes for intermediate-temperature hydrocarbon-air fuel cells. A tabulation of the characteristics of an ideal fuel cell electrolyte established that there were five classes of chemical compounds that could be the sources of new, improved electrolytes. One class, the fluorinated sulfonic acids, through one member of the class, trifluoromethanesulfonic acid monohydrate, was investigated in some depth. This compound, when used as an electrolyte in hydrocarbon-air half cells, exhibits exceptional properties in comparison to conventional electrolytes such as phosphoric acid. The electrooixdation of propane and hydrogen is increased by an order of magnitude. The limiting current for the electroreduction of oxygen is increased somewhat but the open circuit potential for the air electrode is increased from 0.98 v in phosphoric acid to 1.13 v.
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