Electrochemical Oxidation of Carbon-Containing Fuels and Their Dynamics in Low-Temperature Fuel Cells

Authors

  • Prof. Dr. Ulrike Krewer,

    Corresponding author
    1. Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems, Sandtorstraße 1, 39106 Magdeburg (Germany), Fax: (+49) 391-6110-536
    2. Portable Energy Systems, Chair for Process Systems Engineering, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Universitätsplatz 2, 39106 Magdeburg (Germany)
    • Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems, Sandtorstraße 1, 39106 Magdeburg (Germany), Fax: (+49) 391-6110-536
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  • Dr. Tanja Vidakovic-Koch,

    1. Chair for Process Systems Engineering, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Universitätsplatz 2, 39106 Magdeburg (Germany)
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  • Dr. Liisa Rihko-Struckmann

    1. Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems, Sandtorstraße 1, 39106 Magdeburg (Germany), Fax: (+49) 391-6110-536
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Abstract

Fuel cells can convert the energy that is chemically stored in a compound into electrical energy with high efficiency. Hydrogen could be the first choice for chemical energy storage, but its utilization is limited due to storage and transport difficulties. Carbon-containing fuels store chemical energy with significantly higher energy density, which makes them excellent energy carriers. The electro-oxidation of carbon-containing fuels without prior reforming is a more challenging and complex process than anodic hydrogen oxidation. The current understanding of the direct electro-oxidation of carbon-containing fuels in low-temperature fuel cells is reviewed. Furthermore, this review covers various aspects of electro-oxidation for carbon-containing fuels in non-steady-state reaction conditions. Such dynamic investigations open possibilities to elucidate detailed reaction kinetics, to sense fuel concentration, or to diagnose the fuel-cell state during operation. Motivated by the challenge to decrease the consumption of fossil fuel, the production routes of the fuels from renewable resources also are reviewed.

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