A Direct Borohydride/Hydrogen Peroxide Fuel Cell with Reduced Alkali Crossover



A direct borohydride/hydrogen peroxide fuel cell, employing a misch-metal alloy anode and carbon-supported lead sulfate (PbSO4/C) cathode with a Nafion®-961 membrane electrolyte, is reported. The use of a Nafion®-961 membrane electrolyte in the fuel cell lessens the crossover of aqueous sodium hydroxide from the anode to cathode. Initial results indicate that the fuel cell exhibits a maximum power density of 10 mW cm–2 at an operating voltage of 0.77 V with an oxidant utilization of about 80% at 25 °C. The fuel cell also avoids the use of noble-metal catalysts. The unique combination of sodium borohydride and hydrogen peroxide, both of which are in aqueous from, paves the way for a convenient unitized refueling design that is inherently compact compared to fuel cells that use gaseous reactants. Such a fuel cell is expected to find application in situations where anaerobic conditions prevail, e.g., in submersible and space applications.