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Membraneless Hydrogen Peroxide Fuel Cells as a Promising Clean Energy Source

Published: October 20th, 2023



1Department of Materials Science & State Key Laboratory of Molecular Engineering of Polymers, Fudan University, 2Center for Photonic Science and Engineering, Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, 3Centro de Quimica Estrutural, Institute of Molecular Sciences, Instituto Superior Tecnico, Universidade de Lisboa, 4Center for Biomedical Engineering, School of Information Science and Technology, Fudan University, 5International Institute of Intelligent Nanorobots and Nanosystems, Fudan University, 6Shanghai Frontiers Science Research Base of Intelligent Optoelectronics and Perception, Fudan University, 7Yiwu Research Institute of Fudan University

This protocol introduces the design and evaluation of innovative three-dimensional electrodes for hydrogen peroxide fuel cells, utilizing Au-electroplated carbon fiber cloth and Ni-foam electrodes. The research findings highlight hydrogen peroxide's potential as a promising candidate for sustainable energy technologies.

In an in-depth investigation of membraneless hydrogen peroxide-based fuel cells (H2O2 FCs), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), a carbon-neutral compound, is demonstrated to undergo electrochemical decomposition to produce H2O, O2, and electrical energy. The unique redox properties of H2O2 position it as a viable candidate for sustainable energy applications. The proposed membraneless design addresses the limitations of conventional fuel cells, including fabrication complexities and design challenges. A novel three-dimensional electrode, synthesized via electroplating techniques, is introduced. Constructed from Au-electroplated carbon fiber cloth combined with Ni-foam, this electrode showcases enhanced electrochemical reaction kinetics, leading to an increased power density for H2O2 FCs. The performance of fuel cells is intricately linked to the pH levels of the electrolyte solution. Beyond FC applications, such electrodes hold potential in portable energy systems and as high surface area catalysts. This study emphasizes the significance of electrode engineering in optimizing the potential of H2O2 as an environmentally friendly energy source.

A fuel cell is an electrochemical device that utilizes fuel and oxidant to convert chemicals into electrical energy. FCs have higher energy conversion efficiency than traditional combustion engines since they are not bound by the Carnot Cycle1. By utilizing fuels such as hydrogen (H2)2, borohydride-hydrogen (NaBH4)3, and ammonia (NH3)4, FCs have become a promising energy source that is environmentally clean and can achieve high performance, offering significant potential to reduce human dependence on fossil fuels. However, FC technology face....

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1. Pre-processing of materials

NOTE: Ni-foam (commercially available, see Table of Materials) with 25 mm x 25 mm x 1.5 mm is used for the H2O2 FC's anode.

  1. Immerse the Ni-foam sample into alcohol and deionized (DI) water, sonicate for three times, 5 min in solvent and water. Subsequently, place the Ni-foam on a clean glass substrate.
  2. Utilize the carbon fiber cloth (see Table of Materials) as the c.......

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Electroplating results
Figure 2 shows the electroplating results. Figure 2A indicates the X-ray diffraction result. Figure 2B,C are the micrographs. Figure 2D,E are SEM results. The effective deposition of gold (Au) on the carbon fiber cloth (CF) was first confirmed using the physical change of color in the carbon fiber cloth from black to go.......

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Several parameters significantly influence the performance of a membraneless hydrogen peroxide fuel cell beyond solution pH and H2O2 concentration. The choice of electrode material dictates electrocatalytic activity and stability, while the electrode's surface area can enhance reaction sites. Operating temperature affects reaction kinetics, and the flow rate of reactants can determine the mixing efficiency of fuel and oxidant. The concentration of any catalyst used is pivotal for reaction rates,.......

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This work was supported by the National Key Technologies R&D Program of China (2021YFA0715302 and 2021YFE0191800), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (61975035 and 52150610489), and the Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality (22ZR1405000).


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Name Company Catalog Number Comments
Acetone Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) 67-64-1 solution for pre-process of materials
Alcohol Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) 64-17-5 solution for pre-process of materials
Carbon fiber cloth Soochow Willtek photoelectric materials co.,Ltd. W0S1011 substrate material for electroplating method
Electrochemistry station  Shanghai Chenhua Instrument Co., Ltd. CHI600E device for electroplating method and fuel cell performance characterization
Gold chloride trihydrate Shanghai Aladdin Biochemical Technology Co.,Ltd. G141105-1g main solute for electroplating method
Hydrochloric acid Sinopharm Chemical ReagentCo., Ltd 10011018 adjustment of solution pH
Hydrogen peroxide Sinopharm Chemical ReagentCo., Ltd 10011208 fuel of cell
Nickel foam Willtek photoelectric materials,China) KSH-2011 anode material for hydrogen peroxide fuel cell
Potassium chloride Shanghai Aladdin Biochemical Technology Co.,Ltd. 10016308 additives for electroplating method
Scanning electron microscope Carl Zeiss AG EVO 10 structural characterization for sample
Sodium hydroxide Sinopharm Chemical ReagentCo., Ltd 10019718 adjustment of solution pH
X-Ray differaction machine Bruker Corporation D8 Advance structural characterization for sample

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