Chronoamperometric Study of Ammonia Oxidation in a Direct Ammonia Alkaline Fuel Cell under the Influence of Microgravity

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Title: Chronoamperometric Study of Ammonia Oxidation in a Direct Ammonia Alkaline Fuel Cell under the Influence of Microgravity
Authors: Acevedo, Raul | Poventud-Estrada, Carlos M. | Morales-Navas, Camila | Martínez-Rodríguez, Roberto A. | Ortiz-Quiles, Edwin | Vidal-Iglesias, Francisco J. | Solla-Gullón, José | Nicolau, Eduardo | Feliu, Juan M. | Echegoyen, Luis | Cabrera, Carlos R.
Research Group/s: Electroquímica de Superficies | Electroquímica Aplicada y Electrocatálisis
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Química Física | Universidad de Alicante. Instituto Universitario de Electroquímica
Keywords: Ammonia oxidation | Bubble | Platinum nanoparticles | Microgravity | Carbon nanoonions
Knowledge Area: Química Física
Issue Date: Aug-2017
Publisher: Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
Citation: Microgravity Science and Technology. 2017, 29(4): 253-261. doi:10.1007/s12217-017-9543-z
Abstract: This is a study of the chronoamperometric performance of the electrochemical oxidation of ammonia in an alkaline fuel cell for space applications. Under microgravity the performance of a fuel cell is diminished by the absence of buoyancy since nitrogen gas is produced. The following catalysts were studied: platinum nanocubes of ca. 10nm, platinum nanocubes on carbon Vulcan ™ and platinum on carbon nanoonion support of ca. 10nm. These nanomaterials were studied in order to search for catalysts that may reduce or counter the loss of ammonia oxidation current densities performance under microgravity conditions. Chronoamperometries at potential values ranging from 0.2 V to 1.2V vs. cathode potential (breathing Air/300ml/min/82737 Pa) in 1.0 M NH4OH (30ml/min in anode) were done during over 30 parabolas in NASA’s C9 airplane The Weightless Wonder in January 2016 from Ellington Field Houston. The current densities at 15s in the chronoamperometry experiments showed diminishing values under microgravity and in some cases improvements of up to 92%, for Pt-carbon nanoonions, and over 70% for the three catalysts versus ground at potentials ranging from 0.2 to 0.4V after 5 minutes of chronoamperometric conditions. At higher potentials, 1.0V or higher, Pt nanocubes and Pt-carbon nanoonions showed enhancements of up to 32% and 24%, respectively. At these higher potentials we will have a contribution of oxygen evolution. The changes in current behavior are attributed to the sizes of the catalyst materials and the time needed for the N2 bubbles detachment from the Pt surface under microgravity conditions.
Sponsor: This work was financially supported by the NASA-MIRO Center for Advanced Nanoscale Materials at the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras Campus Grant number NNX10AQ17A and NASA-EPSCoR grant number NNX14AN18A, Puerto Rico NASA Space Grant Consortium: NASA cooperative agreement NNX10AM80H, NASA Flight Opportunities Program Announcement of Flight Opportunities (AFO) NOCT110 call #5 and Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (projects CTQ2013-44083-P and CTQ2013-48280-C3-3-R).
ISSN: 0938-0108 (Print) | 1875-0494 (Online)
DOI: 10.1007/s12217-017-9543-z
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017
Peer Review: si
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