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Issue 11, 2012
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Reversible transient hydrogen storage in a fuel cell–supercapacitor hybrid device

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Abstract

A new concept is investigated for hydrogen storage in a supercapacitor based on large-surface-area carbon material (Black Pearls 2000). Protons and electrons of hydrogen are separated on a fuel cell-type electrode and then stored separately in the electrical double layer, the electrons on the carbon and the protons in the aqueous electrolyte of the supercapacitor electrode. The merit of this concept is that it works spontaneously and reversibly near ambient pressure and temperature. This is in pronounced contrast to what has been known as electrochemical hydrogen storage, which does not involve hydrogen gas and where electrical work has to be spent in the loading process. With the present hybrid device, a H2 storage capacity of 0.13 wt% was obtained, one order of magnitude more than what can be stored by conventional physisorption on large-surface-area carbons at the same pressure and temperature. Raising the pressure from 1.5 to 3.5 bar increased the capacity by less than 20%, indicating saturation. A capacitance of 11 μF cm−2, comparable with that of a commercial double layer supercapacitor, was found using H2SO4 as electrolyte. The chemical energy of the stored H2 is almost a factor of 3 larger than the electrical energy stored in the supercapacitor. Further developments of this concept relate to a hydrogen buffer integrated inside a proton exchange membrane fuel cell to be used in case of peak power demand. This serial setup takes advantage of the suggested novel concept of hydrogen storage. It is fundamentally different from previous ways of operating a conventional supercapacitor hooked up in parallel to a fuel cell.

Graphical abstract: Reversible transient hydrogen storage in a fuel cell–supercapacitor hybrid device

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Publication details

The article was received on 04 Oct 2011, accepted on 17 Jan 2012 and first published on 09 Feb 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2CP23140A
Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2012,14, 3816-3824

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    Reversible transient hydrogen storage in a fuel cell–supercapacitor hybrid device

    J. E. Z. Unda and E. Roduner, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2012, 14, 3816
    DOI: 10.1039/C2CP23140A

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