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. 2017 Mar 16;10(3):303.
doi: 10.3390/ma10030303.

Novel PEFC Application for Deuterium Isotope Separation

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Free PMC article

Novel PEFC Application for Deuterium Isotope Separation

Hisayoshi Matsushima et al. Materials (Basel). .
Free PMC article

Abstract

The use of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) with a Nafion membrane for isotopic separation of deuterium (D) was investigated. Mass analysis at the cathode side indicated that D diffused through the membrane and participated in an isotope exchange reaction. The exchange of D with protium (H) in H₂O was facilitated by a Pt catalyst. The anodic data showed that the separation efficiency was dependent on the D concentration in the source gas, whereby the water produced during the operation of the PEFC was more enriched in D as the D concentration of the source gas was increased.

Keywords: CEFC; fuel cell; hydrogen isotope separation; isotope exchange reaction.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Schematic illustration of experimental measurement of the deuterium separation factor of PEFC. 1. H2 gas; 2. D2 gas; 3. O2 gas; 4. Mass flow controller; 5. Gas mixture unit; 6. Bubbler; 7. Anode; 8. Electrolyte membrane assembly; 9. Cathode; 10. Variable resistor; 11. Q-mass.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Transient behavior of Q-Mass spectra of mass numbers m = 2 (H2, green line), 3 (HD, red line) and 4 (D2, blue line) at the anode side. A mixture of H2 (10.0 mL·min−1) and D2 (0.1 mL·min−1) was passed through the PEFC for 2 h and then passed directly to the Q-Mass for 3 h without power generation.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Transient behavior of Q-Mass spectra of mass numbers m = 18 (H2O, blue line) and 19 (HDO, red line) at the cathode side. Arrow indicates the onset time, when the mixture of H2 (10.0 mL·min−1) and D2 (0.1 mL·min−1) was passed to the anode side.
Figure 4
Figure 4
Cell current-voltage curves when PEFC was in operation with pure H2 gas (black line) and mixture gases of H2 and D2 (red line).
Figure 5
Figure 5
Transient behavior of Q-Mass spectra of m = 3 at several D concentrations, D/H = 10−2 (blue line), D/H = 10−3 (green line) and D/H = 10−4 (red line). Arrow indicates the onset time, when the PEFC was switched on. The data of m = 2 (black) and m = 4 (orange) were measured when the mixture gas with D/H = 10−2 was supplied.
Figure 6
Figure 6
Dependency of separation factor, α, on fuel gas concentration of D when PEFC was operated at 1.2 A.

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