A Hybrid Aluminum/Hydrogen/Air Cell—Common Cathode

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Lei Wang
  • Fude LIU
  • Wentao Wang
  • Dawei Zheng
  • Huizhi Wang

Related Research Unit(s)


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1889-1894
Journal / PublicationJournal of Energy and Power Engineering
Issue number11
Online published30 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2014


Metal/Air batteries are considered to be promising electricity storage devices given their compactness, environmental benignity and affordability. As a commonly available metal, aluminum has received great attention since its first use as an anode in a battery. Its high specific energy (even better volumetric energy density than lithium) makes it ideal for many primary battery applications. However, the development of Al/Air cell with alkaline electrolyte has been lagged behind mainly due to the unfavorable parasitic hydrogen generation. Herein, we designed and constructed a novel Al/H2/Air tandem fuel cell to turn the adverse parasitic reaction into a useful process. The system consists of two anodes, namely, aluminum and hydrogen, and one common air-breathing cathode. The aluminum acts as both the anode for the Al/Air sub-cell and the source to generate hydrogen for the hydrogen/air sub-cell. The aluminum/air sub-cell has an open circuit voltage of 1.45 V and the H2/Air sub-cell of 0.95 V. We demonstrated that the maximum power output of aluminum as a fuel was largely enhanced by 31% after incorporating the H2/Air sub-cell with the tandem concept. In addition, a passive design was utilized in our tandem system to eliminate the dependence on auxiliary pumping sub-systems so that the whole system remained neat and eliminated the dependence of energy consuming pumps or heaters which were typically applied in micro fuel cells.

Research Area(s)

  • Al/Air battery, hydrogen fuel cell, passive fuel cell, utilization efficiency, tandem fuel cell

Citation Format(s)

A Hybrid Aluminum/Hydrogen/Air Cell—Common Cathode. / Wang, Lei; LIU, Fude; Wang, Wentao et al.
In: Journal of Energy and Power Engineering, Vol. 8, No. 11, 30.11.2014, p. 1889-1894.

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review