A paper-based self-pumping microfluidic fuel cell stack with a novel vertical structure

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

2 Scopus Citations
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Author(s)

  • Li Li
  • Yun He
  • Qiang Xu
  • Ting Liu
  • Shaoyi Bei
  • Keqing Zheng
  • Jun Yang
  • Hongkang Wang

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8389-8397
Number of pages9
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Energy Research
Volume46
Issue number6
Online published16 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

Abstract

Microfluidic fuel cell (MFC) stacking is a prerequisite to enhance its power output for practical applications. However, most MFC stacks reported in the present literature require external pumps to maintain the co-laminar flow and complex fluidic management networks for homogeneous flow and reactant distributions. To address these issues, a novel paper-based self-pumping MFC stack with potassium formate as the fuel and hydrogen peroxide as the oxidant is proposed in this study. The capillary action is employed to achieve passive liquid flow. A vertical stack structure with the unit cells piled one above another compactly is adopted to reduce the volumetric costs. The experimental results show that the maximum power outputs of the two-cell and three-cell stack prototypes are 4.01 and 7.26 mW cm−2, outperforming the MFC unit by 5.81 and 10.52 times, respectively. The superior performance is attributed to its distinct vertical stacking structure, which brings the enhanced capillary flows in the paper wicks and reduced ohmic losses in comparison with the unit cell. Further, effects of the filter paper and reactant concentrations on the stack performance were examined, and mass transfer of the fuel and/or oxidant to the electrode/electrolyte interface was identified as the main limiting factor. A loose microstructure of the paper wick was found beneficial in enhancing the mass transfer. The potential applications of the MFC stack in a variety of portable electronics are broad.

Research Area(s)

  • microfluidic fuel cell stack, paper capillary, self-pumping, vertical stack configuration

Citation Format(s)

A paper-based self-pumping microfluidic fuel cell stack with a novel vertical structure. / Li, Li; He, Yun; Xu, Qiang et al.

In: International Journal of Energy Research, Vol. 46, No. 6, 05.2022, p. 8389-8397.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review