- 1:45 PM

Current Status of Silicon Based Micro Fuel Cells for Portable Power

Richard I. Masel, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Illinois, 600 S mathews, Urbana, IL 61801, Mark A. Shannon, Mechanical Engineering, University of Illinois, 1206 W Green St, Urbana, IL 61801, and Kuan-Lun Chu, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 294 RAL, 600 S. Matthews, Urbana, IL 61801.

This paper will describe our recent attempts to create silicon based fuel cells with porous silicon membranes for portable power applications using formic acid as a fuel. Generally, the silicon based fuel cells give reasonable performance, but not quite as good as those with nafion membranes. Generally open cell potentials are 0.1 V lower with the silicon based fuel cells than with those with nafion membranes, and maximum currents are a factor of two lower. This difficulty seems to be largely associated with larger fuel crossover with the silicon membranes. Attempts to create barrier layers to reduce the crossover will also be discussed.