422845 Low Temperature Direct Biomass-to-Electricity Fuel Cell

Sunday, November 8, 2015: 4:20 PM
257A (Salt Palace Convention Center)
Wei Liu1,2 and Yulin Deng1,2, (1)School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, (2)Renewable Bioproducts Institute, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

Hereby we present a novel fuel cell that directly consumes natural polymeric biomasses, such as starch, cellulose, lignin, and even switchgrass and wood powders. This fuel cell combines some features of solar cells, fuel cells, and redox flow batteries. Specifically, the polyoxomatelate forms a charge transfer complex with the biomass by absorbing solar energy via either photochemical or solar-thermal effects.  The charge transfer complex can then release electrons on the carbon anode. The electrons then pass through an external circuit and are captured by oxygen at the cathode. The power density of the solar-induced hybrid fuel cell powered by cellulose reaches 0.72 mW/cm2, which is almost 1,000 times higher than cellulose based microbial fuel cells. Unlike most cell technologies that are sensitive to impurities, the cell reported in this study is inert to most organic and inorganic contaminants present in the fuels.  The fuel cell is completely noble metal free.

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