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Fabrication of a micro-direct methanol fuel cell using microfluidics

Chumphol Yunphuttha, Win Bunjongpru, Supanit Porntheeraphat, Atchana Wongchaisuwat, Charndet Hruanun, Amporn Poyai, and Pinsuda Viravathana

Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, National Research University-Kasetsart University, 50 Ngam Wong Wan Rd, Chatuchak, Bangkok, 10900 Thailand



Abstract: A direct-methanol fuel cell containing three parts: microchannels, electrodes, and a proton exchange membrane (PEM), was investigated. Nafion resin (NR) and polystyrene-block-poly(ethylene-ran-butylene)-block-polystyrene (PS) were used as PEMs. Preparation of PEMs, including compositing with other polymers and their solubility, was performed and their proton conductivity was measured by a four point probe. The results showed that the 5 % Nafion resin has lower conductivity than the 5 % PS solution. The micro-fuel cell contained two acrylic channels, PEM, and two platinum catalyst electrodes on a silicon wafer. The assembled micro-fuel cells used 2 M methanol at the flow rate of 1.5 mL min−1 in the anode channel and 5 × 10−3 M KMnO4 at the flow rate of 1.5 mL min−1 in the cathode channel. The micro-fuel cell with the electrode distance of 300 μm provided the power density of 59.16 μW cm−2 and the current density of 125.60 μA cm−2 at 0.47 V.

Keywords: microfluidics – micro-direct methanol fuel cell – micro-fuel cell – electrochemical process

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.2478/s11696-012-0230-7


Chemical Papers 66 (12) 1137–1145 (2012)

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