Fueling the Future through Chemical Energy of Fuel Cells, Solar Cells, and More

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1 University of Massachusetts - Amherst Amherst Clean Energy Connections Fueling the Future through Chemical Energy of Fuel Cells, Solar Cells, and More DV Venkataraman University of Massachusetts Amherst - Center for Fueling the Future Justin Fermann University of Massachusetts Amherst - Center for Fueling the Future Follow this and additional works at: Venkataraman, DV and Fermann, Justin, "Fueling the Future through Chemical Energy of Fuel Cells, Solar Cells, and More" (2008). Clean Energy Connections. Paper 10. This Article is brought to you for free and open access by Amherst. It has been accepted for inclusion in Clean Energy Connections by an authorized administrator of Amherst. For more information, please contact

2 Fueling the Future through Chemical Energy of Fuel Cells, Solar Cells, and More Prof. Justin Fermann Prof. D. Venkataraman (DV) Department of Chemistry UMass Amherst

3 Center for Fueling the Future 2 Supported by the National Science Foundation through Center for Chemical Innovations Program Research Investigators from Chemistry, Physics and Polymer Science & Engineering The Center for Fueling the Future carries out research that addresses fundamental aspects of proton transport, the molecular-level process that underlies the functioning of a central component of fuel cells.

4 Hydrogen as an Energy Source 3 H 2 (g) + ½ O 2 (g) H 2 O (l) + Energy

5 Fuel Cells and Automobiles 4

6 Need for Better Membranes 5 Nafion Expensive Breaks down at high temps Bleeds Fuel

7 What Controls Proton Transfer? 6

8 What Controls Proton Transport? 7

9 8

10 Hydrogen Economy: Fundamental Questions 9 Efficient, Cost effective, Environmentally Friendly, Storage and Transport How to break H-O-H bonds at lower temperatures? How to break C-H bonds at lower temperatures? How to reversibly convert H- to H 2? Can H 2 be physisorbed on surfaces? Efficient Fuel Cells for Energy Generation What is the structure of H + ions in water? How to design membranes that could transport H + ions? How to stop methanol or hydrogen from moving across the membrane?

11 Photovoltaic Cells 10 Efficiency of Photovoltaic Cells Depend on Absorption in Solar Spectrum Charge Separation Efficiency Charge Mobility

12 Elusive Heterojunctions 11

13 PV Cells: Fundamental Questions 12 PV Cells: Efficient, cost effective, environmentally friendly energy production How to assemble semiconductors for efficient charge separation and mobility? How to assemble heterojunctions without macrophase segregation (interplay of intermolecular forces)? Design of molecules and macromolecules for efficient capture of solar energy. Strategies to capture Solar Energy Design and synthesis of transparent semiconductors to replace expensive Indium tin oxide

14 National Chemical Energy Research Network (NCERN) 13 National Chemical Energy Research Network (NCERN) is designed to facilitate communication between energy researchers and the public, and provides enhanced public understanding, visibility, and publicity to chemical energy research. It is a public portal for educators, students and public to get accurate information on topics related to chemical energy. NCERN is also a dynamic interface between research centers engaged in chemical energy and the surrounding community that is impacted by that research.

15 National Chemical Energy Research Network (NCERN) 14 Education and Outreach Energy Blogs Energy Wiki Research Technology

16 Contact Info:

17 16 New Membrane Materials at Centre for Fueling the Future H N N 1. Controlling distance between the sites 2. Controlling the assembly of molecules 3. Creating new molecules for proton transport H N N H N N Benzimidazole

18 Efficiency of Current Photovoltaics Devices 17 Source: Basic Research Energy Needs for Solar Energy Utilization, US Department of Energy

19 Fuel Cells in Develpment 18 Fuel Cell Type Electrolyte Cond. Ion Temp. (ºC) Features Polymer Fuel: H 2 CF(CF 2 ) n OCF 2 SO 3 NAFION H + hydrated 0 80 High power density, Pt catalyst, must be kept wet, poisoned by CO, S, Cl Alkaline Fuel: H 2 Phosphoric acid Fuel: H 2 Molten carbonate Fuel: H 2 KOH gel OH 90 High power density, cannot tolerate CO 2, impurities (NASA) H 3 PO 4 H Medium power density, Pt catalyst, sensitive to CO, poisoned by S, Cl Li 2 CO 3 / K 2 CO 3 CO Low power density, Ni catalyst, needs CO 2 recycle Solid oxide Zr 0.92 Y 0.08 O 1.96 O ,000 Medium-to-high power Fuel: CH 4, H 2 density, much less sensitive to impurities Direct methanol Fuel: CH 3 OH CF(CF 2 ) n OCF 2 SO 3 - NAFION H + hydrated 0 80 Medium power density, low efficiency, high Pt content. Sensitive to S and Cl impurities

20 Efficiency and Cost 19 Source: Basic Research Energy Needs for Solar Energy Utilization, US Department of Energy

21 Solar Insolation 20 6E Photons per square meter per second per nm of bandwidth 5E+18 4E+18 3E+18 2E+18 AM 0 Integrated Photon Flux 20 1E+18 AM 1.5G 10 4 ev 3 ev 2 ev 1.5 ev 1 ev 0E Wavelength (nm)

22 Shockley-Queisser Limit: Better Photon Management 21 Source: Basic Research Energy Needs for Solar Energy Utilization, US Department of Energy

23 P-N junctions and Photovoltaic Cells 22 Conventional Solar Cell Organic Heterojunction Solar Cell Light electrons Light holes Anode Cathode h + n-type Donor e - p-type exciton Acceptor Cathode Anode Spanggaard, H.; Krebs, F. C. "A brief history of the development of organic and polymeric photovoltaics," Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells 2004, 83,

24 Templated-Directed Electrodeposition 23 a simple, high throughput, and cost effective procedure... to create 1D nanostructures Xia, Y. N.; Yang, P. D.; Sun, Y. G.; Wu, Y. Y.; Mayers, B.; Gates, B.; Yin, Y. D.; Kim, F.; Yan, Y. Q. "One-Dimensional Nanostructures: Synthesis, Characterization, and Applications," Advanced Materials 2003, 15,

25 24 Templated-Directed Cadmium Selenide Electrodeposition

26 UMass Researchers Focus on Efficient PV Cells 25 Prof. Thayumanavan, Chemistry Prof. Thomas Russell, PSE

27 UMass Researchers Focus on Efficient Morphologies 26

28 Hydrogen Production from Carbon Sources 27 Methane CH 4 (g) + H 2 O (g) CO 2 (g) + 4 H 2 At 650 C, the reaction is spontaneous. Water- Gas Shift Reaction CO + H 2 O CO 2 + H 2 From Coal C + H 2 O CO + H 2 Expected H 2 Demand in Mtons Current Production 10 Mtons C + 2 H 2 O CO 2 + 2H 2 1 ton of H 2 = 5 tons of CO 2

29 Breaking Water Using Enzymes UMass at the Forefront 28 Hydrogenase Clostridium pasteuianum Fe-Fe H2ase-I and Desulfovibrio gigas NiFe H2ase.

30 Hydrogenase as a catalyst of H 2 Production 29 Figure 4: A plot of the amount of hydrogen produced with respect to time in a hydrogenase encapsulated in a solgel glass. Maroney (UMass Amherst) and Elgren (Hamilton College)

31 Hydrogen Generation through Nanobiotechnology 30 D. Venkataraman and Maroney Chart 1

32 Hydrogen Storage and Transport : Sodium Borohydride 31 Hydrogen on demand 30% NaBH 4 3% NaOH 67% Water

33 Hydrogen Storage and Transport 32 Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, USA

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