Performance characteristics of a passive direct ethylene glycol fuel cell with hydrogen peroxide as oxidant

Zhefei Pan, Yanding Bi, Liang An

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


A passive direct ethylene glycol fuel cell is proposed and tested, which does not contain external liquid pumps, gas blowers/compressors or any other auxiliary devices. Therefore, comparing to the active fuel cells, the volumetric energy density is improved. In this work, ethylene glycol in alkaline solution is employed as fuel in this fuel cell, while hydrogen peroxide in acid solution is employed as oxidant, and a cation exchange membrane is employed to transport cations. The theoretical voltage of this type of fuel cell is as high as 2.47 V, which exhibits a promising potential in practical applications. The operating conditions can influence the performance of this fuel cell system, including species concentrations in both fuel and oxidant, thicknesses of membranes, and operating temperatures. In addition, the open-circuit voltage and the peak power density of this fuel cell are as high as 1.58 V and 65.8 mW cm−2 at 60 °C, respectively. Comparing to a fuel cell system with a similar setting but using oxygen as oxidant, the higher voltage output and power output are attributed to the easier and faster reduction reaction of hydrogen peroxide, which makes contributions to the impressive performance improvement of this fuel cell. Moreover, the effect of the released heat caused by the hydrogen peroxide self-decomposition to the cell performance is studied as well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)846-854
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Energy
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2019


  • Direct ethylene glycol fuel cell
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Hydrogen peroxide self-decomposition
  • Operating parameters
  • Passive fuel cells
  • Power density

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Energy(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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