(146d) The Miniature Direct Formic Acid Fuel Cell: Optimization and the Study of the Anode Catalyst Conference: AIChE Annual MeetingYear: 2009Proceeding: 2009 AIChE Annual MeetingGroup: Fuels and Petrochemicals DivisionSession: Fuel Cell Technology Time: Monday, November 9, 2009 - 4:15pm-4:35pm Authors: Morgan, R. D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Masel, R. I., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Haan, J. L., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Small fuel cells have been proposed to replace batteries for such applications as small hand-held electronic devices, on chip sensors, implantable devices, as well as for communications [1-3]. Formic acid fuel cells are ideal, because they have a lower crossover than DMFCs . This allows one to use more concentrated fuels [5-6], and practically no balance of plant. A brief overview of previous optimization of membrane thickness and fuel concentration will be given for our 4.9 mm2 fuel cell. Currently, the fuel cell can obtain 150 W-hr/l as well as a peak power density of 43 mW/cm^2. Also, work that will be presented will focus on the optimization of the catalyst ink layer. Nafion is an important binder in fuel cell catalyst inks. The proper amount needs to be added to the ink to ensure both good adhesion between the catalyst layer and the membrane, but also enough to allow for good proton and electron conduction[7-11]. Fuel Cell and electrochemical data will be presented to illustrate the effects of Nafion loading on the anode of the direct formic acid fuel cell. 1. S. Hsieh, C. Huang, J. Kno, H. Tsai and S. Yang, J. Solid State Electrochem. 9 (2005), pp. 121?131 2. S.H. Chan, N. Nguyen, Z. Xia and Z. Wu, J. Micromech. Microeng. 15 (2005), pp. 231?236. 3. Meyers, J.P. and H.L. Maynard, Journal of Power Sources, 2002. 109(1): p. 76-88. 4. Y.-W. Rhee, S. Ha and R.I. Masel. J. Power Sources 117 (2003), pp. 35?38 5. C. Rice, S. Ha, R.I. Masel, P. Waszczuk, A. Wieckowski and T. Barnard. J. Power Sources 111 (2002), p. 83 6. C. Rice, S. Ha, R.I. Masel and A. Wieckowski. J. Power Sources 115 (2003), p. 229 7. McGovern, M.S., et al., Effects of Nafion as a binding agent for unsupported nanoparticle catalysts. Journal of Power Sources, 2003. 115(1): p. 35-39. 8. O'Hayre, R. and F.B. Prinz, The Air/Platinum/Nafion Triple-Phase Boundary: Characteristics, Scaling, and Implications for Fuel Cells. Journal of the Electrochemical Society, 2004. 151(5): p. A756-A762. 9. Song, D., et al., A method for optimizing distributions of Nafion and Pt in cathode catalyst layers of PEM fuel cells. Electrochimica Acta, 2005. 50(16-17): p. 3347-3358. 10. Wagner, N., T. Kaz, and K.A. Friedrich, Investigation of electrode composition of polymer fuel cells by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. Electrochimica Acta, 2008. 53(25): p. 7475-7482. 11. Wang, S., et al., Effect of Nafion® ionomer aggregation on the structure of the cathode catalyst layer of a DMFC. Journal of Power Sources, 2007. 165(1): p. 128-133.