(258a) Production of Monodisperse Lithium Carbonate NANO-Particles, to be USED As Sacrificial ANODE Template for Direct Acid FUEL CELLS

Authors: 
Tallapudi, S., Tennessee Technological University
Stretz, H., Tennessee Technological University
Massingill, J. Jr., Advanced Materials and Processes
With increase in demand for energy the need for alternative power sources has become crucial. The advent of fuel cells has made it possible to power almost any portable device or machine that rely on batteries. Their main advantage is that they do not go dead eventually unlike a typical battery but will continue to produce energy as long as fuel and oxidant are supplied. By improving the porosity of the anode catalyst layer in these fuel cells, it is possible to improve the efficiency. Lithium carbonate is a good choice for sacrificial anode template (pore-former/porogen) especially for direct formic acid type fuel cells, due to its low solubility in the electrolytes being used. In such a case the size of the porogen particles plays the key role. The goal of this research is to be able to produce stable mono-disperse lithium carbonate nanoparticles. A patented CHEMTOR reactor, based on the principles of microfluidics, was used to achieve low poly-dispersity and better control over size of the particles. The product was characterized using dynamic light scattering technique (DLS). The fiber reactor resulted in average particle size of 109nm diameter while the batch process resulted in 839nm diameter. Future work involves in stabilizing the nanoparticles and size control by varying the operating temperature, flowrates and surfactant concentration.
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