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A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 December 2024 | Viewed by 2540

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Department of Thermal and Fluids Engineering, University Carlos III of Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Interests: porous media; electrochemistry; energy materials; fluid mechanics; solid mechanics; renewable energy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Electrochemical energy conversion and storage devices (EECSDs) play a key role in the current green energy transition to mitigate climate change and to develop a more sustainable society. Energy materials (EMs) are essential components of many EECSDs, such as porous flow fields, gas diffusion layers and catalyst layers used in proton exchange fuel cells, porous transport layers used in electrolyzers, macroporous electrodes used in redox flow batteries, and intercalation electrodes used in lithium-ion batteries. EMs must fulfill several critical functions, such as providing a transport pathway for reactants and products through their pore volume and ensuring charge and heat conduction through their solid matrix. Porous electrodes have the added functionality of providing a reactive surface area. Optimization of the above components is needed to: (i) improve performance and durability at lower cost; (ii) provide manufacturing solutions of cells, stacks and systems in high volume and efficiency; (iii) reduce the carbon footprint; and (iv) integrate manufacturing with recycling industries in a circular economy. This Special Issue aims to collect original research and review articles on recent advances of EMs for electrochemical applications.

Dr. Pablo A. García-Salaberri
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • porous media
  • electrochemical energy
  • conversion and storage
  • energy materials

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

19 pages, 1833 KiB  
Article
A Numerical Assessment of Mitigation Strategies to Reduce Local Oxygen and Proton Transport Resistances in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells
by Pablo A. García-Salaberri
Materials 2023, 16(21), 6935; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16216935 - 28 Oct 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 894
Abstract
The optimized design of the catalyst layer (CL) plays a vital role in improving the performance of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). The need to improve transport and catalyst activity is especially important at low Pt loading, where local oxygen and ionic [...] Read more.
The optimized design of the catalyst layer (CL) plays a vital role in improving the performance of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). The need to improve transport and catalyst activity is especially important at low Pt loading, where local oxygen and ionic transport resistances decrease the performance due to an inevitable reduction in active catalyst sites. In this work, local oxygen and ionic transport are analyzed using direct numerical simulation on virtually reconstructed microstructures. Four morphologies are examined: (i) heterogeneous, (ii) uniform, (iii) uniform vertically-aligned, and (iv) meso-porous ionomer distributions. The results show that the local oxygen transport resistance can be significantly reduced, while maintaining good ionic conductivity, through the design of high porosity CLs (ε 0.6–0.7) with low agglomerated ionomer morphologies. Ionomer coalescence into thick films can be effectively mitigated by increasing the uniformity of thin films and reducing the tortuosity of ionomer distribution (e.g., good ionomer interconnection in supports with a vertical arrangement). The local oxygen resistance can be further decreased by the use of blended ionomers with enhanced oxygen permeability and meso-porous ionomers with oxygen transport routes in both water and ionomer. In summary, achieving high performance at low Pt loading in next-generation CLs must be accomplished through a combination of high porosity, uniform and low tortuosity ionomer distribution, and oxygen transport through activated water. Full article
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9 pages, 2052 KiB  
Article
Novel Protonic Conductor SrLa2Sc2O7 with Layered Structure for Electrochemical Devices
by Nataliia Tarasova, Anzhelika Bedarkova, Irina Animitsa, Ekaterina Abakumova, Vladislava Gnatyuk and Inna Zvonareva
Materials 2022, 15(24), 8867; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15248867 - 12 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1183
Abstract
Novel materials with target properties for different electrochemical energy conversion and storage devices are currently being actively created and investigated. Materials with high level of protonic conductivity are attracting attention as electrolytes for solid oxide fuel cells and electrolyzers. Though many materials are [...] Read more.
Novel materials with target properties for different electrochemical energy conversion and storage devices are currently being actively created and investigated. Materials with high level of protonic conductivity are attracting attention as electrolytes for solid oxide fuel cells and electrolyzers. Though many materials are being investigated as potential electrolytic components for these devices, many problems exist, including comparability between electrodes and electrolytes. In this paper, layered perovskite SrLa2Sc2O7 was investigated as a protonic conductor for the first time. The possibility for water uptake and protonic transport was revealed. It was shown that the SrLa2Sc2O7 composition can be considered a prospective ionic conductor. The layered perovskites can be considered as very promising materials for electrochemical devices for energy applications. Full article
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