Microfluidic fuel cells

Characterization of the response of microfluidic fuel cells to complex 3D fluid dynamics patterns

Microfluidic fuel cells (MFCs) are a recent class of membraneless, miniaturized fuel cells in which the two streams of fuel and oxidant flow in parallel in a microchannel without turbulent mixing. Due to their high future potential in several key branches of industry (cell phones, PDAs, clinical diagnostic tests), the optimization and improvement of their performance is currently an important task. One possibility to enhance the energy density and fuel utilization of MFCs in an effective and inexpensive way is the use of 3D flows, in which velocity components perpendicular to the main flow direction are present. We make use of advanced volumetric microscopic velocimetry methods to systematically examine the response of MFCs to the 3D flow patterns. The analysis is carried out on innovative MFC architectures with curved geometries, able to cover a wide range of 3D flow patterns.


Funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).


Partners: IFW Dresden, Politecnico di Torino, TU Eindhoven, UniBw (Prof. Hansch)


Contacts: Dr. Massimiliano Rossi