In this study, different proportions of catalysts, including Platinum (Pt), active carbon and Selenium (Se), were coated onto anode and cathode channels composed of PDMS (polydimethylsiloxane) to promote the fuel decomposition reaction in the fuel channels and to further enhance the output of the DMFCs under various operating temperatures. The experimental results indicated that under identical operating conditions, the performances of DMFCs with catalysts coated onto their channels are always superior to that of DMFCs without an added catalyst. The results indicate that a critical catalyst loading value exists for every catalyst. When the amount of catalyst added is less than this critical value, the output of the DMFCs can be greatly enhanced by increasing the proportion of the catalyst added to the fuel channels. However, when the amount of catalyst added exceeds the critical value, efficiency enhancements are no longer apparent. Suitable coating weight percentage for every catalyst was recommended. The corresponding recommendation values for catalysts of Pt, active carbon and Se are 0.06%, 0.29% and 0.29%, respectively, under the investigated operating conditions. The maximum power density increment of 182.3% can be attained in the case with 0.29% Se catalyst loading at an operating temperature of 30 degrees C.
Digest Journal of Nanomaterials and Biostructures 11(2), p.651-662