St. Louis, Missouri
June 18, 2000
June 18, 2000
June 21, 2000
5.60.1 - 5.60.7
A STUDENT-ORIENTED FUEL CELL PROJECT AT PITTSBURG STATE UNIVERSITY (II): LOW PRESSURE-BASED FABRICATION PROCESS FOR THE MOLTEN CARBONATE FUEL CELL (MCFC) ELECTROLYTE MATRIX SUPPORT.
Christopher C. Ibeh, James W. Fonda/Shannon Birk Pittsburg State University(PSU), Pittsburg, KS/University of Kansas(KU)
There is an on-going student-oriented effort at Pittsburg State University to develop and fabricate a resilient and crack-free molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC) electrolyte matrix support that is capable of functioning at the 650 o C operating temperature of the MCFC system. Students of the heat transfer, thermodynamics and plastics courses, and PSU/NSF-REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) summer program work on this project, in response to the EPA/Energy industry’s search for pollutants-free, non-combustion energy systems. The project utilizes a compression molding-controlling fabrication process, and electrical performance of produced MCFC matrices are determined via resistivity analyzer measurements. Low pressures of less than 5000 psi yield the best results; high pressures tend to fracture the matrix. Room temperature volume resistivities of 103 – 105 ohm-m have been achieved; a range much better than those of typical insulative materials (1013 – 1016 ohm-m). Current efforts focus on reducing the resistivity values of fabricated MCFC matrices from the semi-conductive to the conductive range.
In a previous paper(1) presented at the 1999 ASEE Conference in Charlotte, NC, the concept and use of the term (project) paper was espoused. The term paper embodies such concepts as choice of topic relevant to course content, literature search for development of knowledge base, experimentation for acquisition and analyses of data, report writing for development and improvement of communication skills, and report presentation for effective communication skills. The ultimate goal is to inculcate in the student the need for creativity and critical thinking skills. In this effort, the early 1990’s students of the thermodynamics and heat transfer courses at Pittsburg State University were faced with the task of choosing projects to work on for their term papers.
Thermodynamics being the “study of energy and energy systems,”(2)(3)(4) and from the first law of thermodynamics, heat is a form of energy, the students were interested in projects that are energy-oriented, and they also wanted something that is meaningful, current and futuristic. The fuel cell represents such an energy system. The fuel cell is a non-combustion based energy system and meets EPA’s and DOE’s criteria for cleaner, pollutants-free environment(5)(6)(7)(8).
Birk, S., & Fonda, J., & Ibeh, C. C. (2000, June), A Student Oriented Fuel Cell Project At Pittsburg State University (Ii): Low Pressure Based Fabrication Process For The Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell (Mcfc) Electrolyte Matrix Support. Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. https://peer.asee.org/8722
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