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Implementing Graphene and Graphene Oxide in a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

A Technology Potpourri I

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

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Hazem Tawfik State University of New York, Farmingdale

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Prof. Tawfik obtained his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, from University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. He has held a number of industrial & academic positions and affiliations with organizations that included Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Stony Brook University (SBU), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Atomic Energy of Canada Inc., Ontario Hydro, NASA Kennedy, NASA Marshall Space Flight Centers, and the U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center at Carderock, Md. Dr. Tawfik is the co-author of more than 60 research papers in the areas of Hydrogen Fuel Cells, Biomass Energy, Thermo- fluids and Two Phase Flow published in prestigious peer reviewed journals and conference symposiums. He holds numerous research awards and owns the rights to four patents in the Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cells area. Currently, Dr. Tawfik is a SUNY Distinguished Service Professor and the Director of the Institute for Research and Technology Transfer (IRTT) at Farmingdale State College of the State University of New York.

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Yeong Ryu State University of New York, Farmingdale

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YEONG S. RYU graduated from Columbia University with a Ph.D. and Master of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering in 1994. He has served as an associate professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology at Farmingdale State College (SUNY) since 2006. In addition, he has conducted various research projects at Xerox Corporation (1994-1995), Hyundai Motor Corporation (1995-1997), and New Jersey Institute of Technology (2001-2003).
He has been teaching and conducting research in a broad range of areas of system identification and control of nonlinear mechatronic systems and vibrations in structures requiring precision pointing to eliminate the detrimental effects of such diverse disturbance sources. He has authored or co-authored more than 70 publications. His work currently focuses on the development and implementation of modeling and control of renewable energy systems, characterization of nanomaterials, photovoltaics, and nanoscale integrated systems. He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and the Materials Research Society (MRS).

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Srivarssha Govindarajan Farmingdale State College Orcid 16x16

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Fuel cells are a form of renewable source of energy. It mainly involves usage of hydrogen and oxygen which together combine to form water and energy. The main advantage of using this is that it does not produce carbon dioxide as an end product. Carbon dioxide is found to be one of the major sources of greenhouse effect. Thus this method is ideal for energy production but the major drawback is its cost. It utilizes highly expensive Pt catalyst making it not suitable for cost efficient energy production method.

In a fuel cell, hydrogen forms the anode and oxygen from the atmospheric air forms the cathode and platinum is chosen as a catalyst. The membrane is made of nafion. At the anode, electrons are separated from the protons by the catalyst. The protons travel through the membrane and reach the anode where it combines with oxygen to form water, which is the byproduct of this process. The electrons travel in an external circuit which creates the electrical energy.

Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs) are a type of renewable energy source which function by converting hydrogen produced from renewable sources such as biomass into water and clean combined heat and electric power, since carbon dioxide is not generated as a bi-product. The method of energy production can create energy efficiently at 62%, but one of the main problems is their expensive cost. A PEM Fuel Cell functions by the reaction of pure hydrogen and oxygen gases into water and usable energy (2H_2+ O_2=2H_2 O+energy). The hydrogen adsorbs onto the surface of the Platinum electrode, freeing the electron and breaking the hydrogen bond. Graphene Oxide could function as the membrane electrode assembly in a PEMFC. With a high ionic conductivity, Graphene Oxide could potentially take the place of the Pt catalyst as the main membrane used in PEMFCs. Hence graphene oxide is found to be more effective than nafion membrane.

The conclusions from these research yield high accuracy Horsepower results; however, more importantly for this research assignment, all of the data collected, experiments created, and information obtained were done in a hands on, active learning environment. This type of applied learning comes with many benefits in comparison to traditional learning in a classroom setting. One of the main benefits is that the student can immediately learn by doing and see the impact of a scientific or engineering theory on a subject in a real-world application. Furthermore, the experiments were designed to give the students a sense of what it would be like to work as a professional and prepare them for post-graduation. Giving the students such hands-on experience proved to be invaluable because this type of applied learning is very similar to how the industry operates on a daily basis.

Tawfik, H., & Ryu, Y., & Govindarajan, S. (2018, June), Implementing Graphene and Graphene Oxide in a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30622

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