Introduction Our earth is running out of fossil fuels that have powered the world for generations.

The modern world is searching for alternative sources of clean and renewable energy to power its continuing growth. Fuel cells have become an important innovation in the quest for this goal. They are considered to be an environmentally friendly, fuel efficient, reliable source of renewable energy. Fuel cells can be used to power homes, automotives, and even space shuttles. Fuel cells only emit water so there is no pollution or greenhouse gas. This kind of technology is becoming more important in the current times with all the environmental problems caused by burning fossil fuels. The only problem with converting to fuel cells is that they require platinum as catalysts to work. Platinum, however, is very expensive and rare, making fuel cells extremely expensive. This is where our project comes in. A fuel cell is an electrochemical device which combines hydrogen and oxygen in the midst of a catalyst to produce electricity. A simple fuel cell consists of an electrolyte placed between two electrodes with platinum as the catalyst. This assembly is then placed in-between current collectors which usually serve as the poles of the cell. A fuel cell generates current by transforming hydrogen gas into a mixture of hydrogen ions and electrons on the anode side of the cell. Because of the semi-permeable nature of the electrolyte, the electrons are conducted to the current collectors and through a load to do work. The electrons then travel to the cathode side current collector where they disperse onto the electrode to combine with incoming, oxygen in the presence of a catalyst to form hydroxyl ions (OH-). The hydroxyl ions then cross the electrolyte and combine with the hydrogen ions (H+) to form water. The electricity is generated through a reaction that is initiated by an electrode. The reactants (in this case H2 and O2) flow into the fuel


We began by testing nickel and silver in the ORR (oxygen reduction reaction) and HOR (hydrogen oxidation reaction) in a rotating disc electrode apparatus and observed its performance. we calculated the price per mW for nickel and silver to compare them with platinum to determine their economic viability. This electrolyte trimethoxyphenylpolysulfonemethylene quaternary posphonium hydroxide (TPQPOH) was developed at the University of California. Nickel was chosen since it ³serves as a catalyst in both the anode and the cathode in [alkaline fuel cells]´ (Kinoshita 466). The outperforming catalyst of each reaction was then used in a HEM fuel cell to test their performance. HEM fuel cells are alkaline fuel cells (AFC) but instead of a liquid electrolyte it has a polymer electrolyte. Using the data.4OH4 2H2+4OH 4H2O+4e- .cell and the product (H2O) flows out of it while the electrode remains working inside. (See Figure 2) Our attempt to replace the catalysts is different from previous experiments due to the unique characteristics of TPQPOH for use in an alkaline medium. Figure 1 Overall Net Reaction (H+) 2H2+O2 2H2O Figure 2 (OH-) Anodic Reaction - Cathodic Reaction O2+2H2O+4e. Riverside. Silver was chosen because it shows promise as a catalyst in an AFC (Gao 47). (See Figure 1) We conducted an experiment using nickel and silver to determine if they are suitable candidates for a hydroxide exchange membrane (HEM) fuel cell and to examine if they are more economically viable than platinum.

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