International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol.45, No.23, 13101-13107, 2020
An experimental investigation of the feasibility of Pb based bipolar plate material for unitized regenerative fuel cells system
The unitized regenerative fuel cell (URFC) system has attracted significant attention and interests because of its round-trip energy conversion with high energy density. However, the identification of low-cost bipolar (BP) plate with higher corrosion resistance is required to produce a sustainable system. In this work, we investigated the possibilities of using cost-effective lead (Pb) metal-based plate as a BP plate material for URFC system. To further enhance the advantageous properties of Pb plate, silver (Ag) was coated onto the Pb plate. Different types of structural and microstructural analyses (XRD, XPS, SEM, EDAX, and mapping) were conducted to characterize the properties of Pb-based plate and the presence of Ag-coated layer on the surface of Pb plate. When compared with the Pb plate, the Ag-coated Pb plate exhibited a higher water contact angle. The obtained water contact angles of Pb and Ag-coated Pb plates were 77.83 degrees and 92.21 degrees, respectively. The obtained water contact angle of the Ag-coated Pb plate is quite acceptable in the URFC system because it offers exceptional advantages during the URFC operation. Furthermore, the interaction between Pb plate and Ag coated layer resulted in an efficient electrochemical performance. Based on these results, we could conclude that the Pb-based BP plate can be possibly considered for the URFC applications. (C) 2020 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.