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College of Engineering and Computing

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Our Research

Our research includes a number of specific areas related to fundamental knowledge, technical applications, and integrated systems.

Selected Research Projects

Multi-phase CFD Fuel Cell Models with Lattice Boltzmann Method Implementation for High Current Density Operation in PEMFCs

The objective of this research is to develop a multi-scale/multi-dimensional model-based design tool to aid in the development of a fuel cell stack and electrochemical cells with enhanced performance at high current densities.


Using CFD to Understand the Transport and Corrosion Phenomenon inside High Temperature Molten Salt Systems for Next Generation Concentrated Solar Power Systems

The objective of this project is to investigate mass transfer in high temperature molten salt system along with corrosion in the systems. Coupling of non-isothermal experiments with CFD modeling of systems with thermal gradients and natural convection will allow enhanced evaluation of corrosion on samples.


Effect of Contaminants on the Performance of a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

This Project is about the effect of the balance of plant contaminations on the fuel cell performance. In this project we are working on the impact of different contamination on the fuel cell performance and trying to develop a mathematical model that can show the effect of different contamination mechanisms on fuel cell performance.

Transport Studies and Modeling in PEM Fuel Cells

The overall objective of this project is to develop a better understanding of transport phenomena in current H2 Air polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. Water transport and its role in fuel cell performance is the main focus of this project. The project objectives have been achieved by generating custom materials; membranes, catalyst layers, diffusion media and flow fields and characterizing them ex situ, followed by operation in a fuel cell and modeling of the results.


The effect of metal oxide supports on the activity of Bimetallic Electrocatalysts towards methanol electrooxidation

 In this project we want to see the effect of bimetallic electrocatalyst on different metal oxide supports towards methanol electrooxidation reaction.

Characterization of Gas Diffusion Layer and Their Effects on PEMFC Performance

The objective of this project is to describe polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) behavior resulting from changes in the fundamental properties of GDLs. This objective is being accomplished by measuring the GDL properties, including micro and macro porous layers, fuel cell performance under a variety of operating conditions, and by developing a mathematical model.



Analysis of an Electrochemical Filter for Removing Carbon Monoxide from Reformate Hydrogen

In this project we are study the operation of a twin-cell electrochemical filter for removing carbon monoxide (CO) from reformate hydrogen by periodically adsorbing and then electrochemically oxidizing CO on the electrode. During the adsorption step, the effects of various operating parameters (e.g., feed CO concentration, flow rate, electrode catalyst loading, type of feeder gas, temperature) on CO breakthrough are measured. Finally steady-state filter operation is implemented to decrease the CO concentration from 10,000 to 10 ppm.

Solar-Hydrogen Production in a Hybrid Sulfur Electrolyzer

We are developing our patented gas-fed SO2-depolarized electrolyzer (SDE) for use in the hybrid-sulfur (HyS) process, the only practical, all-fluid, two-step thermochemical cycle for producing hydrogen on a large scale. We have tested our SDE over a range of operating conditions (e.g., current, temperature, SO2 flow rate) and design variations (e.g., catalyst type and loading, membrane type and thickness). A key insight from our work is that the concentration of sulfuric acid increases with current density, which dehydrates perfluorinated sulfonic acid membranes like Nafion and increases cell resistance. We have recently shown that acid-doped polybenzimidazole (PBI) membranes represent an alternative to Nafion because they do not rely on water for their proton conductivity, and therefore they offer the possibility of operating at high acid concentrations and/or elevated temperatures to minimize voltage losses (e.g., kinetic and ohmic resistances).