First Advisor

Raj Solanki

Term of Graduation

Summer 2021

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Physics






Fuel cells, Hydrogen peroxide, Catalysts, Renewable energy sources



Physical Description

1 online resource (ix, 52 pages)


Human-induced climate change is one of the biggest threats to humanity in the 21st century. This is caused by the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations in the Earth's atmosphere. The burning of fossil fuels is the primary cause of climate change. This problem can be addressed by replacing fossil fuels with fuel sources that have clean by-products and are cost-effective. For the last few decades, hydrogen (H2) has been extensively studied as an alternative to carbon-based fossil fuels. Currently, H2 still has many shortcomings for commercial applications. The photocatalytic production of H2 still suffers from extremely low efficiency. Furthermore, H2 has low volumetric energy density and the current catalytic materials for H2 are scarce and expensive. Alternatively, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is an environmental-friendly and high-energy carrier that can be utilized in fuel cell technologies to combat climate change. Recently, H2O2 has been successfully used as both a fuel and an oxidant in acidic single compartment membraneless fuel cells (SCMHFC) where water and oxygen are the by-products. One of the challenges limiting SCMHFC is the low electric power generation. Hence, much effort has gone into finding suitable catalysts to improve the power density of SCMHFC. In this study, low-cost and environmentally friendly catalysts have been investigated to produce high power density SCMHFC. Among the catalysts examined were metallophthalocyanine complexes (FePc, CoPc, CuPc), iron nitride (Fex=2,4N), coblamin (Vitamin B12), modified cobalt-prussian blue complex (Co-Fe PB), and Fe/Fe3C as the cathode materials and nickel as the anode. The electrochemical properties of these fuel cells were characterized. The open circuit potentials of the catalysts examined ranged from 0.48 V to 0.68 V, with the highest power density of 2.8 mW·cm-2 with FePc, which is suitable for powering portable micro-electronic devices.


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