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International Journal of Electrochemistry
Volume 2011, Article ID 853261, 14 pages
Research Article

Transient Response and Steady-State Analysis of the Anode of Direct Methanol Fuel Cells Based on Dual-Site Kinetics

1School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials, Newcastle University, Merz Court, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, UK
2Chemical Engineering Department, Taiyuan University of Technology, Shanxi 030024, China

Received 29 March 2011; Accepted 4 May 2011

Academic Editor: Shuangyin Wang

Copyright © 2011 Lei Xing et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


An intrinsic time-dependent one-dimensional (1D) model and a macro two-dimensional (2D) model for the anode of the direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) are presented. The two models are based on the dual-site mechanism, which includes the coverage of intermediate species of methanol, OH, and CO (θM, θOH,Ru, and θCO,Pt) on the surface of Pt and Ru. The intrinsic 1D model focused on the analysis of the effects of operating temperature, methanol concentration, and overpotential on the transient response. The macro 2D model emphasises the dimensionless distributions of methanol concentration, overpotential and current density in the catalyst layer which were affected by physical parameters such as thickness, specific area, and operating conditions such as temperature, bulk methanol concentration, and overpotential. The models were developed and solved in the PDEs module of COMSOL Multiphysics, giving good agreement with experimental data. The dimensionless distributions of methanol concentration, overpotential, and current density and the efficiency factor were calculated quantitatively. The models can be used to give accurate simulations for the polarisations of methanol fuel cell.