Electrode Fabrication Technique for High-Performance Direct Ethanol Fuel Cell

  • Mohanad M. Salman, Ramli Sitanggang, Azran Zainoodin, Mohd Shahbudin Masdar, Siti Kartom Kamarudin


A direct ethanol fuel cell (DEFC) prepared via different combinations of conventional fabrication techniques by using a catalyst-coated substrate (CCS): drop (CCS-D), brush (CCS-B), and cast (CCS-C) methods on the substrate layer. Platinum–ruthenium (Pt–Ru) with a catalyst load of 4 mg·cm−2 was used as the anode catalyst, while platinum black (Pt) was used as the cathode catalyst. The morphological structures of the anode fabricated via the conventional methods were determined using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive spectrometry (EDX), and element mapping. Meanwhile, the electrochemical characterization of the electrode was carried out via single-cell electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The single-cell DEFC performance was under passive operation conditions at ambient temperature and pressure. Ethanol concentration optimization was tested with a concentration range of 1.6 M to 2.0 M to identify the optimum ethanol concentration that produced the best DEFC performance. The SEM results showed that the anode CL coated using the drop technique (CCS-D) had the thinnest and most uniform surface. This study showed that the optimum ethanol concentration was 1.8 M, which resulted in the highest power density. However, in general, CCS-D showed the best DEFC performance by having the highest power density of (7.31 W·m−2) and current density of (46.31 A·m−2) and the lowest ohmic resistance.