Special Joint ChBE/UMERC Seminar: Trung Van Nguyen

Tuesday, February 22, 2011
3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Room 1105 Kim Engineering Building
Annette Mateus

A reception will follow this seminar.

Water Management in a Proton-Exchange-Membrane Fuel Cell by Materials Engineering and Design

Trung Van Nguyen
Department of Chemical & Petroleum Engineering
University of Kansas

In a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC), water is dragged during operation from the anode to the cathode by electro-osmosis. In addition, water is generated in the cathode by the oxygen reduction reaction. These two processes often lead to dehydration at the anode and liquid water flooding at the cathode. Both cases result in poor fuel cell performance. Water management strategy used to address this issue has been to add water to the anode and remove water from the cathode. This approach adds significant complexities and costs and reduces the overall efficiency of the PEMFC system. If one could manage to force the water that is dragged from the anode to the cathode by electro-osmosis back to the anode to create a condition called “zero-net-water-transport-across-the-membrane,” then anode humidification could be eliminated and water management in this fuel cell system would be greatly simplified. This presentation will discuss the concept of “zero-net-water-transport-across-the-membrane” as a new approach for water management and how this condition could be achieved by materials engineering and design of the materials used in the electrodes of a PEM fuel cell.

In addition to the research presentation, I will give an overview of my research activities and near-term and long-term research interests.

About the Speaker

Trung Van Nguyen is a Professor of Chemical & Petroleum Engineering at the University of Kansas. He recently returned to his institution from a two-year service as the Director of the Energy for Sustainability Program at the National Science Foundation. He has a BS from North Carolina State University and MS and PhD from Texas A&M University, all in Chemical Engineering. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Kansas, he was a Member of Technical Staff at Bell Labs, Associate Director of the Center for Electrochemical Engineering at Texas A&M University, Senior Product & Process Development Engineer at Duracell, and Postdoctoral Fellow at Los Alamos National Lab. He has contributed 83 publications and 5 patents, given over 150 invited and conference presentations, and received awards both for research and teaching. He is also a founder of two fuel cell start-up companies. His current research is on transport and interfacial phenomena in fuel cells and batteries and mathematical modeling of electrochemical systems.

Audience: Graduate  Faculty  Post-Docs 


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