Nanostructured CO Sensor for Fuel Cell Applications
PEM fuel cells that are fueled by reformate hydrogen could fill a critical need for alternative energy sources, provided that a critical technical challenge can be overcome: the poisoning of the electrocatalyst by CO. An adequate CO sensing system is needed, yet existing CO sensors are not suitable for monitoring CO in reformate. This project will develop a microsensor to detect gaseous carbon monoxide (CO) in reducing atmospheres. In this approach, when the sensor is exposed to CO, a change of electrical resistance will be induced in a Cu(I) salt with a weakly coordinating anion. Cross-sensitivity to water will be eliminated by using hydrophobic ligands in the Cu(I) coordination framework. The incorporation of this patent-pending sensing material into a patented, high-area, nanostructured sensor platform will enable the production of highly sensitive, selective, low-power, and low-cost CO microsensors. Phase I will demonstrate feasibility by fabricating sensors and testing them in conditions that simulate a reformate hydrogen stream. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: The microsensor should be applicable to the monitoring of CO content in reformate hydrogen (hydrogen obtained by chemical reforming of hydrocarbons) fed to proton-exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells, as well as in synthesis gas for feeding solid oxide fuel cells.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Synkera Technologies, Inc.
2021 Miller Drive Suite B Longmont, CO 80501
Number of Employees: