Anyone savvy with Air Electrodes??? Thanks! =)


I'm posting this after having googled, of course...I work with DIY fuel cells using off the wall fuels. By far, the most expensive component of my FCs is the Air Electrode which I purchase from Electric Fuel Ltd. in Israel. The material was invented in 2008 (as far as I know) and EF were the ones who bought the patent (according to the inventor himself...sorry but his name eludes me).
Anyhow, I was wondering if anyone knows how to make good air electrodes. Something that would give me at least a vold in reference to the SHE (V=0) and a current density of up to a few hundred mA/aq cm...The stuff is basically this, from the electrolyte side to the air side: Separator paper, Carbon powder with Manganese or Cobalt catalyst mixed in (and a binder of some sort, I suppose), a Nickel mesh (current collector) and a bit more Carbon+catalyst then a microporous Teflon(r) sheet (permeable to gases but not to liquids).
I cant find nickel mesh where I live but the other stuff I could get--the Teflon(r) being replaceable with oil paper??? Any help would be greatly appreciated. N.B: I am Not trying to infringe on a patent, just trying to make some "homebrew" air electrodes for R&D since I am
still (steam comes out of ears) self-funded and low on funding...lol. Thanks a lot!!! =)

lemonie7 years ago

I also have pondered this idea of building air electrodes at home.  I have never actually ever built any, but I have read about them. 

For some reason I was thinking that the metal mesh in some kinds of splatter screens would work in place of nickel mesh for the current collector.  To clarify, splatter screens are a kitchen tool.  You put one on top of a frying pan to keep hot oil from splattering out and going all over the stove, and making a mess. Some pictures are attached.

Note that the metal mesh in a splatter screen might be aluminum, might be steel with a thin layer of nickel, might be stainless steel, might be?  A quick test to exclude the aluminum ones is see if a small magnet will stick  to them.

Anyway, I think most of the appeal of splatter-screens is that I have seen them in dollar-stores in the former U.S., for 1 USD each, and I always thought it would be neat if that artifact could be turned into part of an air electrode.

You said you had everything else, right?  The transition metal oxides, the porous separator...yeah...

For the porous separator I was thinking of just using some tightly woven linen, like the stuff bed sheets are made of.  I mean it might not stop the electrolyte from leaking out of the cell completely.  It might be dripping a little bit, but it would something easier to try than oily paper, and I'd sort of expect it to work better.  I mean intuitively I'd expect ions to move through it more easily with it being more open.
splatter-screen-1.jpgsplatter-screen-2.jpgwhite-linen.jpg