Journal Article Study of Deuterium Isotope Separation by PEFC

Shibuya, Shota  ,  Matsushima, Hisayoshi  ,  Ueda, Mikito

163 ( 7 )  , pp.F704 - F707 , 2016-07-20 , The Electrochemical Society (ECS)
Hydrogen evolution and oxidation reactions were studied on a polycrystalline platinum electrode in 0.05 M D2SO4 solution at 298 K by using a rotating disk electrode, focusing on the kinetic isotope effect on reactivity. The polarization measurements in the evolution reaction regime, on the one hand, revealed two Tafel regions: at low overpotentials close to the equilibrium potential, the Tafel slope was 0.039 V dec(-1), suggesting a Volmer-Tafel mechanism; and at potentials around 0.05 V or lower, a slope of 0.168 V dec(-1) indicated that a transition to a Heyrovsky-Tafel mechanism occurred. In the oxidation reaction regime, on the other hand, a single Tafel slope of 0.055 V dec(-1) was observed at potentials of 0.08 V or lower. Comparing between the deuterium and protium data for the kinetic factors supported the presence of an isotope effect, whereby the deuterium was more easily dissociated on the platinum electrode. The present kinetic result supported the deuterium separation of polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) in which the mixture gases of H-2 and D-2 were purged. The deuterium separation factor increased with increasing in the hydrogen utilization. This suggests a new isotope separation technique and also provides useful data for fuel cells. (C) 2016 The Electrochemical Society. All rights reserved.

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