Regeneration of zinc particles for zinc–air fuel cells in a spouted-bed electrode
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Fuel cells wherein zinc particles form a negative electrode and a gas-diffusion electrode (air electrode) is the positive electrode, are under development. Such cells are dependent on the regeneration of the zinc particles (and electrolyte). This paper describes experiments on electrolytic cells equipped with spouted bed cathodes for use in this application. Experiments have been carried out on laboratory scale cells to determine the operability of cells for growing 'seed’ particles in the range from 0.4 to 1 mm to measure cell voltage and current efficiency (and thereby energy consumption rate), and to identify a suitable material that could be used as a diaphragm (separating the spouted bed from the oxygen evolving anode). A larger cell, capable of producing up to 10 kg Zn per day, was designed and built. The larger cell was run successfully fifteen times and showed cell voltages and energy consumption rates comparable with those of smaller cells.
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