Sustainable Polymer-Based Microfluidic Fuel Cells for Low-Power Applications

  • Moumita Sardar
  • Ravi Kumar ArunEmail author
  • Ebenezer Olubunmi Ige
  • Preeti Singh
  • Gagan Kumar
  • Nripen Chanda
  • Gautam Biswas
Part of the Materials Horizons: From Nature to Nanomaterials book series (MHFNN)


The growing demands of energy have generated interest in the development of miniaturized power sources. In this context, the potential of microfluidics for energy generation is immense. Microfluidic devices are very useful for manipulation and control of fluid flow at low Reynolds number which has immense application in industrial and biomedical domains. During laminar flow, mixing by turbulence is minimized and the only remaining mechanism for mixing is diffusion. Fuel cells which convert the chemical energy of a fuel into electric power have emerged as an alternative means of energy production. Miniaturized fuel cells offer several benefits over conventional methods such as portability and faster mass transfer. Hence, microfluidic fuel cell offers the possibilities of a fast start-up device for rapid energy generation with high power density, low cost, and disposability with minimum environmental impact. However, the use of appropriate fabrication method and suitable material in the development and successful implementation of microfluidic fuel cells is highly crucial. The material should be readily available, inexpensive, and adaptable for the fabrication process. In this chapter, we discuss polymer materials for microfluidic fuel cell design. The polymers are used as a material to design the fuel cell and as a proton exchange membrane along with assisting in oxygen transport as air-breathing layers. We will describe the above aspects in detail to look at the current challenges in microfluidic fuel cells and arrive at a solution which is simple and innovative for the low-power applications. Our aim is to emphasize sustainable polymers at low cost to realize the potential of microfluidic fuel cell devices.


Microfluidics Fuel cells Sustainable polymer Low-power application 



The authors thank Prof. Harish Hirani, Director, and Dr. Nilrudra Mandal, Head, Material Processing and Microsystems Laboratory, CSIR-CMERI, Durgapur, for their encouragements. Support from DST-SERB grant under project no. GAP-221112 is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Moumita Sardar
    • 1
  • Ravi Kumar Arun
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ebenezer Olubunmi Ige
    • 1
    • 3
  • Preeti Singh
    • 1
    • 2
  • Gagan Kumar
    • 1
  • Nripen Chanda
    • 1
  • Gautam Biswas
    • 4
  1. 1.Materials Processing and Microsystems LaboratoryCSIR-Central Mechanical Engineering Research InstituteDurgapurIndia
  2. 2.Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR)GhaziabadIndia
  3. 3.Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic EngineeringAfe Babalola UniversityAdo-EkitiNigeria
  4. 4.Department of Mechanical EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology GuwahatiGuwahatiIndia

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