Emission Measurements of Ultracell XX25 Reformed Methanol Fuel Cell System

Report No. ARL-TR-4477
Authors: Charles Rong, Dat Tran, Elizabeth Ferry, and Deryn Chu
Date/Pages: June 2008; 24 pages
Abstract: Four Ultracell XX25 Rev B. Reforming Methanol Fuel Cell systems have been tested for exhaust emissions at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) under different operating conditions. These tests were conducted at a government facility to verify data previous reported and measured at Ultracell facilities. Two identical Agilent micro-GC systems were used to carry out the test. Personnel from Ultracell Corporation and Agilent Technologies, and Government Personnel from CERDEC and ARL participated in the test. This report documents the test procedure, analytical instrument calibration, operating parameters, and the obtained results. Hazardous exhaust emission components, such as carbon monoxide, methane, and methanol, were found during the start up time, and more found during the cold start up time (the fuel cell system was presoaked at 0 ¿C for 1.5 h). However, all emissions that were detected and reported in this document are expected to be below the OSHA standards for exposure limits if the system is subjected to the OSHA conditions for measurements. The cause of the emission was the formation of some incompletely burned methanol molecule that was used to heat up the reformer and fuel cell stack in the system. The efficiency and reliability of the burner over the life time of the fuel cell system is at the center of the issue, a common understanding accepted by all the parties involved in the testing.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: June 1, 2008