Volume 38, Issue 1, 2017
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
In zinc air fuel cell, cotton was used as electrochemical separator to hold electrolyte for the system. It was found that cotton has low liquid retention ability, highly compressible and it does not have fixed shape. Therefore, several problems were encountered when designing a fuel cell. Bacterial cellulose (BC) and bacterial cellulose impregnated with carbon nanotubes (BC-CNTs Bio-composite) was synthesized in this project. An investigation on the characteristic of BC and BC-CNTs bio-composite and its performance as electrochemical separator in zinc air fuel cell was done. BC-CNTs bio-composite was synthesized using new CNTs impregnation method, namely spraying method. Bacterium, Acetobacter xylinum was used for fermentation. Three manipulating parameters were used. First, BC-CNTs bio-composite was synthesized in 5 days, 7 days and 10 days of fermentation. Then, amount of CNTs impregnated into BC-CNTs bio-composite was varied. 0.02% CNTs, 0.05% CNTs and 0.08% CNTs were used. Third, two types of CNTs were used, namely CNTs synthesized via floating catalyst chemical vapour deposition (FC-CVD) and CNTs synthesized via fixed bed chemical vapour deposition (FB-CVD). Several tests were used in this project to characterize the BC and BC-CNTs bio-composite produced. The tests are dielectric test, scanning electron microscope (SEM), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and performance test in zinc air fuel cell. From the results, BC-CNTs bio-composite shows better conductivities (42.7 S/m at 2.00E+10 Hz), and higher thermal stability. BC-CNTs bio-composite impregnated with CNTs FB-CVD and CNTs FC-CVD did not shows any significant different in their electrical conductivities and thermal stability in analytical test. BC and BC-CNTs bio-composite were used as electrochemical separator in zinc air fuel cell. About six cells were able to move a toy car that required 1.5V. The shelf life of cell was estimated to be 12 minutes 24 second. In conclusion, BC and BC-CNTs bio-composite are conductive materials. BC-CNTs bio-composite can be alternative used as electrochemical separator in zinc air fuel cell.