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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Miniature fuel-cell system complete with on-demand fuel and oxidant supply

  • Author(s): Hur, JI
  • Kim, CJ
  • et al.

© 2014 Elsevier B.V. The size of a functioning "system" rather than the individual components determines the success of many miniaturization efforts. While most of the existing micro fuel-cell research has been focusing on the fuel-cell stack, our approach has been to systematically eliminate all the ancillary components with the goal of miniaturizing the full system. In this paper, we present a miniature fuel-cell system that combines the self-pumping of fuel and self-generation of oxidant altogether in a box-shape device of a few centimeters. Since the fuel is pumped on demand inside the system without requiring any external assistance, the device is self-sufficient and portable. Furthermore, the oxygen is generated on demand inside the system without requiring the ambient air, so that the device can be stacked in multiple. Constructed simply as liquids in a solid container, this active fuel-cell system resembles a battery to the user.

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