Advanced gas-emission anode design for microfluidic fuel cell eliminating bubble accumulation

Hao Zhang, Jin Xuan, Dennis Y. C. Leung, Huizhi Wang, Hong Xu, Li Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
143 Downloads (Pure)


A microfluidic fuel cell is a low cost, easily fabricated energy device and is considered a promising energy supplier for portable electronics. However, the currently developed microfluidic fuel cells that are fed with hydrocarbon fuels are confronted with a bubble problem especially when operating at high current density conditions. In this work, a gas-emission anode is presented to eliminate the gas accumulation at the anode. This gas-emission anode is verified as a valid design for discharging gaseous products, which is especially beneficial for stable operation of microfluidic fuel cells. The electrochemical performance of a counter-flow microfluidic fuel cell equipped with a gas-emission anode was measured. The results indicate that the specific design of the gas-emission anode is essential for reducing the oxygen reduction reaction parasitic effect at the anode. Fuel utilization of 76.4% was achieved at a flow rate of 0.35 l min-1. Current-voltage curves of single electrodes were measured and the parasitic effect at the anode was identified as the main performance limiting factor in the presented anode design.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105016
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Micromechanics and Microengineering
Issue number10
Early online date20 Sept 2017
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


  • bubble accumulation
  • counter-flow
  • gas-emission anode
  • microfluidic fuel cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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