UCL Centre for Nature Inspired Engineering


Dr V Sasank Bethapudi’s research published as cover article of RSC Energy Advances

7 April 2022


Dr Viswanath (Sasank) Bethapudi, has his work published in Energy Advances (Royal Society of Chemistry), as the cover article of the 5th issue of this new RSC Gold Open Access journal. It formed part of his PhD research at the UCL Centre for Nature Inspired Engineering (CNIE) in the UCL Chemical Engineering Department with Prof Marc-Olivier Coppens. It was conducted in collaboration with the Electrochemical Innovation Lab (EIL), and co-sponsored by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), in collaboration with Gareth Hinds (NPL), Paul Shearing and Dan Brett (EIL).

Further information on the publication.

In our previous studies we have demonstrated acoustic emission (AE) as a non-invasive and non-destructive water management diagnostic tool for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs).

AE probes the dynamics of water generation and removal at the flow-field of a PEMFC to establish the hydration state inside the cell and has been utilised to electro-acoustically characterise the performance of a PEMFC under different operating conditions. In this study, the dynamic relationship between the acoustic activity and the rate of electrochemical reaction inside a PEMFC is explored by correlating AE from PEMFCs with their performance using different time-based characterisations. Cell flooding at longer durations is confirmed by acoustic emission as a function of polarisation (AEfP) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy measurements. The effectiveness of the AE technique as a direct water diagnostic tool for PEMFCs is established through forward-reverse polarisation scans. Here, the AE energy generated during cell polarisations is utilised in understanding the water uptake and release mechanism inside the fuel cell. Furthermore, cell durability testing is performed through galvanostatic and potentiostatic measurements, where a synchronous relationship between the cell performance and the measured AE is identified. 

Citation with link.

Bethapudi VS, Hinds G, Shearing PR, Brett DJL, and Coppens MO, Dynamic acoustic emission analysis of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. Energy Adv. 2022, DOI: 10.1039/D2YA00037G.