Course Title: 
Batteries and Fuel Cells
Course Code: 
Year Taught: 
Undergraduate (UG)
School of Engineering

'Batteries and Fuel Cells' is a course offered for the B. Tech. programs at the School of Engineering, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham.

Unit 1

Background Theory: Origin of potential - electrical double layer - reversible electrode potential - standard hydrogen electrode - emf series - measurement of potential - reference electrodes (calomel and silver/silver chloride) indicator and ion selective electrodes - Nernst equation - irreversible processes - kinetic treatment - ButlerVolmer equation - Overpotential, activation, concentration and IR overpotential - its practical significance - Tafel equation and Tafel plots - exchange current density and transfer coefficients.

Unit 2

Batteries: Primary batteries: The chemistry, fabrication and performance aspects, packing classification and rating of the following batteries: (The materials taken their function and significance, reactions with equations, their performance in terms of discharge, capacity, and energy density to be dealt with). Zinc-carbon (Leclanche type), zinc alkaline (Duracell), zinc/air batteries; Lithium primary cells - liquid cathode, solid cathode and lithium-ferrous sulphide cells (comparative account).

Secondary batteries: Lead acid and VRLA (valve regulated (sealed) lead acid), nickel-cadmium, nickel-zinc, nickel-metal hydride batteries, lithium ion batteries, ultrathin lithium polymer cells (comparative account). Advanced Batteries for electric vehicles, requirements of the battery - sodium-beta and redox batteries.

Unit 3

Fuel Cells: Description, working principle, anodic, cathodic and cell reactions, fabrication of electrodes and other components, applications, advantages, disadvantages and environmental aspectsof the following types of fuel cells: Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells, alkaline fuel cells, phosphoric acid, solid oxide, molten carbonate, direct methanol fuel cells.

Membranes for fuel cells: Nafion – Polymer blends and composite membranes; assessment of performance – recent developments.

Fuels for Fuel Cells: Hydrogen, methane, methanol - Sources and preparation, reformation processes for hydrogen – clean up and storage of the fuels – use in cells, advantages and disadvantages of using hydrogen as fuel.

  • Dell, Ronald M Rand, David A J, ‘Understanding Batteries’, Royal Society of Chemistry, (2001).
  • M. Aulice Scibioh and B. Viswanathan ‘Fuel Cells – principles and applications’, University Press, India (2006).
  • Kanani N, ‘Electroplating and electroless plating of copper and its alloy’, ASM International, Metals Park, OH and Metal Finishing Publications,Stevenage, UK (2003).
  • Curtis, ‘Electroforming', London, (2004).
  • F. Barbir, ‘PEM fuel cells: theory and practice’, Elsevier, Burlington, MA, (2005).
  • G. Hoogers, ‘Fuel cell handbook’, CRC, Boca Raton, FL, (2003).