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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.

Text Books

  1. Dell, Ronald M Rand, David A J, ‘Understanding Batteries’, Royal Society of Chemistry, (2001).
  2. 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).

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