Kuo-Lin Huang , Yu-Hsien Liao, Shui-Jen Chen

Department of Environmental Engineering and Science, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Pingtung 91201, Taiwan

Received: August 12, 2019
Revised: August 26, 2019
Accepted: September 6, 2019
Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2019.08.0388  

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Cite this article:
Huang, K.L., Liao, Y.H. and Chen, S.J. (2019). Effects of Operating Parameters on Gas-phase PAH Emissions from a Direct Methanol Fuel Cell. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 19: 2196-2204. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2019.08.0388


  • Gas-phase PAHs emitted from a DMFC for various runs are compared.
  • The PAHs have different concentration profiles in various stage samplings or runs.
  • Decreasing O2 flowrate exhibits the lowest PAH emission among tested runs.
  • The DMFC had the lowest performance when the cell temperature was 60°C.
  • The emission factor sums of Total-PAHs are 0.07 ± 0.03–2.44 ± 0.52 µg g-electrode–1.


This study aims at investigating the emissions of cathode gas-phase polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from a single direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) at different operating parameters (methanol concentration, methanol flowrate, oxygen flowrate, and cell temperature). At the standard test condition (run A1), the concentrations of stage 1 (S1) and S2 PAHs ranged from non-detect (ND) to 10.3 ± 2.54 (Nap) and ND to 0.148 ± 0.047 (IND) µg Nm–3, respectively; furthermore, the Total-PAHs and Total-BaPeq concentrations of S1 + S2 were 21.2 ± 4.48 µg Nm–3 and 409 ± 226 ng Nm–3, respectively. The operating parameters significantly influenced the patterns of PAH concentration profiles. Decreasing with increasing methanol flowrate and concentration or decreasing oxygen flowrate and cell temperature, the ranges of Total-PAHs and Total-BaPeq concentrations of S1 + S2 for different runs were (36.4 ± 10.9)‒(0.98 ± 0.21) µg Nm–3 and (409 ± 226)‒(98.7 ± 30.3) ng Nm–3, respectively, with corresponding emission factors from 0.07 ± 0.03 to 2.44 ± 0.52 µg g-electrode–1 and from 7.58 ± 2.32 to 47.1 ± 26.0 ng g-electrode–1, respectively. At the same operating condition, more cathode gas-phase Total-PAHs and Total-BaPeq emissions were observed for the DMFC using a HE membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) than for using an E-TEK MEA. The DMFC had the lowest performance when the cell temperature was 60°C.

Keywords: Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH); Direct methanol fuel cell; Emission factor; Gas-phase PAH.


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