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Development of a Silicon-Based Passive Gas-Liquid Separation System for Microscale Direct Methanol Fuel Cells

[+] Author Affiliations
C. C. Hsieh, S. C. Yao, Yousef Alyousef

Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

Paper No. IMECE2003-42135, pp. 397-403; 7 pages
  • ASME 2003 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Heat Transfer, Volume 2
  • Washington, DC, USA, November 15–21, 2003
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3718-1 | eISBN: 0-7918-4663-6, 0-7918-4664-4, 0-7918-4665-2
  • Copyright © 2003 by ASME


The design, fabrication, and performance characterization of a passive gas-liquid separation system is presented in this paper. The gas-liquid separation system is silicon-based and its fabrication is compatible with the existing CMU design of the microscale direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC). Both gas and liquid separators consist of staggered arrays of etched-through holes fabricated by deep reactive ion etching (DRIE). The gas separator is coated with a thin layer of hydrophobic polymer to substantiate the gas-liquid separation. To visually characterize the system performance, the gas-liquid separation system is made on a single wafer with a glass plate bonded on the top to form a separation chamber with a narrow gap in between. Benzocyclobutene (BCB) is applied for the low-temperature bonding. The maximum pressure for the liquid leakage of the gas separators is experimentally determined and compared with the values predicted theoretically. Several successful gas-liquid separations are observed at liquid pressures between 14.2 and 22.7 cmH2 O, liquid flow rates between 0.705 and 1.786 cc/min, and CO2 flow rates between 0.15160 to 0.20435 cc/min.

Copyright © 2003 by ASME



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