This work adds more experimental evidence regarding the feasibility of using glucose to fuel fuel-cells with anodes that have a high area-to-volume ratio. Electrospinning was used to fabricate sub-micrometer size fibrous electrocatalytic anode membranes for the oxidation of glucose in an alkaline fuel cell (AFC). The fibers of the membranes were made of polyacrylonitrile (PAN) and coated with silver by electroless plating. The anodes were tested while installed in a membranless fuel cell. The results presented include the open circuit voltage, OCV, the polarization curve, the power density as a function of the current density, and the peak power density, PPD. The measurements were performed with constant concentrations of glucose, 0.8 M, and KOH electrolyte solution, 1M. The performance of the anodes was found to improve as the diameter of the silver-plated fibers decreased. The highest PPD of 0.28 mW/cm2 was obtained with an anode made of plated fibers having a mean fiber diameter of 130 nanometers. We conclude from the results that saccharides in general, and glucose in particular, can serve as fuels for fuel cells, and that silver-plated polymeric electrospun electrodes have advantages due to their large surface area.

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