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H. Russell Kunz

H. Russell Kunz

Assistant in Fuel Cell Research, Florida Solar Energy Center, University of Central Florida

Phone: (860) 486-5389

Fax: (860) 486-8378

Florida Solar Energy Center
1679 Clearlake Road
Cocoa, FL 32922-5703



Ph.D. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1966

Research Interests:

Presently, Dr. Kunz is a Professor-in-Residence in the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Connecticut (UConn) but is also employed as an Assistant in Fuel Cell Research by the Florida Solar Energy Center at the University of Central Florida (FSEC/UCF) in the area of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. Dr. Kunz's areas of interest include many theoretical and experimental aspects of several types of fuel cells involved electrochemistry, thermodynamics, mass transfer, and chemical kinetics. Dr. Kunz is internationally recognized for his accomplishments that have increased fuel cell life, raised performance, and reduced cost. He received the Research Award of the Energy Technology Division of the Electrochemical Society for his outstanding research contributions in the field of novel electrochemical energy technologies. He is one of the instructors at the Fuel Cell Technology Workshop on PEM fuel cells held annually at FSEC/UCF.

At UConn, Dr. Kunz has taught a course in Electrochemical Engineering, is directing programs at The Connecticut Global Fuel Cell Center, has taught students in the performance of electrochemistry experiments, and is helping other faculty expand the research capabilities in fuel cells. In the past several years, he has been a Principal Investigator of contracts on fuel cells with FSEC, FuelCell Energy, Inc. (FCE), UTC Fuel Cells (UTC FC), Connecticut Light & Power, Connecticut Innovations, Inc. and the National Science Foundation. He has consulted with UTC FC on PEM fuel cells and the Orbiter alkaline fuel cell, with FCE on molten carbonate fuel cells, and with General Motors on PEM fuel cells. Dr. Kunz's successful fuel cell research was instrumental in the formation of the Connecticut Global Fuel Cell Center at the University of Connecticut.

Prior to coming to UConn, Dr. Kunz was employed by United Technologies Corporation (UTC) directing research on several types of fuel cells. He has published many papers on alkaline, phosphoric acid, molten carbonate, and proton exchange membrane fuel cells. He has authored 29 patents, mostly related to fuel cells. While at UTC, Dr. Kunz was an Adjunct Professor at the Hartford Graduate Center of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he taught courses in Chemical Thermodynamics of Fuel Cells, Irreversible Thermodynamics, Convective Heat Transfer, Two-Phase Heat Flow, and Chemical and Phase Equilibria.

Presently, Dr. Kunz is involved in the improvement in the performance and endurance of PEM fuel cells. The areas of study include the development of membranes and cathodes that allow PEM fuel cells to operate at higher temperatures to increase overall system efficiency and reduce cost. Since the performance of both the membrane and cathode depend upon the properties of protons that they contain, research is being conducted to influence the proton activity by changing the ionomer used in the PEM and introducing proton-active additives. Success is being achieved in both of these areas.