Recast Nafion® composite membranes containing ZrO2-SiO2 binary oxides with different Zr/Si ratios are investigated for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) at temperatures above 100 °C. Fine particles of the ZrO2-SiO2 binary oxides, same as an inorganic filter, are synthesized from a sodium silicate and a carbonate complex of zirconium by a sol-gel technique. The composite membranes are prepared by blending a 10% (w/w) Nafion®-water dispersion with the inorganic compound. All composite membranes show higher water uptake than unmodified membranes, and the proton conductivity increases with increasing zirconia content at 80 °C. By contrast, the proton conductivity decreases with zirconia content for the composite membranes containing binary oxides at 120 °C. The composite membranes are tested in a 9-cm2 commercial single cell at both 80 °C and 120 °C in humidified H2/air under different relative humidity (RH) conditions. Composite membrane containing the ZrO2-SiO2 binary oxide (Zr/Si = 0.5) give the best performance of 610 mW cm-1 under conditions of 0.6 V, 120 °C, 50% RH and 2 atm.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was financially supported by the Seoul Research and Business Development Program.
- Composite membrane
- High temperature
- Low humidity
- Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell
- Power density
- ZrO-SiO binary oxide
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering