ZrO2-SiO2/Nafion® composite membrane for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells operation at high temperature and low humidity

Ki Tae Park, Un Ho Jung, Dong Woong Choi, Kook Chun, Hyang Mee Lee, Sung Hyun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-253
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Mar 1

Bibliographical note

Funding 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


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