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Energies 2016, 9(1), 15; doi:10.3390/en9010015

Fumed Silica Nanoparticles Incorporated in Quaternized Poly(Vinyl Alcohol) Nanocomposite Membrane for Enhanced Power Densities in Direct Alcohol Alkaline Fuel Cells

1
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, Chang Gung University, Kwei-shan, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan
2
Department of Chemical Engineering, Mingchi University of Technology, Tai-shan, New Taipei City 243, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Haolin Tang
Received: 31 July 2015 / Revised: 13 November 2015 / Accepted: 21 December 2015 / Published: 25 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Methanol and Alcohol Fuel Cells)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [7095 KB, uploaded 25 December 2015]   |  

Abstract

A nanocomposite polymer membrane based on quaternized poly(vinyl alcohol)/fumed silica (QPVA/FS) was prepared via a quaternization process and solution casting method. The physico-chemical properties of the QPVA/FS membrane were investigated. Its high ionic conductivity was found to depend greatly on the concentration of fumed silica in the QPVA matrix. A maximum conductivity of 3.50 × 10−2 S/cm was obtained for QPVA/5%FS at 60 °C when it was doped with 6 M KOH. The permeabilities of methanol and ethanol were reduced with increasing fumed silica content. Cell voltage and peak power density were analyzed as functions of fumed silica concentration, temperature, methanol and ethanol concentrations. A maximum power density of 96.8 mW/cm2 was achieved with QPVA/5%FS electrolyte using 2 M methanol + 6 M KOH as fuel at 80 °C. A peak power density of 79 mW/cm2 was obtained using the QPVA/5%FS electrolyte with 3 M ethanol + 5 M KOH as fuel. The resulting peak power densities are higher than the majority of published reports. The results confirm that QPVA/FS exhibits promise as a future polymeric electrolyte for use in direct alkaline alcoholic fuel cells. View Full-Text
Keywords: fumed silica; quaternized poly(vinyl alcohol); ionic conductivity; methanol; ethanol; cell performance fumed silica; quaternized poly(vinyl alcohol); ionic conductivity; methanol; ethanol; cell performance
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Rajesh Kumar, S.; Juan, C.-H.; Liao, G.-M.; Lin, J.-S.; Yang, C.-C.; Ma, W.-T.; You, J.-H.; Jessie Lue, S. Fumed Silica Nanoparticles Incorporated in Quaternized Poly(Vinyl Alcohol) Nanocomposite Membrane for Enhanced Power Densities in Direct Alcohol Alkaline Fuel Cells. Energies 2016, 9, 15.

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