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Erratum published on 11 June 2016, see Membranes 2016, 6(2), 32.

Open AccessArticle
Membranes 2012, 2(2), 325-345; doi:10.3390/membranes2020325

NMR and Electrochemical Investigation of the Transport Properties of Methanol and Water in Nafion and Clay-Nanocomposites Membranes for DMFCs

Department of Chemistry, University of Calabria, 87036 Rende (CS), Italy
CNR-ITAE Institute, via Salita S. Lucia sopra Contesse, 5, 98126 Messina, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 May 2012 / Revised: 8 June 2012 / Accepted: 12 June 2012 / Published: 20 June 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes for Electrochemical Energy Applications)
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Water and methanol transport behavior, solvents adsorption and electrochemical properties of filler-free Nafion and nanocomposites based on two smectite clays, were investigated using impedance spectroscopy, DMFC tests and NMR methods, including spin-lattice relaxation and pulsed-gradient spin-echo (PGSE) diffusion under variable temperature conditions. Synthetic (Laponite) and natural (Swy-2) smectite clays, with different structural and physical parameters, were incorporated into the Nafion for the creation of exfoliated nanocomposites. Transport mechanism of water and methanol appears to be influenced from the dimensions of the dispersed platelike silicate layers as well as from their cation exchange capacity (CEC). The details of the NMR results and the effect of the methanol solution concentration are discussed. Clays particles, and in particular Swy-2, demonstrate to be a potential physical barrier for methanol cross-over, reducing the methanol diffusion with an evident blocking effect yet nevertheless ensuring a high water mobility up to 130 °C and for several hours, proving the exceptional water retention property of these materials and their possible use in the DMFCs applications. Electrochemical behavior is investigated by cell resistance and polarization measurements. From these analyses it is derived that the addition of clay materials to recast Nafion decreases the ohmic losses at high temperatures extending in this way the operating range of a direct methanol fuel cell. View Full-Text
Keywords: self-diffusion; NMR; DMFC; nanocomposites; clays; transport properties; methanol self-diffusion; NMR; DMFC; nanocomposites; clays; transport properties; methanol

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Nicotera, I.; Angjeli, K.; Coppola, L.; Aricò, A.S.; Baglio, V. NMR and Electrochemical Investigation of the Transport Properties of Methanol and Water in Nafion and Clay-Nanocomposites Membranes for DMFCs. Membranes 2012, 2, 325-345.

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