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Membranes 2015, 5(4), 793-809; doi:10.3390/membranes5040793

Selectivity of Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Membranes

1
CNR-ITAE Institute for Advanced Energy Technologies "N. Giordano", Via Salita S. Lucia sopra Contesse 5, Messina 98126, Italy
2
FuMA-Tech Gesellschaft für funktionelle Membranen und Anlagentechnologie mbH, Carl-Benz-Strasse 4, Bietigheim-Bissingen D-74321, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Bruno Scrosati
Received: 21 October 2015 / Accepted: 17 November 2015 / Published: 24 November 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes for Electrochemical Energy Applications 2015)
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Abstract

Sulfonic acid-functionalized polymer electrolyte membranes alternative to Nafion® were developed. These were hydrocarbon systems, such as blend sulfonated polyetheretherketone (s-PEEK), new generation perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) systems, and composite zirconium phosphate–PFSA polymers. The membranes varied in terms of composition, equivalent weight, thickness, and filler and were investigated with regard to their methanol permeation characteristics and proton conductivity for application in direct methanol fuel cells. The behavior of the membrane electrode assemblies (MEA) was investigated in fuel cell with the aim to individuate a correlation between membrane characteristics and their performance in a direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC). The power density of the DMFC at 60 °C increased according to a square root-like function of the membrane selectivity. This was defined as the reciprocal of the product between area specific resistance and crossover. The power density achieved at 60 °C for the most promising s-PEEK-based membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) was higher than the benchmark Nafion® 115-based MEA (77 mW·cm−2 vs. 64 mW·cm−2). This result was due to a lower methanol crossover (47 mA·cm−2 equivalent current density for s-PEEK vs. 120 mA·cm−2 for Nafion® 115 at 60 °C as recorded at OCV with 2 M methanol) and a suitable area specific resistance (0.15 Ohm cm2 for s-PEEK vs. 0.22 Ohm cm2 for Nafion® 115). View Full-Text
Keywords: proton exchange polymer electrolyte membranes; direct methanol fuel cells; methanol crossover; proton conductivity; membrane selectivity; fuel cell performance proton exchange polymer electrolyte membranes; direct methanol fuel cells; methanol crossover; proton conductivity; membrane selectivity; fuel 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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MDPI and ACS Style

Aricò, A.S.; Sebastian, D.; Schuster, M.; Bauer, B.; D'Urso, C.; Lufrano, F.; Baglio, V. Selectivity of Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Membranes. Membranes 2015, 5, 793-809.

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