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Polymers 2018, 10(1), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10010102

Highly Zeolite-Loaded Polyvinyl Alcohol Composite Membranes for Alkaline Fuel-Cell Electrolytes

1
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, and Green Technology Research Center, Chang Gung University, Guishan District, Taoyuan City 333, Taiwan
2
Department of Chemical Engineering, National Taiwan University, Da-an, Taipei City 106, Taiwan
3
Department of Radiation Oncology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Guishan District, Taoyuan City 333, Taiwan
4
Department of Safety, Health and Environmental Engineering, Ming-Chi University of Technology, Taishan District, New Taipei City 243, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 November 2017 / Revised: 17 January 2018 / Accepted: 18 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Membranes)
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Abstract

Having a secure and stable energy supply is a top priority for the global community. Fuel-cell technology is recognized as a promising electrical energy generation system for the twenty-first century. Polyvinyl alcohol/zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 (PVA/ZIF-8) composite membranes were successfully prepared in this work from direct ZIF-8 suspension solution (0–45.4 wt %) and PVA mixing to prevent filler aggregation for direct methanol alkaline fuel cells (DMAFCs). The ZIF-8 fillers were chosen for the appropriate cavity size as a screening aid to allow water and suppress methanol transport. Increased ionic conductivities and suppressed methanol permeabilities were achieved for the PVA/40.5% ZIF-8 composites, compared to other samples. A high power density of 173.2 mW cm−2 was achieved using a KOH-doped PVA/40.5% ZIF-8 membrane in a DMAFC at 60 °C with 1–2 mg cm−2 catalyst loads. As the filler content was raised beyond 45.4 wt %, adverse effects resulted and the DMAFC performance (144.9 mW cm−2) was not improved further. Therefore, the optimal ZIF-8 content was approximately 40.5 wt % in the polymeric matrix. The specific power output was higher (58 mW mg−1) than most membranes reported in the literature (3–18 mW mg−1). View Full-Text
Keywords: zeolite composite; polymer electrolyte; ionic conductivity; direct alcohol fuel-cell performance zeolite composite; polymer electrolyte; ionic conductivity; direct alcohol 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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Hsu, P.-Y.; Hu, T.-Y.; Kumar, S.R.; Chang, C.-H.; Wu, K.C.-W.; Tung, K.-L.; Lue, S.J. Highly Zeolite-Loaded Polyvinyl Alcohol Composite Membranes for Alkaline Fuel-Cell Electrolytes. Polymers 2018, 10, 102.

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