Special Issue "Nanocomposite Polymer Membranes for Fuel Cells"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 May 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Filipe M.L. Figueiredo Website E-Mail
CICECO – Aveiro Institute of Materials, Department of Materials and Ceramic Engineering, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Interests: energy materials; fuel cells; electrolyte; electrocatalyst

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The polymer electrolyte is the key component of several fuel cell technologies, from those fed with a liquid fuel (e.g., methanol) or oxidant (e.g., hydrogen peroxide), operating essentially at low temperatures and under wet conditions, to those running on hydrogen and oxygen gases, which should operate at higher temperatures. Single-phase polymer electrolytes often display insufficient performance; the ionic conductivity is low, or the liquid permeation is high. They may also display insufficient thermal, chemical and mechanical stabilities. These limitations restrain the development of fuel cell technologies for an extended and highly-desirable range of operational conditions, namely high temperatures or low humidity, due to either low conductivity or the lack of stability, or the operation with liquid fuels and oxidants due to excessive fuel/oxidant permeation.

The aim of this Special Issue is to gather an ensemble of review or original research works that are representative of the various approaches in the design of nanocomposite polymer electrolytes displaying decisive advantages over single-phase membrane separators on their main limitations.

The design of nanocomposites with a suitable combination of components offers a vast range of possibilities for the design of novel polymer-based electrolytes with enhanced global performance, taking advantage also of the high matrix/filler interfacial area and of extraordinary non-trivial size effects. For example, high levels of protonic (and also hydroxyl) conductivity have recently been disclosed for many organic-inorganic hybrid nanostructured materials that have potential application as fillers. Some of these materials are microporous or mesoporous, which means that in addition to potentially fast ion transport paths, they also contribute to reduce swelling of a polymeric matrix. Other examples are the carbon-based fillers like graphene, graphene oxide or nanotubes, which can be functionalized on the surface for enhanced ionic transport and can be extremely active to reduce liquid permeation due to their particular aspect ratio. Novel composite designs may also open new horizons in the development of environmentally friendly membranes by combining biopolymers with suitable fillers with the complementary functional properties. This contributes to link the "green" fuel cell technology to an environmentally sustainable materials paradigm, which so far has not been a major concern in fuel cell research.

Your recent developments of nanocomposite polymer electrolytes on these and other topics are very welcome.

Dr. Filipe M.L. Figueiredo
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • fuel cell, electrolyte
  • nanocomposite
  • polymer
  • organic-inorganic hybrid
  • bio-polymer
  • proton exchange
  • anion exchange, ionic conductivity

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Phosphoric Acid Doped Polybenzimidazole (PBI)/Zeolitic Imidazolate Framework Composite Membranes with Significantly Enhanced Proton Conductivity under Low Humidity Conditions
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(10), 775; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8100775 - 29 Sep 2018
Cited by 9
Abstract
The preparation and characterization of composite polybenzimidazole (PBI) membranes containing zeolitic imidazolate framework 8 (ZIF-8) and zeolitic imidazolate framework 67 (ZIF-67) is reported. The phosphoric acid doped composite membranes display proton conductivity values that increase with increasing temperatures, maintaining their conductivity under anhydrous [...] Read more.
The preparation and characterization of composite polybenzimidazole (PBI) membranes containing zeolitic imidazolate framework 8 (ZIF-8) and zeolitic imidazolate framework 67 (ZIF-67) is reported. The phosphoric acid doped composite membranes display proton conductivity values that increase with increasing temperatures, maintaining their conductivity under anhydrous conditions. The addition of ZIF to the polymeric matrix enhances proton transport relative to the values observed for PBI and ZIFs alone. For example, the proton conductivity of [email protected] reaches 3.1 × 10−3 S·cm−1 at 200 °C and higher values were obtained for [email protected] membranes, with proton conductivities up to 4.1 × 10−2 S·cm−1. Interestingly, a composite membrane containing a 5 wt.% binary mixture of ZIF-8 and ZIF-67 yielded a proton conductivity of 9.2 × 10−2 S·cm−1, showing a synergistic effect on the proton conductivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocomposite Polymer Membranes for Fuel Cells)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Carbon Nanocomposite Membrane Electrolytes for Direct Methanol Fuel Cells—A Concise Review
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(9), 1292; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9091292 - 10 Sep 2019
Abstract
A membrane electrolyte that restricts the methanol cross-over while retaining proton conductivity is essential for better electrochemical selectivity in direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). Extensive research carried out to explore numerous blends and composites for application as polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMs) revealed promising [...] Read more.
A membrane electrolyte that restricts the methanol cross-over while retaining proton conductivity is essential for better electrochemical selectivity in direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). Extensive research carried out to explore numerous blends and composites for application as polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMs) revealed promising electrochemical selectivity in DMFCs of carbon nanomaterial-based polymer composites. The present review covers important literature on different carbon nanomaterial-based PEMs reported during the last decade. The review emphasises the proton conductivity and methanol permeability of nanocomposite membranes with carbon nanotubes, graphene oxide and fullerene as additives, assessing critically the impact of each type of filler on those properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocomposite Polymer Membranes for Fuel Cells)
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