Silica Nafion Modified Composite Membranes for Direct Methanol Fuel Cells

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Garnica-Rodriguez, Jairo I, Dicks, Andrew L, Duke, Mikel ORCID: 0000-0002-3383-0006 and Diniz da Costa, J. C (2006) Silica Nafion Modified Composite Membranes for Direct Methanol Fuel Cells. Developments in Chemical Engineering and Mineral Processing, 14 (1/2). pp. 119-131. ISSN 0969-1855


Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFCs) operate by electro-oxidation of methanol and the transport of the protons by means of a polymer electrolyte membrane. Current systems employ Nafion (perjluorosulphonic acid) membranes as the transport media for the protons, which experience a high methanol crossover reducing the efficiency by the oxygen reduction reaction at the anode side of the fuel cell. This work investigated the microstructural modification of Nafion membranes with silica nanoparticles. It was shown that this mod4cation led to reduced methanol crossover, whilst methanol permeability was slightly reduced without compromising the conductivity at the normal DMFC operation temperature (75-80°C). Methanol uptake was reduced by 55% with the incorporation of the silica nanoparticles into the Nafion matrix. In addition, pure methanol uptake appeared to be less effective than methanol mixtures. These results indicated the presence of water assisted methanol permeation as the hydrophilic sulphonic group and the hydrophobic polymeric backbone of Nafion were sensitive to methanol solvation.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1002/apj.5500140109
Official URL
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Institute for Sustainability and Innovation (ISI)
Historical > FOR Classification > 0904 Chemical Engineering
Keywords ResPubID18938, Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFCs), electro-oxidation of methanol, polymer electrolyte membrane, Nafion (perjluorosulphonic acid) membranes, microstructural modification of Nafion membranes, silica nanoparticles, water assisted methanol permeation
Citations in Scopus 5 - View on Scopus
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