Silica Nafion Modified Composite Membranes for Direct Methanol Fuel Cells

Garnica Rodriguez, J. I., Dicks, A. L., Duke, M. C. and Diniz da Costa, J. C. (2006) Silica Nafion Modified Composite Membranes for Direct Methanol Fuel Cells. Development in Chemical Engineering and Mineral Processing Journal, 14 1/2: 119-131.

Author Garnica Rodriguez, J. I.
Dicks, A. L.
Duke, M. C.
Diniz da Costa, J. C.
Title Silica Nafion Modified Composite Membranes for Direct Methanol Fuel Cells
Journal name Development in Chemical Engineering and Mineral Processing Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0959-1855
Publication date 2006-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 14
Issue 1/2
Start page 119
End page 131
Total pages 13
Place of publication Australia
Publisher Curtin University of Technology
Language eng
Subject 290603 Membrane and Separation Technologies
250105 Structural Chemistry
Abstract 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 (perfluorosulphonic 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 this modification led to reduced methanol crossover, whilst methanol permeability was slightly reduced without compromising the conductivity at the DMFC’s normal operation temperature (75-80oC). 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.
Keyword direct methanol fuel cell
methanol crossover
Polyaniline functionalisation
Silica functionalisation
Proton conduction
Nafion membrane
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Created: Wed, 03 Jan 2007, 17:22:04 EST by Mikel Duke on behalf of School of Engineering