Novel Nafion composite membranes with mesoporous silica nanospheres as inorganic fillers

Jin, Yonggang, Qiao, Shizhang, Zhang, Lei, Xu, Zhi Ping, Smart, Simon, Diniz da Costa, João C. and Lu, Gao Qing (2008) Novel Nafion composite membranes with mesoporous silica nanospheres as inorganic fillers. Journal of Power Sources, 185 2: 664-669. doi:10.1016/j.jpowsour.2008.08.094

Author Jin, Yonggang
Qiao, Shizhang
Zhang, Lei
Xu, Zhi Ping
Smart, Simon
Diniz da Costa, João C.
Lu, Gao Qing
Title Novel Nafion composite membranes with mesoporous silica nanospheres as inorganic fillers
Journal name Journal of Power Sources   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0378-7753
Publication date 2008-12-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2008.08.094
Volume 185
Issue 2
Start page 664
End page 669
Total pages 6
Editor C. K. Dyer
D. A . J. Rand
Z. Ogumi
Place of publication Lausanne, Switzerland
Publisher Elsevier Sequoia
Language eng
Subject C1
090404 Membrane and Separation Technologies
030302 Nanochemistry and Supramolecular Chemistry
030604 Electrochemistry
850401 Fuel Cells (excl. Solid Oxide)
0906 Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Formatted abstract
Novel Nafion composite proton exchange membranes are prepared using mesoporous MCM-41 silica nanospheres as inorganic fillers. The novelty of this study lies in the structural design of inorganic silica fillers: the nanosized and monodisperse spherical morphology of fillers facilitates the preparation of homogenous composite membranes, whilst the superior water adsorption of the mesostructure in fillers consigns enhancedwater retention properties to the polymer membranes. Scanning electron microscopy images of the composite membranes indicate thatwell-dispersed silica nanospheres are embedded in the Nafion matrix, but a large amount of added fillers (3 wt.%) causes some agglomeration of the nanospheres. Compared with the Nafion cast membrane, the composite membranes offer improved thermal stability, enhancedwater retention properties, and reducedmethanol crossover. Despite the enhancement of water retention, the composite membranes still exhibit a proton conductivity reduction of 10–40% compared with pristine Nafion. This is likely due to the incorporation of much less conductive silica fillers than Nafion. The composite membrane containing 1 wt.% of fillers displays the best cell performance in direct methanol fuel cell tests; it gives a maximum power density of 21.8mWcm−2, i.e., ∼20% higher than the Nafion cast membrane. This is attributed to its similar conductivity to Nafion, and its markedly reduced methanol crossover, namely, ∼1.2 times lower.
© 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Keyword Nafion
Mesoporous silica
Composite membrane
Proton conduction
Proton exchange membrane fuel cell
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

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Created: Thu, 26 Mar 2009, 22:39:55 EST by Amanda Lee on behalf of School of Chemical Engineering