Synthesis and Performance Evaluation of a Polymer Mesh Supported Proton Exchange Membrane for Fuel Cell Applications
Journal of Membrane Science
A novel approach to the design and fabrication of proton exchange membrane (PEM) has been developed whereby a non-structural polymer fabricated with high proton exchange capacity was bound to an inert polymer matrix. The patented fabrication techniques used here allow greater flexibility in PEM design. Results related to proton exchange performance of these novel PEMs are presented here. The proton exchange material described herein is a ter-polymer composed of various ratios of monomers. These materials were bound to an inert ethylene–tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) copolymer mesh that had been rendered adhesive using patented hydroxylation technique in a two-step water-borne process. The basic characteristics of the new membranes were compared to those of Nafion® 212. An aqueous two-cell testing unit is utilized by which the rate of protons transferred from one cell through the membrane into the other cell was determined by monitoring the change in pH of the cells. Results indicated that the new membrane could transfer protons approximately 10 times faster per unit area compared to Nafion® 212 under the test conditions utilized at 80 °C. In addition to improvement in induction time and reduced resistance, the new membrane conducts protons at reduced membrane water content compared to Nafion® 212.
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Das, Susanta K.; Berry, Kingsley Joel; Jamie, Hedrick; Beholz, Lars G.; and Zand, Ali R., "Synthesis and Performance Evaluation of a Polymer Mesh Supported Proton Exchange Membrane for Fuel Cell Applications" (2010). Mechanical Engineering Publications. 52.