Characterisation of a re-cast composite Nafion® 1100 series of proton exchange membranes incorporating inert inorganic oxide particles

S. Slade, James Smith, S. Campbell, T. Ralph, C. Ponce de Leon, F. Walsh

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Abstract

A series of cation exchange membranes was produced by impregnating and coating both sides of a quartz web with a Nafion® solution (1100 EW, 10%wt in water). Inert filler particles (SiO2, ZrO2 or TiO2; 5–20%wt) were incorporated into the aqueous Nafion® solution to produce robust, composite membranes. Ion-exchange capacity/equivalent weight, water take-up, thickness change on hydration and ionic and electrical conductivity were measured in 1 mol dm−3 sulfuric acid at 298 K. The TiO2 filler significantly impacted on these properties, producing higher water take-up and increased conductivity. Such membranes may be beneficial for proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell operation at low humidification. The PEM fuel cell performance of the composite membranes containing SiO2 fillers was examined in a Ballard Mark 5E unit cell. While the use of composite membranes offers a cost reduction, the unit cell performance was reduced, in practice, due to drying of the ionomer at the cathode.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6818-6829
Number of pages12
JournalElectrochimica Acta
Volume55
Issue number22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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