Phosphate-Modified TiO2/ZrO2 Nanofibrous Web Composite Membrane for Enhanced Performance and Durability of High-Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

Chanmin Lee, Jeongho Park, Yukwon Jeon, Joo Il Park, Hisahiro Einaga, Yen B. Truong, Illias L. Kyratzis, Isao Mochida, Jonghyun Choi, Yong Gun Shul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

An Aquivion/titanium zirconium oxide nanofibrous web composite membrane was prepared and tested as a proton exchange membrane in a hydrogen/air fuel cell. The incorporation of a small dose (9 wt % membrane) of a uniformly distributed electrospun titanium zirconium oxide (TiO2/ZrO2; Ti/Zr = 1:1 atomic ratio) nanofibrous web significantly improved hydromechanical stability of the composite membranes, which exhibited approximately 2 times higher water retention and 30 times lower dimensional change than a pristine Aquivion membrane under in-water membrane hydration conditions. Phosphate functionalities were successfully added onto the nanofiber surface, as confirmed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis. The added phosphate functionality resulted in higher proton conductivity of the prepared composite membrane compared to the non-modified TiO2/ZrO2 nanofibrous web composite membrane [e.g., 0.027 S cm-1 versus 0.021 S cm-1 at 120°C and 40% relative humidity (RH)]. A single cell test also showed the effect of an added TiO2/ZrO2 nanofibrous web. A single cell with an Aquivion/TiO2/ZrO2 nanofibrous web composite membrane outperformed a single cell with a pristine Aquivion membrane in fully humidified conditions (100% RH at 75 and 90°C). The Aquivion/phosphate-modified TiO2/ZrO2 nanofibrous web composite membrane showed the best single cell performance at all four testing conditions, including the fully humidified medium-temperature conditions (e.g., Pmax = 1.18 W cm-2 at 75°C and 100% RH, and Pmax = 0.97 W cm-2 at 90°C and 100% RH) and partially humidified high-temperature conditions (Pmax = 0.45 W cm-2 at 120°C and 40% RH, and Pmax = 0.21 W cm-2 at 140°C and 20% RH). The composite membrane also displayed excellent durability evidenced by the accelerated lifetime (ALT) test results. Overall, the phosphate-modified TiO2/ZrO2 nanofibrous web composite membrane enhanced the electrical properties and durability of the fuel cell, especially at high temperatures (>120°C).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7645-7652
Number of pages8
JournalEnergy and Fuels
Volume31
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jul 20

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

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