A novel Pt/zeolite-Nafion (PZN) polymer electrolyte composite membrane is fabricated for self-humidifying polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). A uniform dispersion of Pt nanoparticles with an average size of 3 nm is achieved by ion-exchange of the zeolite HY. The Pt nanoparticles embedded in the membrane provide the catalytic sites for water generation, whereas the zeolite HY-supported Pt particles absorbs water and make it available for humidification during cell operation at elevated temperature. Compared with the performance of ordinary membranes, the performance of cells with PZN membranes is improved significantly under dry conditions. With dry H2 and O2 at 50 °C, the PZN membrane with 0.65 wt.% of Pt/zeolite (0.03 mg Pt cm-2) gives 75% of the performance obtained at 0.6 V with the humidified reactants at 75 °C. Impedance analysis reveales that an increase in charge-transfer resistance is mainly responsible for the cell performance loss operated with dry gases.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering