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Multilayer membranes for intermediate temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cells

Branco, Carolina Musse (2017)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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IT-­PEFC operating at 120°C and not the usual 80°C has many advantages, such as faster chemical reactions. If the gas humidification is reduced, simpler and lighter humidifiers can be used, leading to a reduction in the fuel cell total cost. However, at this condition the current commercial membrane Nafion is not able to hold water and perform satisfactorily. Therefore, in this study the application of multilayer membranes for IT-PEFC was investigated. These membranes were divided into two groups, a first with external layers of Nafion and an inner layer of sulphonated polyindene, and a second with external layers of Nafion and an inner layer of graphene oxide. The membrane preparation method was also investigated. The multilayer membranes were prepared by hot pressing and solution casting.

As a result, cast multilayer membranes showed better performance and proton conductivity than hot pressed. Delamination and low interface interaction were the main drawbacks for hot pressed membranes. Cast multilayer sulphonated polyindene membranes showed higher performance than Nafion at 120°C and 20% of relative humidity. In the meantime, cast graphene oxide multilayer membranes showed higher water uptake and open circuit voltage than Nafion.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Steinberger-Wilckens, Robert and Sharma, Surbhi
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Department:School of Chemical Engineering, Centre for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research
Subjects:TP Chemical technology
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:7717
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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