More sustainable electricity generation in hot and dry fuel cells with a novel hybrid membrane of Nafion/nano-silica/hydroxyl ionic liquid
Li, Yan and Shi, Yan and Mehio, Nada and Tan, Mingsheng and Wang, Zhiyong and Hu, Xiaohong and Chen, George Z. and Dai, Sheng and Jin, Xianbo (2016) More sustainable electricity generation in hot and dry fuel cells with a novel hybrid membrane of Nafion/nano-silica/hydroxyl ionic liquid. Applied Energy, 175 . pp. 451-458. ISSN 0306-2619
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2016.03.075
A new hybrid proton exchange membrane (PEM) has been prepared from hydroxyl functionalized imidazolium ionic liquid (IL-OH), Nafion and nano-SiO2. The IL-OH, with a hydroxyl group that acts as both a proton acceptor and donor, forms strong hydrogen bonds with both Nafion and nano-SiO2, resulting in an effective hydrogen bond network in the ternary membrane. Such an anhydrous hydrogen-bond network, which is unknown previously, endows the PEMs with higher proton conductivity, greater thermal stability and surprisingly a more robust mechanical performance than PEMs consisting of conventional ionic liquids. The resulting PEMs have a tensile strength that is more than twice as strong as recast Nafion and an anhydrous ionic conductivity of ∼55 mS cm−1 at temperatures above 160 °C, with a proton transfer number of ∼0.9. A laboratory assembled H2–O2 fuel cell employing this new PEM delivered a power density of 340 and 420 mW cm−2 at 160 and 180 °C, respectively.
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