Fabrication of self assembled mesoporous structured membranes for PEM fuel cells.
Low, Jian Chien.
Date of Issue2009
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells are now increasingly being considered as alternative energy sources because of their high power density and high efficiency with low greenhouse gas emission levels. However, Nafion, which is the current material used as membrane, requires adequate hydration to maintain ionic conductivity. This means that conductivity drops when operating temperatures are higher than 100°C or when there is low relative humidity. To enhance water retention properties of the membrane, mesopores were introduced into the membrane by adding Pluronic™ F108 during the membrane fabrication process. Experimental results show that mesoporous structured membranes were able to retain more water than conventional Nafion 115 membrane. This resulted in better fuel cell performances. It can be seen from the fuel cell performance test that 15ml Pluronic™ F108 mesoporous membrane delivered a current density of 0.21Acm-2 as opposed to Nafion 115 which delivered 0.14Acm-2. Peak power density was also higher for the mesoporous structured membrane, at 0.078Wcm-2, against Nafion 115’s 0.055Wcm-2. Therefore, it can be concluded that the mesopores provide a membrane with higher water retention properties than conventional Nafion. This ultimately improved fuel cell performance.
DRNTU::Engineering::Mechanical engineering::Alternative, renewable energy sources
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University