Preparation and characterization of multi-layer catalyst-coated membrane for PEM fuel cell application
Date of Issue2016-05-19
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
In a world where overpopulation and rapid technology advancements are causing a sky-rocket increase in energy consumption, the need for alternative sources of clean energy has never been greater. Fuel cells, in particular Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC) which is extremely versatile in its application areas becomes a prime candidate as a clean alternative to fossil fuels and is currently one of the most heavily researched clean energy sources. Researchers have been trying to improve the water management of PEMFC where high temperatures is preferred but the thermal stability of PEMFC is adversely affected due to the high temperature causing the membranes to dehydrate. One method is to create hybrid Nafion® membranes where hydroscopic additives are being added into the membranes to attempt to retain the water inside the membranes to avoid membrane dehydration at high operating temperatures. Multi-layer catalyst coated membrane is a novel method in fabricating catalyst coated membranes (CCM) which proves to provide better performance due to reduced contact resistance between the catalyst layers and conventional Nafion® membranes. However, research on the viability in using this method to fabricate hybrid Nafion® membranes is still lacking, thus forming the main objective of this final year project. Hot-pressing of CCMs is a procedure to reduce the contact resistance between the CCM’s catalyst layers and the electrolyte membrane. As the multi-layer catalyst coated membrane is a novel fabrication method, there is a need to characterise the hot-pressing parameters for this method. Therefore, a side objective of this final year project is to characterise effects of varying hot-pressing pressure on the fabricated CCMs. After several characterization experiments, it is verified that multi-layer catalyst coated is viable in fabricating hybrid Nafion® membranes and silica hybrid Nafion® membrane provides the best performance compared to graphene oxide and aluminium silicate hybrid Nafion® membranes. It is also discovered that a hot-press pressure of 100kg/cm2 provides better membrane performance compared to a higher hot-press pressure of 150kg/cm2.
DRNTU::Engineering::Mechanical engineering::Alternative, renewable energy sources
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University