A novel multilayer membrane electrode assembly (MEA) for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) is fabricated in this work, within a single spray-coating device. For the first time, direct membrane deposition is used to fabricate a PEMFC by spraying the short-side-chain ionomer Aquivion directly onto the gas diffusion electrodes. The fully sprayed MEA, with an Aquivion membrane 10 μm in thickness, achieved a high power density of 1.6 W/cm2 for H2/air operation at 300 kPaabs. This is one of the highest reported values for thin composite membranes operated in H2/air atmosphere. By the means of confocal laser scanning microscopy, individual carbon fibers from the gas diffusion layer are identified to penetrate through the micro porous layer (MPL), likely causing a low electrical cell resistance in the range of 150 Ω cm2 through the thin sprayed membranes. By spraying a 200 nm graphene oxide/cerium oxide (GO/CeO2) interlayer between two layers of Aquivion ionomer, the impact of the electrical short is eliminated and the hydrogen crossover current density is reduced to about 1 mA/cm2. The peak power density of the interlayer-containing MEA drops only by 10% compared to a pure Aquivion membrane of similar thickness.
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