Enhancement of performance of pyridine modified polybenzimidazole fuel cell membranes using zirconium oxide nanoclusters and optimized phosphoric acid doping level

Mohamed Mahmoud Nasef, Tsuyohiko Fujigaya, Ebrahim Abouzari-Lotf, Naotoshi Nakashima, Zehui Yang

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Nanocomposite proton conducting membranes incorporating zirconium oxide (ZrO2) nanoclusters into solution cast 2,6-pyridine polybenzimidazole (2,6-Py-PBI) films and doped with phosphoric acid (PA) were prepared. The content of ZrO2 nanoclusters in the membrane matrix was varied from 0 to 10 wt%. The parameters of the acid doping reaction were optimized by the response surface method (RSM). The membrane properties were evaluated by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), universal mechanical tester and DC impedance. The incorporation of 5 wt% ZrO2 nanoclusters increased the acid doping level and remarkably enhanced the proton conductivity of the membrane. A maximum proton conductivity of 60.0 mS/cm was recorded compared to 21.5 and 12.0 mS/cm for pristine and 10 wt% ZrO2 containing membranes at 150 °C and dry condition, respectively. The membrane with 5 wt% ZrO2 also showed the highest performance in a single cell at 120 °C under dry conditions. The results suggest that the composite membrane containing 5 wt% ZrO2 nanoclusters has a potential for application in high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell application.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)6842-6854
    Number of pages13
    JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
    Volume41
    Issue number16
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - May 4 2016

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
    • Fuel Technology
    • Condensed Matter Physics
    • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

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