Fuel cell membranes: pros and cons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This investigation provides a critical analysis of the development of PEM fuel cells and related research with specific focus on the membrane material. The catalytic membrane is the most important component of the PEMFC giving rise to the need for the use of efficient, durable and cheap material to reduce the overall cost of the fuel cell. In this work, the need for materials other than Nafion to be used as PEM membranes is established and a case for the use of composite membranes material in fuel cells is made. Composite membranes increase the cell voltage by up to 11% even at high cell operating temperature of 95 °C. They also increase the overall performance of the cell by up to 17% when dry hydrogen is utilised.

Non-fluorinated membranes are also suitable for use in fuel cells for portable applications but they are very expensive and less conductive. Partially fluorinated membranes have good mechanical stability but expensive. The fluorinated membrane has high stability under oxidation and reduction conditions. Unfortunately, they only reach their optimum performance at temperatures below 100 °C which makes them of limited use in PEM fuel cells application at higher temperatures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-172
Number of pages18
JournalEnergy
Volume172
Early online date11 Jan 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019

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Cell membranes
Fuel cells
Membranes
Composite membranes
Mechanical stability
Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC)
Temperature
Oxidation
Hydrogen
Electric potential
Costs

Keywords

  • PEM fuel cells
  • Electro-catalyst layer
  • Proton electron membrane (PEM)
  • Bipolar plate (BP) and gas diffusion layer (GDL)
  • Composite membrane

Cite this

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title = "Fuel cell membranes: pros and cons",
abstract = "This investigation provides a critical analysis of the development of PEM fuel cells and related research with specific focus on the membrane material. The catalytic membrane is the most important component of the PEMFC giving rise to the need for the use of efficient, durable and cheap material to reduce the overall cost of the fuel cell. In this work, the need for materials other than Nafion to be used as PEM membranes is established and a case for the use of composite membranes material in fuel cells is made. Composite membranes increase the cell voltage by up to 11{\%} even at high cell operating temperature of 95 °C. They also increase the overall performance of the cell by up to 17{\%} when dry hydrogen is utilised.Non-fluorinated membranes are also suitable for use in fuel cells for portable applications but they are very expensive and less conductive. Partially fluorinated membranes have good mechanical stability but expensive. The fluorinated membrane has high stability under oxidation and reduction conditions. Unfortunately, they only reach their optimum performance at temperatures below 100 °C which makes them of limited use in PEM fuel cells application at higher temperatures.",
keywords = "PEM fuel cells, Electro-catalyst layer, Proton electron membrane (PEM), Bipolar plate (BP) and gas diffusion layer (GDL), Composite membrane",
author = "Emmanuel Ogungbemi and Oluwatosin Ijaodola and F.N. Khatib and Tabbi Wilberforce and {El Hassan}, Zaki and James Thompson and Mohamad Ramadan and A.G. Olabi",
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Fuel cell membranes : pros and cons. / Ogungbemi, Emmanuel; Ijaodola, Oluwatosin; Khatib, F.N.; Wilberforce, Tabbi; El Hassan, Zaki; Thompson, James; Ramadan, Mohamad; Olabi, A.G.

In: Energy, Vol. 172, 01.04.2019, p. 155-172.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Fuel cell membranes

T2 - pros and cons

AU - Ogungbemi, Emmanuel

AU - Ijaodola, Oluwatosin

AU - Khatib, F.N.

AU - Wilberforce, Tabbi

AU - El Hassan, Zaki

AU - Thompson, James

AU - Ramadan, Mohamad

AU - Olabi, A.G.

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AB - This investigation provides a critical analysis of the development of PEM fuel cells and related research with specific focus on the membrane material. The catalytic membrane is the most important component of the PEMFC giving rise to the need for the use of efficient, durable and cheap material to reduce the overall cost of the fuel cell. In this work, the need for materials other than Nafion to be used as PEM membranes is established and a case for the use of composite membranes material in fuel cells is made. Composite membranes increase the cell voltage by up to 11% even at high cell operating temperature of 95 °C. They also increase the overall performance of the cell by up to 17% when dry hydrogen is utilised.Non-fluorinated membranes are also suitable for use in fuel cells for portable applications but they are very expensive and less conductive. Partially fluorinated membranes have good mechanical stability but expensive. The fluorinated membrane has high stability under oxidation and reduction conditions. Unfortunately, they only reach their optimum performance at temperatures below 100 °C which makes them of limited use in PEM fuel cells application at higher temperatures.

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