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Better membranes for fuel cells

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Better membranes for fuel cells

Better membranes for fuel cells

ID: F1510-10

A gas cellular can produce electrical energy through a chemical reaction between a gas and oxygen. Those that use a proton-conducting polymer membrane as the electrolyte are known as proton exchange membrane (PEM) gas cells. These are semipermeable membranes generally made from ionomers and created to carry out protons while being impermeable to gases. Nevertheless, until now, PEM fuel cells have actually unsuccessful mostly because of mechanical failure of the membrane. To increase their durability and life time, a new project had been founded. One of the absolute most common and commercially available PEM materials is the fluoropolymer perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA). The project made great strides in obtaining low equivalent-weight (EW) PFSA ionomers with improved mechanical properties contrasted to the state of the art. Benchmark ionomers may have been hitherto the best materials in the lab. Nevertheless, the task proved that they were not the best in terms of durability when membrane layer electrode assemblies (MEAs) were assessed after 100 hours of continuous procedure. To this end, experts utilized reduced EW ionomers in their bid to prepare membranes with robust mechanical properties. Their approaches relied on the usage of chemical, thermal, and processing and filler reinforcement techniques. In particular, the focus had been on checking out ionic cross-links during emulsion polymerisation and membrane layer casting. This approach leads to non-linear ionomer molecules with large molecular weight that overcome problems linked with membrane layer dimensional changes – i.e. swelling. Researchers also used electrospinning to produce organic and inorganic fibres for mechanically reinforcing the low EW standard ionomers. Through nanofibre reinforcement, scientists reported significant improvement of mechanical properties of the last membranes and greater durability, with conductivity being greater contrasted to the benchmark membrane. Another technique to mechanically strengthen the standard ionomers had been through ionic cross-linking based on nanoparticles. A number of membranes had been prepared utilizing nanoparticle fillers of different hydrophobicity. With in situ tests designed to accelerate mechanical degradation, the stabilised MEAs demonstrated improved durability, with less than 3 % voltage loss after 2 000 hours of operation.

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