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Ameliorating effect of silica addition in the anode-catalyst layer of the membrane electrode assemblies for polymer electrolyte fuel cells

Sahu, AK and Selvarani, G and Pitchumani, S and Sridhar, P and Shukla, AK (2007) Ameliorating effect of silica addition in the anode-catalyst layer of the membrane electrode assemblies for polymer electrolyte fuel cells. In: Journal of Applied Electrochemistry, 37 (8). pp. 913-919.

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Abstract

Incorporation of silica particles through a solgel process into the anode-catalyst layer with a sol-gel modified Nation-silica composite membrane renders easy retention of back-diffused water from the cathode to anode through the composite membrane electrolyte, increases the catalyst-layer wettability and improves the performance of the Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell (PEFC) while operating under relative humidity (RH) values ranging between 18% and 100% with gaseous hydrogen and oxygen reactants at atmospheric pressure. A peak power density of 300 mW cm(-2) is achieved at a load current-density value of 1200 mA cm(-2) for the PEFC employing a sol-gel modified Nafion-silica composite membrane and operating at 18% RH. Under similar operating conditions, the PEFC with a Membrane Electrode Assembly (MEA) comprising Nation-silica composite membrane with silica in the anode-catalyst layer delivers a peak power density of 375 mW cm-2. By comparison, the PEFC employing commercial Nafion membrane fails to deliver satisfactory performance at 18% RH due to the limited availability of water at its anode, acerbated electro-osmotic drag of water from anode to cathode and insufficient water back diffusion from cathode to anode causing the MEA to dehydrate.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Springer.
Keywords: Polymer electrolyte fuel cell;Silica-Nafion composite membrane;Wettability;Humidification;Anode-catalyst layer.
Department/Centre: Division of Chemical Sciences > Solid State & Structural Chemistry Unit
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2009 12:55
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 04:59
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ernet.in/id/eprint/18077

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