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PVA-PSSA Membrane with Interpenetrating Networks and its Methanol Crossover Mitigating Effect in DMFCs

Sahu, AK and Selvarani, G and Pitchumani, S and Sridhar, P and Shukla, AK and Narayanan, N and Banerjee, A and Chandrakumar, N (2008) PVA-PSSA Membrane with Interpenetrating Networks and its Methanol Crossover Mitigating Effect in DMFCs. In: Journal of the Electrochemical Society, 155 (7). B686-B695.

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Abstract

A membrane with interpenetrating networks between poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) and poly(styrene sulfonic acid) (PSSA) coupled with a high proton conductivity is realized and evaluated as a proton exchange membrane electrolyte for a direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC). Its reduced methanol permeability and improved performance in DMFCs suggest the new blend as an alternative membrane to Nafion membranes. The membrane has been characterized by powder X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, time-modulated differential scanning calorimetry, and thermogravimetric analysis in conjunction with its mechanical strength. The maximum proton conductivity of 3.3×10−2 S/cm for the PVA–PSSA blend membrane is observed at 373 K. From nuclear magnetic resonance imaging and volume localized spectroscopy experiments, the PVA–PSSA membrane has been found to exhibit a promising methanol impermeability, in DMFCs. On evaluating its utility in a DMFC, it has been found that a peak power density of 90 mW/cm2 at a load current density of 320 mA/cm2 is achieved with the PVA–PSSA membrane compared to a peak power density of 75 mW/cm2 at a load current density of 250 mA/cm2 achievable for a DMFC employing Nafion membrane electrolyte while operating under identical conditions; this is attributed primarily to the methanol crossover mitigating property of the PVA–PSSA membrane.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to The Electrochemical Society.
Department/Centre: Division of Chemical Sciences > Solid State & Structural Chemistry Unit
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2010 07:32
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 05:58
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ernet.in/id/eprint/26686

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