Methanol permeation is the main issue of Nafion membranes when they are used as a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) in direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). In the current study, novel nanocomposite polymer membranes are prepared by the integration of surface-modified sepiolite (MS) in polyvinylidene fluoride grafted polystyrene (PVDF-g-PS) copolymer as PEM in DMFCs. Sepiolite surface is chemically modified using vinyltriethoxysilane and analyzed by fouriertransform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Nanocomposite PVDF-g-PS/MS membranes are prepared by phase inversion technique and subsequently treated with chlorosulfonic acid to induce sulfonic acid (SO3H) active sites at the membrane surface. The prepared nanocomposite membranes (S-PPMS) are analyzed for their physicochemical characteristics in terms of water uptake percentage, cation exchange capacity (CEC), proton conductivity (σ), and methanol permeability. MS dispersion in the copolymer matrix is proved through morphological SEM examination. The S-PPMS membranes exhibit increased proton conductivity due to the presence of well-dispersed MS and surface functional –SO3H groups. A peak power density of 210 mWcm−2 is recorded for S-PPMS10 at 110 °C which is higher than the output obtained from Nafion-117. These promising results indicate the potential utilization of prepared nanocomposite PEMs for DMFC application.

Novel Sepiolite Reinforced Emerging Composite Polymer Electrolyte Membranes for high Performance Direct Methanol Fuel Cells

Patrizia Bocchetta;
2022-01-01

Abstract

Methanol permeation is the main issue of Nafion membranes when they are used as a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) in direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). In the current study, novel nanocomposite polymer membranes are prepared by the integration of surface-modified sepiolite (MS) in polyvinylidene fluoride grafted polystyrene (PVDF-g-PS) copolymer as PEM in DMFCs. Sepiolite surface is chemically modified using vinyltriethoxysilane and analyzed by fouriertransform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Nanocomposite PVDF-g-PS/MS membranes are prepared by phase inversion technique and subsequently treated with chlorosulfonic acid to induce sulfonic acid (SO3H) active sites at the membrane surface. The prepared nanocomposite membranes (S-PPMS) are analyzed for their physicochemical characteristics in terms of water uptake percentage, cation exchange capacity (CEC), proton conductivity (σ), and methanol permeability. MS dispersion in the copolymer matrix is proved through morphological SEM examination. The S-PPMS membranes exhibit increased proton conductivity due to the presence of well-dispersed MS and surface functional –SO3H groups. A peak power density of 210 mWcm−2 is recorded for S-PPMS10 at 110 °C which is higher than the output obtained from Nafion-117. These promising results indicate the potential utilization of prepared nanocomposite PEMs for DMFC application.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11587/462215
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