A limitation of Nafion membranes in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) is their poor water retention above 100°C. The incorporation of SiO2-P2O5-ZrO2 gels into Nafion membranes can improve their thermal stability. Therefore, composite membranes were prepared either by infiltration of Nafion membranes with SiO 2-P2O5-ZrO2 sol or by recasting a film using Nafion solution and SiO2-P2O 5-ZrO2 sol. The membranes were characterized by thermal analysis, microstructural analysis, functional testing in a fuel cell, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. The incorporation of the SiO 2-P2O5-ZrO2 gel resulted in improved electrochemical behavior at 130°C, with current density-cell potential values as good as those obtained at 80°C with unmodified Nafion membranes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry