Preparation of nano-structured polymeric proton conducting membranes for use in fuel cells.


We briefly discuss the state of the art of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells and suggest that the main obstacles to the commercial development of these fuel cells are essentially the high costs and poor characteristics of present proton conducting membranes. A strategy for the preparation of improved nanocomposite membranes based on the introduction of proton conducting lamell? in the polymeric matrix of present ionomeric membranes is then discussed. Due to their high proton conductivity (in some cases even higher than 10(-1) S cm(-1)), tailor made lamellae obtained by exfoliation of superacid metal (IV) phosphonates are particularly suitable for the preparation of these hybrid membranes. The expected positive influence of the dispersed lamellae on important properties of proton conducting membranes, such as swelling, mechanical resistance, proton transport, and diffusion of methanol, are also discussed. The methods used to obtain good lamellar dispersions into ionomeric polymers and the preparation and main characteristics of some hybrid membranes are also briefly described. The presence of nanoparticles of metal phosphonates in the electrodic interfaces Nafion/Pt already considerably improves the electrochemical characteristics of fuel cells in the temperature range 80-130 degrees C. The increased working temperature of the fuel cell considerably reduces CO poisoning of the platinum electrodes and allows better control of the cooling system, thus overcoming important obstacles to the development of medium temperature PEM fuel cells.

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@article{Alberti2003PreparationON, title={Preparation of nano-structured polymeric proton conducting membranes for use in fuel cells.}, author={Giulio Alberti and Mario Casciola and Monica Pica and Giusi Di Cesare}, journal={Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences}, year={2003}, volume={984}, pages={208-25} }