Advanced Membrane Materials for Fuel Cell Applications
Fuels are being considered an as environmental friendly technology and are making headlines across the globe as clean and reliable alternate energy source for transportation, stationary and portable power applications. The rapid developments taking place in all the leading research laboratories in the world are making fuel cell closer to the realization. The progress of PEM fuel cell is closely related to the development of solid polymer electrolyte membranes as it defines the properties needed for other components of the fuel cell. So far perfluorosulfonated membranes such as Nafion have been found useful in these fuel cells and are the only material of choice available commercially. But these membranes are very expensive and have other drawbacks, which acts as an impediment for the commercialization of this technology. As a result alternative cheaper membrane materials have been developed. For the development of new or novel membranes mainly three strategies have been used: (1) modifying the currently used ionomer membranes (2) synthesizing new polymeric membranes and (3) develop new polymer composites by blending the two polymers or composting with an inorganic material. The composite membrane approach (3) has been widely used to tackle the problem of methanol crossover and temperature stability.
S. M. J. Zaidi "Advanced Membrane Materials for Fuel Cell Applications", Materials Science Forum, Vol. 657, pp. 88-115, 2010