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Journal of Applied Electrochemistry

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 137–145 | Cite as

Utilization of Nafion®/conducting polymer composite in the PEM type fuel cells

  • K. Bouzek
  • P. Holzhauser
  • R. Kodym
  • S. Moravcova
  • M. Paidar
Article

Abstract

The present study focuses on the problem of using conducting polymers (CPs) in proton exchange membrane fuel cell technology. It covers the electrocatalytic properties of the CP/Pt composite, permeability of the CP film for H2, fixation of the compact CP film on the top of the Nafion® membrane and first results of its utilization in a fuel cell. The present results did not confirm a previously reported increase in CP/Pt composite electrocatalytic activity when compared to the commercially available carbon supported catalysts. The main reason seems to be the very low permeability of the compact CP film for the fuel. This may be an advantage with respect to the minimization of fuel cross-over, which is a serious problem in the direct methanol fuel cell. On the other hand, it represents a serious danger in water management of the fuel cell. This fact has been recognized and alternative solutions are presented.

Key words

barrier layer catalyst support conducting polymers fuel cell permeability 

List of symbols

a

area (m2)

c

molar concentration (mol m−3)

C

solubility of H2 (mol m−3)

D

diffusion coefficient (m2 s−1)

F

Faraday number (C mol−1)

j

current density (A m−2)

k

permeability (m2 s−1)

n

molar amount (mol)

z

number of electrons exchanged

V

volume (m3)

Greek symbols

δ

thickness (m)

τ

time (s)

ω

angular rotation rate (rad s−1)

Indices and abbreviations

0

bulk concentration

1, 2

reservoir number

\(c_{\rm MeOH}^\tau\)

function of the bulk methanol concentration

τ

time

ads

adsorption

comp

composite

CP

conducting polymer

dif

diffusional

EQCN

electrochemical quartz crystal nanobalance

ext

extrapolated

film

polymer film

GC

glassy carbon

GDL

gas diffusion layer

kin

reaction kinetics

MeOH

methanol

Naf

Nafion® membrane

PAni

polyaniline film

PPy

polypyrrole film

RDE

rotating disc electrode

synth

synthesis

Notes

Acknowledgements

Financial support of this research by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic under projects Nos.: 104/05/P563 and 106/04/1279 is gratefully acknowledged.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Bouzek
    • 1
  • P. Holzhauser
    • 1
  • R. Kodym
    • 1
  • S. Moravcova
    • 1
  • M. Paidar
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Inorganic TechnologyInstitute of Chemical Technology PraguePrague 6Czech Republic

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