Current Scenario of Nanocomposite Materials for Fuel Cell Applications

  • Raveendra M. Hegde
  • Mahaveer D. KurkuriEmail author
  • Madhuprasad KiggaEmail author


Integration of hybrid nanocomposite materials in a fuel cell (FC) provides excellent improved properties such as proton conductivity, membrane stability. Similarly, the synergetic effect of materials used in nanocomposite membranes gives better water retention property, suppression of fuel crossover with reduced cost of operation. Currently available composite materials comprising of various metals, metal oxides, carbon materials and polymers display their superior properties in fuel cell applications. However, composite membranes have drawbacks such as CO poisoning, poor water retention capacity, and fuel crossover due to the less chemical and thermal stabilities. Recently, a tremendous advancement in various nanocomposite membranes led to superior properties in terms of high membrane stability, proton conductivity, suppression of fuel crossover, less CO poisoning. In this chapter, the recent developments in FC nanocomposite technology are systematically summarized. Furthermore, the advantages of the insertion of hybrid, clean, cheap and new variety of nanomaterials such as carbon nanotubes, graphene, chitosan and organic fillers in FC are neatly explained.


Nanocomposites Fuel cells Oxygen reduction reactions Proton exchange Fuel crossover 

List of Abbreviations


Alkaline fuel cell


Carbon nanotubes


Cyclic voltammetry


Density functional theory


Direct methanol fuel cell


Fuel cell


Gas diffusion layers


Ion exchange capacity


Molten carbonate fuel cell


Membrane electrode assembly


Multi-walled carbon nanotubes


Oxygen reduction reaction


Phosphoric acid fuel cell


Proton exchange membrane


Plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition


Poly (ether ether ketone)


Proton exchange membrane fuel cell


Relative humidity


Solid oxide fuel cell


Sulfonated poly (ether ether ketone)


Single-walled carbon nanotubes




Polyvinyl alcohol


X-ray diffraction



The authors acknowledge the financial support from DST Nanomission, India (SR/NM/NS-20/2014), DST, India (DST-TM-WTI-2K14-213) and SERB-DST, India (YSS/2015/000013) for financial support. We also thank Jain University, India for providing facilities.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Nano and Material Sciences, Jain UniversityBengaluruIndia

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