Encyclopedia of Membranes

2016 Edition
| Editors: Enrico Drioli, Lidietta Giorno

Fuel Cell Membrane

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-44324-8_255

Low-temperature fuel cells can be equipped with a proton or anion exchange membrane in alternative to liquid electrolytes (Aricò et al. 2001). The core of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEMFC) is the ion exchange membrane. The electrodes (anode and cathode) are in intimate contact with the membrane faces. The membrane determines the fuel cell resistance and the fuel permeation rate, and it influences the reaction rate. It is well known that the use of non-noble metal catalysts is possible in the presence of alkaline electrolytes. Proton-conducting electrolytes have been preferred to alkaline electrolytes for several decades for practical reasons, e.g., to avoid carbonation. The standard electrolyte membrane is usually a perfluorosulfonic acid membrane such as Nafion. Most of the electrolytes alternative to Nafion both proton conducting and alkaline type, e.g., hydrocarbon type, are significantly cheaper, and, in some cases, they are also characterized by smaller hydrogen and...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Aricò AS, Cretì P, Antonucci PL, Antonucci V (1998) Comparison of ethanol and methanol oxidation in a liquid-feed solid polymer electrolyte fuel cell at high temperature. Electrochem Solid-State Lett 1:66–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arico AS, Srinivasan S, Antonucci V (2001) Fuel Cells 1:133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aricò AS, Baglio V, Di Blasi A, Creti P, Antonucci PL, Antonucci V (2003) Influence of the acid–base characteristics of inorganic fillers on the high temperature performance of composite membranes in direct methanol fuel cells. Solid State Ionics 161:251–265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ren X, Wilson MS, Gottesfeld S (1996) High performance direct methanol polymer electrolyte fuel cells. J Electrochem Soc 143:L12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Wang J, Wasmus S, Savinell RF (1995) Evaluation of Ethanol, 1-Propanol, and 2-Propanol in a Direct Oxidation Polymer-Electrolyte Fuel Cell. J Electrochem Soc 142:4218CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Watanabe M, Uchida H, Seki Y, Emori M, Stonehart P (1996) Self-humidifying polymer electrolyte membranes for fuel cells. J Electrochem Soc 143:3847CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CNR-ITAE InstituteMessinaItaly