Indexed on: 13 Mar '17Published on: 04 Feb '17Published in: Applied Surface Science
The aim of this work was to improve proton exchange membranes (PEMs) used in direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). A membrane with a high proton conductivity and low methanol permeability was required. Zeolite filler in Nafion (NF matrix) composite membranes were prepared using two types of zeolite, mordenite (MOR) and analcime (ANA). Spray method was used to prepare the composite membranes, and properties of the membranes were investigated: mechanical properties, solubility, water and methanol uptake, ion-exchange capacity (IEC), proton conductivity, methanol permeability, and DMFC performance. It was found that MOR filler showed higher performance than ANA. The MOR/Nafion composite membrane gave better properties than ANA/Nafion composite membrane, including a higher proton conductivity and a methanol permeability that was 2–3 times lower. The highest DMFC performance (10.75 mW cm−2) was obtained at 70 °C and with 2 M methanol, with a value 1.5 times higher than that of ANA/Nafion composite membrane and two times higher than that of commercial Nafion 117 (NF 117).