Nafion/zirconium phosphate composite membranes for PEMFC operating at up to 120°C and down to 13% RH

Elena Chalkova, Mark V. Fedkin, Sridhar Komarneni, Serguei N. Lvov

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38 Scopus citations


Nafion/zirconium phosphate (ZP) composite membranes of different structures containing in situ precipitated ZP, crystalline layer-structured α-zirconium hydrogen phosphate α-Zr (HPO4) 2 H2 O (α-ZPL), and three-dimensional-network zirconium hydrogen phosphate H3 OZr2 (PO4) 3 (ZPTD) were synthesized. The ZP materials used have different structure and surface properties (specific surface area, zeta potential, and particle morphology). The composite membranes were studied in an H2 O2 proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) over a range of relative humidity (RH) from 13 to 50% at temperatures of 80 and 120°C. At the operating temperature of 120°C, all studied composite membranes demonstrated significant improvement in performance under dehydrating conditions compared to unmodified Nafion membranes. Among the tested membranes, the Nafion/α-ZPL composite membrane demonstrated the highest performance at 120°C at all RH values, especially at 13% RH. At 26 and 50% RH, the performance of Nafion/α-ZPL and Nafion/19% ZP in situ membranes were close, and the performance of the Nafion/ZPTD membrane was the lowest. The effects of filled polymer pore constriction, scaffold formation, membrane structure, and surface properties of the ZP particles on the membrane performance in PEMFCs are discussed in the paper.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)B288-B295
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 19 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrochemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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