International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol.32, No.7, 903-907, 2007
Methanol crossover through PtRu/Nafion composite membrane for a direct methanol fuel cell
This study examined methanol crossover through PtRu/Nafion composite membranes for the direct methanol fuel cell. For this purpose, 0.03, 0.05 and 0.10 wt% PtRu/Nafion composite membranes were fabricated using a solution impregnation method. The composite membrane was characterized by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectroscopy and thermo-gravimetric analysis. The methanol permeability and proton conductivity of the composite membranes were measured by gas chromatography and impedance spectroscopy, respectively. In addition, the composite membrane performance was evaluated using a single cell test. The proton conductivity of the composite membrane decreased with increasing number of PtRu particles embedded in the pure Nafion membrane, while the level of methanol permeation was retarded. From the results of the single cell test, the maximum performance of the composite membrane was approximately 27% and 31% higher than that of the pure Nafion membrane at an operating temperature of 30 and 45 degrees C, respectively. The optimum loading of PtRu was determined to be 0.05 wt% PtRu/Nafion composite membrane. The PtRu particles embedded in the Nation membrane act as a barrier against methanol crossover by the chemical oxidation of methanol on embedded PtRu particles and by reducing the proton conduction pathway. (c) 2007 International Association for Hydrogen Energy. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.