International Journal of Energy Research, Vol.44, No.8, 6223-6239, 2020
A review of quaternized polyvinyl alcohol as an alternative polymeric membrane in DMFCs and DEFCs
Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) and direct ethanol fuel cells (DEFCs) have emerged as alternative power generators for portable devices and household appliances because of their easy and fast production of electricity, as well as high energy conversion to provide high-power density. However, several critical factors limit the commercialization of DMFCs and DEFCs, particularly issues related to polymer electrolyte membranes, including the high-cost production of Nafion membranes and cell degradation caused by high fuel crossover and dehydration. This review paper provides an overview of the current status and challenges in quaternized polyvinyl alcohol (QPVA)-based membranes as an alternative polymer electrolyte membrane for DMFCs and DEFCs. The main advantages of using QPVA-based membranes in fuel cells are reduced cost production of membrane, fuel-crossover minimization, and competitive conductivity with Nafion membrane. The effects of modifying the QPVA-based membrane, especially on conductivity properties, fuel crossover, uptake condition, mechanical, thermal, and chemical properties, and single-cell performance are comprehensively discussed. The best performances of DMFCs and DEFCs with utilizing QPVA-based membrane are reported as 272 and 144 mW cm(-2), respectively. This paper is the first to highlight the current status and challenges of QPVA-based membranes for DMFCs and DEFCs applications.