You are on page 1of 8

November 14, 2001

NSF Workshop on Engineering Fundamentals of Low Temperature PEM Fuel Cells
Washington DC

Preparation of High Temperature
Composite Membranes and Membrane
Electrode Assemblies for Hydrogen
Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells
H. Russell Kunz and James M. Fenton
University of Connecticut

Leonard J. Bonville
IONOMEM Corp.
PEMFCs above 100 oC and ambient pressure
Advantages:
• Improved CO-tolerance  reduce fuel processing requirement
• Accelerated reaction kinetics  high performance
• Easier water management  simplify system design
• Recovery of waste heat  higher overall energy efficiency
• Easier heat rejection  higher driving force for heat transfer

Disadvantages:
• Dehydration of membrane electrolyte for operation at 1 atm
pressure  higher ionic resistance
• Dry-out of the catalyst layer for operation at 1 atm pressure
 low catalyst utilization
11/13/2001 University of Connecticut Proprietary Information 2
Work in Progress at UConn/IONOMEM
• Optimization of MEAs • Scale-Up of MEAs
• Material Characterization • Performance Characterization
• Endurance Testing • Short Stack Development
Composite membrane (based on Nafion® and solid proton conductor)
—Nafion®-Teflon®-phosphotungstic acid (NTPA)
—Nafion®-Teflon®-zirconium hydrogen phosphate (NTZP)
—Nafion®-Zirconium hydrogen phosphate (NZP)
Catalyst layer:
—Optimize Proton Conduction
—Optimize Mass Transfer
Diffusion layer:
—Enhance Gas Transfer
—Optimize Hydrophilic/Hydrophobic Regions
11/13/2001 University of Connecticut Proprietary Information 3
Performance and Resistance of MEAs at 120 oC Using Hydrogen/Air
anode and cathode humidifier temperature: 90 oC;
anode: 3.4 stoich; cathode: 4 stoich
1.0 o 1.0
SOA Performance (Humidifier at 80 C)
o
SOA Resistance (Humidifier at 80 C)
0.9 UConn/IONOMEM NTPA Performance 0.9
UConn/IONOMEM NTPA Resistance
0.8 UConn/IONOMEM NTZHP Performance 0.8

Resistance (Ohm-cm )
UConn/IONOMEM NTZHP Resistance

2
0.7 UConn/IONOMEM NTPA Performance Using UConn Substrates 0.7
UConn/IONOMEM NTPA Resistance Using UConn Substrates
Voltage (V)

0.6 0.6

0.5 0.5

0.4 0.4

0.3 0.3

0.2 0.2

0.1 0.1

0.0 0.0
0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000
2
Current Density (mA/cm )
11/13/2001 University of Connecticut Proprietary Information 4
NZP Membrane Cell Performance
with Different CO Concentrations at 120 oC
(1 atm; H2+CO saturated at 90 oC, Pt-Ru/C/membrane/Pt/C,O2 saturated at 85 oC)

1.0 1.0
pure H2
resistance with pure H2
H2+10.4 ppm CO
0.8 resistance with 10.4ppm CO 0.8
H2+52.4 ppm CO

Resistance (Ohm-cm )
resistance with 52.4 ppm CO

2
H2+104 ppm CO
Cell Voltage (V)

resistance with H2+104 ppm CO
0.6 H2+196ppm CO 0.6
resistance with H2+196ppm CO
H2+485ppm CO
resistance withH2+485ppm CO
0.4 0.4

0.2 0.2

0.0 0.0
0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200

Current density (mA/cm2)

11/13/2001 University of Connecticut Proprietary Information 5
Effect of Substrate on NZP MEA Performance at 70oC
under Non-humidified Conditions
Anode:1.3 stoich H2, Cathode:1.5 stoich air; Membrane:1mil NTZP membrane
UConn substrate:8.7mil; ETEK 2.11:14mil
1.0 1.0
Perf. with UConn substrate
Resistance with UConn substrate
Perf. with ETEK 2.11
0.8 Resistance with ETEK 2.11 0.8

Resistance(Ohm-cm2)
o
Perf. with fully hydrated Membrane (humidifier at 70 C)
Cell Voltage(V)

Resistance with fully hydrated Membrane (humidifier at 70 oC)
0.6 0.6

0.4 0.4

0.2 0.2

0.0 0.0
0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400

Current density(mA/cm2)

11/13/2001 University of Connecticut Proprietary Information 6
Summary
• NTPA, NTZP and NZP MEAs > 100 oC
higher ionic conductance
better performance
show CO tolerance
• NTPA and NTZP Membranes meet specific US DOE goals
above 100 oC
thickness (<3mil), resistance, low gas permeability, high
mechanical strength, good stability, good dimensional stability
• NTPA, NTZP and NZP MEAs enable PEMFCs to reach US DOE
building cogeneration goals
simplify natural gas processing, 35 % system efficiency, less
than 1.5 atm pressure, simple construction
11/13/2001 University of Connecticut Proprietary Information 7
UConn Research in PEM Fuel Cells
• Methanol Oxidation Electrocatalysts
• CO Tolerance Electrocatalysts
• Hydrogen Purification Process (recent NSF Funding)
• Low Methanol Crossover Membranes
• High Temperature Membranes
• Membranes Needing No External Humidification
• Selective Oxidation Catalysts
• Reversible PEM Fuel Cells
• Biomass and Landfill Gas Fuel Processing
• Design of PEM FC Powered Toys

11/13/2001 University of Connecticut Proprietary Information 8