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Title: Proton electrolyte membranes with hybrid matrix structures for assembling fuel cells
Keywords: Proton electrolyte membrane, fuel cell, proton conducting channel, Nafion, polybenzimidazole, nanoparticle
Issue Date: 27-Aug-2008
Citation: ZHANG XINHUI (2008-08-27). Proton electrolyte membranes with hybrid matrix structures for assembling fuel cells. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This PhD thesis research focuses on the development of the high-performance proton exchange (electrolyte) membranes (PEMs) for the application specifically in both the high-temperature (150-200oC) H2 fuel cell and in the direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC). The following five systems were investigated: (1) interfacial behaviors of densely anchored hydrophilic oligomeric chains on silica microspheres; (2) incorporation of hairy-silica nano-particles into Nafion matrix to trigger a reforming of proton-conducting network; (3) in-situ formation of polyPOSS (polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane) nano-blocks in NafionB. matrix to largely boost the performance of PEM in DMFC ; (4) restructuring proton conducting channels by embedding starburst poss-g-acrylonitrile oligomer in NafionB. membrane to achieve a higher proton flux; and (5) reinforcing H3PO4-polybenzimidazole (PBI) gel membrane via forming an interpenetrating network between PBI and an alkyd resin. Construction of composite matrix structures that confer unusual hydrophilic channels and/or augment methanol resistivity is the main theme of this PhD research project. As a result, four types of composite structures were coined respectively. A series of pertinent structural characterizations of the composite membranes was carried out, and more importantly, these membranes demonstrate obviously superior fuel cell performance over their respective host membranes. The mechanisms that sustain the revamping effects were carefully evaluated for the different membrane systems.
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