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Title: Composite proton exchange membranes for intermediate temperature fuel cells
Author: Hattenberger, Mariska
ISNI:       0000 0004 5351 0493
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2015
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Intermediate temperature (IT) proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) offer a future that does not rely on the burning of fossil fuels, but dictate durable and high performance component materials. At operating conditions of 120 °C and 50 % relative humidity (RH), composite proton exchange membranes (PEMs) offer increased performance due to enhanced water uptake and retention resulting from the hydrophilic filler material. This project aimed to relate measured data for composite PEMs with literature data on Nafion-graphene oxide (GO) PEMs. In order to achieve this, the membrane casting method was optimised and GO was synthesised in-house. A range of membranes were tested using a calibrated and optimised high temperature test stand. In-situ and ex-situ testing was carried out between 80°C and 120°C, and between 25 and 95 % RH. In contrast with some published data, this study found inconsistent trends between water uptake, ion exchange capacity, membrane resistance and single cell performance. Overall it was found that recast and composite membranes had higher in-plane resistance than Nafion 212, but that composite membranes with low filler loading had comparable in-situ performance to the commercial membrane. Further single cell optimisation is likely to result in further advances for composite PEMs.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) ; Tata Motors European Technical Centre
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering ; TP Chemical technology