Composite Poly(norbornene) Anion Conducting Membranes for Achieving Durability, Water Management and High Power (3.4 W/cm2) in Hydrogen/Oxygen Alkaline Fuel Cells

Chingching Neyerlin, Bryan Pivovar, Garrett Huang, Mrinmay Mandal, Xiong Peng, William Mustain, Paul Kohl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

172 Scopus Citations

Abstract

Alkaline fuel cells and electrolyzers are of interest because they have potential advantages over their acid counterparts. High-conductivity anion conducting membranes were analyzed and used in alkaline hydrogen/oxygen fuel cells. The membranes were composed of reinforced block copolymers of poly(norbornenes) with pendant quaternary ammonium head-groups. It was found that membranes with light cross-linking provided excellent mechanical stability and allowed very high ion exchange capacity polymers to be used without penalty of excessive water uptake and swelling. The optimum membrane and fuel cell operating conditions were able to achieve a peak power density of 3.4 W/cm2 using hydrogen and oxygen. The performance increase was greater than expected from minimizing ohmic losses. Mechanical deformations within the membrane due to excess water uptake can disrupt full cell operation. Cells were also run for over 500 h under load with no change in the membrane resistance and minimal loss of operating voltage.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)F637-F644
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Volume166
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-74566

Keywords

  • alkaline
  • fuel cells

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