Heteropoly Acid Functionalized Membranes for High Performance and Chemically Stable Fuel Cell Operation

Guido Bender, Bryan Pivovar, Andrew Motz, Mei-Chen Kuo, Andrew Herring

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus Citations


Chemical degradation of perfluorinated sulfonic acid membranes, such as Nafion via radical attack represents one of the current challenges with fuel cell durability. Ce and Mn have been used to decompose radicals, but migration of these species results in loss of chemical stability efficacy. Herein we report on a recent breakthrough in chemical durability that has been achieved through using heteropoly acids (HPAs) as both the proton conducting acid and the radical decomposition catalyst. Exceptional chemical durability is reported for a thin film and a mechanism is proposed where the W atoms in the HPA reversibly change oxidation state from W(VI) to W(V) while decomposing radical species. It is concluded that covalently tethered HPA should be considered as a next generation chemical stabilization strategy for polymer electrolyte fuel cells.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)421-429
Number of pages9
JournalECS Transactions
Issue number13
StatePublished - 2018
EventSymposium on Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells and Electrolyzers 18, PEFC and E 2018 - AiMES 2018, ECS and SMEQ Joint International Meeting - Cancun, Mexico
Duration: 30 Sep 20184 Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by The Electrochemical Society. All rights reserved.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-73017


  • durability
  • fuel cells
  • heteropoly acids
  • HPA


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