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Cell performance of direct methanol alkaline fuel cell (DMAFC) using anion exchange membranes prepared from PVA-Based block copolymer

Higa, Mitsuru, Mehdizadeh, Soroush, Feng, Shiyan, Endo, Nobutaka, Kakihana, Yuriko
Journal of membrane science 2020 v.597 pp. 117618
anion-exchange membranes, composite polymers, crosslinking, electrolytes, fuel cells, glutaraldehyde, methanol, polyvinyl alcohol
Direct methanol alkaline fuel cells (DMAFCs) with anion exchange membranes (AEMs) have the potential to address many of the problems faced by their acidic counterparts made with proton exchange membranes. Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) is a candidate material for polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMs) for DMAFCs due to its excellent methanol barrier properties. In this study, PVA-based PEMs for a DMAFC process were prepared from PVA-based block copolymers with varying glutaraldehyde (GA) cross-linker concentrations. The properties and DMAFC performance of the PVA-block type PEMs at various concentrations of methanol were measured and compared with a commercially available AEM, Neosepta® AMX.A single cell DMAFC test using the PEM cross-linked with 0.01 vol% GA and AMX produced the maximum power of 99.6 mW/cm² and 15.2 mW/cm², respectively. When the methanol concentration was increased to 10 wt%, the PEM produced 94.8 mW/cm², while AMX produced significantly less power at 7.7 mW/cm² under the same conditions. Even at the high methanol concentration of 30 wt%, the PEM produced 42.2 mW/cm², while AMX did not generate any power under the same conditions.