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Using SiO2 Nanopowders in Anode Catalyst Layer to Improve the Performance of a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell at Low Humidity

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DOI: 10.4236/msce.2015.31011    2,809 Downloads   3,516 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

In this study, the transfer method is employed to add hydrophilic SiO2 nanopowders to a Pt/C catalyst ink to form an anode catalyst layer on a proton exchange membrane (PEM). The SiO2-layered membrane electrode assembly improves the performance of the PEM under low- or zero-humidification conditions. When the PEM fuel cell (PEMFC) undergoes electrochemical reaction, the moisture content of the PEM exhibits a substantial influence on the transmission of protons. To ensure the moisture content remains high, an external humidifier is typically employed to humidify the majority of PEMFCs. However, self-humidifying PEMFCs could utilize the water produced by the fuel cell reaction, thereby eliminating the need for an external humidifier. In this study, various SiO2 loadings were added to an anode catalyst layer, and the cell temperature and gas humidification conditions were adjusted to determine the influence of the SiO2 loadings on the fuel cell performance. The results show that adding SiO2 is preferable to not adding SiO2 when the fuel cell temperature is 50°C.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Lin, C. , Hsu, S. and Ho, W. (2015) Using SiO2 Nanopowders in Anode Catalyst Layer to Improve the Performance of a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell at Low Humidity. Journal of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering, 3, 72-79. doi: 10.4236/msce.2015.31011.

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