PTFE-based solid polymer electrolyte membrane for high-temperature fuel cell applications

S. Reichman*, A. Ulus, E. Peled

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The demand for a solid polymer electrolyte membrane for fuel-cell systems, capable of withstanding temperatures above 130°C, has prompted this study. A low-cost, highly conductive, nanoporous proton-conducting membrane, based on a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) backbone has been developed. It comprises a nonconductive nano-size ceramic powder, PTFE matrix, and an aqueous acid. Impregnation of the ceramic powder into the PTFE matrix was carried out using sol-gel synthesis. The preparation procedures were studied and the membrane was characterized. This membrane demonstrated promising properties of high thermal stability (up to 300°C), pressure-retention difference up to 2.2 bars, room-temperature conductivity up to 0.11 S cm-1 (10-15% (w/w) Si O2, 3 M H2 S O4), a hydrophilic/hydrophobic pore ratio of 1:1 and very high water flow at low pressure. A nonoptimized direct-methanol fuel cell with a 137 μm thick membrane was assembled and tested. It produced 133 mW cm-2 at 80°C, 0.05 bars (g) dry air, 1.9 stoich (air), and 198 mW cm-2 at 110°C, 2.2 bars (g) dry air, 1.9 stoich (air).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)B327-B333
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2007


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