Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) in Fuel Cells: A Review
The IUP Journal of Chemistry, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 51-81, March 2010
Posted: 26 Mar 2010
Date Written: March 22, 2010
The present compilation describes the Proton Exchange Membranes or Polymer Electrolyte Membranes (PEMs) that are both under development and commercialized for Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFCs). It also outlines the classification of various fuel cells and the proton exchange membranes through perfluorinated membranes, perfluorinated composite membranes, partially fluorinated membranes, non-fluorinated membranes and non-fluorinated composite membranes. Among all the classified membranes, the perfluorinated membranes are found to be having exceptional properties. The membranes which have been developed till date for commercial purposes, the perfluorinated membranes show complete ascendancy for DMFC, although each membrane has its own pros and cons. As no single membrane has emerged with the best qualities, this review illustrates the prospects of the currently known membranes for DMFC with respect to their characteristics and properties. The performances of the membranes are estimated based on their properties like thermal resistance, proton conductivity, methanol crossover, and the ability to retain in the fuel cell. This review highlights that hydrocarbon and composite membranes are found to be low cost membranes with low methanol crossover, high durability and their efficiency, which influence the fuel cell commercial market.
Keywords: Fuel cells, Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC), Electrochemical device, Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM), Proton conductivity
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