Characterization of Anion Exchange Ionomers in Hybrid Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells

Authors

  • Dr. Murat Ünlü,

    1. School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0100 (USA), Fax: (+1) 404-894-2866
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  • Dr. Junfeng Zhou,

    1. School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0100 (USA), Fax: (+1) 404-894-2866
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  • Irene Anestis-Richard,

    1. School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0100 (USA), Fax: (+1) 404-894-2866
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  • Prof. Paul A. Kohl

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0100 (USA), Fax: (+1) 404-894-2866
    • School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0100 (USA), Fax: (+1) 404-894-2866
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Abstract

Anion exchange ionomers (AEI) synthesized here were characterized by use of a novel fuel cell configuration. The new analysis method involves assembling the AEI electrode of interest as the cathode in a hybrid, acid/alkaline, fuel cell configuration. The hybrid cell includes a conventional proton conducting anode/membrane half-cell along with the anionic conductor of interest at the cathode. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and voltammetry were used to evaluate the performance of the hybrid AEI-containing fuel cell with H2 and O2. In particular, the AEI electrode response in impedance spectroscopy was easily identified because the contributions from other components are largely minimized in the presented hybrid cell configuration. The properties of ionomers used in the AEI electrode were shown to have a substantial effect on the electrode performance. Low catalyst utilization, due to high water uptake and low conductivity, was identified as the major causes of poor performance in AEI electrodes.

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