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Promising Aquivion Composite Membranes based on Fluoroalkyl Zirconium Phosphate for Fuel Cell Applications

Authors

  • Dr. Anna Donnadio,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemistry, Biology and Biotechnologies, University of Perugia, Via Elce di Sotto 8, 06123 Perugia (Italy), Fax: (+39) 0755855566
    • Department of Chemistry, Biology and Biotechnologies, University of Perugia, Via Elce di Sotto 8, 06123 Perugia (Italy), Fax: (+39) 0755855566===

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  • Dr. Monica Pica,

    1. Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Perugia via Fabretti 48, 06123 Perugia (Italy)
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  • Dr. Surya Subianto,

    1. Institute Charles Gerhardt, Agrégats, Interfaces et Matériaux pour l'Energie, UMR CNRS 5253, Université Montpellier 2, Place Eugène Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier cédex 5 (France)
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  • Dr. Deborah J. Jones,

    1. Institute Charles Gerhardt, Agrégats, Interfaces et Matériaux pour l'Energie, UMR CNRS 5253, Université Montpellier 2, Place Eugène Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier cédex 5 (France)
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  • Dr. Paula Cojocaru,

    1. Solvay Specialty Polymers, Viale Lombardia, 20, 20021 Bollate (MI) (Italy)
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  • Prof. Mario Casciola

    1. Department of Chemistry, Biology and Biotechnologies, University of Perugia, Via Elce di Sotto 8, 06123 Perugia (Italy), Fax: (+39) 0755855566
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Abstract

Layered zirconium phosphate (ZP) that bears fluorinated alkyl chains bonded covalently to the layers (ZPR) was used as a nanofiller in membranes based on a short-side-chain perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) to mechanically reinforce the PFSA hydrophobic component. Compared to the pristine PFSA, membranes with a ZPR loading up to 30 wt % show enhanced mechanical properties, and the largest improvement of elastic modulus (E) and yield stress (σY) are observed for the 10 wt % ZPR membrane: ΔE/E up to 90 % and ΔσY/σY up 70 % at 70 °C and 80 % relative humidity (RH). In the RH range 50–95 %, the in-plane conductivity of the composite membranes reaches 0.43 S cm−1 for 10 wt % ZPR at 110 °C and is on average 30 % higher than the conductivity of the pristine PFSA. The 10 wt % ZPR membrane is as hydrated as the neat PFSA membrane at 50 % RH but becomes progressively less hydrated with increasing RH both at 80 and 110 °C. The fuel cell performance of this membrane, at 80 °C and 30 % RH, is better than that of the unmodified PFSA.

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