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Keywords:

  • proton exchange membrane;
  • polybenzimidazole;
  • phosphoric acid-impregnated PBI membranes;
  • high-temperature PEM fuel cells

Proton exchange membrane fuel cells are one of the most promising technologies for sustainable power generation in the future. In particular, high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells (HT-PEMFCs) offer several advantages such as increased kinetics, reduced catalyst poisoning and better heat management. One of the essential components of a HT-PEMFC is the proton exchange membrane, which has to possess good proton conductivity as well as stability and durability at the required operating temperatures. Amongst the various membrane candidates, phosphoric acid-impregnated polybenzimidazole-type polymer membranes (PBI/PA) are considered the most mature and some of the most promising, providing the necessary characteristics for good performance in HT-PEMFCs. This review aims to examine the recent advances made in the understanding and fabrication of PBI/PA membranes, and offers a perspective on the future and prospects of deployment of this technology in the fuel cell market. © 2014 Society of Chemical Industry