Porous lanthanum titanium oxide nanostructure composite membrane to enhance the power output and chemical durability of low-humidifying polymer electrolyte fuel cells: impact of additive morphology

Hyeonjin You, Mohanraj Vinothkannan, Sangaraju Shanmugam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Tuning the morphologies for improving the properties of the additive materials receives immense attention during the fabrication of proton-exchange membranes for fuel cells. This study reports the synthesis of lanthanum titanium oxide (LTO) nanostructures with different morphologies (cube, spherical, and tubular) via the pyrolysis of nanofibers containing metal precursors. A mixed matrix membrane is fabricated by incorporating LTO cubes (LTO-C), LTO spheres (LTO-S), or LTO tubes (LTO-T) into a Nafion matrix, with improved physicochemical, thermomechanical, and electrochemical properties compared to those of the unmodified Nafion and Nafion-212 membranes. We investigate the effect of LTO morphology on the performance of the Nafion membranes in low-humidity polymer electrolyte fuel cells (LH-PEFCs). The water retention and diffusion behavior of LTO-T nanostructures improve the proton conductivity and LH-PEFC performance of the Nafion composite membranes. The coexistence of La3+ and Ti4+ affords efficient radical scavenging during long-term LH-PEFC operation, which realizes higher durability for the composite membranes compared to Nafion. Accordingly, this study proposes a novel strategy to resolve the major challenges associated with the operation of LH-PEFCs with Nafion membranes: dehumidification and oxidative degradation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101634
Number of pages11
JournalMaterials Today Chemistry
Volume32
Early online date18 Jul 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd

Funder

This research was supported by the Mid-level Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Ministry of Education (No. 2021R1A2C2009223 ) and the next-generation energy material source technology (23-ET-08). Also, part of this research work was supported by the "2023 Joint Research Project of Institutes of Science and Technology".

Keywords

  • Durability
  • Low relative humidity
  • Morphology
  • Nafion
  • Polymer electrolyte fuel cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry

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