1Department of Chemistry, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran
2Department of Chemistry, Naragh Branch, Islamic Azad University, Naragh, Iran
Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are electrochemical devices that show the highest power densities compared to the other type of fuel cell. In this work, nanocomposite membranes used for proton exchange membrane fuel cells as poly(vinyl alcohol)/La2Ce2O7 (PVA-LC) with the aim of increasing the water uptake and proton conductivity. Glutaraldehyde (GA) was used as cross linking agent of PVA matrix. PVA-LC nanocomposite membranes have been prepared with solutions casting method. The significant improvement has been achieved via the synergetic combination of organic and inorganic phases. Nanocomposite membranes were structurally, morphologically and electrochemically considered by FTIR, SEM and ELS, respectively. The results exhibited that the proton conductivity and the water uptake of the nanocomposite membranes were higher than that of the PVA membrane. PVA-LC nanocomposite membranes containing 4 wt.% of La2Ce2O7 nanoparticles displayed a high proton conductivity (0.019 S/cm). The highest peak power density of the PEMFC using PVA-LC nanocomposite membrane at ambient temperature was 19 mW/cm2. The proposed PVA-LC nanocomposite membranes appear to be a viable candidate for future PEMFCs applications.
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