Inorganic Oxide Supported Biomimetic Membranes with Ion Channels for DMFC Application
Methanol crossover of commercial Nafion membranes is a major issue that results in lowering of the efficiency of direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). A biomimetic approach for the membrane design using either proton conducting nanochannels and/or nanothin barrier layer can produce DMFC membranes with highly selective and fast proton transfer. In the Phase I project, Lynntech demonstrated the feasibility of both proton nanochannel and nanothin biomimetic barrier layer approaches for producing DMFC membrane with ~ 14 fold lower methanol crossover compared to Nafion membranes. Performance and mechanical stability of DMFC membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) with 15 M methanol were also demonstrated. In the Phase II project, Lynntech in collaboration with Prof. Giannelis from Cornell University proposes to optimize the performance of the biomimetic membranes and fabricate and design prototype DMFC stacks and systems with high energy density. The improved membranes have the potential to provide DMFC systems with energy densities as high as 1500 Wh/kg which is significantly better than state-of-the art systems.
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