Proton- Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) Essay

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A H2/O2 proton−exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is a clean, sustainable energy source and suitable for the operation of small electronic device [1]. Among many problems that still exist for PEMFC, the sluggish reactions at the cathode electrode and poor mass transport of protons and electron decrease the fuel cell performance by increasing the activation overvoltage, or activation loss [2]. This problem can, however, be solved by raising the fuel-cell operating temperature [3], but only up to a certain temperature before the deformation or degradatation of polymeric components occurs. Thus, the reduction in the activation overvoltage for low-temperature fuel cell operation is still necessary when the PEMFC components are made of …show more content…

Epichlorohydrin is suitable to be used as a crosslinking agent for crosslinking chitosan as it only reacts with the hydroxyl groups of chitosan, leaving the primary amine groups free to bind with protons or water molecules (both of which contribute to the proton mitigation). However, many questions have not been answered in the previous report [7]. The current study thus focuses on the effects of the operating temperature and relative humidity (RH) on performances of H2/O2 PEM fuel cells, which are assembled with Pt/C which have previously been treated by using various epichlorohydrin amounts. In addition, the thermal stability, morphology, and stability of the treated Pt/C are examined and compared with the untreated Pt/C under the same test conditions. 2. Experimental 2.1. Materials Platinum, HiSPEC 4000, nominally 40% on carbon black, was acquired from Alfa Aesar. Chitosan (Mn ~ 20k, 85% deacetylation, PDI ~ 4) was from Ta Ming Enterprises Co., Ltd., Thailand. Epichlorohydrin (Acros Organics), acetic acid (Sigma-Aldrich), and sodium hydroxide (MERCK) were used as received. Gas diffusion layers (GDL Sigracet GDL 10BB, 420 µm) were purchased from SGL Carbon Group, whereas the 5 wt.% Nafion solution and NR-212 Nafion membrane were from Aldrich and Ion Power, respectively. All other chemicals of analytical grade were used as supplied. 2.2. Entrapment of Pt/C in covalently crosslinked chitosan The procedure was slightly adapted from literature

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