Functionalized mesoporous materials as new class high temperature proton exchange membranes for fuel cells
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One of the key components in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) system is the proton exchange membrane (PEM). PEM not only needs to be highly stable in harsh chemical and physical environment in fuel cells, but also preferably possesses the high proton conductivity at elevated temperature and low humidity conditions to increase the efficiency and simplify the PEMFC power systems. In this paper, the research activity and progresses in the development of heteropolyacids (HPAs) functionalized mesoporous silica as new PEMs for fuel cells are briefly reviewed. HPAs such as H3PW12O40 or HPW immobilized within the mesoporous silica are highly effective proton transfer carrier. The progresses made so far in this field demonstrate the promising potential of functionalize mesoporous silica nanocomposites in the development of new PEMs for fuel cells operated at high temperatures (~200 °C) and reduced humidity conditions.
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