Title: Fabrication and performance of an agar-aerogel composite membrane for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

Authors: Yong-Sun Park; Yeong-Ju Choe; Kyoung-Jin Lee; Keun-Young Yoon; Hae-Jin Hwang

Addresses: Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Inha University, 100, Inha-ro, Nam-gu, Incheon, South Korea ' Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Inha University, 100, Inha-ro, Nam-gu, Incheon, South Korea ' Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Inha University, 100, Inha-ro, Nam-gu, Incheon, South Korea ' Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Inha University, 100, Inha-ro, Nam-gu, Incheon, South Korea ' Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Inha University, 100, Inha-ro, Nam-gu, Incheon, South Korea

Abstract: In this study, we proposed a new type of proton conducting polymer membrane based on agar and polyethylene oxide (PEO) containing silica aerogel. Stable silica aerogel slurry was prepared from agar/PEO aqueous solutions with ethanol, and the composite membrane was fabricated by standard gel casting. The obtained agar/PEO composite membranes were translucent and exhibited a very smooth surface. From cross-sectional SEM observations, silica aerogel particles were found to be homogeneously distributed in the agar/PEO matrix. The ionic conductivity of the composite membranes was estimated to be approximately 1 × 10-3 S cm-1 at room temperature, and it was further improved by thermal treatment at 150°C and surface modification in a hexamethyldisilazane (HMDS)/n-hexane solution.

Keywords: agar; silica aerogel; composite membrane; proton conductivity; PEMFC; polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell.

DOI: 10.1504/IJNT.2018.096347

International Journal of Nanotechnology, 2018 Vol.15 No.6/7, pp.568 - 577

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 21 Nov 2018 *

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