Direct methanol fuel cell performance of Nafiono((R))/poly(vinyl alcohol) blend membranes Academic Article uri icon


  • In this study, the direct methanol fuel cell performance of Nafion/poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) blend membranes at 5, 10, and 20 wt% PVA (annealed at 230 C) was investigated at various methanol feed concentrations (2, 4, 8, and 16 M) and compared to the performance of Nafion 117 at similar membrane thicknesses and fuel cell conditions. For Nafion 117, the maximum power density decreased three-fold when the methanol feed concentration increased from 2 to 16 M. The Nafion/PVA (5 wt% PVA) blend membrane reveals a similar trend, however the decrease in power is only 26% compared to 47% when methanol concentration is increased from 2 to 8 M. Furthermore, the maximum power density of the blend membrane (5 wt% PVA) is higher than Nafion 117 at 2, 4, and 8 M methanol feed concentrations, while the maximum power density at 16 M is comparable between the two membranes. Specifically, at 8 M methanol, the maximum power density of the blend at 5 wt% PVA is 33% higher than Nafion 117. Blend membranes at higher PVA concentrations are noticeably lower in performance compared to Nafion 117. Overall, fuel cell performance trends match observed transport property (proton conductivity and methanol permeability) trends. 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • DeLuca, N. W., & Elabd, Y. A.

citation count

  • 63

complete list of authors

  • DeLuca, Nicholas W||Elabd, Yossef A

publication date

  • December 2006