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International Journal of Chemical Engineering
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 512803, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/512803
Research Article

Performance of a 1 kW Class Nafion-PTFE Composite Membrane Fuel Cell Stack

Centre For Fuel Cell Technology, ARC-International, IIT M Research Park, Phase I, 2nd Floor, No. 6, Kanagam Road, Taramani, Chennai 600113, India

Received 29 February 2012; Revised 16 May 2012; Accepted 19 May 2012

Academic Editor: Yoshinobu Tanaka

Copyright © 2012 Pattabiraman Krishnamurthy et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Composite membranes have been prepared by impregnation of Nafion into the expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (EPTFE) matrix. Nafion loading in the composite membranes was kept constant at 2 mg/cm2. The lower amount of electrolyte per unit area in the composite membranes offers cost advantages compared to conventional membrane of 50 μm thickness with an electrolyte loading of ~9 mg/cm2. Composite membranes (30 μm thickness) were found to have higher thermal stability and mechanical strength compared to the conventional membranes (50 μm thickness). The performance of the membrane electrode assembly made with these composite membranes was comparable to that of the conventional membranes. Single cells fabricated from these MEAs were tested for their performance and durability before scaling them up for large area. The performance of a 20-cell stack of active area 330 cm2 fabricated using these membranes is reported.