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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 717913, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/717913
Research Article

Nafion Titania Nanotubes Nanocomposite Electrolytes for High-Temperature Direct Methanol Fuel Cells

1Department of Electrical Engineering, Centre for Energy and Electric Power, Tshwane University of Technology, Staartelitelite Road, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
2DST/CSIR Nanotechnology Innovation Centre, National Centre for Nano-Structured Materials, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, 1-Meiring Naude Road, Brummeria, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
3Advanced Materials Division, DST/Mintek Nanotechnology Innovation Centre, Mintek, Private Bag X3015, Randburg, Johannesburg 2125, South Africa

Received 10 November 2011; Revised 15 May 2012; Accepted 22 May 2012

Academic Editor: Mauro Coelho dos Santos

Copyright © 2012 Nonhlanhla Precious Cele 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

Nafion-based nanocomposite membranes containing various amounts of titania nanotubes (TNTs) as an inorganic filler have been prepared using melt-mixing method and have been investigated for proton exchange membrane applications. The one-dimensional TNTs have been prepared from potassium hydroxide using hydrothermal route and conventional heating. Nafion R1100 in a protonated form was used, and TNT contents were in a range of 0.5–2.0 wt%. The acid-treated composite membranes, at lowest inorganic additive content, exhibited improved properties in terms of thermal stability and methanol (MeOH) permeability. The best performing nanocomposite was the membrane containing only 0.5 wt% TNTs showing ionic conductivity value of 7.2×10-2S·cm-1 at 26°C and 100% of relative humidity.