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Zirconia based /Nafion coposite membranes for fuel cell applications

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dc.contributor.advisor Mokrani, Touhami
dc.contributor.advisor Moloto, Nosipho
dc.contributor.author Sigwadi, Rudzani
dc.date.accessioned 2015-07-14T09:51:25Z
dc.date.available 2015-07-14T09:51:25Z
dc.date.issued 2013-06
dc.identifier.citation Sigwadi, Rudzani (2013) Zirconia based /Nafion coposite membranes for fuel cell applications, University of South Africa, Pretoria, <http://hdl.handle.net/10500/18816> en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10500/18816
dc.description.abstract The nanoparticles of zirconium oxide, sulfated and phosphated zirconia were used to modify a Nafion membrane in order to improve its water retention, thermal stability, proton conductivity and methanol permeability so that it can be used at higher temperatures in fuel cell. These modified Nafion nanocomposite membrane with inorganic nanoparticles have been designed to run at operating temperatures between 120 oC and 140 oC because higher temperature operation reduces the impact of carbon monoxide poisoning, allows attainment of high power density and reduces cathode flooding as water is produced as vapor. The inorganic nanoparticles were incorporated within the Nafion matrix by recast, ion exchange and impregnation methods. The membrane properties were determined by ion exchange capacity (IEC), water uptake, methanol permeability and proton conductivity. The characterization of the inorganic nanoparticles within the nanocomposite membranes was determined by X-Ray diffraction (XRD), Brunau-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface area and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) for structural properties. Thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA) and Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) were used to determine the thermal properties, and the morphological properties were probed by Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and Scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Pristine ZrO2, sulfated and phosphated ZrO2 nanoparticles were synthesized successfully. The particle sizes ranged from 30 nm to 10 nm respectively. The resulted particles were incorporated to a Nafion membrane with good dispersity. The conductivity of the nanocomposite membrane were around 0.1037 S/cm at 25 oC with a higher water uptake of 42 %. These results were confirmed by the highest IEC value of 1.42 meg.g-1 of Nafion/ S-ZrO2 nanocomposites membrane. These high IEC value may due to the incorporation of superacid S-ZrO2 nanoparticles which increased the membrane acid property for providing new strong acid site. en
dc.format.extent 1 online resource (xiv, 136 leaves) : illustrations
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject.ddc 621.312429
dc.subject.lcsh Nanoparticles
dc.subject.lcsh Fuel cells
dc.subject.lcsh Chemistry, Inorganic
dc.subject.lcsh Zirconium oxide
dc.subject.lcsh Ion-permeable membranes
dc.title Zirconia based /Nafion coposite membranes for fuel cell applications en
dc.type Dissertation en
dc.description.department Chemical Engineering
dc.description.degree M. Tech. (Chemical Engineering)


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