Development of a PES-zeolite fuel cell humidification membrane and humidification membrane analysis system




Borduin, Russell James

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The purpose of this study is to develop PES-zeolite mixed matrix membranes for use in fuel cell humidification and to study their water permeability as well as physical and thermal properties. A solvent casting process was used to develop the initial PES zeolite mixed matrix membranes (MMM), followed by solid state foaming to alter their morphology and create a porous microstructure. The effects of zeolite weight loading and solid state foaming duration on membrane water permeability were investigated. The best performing films achieved water permeation measurements close to that of Nafion. Next, an extrusion and hot pressing process was developed to replace solvent casting and create PES-zeolite MMM with improved zeolite dispersion. The extruded films were then solid state foamed. The effects of zeolite weight loading and foaming on water permeability, mechanical properties and thermal properties were investigated. Improved zeolite dispersion allowed the extruded films to achieve excellent permeation performance with improved tensile strength. Dynamic mechanical analysis revealed the PES-zeolite membranes have a higher glass transition temperature and storage modulus than Nafion, making them more suited to for use in high temperature fuel cell operation. Finally, a rapid membrane measurement system was developed and modeled to aid in evaluation of small size (<2 cm²) membrane materials.


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