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Effect of Electrospun Titanium Oxide Nanofibers on the Performance of the Gas Diffusion Electrode and Catalyst Coated Membrane of a Self-Humidifying Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

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This study developed a self-humidifying membrane electrode assembly (MEA) in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell to simplify the requirement for external gas humidification of the fuel cell system. An electrospinning technique was used to synthesise the hydrophilic titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanofibers. The synthesised nanofibers were used in catalyst layers of anodes to absorb the water diffusing from the cell cathodes. Two processes were used to prepare the self-humidifying MEA. First, TiO2-loaded Pt/C catalyst ink was directly coated onto the gas diffusion layer to form a gas diffusion electrode. Second, a transfer method was used to fabricate a catalyst-coated membrane. Scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and a water contact angle test were used to characterise the TiO2 nanofibers and catalyst layer. Anatase TiO2 nanofibers with diameters of approximately 25 nm were successfully synthesised. The IV performance test results show that adding electrospun TiO2 nanofibers improves fuel cell performance under low- or zero-humidification conditions at a fuel cell temperature of 50 °C.
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Document Type: Short Communication

Publication date: November 1, 2015

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  • Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Letters (NNL) is a multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal consolidating nanoscale research activities in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine into a single and unique reference source. NNL provides the means for scientists, engineers, medical experts and technocrats to publish original short research articles as communications/letters of important new scientific and technological findings, encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of the physical sciences, engineering and medicine.
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