Approaches and technical challenges to high temperature operation of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

C. Yang, P. Costamagna, S. Srinivasan, Jay Burton Benziger, Andrew Bruce Bocarsly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

602 Scopus citations


Water loss and the coincident increase in membrane resistance to proton conduction are significant barriers to high performance operation of traditional proton exchange membrane fuel cells at elevated temperatures where the relative humidity may be reduced. We report here approaches to the development of high temperature membranes for proton exchange membrane fuel cells; composite perfluorinated sulfonic acid membranes were prepared to improve water retention, and non-aqueous proton conducting membranes were prepared to circumvent the loss of water. Experimental results of composite membranes of Nafion and zirconium phosphate show improved operation at elevated temperatures. Imidazole impregnated membranes poisoned the electrocatalysts. Cesium hydrogen sulfate membranes were not able to produce appreciable current. A brief analysis of temperature requirements for CO tolerance and a framework for understanding water loss from fuel cell membranes are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 30 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Cesium sulfate
  • Imidazole
  • Nafion
  • Proton conductivity
  • Water balance
  • Zirconium phosphate


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