Ultrathin Graphene-Based Nanocomposite Electrolytes for Portable Fuel Cells

Project: National Science and Technology CouncilNational Science and Technology Council Academic Grants

Project Details


The objective of this research is to develop nano-structured polymer/graphene solid electrolytes for alkaline fuel cells (AFCs). Many fuels exhibit higher catalytic activity in a high pH media and it is possible to employ less expensive non-Pt catalysts in an AFC. Along with the wide catalyst choice, development of a cost-effective, low fuel cross-over solid electrolyte is a key criterion for future commercialization. This proposal aims at the development of highly conductive ultra-thin solid electrolytes with both fixed and mobile carriers and magnetically aligned polymer/graphene composites for reducing fuel cross-over by aligning the graphene nano-sheets. In this research, nano-structure of organic and inorganic minor components will be analyzed to fabricate tailor-made electrolytes for various fuels (alcohols, hydrazine, direct borate, etc.) This proposal is a continued research from previous NSC project. In the previous years, we have prepared poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA)-fumed silica, PVA-carbon nano-tubes (CNT), PVA-Fe3O4 decorated CNT, and polybenzimidazole (PBI)/CNT composites for alkaline fuel cell applications and obtained highest cell performance among literature data for direct methanol alkaline fuel cells. The fuel cell voltage and power density using this electrolyte outperformed the pristine PVA membrane and other literature data. The PI of this proposal (Prof. S. Jessie Lue) is an internationally well-known researcher in this field. In year 2013 alone, she has publishes 12 SCI high-impact SCI papers. The highly cited top ten papers from her group have received more than 385 citations. In this proposal it is intended to further explore more effective electrolytes to better suit different fuels used in alkaline fuel cells. Maintaining high conductivity via appropriate nano-channel design and suppression fuel cross-over are the ultimate targets. The protocol developed from this research will be used as guidelines for future material development.

Project IDs

Project ID:PB10401-1788
External Project ID:MOST103-2221-E182-064-MY3
Effective start/end date01/08/1531/07/16


  • solid electrolytes
  • alkaline fuel cells
  • nano-structured composite membranes
  • structure-property relationship


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