Highly zeolite-loaded polyvinyl alcohol composite membranes for alkaline fuel-cell electrolytes

Po Ya Hsu, Ting Yu Hu, Selvaraj Rajesh Kumar, Chia Hao Chang, Kevin C.W. Wu, Kuo Lun Tung, Shingjiang Jessie Lue*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

36 Scopus citations


Having a secure and stable energy supply is a top priority for the global community. Fuel-cell technology is recognized as a promising electrical energy generation system for the twenty-first century. Polyvinyl alcohol/zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 (PVA/ZIF-8) composite membranes were successfully prepared in this work from direct ZIF-8 suspension solution (0-45.4 wt %) and PVA mixing to prevent filler aggregation for direct methanol alkaline fuel cells (DMAFCs). The ZIF-8 fillers were chosen for the appropriate cavity size as a screening aid to allow water and suppress methanol transport. Increased ionic conductivities and suppressed methanol permeabilities were achieved for the PVA/40.5% ZIF-8 composites, compared to other samples. A high power density of 173.2 mW cm-2 was achieved using a KOH-doped PVA/40.5% ZIF-8 membrane in a DMAFC at 60 °C with 1-2 mg cm-2 catalyst loads. As the filler content was raised beyond 45.4 wt %, adverse effects resulted and the DMAFC performance (144.9 mW cm-2) was not improved further. Therefore, the optimal ZIF-8 content was approximately 40.5 wt % in the polymeric matrix. The specific power output was higher (58 mW mg-1) than most membranes reported in the literature (3-18 mW mg-1).

Original languageEnglish
Article number102
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by the authors.


  • Direct alcohol fuel-cell performance
  • Ionic conductivity
  • Polymer electrolyte
  • Zeolite composite


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