Development of Nafion/Tin Oxide Composite MEA for DMFC applications

F. Chen, B. Mecheri, A. D'Epifanio, E. Traversa, S. Licoccia*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Nafion composite membranes containing either hydrated tin oxide (SnO 2·nH2O) or sulphated tin oxide (S-SnO2) at 5 and 10 wt.-% were prepared and characterised. The structural and electrochemical features of the samples were investigated using X-ray diffraction, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, methanol crossover and direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) tests. Highest conductivity values were obtained by using S-SnO2 as filler (0.094 S cm-1 at T = 110°C and RH = 100%). The presence of the inorganic compound resulted in lower methanol crossover and improved DMFC performance with respect to a reference unfilled membrane. To improve the interface of the membrane electrode assembly (MEA), a layer of the composite electrolyte (i.e. the Nafion membrane containing 5 wt.-% S-SnO2) was brushed on the electrodes, obtaining a DMFC operating at 110°C with a power density (PD) of 100 mW cm-2 which corresponds to a PD improvement of 52% with respect to the unfilled Nafion membrane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)790-797
Number of pages8
JournalFuel Cells
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Direct Methanol Fuel Cells
  • Methanol Crossover
  • Nafion
  • Performance Improvement
  • Proton Exchange Membrane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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