Nafion-TiO2 hybrid membranes for medium temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs)

A. Saccà*, A. Carbone, E. Passalacqua, A. D'Epifanio, S. Licoccia, E. Traversa, E. Sala, F. Traini, R. Ornelas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

198 Scopus citations


A nanocomposite re-cast Nafion hybrid membrane containing titanium oxide calcined at T = 400 °C as an inorganic filler was developed in order to work at medium temperature in polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) maintaining a suitable membrane hydration under fuel cell operative critical conditions. Nanometre TiO2 powder was synthesized via a sol-gel procedure by a rapid hydrolysis of Ti(OiPr)4. The membrane was prepared by mixing a Nafion-dimethylacetammide (DMAc) dispersion with a 3 wt% of TiO2 powder and casting the mixture by Doctor Blade technique. The resulting film was characterised in terms of water uptake and ion exchange capacity (IEC). The membrane was tested in a single cell from 80 to 130°C in humidified H2/air. The obtained results were compared with the commercial Nafion115 and a home-made recast Nafion membrane. Power density values of 0.514 and 0.256 W cm-2 at 0.56 V were obtained at 110 and 130°C, respectively, for the composite Nafion-Titania membrane. Preliminary tests carried out using steam reforming (SR) synthetic fuel at about 110°C have highlighted the benefit of the inorganic filler introduction when PEFC operates at medium temperature and with processed hydrogen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-21
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Nanocomposite membrane
  • Polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFCs)
  • Titania

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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