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Rechargeable Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Containing an Intrinsic Hydrogen Storage Polymer


Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are promising clean energy conversion devices in residential, transportation, and portable applications. Currently, a high-pressure tank is the state-of-the-art mode of hydrogen storage; however, the energy cost, safety, and portability (or volumetric hydrogen storage capacity) presents a major barrier to the widespread dissemination of PEMFCs. Here we show an ‘all-polymer type’ rechargeable PEMFC (RCFC) that contains a hydrogen-storable polymer (HSP), which is a solid-state organic hydride, as the hydrogen storage media. Use of a gas impermeable SPP-QP (a polyphenylenebased PEM) enhances the operable time, reaching up to ca. 10.2 s mgHSP −1, which is more than a factor of two longer than that (3.90 s mgHSP −1) for a Nafion NRE-212 membrane cell. The RCFCs are cycleable, at least up to 50 cycles. The features of this RCFC system, including safety, ease of handling, and light weight, suggest applications in mobile, light-weight hydrogen-based energy devices.

Funding source: Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
Countries: Japan

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