Novel mixed-matrix membranes prepared by blending sodium alginate (NaAlg) with polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and certain heteropolyacids (HPAs), such as phosphomolybdic acid (PMoA), phosphotungstic acid (PWA) and silicotungstic acid (SWA), followed by ex-situ cross-linking with glutaraldehyde (GA) to achieve the desired mechanical and chemical stability, are reported for use as electrolytes in direct methanolfuelcells (DMFCs). NaAlg-PVA-HPA mixed matrices possess a polymeric network with micro-domains that restrict methanol cross-over. The mixed-matrix membranes are characterised for their mechanical and thermal properties. Methanol cross-over rates across NaAlg-PVA and NaAlg-PVA-HPA mixed-matrix membranes are studied by measuring the mass balance of methanol using a density meter. The DMFC using NaAlg-PVA-SWA exhibits a peak power-density of 68 mW cm−2 at a load current-density of 225 mA cm−2, while operating at 343 K. The rheological properties of NaAlg and NaAlg-PVA-SWA viscous solutions are studied and their behaviour validated by a non-Newtonian power-law.
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Energy & Environmental Science
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