An understanding of proton transport within perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) membranes is crucial to improve the efficiency of proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Using reactive molecular dynamics simulations, we have examined proton transport in two PFSA materials, Hyflon and the 3M membrane, at three different hydration levels. The interaction between the sulfonate group of the polymer side chains and the hydrated protons was found to have only a small influence on the proton transport dynamics. Instead, proton swapping between sulfonate groups is the primary transport mechanism for the proton transport within the pore. The larger water clusters and more flexible side chain of the 3M membrane allows for an enhancement of this swapping mechanism compared to Hyflon. Membranes that can enhance this mechanism may result in greater proton conductivity.
Areas of Focus: Energy Markets
, Electric Power
Well-functioning markets are essential for providing access to reliable, affordable energy. EPIC research is uncovering the policies, prices and information needed to help energy markets work efficiently.
As the electric power system faces new pressures and opportunities, EPIC research is working to identify the mix of policies needed to accelerate the global transition to clean, reliable, affordable...