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Alkaline anion-exchange membrane (AAEM) fuel cells have attracted significant interest in the past decade, thanks to the recent developments in hydroxide-anion conductive membranes. In this article, we compare the performance of current state of the art AAEM fuel cells to proton-exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells and elucidate the sources of various overpotentials. While the continued development of highly conductive and thermally stable anion-exchange membranes is unambiguously a principal requirement, we attempt to put the focus on the challenges in electrocatalysis and interfacial charge transfer at an alkaline electrode/electrolyte interface. Specifically, a critical analysis presented here details the (i) fundamental causes for higher overpotential in hydrogen oxidation reaction, (ii) mechanistic aspects of oxygen reduction reaction, (iii) carbonate anion poisoning, (iv) unique challenges arising from the specific adsorption of alkaline ionomer cation-exchange head groups on electrocatalysts surfaces, and (v) the potential of alternative small molecule fuel oxidation. This review and analysis encompasses both the precious and nonprecious group metal based electrocatalysts from the perspective of various interfacial charge-transfer phenomena and reaction mechanisms. Finally, a research roadmap for further improvement in AAEM fuel cell performance is delineated here within the purview of electrocatalysis and interfacial charge transfer.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Chemical reviews
A kind of side-chain type anion exchange membranes (AEMs) with high ionic conductivity and good comprehensive stability was prepared via direct modification of commercial engineering plastic polyketon...
Anion-exchange membrane fuel cells (AEMFCs) are promising technologies that allow the use of nonprecious metals as catalysts because the oxidation reduction reaction at the cathode occurs readily at t...
Hydroxide-exchange membrane fuel cells can potentially utilize platinum-group-metal (PGM)-free electrocatalysts, offering cost and scalability advantages over more developed proton-exchange membrane f...
A major challenge in the development of anion exchange membranes for fuel cells is the design and synthesis of highly stable (chemically and mechanically) conducting membranes. Membranes that can endu...
The recent development of ultra-thin anion-exchange membranes and optimization of their operating conditions have significantly enhanced the performance of alkaline-membrane fuel cells (AMFCs); howeve...
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