Siu Ming Kwan and King Lun Yeung from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology have made an inorganic zeolite proton-exchange micromembrane and assembled it into a workable micro fuel cell.
Yeung explains that this is the first time that a nanoporous zeolite membrane has been studied as a proton-exchange membrane for hydrogen fuel cells. They discovered that their microfabricated HZSM-5 micromembrane achieved performance on a par with a commercial membrane, Nafion 117. They believe their work shows remarkable progress in inorganic proton conducting membranes, as sufficient proton conductivity is currently only achieved at significantly higher temperatures.
'The zeolite micromembrane could offer greater avenues for designing more efficient micro fuel cells either based on hydrogen or liquid hydrocarbon fuels,' predicts Yeung.
Original publication: King Lun Yeung et al., Chem. Commun., 2008.