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Transient Water Transport in Nafion Membranes Under Activity Gradients

[+] Author Affiliations
T. Romero

Electrical Research Institute, Cuernavaca, MOR, Mexico

W. Mérida

National Research Council; University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Paper No. FuelCell2010-33317, pp. 155-161; 7 pages
  • ASME 2010 8th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • ASME 2010 8th International Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology Conference: Volume 1
  • Brooklyn, New York, USA, June 14–16, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Advanced Energy Systems Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4404-5 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3875-4
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


Transient water transport experiments on Nafion of different thicknesses were carried out in the temperature range of 30 to 70 °C. These experiments report on water transport measurements under activity gradients in the time domain for liquid and vapour equilibrated Nafion membranes. Using a permeability test rig with a gated valve, the water crossover was measured as a function of time. The typical response is shown as a time dependent flux, and it shows the dynamic transport from an initially dry condition up to the final steady state. Contrarily to previous reports from dynamic water transport measurements, where the activity gradient across the membrane is absent; in this work, the membrane was subjected to an activity gradient acting as the driving force to transport water from an environment with higher water activity to an environment with lower water activity through the membrane’s structure. Measurements explored temperature and membrane thickness variation effect on the transient response. Results showed dependency on temperature and a slower water transport rate across the vapour-membrane interface than for the liquid-membrane interface. These measurements showed the transport dependency on water content at the beginning of the experiment when the membrane was in a close-to-dry condition suggesting a transport phenomenon transition due to a reached critical water content value. The new protocol for transient measurements proposed here will allow the characterization of water transport dependency on membrane water content with a more rational representation of the membrane-environment interface.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME
Topics: Membranes , Water



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