Synthesis and Characterization of  Graphene-Polyaniline  Composites Preparated in Site  for Fuel Cell Applications

Wednesday, 8 October 2014
Expo Center, 1st Floor, Center and Right Foyers (Moon Palace Resort)
E. Pereyra (CIICAp), C. Menchaca (Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Morelos), U. Cano (IEE), L. Albaņil, R. Guardian, and J. Uruchurtu (CIICAp)
Keywords: graphene, polyaniline, fuel cells.

Fuel cells have been attracting increasing attention in recent decades due to the high energy demands, fossil fuel depletion and environmental pollution throughout world. However there are still challenges to implement sources and alternative fuels, as in the case of fuel cells: raise increase production cell voltage and reduce material costs and corrosion.

This work focuses on the study of a graphene / polyaniline composite that can be used to improve the efficiency of the electrode in a fuel cell. Graphene alone is a good conductor material with high surface area, however to create a polyaniline intrinsic polymer composite, improvement is expected in their charge-transfer properties.

Two different synthesized graphene as a conductive material, were formed by electrochemical synthesis or modified Hummer method in different particle sizes, and were characterized to study their behavior.The experimental development was carried out by depositing graphene oxide films on a brass plate.  The synthesis of polyaniline (PANI) was in situprepared through polymerization of aniline in the presence of graphene or grapheme oxide

The morphology and structure of the material were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), infrared spectroscopy (IR) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The electrochemical properties of the resulting materials were systematically studied using cyclic voltammetry (CV), as well as evaluation by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. Good behavior was observed. The conductivity was also influenced by the particle size of graphene and the improvement is attributed to the fact that graphene not only serves as a highly conductive support material, but also provides large surface for PANI. High conductivity and large specific surface area greatly improve the charge transfer efficiency, providing good corrosion protection to the metal substrate.