In this study, a series of BMFC membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) were fabricated where the proton exchange side comprised a Nafion 211 membrane and ionomer, and the alkaline membrane/ionomer were varied. All MEAs contained platinum on carbon electrode catalysts and were investigated via polarization curves and impedance. Initial MEAs made with several different AEM polymers exhibited an exorbitant cell resistance, attributed to the bipolar interface. To reduce cell resistance, bipolar membrane fabrication conditions were altered to study parameters that impact observed performance. Altering fabrication conditions resulted in nearly a 3x reduction in overall resistance, translating to large gains in BMFC performance. These fabrications methods will be summarized with results presented, which should help inform rational design and future work for BMFCs.
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