High performance polymer chemical hydrogel-based electrode binder materials for direct borohydride fuel cells

Nurul A. Choudhury, Jia Ma, Yogeshwar Sahai, Rudolph G. Buchheit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Novel, cost-effective, high-performance, and environment-friendly electrode binders, comprising polyvinyl alcohol chemical hydrogel (PCH) and chitosan chemical hydrogel (CCH), are reported for direct borohydride fuel cells (DBFCs). PCH and CCH binders-based electrodes have been fabricated using a novel, simple, cost-effective, time-effective, and environmentally benign technique. Morphologies and electrochemical performance in DBFCs of the chemical hydrogel binder-based electrodes have been compared with those of Nafion® binder-based electrodes. Relationships between the performance of binders in DBFCs with structural features of the polymers and the polymer-based chemical hydrogels are discussed. The CCH binder exhibited better performance than a Nafion® binder whereas the PCH binder exhibited comparable performance to Nafion® in DBFCs operating at elevated cell temperatures. The better performance of CCH binder at higher operating cell temperatures has been ascribed to the hydrophilic nature and water retention characteristics of chitosan. DBFCs employing CCH binder-based electrodes and a Nafion®-117 membrane as an electrolyte exhibited a maximum peak power density of about 589 mW cm-2 at 70 °C.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5817-5822
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 15 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Financial support for this work was provided by the Third Frontier Fuel Cell Program of State of Ohio and from ITN Energy Systems of Littleton Colorado.


  • Chitosan chemical hydrogel
  • Direct borohydride fuel cell
  • Electrode binder
  • Glutaraldehyde
  • Nafion
  • Polyvinyl alcohol chemical hydrogel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'High performance polymer chemical hydrogel-based electrode binder materials for direct borohydride fuel cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this