If proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) are ever to succeed in sustainable energy landscape as a potential zero emission technology, it is inevitable to reduce electricity production cost associated mainly with its MEAs, cell hardware and gas storage units. We demonstrate a diverse strategy for achieving this target with a concomitant amplification of its specific energy and power, by rolling a thin graphene oxide (GO) based MEA alone into a tubular and air breathing architecture with internal fuel storage. The unique properties of GO being a barrier for molecular fuels and proton conducting to construct a GO based cylindrical MEA. This makes the tubular PEMFC ∼75 times lighter, featuring ∼37 and ∼92 times respectively, the power and energy per overall weight, making it a potential candidate for portable applications. The intrinsic electrochemical kinetics at the three-phase boundary are somewhat affected by the bending of the MEA, albeit at overall reduction in power production cost.
- Advanced Materials Science