Vol 7, No 8 (2016) > Metalurgy and Material Engineering >

Preparation and Characterization of Carbon Composite Paper from Coconut Coir for Gas Diffusion Layer

Fredina Destyorini, Achmad Subhan, Nanik Indayaningsih, Bambang Prihandoko, Anne Zulfia Syahrial

 

Abstract: The gas diffusion layer
(GDL) is one of the critical components of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell
(PEMFC). It is generally made of a fossil-fuel-based carbon material. In this
study, carbon composite paper (CCP) for GDL was prepared by using carbon
material obtained from coconut coir. To obtain the CCP, 80 wt% carbon material
from the coconut coir and 20 wt% polymer binder (ethylene vinyl acetate and
polyethylene glycol) were mixed in xylene solvent at 100°C, cast on molded
glass, and then rolled. The carbon material consists of a mixture of carbon
fibers (length: 2 mm) and powders (size: 74 µm). Subsequently, the CCP was
treated with polytetrafluoroethylene solution (10 wt%). The physical properties
of the CCPs, such as through-plane electrical conductivity, porosity, density,
and hydrophobic properties, were investigated. Scanning electron microscopy and
energy-dispersive spectroscopy mapping were used to analyze the morphology and
polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) distribution in the CCP. The through-plane
conductivity test showed that CCP with 70 wt% carbon fiber, 10 wt% carbon
powder, and 20 wt% polymer was the optimum sample, and it showed the highest
electrical conductivity of 2.22 S cm-1. The physical properties of
PTFE-treated CCP, such as porosity, density, and contact angle, were almost
similar to that of commercial carbon paper used as a GDL. Therefore, the CCP
prepared from coconut coir can be applied as a GDL in a PEMFC.
Keywords: Carbonization; Carbon composite paper; Coconut coir; Electrical conductivity; Gas diffusion layer

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