Cristhian H. Arredondo ,Guadalupe Aguilar-Lira, Irma Perez-Silva, Jose Antonio Rodriguez, Gabriela Islas, Prisciliano Hernandez. Characterization and Application of Agave salmiana Cuticle as Bio-membrane in Low-temperature Electrolyzer and Fuel Cells. Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(20), 4461; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9204461
This work describes the application of the Agave salmiana cuticle as a new protonic exchange biological membrane (0.080 0.001 mm thickness). Different chemical, electrochemical and mechanical treatments were evaluated to stimulate the ionic exchange properties of the cuticle. Thermal treatment was adequate for its application in a two-chamber electrolyzer. Under optimal conditions an ionic conductivity value of 10 3 mS cm?1 was obtained; this value is similar to the value achieved using a Nafion membrane. The thermally-activated bio-membrane was also evaluated in a fuel cell, where the highest potential was obtained using methanol and hydrogen (0.46 0.01 V). This result makes the Agave salmiana cuticle a competitive choice to replace the commercial membrane. Its surface morphology and their functional groups were evaluated through scanning electron microscopy (SEM), infrared spectroscopy and impedance spectroscopy. This thermally-treated Agave salmiana cuticle is an ecofriendly alternative to replace Nafion membranes in electrolyzer and fuel cells.