Two approaches have been developed to operate fuel cells self-humidified. The approaches differ in the way MEAs are prepared. In one approach, deposits of a solubilized proton exchange membrane is used as the electrolyte for the fuel cell. The deposits show different characteristics from the membrane they are produced from. The water absorption capability of the deposit is greater than that of the parent membrane. In this sense, a new class of proton exchange material is obtained from the solid form of the membrane. Two electrodes with the deposits are assembled with a plastic film placed around the edges of the electrodes. In the second approach, a regular membrane is used in combination with deposit of the solubilized membrane. The fuel cell performance is dependent, among others, on the amount of the deposit, thickness of the membrane equivalent weight of the membrane and the deposit. Fuel cell reactants are hydrogen/air and hydrogen/oxygen.

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