Fuel cells (FCs) are a chemical fuel device which can directly convert chemical energy into electrical energy, also known as electrochemical generator. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are one of the most appealing FC systems that have been broadly developed in recent years. Due to the poor conductivity of electrolyte membrane used in traditional PEMFC, its operation at higher temperature is greatly limited. The incorporation of ionic liquids (ILs) which is widely regarded as a greener alternative compared to traditional solvents in the proton exchange membrane electrolyte shows great potential in high temperature PEMFCs (HT-PEMFCs). This review provides insights in the latest progress of utilizing ILs as an electrochemical electrolyte in PEMFCs. Besides, electrolyte membranes that are constructed by ILs combined with polybenzimidazole (PBI) have many benefits such as better thermal stability, improved mechanical properties, and higher proton conductivity. The current review aims to investigate the newest development and existing issues of ILs research in electrolyte and material selection, system fabrication method, synthesis of ILs, and experimental techniques. The evaluation of life cycle analysis, commercialization, and greenness of ILs are also discussed. Hence, this review provides insights to material scientists and develops interest of wider community, promoting the use of ILs to meet energy challenges.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.