Disclosed are developments in high temperature fuel cells including ionic liquids with high temperature stability and the storage of inorganic acids as di-anion salts of low volatility. The formation of ionically conducting liquids of this type having conductivities of unprecedented magnitude for non-aqueous systems is described. The stability of the di-anion configuration is shown to play a role in the high performance of the non-corrosive proton-transfer ionic liquids as high temperature fuel cell electrolytes. Performance of simple H.sub.2(g) electrolyte/O.sub.2(g) fuel cells with the new electrolytes is described. Superior performance both at ambient temperature and temperatures up to and above 200.degree. C. are achieved. Both neutral proton transfer salts and the acid salts with HSO.sup.-.sub.4 anions, give good results, the bisulphate case being particularly good at low temperatures and very high temperatures. The performance of all electrolytes is improved by the addition of a small amount of involatile base of pK.sub.a value intermediate between those of the acid and base that make the bulk electrolyte. The preferred case is the imidazole-doped ethylammonium hydrogensulfate which yields behavior superior in all respects to that of the industry standard phosphoric acid electrolyte.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT FUNDING
This invention was made with government support under Grant No. W7405-ENG-36 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy and Solid State Chemistry Grant No. DMR-9108028002 awarded by the National Science Foundation. The government has certain rights in the invention.