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Preliminary evaluation of sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone)/monoethanolamine/adipic acid composite membranes for direct methanol fuel cell applications Part B Polymer physics

Zhong, Shuangling, Cui, Xuejun, Cai, Hongli, Fu, Tiezhu, Na, Hui
Journal of polymer science 2007 v.45 no.20 pp. 2871-2879
adipic acid, diffusivity, fuel cells, mechanical properties, methanol, oxidative stability, polymers, temperature, thermal stability, water uptake
A series of sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone)/monoethanolamine/adipic acid (SPEEK/MEA/AA) composite membranes are prepared and investigated to assess their possibility as proton exchange membranes in direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). A preliminary evaluation shows that introducing MEA and AA into SPEEK matrix decreases the thermal stability of membrane. However, the degradation temperatures are still above 260 °C, satisfying the requirement for fuel cell operation. Compared with the pure SPEEK membrane, the composite membranes exhibit not only lower water uptake and swelling ratios but also better mechanical property and oxidative stability. Noticeably, the methanol diffusion coefficient of the composite membranes decrease significantly from 3.15 x 10⁻⁶ to 0.76 x 10⁻⁶ cm²/s with increasing MEA and AA content, accompanied by only a small sacrifice in proton conductivity. Although both the methanol diffusion coefficient and the proton conductivity of composite membranes are lower than those of pure SPEEK and Nafion® 117 membranes, their selectivity (conductivity/methanol diffusion coefficient) are higher. In addition, the composite membranes show excellent stability in aqueous methanol solution. The good thermal and chemical stability, low swelling ratio, excellent mechanical property, low methanol diffusion coefficient, and high selectivity make the use of these composite membranes in DMFCs quite attractive. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part B: Polym Phys 45: 2871-2879, 2007