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Effect of Methylimidazole Groups on the Performance of Poly(phenylene oxide) Based Membrane for High-Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

Wu, Wei, Zou, Gongwen, Fang, Xuying, Cong, Chuanbo, Zhou, Qiong
Industrial & engineering chemistry process design and development 2017 v.56 no.37 pp. 10227-10234
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, absorption, bromination, fuel cells, humidification, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, phosphoric acid, process design, relative humidity, strength (mechanics)
A series of phosphoric acid (PA) doped imidazolium poly(phenylene oxide) (PPO) membranes with different methylimidazole (MeIM) contents were prepared to tailor the performance of solid-state membranes. First, brominated poly(phenylene oxide) (BPPO) was synthesized by methyl bromination. Then BPPO was reacted with MeIM and doped with PA. The process was confirmed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and ¹³C NMR. The PA absorption ability of the imidazolium poly(phenylene oxide) (PPO-MeIM) membranes changed with increasing MeIM content. PPO-MeIM membrane showed the best proton conductivity of 6.79 × 10–² S cm–¹ at 0% relative humidity, the highest mechanical strength of 4.8 MPa at the molar ratio of 4:10 (M-3#) at 30 °C, and high power density of 260 mW cm–² without additional humidification at 160 °C. Results indicated that incorporation of an appropriate amount of MeIM groups can achieve the best proton conduction performance and mechanical properties.