Novel phosphoric acid doped radiation-grafted proton conducting membranes for high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells
Işıkel Şanlı, Lale and Taş, Sinem and Yürüm, Yuda and Alkan Gürsel, Selmiye (2012) Novel phosphoric acid doped radiation-grafted proton conducting membranes for high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. (Submitted)
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Even though there are several studies to investigate the alternative and cost competitive proton-exchange membranes to improve the overall polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) efficiency and material cost, very few of them can achieve this aim. In this study, radiation-induced grafting method has been employed for the synthesis of proton-exchange membranes using monomers 4-vinyl pyridine (4VP), 2-vinyl pyridine (2VP), N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone (NVP) followed by phosphoric acid doping. It is also observed that this method is appropriate for cost competitive bulk scale production of the expensive electrolyte membrane. Phosphoric acid that provides Grotthuss transport mechanism in proton mobilization is used to transform the graft copolymers to the high temperature membrane state, thus ETFE-g-P4VP, ETFE-g-PNVP and ETFE-g-P2VP phosphoric acid doped new high temperature membranes have been investigated for PEMFC applications. Resultant proton-exchange membranes are verified with their proton conductivity, water uptake, mechanical properties and phosphorous distribution that enhance the proton conductivity. In conclusion, ETFE-g-P4VP phosphoric acid doped proton-exchange membranes exhibit promising proton conductivity and mechanical properties comparing with other high temperature fuel cell membranes i.e., PBI based membranes. This conveys a flexible alternative to the commercial high temperature proton conducting membranes. It should be noted that ETFE-g-P4VP membranes are also good alternatives for moderate temperature PEMFC operations and candidate to be replaced by commercial membranes, such as Nafion®. These membranes also hold promise for use other applications such as water desalination. The synthesis approach presented may contribute to manufacture cost competitive membranes to expedite PEMFC commercialization.
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