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Research Papers

Influence of Sulfonationity of Epoxy-Based Semi-Interpenetrating Polymer Networks of Sulfonated Polyimides as Proton Exchange Membranes on the Performance of Fuel Cell Application

[+] Author and Article Information
Yen-Zen Wang, Chi-Hung Lee

Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, National Yunlin University of Science and Technology, 123 University Road, Section 3, Douliou, Yunlin 64002, Taiwan

Ko-Shan Ho

Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences, 415, Chien-Kuo Road, Sanmin District, Kaohsiung City 80778, Taiwan

Shinn-Dar Wu

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Chiao Tung University, 1001 Ta Hsueh Road, Hsinchu 30010, Taiwan

Kuo-Huang Hsieh

Institute of Polymer Science and Engineering, National Taiwan University, 1, Roosevelt Road, Section 4, Taipei 10617, Taiwan

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 7(2), 021014 (Jan 12, 2010) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3177383 History: Received April 13, 2008; Revised February 27, 2009; Published January 12, 2010; Online January 12, 2010

A novel epoxy-based semi-interpenetrating polymer networks membrane (SPIX-EP40) as the proton exchange membrane was prepared by a flexible epoxy network with sulfonated polyimide. A series of sulfonated polyamic acid (SPAA) were prepared from 1,4,5,8-naphthalenetetracarboxylic dianhydride, 2,2-benzidinedisulfonic acid (BDSA) and nonsulfonated diamines, such as 4,4-diaminodiphenyl sulfone. Solid-state C13 nuclear magnetic resonance spectra and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy were used to verify the synchronization of the imidization of SPAA and the crosslinking reactions of epoxy. The sulfonationity of the copolymers was regulated through a variation in the molar ratio of BDSA to diamine. These membranes owned a good thermal stability and exhibited high proton conductivity that was measured as a function of temperature. The resulting SPI0.7-EP40 and SPI0.8-EP40, at 100% relative humidity, displayed proton conductivities higher than those of Nafion® 117. The membranes displayed higher conductivities than Nafion® membranes because of owning higher activational energies and higher ion exchange capacities. An isotropic swelling phenomenon in water was found for the membrane. From the results of water uptake and the microstructure analyses using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) on different sulfonated levels, it was found that the number of water clusters in SPIX-EP40 membranes increased as the increasing water uptake and the size of water cluster were changed with the sulfonation levels. TEM confirmed the widespread and well-connected hydrophilic domains, demonstrating the presence of the favorable proton-transporting performances of the SPIX-EP40 membrane.

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Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

The FT-IR spectra of SPIX-EP40

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Figure 2

The C13 CP/MAS NMR spectrum of SPI0.7-EP40

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Figure 3

TGA of SPIX-EP40

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Figure 4

Proton conductivity of SPIX-EP40 and Nafion® 117 membranes as a function of temperature at 100% relative humidity

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Figure 5

TEM image of SPIX-EP40 membrane (in Ag+ salt form, cross section): (a) SPI0.6-EP40, (b) SPI0.7-EP40, and (c) SPI0.8-EP40

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