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Research Paper

Synthesis and Characterization of Sulfonated Polyimide Based Membranes for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

[+] Author and Article Information
Hai Zheng

Polymer and Fiber Engineering Department, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Fuel Cell Science and Technology. Manuscript received July 26, 2010; final manuscript received April 22, 2013; published online June 17, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Abel Hernandez.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 10(4), 041001 (Jun 17, 2013) (5 pages) Paper No: FC-10-1085; doi: 10.1115/1.4024564 History: Received July 26, 2010; Revised April 22, 2013

Sulfonated polyimide (SPI) based membranes for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) have been synthesized by using a one-step high temperature polymerization method. The membranes were characterized with Fourier transform infrared spectra (FTIR), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC); water uptake, ion-exchange capacity, proton conductivity and mechanical stability were tested. The results showed that the membranes had good thermal and mechanical stability and exhibited good performance when they were assembled into membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs). Fuel cell testing was performed. The SPI copolymer based MEA was tested under different hydrogen flow rates to compare with the commercially available Nafion® based MEA.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Chemical reaction for synthesis of SPI

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Fig. 2

SPI copolymer membrane (left) and MEA produced

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Fig. 3

FTIR testing of the ODA based diamine SPI membrane

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Fig. 4

DSC testing of the SPI membrane

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Fig. 5

TGA testing of the SPI membrane

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Fig. 6

Schematic of the membrane proton conductivity measurement

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Fig. 7

Voltage versus time curve of the fuel cell

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