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Research Papers

On the Synthesis and Characterization of Silica-Doped/Sulfonated Poly-(2,6-Dimethyl-1,4-Phenylene Oxide) Composite Membranes for Fuel Cells

[+] Author and Article Information
Daniela Ebrasu

National Research and Development Institute for Cryogenics and Isotopic Technologies (ICSI),
Uzinei Street, No. 4, P.O. Box 7,
Rm. Valcea 240050, Romania
e-mail: daniela.ebrasu@icsi.ro

Irina Petreanu

National Research and Development Institute for Cryogenics and Isotopic Technologies (ICSI),
Uzinei Street, No. 4, P.O. Box 7,
Rm. Valcea 240050, Romania
e-mail: irina.petreanu@icsi.ro

Mihai Varlam

National Research and Development Institute for Cryogenics and Isotopic Technologies (ICSI),
Uzinei Street, No. 4, P.O. Box 7,
Rm. Valcea 240050, Romania
e-mail: mihai.varlam@icsi.ro

Dorin Schitea

National Research and Development Institute for Cryogenics and Isotopic Technologies (ICSI),
Uzinei Street, No. 4, P.O. Box 7,
Rm. Valcea 240050, Romania
e-mail: dorin.schitea@icsi.ro

Ioan Stefanescu

National Research and Development Institute for Cryogenics and Isotopic Technologies (ICSI),
Uzinei Street, No. 4, P.O. Box 7,
Rm. Valcea 240050, Romania
e-mail: ioan.stefanescu@icsi.ro

Ashok Vaseashta

Institute for Advanced Sciences Convergence and International Clean Water Institute (NUARI),
13873 Park Center Rd. Suite 500
Herndon, VA 20171;
U.S. Department of State,
Washington DC 20520
e-mail: prof.vaseashta@ieee.org

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FUEL CELL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received December 7, 2012; final manuscript received January 31, 2014; published online March 17, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Jacob Brouwer.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 11(4), 041005 (Mar 17, 2014) (6 pages) Paper No: FC-12-1123; doi: 10.1115/1.4026931 History: Received December 07, 2012; Revised January 31, 2014

The objective of this investigation is to study silica-doped/sulfonated poly(2,6-dimethyl-1,4-phenylene oxide) (PPO) composite membranes for operation in hydrogen/oxygen proton-exchange membrane fuel cells ranging from room temperature (RT) up to 120 °C. The sulfonated PPO composite membranes were prepared using a sol–gel process employing reaction with tetra-ethoxysilane (TEOS) followed by heat treatment at 60, 90, and 120 °C, respectively. The presence of silicon oxide in the composite membranes was evaluated using FTIR spectroscopy, while thermal properties were studied using thermal gravimetric analysis-differential scanning calorimetric (TGA-DSC) measurements. Additionally, ion exchange capacity, water uptake, and proton conductivity characterizations were also carried out. It was observed that water uptake for 75% PPO sulfonated composite membrane treated at 120 °C is higher than that of NafionTM membrane and the proton conductivity value measured at 120  °C is 0.35·10−1 S/cm. Therefore, the composite membranes are potentially suitable for high temperature fuel cell applications.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Overlaid FTIR spectra of nonsulfonated PPO, SPPO75, and SPPO75/TEOS120, respectively

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Fig. 2

FTIR spectra of the sulfonated PPO silica-doped hybrid membranes treated at 60 °C to 120 °C

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Fig. 3

Overlapped TGA thermograms representing the weight loss against temperature for all the membranes

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Fig. 4

Overlapped DSC heat flow thermograms of all the membranes versus nonsulfonated PPO

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Fig. 5

Nyquist plots of SPPO75%/TEOS120 at different temperatures ranging from 25 °C to 120 °C

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