1 Department of Energy Conversion and Storage, Technical University of Denmark2 Proton conductors, Department of Energy Conversion and Storage, Technical University of Denmark3 Energy and Materials, Department of Chemistry, Technical University of Denmark4 Northeastern University5 Northeastern University
Covalently cross-linked polymer membranes were fabricated from poly(aryl sulfone benzimidazole) (SO(2) PBI) and poly(vinylbenzyl chloride) (PVBCl) as electrolytes for high-temperature proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells. The cross-linking imparted organo insolubility and chemical stability against radical attack to the otherwise flexible SO(2) PBI membranes. Steady phosphoric acid doping of the cross-linked membranes was achieved at elevated temperatures with little swelling. The acid-doped membranes exhibited increased mechanical strength compared to both pristine SO(2) PBI and poly[2,2'-(m-phenylene)-5,5'-bibenzimidazole] (mPBI). The superior characteristics of the cross-linked SO(2) PBI membranes allowed higher acid doping levels and, therefore, higher proton conductivity. Fuel-cell tests with the cross-linked membranes demonstrated a high open circuit voltage and improved power performance and durability.
Chemsuschem (print), 2013, Vol 6, Issue 2, p. 275-282