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Energies 2016, 9(8), 658; doi:10.3390/en9080658

DMFC Performance of Polymer Electrolyte Membranes Prepared from a Graft-Copolymer Consisting of a Polysulfone Main Chain and Styrene Sulfonic Acid Side Chains

1
Graduate School of Science and Technology for Innovation, Yamaguchi University, 2-16-1 Tokiwadai, Ube City, Yamaguchi 755-8611, Japan
2
Center for Membrane and Film Technology, Department of Chemical Science and Engineering, Kobe University, 1-1 Rokkodaicho, Nada-ku, Kobe 657-8501, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vladimir Gurau
Received: 4 July 2016 / Revised: 8 August 2016 / Accepted: 10 August 2016 / Published: 19 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells 2016)
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Abstract

Polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMs) for direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) applications were prepared from a graft-copolymer (PSF-g-PSSA) consisting of a polysulfone (PSF) main chain and poly(styrene sulfonic acid) (PSSA) side chains with various average distances between side chains (Lav) and side chain lengths (Lsc). The polymers were synthesized by grafting ethyl p-styrenesulfonate (EtSS) on macro-initiators of chloromethylated polysulfone with different contents of chloromethyl (CM) groups, and by changing EtSS content in the copolymers by using atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP). The DMFC performance tests using membrane electrode assemblis (MEAs) with the three types of the PEMs revealed that: a PSF-g-PSSA PEM (SF-6) prepared from a graft copolymer with short average distances between side chains (Lav) and medium Lsc had higher DMFC performance than PEMs with long Lav and long Lsc or with short Lav and short Lsc. SF-6 had about two times higher PDmax (68.4 mW/cm2) than Nafion® 112 at 30 wt % of methanol concentration. Furthermore, it had 58.2 mW/cm2 of PDmax at 50 wt % of methanol concentration because of it has the highest proton selectivity during DMFC operation of all the PSF-g-PSSA PEMs and Nafion® 112. View Full-Text
Keywords: polysulfone; graft-copolymer; atom-transfer radical polymerization; polymer electrolyte membrane; direct methanol fuel cell polysulfone; graft-copolymer; atom-transfer radical polymerization; polymer electrolyte membrane; direct methanol fuel cell
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Endo, N.; Ogawa, Y.; Ukai, K.; Kakihana, Y.; Higa, M. DMFC Performance of Polymer Electrolyte Membranes Prepared from a Graft-Copolymer Consisting of a Polysulfone Main Chain and Styrene Sulfonic Acid Side Chains. Energies 2016, 9, 658.

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