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Membranes 2018, 8(3), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes8030058

Low Dispersity and High Conductivity Poly(4-styrenesulfonic acid) Membranes Obtained by Inexpensive Free Radical Polymerization of Sodium 4-styrenesulfonate

Grupo de Investigación Ciencia de los Materiales, Instituto de Química, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Antioquia, Calle 70 No. 52-21, Medellín 050010, Colombia
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Received: 5 July 2018 / Revised: 29 July 2018 / Accepted: 1 August 2018 / Published: 7 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Membrane Preparation and Characterization)
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Abstract

Controlled polymerizations are often used to synthesize polymers with low dispersity, which involves expensive initiators, constrained atmospheres, and multi-step purifying processes, especially with water soluble monomers. These drawbacks make the synthesis very expensive and of little industrial value. In this report, an inexpensive free radical polymerization of sodium 4-styrenesulfonate, using benzoyl peroxide as initiator in water/N,N-dimethylformamide solutions, is presented. After polymerization, an easy fiber precipitation method is implemented to extract and purify the polymer, obtaining conversions up to 99%, recoveries up to 98%, and molecular weight dispersities in the range of 1.15–1.85, where the pseudo-controlled behavior is attributed to a thermodynamic limiting molecular weight solubility. Three different methods were used to bring the polymer to its acid form, obtaining Ion Exchange Capacities as high as 4.8 meq/g. Finally, polymeric membranes were prepared and reached conductivities up to 164 mS/cm, which makes them good candidates as proton exchange membranes in fuel cells. View Full-Text
Keywords: low dispersity; free radical polymerization; sodium 4-styrenesulfonate low dispersity; free radical polymerization; sodium 4-styrenesulfonate
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Sepulveda, V.R.; Sierra, L.; López, B.L. Low Dispersity and High Conductivity Poly(4-styrenesulfonic acid) Membranes Obtained by Inexpensive Free Radical Polymerization of Sodium 4-styrenesulfonate. Membranes 2018, 8, 58.

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