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Polymers 2018, 10(12), 1346; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10121346

Alleviating the Mechanical and Thermal Degradations of Highly Sulfonated Poly(Ether Ether Ketone) Blocks via Copolymerization with Hydrophobic Unit for Intermediate Humidity Fuel Cells

1
Department of Bioenvironmental Chemistry and R&D Center for CANUTECH, Business Incubation Center, Chonbuk National University, Jeollabuk-do 54896, Republic of Korea
2
Graduate School, Department of Energy Storage/Conversion Engineering, Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research Center, Chonbuk National University, Jeollabuk-do 54896, Republic of Korea
3
Department of Life Science, Chonbuk National University, Jeollabuk-do 54896, Republic of Korea
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 November 2018 / Revised: 3 December 2018 / Accepted: 3 December 2018 / Published: 5 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Materials for Electrochemical Energy Conversion and Storage)
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Abstract

In this contribution, sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) (SPEEK) is inter-connected using a hydrophobic oligomer via poly-condensation reaction to produce SPEEK analogues as PEMs. Prior sulfonation is performed for SPEEK to avoid random sulfonation of multi-block copolymers that may destroy the mechanical toughness of polymer backbone. A greater local density of ionic moieties exist in SPEEK and good thermomechanical properties of hydrophobic unit offer an unique approach to promote the proton conductivity as well as thermomechanical stability of membrane, as verify from AC impedance and TGA. The morphological behavior and phase variation of membranes are explored using FE-SEM and AFM; the triblock (XYX) membranes exhibits a nano-phase separated morphology. Performance of PEFC integrated with blend and block copolymer membranes is determined at 60 °C under 60% RH. As a result, the triblock (XYX) membrane has a high power density than blend (2X1Y) membrane. View Full-Text
Keywords: sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone); hydrophobic oligomer; mechanical stability; intermediate humidity; cell performance sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone); hydrophobic oligomer; mechanical stability; intermediate humidity; cell performance
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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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Kim, A.R.; Vinothkannan, M.; Park, C.J.; Yoo, D.J. Alleviating the Mechanical and Thermal Degradations of Highly Sulfonated Poly(Ether Ether Ketone) Blocks via Copolymerization with Hydrophobic Unit for Intermediate Humidity Fuel Cells. Polymers 2018, 10, 1346.

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