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Polymers 2018, 10(2), 194; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10020194

Thermal Stability and Water Content Study of Void-Free Electrospun SPEEK/Cloisite Membrane for Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Application

1
Advanced Membrane Technology Research Centre (AMTEC), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Skudai 81310, Johor Bahru, Malaysia
2
Faculty of Chemical and Energy Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Skudai 81310, Johor Bahru, Malaysia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 November 2017 / Revised: 12 February 2018 / Accepted: 13 February 2018 / Published: 15 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Membranes)
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Abstract

Void-free electrospun SPEEK/Cloisite15A® densed (SP/e-spunCL) membranes are prepared. Different loadings of Cloisite15A® (0.10, 0.15, 0.20, 0.25 and 0.30 wt %) are incorporated into electrospun fibers. The physico-chemical characteristics (methanol permeability, water uptake and proton conductivity) of the membranes are observed. Thermal stability of all membranes is observed using Thermal Gravimetry Analysis (TGA). The thrree stages of degradation range between 163.1 and 613.1 °C. Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) is used to study the wettability of the membranes. SP/e-spunCL15 shows the lowest freezing bound water of 15.27%, which contributed to the lowest methanol permeability. The non-freezing bound water that proportionally increased with proton conductivity of SP/e-spunCL15 membrane is the highest, 10.60%. It is suggested that the electrospinning as the fabricating method has successfully exfoliated the Cloisite in the membrane surface structure, contributing to the decrease of methanol permeability, while the retained water has led to the enhancement of proton conductivity. This new fabrication method of SP/e-spunCL membrane is said to be a desirable polymer electrolyte membrane for future application in direct methanol fuel cell field. View Full-Text
Keywords: thermal analysis; wettability; electrospinning; membrane thermal analysis; wettability; electrospinning; membrane
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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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Awang, N.; Jaafar, J.; Ismail, A.F. Thermal Stability and Water Content Study of Void-Free Electrospun SPEEK/Cloisite Membrane for Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Application. Polymers 2018, 10, 194.

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