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Open AccessArticle

Study of High Performance Sulfonated Polyether Ether Ketone Composite Electrolyte Membranes

1
Institute of Electro-Optical Engineering, Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan
2
Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Keelung 204, Taiwan
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2019, 11(7), 1177; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11071177
Received: 19 June 2019 / Revised: 10 July 2019 / Accepted: 11 July 2019 / Published: 12 July 2019
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Abstract

In this study, high performance composite electrolyte membranes were prepared from polyether ether ketone polymeric material. An initial sulfonation reaction improved the membrane hydrophilicity and its water absorbability and thus enhanced the ionic conductivity in electrochemical cells. Protonic conductivity was improved from 10−4 to 10−2 S cm−1 with an increasing sulfonation time from 72 to 175 h. The effects of blending nano SiO2 into the composite membranes were devoted to improve thermal and mechanical properties, as well as methanol permeability. Methanol permeability was reduced to 3.1 × 10−7 cm2 s−1. Finally, a further improvement in ionic conductivity was carried out by a supercritical carbon dioxide treatment under 20 MPa at 40°C for 30 min with an optimum SiO2 blend ratio of 10 wt-%. The plasticizing effect by the Lewis acid-base interaction between CO2 and electron donor species on polymer chains decreased the glass transition and melting temperatures. The results show that sulfonated composite membranes blended with SiO2 and using a supercritical carbon dioxide treatment exhibit a lower glass transition temperature, higher ionic conductivity, lower methanol permeability, good thermal stability, and strong mechanical properties. Ionic conductivity was improved to 1.55 × 10−2 S cm−1. The ion exchange capacity and the degree of sulfonation were also investigated. View Full-Text
Keywords: composite electrolyte membrane; polyether ether ketone; sulfonation; nano SiO2; supercritical carbon dioxide composite electrolyte membrane; polyether ether ketone; sulfonation; nano SiO2; supercritical carbon dioxide
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wu, G.; Lin, S.-J.; Hsu, I.-C.; Su, J.-Y.; Chen, D.W. Study of High Performance Sulfonated Polyether Ether Ketone Composite Electrolyte Membranes. Polymers 2019, 11, 1177.

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