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Open AccessArticle

Proton Conductivity through Polybenzimidazole Composite Membranes Containing Silica Nanofiber Mats

1
Departamento de Termodinámica Aplicada (ETSII), Universitat Politècnica de València, Camino de Vera s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain
2
Departament de Química Orgànica, Universitat de València, Av. Vicent Andrés Estellés s/n, Burjassot, 46100 Valencia, Spain
3
Departament de Física Aplicada, Universitat Jaume I, 12080 Castelló, Spain
4
Instituto de Tecnología de Materiales, Universitat Politècnica de València, Camino de Vera s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2019, 11(7), 1182; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11071182
Received: 17 June 2019 / Revised: 3 July 2019 / Accepted: 9 July 2019 / Published: 14 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Materials for Electrical Applications)
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Abstract

The quest for sustainable and more efficient energy-converting devices has been the focus of researchers′ efforts in the past decades. In this study, SiO2 nanofiber mats were fabricated through an electrospinning process and later functionalized using silane chemistry to introduce different polar groups −OH (neutral), −SO3H (acidic) and −NH2 (basic). The modified nanofiber mats were embedded in PBI to fabricate mixed matrix membranes. The incorporation of these nanofiber mats in the PBI matrix showed an improvement in the chemical and thermal stability of the composite membranes. Proton conduction measurements show that PBI composite membranes containing nanofiber mats with basic groups showed higher proton conductivities, reaching values as high as 4 mS·cm−1 at 200 °C. View Full-Text
Keywords: fuel cells; proton exchange membrane; polymer; polybenzimidazole; silica; nanofibers; electrospinning; proton conductivity; electrochemical impedance spectroscopy fuel cells; proton exchange membrane; polymer; polybenzimidazole; silica; nanofibers; electrospinning; proton conductivity; electrochemical impedance spectroscopy
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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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Escorihuela, J.; García-Bernabé, A.; Montero, A.; Andrio, A.; Sahuquillo, Ó.; Gimenez, E.; Compañ, V. Proton Conductivity through Polybenzimidazole Composite Membranes Containing Silica Nanofiber Mats. Polymers 2019, 11, 1182.

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