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Open AccessArticle

Chitosan-Sulfated Titania Composite Membranes with Potential Applications in Fuel Cell: Influence of Cross-Linker Nature

1
“Petru Poni” Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, Aleea Grigore Ghica Voda 41A, 700487 Iasi, Romania
2
National Research and Development Institute for Cryogenics and Isotopic Technologies – ICSI Rm. Valcea, 240050 Ramnicu Valcea, Romania
3
National Research Council of Italy, Institute for Advanced Energy Technologies “Nicola Giordano” (CNR-ITAE), via S. Lucia sopra Contesse 5, 98126 Messina, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2020, 12(5), 1125; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12051125
Received: 30 March 2020 / Revised: 5 May 2020 / Accepted: 9 May 2020 / Published: 14 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Chitosan-Based Composites)
Chitosan-sulfated titania composite membranes were prepared, characterized, and evaluated for potential application as polymer electrolyte membranes. To improve the chemical stability, the membranes were cross-linked using sulfuric acid, pentasodium triphosphate, and epoxy-terminated polydimethylsiloxane. Differences in membranes’ structure, thickness, morphology, mechanical, and thermal properties prior and after cross-linking reactions were evaluated. Membranes’ water uptake capacities and their chemical stability in Fenton reagent were also studied. As proved by dielectric spectroscopy, the conductivity strongly depends on cross-linker nature and on hydration state of membranes. The most encouraging results were obtained for the chitosan-sulfated titania membrane cross-linked with sulfuric acid. This hydrated membrane attained values of proton conductivity of 1.1 × 10−3 S/cm and 6.2 × 10−3 S/cm, as determined at 60 °C by dielectric spectroscopy and the four-probes method, respectively. View Full-Text
Keywords: chitosan; sulfated titania; cross-linking; polyelectrolyte composite membranes chitosan; sulfated titania; cross-linking; polyelectrolyte composite membranes
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MDPI and ACS Style

Humelnicu, A.-C.; Samoila, P.; Asandulesa, M.; Cojocaru, C.; Bele, A.; Marinoiu, A.T.; Sacca, A.; Harabagiu, V. Chitosan-Sulfated Titania Composite Membranes with Potential Applications in Fuel Cell: Influence of Cross-Linker Nature. Polymers 2020, 12, 1125.

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