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Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(7), 1145; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8071145

Poly(bis[2-(methacryloyloxy)ethyl] phosphate)/Bacterial Cellulose Nanocomposites: Preparation, Characterization and Application as Polymer Electrolyte Membranes

1
Department of Chemistry, CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
2
Department of Materials and Ceramic Engineering, CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 June 2018 / Revised: 3 July 2018 / Accepted: 10 July 2018 / Published: 14 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bacterial Cellulose Composites)
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Abstract

Recent studies have demonstrated the potential of bacterial cellulose (BC) as a substrate for the design of bio-based ion exchange membranes with an excellent combination of conductive and mechanical properties for application in devices entailing functional ion conducting elements. In this context, the present study aims at fabricating polyelectrolyte nanocomposite membranes based on poly(bis[2-(methacryloyloxy)ethyl] phosphate) [P(bisMEP)] and BC via the in-situ free radical polymerization of bis[2-(methacryloyloxy)ethyl] phosphate (bisMEP) inside the BC three-dimensional network under eco-friendly reaction conditions. The resulting polyelectrolyte nanocomposites exhibit thermal stability up to 200 °C, good mechanical performance (Young’s modulus > 2 GPa), water-uptake ability (79–155%) and ion exchange capacity ([H+] = 1.1–3.0 mmol g−1). Furthermore, a maximum protonic conductivity of ca. 0.03 S cm−1 was observed for the membrane with P(bisMEP)/BC of 1:1 in weight, at 80 °C and 98% relative humidity. The use of a bifunctional monomer that obviates the need of using a cross-linker to retain the polyelectrolyte inside the BC network is the main contribution of this study, thus opening alternative routes for the development of bio-based polyelectrolyte membranes for application in e.g., fuel cells and other devices based on proton separators. View Full-Text
Keywords: bacterial cellulose; proton exchange membrane; nanocomposites; poly(bis[2-(methacryloyloxy)ethyl] phosphate); protonic conductivity bacterial cellulose; proton exchange membrane; nanocomposites; poly(bis[2-(methacryloyloxy)ethyl] phosphate); protonic conductivity
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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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Vilela, C.; Martins, A.P.C.; Sousa, N.; Silvestre, A.J.D.; Figueiredo, F.M.L.; Freire, C.S.R. Poly(bis[2-(methacryloyloxy)ethyl] phosphate)/Bacterial Cellulose Nanocomposites: Preparation, Characterization and Application as Polymer Electrolyte Membranes. Appl. Sci. 2018, 8, 1145.

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