Doping phosphoric acid in polybenzimidazole membranes for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells

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Polybenzimidazole (PBI) membranes were doped in phosphoric acid solutions of different concentrations at room temperature. The doping chemistry was studied using the Scatchard method. The energy distribution of the acid complexation in polymer membranes is heterogeneous, that is, there are two different types of sites in PBI for the acid doping. The protonation constants of PBI by phosphoric acid are found to be 12.7 L mol(-1) (K-1) for acid complexing sites with higher affinity, and 0.19 L mol(-1) (K-2) for the sites with lower affinity. The dissociation constants for the complexing acid onto these two types of PBI sites are found to be 5.4 X 10(-4) and 3.6 X 10(-2), respectively, that is, about 10 times smaller than that of aqueous phosphoric acid in the first case but 5 times higher in the second. The proton conducting mechanism is also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Polymer Science
Issue number14
Pages (from-to)2989-2997
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • fuel cell
  • acid doping
  • proton exchange membrane
  • polybenzimidazole
  • phosphoric acid

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