Polybenzimidazole and sulfonated polyhedral oligosilsesquioxane composite membranes for high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

David Aili, Todd Allward, Silvia Martinez Alfaro, Claire Hartmann-Thompson, Thomas Steenberg, Hans Aage Hjuler, Qingfeng Li, Jens Oluf Jensen, Edmund J. Stark

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Composite membranes based on poly(2,2′(m-phenylene)-5,5́bibenzimidazole) (PBI) and sulfonated polyhedral oligosilsesquioxane (S-POSS) with S-POSS contents of 5 and 10wt.% were prepared by solution casting as base materials for high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. With membranes based on pure PBI as a reference point, the composite membranes were characterized with respect to spectroscopic and physicochemical properties. After doping with phosphoric acid, the composite membranes showed considerably improved ex situ proton conductivity under anhydrous as well as under fully humidified conditions in the 120-180°C temperature range. The conductivity improvements were also confirmed by in situ fuel cell tests at 160°C and further supported by the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy data based on the operating membrane electrode assemblies, demonstrating the technical feasibility of the novel electrolyte materials.
Original languageEnglish
JournalElectrochimica Acta
Volume140
Pages (from-to)182-190
ISSN0013-4686
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Polybenzimidazole
  • Composite membrane
  • Sulfonated polyhedral oligosilsesquioxane
  • S-POSS
  • Fuel cells

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