Poly(imide benzimidazole)s for high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

Sen Yuan, Xiaoxia Guo, David Aili, Chao Pan, Qingfeng Li, Jianhua Fang

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


A series of poly(imide benzimidazole) random copolymers (PIBIs) was synthesized by condensation polymerization of biphenyl-4,4'-diyldi(oxo)-4,4'-bis(1,8-naphthalenedicarboxylic anhydride) (BPNDA), 2-(4-aminophenyl)-5-aminobenzimidazole (APABI) and 4,4'diaminodiphenyl ether (ODA) in m-cresol in the presence of benzoic acid and isoquinoline at 180°C for 20h. The resulting PIBIs showed excellent thermo-oxidative as well as radical-oxidative resistance and, depending on the composition of the random copolymers, the PIBI membranes could be readily doped in polyphosphoric acid (PPA) or in 85wt% orthophosphoric acid under pressure at 180°C to give acid uptakes as high as 780wt% and anhydrous proton conductivity of up to 0.26Scm-1 at elevated temperatures. The PIBI membrane with a 1:1molar ratio of APABI:ODA (PIBI-1/1) and with an acid uptake of 300wt% showed an elastic modulus of 0.1GPa at 160°C, which is an order of magnitude higher than that of the common polybenzimidazole membranes with similar acid contents. A preliminary H2/air fuel cell test at 180°C showed a peak power density of 350mWcm-2 of the fuel cell equipped with the phosphoric acid doped PIBI-1/1 membrane with a 300wt% acid uptake, demonstrating the technical feasibility of the novel electrolyte materials. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Pages (from-to)351-358
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Copolymers
  • Electrolytes
  • Fuel cells
  • Phosphoric acid
  • Polycondensation
  • Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC)
  • Membranes
  • Poly(imide benzimidazole)
  • Phosphoric aciddoping
  • Membrane characterization
  • HT-PEM

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