Sulfonated fluorinated multi-block copolymer hybrid containing sulfonated(poly ether ether ketone) and graphene oxide: A ternary hybrid membrane architecture for electrolyte applications in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

Ae Rhan Kim, Vinothkannan Mohanraj, Dong Jin Yoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A ternary hybrid membrane architecture consisting of sulfonated fluorinated multi-block copolymer (SFMC), sulfonated (poly ether ether ketone) (SPEEK) and 1 or 5 wt% graphene oxide (GO) was fabricated through a facile solution casting approach. The simple, but effective monomer sulfonation was performed for SFMC to create compact and rigid hydrophobic backbone structures, while conventional random sulfonation was carried-out for SPEEK. Hydrophilic-hydrophobic-hydrophilic structure of SFMC enhances the compatibility with SPEEK and GO and allows for an unprecedented approach to alter mechanical strength and proton conductivity of ternary hybrid membrane, as verified from universal test machine (UTM) curves and alternating current (AC) impedance plots. The impact of GO integration on the morphology and roughness of hybrid membrane was scrutinized using field emission scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM) and atomic force microscope (AFM). Ternary hybrid showed uniform intercalation of GO nanosheets throughout the entire surface of membrane with an increased surface roughness of 8.91 nm. The constructed ternary hybrid membrane revealed excellent water absorption, ion exchange capacity and gas barrier properties, while retaining reasonable dimensional stability. The well-optimized ternary hybrid membrane containing 5 wt% GO revealed a maximum proton conductivity of 111.9 mS/cm, which is higher by a factor of two-fold with respect to that of bare SFMC membrane. The maximum PEMFC power density of 528.07 mW/cm2 was yielded by ternary hybrid membrane at a load current density of 1321.1 mA/cm2 when operating the cell at 70 °C under 100% relative humidity (RH). In comparison, a maximum power density of only 182.06 mW/cm2 was exhibited by the bare SFMC membrane at a load current density of 455.56 mA/cm2 under same operating conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1247-1260
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Energy Chemistry
Volume27
Issue number4
Early online date3 Mar 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

© 2018 Science Press and Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press. All rights reserved.

Funder

This work was supported by the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) and the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE) of the Republic of Korea (No. 20164030201070). This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and future Planning (NRF-2017R1A2B4005230).

Keywords

  • Sulfonated fluorinated multi-block copolymer
  • Sulfonated (poly ether ether ketone)
  • Graphene oxide
  • Hydrogen bonding
  • Proton conductivity

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