Role of post-sulfonation of poly(ether ether sulfone) in proton conductivity and chemical stability of its proton exchange membranes for fuel cell

Unveren E. E., Erdogan T., Celebi S. S., Inan T. Y.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HYDROGEN ENERGY, vol.35, no.8, pp.3736-3744, 2010 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Commercially available poly(ether ether sulfone), PEES, was directly sulfonated using concentrated sulfuric acid at low temperatures by minimizing degradation during sulfonation. The sulfonation reaction was performed in the temperature range of 5-25 degrees C. Sulfonated polymers were characterized by FTIR, H-1 NMR spectroscopy and ion exchange capacity (IEC) measurements. Degradation during sulfonation was investigated by measuring intrinsic viscosity, glass transition temperature and thermal decomposition temperature of sulfonated polymers. Sulfonated PEES, SPEES, membranes were prepared by solvent casting method and characterized in terms of IEC, proton conductivity and water uptake. The effect of sulfonation conditions on chemical stability of membranes was also investigated via Fenton test. Optimum sulfonation condition was determined to be 10 degrees C with conc. H2SO4 based on the characteristics of sulfonated polymers and also the chemical stability of their membranes. SPEES membranes exhibited proton conductivity up to 185.8 mS cm(-1) which is higher than that of Nafion 117 (133.3 mS cm(-1)) measured at 80 degrees C and relative humidity 100%. (C) 2010 Professor T. Nejat Veziroglu. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.