Fabrication and Characterization of a Conductive Proton Exchange Membrane Based on Sulfonated Polystyrenedivinylbenzene Resin-Polyethylene (SPSDR-PE): Application in Direct Methanol Fuel Cells

Document Type: Research Article

Authors

1 Department of Applied Chemistry, University of Gonabad, Gonabad, I.R. IRAN

2 Department of Applied Chemistry, University of Sistan and Baluchestan, P.O. Box 98135-674 Zahedan, I.R. IRAN

3 Polymer Research Laboratory, University of Sistan and Baluchestan, Zahedan, I.R. IRAN

4 Department of Inorganic Chemistry, University of Sistan and Baluchestan, Zahedan, I.R. IRAN

Abstract

A novel proton exchange membrane has been prepared using sulfonated poly(styrene-divinylbenzene) resin(SPSDR)–polyethylene(PE). The membrane is characterized by FT-IR, SEM and TGA/DSC. Water uptake, oxidative resistance, ionic conductivity and methanol permeability are measured to evaluate its performance in a direct methanol fuel cell. The on-set degradation temperature of the SPSDR is above 120°C. The membranes were confirmed to retain 1–5% water vapor at 80–140 °C in the air due to the hydrophily of highly sulfonated polystyrene. The ionic conductivity and permeability of the membrane to methanol was found to increase with temperature without extra humidity supply.A direct methanol fuel cell was designed and assembled with the suggested SPSDR-PE membrane. The effect of some experimental factors such as temperature, methanol concentration, and flow rate as well as NaOH concentration on the electrical performances of fuel cells was studied and optimized.

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