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Covalently Cross-Linked Sulfone Polybenzimidazole Membranes with Poly(Vinylbenzyl Chloride) for Fuel Cell Applications

Authors

  • Jingshuai Yang,

    1. Department of Chemistry, College of Sciences, Northeastern University, Shenyang 110819 (P.R. China), Fax: (+86) 2483676698
    2. Department of Energy Conversion and Storage, Technical University of Denmark, Kemitorvet 207, DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby (Denmark), Fax: (+45) 45883136
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  • Dr. David Aili,

    1. Department of Energy Conversion and Storage, Technical University of Denmark, Kemitorvet 207, DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby (Denmark), Fax: (+45) 45883136
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  • Dr. Qingfeng Li,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Energy Conversion and Storage, Technical University of Denmark, Kemitorvet 207, DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby (Denmark), Fax: (+45) 45883136
    • Department of Energy Conversion and Storage, Technical University of Denmark, Kemitorvet 207, DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby (Denmark), Fax: (+45) 45883136
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  • Dr. Lars N. Cleemann,

    1. Department of Energy Conversion and Storage, Technical University of Denmark, Kemitorvet 207, DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby (Denmark), Fax: (+45) 45883136
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  • Dr. Jens Oluf Jensen,

    1. Department of Energy Conversion and Storage, Technical University of Denmark, Kemitorvet 207, DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby (Denmark), Fax: (+45) 45883136
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  • Prof. Niels J. Bjerrum,

    1. Department of Energy Conversion and Storage, Technical University of Denmark, Kemitorvet 207, DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby (Denmark), Fax: (+45) 45883136
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  • Prof. Ronghuan He

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemistry, College of Sciences, Northeastern University, Shenyang 110819 (P.R. China), Fax: (+86) 2483676698
    • Department of Chemistry, College of Sciences, Northeastern University, Shenyang 110819 (P.R. China), Fax: (+86) 2483676698
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Abstract

Covalently cross-linked polymer membranes were fabricated from poly(aryl sulfone benzimidazole) (SO2PBI) and poly(vinylbenzyl chloride) (PVBCl) as electrolytes for high-temperature proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells. The cross-linking imparted organo insolubility and chemical stability against radical attack to the otherwise flexible SO2PBI membranes. Steady phosphoric acid doping of the cross-linked membranes was achieved at elevated temperatures with little swelling. The acid-doped membranes exhibited increased mechanical strength compared to both pristine SO2PBI and poly[2,2′-(m-phenylene)-5,5′-bibenzimidazole] (mPBI). The superior characteristics of the cross-linked SO2PBI membranes allowed higher acid doping levels and, therefore, higher proton conductivity. Fuel-cell tests with the cross-linked membranes demonstrated a high open circuit voltage and improved power performance and durability.

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