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A new sequence isomer of AB-polybenzimidazole for high-temperature PEM fuel cells

Authors

  • Alexander L. Gulledge,

    1. Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry & USC NanoCenter, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina 29208
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  • Bin Gu,

    1. Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry & USC NanoCenter, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina 29208
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  • Brian C. Benicewicz

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry & USC NanoCenter, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina 29208
    • Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry & USC NanoCenter, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina 29208
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Abstract

A new sequence isomer of AB-polybenzimidazole (AB-PBI) was developed as a candidate for high-temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. A diacid monomer, 2,2′-bisbenzimidazole-5,5′-dicarboxylic acid, was synthesized and polymerized with 3,3′,4,4′-tetraaminobiphenyl to prepare a polymer that was composed of repeating 2,5-benzimidazole units. In contrast to previously prepared AB-PBI, which contains only head-to-tail benzimidazole sequences, the new polymer also contains head-to-head and tail-to-tail benzimidazole sequences. The polymer was prepared in polyphosphoric acid (PPA) and cast into membranes using the sol–gel PPA process. Membranes formed from the new AB-PBI were found to be mechanically stronger, possessed higher acid doping levels, and showed improved fuel cell performance, when compared to the previously known AB-PBI. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem, 2012

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