Journal of Power Sources, Vol.276, 309-319, 2015
Fabrication of low-methanol-permeability sulfonated poly(phenylene oxide) membranes with hollow glass microspheres for direct methanol fuel cells
Organic/inorganic composite membranes, based on sulfonated poly(phenylene oxide) (SPPO) and hollow glass microspheres (HGMs), with various compositions are prepared for use as proton exchange membranes in direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). Reaction time between chlorosulfonic acid solution and PPO is controlled to improve proton conductivity of the SPPO membrane. As a result, SPPO at 38.2% sulfonation is selected as the optimum degree of sulfonation. Afterwards, SPPO is successfully introduced onto the surfaces of HGMs to increase their dispersion in the SPPO matrix. The ion exchange capacities (IEC) and proton conductivities of the membranes decrease with increasing amounts of the SPPO-HGMs, because of the decrease of ionic sites with increasing HGM content. The SPPO-HGM composite membranes exhibit proton conductivities ranging from 0.0350 to 0.0212 S cm(-1) and low methanol permeability ranging from 1.02 x 10(-6) to 3.41 x 10(-7) cm(2) s(-1) at 20 degrees C. Furthermore, the SPPO-HGM 9 wt%/SPPO membrane presents a maximum power density of 81.5 mW cm(-2) and open circuit voltage of 0.70 V. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.