Polymer Bulletin, Vol.62, No.6, 813-827, 2009
Proton-conducting membranes from phosphotungstic acid-doped sulfonated polyimide for direct methanol fuel cell applications
A series of novel hybrid proton conducting membranes based on sulfonated naphthalimides and phosphotungstic acid (PTA) were prepared from N-Methyl Pyrrolidone (NMP) solutions. These hybrid organic-inorganic materials, composed of two proton-conducting components, have high ionic conductivities (9.3 x 10(-2) S cm(-1) at 60 A degrees C, 15% PTA), and show good performance in H-2|O-2 polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC), previously reported by us. Moreover, they have low methanol permeability compared to Nafion(A (R))112. In this paper we describe, for the first time, the behaviour of these hybrid membranes as electrolyte in a direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC). The maximum power densities achieved with PTA doped sulfonated naphthalimide membrane, operating with oxygen and air, were 34.0 and 12.2 mW cm(-2), respectively; about the double and triple higher than those showed by the non-doped membrane at 60 A degrees C.