Sulfonated poly (arylene ether ketone) bearing carboxyl groups (SPAEK-C) membranes have been prepared as proton exchange membranes for applications in direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). Multilayered polyelectrolyte complexes (PECs) which applied as methanol barrier agents are prepared by alternate deposition of the oppositely charged amino-containing poly (ether ether ketone) (Am-PEEK) and the highly sulfonated SPAEK-C via a layer-by-layer method. The cross-linked PEC (c-PEC) is derived from a simple heat-induced cross-linking reaction between Am-PEEK and SPAEK-C. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy confirms that Am-PEEK and SPAEK-C are assembled successfully in the multilayers. The morphology of the membranes is studied by scanning electron microscopy, which shows the presence of the thin layers coated on the SPAEK-C membrane. After PEC and c-PEC modification, the methanol permeability decreases obviously when compared to that of the pristine membrane. Notably, improved proton conductivities are obtained for the PEC modified membranes in comparison with the pristine membrane. Moreover, the selectivity of these modified membranes is one order of magnitude higher than that of Nafion 117. The thermal stability, oxidative stability, water uptake and swelling of PEC and c-PEC modified membranes are also investigated.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering