An approach has been proposed to prepare the reinforced phosphoric acid (PA) doped cross-linked polybenzimidazole membranes for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells (HT-PEMFCs), using 1,3-bis(2,3-epoxypropoxy)-2,2- dimethylpropane (NGDE) as the cross-linker. FT-IR measurement and solubility test showed the successful completion of the crosslinking reaction. The resulting cross-linked membranes exhibited improved mechanical strength, making it possible to obtain higher phosphoric acid doping levels and therefore relatively high proton conductivity. Moreover, the oxidative stability of the cross-linked membranes was significantly enhanced. For instance, in Fenton's reagent (3% H2O2 solution, 4 ppm Fe2+, 70 °C), the cross-linked PBI-NGDE-20% membrane did not break into pieces and kept its shape for more than 480 h and its remaining weight percent was approximately 65%. In addition, the thermal stability was sufficient enough within the operation temperature of PBI-based fuel cells. The cross-linked PBI-NGDE-X% (X is the weight percent of epoxy resin in the cross-linked membranes) membranes displayed relatively high proton conductivity under anhydrous conditions. For instance, PBI-NGDE-5% membrane with acid uptake of 193% exhibited a proton conductivity of 0.017 S cm-1 at 200 °C. All the results indicated that it may be a suitable candidate for applications in HT-PEMFCs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Fuel Technology
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology