Novel epoxy-based cross-linked polybenzimidazole for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells

Shuang Wang, Gang Zhang, Miaomiao Han, Hongtao Li, Yang Zhang, Jing Ni, Wenjia Ma, Mingyu Li, Jing Wang, Zhongguo Liu, Liyuan Zhang, Hui Na

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8412-8421
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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