Blended Nafion®/SPEEK direct methanol fuel cell membranes for reduced methanol permeability

Jie Cheng Tsai, Hui Pin Cheng, Jen Feng Kuo, Yao Hui Huang, Chuh Yung Chen

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70 Citations (Scopus)


Sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone)s (SPEEKs) were substituted on a polymer main chain that had previously been prepared by sulfonation of poly(ether ether ketone)s in concentrated sulfuric acid for a specified time. The product was then blended with Nafion® to create composite membranes. The blended SPEEK-containing membranes featured flaky domains dispersed in the Nafion® matrix. These blends possessed a high thermal decomposition temperature. Additionally, owing to the more crystalline, the blended membranes had a lower water uptake compared to recast Nafion®, the methanol permeability was reduced to 1.70 × 10-6 to 9.09 × 10-7 cm2 s-1 for various SPEEK concentrations, and a maximum proton conductivity of ∼0.050 S cm-1 was observed at 30 °C. The single-cell performances of the Nafion®/SPEEK membranes, with various SPEEK concentrations and a certain degree of sulfonation, were 15-25 mW cm-2 for SPEEK53 and 19-27 mW cm-2 for SPEEK63, at 80 °C. The power density and open circuit voltage were higher than those of Nafion® 115 (power density = 22 mW cm-2). The blended membranes satisfy the requirements of proton exchange membranes for direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)958-965
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Apr 15

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


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