Ion track grafting: A way of producing low-cost and highly proton conductive membranes for fuel cell applicationsReport as inadecuate

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1 LSI - UMR 7642 - Laboratoire des Solides Irradiés 2 CIMAP - UMR 6252 - Centre de recherche sur les Ions, les MAtériaux et la Photonique 3 SPRAM - UMR 5819 - Structures et propriétés d-architectures moléculaire 4 LCPEM - Laboratoire des Composants PEM

Abstract : Keywords: Ion track grafting Radiografting Swift heavy ions Proton conductivity Polymer electrolyte membrane Proton exchange membrane fuel cell a b s t r a c t Proton conductive individual channels through a polyvinyl di-fluoride PVDF matrix have been designed using the ion track grafting technique. The styrene molecules were radiografted and further sulfonated leading to sulfonated polystyrene PSSA domains within PVDF. The grafting process all along the cylindrical ion tracks creates after functionalisation privileged paths perpendicular to the membrane plane for proton conduction from the anode to the cathode when used in fuel cells. Such ion track grafted PVDF-g-PSSA membranes have low gas permeation properties against H 2 and O 2. A degree of grafting Y w of 140% was chosen to ensure a perfect coverage of PSSA onto PVDF-g-PSSA surface minimizing interfacial ohmic losses with the active layers of the Membrane Electrolyte Assembly MEA. A three-day fuel cell test has been performed feeding the cell with pure H 2 and O 2 , at the anode and cathode side respectively. Temperature has been progressively increased from 50 to 80 • C. Polarisation curves and Elec-trochemical Impedance Spectroscopy EIS at different current densities were used to evaluate the MEA performance. From these last measurements, it has been possible to determine the resistance of the MEA during the fuel cell tests and, thus the membrane conductivity. The proton conductivities of such membranes estimated during fuel cell tests range from 50 mS cm −1 to 80 mS cm −1 depending on the operating conditions. These values are close to that of perfluorosulfonated membrane such as Nafion ® in similar conditions.

Author: M.-C Clochard - T Berthelot - C Baudin - N Betz - Emmanuel Balanzat - G Gébel - A Morin -



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