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Performance of the sulfonated poly ether ether ketone proton exchange membrane modified with sulfonated polystyrene and phosphotungstic acid for microbial fuel cell applications
Type Article
microbial fuel cells phosphotungstic acid proton conductivity proton exchange membranes sulfonated poly ether ether ketone sulfonated polystyrene
In this research, the preparation of low cost proton exchange membranes (PEMs) based on sulfonated poly ether ether ketone (SPEEK) for application in the microbial fuel cells (MFCs) is studied. Sulfonated polystyrene (SPS) and phosphotungstic acid (PWA) were employed to improve the performance of PEM through the creation of more proton pathways. At first, the sulfonation of PEEK and polystyrene were performed through two modified methods to obtain uniform and high degree of sulfonation (DS) of the polymers and then, the PEMs were prepared through the solution casting method. Accordingly, the formation of uniform skin layer was confirmed by the SEM micrographs. Blending the aforementioned additives to the SPEEK polymer solution significantly enhanced the proton conductivity, water uptake and durability of the modified membranes. The proton conductivities of SPEEK/SPS and SPEEK/PWA membranes at additive/SPEEK weight ratio of 0.15 were 45.3% and 26.2% higher than that of the commercial Nafion117 membrane, respectively. Moreover, the degradation times for the abovementioned modified membranes were 140 and 350 min which indicated satisfactory oxidation stability. Besides, the aforementioned membranes exhibited two times more water uptake compared to the neat SPEEK membrane. Finally, SPEEK/SPS and SPEEK/PWA membranes produced 68% and 36% higher maximum power in the MFC, compared to the commercial Nafion117 membrane. Therefore, the fabricated PEMs are potentially suitable alternatives to be used in the fuel cell applications.
Researchers hesamodin samayi (First researcher) , Golamreza Bakeri (Second researcher) , mohammad soleimani lashkenari (Third researcher)