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Polyethyleneimine-filled sepiolite nanorods-embedded poly(2,5-benzimidazole) composite membranes for wide-temperature PEMFCs

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posted on 2022-07-05, 13:03 authored by Qingting Liu, Xiaohe Wang, Xiaoxiao Zhang, Zhiwei Ling, Wenzhuo Wu, Xudong Fu, Rong Zhang, Shengfei Hu, Xiao Li, Feng Zhao, Xujin BaoXujin Bao

Proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) that operate from room temperature to high temperatures (e.g., 200 °C) are desired for fuel cells used in vehicles and combined heat and power systems. In this work, polyethyleneimine-filled sepiolite nanorods (PEI@SNR)-embedded poly(2,5-benzimidazole) composites (ABPBI/PEI@SNR) were synthesized in-situ to enhance their proton conductivity and minimize phosphoric acid (PA) leaching. They were then applied in PEMFCs between room temperature and 200 °C. The physicochemical and electrochemical properties of the composite membranes were characterized. The composite membranes showed enhanced thermal, oxidative, and dimensional stability and achieved proton conductivities above 0.01 S/cm from 40 to 200 °C at a relative humidity of 0–100%. This performance was attributed to abundant hydrogen bonds between PA, ABPBI, and PEI, and the strong retention of bound water within sepiolite nanorods (SNRs). The maximum power density of the cell based on the PA-doped ABPBI/5PEI@SNR composite membrane reached 0.16 W/cm2 at 80 °C and 0.27 W/cm2 at 180 °C and an anhydrous environment, which were respectively 2.2 and 1.5 times higher than those of the PA-doped ABPBI membrane. The cell performance was much better than previously reported zeolite-embedded polybenzimidazole membrane-based PEMFCs, indicating that the composite membranes have good application prospects in PEMFCs operating over a wide temperature range.

Funding

National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 21905083)

Open Foundation of Hubei Provincial Key Laboratory of Green Materials for Light Industry (Grant Nos. 202007B07, 202107A05)

Key Programs of Hubei Province, China (Grant No. 2021BGD018)

History

School

  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering

Department

  • Materials

Published in

Journal of Cleaner Production

Volume

359

Publisher

Elsevier

Version

  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© Elsevier

Publisher statement

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Journal of Cleaner Production and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2022.131977

Acceptance date

2022-04-22

Publication date

2022-04-27

Copyright date

2022

ISSN

0959-6526

Language

  • en

Depositor

Dr Xujin Bao. Deposit date: 29 June 2022

Article number

131977

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