Sulfonated dextran/poly(vinyl alcohol) polymer electrolyte membranes for direct methanol fuel cells
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Polymer electrolyte membranes, featuring ionic channels, were prepared from sulfonated dextran/ poly(vinyl alcohol) (sD/PVA) membranes. A stiff sulfated dextran was chosen as the route for ionic transport, since ionic sites are located along the stiff dextran main chain. The sD/PVA blend membranes were annealed and then chemically crosslinked. The characteristics of the crosslinked sD/PVA membranes were investigated to determine their suitability as proton exchange membranes. The proton conductivity was found to increase with increasing amounts of sD inside the membrane, which reached a maximum and then decreased when the sD content exceeded 30 wt%, while the methanol permeability increased with increasing sD content. The good dispersion of sD inside the membrane, which serves as an ionic channels mimic, played a significant role in proton transportation.
Keywordspolymer electrolyte membranes direct methanol fuel cells poly(vinyl alcohol) dextran
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