Synthesis characterization and performance evaluation of tungstic acid functionalized SBA-15/SPEEK composite membrane for proton exchange membrane fuel cell
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Mesoporous Santa Barbara Amorphous (SBA-15) was synthesized and covalently bonded with tungstic acid group using a simple two-step process involving chloromethylation, followed by reaction with disodium tungstate. The tungstic acid functionalized SBA-15 (W-SBA-15) was characterized using FTIR, solid-state 13C CP/MAS NMR, low-angle XRD, SEM, TEM and BET analyses. Sulphonated poly ether ether ketone (SPEEK) was chosen as a base membrane for fabricating the composite membranes. Composite W-SBA-15/SPEEK membranes were prepared with different filler concentrations (2, 4, 6 and 8%) of W-SBA-15. Various studies such as water uptake, ion exchange capacity and proton conductivity of the composite membranes were carried out with respect to fuel cell applications. From the studies, it was found that the W-SBA-15/SPEEK membrane with wt. 6% of filler exhibited superior electrochemical properties. Finally, membrane electrode assembly (MEA) fabricated using 6% W-SBA-15/SPEEK composite membrane, Pt anode and Pt cathode was tested in an in-house built fuel cell setup of area 25 cm2. A maximum power density of 405 mW/cm2 and open circuit voltage of 0.95 V were achieved at 80 °C.
KeywordsTungstic acid functionalized SBA-15 Proton exchange membrane Fuel cell performance Ionic conductivity Mesoporus materials
The authors thank Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi, India (Vide letter No. 01(2452)/11/EMR-11, letter dated 16.05.2011) and SERB, New Delhi, India for the financial support (Vide file No. EMR/2016/005615).
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Conflict of interest
On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
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