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Journal of Applied Electrochemistry

, Volume 40, Issue 5, pp 1005–1018 | Cite as

Heterogeneous ion-selective membranes: the influence of the inert matrix polymer on the membrane properties

  • Karel BouzekEmail author
  • Sabina Moravcová
  • Jan Schauer
  • Libuše Brožová
  • Zbyněk Pientka
Original Paper

Abstract

Heterogeneous ion-exchange membranes were prepared by mixing small particles of sulfonated poly(1,4-phenylene sulfide) or sulfonated styrene–divinylbenzene copolymer with a matrix polymer. Four kinds of polymers were tested as a matrix: highly flexible linear polyethylene, medium-flexible fluoroelastomer, rigid polystyrene (all highly hydrophobic) and hydrophilic cellulose prepared by hydrolysis of cellulose acetate butyrate. Membrane morphologies were studied by scanning electron microscopy, IR spectroscopy and density measurements. Subsequently, the membranes were characterised with respect to their swelling in water, electrochemical characteristics and transport properties. Ion-exchange capacity and proton conductivity together with the permeability to hydrogen and methanol were investigated. The important impact of the ion-exchange particles as well as of the polymer matrix used was observed. The increasing rigidity of the polymer matrix resulted in a decrease in membrane permeability, but at the same time in deterioration of its ion-exchange capacity and subsequently of the proton conductivity, too. This was explained in terms of the limited elasticity of the polymer matrix, in each sample under study, which does not allow the ion-exchange particles to swell to an identical degree.

Keywords

Ion-exchange membrane Heterogeneous membrane Ion-exchange capacity Proton conductivity Permeability 

List of symbols

A

Membrane active area (m2)

c

Molar concentration (mol m−3)

C

Ion-exchange capacity (mol kg−1)

D

Diffusion coefficient (m2 s−1)

DS

Degree of swelling

e0

Electron charge (C)

F

Faraday’s constant (C mol−1)

j

Current density (A m−2)

k

Boltzmann constant (J K−1)

M

Partial molar volume of water (m3 mol−1)

n

Molar amount (mol)

N

Number of water molecules absorbed per one ion-exchange group

NMeOH

Number of methanol molecules transported by a proton

p

Pressure (Pa)

P

Permeability (m2 s−1)

R

Universal gas constant (J mol−1 K−1)

T

Temperature (K)

V

Volume (m3)

w

Weight (kg)

z

Charge number

Greek symbols

δ

Thickness (m)

ρ

Density (kg m−3)

\(\bar{\rho}\)

Resistivity (Ω m)

τ

Time (s)

Subscripts

calc

Calculated

d

Dry membrane

dif

Difference on the membrane

f

Feed compartment

H+

Proton

H2

Hydrogen

H2O

Water

matrix

Matrix polymer

mem

Membrane

MeOH

Methanol

p

Product part of the permeation cell

powder

Ion-exchange powder

sw

Swollen membrane

v

vapour

vol

Voluminal

Superscripts

τ

Time

0

Bulk concentration

Notes

Acknowledgements

Financial support of this research provided by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (Grant No. 203/05/0080) and Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic (No. 2A.1TP1/116) is appreciated.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karel Bouzek
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sabina Moravcová
    • 1
  • Jan Schauer
    • 2
  • Libuše Brožová
    • 2
  • Zbyněk Pientka
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Inorganic TechnologyInstitute of Chemical Technology PraguePrague 6Czech Republic
  2. 2.Institute of Macromolecular ChemistryAcademy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicPragueCzech Republic

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