Fuel Cells I

Volume 215 of the series Advances in Polymer Science pp 157-217


Radiation Grafted Membranes

  • Selmiye Alkan GürselAffiliated withElectrochemistry Laboratory, Paul Scherrer InstitutFaculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences, Sabanci University
  • , Lorenz GublerAffiliated withElectrochemistry Laboratory, Paul Scherrer Institut Email author 
  • , Bhuvanesh GuptaAffiliated withDepartment of Textile Technology, Indian Institute of Technology
  • , Günther G. SchererAffiliated withElectrochemistry Laboratory, Paul Scherrer Institut

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The development of proton-exchange membranes for fuel cells has generated global interest in order to have a potential source of power for stationary and portable applications. The membrane is the heart of a fuel cell and the performance of a fuel cell depends largely on the physico-chemical nature of the membrane and its stability in the hostile environment of hydrogen and oxygen at elevated temperatures. Efforts are being made to develop membranes that are similar to commercial Nafion

® membranes in performance and are available at an affordable price. The radiation grafting of styrene and its derivatives onto existing polymer films and subsequent sulfonation of the grafted films has been an attractive route for developing these membranes with required chemistry and properties. The process of radiation grafting offers enormous possibilities for design of the polymer architecture by careful variation of the irradiation and the grafting conditions. A wide range of crosslinkers are available, which introduce stability to the membrane during its operation in fuel cells. Crosslinking of the base polymer prior to grafting has also been an attractive means of obtaining membranes with better performance. A systematic presentation is made of the grafting process into different polymers, the physical properties of the resultant membranes, and the fuel cell application of these membranes.
Polymer electrolyte fuel cell Proton exchange membrane Radiation grafting