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Title: Synthesis and Characterizations of Polymer Electrolyte Membranes Based on Aliphatic Ionomers
Keywords: Acrylic, Aliphatic Ionomer, Polymer Electrolyte Membrane, Direct Alcohol Fuel Cell, Radical Polymerization, In-situ Cross-linking
Issue Date: 25-May-2011
Citation: DAVID JULIUS (2011-05-25). Synthesis and Characterizations of Polymer Electrolyte Membranes Based on Aliphatic Ionomers. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The unique property of ionomers facilitates the formation of a continuous hydrophilic network for ionic transport in ionomer membranes, which is the basis for the design of polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMs). Many of the PEMs in use today for fuel cells are based on the perfluorosulfonate polymers, as exemplified by the highly successful commercial ionomer Nafion®. Despite their popularity in hydrogen fuel cells, Nafion® membranes are expensive and weak against alcohol permeation, rendering them less suitable for the direct alcohol fuel cells (DAFCs). Such material issues prompted the development of lower cost alcohol resistant alternative ionomers with the desired properties for DAFC applications (high proton conductivity, low alcohol crossover, and good mechanical properties). Among them the aliphatic ionomers are low cost and can be designed to bear organic functional groups that are not solvated by alcohol molecules and hence contribute to alcohol-blocking properties. This is also the approach taken by this PhD thesis study which focused on the design and synthesis of two forms of aliphatic ionomers and investigated the properties of the membranes fabricated from them. Two different ionomer structures, namely random and block ionomers consisting of hydrophobic acrylic; and hydrophobic and hydrophilic acrylate repeating units, were synthesized by free radical polymerization (FRP) and atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) respectively. In addition, in-situ cross-linking was also used to inhibit alcohol permeation and to strengthen the membrane structure.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D Theses (Open)

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