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Original Article

Nafion/sulfonated poly(indene) polyelectrolyte membranes for fuel cell application

Marques, Jeanne Leticia da Silva; Zanatta, Ana Paula Soares; Hattenberger, Mariska; Forte, Maria Madalena de Camargo
Abstract: Sulfonated poly(indene) (SPInd), with 35% and 45% degree of sulfonation, was blended with Nafion to prepare blended membranes with 10, 15 and 20 wt.% of SPInd. Membranes were evaluated by infrared spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, differential scanning calorimetry, scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction. Water uptake (WU), ion exchange capacity (IEC) and through-plane proton conductivity were measured. The membranes presented similar thermal stability to Nafion. WU was slightly higher for Nafion/SPInd membranes (19-21% at RT and 40-44% at 90 °C) compared with recast Nafion (16% and 34%, respectively), and IEC values showed a similar trend. Blended Nafion membranes had increased proton conductivity of 2.41 x 10-2 and 2.37 x 10-2 Scm-1 (20 wt. % of SPInd 35% and 45%, respectively), compared with 1.16 x 10-2 Scm-1 for recast Nafion. The results show that the addition of SPInd to Nafion is a potential route towards improving the performance of Nafion in proton conductivity for use in fuel cells devices.
blended membrane, Nafion, proton exchange membrane, sulfonated poly(indene)

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