As a key component of direct methanol fuel cells, proton exchange membranes with suitable thickness and robust mechanical properties have attracted increasing attention. On the one hand, a thinner membrane gives a lower internal resistance, which contributes highly to the overall electrochemical performance of the cell, on the other hand, strong mechanical strength is required for the application of proton exchange membranes. In this work, a sulfonated poly (fluorenyl ether ketone) (SPFEK)-impregnated polyimide nanofiber mat composite membrane (PI@SPFEK) was fabricated. The new composite membrane with a thickness of about 55 µm exhibited a tensile strength of 35.1 MPa in a hydrated state, which is about 65.8% higher than that of the pristine SPFEK membrane. The antioxidant stability test in Fenton’s reagent shows that the reinforced membrane affords better oxidation stability than does the pristine SPFEK membrane. Furthermore, the morphology, proton conductivity, methanol permeability, and fuel cell performance were carefully evaluated and discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Polymers and Plastics