Polybenzimidazole based nanocomposite membranes with enhanced proton conductivity for high temperature PEM fuel cells

Ozdemir Y., Uregen N., DEVRİM Y.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HYDROGEN ENERGY, vol.42, no.4, pp.2648-2657, 2017 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 42 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2016.04.132
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.2648-2657
  • Keywords: Polybenzimidazole, Composite membrane, Titanium dioxide, Silicon dioxide, Zirconium phosphate, High temperature proton exchange, membrane fuel cells, ACID DOPED POLYBENZIMIDAZOLE, COMPOSITE MEMBRANES, PERFORMANCE, EXCHANGE
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


In this study, phosphoric acid doped PBI nanocomposite membranes were prepared by dispersion of various amounts of inorganic nanoparticles in PBI polymer followed by phosphoric acid (H3PO4) doping for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells (HT-PEMFC). All of the PBI composite membranes were cast from the same FBI polymer with the same molecular weight. Titanium dioxide (TiO2), silicon dioxide (SiO2) and inorganic proton conductor zirconium phosphate (ZrP) were used as inorganic fillers. The PBI based composite membranes were characterized in terms of their acid uptake and acid leaching properties, mechanical properties, chemical stabilities in N-N Dimethylacetamide (DMAc) and impedance analyses. Thermal gravimetric analysis confirmed the improved thermal stability of the PBI composite membranes. The existence of inorganic fillers was improved the acid retention capability. Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) showed that the introduction of 5 wt. % SiO2 or 5 wt. % ZrP helps to increase proton conductivity. The composite membrane with TiO2 retained low conductivity values than pristine PBI and this is a result of its non-uniform membrane structure. The highest proton conductivity of 0.200 S/cm was obtained for PBI/ZrP composite membrane with the highest value of H3PO4 doping level. Nyquist plots are drawn for all the membranes at different temperatures and the plots showed good fit with Randel's circuit. As a result the experimental results suggested that the PBI based composite membranes may be a promising electrolyte used in HT-PEMFC. (C) 2016 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.