A novel sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) and cross-linked membranes for fuel cells

Hongtao Li, Gang Zhang, Jing Wu, Chengji Zhao, Yang Zhang, Ke Shao, Miaomiao Han, Haidan Lin, Jing Zhu, Hui Na

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47 Scopus citations


A novel poly(ether ether ketone) (PEEK) containing pendant carboxyl groups has been synthesized by a nucleophilic polycondensation reaction. Sulfonated polymers (SPEEKs) with different ion exchange capacity are then obtained by post-sulfonation process. The structures of PEEK and SPEEKs are characterized by both FT-IR and 1H NMR. The properties of SPEEKs as candidates for proton exchange membranes are studied. The cross-linking reaction is performed at 140 °C using poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) as the cross-linker. In comparison with the non-cross-linked membranes, some properties of the cross-linked membranes are significantly improved, such as water uptake, methanol resistance, mechanical and oxidative stabilities, while the proton conductivity decreases. The effect of PVA content on proton conductivity, water uptake, swelling ratio, and methanol permeability is also investigated. Among all the membranes, SPEEK-C-8 shows the highest selectivity of 50.5 × 104 S s cm-3, which indicates that it is a suitable candidate for applications in direct methanol fuel cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6443-6449
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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