Hydroxyl ion (OH–) conducting anion exchange membranes based on modified poly (phenylene oxide) are fabricated for their application in alkaline polymer electrolyte fuel cells (APEFCs). In the present study, chloromethylation of poly(phenylene oxide) (PPO) is performed by aryl substitution rather than benzyl substitution and homogeneously quaternized to form an anion exchange membrane (AEM). 1H NMR and FT–IR studies reveal successful incorporation of the above groups in the polymer backbone. The membrane is characterized for its ion exchange capacity and water uptake. The membrane formed by these processes show good ionic conductivity and when used in fuel cell exhibited an enhanced performance in comparison with the state-of-the-art commercial AHA membrane. A peak power density of 111 mW/cm2 at a load current density of 250 mA/cm2 is obtained for PPO based membrane in APEFCs at 30 °C.
Volume 43, 2020
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