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Pure Appl. Chem., 2006, Vol. 78, No. 9, pp. 1781-1791

Sulfonated polyether ether ketone (PEEK-WC)/phosphotungstic acid composite: Preparation and characterization of the fuel cell membranes

Ji Shan, Guntars Vaivars, Hongze Luo, Rushanah Mohamed and Vladimir Linkov

Department of Chemistry, University of the Western Cape, Private Bag X17, Bellville, 7535, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Abstract: Sulfonated poly(oxa-p-phenylene-3,3-phthalido-p-phenylene-oxa-p-phenylene-oxy-phenylene) (PEEK-WC) membranes with various degrees of sulfonation (DS) were prepared, and their electrochemical and thermal properties were studied. Composites were formed by adding the hydrated phosphotungstic acid (PWA). The membrane (DS = 0.96, PWA = 50 %) conductivity was increased to 3.5 x 10-2 S cm-1 at room temperature and 6.0 x 10-2 S cm-1 at 80 °C. The composite membrane with a low amount of PWA embedded, showed lower methanol crossover in comparison to Nafion®. The addition of PWA increased the water retention of the composite membrane.