A series of crosslinked polymer electrolyte membranes were prepared by blending cellulose and sulfosuccinic acid (SA) for fuel cell applications. The crosslinking reaction of membranes occurred via the esterification between -OH of cellulose and -COOH of SA, as confirmed by FT-IR spectroscopy. Both the ion exchange capacity and the proton conductivity increased in proportion to the increase of SA concentrations due to the increasing portion of charged groups in the membrane. In contrast, the water uptake linearly increased up to 25 wt.% of SA concentration, above which it decreased abruptly. The maximum behavior of water uptake may be a result of competitive effect between the increasing number of ionic sites and the increasing degree of crosslinking with the SA concentrations. Wide angle X-ray scattering also showed that the crystalline structures of cellulose disappeared upon the introduction of SA. The mechanical properties of cellulose/SA membranes, i.e., tensile strength at break and Young's modulus, showed a maximum at 15 wt.% of SA, as revealed by universal testing machine. These membranes exhibited good thermal stability up to 250 °C, as revealed by thermal gravimetric analysis.
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Acknowledgment This research was financially supported by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE) and Korea Industrial Technology Foundation (KOTEF) through the Human Resource Training Project for Strategic Technology and by the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) grant funded by the Korea government (MEST) through Pioneer Research Program.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Materials Science(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)