New blend nanocomposite membranes based on PBI/sulfonated poly(ether keto imide sulfone) and functionalized quantum dot with improved fuel cell performance at high temperatures

Hooshyari K., Rezania H., Vatanpour V. , Rastgoo-Deylami M., Rajabi H. R.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESEARCH, vol.45, no.15, pp.21274-21292, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 45 Issue: 15
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/er.7178
  • Page Numbers: pp.21274-21292
  • Keywords: polybenzimidazole, proton conductivity, proton exchange membrane, quantum dot, sulfonated polymers, PROTON-EXCHANGE MEMBRANES, DOPED POLYBENZIMIDAZOLE, ELECTROLYTE MEMBRANES, IONIC LIQUIDS, NANOPARTICLES, PEM, CONDUCTIVITY, PBI, ENHANCEMENT, FABRICATION


In this work, we reported the synthesis of a sulfonated poly(ether keto imide sulfone) (SPEKIS) using a novel aromatic diol containing nitrogen heterocycles and sulfonic monomer. New nanocomposite blend membranes were prepared using obtained SPEKIS and polybenzimidazole (PBI) with the incorporation of zinc sulfide (ZnS) functionalized quantum dots (FQDs) having both -COOH and NH2 groups with a solution-casting method and were used as proton exchange membranes. The SPEKIS and ZnS FQDs were used for the first time in the preparation of new nanocomposite blend membranes based on PBI. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of SPEKIS and ZnS FQDs on the PBI membrane performance in proton conductivity, mechanical and chemical stability, and fuel cell performance. The result displayed that the phosphoric acid doping content and proton conductivity of the PBI-SPEKIS-ZnS FQDs blend nanocomposite membranes enhanced which can be attributed to interactions of thiazole rings and -SO3H group of SPEKIS, NH2 and -COOH groups of ZnS FQDs, N-H groups of PBI, and phosphoric acid with each other. The best membrane performance (the best proton conductivity) of the prepared nanocomposite blend membranes was obtained at 162 mS/cm at 7% relative humidity and 180 degrees C. The power density of the PBI-SPEKIS blend membranes (SPEKIS/PBI: 24 wt%) was obtained 0.55 W/cm(2) while this parameter for the PBI-SPEKIS-ZnS FQDs blend nanocomposite membranes (SPEKIS/PBI: 24 and 3 wt% of ZnS FQDs) obtained 0.67 W/cm(2) in 7% RH, 0.5 V, and 180 degrees C. These outcomes highlighted the point that the prepared nanocomposite membranes of this research have valuable properties to be considered as a capable sample for the high-temperature fuel cell with enhanced performance. Highlights Zinc sulfide (ZnS) functionalized quantum dots (FQDs) due to having both -COOH and NH2 groups are one of the best promising nanoparticles for proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Interactions of thiazole rings and -SO3H group of sulfonated poly(ether keto imide sulfone) (SPEKIS), N-H and -COOH of ZnS FQDs, and N-H groups of PBI increase the proton conductivity. The SPEKSI/PBI/ZnS FQDs nanocomposite blend membranes show the best fuel cell performance (a power density of 0.67 W/cm(2) at 180 degrees C and 7% RH).