Alkyl chain modified sulfonated poly(ether sulfone) for fuel cell applications

N. Nambi Krishnan, Dirk Henkensmeier, Jong Hyun Jang, Hyoung Juhn Kim, Heung Yong Ha, Suk Woo Nam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


A new alkyl chain modified sulfonated poly(ether sulfone) (mPES) was synthesized and formed into membranes. The MEAs were tested in the PEMFC and evaluated systematically in the DMFC by varying the methanol concentration from 0.5 to 5.0 M at 60 °C and 70 °C. The synthesized mPES copolymer has been characterized by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, and gel permeation chromatography. The proton conductivity of the resulting membrane is higher than the threshold value of 10-2 S cm-1 at room temperature for practical PEM fuel cells. The membrane is insoluble in boiling water, thermally stable until 250 °C and shows low methanol permeability. In the H2/air PEMFC at 70 °C, a current density of 600 mA cm -2 leads to a potential of 637 mV and 658 mV for 50 μm thick mPES 60 and Nafion NRE 212, respectively. In the DMFC, mPES 60's methanol crossover current density is 4 times lower than that for Nafion NRE 212, leading to higher OCV values and peak power densities. Among all investigated conditions and materials, the highest peak power density of 120 mW cm-2 was obtained with an mPES 60 based MEA at 70 °C and a methanol feed of 2 M.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2889-2899
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Feb 27


  • Alkyl chain modification
  • Direct methanol fuel cell
  • Fuel cell membrane
  • Poly(ether sulfone)
  • Proton exchange membrane fuel cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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