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Cross-Linked Benzoxazine–Benzimidazole Copolymer Electrolyte Membranes for Fuel Cells at Elevated Temperature

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journal contribution
posted on 22.02.2016, 06:24 by Sung-Kon Kim, Seong-Woo Choi, Woo Seong Jeon, Jung Ock Park, Taeyun Ko, Hyuk Chang, Jong-Chan Lee
Here we report new H3PO4-doped cross-linked benzoxazine–benzimidazole copolymer membranes showing high proton conductivity and long-term durability for use in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells at elevated temperatures (>100 °C). The cross-linked copolymer membranes were prepared by mixing of poly­[2,2′-(m-phenylene)-5,5′-bibenzimidazole] (PBI) with 3-phenyl-3,4-dihydro-6-tert-butyl-2H-1,3-benzoxazine (pBUa) in N,N-dimethylacetamide, with subsequent stepwise heating to 220 °C, and even large-sized films (30 cm × 140 m) could be easily prepared. The membranes showed high proton conductivities of up to 0.12 S cm–1 at 150 °C under anhydrous conditions. Membrane–electrode assemblies (MEAs) employing the membranes showed operating voltages of 0.71 V at 0.2 A cm–2. Furthermore, the MEAs displayed long-term durability up to 1999 cycles, with much slower performance decay, −0.03 mV h–1, than those prepared using the PBI membrane in in situ accelerated lifetime mode (load cycling testing).