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Polybenzimidazole containing benzimidazole side groups for high-temperature fuel cell applications

Authors
Journal
Polymer
0032-3861
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
50
Issue
15
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.polymer.2009.06.018
Keywords
  • Polybenzimidazole
  • Fuel Cell
  • Membrane

Abstract

Abstract A polybenzimidazole (PBI) containing bulky basic benzimidazole side groups, poly[2,2′-(2-benzimidazole- p-phenylene)-5,5′-bibenzimidazole] (BI pPBI), was prepared via the condensation polymerization of 3,3′-diaminobenzidine tetrahydrochloride dihydrate with 2-benzimidazole terephthalic acid in PPA. BI pPBI was found to be soluble in aprotic polar solvents without the addition of inorganic salts, such as lithium chloride, and the BI pPBI film also showed very good acid retention capability as well as very high proton conductivity. The maximum acid content of the BI pPBI film was approximately 81 wt.% and the proton conductivity value of the acid-doped BI pPBI membrane was 0.16 S cm −1 at 180 °C and a 0% relative humidity. For comparison, the maximum proton conductivity of the most commonly used polymer for the high-temperature fuel cell membrane, poly[2,2′-( m-phenylene)-5,5′-bibenzimidazole] ( mPBI) membrane, is approximately 0.06 S·cm −1 at 180 °C under anhydrous conditions at a 65 wt.% acid content, which is the maximum acid content that a mPBI membrane can have.

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