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Radiation‐grafted membranes for fuel cell electrolytes

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Proton exchange membranes were prepared by simultaneous radiation grafting of styrene onto polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) films at room temperature and subsequent sulfonation by chlorosulfonic acid. A series of grafted films with degree of grafting ranging from 0.947% to 35.4% were obtained. The effect of styrene concentration on the grafting yield was investigated and the maximum value was obtained at a monomer concentration of 70‐vol%. The structure of PTFE‐graft‐polystyrene sulfonic acid membranes was studied by infrared spectroscopy. The membrane properties, such as water uptake, ion exchange capacity, swelling performance and ionic resistance, were studied as functions of the degree of grafting. The thermal and chemical stability of the sulfonic acid membranes was also investigated. The membrane properties were found to depend on the degree of grafting and the amorphous character of the membrane structure, and the better membrane properties were obtained at a degree of grafting in the range 12–21%. Copyright © 2003 Society of Chemical Industry
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Keywords: polytetrafluoroethylene film; radiation grafting; styrene; sulfonic acid membrane

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Chemical Engineering, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi'an, Shaanxi 710072, People's Republic of China

Publication date: August 1, 2003

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