In order to develop cheaper and better fuel-cell electrolyte membranes than the polyperfluorosulfonic acids, an effort has been made to improve the fuel-cell relevant properties of sulfonated styrene/divinylbenzenegrafted poly(ethylene-alt-tetrafluoroethylene) membranes. Thus the influence of the crosslinking agent divinylbenzene has been investigated and its amount optimized. Substitution of styrene by methylstyrene and t-butylstyrene has been performed with the purpose of improving the chemical stability of the membranes. Grafting with a fraction of divinylbenzene in the order of 1-2 vol-% of the total monomers has been found to be the best compromise between high grafting yield, good chemical stability, and high proton conductivity of the final membrane. The use of methylstyrene and t-butylstyrene as grafting monomers instead of styrene results in substantially increased chemical stability, with reasonable proton conductivity still being possible to obtain.
- Fuel cell, membrane, polymer electrolyte, grafting, crosslinking, alkyl substitution, fluoropolymer, ETFE, styrene, divinylbenzene, DVB, methylstyrene, tert-butylstyrene, t-butylstyrene