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Polymer Nanocomposite membrane of Sulfonated Poly(styrene-isobutylene-styrene) with Sulfonated Graphene Pxide for fuel cell and Protective Clothing Applications Academic Article uri icon


  • Graphene oxide (GO) and its sulfonated analog (sGO) have been incorporated into sulfonated poly(styrene‐isobutylene‐styrene) (SO3H SIBS) in order to enhance its water retention and proton conductivity, while aiming to block permeant passage through the material. The polymer nanocomposite membranes (PNMs) were tested for two applications: direct methanol fuel cell and chemical and biological protective clothing. The transport properties of the membranes were determined as a function of SIBS sulfonation level (i.e., 37, 61, and 88 mol%), filler type (i.e., GO and sGO) and filler loading (i.e., 1, 3, 5, and 10 wt%). Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) confirmed the functionalization and incorporation of the fillers into SO3H SIBS. No significant changes were observed in the thermal stability or FTIR spectra of the PNMs after addition of the fillers. Dissimilar behaviors were observed for the ion exchange capacity, water absorption capabilities and transport properties of the membranes after incorporation of the fillers. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) phase images and Fenton's test results indicate that the oxidative stability of the PNMs is associated to the interconnectivity between the hydrophilic domains of the fillers and SO3H SIBS. The PNMs presented low permeability and high proton conductivity and thus, functioned adequately for both applications.

publication date

  • 2019