Nanocomposite SPEEK-based membranes for direct methanol fuel cells at intermediate temperatures Articles uri icon



publication date

  • October 2015

start page

  • 123

end page

  • 136


  • 492

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0376-7388

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-3123


  • Novel nanocomposite membranes were prepared by infiltration of a blend of sulfonated PEEK (SPEEK) with polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), using water as solvent, into electrospun nanofibers of SPEEK blended with polyvinyl butyral (PVB). The membranes were characterized for their application on Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFCs) operating at moderate temperatures (>80 °C). An important role of the solvent on the crosslinking temperature for the SPEEK-PVA system was observed. A mat of hydrated SPEEK-30%PVB nanofibers revealed higher proton conductivity in comparison with a dense membrane of similar composition. Incorporation of the nanofiber mats to the SPEEK-35%PVA matrix provided mechanical stability, methanol barrier properties and certain proton conductivity up to a crosslinking temperature of 120 °C. Not remarkable effect of the nanofibers was found above that crosslinking temperature. The combined effect of the nanofibers and crosslinking temperature on the properties of the membranes is discussed. DMFC performance experiments concluded promising results for this new low-cost type of membranes, although further optimization steps are still required.


  • nanofibers; sulfonated peek; pva; pvb; dmfc membranes