PWA/silica doped sulfonated poly(ether sulfone) composite membranes for direct methanol fuel cells

Chien Chung Chen, Hung Yi Tsi, Wen Chin Tsen, Fu Sheng Chuang, Shin Cheng Jang, Yao Chi Shu, Sheng Wen, Chunli Gong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


A novel sulfonated poly(ether sulfone) (SPES)/phosphotungstic acid (PWA)/silica composite membranes for direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) application were prepared. The structure and performance of the obtained membranes were characterized by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), water uptake, proton conductivity, and methanol permeability. Compared to a pure SPES membrane, PWA and SiO2 doped membranes had a higher thermal stability and glass transition temperature (Tg) as revealed by TGA-FTIR and DSC. The morphology of the composite membranes indicated that SiO2 and PWA were uniformly distributed throughout the SPES matrix. Proper PWA and silica loadings in the composite membranes showed high proton conductivity and sufficient methanol permeability. The selectivity (the ratio of proton conductivity to methanol permeability) of the SPES-P-S 15% composite membrane was almost five times than that of Nafion 112 membrane. This excellent selectivity of SPES/PWA/silica composite membranes indicate a potential feasibility as a promising electrolyte for DMFC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1184-1192
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 15 2012


  • composite membrane
  • direct methanol fuel cells
  • phosphotungstic acid
  • sulfonated poly(ether sulfones)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Chemistry(all)


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