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A novel alkaline exchange ionomer (AEI) was prepared from the radiation-grafting of vinylbenzyl chloride (VBC) onto poly(ethylene-co-tetrafluoroethylene) [ETFE] powders with powder particle sizes of less than 100 μm diameter. Quaternisation of the VBC grafted ETFE powders with trimethylamine resulted in AEIs that were chemically the same as the ETFE-based radiation-grafted alkaline anion exchange membranes (AAEM) that had been previously developed for use in low temperature alkaline polymer electrolyte fuel cells (APEFC). The integration of the AEI powders into the catalyst layers (CL) of both electrodes resulted in a H2/O2 fuel cell peak power density of 240 mW cm−2 at 50 °C (compared to 180 mW cm−2 with a benchmark membrane electrode assembly containing identical components apart from the use of a previous generation AEI). This result is promising considering the wholly un-optimised nature of the AEI inclusion into the catalyst layers.


This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence by the Journal of Materials Chemistry A , 2014, Royal Society of Chemistry.

Poynton, S., Slade, R., Omasta, T., Mustain, W., Escudero-Cid, R., Ocón, P., & Varcoe, J. (2014). Preparation of radiation-grafted powders for use as anion exchange ionomers in alkaline polymer electrolyte fuel cells. Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 2(14), 5124-5130. doi: 10.1039/c4ta00558a