Acceleration of Chemical Degradation of Perfluorosulfonic Acid Ionomer Membrane by Mechanical Stress: Experimental Evidence

Document Type


Subject Area(s)

Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering


The authors report experimental evidence of interactions between chemical degradation rate and mechanical stress for perfluorosulfonic acid membrane. A modified gas phase Fenton's test was used for this study. Mechanical stress was applied to iron impregnated NRE211 membranes while chemical degradation was occurring via Fenton's reaction. After the aging test, the fluoride ion released from the sample membrane was measured. The membrane samples were also analyzed by FTIR. The test results suggest that mechanical stress accelerates the rate of chemical decomposition of perfluorosulfonic acid membranes, identified by the increase in fluoride emission from the membrane and the increase in concentration of carboxylic (COOH) end groups in the membrane when mechanical stress was applied to the sample under gas phase Fenton tests.