Alkaline anion-exchange radiation-grafted membranes for possible electrochemical application in fuel cells
Vinylbenzyl chloride was grafted onto PVDF and FEP polymer films using radiation-grafting methodology. Subsequent reaction with trimethylamine and ion-exchange with potassium hydroxide yields alkaline anion-exchange membranes that are capable of conducting hydroxide ions; such membranes may be suitable for use in low temperature direct methanol fuel cells for portable devices. The PVDF based materials underwent an undesirable degradation and were found to be less suitable for this class of membrane. FEP-based materials exhibited superior structural stability, conductivities up to 0.02 S cm−1 at room temperature, and good retention of ion-exchange capacities when treated in water at 60 °C.