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Study on the effect of the degree of grafting on the performance of polyethylene-based anion exchange membrane for fuel cell application

Lookup NU author(s): Richard Espiritu, Professor Mohamed MamloukORCiD, Emeritus Professor Keith Scott



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Alkaline anion exchange membranes (AAEM) are fabricated using polyethylene as the base polymer offering a low cost AAEM. This study focuses on the synthesis and characterisation of AAEM with controlled degree of grafting (DOG) and ion-exchange capacity (IEC) with the following parameters investigated: LDPE film thickness 30-130 mu m, gamma radiation dose and monomer concentration. The corresponding IEC, water uptake (WU) and degree of swelling (DS) are reported. The performance of 74.6% DOG membrane in a hydrogen fuel cell shows high OCV of 1.06 V with peak power density of 608 mW cm(-2) at 50 degrees C under oxygen. The use of membrane with high DOG does not impact fuel cross-over significantly and provides improved fuel cell performance due to better conductivity, water transport and resilience to dehydration. The AAEM shows long term stability at 80 degrees C exhibiting a conductivity of ca. 0.11 S cm(-1) over a period of 7 months under nitrogen. The membrane shows a degradation rate of 4 and 17 mS month(-1) under nitrogen and oxygen, respectively. The estimated life time of the membrane is 2 years under nitrogen and 5.5 months under oxygen operating at 80 degrees C. Copyright (C) 2015, The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of Hydrogen Energy Publications, LLC.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Espiritu R, Mamlouk M, Scott K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Hydrogen Energy

Year: 2016

Volume: 41

Issue: 2

Pages: 1120-1133

Print publication date: 12/01/2016

Online publication date: 12/11/2015

Acceptance date: 24/10/2015

ISSN (print): 0360-3199

ISSN (electronic): 1879-3487

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2015.10.108


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Funder referenceFunder name
Philippine Department of Science and Technology through the Engineering Research for Development and Technology Program (ERDT-DOST)
EP/M005933/1Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC-UK)