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Highly conductive partially cross-linked poly(2,6-dimethyl-1,4-phenylene oxide) as anion exchange membrane and ionomer for water electrolysis

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Zhiming Feng, Dr Pilar Esteban, Dr Gaurav Gupta, Dr David Fulton, Professor Mohamed MamloukORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


© 2021 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC. Cross-linked quaternised Poly(2,6-dimethyl-1,4-Phenylene Oxide) (QPPO)-based membranes were prepared via Friedel-Crafts reactions using SnCl4 catalyst, 1,3,5-trioxane and chlorotrimethylsilane as environmentally-friendly chloromethylating reagents. New equations to calculate the degree of chloromethylation (DC) and cross-linking degree (CLD) were proposed. Ionic conductivity of 133 mS cm−1 at 80 °C was obtained, one of the highest reported for QPPO based membranes. We have compared QPPO to chloromethylated polystyrene-b-poly(ethylene/butylene)-b-polystyrene (SEBS) ionomer and report on the importance of ionomer-membrane interaction as well as the trade-off between swelling ratio and conductivity on performance and mechanical stability of AEM water electrolyser. Exsitu stability testing after 500 h in 1 M KOH showed membranes retained up to 94% of their original IEC. QPPO was employed as both membranes and ionomers in electrolyser tests. QPPO membranes exhibited area specific resistance of 104 mΩ cm−2 and electrolyser current density of 814 mA cm−2 at 2.0 V in 0.1 M NaOH solution at 40 °C.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Feng Z, Esteban PO, Gupta G, Fulton DA, Mamlouk M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Hydrogen Energy

Year: 2021

Volume: 46

Issue: 75

Pages: 37137-37151

Print publication date: 29/10/2021

Online publication date: 24/09/2021

Acceptance date: 03/09/2021

Date deposited: 15/11/2021

ISSN (print): 0360-3199

ISSN (electronic): 1879-3487

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2021.09.014


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Funder referenceFunder name
261560745British Council (UK - London)
Newcastle University through the Research Excellence Academy and School of Engineering Ph.D. scholarship scheme