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International Journal of Electrochemistry
Volume 2011, Article ID 785282, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.4061/2011/785282
Research Article

Effects of Concentration of Organically Modified Nanoclay on Properties of Sulfonated Poly(vinyl alcohol) Nanocomposite Membranes

1Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
2Divison of Materials Technology, School of Energy, Environment and Materials, King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi, Bangkok 10140, Thailand

Received 7 March 2011; Accepted 1 April 2011

Academic Editor: Shuangyin Wang

Copyright © 2011 Apiradee Sanglimsuwan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Electrolyte nanocomposite membranes for proton exchange membrane fuel cells and direct methanol fuel cells were prepared by carrying out a sulfonation of poly(vinyl alcohol) with sulfosuccinic acid and adding a type of organically modified montmorillonite (layered silicate nanoclay) commercially known as Cloisite 93A. The effects of the different concentrations (0, 2, 4, 6, 8 wt. %) of the organoclay in the membranes on water uptake, ion exchange capacity (IEC), proton conductivity, and methanol permeability were measured, respectively, via gravimetry, titration, impedance analysis, and gas chromatography techniques. The IEC values remained constant for all concentrations. Water uptakes and proton conductivities of the nanocomposite membranes changed with the clay content in a nonlinear fashion. While all the nanocomposite membranes had lower methanol permeability than Nafion115, the 6% concentration of Cloisite 93A in sulfonated poly(vinyl alcohol) membrane displayed the greatest proton conductivity to methanol permeability ratio.