DOI Number : 10.5614/itbj.sci.2012.44.3.8
Hits : 9

Properties of Polymer Electrolyte Membranes Prepared by Blending Sulfonated Polystyrene with Lignosulfonate

Siang Tandi Gonggo1*, Cynthia L. Radiman2, Bunbun Bundjali2 & I Made Arcana2*

1Physical Chemistry Research Groups, Faculty of Teacher Training and Educational Sciences, Tadulako University, Kampus Bumi Tadulako, Tondo, Jl. Sukarno Hatta Km 9 Tondo Palu 94117, Indonesia,
2Inorganic and Physical Chemistry Research Groups, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB), Jalan Ganesha No. 10, Bandung 40132, Indonesia

Abstract. Electrolyte polymer membrane widely used in PEMFC and DMFC is a perfluorosulfonated membrane such as Nafion. This membrane material exhibits good chemical stability and proton conductivity, but it is very expensive and difficult to recycle. It has high cross-over methanol in DMFC that causes the decrease efficiency and performance of fuel cell, so that the electrolyte polymer membrane with low cross-over methanol has been needed to substitute Nafion membrane. One of the materials used as a polymer electrolyte membrane is polyblends of a sulfonated polystyrene-lignosulfonate (SPS-LS). These polyblends have been prepared by casting polymer solution and characterized as a polyelectrolyte membrane for DMFC. SPS was prepared by sulfonation of polystyrene with acetyl sulfate used as a sulfonating agent. The membranes of SPS-LS were characterized by analysis of functional groups, mechanical properties, and methanol permeability. The maximum mechanical properties of the SPS-LS membrane were observed in LS ratio of 7.5%. However, the methanol permeability of membrane increases as the increase of LS ratio in SPS-LS membranes. The properties of membranes, especially the mechanical property and methanol permeability close to that of Nafion® 117 membrane, so the SPS-LS membrane is highly potential used as the electrolyte membrane for direct methanol fuel cell.

Keywords: DMFC; lignosulfonate; polymer electrolyte membrane; polystyrene; sulfonated.

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