Fuel cell performance of pendent methylphenyl sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone ketone)s

Hanyu Zhang, Ronald J. Stanis, Yang Song, Wei Hu, Chris J. Cornelius, Qiang Shi, Baijun Liu, Michael D. Guiver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Meta- and para-linked homopolymers bearing 3-methylphenyl (Me) pendent groups were postsulfonated to create sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone ketone) (SPEEKK) backbone isomers, which are referred to as Me-p-SPEEKK and Me-m-SPEEKK. Their thermal and oxidative stability, mechanical properties, dimensional stability, methanol permeability, and proton conductivity are characterized. Me-p-SPEEKK and Me-m-SPEEKK proton conductivities at 100 °C are 116 and 173 mS cm−1, respectively. Their methanol permeabilities are 3.3–3.9 × 10−7 cm2 s−1, and dimensional swelling at 100 °C is 16.4–17.5%. Me-p-SPEEKK and Me-m-SPEEKK were fabricated into membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs), and electrochemical properties were evaluated within a direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) and proton-exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). When O2 is used as the oxidant at 80 °C and 100% RH, the maximum power density of Me-m-SPEEKK reaches 657 mW cm−2, which is higher than those of Nafion 115 (552 mW cm−2). DMFC performance is 85 mW cm−2 at 80 °C with 2.0 M methanol using Me-p-SPEEKK due to its low MeOH crossover. In general, these electrochemical results are comparable to Nafion. These ionomer properties, combined with a potentially less expensive and scalable polymer manufacturing process, may broaden their potential for many practical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-37
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Power Sources
StatePublished - 2017


  • Dimensional stability
  • Fuel cells
  • Membrane electrode assemblies
  • Proton exchange membrane
  • poly(ether ketone)s and ionomer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Fuel cell performance of pendent methylphenyl sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone ketone)s'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this