Blue membranes: Sulfonated copper(II) phthalocyanine tetrasulfonic acid based composite membranes for DMFC and low relative humidity PEMFC

N. Nambi Krishnan, Dirk Henkensmeier, Young Hee Park, Jong Hyun Jang, Taehoon Kwon, Chong Min Koo, Hyoung Juhn Kim, Jonghee Han, SukWoo Nam

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Polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMs) consisting of copper(II)phthalocyanine tetrasulfonic acid tetrasodium salt (CuPCSA) and disulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone) (SES0005) are prepared. The TEM analysis results prove the incorporation of CuPCSA as nanoparticles into the composite membranes. Catalytic activity of CuPCSA towards peroxide degradation is shown by CV. Addition of CuPCSA increases the dimensional stability in contact with water (18% vs. 43% linear swelling for pristine SES0005). Addition of 10wt% CuPCSA (SES0005-IM10) increases the proton conductivity four fold to 16.8mScm-1 at 120°C and 50% relative humidity (rh). Activation energy decreases with CuPCSA content, reducing the conductivity's temperature dependence. Membranes were tested in low and medium temperature PEM fuel cells at 65 and 120°C, respectively, at 50% rh. In the LT-PEMFC, 40μm thick SES0005-IM10 and Nafion 212 based MEAs exhibited current densities of 470 and 454mAcm-2 at 0.7V, respectively. In the MT-PEMFC, SES0005-IM10 based MEAs demonstrated a current density of 405mAcm-2 at 0.5V, 2.4 folds more than pristine membrane based MEAs. In the DMFC, SES0005-IM10 enabled a peak power density of 153mWcm-2 at 70°C and 1M methanol feed, 20% higher than Nafion 212, 38% higher than mPES60.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Mar 15



  • Composite membrane
  • Copper(II)phthalocyanine tetrasulfonic acid tetrasodium salt
  • DMFC
  • Hydrocarbon membrane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Filtration and Separation

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