Polybenzimidazole membranes functionalised with 1-methyl-2-mesitylbenzimidazolium ions via a hexyl linker for use in vanadium flow batteries

Yona Lee, Sangwon Kim, Artjom Maljusch, Oliver Conradi, Hyoung Juhn Kim, Jong Hyun Jang, Jonghee Han, Jihyun Kim, Dirk Henkensmeier

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2 Citations (Scopus)


1-(6-bromohexyl)-3-methyl-2-(2,4,6-trimethylphenyl)-2H-benzimidazolium bromide was synthesised and grafted onto polybenzimidazole (PBI). The highest obtained degrees of functionalisation were 0.7 and 1.1 ionic groups per repeat unit, corresponding to ion exchange capacities of 1.25 and 1.55 mmol chloride/g. While the latter material had much reduced tensile strength and Young's modulus, the material with a lower degree of functionalisation showed properties similar to PBI and was therefore further investigated. X-ray scattering showed that the functional group reduced the crystallinity. Conductivity was in the range of 2–3 mS cm −1 , but increased to 23 mS cm −1 after doping in 2 M sulfuric acid, 2–4 times higher than for doped PBI. Permeability for VO 2+ ions was 0.8 × 10 −12 m 2 s −1 . In the vanadium redox flow battery, the grafted PBI showed higher coulomb and voltage efficiency than PBI, and therefore also higher energy efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-217
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jun 12



  • 2-Mesityl benzimidazolium
  • Polybenzimidazole
  • Vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry

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