Durability of a novel sulfonated polyimide membrane in polymer electrolyte fuel cell operation

Akihiro Kabasawa, Jumpei Saito, Hiroshi Yano, Kenji Miyatake, Hiroyuki Uchida, Masahiro Watanabe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


A novel sulfonated polyimide membrane containing triazole groups (SPI-8) was subjected to long-term fuel cell operation. Excellent durability of the SPI-8 membrane was confirmed by single cell operation for 5000 h at 80 °C. Open circuit voltage and hydrogen crossover through the membrane showed only minor changes during cell operation, indicating a lack of catastrophic damage for the SPI-8 membrane. It was found by post-test analyses of the membrane that the ion exchange capacity (IEC) decreased only slightly, but the molecular weight decreased to 1/10, resulting in a loss of mechanical strength. It was concluded that the major degradation mode of the sulfonated polyimide membrane involves the ring-opening of the imide linkages via hydrolysis, while a certain degree of side chain degradation occurs as a result of oxidative attack by radical species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1076-1082
Number of pages7
JournalElectrochimica Acta
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Durability
  • PEFC
  • Polymer electrolyte
  • Sulfonated polyimide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Electrochemistry


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