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Title: Advancements in Anion Exchange Membrane Cations

Anion-exchange membrane fuel cells (AME-FCs) are of increasingly popular interest as they enable the use of non-Pt fuel cell catalysts, the primary cost limitation of proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Benzyltrimethyl ammonium (BTMA) is the standard cation that has historically been utilized as the hydroxide conductor in AEMs. Herein we approach AEMs from two directions. First and foremost we study the stability of several different cations in a hydroxide solution at elevated temperatures. We specifically targeted BTMA and methoxy and nitro substituted BTMA. We've also studied the effects of adding an akyl spacer units between the ammonium cation and the phenyl group. In the second approach we use computational studies to predict stable ammonium cations, which are then synthesized and tested for stability. Our unique method to study cation stability in caustic conditions at elevated temperatures utilizes Teflon Parr reactors suitable for use under various temperatures and cation concentrations. NMR analysis was used to determine remaining cation concentrations at specific time points with GCMS analysis verifying product distribution. We then compare the experimental results with calculated modeling stabilities. Our studies show that the electron donating methoxy groups slightly increase stability (compared to that of BTMA), while the electron withdrawing nitromore » groups greatly decrease stability in base. These results give insight into possible linking strategies to be employed when tethering a BTMA like ammonium cation to a polymeric backbone; thus synthesizing an anion exchange membrane.« less
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  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1938-5862
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: ECS Transactions; Journal Volume: 69; Journal Issue: 17; Related Information: ECS Transactions
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE anion-exchange membrane fuel cells; AME-FC; proton exchange membrane fuel cells