13 - Nafion Perfluorosulphonate Membrane: Unique Properties and Various Applications
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Publisher SummaryThis chapter presents fundamental structure and properties of Nafion perfluorosulphonate. The ever-increasing interest in Nafion as a proton-conducting membrane in fuel cells has driven interest in it. These membranes have immense possibilities for applications owing to their excellent properties such as thermostability, inertness to corrosive materials, good mechanical strength, permselectivity toward cation transport, and easy transport of water. The latter prevents local drying, which occurs in certain applications. When Nafion is swollen to a great extent, the electrical conductivity in the protonated form is high compared with its other cationic forms. Therefore, it is widely used as a proton conductor as such or reinforced with other polymers. Considering the properties that make Teflon so valuable for many applications, like dielectric properties, a low coefficient of friction, antistick properties, and chemical barrier properties, it was initially expected that with the introduction of a sulphonic acid grouping, all these advantages would be affected adversely and Nafion would interact with the environment instead of merely resisting severe chemical or thermal environments like the other tetrafluoroethylene (TFE) copolymers.

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