4.7 Article

Enhanced proton conductivity of Nafion nanohybrid membrane incorporated with phosphonic acid functionalized graphene oxide at elevated temperature and low humidity


Volume 518, Issue -, Pages 243-253


DOI: 10.1016/j.memsci.2016.07.032


Phosphonic acid; Graphene oxide; Nafion; Nanohybrid membrane; Proton conductivity


  1. National Natural Science Foundation of China [21576189]
  2. Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University [NCET-10-0623]
  3. National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars [21125627]
  4. Programme of Introducing Talents of Discipline to Universities [B06006]

Ask authors/readers for more resources

Nafion-based nanohybrid membranes doped with phosphonic acid-functionalized graphene oxide (PGO) are fabricated for an ideal prospect in the application of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Graphene oxide (GO) is synthesized with a modified Hummers method and coated with polydopamine via the self-polymerization of dopamine, followed by grafting with alendronic acid through Micheal addition reaction. This method enables abundant phosphonic acid groups to be grafted on the GO nanosheets. The incorporation of such phosphonic acid-functionalized graphene (PGO) into Nafion matrix generates additional proton-conducting sites and improves the water adsorption and retention capacity of nanohybrid membranes. More importantly, the distribution of phosphonic acid groups in membrane is controlled by the unique structure of GO nanosheets, which benefits the formation of new pathways for proton hopping at low humidity conditions. Consequently, the nanohybrid membranes show improved proton conducting capacity, especially under high temperature or low relative humidity. The nanohybrid membrane with 2 wt% PGO exhibits a proton conductivity of 0.277 S cm(-1) at 100 degrees C and 100% RH, and 0.0441 S cm(-1) at 80 degrees C and 40% RH, which are 1.2 and 6.6 times higher than that of pristine Nafion membrane. Meanwhile, the Nafion/PGO-2.0 membrane displays the best fuel cell performance with the highest power density of 213.12 mW cm(-2) and open circuit voltage of 0.939 V. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


I am an author on this paper
Click your name to claim this paper and add it to your profile.


Primary Rating

Not enough ratings

Secondary Ratings

Scientific rigor
Rate this paper


Article Chemistry, Multidisciplinary

Electrophoretic Nuclei Assembly for Crystallization of High-Performance Membranes on Unmodified Supports

Guangwei He, Mostapha Dakhchoune, Jing Zhao, Shiqi Huang, Kumar Varoon Agrawal


Article Engineering, Chemical

Enhancing the hydroxide conductivity of imidazolium-functionalized polysulfone by incorporating organic microsphere with ionic brushes

Zhen Li, Guangwei He, Zongyu Li, Yun Zhang, Jing Zhao, Mingzhao Xu, Shengming Xu, Zhongyi Jiang


Article Engineering, Chemical

Molecular engineering of organic-inorganic interface towards high-performance polyelectrolyte membrane via amphiphilic block copolymer

Guangwei He, Jing Zhao, Chaoyi Chang, Mingzhao Xu, Shaofei Wang, Shengtao Jiang, Zhen Li, Xueyi He, Xingyu Wu, Zhongyi Jiang


Article Chemistry, Multidisciplinary

Crystal Engineering of Metal-Organic Framework Thin Films for Gas Separations

Deepu J. Babu, Guangwei He, Luis Francisco Villalobos, Kumar Varoon Agrawal


Article Multidisciplinary Sciences

Etching gas-sieving nanopores in single-layer graphene with an angstrom precision for high-performance gas mixture separation

J. Zhao, G. He, S. Huang, L. F. Villalobos, M. Dakhchoune, H. Bassas, K. V. Agrawal


Article Chemistry, Multidisciplinary

Restricting Lattice Flexibility in Polycrystalline Metal-Organic Framework Membranes for Carbon Capture

Deepu J. Babu, Guangwei He, Jian Hao, Mohammad Tohidi Vandat, Pascal Alexander Schouwink, Mounir Mensi, Kumar Varoon Agrawal


Article Chemistry, Multidisciplinary

Synergistic CO2-Sieving from Polymer with Intrinsic Microporosity Masking Nanoporous Single-Layer Graphene

Guangwei He, Shiqi Huang, Luis Francisco Villalobos, Mohammad Tohidi Vahdat, Michael D. Guiver, Jing Zhao, Wan-Chi Lee, Mounir Mensi, Kumar Varoon Agrawal


Article Chemistry, Multidisciplinary

Multipulsed Millisecond Ozone Gasification for Predictable Tuning of Nucleation and Nucleation-Decoupled Nanopore Expansion in Graphene for Carbon Capture

Kuang-Jung Hsu, Luis Francisco Villalobos, Shiqi Huang, Heng-Yu Chi, Mostapha Dakhchoune, Wan-Chi Lee, Guangwei He, Mounir Mensi, Kumar Varoon Agrawal

Summary: Predictable and tunable etching of angstrom-scale nanopores in single-layer graphene is achieved through the development of two etching regimes, resulting in high-performance nanoporous SLG membranes for efficient gas separation. The etching strategy demonstrates uniformity and scalability, leading to the successful fabrication of high-performance centimeter-scale membranes.

ACS NANO (2021)

Article Chemistry, Multidisciplinary

Direct Chemical Vapor Deposition Synthesis of Porous Single-Layer Graphene Membranes with High Gas Permeances and Selectivities

Zhe Yuan, Guangwei He, Samuel Faucher, Matthias Kuehne, Sylvia Xin Li, Daniel Blankschtein, Michael S. Strano

Summary: By systematically controlling the density of intrinsic pores in graphene, single-layer graphene membranes with the highest gas separation performances to date have been achieved. Additionally, nanoscale molecular fouling on the graphene surface affects both selectivity and temperature-dependent permeance.


Review Chemistry, Multidisciplinary

Gas Separations using Nanoporous Atomically Thin Membranes: Recent Theoretical, Simulation, and Experimental Advances

Zhe Yuan, Guangwei He, Sylvia Xin Li, Rahul Prasanna Misra, Michael S. Strano, Daniel Blankschtein

Summary: This article discusses recent modeling and experimental advances in nanoporous atomically thin membranes for gas separations. It highlights the advantages and challenges involved, as well as proposes future directions for development.


Article Chemistry, Multidisciplinary

MOF-COF Alloy Membranes for Efficient Propylene/Propane Separation

Yutao Liu, Hong Wu, Runlai Li, Jianyu Wang, Yan Kong, Zheyuan Guo, Haifei Jiang, Yanxiong Ren, Yunchuan Pu, Xu Liang, Fusheng Pan, Yu Cao, Shuqing Song, Guangwei He, Zhongyi Jiang

Summary: In this study, an alloy membrane was fabricated by incorporating covalent organic frameworks into a zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 matrix. The membrane exhibited excellent propylene/propane separation performance, which could contribute to the design and development of energy-efficient separation membranes.


Article Chemistry, Multidisciplinary

Ultrathin ZIF-8 Membrane through Inhibited Ostwald Ripening for High-Flux C3H6/C3H8 Separation

Jianyu Wang, Yan Wang, Yutao Liu, Hong Wu, Mingang Zhao, Yanxiong Ren, Yunchuan Pu, Wenping Li, Shaoyu Wang, Shuqing Song, Xu Liang, Guangwei He, You Han, Zhongyi Jiang

Summary: In this study, an inhibited Ostwald ripening (IOR) strategy is proposed to fabricate ultrathin ZIF-8 membranes. The IOR process is achieved by incorporating polymer-based inhibitors into the membrane formula to inhibit the growth process of ZIF-8 crystals. The thickness of ZIF-8 membranes can be dramatically reduced to 180 nm using this strategy, while exhibiting excellent C3H6/C3H8 separation performance.


Article Chemistry, Multidisciplinary

Missing-linker Defects in Covalent Organic Framework Membranes for Efficient CO2 Separation

Zheyuan Guo, Hong Wu, Yu Chen, Shiyi Zhu, Haifei Jiang, Shuqing Song, Yanxiong Ren, Yuhan Wang, Xu Liang, Guangwei He, Yonghong Li, Zhongyi Jiang

Summary: Covalent organic framework (COF) membranes hold great promise for molecular separations due to their tunable ordered channels and free organic groups. This study develops a defect engineering strategy to fabricate efficient COF membranes for CO2 separation. The presence of abundant amino groups and ordered channels in the COF membranes enables high CO2 permeances and excellent separation selectivity.


Article Chemistry, Multidisciplinary

Engineering Covalent Organic Framework Membranes

Guangwei He, Runnan Zhang, Zhongyi Jiang

Summary: Membrane technology is increasingly important for sustainable development, with COFs emerging as potent membrane materials due to their unique structure and properties compared to polymers, zeolites, and MOFs. COFs have highly tunable pore structure, high porosity, and excellent stability, making them ideal for advanced membrane applications. Various engineering approaches towards COF membranes, such as reticular engineering, crystal engineering, and nanochannel engineering, are actively being explored to enhance their separation efficiency and stability.


Article Chemistry, Multidisciplinary

High-permeance polymer-functionalized single-layer graphene membranes that surpass the postcombustion carbon capture target

Guangwei He, Shiqi Huang, Luis Francisco Villalobos, Jing Zhao, Mounir Mensi, Emad Oveisi, Mojtaba Rezaei, Kumar Varoon Agrawal


Article Engineering, Chemical

r-HGO/MXene composite membrane with enhanced permeability and rejection performance for water treatment

Jiawei Hou, Shixuan Guo, Nigel Graham, Wenzheng Yu, Kening Sun, Ting Liu

Summary: A novel 2D composite membrane based on r-HGO and MXene materials was developed, demonstrating exceptional performance for water treatment in terms of permeability, pollutant rejection, and physical stability. The optimization of preparation conditions and material proportions can result in high water flux and efficient removal of pollutants.


Article Engineering, Chemical

Designing a multifunctional TFC membrane with improved permeability and anti-biofouling performance using zwitterionic, quaternary ammonium, and fluorinated materials

Rui Gao, Caihong Liu, Andreia F. Faria, Qiang He, Chun Yang, Jun Ma

Summary: A novel copolymer architecture has been developed to address biofouling concerns in thin-film composite (TFC) membranes by integrating anti-fouling, bactericidal, and fouling-release functions. The multifunctional membrane demonstrates promising anti-adhesive properties, self-cleaning ability, and high flux recovery rate.


Article Engineering, Chemical

Defect-free asymmetric Matrimid® gas separation membranes using dihydrolevoglucosenone (Cyrene™) as a greener polar aprotic solvent than traditional solvents

Alexander T. Bridge, Noah P. Wamble, Matthew S. Santoso, Joan F. Brennecke, Benny D. Freeman

Summary: This study demonstrates the reproducible preparation of high-flux defect-free asymmetric gas separation membranes using Cyrene(TM) as a majority dope formulation component. By adjusting the volume ratios of Cyrene(TM) and THF, as well as the concentrations of Matrimid(R) and the dry step time, optimal membrane performance is achieved.


Article Engineering, Chemical

Nanofiber composite ultrafiltration membrane functionalized with cross-linked β-cyclodextrin for steroid hormone micropollutant removal

Alessandra Imbrogno, Han Ya Lin, Babak Minofar, Andrea Iris Schaefer

Summary: In this study, a composite nanofiber membrane containing cross-linked beta-cyclodextrin-epichlorohydrin was prepared and evaluated for the removal of steroid hormones. The results showed that the membrane had high adsorption capacity and the ability to form a specific inclusion complex interaction with the hormones, indicating its potential application in hormone removal.


Article Engineering, Chemical

Modeling the flux of volatile fatty acid in a membrane distillation with the effect of pH

Bora Shin, Jaewon Shin, Yanuar Chandra Wirasembada, Ki Young Park, Jinwoo Cho

Summary: This study develops a mathematical model to estimate the initial flux of volatile fatty acids in the direct contact membrane distillation process. It identifies the parameters affecting the flux and their relationship with pH.


Article Engineering, Chemical

Plasma-engineered GQD-inorganic membranes with tunable interactions for ultrahigh-efficiency molecular separations

Yi-Jui Yeh, Jr Rong Liou, Wei Lin, Kuo-Lun Tung, Wei-Hung Chiang

Summary: This study demonstrates an effective plasma engineering method to create nitrogen-doped graphene quantum dot (NGQD)-inorganic nanocomposites for tunable molecular separation. The composite materials show high separation efficiency and controllable nanopore structures, making them potentially valuable for various applications.


Article Engineering, Chemical

Water vapor sorption and transport in carbon molecular sieve membranes

Horacio Lopez-Marques, Kristofer L. Gleason, Manuel Aguilar-Vega, Rita Sulub-Sulub, J. Ehren Eichler, Hyeonji Oh, C. Buddie Mullins, Benny D. Freeman, Manish Kumar

Summary: In this study, water transport properties in Carbon Molecular Sieve (CMS) membranes were investigated. It was found that membranes synthesized at different pyrolysis temperatures exhibited varying water permeabilities. Compared to other polymeric materials, CMS membranes showed high water permeability, indicating potential for dehydration applications.


Article Engineering, Chemical

Vinyl-addition polynorbornenes with glycerol and diethylene glycol moieties: Synthesis and structure-property study

Dmitry A. Alentiev, Roman Yu. Nikiforov, Marina A. Rudakova, Danil P. Zarezin, Maxim A. Topchiy, Andrey F. Asachenko, Nikolay A. Belov, Maxim Bermeshev

Summary: A series of new norbornene-type monomers containing linear and branched substituents were synthesized, and robust thin membranes were prepared by vinyl-addition polymerization. Gas separation performance for the synthesized polymers was evaluated, and the structure of substituent side chains was found to significantly affect gas permeability and CO2 facilitated transport.


Article Engineering, Chemical

Hydrogel electrolyte membrane with regulated pore effect to stabilize zinc anode in aqueous zinc-ion batteries

Lei Yan, Qi Zhang, Ze Zhang, Gui-Jie Li, Yi Jin, Xin-Lin Zhang, Yan-Yun Sun

Summary: In this study, a continuous, stable and fast ion transport channel was established through in-situ guided cross-linking of zinc alginate hydrogels on a porous membrane, overcoming the negative pore effect and effectively inhibiting the dendrite growth of zinc anodes and interfacial side reactions.


Article Engineering, Chemical

Fabrication of an ultra-thin and ordered SPEEK proton exchange membrane by a Langmuir-Blodgett self-assembly process

Yuqing Zhang, Ailing Zhang, Huiyang He, Yuting Fan, Yongjiang Li, Song Wang, Sanxi Li

Summary: The Langmuir-Blodgett self-assembly process is used to create an ordered SPEEK membrane, which enhances the proton conductivity by three times compared to conventional solution casting method.


Article Engineering, Chemical

Estimating Gas Sorption In Polymeric Membranes From The Molecular Structure: A Machine Learning Based Group Contribution Method For The Non-Equilibrium Lattice Fluid Model (ML-GC-NELF)

Hasan Ismaeel, David Gibson, Eleonora Ricci, Maria Grazia De Angelis

Summary: In this study, a machine learning-based group contribution method (ML-GC) was developed to predict pure polymer parameters and successfully applied to predict gas solubility and gas solubility isotherms in glassy polymeric membranes. The model showed satisfactory performance on a small dataset, but has the potential to provide more accurate predictions for a wider range of polymers as more data becomes available.


Article Engineering, Chemical

Angular vibrations for fouling control during ultrafiltration of microalgae in a spiral wound module

Yi Ji, Yu Sun, Huilin Li, Qiang Fu, Yan Zhang

Summary: Previous studies have shown that vibration- or rotation-based techniques can effectively mitigate fouling during membrane filtration. However, it is difficult to incorporate these techniques with spiral wound modules (SWMs) widely used in water and wastewater treatment. This study developed a prototype membrane system to accommodate angular vibrations with a modified SWM, and experimental results showed that applying angular vibrations can effectively control algal fouling in an SWM with lower energy consumption compared to traditional methods.


Article Engineering, Chemical

Polyphenol-coated hollow fiber system for energy-efficient dehumidification in air-conditioning

Lakshmeesha Upadhayaya, Abaynesh Yihdego Gebreyohannes, Muhammad Wakil Shahzad, Usman T. Syed, Sandra L. Aristizabal, Radoslaw Gorecki, Suzana P. Nunes

Summary: Increasing temperatures worldwide pose a significant health risk, exacerbated by high humidity. Conventional air conditioners contribute heavily to carbon dioxide emissions, with dehumidification being a major factor. Membrane-based dehumidification system offers energy efficiency and non-toxic water vapor removal. This study demonstrates a membrane dehumidification system with polymeric hollow fibers coated with a green polyphenol coating, showing remarkable water vapor transport rate and selectivity. Long-term testing reveals minimal decline in vapor transport and a 4-5 times higher coefficient of performance (COP) compared to conventional dehumidifiers, making it a highly competitive, energy-saving device with reduced emissions and a smaller footprint.


Article Engineering, Chemical

A facile method to fabricate anti-fouling nanofiltration membrane with aminated lignin

Zhengzhong Zhou, Xue Zhu, Yi Yuan, Shaoqiang Wang, Xiaoshan Meng, Taoli Huhe, Qian Wang

Summary: In this study, lignin, a biomass material, was chemically modified and utilized in the interfacial polymerization process to improve the performance of nanofiltration membranes. The modified membranes showed enhanced hydrophilicity and anti-fouling properties, and the optimization of membrane pore size increased permeability. The study also demonstrated the potential application of the membranes in biogas slurry valorization.