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PLoS One. 2017 Sep 28;12(9):e0185313. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0185313. eCollection 2017.

Synthesis and characterization of modified κ-carrageenan for enhanced proton conductivity as polymer electrolyte membrane.

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Fuel Cell Institute, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia.
School of Chemical Sciences and Food Technology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia.
Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia.


Polymer electrolyte membranes based on the natural polymer κ-carrageenan were modified and characterized for application in electrochemical devices. In general, pure κ-carrageenan membranes show a low ionic conductivity. New membranes were developed by chemically modifying κ-carrageenan via phosphorylation to produce O-methylene phosphonic κ-carrageenan (OMPC), which showed enhanced membrane conductivity. The membranes were prepared by a solution casting method. The chemical structure of OMPC samples were characterized using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) spectroscopy and 31P nuclear magnetic resonance (31P NMR) spectroscopy. The conductivity properties of the membranes were investigated by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The characterization demonstrated that the membranes had been successfully produced. The ionic conductivity of κ-carrageenan and OMPC were 2.79 × 10-6 S cm-1 and 1.54 × 10-5 S cm-1, respectively. The hydrated membranes showed a two orders of magnitude higher ionic conductivity than the dried membranes.

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