Membrane Electrode Assembly based on Sulfonated Polystyrene as Proton Exchange Membrane for Application in Microbial Fuel Cell

  • L. Aferta
  • G. Syahbirin
  • S. Mulijani
Keywords: Membrane Electrode Assembly, Sulfonated polystyrene, Nafion, Microbial Fuel Cell


A novel membrane electrode assembly(MEA) basedonsulfonated polystyrene was synthesized and applied to a microbial fuel cell (MFCs). In this study, membrane electrode assembly made of sulfonated polystyrene (SPS) and nafion membrane were fabricated by combining 20% AgNO3/C catalystink. The performance of membrane electrode assemblybased sulfonated polystyrene (SPS) and nafion were evaluated by measuring proton conductivity and power density.This sulfonated polystyrene of membrane electrode assembly(SPS-MEA) revealed power density was higher than that nafion non activated membrane, this is considered for membrane application of proton exchange membrane (PEM). The presence of sulfonation groups of polystyrene was characterized by Fouriertransform infrared (FTIR) and nuclearmagnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The membranetopographybefore and after the fuel cell process treatment was investigatedby atomicforce microscopy (AFM).


Download data is not yet available.


Y. Devrim & A. Albostan. (2016). Graphene-Supported Platinum Catalyst-Based Membrane Electrode Assembly for PEM Fuel Cell, J. Electronic Materials, 45.

D. Lie, Y. Shao, J. Sun, G. Yin, J. Liu & Y. Wang. (2016). Advanced Catalyst Supports for PEM Fuel Cell Cathodes. Nano Energy, 29, 314–322.

S. Mulijani, G. Syahbirin, & A. Wulanawati. (2018). A Novel Approach of Membrane Electrode Assembly for Application in Microbial Fuel Cell. J. Chem, 11, 151-154.

M. Kim, M.S. Hyun, G.M. Gadd, G.T. Kim, S.J. Lee & H.J. Kim. (2009). Membrane Electrode Assembly Enhances Performance of A Microbial Fuel Cell Type Biological Oxygen Demand Sensor. Environmental. Technology, 30, 329–336.

J.R. Kim, G.C. Premier, F.R. Hawkes, R.M. Dinsdale & A.J. Guwy. (2009). Development of A Tubular Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) Employing A Membrane Electrode Assembly Cathode, J. Power Sources, 187, 393–399.

R.S. Bella, G. Hirankumar, R.N. Krishnaraj & D.P. Anand. (2016). Novel Proton Conducting Polymer Electrolyte and Its Application in Microbial Fuel Cell. Materials Letters, 164, 551–553.

S. Singha, T. Jana, J.A. Modestra, A.N. Kumar & S.V. Mohan. (2016). Highly Efficient Sulfonated Polybenzimidazole as A Proton Exchange Membrane for Microbial Fuel Cells. J. Power Sources, 317, 143-152.

V. Kumar, S. Mondal, A. Nandy & P.P. Kundu. (2016). Analysis of Polybenzimidazole and Polyvinylpyrrolidone Blend Membranes as Separating Barrier in Single Chambered Microbial Fuel Cells. J. Biochemical Engineering, 111, 34-42.

D.L. Hoskins, X. Zhang, M.A. Hickner & B.E. Logan. (2014). Spray-on Polyvinyl Alcohol Separators and Impact on Power Production in Air-Cathode Microbial Fuel Cells with Different Solution Conductivities. Bioresour. Technol, 172, 156-161.

J.M. Moon, S. Kondaveeti & B. Min. (2015). Evaluation of Low Cost Separators for Increased Power Generation in Single Chamber Microbial Fuel Cells with Membrane Electrode Assembly. Fuel Cells, 15, 230-238.

S. Kondaveeti, J. Lee, R. Kakarla, H.S. Kim & B. Min. (2014). Low-Cost Separators for Enhanced Power Production and Field Application of Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs). Electrochim. Acta, 132, 434-440.

J. Meier-Haack, A. Taeger, C. Vogel, K. Schlenstedt,

W. Lenk & D. Lehmann. (2005). Membranes from Sulfonated Block Copolymers for Use in Fuel Cells, Membranes from Sulfonated Block Copolymers for Use in Fuel Cells, Separation and Purification Technology, 41, 207–220.

S. Mulijani, K. Dahlan & A. Wulanawati, Sulfonated Polystyrene Copolymer: Synthesis. (2014). Characterization and Its Application of Membrane for Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC). International Journal of Materials. Mechanics and Manufacturing, 2, 36-40.

J. Wootthikanokkhan & N. Seeponkai. (2006). Methanol Permeability and Properties of DMFC Membranes Based on Sulfonated PEEK/PVDF Blends. Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 102, 5941–5947.

I. Zalakin, N. Politakos, J.A. Ramos, A. Saralegi, H. Etxeberria, I. Mondragon, M.A. Corcuera & A. Eceiza. (2013). Chemical and Morphological Characterization of Sulfonated Polystyrene Brushes in Different Environment. J. European Polymer.

F. Muller, C.A. Ferreira & L. Franco. (2012). A New Sulfonated Polystyrene and Styrene-Ethylene/Butylene-Styrene BlockCopolymers for Application in Electrodialysis. J. Phys. Chem, 116 (38), 11767–11779.

How to Cite
L. Aferta, G. Syahbirin, & S. Mulijani. (2018). Membrane Electrode Assembly based on Sulfonated Polystyrene as Proton Exchange Membrane for Application in Microbial Fuel Cell. International Journal for Research in Applied Sciences and Biotechnology, 5(3), 9-14. Retrieved from