In previous study, proton conductivity increased with increasing pressure under water electrolysis, so the effects of pressure on the stability of Nafion 117 have been studied. It was found that conductivity of Nafion 117 drastically decreased at initial few h and then gradually decreased in the following period under electrolysis condition. Decrease in conductivity can be explained by decomposition of Nafion 117. Decomposition of Nafion 117 is accelerated by increasing pressure. Solid state NMR, IR, and Raman spectroscopy suggested that the electrochemical oxidation of sulfo group was occurred at initial period followed by decomposition of CFn main or side chain. Therefore, initial increase in resistance can be explained by desorption of sulfo group in Nafion 117. Desorption of sulfo group also forms pin hole in Nafion membrane which may cause gas leakage under water electrolysis. Mechanical strength of Nafion membrane is also drastically decreased at initial electrolysis period. Consequently, chemical stability of Nafion 117 may cause serious problem for water electrolysis application and this study reveals that increasing pressure strongly accelerates the decomposition of Nafion 117.
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