Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-9-2020

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Chemistry and Biochemistry

First Advisor

Jason Ritchie

Relational Format



As society is becoming increasingly aware of the effects of climate change and the ever-looming threat of a fuel shortage, exploring green and renewable alternative energy production, such as fuel cells, is paramount. This project investigates the synthesis of a polyethylene glycol monomethyl ether (MePEGn) based polymer as well as the optimization of the MePEG Tosylation reaction. The MePEG explored contains seven polymerized ethoxy groups (MePEG7). The MePEG7 polymer was modified by substituting a positively-charged trimethylamine group in the place of the alcohol functional group at the end of the PEG chain. The reason for this substitution was to create a positive charge on the polymer electrolyte which could then potentially facilitate the movement of ions such as hydroxide ions. I have prepared the MePEG7N(Me)3+ Br product which would have been ion exchanged to the Hydroxide (OH) form of the polymer. However, due to complications of COVID-19, the physical properties of the electrolyte, such as ionic conductivity and viscosity, will have to be completed in a future project to determine the viability of the synthesized material as an alkaline fuel cell (AFC) polymer electrolyte membrane.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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