Synthesis and electrochemical characterisation of conducting polyaniline-fly ash matrix composites
Mavundla, Sipho Enos
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The aim of this study was to produce useful composite materials from fly ash, a major waste product of coal combustion from power plants. Polyaniline-fly ash (PANI-FA) composites were prepared by in situ polymerisation of aniline in the presence of Fly Ash (FA) by two slightly different methods. In one case polystyrene sulphonic acid (PSSA) was used as a stabilizer and in another case the starting materials (aniline and FA) were aged before oxidation. The aging procedure formed nanotubes that have cross-sectional diameters of 50-110 nm. The other procedure produced nanotubes with a diameter of 100-500 nm and the length of up to 10μm. The presence of metal oxides and silica in FA were responsible for the formation of nanorods in PANI-PSSA-FA.. The formation of the composites was confirmed by UV-Vis and FTIR. The UV-Vis showed maximum absorbance at 330-360 nm ( due to π-π* transition of benzoid rings) and 600-650 nm(due to charge transfer excitons of quinoid rings), which are characteristics of emaraldine base. The electrochemical analysis of the composites showed that the composites were conductive and electroactive. The Cyclic Voltammetry of PANI-PSSA-FA showed three redox couples which are characteristics of sulphonated PANI. The morphology of the composites was studied by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and showed that our methods gave composites with improved homogeneity as compared to other reported methods. Thermo Gravimetric analysis (TGA) showed that the presence of FA in the composites improves the thermal stability of the composites by up to 100 0C.