Rechargeable alkali metal–air batteries have enormous potential in energy storage applications due to their high energy densities, low cost, and environmental friendliness. Membrane separators determine the performance and economic viability of these batteries. Usually, porous membrane separators taken from lithium-based batteries are used. Moreover, composite and cation-exchange membranes have been tested. However, crossover of unwanted species (such as zincate ions in zinc–air flow batteries) and/or low hydroxide ions conductivity are major issues to be overcome. On the other hand, state-of-art anion-exchange membranes (AEMs) have been applied to meet the current challenges with regard to rechargeable zinc–air batteries, which have received the most attention among alkali metal–air batteries. The recent advances and remaining challenges of AEMs for these batteries are critically discussed in this review. Correlation between the properties of the AEMs and performance and cyclability of the batteries is discussed. Finally, strategies for overcoming the remaining challenges and future outlooks on the topic are briefly provided. We believe this paper will play a significant role in promoting R&D on developing suitable AEMs with potential applications in alkali metal–air flow batteries.
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