In this work, high-performance pore-filled anion-exchange membranes (PFAEMs) with double cross-linking structures have been successfully developed for application to promising electrochemical energy conversion systems, such as alkaline direct liquid fuel cells (ADLFCs) and vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs). Specifically, two kinds of porous polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) substrates, with different hydrophilicities, were utilized for the membrane fabrication. The PTFE-based PFAEMs revealed, both excellent electrochemical characteristics, and chemical stability in harsh environments. It was proven that the use of a hydrophilic porous substrate is more desirable for the efficient power generation of ADLFCs, mainly owing to the facilitated transport of hydroxyl ions through the membrane, showing an excellent maximum power density of around 400 mW cm−2
at 60 °C. In the case of VRFB, however, the battery cell employing the hydrophobic PTFE-based PFAEM exhibited the highest energy efficiency (87%, cf. AMX = 82%) among the tested membranes, because the crossover rate of vanadium redox species through the membrane most significantly affects the VRFB efficiency. The results imply that the properties of a porous substrate for preparing the membranes should match the operating environment, for successful applications to electrochemical energy conversion processes.
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