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Membranes 2018, 8(2), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes8020033

Application of Novel Anion-Exchange Blend Membranes (AEBMs) to Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries

1
Institute of Chemical Process Engineering, University of Stuttgart, 70199 Stuttgart, Germany
2
Faculty of Natural Science, North-West University, Focus Area: Chemical Resource Beneficiation, Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 May 2018 / Revised: 28 May 2018 / Accepted: 14 June 2018 / Published: 19 June 2018
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Abstract

Both cation-exchange membranes and anion-exchange membranes are used as ion conducting membranes in vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs). Anion-exchange membranes (AEMs) are applied in vanadium redox flow batteries due to the high blocking property of vanadium ions via the Donnan exclusion effect. In this study, novel anion-exchange blend membranes (AEBMs) were prepared, characterized, and applied in VRFBs. Bromomethylated poly(2,6-dimethyl-1,4-phenylene oxide), poly[(1-(4,4′-diphenylether)-5-oxybenzimidazole)-benzimidazole] (PBI-OO) and sulfonated polyether sulfone polymer were combined to prepare 3-component AEBMs with 1,2,4,5-tetramethylimidazole (TMIm) for quaternization. 3-component AEBMs showed significantly enhanced chemical and mechanical properties compared with those of 2-component AEBMs, resulting in an improved performance in VRFBs. The compositions of the anion-exchange polymers in 3-component AEBMs were systematically varied to optimize the AEBMs for the redox-flow battery application. While the 3-component AEBMs showed comparable efficiencies with Nafion® 212 membranes, they displayed improved vanadium ions cross-over as was confirmed by open circuit voltage tests and capacity fade tests conducted in VRFBs. In addition, one of the synthesized 3-component AEBM had a superior coulombic efficiency and capacity retention in a charging–discharging test over 300 cycles at a current density of 40 mA/cm2. It can thus be concluded that 3-component AEBMs are promising candidates for long-term operation in VRFBs. View Full-Text
Keywords: anion-exchange blend membrane; vanadium redox flow battery; vanadium ions cross-over; charging–discharging test; coulombic efficiency anion-exchange blend membrane; vanadium redox flow battery; vanadium ions cross-over; charging–discharging test; coulombic efficiency
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Cho, H.; Krieg, H.M.; Kerres, J.A. Application of Novel Anion-Exchange Blend Membranes (AEBMs) to Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries. Membranes 2018, 8, 33.

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