Membranes in Electrochemistry Applications 2.0

A special issue of Membranes (ISSN 2077-0375). This special issue belongs to the section "Membrane Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2023) | Viewed by 9875

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics, German Aerospace Center, HTSP, Pfaffenwaldring 38-40, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
Interests: membranes for alkaline electrolyzer; AEMs for anion exchange membrane fuel cells and electrolyzers; ion solvating membrane; PEMs for proton exchange membrane fuel cell; PEMs for proton exchange membrane water electrolyzer
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

Membranes are versatile components, useful for a broad spectrum of electrochemical energy generation and storage systems, which can address the most significant challenges posed by climate change. The main cause of the climate change is attributed to the CO2 emissions as a result of extraction and combustion of fossil fuels, which are the major sources of energy. Therefore, the need for clean, efficient energy sources has brought the attention to the development of renewable energy technologies. Fuel cells (FCs) with the byproduct of heat and water are a highly efficient and environmentally friendly alternative technology for the production of clean energy. Fuel cells can be used in a wide range of applications including stationary power generation, new energy automobiles, portable, and emergency backup power applications. Anion exchange membranes (AEMs) and proton exchange membranes (PEMs) are a critical component of low-temperature fuel cells. However, the benefits of using AEMs in AEM-FCs over PEMs in PEM-FCs include the use of in-expensive non-precious metal-based catalysts, facile reaction kinetics and minimized corrosion effects. However, compared with PEM, AEM has challenges with chemical degradation of ionic groups.

Hydrogen as an alternative clean energy carrier produced by water electrolysis using electricity from renewable power sources is a promising method for storing energy in a large scale. When compared to other available methods, water electrolysis (WE) at low temperature has the advantage of compatibility with all electricity sources and producing high purity hydrogen (>99.9%). Among the low-temperature electrolyzers, anion exchange membrane (AEM) and proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzers are currently available membrane-based technologies for low-temperature water electrolysis. In addition, recently an efficient alkaline electrolyte membrane (such as ion-solvating membranes) as an alternative to the conventional diaphragm for alkaline water electrolysis (AWE) operated in highly concentrated KOH is reported. PEMWE offers several advantages, such as high energy efficiency, a great hydrogen production rate and a compact design, but it is limited by the necessity to use expensive precious-metal-based catalysts. Therefore, the benefits of using AEMs and alkaline electrolyte membranes in AEMWEs and alkaline electrolyzer over PEMs in PEMWEs include the use of non-precious transition metal electrocatalysts and cost competitive stack components such as stainless steel based bipolar plate. Therefore, one of the most critical components of the AEMFCs, AEMWEs and AWE, which has a major influence on cost, efficiency and reliability, is an AEMs and alkaline electrolyte membranes.

Compared to the AEMs and the alkaline electrolyte membranes, the PEMs are at a much higher technology readiness level and more efforts have been made with regard to their developments. However, during the past few years, in parallel to PEM we have been witnessing a growth in membrane research for AEMFC, AEMWE and AWE applications. Materials and fabrication techniques, surface and mechanical properties have been improved and used to synthesis novel membranes. This Special Issue offers a perfect site to provide target values and technical specification for AEMs and alkaline electrolyte membranes, discuss the chemical structures and the various degradation pathways, and also to introduce the state-of-the-art Innovation, technologies and development. It also includes discussion of parallel targets for PEMs, which has achieved good technology readiness level compared to the AEMs and the alkaline electrolyte membranes in both fuel cell and electrolyzers.  This can give the membrane research community an overview over the most prominent and promising AEMs, alkaline electrolyte membranes and PEMs for fuel cell and electrolyzer applications. Authors are therefore kindly invited to submit their latest achievements and results; both original papers and reviews are welcome.

Dr. Fatemeh Razmjooei
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • anion exchange membranes (AEMs)
  • proton exchange membranes (PEMs)
  • ion solvating membranes
  • alkaline electrolyte membranes
  • membrane processes
  • membrane synthesis and modification
  • AEMs for anion exchange membrane fuel cell (AEMFC)
  • PEMs for proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC)
  • AEMs for anion exchange membrane water electrolyzers (AEMWEs)
  • PEMs for proton exchange membrane water electrolyzer (PEMWE)
  • Alkaline electrolyte membranes for AWEs

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

14 pages, 12047 KiB  
Article
A Flexible 8-in-1 Microsensor Embedded in Proton Battery Stack for Real-Time Microscopic Measurements
by Chi-Yuan Lee, Chia-Hung Chen, Sheng-Ming Chuang, Chin-Yuan Yang and Jia-Yu Hsu
Membranes 2023, 13(6), 573; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes13060573 - 01 Jun 2023
Viewed by 928
Abstract
According to the latest literature, it is difficult to measure the multiple important physical parameters inside a proton battery stack accurately and simultaneously. The present bottleneck is external or single measurements, and the multiple important physical parameters (oxygen, clamping pressure, hydrogen, voltage, current, [...] Read more.
According to the latest literature, it is difficult to measure the multiple important physical parameters inside a proton battery stack accurately and simultaneously. The present bottleneck is external or single measurements, and the multiple important physical parameters (oxygen, clamping pressure, hydrogen, voltage, current, temperature, flow, and humidity) are interrelated, and have a significant impact on the performance, life, and safety of the proton battery stack. Therefore, this study used micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) technology to develop a micro oxygen sensor and a micro clamping pressure sensor, which were integrated into the 6-in-1 microsensor developed by this research team. In order to improve the output and operability of microsensors, an incremental mask was redesigned to integrate the back end of the microsensor in combination with a flexible printed circuit. Consequently, a flexible 8-in-1 (oxygen, clamping pressure, hydrogen, voltage, current, temperature, flow, and humidity) microsensor was developed and embedded in a proton battery stack for real-time microscopic measurement. Multiple micro-electro-mechanical systems technologies were used many times in the process of developing the flexible 8-in-1 microsensor in this study, including physical vapor deposition (PVD), lithography, lift-off, and wet etching. The substrate was a 50 μm-thick polyimide (PI) film, characterized by good tensile strength, high temperature resistance, and chemical resistance. The microsensor electrode used Au as the main electrode and Ti as the adhesion layer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes in Electrochemistry Applications 2.0)
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17 pages, 2859 KiB  
Article
Analysis of PEM Water Electrolyzer Failure Due to Induced Hydrogen Crossover in Catalyst-Coated PFSA Membranes
by Eveline Kuhnert, Mathias Heidinger, Daniel Sandu, Viktor Hacker and Merit Bodner
Membranes 2023, 13(3), 348; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes13030348 - 17 Mar 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 5038
Abstract
Polymer electrolyte membrane water electrolysis (PEMWE) is a leading candidate for the development of a sustainable hydrogen infrastructure. The heart of a PEMWE cell is represented by the membrane electrode assembly (MEA), which consists of a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) with catalyst layers [...] Read more.
Polymer electrolyte membrane water electrolysis (PEMWE) is a leading candidate for the development of a sustainable hydrogen infrastructure. The heart of a PEMWE cell is represented by the membrane electrode assembly (MEA), which consists of a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) with catalyst layers (CLs), flow fields, and bipolar plates (BPPs). The weakest component of the system is the PEM, as it is prone to chemical and mechanical degradation. Membrane chemical degradation is associated with the formation of hydrogen peroxide due to the crossover of product gases (H2 and O2). In this paper, membrane failure due to H2 crossover was addressed in a membrane-focused accelerated stress test (AST). Asymmetric H2O and gas supply were applied to a test cell in OCV mode at two temperatures (60 °C and 80 °C). Electrochemical characterization at the beginning and at the end of testing revealed a 1.6-fold higher increase in the high-frequency resistance (HFR) at 80 °C. The hydrogen crossover was measured with a micro-GC, and the fluoride emission rate (FER) was monitored during the ASTs. A direct correlation between the FER and H2 crossover was identified, and accelerated membrane degradation at higher temperatures was detected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes in Electrochemistry Applications 2.0)
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13 pages, 3348 KiB  
Article
Cross-Linked Sulfonated Poly(arylene ether sulfone) Membrane Using Polymeric Cross-Linkers for Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell Applications
by Junghwan Kim, Seansoo Hwang, Yu-Gyeong Jeong, Yong-Seok Choi and Kihyun Kim
Membranes 2023, 13(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes13010007 - 21 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1766
Abstract
Cross-linked membranes for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell application are prepared using highly sulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone) (SPAES) and polymeric cross-linkers having different hydrophilicities by facile in-situ casting and heating processes. From the advantage of the cross-linked structures made with the use of [...] Read more.
Cross-linked membranes for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell application are prepared using highly sulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone) (SPAES) and polymeric cross-linkers having different hydrophilicities by facile in-situ casting and heating processes. From the advantage of the cross-linked structures made with the use of polymeric cross-linkers, a stable membrane can be obtained even though the polymer matrix with a very high degree of sulfonation was used. In particular, hydrophilic cross-linker is found to be effective in improving physicochemical properties of the cross-linked membranes and at the same time showing reasonable proton conductivity. Accordingly, membrane electrode assembly made from the cross-linked membrane prepared by using hydrophilic polymeric cross-linker exhibits outstanding cell performance under high temperature and low relative humidity conditions (e.g., maximum power density of 176.4 mW cm−2 at 120 °C and 40% RH). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes in Electrochemistry Applications 2.0)
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16 pages, 8115 KiB  
Article
Application and Visualization of Fluorescent-Tagged Antiscalants in Electrodialysis Processing of Aqueous Solutions Prone to Gypsum Scale Deposition
by Violetta Gil, Maxim Oshchepkov, Anastasia Ryabova, Maria Trukhina, Mikhail Porozhnyy, Sergey Tkachenko, Natalia Pismenskaya and Konstantin Popov
Membranes 2022, 12(10), 1002; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12101002 - 16 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1410
Abstract
Membrane scaling is a serious problem in electrodialysis. A widely used technique for controlling scale deposition in water treatment technologies is the application of antiscalants (AS). The present study reports on gypsum scale inhibition in electrodialysis cell by the two novel ASs: fluorescent-tagged [...] Read more.
Membrane scaling is a serious problem in electrodialysis. A widely used technique for controlling scale deposition in water treatment technologies is the application of antiscalants (AS). The present study reports on gypsum scale inhibition in electrodialysis cell by the two novel ASs: fluorescent-tagged bisphosphonate 1-hydroxy-7-(6-methoxy-1,3-dioxo-1Hbenzo[de]isoquinolin-2(3H)-yl)heptane-1,1-diyl-bis(phosphonic acid), HEDP-F and fluorescein-tagged polyacrylate, PAA-F2 (molecular mass 4000 Da) monitored by chronopotentiometry and fluorescent microscopy. It was found that cation-exchange membrane MK-40 scaling is sufficiently reduced by both ASs, used in 10−6 mol·dm−3 concentrations. PAA-F2 at these concentrations was found to be more efficient than HEDP-F. At the same time, PAA-F2 reveals gypsum crystals’ habit modification, while HEDP-F does not noticeably affect the crystal form of the deposit. The strong auto-luminescence of MK-40 hampers visualization of both PAA-F2 and HEDP-F on the membrane surface. Nevertheless, PAA-F2 is proved to localize partly on the surface of gypsum crystals as a molecular adsorption layer, and to change their crystal habit. Crystal surface coverage by PAA-F2 appears to be nonuniform. Alternatively, HEDP-F localizes on the surface of a deposit tentatively in the form of [Ca-HEDP-F]. The proposed mechanisms of action are formulated and discussed. The application of antiscalants in electrodialysis for membrane scaling mitigation is demonstrated to be very promising. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes in Electrochemistry Applications 2.0)
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