Special Issue "Membranes for Electrolysis, Fuel Cells and Batteries"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. María Jesús Lázaro Elorri
Website
Guest Editor
Instituto de Carboquímica, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Miguel Luesma Castán, 4. E-50018. Zaragoza, Spain
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Dr. Vincenzo Baglio
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
CNR-ITAE Institute for Advanced Energy Technologies “N. Giordano”, Via Salita S. Lucia sopra Contesse 5, Messina 98126, Italy
Interests: polymer electrolyte fuel cells; direct alcohol fuel cells; water electrolysis; metal–air batteries; dye-sensitized solar cells; photo-electrolysis; carbon dioxide electro-reduction
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. David Sebastián
Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Carbochemistry, CSIC-Spanish National Research Council, C/. Miguel Luesma Castán, 4, 50018 Zaragoza, Spain
Interests: energy and environment; catalysis; carbon materials; electrochemistry; fuel cells
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Dr. Cinthia Alegre

Guest Editor
LIFTEC-CSIC, Laboratorio de Investigación en Fluidodinámica y Tecnologías de la Combustión, CSIC-Universidad de Zaragoza, 50009 Saragossa, Spain
Interests: development of materials and components; characterisation of the components’ solid state for iron-air batteries; electrochemical investigation of iron-air batteries; synthesis of carbon-based materials; fuel cells catalysts and electrochemical systems; low temperature fuel cells
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Research regarding the efficient and clean electrochemical conversion and storage of energy is continuously increasing. Electrolyzers, fuel cells and batteries have the potential to convert/store energy with a high efficiency and without contaminant emissions. A fundamental element common to these devices is the membrane, acting as electrolyte or separator, that plays a key role in their performance. Great progresses have been obtained in the past decades. However, membranes still present several drawbacks regarding ion conductivity, stability at high temperature and durability. This Special Issue is intended to cover the most recent progresses in membranes for electrochemical devices, such as electrolyzers, fuel cells and batteries. This Special Issue aims to gain insights in the development of highly efficient and durable membranes.

Dr. María J. Lázaro
Dr. Vincenzo Baglio
Dr. David Sebastian
Dr. Cinthia Alegre
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Membranes is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • electrolyzers
  • fuel cells
  • metal-air batteries
  • redox-flow batteries
  • lithium-ion/sodium-ion batteries
  • polymer electrolyte membranes
  • proton exchange electrolytes
  • anion exchange electrolytes
  • polymer gel based membranes
  • ceramic-glass and polymer solid ion conductors
  • membrane degradation

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Simple and Precise Approach for Determination of Ohmic Contribution of Diaphragms in Alkaline Water Electrolysis
Membranes 2019, 9(10), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes9100129 - 04 Oct 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
A simple and low-cost alternating current (AC)-based method, without electrolyte correction, is proposed (Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS)-Zero Gap Cell) for the determination of ohmic contribution of diaphragms. The effectiveness of the proposed methodology was evaluated by using a commercial Alkaline Water Electrolysis (AWE) [...] Read more.
A simple and low-cost alternating current (AC)-based method, without electrolyte correction, is proposed (Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS)-Zero Gap Cell) for the determination of ohmic contribution of diaphragms. The effectiveness of the proposed methodology was evaluated by using a commercial Alkaline Water Electrolysis (AWE) diaphragm (Zirfon®). Furthermore, the results were compared with two conventional electrochemical methodologies for calculating the separator resistance, based on direct current (DC), and AC measurements, respectively. Compared with the previous techniques, the proposed approach reported more accurate and precise values of resistance for new and aged samples. Compared with the manufacturer reference, the obtained error values for new samples were 0.33%, 5.64%, and 41.7%, respectively for EIS-Zero gap cell, AC and DC methods, confirming the validity and convenience of the proposed technique. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes for Electrolysis, Fuel Cells and Batteries)
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Open AccessArticle
Blend Hybrid Solid Electrolytes Based on LiTFSI Doped Silica-Polyethylene Oxide for Lithium-Ion Batteries
Membranes 2019, 9(9), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes9090109 - 27 Aug 2019
Abstract
Organic/inorganic hybrid membranes that are based on GTT (GPTMS-TMES-TPTE) system while using 3-Glycidoxypropyl-trimethoxysilane (GPTMS), Trimethyletoxisilane (TMES), and Trimethylolpropane triglycidyl ether (TPTE) as precursors have been obtained while using a combination of organic polymerization and sol-gel synthesis to be used as electrolytes in Li-ion [...] Read more.
Organic/inorganic hybrid membranes that are based on GTT (GPTMS-TMES-TPTE) system while using 3-Glycidoxypropyl-trimethoxysilane (GPTMS), Trimethyletoxisilane (TMES), and Trimethylolpropane triglycidyl ether (TPTE) as precursors have been obtained while using a combination of organic polymerization and sol-gel synthesis to be used as electrolytes in Li-ion batteries. Self-supported materials and thin-films solid hybrid electrolytes that were doped with Lithium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide (LiTFSI) were prepared. The hybrid network is based on highly cross-linked structures with high ionic conductivity. The dependency of the crosslinked hybrid structure and polymerization grade on ionic conductivity is studied. Ionic conductivity depends on triepoxy precursor (TPTE) and the accessibility of Li ions in the organic network, reaching a maximum ionic conductivity of 1.3 × 10−4 and 1.4 × 10−3 S cm−1 at room temperature and 60 °C, respectively. A wide electrochemical stability window in the range of 1.5–5 V facilitates its use as solid electrolytes in next-generation of Li-ion batteries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes for Electrolysis, Fuel Cells and Batteries)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Feed Solution Temperature on the Power Output Performance of a Pilot-Scale Reverse Electrodialysis (RED) System with Different Intermediate Distance
Membranes 2019, 9(6), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes9060073 - 18 Jun 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
Membrane-based reverse electrodialysis (RED) can convert the salinity gradient energy between two solutions into electric power without any environmental impact. Regarding the practical application of the RED process using natural seawater and river water, the RED performance depends on the climate (temperature). In [...] Read more.
Membrane-based reverse electrodialysis (RED) can convert the salinity gradient energy between two solutions into electric power without any environmental impact. Regarding the practical application of the RED process using natural seawater and river water, the RED performance depends on the climate (temperature). In this study, we have evaluated the effect of the feed solution temperature on the resulting RED performance using two types of pilot-scale RED stacks consisting of 200 cell pairs having a total effective membrane area of 40 m2 with different intermediate distances (200 µm and 600 µm). The temperature dependence of the resistance of the solution compartment and membrane, open circuit voltage (OCV), maximum gross power output, pumping energy, and subsequent net power output of the system was individually evaluated. Increasing the temperature shows a positive influence on all the factors studied, and interesting linear relationships were obtained in all the cases, which allowed us to provide simple empirical equations to predict the resulting performance. Furthermore, the temperature dependence was strongly affected by the experimental conditions, such as the flow rate and type of stack, especially in the case of the pilot-scale stack. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes for Electrolysis, Fuel Cells and Batteries)
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Open AccessFeature PaperEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Performances of Anion-Exchange Blend Membranes on Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries
Membranes 2019, 9(2), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes9020031 - 17 Feb 2019
Cited by 7
Abstract
Anion exchange blend membranes (AEBMs) were prepared for use in Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries (VRFBs). These AEBMs consisted of 3 polymer components. Firstly, PBI-OO (nonfluorinated PBI) or F6-PBI (partially fluorinated PBI) were used as a matrix polymer. The second polymer, a bromomethylated PPO, [...] Read more.
Anion exchange blend membranes (AEBMs) were prepared for use in Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries (VRFBs). These AEBMs consisted of 3 polymer components. Firstly, PBI-OO (nonfluorinated PBI) or F6-PBI (partially fluorinated PBI) were used as a matrix polymer. The second polymer, a bromomethylated PPO, was quaternized with 1,2,4,5-tetramethylimidazole (TMIm) which provided the anion exchange sites. Thirdly, a partially fluorinated polyether or a non-fluorinated poly (ether sulfone) was used as an ionical cross-linker. While the AEBMs were prepared with different combinations of the blend polymers, the same weight ratios of the three components were used. The AEBMs showed similar membrane properties such as ion exchange capacity, dimensional stability and thermal stability. For the VRFB application, comparable or better energy efficiencies were obtained when using the AEBMs compared to the commercial membranes included in this study, that is, Nafion (cation exchange membrane) and FAP 450 (anion exchange membrane). One of the blend membranes showed no capacity decay during a charge-discharge cycles test for 550 cycles run at 40 mA/cm2 indicating superior performance compared to the commercial membranes tested. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes for Electrolysis, Fuel Cells and Batteries)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Design of Monovalent Ion Selective Membranes for Reducing the Impacts of Multivalent Ions in Reverse Electrodialysis
Membranes 2020, 10(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10010007 - 31 Dec 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
Reverse electrodialysis (RED) represents one of the most promising membrane-based technologies for clean and renewable energy production from mixing water solutions. However, the presence of multivalent ions in natural water drastically reduces system performance, in particular, the open-circuit voltage (OCV) and the output [...] Read more.
Reverse electrodialysis (RED) represents one of the most promising membrane-based technologies for clean and renewable energy production from mixing water solutions. However, the presence of multivalent ions in natural water drastically reduces system performance, in particular, the open-circuit voltage (OCV) and the output power. This effect is largely described by the “uphill transport” phenomenon, in which multivalent ions are transported against the concentration gradient. In this work, recent advances in the investigation of the impact of multivalent ions on power generation by RED are systematically reviewed along with possible strategies to overcome this challenge. In particular, the use of monovalent ion-selective membranes represents a promising alternative to reduce the negative impact of multivalent ions given the availability of low-cost materials and an easy route of membrane synthesis. A thorough assessment of the materials and methodologies used to prepare monovalent selective ion exchange membranes (both cation and anion exchange membranes) for applications in (reverse) electrodialysis is performed. Moreover, transport mechanisms under conditions of extreme salinity gradient are analyzed and compared for a better understanding of the design criteria. The ultimate goal of the present work is to propose a prospective research direction on the development of new membrane materials for effective implementation of RED under natural feed conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membranes for Electrolysis, Fuel Cells and Batteries)
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