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Optimization of the membrane electrode assembly for an alkaline water electrolyser based on the catalyst-coated membrane
Journal of Power Sources
Plevovà, M., Hnàt, J., Zitka, J., Pavlovec, L., Otmar, O., Bouzek, K.
Abstract: This study deals with the preparation and characterisation of catalyst-coated membranes for an alkaline water electrolysis process. For this purpose, a chloromethylated anion-selective block copolymer of styrene-ethylene-butylene-styrene with 1,4-diazabicyclo[2.2.2]octane functional groups was used both as an alkaline polymer electrolyte membrane and as an ionomer binder. Non-PGM catalysts (platinum group metals), specifically NiCo2O4 and NiFe2O4, were used on the anode and cathode side of the membrane, respectively. Air-brush deposition or computer-controlled ultrasonic dispersion of the catalytic ink were used to deposit the catalyst layers. The influence of the composition of the catalyst layer on its stability and the resulting electrolysis cell performance was investigated under typical membrane alkaline water electrolysis conditions (1–15 wt.% KOH, 45 ◦C). The optimal catalyst-to-binder ratio in the catalyst layer was identified as 93/7 using a catalyst loading of 2.5 mg cm-2 on each side of the membrane. The membrane electrode assembly prepared under optimal conditions showed high stability over 140 h at a current density of 250 mA cm-2. At this current load, the cell exhibited a voltage of 2.025 ± 0.010 V. The increase in cell voltage observed during the stability test did not exceed 1 μV h-1.
PBI nanofiber mat-reinforced anion exchange membranes with covalently linked interfaces for use in water electrolysers
Journal of Membrane Science
Najibah, M., Tsoy, E., Khalid, H., Chen, Y., Li, Q., Bae, C., … & Henkensmeier, D.
Abstract: Anion exchange membranes (AEM) are key components in anion exchange membrane water electrolysers. Recently developed materials are less susceptible to the alkaline degradation of the polymer backbone and quaternary ammonium groups. A remaining challenge is the mechanical stability in contact with hot water and dimensional stability when the temperature of the feed solution changes. One solution is to reinforce membranes with a porous support. Since support materials like PEEK or PTFE have a different swelling behavior than the matrix and no strong interactions with the matrix, voids can form, and gas crossover increases. In this work, we approach this issue by pore filling polybenzimidazole nanofiber mats with the bromomethylated precursor of mTPN, an ultra-stable AEM material. During drying, a covalent interaction between support (PBI amine groups) and matrix (-CH2Br) is established. After quaternization, the optimized PBI/mTPN-50.120 composite membrane still shows a high conductivity of 62 mS cm−1, but 37% reduced length swelling in comparison to the non-reinforced membrane. Tensile strength and Young’s modulus increase 17% and 56% to 49 MPa and 680 MPa, respectively. In an electrolyser, a stable voltage of 1.98V at 0.25 A cm−2 was achieved, and no change in membrane resistance was observed over the test time of 200 h (50 °C, 1 M KOH, catalysts based on Ni/Fe and Mo).
Overview: State-of-the art commercial membranes for anion exchange membrane water electrolysis
31/07/2020 | 11:45 am
Journal of Electrochemical Energy Conversion and Storage
Abstract: One promising way to store and distribute large amounts of renewable energy is water electrolysis, coupled with transport of hydrogen in the gas grid and storage in tanks and caverns. The intermittent availability of renewal energy makes it difficult to integrate it with established alkaline water electrolysis technology. Proton exchange membrane (PEM) water electrolysis is promising, but limited by the necessity to use expensive platinum and iridium catalysts. The expected solution is anion exchange membrane (AEM) water electrolysis, which combines the use of cheap and abundant catalyst materials with the advantages of PEM water electrolysis, namely a low foot print, large operational capacity, and fast response to changing operating conditions. The key component for AEM water electrolysis is a cheap, stable, gas tight and highly hydroxide conductive polymeric AEM. Here we present target values and technical requirements for AEMs, discuss the chemical structures involved and the related degradation pathways, and give an overview over the most prominent and promising commercial AEMs (Fumatech Fumasep® FAA3, Tokuyama A201, Ionomr Aemion™, Dioxide materials Sustainion®, and membranes commercialized by Orion Polymer), and review their properties and performances of water electrolyzers using these membranes.
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This project has received funding from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking (now Clean Hydrogen Partnership) under Grant Agreement No 875118. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program, Hydrogen Europe and Hydrogen Europe Research
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