"Ionic Polymer Electrolyte Membranes for Electrochemical Energy Conversion Technology"
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
A variety of energy storage and conversion electrochemical devices, such as polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells, redox flow batteries, and water electrolysis, rely on ion-conducting polymer electrolyte membranes to separate and transport ions between the anode and cathode. Among these membranes, anion exchange membranes (AEMs) have recently received increased attention because of the ability to use non-precious metal electrocatalysts for electrochemical reactions under alkaline conditions. Additionally, AEM-based electrochemical devices (as opposed to the liquid alkaline system) prevent leakage of corrosive fuels and carbonate precipitation. However, the most significant challenges currently preventing the advancement of AEMs in clean energy conversion technology are their poor chemical and mechanical stabilities under strong alkaline environment and low anion conductivity. It is generally recognized that the stability of both polymer backbone and cation functional group play a crucial role in device durability. In this presentation, a series of AEMs developed over the years at Bae group of RPI and their potential applications in electrochemical energy conversion technology will be introduced.