Advanced Membranes for Fuel Cells and Redox Flow Batteries

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 October 2023) | Viewed by 7808

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
School of Electrical Engineering and Automation, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, China
Interests: redox flow battery; energy storage; ion exchange membrane; battery; electrochemistry; polymer; electrolyte; electrode; vanadium flow battery
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
School of Materials and Environmental Engineering, Shenzhen Polytechnic, Shenzhen 518055, China
Interests: battery materials; nanomaterials; electrochemistry; lithium–ion batteries; materials chemistry; battery; fuel cells; electrolytes; electrochemical impedance; spectroscopy; cyclic voltammetry

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, have shown great promise in relieving the worldwide dependence on fossil fuels, thereby achieving a low-carbon society. However, the intermittent nature of renewables has caused unpredictable matching between electricity supply and demand, leading to unstable and inconsistent power delivery. Thus, energy storage technologies are needed to address the challenges that come with integrating renewable energy into the power grid. Ion exchange membranes/polymer electrolytes are very important components in fuel cells and redox flow batteries, as they are responsible for ion selection and transport to react in the electrode. Fuel cells and redox flow batteries based on polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMs) play important roles in applications, such as power sources for portable electronics, distributed power generation, and electric vehicles. A good PEM must present high proton conductivity, low crossover, high selectivity, excellent mechanical strength, and mechanical, chemical, and electrochemical stability. The membrane not only affects the whole cyclability performance but also determines the economic viability of the system. Additionally, increasing customer demands for environmentally friendly membrane products has prompted scientists to search for facile, low-cost and green production routes for novel membrane-based devices. 

This Special Issue, “Advanced Membranes for Fuel Cells and Redox Flow Batteries”, will be a perfect forum to bring together the latest results obtained by key laboratories focused on membranes and membrane materials with applications in related research and development, including the synthesis, characterization, and applications of membranes. 

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Fuel cells;
  • Redox flow batteries;
  • Proton-exchange membranes;
  • Cation-exchange membranes;
  • Anion-exchange membranes;
  • Porous membranes;
  • Amphoteric membranes.

Dr. Chuanyu Sun
Dr. Lihong Yu
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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 2700 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

  • fuel cell
  • redox flow battery
  • proton-exchange membranes
  • cation-exchange membranes
  • anion-exchange membranes
  • porous membranes
  • amphoteric membranes

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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19 pages, 8124 KiB  
Article
Chitosan Membranes for Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Applications
by Livhuwani Modau, Rudzani Sigwadi, Touhami Mokrani and Fulufhelo Nemavhola
Membranes 2023, 13(10), 838; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes13100838 - 20 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1286
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to identify the steps involved in fabricating silica/chitosan composite membranes and their suitability for fuel cell applications. It also intends to identify the physical characteristics of chitosan composite membranes, including their degree of water absorption, proton conductivity, [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to identify the steps involved in fabricating silica/chitosan composite membranes and their suitability for fuel cell applications. It also intends to identify the physical characteristics of chitosan composite membranes, including their degree of water absorption, proton conductivity, methanol permeability, and functional groups. In this investigation, composite membranes were fabricated using the solution casting method with a chitosan content of 5 g and silica dosage variations of 2% and 4% while stirring at a constant speed for 2 h. According to the findings, the analysis of composite membranes produced chitosan membranes that were successfully modified with silica. The optimum membrane was found to be 4% s-SiO2 from the Sol-gel method with the composite membrane’s optimal condition of 0.234 cm/s proton conductivity, water uptake of 56.21%, and reduced methanol permeability of 0.99 × 10−7 cm2/s in the first 30 min and 3.31 × 10−7 in the last 150 min. Maintaining lower water uptake capacity at higher silica content is still a challenge that needs to be addressed. In conclusion, the fabricated membranes showed exceptional results in terms of proton conductivity and methanol permeability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Membranes for Fuel Cells and Redox Flow Batteries)
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12 pages, 4080 KiB  
Article
Nata de Cassava Type of Bacterial Cellulose Doped with Phosphoric Acid as a Proton Exchange Membrane
by Andarany Kartika Sari, Rozan Mohamad Yunus, Edy Herianto Majlan, Kee Shyuan Loh, Wai Yin Wong, Nur Ubaidah Saidin, Sagir Alva and Deni Shidqi Khaerudini
Membranes 2023, 13(1), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes13010043 - 29 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1728
Abstract
This work aims to encourage the use of natural materials for advanced energy applications, such as proton exchange membranes in fuel cells. Herein, a new conductive membrane produced from cassava liquid waste was used to overcome environmental pollution and the global crisis of [...] Read more.
This work aims to encourage the use of natural materials for advanced energy applications, such as proton exchange membranes in fuel cells. Herein, a new conductive membrane produced from cassava liquid waste was used to overcome environmental pollution and the global crisis of energy. The membrane was phosphorylated through a microwave-assisted method with different phosphoric acid, (H3PO4) concentrations (10–60 mmol). Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD), dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), swelling behavior test, and contact angle measurement were carried out on the membrane doped with different H3PO4 levels. The phosphorylated NdC (nata de cassava) membrane doped with 20 mmol (NdC20) H3PO4 was successfully modified and significantly achieved proton conductivity (maximum conductivity up to 7.9 × 10−2 S cm−1 at 80 °C). In addition, the fabricated MEA was assembled using an NdC20 membrane with 60 wt% Pt/C loading of 0.5 mg cm−2 for the anode and cathode. Results revealed that a high power density of 25 mW cm−2 was obtained at 40 °C operating temperature for a single-cell performance test. Thus, this membrane has the potential to be used as a proton exchange membrane because it is environment-friendly and inexpensive for fuel cell applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Membranes for Fuel Cells and Redox Flow Batteries)
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14 pages, 4263 KiB  
Article
Novel Side-Chain Type Sulfonated Poly(phenylquinoxaline) Proton Exchange Membranes for Direct Methanol Fuel Cells
by Dongxia Liang, Qin Wu, Daxin Shi, Yaoyuan Zhang, Hansheng Li and Kangcheng Chen
Membranes 2022, 12(10), 952; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12100952 - 28 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1315
Abstract
Side-chain type sulfonated poly(phenylquinoxaline) (SPPQ)-based proton exchange membranes (PEMs) with different ionic exchange capacity (IEC) were successfully synthesized by copolymerization from 4,4′-bis (2-diphenyletherethylenedione) diphenyl ether, 4,4′-bis (2-phenylethylenedione) diphenyl ether and 3,3′,4,4′-tetraaminobiphenyl, and post-sulfonation process. The sulfonic acid groups were precisely grafted onto the [...] Read more.
Side-chain type sulfonated poly(phenylquinoxaline) (SPPQ)-based proton exchange membranes (PEMs) with different ionic exchange capacity (IEC) were successfully synthesized by copolymerization from 4,4′-bis (2-diphenyletherethylenedione) diphenyl ether, 4,4′-bis (2-phenylethylenedione) diphenyl ether and 3,3′,4,4′-tetraaminobiphenyl, and post-sulfonation process. The sulfonic acid groups were precisely grafted onto the p-position of phenoxy groups in the side chain of PPQ after the convenient condition of the post-sulfonation process, which was confirmed by 1H NMR spectra and FTIR. The sulfonic acid groups of side-chain type SPPQ degraded at around 325 °C, and their maximum stress was higher than 47 MPa, indicating great thermal and mechanical stability. The water uptake increased with the increasing IEC and temperature. The size change in their plane direction was shown to be lower than 6%, indicating the stability of membrane electrode assembly. The SPPQ PEMs displayed higher proton conductivity than that of main chain. In the single cell test, the maximum power density of side-chain type SPPQ-5 was 63.8 mW cm−2 at 20 wt% methanol solution and O2 at 60 °C, which is largely higher than 18.4 mW cm−2 of NR212 under the same conditions. The SPPQ PEMs showed high performance (62.8 mW cm−2) even when the methanol concentration was as high as 30 wt%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Membranes for Fuel Cells and Redox Flow Batteries)
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Review

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12 pages, 1841 KiB  
Review
A Review of Recent Chitosan Anion Exchange Membranes for Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells
by Vijayalekshmi Vijayakumar and Sang Yong Nam
Membranes 2022, 12(12), 1265; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12121265 - 14 Dec 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2440
Abstract
Considering the critical energy challenges and the generation of zero-emission anion exchange membrane (AEM) sources, chitosan-based anion exchange membranes have garnered considerable interest in fuel cell applications owing to their various advantages, including their eco-friendly nature, flexibility for structural modification, and improved mechanical, [...] Read more.
Considering the critical energy challenges and the generation of zero-emission anion exchange membrane (AEM) sources, chitosan-based anion exchange membranes have garnered considerable interest in fuel cell applications owing to their various advantages, including their eco-friendly nature, flexibility for structural modification, and improved mechanical, thermal, and chemical stability. The present mini-review highlights the advancements of chitosan-based biodegradable anion exchange membranes for fuel cell applications published between 2015 and 2022. Key points from the rigorous literature evaluation are: grafting with various counterions in addition to crosslinking contributed good conductivity and chemical as well as mechanical stability to the membranes; use of the interpenetrating network as well as layered structures, blending, and modified nanomaterials facilitated a significant reduction in membrane swelling and long-term alkaline stability. The study gives insightful guidance to the industry about replacing Nafion with a low-cost, environmentally friendly membrane source. It is suggested that more attention be given to exploring chitosan-based anion exchange membranes in consideration of effective strategies that focus on durability, as well as optimization of the operational conditions of fuel cells for large-scale applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Membranes for Fuel Cells and Redox Flow Batteries)
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