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Novel ionomer and polymer-electrolyte membrane development for solar-energy-driven carbon dioxide conversion

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0020463
Agency Tracking Number: 0000257038
Amount: $1,150,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 19b
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0002380
Solicitation Year: 2021
Award Year: 2021
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-05-03
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2023-05-02
Small Business Information
Berkeley, CA 94710
United States
DUNS: 079865172
HUBZone Owned: Yes
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Ziyang Huo
 (510) 260-5306
Business Contact
 Etosha Cave
Phone: (510) 833-9312
Research Institution

Using renewable electricity to power the electrochemical reduction of waste CO2 could form the basis of a sustainable carbon cycle to make solar fuels. Lack of highly conductive ionomers and polymer electrolyte membranes with superior mechanical robustness and permeation limit the application of solar fuels technology. This project’s goal is to develop a new type of visible light transparent polymer with the aromatic backbone structure with high performance and good durability for CO2 electroreduction. A series of crosslinked polymer electrolyte membranes will be fabricated in order to suppress the CO2 plasticization, swelling behavior, gas crossover, and improve mechanical durability. The new ionomers and membranes will then be tested in a CO2 electrolyzer. Results of characterization and performance tests will provide feedback and guide development in large scale production. The novel integration of aromatic backbone polymer and crosslinker will provide a viable solution to fabricate a large area polymer electrolyte membrane and ensure durable performance in solar fuel production. Utilizing low-cost and abundant solar energy to covert CO2 to fuel and value-added chemicals could positively impact the global carbon balance, reduce air pollution, and create new jobs in regions with few opportunities by distributing production of these materials.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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