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Novel ionomer and polymer-electrolyte membrane development for solar-energy-driven carbon dioxide conversion
Phone: (510) 260-5306
Phone: (510) 833-9312
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.
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