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Acid-Base Blend Membranes for Redox Flow Batteries

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-11ER90107
Agency Tracking Number: 97210
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 19 a
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0000413
Solicitation Year: 2011
Award Year: 2011
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2011-06-17
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2012-05-16
Small Business Information
College Station, TX 77840-4023
United States
DUNS: 184758308
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Yongzhu Fu
 (979) 764-2200
Business Contact
 G Hisaw
Title: Mrs.
Phone: (979) 764-2200
Research Institution

Redox flow batteries (RFBs) have the potential for economical storage of electrical energy than other battery chemistries. They use high-cost ion exchange membranes as separators between anolyte and catholyte, which prevent broad market penetration. Proton exchange membranes (e.g., Nafion) are poorly selective, allowing undesired cross-diffusion of active species in solution electrolytes across the membranes and reducing the efficiency and durability of RFBs. Lynntech in collaboration with University of Texas at Austin (UT) and University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) propose to develop a low-cost, high proton conductivity, and ultralow permeability acid-base blend membrane which can enable the development of cost-effective and high performance RFBs than current technologies. The innovative acid-base blend membrane allows rapid proton transport but ultralow diffusion of water and active species. The development of the blend membrane will provide redox flow batteries with improved efficiency, and significantly improved durability and operating lifetimes. During the Phase I, UT will synthesize and prepare the blend membrane; Lynntech will determine the membranes proton conductivity and permeability of vanadium ions, and evaluate the membranes electrochemical performance in an all-vanadium redox flow battery (V-RFB); UTA will study the synergistic effects of the membrane properties on dynamics of V-RFBs, with focus on both coulombic and voltage efficiencies, as well as providing general guidance to the proposed membrane material development. During the Phase II, the blend membrane will be optimized and be applied in an all-vanadium flow battery stack, and a low-cost large-scale membrane production process will be developed. The proposed low-cost and highly selective proton-conducting blend membrane can enable the development of cost-effective and high performance redox flow batteries. The technology has the potential to develop low-cost and durable stationary power systems, which can change the way in which electrical energy is generated, distributed, and used. Potential applications including remote power systems matching power generator outputs and fluctuating loads from renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, and power management systems for smart grid and residential applications

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

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