Low-Cost, High-Performance Hybrid Membranes for Redox Flow Batteries

Award Information
Department of Energy
Award Year:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
20 a
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Amsen Technologies, Llc
1684 S. Research Loop, Suite 518, Tucson, AZ, 85710-6740
Hubzone Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator
 Hongxing Hu
 (520) 546-6944
Business Contact
 Ayyasamy Aruchamy
Title: Dr.
Phone: (520) 546-6944
Email: amsen@mindspring.com
Research Institution
The ion exchange membrane is the key component in redox flow batteries (RFBs) as it critically determines the RFB performance and its economic viability. The membrane should possess the following properties to ensure high energy efficiency and long cycle life of RFBs: high proton conductivity, low permeability of active redox species, and high chemical stability. In addition, low cost and high durability are also necessary requirements of the membrane before broad market penetration of RFBs can be achieved. At present, commercial membranes cannot satisfy all of the above requirements. This SBIR project aims to develop low-cost, high performance hybrid PEMs for RFBs by an intricate hybrid scheme in a polymer-polymer-inorganic system. Such membranes shall have high chemical stability in RFB electrolytes, high proton conductivity, low permeability of vanadium ions, along with high dimensional stability, high mechanical strength and durability, and lower cost than Nafion membranes. The Phase I results has successfully demonstrated that the intended membrane can be developed, which has shown the potential of not only lower cost than the Nafion membrane, but also superior properties than the Nafion membranes in several aspects, including higher proton conductivity and lower permeability of active redox species, while having equally high chemical stability in the RFB environment The Phase II work is to build on the Phase I success and systematically optimize the composition, processing, and performance of the new membrane for RFB applications. The processing will be scaled up to a level that is feasible and profitable for commercial production. Commercially viable prototype membranes will be produced and tested in practical RFB settings. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Redox flow battery (RFB) is one of potential technologies for stationary electrical energy storage. The feature of decoupling between the energy and power, and the extremely large capacities possible from RFBs make them well suited to use in large power storage and high output applications such as for transmission grid operations, in helping to average out the production of highly variable generation sources such as wind or solar power. Their extremely rapid response times also make them well suited to UPS type applications.

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