Polymer hydroxide exchange membranes for electrochemical energy conversion and storage
Yushan Yan and Shuang Gu
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
University of Delaware
Newark, DE 19716
One of the grand challenges today is the development of an alternative energy system that is clean, safe, and sustainable and where combustion of fossil fuels no longer dominates. Fuel cells, electrolyzers, solar hydrogen, and redox flow batteries when combined could represent such as system. In this presentation, I will focus on our recent work on hydroxide exchange membrane (HEMs). HEMs, when used in fuel cells (HEMFCs), allow the platinum catalysts to be replaced by non-platinum-group-metals such as nickel and silver while the expensive fluorinated polymer membrane substituted by a hydrocarbon membrane, thus drastically reducing the cost of fuel cells and making them potentially economically viable. HEMs can also be used in electrolyzers and solar hydrogen generators to enable non-platinum-group-metals as catalysts for hydrogen generation or in redox flow batteries for large scale solar/wind electricity storage.
S. Gu, B. Xu, Y. Yan, 2014. Electrochemical Energy Engineering: A New Frontier of Chemical Engineering Innovation, Annu. Rev. Chem. Biomol. Eng., http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-chembioeng-060713-040114