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Composite anion exchange membranes fabricated by coating and UV crosslinking of low-cost precursors tested in a redox flow battery

: Charyton, Martyna; Deboli, Francesco; Fischer, Peter; Henrion, Gérard; Etienne, Mathieu; Donten, Mateusz L.

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Polymers. Online resource 13 (2021), No.15, Art. 2396, 15 pp.
ISSN: 2073-4360
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer ICT ()
composite ion exchange membrane; functional coating; Poly(vinyl pyrrolidone); redox flow battery; UV curing

This paper presents a novel, cost-effective approach to the fabrication of composite anion exchange membranes (AEMs). Hierarchical AEMs have been fabricated by coating a porous substrate with an interpenetrating polymer network (IPN) layer where poly(vinylpyrrolidone) (PVP) is immobilized in a crosslinked matrix. The IPN matrix was formed by UV initiated radical crosslinking of a mixture of acrylamide-based monomers and acrylic resins. The fabricated membranes have been compared with a commercial material (Fumatech FAP 450) in terms of ionic transport properties and performance in a vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB). Measures of area-specific resistance (ASR) and vanadium permeability for the proposed membranes demonstrated properties approaching the commercial benchmark. These properties could be tuned by changing the content of PVP in the IPN coating. Higher PVP/matrix ratios facilitate a higher water uptake of the coating layer and thus lower ASR (as low as 0.58 Ω.cm2). On the contrary, lower PVP/matrix ratios allow to reduce the water uptake of the coating and hence decrease the vanadium permeability at the cost of a higher ASR (as high as 1.99 Ω.cm2). In VRFB testing the hierarchical membranes enabled to reach energy efficiency comparable with the commercial AEM (PVP 14-74.7%, FAP 450-72.7% at 80