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Vanadium proton exchange membrane water electrolyser

: Noack, J.; Roznyatovskaya, N.; Pinkwart, K.; Tübke, J.


Journal of power sources 349 (2017), S.144-151
ISSN: 0378-7753
ISSN: 1873-2755
Fraunhofer ICT ()

In order to reverse the reactions of vanadium oxygen fuel cells and to regenerate vanadium redox flow battery electrolytes that have been oxidised by atmospheric oxygen, a vanadium proton exchange membrane water electrolyser was set up and investigated. Using an existing cell with a commercial and iridium-based catalyst coated membrane, it was possible to fully reduce V3.5+ and V3+ solutions to V2+ with the formation of oxygen and with coulomb efficiencies of over 96%. The cell achieved a maximum current density of 75 mA/cm(2) during this process and was limited by the proximity of the V(III) reduction to the hydrogen evolution reaction. Due to the specific reaction mechanisms of V(IV) and V(III) ions, V(III) solutions were reduced with an energy efficiency of 61%, making this process nearly twice as energy efficient as the reduction of V(IV) to V(III). Polarisation curves and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy were used to further investigate the losses of half-cell reactions and to find ways of further increasing efficiency and performance levels.