Perfluorinated Sulfonic Acid based Composite Membranes for Vanadium Redox Flow Battery Cho, Kook-Jin; Park, Jin-Soo;
Vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs) using the electrolytes containing various vanadium ions in sulfuric acid as supporting solution are one of the energy storage devices in alternatively charging and discharging operation modes. The positive electrolyte contains and the negative electrolyte depending on the operation mode. To prevent the mixing of two solutions, proton exchange membranes are mainly used in VRFBs. Nafion 117 could be the most promising candidate due to the strong oxidative property of ion, but causes high crossover of electroactive species to result in a decrease in coulombic efficiency. In this study, the composite membranes using Nafion ionomer and porous polyethylene substrate were prepared to keep good chemical stability and to decrease the cost of membranes, and were compared to the properties and performance of the commercially available electrolyte membrane, Nafion 117. As a result, the water uptake and ionic conductivity of the composite membranes increased as the thickness of the composite membranes increased, but those of Nafion 117 slightly decreased. The permeability of vanadium ions for the composite membranes significantly decreased compared to that for Nafion 117. In a single cell test for the composite membranes, the voltage efficiency decreased and the coulombic efficiency increased, finally resulting in the similar energy efficiency. In conclusion, the less cost of the composite membranes by decreasing 6.4 wt.% of the amount of perfluorinated sulfonic acid polymer due to the introduction of porous substrate and lower vanadium ion permeability to decrease self-discharge were achieved than Nafion 117.
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