International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol.42, No.30, 19035-19043, 2017
Low permeable composite membrane based on sulfonated poly(phenylene oxide) (sPPO) and silica for vanadium redox flow battery
The proton conductivity and vanadium permeability of organic-inorganic (sulfonated poly (phenylene oxide) (sPPO)-nano sized sulfonated silica (sSiO(2))) hybrid membrane were investigated for application in a vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) system. Significant attention is being paid to PPO polymers as a replacement for Nafion membranes due to their relatively low cost and ease of sulfonation. The attachment of a sulfonic acid (-SO3H) functional group to PPO and SiO2 was confirmed using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR). The hybrid membrane (sPPO-2% sSiO(2)) exhibited increased thermal stability, water uptake (WU), ion exchange capacity (IEC) and proton conductivity (IC) compared with a conventional organic sPPO membrane. The proton conductivity of the hybrid membrane increased considerably compared to sPPO alone, resulting from the 2% sSiO(2) nanoparticles added homogeneously to the polymer matrix. The proton conductivities of the sPPO and hybrid membranes were 0.050 and 0.077 S/cm, respectively. The increased proton conductivity of the hybrid membrane was attributed to the enhanced hydrophilic properties of -SO3H in the membranes. In addition, inorganic particles in the polymer matrix acted as a barrier for vanadium ion crossover. During VRFB unit cell operation, vanadium ion (VO2+) crossovers were measured as 14.66, 1.955 and 0.173 mmol L-1 through Nafion 212, sPPO and hybrid membranes, respectively, and VO2+ permeability were 2.22 x 10(-7), 2.50 x 10(-8) and 4.76 x 10(-8) cm(2) min(-1) for Nafion 212, sPPO and hybrid membranes, respectively. Based on our experimental results, low cost organic-inorganic hybrid membranes as prepared provide an efficient alternative membrane material for advanced VRFB systems. (C) 2017 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.