International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol.45, No.16, 9803-9810, 2020
Robust proton exchange membrane for vanadium redox flow batteries reinforced by silica-encapsulated nanocellulose
High ion selectivity and mechanical strength are critical properties for proton exchange membranes in vanadium redox flow batteries. In this work, a novel sulfonated poly(ether sulfone) hybrid membrane reinforced by core-shell structured nanocellulose (CNC-SPES) is prepared to obtain a robust and high-performance proton exchange membrane for vanadium redox flow batteries. Membrane morphology, proton conductivity, vanadium permeability and tensile strength are investigated. Single cell tests at a range of 40 -140 mA cm(-2) are carried out. The performance of the sulfonated poly(ether sulfone) membrane reinforced by pristine nanocellulose (NC-SPES) and Nafion (R) 212 membranes are also studied for comparison. The results show that, with the incorporation of silica-encapsulated nanocellulose, the membrane exhibits outstanding mechanical strength of 54.5 MPa and high energy efficiency above 82% at 100 mA cm(-2), which is stable during 200 charge-discharge cycles. (C) 2020 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.