Ion conducting membranes for electrochemical systems

C. Fujimoto
Sandia National Laboratories,
United States

Keywords: solar, wind, energy storage

Summary:

Solar and wind energy are fast becoming cost competitive with traditional energy sources, such as coal and natural gas. However, substantial solar and wind market growth will be dictated on finding an energy storage solutions. Electrochemical systems such as fuel cells, flow batteries and water electrolyzers are strong candidates as energy storage and production answers. A key component in all of these technologies is the membrane separator. The separator is responsible for allowing transport of specific ions through the membrane (to complete the circuit), being a barrier to either liquid or gas fuels and of low cost (<$50/m2). At Sandia National Laboratories we have been developing low cost separators for both acidic and alkaline electrochemical environments. In this presentation, we will highlight our work in fuel cells, flow batteries and water electrolyzers through interaction with several industry partners. In-situ testing against current state of the art with respect to cell resistance and efficiencies will be discussed, in addition to possible strategies of commercializing this technology.