Cycling performance and efficiency of sulfonated poly(sulfone) membranes in vanadium redox flow batteries

Soowhan Kim, Jingling Yan, Birgit Schwenzer, Jianlu Zhang, Liyu Li, Jun Liu, Zhenguo Yang, Michael A. Hickner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

196 Scopus citations

Abstract

As an alternative to Nafion® ion exchange membrane, an inexpensive commercially-available Radel® polymer was sulfonated, fabricated into a thin membrane, and evaluated for its performance in a vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB). The sulfonated Radel (S-Radel) membrane showed almost an order of magnitude lower permeability of VO2+ ions (2.07 × 10 -7 cm2/min), compared to Nafion 117 (1.29 × 10 -6 cm2/min), resulting in better coulombic efficiency (~ 98% vs. 95% at 50 mA/cm2) and lower capacity loss per cycle. Even though the S-Radel membrane had a slightly higher membrane resistance, the energy efficiency of the VRFB with the S-Radel membrane was comparable to that of Nafion because of its better coulombic efficiency resulting from the lower vanadium ion crossover. The S-Radel membrane exhibited good performance up to 40 cycles, but a decline in performance at later cycles was observed, likely as a result of membrane degradation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1650-1653
Number of pages4
JournalElectrochemistry Communications
Volume12
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrochemistry

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