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Membranes Optimized for High Conductivity and Low Crossover of Redox Flow Cells 2015-033

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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Technology Marketing Summary

Researchers at Berkeley Lab have determined that membrane properties have a significant impact on the performance and efficiency of the bromine-hydrogen (Br2-H2) redox flow cell, a device that shows promise for high power, low cost energy storage. Specifically, the researchers identified a tradeoff between conductivity and crossover, where conductivity limits system efficiency at high current density and crossover limits efficiency at low current density.


The researchers assessed the impact of thickness, pretreatment procedure, swelling state during cell assembly, equivalent weight, membrane reinforcement, and addition of a microporous separator layer on this tradeoff. In one case, an energy efficiency of greater than 75% was achieved for the current density up to 400 mA/cm2, with a maximum obtainable energy efficiency of 88%. A cell with this membrane was cycled continuously for 3,164 hours. Membrane transport properties of this improved membrane, including conductivity and bromine and water crossover, were found to decrease moderately upon cycling but remained higher than those for the as-received membrane.

  • Improve energy efficiency by selecting optimal membrane style, pretreatment procedure, and / or swelling state during cell assembly step
  • Reduce crossover via insertion of microporous diffusion barrier
Applications and Industries
  • Redox flow batteries
  • Electrochemical membrane separations
  • Electrochemical reactors
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
2015-033ProposedAvailable - Patent pending. Available for licensing or collaborative research.05/19/201505/19/2015

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To: Shanshan Li<>