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Improving Electrochemical Energy Storage Performance with Ion- and Size-Selective Membranes

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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Technology Marketing Summary

Berkeley Lab researchers have developed ion- and size- selective membranes for application in electrochemical energy storage devices to provide unparalleled crossover blocking characteristics for a broad range of battery chemistries with minimal impact on ion mobility within the supporting electrolyte. A tunable polymer membrane, with approximately 0.8 nm pores, achieved a 500-fold reduction in polysulfide crossover compared to a competitor, leading to improved redox-flow battery performance. 

Description

Berkeley Lab researchers have developed ion- and size- selective membranes for application in electrochemical energy storage devices to provide unparalleled crossover blocking characteristics for a broad range of battery chemistries with minimal impact on ion mobility within the supporting electrolyte. A tunable polymer membrane, with approximately 0.8 nm pores, achieved a 500-fold reduction in polysulfide crossover compared to a competitor, leading to improved redox-flow battery performance.

 

Redox-flow batteries have the potential to provide low cost, multi-hour energy storage but are limited by redox active species migrating across the ion-transporting membrane and shorting the battery. The Berkeley Lab membrane platform, with its exceptional ability to block soluble polysulfides dissolved in flowable catholytes, improves battery performance dramatically with minimal impact to ionic conductivity. Nafion, the market leader in battery membranes has failed to provide low cost solutions for crossover in flow batteries. Various materials currently can achieve the needed pore sizes for battery membranes, but their cost limits commercial deployment. The mechanically robust Berkeley lab membranes offer the possibility of more reliable, efficient, and high power electrochemical energy storage grids at extremely low cost. 

Benefits
  • Polysulfide crossover in redox-flow batteries decreased by a factor of 500
  • Higher reliability, efficiency and power for redox-flow batteries
  • Low production and maintenance costs
Applications and Industries
  • Utility grid storage
  • Renewable energy storage
  • Electrochemical devices
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
2015-067ProposedAvailable02/04/201702/04/2017

Contact LBL About This Technology

To: Suzanne Storar<ipo@lbl.gov>