Sustainion® Reigns Over AEMION and Tokuyama A20
Dioxide Materials Sustainion® Membrane Outperforms other commercial membranes in latest water Electrolysis study by independent Russian researchers.
The results published in the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, “Comparative study of anion exchange membranes for low-cost water electrolysis” highlight the superior performance of Sustainion® Membrane compared to other commercial membranes namely, AEMION and Tokuyama A201.
The three membranes were tested under identical conditions and using the same zero-gap Dioxide Materials cell hardware. Cheap Nickel based non-noble metal electrodes were prepared citing a prior Dioxide Materials paper as a reference. The respective AEM electrolyzer performance and ohmic resistance, depending on the various temperature and supporting electrolyte concentrations, were then determined.
The lowest MEA resistance was exhibited by the Sustainion® membrane irrespective of it having the greatest thickness. This could be ascribed to the unique membrane polymer resin morphology and its boundary interaction with other sub-layers. For example, a set of MEA resistance values at same temperature conditions yield 0.097, 0.120, and 0.133 Ω cm2 for Sustainion®, AEMION, and A-201, respectively.
Similarly, the MEA equipped with Sustainion® showed the best cell performance. Due to the low membrane resistance even at low KOH concentration, the cell could operate at a current density of 0.5 A cm-2 at ca. 2.1 V. The MEAs equipped with AEMION and A-201 were unable to reach even the current density of 0.5 A cm-2 at any voltage in the chosen range (up to 2.3 V).
Post-Mortem microstructure analysis
Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis of the membrane Electrode assemblies (MEAs) was performed and results to check influence of the catalyst layers, membrane interface, layer bonding, and binder type on the AEM electrolyzer.
For Sustainion®, both the anode and cathode catalyst layers are well adhered to the membrane surface and no cracks or irregularities are observed. In comparison SEM images of both AEMION- and A-201 membrane based AEMs is characterized by a degree of layer lamination. The catalyst layers appear quite irregular and ‘dark’ areas, with the absence of catalyst layer.
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