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Radiation-grafted anion-exchange membrane for alkaline fuel cells

Grant number: 16/13277-9
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): October 24, 2016
Effective date (End): October 23, 2017
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Physical-Chemistry
Principal researcher:Edson Antonio Ticianelli
Grantee:Ana Laura Gonçalves Biancolli
Supervisor abroad: John Robert Varcoe
Home Institution: Instituto de Química de São Carlos (IQSC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Surrey, England  
Associated to the scholarship:15/09210-3 - Influence of the ethanol dehydrogenation by-products in the kinetics of hydrogen oxidation reaction in acid and alkaline electrolytes, BP.DD


The solid electrolytes based on Anion Exchange Membranes (AEMs) are promising alternative for the development of a more efficient electrolytes for alkaline fuel cells. This new AFC class is usually called Anion Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (AEMFC). In general, the AEMs are ionomeric polymers, in the same way as the proton exchange used in the Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) technology. Here, hydroxyl ions (OH-) are ionically bound to quaternary ammonium (cationic) groups to form the charge conducting network, which are characterized by having a high equivalent pH. A key point in the AEMs development, is the chemical, thermal and mechanic stability of the membranes, and these are strongly dependent on the nature of the functional groups (capable of carrying the hydroxyl anions) and also on the backbone chain. Besides temperature, the main cause of degradation of various anion exchange groups and polymer chains is the alkalinity of the medium.The anionic membranes show, in general, lower ionic conductivity values than the corresponding proton exchange membranes. Part of this low ionic conductivity is due to the low number of OH- ions, resulting from the low number of cationic groups, as a result of the low degree of grafting of the side chains on the backbone polymer. In this sense, the search for synthetic methodologies that provide the bonding of a large number of cationic groups to the backbone polymer is essential to obtain satisfactory conductivity values.In this context, the project will also involve the development of radiation-grafted anion-exchange polymer electrolyte powders for use in providing ionic conductivity in the fuel cell electrodes. The preparation of electrodes, as well as the formation of membrane electrode assembly (MEA), will be optimized according to the physicochemical characteristics of the AEMs used. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
BIANCOLLI, ANA LAURA G.; LOPES, THIAGO; PAGANIN, VALDECIR A.; TICIANELLI, EDSON A. PEM fuel cells fed by hydrogen from ethanol dehydrogenation reaction: Unveiling the poisoning mechanisms of the by-products. Electrochimica Acta, v. 355, SEP 20 2020. Web of Science Citations: 0.
GONCALVES BIANCOLLI, ANA LAURA; HERRANZ, DANIEL; WANG, LIANQIN; STEHLIKOVA, GABRIELA; BANCE-SOUALHI, RACHIDA; PONCE-GONZALEZ, JULIA; OCON, PILAR; TICIANELLI, EDSON A.; WHELLIGAN, DANIEL K.; VARCOE, JOHN R.; SANTIAGO, ELISABETE I. ETFE-based anion-exchange membrane ionomer powders for alkaline membrane fuel cells: a first performance comparison of head-group chemistry. JOURNAL OF MATERIALS CHEMISTRY A, v. 6, n. 47, p. 24330-24341, DEC 21 2018. Web of Science Citations: 7.

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