Advanced Membrane Research
Leader: Andy Herring
CSM Faculty: Annette Bunge, Dan Knauss, Mark Lusk, Ryan O’Hayre, Doug Way, Colin Wolden
CU Faculty: Will Medlin
NREL Staff: David Ginley, Anne Dillon, Kwiseon Kim, Bryan Pivovar, John Turner
Postdoctoral Fellow: Stuti Gaur
Center Graduate Fellows: Nate Rebeck, Greg Schliting, Archana Subramaniyan, Tania Tauer (CU)
The Advanced Membrane Interdisciplinary Research Group (Advance Membrane IRG) concentrates on membrane materials for use in fuel cell technology, batteries, and other renewable energy applications. Since, ionic transport is the “weak link” in electrochemical energy storage or conversion systems, the Advanced Membrane IRG research focuses on the intelligent design of novel transport membranes by synergistically combining materials with dramatically different ionic transport characteristics.
The Advance Membrane IRG discovered a synergy that allows small amounts of nano-structured additives with highly active surfaces to be added to either a ceramic proton or an ionomer to improve ion conduction. The Group is investigating the size at which nano-surface effects begin to dominate the ion transport in composite materials. Other research emphasizes the manipulation of space charge regions between materials with dramatically different ionic conductivities to modify and control the ionic conductivity of composites. This manipulation has the dual goals of extending the basic scientific understanding of ionic transport, and developing new nano-composites for “ionic conductivity” by design.
Current IRG research includes:
• The theoretical development of snapshots of atomic position over time from which to extract macroscopic transport properties such as diffusion constants and conductivity.
• Novel synthesis and characterization techniques for perfluorosulfonic acid based membranes have for the first time allowed the monitoring of changes in morphology as a function of changes in relative humidity.
• Large scale finite element models of Yittria–doped barium zirconate are now driving future experiments in this system.
• Hydrogen has been stored for the first time in silicon grown in the clathrate structure.
Dr. Andy Herring gives an overview of the Advanced Membrane research at REMRSEC on the Research Video page.