A series of novel acid-base hybrid membranes (SPI/PEI-rGO) based on sulfonated polyimide (SPI) with polyethyleneimine-functionalized reduced graphene oxide (PEI-rGO) are prepared by a solution-casting method for vanadium redox flow battery (VRB). FT-IR and XPS results prove the successful fabrication of PEI-rGO and SPI/PEI-rGO hybrid membranes, which show a dense and homogeneous structure observed by SEM. The physicochemical properties such as water uptake, swelling ratio, ion exchange capacity, proton conductivity and vanadium ion permeability are well controlled by the incorporated PEI-rGO fillers. The interfacial-formed acid-base pairs between PEI-rGO and SPI matrix effectively reduce the swelling ratio and vanadium ion permeability, increasing the stability performance of the hybrid membranes. SPI/PEI-rGO-2 hybrid membrane exhibits a higher coulombic efficiency (CE, 95%) and energy efficiency (EE, 75.6%) at 40 mA cm-2, as compared with Nafion 117 membrane (CE, 91% and EE, 66.8%). The self-discharge time of the VRB with SPI/PEI-rGO-2 hybrid membrane (80 h) is longer than that of Nafion 117 membrane (26 h), demonstrating the excellent blocking ability for vanadium ion. After 100 charge-discharge cycles, SPI/PEI-rGO-2 membrane exhibits the good stability under strong oxidizing and acid condition, proving that SPI/PEI-rGO acid-base hybrid membranes could be used as the promising candidates for VRB applications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)