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Issue 19, 2014
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Degradation of anion exchange membranes used for hydrogen production by ultrapure water electrolysis

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Abstract

Solid-state alkaline water electrolysis using a pure water feed offers several distinct advantages over liquid alkaline electrolyte water electrolysis and proton exchange membrane water electrolysis. These advantages include a larger array of electrocatalyst available for oxygen evolution, no electrolyte management, and the ability to apply differential pressure. To date, there have been only a handful of reports on solid-state alkaline water electrolyzers using anion exchange membranes (AEMs), and there have been no reports that investigate loss in system performance over time. In this work, a solid-state alkaline water electrolyzer was successfully demonstrated with several types of polysulfone-based AEMs using a relatively expensive but highly active lead ruthenate pyrochlore electrocatalyst for the oxygen evolution reaction. The electrolysis of ultrapure water at 50 °C resulted in a current density of 400 mA cm−2 at 1.80 V. We demonstrated that the short-term degradation of water electrolyzer performance over time was largely a consequence of carbon dioxide intrusion into the system and could be easily remedied, while long-term deterioration was a consequence of irreversible AEM polymer degradation.

Graphical abstract: Degradation of anion exchange membranes used for hydrogen production by ultrapure water electrolysis

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Publication details

The article was received on 13 Nov 2013, accepted on 22 Jan 2014 and first published on 28 Jan 2014


Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C3RA46630B
Citation: RSC Adv., 2014,4, 9875-9879
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    Degradation of anion exchange membranes used for hydrogen production by ultrapure water electrolysis

    J. Parrondo, C. G. Arges, M. Niedzwiecki, E. B. Anderson, K. E. Ayers and V. Ramani, RSC Adv., 2014, 4, 9875
    DOI: 10.1039/C3RA46630B

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