Surface segregation acts as surface engineering for the oxygen evolution reaction on perovskite oxides in alkaline media
PSI researchers have studied the influence of surface segregation on the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) activity for the, La0.2Sr0.8CoO3-d (LSCO) perovskite, one of the most active perovskite towards the OER in alkaline electrolyte. It has been found that the higher the perovskite synthesis temperature the more strontium segregation occurs on the surface. However, the segregated strontium compounds are soluble in water and they are easily removed when the surface of the electrode is in contact with the electrolyte, leading to the exposure of cobalt enriched layers very active for the OER.
A vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) is a grid-scale energy storage device. Its energy conversion unit consists of a cell stack that comprises ion-exchange membranes to separate positive and negative electrode. The projected lifetime of a VRFB is 20 years and 7’000 charge-discharge cycles. Lifetime tests of membranes under application relevant conditions are therefore impractical, and the development of an accelerated stress test (AST) to assess the chemical stability of membranes is crucial.
The high operational and capital costs of polymer electrolyte water electrolysis technology originate from limited catalyst utilization and the use of thick membrane electrolytes. PSI researchers have developed novel multi-layer porous transport materials, which provide superior electrochemical performance in comparison to conventional single-layer structures.
Grid-scale storage of electricity is vital in energy scenarios with a high share of renewable electricity generation, such as wind and solar power. Redox flow batteries are particularly suited for intra-day time-shifting storage applications, yet investment costs need to be lowered for economic viability of the technology. We demonstrate a new ion conducting membrane that improves shortcomings of currently used materials and is potentially cheaper to produce.
The high-energy rechargeable Li-O2 battery has been subject to intensive research worldwide during the past years. The Li-O2 cell mainly comprises a negative (e.g. Li metal) and positive (e.g. porous carbon) electrode separated by an electronically insulating, but Li+ conducting electrolyte layer. In order to study the cell chemistry, a differential electrochemical mass spectrometry setup based on a set of valves, a pressure sensor and a quadrupole mass spectrometer has been developed.
Radiation grafted membranes developed at PSI outlast state-of-the art commercial membranes in the fuel cell
Components for the polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) are required to show high performance and durability under application relevant conditions. Furthermore, for commercial viability the materials and processes for component fabrication need to be of los cost. The polymer electrolyte membrane developed at PSI on the basis of the radiation grafting technique has the potential of being produced in cost-effective manner. In recent years, we have collaborated with the Belenos Clean Power to further develop the membrane to commercial competitiveness.
One way to utilize graphene and its’ outstanding specific surface area of 2630 m2g-1 for supercapacitor electrodes is by preparing a so called free-standing graphene paper. Such a flexible, conductive graphene-paper electrode was prepared by a flow-directed filtration of graphene oxide dispersion followed by a gentle thermal reduction treatment of the filtrate. The prepared partially reduced graphene oxide paper (GOPpr) showed a dense packing of graphene sheets with a distinct interlayer distance of 4.35 Å.
he optimization of thermochemical and electrochemical conversion systems is of high importance for a sustainable energy future society. Of particular interest regarding the performance of polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) is the study of the gas flow in the gas diffusion layers (GDL). More specifically, permeability and diffusivity measurements in a model PEFC under normal operating conditions are highly desirable. As laboratory-measurements of these quantities under such conditions are very demanding, an alternative is the use of computer-based simulations.
Polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFC) convert the chemical energy of hydrogen with a high efficiency (40-70 %) directly into electricity. The product of the overall reaction is water, produced at the cathode of the cell. The interaction of liquid water with the porous structures of the cell is one of the mechanisms in the PEFC that are commonly believed to be key for further optimization with regard to performance, durability and cost.