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Burnat D.,Empa Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Research | Schlupp M.,Empa Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Research | Wichser A.,Empa - Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology | Lothenbach B.,Empa - Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Power Sources | Year: 2015

Mineral-based membranes for high temperature alkaline electrolysis were developed by a phase inversion process with polysulfone as binder. The long-term stability of new mineral fillers: wollastonite, forsterite and barite was assessed by 8000 h-long leaching experiments (5.5 M KOH, 85 °C) combined with thermodynamic modelling. Barite has released only 6.22 10-4 M of Ba ions into the electrolyte and was selected as promising filler material, due to its excellent stability. Barite-based membranes, prepared by the phase inversion process, were further studied. The resistivity of these membranes in 5.5 M KOH was investigated as a function of membrane thickness and total porosity, hydrodynamic porosity as well as gas purities determined by conducting electrolysis at ambient conditions. It was found that a dense top layer resulting from the phase inversion process, shows resistivity values up to 451.0 ± 22 Ω cm, which is two orders of magnitude higher than a porous bulk membrane microstructure (3.89 Ω cm). Developed membranes provided hydrogen purity of 99.83 at 200 mA cm-2, which is comparable to previously used chrysotile membranes and higher than commercial state-of-the-art Zirfon 500utp membrane. These cost-effective polysulfone - barite membranes are promising candidates as asbestos replacement for commercial applications. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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