Characterization of dimeric vanadium uptake and species in Nafion™ and novel membranes from Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries electrolytes

Christian Lutz; Michael Breuckmann; Sven Hampel; Martin Kreyenschmidt; Xi Ke; Beuermann, Sabine GND; Katharina Schafner; Turek, Thomas GND; Kunz, Ulrich GND; Ana Guilherme Buzanich; Martin Radtke; Fittschen, Ursula Elisabeth Adriane GND

A core component of energy storage systems like vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFB) is the polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM). In this work, the frequently used perfluorosulfonic-acid (PFSA) membrane Nafion ™ 117 and a novel poly (vinylidene difluoride) (PVDF)-based membrane are investigated. A well-known problem in VRFBs is the vanadium permeation through the membrane. The consequence of this so-called vanadium crossover is a severe loss of capacity. For a better understanding of vanadium transport in membranes, the uptake of vanadium ions from electrolytes containing Vdimer(IV–V) and for comparison also V(II), V(III), V(IV), and V(V) by both membranes was studied. UV/VIS spectroscopy, X-ray absorption near edge structure spectroscopy (XANES), total reflection X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (TXRF), inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES), and micro X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (microXRF) were used to determine the vanadium concentrations and the species inside the membrane. The results strongly support that Vdimer(IV–V), a dimer formed from V(IV) and V(V), enters the nanoscopic water-body of Nafion™ 117 as such. This is interesting, because as of now, only the individual ions V(IV) and V(V) were considered to be transported through the membrane. Additionally, it was found that the Vdimer(IV–V) dimer partly dissociates to the individual ions in the novel PVDF-based membrane. The Vdimer(IV–V) dimer concentration in Nafion ™ was determined and compared to those of the other species. After three days of equilibration time, the concentration of the dimer is the lowest compared to the monomeric vanadium species. The concentration of vanadium in terms of the relative uptake λ = n(V)/n(SO3) are as follows: V(II) [λ = 0.155] > V(III) [λ = 0.137] > V(IV) [λ = 0.124] > V(V) [λ = 0.053] > Vdimer(IV–V) [λ = 0.039]. The results show that the Vdimer(IV–V) dimer needs to be considered in addition to the other monomeric species to properly describe the transport of vanadium through Nafion™ in VRFBs.

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Lutz, Christian / Breuckmann, Michael / Hampel, Sven / et al: Characterization of dimeric vanadium uptake and species in Nafion™ and novel membranes from Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries electrolytes. 2021.

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