Thin-sheet immobilized alkaline membrane separator for electrochemical applications

W. Liu
Molecule Works Inc.,
United States

Keywords: alkaline membrane, membrane separator, thin sheet, electrochemical


A new membrane separator has recently been developed by Molecule Works Inc. to address some long-term problems associated with conventional alkaline membrane separators. The new membrane consists of ultra-thin meso-porous ceramic membrane layer supported on a thin macro-porous metal sheet for immobilization of alkaline electrolyte. The ceramic membrane layer has thickness less than 20 micrometer and pore sizes in tens of nm, while the metal sheet support has thickness about 50 micrometer and pore sizes in hundreds of nm. The porous metal sheet also functions as the electrode catalyst support with nano-catalytic features inside its pores. KOH electrolyte immobilized in the ceramic membrane shows areal resistance as low as 0.01 Ohm cm2 and excellent stability (thermally and chemically). The innovative membrane separator/electrode structures are used to achieve exceptional performances for water electrolysis and electrochemical production of ammonia over a working temperature range from 20 to 170oC. The membrane separator may be used by the research community for other applications.