The Real Story Behind Alkaline Exchange Membranes

by | Feb 20, 2018 | Technology

As the energy crisis continues to escalate across the world, there has been a lot of attention turned toward research related to fuel cells. Studies have shown that residential applications of fuel cells have proven the ability to produce electricity with a higher level of efficiency than with natural gas. They also avoid the unsavory issue of shooting greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, when exacerbates the climate issues.

An alkaline exchange membrane supplier offers one of the pieces of that puzzle. Alkaline exchange membrane fuel cells (AEMFC) are one of the oldest types of fuel cell. They operate with a higher electrical efficiency than other methods and can work at anywhere from room temperature to 90 degrees Celsius.

With an AEMFC, hydrogen is produced at the anode along with oxygen through the air. Water is supplied at the location of the cathode. The oxygen sees a reduction at the cathode while the fuel is oxidized at the anode. The cathode also produces the hydroxide ions which move toward the anode through the electrolyte. The hydroxide ions will cause a reaction with the fuel that produces electrons which go through the circuit.

The biggest advantage associated with AEMFCs is that when in alkaline conditions there is the possibility of using inexpensive metal catalysts like iron or silver for the cathode and nickel for the anode. Compared to other membrane choices, this one is the most inexpensive by far. These membranes also offer lower fuel crossover and a easier means of recycling catalyst.

The production of hydrogen through this method can result in no greenhouse gases added to the atmosphere. It also may provide the opportunity for variable power generation, where as much or as little can be produced as needed by a particular market. It may also offer an option for overproduction or wind or solar energy as they can be used to great more hydrogen to replenish energy reserves when needed.

Right now, the research focusing on this technology is looking for ways to make the cost of an electrolyzer cheaper, while improving the balance of the system. Improving the energy efficiency of the conversion is also a prime consideration.

Dioxide Materials is an alkaline exchange membrane supplier offering many products based in renewable energy. To find out more or place an order you can reach the office.