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Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) ultrafiltration membranes were investigated for the first time in vanadium redox flow battery (VFB) applications. Surprisingly, PVDF ultrafiltration membranes with hydrophobic pore walls and relatively large pore sizes of several tens of nanometers proved able to separate vanadium ions and protons efficiently, thus being suitable as a VFB separator. The ion selectivity of this new type of VFB membrane could be tuned readily by controlling the membrane morphology via changes in the composition of the membrane casting solution, and the casting thickness. The results showed that the PVDF membranes offered good performances and excellent stability in VFB applications, where it could, performance-wise, truly substitute Nafion in VFB applications, but at a much lower cost.


Wenping Wei, Huamin Zhang, Xianfeng Li, Hongzhang Zhang, Yun Li, Ivo Vankelecom. Hydrophobic asymmetric ultrafiltration PVDF membranes: an alternative separator for VFB with excellent stability. Physical chemistry chemical physics : PCCP. 2013 Feb 14;15(6):1766-71

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PMID: 23223708

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