Processed polyelectrolyte complexes as novel Ion-exchange membranes

Ameya Krishna B (PhD Candidate), Wiebe de Vos (promotor), Saskia Lindhoud (supervisor)

Duration: 2018-2022

Funding: ERC starting grant of Wiebe de Vos titled Sustainable and Advanced Membranes by Aqueous Phase Separation (SAMBA)

The research is aimed at making polyelectrolyte complex (PEC) based anion-exchange membranes. The purpose includes the elimination of harmful solvents in the fabrication of ion-exchange membranes, making the process cost effective while keeping it simple and sustainable.

Key words
Saloplastic, polyelectrolyte complex, polyelectrolyte, dense membrane, ion-exchange membrane

Technological challenges
A free-standing ion exchange membrane with a polyelectrolyte complex without a support has not been made yet. As it is the first, several challenges such as charge density, stability, resistance, and ion-selectivity have to overcome.   

Research goals

  • Ideally, we expect to fabricate an ion-exchange membrane with good charge density and stability without using any harsh solvents or chemicals.
  • The electrochemical characteristics would be favorable and comparable to commercial counterparts.
  • Different combinations of polyelectrolytes would be tested to give different properties