Environmental science & technology

Morphologically Aligned Cation-Exchange Membranes by a Pulsed Electric Field for Reverse Electrodialysis.

PMID 26114376


A low-resistance ion-exchange membrane is essential to achieve the high-performance energy conversion or storage systems. The formation methods for low-resistance membranes are various; one of the methods is the ion channel alignment of an ion-exchange membrane under a direct current (DC) electric field. In this study, we suggest a more effective alignment method than the process with the DC electric field. First, an ion-exchange membrane was prepared under a pulsed electric field [alternating current (AC) mode] to enhance the effectiveness of the alignment. The membrane properties and the performance in reverse electrodialysis (RED) were then examined to assess the membrane resistance and ion selectivity. The results show that the membrane electrical resistance (MER) had a lower value of 0.86 Ω cm(2) for the AC membrane than 2.13 Ω cm(2) observed for the DC membrane and 4.30 Ω cm(2) observed for the pristine membrane. Furthermore, RED achieved 1.34 W/m(2) of maximum power density for the AC membrane, whereas that for the DC membrane was found to be 1.14 W/m(2) [a RED stack assembled with CMX, used as a commercial cation-exchange membrane (CEM), showed 1.07 W/m(2)]. Thereby, the novel preparation process for a remarkable low-resistance membrane with high ion selectivity was demonstrated.