Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
This dissertation outlines a novel path towards improved understanding and function of proton exchange membranes (PEMs) for redox flow batteries, a large-scale battery storage device. This research uses synthetic methods and nanotechnology through two different approaches to prepare tailored polymer membranes:1) Ion exchange membranes with enhanced chemical structures to promote membrane morphology on the nano-scale were prepared. Specifically, functional polysulfones (PSUs) were synthesized from different pre-sulfonated monomers. These PSUs have controlled placement and content of unique sulfonic acid moieties. PEMs were fabricated and characterized. The new PEMs showed desirable physical properties and performance in a vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) cell.2) Nanoporous PSU membranes were fabricated via post-hydrolysis of polylactide (PLA) from PLA-PSU-PLA triblock copolymer membranes. The controlled morphology and pore size of the resulting nanoporous membranes were evaluated by different microscopy and scattering techniques to understand structure-property relationships. Further, the resulting nanopore surface was chemically modified with sulfonic acid moieties. Membranes were analyzed and evaluated as separators for a VRFB. The chemically modified nanoporous PEMs exhibited unique behavior with respect to their ion conductivity when exposed to solutions of increasing acid concentration. In addition, the hierarchical micro-nanoporous membranes developed further showed promising structure and properties.
dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.
Gindt, Brandon Philippe, "Synthetic Design of Polysulfone Membranes: Morphological Effect on Property and Performance in Flow Batteries" (2017). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1611.