(521g) Membranes for Generation of Fuels from Sunlight

Authors: 
Lynd, N. A., Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Polymer membranes are a vital component of solar-fuel generators. The requirements for the membranes include primarily low permeability of the gaseous or liquid products, good mechanical strength, and sufficient proton or hydroxide conductivity. The relative importance of these factors in the context of artificial photosynthesis is distinct from the requirements of fuel cell membranes such as Nafion, and present unique design opportunities. Current synthetic efforts in the group represent a multifaceted approach of incorporating new conductive motifs, novel structural elements, and exploring innovative concepts in membrane materials. In order to incorporate all of the necessary properties for a solar fuel membrane our attention has been concentrated around multicomponent block polymer membranes, which satisfy contradictory materials requirements through the fusion of chemically distinct functional building blocks. In this presentation, I will present an overview of membrane development efforts at the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis: A Department of Energy (DOE) Energy Innovation Hub.