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Dieses von der Gebert Rüf Stiftung geförderte Projekt wird von folgenden weiteren Projektpartnern mitgetragen: PSI & Gaia Membranes
Project no: GRS-025/19
Amount of funding: CHF 150'000
Duration: 07.2019 - 08.2020
Area of activity: InnoBooster, seit 2018
MSc Fabio Oldenburg
Paul Scherrer Institut PSI
Energy and Environment
5210 Windisch (Schweiz)
- fabio.oldenburg@psi. ch
Gaia Membranes, a spin-off from PSI has the goal to enable affordable energy storage with vanadium flow batteries (VFBs) through its first-of-a-kind 'amphoteric' technology. Thanks to their high durability and relatively low cost for long-duration applications, VFBs are one of the most promising technologies for grid-scale energy storage applications. The ion exchange membrane (IEM) is a core component of each VFB cell, strongly influencing the system's energy efficiency and constituting a high share of the upfront cost. Our first product - the gAM-40 - is based on patent-pending 'amphoteric' technology which offers a step up in performance compared to commercially available IEMs. Thanks to an innovative chemistry a 10-20% increase in energy efficiency was demonstrated. This project seeks to increase the maturity of the gAM-40 technology from the current lab-scale level to a fully commercial status. For this, the batchproduction process developed at PSI will be scaled up and optimised in a designated production facility. Further technology development will be carried out to diversify Gaia Membranes' product offering, e.g. by tailoring the membrane's chemistry to the specific requirements of different customer segments within the VFB market.
What is special about the project?
The ion exchange membrane (IEM) sector saw its last major innovation over 50 years ago with the invention of the currently world-leading Nafion™ technology. The breakthrough innovation that this project focuses on represents a paradigm shift in the science of IEMs which had been theorised for decades but never satisfactorily achieved in practice.
IEMs based on the patent-pending Amphion™ technology can be tailored to optimally fulfil the target electrochemical application, whereas with competing IEM technologies it is the application that needs to be tailored to the limited functionalities of the membrane. In the case of VRFBs, the benefit is there for anybody to see: Amphion™ membranes are the first and only technology to enable a balanced transport of ions and water across the membrane so that VRFB can operate with a stable capacity throughout their lifetime.
Gaia Membranes AG was founded in March 2019 in response to strong customer interest. The team is currently focusing on delivering the first paid demonstration projects with manufacturers of VRFBs in Europe and abroad.
Tackling Capacity Fading in Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries with Amphoteric PBI/Nafion Bilayer Membranes. PChemSusChem (2019)
Tackling capacity fading in vanadium flow batteries with amphoteric membranes. Journal of Power Sources (2017), 368, 68-72.
Persons involved in the project
Last update to this project presentation 06.08.2019