Alkaline exchange membranes (AEMs), also called anion exchange membranes, allow transportation of anions (ex: OH-, Cl-, Br-, etc.) from the cathode to the anode in electrochemical reaction. AEMs are the most critical component of AEM fuel cells, water electrolysis, and certain batteries, sensors, and actuators. Many AEM materials tend to degrade easily under high alkaline. This technology comprises new chemical structures composed of styrene-butadiene block copolymer functionalized with quaternized ammonium groups toovercomes this alkaline stability issue.
Standard interfacial polymerization and phase inversion based-membranes are complex, sensitive to small changes, susceptible to residual chlorine, and have rough surfaces enabling unfavorable adsorption. There is an urgent need to improve synthetic membrane filtration performance for systems which recover biofuels in energy production and desalinize sea and brackish water for potable use. This technology includes a new class of tunable, selective, synthetic membranes and process of making thereof, which outperform commercially available membranes.