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ARPA-E Projects

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Displaying 1 - 2 of 2
Program: 
Project Term: 
10/01/2012 to 06/30/2015
Project Status: 
ALUMNI
Project State: 
Kansas
Technical Categories: 
TVN Systems is developing an advanced hydrogen-bromine flow battery that incorporates a low-cost membrane and durable catalyst materials. A flow battery's membrane separates its active materials and keeps them from mixing, while the catalyst serves to speed up the chemical reactions that generate electricity. Today's hydrogen-bromine batteries use very expensive membrane material and catalysts that can degrade as the battery is used. TVN is exploring new catalysts that will last longer than today's catalysts, and developing new membranes at a fraction of the cost of today's membranes. Demonstrating long-lasting, cost-competitive storage systems could enable deployment of renewable energy technologies throughout the grid.
Program: 
Project Term: 
06/19/2017 to 12/18/2019
Project Status: 
ACTIVE
Project State: 
Kansas
Technical Categories: 

Wichita State University will develop a renewable energy-powered electrochemical device for ammonia production at ambient temperature. This allows the unit to consume less energy but maintain high productivity. The goal is an alternative path for ammonia electrochemical synthesis from water and air without the need for the high temperature and pressure required by the Haber-Bosch process. The key innovation is the use of a hydroxide-exchange membrane (HEM) polymer electrolyte. The more commonly used proton exchange membranes (PEM) present major challenges leading to low efficiency for PEM-based ammonia electrosynthesis. Switching to HEMs will reduce side-reactions, allow the use of non-precious metal catalysts, and eliminate ammonia crossover and electrolyte contamination. As such, HEM-supported ammonia electrosynthesis may offer high coulombic efficiency and high ammonia productivity, without losing the key advantages of PEM-based electrosynthesis - operating under ambient conditions and using air and water as reactants. Unlike the Haber-Bosch process, electrochemical synthesis of ammonia can be made much smaller and can operate intermittently which allows better integration with renewable electricity.