img

Title: Composite ion exchange membranes with nanometric building units

Maria Luisa Di Vona

University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy

Biography

Maria Luisa Di Vona, Laurea in Chemistry cum Laude, University of Rome La Sapienza. Professor of Chemistry at the University of Rome Tor Vergata (Unitov). Responsible of the International Associated Laboratory “Ionomer Materials for Energy” at the Dep of Industrial Engineering. Unitov responsible of Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree “Chemical Nano-engineering”. Invited professor at Aix-Marseille University  and Nat. Inst. Mater. Sci. NIMS, Japan. Principal investigator of several Research Projects (HORIZON 2020, EU FP7, MIUR). Principal organizer of 10 international symposia. Field of expertise: Synthesis of organic-inorganic materials. Development of ionic polymeric conductors. 145 international publications, 35 invited congresses, 3 patents

Abstract

Main challenges for ion exchange membranes (IEM) are stability and durability. Various strategies have been developed to increase the IEM performances. Among them hybrid organic-inorganic materials show many interesting features: they have the ability to combine the functionality of organic compounds with the stability of inorganic materials. It is possible to distinguish between class I and II hybrids. Class I hybrids (or composites) are obtained dispersing inorganic components in a polymeric matrix. This approach was applied in many protonic membranes and in the last years also in a few anion exchange membranes. The composites are usually obtained mixing preformed nanoparticles or forming nanoparticles via in situ sol-gel reactions. The results are a stabilization of the polymeric phase and a decrease of the fuel crossover.  However, a decrease of the conductivity is mostly observed due to the presence of a second phase. The reduction of the conductivity can be mitigate by the use of conducting fillers: the addition of layered double hydroxides containing ionic liquid to ionomer membranes improves the ionic conductivity at low and high humidity. In this presentation an overview of the different methods used to achieve composite IEM will be given.

Audience take away:

• Expertise in the synthesis of ion exchange membranes for different applications.
• Ion exchange membranes are very flexible soft materials. The study of nanocomposites opens new opportunities. 
• Properties tuning is possible by variation of synthesis conditions.