Scientists at the National Korea Maritime & Ocean University have designed an anti-biofoulding PEM, and a 2D nanomaterial-based PEM, for efficient hydrogen production.
The group confirmed their discovery yesterday (18th March), stating that it improves the production of highly pure hydrogen.
“If high-performance 2D nanomaterial-based membranes with robust anti-biofouling properties are commercialised, hydrogen production can become easier and more cost-effective,” Dr. Kyu-Jung Chae, who led the university project, said.
To develop the membrane, the scientists focused on silver nanoparticles (AgNP), which are known for anti-fouling properties. Using AgNP renders the membrane a hydrophobic nature, moreover, immobilising AgNP onto the membrane is a complex process.
In order to overcome such challenges, the scientists decided to use another coating agent called “polydopamine” (PDA), with anti-biofouling and hydrophilic properties, to make AgNP immobilisation easier.
The modified membrane showed significantly higher anti-biofouling property than the non-modified ones or those single-coated with either AgNP or PDA. The best result was obtained when PDA was applied before AgNP coating.
“By leveraging the durability of the high-performance membranes that adopt different nanomaterial-based augmentation, it is possible to develop highly efficient MECs producing hydrogen from biomass.”
“Commercialising such cost-effective MECs will help to realise the global dream of a society that thrives on sustainability.”