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Design and NanoEngineering of Microporous Membranes for Energy Storage

Project description

Better energy storage for low-carbon technologies

The swift increase in demand, production and use of eco-friendly renewable energy like wind and solar power has increased the need for better energy storage technologies that can be integrated into the power grid. Despite a high demand for such technologies, the existing technologies are often costly. This cost is usually linked to the high price of commercial Nafion membranes. The EU-funded NanoMMES project will develop and nano-engineer a low-cost high-performance alternative. To achieve this, the project will design microporous polymers, processing them and then combining them with redox flow battery chemistries, to produce an efficient and stable energy storage solution.


With the rapid development of renewable energy such as solar and wind power, energy storage technologies are in urgent need to integrate the low carbon energy into the power grid. Redox flow batteries are promising for grid scale energy storage owing to their scalable storage capacity, decoupled power and energy, long-term cycle performance, and quick response time. Membrane separators play a crucial role in flow batteries by selectively transporting ions while preventing the crossover of redox-active materials. Commercial Nafion membranes are being widely used for flow batteries, however, their high costs limit the large-scale application of this promising technology. Next-generation low-cost membranes with high ionic conductivity and selectivity, and durability are desirable for flow battery energy storage. This proposal NanoMMES aims at designing and nanoengineering low-cost, high-performance, ion-selective microporous membranes for redox flow battery energy storage applications. The objectives of NanoMMES will be achieved through curiosity-driven research into (1) designing the structures of microporous polymers to precisely tune the pore size and ion-conducting functionality required for batteries with different redox chemistries; (2) processing and nanoengineering polymers into highly conductive and selective membranes, and understanding the mechanisms of transport of ions and redox materials; (3) combining the designer membranes with redox flow battery chemistries to achieve efficient and stable energy storage. NanoMMES will undertake interdisciplinary research combining the molecular design of microporous polymers, membrane science and engineering, and redox flow battery chemistry and technology. The ultimate goal of the project is to generate design principles for next-generation ion-selective membranes that will have broad implications on advanced batteries for energy storage, helping the EU develop renewable energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


Host institution

Net EU contribution
€ 1 499 871,00
United Kingdom

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London Inner London — West Westminster
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 1 499 871,00

Beneficiaries (1)