The use of polybenzimidazole membranes in vanadium redox flow batteries leading to increased coulombic efficiency and cycling performance

X. L. Zhou, T. S. Zhao, Liang An, L. Wei, C. Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

138 Citations (Scopus)


An issue with conventional vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFB) with Nafion membranes is the crossover of vanadium ions, resulting in low coulombic efficiency and rapid decay in capacity. In this work, a VRFB with a polybenzimidazole (PBI) membrane is tested and compared with the Nafion system. Results show that the PBI-based VRFB exhibits a substantially higher coulombic efficiency of up to 99% at current densities ranging from 20 mA cm-2to 80 mA cm-2. More importantly, it is demonstrated that the PBI-based VRFB has a capacity decay rate of as low as 0.3% per cycle, which is four times lower than that of the Nafion system (1.3% per cycle). The improved coulombic efficiency and cycling performance are attributed to the low crossover of vanadium ions through the PBI membrane.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)492-498
Number of pages7
JournalElectrochimica Acta
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Flow battery
  • Polybenzimidazole membrane
  • vanadium redox flow battery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Electrochemistry

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