Degradation of anion exchange membranes used for hydrogen production by ultrapure water electrolysis

Javier Parrondo, Christopher G. Arges, Mike Niedzwiecki, Everett B. Anderson, Katherine E. Ayers, Vijay Ramani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations


Solid-state alkaline water electrolysis using a pure water feed offers several distinct advantages over liquid alkaline electrolyte water electrolysis and proton exchange membrane water electrolysis. These advantages include a larger array of electrocatalyst available for oxygen evolution, no electrolyte management, and the ability to apply differential pressure. To date, there have been only a handful of reports on solid-state alkaline water electrolyzers using anion exchange membranes (AEMs), and there have been no reports that investigate loss in system performance over time. In this work, a solid-state alkaline water electrolyzer was successfully demonstrated with several types of polysulfone-based AEMs using a relatively expensive but highly active lead ruthenate pyrochlore electrocatalyst for the oxygen evolution reaction. The electrolysis of ultrapure water at 50 °C resulted in a current density of 400 mA cm-2 at 1.80 V. We demonstrated that the short-term degradation of water electrolyzer performance over time was largely a consequence of carbon dioxide intrusion into the system and could be easily remedied, while long-term deterioration was a consequence of irreversible AEM polymer degradation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9875-9879
Number of pages5
JournalRSC Advances
Issue number19
StatePublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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