New ion-exchange membrane can convert chemical reaction energy to electrical current

Washington, D.C., Dec. 30(ANI): A new study has developed ion-exchange synthetic membranes based on amphiphilic compounds that are able to convert the energy of chemical reactions into electrical current.

The research undertaken by the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology oncluded that fuel cells consist of separate galvanic cells and their closest relatives are batteries (primary cells) and accumulators (secondary cells). Batteries convert the energy of the reaction between an oxidizing agent and a reducing agent, and stop working when these agents are used up.

Researchers found that the main elements of this generator are a cathode and an anode, separated by an ion-exchange membrane.

Scientists were able to predict the formation of these discs with pores and cylinders based on information on the structure of the benzenesulfonates being investigated, their geometry and physical and chemical properties.

In a number of technological applications, fuel cells stand a good chance of replacing internal combustion engines at least. Before this happens however, special infrastructure will need to be put in place (the hydrogen needs to be stored somewhere, it will require special filling stations, pipes designed for high pressures, fuel tanks) and a number of improvements will need to be made to fuel cells themselves.

The study is published in the Journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics. (ANI)

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