Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors


Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Stretching Old Material Yields New Results for Energy- and Environment-related Devices

This image illustrates how the channels in a polymer electrolyte membrane material change when you stretch it. On the left is an unstretched sample of the material. The middle sample has been stretched at a ratio of 2:1, while the sample on the right, which shows the most channel alignment, has been stretched at a ratio of 4:1.

Credit: Dr. Jing Li and Prof. Louis Madsen of Virginia Tech
This image illustrates how the channels in a polymer electrolyte membrane material change when you stretch it. On the left is an unstretched sample of the material. The middle sample has been stretched at a ratio of 2:1, while the sample on the right, which shows the most channel alignment, has been stretched at a ratio of 4:1.

Credit: Dr. Jing Li and Prof. Louis Madsen of Virginia Tech

Abstract:
Researchers at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. recently found a way to improve electricity generating fuel cells, potentially making them more efficient, powerful and less expensive. Specifically, they discovered a way to speed up the flow and filtering of water or ions, which are necessary for fuel cells to operate.

Stretching Old Material Yields New Results for Energy- and Environment-related Devices

Arlington, VA | Posted on June 21st, 2011

Simply put, the researchers stretched Nafion, a polymer electrolyte membrane, or PEM, commonly used in fuel cells and increased the speed at which it selectively filters substances from ions and water.

The resulting process could be important to a number of energy and environment-related applications such as any of several industrial processes that involve filtering, including improving batteries in cars, water desalination and even the production of artificial muscles for robots.

The journal Nature Materials published the results in its June 19 issue in the article, "Linear coupling of alignment with transport in a polymer electrolyte membrane," by Jing Li, Jong Keun Park, Robert B. Moore and Louis A. Madsen, all with the chemistry department in the College of Science and the Macromolecules and Interfaces Institute at Virginia Tech.

"I got the idea for some of these experiments after I saw Bob Moore give a talk at the University of North Carolina about Nafion when I was a post-doc there working with liquid crystals," said Madsen, an assistant professor of physical, polymer and materials chemistry who led the study.

In order to improve PEMs, Madsen and Virginia Tech Chemistry Professor Robert Moore studied exactly how water moves through Nafion at the molecular level and measured how changes in the structure of the material affected water flow. They found stretching it caused channels in the PEM material to align in the direction of the stretch, allowing water to flow through faster.

"Stretching drastically influences the degree of alignment," said Madsen. "So the molecules move faster along the direction of the stretch, and in a very predictable way. These materials actually share some properties with liquid crystals--molecules that line up with each other and are used in every LCD television, projector and screen."

"This is a very clever approach which demonstrates the advantages of interdisciplinary materials research and which may offer important benefits to both energy technologies and sustainability of our natural resources," said Andy Lovinger, polymers program director in the National Science Foundation's Division of Materials Research, which funded the study.

Nafion was discovered in the 1960's and is made up of molecules that combine the non-stick and tough nature of Teflon with the conductive properties of an acid. It is one of many PEMs used to filter water and ions that the researchers say could benefit from the stretching process.

####

About National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2010, its budget is about $6.9 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives over 45,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes over 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards over $400 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Media Contacts
Lisa Van Pay
NSF
(703) 292-8796


Susan Trulove
Virginia Tech
(540) 231-5646


Program Contacts
Andrew J. Lovinger
NSF
(703) 292-4933


Principal Investigators
Louis Madsen
Virginia Tech
(540) 231-1270

Copyright © National Science Foundation

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Non-animal approach to predict impact of nanomaterials on human lung published Archives of Toxicology publishes workshop recommendations May 2nd, 2016

Making invisible physics visible: The Jayich Lab has created a new sensor technology that captures nanoscale images with high spatial resolution and sensitivity May 2nd, 2016

New drug-delivery approach holds potential for treating obesity May 2nd, 2016

Spintronics for future information technologies: Spin currents in topological insulators controlled May 2nd, 2016

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Making invisible physics visible: The Jayich Lab has created a new sensor technology that captures nanoscale images with high spatial resolution and sensitivity May 2nd, 2016

Clay nanotube-biopolymer composite scaffolds for tissue engineering May 1st, 2016

Cooling graphene-based film close to pilot-scale production April 30th, 2016

Personal cooling units on the horizon April 29th, 2016

Discoveries

Non-animal approach to predict impact of nanomaterials on human lung published Archives of Toxicology publishes workshop recommendations May 2nd, 2016

Making invisible physics visible: The Jayich Lab has created a new sensor technology that captures nanoscale images with high spatial resolution and sensitivity May 2nd, 2016

New drug-delivery approach holds potential for treating obesity May 2nd, 2016

Spintronics for future information technologies: Spin currents in topological insulators controlled May 2nd, 2016

Announcements

Non-animal approach to predict impact of nanomaterials on human lung published Archives of Toxicology publishes workshop recommendations May 2nd, 2016

Making invisible physics visible: The Jayich Lab has created a new sensor technology that captures nanoscale images with high spatial resolution and sensitivity May 2nd, 2016

New drug-delivery approach holds potential for treating obesity May 2nd, 2016

Spintronics for future information technologies: Spin currents in topological insulators controlled May 2nd, 2016

Energy

Nanoparticles present sustainable way to grow food crops May 1st, 2016

NREL finds nanotube semiconductors well-suited for PV systems April 27th, 2016

Researchers create artificial protein to control assembly of buckyballs April 27th, 2016

Flipping a chemical switch helps perovskite solar cells beat the heat April 26th, 2016

Water

Nanoparticles present sustainable way to grow food crops May 1st, 2016

Novel anti-biofilm nano coating developed at Ben-Gurion U.: Offers significant anti-adhesive potential for a variety of medical and industrial applications April 25th, 2016

Adding some salt to the recipe for energy storage materials: Researchers use common table salt as growth template April 22nd, 2016

NRL reveals novel uniform coating process of p-ALD April 21st, 2016

Battery Technology/Capacitors/Generators/Piezoelectrics/Thermoelectrics/Energy storage

New spin Seebeck thermoelectric device with higher conversion efficiency created April 26th, 2016

Highlights from the Graphene Flagship April 22nd, 2016

Adding some salt to the recipe for energy storage materials: Researchers use common table salt as growth template April 22nd, 2016

Cleaning up hybrid battery electrodes improves capacity and lifespan: New way of building supercapacitor-battery electrodes eliminates interference from inactive components April 22nd, 2016

Fuel Cells

Ruthenium nanoframes open the doors to better catalysts April 4th, 2016

Saving sunshine for a rainy day: New catalyst offers efficient storage of green energy: Team led by U of T Engineering designs world's most efficient catalyst for storing energy as hydrogen by splitting water molecules March 28th, 2016

Carbon leads the way in clean energy: Groundbreaking research at Griffith University is leading the way in clean energy, with the use of carbon as a way to deliver energy using hydrogen March 23rd, 2016

Physicists prove energy input predicts molecular behavior: Theoretical proof could lead to more reliable nanomachines March 22nd, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic