Ionomr’s game changing membrane and polymer products are poised to take advantage of near-term growth opportunities in the burgeoning clean-tech sector thanks to their high efficiency, durability and cost-effectiveness.
Produced using hydrocarbon materials and a revolutionary polymer structure, Ionomr’s polymer-based solutions avoid a vast range of environmental problems associated with the production, use and disposal of fluorine-containing polymers predominantly used in clean technologies today.
Our new class of ion-conductive materials offer the broadest chemical and mechanical stability available, as well as the following benefits:
- Environmentally non-toxic
- High ionic conductivity
- Long lifetime in harsh conditions
- Dramatically improved durability (thousands of hours vs minutes of competitive designs)
- Higher operational efficiency, allowing a lower per unit cost
Given our robust mechanical properties, Ionomr is able to produce ultra-thin membranes with industry-leading performance for a range of applications including fuel cells, hydrogen production, advanced energy storage and on-site chemical recovery.
Membranes Using Hydrocarbon Polymers
Our ion exchange membranes are made from fully hydrocarbon polymers, resulting in materials that do not detrimentally affect our environment.
A polymer is a large molecule made up of chains of linked repeating subunits, which are called monomers.Polymers can be compared to a freight train: many freight cars (monomers) are connected (bonded together) to form a single entity, the train (polymer).
Today, the most widely-used membranes are perfluorinated (‘per’ means maximum capacity in chemistry – so perfluorinated is ‘as fluorinated as possible’). Fluorinated materials are non-recyclable and generate significant amounts of bio-accumulative toxic waste, which have a dire long-term effect on human health.
Conversely, Ionomr’s hydrocarbon materials are recyclable and have minimal environmental impact.Until now, they have seen limited adoption in the clean tech industry due to mechanical and chemical deficiencies, however Ionomr has overcome these limitations and is now commercializing a broad family of hydrocarbon-based ion exchange membrane materials.
Ion Exchange Explained
What are Ions?
An ion is an atom or molecule with an electric charge (positive or negative) due to a loss or gain of an electron. Electrons can move from atom to atom to make a given molecule or atom happy (some like electrons more than others). Each electron is an additional 1 negative charge. i.e. if a neutral atom gives away an electron it will now have a charge of +1 and the receiving atom will have a charge of -1. These negatively charged ions are known as anions i.e. chloride (Cl–), while the positively charged ions are known as cations i.e. (Na+). A hydrogen atom with its electron removed is a special case known as a proton: H+
What is an Ion Exchange Membrane?
Ion exchange membranes act like a code-locked door which only allow specific charged ions that know the combination to pass through from one side of a system (e.g. a fuel cell or battery) to the other, while blocking everything else.
There are two main types of ion-exchange membranes: anion and proton/cation. The name of the membrane tells you what it allows to pass through. An anion exchange membrane (AEM) allows negatively charged ions (e.g. OH–) to pass, while cation exchange membranes (CEMs) only allow positive ions (e.g. Na+) to pass. These are also referred to as proton exchange membranes (PEMs), when the positive ion is a proton (H+).
Opposites attract: An AEM has a set of permanent positive ions along the polymer chain, creating a pathway for anions to jump from site to site. CEMs are the opposite, using negatively charged groups to allow the cations to move their way through the membrane.