Organic Membranes for Energy Conversion and "Green" Manufacturing

January 17, 2002 - 12:00pm
Bldg. 90

Organic materials are central to the operation of energy conversion devices such as lithium batteries and fuel cells. Use of organic polymer membranes has been well established in the chlor-alkali and separations industries for several decades now. New applications such as light emitting diodes for displays and area lighting, organic photovoltaics for solar conversion and electrochromics illustrate the growing importance of organic materials in energetic applications. Understanding the operation of these materials, their limitations and advantages is of major importance to the successful introduction of these technologies into the marketplace. Such understanding is promoted by an appropriate blend of theoretical modeling, targeted material synthesis and characterization. This process will be described for lithium battery electrolytes where molecular dynamics and system modeling is combined with new material synthesis and organic electrochemical principles to test present understanding and define the performance limits of present day materials. The capability that has been developed at LBNL for this task can be extended to fuel cells, electrochromics, organic LED's, separations, sensors and ”green” manufacturing in the form of selective chemical synthesis and bioprocessing. The possibilities for future applications of this capability will be explored.

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