Document Type : Original Article


Institute of Mechanics, ISRC, Shiraz, Iran


]n recent years, extensive research has been focused on the key materials of vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs) to improve the power and energy density. In a VRFB system, the ion-exchange membrane is an important component, because it is used to separate the positive and negative electrolytes and to allow the transfer of ions. Nafion membrane is now widely used in VRFBs due to their high proton conductivity and remarkable chemical stability. In the present study, the Nafion 117 membrane was subjected to an acid-heat pretreatment for utilizing in VRFBs. Three-cell stacks of VRFB were assembled using bare and pretreated membranes, and their performances were evaluated during charge/discharge cycles. The results indicate that acid and heat pretreatment on the Nafion 117 membrane improves the VRFB energy density by 30%. In addition, the average discharge voltage, which is one of the key parameters in the VRFB performance, is increased from 3.57 V (for the bare membrane) to 3.9 V (for the pretreated membrane). This helps to reduce the weight of the VRFB stack as well as the cost of the battery manufacturing. On the other hand, the acid and heat pretreatment of membrane improves the energy and voltage efficiencies of VRFB from 66.9% and 76.8% to 73% and 87%, respectively.