Development of polyelectrolyte membranes for rechargeable alkaline Zinc – Air Battery

  • Starting date : september 2023 (duration: 24 months)
  • Location : Laboratoire de Physicochimie des Polymères et Interfaces (LPPI – CY Cergy Paris Université) 5 mail Gay-Lussac – 95031 Neuville-sur-Oise (France)

Research project:

The storage of electricity produced by intermittent renewable sources is the bottleneck of the transition towards a fully green energy landscape. Besides technical suitability, the stationary storage with battery technologies applied to buffer the temporal mismatch between electricity production and demand have to comply with very tight economic constraints to be competitive with fossil fuel combustion technologies.
This project, bringing together 5 French-German industrial partners and academic laboratories, aims at demonstrating that a rechargeable alkaline zinc – air battery (ZAB) technology, made of abundant, environmentally friendly, intrinsically safe and robust materials, could be a suitable solution for the stationary electricity storage. This European project will focus on: (i) development of the cell components (zinc and air electrodes), (ii) build-up and testing a ZAB prototype, (iii) modelling at full cell level (to predict the electrodes performance during discharge and charge).
More precisely, the candidate recruited at the LPPI laboratory will work on the design of the gas diffusion electrode by developing an anion exchange polyelectrolyte membrane (to reduce the carbonation of the air electrode) and an ionomer acting as binder for the active layer. As exposed to electrolytes of high alkaline concentrations, the evolution of the membranes properties (ionic conductivity, selectivity…) will be monitored by ex-situ and in-situ (electrochemical) ageing tests. The study of aged membranes will help
to understand the ageing mechanisms and to design effective membranes limiting the carbonation reaction.
Keywords : ionic conductive polymers, membranes, zinc-air battery.

Candidate profile :

  • PhD in polymer chemistry, polymer science.

  • Skills in polymer synthesis and characterization (thermomechanical, physicochemical…). Skills in electrochemistry are not required but would be a plus.

  • Languages: English and French.

Application: CV + letter of motivation + letter of recommendation to:
  • Linda Chikh :
  • Odile Fichet :