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Prof. Elisa Martinelli

Title of the PhD project:
Preparation and characterization of polymeric anion exchange ionomers and membranes for green hydrogen production

Abstract of the PhD project:
Hydrogen is a clean energy transition pathway conveying renewable sources including solar, wind, and hydro, to the increasing energy demand around the globe. The conversion of renewable energies into hydrogen is achievable by water electrolysis, and, besides many other research approaches, anion exchange membrane (AEM) technology has attracted increased interest in recent years. This technology is based on two main polymeric components, namely the membrane and the ionomer, that determine the overall electrochemical performance of the electrolytic cell.
The project focuses on the preparation of anion exchange membranes and ionomers by post-modification of relatively cheap commercial materials, starting from affordable and industrially scalable approaches, such as free radical polymerization (FRP) and nitroxide-mediated polymerization (NMP) techniques, to move forward to more sophisticated synthetic routes. Design and synthesis of suitable functional monomers and preparation of modified polymers as well as the development of a straightforward and effective strategy to create cationic functionalities, represent key tasks for the preparation of tailored high-performing materials. Products will be extensively characterized to evaluate thermal, mechanical and electrochemical properties in order to establish polymer chemistry-property-performance correlations exploitable for the optimization of the materials, the ultimate aim being the development of membranes and ionomers that satisfy the application requirements, including excellent ionic conductivity and durability in aggressive chemical environment, for their implementation in a large-scale, cost-effective and sustainable energy-production process.

▪ A. Roggi, E. Guazzelli, C. Resta, G. Agonigi, A. Filpi, E. Martinelli, Vinylbenzyl chloride/styrene grafted SBS copolymers via TEMPO-mediated polymerization for the fabrication of anion exchange membranes for water electrolysis, Polymers, (2023), 15 (8), 1826 DOI: 10.3390/polym15081826
▪ A. Roggi, E. Guazzelli, G. Agonigi, A. Filpi, C. Resta, E. Martinelli, Polyolefin-Based Anion Exchange Membranes with Superior Performance and Long-Term Durability for Green Hydrogen Production, Macromol. Chem. Phys., Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics, Wiley. Volume 224 Special Issue: 80 Years of MCP, The Next Generation of Polymer Researchers (2023)

Oral communications at conferences:
▪ Macrogiovani 2022, Firenze 16 – 17/06/2022 (A.Roggi, E. Martinelli. Polymeric anion exchange membranes for green hydrogen production)
▪ Chemistry for future 2023, DCCI UNIPI, Pisa 28 – 30/06/2023 (A.Roggi, E. Martinelli. Polymeric anion exchange membranes for green hydrogen production)

Poster communications at conferences:
▪ Workshop on Ion Exchange Membranes for Energy Applications EMEA2021, (Online), 22-24/06/2021 (A. Roggi, I. Fiaschi, E. Martinelli, SBS-based anion exchange membranes for green hydrogen production)
▪ Chemistry for future 2021, DCCI UNIPI (Online), 30/06 – 02/07/2021 (Poster and flash presentation: A. Roggi, I. Fiaschi, E. Martinelli, SBS functionalized anion exchange membranes for water electrolysis)
▪ Polymers 2022 - New Trends in Polymer Science: Health of the Planet, Health of the People, Torino, 25 – 27/05/2022 (A. Roggi, M. Turriani, E. Martinelli. SBC-based anion exchange membrane for water electrolysis)
▪ 244th ECS meeting, Goteborg (SE), 8-12/10/2023 (A Roggi, E Martinelli. Polymeric Anion Exchange Membranes for Green Hydrogen Production)

Other achievements:


Dipartimento di Chimica e Chimica Industriale
Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry
Via G. Moruzzi, 13 - Pisa, Italy
Corso di Dottorato in Scienze Chimiche e dei Materiali
Doctoral School in Chemistry and Material Science
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