Use of bipolar membranes for maintaining steady-state pH gradients in membrane-supported, solar-driven water splitting

Michael B. McDonald, Shane Ardo, Nathan S. Lewis, Michael S. Freund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Citations (Scopus)


A bipolar membrane can maintain a steady-state pH difference between the sites of oxidation and reduction in membranesupported, solar-driven water-splitting systems without changing the overall thermodynamics required to split water. A commercially available bipolar membrane that can serve this purpose has been identified, its performance has been evaluated quantitatively, and is demonstrated to meet the requirements for this application. For effective utilization in integrated solardriven water-splitting systems, such bipolar membranes must, however, be modified to simultaneously optimize their physical properties such as optical transparency, electronic conductivity and kinetics of water dissociation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3021-3027
Number of pages7
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2014



  • Artificial photosynthesis
  • Bipolar membranes
  • Earth-abundant materials
  • PEC membranes
  • pH gradients

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Energy(all)

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