An electrochemical membrane Bunsen reaction using a cation exchange membrane (CEM) is a key to achieving iodine-sulfur (IS) thermochemical water splitting for the mass-production of hydrogen. In this study, we prepared a radiation-grafted CEM with a high ion exchange capacity (IEC) and a highly-porous Au-electroplated anode, and then used them for the membrane Bunsen reaction to reduce cell overvoltage. The high ionic content of our CEM led to low resistivity for proton transport, while the high porosity of the electrode led to a large effective surface area for anodic SO2 oxidation. The cell overvoltage for the membrane Bunsen reaction was significantly reduced to 0.21 V at 200 mA/cm2, one-third of that achieved using a commercial CEM and non-porous anode. From the analysis of the current-voltage characteristics, the grafted CEM was demonstrated to play a dominant role in the overvoltage reduction compared to the porous Au anode.
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