Segmented Co-Polymer for Alkaline Fuel Cell Membranes
Agency / Branch:
DOD / ARMY
Alkaline fuel cells (AFCs) have many advantages over proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) including more rapid electrode kinetics, ability to use non-noble metal catalysts, and the ability to use lower cost materials of construction. AFC drawbacks include the use of a liquid electrolyte such as concentrated KOH that can introduce problems such as the formation of insoluble carbonates, resulting in reduced fuel cell performance. As an alternative to an alkaline liquid electrolyte, solid anion-exchange membranes (AEMs) are being evaluated for use as AFC electrolytes. Due to their instability in the presence of (i) high caustic concentrations and (ii) temperatures above 60oC, solid AEMs have not seen widespread use. To further develop AEMs, a team consisting of Giner, Inc. and Case Western Reserve University has been assembled to develop an advanced AEM that will have properties superior to those of currently available membranes. Case will draw on its background in polymer chemistry to synthesize the membrane while Giner, Inc., based on its experience in membrane characterization, will extensively characterize the advanced membrane. The proposed AEM is expected to have properties that will enable operation at temperatures above 60oC, and is expected to be stable in the presence of high caustic concentrations.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Research Institution Information:
89 Rumford Avenue Newton, MA 02466
Number of Employees:
CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIV.
Office of Sponsored Projects
10900 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44106
Derek M. Humphrey
Nonprofit college or university