Segmented Co-Polymer for Alkaline Fuel Cell Membranes
Agency / Branch:
DOD / ARMY
Alkaline fuel cells (AFCs) have certain advantages over proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) including more rapid electrode kinetics, and the ability to use both non-noble metal catalysts, and 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. In a Phase I program, a team consisting of Giner, Inc. and Case Western Reserve University has developed an advanced AEM with select properties superior to those of commercial AEMs. Additional AEM development is proposed for a Phase II program, which will further improve the AEM properties and demonstrate the ability to fabricate the membrane on a commercial basis. Case will draw on its background in polymer chemistry to optimize the membrane while Giner, Inc. will extensively characterize the advanced membrane and demonstrate operation in both H2/Air and direct methanol fuel cells.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Research Institution Information:
89 Rumford Avenue Newton, MA 02466
Number of Employees:
CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIV.
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