SBIR Phase I: Novel Proton Conductive Membranes for Cost-Effective Fuel Cell Technology
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will support the development and preliminary evaluation of low-cost, high-performance, environmentally-clean proton exchange membranes (PEMs). The project involves the manufacture of PEMs using a patented hot filament chemical vapor deposition process, depositing ultra-thin fluorinated sulfonic acid polymer films directly onto inexpensive membrane substrates. Structure-property-processing relationships will be established and compared with performance with commercially-available membranes, measuring electrical conductivity, relevant gas/liquid permeability and acid capacity, characterizing chemical composition and stability, and identifying the significance of polymerization parameters. The results will enable selection of suitable polymer chemistries for optimization, aggressive evaluation and testing of the PEMs in membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) in Phase II. Ultimately, rapid, integrated process for fabricating composite MEAs through the deposition of multiple functional layers will be developed, in a manner analogous to the manufacture of microchips.
The market potential for fuel cells is massive, with PEMs and more broadly MEA components constituting a significant portion of the overall market share.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Principal Investigator:Hilton Pryce-Lewis
19 Blackstone St. Cambridge, MA 02139
Number of Employees: