Ultrahigh Volumetric Energy Density PEM Fuel Cells
A nanoassembly process for constructing ultrahigh volumetric energy density PEM fuel cell stacks is proposed. The method does not require vapor deposition techniques, bulk sintering or post-loading treatments of the membrane electrode assembly (MEA). The method enables ultimate control of two key parameters: the total catalyst to electrode volume and the total surface area of the tri-phase interface to volume of the complete MEA. A synthesis route for the formation of noble metal catalytic nanoparticles that are coated in situ with an electrically conducting carbon aerogel is proposed. Deposition of the low-density conducting coat directly on the surface of the catalyst nanoparticles will maximize the electrode/catalyst volumetric ratio. Furthermore, manipulating monolayers of the novel aerogel?coated catalyst particles will maximize the ratio of the surface area of the electrode/membrane interface to the overall MEA volume and perfluorosulfonic acid membrane using a film transfer technique.
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