High Temperature-Stable Membrane Electrode Assemblies for Fuel Cells Fabricated via Ink Jet Deposition
72452S03-I This project will develop and commercialize ion-conducting thermally stable polymers for use as high-temperature proton exchange membrane/membrane electrode assemblies (PEM/MEA) materials. The materials will have low methanol permeability to allow their use as components of direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC). Sulfonated ion-conducting sites will be introduced via direct polymerization, allowing control of both their location and concentration. The new materials will be much less costly than fluoropolymers, and they will be synthesized from commercially available starting materials. Phase I will synthesize and evaluate a series of sulfonated poly (arylene ether sulfone) based PEM/MEAs with improved methanol permeability and high conductivity capabilities. The feasibility of using these new sulfonated poly (arylene ether sulfone) copolymer films as new PEM materials for use in DMFCs will be demonstrated. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by awardee: Polymer electrolyte/proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell systems are an environmentally friendly power source for a wide range of applications that include transportation (cars and buses), stationary (home) power generation, and consumer electronics (computers and phones). However, they require a cumbersome pressurized vessel for hydrogen storage. In comparison, DMFCs would need simply a liquid storage vessel, which, depending on power output requirements, could be quite small. Other electronic applications, where portability may be a major concern, include portable soldier power and the powering of laptop computers with extended lifetimes.
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