Low Temperature Fuel Cells Based on Proton Conducting Ceramic Membranes
Agency / Branch:
DOD / ARMY
The development of compact, lightweight and continuous power sources to replace battery-based systems offers substantial advantages for military operations. Fuel cells offer high energy density (up to 1000 Wh/kg) and operate continuously as long as fuelis provided. Advantages of fuel cells include high efficiency and very low release of polluting gases. Current proton exchange fuel cell technology is based on polymeric membranes that operate at temperatures below 100C and require purified hydrogen as afuel. In this program, NexTech Materials, in conjunction with the California Institute of Technology, will develop fuel cells based on proton conducting ceramic electrolyte membranes. This approach provides fuel cell operation at approximately 400C,which allows the direct use of hydrocarbon fuels without pre-reforming. In Phase I, electrolyte, cathode and anode materials will be identified and the electrical, chemical, and mechanical compatibility of the materials set will be confirmed. Inparallel, processing routes to produce electrode-supported membranes will be developed, and single cell fuel cell tests performed. In Phase II, fabrication will be optimized and comprehensive fuel cell testing performed to validate this technology forArmy portable power applications. Compact, lightweight and continuous power sources are required by the Army to provide soldiers power for communications, target acquisition, combat service support, miniaturized displays and microclimate cooling. Inaddition to military applications, fuel cells are being developed for commercial applications ranging from portable telephones and laptop computers to higher-power automotive and residential systems.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Research Institution Information:
Nextech Materials, Ltd.
720-I Lakeview Plaza Blvd. Worthington, OH 43085
Number of Employees:
California Institute of Technology
Office of Sponsored Research, 1200 E. California Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91125
Richard P. Seligman
Nonprofit college or university