Advanced Approaches to Greatly Reduce Hydrogen Gas Crossover Losses in PEM Electrolyzers Operating at High Pressures and Low Current Densities

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$600,000.00
Award Year:
2009
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
NNX09CA92C
Award Id:
88012
Agency Tracking Number:
074626
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
400 West Cummings Park, Woburn, MA, 01801
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
161844204
Principal Investigator:
Michael Pien
Principal Investigator
(781) 938-5300
mpien@fuelcell.com
Business Contact:
Radha Jalan
Business Official
(781) 938-5300
jbernier@fuelcell.com
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
ElectroChem proposes a Phase II program to advance its very successful SBIR Phase I technology effort to the point of minimum hydrogen loss through the electrolyzer membrane, while the high proton conductivity necessary for high efficiency water electrolysis is maintained. In Phase I, ElectroChem demonstrated that its concept of adding clay to a Nafion proton conductive membrane would significantly reduce the penetration of hydrogen gas through the membrane. In Phase II, a comprehensive technology effort (aimed at optimization) will be carried out which uncovers the microscopic changes that occur within the membrane as a result of the clay addition. The objective of this effort is first to correlate the microscopic morphology that occur within the Nafion-clay nanocomposite membranes with the reduction in hydrogen penetration produced by the clay addition. A second objective is to control the microscopic morphology and establish a process to develop the most effective Nafion-clay nanocomposite membranes, leading to advanced MEAs. The final objective is to evaluate the Nafion-clay nanocomposite membranes under high pressure Commercial Electrolyzer conditions. Successful completion of this effort will enable NASA to meet its requirement for an electrolyzer that will operate very efficiently both at low current densities and at high pressures.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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