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
Contract: NNX09CA92C
Agency Tracking Number: 074626
Amount: $600,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2007
Solicitation Topic Code: X8.01
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
400 West Cummings Park, Woburn, MA, 01801-6519
DUNS: 161844204
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 Michael Pien
 Principal Investigator
 (781) 938-5300
 mpien@fuelcell.com
Business Contact
 Radha Jalan
Title: Business Official
Phone: (781) 938-5300
Email: 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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