Field-Enhanced Carbon Monoxide Tolerance of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cells

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: DAAD1903C0098
Agency Tracking Number: A2-0837
Amount: $500,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2003
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Fuelcell Energy, Inc.
3 Great Pasture Rd., Danbury, CT, 06813
DUNS: 050627884
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Ludwig Lipp
 Fuel Cell Development Engineer
 (203) 205-2492
 llipp@fce.com
Business Contact
 Ross Levine
Title: Director of Contracts and Counsel
Phone: (203) 825-6057
Email: rlevine@fce.com
Research Institution
 UNIV. OF IOWA
 Brian Harvey
 Office of Sponsored Programs, 2 Gilmore Hall
Iowa City, IA, 52242
 (319) 335-2123
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
To be commercially competitive, PEM fuel cells have to be able to run on readily available fuels. Fuel reformers are practical, but fuel cell anode catalysts are severely poisoned by small quantities of carbon monoxide from the reformer. Despite mucheffort invested into increasing CO tolerance, desired performance levels have not been achieved.Our Phase I data has demonstrated excellent CO-tolerance when magnetic particles are introduced into the fuel cell anode. Local magnetic fields couple into kinetic pathways through spin polarization and can alter product distributions and reaction rates.The overall objective of the Phase II research is to demonstrate that the field-enhancement is sustainable and scalable. To this end, magnetic particles with improved functionality will be fabricated and their physical and chemical properties studied.Membrane electrode assemblies will be fabricated incorporating these particles and their performance will be tested with a variety of techniques in order to gain a better understanding of the underlying mechanism and to define performance limits andfavorable operating conditions. A final validation step in an air-breathing stack suitable for military application is also proposed. The proposed Phase II effort, if successful, will lead to a breakthrough in carbon monoxide tolerance and performance of reformate-fed hydrogen/air polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells, and therefore result in their widespread use in portable,transportation and stationary applications.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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