Advanced PEM Electrocatalysts for Submarine Oxygen Generators

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N68335-19-C-0118
Agency Tracking Number: N162-107-0700
Amount: $500,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N162-107
Solicitation Number: 2016.2
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2016
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-03-13
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-03-13
Small Business Information
12345 W. 52nd Ave., Wheat Ridge, CO, 80033
DUNS: 181947730
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Girish Srinivas
 (303) 940-2321
 gsrinivas@tda.com
Business Contact
 John Wright
Phone: (303) 940-2300
Email: jdwright@tda.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolysis is used on-board submarines to generate breathing oxygen for the crew. Expensive noble metals are used as electrocatalysts and these precious metals contribute to approximately 25% of the cost of the electrolysis cell. Greatly reducing or eliminating the amount of noble metal electrocatalysts would significantly reduce the cost of the electrolysis cell stack. The Navy estimates that the cost savings would be ~$200,000 per electrolysis stack. Non-noble metal electrocatalysts are being developed, but so far no alternative has matched the performance of current Pt electrocatalysts

The objective of this Phase II project is to develop active electrocatalysts for PEM electrolyzers. We will prepare electrocatalysts using functionalized carbons as metal supports. We will optimize the metal content, as well as the physical properties (e.g., surface morphology and pore size distribution) of the new carbons and screen them based on their activity. We will prepare MEAs using the most promising materials and test their electrochemical performance under representative conditions. Based on the experimental results, we will a fabricate prototype electrolyzer and carry out an engineering analysis to estimate cost of the new materials and compare them to current electrocatalysts.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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