Small Scale Fuel Cells for Ground Personnel
Small Business Information
Materials & Electrochemical Research (Mer) Corp.
7960 S. Kolb Rd., Tucson, AZ, 85706
Abstract"This DoD Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project proposes an innovative fullerene-polymer based electrolyte for PEM fuel cells. A limitation of the commercially available perfluorinated sulfonic acid electrolytes is that they are highlydependent on humidification and do not function well above 100¿C in H2-PEM fuel cells under normal conditions. The poisoning of the CO is also a severe problem when operating the fuel cell below 130¿C. In this program, new fullerene polymer electrolyteswill be developed. The proton-migration in the proposed polymer is by the transfer of protons across hydrogen bonds within the active polymer functional groups, unlike conventional perfluorosulfonic acid membranes, which need water to transport protons.This proposed membrane is expected to perform at all environmental conditions from frost to elevated temperatures. The PEM fuel cell using the proposed electrolyte will be considerably reduced in size, cost and complexity compared to the existing PEM fuelcell system. This novel proton-conducting electrolyte enables higher conductivity in room temperature application and also enables use of higher operation temperatures and hence higher power density for PEM fuel cells. The proposed polymer membranes do notneed water to maintain their conductivity and also will have high tolerance towards carbon monoxide when used at high temperature. These changes can considerably enhance applications in the au
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