New Proton Exchange Membranes with Low Methanol Permeability for Direct Methanol Fuel Cells

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Missile Defense Agency
Contract: DASG6003C0095
Agency Tracking Number: 01-0236
Amount: $750,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2003
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
P.O. Box 618, Christiansburg, VA, 24068
DUNS: 008963758
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Jeff Mecham
 Research Scientist
 (540) 953-1785
Business Contact
 Richard Claus
Title: President
Phone: (540) 953-1785
Research Institution
The purpose of the proposed BMDO Phase II program is to develop and commercialize ion-conducting thermally stable polymers for use as high temperature proton exchange membrane/membrane electrode assembly (PEM/MEA) materials with low methanol permeabilityas components of direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC). Polymer electrolyte/proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell systems are an environmentally friendly power source for a wide range of applications that include transportation, stationary powergeneration, and consumer electronics. Sulfonated ion-conducting sites have been introduced via direct polymerization, allowing control of both their location and concentration. Preliminary work during the Phase I research program has indicated that the PIand colleagues are capable of synthesizing such materials exceeding the conductivity and methanol permeability performance of perfluorinated sulfonic acid Nafion materials at, or above, room temperature. These new sulfonated copolymers show no change incell resistance over a period of one month under fully humidified conditions. Additionally, cast films of the novel copolymers demonstrated a marked (nearly fourfold) decrease in methanol permeability, which could greatly limit flooding, and the decreasedefficiency associated with this phenomenon. These new materials also are much less costly than fluoropolymers and they can be synthesized from commercially available starting materials.

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

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