Inorganic Oxide Supported Biomimetic Membranes with Ion Channels for DMFC Application

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W911NF-11-C-0227
Agency Tracking Number: A11A-013-0176
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2011
Solitcitation Year: 2011
Solitcitation Topic Code: A11a-T013
Solitcitation Number: 2011.A
Small Business Information
Lynntech, Inc.
TX, College Station, TX, 77840-4023
Duns: 184758308
Hubzone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Yongzhu Fu
 (979) 764-2200
Business Contact
 G. Hisaw
Title: Sr. Contracts Administrator
Phone: (979) 764-2200
Research Institution
 Cornell University
 Mora Harris
 373 East Hill Plaza
Ithaca, NY, 14853-0001
 (607) 255-1050
 Nonprofit college or university
Methanol crossover of commercial Nafion membranes is a major issue that results in lowering of the efficiency of direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). The reason for high crossover in Nafion membrane is the bulk water transport associated with proton transfer. It is thus advantageous to have separate transport of protons and water. Nature has answered this problem in biological membranes which contain selective proton conducting nanochannels. Lynntech proposes to fabricate biomimetic nanocomposite membranes from a nanoporous inorganic matrix and to functionalize them to form proton conducting nanochannels analogous to that in biological membranes. The inorganic matrix provides the structural strength as well as an ordered structure for the proton conducting channels. The functionalized ion channels provide fast proton transfer ability as well as lower the methanol permeability. The target of Phase I is to determine optimal route for the proposed biomimetic membrane fabrication for proton conductivity and methanol crossover for operation with 15M or higher methanol concentration. Mechanical and thermal stability of the promising membranes will also be determined. Preliminary system design for a 1W passive DMFC system with 15M methanol feed will also be made.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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