High-Performance Proton Exchange Membranes for Electrolysis Cells

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0011361
Agency Tracking Number: 209637
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2014
Solicitation Year: 2014
Solicitation Topic Code: 13a
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0000969
Small Business Information
1684 S. Research Loop, Suite 518, Tucson, AZ, 85710-6740
DUNS: 046772992
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Hongxing Hu
 Dr.
 (520) 546-6944
 hhu1@mindspring.com
Business Contact
 Ayyasamy Aruchamy
Title: Dr.
Phone: (520) 546-6944
Email: amsen@mindspring.com
Research Institution
 Stub
Abstract
Improvements in performance of the components are needed for polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolyzers, which is one of the key technologies for DOEs hydrogen production plan. In particular, high- performance ion-exchange membranes are needed that can withstand significantly higher mechanical loads due to high-pressure operation, while having significantly reduce hydrogen permeability and improved proton conductivity. This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project aims to develop high-performance ion-exchange membranes for PEM electrolyzers based on a ternary material system. Such membranes shall have lower hydrogen permeability and higher proton conductivity than the state-of-the-art commercial membranes. Additionally, the new membrane shall have good water transfer capability, high tensile strength, and high stability under high-pressure electrolyzer operation conditions. The proposed composite ion-exchange membranes will be fabricated by a solution casting process that has been well developed in Amsen for our composite membrane projects. This process is well suited for easy and economical production of multi-component composite membranes with high uniformity. The resultant composite membranes will be systematically characterized in terms of structural and microstructural features, hydrogen permeability, proton conductivity, tensile strength, water uptake/swelling, and dimensional stability. The best composite membranes selected will be evaluated by performance in high-pressure electrolysis operation. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The outcome of the innovation has the potential of providing DOE with high-performance ion-exchange membranes for PEM electrolyzers as well as fuel cells. This technology will find wide applications in all PEM electrolyzers and PEM fuel cell stacks.

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

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