Development of Polybenzimidazole-Based High-Temperature Membrane and Electrode Assemblies for Stationary and Automotive Applications

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The program began on August 1, 2003 and ended on July 31, 2007. The goal of the project was to optimize a high-temperature polybenzimidazole (PBI) membrane to meet the performance, durability, and cost targets required for stationary fuel cell applications. These targets were identified in the Fuel Cell section (3.4) of DOE’s Hydrogen, Fuel Cells and Infrastructure Technologies Program Multi-Year Research, Development and Demonstration Plan. A membrane that operates at high temperatures is important to the fuel cell industry because it is insensitive to carbon monoxide (a poison to low-temperature fuel cells), and does not require complex water management strategies. ... continued below

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100 pages

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Vogel, John A. September 3, 2008.

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Description

The program began on August 1, 2003 and ended on July 31, 2007. The goal of the project was to optimize a high-temperature polybenzimidazole (PBI) membrane to meet the performance, durability, and cost targets required for stationary fuel cell applications. These targets were identified in the Fuel Cell section (3.4) of DOE’s Hydrogen, Fuel Cells and Infrastructure Technologies Program Multi-Year Research, Development and Demonstration Plan. A membrane that operates at high temperatures is important to the fuel cell industry because it is insensitive to carbon monoxide (a poison to low-temperature fuel cells), and does not require complex water management strategies. Together, these two benefits greatly simplify the fuel cell system. As a result, the high-temperature fuel cell system realizes a cost benefit as the number of components is reduced by nearly 30%. There is also an inherent reliability benefit as components such as humidifiers and pumps for water management are unnecessary. Furthermore, combined heat and power (CHP) systems may be the best solution for a commercial, grid-connected, stationary product that must offer a cost benefit to the end user. For a low-temperature system, the quality of the heat supplied is insufficient to meet consumer needs and comfort requirements, so peak heaters or supplemental boilers are required. The higher operating temperature of PBI technology allows the fuel cell to meet the heat and comfort demand without the additional equipment. Plug Power, working with the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) Polymer Science Laboratory, made significant advances in optimizing the PBI membrane material for operation at temperatures greater than 160oC with a lifetime of 40,000 hours. Supporting hardware such as flow field plates and a novel sealing concept were explored to yield the lower-cost stack assembly and corresponding manufacturing process. Additional work was conducted on acid loss, flow field design and cathode electrode development. Membranes and MEAs were supplied by team member BASF Fuel Cell (formerly PEMEAS), a manufacturer of polymer and fiber. Additional subcontractors Entegris, the University of South Carolina (USC) Fuel Cell Center, and RPI’s Fuel Cell Center conducted activities with regard to stack sealing, acid modeling, and electrode development.

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100 pages

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  • Report No.: DOE/GO/13010-final
  • Grant Number: FC36-03GO13101
  • DOI: 10.2172/936594 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 936594
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc893812

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  • September 3, 2008

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  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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Vogel, John A. Development of Polybenzimidazole-Based High-Temperature Membrane and Electrode Assemblies for Stationary and Automotive Applications, report, September 3, 2008; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc893812/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.