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Fuel Cell - Hydrogen formula

EMD Performance Materials’ Membrane Electrode Assembly (MEA) for Next Generation Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cells

Leveraging EMD Performance Materials’ strong know-how and expertise in formulation, web and film process handling we have developed a unique coating technology that delivers next generation catalyst layer structures to enable mass market automotive fuel cell adoption.
Our unique membrane electrode assemblies deliver high performance at low catalyst loading (<0.15mgpt/cm2), high stability of the catalyst layer structure (<40% loss of active surface area), and can be adapted to achieve desired performance.  
EMD Performance Materials is dedicating its expertise and experience to serve customers’ needs. Together with them, we develop innovative products and solutions that improve their value in the market.

 

An Electrochemical Conversion Device that Produces Zero Emission

What is a Fuel Cell (FC)?
A fuel cell is an electrochemical energy conversion device. A fuel cell converts hydrogen and oxygen into water, and in the process it produces electricity.

EMD Performance Materials drives e-mobility forward
For decades there has been a lot of debate on what the future of mobility will be. Many believe that with dwindling resources of fossil fuels and the negative impact of CO2 emissions on our climate, the only way forward for the long term is electro-mobility. 
Today, the most common example of e-mobility is an electric vehicle (EV) that is powered purely by electricity. On one hand, this is good for the environment but, on the other hand, not very convenient for the EV user. Currently, the maximum range of an affordable electric vehicle with one charge is 200 kilometers. An EV charge takes from 25 to 60 minutes. 
Automotive OEMs believe the only solution is not just one solution but rather a portfolio of solutions, for example using EVs for short city trips and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) for long distances. FCEVs are in essence hybrid vehicles that bring together the electric motor power train, battery and fuel stack, which generates zero-emission electricity from a hydrogen chemical fuel source. The remarkable advantage is that FCEVs can reach up to 700 kilometers with one tank, and refueling takes only three to five minutes.
 
 

Schema of a Fuel Cell


 
Schema of a fuel cell
 
MEA and MEA Components

The Heart of the Fuel Cell

Current fuel cell technology is still too expensive for the mass market due to the high platinum loading required, about 40 grams per vehicle. However, scientists and developers at Advanced Technologies are working on an innovative coating process for membrane electrode assemblies (MEA) to reduce platinum loading to ten grams per car. This development would be in line with the EU 6 catalytic converter standard, allowing FCEVs to be competitive with current technologies, thus enabling the mass market introduction of FCEVs. Merck’s technology utilizes nanostructured platinum particles on carbon black, which will deliver a high surface area and yield the same performance as today’s electrodes, but using only a quarter of the amount of platinum.
 
Electro-spinning Process

Technology that Enables Mass Adoption of the Fuel Cell Technology

Electrospinning is a widely-known, robust technique for generating polymer nanofibers. Typically, a syringe is filled with a polymer solution, and then placed in an electric field. When sufficient voltage is supplied between the syringe needle and grounded collector electrode, jets are formed in the solution. With suitable viscoelastic properties, polymer fibers are formed and dry as they are deposited onto the collector. 

Using the electro-spinning process, EMD Performance Materials has developed a unique coating technology that delivers a nanofibrous catalyst layer, which is efficient in utilizing active area, lowering Pt loading, and is scalable to automotive production volumes. 

 

Image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrospinning

Animation source: http://fluid.ippt.gov.pl/sblonski/nanofibres.html - T.A. Kowalewski, S. Blonski, T. Kowalczyk, Polish Academy of Sciences, IPPT PAN

 

Video

Click here to watch a video about the nozzle free electro-spinning process
 

Lower Platinum Content, higher Performance and Durability

In addition, the process improves durability as it decreases the agglomeration of platinum, and is more resistant to carbon corrosion. Last but definitely not least, the production process is scalable and equipment exists in the market that is believed to deliver quantities in line with automotive standards. The team of Advanced Technologies is also employing existing know-how from our Life Science business, based on 50+ years of innovation in the membrane area. EMD Performance Materials will be in a leading position to advance this technology so that everybody can drive a FCEV for a green future for this and the next generations.
 
Benefits of the nanofiber structure
 
AttributeAdvantage
Highly porous, ordered structure with large survace area and high gas accessibilityHigh fuel cell performance at low catalyst loading
Uniform distribution of active catalyst sitesMore uniform catalyst aging, without "hot spots" of carbon corrosion
Controlled morphology of catalyst layerPromotes formation of 3-phase boundary, mitigates possible structural effects of degradation
 

Would You like to know more?

Videos:

Presentation: 
  • Also, read in this presentation held on the "World of Energy Solution" on October 6 to 8, in Stuttgart, Germany, in 2014, by Zeeshan Mahmood about the following topic: 
    - available soon -

For further information please contact fuel_cells@emdgroup.com.

 

Glossary

AbbreviationExplanation
MEAMembrane Electrode Assembly
PEMPolymer Electrolyte Membrane
FCFuel Cell
FCEVFuel Cell Electric Vehicle
EVElectric Vehicle
OEMOriginal Equipment Manufacturer
GDLGas Diffusion Layer
MPLMicroporous Layer