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Low-Cost Manufacturing Process for Fuel Cell Membrane
The catalyst-coated membrane (CCM) is a critical stack component in the fuel cell, which facilitates the electrochemical conversion of fuel to electrical energy. One of the main impeding factors for fuel cell commercialisation is the prohibitive manufacturing cost of the CCM, in which it constitutes 30%-50% of the total fuel cell cost. Current industry processes are complicated and involve multiple steps, which result in defects and material wastage. Critical processing steps associated with the CCM manufacturing process and catalyst formulation, particularly those steps for optimal fuel cell performance, are closely guarded industry secrets.
Based in Singapore, the technology owner has developed a low platinum loading catalyst ink formulation and preparation method, which addresses the issues of defects and catalyst wastage, while reducing costs. The formulation and process technology enables manufacturers to simplify the manufacturing process of CCM through direct application of the catalyst layer onto the membrane surface, assisted by the use of a novel jig design to effectively secure the membrane substrate and prevents swelling during the process. The technology owner is seeking industry partners to license and adopt the technology.
Technology Features, Specifications and Advantages
- This invention can be implemented in different fuel cell systems such as air-cooled, water-cooled, and direct methanol fuel cell systems.
- Effective manufacturing process enables fabricated CCM to be cost-competitive.
- Novel jig design for securing membrane substrate.
- Stationary, mobile and portable applications such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), personal mobility devices (PMDs) and portable off-grid power systems.
- Simplified batch manufacturing process.
- The ability to reduce platinum loading enables the fuel cell cost to be lower.