Cheaper Fuel Cells

06/01/2006


Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have developed a new material for proton-exchange membranes in PEM fuel cells . PEMs are used in fuel cells to allow protons to pass through from one electrode to the other. At the same time, they block electrons, which are then forced to travel an external circuit between electrodes.

Researchers claim that their new material conducts protons nearly three times as well as currently used material, greatly increasing power density. This would mean that a much smaller fuel cell can be deployed.

The material begins as a liquid that can be poured over a patterned mold, unlike the fluorinated polymer currently being used for this purpose. The enhanced conductivity of the new material comes in part from having a higher acid content than currently used materials.

While the material has been tested using hydrogen as a fuel, UNC researchers are now testing the material with methanol—a fuel source that could be important for fuel cells in portable electronics and maybe vehicles.





Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
2017 MEP Giants; Mergers and acquisitions report; ASHRAE 62.1; LEED v4 updates and tips; Understanding overcurrent protection
Integrating electrical and HVAC for energy efficiency; Mixed-use buildings; ASHRAE 90.4; Wireless fire alarms assessment and challenges
Integrated building networks, NFPA 99, recover waste heat, chilled water systems, Internet of Things, BAS controls
Transformers; Electrical system design; Selecting and sizing transformers; Grounded and ungrounded system design, Paralleling generator systems
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; VFDs in high-performance buildings
Tying a microgrid to the smart grid; Paralleling generator systems; Previewing NEC 2017 changes
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me