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.





Product of the Year
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
40 Under Forty: Get Recognized
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
MEP Giants Program
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
September 2018
Power boiler control, Product of the Year, power generation,and integration and interoperability
August 2018
MEP Giants, lighting designs, circuit protection, ventilation systems, and more
July 2018
Integrating electrical and HVAC systems, emerging trends in fire, life safety, ASHRAE 90.4
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
Data Center Design
Data centers, data closets, edge and cloud computing, co-location facilities, and similar topics are among the fastest-changing in the industry.
click me