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Battle-worthy membrane

Tue, 08/31/2004 - 8:00pm

2004 R&D 100 Winner
Popularized within the automotive industry, fuel cell technology continues to make strides as a viable energy source for a variety of applications. At the heart of each cell lies the electrolyte materialtypically a polymer layer responsible for conduction from the anode to the cathode. The high-cost and resiliency of today’s most popular electrolyte materials, however, has hampered commercialization efforts and stymied industry adoption.

In a joint effort, researchers from Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, and Battelle, Columbus, Ohio, have developed a low-cost, high-temperature polymer membrane dubbed Battellion for use in Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells. The newly-developed polymer membrane can sustain temperatures up to 150°C and boasts a 3-fold improvement in current generation at 0.7 V at 120°C and 40% RH when compared to the industry standard, Nafion.

Battellion also boasts a marked improvement of proton conductivity, increased tolerance to carbon monoxide, and resistance to methanol crossover, a property that will appeal to cell phone and laptop manufacturers.

Technology
High-temperature polymer membrane

Developers
Virginia Tech
Battelle

Award Year

2004

Organization

Battelle Memorial Institute
Virginia Tech

Developers

Bhima Vijayendran (Primary)
Jay Sayre (Primary)
Lalgudi S Ramanathan (Primary)
James E McGrath (Primary)
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