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High Performance Pyrophosphate Membranes for Intermediate Temperature Fuel Cells

An innovative regenerated pyrophosphate electrolyte membrane for fuel cells and method of fabricating thereof. An intermediate temperature fuel cell (IT-FC) is a type of fuel cell that operates at temperatures between 200 and 300°C. IT-FCs provide high tolerance for impurities, fuel flexibility, and low-cost construction. Pyrophosphates are commonly used as low-cost electrolyte membrane materials in fuel cells. However, pyrophosphates have decreased proton conductivity at the operating temperatures of IT-FCs. Our researchers have developed a technology to restore the efficacy of pyrophosphate membranes for IT-FCs. The method of restoring pyrophosphate membranes includes integrating a heteropolyacid material into the membrane, which minimizes proton conductivity loss. This method produces pyrophosphate membranes that are highly proton conductive, highly selective, and mechanically strong.

Applications

  • Intermediate-temperature fuel cells (IT-FCs), which can be used for portable electric generators, large stationary power systems, zero-emission electric automobiles, and green micro-grids

Problem Addressed

  • Developing a membrane that has high proton conductivity for use in IT-FCs
  • Restoring the mechanical strength and conductivity of pyrophosphate membranes in order to withstand the temperatures of IT-FCs

Competitive Advantages

  • Successfully recovers the proton conductivity of pyrophosphate membranes for use in IT-FCs
  • Does not degrade the mechanical strength of the membrane in the restoring process
  • Affordable process to integrate into the production of electrolyte membranes
  • Using this technology, IT-FCs are more commercially feasible

Patents

Publication

  • Bose, A. B., et al. (2016). An Approach for Restoring the Proton Conductivity of Sintered Tin Pyrophosphate Membranes for Intermediate Temperature Fuel Cells. Journal of Power Sources, 307