Membrane Electrode Assembly
Membrane Electrode Assembly Technology for fuel cell power generation is the core electrode fabrication and composition technology. This critical component also bears the most costly materials and is the most costly part in fuel cell battery. With a performing and long lasting MEA at an affordable cost for the rising clean energy market, we can foresee a better living environment soon.
Blue-O has started to develop this core component technology since 2017 from scratch as Blue-O Team tried to explore a better way to fabricate such core components for fuel cell application with its own patented plate shape Pt-C catalysts. During last four years of intensive research and development, currently Blue-O has discovered a novel CCM structure and composition that have met all key benchmarks for Heavy Duty Vehicle (HDV) under the Accelerated Stress Testing protocol from Department of Energy of USA in 2019. More, Blue-O has achieved 20% more power density at End of Life (EOL) than that of BOL of the MEA for the same protocol.
Blue-O is ready to share such exciting scientific discovery with the global clean energy bodies to deploy such advanced MEA technology and to bring much affordable H2FC powers into transportation business, as well as stationary power market.
Normal CCM Composition & Structure
Catalyst Layer (electrode) of CCM is made of catalyst particles, ionomer, and pores. It can be single layer on each side of solid electrolyte membrane, or a multi-layers on the cathode.
In a normal CCL structure as shown in the left of above figure, Anode Catalyst Layer (ACL) is about 5 micron thick, while the cathode catalyst layer (CCL) is about 10 micron, and the Reinforced Membrane (RIM) is about 15 micron.
While in a multilayered CCL, two different layers contain two different catalysts and ionomer as a binder. This design is mainly to boost a short term power performance by utilizing Pt-Alloy catalyst, and increase its lifetime by adding a pure Pt/C layer underneath.
The difficulties to construct such high power CCM include the process technology, the ink formulation, the layer composition, and the in-depth know-how of how four systems work together in its optimized form. These four systems in the CCL include catalytic reduction rate, gas transport & permeating rate, electron conducting path, heat balance in a mixed gas-solid-liquid phase. Therefore, without many years of research and development and testing by a skilled team of Scientists and Engineers, an excellent tech-database for high performing CCL products is scarce.
More, along Pt-based catalysts, the Pt dissolution, Pt ions migration and re-deposition, Pt nanoparticles aggregation, and support corrosion must be mitigated or controlled in order to maintain a sustained performance with the needed durability at an affordable cost. It is well known that at high current density (above 1.2 to 1.5 A/cm^2), all these factors increase the deterioration rate of CCL performance and durability. This is the reason why the current leading fuel cell companies strive to utilize low current density and high voltage configuration for their commercial fuel cell stacks.
When a high current density is demanded for the system performance, only by adding more precious metal catalysts in the CCLs, which will increase the cost dramatically. This is not a sustainable means for any commercial HFC powertrain products. Such solution is a temporal solution.
Another factor of CCM deterioration is the chemical and physical durability of RIM. In order to increase the proton conductivity, RIM has been a successful solid electrolyte membrane, which reduced over about 50% thickness than NR211. however, the leaching of functional groups or fluorine cause the weakening of RIM. Most polymer companies are delving to develop new stable and high conductive new RIM products.
All above scientifically explored factors shall be mitigated, reduced, and managed in order to produce a high performance CCM with extended durability at affordable cost in order to sustain the much demanding clean energy market need.
Recently, Blue-O has discovered a unique design of CCM that has met and exceeded all the benchmarks of HDV requirement for industrial application. Blue-O will share this exciting technology with able companies and institutions and regions to ensure an equal access of this amazing core technology for the clean energy need.
Stay tuned or contact us for more information.
Do not wait as we all share the same responsibility to protect our living earth and to keep our air clean and safe.