SITIS Archives - Topic Details
Program:  SBIR
Topic Num:  OSD10-EP6 (OSD)
Title:  Anion Exchange Membranes for Alkaline and Low-temperature Fuel Cell Applications
Research & Technical Areas:  Ground/Sea Vehicles

Acquisition Program:  
  Objective:  Investigate anion exchange membranes for alkaline and low temperature fuel cell applications.
  Description:  Anion exchange membranes have the potential to not only improve the performance of alkaline and low-temperature fuel cells, but also reduce the cost and use of precious metal catalysts. These types of membranes would reduce/eliminate osmotic drag and reduce crossover of fuel and other reactants from anode to cathode. Anion exchange membranes are seen as key enabling technologies for the development of a liquid-liquid fuel cell for underwater applications. In particular the sodium borohydride-hydrogen peroxide fuel cell, the hydrogen peroxide (as the oxidant) is directly electrochemically reduced in an acid electrolyte and the borohydride is direct electrochemically oxidized in an alkaline electrolyte. The anion exchange membrane would enable the conduction of hydroxide ions generated at the cathode to migrate to the anode to participate in the oxidation reaction minimizing the amount of caustic required to be stored as part of the fuel. The weight/volume of these underwater systems are critical and any time the reactants can be reduced/minimized will only improve system efficiency. Improvements are needed in the anion exchange membranes to be viable for fuel cell applications; these include, improvements in conductivity, robustness and membrane durability. These membranes must be tolerant of simultaneous exposure to alkaline and acid electrolyte; wherein concentration could range between 0.5 to 5 M for each electrolyte over a temperature range of 0 to 80oC.

  PHASE I: The contractor will develop a series of membranes that will exhibit some of the following properties: membrane thickness <200um with ionic conductivity of OH- of >0.1S/cm. The contractor will have also characterized the membrane to show electro-osmotic drag coefficient, lambda values, and crossover of other target molecules that could be present in the electrolyte solutions. Membrane characteristics should be recoverable after dehydration which would simulate a period of time where in the future fuel cell may lay dormant in storage. The membrane will also be evaluated in a fuel cell showing both polarization profile and constant current performance.
  PHASE II: The contractor will focus on membrane improvements and demonstrate scalability (at least 12”x12” sizes). Membrane should demonstrate minimum 500 hours of constant current performance and restart after a period of dormancy.

  PHASE III: The contractor will demonstrate the optimized anion exchange membrane in a multi-cell/stack configuration and test the stack for endurances of 100 hours with multi starts with performance efficiencies of at least 60% utilization.

  References:  1. Improved Performance of Alkaline Membrane Fuel Cells based on Newly Developed Electrolyte Materials, H. Yanagi et al, 216th ECS Meeting, Vienna, October 2009. 2. Polymeric Membranes for Direct Borohydride Fuel Cells: a comparative Study, D.M. Santos, et al, 216th ECS Meeting, Vienna, October 2009. 3. Direct Borohydride Fuel Cell Development, R. Jamard, Vienna, October 2009. 4. Alkaline Membrane Electrolyte Fuel Cell Research and Development at the US Army Research Laboratory, D. Chu, 216th ECS Meeting, Vienna, October 2009. 5. A novel anion exchange membrane for alkaline fuel cells, Y. Luo, 216th ECS Meeting, Vienna, October 2009. 6. Air Independent Fuel Cells Utilizing Borohydride and Hydrogen Peroxide, R. Craig Urian Materials Research Society Fall Meeting, Boston MA, November 2009.

Keywords:  anion exchange membranes, hydrogen peroxide, sodium borohydride, alkaline fuel cells, low-temperature fuel cells, UUVs

Additional Information, Corrections, References, etc:
Ref #1: available at: www.electrochem.org/meetings/biannual/216/216.htm
Ref #2: Ref. 2 (Santos) uploaded in SITIS 5/26/10.REF OSD10_EP6 Santos.pdf
Ref #5: Ref. 5 (Luo) Uploaded in SITIS 5/26/10.REF OSD10_EP6 Luo Abstract.pdf
Ref #6: Ref. 6 uploaded in SITIS 5/26/10.REF OSD10_EP6 MRS Website_Symposium.pdf

Questions and Answers:
Q: Is it possible to get the references for this solicitation. I do not have access to the 216th ECS meeting in Vienna.
A: Ref. 2, 5 and 6 have been uploaded in SITIS and is now available for view/download.

Meeting abstracts and publications may be obtained at the ECS website, link is below:
http://www.electrochem.org/meetings/biannual/216/216.htm

Q: I have a problem; not able to set 216th Electrochemical Society Vienna Meeting publications from local libraries. Could you provide access for Ref. 2? Thank you.
A: Ref. 2 has been uploaded in SITIS and is now available for view/download.

Meeting abstracts and publications may be obtained at the ECS website, link is below:
http://www.electrochem.org/meetings/biannual/216/216.htm
Q: How to get last reference, Ref. 6?
A: Ref. 6 has been uploaded in SITIS and is now available for view/download.

Materials Research Society also has the paper at this link:
http://www.mrs.org/s_mrs/sec_subscribe.asp?CID=24682&DID=271709
Q: How to get 6th reference?
A: Ref. 6 has been uploaded in SITIS and is now available for view/download.

Materials Research Society also has the paper at this link:
http://www.mrs.org/s_mrs/sec_subscribe.asp?CID=24682&DID=271709

Record: of