DuPont Fuel Cells Delivers Membrane Durability Advance

November 06, 2005 by Jeff Shepard

Following the May 2005 introduction of the DuPont Gen IV direct-methanol, membrane electrode assembly (MEA) technology, and additional developments currently under way, DuPont Fuel Cells (Wilmington, DE) announced product improvements that increase the durability and lifetime of fuel cell membranes, dispersions, and MEA components for hydrogen-based fuel cells. DuPont's new technologies are suitable in applications such as consumer electronics, residential power, and automotive.

The polymers offer improved chemical stability and prolong durability and the lifetime of a fuel cell because they are less vulnerable to the degrading effects of chemical attack on the polymer. Fluoride-ion release, and the resulting membrane thinning, are common measures of membrane chemical attack. The rate of fluoride-ion release is a measure of life expectancy. Extensive testing by DuPont has shown eight-to-ten-fold improvement in oxidative stability, and greater than four-fold reduction in OCV decay with the recently introduced, chemically stabilized products. The lifetime of chemically stabilised membranes has been increased by a factor of seven, while other physical and mechanical properties of membrane and dispersion remain the same.