Showa Denko Develops Fuel Cell Carbon/Resin Separator

April 05, 2005 by Jeff Shepard

Showa Denko KK (Japan) reported that it has developed a high-performance molded carbon/resin separator for polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) to be used as a power source for homes, cars and mobile devices. The development is part of the PEFC system project of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, which commissioned Mitsubishi Electric Corp. to carry out the project.

The PEFC is a fuel cell that uses solid electrolyte, eliminating the fear of liquid leakage, as it generates electricity through reaction of hydrogen with oxygen. In addition to its safety, PEFC ensures quick startup and shutdown due to its low operating temperature as well as portability due to its compactness and light weight.

The separator is an important component of the PEFC, separating each cell and providing hydrogen and oxygen in completely separate flows. The PEFC is used in a stack connecting many fuel cells in series to provide enough electricity. Separators are required to have high levels of gas barrier property, electrical conductivity, mechanical strength, durability and processability.