TWI Industrial Member Report Summary 806/2004
A L Buxton
TWI has an active fuel cell programme with current work in the areas of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) and proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. This report describes the work on PEM fuel cells.
In order for fuel cells to present a commercially viable energy source, a significant reduction in production cost is required. The cost of the polymer membrane material constitutes a major element, so any savings made here make a significant contribution to the overall cost saving. This project aims to address these issues, focusing on joining of the gas diffusion layer (a carbon impregnated fabric or paper) to the membrane material (a fluoropolymer) to produce the membrane electrode assembly (MEA).
- Assess alternative welding technologies that have the potential to join the MEA more efficiently than the currently used heat sealing process.
- Identify and assess suitable adhesives for bonding/sealing of MEAs which will withstand the service conditions without affecting the operation of the fuel cell.