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Title: High Speed, Low Cost Fabrication of Gas Diffusion Electrodes for Membrane Electrode Assemblies

Fabrication of membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) depends on creating inks or pastes of catalyst and binder, and applying this suspension to either the membrane (catalyst coated membrane) or gas diffusion media (gas diffusion electrode) and respectively laminating either gas diffusion media or gas diffusion electrodes (GDEs) to the membrane. One barrier to cost effective fabrication for either of these approaches is the development of stable and consistent suspensions. This program investigated the fundamental forces that destabilize the suspensions and developed innovative approaches to create new, highly stable formulations. These more concentrated formulations needed fewer application passes, could be coated over longer and wider substrates, and resulted in significantly lower coating defects. In March of 2012 BASF Fuel Cell released a new high temperature product based on these advances, whereby our customers received higher performing, more uniform MEAs resulting in higher stack build yields. Furthermore, these new materials resulted in an “instant” increase in capacity due to higher product yields and material throughput. Although not part of the original scope of this program, these new formulations have also led us to materials that demonstrate equivalent performance with 30% less precious metal in the anode. This program has achieved two key milestonesmore » in DOE’s Manufacturing R&D program: demonstration of processes for direct coating of electrodes and continuous in-line measurement for component fabrication.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
BASF Fuel Cell, Inc.
Sponsoring Org:
Contributing Orgs:
Case Western Reserve University
Country of Publication:
United States
30 DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION; 08 HYDROGEN; Fuel Cell, Membrane Electrode Assembly, MEA, High Temperature, Gas Diffusion Electrode, GDE, Manufacturing, On-Line Instrumentation, PBI, QC