PolyFuel claims increase in fuel cell membrane performance

Dec. 15, 2005 – PolyFuel Inc., a develop of nano-architectured fuel cell membranes, announced a new, thinner fuel cell membrane that delivers improved power levels for passive direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs).

PolyFuel says its new 45 micron-thick hydrocarbon membrane delivers 33 percent more power than the previous industry benchmark, the company’s 62-micron membrane, which is currently being used or analyzed by original equipment manufacturers.

The reduced thickness increases performance by reducing the resistivity of the membrane, while allowing a higher level of water back diffusion.

“PolyFuel has been working very hard with OEMs to refine its membrane technology to meet their specific needs,” said Jim Balcom, president and CEO of PolyFuel, in a prepared statement. “Perhaps the most requested feature has been a thinner membrane that retained the methanol crossover, water crossover and durability advantages of our 62-micron membrane, while meeting aggressive, new fuel cell performance targets.”

Balcom also said that in Japan PolyFuel is working with six major corporations that are developing DMFC systems, including NEC and SANYO Electric. Of these six, five are already evaluating the 45-micron membrane for near-term commercial use, including conducting durability and performance testing.

- David Forman

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