Polymer Membrane Materials for Fuel Cells and other Energy Applications

Speaker(s): 
Date: 
July 26, 2007 - 12:00pm
Location: 
90-3122
Seminar Host/Point of Contact: 

Fuel Cells are a major energy conversion component for the Hydrogen Economy. In particular, Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cells have been focused upon for light vehicle transportation purposes where the cell reduces oxygen and oxidizes hydrogen to form water and electricity. Unfortunately, due to the poor catalysis of the oxygen reduction reaction PEM fuel cells are not very efficient in converting the energy content of the hydrogen to electricity with almost half the energy resulting in heat generation. For a four passenger vehicle the heat management requires a radiator size that is not competitive. Higher operating temperatures (120oC) can solve the heat management problem but result in a complex water management system that is needed to hydrate the polymer membrane to make it conductive. The DOE's Office of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Infrastructure Technologies has established a High Temperature Membrane Program to address the problem. This talk will describe research now underway at LBNL, LANL and 3M to develop new membrane materials that can allow the fuel cell to operate at higher temperature (120oC) without the need for added water. This work involves a multidisciplinary approach that targets everything from the fundamental mechanisms of electron and proton transfer, through polymer synthesis and characterization, electrochemical engineering and all the way to vehicle systems analysis. The main principles of these activities will be summarized to provide a picture of how this information is used to design new materials. These principles can also be applied to other energy systems than fuel cells and some time will be devoted to how this work can contribute to the Lab's Helios initiative.

Add event to Google Calendar

Announcement List

To be added to our seminar annoucement list please, email ETA Seminars. Seminars may change without notice, stay informed by joining our seminar email list. 

Site Access

For site access please email your request to ETA Seminars. To arrive at Building 90 via the LBNL shuttle, take "Blue Uphill". Click here for the shuttle schedule. To ensure your site access is set-up send your request 36 hours in advance of the seminar.

Remote Access

Not able to attend in person? Remote participants can use ReadyTalk Audio & Net conference to phone in to listen, while viewing the presentation via the ReadyTalk site.

Web Access Code: 4864835

USA & Canada call-in number:
1 (866) 740-1260
Access Code: 4864835#

International callers:
Please visit this website to see if a toll-free call-in number is available for your international location.

If not, you will need to pay for the call yourself and use this phone number:

(303) 248-0285.