Methanol fuel cells using hydrocarbon membranes
NEC and Sanyo have revealed they are using membranes from California’s PolyFuel in their direct methanol fuel cells.
The membrane material is hydrocarbon-based unlike traditional Nafion which is a fluorocarbon.
Many attempts to produce hydrocarbon membranes have floundered through low performance or lack of durability. PolyFuel said both these disadvantages have been overcome.
The firm claimed eleven have completed evaluation testing and all have gone on to purchase products.
“Five of the largest Japanese and Korean consumer electronics companies now rank PolyFuel’s membrane as the best portable fuel cell membrane available in the world today,” claimed the firm.
PolyFuel was spun out of SRI International – formerly Stanford Research Institute – in 1999.
Last November the firm announced it had passed 5,000 hours lifetime for its membrane.