Huntsman to develop new resin for fuel cells

Huntsman Advanced Materials (Everberg, Belgium) is joining forces with GrafTech International subsidiary  Advanced Energy Technology (AET, Lakewood, Ohio) to develop a new binder formulation for use in fuel cell bi-polar plates for automotive and military vehicles. Bi-polar plates are key components of fuel cell power systems, which convert hydrogen to electricity in a process entirely free of volatile organic compound emissions (for more, see CT November/December 2001, p. 40).

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Huntsman Advanced Materials (Everberg, Belgium) is joining forces with GrafTech International subsidiary  Advanced Energy Technology (AET, Lakewood, Ohio) to develop a new binder formulation for use in fuel cell bi-polar plates for automotive and military vehicles. Bi-polar plates are key components of fuel cell power systems, which convert hydrogen to electricity in a process entirely free of volatile organic compound emissions (for more, see CT November/December 2001, p. 40).

The new binder will be based on Huntsman’s Azyral halogen-free, highly thermally resistant resin chemistries and reportedly will play a critical role in the development of durable fuel cells that can be manufactured cost-effectively. Program funding was awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to a consortium of companies. In addition to AET and Huntsman, project partners include fuel cell technologist Ballard Power Systems (Burnaby, B.C., Canada) and Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, Ohio).

The Azyral resin-based binder, still in development, will be integrated with AET’s Grafcell expanded natural graphite, the latter designed specifically for fuel cell applications. The combination is expected to create corrosion-resistant, lightweight flow-field plates for use in proton exchange membranes (PEMs) in fuel cells. The Azyral resin conveys to the binder properties that include a low dielectric constant and a low dissipation factor, good surface and volume resistivity and high-temperature stability.

When complete, the Grafcell bi-polar plates will be evaluated by Ballard Power System for use in fuel cell stacks. Case Western Reserve University has been granted funding to conduct comprehensive testing.
 

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