German-US Fuel Cell Collaboration Demonstrates Strong Power Density Results
Utilizing Patented Processes and Learning from ARPA-E Sponsored Research — OH Energy, Inc., Fraunhofer ICT, Leibniz Institute for Polymer Research and University of Delaware Have Achieved Initial Power Density of 616 mW/cm(2)
CHEMNITZ, Germany, Aug. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Today, a German-US collaboration led by OH-Energy Germany, GmbH, the University of Delaware, Fraunhofer ICT and Leibniz Institute for Polymer Research released initial results demonstrating 616 mW/cm² peak power density at 80 degrees centigrade. The results are an early and clear indication the partnership is on track to reach its stated goal of delivering 600 mW/cm² platinum-free fuel cell platinum by 2015.
To date the collaboration, whose primary focus is to bring platinum-free fuel cells to the transportation and power generation markets, has been coordinated by OH Energy, Inc. (www.oh-energy.com) and SET Technology (www.set-technology.com). The partnership is focused on obtaining the required technical and commercialization skills from the two strong cleantech markets in the world – Germany and US – to decrease the cost of fuel cells by up to 75%.
“Our encouraging initial fuel cell results and our experience with non-platinum catalysts allow us to predict with good accuracy that our efforts will lead to a 600 mW/cm² peak power density without the use of platinum,” said Professor Yushan Yan of the University of Delaware.
“In addition to our current research projects, the OH technology creates reliable and effective solutions for membranes used in fuel cells,” added Dr. Jochen Meier-Haack of Leibniz Institute Dresden.
Professor Yan of UD studies thin ion-conducting polymer films called hydroxide exchange membranes (HEMs). These membranes complete the electrochemical circuit within a fuel cell, allowing hydrogen and atmospheric oxygen to be converted directly to water and energy. The most attractive feature of HEM fuel cells is that they are compatible with commonly available catalysts like silver and nickel, so that mass production would not tax the world’s limited (and costly) reserves of precious metals such as platinum. Yan’s technology was recognized by the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E) as one of only 37 funded projects in ARPA-E’s first open call for projects in 2009. His team boasts of HEM fuel cell performance that is among the best in the field, with power densities over 600 mW/cm².
In addition to Prof. Yan and Dr. Cremers, Robert Kaspar, a PhD candidate in Yan’s group at the University of Delaware, will spend three months this summer as part of Cremers’ team in Karlsruhe, Germany. Kaspar, a 24-year-old Caltech graduate, says he is “…excited to contribute to something so important” and looking forward to putting heads together with some of the best minds across the Atlantic.
OH Energy Germany, GmbH
OH Energy Germany is a wholly owned subsidiary of OH Energy, Inc. (USA). OH Energy, Inc. designs, develops and manufactures platinum-free membranes and fuel cells based on technology invented Dr. Yushan Yan’s research labs located at the University of California Riverside and the University of Delaware.
The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft carries out applied research that drives economic developments and serves the wider benefit of society, working for and with an international network of partners and customers. The Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT is one of the 60 institutes that currently make up the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.
Beside contractual research for industry, the Fraunhofer ICT also works with commercial enterprises in research projects co-funded by the German government and the European Union. With over 200,000 and 12,000 square meters of pilot plants, test stands and technical workshops, ICT is one Germany’s largest technical institutes.
Under the directorship of Prof. Dr. Peter Elsner, Frauhofer ICT has annual budget of approximately EUR32 million and employs over 500 technical professionals.
University of Delaware
The University received its charter from the State of Delaware in 1833 and was designated one of the nation’s historic Land Grant colleges in 1867. The university is a Land Grant, Sea Grant and Space Grant institution. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching classifies UD as a research university with very high research activity–a designation accorded less than 3 percent of U.S. colleges and universities. UD ranks among the nation’s top 100 universities in federal R&D support for science and engineering.
A state-assisted, privately governed institution, UD offers a broad range of degree programs: 3 associate programs, 147 bachelor’s programs, 119 master’s programs, 54 doctoral programs, and 15 dual graduate programs through our seven colleges and in collaboration with more than 70 research centers. Our student body encompasses more than 17,000 undergraduates, more than 3,600 graduate students and nearly 800 students in professional and continuing studies from across the country and around the globe.
UD’s distinguished faculty includes internationally known authors, scientists and artists, among them a Nobel laureate, Guggenheim and Fulbright fellows, and members of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Leibniz Institute Dresden
The Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (IPF) is one of Germany’s largest polymer research facilities. As an institute of the Leibniz Association, the IPF is committed to carrying out application-oriented fundamental research and receives its basic funding in equal parts from the federal and state governments.
The approach is holistic, covering synthesis and modification of polymer materials, their characterization and theoretical investigation, up to processing and testing. A special feature of the IPF’s activities is the close cooperation of scientists and engineers and a broad range of modern instruments and methods are available including pilot plants allowing material and technology development under industry-relevant conditions.
The research focus is on materials problems and needs which can be approached by control of interface-related properties as well as interactions at interfaces and surfaces. A deep understanding of techniques and processes as well as of underlying physical aspects shall provide the basis to develop long-term concepts for technological implementation and applications of new polymer materials.
The topics dealt with at the institute are highly future-oriented. They include development of materials, technologies, and systems which are crucial to guarantee the strength of Germany’s economy also in future and to ensure both quality of living and sustainability. The polymer materials address innovations for further development in, e. g., medicine, transport and mobility, as well as energy efficiency and advanced communication technologies.
The institute’s profile is determined by four strategic topics that are approached in close collaboration of all departments of the institute.
-- Functional nanostructured interfaces and polymer systems -- Biology-inspired interface and material design -- Polymer networks: Structure, theory, and application -- Process-controlled structure formation in polymer materials
Based on these topics the IPF is linked with leading research groups in Germany and worldwide, but, first of all, it is part of the powerful network of research institutions in Dresden and a very active member of DRESDEN concept.
OH Energy Germany
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SOURCE OH Energy, Inc.