Researchers at the Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER) have developed an innovative method for preparing an anion binder for solid alkaline fuel cells and a membrane-electrode assembly. This technology particularly relates to a method of preparing an anionic binder in the form of nanosized powder after crosslinking. The prepared anomic binder exhibits enhanced durability to electrochemical reactions and enables the easy fabrication of electrodes.
A fuel cell is a device that generates electrical energy from fuel and air supplied by the outside electrodes. The fuel cell has the advantage of improving the efficiency of fuel use and generating less environmental pollutants such as emissions. This advanced technology is particularly valuable in response to the increasing attention being placed on alternative next-generation clean energy sources. As fossil fuel resources become exhausted, many fuel cell apparatuses using alternative energy sources have been developed, with fuel cells emerging as the next generation of clean energy sources.
A fuel cell includes a fuel electrode (an anode) for supplying hydrogen ions and electrons from hydrogen or methanol and an air electrode (cathode) for supplying oxygen. A fuel cell produces electricity from the fuel electrode, the fuel is divided into hydrogen ions and electrons, and the hydrogen ions are supplied from the oxygen electrode through an electrolyte membrane to form water. The electrons are separated from the fuel electrode by an external circuit, thereby generating electricity, heat, and water by an electrochemical reaction. Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC), direct borohydride fuel cells (DBFC), and direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC) and solid alkaline fuel cells (SAFC) are among some of the most common types of fuel cells.
Solid alkaline fuel cells and direct borohydride fuel cells have an anion-exchange membrane, a hydroxyl-ion conducting electrolyte membrane, as the electrolyte. These fuel cells offer an alternative to employing a cation-exchange membrane, instead of using an anion-exchange membrane for non-precious metal catalysts or non-platinum catalysts for electrodes. This ability means that solid alkaline fuel cells have the capability to be significantly less expensive as well as more productive. The non-crosslinked polymer has been conventionally used as a binder for a membrane-electrode assembly of a solid alkaline fuel cell. Unfortunately, non-crosslinked polymers are problematic in terms of durability and are easily deteriorated by electrochemical reactions.
This sophisticated method for preparing an anion binder for solid alkaline fuel cells has been designed, after extensive research by KIER researchers, to improve durability to electrochemical reactions and solve the inherent problems of electrode slurry production.
Method for preparing anion binder for solid alkaline fuel cell and membrane-electrode assembly:
A technical achievement of the present technology the provision of an anode binder for a solid alkaline fuel cell which enhances durability to electrochemical reactions and makes the production of electrode slurry easy. Another accomplishment of the present technology is the provision of a method of preparing an anionic binder for a solid alkaline fuel cell. To accomplish these achievements a method of preparing an anionic binder for a solid alkaline fuel cell, comprising: (A) mixing an electrolytic monomer with quaternary ammonium salts having a cationic group, a bis-acrylic acid crosslinking agent having a tertiary amino group, and water together by stirring; (B) mixing the mixture with a photo-initiator; (C) interposing the solution between polyethylene terephthalate films and irradiating the solution with ultraviolet light for crosslinking and polymerization; and (D) pulverizing crosslinked polymerized resin to a nano size, has been developed.
This technology provides a membrane-electrode assembly having excellent hydroxide ion conductivity, which is prepared by forming an electrode layer on at least one surface of a hydroxide ion. According to the present invention, the polymer binder is crosslinked in the polymer preparation step to suppress deterioration, resulting in an electrochemical reaction and enhancement durability, and the polymer binder is prepared in the form of nanosized powder to solve the problems occurring in the production of electrode slurry resulting from the crosslinking of polymer resin. This contributes to the production of highly-uniformly dispersed electrode slurry and the production of a membrane-electrode assembly having excellent hydroxide ion conductivity, thereby improving the performance of the solid alkaline fuel cell.
Intellectual property status
Patent number : 9306233
Where : USA
Current development status
Commercially available technologies
Desired business relationship
New technology applications
Adaptation of technology to other markets