Electrolytic reactor with zeolite membrane

Electrolytic reactor with zeolite membrane

Corrosion-resistant assembly Applicant: International Fuel Cells, USA The patent describes a corrosion-resistant fuel cell in which an ion-impermeab...

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Applicant: International Fuel Cells, USA The patent describes a corrosion-resistant fuel cell in which an ion-impermeable protective layer is positioned over part of the non-catalysed carbon-based components. This layer prevents reactant ions or molecules from reaching localised high potential areas of these components, and so corroding the c:arbon material. Patent number: US 5837395 Publication date: 17 November 1998 Inventors: R.D. Breault, R.R .. Fredley, G.W. Schemer

Electrolytic membrane

reactor with zeolite

Applicant: Smart Cell Ltd, UK An electrochemical reactor - such as a fuel cell - is described which has a zeolite membrane separating the anode and cathode compartments. This allows the passage of ions through the membrane (to carry an electric current), but prevents the passage of fuel molecules etc. through the membrane, which might poison the catalyst used in the fuel cell. It is useful in methanol fuel cells using a basic electrolyte, such as a carbonate salt. There can be a second zeolite membrane to prevent escape of methanol into the atmosphere, which enables the fuel cell to operate at higher temperatures and hence be more efficient. Patent number: WO 98152243 Publication date: 19 November 1998 Inventors: G.J. Bratton, T. de V. Naylors, A.C.C. Tseung

Porous carbon body with increased wettability Applicant: International Fuel Cells Inc, USA PEM fuel cell product water which forms on the oxidant side of the membrane is removed from the active area of the cells in a fuel cell power plant by being absorbed into and wicked away from the active area by a porous carbon body which is in contact with the membrane. The carbon body may be an oxidant reactant flow field plate. The pores in the carbon body are partially filled with metal oxide granules, which impart increased wettability and warer absorption capacity to the carbon body. Patent number: US 5840414 Publication date: 24 November 1998 Inventors: J.A.S. Bett, D.J. Wheeler, C. Bushnell

Control of reactant transport

and product

Applicant: Ballard Power Systems Inc, Canada The patent describes an electrode substrate in a fuel cell. One or both of the anode and cathode substrates has a localised in-plane nonuniform structure in its electrochemically active area. This promotes uneven fluid transport between the inlet and outlet regions, and enables controlled transport of reactant toward the electrocatalyst


layer and controlled transport of the reaction product away from the electrocatalyst layer. Patent number: US 5840438 Publication date: 24 November 1998 Inventors: M.C. Johnson, D.l? Wilkinson, C.l? Asman, M.L. Bos, R.J. Potter

Producing polymer membranes


Applicant: Hoechst Research & Technology Japan Ltd, Japan A method is described for producing a polymer electrolyte membrane. A liquid is introduced into a cylinder whose inner surface is also cylindrical. The liquid contains at least 1 wt% of a polymer electrolyte and a solvent with a boiling point (or an azeotropic point) between 60°C and 220°C. The cylinder is then rotated, the solvent is evaporated by the centrifugal force so created, to form a polymer electrolyte membrane with a cylindrical configuration with a uniform thickness on the inner surface of the cylinder. A catalytic layer containing catalytic particles may likewise be formed on the inner surface of the polymer electrolyte membrane. Patent number: WO 98152732 Publication date: 26 November 1998 Inventors: M. Murata, T. Yamamoto, G. Deckers


MCFC cathode

Applicant: MTU Motorenund TurbinenUnion Friedrichshafen GmbH, Germany The patent relates to a double-layer cathode for molten carbonate fuel cells. The first layer is preferably lithium-treated nickel oxide, while the second layer is cerium-activated lithium cobaltire. The material for the second layer is produced by activating cobalt oxide by coprecipitation with cerium, and treating it with lithium carbonate to form a suspension. This suspension is then applied to the first cathode layer, dried and sintered at high temperature. The polarisation resistance of the new cathode is less dependent on temperature, and it has a longer life. The new cathode is especially suitable for operating a fuel cell at below 650°C. Patent number: WO 98153513 Publication date: 26 November 1998 Inventors: A. Prohaska, B. Rohland, M. Bischoff, v. Plzak

PEM fuel cell bipolar separator


Applicant: Institute of Gas Technology, USA A gas-impervious bipolar separator plate for a proton exchange membrane fuel cell is described. Between 50 wt% and 95 wt% of the plate is an electronically conductive material, and at least 5 wt% of the plate is resin. A hydrophilic agenr is also present. The electronically conductive material, resin and hydrophilic agent are uniformly dispersed throughout rhe separator plate. Patent number: WO 98153514 Publication date: 26 November 1998


G.J. Concar,





of a catalyst

Applicant: Forschungszentrum Jiilich GmbH, Germany The patent describes a method for producing an electrolyte unit with a catalytically active coating. Dissolved metal salt is placed in the form of a coating between the electrolyte coating and the electrode, and metal is electrochemically separated from the metal salt. One advantage is that no expensive electroplating baths are required for production. The catalytically active metal is deposited in targeted manner on the three-phase zone, which minimises rhe use of expensive precious metals. The electrolyre unit can be used in fuel cells, for example. Patent number: WO 98153515 Publication date: 26 November 1998 Inventors: J. Divisek, H.-F. Oetjen, V.M. Schmidt

Reformer to cut CO and methanol concentrations Applirant: Toyota Jidosha KK, Japan The fuel reformer here includes a unit for receiving methanol and water and producing a hydrogen-rich reformed gas, and and a partial oxiditation unit filled with a PtRu alloy catalyst for oxidising CO in the reformed gas. The PtRu alloy catalyst in the partial oxidation unit reduces the concentration of CO in rhe hydrogen-rich gas containing a trace amount of methanol to several ppm in its active temperature range from 80°C to 100°C. This structure enables a gaseous fuel with extremely low concentrations of methanol and CO to be produced by the fuel reformer and supplied to PEM fuel cells, which have an extremely low tolerance to CO. Patent number: US 5843195 Publication date: 1 December 1998 Inventor: S. Aoyama

Spray-drying electrode

a catalyst layer on an

Applicants: Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo KK, Japan; M. Watanabe (Japan); Stonehart Associates Inc, USA The patent describes a process for forming a lo-200 pm thick electrocatalyst layer on the surface of an electrode for a solid polymer electrolyte fuel cell. It comprises spray-drying an organic solvent dispersion or paste containing pulverised particles of: (a) an electrocatalyst and an ion-exchange resin, or (6) an electrocatalyst, an ion-exchange resin and a hydrophobic resin, onto the surface of the electrode. This produces an electrocatalyst layer comprising granulated electrocaralyst particles coated with the ionexchange resin or coated with rhe ion-exchange and hydrophobic resins. Patent number: US 58435 19 Publication dote: 1 December 1998 Inventor: T. Tada

Fuel Cells Bulletin No. 5