Asahi Glass Develops Durable Membrane for Auto Fuel Cells

Asahi Glass Co. announced Tuesday that it has developed a fluorine-based membrane electrode assembly that is more than 40 times as durable as the company's conventional product.

Membrane electrode assemblies are core components of polymer electrolyte fuel cells.

Although high temperatures create a hole in the firm's conventional material or tear it off, the new membrane electrode assembly is not prone to these problems.

The company targets applications of the material for automotive fuel cells, which need to withstand severe operating conditions.

The new material is a fluorine-based proton-conductive polymer composite.

The company has strengthened the molecular bonds by controlling molecular structures.

Asahi Glass tested the material at 120 C and 50% humidity, an environment close to those of automotive fuel cells. The material withstood more than 2,000 hours of continuous use, the company said. The conventional material degrades after 50 hours.

With the new product, Asahi Glass has effectively solved the durability problem.

It will now work to improve ionic conductivity and reduce production costs as well.

The company plans to commercialize the product within a few years.

600450 Asahi Glass Develops Durable Membrane for Auto Fuel Cells
Date: 30 September 2004

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