Materials for Proton Exchange Membranes and Membrane Electrode Assemblies for PEM Fuel Cells

Materials for Proton Exchange Membranes and Membrane Electrode Assemblies for PEM Fuel Cells

  • June 2018 •
  • 290 pages •
  • Report ID: 341181
Report Scope
The fuel cell industry in various forms has been developing for decades.There are notable examples of fuel cell successes.

The PEMFC is emerging as a winner in many of the primary categories that fuel cells can satisfy.Existing membranes and assemblies still have room for improvement.

PEMFC development and commercialization is an ever-changing process.This BCC Research analysis examines the market and technology for the materials and technology of proton exchange membranes and electrode assemblies and for bipolar plates for PEMFCs, including direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs).

This includes the gas diffusion layer (GDL), the catalyst ink/electrode, the membrane itself and the bipolar plate. Ancillary stack assembly materials such as bolts, gaskets, tie-outs, and final assembly and packaging costs are excluded.

This report details the actuals for 2016 and 2017, forecasts for 2022, and compound annual growth rate (CAGR) projections for 2017 through 2022.A patent analysis and discussion for power sources and vehicle components describes where research is performed and emphasizes intellectual property issues.

An extensive set of company profiles is provided.

Report Includes
- 58 tables
- An overview of the global market for components for proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) membrane electrode assembly (MEA)
- Analyses of global market trends, with data from 2016 and 2017, and projections of compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) through 2022
- Examination of bipolar plates for PEMFCs, including direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs); this includes the gas diffusion layer (GDL), the catalyst ink/electrode, the membrane itself, and the bipolar plate
- Discussion covering the history and technological advancement of these components, the companies involved in these developments, the current and projected incentives, and the projected markets for such technologies
- Patent analyses as well as discussion covering power sources and vehicle components, emphasizing intellectual property issues
- Profiles of major companies in the industry, including 3M, Ballard Power Systems, Hydrogenics Corp., Showa Denko K.K (SDK) and Plug Power

Summary
This analysis emphasizes the following types of proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) membrane electrode assembly (MEA) components:
- Membranes.
- Gaseous diffusion layers and bipolar plates.
- Catalysts and inks.

The huge potential profits being sought by corporations in the fuel cell industry remain a driving force in a seemingly chaotic expansion of technological innovations.There remain barriers to PEMFC’s wider scale use, especially in automotive transportation.

Consumer desire for premium portable power is pulling PEMFCs into the commercial arena without much help from the U.S. government. Stationary and distributed power using fuel cells are somewhere in between the status of premium portable power and automotive use of fuel cells.

Limits in the power and durability of lithium ion/polymer battery technology are being reached at the same time material availability and improvements in manufacturability are reducing prices.The consumer’s desire for portable electronics of longer runtimes, fast recharging and greater durability is increasing.

Environmental issues with battery disposals are being heard along with concerns over fluorine containing proton exchange membranes. The direct methanol fuel cell is an important subset of the PEMFC that is gaining in importance, especially for portable power.

The MEA in its simplest form consists of a polymer ion selective membrane coated with a catalyst and then covered or enclosed with a conductive diffusion material.The MEA is between two conductive plates forming a fuel cell.

When hydrogen is fed to the anode of the fuel cell and comes into contact with the catalyst, hydrogen is split into hydrogen ions (protons) and electrons.The ion selective membrane lets the protons pass through it and the electrons are retained and forced to follow an external circuit, creating a flow of electricity.

This report examines the membranes, the bipolar plates, the gaseous diffusion layer and carbons, and the catalyst/inks.

The reign of the fluoropolymers PEM continues, but the absolute dominance of the fluoropolymers electrolyte has decreased somewhat.New materials such as the functionalized hydrocarbon PEM can decrease costs and increase performance and durability in certain applications.

These functionalized hydrocarbons decrease metal plate corrosion problems and offer improved conductivity at lower relative humidity. This is proving especially important in transportation PEMFCs.

The following table summarizes the value of components for PEMFC MEA as defined by the membrane, the bipolar plates, the gaseous diffusion layers, and the catalysts used.
Country=World Industry=EnergyStorage ParentIndustry=HeavyIndustry Date=201806 Publisher=BCCResearch Price=5000