Elcomax GmbH

Munchen, Germany

Elcomax GmbH

Munchen, Germany

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Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP.2012.1.1-1 | Award Amount: 3.07M | Year: 2013

The main general goal of DECORE is to achieve the fundamental knowledge needed for the development of a fuel cell (FC) electrode, which can operate efficiently (both in terms of activity and selectivity) as the anode of a direct ethanol (EOH) FC (DEFC) in the temperature range between 150-200 C (intermediate-T). Such a technology is still lacking in the market. The choice for EOH as an alternative energy source is well founded on the abundance of bioethanol, and on the relatively simpler storage and use with respect to other energy carriers. The intermediate-T is required for an efficient and selective total conversion of EOH to CO2, so exploiting the maximum number of electrons in the DEFC. DECORE will explore the use of fully innovative supports (based on titanium oxycarbide, TiOxCy) and nano-catalysts (based on group 6 metal carbides, MCx, M=Mo,W), which have never been tested in literature as anodes for DEFCs. The new support is expected to be more durable than standard carbon supports at the targeted temperature. The innovative nano-catalysts would be noble-metal free, so reducing Europes reliance on imported precious metals. To tailor the needed materials, the active role of the support and nano-catalyst will be studied at atomic level. Demonstrating an activity of such nano-catalyst/support assembly at intermediate-T would open a novel route where DEFCs with strongly reduced production costs would have an impact on a fast industrialisation. The power range for the envisioned application is of the order of hundreds of Watts, i.e. the so called distributed generation, having an impact for devices such as weather stations, medical devices, signal units, auxiliary power units, gas sensors and security cameras. By the end of the project, a bench-top single DEFC operating at intermediate-T will be built and tested.


Patent
Elcomax GmbH and Rhein Chemie Rheinau GmbH | Date: 2010-12-14

The invention relates to the use of a material imparting proton conductivity in the production of fuel cells, said material consisting of monomer units and having an irregular shape.


Patent
Elcomax GmbH, Lanxess Deutschland GmbH and Rhein Chemie Rheinau GmbH | Date: 2010-12-14

The invention relates to a gas diffusion electrode for polymer electrolyte fuel cells having a working temperature of up to 250 C., comprising a plurality of gas-permeable electroconductive layers having at least one gas diffusion layer and one catalyst layer. The catalyst layer contains particles of an average particle diameter in the nanometer range, said particles containing ionogenic groups. The invention also relates to the production of said gas diffusion electrode and to the use of same in high-temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells.


Perchthaler M.,Elcomax GmbH | Ossiander T.,Elcomax GmbH | Juhart V.,Elcomax GmbH | Mitzel J.,Saarland University | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Power Sources | Year: 2013

Durable platinum catalyst support materials, e.g. tungsten carbide (WC), tungsten oxide (WOx) and self-synthesized tungsten oxide (WO xs) were evaluated for the use in High-Temperature Proton Exchange Fuel Cells (HT-PEM) based on phosphoric acid doped polybenzimidazole as electrolyte. The support materials and the catalyst loaded support materials were characterized ex-situ by cyclic voltammetry in HClO4, potential cycling, CO-stripping, electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction measurements. The tungsten oxide and tungsten carbide based supported catalysts were compared to High Surface Area Carbon (HSAC), each coated with platinum via the same in-house manufacturing procedures. The in-house manufacturing procedures resulted in catalyst particle sizes on HSAC of 3-4 nm with a uniform distribution. The in-situ Potential Cycling experiments of WOx or WOxs supported catalysts showed much lower degradation rates compared to High Surface Area Carbons. The formation of WOx species on WC was proven by ex- and in-situ cyclic voltammetric studies and thermogravimetric analyses. X-ray diffraction, ex-situ cyclic voltammetry and in-situ cyclic voltammetry showed that WOx is formed from WC as starting material under oxidizing conditions. Finally a 1000 h durability test with WOx as catalyst support material on the anode was done in a HT-PEM fuel cell with reformed methanol on the anode. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Mitzel J.,Saarland University | Arena F.,Saarland University | Natter H.,Saarland University | Walter T.,Elcomax GmbH | And 3 more authors.
International Journal of Hydrogen Energy | Year: 2012

Up to 30% of the expensive catalyst metal in conventional fuel cell catalysts is not utilized in fuel cells caused by an absence of contact to either the ion conducting, electron conducting or educt phase. This contact can be improved by in situ electrodeposition with a precursor layer which is mostly done in a galvanostatic mode in the literature. In this paper electrochemical deposition with a hydrogen depolarized anode is described and so a potentiostatic electrodeposition under the control of the working-electrode potential and dry working-electrode conditions is enabled. This potentiostatic electrodeposition with a hydrogen depolarized anode significantly increases the performance of the fuel cell. © 2011, Hydrogen Energy Publications, LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights.


Ossiander T.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Heinzl C.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Gleich S.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Schonberger F.,Elcomax GmbH | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Membrane Science | Year: 2014

The life time stability of membrane material is one of the major parameters regarding reliability of high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. Present work has improved fuel cell durability and chemical stability by incorporating cross-linked silica particles in phosphoric acid doped poly(2,2'-m-phenylene-5,5'-bibenzimidazole) membranes. Three different silica particle contents were generated in membranes by in-situ sol-gel reaction from the precursor tetraethoxy silane and cross-linked to the polymer chains by using (3-glycidoxypropyl)-methyldiethoxysilane. The size, shape and distribution of the silica nanoparticles were examined by transmission electron microscopy. The amorphous characteristics and the chemical composition of the silica particles were investigated using X-ray diffraction, electron diffraction and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. Detailed statistical analysis showed that by increasing the tetraethoxy silane content, the particle size was reduced while the amount of particles was increased. Ex-situ membrane characterization and in-situ membrane electrode assembly testing revealed a high influence of the silica content on the mechanical stability and start-stop-cycling behavior. The improved lifetime durability of the organic-inorganic composite membrane was proven in comparison to the pure polybenzimidazole membrane in membrane electrode assemblies over 1300. h under constant fuel cell operation in reformate. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Heinzl C.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Ossiander T.,Elcomax GmbH | Gleich S.,Max Planck Institute Für Eisenforschung | Scheu C.,Max Planck Institute Für Eisenforschung
Journal of Membrane Science | Year: 2015

The incorporation of silica nanostructures in polymer membranes is beneficial for the chemical, mechanical and the life time stability of high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Since the properties are closely related to the morphology and chemical composition of the constituents, their detailed investigation is of importance. In this paper transmission electron microscopy is utilized to study cross-linked silica nanoparticles in phosphoric acid doped polybenzimidazole membranes, which are formed by an in-situ sol-gel reaction using varying reaction parameters. The results show that by an additional heating step before membrane casting, several hundred nanometer large, ellipsoidal silica particles are formed in the membrane. Small, elongated nanoparticles with sizes in the range of about 20. nm are present in all samples independent of the heat treatment. In-depth energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and electron energy loss spectroscopy analysis proved the homogeneous distribution and composition of the amorphous silica nanoparticles and revealed that no enrichment occurs at the interface between nanoparticles and polymer. The ex-situ membrane investigations reveal a higher chemical and mechanical stability for membranes containing the large, ellipsoidal particles. However, the membrane with only smaller silica nanoparticles shows a better degradation behavior than the membrane with large particles. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


The present invention relates to a polymer electrolyte membrane for fuel cells, comprising a polymer matrix of at least one basic polymer and one or more doping agents, wherein particles containing ionogenic groups and having a mean particle diameter in the nanometer range are embedded in the polymer matrix and the particles containing ionogenic groups are distributed homogeneously in the polymer matrix in a concentration of less than 50% relative to the weight of the polymer matrix, as well as to the production and use of same, especially in high-temperature fuel cells.


A method is provided for producing a membrane electrode unit, provided with a peripheral seal and a peripheral sealing frame for an electrochemical cell, comprising the steps of: (A) producing a sandwich-like arrangement, forming the membrane electrode unit, from a membrane and two gas diffusion electrodes, (B) connecting the sandwich-like arrangement to a seal that extends around said electrodes at the lateral outer edge thereof, said seal at the same time establishing the connection to the sealing frame that extends laterally around the membrane electrode unit.


Patent
Elcomax GmbH | Date: 2012-05-02

A method for generating a catalyst-containing electrode layer on a substrate, particularly a catalyst layer for fuel cells or other chemical or electrochemical reactors, comprising the following steps: (A) generating an electrode layer on the substrate, wherein the electrode layer contains carrier particles for the catalyst to be deposited thereon; and simultaneously or subsequently: (B) depositing the catalyst on at least a portion of the carrier particles present in the electrode layer generated according to step (A) with decomposition of a catalyst precursor present not only superficially in the electrode layer, without external application of an electric current, an electric voltage, or an electric field, wherein no washing step takes place that could cause a discharge of the catalyst from the layer.

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