Advanced Membrane Electrode Assemblies (MEA) for Fuel Cells

NCMS Project #: 142060

Problem: Fuel cell Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) technology is still in its infancy, and its lack of robustness is a prime degrader that contributes to the overall reluctance for wider adoption currently.  Efforts to improve the electrochemical performance and stability of the PEM through advanced layering can enhance the performance and durability of the fuel cell providing higher quality of environmentally friendly power as an energy conversion system.

Benefit: Electric vehicles only require minimal battery maintenance which is of minimal cost when compared to the maintenance costs for internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.  Advancing fuel cell technology is important to providing highly efficient, durable, mobile electricity power sources for consumer equipment and vehicles, by reducing the number of moving parts and eliminating the maintenance associated with them. 

Solution/Approach: The objective of this initiative is to develop high-temperature Polymer-Inorganic Composite (PIC) proton-exchange membranes and related nanostructured electrodes for improving the electrochemical performance and durability of hydrogen fuel cells for ground vehicles to withstand harsher environments and mission requirements, while improving sustainability.

Impact on Warfighter:

  • Reduce fossil fuel consumption, pollution and environmental impacts 
  • Decrease overall maintenance and sustainment costs 
  • Increase safety and survivability 
  • Improve warfighter lethality, mobility, and reliability 

DOD Participation:

  • U.S. Army CCDC Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC)

Industry Participation:

  • PPG Industries, Inc.
  • NCMS

Benefit Area(s):

  • Cost savings
  • Maintenance avoidance and reliability
  • Positive environmental impact
  • Safety
  • Maintenance management improvement
  • Improved readiness
  • Energy efficiency
  • Durability
  • Reliability improvement

Focus Area:

  • Energy, environmental, health, and safety