NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 X8.01-8858
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Fuel Cells and Electrolyzers for Space Applications
PROPOSAL TITLE: Develop Hydrophilic Conductive Coating Technology with High Oxidation Resistance for Non-flow-through PEM Fuel Cells and Electrolyzers

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
ElectroChem, Inc.
400 West Cummings Park
Woburn, MA 01801 - 1046
(781) 938-5300

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Michael Pien, Ph.D.
ElectroChem, 400 West Cummings Park
Woburn, MA 01801 - 1046
(781) 938-5300

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
ElectroChem proposes to develop oxidation resistant, electrically conductive, hydrophilic coatings in PEM fuel cells and in PEM electrolyzers. The use of hydrophilic coatings can improve the transport of the water within the cells resulting in higher electrochemical performance. However, the successful development of oxidation resistant hydrophilic coatings will be the key requirement due to the fuel cell and electrolyzer oxidation environment

Oxidation resistant coatings will be developed on metal substrates using both inorganic and organic coating processes using conductive hydrophilic materials. In these processes, cross-linking of the inorganic and organic materials with the metallic substrate is a key to successfully obtaining coatings with excellent performance and durability. Advanced methods will be developed to control the degree of cross-linking and retaining hydrophilicity in order to obtain the required oxidation resistance for the electrically conductive, hydrophilic coatings.

All coatings developed in Ph I will be tested for oxidation resistance, conductivity, and hydrophilic character. In Ph II, the most promising coatings will be evaluated via their performance in PEM non-flow-through fuel cells and in electrolyzers.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Extended missions to the Lunar and Martian surface depend upon the efficient storage of energy for base power use during long nighttime periods. The passive PEM Regenerative Fuel Cell (RFC) is a leading candidate to fill these energy storage requirements. The development of efficient hydrophilic coatings to control water transport within the RFC would be a valuable application to NASA of this new technology development.

In addition, should NASA requirements dictate a Unitized RFC for the Mars mission, very efficient, highly reliable, oxidative resistant, electrically conductive, hydrophilic coatings could classify as enabling technology for the Unitized RFC.

The hydrophilic coatings technology could also satisfy NASA applications in PEM fuel cell primary and RFC power for Shuttle-type vehicles and Lunar Rovers. And where hydrogen is required by NASA, hydrophilic coatings could be very valuable for PEM electrolyzer/hydrogen generators.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
These hydrophilic coatings can be used in industrial applications where due to the existing conditions oxidation resistance causes inefficiency in the performance.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.)
Coatings/Surface Treatments

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12