NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 X8.01-9217
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Fuel Cells and Electrolyzers for Space Applications
PROPOSAL TITLE: Novel Membrane for Highly Efficient Fuel Cells

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
EIC Laboratories, Inc.
111 Downey Street
Norwood, MA 02062 - 2612
(781) 769-9450

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Fei Wang
EIC Laboratories
Norwood, MA 02062 - 2612
(781) 769-9450

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 1
End: 2

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells and electrolyzers are key technologies for NASA space systems utilizing hydrogen, oxygen, or water as reactants. In order to improve the life and reliability of the electrochemical stacks within these systems, as well as to reduce overall system mass/volume and cost, development of membrane-electrode-assemblies (MEAs) that are stable and highly efficient is critical. Currently, the state-of-the-art membranes used in fuel cell systems are perfluorocarbon sulfonate based materials such as NafionREG which show excellent stability and conductivity under hydrated condition at low temperature (T ≤ 80˚C). However, higher operating temperatures (T > 130˚C) would provide several advantages for fuel cell operation. Advantages include higher operating currents, improved CO tolerance, simpler and more efficient heat management, simpler water management and potential use of non-platinum catalysts. In this program, EIC Laboratories will develop novel PEM membranes that are insensitive to hydration for use at elevated temperatures and which can be synthesized inexpensively in bulk.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA requires fuel cells operating on hydrogen and oxygen to provide power for vehicular and extraterrestrial missions. In combination with an electroyzer, fuel cells may be used in a closed loop electricity generation system for lunar and planetary settlements. NASA applications for electrical power generation include space station, EVA and longterm onboard interplanetary missions.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Fuel cell technologies are the leading alternative to batteries for portable power and to internal combustion and diesel engines for transportation and distributed power generation. They also have numerous military applications and markets, including power stations for remote base deployment, onboard soldier power for communications systems. A successful block copolymer PEM will permit efficient high temperature fuel cell operation at various conditions. This will be a truly enabling technology with enormous commercial potential. The market potential is enormous with projected fuel cell increases approaching 40% annually and a market size for power sources of $ 10 billions.

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.)
Processing Methods
Sources (Renewable, Nonrenewable)

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12