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Bac2 Introduces Blank Bipolar Plates for Rapid Fuel Cell Prototyping

Fuel cell materials company Bac2 will launch blank bipolar plates for polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells, its first standard product, at the Fuel Cell Pavilion, Hall 13, during Hannover Messe 2008 (21-25 April). The plates, based on Bac2’s conductive polymer ElectroPhen, can be machined more simply than metal plates, making them suited for fuel cell prototyping and development work.

The structure of a fuel cell stack. Click to enlarge.

Each plate measures 300mm x 200mm x 3mm and its conductivity exceeds US Department of Energy (DOE) specifications for use in automotive applications. Bac2 anticipates that customers will purchase blank plates for fuel cell stack evaluation before moving to custom-moulded ElectroPhen plates to take maximum advantage of the material’s performance and low cost in mass production.

Bipolar plates make up to 30% of the cost of a PEM fuel cell stack. The ElectroPhen material has a raw state conductivity one billion times higher than commonly used resin binders, which means that no post-processing, such as extreme temperature or surface machining, is required to meet conductivity goals. ElectroPhen plates are easily moulded and economical to produce in high volume.

The material can be customized with plasticizers, reinforcers, and conductive filler, allowing fine-tuning of its characteristics for specific applications. ElecroPhen is thermally stable, resilient to temperature and inert towards fuel cell catalysts and membranes. It cures at room temperature and its basic raw materials are widely available from major chemical suppliers.


tom deplume

I thought PEM stood for proton exchange membrane?


Does this mean the device would operate more efficiently with a ProzacHCL-H2 blend?


When you look on the web you see companies that make fuel cell components. There are companies that specialize in ceramics and nanotechnology coatings for planer SOFC stacks. They use the methods that they have developed for other applications and offer products and services to the OEM fuel cell industry. It takes a whole chain of companies to make a viable high volume industry and this is one example.

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