The new development in the field of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is high temperature PEMFC for operation above 100°C, which has been successfully demonstrated through the previous EC Joule III and the 5th framework programme. New challenges are encountered, bottlenecks for the new technology have been identified, and new concepts and solutions have been provisionally identified. FURIM is directed at tackling these key issues by concentrating on the further materials development, compatible technologies, and system integration of the high temperature PEMFC. The strategic developments of the FURIM are in three steps: (1) further improvement of the high temperature polymer membranes and related materials; (2) development of technological units including fuel cell stack, hydrocarbon reformer and afterburner, that are compatible with the HT-PEMFC; and (3) integration of the HT-PEMFC stack with these compatible subunits. The main goal of the project is a 2kWel HT-PEMFC stack operating in a temperature range of 150-200°C, with a single cell performance target of 0.7 A/cm² at a cell voltage around 0.6 V. The target durability is more than 5,000 hours. A hydrocarbon reformer and a catalytic burner are to be developed and integrated with the stack. The key issue of the project is development and improvement of the temperature-resistant polymer membranes with respect to durability, conductivity, mechanical and other properties. For this purpose, basic polymers will be first synthesized and optimized. Different routes to functionalize the polymers will be explored to increate proton conductivity.
By the development of advanced materials, demonstration of the high temperature PEMFC stack and integration of such a system, FURIM is expected to sufficiently promote the commercialisation of the fuel cell technology for both vehicle propulsion and stationary applications.