Tetramer Technologies was awarded a Phase I contract (DE-SC0018535) from the Department of Energy (DOE) to develop improved PEM fuel cell catalyst layers. These catalyst layers will be designed to allow high performance with ultra-low-loadings of platinum group metal catalysts by addressing the mass transport limitations seen in catalyst layers, especially at high current densities. This technology will not only help accelerate automotive fuel cells and stationary fuel cells, but will also provide a platform that could significantly influence many electrochemical processes reducing the costs for those processes as well.
During this Phase I, Tetramer will design new polymer architectures which provide oxygen transport pathways while mitigating degradation of the ionomer. The optimization and demonstration of improved fuel cell catalyst ionomers based on new molecular architectures will be achieved using higher conductivities, improved water, oxygen, and hydrogen permeabilities while exhibiting durability and minimizing the potential for adsorption on platinum. Characterization of transport properties for these new ionomers will be utilized to identify improved catalyst layer polymer structures.