Fuel cells and electrolyzers

Enhanced durability and performance under the most extreme corrosion enviroments.

Hydrogen economy offers a broad range of benefits for the environment, providing highly efficient energy conversion, fuel flexibility, reduced air pollution, and highly reliable grid support. Electrolyzers and fuel cells can provide these benefits and address critical challenges in all energy sectors: commercial, residential, industrial, and transportation.

Cost reduction and high efficiency are the mayor challenges for sustainable H2 applications via proton Exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells and electrolyzers. Titanium and graphite-based components such as bipolar plates (BPP) have the largest contribution to the capital cost. Ultrathin sheet stainless steel shows high levels of electrical and thermal conductivity, high mechanical strength and low costs, as main alternative material for BPPs. However, stainless steel has poor corrosion resistance in the strong acidic and humid environment inside PEM fuel cells and electrolyzers, and the leached ions are toxic to the proton exchange membrane.

The deposition of high-quality coatings to protect stainless steel from corrosion and achieve high conductivity is critical to maximize the potential in hydrogen applications. Nano4Energy has developed coatings in order to suit these requirements

Nano4Energy carbon-based coatings for fuel cells

Our carbon coatings deposited by bipolar HiPIMS technology reduce contact resistance (ICR) and improve corrosion.  A HiPIMS metal ion etching pretreatment is applied in order to remove surface contaminants and generate a metallic interface. A corrosion resistant interlayer is deposited to enhance durability and guarantee optimum finishing. A denser and defect-free carbon coating is applied to provide high conductivity during normal operating conditions (0.6 – 0.8 V) and also to withstand high voltages (1.4 – 1.8 V) that may occur under extreme transitory conditions. The obtained results show a clear advantage as compared with conventional sputtered carbon and expensive gold coatings.

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