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Celanese AG. (Technology Spotlight).

Last month a new manufacturing facility opened in Frankfurt, Germany that will build high temperature membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) for fuel cells. Celanese AG has developed a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell that can be used in microapplications, such as mobile telephones and small appliances, as well as larger applications such as small power plants and cars and buses. At the heart of the PEM fuel cell is the MEA, where hydrogen and oxygen react to generate electricity and heat. Conventional PEM fuel cells operate in temperatures around 100[degrees]C, whereas the high temperature MBA, working at temperatures up to 200[degrees]C, is more resistant to carbon monoxide impurities in the hydrogen, while water and heat management is simplified and more cost-effective. The MEA consists of catalysts, gas diffusion layers, and the Celtec membrane, made with the company's temperature-resistant polymer polybenzimidazole. This membrane is permeable to protons and has electrodes on both sides. Protons are generated on the hydrogen electrode in an electrochemical reaction and are then transported through the membrane. Reduced oxygen from the oxygen electrode then combines with the hydrogen protons to form water. To balance the charge, an electric current flows in the outer electric circuit between the electrodes, which can then be used to power electrical consumer loads.

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Author:Gooch, Stephanie; Mandel, Richard
Geographic Code:4EUGE
Date:Oct 1, 2002
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