Ecolectro Announces SBIR Funding to Tailor Fuel Cell Membranes to Electrolyzers for Solar Hydrogen Production

By April 30, 2019 3   min read  (442 words)

April 30, 2019 |

ecolectro wins award

Ecolectro, Inc. announced the recent funding of a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the US Department of Energy Office of Science to develop membranes for solar hydrogen generators.

Demonstration of efficient renewable production of hydrogen will be a major advance toward the commercial adoption of hydrogen fuel cells for many applications. To that end, the Department of Energy sought new membrane materials to meet parameters specific to photoelectrochemical fuels generation including low gas permeability, diurnal variation of sunlight and operation at temperature extremes. In an expansion of Ecolectro’s existing commercial applications, new polymers for AEMs will be synthesized and characterized for their ability to specifically address gas permeability, conductivity, ion exchange capacity, mechanical and thermal properties, and chemical and photo stability.

Ecolectro Chief Scientific Officer and Principal Investigator Kristina Hugar, PhD said “Solar fuels generation is a new application for our alkaline exchange membranes. We will use this grant to identify and evaluate new polymer compositions against the technical limitations of membranes currently used in the field while also showcasing the adaptability of our membranes.”

About Ecolectro

Ecolectro develops durable and highly conductive polymer membranes for a range of applications, including electrolysis and fuel cell systems that improve performance and decrease costs dramatically. Ecolectro is a client company of the Kevin M. McGovern Family Center for Venture Development in the Life Sciences at Cornell University. Since its founding in 2015, Ecolectro has been awarded approximately $2.7M in federal, state and local grant funding to improve the properties of its materials, to validate device performance and for pilot scale manufacturing.

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