Ecolectro is developing alkaline exchange membranes and ionomers to enable low-cost fuel cell and electrolyzer technologies. Ecolectro’s membranes and ionomers are resilient to the harsh operating conditions present in existing alkaline exchange membranes that prevent their widespread adoption in commercial applications. This technology would be simple, cost effective, and well-suited to large-scale processing. Further, Ecolectro’s membranes would demonstrate comparable durability and improved efficiency over state-of-the-art proton exchange membranes.
ITHACA, N.Y. — Ecolectro Inc., innovator of disruptive low-cost, high-performance polymers for electrochemical applications, announced today its selection by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) for an award that will support the continued development of its premier alkaline exchange ionomers and membranes. These alkaline exchange materials are used to fabricate devices that are found in hydrogen fuel cells and in electrolyzers used for hydrogen fuel production.
Ecolectro’s polymers do not require cost-prohibitive platinum group metals, a feature that dramatically lowers the cost of hydrogen fuel cells and electrolyzers. The membranes have unmatched chemical stability, high conductivity and are mechanically robust. They provide a simple and durable route to clean renewable electricity and hydrogen production. As more effective and less expensive alternatives to existing products, Ecolectro’s polymer membranes are poised to dominate the industry. Ecolectro will be partnering with Proton OnSite and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory for this project.
“We are pleased that ARPA-E and Department of Energy recognizes the value of our breakthrough technology. Their significant investment affirms our product development and corporate growth strategy,” said Dr. Kristina M. Hugar CSO of Ecolectro and Principal Investigator on the project. Additional growth is expected through adoption of fuel cell and electrolyzer technologies by a broader array of commercial applications. Ecolectro is a client company of the Kevin M. McGovern Family Center for Venture Development in the Life Sciences at Cornell University and received support from the National Science Foundation and NYSERDA.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will be supporting part of the project, as part of its Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with ARPA-E to work together to stimulate development of high-potential, high-impact clean energy technologies in New York State. The advancement of new, innovative technologies plays a critical role in developing New York’s clean energy economy and achieving Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s nation-leading energy goals.