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Methods of Conditioning Direct Methanol Fuel Cells

Los Alamos National Laboratory

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Technology Marketing Summary

Methods for conditioning the membrane electrode assembly of a direct methanol fuel cell ("DMFC") are disclosed. In a first method, an electrical current of polarity opposite to that used in a functioning direct methanol fuel cell is passed through the anode surface of the membrane electrode assembly. In a second method, methanol is supplied to an anode surface of the membrane electrode assembly, allowed to cross over the polymer electrolyte membrane of the membrane electrode assembly to a cathode surface of the membrane electrode assembly, and an electrical current of polarity opposite to that in a functioning direct methanol fuel cell is drawn through the membrane electrode assembly, wherein methanol is oxidized at the cathode surface of the membrane electrode assembly while the catalyst on the anode surface is reduced. Surface oxides on the direct methanol fuel cell anode catalyst of the membrane electrode assembly are thereby reduced.

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This patent is offered for Non-Exclusive licensing through Los Alamos National Laboratory's Express Licensing Program.  The financial terms for an Express License are listed below:

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Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Date
Patent 6,962,760
Patent
6,962,760
Methods of conditioning direct methanol fuel cells
Methods for conditioning the membrane electrode assembly of a direct methanol fuel cell ("DMFC") are disclosed. In a first method, an electrical current of polarity opposite to that used in a functioning direct methanol fuel cell is passed through the anode surface of the membrane electrode assembly. In a second method, methanol is supplied to an anode surface of the membrane electrode assembly, allowed to cross over the polymer electrolyte membrane of the membrane electrode assembly to a cathode surface of the membrane electrode assembly, and an electrical current of polarity opposite to that in a functioning direct methanol fuel cell is drawn through the membrane electrode assembly, wherein methanol is oxidized at the cathode surface of the membrane electrode assembly while the catalyst on the anode surface is reduced. Surface oxides on the direct methanol fuel cell anode catalyst of the membrane electrode assembly are thereby reduced.
Los Alamos National Laboratory 11/08/2005
Issued
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
DOE S-94,796PrototypeAvailable03/28/201303/28/2013

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To: Laura Barber<Licensing@lanl.gov>