Perfluorosulfonic acid ionomers (PFSA) demonstrate excellent properties in terms of chemical resistance in a fuel cell environment. In stationary applications, where the situation of deep MEA dehydration and frequent open circuit voltage events can be reasonably avoided, the most relevant failure mode in extended life time operation is associated with membrane mechanical failure.
The objective of MAESTRO is toimprove the mechanical properties of low equivalent weight state of the art perfluorosulfonic acid membranes using chemical and thermal processing and filler reinforcement methodologies.
Stabilised membranes will be comprehensively characterised for their ex situ properties and screened and selected membranes will be integrated into MEAs and validated by evaluating single cell performance and durability under conditions relevant for stationary operation, including the development and application of accelerated stress testing. In the final phase of the project the most promising membranes will be tested in a 4000 h durability test, simulating 10% of the expected lifetime of a stationary system to have a realistic projection of the expected degradation at 40,000 h.