Stable Diacid Coordinated Quaternary Ammonium Polymers for 80-150°C Fuel Cells

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OPEN 2018
Los Alamos, New Mexico
Project Term:
07/29/2019 - 07/31/2023

Technology Description:

Los Alamos National Laboratory will develop proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells for light-duty vehicles that operate on hydrogen or dimethyl ether (DME) fuel in the temperature range of 80-230°C (176-446°F) without first warming or humidifying the incoming fuel stream. The team’s concept uses a new polymer-based PEM that will provide high conductivity across a wide temperature range and can operate without humidification, simplifying the system components necessary to keep the cell running effectively, streamlining design, and reducing system size and costs, which are crucial for light duty vehicles. Developments from the project may be useful for other energy conversion technologies, such as ammonia production and high-temperature direct liquid fuel cells for heavy-duty vehicles.

Potential Impact:

This project aims to develop polymer electrolyte fuel cells that can operate at 80–230°C without humidification using a novel class of proton exchange membranes (PEMs).


Program innovations could result in efficient energy conversion solutions for the transportation sector. The project’s success could ensure U.S. leadership in advanced energy technologies and manufacturing.


Extending the operating temperature of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells will provide a more fuel efficient, less polluting means of transportation for light duty vehicles compared with standard combustion engines. This technology may be useful for other energy conversion technologies, such as electrochemical ammonia synthesis, CO2 reduction, high temperature direct liquid fuel cells, and combined heat and power applications.


High temperature (80-230°C) operation without humidification could enable cost savings of $7.5/kW by eliminating or reducing the size of BOP components such as the humidifier, cathode intercooler, demister, and radiator, making light duty PEM fuel cell vehicles more commercially attractive.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Halle Cheeseman
Project Contact:
Dr. Yu Seung Kim
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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