Discover, Connect & Collaborate at TECHINNOVATION 2021

Reinforced Composite Membrane for Fuel Cell

Technology Overview

Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC), also called polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells are used primarily for transportation applications in buses and heavy-duty trucks, as well as some stationary applications. It delivers high power density and offer the advantages of low weight and volume compared with other fuel cells.

Typically composed of a perfluorinated sulfonic acid (PFSA) ionomer and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) reinforcement, the proton exchange membrane used in PEMFC are susceptible to physical and chemical degradations induced through the repeated expansion and shrinkage of the ionomer and free radical attacks. Such degradations essentially originate from the loose structure of the materials and the low interactive binding force among the PEM constituents.

Given the above challenges, the technology owner from South Korea has developed a manufacturing process technology that enables improved impregnability of ionomers in PTFE membrane, by controlling the hydrodynamic particle size of the ionomer polymer chain and reforming the surface of PTFE membrane into hydrophilic property. In addition, the mechanical properties and chemical durability of the PTFE-reinforced PEM is further enhanced by inserting the PTFE membrane between the ionomer layers. The entire fabrication process is performed at room temperature and pressure conditions, thus reducing the production cost.

The technology owner is seeking industry partners, preferably full stack manufacturers or manufacturers involving in membrane electrode assembly (MEA) to license and adopt the technology. Currently, the technology owner is in the process of developing a power pack module based on the enhanced PEM that can boost the flight time for drones. The technology owner may also support the integration and demonstration of its solution for other applications.

Technology Features, Specifications and Advantages

  • The membrane can be manufactured with the maximum width of 760mm in various thicknesses, which is the widest in the market till date. With increased size, the PTFE-reinforced PEM makes it possible to reduce the number of stacks in PEMFC.
  • Reduces heat generation and weight, while increasing the power and capacity of PEMFC.
  • Better performance than existing casting type membrane, with excellent ion conductivity, mechanical and chemical durability.
  • Performance test data according to the United States Department of Energy standards is available, which includes the open circuit voltage (OCV), linear sweep voltammetry (LSV), hydrogen crossover, mechanical and chemical stability, ion conductivity, etc.

Potential Applications

  • Proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) and polymer electrolyte membrane water electrolysis (PEMWE) systems for various applications such as heavy machinery, forklift, vehicle, vessel, drone, building power generation, etc.
  • The global hydrogen fuel cell market is expected to grow 28 times from $1.6 billion in 2017 to $45.3 billion in 2030.

Customer Benefit

  • Opportunity to enter the hydrogen industry from the early stage by providing the high-quality PEM to partners for research and development of hydrogen fuel cells.
  • Contribute to the development of a worldwide hydrogen economy as part of discontinuing the use of fossil fuels and internal combustion engines.
Contact Person

Junho Seo



Technology Category

  • Energy
  • Fuel Cells
  • Materials
  • Nano Materials, Polymers

Technology Readiness Level


PTFE, Membrane, PEMFC, Fuel Cell, MEA, Nano, Electrolysis, Ionomer