Improving fuel cell membrane separation technologies

Paul Boughton

Among the numerous applications for membrane separation technologiesscientists have been challenged mostly by fuel cells.

Researchers have been working on membrane electrode assemblies to meet the automotive industry’s requirements for robust durable fuel cells to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

The development of advanced membrane separation technologies in the energy and environmental markets is gaining an impetus from concerns over supply chain issues as well as political and security factors. These stem from the substantial and continuous use of fossil fuels for transportation and as primary energy sources.

Developers of membrane separation technologies will also have to ensure solutions are commercially viable. Adoption has been restrained because of the cost of meeting validation requirements for water/wastewater systems.

The EU has set up the European Water Framework Directive to develop regulations for the protection and enhancement of all water sources.

To meet the demand for clean water convincinglytechnology developers need to find a way to overcome fouling in many fluid separation applications. In desalination and wastewater treatmentthe variability of water sources requires fouling issues to be addressed for each specific application.

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