TechConnect Innovator Spotlight:

TechConnect World Innovation Conference
May 14 - 17, 2017, Washington DC

PEM Fuel Cell Bundle (multi-lab IP bundle - LabBridge IP Bundling Program), National Renewable Energy Laboratory


29 nine proton exchange membrane fuel cells technologies from five different National Labs are available to form bundles to collectively increase their value proposition for the potential licensees or collaborators. Technologies fall into 4 categories, (i) fuel cell electrocatalysts, (ii) membrane electrode assembly, (iii) fuel processor, and (iv) bipolar plates.

Primary Application Area: Energy, Efficiency

Technology Development Status: Concept



While many potential combinations are possible with the available technologies here the LabBridge team focused on combining subset of electrocatalysts and MEA technologies into two bundles to increase the choice of catalysts available to incorporate into the MEAs for fuel cells. Compositions of proposed bundles are as follows, #1. catalysts with platinum group metal (PGM)s combined with MEAs, and #2. catalysts with non platinum group metal (nonPGM)s combined with MEAs. Catalysts are a major cost driver and a current focus area to accelerate the commercialization of fuel cells under development. Catalysts with reduced platinum group metal (PGM) loading or no PGMs, increased activity and durability, and lowering overall fuel cell costs could be the key considerations for the potential fuel cell developers. By combining these patents and national lab expertise as described above could make the technologies more appealing and powerful to industry.



Value Proposition: Electrocatalysts and MEAs are considered in this bundle because they can have a large impact on overall performance and cost of fuel cells. The challenges that facing current PEM fuel cell technologies include cost vs benefit, and the strong competition from alternative technologies (e.g. battery) and fuel resources. These IP bundles can be used to integrate membranes, electrolytes and electrodes to potentially make significant improvements in fuel cell performance, cost effectiveness, and durability.

Participating labs in this bundle are ANL, BNL, LBNL, NREL, and ORNL.



National Innovation Awardee

Organization Type: Academic/Gov Lab



Vetted Programs/Awards: DOE's OTT LabBridge Program funding effort