New polymer electrolyte membranes for fuel cells can operate at up to 250 °C

Membrane fabrication. Credit: Lee et al. (Nature Energy, 2024, Springer’s Nature).

Hydrogen fuel cells, devices that can convert the chemical energy stored in hydrogen into electrical energy via an electrochemical reaction, are promising solutions for electrifying large vehicles. Fuel cells based on low-temperature (under 100 °C) proton exchange membranes have been found to be particularly advantageous for transportation, as they produce limited noise, have high power densities and can power vehicles for long distances with a single charge of hydrogen.

Despite their promise, these low-temperature fuel cells only operate well with highly pure hydrogen, as well as sophisticated heat and water management …
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