PEM-Fuel Cells

Fuel cell systems are typically running at temperature up to 90 °C, depending on the field of application. The operating pressures were also use-orientated in the range of up to 2 bars. Still these systems provide the most promising technology for the use in automotive applications. But also for stationary applications the PEM-FC is on the rise.


The membrane makes the core component of the system. Combined with the coated highly productive Platinum catalyst on both sides it shapes the MEA (Membrane-Electrode-Assembly), the heart of each fuel cell stack.


The generally electro-chemically processes of the PEM-FC are as follows:

Anode reaction           2 H2 → 4 H+ + 4 e-

Cathode reaction       O2 + 4 H++ 4 e- → 2 H2O

Overall reaction         2 H2 + O2 → 2 H2O


The proton conductivity of the membrane is based on the sulfonic acid groups (-SO3H) who are bound on the side chain of the polymer strand. These side chains could consists of short units of 2 to 4 carbon atoms or of longer side chains.

FUMATECH BWT GmbH offers membranes for fuel cells based on PFSA (Per-Fluorinated-Sulfonic-Acid) having high conductivity and low H2-cross-over. Both types, long-side-chain and short-side-chain polymers are available. The membranes were produced as plain films and as reinforced membranes as well.