The Chemistry of Membranes Used in Fuel Cells
The Chemistry of Membranes Used in Fuel Cells is an ideal book for polymer scientists, chemists, chemical engineers, electrochemists, material scientists, energy and electrical engineers, and physicists. It is also important for grad students studying advanced polymers and applications. Shulamith Schlick, DSc, is a Professor of Physical and Polymer Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Detroit Mercy. One of the foremost authorities in the field of polymer research, Dr. Schlick has held visiting professorships and appointments worldwide. Among her publications is the book Advanced ESR Methods in Polymer Research, published by Wiley in 2006.
The Chemistry of Membranes Used in Fuel Cells
The Evolution of Fuel Cells and Their Components
Thomas A. Zawodzinski1, Zhijiang Tang2, and Nelly Cantillo3
1 Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Knoxville, TN, USA
2 Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, USA
3 Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Knoxville, TN, USA
1.1 Overview: A Personal Perspective of Recent Developments
At the outset of this narrative, we note that many aspects of the recent history of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are presented through the lens of the perspective of the senior author. For this reason, there is a strong emphasis on events in North America, and a number of personal anecdotes are added. The emphasis on specific activities, contributors, and fields of work is that of the authors' and is not intended to be completely inclusive, but rather to provide a sketch of major activities during the period of intense development, leading to the introduction of fuel cell (FC) vehicles for lease or sale. Our hope is to provide a brief overview with sufficient references and links to key information in order to facilitate the reader in developing a thorough appreciation of the substantial body of work on FCs.
The history of FCs goes back ~170years to Grove and Schonbein, and each claimed to be the "father" of FCs . However these devices are rather unrepresentative compared with any present-day FC. Recognizable versions of the cell probably can be dated to the Bacon cell discussed in the succeeding text . Alkaline cells based on liquid NaOH in a matrix operating on pure oxygen and hydrogen were sufficiently advanced by the 1960s and used on US spacecrafts as sources of both electricity and water . PEMFCs were first described in the 1950s, employing polystyrene sulfonic acid as the primary membrane . Phosphoric acid, molten carbonate, and solid oxide cells for use in stationary power applications have been developed for decades as well [5-7]. Direct methanol FCs were extensively developed for portable power applications in the 1990s, incorporating some of the advances from proton exchange membrane (PEM) technology .
United Technologies FC operations carried out much research in phosphoric acid technologies, which later found use in PEM-based FCs . The next era of significant development in PEMFCs began with the establishment of the Department of Energy (DOE) program, most notably at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), championed in the late 1970s by Byron McCormick . There was a significant "induction period" before major discoveries emerged from LANL and from other laboratories. A major series of events followed the appointment by Ross Lemons of Shimshon Gottesfeld to the leadership of the program. At that point, the LANL program was split managerially and geographically into (loosely) scientific and engineering programs led by Gottesfeld and Nick Vanderborgh, respectively. The latter worked closely with the GM program, part of which took up residence in a closed facility at LANL. Meanwhile, S. Srinivasan left LANL and started a new and ultimately highly successful group at Texas A&M. In this way, a single appointment spawned three of the strongest groups shaping the PEMFC landscape during a major growth period in the 1990s.
Critical technical steps forward came with the development of significantly lowered Pt loadings, first in 1986 by Raistrick  and then in 1990 by Wilson . From then until the present, a continuous series of "issues du jour" have been tackled by the US DOE program. Meanwhile, Ballard in Canada began to build systems with installations in place in the 1990 .
The leadership of the DOE FCs for transportation program was passed to Steve Chalk and JoAnn Milliken in 1992 . This tea