Polymer composite materials have particular properties that meet special requirements. A conductive polymer composite is positioned to play a progressively significant role in industry and academia, specifically in the region of electrical conductivity. Even general information about electrically conductive composites has been available for several years, less attention has been given within the literature to the use of conductive composites for sustainable energy production.
Exactly why is the application of composite materials for energy production interesting? Having a continued development in the worldwide interest in energy, there exists increasing curiosity about alternative technologies of energy generation such as fuel cells, for many different stationary and mobile apps. In this particular chapter, the authors are mostly enthusiastic about a fuel cell for an energy generator, since a fuel cell is expected to experience a significant role inside the economy of this century and also for the foreseeable future. Several factors provide the incentive for fuel cells to be a factor from now on energy supplies as well as for transportations, including global warming, oil dependency as well as security, urban quality of air, and growth in distributed power generation.
A polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is a superb contender for portable and automotive propulsion applications as it provides high power density, solid state construction, high chemical-to-electrical energy conversion efficiency, near zero environmental emissions, low temperature operation (60 – 120 oC), and quick and simple start-up [2,3, and 4]. The Usa Department of Energy (DOE) also has identified the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells since the main candidate to exchange the inner combustion engine in transportation applications; however, barriers to commercialization remain. Fundamental technical challenges facing the commercialization of PEM fuel cells are manufacturing and material costs; material durability and reliability; and hydrogen storage and distribution issues. One of the major factors limiting fuel cell commercialization is the growth of bipolar graphite plate, which are one among PEMFC’s key components.
Bipolar plate characteristic requirements certainly are a challenge for any class of materials, and none fits the profile characteristics exactly. Therefore, research on materials, designs and fabrications of bipolar plates for PEMFC applications is a vital problem for scientists and engineers wanting to get the appropriate PEMFC dexqpky60 global commercialization. Various kinds of materials are now found in bipolar plates, including non-porous graphite plates, metallic plates without or with coating and a number of composite plates. Thermoplastic composite bipolar plates are an appealing choice for PEMFC use.
They do not just offer benefits of low cost, lower weight and greater simplicity of manufacturing than traditional graphite, however their properties can even be tailored through changes of reinforcements along with the resin systems. The weakest reason for thermoplastic composite bipolar plates is the low electrical conductivity in comparison to conventional graphite or metallic bipolar plates. To improve the electrical conductivity of your plates, electrically conductive polymers or fillers have already been used as bipolar plate materials.