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Center Innovation Fund: GRC CIF

Plasma Treatment to Enhance Fuel Cell Water Management

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

This proposal builds on preliminary work, performed in 2012, which demonstrated that plasma treatment methods can effectively modify the wetting characteristics of various porous metal structures. Such structures are critical to the two-phase fluid separation processes used in non-flow-through fuel cells and static feed electrolyzers. Optimization of these structures is the key to achieving dramatic reductions in the complexity and mass of regenerative fuel cells (RFCs).  

The objective of this proposal is to further define the potential for plasma treatment technology, developed by the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) to modify and enhance the wetting characteristics of water management surfaces. If successful, such enhancements will lead to more robust operation and reduced system complexity. Methods which promote both hydrophilic and hydrophobic character will be explored.

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