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JSR Completes Facility for Commercial-scale Production of Electrolyte Films for Fuel Cells

PRODUCTS  02/24/2009
JSR Corporation ("JSR"; president: Yoshinori Yoshida) has completed facility for commercial-scale production of high quality, highly adaptable hydrocarbon electrolyte films for fuel cells at Yokkaichi Plant.

JSR has already been in possession of a semi-commercial plant for electrolyte films, to cope with customers' demands on production, certifying quality and dealing with orders, but to cope with substantial expansion in demand, JSR has established a production base for commercial-scale electrolyte films needed for fuel cells, translated into numbers of automobiles at 10,000 to 20,000 per annum.

Looking at application on automobiles, JSR's electrolyte films are used in fuel cell cars manufactured by a Japanese automaker, but the company is planning to develop them into fixed types such as in fuel cell system for households and direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC) for handset devices.

About JSR's hydrocarbon electrolyte films

JSR's hydrocarbon electrolyte films, compared to conventional ones, have a structure with ion exchange group (SO3) with higher concentration, which realizes excellent proton conductivity. With making good use of performance design with abundant diversity as in aromatic type structure, they are new types of hydrocarbon electrolyte films with excellent durability, anti-gas property, and high and low temperature performance characters. In addition to these properties, unlike conventionally used fluorine electrolyte films, they do not require recovery of catalyst and do not emit fluorine compounds when disposed. They possess an environmentally friendly property.

As of recent, JSR is developing films with stable performance for power generation with longevity and with durability against load fluctuation at start and stop.

Development into fuel cells for automobiles

With joint development with Japan's automaker, JSR is developing new hydrocarbon electrolyte films. Fuel cell system using these hydrocarbon electrolyte films can operate at high temperature and start at low temperature, and widely expand temperature region for power generation (-30C~95C). Although JSR has track record with electrolyte films with application on fuel cells for automobiles, which comes under severe conditions, the company is further pursuing upgrading films' durability.

Development into fixed fuel cells

From fiscal 2009, as Japanese companies strive to commercialize fuel cell systems for households, JSR is developing electrolyte films for fixed type fuel cells. JSR develops hydrocarbon electrolyte films that are compatible with clients' systems, making good use of track record with application on fuel cells for automobiles: good durability, capability to be used in high temperature and recyclability at the time of recovery of catalyst. JSR is undergoing a development of new electrolyte films in particular with further upgrading in their long-term durability.

Development into direct methanol type fuel cells for handset devices

As development goes on with direct methanol type fuel cells (DMFC) for application on personal computers and handset devices, JSR is developing hydrocarbon electrolyte films and electrode electrolytes with upgraded balance between output and anti-methanol transparency compared to conventional electrolyte films. With conventional films and electrolyte films, methanol crossover and meltdown of electrode electrolyte are triggered when high concentration methanol is used in upgrading performance, thus causing power generation performance to deteriorate. By using electrolyte films and electrode electrolyte JSR developed, it becomes possible to use high concentration methanol to aim at high output.