HyPoint, in collaboration with BASF, is developing a new hydrogen fuel cell system for aviation and urban air mobility purposes.
According to the companies, the partnership will result in the development and testing of a new proton-conductive Celtec membrane with stronger mechanical properties that can operate at higher temperatures and a higher pressure differential, as well as related components and materials.
It should be able to easily achieve specific power greater than 3,000 W/kg, making it suitable for narrow-body aircraft.
HyPoint contends that BASF’s new membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) technology could significantly improve the performance of its turbo air-cooled high-temperature proton-exchange membrane (HTPEM) fuel cell system.
When paired with an advanced MEA design with gas diffusion electrodes, the membrane’s enhanced mechanical properties could reduce the MEA’s weight while increasing its durability.
The new high-performance fuel cell system is expected to become available to customers in mid-2024.
“BASF has substantial experience in the manufacture and development of HTPEMs, MEAs, as well as the necessary chemicals and compositions for hydrogen fuel cells,” says HyPoint’s founder and CEO Dr. Alex Ivanenko.
“Our collaboration will yield next-generation membranes and membrane-electrode assemblies that result in a significant improvement to our system’s specific power, durability, and operational temperature range.”
“Together, these will satisfy the requirements of the air transportation market, including narrow-body aircraft. It will also enable us to increase our production volume to meet customer demand and continue to expand capacity.”
BASF has been manufacturing Celtec membranes and MEAs for more than 15 years.
While cyclic operation, various impurities in the gas flow, and changing environmental conditions can stress the materials used in low-temperature (LTPEM) fuel cells, BASF’s Celtec HTPEM MEAs allow operation at temperatures between 120°C and 180°C, enabling a high tolerance to impurities while simplifying temperature and water management.
Image and content: HyPoint