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Gas Diffusion Electrodes for Fuel Cells


A unique gas diffusion electrode technique resulting in little to no leftover methanol, therefore increasing the overall effectiveness and performance of fuel cells.


Direct methanol fuel cells have an advantage over hydrogen fuel cells because the liquid methanol has high energy density and is easily transportable. However, one of the challenges with this process has been the large amount of methanol that crosses over from the cathode side of the membrane electrode assembly. This crossover poisons the cathode, decreasing operating voltage and weakening the power output of the cell. Sandia researchers have developed a method for mitigating the methanol crossover poisoning effect in fuel cells. This unique gas diffusion electrode technique results in little to no leftover methanol, therefore increasing the overall effectiveness and performance of fuel cells.


  • Advanced materials
  • Power and efficiency gains
  • Smaller scale
  • Reduced cost

Applications and Industries

  • Electronics
  • Microelectronics
  • Portable power supply
  • Storage battery
  • Transportation
  • Automotive

Intellectual Property

ID Number
Patent Number
Conductive polymer layers to limit transfer of fuel reactants to catalysts of fuel cells to reduce reactant crossover 11172.0 9,515,340 12/06/2016
Technology IDSD#11172Development StagePrototype - Sandia estimates this technology at a Technology Readiness Level 4. Key elements of the technology have been demonstrated in relevant laboratory environments.AvailabilityAvailable - Various licensing and partnering options are available. Contact the Intellectual Property department to discuss.Published09/29/2011Last Updated01/23/2013