High Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane

Technology Summary

Polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) have been identified as an attractive electrical power source due to it having a higher efficiency level and being an environmental friendly energy source.  In comparison with other types of fuel cells, PEFCs have a high power density, low weight to power ratio, and utilize a proton exchange membrane (PEM) as its electrolyte.  Some types of membranes that are in use have displayed issues such as reduced conductivity and membranes dehydration at high temperatures. 


Sandia National Laboratories has created an improved composition for producing proton exchange membranes for use in fuel cells, electrode casting solutions, and in sulfur dioxide electrolyzers.  This invention features an innovative crosslinked sulfonated poly(phenylene) copolymer composition.  The crosslinked feature will remoe the issues that previous types of membranes had and will result in membranes that are tougher, have high temperature capabilities, and have lower SO2 crossover rates. 


  • Crosslinking allow for the density of the ionic functional groups to be increased, which means tougher membranes with higher IECs
  • Design prevents membranes from changing at higher temperatures
  • New material has enhanced water management
  • Membranes have high conductivity and efficiency

Applications and Industries

  • Chemical Applications
  • Transportation and Automotive
  • Fuel Cells
  • Dialysis Equipment
  • Ultrafiltration

Intellectual Property

ID Number
Patent Number
Epoxy-crosslinked sulfonated poly (phenylene) copolymer proton exchange membranes 11210.0 7,816,482 10/19/2010
Technology IDUS Patent# 7,816,482Development StagePrototype - Sandia estimates this technology at approximately TRL 6. Deliverable prototype testing has been conducted. AvailabilityAvailable - Various license and partnering options are available. Please contact the Intellectual Property department to discuss. Published10/04/2011Last Updated01/23/2013