Materials in PEM Fuel Cells

A. Baroutaji, J.G. Carton, M. Sajjia, Abdul-Ghani Olabi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Tremendous efforts have been made in the last few decades to develop new energy sources that can replace the conventional power sources which relay on fossil resources. Among the different alternative power sources, the Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) is considered one of the most promising alternative clean power generators, since it offer the possibility of zero-emission by converting the chemical energy stored in hydrogen fuel directly into electricity with water as the only by-product.

The performance of the PEM fuel cell depends on the materials used for the main components of the fuel cell such as the membrane electrode assembly and the bipolar flow plates.

Development of new materials and enhancing the current ones will pioneer the PEM fuel cell technology.

In the light of this, this paper is an attempt to highlight and address the materials used for manufacturing the main components of the PEMFC and their current status of development.

First, it highlights the need for PEMFC as a power source, reviews the potential applications and addresses the main challenges of the technology. Then, the basic working fundamentals and performance of PEM fuel cell are highlighted. Finally, a detailed overview of the main fuel cell components, their materials, and their development status is provided.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReference Module in Materials Science and Materials Engineering
PublisherElsevier B.V.
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-12-803581-8
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Dec 2015


  • Catalyst
  • Flow Plates
  • Fuel Cell
  • Gas diffusion media
  • Proton exchange membrane


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