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FUEL CELL HARDWARE is an electrochemical device that converts chemical fuel, such as hydrogen, natural gas, methanol, etc. into energy and water.

ElectroChem’s fuel cell test hardware includes all the key components to make such reactions occur. It also performs compression of the membrane electrode assembly while providing uniform gas distribution and uniform temperature to the cell.

A gold-plated plate serves as current collector plate for the fuel cell. The gold plating provides corrosion protection and good electrical contact with the graphite separator plate.

A high purity graphite plate with high electrical conductivity (900 Scm-1) and high thermal conductivity (117 Wm-1K-1) is designed with gas flow channels and manifold.

A Gasket is included to provide a secured seal for MEA.

High power silicone rubber heaters are installed at the both ends of the fuel cell to maintain a constant cell temperature.

Fuel Cell Stacks

ElectroChem, Inc’s PEM fuel cell stacks are ruggedly built and designed for ease of use and assembly and disassembly by researchers.

The fuel cell stacks are classified by the amount of watts of power that they can generate: 50W, 100W and 200W. Below are the specifications of the three different stacks. ElectroChem fuel cell stacks are available with MEA (EFC series) and without MEA (FC series)

We also offer custom PEM fuel cell stacks that allow you to modify the stack to meet the total output power of your need. It has a capacity of a minimum of 2 MEAs, and a maximum of 30 MEAs requirements per stack.

The total power output of the stack may vary based upon the environment (temperature, humidification, etc.) where the stack is operated. Below are the specifications for each PEM cell within a stack.

Gas Diffusion Layer

The gas diffusion layer (GDL) is a core component of a fuel cell and is commonly composed of non-woven carbon fiber paper or woven carbon cloth. The main function of GDL is to provide conductivity, and help gases to come in contact with the catalyst. The GDL works as a support for the catalyst layer, provides good mechanical strength and easy gas access to the catalyst and improve the electrical conductivity.

ElectroChem offers different kinds of GDL materials, e.g. carbon fiber paper, carbon cloth, Carbon Fiber Paper with CNT on the surface, and Carbon NanoTube (CNT) paper as it is, and/or with various enhancements. These are also available with Hydrophobic treatment as well as Carbon MicroPorous Layer (CMPL).

Membrane Electrode Assemblies

The membrane electrode assembly (MEA) is the core component of a fuel cell. Membrane electrode assembly (MEA) is composed of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM), catalyst layers (CL) and gas diffusion layers (GDL) attached on the outer surface of the catalyst layers as shown in the schematic drawing. There are two approaches to apply the catalyst layer for the MEA fabrication. One is the combination of the catalyst layer and the gas diffusion layer that forms an electrode. Another is coating catalyst layer on the surface of polymer electrolyte membrane (a polymer electrolyte membrane is sandwiched between two electrodes) which is also referred as catalyst-coated membranes (CCMs). The CCM is then sandwiched between 2 GDL’s.


Gaskets provide correct compression and act as a ‘barrier’ for potential fuel leaks; maximizing the highest possible efficiency.

Gaskets are an important component for a fuel cell. It also works as a sealing agent for the fuel cell assembly. The proper selection of a gasket is dependent on various parameters such as the operating temperature of the cell, the thickness of the MEA, etc.

ElectroChem offers pre-cut and bulk gasket material from three materials; silicone, Teflon, and fiberglass.

The Teflon and fiberglass reinforced Teflon are used in high temperature applications such as Hi Temperature PEM fuel cells or phosphoric acid fuel cell.

Replacement gaskets are available for all ElectroChem cells and stacks. The raw gasket material is also available in 12” by 12” (30cm X 30cm) sheets.


The fuel cell creates power by oxidizing a hydrogen atom into a proton and an electron on the anode electrode and reduced oxygen atom with proton on the cathode electrode.

In a PEM fuel cell, platinum is used as the catalyst on the anode and cathode. A direct methanol fuel cell uses a platinum/ruthenium alloy as the anode catalyst and the typical platinum catalyst on the cathode.

Standard Pt catalysts for fuel cell applications contain 10%,20%,40% or 60% Pt on VULCAN XC-72 carbon support. Typical Electrochemical Area (ECA) for 20% Pt/C is 100 m2/g. Typical ECA for 10% Pt/C is 140 m2/g.

Carbon-monoxide-tolerant Pt/Ru catalyst for direct methanol fuel cell applications contains 20% Pt and 10% Ru (1:1 Atomic Ratio) on carbon support. 20% Pt and 10% Ru catalyst exhibits better resistance to CO poisoning and it is well suited for direct methanol conversion fuel cells. The catalyst can also be used in fuel cells operating in conjunction with gas reformers.

Fuel Cell Test Equipment

ElectroChem has been in fuel cell technology development since 1967, and in product manufacturing and sale for over 25 years. It offers a comprehensive line of fuel cell testing equipment based on the long experience in understanding the needs of a researcher. Its two product lines of testing equipment provide the researcher the flexibility of a completely automated, Power Station, products, and LabView supported MTS products to customize according to the research needs.

Fuel Cell Test System PowerStation

What is the Power Station™?

The ElectroChem Power Station is an integrated family of laboratory modules that provide data acquisition, operational control, gas management, humidification, and temperature controls. In each system there is a:

  • PowerStation™ System controller (and load)

  • One or more gas management units

  • Additional optional components

  • Integrated PowerStation™ Software

PowerStation CompuCell

  • Two Independent Gas Lines

  • Highest Quality Humidification Capacity

  • Automatic or Manual Operation

  • A Decade of Product Refinement

The CompuCell™ gas management unit enables fuel cell and electrochemical testing for PEM, alkaline, and phosphoric acid fuel cells, providing capacity for single cells and fuel cell stacks. Fully integrated with the Power Station™, it allows total control of input and output gas conditions for all your fuel cell testing needs.

PowerStation Ultima

ElectroChem’s Ultima™ gas management unit multiplies the power of the PowerStation™ to enable fuel cell and electrochemical testing to an efficient level. Designed for PEM, alkaline, and phosphoric acid fuel cells, it provides added capacity for 4 more single cells and fuel cell stacks. For those faced with extensive fuel cell testing requirements, there is no more advanced system, and no safer system for unattended operation. Only sold with the PS-Ultima™ System Controller.

Key Features:

  • Gas management multiplier of the CompuCell™ Module

  • Precision automated gas supply, humidification and effluent management

  • Convenient front panel access to manual controls and output and return gas fittings

  • Safety designed in through hardware features and software control

PS-DM Direct Methanol Unit


ElectroChem’s Direct Methanol Unit provides a controlled source of high purity methanol or methanol / water solution for testing of methanol powered fuel cells.

  • Safe operation with any methanol concentration

  • Operating pressure up to 20 psig

  • Temperature controlled methanol supply

  • Digital readout and setting of temperature

  • Digital readout of flow rate

  • Storage capacity 1 liter

  • All Stainless Steel Internal Plumbing

  • Sight glass on reservoir

  • Compatible with PowerStation; change between methanol and hydrogen with the flip of a switch

PS-DR Power Station Dual Range


Mass Flow Controllers (MFC) have a 1 part in 100 accuracy. To provide a high accuracy over a wide dynamic range (particularly in low flow ranges) the MFCs can be paired to provide a high and low flow range with much better precision.

When coupled with the PowerStation™, the PS-DR™ gas management unit enables fuel cell and the testing of wide ranging reactant gas mixtures for PEM, alkaline, and phosphoric acid fuel cells. It provides capacity for small single cells and to fuel cell stacks.

Key Features:

  • Software control supports enhanced gas flow control by “teaming” large and small mass flow controller “pairs”

  • Precision automated gas supply, product water collection and effluent management

  • Convenient front panel access to manual controls, and output and return gas fittings

  • Safety designed in through hardware features and software control

Electronic Load


  • Current controlled / Voltage controlled

  • Two control methods:

  • Manual – front panel Potentiometer setting visual front panel digital readout

  • Remote – rear panel input signal (0 – 10 V) rear panel output Voltages for Current an Voltage (0 – 10 V)

  • Two operating ranges:

  • 20 A, 20 V capacity (400 W)

  • 100 A, 3 V capacity (300 W)

  • Two operating modes:

  • Current control

  • Voltage control

  • Balanced MOSFET circuit design

  • Excellent low Voltage operation

  • Accurate and repeatable

Humidification Module


ElectroChem’s HSA™ humidifier unit is used to provide humidification to two reactant gas supply lines for the electrochemical testing of PEM, alkaline and phosphoric acid fuel cells. It provides enough capacity for single cells and fuel cell stacks. This unit is often used to support the MTS-150™, MTS-A-150™ and ECL-150™ units to provide manually controlled fuel cell testing.

MTK-100™ Fuel Cell Test Kit


  • Electronic Load

  • 2 Precision Calibrated Mass Flow Controllers

  • 2 Back Pressure Regulators

  • 1 Temperature Controller


Versatile Electronic Load (0.1 – 400 Watt)

  • Constant Current and Constant Voltage mode

  • Dual load channels (3V/100A and 20V/20A) cover the load profile over micro fuel cells, single cells, and fuel cell stacks

2 Precision Calibrated Mass Flow Controllers

  • Metal-sealed design to measure and control the flow of gases in high purity applications.

2 Back Pressure Regulators

  • Back flow back pressure regulators control the fuel cell operating pressure.

1 Temperature Controller

  • The temperature controller is very simple to operate in its standard mode, but also very versatile


Labview™ Controlled Test System

MTSA-450 is a cost effective fuel cell test station which puts together a gas management unit, a humidification system and an electronic load that provides a complete control features for conducting reliable fuel cell testing. All gas channels have stainless steel construction. The gas management unit consists of 2 gas flow meters, 2 back pressure regulators and 2 pressure gauges. The humidification system includes two 1,5 liter stainless steel water vessels and provides 100 % humidification with gas flow rates up to 3 SLPM. The temperature of the fuel cell and two gas humidifiers is controlled by three temperature controllers. A Solid State Electronic load is capable of providing up to 400 W (20 V and 20 A max. or 3 V and 100 A) and can be selected to operate at both constant current and constant voltage modes.

In addition it comes with a laptop and LabView software compatibility. Electrochem has integrated the LabVIEW™ software to facilitate fuel cell testing. Researchers have the freedom to customize the software to their individual needs.

Proton Exchange Membrane

In order for a PEM fuel cell to operate, a Proton Exchange Membrane is needed that will carry the hydrogen ions, proton, from the anode to the cathode without passing the electrons that were removed from the hydrogen atoms. These polymer membranes that conduct proton through the membrane but are reasonably impermeable to the gases, serve as solid electrolytes (vs. liquid electrolyte) for variety of electrochemical applications, and are commonly known as Proton Exchange Membrane and/or Polymer Electrolyte Membranes (PEM). These membranes have been identified as one of the key components for various consumer related applications for fuel cells, e.g. automobiles, back-up power, portable power etc. Due to its application for many consumer markets, the technology keeps on evolving to make these membranes suitable for longer duration, and even high temperature operations.

For PEM fuel cell and electrolyzer applications, a polymer electrolyte membrane is sandwiched between an anode electrode and a cathode electrode. During electrochemical reaction, oxidation reaction at the anode generates protons and electrons; reduction reaction at the cathode combines protons and electrons with oxidants to generate water. To complete the electrochemical reaction, the proton exchange membrane plays a critical role that conducts protons from anode to cathode through the membrane. The proton exchange membrane also performs as a separator for separating anode and cathode reactants in fuel cells and electrolyzers.

One of the most common and commercially available PEM membrane is, DuPont’s Nafion membranes. These are widely used for PEM fuel cells and can be identified based on the variety of thickness and specific application. Nafion® 117, Nafion® 115, Nafion® NR212 Nafion® NR211 membranes are non-reinforced films, and last numbers apply to their various thickness dimensions.

Nafion® XL membranes are newly developed reinforced membranes that enhance the chemical stability of Nafion® membranes. The mechanical durability and enhanced chemical stability of the Nafion® XL membrane are the result of an advanced stabilization system that increases mechanical strength and provides resistance to peroxide attack, resulting in improved membrane life and performance.

Nafion® HP membranes are an ultra-thin membrane. These membranes are reinforced and designed for lower relative humidity environments and high operating temperature. The reinforcement improves the membrane’s handling and physical properties. When the reinforcement is combined with the chemically stabilized polymer, the Nafion® HP membrane exhibits both substantially lower fluoride ion release and longer operating durability under challenging fuel cell conditions.


ElectroChem Electrodes are manufactured by depositing electrically active catalyst on a gas diffusion material consisting of carbon paper and/or cloth.

Anode and cathode electrodes for an electrochemical device consist of catalyst loaded onto a gas diffusion layer (GDL). We use carbon supported Pt or Pt/Ru catalyst for the best catalyst dispersion and utilization for PEM Fuel Cells.

The electrode for a fuel cell is hydrophobic to reduce flooding issue during fuel cell operation.

ElectroChem’s gas diffusion electrodes are used in PAFC and PEM membrane electrode assemblies.

We use Platinum/Carbon catalyst with various loadings laminated to a hydrophobic GDL.

Our standard electrode is made with 10wt% and 20 wt. % Pt/C and 30 wt% and 60 wt% Pt/Ru catalyst on carbon paper or carbon cloth (Toray 060). We also offer a selection of customized electrodes.

Electrodes are available with Nafion Treatment (T), or without.


Nafion® solution is a dispersed polymer liquid form of the same chemical as Nafion® perfluorosulfonic proton exchange membrane.

It is typically applied to the electrode layer that drastically reduces the amount of platinum catalyst needed as a catalyst by exposing a larger fraction of the platinum catalyst to the proton conductive medium. The Nafion® solutions are available in 5% and 20% polymer content with aliphatic alcohol (AL) based dispersant and in 5% and 10% with water (AQ) dispersant.

The Teflon PTFE emulsion is a hydrophobic material and is one of the keys chemical used in fuel cells.

Teflon PTFE acts as a binding agent and changes the hydrophobic properties of the gas diffusion layer. By coating porous carbon paper with the PTFE emulsion, the result prevents the paper from being saturated by liquid water and lets water vapor and reactant gas pass freely through the pores.

The PTFE emulsion can be used directly by mixing with catalysts or coating porous substrate (e.g. carbon paper or carbon cloth) to a variety of PTFE content.


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INNOVA Investigación S.A de C.V. 2017

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