April 2011

Bac2 experiences unprecedented interest in electrically conductive polymer at Hannover Messe

ElectroPhen® and fuel cell plates made from the material attract record visitors

Southampton, UK, April 26, 2011: Bac2, the cleantech materials and components company, saw a record number of visitors and over 70 sales enquiries for its electrically conductive polymer, ElectroPhen, and fuel cell components made from the material, at the Hannover Messe earlier this month.

Visitors were particularly interested in how the low costs of tooling for ElectroPhen bipolar plates (used in the construction of fuel cells) make it economical to tool-up for relatively modest production runs – as low as a few hundred plates in some instances. This, together with the simplicity of manufacturing ElectroPhen, as demonstrated in the company’s YouTube video presentation here means that the cost of producing high-temperature or low-temperature polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM), direct methanol, alkali and phosphoric acid fuel cell stacks is significantly reduced, compared with using machined plates. Also, unlike other materials, the mould-flow properties of ElectroPhen mean that plates to not need surface machining or drilling after they’ve been moulded, again reducing manufacturing complexity and costs.

For initial prototype work, blank ElectroPhen plates are available in sizes from 60mm x 40mm up to 300mm x 200mm. These are machined in volumes up to a few hundred before scaling-up to moulded versions. However, the revelation for many visitors to the show was that they can now use moulded plates for their development and demonstration stacks, as well as early production runs. This ensures that all the characteristics of mass-produced plates will match those of the development prototypes. Plates that are as little as 1mm thick are mechanically robust, enabling the production of exceptionally compact fuel cell stacks.

Bac2’s bipolar plates are used worldwide by companies developing and manufacturing fuel cell stacks. These are sources of clean energy, with water vapour as their only waste product.