(19) United States
(12) Patent Application Publication (io) Pub. No.: US 2003/0196893 Al
McElroy et al. (43) Pub. Date: Oct. 23,2003
(54) HIGH-TEMPERATURE LOW-HYDRATION ION EXCHANGE MEMBRANE ELECTROCHEMICAL CELL
(76) Inventors: James Frederick McElroy, Suffield, CT (US); Darren Scott Sokoloski,
Paul F. Rusyn, Esq.
DORSEY & WHITNEY LLP
1420 Fifth Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101 (US)
(21) Appl. No.: 10/360,583
(22) Filed: Feb. 6, 2003
Related U.S. Application Data
(60) Provisional application No. 60/375,200, filed on Apr. 23, 2002.
This invention relates to an electrochemical cell having a high-temperature low-hydration (HTLH) ion exchange membrane serving as an electrolyte layer. The membrane may be a non-fluorinated ionomer membrane, such as an acid-doped polybenzimidazole (PBI) membrane. The HTLH membrane is sandwiched by an anode having a hydrogencarrying fluid feed chamber with an inlet for receiving a hydrogen-carrying fluid, and a cathode having a hydrogen product chamber with an outlet for discharging a hydrogen product gas. The anode and cathode are electrically couplable to an electric current source for powering the electrochemical cell to produce hydrogen gas in a reduction reaction at the cathode. The hydrogen-carrying fluid may be water, in which case the electrochemical cell serves as an electrolyzer; or, the hydrogen carrying fluid may be a hydrogen gas, in which case the cell serves as a hydrogen pump.