Stevens, Dr. Jonathan E.

Title of Research Project:

Reactions of Fuel Cell Membrane Material sPEEK with small radicals

Research Description:

Fuel cells are an alternative energy sources proposed as a pollution-free replacement for gasoline engines in commercial automobiles. Polymer electrolyte membranes are a critical part of fuel cells. It is important to understand if proposed membrane materials will degrade in the environment of a fuel cell. This work will study the chemical stability of proposed membrane sulfonated polyether ketone, or sPEEK. Our work will investigate the degradation of sPEEK in a fuel cell with molecular orbital theory computer calculations. The material may be degraded by reactions with OOH, OH and H radicals (molecules with one unpaired electron.) This proposal may employ one or two BUILD students.

If there is important prerequisite knowledge/skills required for students, please describe below:

chemistry, calculus or pre-calculus