Volume No. 4 Issue No.: 1 Page No.: 202-211 July-Sept 2009




B. K. Kakati, K. R. Guptha and A. Verma*

Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati,
Guwahati, Assam-781039, (INDIA)


Received on : May 27, 2009




With the shortage of oil and gas resources and global climate change emerging as high concerns, the need for new technologies to alleviate the dependence on hydrocarbons and reduced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is becoming stringent. Considerable efforts have been given to develop commercially viable technologies to reduce the CO2 emission by the use of fossil fuel, producing hydrogen from fossil fuel, using nuclear and renewable energy sources and to develop fuel cells. Among all the energy sources fuel cells are getting importance as one of the most promising clean energy sources for stationary as well as automotive application. Considerable efforts have been given worldwide for the development of cost effective fuel cells. Bipolar plate is one of the key components of the fuel cell, which consumes around 38% of the total cost and contributes around 80% of the total stack weight. In this study composite bipolar plates for proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) were developed by compression molding technique using vinyl ester resin as a polymer matrix and natural graphite as reinforcement. U.S. Department of Energy (US DOE) target values were taken as the benchmark for the development and investigation of the bipolar plate. The composite bipolar plates were characterized for density, porosity, electrical conductivity, flexural strength, shore hardness and corrosion resistance. At 25% resin content the composite bipolar plate achieved the US DOE benchmark for density, electrical conductivity, shore hardness and corrosion resistance. However, the flexural strength of the composite bipolar plate was not upto the bench mark set by the US DOE.


Keywords : Bipolar plate, Compression Molding, Fuel Cell, Natural Graphite, Vinyl Ester Resin (VER)