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Fuel cells convert energy stored in fuels directly to electrical energy with high efficiency.

diagram showing how fuel cells convert energy

While conventional heat engine burns fossil fuels and generates electrical energy after multiple energy conversion processes, fuel cells convert energy stored in fuels dirctly to electrical energy with high efficiency without generating poluting byproducts. Among fuel cell components, polymer membrane plays a key role in the performance of fuel cells.

Chulsung Bae's research supported by NSF CAREER Award is focused on better understanding of the relationship of chemical structures of polymer membranes and their properties in fuel cell operations. Through systematic studies of structure-property relationship, the PI wants to develop more durable, low-cost, high-performance next-generation fuel cell membranes.

The project also has educational goal of trainning undergraduate and graduate students to be future leaders in clean energy by exposing them to multidiscipllinary nature of fuel cell research.

Credit: Chulsung Bae, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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