Abstract: Transition to a carbon-neutral energy economy requires a more environmentally-friendly energy carrier. Hydrogen and its multiple end-use applications play a huge role to contribute to decarbonization of major sectors of the economy. Current power generating units cannot cater to emerging needs in reduction of greenhouses gas emissions. Hydrogen-powered fuel cell offers several advantages such as consistent power, long autonomous operation and service life, high reliability, zero emissions. Powered by hydrogen, the fuel cell is one of the cleanest technologies of the future.

The backup capacity of hydrogen fuel cells could vary from a few kW to over 1MW, and can be installed nearly anywhere. This research study titled “Breakthrough Advancements in Proton-Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells” focuses on the emerging innovations and the latest advancements in the Proton-Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell Technology landscape.

The findings and growth opportunities depicted in this study will help to drive the economic growth and technology revolution of the fuel cell industry. The study highlights the necessity for fuel cells and discusses the major challenges faced by PEM fuel cell technology development in gaining wide-scale commercial deployment.

The study provides a review of key research focus areas and technological challenges to overcome within PEM fuel cells. Additionally, it presents key stakeholders involved in technology development and notable developments. It also features patent landscaping of PEM fuel cells, highlighting key patent owners/assignees, and patent jurisdiction with highest activity. The report outlines and describes the key factors influencing the PEMFC adoption, such as limited hydrogen refuelling infrastructure, low manufacturing volume of key PEM fuel cell components. The report also highlights the emerging growth opportunities. Key emerging manufacturing technologies of PEM fuel cell are discussed, and technical and cost targets are also analyzed.

The growth opportunities in PEM fuel cell technology:
  • To achieve higher levels of penetration, it is extremely important to reduce PEM fuel cell stacks cost. In this respect, the major advances should be made in the development of mass manufacturing process and increasing the production rate of manufacturing parts and assembling components.
  • PEM Fuel cells offer a very promising solution, as they can be operated with dramatically reduced climate-damaging emissions. With carbon pricing being introduced across many countries, industries are expected to move toward low-carbon energy carriers, including green hydrogen. Considering the current challenges facing the environment and meeting the required energy target, PEM fuel cells as a sustainable energy generating unit are realistic solutions.
  • The implementation and adoption of PEM fuel cells directly depend on the development of the supply infrastructure and the adaptability of the fuel cells to run on wide range of fuels. Heavy investment and intensive support by public and private entities would be required to develop H2-refuelling stations. The widespread deployment of supporting infrastructure will drive the growth of the hydrogen-based fuel cells technology in the future.

The study deeply illustrates the following:
  • PEM Fuel Cell – overview and current technology trends
  • Factors driving adoption and development of technologies
  • Key properties, drawbacks, PEM Fuel Cell components
  • Technology analysis, applications landscape and future prospects
  • Technology ecosystem: innovations and key stakeholders
  • Patent landscape of PEM Fuel Cell
  • Growth opportunities in PEM Fuel Cell