Solvay Solexis, an international fluorospecialties producer and a member of Solvay Group, recently unveiled an innovative perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) polymer named AquivionTM, characterized by short and light side chains specifically designed for today's Fuel Cell industry. The company has announced commercial availability of the product after a pre-commercial phase and a thorough field testing. AquivionTM PFSA, the company claims, features lower equivalent weight than competitive polymers and its short side chains make it unique among ionically conductive peffluoropolymers (ionomers). It is available in two forms: membranes and dispersions. The gas-tight, cation-permeable membranes are produced via melt extrusion and are available in various thicknesses and formats. Further, the dispersions feature extremely low particle size distributions and come in various solvent systems.
According to the company release, the new product allows the design of simpler and more efficient Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell (PEFC) systems featuring a broader range of operating temperatures, outstanding ion conductivity, especially at high temperatures and low humidity, and remarkable performance and durability. Also, AquivionTM based fuel cells are reported to have operated continuously over 10.000 hours without significant degradation. In addition to PEFCs, Aquivionn' products can be used in applications as varied as electrolyzers, gas humidification or pervaporation systems, and as surface modification agent for membrane filtration devices. Further, the ionomers' unique combination of functionality and excellent thermo-chemical resistance can also be used to improve the efficiency of super acid catalyst systems, electrochemical sensors, metal-ion recovery cells (Donnan dialysis), cationic exchange resins, electro-active polymers, and drug release devices.