Personal Power Plant

The application of PEM fuel cells is limited to certain singular products. The reason for this are the relatively high prices for the components of a PEM fuel cell. It is the aim of this project to fabricate the components of a PEM fuel cell by using mass production technologies such as injection moulding. In sequence this will lead to wide-spread applications of PEM fuel cells (personal-power-plant).

Short Description




It was the aim of the project to verify the feasibility to manufacture the components of a polymer-electrolyte-membrane fuel cell (PEM fuel cell) by using injection moulding and its special processes to achieve low cost mass production and to make PEM fuel cells available in widespread applications.

Typical applications of PEM fuel cells are small electric devices, mobile phones, laptops etc. The lack of methods for mass production, and high prices of fuel cell components in sequence, are a barrier for widespread application.

Some open questions were answered within this project concerning process engineering and industrial implementation. On the one hand, the combination of some special processes was new somehow, on the other hand it was not so quite clear if all of the components can be produced with the desired quality since the dimensions and accompanying technical characteristics, like conductivity, are a big challenge towards process engineering.

The production of bipolar plates, which typically occupy a major part of the production costs, was achieved successfully with the help of the cost-saving process of injection moulding. Conclusions out of this lead into an innovative concept for the variotherm process as well as into machine and process parameters for the production of bipolar plates. Further on the variotherm process and tool technology was successfully investigated towards fabrication of membranes via injection moulding. Together with the company of APC conductive compounds were developed, which are needed for the production of bipolar plates.

The synthesis of SPEEK as a material for membranes was performed by sulfonating PEEK in a systematical manner. The synthesis procedure including all relevant parameters is a basic result for the project team. It must be noted that sufficiently sulfonated SPEEK can not be processed via injection moulding.

To achieve a further step towards mass production of PEM fuel cells a change of the basic layout of PEM fuel cells is inevitable.

The project team, which consists of Fotec and ECHEM as scientific partners and Battenfeld Kunststoffmaschinen GmbH as industrial partner will bring in the project results into the consequent project ‘EasyCell' (approved project of the 3rd call of ‘Fabrik der Zukunft'). Within this project the industrial partner HTP High Tech Plastics AG will join the project team.

Project Partners

Project management

D.I. Friedrich Lehner
Viktor Kaplan Straße 2, A-2770 Wr. Neustadt
Tel.: +43 (0)2622 90333 32

Project or cooperation partner

  • Advanced Polymer Compounds
    DI Karl Schnetzinger
    Peter-Tunner-Straße 4/2, A-8700 Leoben
    Tel.: +43 (0)3842 45106 22
    Fax: +43 (0)3842 45106 23
    Mobile: +43 (0)664 3527907
  • Battenfeld Kunststoffmaschinen Ges.m.b.H.
    Wiener Neustädter Strasse 81, A-2542 Kottingbrunn
    Tel.: +43 (0)2252 404-0
    Fax: +43 (0)2252 404-1062
    Dr. Erich Kny, Prof. Dr. Gerhard Nauer
    Viktor Kaplan Straße 2, A-2770 Wr. Neustadt
    Tel.: +43 (0)2622 22266
    Fax: +43 (0)2622 22266 50
  • HTP High Tech Plastics AG
    Fabriksgelände 1 A, A-7201 Neudörfl
    Tel.: +43 (0)2622 460-0