MAESTRO is a collaborative research project funded under the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking in FP7 dedicated to the development of proton exchange membranes with robust mechanical properties, in particular for stationary fuel cell applications. It involves 5 partners in 3 European member states, 2 industrial enterprises, 1 micro-enterprise, 1 research organisation and 1 university. Perfluorosulfonic acid ionomers demonstrate excellent properties in terms of chemical resistance in a fuel cell environment. In stationary applications, where the situation of deep MEA dehydration and frequent open circuit voltage events can be reasonably avoided, the most relevant failure mode in extended life time operation is associated with membrane mechanical failure.
The objective of MAESTRO is to improve the mechanical properties of low equivalent weight state of the art perfluorosulfonic acid membranes using chemical, thermal, and processing and filler reinforcement methodologies while maintaining high proton conductivity.