Freudenberg Concludes Multi-Year Contract With Global Automotive Tier One Supplier To Supply Gas Diffusion Layers For Fuel Cell Stacks

WEINHEIM, Germany — October 20, 2022 — Freudenberg Performance Materials (Freudenberg) has concluded a high-volume, multi-year contract with a global automotive tier one supplier to supply high-performance gas diffusion layers for the stacks forming the core of the fuel cell systems produced by the leading automotive supplier. Global target applications are mid-sized and heavy commercial vehicles as well as buses. Freudenberg is thus driving the customer’s global fuel cell activities forward, thereby also accelerating the breakthrough of mass-produced fuel cell stacks.

Importance of fuel cell technology

Fuel cell technology is a major pillar of a successful energy transition. Gas diffusion layers play a key role in this context: they are indispensable for the functioning of a fuel cell and have a significant impact on the performance of a fuel cell stack. Freudenberg already has more than 20 years of unique expertise in the development and production of gas diffusion layers for fuel cell applications in the mobility sector and for porous transport layers used in electrolyzers.

Investments in technology and production capacity

“This high-volume, multi-year industrial-scale order is confirmation that the long-term investment in our technologies and the close cooperation with our customers are paying off,” Dr. Frank Heislitz, CEO Freudenberg Performance Materials, said. “As a result, fuel cell technology will become an increasingly important pillar of our business activities going forward.” Freudenberg is currently expanding its production capacity at its Weinheim headquarters by installing additional lines. Further investments are on the verge of implementation.

Fuel cells and gas diffusion layers – the basics

A fuel cell converts the chemical energy of hydrogen and atmospheric oxygen into electricity. Functionally-optimized gas diffusion layers made of carbon-fiber based nonwoven are installed on both sides of a catalyst-coated membrane positioned in the middle of the fuel cell. The gas diffusion layers distribute hydrogen and oxygen evenly to the membrane and remove the electricity, heat and water generated by the CO2-free chemical reaction. They also protect the sensitive membrane and are optimized to suit the bipolar plate. A fuel cell stack is made up of several individual fuel cells.

Posted: October 20, 2022

Source: Freudenberg Performance Materials Holding SE & Co. KG (Freudenberg)