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WEINHEIM – Freudenberg Performance Materials (Freudenberg) has concluded a high-volume, multi-year contract with a global automotive Tier One company to supply high-performance gas diffusion layers for the stacks forming the core of fuel cell systems.

The global target applications are mid-sized and heavy commercial vehicles, as well as buses. The customer’s global fuel cell activities will accelerate the breakthrough of mass-produced fuel cell stacks.

Fuel cell technology is a major pillar of a successful energy transition. Gas diffusion layers play a key role in this context, being indispensable for the functioning of the fuel cell and having a significant impact on the performance of the 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.

Capacity expansion

“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 is paying off,” said Dr Frank Heislitz, Freudenberg Performance Materials CEO. “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 and further investments are on the verge of implementation.

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.


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