AvCarb Fuel Cells

Fuel Cell developers must overcome both cost and technical barriers to replace conventional energy technologies such as lead acid batteries with its clean energy technology. AvCarb® Gas Diffusion Layer (GDL) products are helping Ballard overcome these barriers and advance fuel cell commercialization.

A GDL is a thin, flat porous carbon material, often treated with PTFE for water repellency, and often coated with micro-porous carbon layers to increase conductivity. A GDL is a critical fuel cell component, facilitating the transport of gases, liquids, and electricity within the fuel cell. Since 1995, AvCarb® products have been developed to meet these demanding requirements for fuel cell manufacturers around the world.

By combining Ballard’s fuel cell expertise with the materials and manufacturing expertise of AvCarb® engineers, a full line of high performance, low cost GDL products has been developed. Today, AvCarb® GDL products can be found in thousands of Ballard fuel cell stacks around the world, in both stationary and transportation applications.

To support AvCarb’s production volumes, AvCarb® GDL manufacturing is done on high-volume manufacturing equipment, in our Lowell, MA facility. Through continuous process improvement, AvCarb® GDL costs
have been reduced 70% since 2009. At the same time the consistency and quality of the material improved, providing consistent and predictable fuel cell performance, not just for Ballard, but for the many AvCarb® GDL customers worldwide.