A new high performance, low cost heterogeneous composite bipolar plate has been developed. Unlike the well publicized carbon composite bipolar plate, in which graphite powder and plastics are mixed thoroughly, the new plate has its “ribs” made of flexible and loose carbon fiber bunches while the rest of the plate is plain plastic. This design has brought many advantages: low contact resistance acquired under very low compression force, less stack weight and volume, full electrode utilization, and thus high performance and low cost. It also eliminates the need for supplementary devices for fuel circulation among cells in a stack and makes DMFC portable.

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