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EP/I037024/1 - "Mind the Gap" - jumping the hurdles limiting polymer fuel cell performance and commercialisation

Research Perspectives grant details from EPSRC portfolio

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Professor A Kucernak EP/I037024/1 -

Principal Investigator - Dept of Chemistry, Imperial College London

Other Investigators

Dr D Brett, Co InvestigatorDr D Brett

Professor K Scott, Co InvestigatorProfessor K Scott

Scheme

Standard Research

Research Areas

Fuel Cell Technology Fuel Cell Technology

Collaborators

National Physical Laboratory NPL National Physical Laboratory NPL

Intelligent Energy Ltd Intelligent Energy Ltd

Bac2 Ltd Bac2 Ltd

Start Date

11/2011

End Date

02/2015

Value

£1,037,942

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Grant Description

Summary and Description of the grant

In this proposal we are bringing together a number of individuals and institutions with a varied and complimentary skill set appropriate for the proposed work. All members of the team have an extensive and world-class background in fuel cell research and development, and the institutions which they work are well provisioned to undertake this work. Furthermore we are supported by a number of Institutions and companies.

The project is based around four research work packages and one coordinating work package.

* Operation of fuel cells on "dirty" fuels
Fuel cells typically require high quality hydrogen to prevent the poisoning of catalysts and membranes. This not only increases the cost of fuels, but limits the possible sources that can be used unless extensive clean-up methods are used. We intend to study the poisoning mechanism and poison content of fuels/air; develop catalysts with improved poison resistance. The goal is improvement in operation of fuel cells on typically available fuels in the near term, and use of "dirtier fuels" (biogenic sources) in the longer term.

* Reduction of the cost of fuel cells
Catalyst costs are one of the major components of fuel cell system cost (~25-30% of total). We intend to look at reduced platinum loading systems and how these systems interact with poor quality fuel/air. In the short term the desire is to reduce the cost and catalyst requirements. Over the longer term there is the desire to transition to new catalysts. Hence, we will also look at the development of new non-precious metal (or reduced precious metal) catalysts and the integration of these catalysts with new catalyst supports.

* Improvement in fuel cell longevity
Fuel cell longevity is a function of catalyst degradation and extreme conditions occurring during start-up/shut down and other extraneous events. Within this work package we will examine diagnostics to interrogate and understand the degradation processes and the development of improved catalyst supports and catalysts to resist degradation.

* Improving fuel cell systems efficiency
Improving fuel cell efficiency is associated with diagnosing the bottlenecks and those areas where the majority of losses are occurring. We will facilitate this process by developing and applying a range of in-cell and in-stack approaches to understand where those efficiency losses are occurring. At the same time we will examine the development of fuel cell balance of plant components to improve system efficiency. These approaches will be coupled with system modeling to assess the best areas to achieve performance gains.

Structured Data / Microdata


Grant Event Details:
Name: "Mind the Gap" - jumping the hurdles limiting polymer fuel cell performance and commercialisation - EP/I037024/1
Start Date: 2011-11-30T00:00:00+00:00
End Date: 2015-02-28T00:00:00+00:00

Organization: Imperial College London

Description: In this proposal we are bringing together a number of individuals and institutions with a varied and complimentary skill set appropriate for the proposed work. All members of the team have an extensive and world-class background in fuel cell research and d ...