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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/I037024/1
Title "Mind the Gap" - jumping the hurdles limiting polymer fuel cell performance and commercialisation
Status Completed
Energy Categories Hydrogen and Fuel Cells(Fuel Cells, Stationary applications) 50%;
Hydrogen and Fuel Cells(Fuel Cells, Mobile applications) 50%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Chemistry) 35%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Chemical Engineering) 65%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Prof A (Anthony ) Kucernak
No email address given
Imperial College London
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 30 November 2011
End Date 31 August 2015
Duration 45 months
Total Grant Value £1,037,942
Industrial Sectors Energy
Region London
Programme Energy : Energy
Investigators Principal Investigator Prof A (Anthony ) Kucernak , Chemistry, Imperial College London (99.998%)
  Other Investigator Professor K Scott , School of Chemical Engineering & Advanced Materials, Newcastle University (0.001%)
Dr D Brett , Chemical Engineering, University College London (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , Intelligent Energy (0.000%)
Project Contact , National Physical Laboratory (NPL) (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract 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" fuelsFuel 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 cellsCatalyst 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 longevityFuel 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 efficiencyImproving 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
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 27/01/12