Nowadays, bipolar plates play a significant role in fuel cells, important technology in renewable energy production.
In the doctoral dissertation, the synthesis of suitable polymers and carbon nanocomposites in terms of properties for use in bipolar plates in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) will be carried out. Resin/graphite nanocomposite bipolar plates will be prepared by bulk moulding process. Nano-sized graphite will be added as fillers to the polymer binder by forming a composite. Epoxy resin will be selected as a primary material since bulk moulding can be done easily with lower cost compared to other materials. Use of different structures of nanosized carbon as filler materials, e.g. expanded graphite, CNTs etc, will be checked in order to increase conductive characteristics, the most important parameter of bipolar plates. In order to characterize the composites, the morphology, electrical conductivity, flexural strength, toughness, hardness, porosity, thermal conductivity, and hydrogen permeation analyses will be investigated. The structure and good dispersion of fillers in the matrix of the prepared plate will be studied by electron microscopy (SEM, FIB-SEM, TEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Corrosion resistivity will be studied by electrochemical AFM, RDE cyclic voltammetry and fuel cell accelerated degradation tests. FTIR will be used for testing polymerization process dynamics.
The work will be performed in frame of the contractual partnership with LEANCAT s.r.o., fuel cell company.
Candidate should graduate from physics, electrochemistry or chemical engineering.