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Efficient low-Pt anodes for anion exchange membrane fuel cells

Phasing-in of low-emission technologies requires the development of advanced power sources. Hydrogen proton-exchange fuel cells are considered as one of the main candidates for the electrification of the transportation sector, providing efficient and lightweight power generating systems. However, fuel cell performance relies on catalytically enhanced electrodes with relatively large amounts of expensive platinum. To make fuel cell technology affordable and increase its market share a paradigm shift in catalyst development is required. Thus, a change of local pH to the base one can radically boost oxygen reduction performance, providing significantly cheaper and more durable catalysts. Moreover, the durability of fuel cell components will be improved due to the passivation effect in the alkaline medium. On the other hand, the hydrogen oxidation (HOR) reaction rate on the anode catalyst in an alkaline medium is significantly reduced by comparison to an acidic medium. The lower rate of HOR reaction is exacerbated by the water flooding issue. Therefore, it is necessary to develop catalyst layers that have high HOR activity, yet have little or no use of platinum group metals. Such catalysts will be prepared by both chemical and PVD techniques and analyzed by R/RDE, XPS, TEM, and SEM methods. The most promising materials will be used for fuel cell testing. Alongside with development of novel catalyst materials water and gas transport will be studied and optimized.

  1. Liang An, T.S. Zhao. Anion Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells. Principles, Materials and Systems. Springer, Cham 2018, ISNB 978-3-319-71370-0.
  2. Marc Koper, Andrzej Wieckowski. Fuel Cell Catalysis: A Surface Science Approach. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons Inc, 2009. ISBN 978-0-470-13116-9
  3. Cong, et al, Hydrogen oxidation reaction in alkaline media: From mechanism to recent electrocatalysts, Nano Energy,Volume 44, 2018, P 288-303.

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Dr. Yurii Yakovlev

Assistant Professor
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Prof. Iva Matolínová

Professor, Group leader
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Lectures, interesting facts and information in the field of nanomaterials and hydrogen technology.