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Critical Raw material ElectrocatalystS replacement ENabling Designed pOst-2020 PEMFC

Project description

A new generation of low- to no-platinum catalysts for fuel cells

Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), also called proton-exchange membrane fuel cells, promise clean and efficient power generation, particularly for transportation. PEMFCs commonly use platinum electrocatalysts due to the excellent properties of platinum. However, platinum is a critical raw material (CRM), which is also the main contributor to the overall cost of PEMFC. The EU-funded CRESCENDO project intends to develop highly active and durable electrocatalysts for both the anode and cathode that minimise platinum use. These will include non-platinum group metal (non-PGM) catalysts for the cathode and non-PGM or ultra-low PGM anode catalysts. Success will decrease the dependence on and depletion of CRMs while lowering the cost of PEMFCs.


CRESCENDO will develop highly active and long-term stable electrocatalysts of non-platinum group metal (non-PGM) catalysts for the PEMFC cathode using a range of complementary and convergent approaches, and will re-design the cathode catalyst layer so as to reach the project target power density and durability requirements of 0.42 W/cm2 at 0.7 V, and 1000 h with less than 30% performance loss at 1.5 A/cm2 after 1000 h under the FC-DLC, initially in small and ultimately full-size single cells tested in an industrial environment on an industrially scaled-up catalyst. The proposal includes the goal of developing non-PGM or ultra-low PGM anode catalysts with greater tolerance to impurities than current low Pt-loaded anodes. It will develop and apply advanced diagnostics methods and tests, and characterisation tools for determination of active site density and to better understand performance degradation and mass transport losses. The proposal builds on previous achievements in non-PGM catalyst development within all of the university and research organisation project partners. It benefits from the unrivalled know-how in catalyst layer development at JMFC and the overarching expertise at BMW in cell and stack testing, and in guiding the materials development to align with systems requirements.


Net EU contribution
€ 422 289,70
75794 Paris

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Ile-de-France Ile-de-France Paris
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 448 303,75

Participants (9)