The objectives to be reached in the frame of this project are related to the development about low temperature fuel cells. The concerns to be developed are the following:
- alternative materials as electrode catalysts in front of Pt,
- new polymer membrane electrolytes,
- improvement of selective oxidation and direct feeding of methanol for itselectrochemical conversion to hydrogen,
- testing of the above developments at stack level.
The work will be focussed at development of electrocatalysts that can be inhibited from poisoning of intermediates as CO, -COH, produced during oxidation of methanol, to an extent that the time variation of overpoten tial be less than lOmV/lOOOhr. Metallic conductors, such as Ruthenium oxides, have been know for several years to be very active catalysts in anodic and cathodic processes, keeping high electric conductivity and electrical stability, specually when blended with other oxides.
On the other hand, the project will head at new polymers as alternative of the present expensive perfluorinated membranes, other than preventing transport of methanol from the anode to the cathode. The work will be achieved through sulfonation of conventional polymer materials, just like the preparation of ORMOLYTES from which new membranes could be prepared, expecting to get levels of conductivities greater than 1 ohm-1cmAn other main aim in this project will deal with the improvement of the electrochemical activities of methanol about its direct oxidation even at temperatures below 100øC, expecting to get current densities up to 400mA/cm2 at voltages of 0.5 V. The study will based on proton exchange membrane fuel cell type, with alternative platinum alloys (Pt-Ru) as ano de catalysts. In order to avoid the problem that represent the flooding of the system as a result of the undue removal of water, concentration of methanol-water in a vapour phase will be used, raising the temperatures up to 130øC, other than avoiding cell voltage degradation with increasing overall efficiency, playing on operation conditions in the facility to be built for testing all the above developments at stack level.
The work will be carried out by CIEMAT, as coordinator, three spanish Institutes from the CSIC (Consejo Superior Investigaciones Cientificas): Institute of Ceramic and Glass (ICV), Institute of Catalyst and Petrol-chemist (ICP), and Institute of Polymers (IP). Besides, in the Project will be involved the University of Alto Douro (UAD) from Portugal with experience on new membrane electrolytes developments, the department of Chemical Engineering and Technology (KTH) from the Royal Institute of Technology from Stockholm (Sweeden), and one) automakers like SEAT (Spain).
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
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