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Conception and realization of a new low cost direct methanol fuel cell

Objective



Fuel cells under study for electric car applications currently operate on hydrogen or hydrogen derivated from methanol. It is highly desirable to develop fuel cells which directly oxidise methanol (DMFC). The development of a DMFC would provide a system with more energy per unit volume and with a fuel of low price more able to transportation.

Today, most of DMFCs work with oxygen below 100°C. The main objective of this project is a DMFC working with air at a temperature of 1 30°C. As the classical Nafion membranes do not stand this temperature, this project includes the development of new high temperature proton exchange membranes. It also includes the development of improved plurimetallic supported catalysts working at a high temperature (130°C).

The final objective of this project is the realization of a 1 kW DMFC stack, with an expected power density of 200 mW/cm2 at 0,5 V, designed and manufactured with a special attention on cost reduction, in the aim of an earliest marketing .

The partnership includes a car manufacturer (PSA), two engineering companies specialized in electrochemistry (SRTI SYSTEM, DE NORA), an industrial research center (THOMSON-CSF LCR), a chemical company (SOLVAY) and three research centers partners as associated contractants (CNR, Universite de POITIERS, CNRS). It includes at least one industrial partner in each of the European countries involved in this partnership (France, Italy, Belgium).
This project is complementary with other present European projects in Fuel Cells, since only one similar Joule Research and Development Project, coordinated by Siemens company, is already going on, but with appreciable differences in terms of technical objectives.

This project falls in the objective 2.3.2.A. 1. of the Non-Nuclear Energy WP for Fuel Cells.

The project will last 4 years and it is composed of the two following phases:
- A first phase (1.5 years long), which objective is the realization of a 150 W DMFC stack working with air at 90°C.

- A second phase (2.5 years long), which objective is the realization of a 1 kW DMFC stack, with a power density of 200 mW/cm2 at 0,5 V, working with air at 130°C.

The project is divided in the following tasks, spreading along phases 1 (90°C) and 2 (130°C):

- Task 0: Project management (coordination)

- Task 1: Specification and validation

- Task 2: Membranes preparation (gratted perfluorinated, polyheterocyclic)
- Task 3: Membranes characterization. Catalysts preparation, processing and charac-terization (paste process with ionomer and conducting polymer process). Membrane electrode interfaces

- Task 4: Single cells design, building and testing

- Task 5: Stacks 1 (150 W) and 2 (1 kW) design, building and testing
Its total cost is 5,02 MEcus, corresponding to a EC requested funding of 2,86 MEcus.

Coordinator

SODETEG SA - SOCIÉTÉ D'ETUDES TECHNIQUES ET D'ENTREPRISES GÉNÉRALES
Address
Rue Du Pont Des Halles 25, Chevilly-larue
94666 Rungis
France

Participants (7)

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE
France
Address
Avenue Du Recteur Pineau 40
86022 Poitiers
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
France
Address
Echangeur De Solaize
69390 Vernaison
De Nora Fuel Cells SpA
Italy
Address
Via Bistolfi 35
20134 Milano
GIE PSA Peugeot Citroën
France
Address
Route De Gizy
78140 Vélizy-villacoublay
NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF ITALY
Italy
Address
Via Salita Santa Lucia Sopra Contesse 5
98126 Messina
SOLVAY S.A.
Belgium
Address
310,Rue De Ransbeek 310
1120 Bruxelles
Thomson-CSF
France
Address
Domaine De Corbeville
91404 Gometz La Ville