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Conception and realization of a direct methanol fuel cell


Currently, the commercialization of fuel cells is hindered by high component costs. One way to reduce costs, expressed in ECU per kWe, is to increase power density by improved membrane material and higher operating temperatures.

The objective of this project is to design a Direct Methanol Fuel Cell based on a new proton exchange membrane permitting higher cell performance (power density > 250 mW/cm2 at a cell voltage > 0.5V and a current density of 500 mA/cm2) by raising the working temperature to 150 C.

The research programme will combine the effort of three groups to develop a DMFC.
Dispersed electrodes based on bimetallic and trimetallic platinum alloys will be prepared by chemical, radiolytic or electrochemical reduction of the corresponding metallic salts and will be characterized by physico-chemical methods (UHV and electrochemical techniques).
Electrode membrane assembly (EMA) using Nafion 117 will be realized and tested by the University of Bonn. Different parameters will be investigated: catalyst composition, active layer thickness, amount of PTFE and Nafion solution, heat and pressure during EMA formation, working temperature.

Innovision and Solvay will make a screening of high temperature resistant polymers, and modify them by radiochemical grafting and cross-linking of sulphonated groups to synthesize protonic membranes with good conductivity and stability for all participants. In addition, Solvay may provide electron beam irradiation to all partners in order to prepare specific membranes.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Université de Poitiers
40 Avenue Du Recteur Pineau
86022 Poitiers

Participants (2)

Innovision A/S
5260 Odense S
Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Römerstraße 164
53117 Bonn