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Advances in scaling up a non-conventional proton exchange membrane fuel cell

Grant number: 15/11479-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2015
Effective date (End): December 31, 2015
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Physical-Chemistry
Cooperation agreement: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Edson Antonio Ticianelli
Grantee:Pedro Henrique de Britto Costa
Home Institution: Instituto de Química de São Carlos (IQSC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/16930-7 - Electrocatalysis V: electrocatalytic processes of chemical and electrical energy interconversion, AP.TEM

Abstract

Among new renewable energy source technologies, special attention has been given to proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC), due to their higher energy conversion efficiencies, compared to that of internal combustion engines. This project aims to develop a non conventional membrane electrode assembly (MEA) with great innovative potential, since the final product may contribute to minimize one of the problems for the PEMFC commercialization: the short lifetime. To be more specific, the purpose of this work is to produce MEAs with loadings of Teflon, Nafion®, and electrocatalyst that will vary along the gas diffusion electrode (GDE) surface in the cathode side, aiming to meet the needs of every single region inside this electrode. This effect would make the current density distribution more uniform, thus increasing the performance and stability of these MEAs. Moreover, 3 different techniques will be employed to manufacture the MEA: the use of carbon fiber cloth, carbon paper, and by depositing Pt on the membrane. The research activities of this work comprise assembling 50 cm² and 200 cm² MEAs, performing accelerated ageing experiments, and also performing tests on 4 cells stacks. The performance and stability of the MEAs will be evaluated by physicochemical and electrochemical characterization. (AU)