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Innovative autoMotive MEa Development – implementation of Iphe-genie Achievements Targeted at Excellence

European Union
Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Total project cost
€3 685 553
EU Contribution
€2 087 390
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Vehicle design and manufacturing (VDM)
Low-emission alternative energy for transport (ALT)
Transport mode
Multimodal icon
Transport policies
Environmental/Emissions aspects,
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Link to CORDIS

The prime focus of IMMEDIATE is to develop high performing MEAs aimed for automotive applications through material R&D & process optimisation. The technical targets aimed in IMMEDIATE are addressing the JTI targets for automotive MEAs with respect to performance & cost. The proposed project is a continuation of the recently terminated and very successful FP6 R&D-project: IPHE-GENIE.

The IMMEDIATE project approach is based on utilisation and further improvement of the materials and processes. Thus, the approach and the technical IMMEDIATE targets are as follows:

  • Development of a membrane with
  • A proton conductivity of at least 0.1 S/cm at 120ºC & 25% RH
  • Thermal stability up to 160ºC
  • Low dimensional changes (<10%, wet/dry)
  • Development of MEAs that show high performance [1 W/cm2 @ UCell=0.68V (hEl=55%)] at low Platinum loadings [ 0.15g Pt/kW] through:
  • Catalyst development and design
  • Ionomer and membrane optimisation
  • Electrode design
  • GDL optimisation
  • Process optimisation
  • Testing of the developed MEAs on single cell and on small stacks level at realistic automotive operating conditions i.e. T=120ºC, RH 25%, P=1.5bar, yet being able to start from -20°C
  • Application of automotive AST protocols to make a 5,000 h’s lifetime probable

It is considered that especially the combination of these targets is both challenging and a significant step forward.

The project is scheduled for 3 years. The Consortium is well balanced, with the following 9 partners complementing one another to achieve the project target goals:

  • A PEM MEA manufacturing company (IRD [SME]) - coordinator
  • A leading manufacturer of ion exchange polymers and membranes (FuMa)
  • A huge producer of specialised carbon and graphite (TC)
  • A huge GDL manufacturing company (SGL)
  • A leading supplier (OEM) of commercial transport solutions (Volvo)
  • 4 R&D centres/universities, with more than 15 years’ experience working within PEM catalyst, ionomer, membrane & MEA development (ICPF, CNRS, SJTU & JRC)


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
European Commission
Type of funding
Public (EU)


Final Report Summary - IMMEDIATE (Innovative autoMotive MEa Development – implementation of Iphe-genie Achievements Targeted at Excellence)

IMMEDIATE aimed at developed a medium temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell membrane electrode assembly for operation at up to 95 °C, with a Pt loading of 0.15 g Pt/kW, and using new materials developed during the project. In WP2, the specification and...

Executive Summary:

IMMEDIATE aimed at developed a medium temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell membrane electrode assembly for operation at up to 95 °C, with a Pt loading of 0.15 g Pt/kW, and using new materials developed during the project. In WP2, the specification and evaluation activities were focused on two areas: defining performance and durability for the MEAs in the case of city-bus use, and estimation of the cost of an alternative powertrain based on the cost of the MEA. The IMMEDIATE MEA shows excellent durability characteristics, since it degrades

Project Context and Objectives:

The overall objective of the IMMEDIATE project is to develop a medium temperature PEM MEA ºC that will fulfil the OEM requirements with respect to cost, performance and durability and and at the same time is a significant step towards the ultimate goal which is to have a PEM FC able to operate at >100ºC at minimal RH, Pt-loadings 55% efficiency and >5,000 h lifetime at dynamic operation. IMMEDIATE will do this by developing catalysts for PEM fuel cells to further reduce the use of platinum in the MEAs and increase catalyst performance and electrochemical stability, developing novel materials for gas diffusion layers (GDLs), optimising composition and morphology of both the micro-porous layer (MPL) and the electrodes, and developing new ionomers with high proton conductivity and high thermal and dimensional stability, all in combination with high-quality manufacturing methods and adequate testing of the MEAs.

The prime focus of the IMMEDIATE project was to the develop high-performing membrane–electrodes (MEAs) through materials R&D and process optimisation.

The technical targets for IMMEDIATE are as follows:

• Development of a durable membrane with

- Proton conductivity of at least 0.1 S/cm at 120ºC and <25% RH

- Proton conductivity >10 mS/cm at -0ºC

- Thermal stability up to 160ºC

- Low dimensional changes (<10%, <25% RH/>99% RH, 10 000 cycles)

• Development of a GDL with

- Through plane conductivity >2 S/cm at nominal operating conditions

- In plane conductivity >100 S/cm at nominal operating conditions

• Development of MEAs with the following targets

- Platinum loading of

- BOL performance of >1.0 W/cm2 @ UCell=0.68 V, nominal operating conditions

- EOL performance of >0.9 W/cm2 @ UCell=0.68 V, nominal operating conditions

- The produced MEAs will be subject to automotive accelerated stress test (AST) protocols to ensure that the EOL performance is probable after 5,000 hours of operation

- Operation temperature range -25ºC to 130ºC, nominal 120ºC

- Production method that can be scaled to produce MEA’s with >300 cm2 active surface area

The achievement of the overall targets for the MEA requires comprehensive component integration and MEA testing. The reduction of the MEA cost is largely related to the catalyst loading, whereas the per-formance, stability, and durability of the MEA is dependent on all the involved components and the inter-play between them, which again depends on the applied MEA processing technology.

The approach on the IMMEDIATE project was based on improvement and incorporation of com-mercially available pre-cursers and during the project incoporate the new innovative materials for which the proof of concept has already been given. The aim is to significantly increase existing automotive per-formance and durability by developing:

• Novel catalyst support materials with tailored surfaces and pore structure will be developed, tuned to optimise both the Pt utilisation and the mass transport of the reactants and products

• Innovative low equivalent weight cross-linking PFSA ionomers and catalysts that survive the high temperature and low RH by improvement of the oxidation durability and the proton conductivity

• Innovative (cross-linked) low-equivalent weight ionomer will be used for the fabrication of the membrane ensuring an enhanced proton transport and improved oxidation stability

• In order to further improve proton conduction in the catalytic layer under the conditions of quasi-dry operation at elevated temperature routes to modify the ionomer with inorganic particles such as zirconium phosphate or silica will be explored

• GDL materials and MPL will be further optimised for improved water and gas management

The mutual compatibility of materials and their durability shall be verified by assembling high perfor-mance MEAs for benchmarking purposes and for testing, in which use will be made of commonly accept-ed automotive test cycles (including start-stop and freeze/thaw cycles) to prove their potential.

Specific WP objectives

WP1: Coordination and Management

The main objective in coordination and management for the project is:

• Financial management

• Communication and interface between the FCH-JU officers, the project and its partners

• Coordinate the scientific and technical activities of the project

• Establish communication tools and interactions between the partners

• Coordinate and finalise deliverable and milestone reports, technical progress reports and financial reports

WP2: Specification and evaluation

The specific objective of WP2 on the 0M-18M period was to specify MEA test protocols with the operational window to be applied in WP7 and the delivery test protocol defining the real-life load on/off cycles of the final fuel cell system.

WP3: Catalyst

The overall objectives of WP3 (as described in the DOW) are as follows:

• Develop durable carbon supports with tailored mesopores in the range of 10-50 nm

• Develop non-carbon oxide, carbide and nitride supports for Pt catalysts

• Precipitate high load platinum catalyst on the developed supports

WP4: Membrane and ionomer

The overall WP objective is to develop a new, durable ionomer and membrane, including a composite membrane system comprising radical scavengers, based on low equivalent weight cross-linkable PFSA-polymers that possess high proton conductivity (>100 mS/cm @ 120°C & 25% RH), high thermal stability (up to 160°C), and high dimensional stability (<10% change upon wetting/drying) enabling automobile fuel cell operation in a wide temperature range (–25°C to 95°C) and in a low humidity (<25% RH) environment.


WP5 aims at identifying the specific material properties, which are required for the gas diffusion layers (GDL) under the rather unusual operating conditions given within IMMEDIATE. In particular, this work package is dedicated to the development of a novel gas diffusion layer grade, which effectively prevents dehydration of the proton exchange membrane at elevated temperatures. In order to attain the desired power density at the desired electric efficiency (55%), additional improvement of the thermal and electrical conductivity will become necessary.


The overall objective of WP6 is to fabricate durable high yielding MEAs with low catalyst loading (55% at the nominal operational conditions (T=95ºC, RH ≤25% & P

The goal defined for the 1XG MEA is a performance >0.5 W/cm2 @ ηel >55%, Temperature ≥80ºC, RH ≤ 50%/30% & P≤ 2.3/2.5 Bar and < 0.3 mg Pt/cm2

The goal defined for the 2G MEA is a performance > 1.0 W/cm2 @ ηel >55%, Temperature ≥95ºC, RH ≤25% and P ≤1.5 Barabs and


WP7: Test

The objective is to assess the performance and durability of the MEAs developed in IMMEDIATE, on the basis of MEA single cell tests and in the second period of the project in short stack tests.

WP8: Dissemination

To ensure that the results and developments of the project are disseminated. The dissemination will be done by presenting the project results through a dedicated website, in workshops, conferences and publi-cations in scientific journals and the general press. The specific objective for RP1 was to release the pro-ject web site, and to initiate the presentation of non-confidential results at international conferences.

Project Results:

Please refer to uploaded document

Potential Impact:

Please refer to uplaoded document

List of Websites:

• Public website:

Madeleine Odgaard:


Lead Organisation
Ird Fuel Cells A/s
Organisation website
EU Contribution
€426 227
Partner Organisations
Ustav Chemickych Procesu Av Cr, V. V. I.
ROZVOJOVA 135, 165 02 PRAHA 6, Czechia
Organisation website
EU Contribution
€336 380
Volvo Technology Ab
Götaverksgatan 10, 40508 GOTHENBURG, Sweden
Organisation website
EU Contribution
€114 736
Imerys Graphite & Carbon Switzerland Sa
Organisation website
EU Contribution
€259 911
Shanghai Jiao Tong University
HUASHAN ROAD 1954, SHANGHAI, 200030, China
EU Contribution
€157 790
Fumatech Bwt Gmbh
Organisation website
EU Contribution
€225 103
Centre National De La Recherche Scientifique
3 rue Michel-Ange, 75794 PARIS, France
Organisation website
EU Contribution
€392 060
Sgl Carbon Gmbh
Werner-Von-Siemens-Strasse 18, 86405 Meitingen, Germany
EU Contribution
€175 183
European Commission - Joint Research Centre (Brussels)
Rue de la Loi 200, 1049 BRUXELLES, Belgium
Organisation website
EU Contribution


Technology Theme
Fuel cells and hydrogen fuel
Development of new Fuel Cells and Hydrogen (FCH) technologies
Development phase

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