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PEMFC based on platinum Group metAl free StrUctured cathodeS

PEGASUS

PEMFC based on platinum Group metAl free StrUctured cathodeS

Call for proposal: 
H2020-JTI-FCH-2017-1
Link to CORDIS:
Objectives: 

PEMFC is the fuel cell predilection technology for automotive applications with a large deployment horizon by 2025-30. However, the increasing use of fuel cell electrical vehicles is expected to lead to a quickly growing demand for Platinum Group Metals. PGM production is not only itself related to negative environmental impacts but also raises questions of long-term availability due to the limitation of reserves and Europe’s economic dependence on the countries of the materials’ origin. Hence, it is of strategic importance that the transition to PGM-free catalysts is made as quickly as possible to ensure Europe's competitive position and to reduce market pressure on the use of scarce noble metals.

In that perspective, PEGASUS is exploring the removal of Pt and other critical raw materials and their replacement by non-critical elements enabling efficient and stable electro-catalysis for performing and durable PEMFCs. The overall aim of the project is to bring up the experimental proof of concept for novel catalysts with five underlying objectives supporting a full validation at single cell scale with a focus on the cathode side: 1) High performance, 2) durable and 3) low cost MEA using non-PGM catalysts-based cathode; 4) Robust test protocols for catalysts screening and 5) Understanding of degradation and prevention & mitigation strategies through a MEA design-driven approach.

PEGASUS will benchmark (Metal-Nitrogen-Carbon) materials with variants of Carbon supports and Catalyst Layer designs in order to reach the best compromises between chemical activities and mass/charge transfer with the support of intensive experimentation and modelling. Two generations of non-CRM catalysts will be proposed. GEN1 will implement metals {Fe, Mn or Cu} with Nitrogen onto (1D, 2D and 3D) structured carbon support (single structuration). GEN2 will investigate the enhancement of dual-structuration (1D+3D and 2D+3D) on catalyst stability, reactant availability and water management.

Institution Type:
Type of funding:
Programme Other: 
FCH-01-2-2017 Towards next generation of PEMFC: Non-PGM catalysts
Key Results: 

Fuel cells, as an efficient energy conversion technology, and hydrogen, as a clean energy carrier, have a great potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, to reduce dependence on mainly imported hydrocarbons and to contribute to economic growth and a strong European competitiveness and thus to create employment in Europe.

Proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is the predilection fuel-cell technology for automotive applications with a large deployment horizon by 2025-2030. However, the increasing use of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) is expected to lead to a quickly growing demand for Platinum Group Metals (PGMs) because fuel-cell vehicles require a multiple of the PGM amounts needed for conventional cars, between 30 and 50 gPt for a 100 kW full power stack. PGM production is not only itself related to some negative environmental impacts (e.g. through the use of fossil-fuel energy for mining and metallurgical plants), but also raises questions of long-term availability due to the limitation of reserves and Europe’s economic dependence on the countries of the materials’ origin. In order to avoid future barriers for development and dissemination of FCH technologies, their materials demand and the related issues should hence be considered early enough in order to develop strategies to react on the changing markets and the new challenges – as well as the opportunities – they are posing.

Besides, durability and cost are also primary challenges to fuel cell commercialization. Fuel cell systems must compete with automotive internal combustion engines (ICEs) and other alternative technologies. The performance and durability of FCEV have already been proved for cars integrating high content of Pt based catalyst. To be also considered with incumbent and future competing technologies, the cost of automotive fuel cell systems needs to be competitive, both on the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and on initial cost basis (CAPEX). This cost must be achieved while ensuring that systems provide the performance and durability already demonstrated by high cost FCEV. One of the key issue lies on the fact that the cost of PEMFCs is driven by the use of Platinum (Pt), a very effective hydrogen oxidation and oxygen reduction catalyst, which represents an estimated 50% of the cost of the fuel cell stack. In addition, Pt is sensitive to contamination from impurities in hydrogen and certain air contaminants, which impose the use of high H2 purity and filter at the airside of the PEMFC system.

Hence, it is of high strategic importance that the transition to a next-generation PEMFC using Platinum Group Metals-free (PGM-free) catalysts is made as quickly as possible to ensure Europe's competitive position and to reduce market pressure on the use of scarce noble metals. While decreasing Pt loading in MEAs has been considered as an intermediary step, the ultimate industrial goal will be to manufacture PEMFC stacks for transport application with Non-PGM catalysts, and with performance and durability comparable to the targets defined currently with Pt.

In that perspective, the PEGASUS project is exploring a promising route towards the removal of Pt and other critical raw materials (CRMs) from PEMFC and their replacement by non-critical elements & structures enabling efficient and stable electrocatalysis conditions for an appropriate use as Pt-alternative competitive cathodic catalysts. The overall aim of this project is to bring up the experimental proof of concept for novel catalysts materials & structures.

Lead Organisation: 

Commissariat A L Energie Atomique Et Aux Energies Alternatives

Address: 
RUE LEBLANC 25
75015 PARIS 15
France
EU Contribution: 
€864,850
Partner Organisations: 

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing Europe

Address: 
Bourgetlaan 60
1140 EVERE (BRUXELLES)
Belgium
EU Contribution: 
€97,500

Technische Universitaet Muenchen

Address: 
Arcisstrasse 21
80333 MUENCHEN
Germany
EU Contribution: 
€400,313

Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior Deinvestigaciones Cientificas

Address: 
CALLE SERRANO 117
28006 MADRID
Spain
EU Contribution: 
€310,138

Deutsches Zentrum Fr Luft Und Raumfahrt E.v

Address: 
Linder Hoehe
51147 KOELN
Germany
EU Contribution: 
€450,403

Association Pour La Recherche Et Le Développement Des Méthodes Et Processus Industriels

Address: 
Boulevard Saint Michel 60
75272 Paris
France
EU Contribution: 
€259,851

Heraeus Fuel Cells Gmbh

Address: 
HERAEUSSTRASSE 12-14
63450 HANAU
Germany
EU Contribution: 
€240,750

Ird Fuel Cells A/s

Address: 
EMIL NECKELMANNS VEJ 15A
5220 FRAUGDE
Denmark
EU Contribution: 
€205,214
Technologies: 
Development phase: