Hydrogen fuel cells are a key enabling technology towards supplant CO2-emitting fuels with hydrogen. Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM-FC) technology is the dominant incumbent for automotive applications. However, PEM-FCs suffer from a strong drawback in the cost of the fuel cell stack, which is deeply embedded in the core technology. Alkaline Exchange Membranes (AEM-FCs) retain the benefits of PEM, while the alkaline environment allows for significantly lower-cost materials. A key AEM-FC benefit is a facile oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), which in PEM is only achievable with a significant loading of high-cost platinum catalysts.
The technology offers a range of novel carbon materials, with a broad range of surface chemistries (for catalysis), controlled and tunable pore structures (for ionic conductivities), and graphitization (for electronic conductivity)- for alkaline ORR.
- Cost effective- an alternative for high-cost platinum catalysts
- Tuning pore sizes- impact on activity and in turn the overall stability and performance
Applications and Opportunities
- Electrodes for fuel cells and for other electrocatalytic processes
- Supports for electrocatalysts and heterogeneous catalysts