Nanoparticulate mixed metal oxides as electrode materials for Alkaline Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (APEMFCs)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Surrey
Department Name: Chemistry

Abstract

Interest in fuel cells has dramatically increased in recent years with the realisation of the tremendous strain developing on world energy resources. This, coupled with environmental concerns regarding the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, places great emphasis on the development of efficient and environmentally friendly energy systems, such as fuel cells. Low temperature fuel cells typically have a polymer membrane as the electrolyte, and traditionally research in the area of acidic membranes has tended to dominate the fuel cell literature. More recently internationally pioneering research at the University of Surrey into the development of highly conducting alkaline polymer electrolyte membranes has led to world-wide interest in alkaline polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (APEMFCs). The use of alkaline membranes rather than traditional acidic membranes confers a number of significant advantages. In particular, such alkaline membranes offer the potential for replacing expensive precious metal (e.g. platinum) catalysts conventionally used with acidic membranes, with cheaper alternatives. The aim of this study is to investigate one such alternative, namely the potential of nanoparticulate mixed metal oxides as electrode materials for APEMFCs. The project will involve two complementary strands. In the first strand, the incorporation of the mixed metal oxides will be made with a view to reducing the level of precious metal catalysts needed, while the second more adventurous strand will involve the complete replacement of the precious metals. Both strategies offer the prospect for breakthrough reduction in the costs of these fuel cell systems.

Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
EP/G009929/1 01/10/2008 31/12/2008 £98,661
EP/G009929/2 Transfer EP/G009929/1 01/01/2009 30/04/2012 £91,934
 
Description 1. Demonstration of improved conductivity in perovskite electrode materials through silicate, phosphate doping.

2. Synthesis of new hydroxide catalysts through preparation of fluoride precursors and post-ion exchange.
Exploitation Route 1. Meet the Scientist Stand at the Thinktank Museum, Birmingham

2. How Science works hand-on activities at the Thinktank Museum, Birmingham
Potential applications as electrode materials for use in low temperature fuel cells
Sectors Energy

 
Description Policy in Low Carbon Transport
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
Impact Particpated in meeting, which fed recommendations to the G8 summit Target Audience: Government Department
 
Description Doping Studies of Perovskite-related Materials for Potential Applications as Fuel Cell Cathodes 
Form Of Engagement Activity Scientific meeting (conference/symposium etc.)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Participants in your research or patient groups
Results and Impact Invited talk at Anion-Exchange Membranes for Energy Generation Technologies, at the University of Surrey on the 25th and 26th of July 2013.
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Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description From Apatites to Perovskites: An exploration of Si containing Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Materials 
Form Of Engagement Activity Scientific meeting (conference/symposium etc.)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Participants in your research or patient groups
Results and Impact Invited talk to Functional Inorganic Materials meeting at the University of Liverpool.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Going Tetrahedral for New SOFC Materials 
Form Of Engagement Activity Scientific meeting (conference/symposium etc.)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Participants in your research or patient groups
Results and Impact Invited talk at 3rd Chalmers-ISIS Workshop, Gothenburg, Sweden, 2010.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description Meet the Scientist 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Display on Fuel cells for the Thinktank Museum, Birmingham as part of their Meet the Scientist series.

As part of the Thinktank Museum's Meet the Scientist week, we set up a stand on fuel cells, with demonstrations of their operation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description Novel Electrode Materials For Fuel Cells 
Form Of Engagement Activity Scientific meeting (conference/symposium etc.)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Participants in your research or patient groups
Results and Impact Talk at RSC Solid State Chemistry Group Christmas Conference, UCL, London.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010