Predictive tools for membrane durability in fuel cell applications

Fuel cells are a clean energy technology that generates electricity without harmful emissions and uses hydrogen as the fuel in place of oil. As fuel cell electric vehicles are deployed globally on a significant scale, it is critical to ensure high levels of operational durability and reliability, equal to or exceeding that of incumbent engine technologies. The proposed project addresses the durability of the membrane, which is one of the key components of fuel cells.

Development of improved fuel cell system hybridization, control and on-board diagnostics for heavy duty bus and rail applications

This proposed research project is an extension of a previous NSERC CRD project that is investigating hybridization optimization of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs) used in FC bus and rail applications. The models developed in this research are expected to yield improved fuel cell and system lifetimes in service, and improved detection and mitigation of fuel cell faults causing degradation and unacceptable emissions, and detection/mitigation of critical system component faults.

Hydrogen Storage and Fuel Cell for UAV Integration

The joint objective of the consortium is to undertake R&D necessary to produce a scalable, cost-effective combined hydrogen storage and fuel cell solution for UAV’s that addresses weight and volume and improves refueling logistics. The novel hydrogen storage system will be combined with a high-power density optimized fuel cell stack for UAV’s that integrates with the low pressure, volumetrically efficient, hydrogen storage solution.

Next Generation PtM catalysts for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

The production of optimised catalysts and catalyst layers for proton exchange membrane fuel cells is both labour intensive and time consuming. However, these materials and composites are of critical importance if proton exchange membrane fuel cells are to become commercially viable. Specifically, highly active catalysts are required in order to reduce platinum group metal content and system cost, while optimized catalyst layer designs are necessary to achieve high performance and robustness in operating cells.

Novel OER catalysts and rapid screening methodology for reversal tolerant PEM fuel cell anodes

Hydrogen fuel cells are a promising alternative to meeting today’s transportation demands. Longer lasting and more robust fuel cells are essential for commercial applications. A common issue with the longevity of a fuel cell stack is the tolerance to repeated start-up shutdown cycles. During these cycles, the fuel cell can become starved of fuel due to blockages in the channels. Without fuel to react, the fuel cell will begin to break down the carbon supports causing catastrophic cell failure.

Next Generation Catalyst Layer Design for PEM Fuel Cells

The performance of non-precious metal catalysts (NPMCs) for proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) has now reached a stage at which they can be considered as possible alternatives to expensive Pt, especially for low power applications. However, despite significant efforts on catalyst development in the past, only limited studies have been performed on NPMC-based electrode designs. Thus, it is required to develop an effective NPMC-based electrode that can correctly balance the complex parameters to maximize the performance it can bring.

Development of an advanced modeling platform for assessing chemical and mechanicalmembrane durability in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells - Year Two

Hydrogen powered polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are a clean energy technology that generates electricity without harmful emissions at the point of use. To accelerate commercialization, current R&D efforts mainly target reduced cost and increased lifetime. The proposed research project addresses both aspects by developing a unified chemical and mechanical modeling platform for evaluating membrane durability in PEMFCs. The core validation is based on extensive test and field data provided by our industry partner, Ballard Power Systems.

Transport phenomena inside and across membrane in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) has emerged as an eminent technology to address today's growing energy crisis and environmental issues. PEMFC technology faces multiple challenges before widespread commercialization. Water transport inside a PEMFC has a significant impact on the cell performance and durability. In this internship a numerical model is implemented to study the transport phenomena inside and across the membrane of a PEMFC.

Synthesis and Characterization of Novel Core-Shell Pt Catalysts

Presently, platinum (Pt) nanoparticles are required to catalyze the desired redox reactions at the anode and cathode of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). The high cost of this precious metal catalyst remains a barrier to the wide spread commercialization of PEMFCs, particularly for automotive applications. In an effort to reduce the Pt loading in PEMFCs, this research project is focused on the design of novel catalysts which consist of a 1-2 monolayer “shell” of Pt on a less expensive metal which acts as a “core”.

Initial Investigation of the Synthesis andCharacterization of Novel Core-Shell Pt Catalysts

Presently, platinum (Pt) nanoparticles are required to catalyze the desired redox reactions at the anode and cathode of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). The high cost of this precious metal catalyst remains a barrier to the wide spread commercialization of PEMFCs, particularly for automotive applications. In an effort to reduce the Pt loading in PEMFCs, this research project is focused on the design of novel catalysts which consist of depositing a 1-2 monolayer “shell” of Pt onto a less expensive metal which acts as a “core”.