Development of fabrication, microstructure and performance relationships in inkjet printed polymer electrolyte fuel cell electrodes for automotive applications
Polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) running on hydrogen are a preferred choice for on-board electricity generation in automobiles. A major challenge associated with this technology is its high cost due to the use of platinum as electrocatalyst. Implementation of inkjet printing as a fabrication tool has been investigated by the applicant and the academic supervisor to fabricate and test PEFC electrodes that are 5 times thinner and contain 15 times lower platinum than conventional electrodes resulting in an improved catalyst utilization. The present proposal aims at optimizing this fabrication process by analyzing the effect of the dispersion media, carbon type, binder, pore former and fabrication parameters on electrode microstructure and fuel cell performance. Since this type of fabrication process is also being actively used by AFCC (partner organization), resulting outcomes will translate into an economical advantage for our industrial partners by a new fabrication method that minimizes expensive catalyst usage.