Low cost and durable catalysts for automotive fuel cells
The successful commercialization of the automotive fuel cell requires lowering costs of key components in the fuel cell stack, such as the catalyst materials at the centre of the electrochemical cell generating the energy. Nanoparticles of platinum supported on mesoporous carbons are typical materials being used for the current generation of the fuel cell stack. To meet the cost targets for commercialization we must be able to design catalysts that can increase their activity, be used more effectively, and last the lifetime of the fuel cell car. The proposed research will characterize the fuel cell catalyst using a variety of chemical, physical and spectroscopic analytical techniques to develop an understanding of how these characteristics influence fuel cell performance under different operating conditions and over time. This will improve our ability to design fuel cell catalysts that can meet the cost and durability targets for the next generation fuel cell car.