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. Recently, continuous flow reactors and rapid screening techniques have gained significant traction for the production of fuel cell relevant catalysts. These preparative techniques are easily scaled to the batch sizes required for prototype production, without the need to re-optimise the synthetic process. Additionally, these sorts of systems can also be coupled with in-line purification methods, producing high quality and high purity nanomaterials in a continuous manner. This project aims to first assemble a continuous flow droplet reactor to prepare optimized and clean fuel cell catalysts. This reactor will be used to rapidly screen synthetic conditions to prepare optimised fuel cell catalysts for Membrane Electrode Assemblies (MEAs).

Sadaf Tahmasebi
Faculty Supervisor: 
Byron Gates
British Columbia
Partner University: