Polymeric electrolyte Fuel Cells
- Catalysts, electrodes and MEA for electrochemical devices (PEFC cells, hydrogen compressors, and AMFC cells). The scientific activity is mainly oriented to the study of the synthesis methods, corrosion resistant standard and innovative catalysts production and development techniques (supported on conductive polymers, oxides and carbon nano-tubes), electrodes, and MEA to be used under low pressure and humidification within the range -20°C and +120°C (temperature);
- Functionalisation of polymers and development of polymeric membranes for the selective transport of electrochemical devices such as PEFC cells, redox batteries (RFB), hydrogen compressors, and AMFC cells. Its main purpose is the realisation of low cost polymeric membranes having adequate ionic conductivity at high temperature (>80°C) and low relative humidity with respect to the state of art. The developed membranes are: based on pure Nafion or they are strengthened by polymeric supports or composites mixed with inorganic fillers (oxides and/or proton conductors); polysulfone-based (PSF) or sulphonated polyether-ketone-based (PEEK), pure, strenghtened, composite membranes through adding oxides that are developed specifically to enhance mechanical properties, hydrophilicity and proton conduction;
- Study of innovative cell geometries for electrochemical devices such as PEFC and AMFC cells and hydrogen compressors. Hydrogen fed stacks or gaseous mixtures rich in hydrogen (anode) and air or pure oxygen (cathode). Optimising the geometry of stacks and operational conditions according to the final application and depending on the used components. Integrating PEFC stacks in demonstration prototypes up to 5kW for portable, automotive, and marine applications, aerospace and remote users;
- Study, development, and characterisation of materials for hydrogen storage such as composites polymers, carbon materials, alanates covering with polymers, natural materials of volcanic origin. Such activity encompasses tank design, development, and testing. The tanks contain both synthesised in lab materials and commercial powders.. The integration of the tank as developed with a hydrogen-air-feed fuel cell or a fuel cells stack is a feature of particular relevance.