Project Information
Framework Programme: 
Call for proposals: 
Application area: 
Stationary power production and CHP

Perfluorosulfonic acid ionomers (PFSA) demonstrate excellent properties in terms of chemical resistance in a fuel cell environment. In stationary applications, where the situation of deep MEA dehydration and frequent open circuit voltage events can be reasonably avoided, the most relevant failure mode in extended life time operation is associated with membrane mechanical failure.

The objective of MAESTRO is toimprove the mechanical properties of low equivalent weight state of the art perfluorosulfonic acid membranes using chemical and thermal processing and filler reinforcement methodologies.

Stabilised membranes will be comprehensively characterised for their ex situ properties and screened and selected membranes will be integrated into MEAs and validated by evaluating single cell performance and durability under conditions relevant for stationary operation, including the development and application of accelerated stress testing. In the final phase of the project the most promising membranes will be tested in a 4000 h durability test, simulating 10% of the expected lifetime of a stationary system to have a realistic projection of the expected degradation at 40,000 h.

Project details
Project reference: 
Topic SP1-JTI-FCH.3.2: Materials development for cells, stacks and balance of plant
Project type: 
Research and technological development
Contract type: 
Collaborative Project
Start date: 
Saturday, January 1, 2011
End date: 
Monday, March 31, 2014
36 months (originally), extended to 39 months
Project cost: 
€ 2,264,765
Project funding: 
€ 1,040,049

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France

Dr Deborah Jones
Other participating organisations: 
Solvay-Solexis Italy
Johnson-Matthey Fuel Cells United Kingdom
Università di Perugia Italy
Pretexo France
Patents and Publications
Surya Subianto , Sara Cavaliere , Deborah J. Jones , Jacques Rozière, Journal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry 01/01/2013, 118-128, "Effect of side-chain length on the electrospinning of perfluorosulfonic acid ionomers"
Surya Subianto , Monica Pica , Mario Casciola , Paula Cojocaru , Luca Merlo , Graham Hards , Deborah J. Jones, Journal of Power Sources 01/07/2013, 216-230, "Physical and chemical modification routes leading to improved mechanical properties of perfluorosulfonic acid membranes for PEM fuel cells"
Monica Pica , Anna Donnadio , Mario Casciola , Paula Cojocaru , Luca Merlo, Journal of Materials Chemistry 01/01/2012, 24902, "Short side chain perfluorosulfonic acid membranes and their composites with nanosized zirconium phosphate: hydration, mechanical properties and proton conductivity"
Anna Donnadio , Monica Pica , Donatella Capitani , Valentina Bianchi , Mario Casciola, Journal of Membranes Science 01/03/2014, in press, "Layered zirconium alkylphosphates: suitable materials for novel PFSA composite membranes with improved proton conductivity and mechanical stability"