PEM with Innovative low cost Core for Automotive applicatioN
Up to now, a lot of work has been performed on the catalyst of the active layers (AL) of PEMFC but much less on the structure of the AL and on the two other major components (carbon and electrolyte) whereas they do have a major impact on the performance of PEMFC and on Pt utilization.
Based on this analysis, PEMICAN proposes to reduce the Pt cost for automotive application down to 0.15 gram of Pt per kW, by a twofold approach: i) to increase Pt utilization and power density by improving effective transport properties of AL by tuning some properties of the electrolyte and by adding special carbon blacks in order to improve catalyst, electrolyte distribution and water management; ii) to reduce Pt loading by controlling its distribution: very thin layer on the anode side and gradients of Pt on the cathode side. These structured layers will be defined in order to optimise the utilization of the Pt. The combination of these two approaches will allow reducing the total mass of Pt for a given power density.
Whereas the main objective of PEMICAN is to develop and manufacture MEA (membrane Electrode Assembly) with reduced Pt cost, it is supported by scientific approach: i) numerical modelling will help defining the best Pt distribution; ii) special structural and electrochemical characterizations will be done to improve the existing models and to analyse the performance of MEA as a function of manufacturing processes and properties of components. Performance and durability tests under automotive conditions will be performed and analysed.
PEMICAN shall demonstrate gains in terms of Pt cost (g Pt/kW) obtained by improving the design and properties of the AL. Its results will be useful also in the future when non pure Pt is available.