Development of an Internal Reforming Alcohol High Temperature PEM Fuel Cell Stack

Framework Programme: 
Call for proposals: 
Application area: 
Early markets
Project Pillar: 

The main objective of the proposal is the development of an internal reforming alcohol high temperature PEM fuel cell. Accomplishment of the project objective will be made through: • Design and synthesis of robust polymer electrolyte membranes for HT-PEMFCs, which will be functional within the temperature range of 190-220oC. • Development of alcohol (methanol or ethanol) reforming catalysts for the production of CO-free hydrogen in the temperature range of HT PEMFCs, i.e. at 190-220oC. • Integration of reforming catalyst and high temperature MEA in a compact Internal Reforming Alcohol High Temperature PEMFC (IRAFC). Integration may be achieved via different configurations as related to the position of the reforming catalyst. The proposed compact system does away with conventional fuel processors and allows for efficient heat management, since the “waste” heat produced by the fuel cell is in-situ utilized to drive the endothermic reforming reaction. The targeted power density of the system is 0.15 W/cm2 at a cell voltage of 0.7 V. Thus, the concepts of a catalytic reformer and of a fuel cell are combined in a single, simplified direct alcohol (e.g. methanol) High Temperature PEM fuel cell reactor. The heart of the system is the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) comprising a high-temperature proton-conducting electrolyte sandwiched between the anodic (reforming catalyst + Pt/C) and cathodic Pt/C gas diffusion electrodes. According to the configuration and the operating conditions described above, the IRAFC is expected to be autothermal, highly efficient and with zero CO emissions. In addition, the direct consumption of H2 by the MEA (fuel cell) and the electrochemical promotion effect is expected to enhance the kinetics of reforming reactions, thus facilitating the efficient operation of the reforming catalyst at temperatures below 220°C.

Project reference: 
SP1-JTI-FCH-4.2: Fuel supply technology for portable and micro FC
Project type: 
Basic and long-term research
Contract type: 
Collaborative Project
Start date: 
Friday, January 1, 2010
End date: 
Sunday, June 30, 2013
36 months (originally), extended to 42 months
Project cost: 
€ 2,427,821.60
Project funding: 
€ 1,424,147

Advanced Energy Technologies, Greece

Dr. Joannis Kallitsis
Other participating organisations: 
University of Maria Curie-Sklodowska Poland
Nedstack Fuel Cell Technology BV The Netherlands
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) France
Foundation for Research and Technology HELLAS Greece
Institut für Mikrotechnik Mainz GmbH Germany