Systematic, Material-oriented Approach using Rational design to develop break-Through Catalysts
for commercial automotive PEMFC stacks
The SMARTCat project is part of the european Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking. The aim of SMARTCat is to develop new concepts and production methods for fuel cells for automotive applications.
Fuel cells, as an efficient conversion technology, and hydrogen, as a clean energy carrier, have a great potential to
- Help fight carbon dioxide emissions
- Reduce dependence on mainly imported hydrocarbons
- Contribute to economic growth and create employment
Aims of SMARTCat
The present consortium will build a new concept of electrodes based on new catalyst design (ternary alloyed/coreshell clusters) deposited on a new high temperature operation efficient support. In order to enhance the fundamental understanding and determine the optimal composition and geometry of the clusters, advanced computational techniques will be used in direct combination with electrochemical analysis of the prepared catalysts. The use of deposition by plasma sputtering on alternative non-carbon support materials will ensure the reproducible properties of the catalytic layers.
Plasma technology is now a well established, robust, clean, and economical process for thin film technologies. Well-defined chemical synthesis methods will also be used prior for quickly defining the best catalytists.MEA preparation and testing, MEA automated fabrication in view of automotive operation will complete the new concepts of catalysts with a considerably lowered Pt content and supports for delivering a competitive and industrially scalable new design of PEMFC suitable for automotive applications.
SMARTCat will thus address the following objectives:
- Deliver specifications/requirements for reaching the technical goals as a roadmap.
- Design an efficient new catalyst architecture
- Establish a support selection criteria based on physico-chemical characterization and modelling for defining the most suited electrode support to the defined catalytic system
- Assess the robustness regarding operation conditions and fuel cell efficiency
- Enable to automate the MEA production using state of the art (< 100°C) and high temperature membranes (120°C)
- Build efficient short-stack required for competitive automotive fuel cell operation
- Low cost process and low Pt content will dramatically reduce the fuel cell cost, and which will lead to economically suitable fuel cells for automotive application